The steam plume from a lava flow moving down the slopes of Eyjafjallajökull on May 2, 2010.

A quick note on the activity at Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland: The ash from the ongoing eruption has caused a partial closure of airspace over Ireland from 0600 to 1200 on Tuesday May 4. This is one of the first closures of European airspace since airspace reopened over 10 days ago. This closure is based on the predicted location of ash in flight corridors over Ireland tomorrow.

The Icelandic Met Office has released two interesting updates on the activity at Eyjafjallajökull. The first describes the current state of the eruption:

The eruption is mixed, with the lava-producing phase being larger than the explosive phase. During the last 2-3 days, the plume has been darker and wider than in the preceding week. Tephra fall-out in the vicinity of Eyjafjallajökull has increased. Dark grey ash clouds are observed over the eruptive site. White steam plumes are rising from Gígjökull, north of the eruption site. The elevation is 4-5.4 km (13-18,000 ft). Clouds of ash at lower elevations were observed drifting south-east of the eruption site. Moderate ash-fall was reported in the village of Vík at noon, Sunday, located 40 km south-east of Eyjafjallajökull.

From the location of the steam plume over Gígjökull, lava has advanced over 3 km north of the eruption. Steam plumes over the glacier edge from 19:40 GMT suggest that lava may have advanced even further. A rough order-of-magnitude estimate of lava volume can be obtained from the dimensions of the ice canyon. This estimate gives a lava production rate of-the-order 20 m3 s-1 (i.e. 50 tonnes s-1). The explosive phase may be 10-20 tonnes s-1.

This update suggests that there is more ash being produced and mentions the lava flows on the flanks of the volcano (see image above). The second update came later today:

Largest eruption plumes were observed at 5-5,5 km height (17-18,000 ft) estimated from the Icelandic Coast Guard (ICG) flight at 14:30. The plume rises higher after large explosions. It is heading east-south-east to south-east from the eruption site.

This indicates why the new ash closures could be predicted as the ash column appears to be taller than in the last week or so. This comes along with the increased meltwater coming from the volcano, noted by a number of Eruptions readers watching the webcams. You can also see a great collection of photos of the effects of the eruption from around Iceland.


  1. #1 Jón Frímann
    May 3, 2010

    Around 21:00 UTC there where more deep earthquakes. The deepest of them where at 18 km depth. This earthquake activity can mean two things.

    1: There is more magma coming up and is fracturing more rock as it pushes upwards.
    2: There is a collapse going on at that depth due to magma drain because of the eruption.

  2. #2 bruce stout
    May 3, 2010

    Hi Jón. of those two I’d favor the first for the simple reason that the crust is meant to be more ductile than brittle at that depth (i.e. it will only “snap” (= earthquake) when there is enough tension). .. assuming again that the crust is only 20 to 25 km thick here.. to put it another way, I’d kind of expect a gentle ductile sag if the crust was responding to evacuation of magma, and, if such removal of magma resulted in seismic activity, then I would guess the activity to be more dispersed over time and depth and not appear in such a short sharp burst at a fairly focused depth as we are seeing here.

    Guess I am not making myself very clear… ok, last try: I think we are seeing another one of Peter’s boluses. The earthquake activity is nowhere near as intense as the EQ series we saw at the beginning of the eruption because the channels to the surface are now open and functioning so there is not the same build up of pressure and consequent fracturing of country rock. … my 2c anyway.

    If this reasoning is correct, I’d dearly love to hear of any theories as to how or why melt from the mantle/crust boundary would be released in such pulses and not as a steady stream.

  3. #3 Daniel
    May 3, 2010

    Well does the “pattern” of the EQ´s have any meaning? Looking at the map it seems to have a north/south stretch. Would this indicate a narrow chamber or an intrusion north/south?

  4. #4 renee
    May 3, 2010

    The Hvol cam is really wierd!

  5. #5 Daniel
    May 3, 2010

    I would say all three cams are wierd..:S

  6. #7 Dan, Florida
    May 3, 2010

    The way they are lined up must have some meaning. And the tremor amplitude graphs have been dropping dramatically in the last 5 hours or so.

  7. #8 bruce stout
    May 3, 2010

    .. further to my comments on the other thread. This N/S alignment intrigues me neverthess. The second fissure at Fimmvorduhalsi was also N/S, although that was probably just a superficial expression.

    It looks to me like the intrusion is following a N/S break on the domino blocks making up the fracture zone (basic model: the northern and southern boundaries of the zone trend E/W and in between are a number of blocks that break N/S). Passerby would be the one to ask on this. Quite fascinating when you think the basic alignment of Eyjaf is E/W.

