Quick hits for a Monday morning (however, the week did have a good start).

Lava fountaining on March 27, 2010 at the Eyjafjallajokull-Fimmvörduháls eruption in Iceland.


  1. #1 EKoh
    April 5, 2010

    The Yankees bullpen looked shaky. Of course Beckett got knocked around a bit. I stand by my belief that Opening Day means a weekday, daylight game.

    Non-volcanic musing: the Baja quake appears to be near the point where the plate boundary goes from transform to extensional and not surprisingly the movement was transtensional. What is interesting is the way the aftershocks have propagated up and down the fault, so overall they’ve relieved a lot of strain on it.

    The eruption in Iceland is chugging along at a fairly steady clip, but the name is sure growing – Eyjafjallajokull-Fimmvörduháls?

    I propose just referring to it as E-F.

  2. #2 Raving
    April 5, 2010

    @ Jón Is that just stormy weather on your heliocorder plot at Heklubyggð or is it volcanic too?

  3. #3 Randall Nix
    April 5, 2010

    Erik or EKoh I posted this yesterday….do the control + thing and zoom in. See the different jets?

    507 Look at these and blow them up any way you can and then tell me if you do not see several jets….not puffy white wisps but jets.

    Posted by: Randall Nix | April 4, 2010 5:06 PM

  4. #4 Erik Klemetti
    April 5, 2010

    Randall – Yup, I’d buy that, definitely seems like the vents are coalescing or maybe getting blocked with debris. Pretty normal behavior for a scoria cone like this – most of the cone is made from loose rubble, so different vents can open and close. Boris would have the guess feeling for this type of behavior, though.

  5. #5 doug mcl
    April 5, 2010

    And maybe bit of a restart to the most recent yellowstone earthquake swarm too!

  6. #6 Randall Nix
    April 5, 2010

    Erik thanks! it was a busy weekend;)

    By the way that new Yellowstone swarm was kicked off a few nights ago by these:
    3.2 2010/04/03 21:15:52 44.601N 111.000W 0.0 11 km ( 7 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT

    2.4 2010/04/02 18:10:55 44.593N 111.003W 0.9 11 km ( 7 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT

    Look at the coordinates and depths of both quakes:
    4-3 3.2
    Coordinates 44 deg. 36.1 min. N (44.601N), 111 deg. 0.0 min. W (111.000W)
    4-2 2.4
    Coordinates 44 deg. 35.6 min. N (44.593N), 111 deg. 0.2 min. W (111.003W)

  7. #7 Randall Nix
    April 5, 2010

    Small earthquakes occurring on Alaska volcano
    By MARY PEMBERTON (AP) – 13 minutes ago

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A volcano near Anchorage could be waking up.

    The Alaska Volcano Observatory says a series of small earthquakes began occurring early Monday near the summit of Mount Redoubt, about 100 miles southwest of Anchorage.

    Scientists do not know if the earthquakes will result in the volcano becoming explosive, but they say there is a heightened possibility. Last year, the volcano was explosive for months, at times producing huge ash plumes and sending mud flows down its flanks.

    Rick Wessels, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey, says the Mount Redoubt earthquakes are not connected to Sunday’s 7.2-magnitude quake in Mexico just south of the U.S. border because the distances are too great.

  8. #8 Jón Frímann
    April 5, 2010

    @Raving, It is the storm that is passing over Iceland at the moment. It also shows up on my Hvammstangi sensor. But it is weaker there.

  9. #9 Chris
    April 5, 2010

    Yes, its pretty strong in the south of Iceland. The conditions would be perfect for northern lights this night, but the wind…

  10. #10 Emanuel Landeholm
    April 5, 2010

    I made another time-lapse animation, this time it’s a 15 fps movie of activity of the Eyjafjalla volcanic eruption seen from the vodafone web cam. Time is 2010-04-05 hours 03 to 08 GMT (when the bad weather started). One frame per minute. I thought it looked like the volcano was really active in the early morning but that impression may have been caused by poor exposure. You be the judge.

  11. #11 Summer
    April 5, 2010

    Pretty amazing animation. Vodafone web cam images look different when put in sequence like this. Great work!

  12. #12 Thomas Wipf
    April 6, 2010

    7 earthquakes around 6 am Local Time this morning. 4 of them are typical for the Eyjafjallajökull. Those we know – they occur in low depth and can be explained by the actual eruption. But why did the other 3 occured almost at the same time: One under Myrdalsjökull (Katla), one north of the eruption, close to Katla, and one in the south of Eyjafjallajökull? This can´t be coincidence.

