Select the search type
  • Site
  • Web

The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Chasing Volcanoes

volcanos remain dramatically beautiful and still mysterious

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Wednesday, March 13, 2013/Categories: natural history, photography

Volcanoes are impressive. I thought of this when a good friend of Riled Up, James Balog, the photographer who gained international fame for his graphic time-lapse studies of climate change in the film  Chasing Ice , wrote to say he was on vacation in Hawaii  "chasing volcanoes".

NASA has just released an image of Japan's Sakurajima volcano that erupted in January. Magma shoots away from the crater's surface from deep below. The photograph is notable for the lightning bolts generated near the summit. Why this occurs just like with common thunderstorms remains a research topic and a mystery.

Sakurajima Volcano with Lightning  (credit: NASA/Martin Rietze)

Years earlier, I was traveling in Central America and invited to view Pacaya volcano in Guatemala that happened to be erupting. I thought we would drive to a 'scenic overlook' and observe the eruption from a safe distance but after driving several hours in the middle of the night we reached the summit with the lava flowing below us. This was probably not the smartest thing I have ever done but I will never forget the experience.

It will be exciting to see the visual results of James Balog's "chasing volcanos" investigations even if they don't relate to climate change.


Number of views (901)/Comments (0)


Please login or register to post comments.

Halealaka Starry Night Sunday, April 13, 20140

Halealaka Starry Night

Mount Haleakala as seen on a 'Starry Night'.
NeXTgen Sagan? Friday, April 11, 20140

NeXTgen Sagan?

Who might be waiting to become the Carl (or Carla) Sagan for the next generation?
Cyclone Ita Approaches Thursday, April 10, 20140

Cyclone Ita Approaches

Cyclone Ita has been upgraded to a Category 5 storm as it lumbers towards Queensland.
Amazing 'Selfies' Wednesday, April 9, 20140

Amazing 'Selfies'

"Selfies", those online photos, can be amazing sometimes.
O, the Power of Conformity Tuesday, April 8, 20140

O, the Power of Conformity

By Reilly Capps
Whether we want to or not, we end up following the pack. 
March of the Beetles Sunday, April 6, 20140

March of the Beetles

"God must have loved beetles as there are so many of them."
Strange Encounters Saturday, April 5, 20140

Strange Encounters

You decide here on this strange encounter.
Snow Totals Thursday, April 3, 20140

Snow Totals

The 2013-2014 winter was exceptionally dry for parts of the Western USA. A new satellite map shows the mountain snow coverage.
Whales 1, Whalers 0 Wednesday, April 2, 20140

Whales 1, Whalers 0

Ruling against "scientific whaling" by an international court, Japan lost and whales won.
Feelings Trump Facts Tuesday, April 1, 20140

Feelings Trump Facts

The facts don't matter, all that matters is how you feel.
Vulcan's Moon Monday, March 31, 20140

Vulcan's Moon

Io is one strange moon. Vulcan, the ancient God of fire, would be right at home.
Sports Fans Sunday, March 30, 20140

Sports Fans

Sports fans can start young!
Earth Hour Saturday, March 29, 20140

Earth Hour

Earth Hour is today. Have you heard about it?
Lungs of the Earth Saturday, March 29, 20140

Lungs of the Earth

Amazon rainforests are often referred to as the "lungs of the Earth".
Dune Abstractions Friday, March 28, 20140

Dune Abstractions

Sand dunes are beautiful no matter where they occur.
Restoring a Delta Thursday, March 27, 20140

Restoring a Delta

For the first time in nearly a century, water is once again flowing into the Colorado River delta.
Turtle People to the Rescue, 2 Wednesday, March 26, 20140

Turtle People to the Rescue, 2

Turtles maintain a special place in Riled Up.
Bend in the River Tuesday, March 25, 20140

Bend in the River

When you're floating on a river, it's hard to get a complete perspective on the environment.