  8. #9 beedragon Canada
    May 3, 2010

    Shows a couple of lighted areas on the flank of the glacier.

  9. #10 beedragon Canada
    May 3, 2010

    re. #9 If you squint you can just see some incandescence on the lower of the two glowing areas.

  10. #11 Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson, .is
    May 3, 2010

    Those waves of earthquakes deep under
    a volcano doing a chunder…
    The feeling I’ve got
    is that to ignore the lot
    could be a momentous blunder.

  11. #12 Renato I Silveira
    May 3, 2010

    Just a few minutes ago I saw glowing on Eyjaf’s crater on Mulakót cam. It comes and goes, you must wait for the page to refresh.

  12. #13 beedragon Canada
    May 3, 2010

    Well, that was fleeting. Daylight disappeared in a flash.

  13. #14 Renato I Silveira
    May 3, 2010

    Looks like is EQ day today:
    5.5 10.7 SOUTH OF ALASKA
    plus Eyjas 12 quakes…

  14. #15 Lurking
    May 3, 2010

    The three most recent deep quakes bracket the original 7 deep ones quite well. No definite trend that I can see… other than the NE/SW orientation that was mentioned earlier.

  15. #16 beedragon Canada
    May 3, 2010

    There once was a volcano from Iceland
    She said “I’m erupting and isn’t it grand!”
    She spewed lava and ash,
    Costing airlines tons of cash,
    But said “I don’t care. Talk to the hand!”

  16. #17 Shelly
    May 3, 2010

    EJ you stand so tall and proud
    Please uncover yourself from that shroud
    Your audience is here
    Your performance so near
    Yet we can’t see a damn thing for cloud

  17. #18 Dasnowskier
    May 3, 2010

    A theory I have about the north south orientation of the recent Ejay quakes is that this is the “rifting” of the mid Atlantic ridge. This area is a weak spot…why I am not sure.
    This could open a conduit to more Basalt to erupt. Lets hope the gas content is low and does not erupt violently enough to effect air travel or even possibly a way way way out side chance effect the climate due to SO2 release vis a vis Laki.

    Like I said way way out side chance of that at this time but I like to speculate.

  18. #19 Gijs de Reijke
    May 3, 2010

    If the ash makes it to where I am now (Edinburgh), I’m probably the only one who’s actually going to be ‘happy’ about it. I don’t mind staying here for a little bit longer, as I’m looking out of the window and seeing Calton Hill and Arthur’s Seat in the ‘backyard’ ^_^ .

    I’ve been checking out the roofs of cars around here and a lot of them have a very thin layer of dust on them. I don’t have a microscope here, but maybe some of the other blog readers (maybe even living in Britain) can tell me if there’s a high likelihood of it being ash from Eyjafjallajökull.

  19. #21 renee
    May 3, 2010

    13th EQ and this is the deepest one too.

  20. #22 Izzy
    May 3, 2010

    Isn’t it unusually grey and bright on the Hvolsvelli cam and dead dark on the Thorolfsfell cam? But then it is night time there so hard to say what’s up…

  21. #23 Jón Frímann
    May 3, 2010

    I don’t like those earthquakes one bit. Whatever they mean, I am sure that it can’t be anything good.

  22. #24 PeakVT
    May 3, 2010

    Today’s IMO-IES report states that deflation continues. I think that would support subsidence as the cause of the earthquakes.

    FYI, the most up-to-date publicly available graphs are a day old, and the semi-continuous stations haven’t been updated since the 28th.

  23. #25 EKoh
    May 3, 2010

    @8. Rifting occurs perpendicular to the principle stress directions (tension or stretching). What this means is that the horizontal orientation of the fault will the run perpendicular to the direction of stress. For example if there is tension oriented along an East-West direction, a fault will form that is oriented N-S. That’s very simplified, where we have a rift you have several parallel faults called normal faults that allow the crust to pull apart..and also allow any magma present to reach the surface.

    The Wikipedia page is not too bad:

    I know there are some USGS pages on faults as well.

    The tension could be regional stresses (tectonic) or local and close to the surface due to magma deforming the crust as it tries to break through. The former would produce bigger faults both horizontally and vertically. It is along such pre-existing fractures that the magma probably travels along within the crust.

  24. #26 Lurking
    May 3, 2010

    @PeakVT [24]

    I could easily accept that if they were around 0 to 7 km deep… but these are directly under the summit and west of the ones associated with the fissure then the caldera eruption. You could even see the “pipe” open up from the main group at about 3 to 4 km down that lead over to the caldera.

    No, these are deep… and out of place. I could see it if a massive amount of weight has been lifted (ice) and things are re-adjusting… sort of an uplift at low depths as the upper levels settle in. That might work.

