Hmm, what if we moved this to Visiting volcanoes or something like that? I saw the article listed in recent changes and thought it was going to be a wikipedia-type entry or something about Volcanoes National Forest. Or am I just being weird about this? Majnoona 19:03, 3 Nov 2004 (EST)
I find the article really useful, and a good way to give the growing number of people interested in visitng a "live" volcano an orientation about what to think of in the preparation phase. To create a new section / new page about just that topic would look like a good idea. As volcanologist myself, and tour organizer, I added or modified a few parts of the text. Best greetings, Tom Pfeiffer, volcanologist ([email protected])
I'll leave the text here in case anyone wants to use it as a basis for a new preparations or safety text. -- Colin 21:31, 3 Nov 2004 (EST)
First of all I strongly support to provide as much interesting and relevant info on visiting volcanoes as possible on your site. Unfortunately the "Visiting Volcanoes" section seems to be non-existent. Please do revive this and let us provide some useful stuff to potential volcano visitors.
I don't think it is fruitful to have a discussion here on what is "dormant" or "active". And yes, in exceptional situations a dormant volcano could pose a threat as well. How academic and/or precise do you want a contribution to be? And on what basis do you disqualify "local experts"? Have you ever worked together with volcanologists of i.e. the Hawaii Volcano Observatory (HVO), the OVSICORI in Costa Rica, the INGV in Italy or PHIVOLCS in the Philippines? Any bad experiences? And yes I agree if you want to state that an eruption of i.e. a shield type volcano is less violent than of i.e. an andesitic stratovolcano. You could consider that relevant in selecting the volcano you want to visit. But what really matters is that a visitor should know about the actual eruptive situation because that is what causes actual (in)direct threats. Feel free to contribute to this safety discussion. After all, the visitor of this section can learn from it.
Cheers, Markus Wamsteeker, [email protected]
Active volcanoes should be approached with care and some extra preparations should be taken, which depend basically on the level of activity and the kind of activity, as well as on where you want to go to observe this activity. The kind of activity can differ from tremors ("seismic activity") you hardly sense to "fumaroles" (steam or gases coming out of wholes or cracks) to emission of lava flows (like on Hawaii or, sometimes, on Etna), small explosive events that throw glowing stones to a few tens or hundreds of meters, or even to realla devastating activity that would kill anyone near the volcano within a radius of several miles...Clearly, the level of risk differs strongly depending on the type of eruption (only spattering on a small scale or huge explosive activity with ash columns of several kms height and/or launching of a rain of stones and car size blocks), the level of activity and side effects like mudflows ("lahars"), toxic gas clouds or avalanches caused by the collapse of (a part) of a lava dome or crater rim (the latter phenomena are known as the most dangerous ones, a "pyroclastic cloud",- a cloud of ash and gas particles with a temperature of 400 to 700 degrees celsius, running down the hill up to 100km/h. You'll burn in an instant).
The topic is very complex and every volcano is different and has its own typical style of eruption with its associated risks. For example, visiting Kilauea, you are likely to encounter lots of steady, relatively harmless lava flows, but you could bring yourself into danger if you were to go too close to the areas where such lava flows are flowing into the sea, mainly because of the toxic steam clouds generated there, and the risk of collapse of the new unstable lava delta. Visiting Popocatepetl in Mexico, a typically explosive volcano, would be life-threatening, if you were to climb up to its rim (forbidden at the moment, by the way), because it might very well covery you with large stones... But you can watch these (moderate to small) explosive eruptions in good safety from below, i.e. many miles away. To cover this topic comprehensively would exceed many pages. I strongly recommend the new book by Dr. Rosaly Lopey "The Volcano Adventure Guide", (Hardcover, 362 pages, Cambridge University Press, 2005) - www.volcanoadventures.com. It contains vital information for anyone wishing to visit, explore, and photograph active volcanoes safely and enjoyably. Following an introduction that discusses eruption styles of different types of volcanoes, how to prepare for a volcano trip, and how to avoid volcanic dangers, the book presents guides to visiting 42 different volcanoes around the world.
I'm not sure if this belongs in the article or not, but those interested in volcanoes may also be interested in Devils Tower or other places like it. Do these have a place here, or do you think they'd become clutter? ChubbyWimbus 21:38, 10 May 2010 (EDT)