  13. #13 MadScientist
    April 6, 2010

    Heh. For Taal the mention of lava flows gives away the account as false (unless the volcano changed its eruption tactics). I wish I could remember what book it was that I read decades ago with some historical accounts of eruptions of Taal. It’s a nasty little beast. The accounts I can recall start off by mentioning a few earthquakes and an almighty explosion. I do recall lava flows mentioned in one account but that was after the big bang. I think it’s worth looking up the volcano on Google Earth or something. There is a large(ish) ancient caldera with the currently active cone poking out of the middle (and with a pool of water in the middle of that more recent caldera – it’s reminiscent of a fountain). It sure looks pretty and green. 🙂

  14. #14 Boris Behncke
    April 6, 2010

    Taal has produced devastating explosive eruptions – many with pyroclastic flows and surges – throughout the historical period. After a particularly large and deadly eruption in 1911 (1300 killed), the volcano remained silent until 1965, when a new violent eruption killed about 180 people. Two minor explosive (hydromagmatic) eruptions occurred in 1966 and 1967, and then in 1968 a new eruption produced Strombolian activity and the first historical lava flow at Taal. A similar eruption occurred in 1969, whereas the latest eruptions – a minuscule one in 1970, a larger one in 1976, and another tiny one in 1977 – were again phreatomagmatic, without lava flows.
    So the emission of a lava flow from Taal would not be something entirely impossible, though after 33 years of repose, I would expect something more violent, at least at the start.

  15. #15 Monika
    April 6, 2010

    As I see a new webcam was set, but now it is disconnected:
    Have you seen it’s image yet? Is this closer than the other two?

  16. #16 Philipp
    April 6, 2010

    @ Monika the view that I am getting from the eyjafjallajokull-fra-fimmvorduhalsi/ webcam is actually from Valahnjukur. Compare it to this picture I made last year from Valahnjukur in the same direction as the webcam is now facing:

    The view from the Pass itself is not available any more, I think some urls are mis-labeled.

  17. #17 Monika
    April 6, 2010

    Thank you, Philipp!

  18. #18 Gordys
    April 6, 2010

    I am seeing deflation on THEY again. I wonder where the pressure release was, up, down or sideways.

  19. #19 Gordys
    April 6, 2010

    Or it could just be a slow leak at the current location and no replenishment from below.

  20. #20 Thomas Wipf
    April 6, 2010

    Am I the only one who is looking at the earthquakes and tries to interpreting them? There was a very strong earthquake with 3.6 under the glacier of Eyjafjallajökull!!!! And three others around the same time 4.2 km SW of Basar!!! The 3.6 strong earthquake had only a 0,2 km depth. That means that there will appear a new fissure soon under the glacier or there already apeared one and we will see a big new eruption with following flooding. Please experts, tell me if I´m wrong but a 3.6 earthquake never appeared before….

  21. #21 Anna
    April 6, 2010

    First Fimmvörðuháls fatality.

    Yesterday three people — two women and one man — attempted to reach the site of the eruption in a Honda CRV (year 1999). Where from, I don’t know. They got lost.

    The weather was vile — in fact the whole area had been declared off limits. Noone was up there.

    One woman was found on her own, just walking in the wilderness. Shortly afterwards they found the Honda (empty). Then they found the other woman. She was dead. They have yet to find the man.

    Never ever leave the car, no matter what. Search parties have a much better chance of finding a car than finding individual people wandering.

  22. #22 Richard Oliver
    April 6, 2010

    Hi Thomas,
    From the Seismic data it looks as if the focus of the rising magma has shifted to the north side of the volcano and I would imagine a new fissure will shortly open. Whether or not this will occasion flooding will depend if the fissure opens up under the glacier.

  23. #23 Anna
    April 6, 2010

    OK, the man was just found alive. where he was wandering ca 4-5 km away from the car.

  24. #24 Thomas Wipf
    April 6, 2010

    @Richard Oliver Thanks for posting your interpretation of the earthquake. I think something big is going on and I hope it won´t affect peoples live….

  25. #25 Thomas Wipf
    April 6, 2010

    Now there are news on Iceland Review Online about the big earthquake:

    06/04/2010 | 17:30

    Powerful Earthquake at Iceland Eruption Zone

    An earthquake measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale hit the eastern Eyjafjallajökull glacier near the crater on the Fimmvörduháls mountain pass at 3:32 pm today.

    Photo by Bjarni Brynjólfsson.

    Geophysicist Einar Kjartansson at the Icelandic Meteorological Office told that the earthquake is not a sign that the larger and more dangerous volcano Katla, which hides underneath the Mýrdalsjökull icecap, is about to erupt.

    Kjartansson explained that the epicenter of the earthquake is in the area where most of the earthquakes that are related to the current eruption have occurred.

    Most of these earthquakes have occurred at a depth of ten kilometers but this one is shallower—its source is at a depth of no more than three kilometers.

    The earthquake hit where geophysicists assume the eruption channel lies and it may have been triggered by the heat from the eruption.

    The earthquake could easily be sensed in Hvolsvöllur and in the Fljótshlíd countryside.

    Do the experts here agree with the interpretation of the earthquake?

  26. #26 Eric
    April 6, 2010

    For those who’ve not seen yet, the Icelandic Inst. of Earth Sciences has some great new inflation interferograms for Eyjafjallajökull on its website:,83

  27. #27 Hjalti
    April 6, 2010

    “OK, the man was just found alive. where he was wandering ca 4-5 km away from the car.”

    Sadly, this is incorrect. The man was dead. 🙁

  28. #28 StarBP
    April 6, 2010

    I am SO glad you didn’t do your April Fools joke about Yellowstone this year… Another earthquake swarm started there on that exact day!!! Still looks like nothing much, unless activity picks up in one way or another. Kinda strange that EITHER 1.two swarms would occur within a couple of months in the same place, OR 2.a single swarm would last this long (not sure which one it is).

  29. #29 hanns
    April 7, 2010

    Folks! watch the valahnjuk cam, very impressive eruption ongoing

  30. #30 Boris Behncke
    April 7, 2010

    The fatalities in Iceland unfortunately are something that is nearly inevitable – we’ve had this on Etna a number of times, and it happens in all wilderness and mountain areas. On Etna mountain-related accidents (falling, freezing, lightning) are by far the most common cause of death and injuries, not eruptions. It’s because there are always people who are not suitably prepared, or they have bad luck. It’s like car traffic. We all (at least I hope) try to avoid accidents but they happen, be it material or human failure, that’s what makes us human.
    Just read on Mbl that the rescue services in Iceland complain that their efforts in protecting the masses of hikers to the eruption are extremely costy and they’re about to run out of financial resources.

  31. #31 angela rawlings
    April 7, 2010

    The Reykjavík Grapevine reports that a committee has been formed to come up with a name for the new mountain created by the volcano in Fimmvörðuháls.

  32. #32 Chris
    April 7, 2010

    @Boris: That not the first case, we had a french tourist crossing on e of the glacial rivers in this area earlier last week asking for help when he was cold, wer an exhaustet. I think he was lucky doing this in the wintertime, since the water level is ways higher in the summer. And there was a group of people who tried to get on the glacier with their standard SUV. Not to forget the people who started the five hour hike (one direction) to the volcano only equipped with sneakers and a leather jacket, which became a case for the SAR teams as well.
    People simply underestimate the weather and nature here. It is still winter, the mountains and the glaciers are extemely tricky – this was only a matter of time until it happened.

  33. #33 Henrik
    April 7, 2010

    Now this is interesting!

    Iceland Met has recently (exactly when?) updated the information on yesterday’s big quake and it was not one, but TWO!!

    Tuesday 15.32.19 M3.6 at 0.2km 4.2km SW Básar
    Tuesday 15.32.24 M3.7 at 4.5km 1.2km SE Goðabunga

    The second quake is not shown on the map, but presented on the list (tab “Table”)

  34. #34 Chris
    April 7, 2010

    The second quake doesn’t qppear on the map because of the poor quality of the measurement. Only quakes with >90% appear there.

  35. #35 Henrik
    April 7, 2010

    Also, the three vents of two days ago seem to have become one located slightly to the east of the previous three.

  36. #36 Henrik
    April 7, 2010

    Thanks Chris! I should have included the qualities given – 99.0 for the M3.6 SW Básar and 80.37 for the M3.7 SE Goðabunga.

    Also, there was a lot of discussion earlier this morning (GMT) on the old thread whether there was a new vent or if it was a persistent lava flow encountering snow. So far, no confirmation on either Nordvol, RUV or MBL, but since the emission has been continuous and appears stationary in all cameras (allowing very poor quality triangulation), a “new” vent seems plausible. It could very well be an older vent reopening.

  37. #37 Thomas Wipf
    April 7, 2010

    The more clear Vodafone Cam shows suddenly a little bit of steam on that little snowy hill above the eruption zone. It can´t be lava running up the hill, so I assume that there will be the next fissure firework soon. Or is it just a place where some snow mobiles moving? The little steam is not rising, just moving on the surface. The wind is not so strong, because we have a straight steam from the main vents, so it can´t be snow blown away from the wind…unfortunately Valahnjuk-Cam doesn´t work. Does anybody uses Twitter to get immediate information by visitors there????? I want to follow someone who is there in real time!

