OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

VW Earth Science Lessons are Up!

To all teachers and students who have been patiently waiting during this long transitionary period,

The Earth Science Lessons are finally Up and Running!

 

A Nobel Prize for Volcanology

Volcanology has a new Nobel Prize winner!

Dr. Stephen Sparks has received the Vetlesen Prize, awarded by the G. Unger Vetlese Foundation and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

Floating Pumice – an Oceanic Hazard?

krakatoaeruption

 

Under water volcanoes, both shallow and deep, erupt more often than we think. When an exceptionally large underwater volcano erupts, the lava that is produced cools quickly, trapping gas bubbles within the rock. This forms pumice, a highly vesicular, highly porous rock that is light enough to float on water.

Large enough volumes of pumice can be violently ejected during eruptions, rising to the surface of the ocean to form floating rafts of pumice. Such pumice rafts have been seen after historical eruptions such as Krakatoa erupting in 1883, spewing pumice into the ocean and clogging harbors in Indonesia.