EOS interview
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EOS interview

Text by Erik Sturkell, live from Spain. Photo above is of the volcano Mount Saint Helens in the US, photo taken by Erik Sturkell.

Thanks to our work on changes in geochemical composition of groundwater in Iceland and the publication Skelton et al. (2019), I got interviewed by Joe Besi, a journalist writing for EOS.  The story goes that the journalist had read an article about a study of oxygen isotopes in tree rings (Seiler et al., 2021). The trees grew near by the eruptive fissure of the 2002/2003 Etna eruption and the authors saw an anomaly in the isotopes one-year before the volcanic eruption. In the project lead by Alasdair Skelton, we followed the stable isotope changes in groundwater and saw precursor relation to earthquake events. The journalist took contact with Alasdair who believed it was a volcano question and forwarded the letter to me. I got interviewed on the evening of the 25th of October by Joe. The late hour was because Joe is working in Alaska, and I was in Finland at the time. I shared my thoughts about the study and its potential for further studies. The article in EOS was published on the 8th of November 2021 (Besi 2021). 

Besl, J. (2021), Supergreen trees can signal sites of eruptions, EOS, 102, https://doi.org/10.1029/2021EO210590.

Seiler, R., Hajdas, I., Saurer, M., Houlié, N., D’Arrigo, R., Kirchner, J. W., & Cherubini, P. (2021). Tree-ring stable isotopes and radiocarbon reveal pre- and post-eruption effects of volcanic processes on trees on Mt. Etna (Sicily, Italy). Ecohydrology, e2340. https://doi.org/10. 1002/eco.2340

Skelton, A., Liljedahl-Claesson, L., Wästeby, N., Andren, M., Stockmann, G., Sturkell, E., Mörth, C.-M., Stefansson, A., Tollefsen, E., Siegmund, H., Keller, N., Kjartansdottir, R., Hjartarson, H., & Kockum, I. (2019). Hydrochemical changes before and after earthquakes based on long- term measurements of multiple parameters at two sites in Northern Iceland—A review. Journal Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 124, 2702–2720.