2010 has been a very active year for major geological activity. In addition to the 12th of January Haiti earthquake (7.0 on the Richter Scale), the 27th of February Chile earthquake (8.8), there have been major earthquakes in Sumatra (7.9 on the 6th of April) and Vanuatu (7.2 on the 27th of May).
Equally as spectacular has been the major eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull. We are thankful no one was injured by this eruption, although air travel was disrupted in Europe for nearly two weeks, including a delay of VOLCANO parts coming from Germany.
Another fascinating geologic change is occurring at the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii. The primary vent has been the Pu’u O’o crater for the last two decades. Recently, activity has shifted back to the Kilauea caldera, including a visible glow at night from the lookout on the crater rim. This may be an indication that the primary magma chamber has shifted.
Despite the appearance of stability, the crust of the earth is constantly changing. We are reminded of this by the recent geologic processes occurring around the globe. Regardless of where you live, it is always important to be prepared for unexpected natural disasters.
USGS Earthquake Hazard Program:
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park: