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Vendredi, 30 Décembre 2011 15:22

And the 2011 Pliny for Volcanic Event of the Year Goes to ...

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Honorable Mention

The voting is in and it is time to announce the 2011 winner of the Pliny for Volcanic Event of the Year. Over 200 votes were cast for the award and this year's winner was a slam-dunk, but it was a tight race for spots 2 through 4. My method for tallying the score was as follows: 6 pts for each 1st place vote, 5 pts for 2nd, 4 pts for 3rd, 3 pts for 4th, 2 pts for 5th and 1 pt for 6th. The tally for each volcano is listed in parentheses next to the volcano's name.

Erta Ale, Ethiopia (5); Cleveland, Alaska (8); Tungurahua, Ecuador (8); Kizimen/Kamchatka, Russia (11)

A few volcanoes just miss the cut for the top 10 - including Cleveland in the Aleutian islands of Alaska (see above). The volcano made a too-little, too-late run in late December by producing a 15,000 foot plume that prompted air traffic warnings and diversions. During much of the late summer, a dome grew within the summit crater of Cleveland, prompting fears of an explosive eruption thanks to the dome plug. Many of the rest of our honorable mentions were consistent performers throughout the year including the volcanoes of the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia and Ecuador's Tungurahua, who saw its largest explosive period in over a decade.

Image: The crater area at Cleveland seen on August 8, 2011, courtesy of AVO/USGS by Kym Yano (NOAA)

Erik Klemetti is an assistant professor of Geosciences at Denison University. His passion in geology is volcanoes, and he has studied them all over the world. You can follow Erik on Twitter, where you'll get volcano news and the occasional baseball comment.
Follow @eruptionsblog on Twitter.


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