    But hey, I’m just a spectator. Been wrong before.

  25. #27 Randall Nix
    May 3, 2010

    Jon is right those quakes are a sure sign something is happening…what that is still remains to be seen….If the quakes keep up at this rate….I will bet an e-beer we get a new vent opening up soon.

  26. #28 PeakVT
    May 3, 2010

    I was referring to the GPS graphs at IES in my previous post.

    @Izzy – I think it’s just foggy, and the lights near the Hvolsvelli cam are making the mist glow.

  27. #29 renee
    May 3, 2010

    14th EQ largest at 2.0 about 10km deep

  28. #30 Jón Frímann
    May 3, 2010

    @PeakVT, The only problem with that is the fact only the North-South has dropped down since the eruption started. But not East-West, so there is still plenty of magma down there left to start erupting.

  29. #31 StarBP
    May 3, 2010

    What would be the effects of a caldera collapse at Eyjafjallajokull? If a collapse did occur, 1. Would Katla be set off? and 2. How would it affect the eruption at Eyjafjallajokull? Also, what is the chance that one would occur soon (within a couple of years)? Just curious because of the recent deep earthquakes and deflation.

  30. #32 Jón Frímann
    May 3, 2010

    I did record the ML2.0 earthquake, it was tectonic in nature. Not created by magma movement directly it seems (I might be wrong however). So I have no idea what is going on at the moment.

  31. #33 renee
    May 3, 2010

    The ESK tremor plot is on the up swing

  32. #34 Randall Nix
    May 3, 2010

    StarBP EKoh, Erik or Boris can tell you for sure but there is going to have to be a whole lot more lava come out and a lot more vents open before there is a chance of that happening….The effects would depend on how big the caldera was before it collapsed.

    I would lean more toward a Laki type of event before a caldera collapse….but really I don’t think either of those things will happen here. We may see another vent or two open up though before it’s finished.

  33. #35 Randall Nix
    May 3, 2010

    Jon are you hearing anything on the news there?

  34. #36 Izzy
    May 3, 2010

    @PeakVT, good to know it’s only fog…was worried the ash would engulf the cams

  35. #37 renee
    May 3, 2010

    ESK plot still rising and Jon’s helicorder is getting more interesting too

  36. #38 Jón Frímann
    May 3, 2010

    @Randall Nix, The press in Iceland is at sleep now. No news on what is going on in Eyjafjallajökull. But the earthquakes are at great depth, so whatever is going on under the volcano might not manifest it self for some time now on the surface.

  37. #39 Randall Nix
    May 3, 2010

    Jon no news is good news;)

  38. #40 Diane N CA
    May 3, 2010

    Does anyone know the weather report? I don’t need a link, just a brief on what it is.


  39. #41 Randall Nix
    May 3, 2010


  40. #42 Randall Nix
    May 3, 2010

    Diane sorry I sent you the link but it looks like partly cloudy

  41. #43 Randall Nix
    May 3, 2010

    Diane make that clearing but cloudy tomorrow and Wed, partly cloudy Thurs

  42. #44 Jón Frímann
    May 3, 2010

    Harmonic tremors have started to rise again. This was a unusually short drop in the tremors it seems at the moment.

  43. #45 eddie
    May 3, 2010

    This is from the BBC;

    Tho, I’d note that Sally Magnusson is a name no icelander woman would have. A victim of british gender bias 🙁

  44. #46 eddie
    May 3, 2010

    Sally Mamiesdottir, possibly.

  45. #47 Helen Leggatt
    May 3, 2010

    @Eddie – thanks for link but for us that are outside UK it’s inaccessible

  46. #48 Renato I Silveira
    May 3, 2010

    On Þórólfsfelli all I can see in full screen mode are pixels. Many orange reddish colored pixels where there was yesterday the glow of the plume over the lava flow. Is that twilight or just my imagination?

  47. #49 Dan, Florida
    May 3, 2010

    @Renato All I see is a bluish screen. Pretty much the same on the Hvolsvelli cam, except it has lights. Couple of the Mulakot cams show fog.

  48. #50 Jón Frímann
    May 3, 2010

    There just where few earthquakes at ~1km depth now in Eyjafjallajökull. The largest one was ML2.9 in size according to the automatic results. This might not be a good sign. But we just have to wait and see what is going on for the time being.

  49. #51 Dan, Florida
    May 4, 2010

    @Jon That seems to be the story of this volcano, wait and see.

  50. #52 Hans
    May 4, 2010

    The earthquake activity has picked up a lot even as the harmonic tremors seem to have dropped off. Not sure what it all means but there is an interesting N-S line that the tremors are occurring along.

