Volcano-induced die-off paved way for dinosaurs, study suggests

A massive volcanic event that tore apart a mega-continent more than 200 million years ago set the stage for dinosaurs to take over.

More than 200 million years ago, toothy crocodile-like creatures stalked a hot, dry mega-continent while squid-like mollusks with spiral shells drifted in the surrounding ocean. Then, in what passes for an instant in geologic time, they vanished - making way for the age of the dinosaurs.

Sunday, 24 March, 2013, 4:43am

New Zealand volcano used as Mount Doom in Lord of the Rings may erupt

The 2,797 metre high volcano last erupted in 2007. Photo: AFP

A volcano that doubled as Mount Doom in The Lord of the Rings series of movies is in danger of erupting as pressure builds in an underground vent, officials in New Zealand said yesterday.

The Department of Conservation warned hikers to avoid walking near the summit of Mount Ruapehu.

20 Nov 2012 - 4:18am

Hong Kong formed by rare supervolcano eruption

Evidence of an ancient supervolcano in Leung Shuen Wan. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

The haphazard history that gave Hong Kong some of the most valuable real estate in the world has just got more random. Geologists announced yesterday that we are only here thanks to an extraordinary volcanic eruption.

31 Aug 2012 - 5:59pm

Geotech engineer realised it all pointed to a supervolcano

Geotech engineer realised it all pointed to a supervolcano

The man behind the discovery of Hong Kong's supervolcano remembers the moment he realised he was on to something big - the explanation for the city's unique landscape.

31 Aug 2012 - 5:52pm

Living on the edge

The whole morning is like a lesson in natural selection. First, there is a sly competition to see who can get in the queue for the boats out to Urbina Bay on Isabela island.

13 Jul 2012 - 12:00am

Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort, Costa Rica

A hot spot, did you say? Absolutely, and not just for the luxury. Tucked into the Arenal Volcano National Park, the Tabacon lies at the foot of Costa Rica's best known volcano, and makes the most of the natural hot springs gushing out of its lower slopes.

13 May 2012 - 12:00am

How volcanic activity has influenced our rainfall

Since the establishment in 1883 of the Royal Observatory Hong Kong (renamed Hong Kong Observatory after the handover), continuous records have been kept at the headquarters station in Tsim Sha Tsui, except from 1940 to 1946.

8 Apr 2012 - 12:00am

The great, age-old rocks

High Island Reservoir's East Dam is one of the most popular sites at Hong Kong Geopark. It is home to some spectacular natural wonders: hexagonal and S-shaped columns, and sea caves.

21 Jul 2011 - 12:00am

The year without a summer

Listen to the podcast about 'The Year without a Summer' and then answer the questions about what you have heard

1 Which was the year without a summer?

a. 1618

b. 1816

c. 1918

2 When did Mount Tambora erupt?

a. in April, 1816

b. in winter, 1815

c. in spring, 1815

13 Jun 2011 - 12:00am

HK holds its breath in ash drama

The spread of volcanic ash from Iceland's Grimsvotn volcano prompted airlines to call off more than 250 flights in northern Europe yesterday, but traffic between Hong Kong and London remained unaffected.

25 May 2011 - 12:00am

Devil's advocate

'Don't stand still,' warns Manolo, our guide, 'your shoes might melt.'

Nervous smiles, shifting feet, I can feel the heat on my big toe.

'Here,' says Manolo, as he scrapes lava grit from the surface. 'If you can hold it for a minute, you can keep it.'

I hold out both hands but give up on the count of 10.

24 Apr 2011 - 12:00am

Tortured by the sadness of war

Burning Mountain L.J. Adlington Published by Hodder Children's Books ISBN 978 0 340 95682 3

Teenage novels as powerful and intelligent as Lucy Adlington's Burning Mountain don't come along very often. When they do, they remind you what good writing is all about.

28 Feb 2011 - 12:00am

Drawing found on fallen father finds its way home

Sixty-five years ago, US soldier Franklin Hobbs pulled an unlikely souvenir from the breast pocket of a dead Japanese soldier on the blood-soaked island of Iwo Jima.

30 Oct 2010 - 12:00am

Go with the flow

As far as stratovolcanoes go, Mount Mayon is a beauty, having as it does an almost symmetrically conical shape. In December, though, scientists were predicting that Mayon, in the Philippines' Albay province, 330 kilometres southeast of Manila, was about to spectacularly erupt.

10 Oct 2010 - 12:00am

Climb Mount Fuji

Not Tokyo again!

Dear Travel Guru,

My father has a sister in Tokyo, and we're going there on holidays - for the third time. I've seen all the sights in Tokyo, and this time I want to get out of the city and do something adventurous.

Turned off by Tokyo

6 Jul 2010 - 12:00am