  38. #38 Chris
    April 7, 2010

    @thomas: I am not sure if you have net access for your gsm up there.

  39. #39 Gordys
    April 7, 2010

    We have inflation once again.

    It seems to have recovered rather quickly after the high seismicity of yesterday. It looks like it was a rather quiet night. The pressure is building. What will happen next? My guess is that if we do not see another fissure open at the current eruption site, that it will open farther upstream in that 4.5 Km long conduit. That is assuming that we continue to get a influx of magma from below.

  40. #40 Thomas Wipf
    April 7, 2010

    What a camback!!! Fimmvörduhalsi is back looking directly into the new second cone. Wowowowow!

  41. #41 Henrik
    April 7, 2010

    Don’t you just love the Google translator! Using it to translate the following article it came up with these gems:

    “No activity in old cracks”

    “but the cracks are formed for the weekend of fun in the two craters”

    “Ármanns Höskuldsson, organization of export volcano”

    Most Pythonesque!

  42. #42 Gordys
    April 7, 2010

    Google translate and Icelandic were made for a good time.

  43. #43 Gordys
    April 7, 2010

    And then this gem from Google translate from the link that Boris put on the old thread. “They went to the wood, which they pledged themselves to return and rescue workers.” Volcanologists are a noble sort are they not?

  44. #44 motsfo
    April 7, 2010

    like moths to a flame.


  45. #45 motsfo
    April 7, 2010

    This has probably answered before….
    Just how far are those people on the ridges
    from the volcano, anyhow??


  46. #46 Gordys
    April 7, 2010

    @Motsfo. As best that I can understand it is over a kilometer(a little over half a mile for me and you)..but the way it is ramping up tonight, I’d have to have a pint of brandy in me before I’d be standing there. Another half a pint after that and be talking Randall into roasting some hotdogs on the lava flows.

  47. #47 motsfo
    April 7, 2010

    So the show is so good tonight, i finally had to
    bring my knitting up to the computer….
    Couldn’t take my eyes off the screen.
    Good thing i’m only knitting a lap blanket.
    Just straight knits.


  48. #48 Doug C
    April 7, 2010

    Eyjaf is currently putting on quite a show!

  49. #49 Diane
    April 8, 2010

    Jon, this is dedicated to the people of Iceland. And you especially.

    Eyjafjallajokull’s Wonder

    Wind and snow, an icy wail
    Cannot compare with the roaring tale
    Of a caldron born of magma deep
    And lava’s black mountain across the steep.

    Radiant streams a canyon receives
    Steaming vents that willingly deceive
    A blast that rends the rocks assunder
    Stabs the heart with the sound of thunder.

    I watch the fountains from far away
    And frolicking people, too close they stray
    To the fissure’s glowing red-hot light
    One surge would verily end the night.

    Ah, the power, how frail is man
    When before earth’s fire he stands
    Insignificant he does appear
    And nothing truely calms his fear.

    Still I watch in raptured awe
    The beautiful, deadly bombs that fall
    Approach with caution, do not hurry
    O’ Icelanders, Ejaf’s fury.

    Composed by Diane for the people of Iceland.

  50. #50 Randall Nix
    April 8, 2010

    Diane I love it!

  51. #51 Henrik
    April 8, 2010

    Indeed! Excellent piece there Diane!

  52. #52 Jón Frímann
    April 8, 2010

    @Diane, thanks for the poem. It is great! 😀

  53. #53 Gordys
    April 8, 2010

    @Diane, that is cool…especially the mention of the frolicking people.

  54. #54 Dasnowskier
    April 8, 2010

    Turrialba is doing something today.
    Looks like a mild eruption so far or maybe just weather related steam intensification.

  55. #55 Diane
    April 8, 2010

    Randall, Henrik, Jon, Gordys, thanks for the kudos.

    Jon, if you can, you have my permission to post this to the people in a paper or whatever. It is for them (and you) after all. You can tell them it is from a Northern Californian who has been watching the eruption.

    Too bad there are clouds right now. It is now 9:17am PDT and I have to get going.

    Thanks again.

  56. #56 parclair
    April 8, 2010

    @ Diane. You;ve caught the eruption in your poem. Thank you.

  57. #57 Diane
    April 8, 2010

    Thanks, Parclair. I’m glad you liked it.

  58. #58 motel townsville
    October 19, 2010

    Romantically umbrageous and trippin’ roughly the open7

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