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Experts See a 'Real Challenge' as Hawaii's Kilauea Pauses

3-month break in surface lava leaves plenty of uncertainty

(Newser) - Hawaii's Kilauea, given the highest overall threat score of any volcano in the country, appears to be calming down. The volcano that's been erupting almost continuously for 35 years, forcing thousands from their homes this spring and summer, has produced no surface lava on the Big Island, including... More »

Americans May Not Want to Live Near the 'Big 18'

USGS puts these US volcanoes in the 'very high threat' category

(Newser) - Government scientists have classified 18 US volcanoes as "very high threat" because of what's been happening inside them and how close they are to people. The US Geological Survey has updated its volcano threat assessments for the first time since 2005, per the AP , and the danger list... More »

50 US Volcanoes Are Being Closely Watched

There are 169 active ones nationwide

(Newser) - The ongoing eruption of Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has brought fresh attention to America's other active or potentially active volcanoes—and there are more of them than many people think, including quite a few in the Lower 48 states, though eruptions aren't a major worry for states like... More »

Threat Level Raised as 'Violent' Volcanic Eruption Nears

Mayon volcano in the Philippines just spewed out a 4,300-foot ash plume

(Newser) - Residents of the island of Luzon in the Philippines have been lying in nervous wait after seismologists predicted last week that its Mayon volcano was exhibiting signs of an "imminent eruption." On Monday, the prospect of danger was raised further, with the threat level jumping from three to... More »

Island Was to Disappear in Months. It's Now Been 3 Years

NASA hopes it will give insights into Martian volcanoes

(Newser) - When an ash island formed in the Pacific Ocean following an underwater volcanic eruption in late 2014, scientists predicted it would soon disappear. Over the next six months, the island nestled between two others of the Tonga nation experienced heavy erosion, but "then it leveled off," NASA scientist... More »

Scientists Getting Nervous About Italian Supervolcano

Mama mia!

(Newser) - An Italian supervolcano could be heading toward an eruption—and that's bad news for the 500,000 or so people who live in and around it, the Washington Post reports. Campi Flegrei is a 7.5-mile-wide caldera, the collapsed top of an ancient volcano. The eruption that formed it... More »

'Game Changer': Giant Helium Field Found

A 'globally significant' find that could boost world supply of precious gas

(Newser) - What scientists are calling a "game changer" for society has been discovered deep in Tanzania's Rift Valley: a massive helium gas field with enough of the precious commodity to fill more than 1.2 million MRI scanners, Phys.org reports. Besides the sheer amount of gas, the discovery... More »

In Search of Lobsters, Scientists Find Volcanoes

New research boat spots 4 calderas off Australia's east coast

(Newser) - Researchers on the last night of a voyage to find lobster larvae instead uncovered four extinct, undiscovered volcanoes some 155 miles off Australia's east coast. "My jaw just dropped," voyage leader Iain Suthers tells the Guardian . Though he says researchers believed the ocean floor in the area... More »

Earth's Biggest Volcano Might Be Waking Up

Something's brewing beneath Hawaii's Mauna Loa

(Newser) - Ready to rumble? The world's largest volcano—Hawaii's Mauna Loa—appears to be stirring back to life after a relatively quiet 30 years, geologists say. Don't fret: It isn't about to erupt at any minute, but four separate clusters of smaller earthquakes have been reported under... More »

How Volcanoes Can Save Life, Too

Study suggests they protected Antarctic bugs and plants during ice ages

(Newser) - Volcanoes are usually in the news for their destructive power , but a new study suggests they've got some protective power to boast of as well. Scientists think that bugs and plants have survived Antarctica's ice ages only because they found warmth near live volcanoes, reports AFP . They did... More »

Another Big Iceland Volcano May Blow

Katla would make last year's eruption look 'small'

(Newser) - Another Icelandic volcano has begun to grumble—and if it erupts, it could make last year's ash cloud look like a joke, experts say. The 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajokul was "small," according to a scientist; it didn't seem that way to the airlines that lost $2... More »

Biggest Blast Yet Rocks Indonesia Volcano

(Newser) - A volatile volcano in central Indonesia unleashed its most powerful eruption yet today, spewing hot ash and smoke thousands of feet into the air and sending panicked villagers racing back to emergency shelters. There were no immediate reports of casualties. Mount Lokon, located on northern Sulawesi island, has been dormant... More »

Japanese Volcano Erupts

Shinmoedake had been quiet for a few weeks

(Newser) - It's an even better time to not be in Japan: Adding to the country's burgeoning humanitarian crisis after Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami, a volcano in the country's south erupted today. The Shinmoedake volcano spewed ash some two and a half miles into the air, its first activity in a... More »

Philippine Volcano Blasts Ash a Mile Into Air

Authorities say little risk of full eruption, issue level 1 alert

(Newser) - After a month's quiet, a volcano spewing ash and smoke in the Philippines today forced at least 2,000 villagers to flee to safety. Shooting ash more than a mile into the air, it was the volcano's 13th ash explosion since November, but officials said there is no sign that... More »

Africa Rapidly Breaking in Two

Quakes widen fissure at rarely-seen speed: scientists

(Newser) - Africa is gradually breaking apart—and in the past several months, the process has accelerated. Now, amid earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, it’s happening exceptionally quickly, reports Der Spiegel . Water is threatening to flood a fracture between Ethiopia and Mozambique, scientists say; while it will be millions of years before... More »

Indonesians Flee Still-Rumbling Volcano

Death toll hits 141, Merapi could blow again

(Newser) - Indonesians are scrambling to get out of Mount Merapi's way today, as the death toll reached 141 and the volcano continued to belch gas clouds and threaten to erupt again at any moment. Overloaded trains carried twice their normal passengers out of the 400,000-strong city of Yogyakarta, some 20... More »

Scientists Will Drill Deep Into Active Volcano

Critics fear move may endanger nearby Naples

(Newser) - Italian scientists plan to drill 13,000 feet into the heart of an active volcanic field outside Naples. The Campi Felagria—believed by the ancient Romans to be the home of Vulcan, the god of fire—last erupted in 1583 but has been showing signs of unrest over the last... More »

Indonesian Volcano Blows After 400 Years

Thousands fled when Sinabung started rumbling

(Newser) - An Indonesian volcano that has sat silently since 1600 blew ash and sand a mile into the sky this morning, days after its rumblings sent thousands scrambling to evacuate. Lava was mostly contained around the crater of Mount Sinabung, reports the AP, and a government volcanologist said the eruption appeared... More »

Iceland Volcano Grounds Europe Flights, Shuts Heathrow

Air Space closed as Eyjafjallajökull blows again

(Newser) - Ash clouds from Iceland's spewing volcano disrupted air traffic across Europe today as authorities closed air space over Britain, Ireland and the Nordic countries. Tens of thousands of passengers were stranded as flights were canceled and it was not clear when it would be safe enough to fly again, the... More »

Surprise: Mercury Has a Personality

(Newser) - Mercury's not such a dull planet after all. A new batch of papers in Science spells out evidence of a busy volcanic past and describes an unusual impact crater that would stretch from Boston to DC, reports Wired. The papers, which draw from the October flyby of NASA's Messenger craft,... More »

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