Monday, 8 September 2014

Volcanic shockwave

A post a little off topic again today. This post is motivated by several related stories in the media. The first is a follow up from an earlier blog post where I criticised the Australian ABC for reporting an eruption in Iceland that was not even confirmed. A day or two later a large eruption occurred in our closest neighbour Papua New Guinea. The eruption was very large and was not even reported by the ABC – though it was picked up by ABC America! It occurred at Tavurvur Volcano near the mostly abandoned city of Rabaul.

On the 11th of September it will be the 100 year anniversary of Australia’s first military engagement in World War 1. Australian soldiers and sailors attacked German positions in the then German Colony of New Guinea. This first engagement, in which both Australian, German and ‘native’ soldiers were killed occurred near Rabaul. The occupation by Australian Soldiers led to Australian administration over Papua New Guinea until 1975. A short account of the battle can be read on the Australian War Memorial Website.

Finally, on the weekend a tourist recorded the moment when Tavurvur volcano erupted again. Though not as large an eruption as the initial one, the power of the volcano is clearly visible. The Youtube video shows massive lava bombs (probably bigger than cars) falling after the eruption and spectacularly a shockwave travelling through the air and hitting the camera. It is worth watching.

Too often we, in Australia forget that we have neighbours. Our news seems to be from the USA, UK a few European countries and ‘home’. But we always seem to forget our near neighbours, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, East Timor and New Zealand. Let’s not forget the Solomon Islands and even France too (New Caledonia). I’ve previously posted on Indonesia and now I’ve mentioned in passing Papua New Guinea. These are important countries to know about and are so interesting in many ways, one of which is geology. It is beyond the scope of this blog to look in detail at these countries but we should as they affect us, even the geology of those places

1 comment:

  1. It is true - we should know a lot more about our region!