This blog provides commentary on interesting geological events occurring around the world in the context of my own work. This work is, broadly, geological fluid dynamics. The events that I highlight here are those that resonate with my professional life and ideas, and my goal is to interpret them in the context of ideas I've developed in my research. The blog does not represent any particular research agenda. It is written on a personal basis and does not seek to represent the University of Illinois, where I am a professor of geology and physics. Enjoy Geology in Motion! I would be glad to be alerted to geologic events of interest to post here! I hope that this blog can provide current event materials that will make geology come alive.

Banner image is by Ludie Cochrane..

Susan Kieffer can be contacted at s1kieffer at gmail.com

Friday, May 28, 2010

Pacaya Volcano, Guatemala, is erupting

This photo is from Wiki on May 28, 2010, attributed to the USGS from the site http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/hazard/slideset/28/28_576_slide.shtml

According to CNN, Pacaya Volcano, 15 miles south of Guatemala City, began erupting at 9:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 27. Two villagers and a reporter from a CNN affiliate were killed in the initial eruption, crushed by rocks spewed from the volcano. 1800 people have been evacuated, and the airport in Guatemala City is closed as of Friday. Pacaya was dormant for a century until 1965, and has been active since then. The government has declared a 15 day state of emergency.

Pacaya is a young volcano, dated back to 23,000 years. It lies on the edge of an older larger caldera formed at least 300,000 years ago. It has erupted at least 23 times since the Spanish colonization in the 15th century. It is one of the many Central American volcanoes associated with the subduction of the Cocos Plate beneath the Caribbean Plate.

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