The Getty Iris: An International Conservation Partnership Is Preserving Herculaneum, Ancient Roman Town Buried by Vesuvius. “Herculaneum began to be formally excavated in 1738, mainly via tunnels in the volcanic tuff (rock made from ash and other debris from an eruption). In the late nineteenth century, open-air excavation began, followed by a more systematic approach from 1927 until 1961 led by archaeologist Amedeo Maiuri. In decades following, the site’s rapid deterioration and lack of resources for its maintenance had many crying in alarm. Historical images taken during Maiuri’s time at the site—compared with later conditions—clearly illustrate the disturbing rate of deterioration and loss.”
Big Island Now: DOH Launches New Air Quality Website for Volcano-Readiness. “The Hawai‘i Department of Health reports that a new website that provides near real-time data on the air quality in Hawai‘i is now live to coincide with National Air Quality Awareness Week, which is recognized from April 29 – May 3. Residents and visitors to the islands now have a one-stop online resource for air quality infomation that is especially useful in the event of future volcanic eruptions.”
Google Blog: Cruising around a supervolcano lake in Street View. “Around 75,000 years ago (give or take a couple of millennia), a supervolcano erupted on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, throwing out so much ash that it created a volcanic winter lasting several years. The eruption was so massive that the volcano collapsed under its own power, creating the caldera we now call Lake Toba. At over 100 kilometers long and 30 kilometres wide, Lake Toba is the largest volcanic lake in the world. A small team of Googlers spent the last two months scouring every meter of its coastline, using a Street View Trekker mounted on a boat, to collect gorgeous 360-degree imagery around this former supervolcano.”
ScienceNews: Here’s a look at the world’s deadliest volcanoes — and the ways they kill. “Guatemala’s Fuego volcano erupted explosively on June 3, sending hot gas and rock racing downhill in what’s known as a pyroclastic flow. At least 69 people were killed. Emergency officials are trying to reach buried villages to assess the scope of the disaster, but Fuego is already the world’s deadliest eruption of 2018. The tragedy offers a grim reminder of the many dangers posed by volcanic eruptions. While pyroclastic flows figure prominently in an exhaustive list published last year by British scientists, there are many other potential threats including toxic gas and lava flows. The scientists analyzed how nearly 280,000 people have died in eruptions, including about 62,600 deaths from indirect causes such as famine and disease in the aftermath, since the year 1500.”
New Zealand Herald: Google Street View comes to White Island. “People can now explore the awe inspiring landscape of Whakaari (White Island) online using Google Street View. Whakaari is one of the world’s most accessible, continuously active marine volcanoes and now a project between the Whakatane District Council and Google aimed to take that accessibility to a whole new level, by bringing the raw power of the island online.”
Google Street View — volcano style. “Google Street View is giving users a unique opportunity to step inside a Vanuatu volcano, home to one of the largest boiling lava lakes in the world. You can join explorers Geoff Mackley and Chris Horsly, who climbed 400 metres inside the Marum crater to obtain shots of the molten lava lake.”
Now available: a Web site providing information on volcanoes in Iceland. “The Catalogue, which is in English, is an interactive web-based tool and includes information about Iceland’s 32 volcanic systems. It offers a wealth of information about the volcanoes, such as the frequency of eruptions, activity status, lava fields, seismic activity, and photos and descriptions of every volcano.” This is really nicely done.