This article will help you spot common weather-related myths and misunderstandings. It will help you understand and talk about weather in a scientifically accurate and informed way, which will either annoy your friends or impress them.
Does Southern California have any volcanoes? The answer is yes. There is one near the Salton Sea that the USGS has rated as a high risk of a future eruption. Called the Salton Buttes, this is Southern California's only active volcano.
The state of Arizona has two active volcanoes that are expected to erupt again sometime. They are the Uinkaret Volcanic Field north of the Grand Canyon, in the northwest corner of the state, and the San Francisco Volcanic Field near the city of Flagstaff, part of which is Sunset Crater Volcanic National Monument.
Geologists have identified locations around the world where tsunamis could theoretically unleash massive amounts of damage. Some of these locations are not well known. One is the city of Honolulu, Hawaii, which is potentially threatened by future eruptions of a volcano on Hawaii's Big Island named Hualalai.
The three largest active volcanoes in the world are Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea in the Hawaiian Islands, in the Pacific Ocean, and Mount Teide in the Canary Islands, in the Atlantic Ocean. They are all massive shield volcanoes, and two are considered to be amongst the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.
Long Valley Caldera in California is one of the largest volcanoes on Earth. In the area are several other volcanoes as well, and all of them are expected to eventually erupt again. Long Valley Caldera had a massive eruption 760,000 years ago - and a repeat can't be ruled out.
Starting at the North Rim of Arizona's Grand Canyon there is a series of volcanic fields, several of which are active, extending northward into Utah. Two of the volcanic fields that are active are located in Utah, and one erupted just a few hundred years ago - very short by geological standards.
New Mexico has several volcanoes that are expected to erupt again someday. One of them, Valles Caldera, had two eruptions 1.15 and 1.47 million years ago that were so large that since then, only six eruptions have occurred worldwide that were as large or larger. Scientists know this volcano will erupt again eventually, and they can't rule out the possibility of another massive eruption.
Geology and geography are two sciences that overlap and have similar names, and the two are often confused by the general public. Knowing more specifically what each one is can help to keep the two terms and their definitions straight.
Canada is one of the best places on Earth where meteorite craters have been preserved, in the hard rocky Canadian Shield. There are at least 32 such craters known in Canada, and one of them, Manicouagan Crater, is amongst the largest on Earth. Some of the others stand out clearly identifiable as some of the best and most obvious meteorite craters on Earth.
Every continent on Earth has meteorite craters, although unlike the moon, craters on our planet wear away and in many cases disappear due to tectonic forces and erosion. Although determining which meteorite craters on Earth are the very best-preserved is somewhat subjective, the best in Asia is often said to be India's Lonar Crater, the best in Eruope is often said to be Estonia's Kaali Crater, and the best in Africa is often said to be Algeria's Amguid Crater.
Northern California has nine active volcanoes. Some are more obvious, such as towering Mount Shasta, and others are less well known. Each is rated by USGS as having varying threat levels for future eruptions, ranging from very low to high.
Saltwater lakes exist on every continent, although only some of them exceed the saltiness of the ocean. The five saltiest lakes on Earth are Don Juan Pond and Lake Vanda in Antarctica, Lake Assal in Africa, the Dead Sea in the Middle East, and the Great Salt Lake in the United States of America.
Sunset and sunrise times differ in locations around the world due to several factors. These are latitude, time zone, and time of year. Using various locations around the world as examples, it can be seen how these factors influence changes throughout the year in sunset and sunrise times.
The island of Kyushu is the southernmost of the four main islands of Japan, and it has active volcanoes, some of which are considered to be amongst the most dangerous on Earth. One of them, Mount Aso, is in fact one of the largest and most potentially destructive volcanoes in the world.
The Cascades Mountains in the Northwestern USA have multiple active stratovolcanoes, and more eruptions as large or larger than that which was produced by Washington's Mount St. Helens in 1980 are a certainty. One that poses a threat to a nearby major metropolitan area is Mount Hood near the city of Portland, Oregon.
The only active volcanoes on the mainland of Europe exist in Italy and Greece. The country of Greece has a total of four active volcanoes, one on the mainland and others are part of a chain that extends across the Aegean Sea, located on island. One of them, Santorini, is responsible for the third-largest eruption worldwide in the past 6,000 years.
True supervolcanic eruptions on our planet are rare. The largest of the past 19 million years or more was from Toba, on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia about 70,000 years ago. This supervolcano concerns geologists more than any other due to its close proximity to major earthquake faults, and because it remains active and could have another major eruption someday.
Sitting under the North American continent is one of Earth's massive supervolcanoes, capable of unleashing worldwide destruction. Known for powering pretty geysers and hot springs, the Yellowstone Supervolcano has covered most of North America with thick ash before and will do it again someday. But when?