Scandinavia and the World

Bad Boy

Bad Boy

The Icelanders are masters of controlling lava flow using water.

21st April 2015

Tagged in Iceland Norway

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21 M
23 minutes ago #9353502        

Yeah it's called Hetalia.

2 hours ago #9353476        

I wish this turned into a mainstream Manga...That would be awsome...Everything is better when its Manga.

2 hours ago #9353471        

I want stunned Iceland as an avvy!

2 hours ago #9353469        

Ugh, if only I could be as badass as Iceland!


14 hours ago #9353327        

@Karen I share some of the frustration, believe me. I've seen how Iceland's redirected lava flows by throwing the ocean at 'em, and with the viscosity of Hawaii's lava simple trenches could do a great deal. Saving the truly irreplaceable could be a bit of an exception - give Pele a vat or three of whiskey and save the pre-Colonial village, maybe.

Geothermal is still being debated. After doing some more research, there are natives who feel that the energy extracted should be viewed as a gift from the goddess. And stopping the eruptions would be a bad idea for Hawaii, since stopping the eruptions means no more island as you've already pointed out (for others reading, the Hawaiian are built of lava in an unstable manner. When the hotspot's gone from the older islands, they start breaking apart and falling in to the ocean.) Personally, as an American in the region of the Great Lakes, I think Hawaiian geothermal will happen eventually, it's just a matter of when and how much.

...Frankly, as an anthropologist and would-be geologist (darn calculus), I find the entire Hawaiian situation fascinating. Offering Pele a bottle of whiskey is on my bucket list!


33 F
18 hours ago #9353276        

It's just so frustrating, as an outsider, watching people lose their homes, their businesses, community facilities, sacred sites, everything, all needlessly. Like one step up from throwing sacrifices into the crater.

Extracting geothermal power means taking heat from underground. Which means cooling the rock. Which means making magma more viscous and harder to flow and trapping gas back in solution, and eventually all the way back to the solid state from whence it came. Volcanoes exist where there's a combination of sufficient heat and sufficiently low pressure; it's the conditions that make the volcano, not the other way around. Now, in any realistic scenario geothermal extraction would only be the tiniest fraction of the total energy input from the Earth, but if you actually could extract a significant chunk of the energy input over a volcanic hot spot and the heat already stored in the rock therein, eruptions would completely cease (note: while that would be quite nice in the short term, over geologic time scales that'd be to sacrifice the island to the ocean's waves).

Anyway... it's just a shame to see an island with so much geothermal heat potential preferring instead to burn oil. I imagine most companies are now spooked off of even trying other locations out of fear of protests.

18 hours ago #9353268        

@Karen It's actually more the respect of Pele than the financial issues. People in Hawaii HAVE put forth ideas for redirecting the lava flows, and they ARE aware of how possible it is with the type of lava that's flowing, but the locals and natives prefer to let Pele have her way. The lava flows are slow enough that no lives are in danger and property can be replaced. Though I will admit it'll make for INTERESTING conversations if the lava flows start to threaten something truly major along the lines of a port or something similar; we already know they'll allow historical sites to be buried.

As for the geothermal, it's more a matter of WHERE they want to put the wells. For most effect, they'd go in Kilauea crater. That's a MASSIVELY sacred site to the native Hawaiians and they raised quite the fuss when the plan was revealed. They were ignored, and the wells were sunk. Kilauea hasn't stopped erupting since. In the old days that's a sure sign the Goddess is pissed, now it's a matter of "We're not superstitious, we're just not putting in geothermal wells!" Maybe once the eruption gets around to stopping they'll be able to scout more reasonable locations for the wells.

22 hours ago #9353184        

Especially in a country in which insurance companies will deny your claim on the grounds that "they're trying to run a business". XD


33 F
24 hours ago #9353157        

@FluffyRose Well, it's true that if only one person tries to save their place it makes it more likely to hit some of their neighbors. But rather than taking this to its logical conclusion and having a big coordinated effort to save *everyone*, directing the flow into the "least financially costly path", they just say "Too hard, too much work, too much chance of failure, not gonna try" - and consequently "... and don't you dare try on your own!". It's rather frustrating talking with Hawaiians about it, they generally just don't even want to try, most are 100% defeatest off the bat even though others have succeeded aplenty.

More than that though, and not as much in the forefront, one has to accept that there's also some traditional reasons. There's still a lot of... not Pele "worship", but still respect for and personification of volcanism. For example, there are often big protests against geothermal energy development in Hawaii - it's crazy that such a geothermal rich island chain would produce the vast majority of its electricity from expensive imported oil, but that's the case in Hawaii, they'd rather do that than "drill into Pele".

That combines with your standard American attitudes about disasters (they're not as prone to proactive prevention or control, rather just letting them take their course and then rebuilding after - see, for example, Katrina), and you end up with the Hawaiian situation.

24 hours ago #9353153        

Especially in a country in which insurance companies will deny your claim on the grounds that "they're trying to run a business". XD

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