    Perhaps the activity is heading to long dormant Tindfjallajökul or perhaps this is coincidence. In any event the majority of action is under Eyjafjallajökull so this is where we should be looking for new activity. Time will tell, but it seems something is brewing.

  51. #53 Randall Nix
    May 4, 2010

    Hans yeah something is brewing for sure….just what is the question;)

    Jon still noting on the news? Those depths are getting a lot shallower.

  52. #54 Jón Frímann
    May 4, 2010

    @Dan, The fog is not making figuring it out what is going on now any easier.

    Now I just hope that this fog goes away today.

  53. #55 Randall Nix
    May 4, 2010

    Jon sorry I meant nothing and not noting my spelling is bad late at night;)

  54. #56 Jón Frímann
    May 4, 2010

    @Randall Nix, The news is still sleeping, and the fog is still there. While it is like that, I want to point people out to the biggest volcano in Iceland, and the volcano that I actually fear the most.

    Hofsjökull volcano. It is unknown when it last erupted, but it was sometime in the last 12.000 years it did erupt. They think.

  55. #57 Jonathan Witty
    May 4, 2010

    Winds should be from the general direction of Iceland to |Europe for at least two weeks and even longer. This weather pattern tends to stick at this time of year. Keeps things pretty cold too. This should prove interesting for airlines, if the volcano intensifies.

  56. #58 Renato I Silveira
    May 4, 2010

    Jón, it’s foggy, it’s shaky, it begins to make me scarry. I must go to bed, but I don’t think I’ll be able to get any sleep. This volcano is addictive. I envy you for being so close to all the action, but, on the other hand, I’m glad I’m so far away and hoping that this will end in another beautiful performance of fireworks, and that’s it. Get yourself safe!

  57. #59 renee
    May 4, 2010 All of you know more than I do I was looking at the EQ maps and found this it lists more EQ’s in the same area.

  58. #60 Renato I Silveira
    May 4, 2010

    I saw this film when I was a child – Krakatoa, East of Java (never understood why “east”). I remember that, shortly before the “Big Bang”, it was foggy, exactly like it looks now on Mila’s cams. That’s what scares me most. The memories of the fog and the fact we can’t see what’s going on, and knowing something is going on.

  59. #61 renee
    May 4, 2010

    Where would I be able to find a list of EQ that are older than 48 hours? Sorry if this is a childish question…

  60. #62 Renato I Silveira
    May 4, 2010

    #61 Renee, all I have is the site
    I’m sure there’s some way to get earlier information there somehow. I’m afraid I can’t help you more than that and it seems everyone went to bed.

  61. #63 JB US
    May 4, 2010

    #61 Read all the links on the following site and use the search the site in upper right hand `corner’ for your topic of interest on earthquakes.

    Go back and read all of Erik’s previous blogs and individual’s postings for their take on earthquakes and links posted by individuals.

    Some great articles have been posted in previous blogs.

    One said that the orginal eruption – the earthquake swams were 70 plus! Also gave a video site to see what the earthquake swams looked like as a timelapse.

  62. #64 renee
    May 4, 2010

    Thank you JB i found that had the time lapse. There is a dormant volcanoe Tindjallajokull that seems to be of interest especially after that video…

  63. #65 renee
    May 4, 2010

    Thank you also Renato. Would you like the link for the time lapse of EQ? Its really very good.

  64. #67 Renato I Silveira
    May 4, 2010

    Thank you for the link. I’m trying to get there but connection is bad. Do you think something is about to happen?

  65. #68 Renato I Silveira
    May 4, 2010

    @Renee, try the Katla cam. I think we can see the plume (or just more clouds), at least, something.

  66. #69 renee
    May 4, 2010

    The recent EQ in the 48 hours seem to be moving towards Tindjallajokull. On the time lapse the same thing seemed to have happened starting in March before this eruption began. It may be a pattern?

  67. #70 Lurking
    May 4, 2010

    @renee [61]

    “Where would I be able to find a list of EQ that are older than 48 hours?”

    Well, if you can get it to work for you,

    But fair warning, I couldn’t get them to render in Google Earth. I had to go in and un pack the KMZ, fiddle around with the KML inside of it until I could fake Excel into treating it as an XML file. The I had to wrestle them more to get the usable Lat/Log/Date/Depth out of them. Pain the hooey but I got it. One laborious year at a time.

    Ideally, you should be able to just click and view it in Google Earth. That long route was needed since the web interface yields a database error everytime I try to use it. (I have since lost the link to that)

    Elsewhere, you can try running this page through Google Translate (or whatever machine web translator you wish):

    It allows you to go back by a week at a time but I’m not sure just how far back you can go.


  68. #71 Daniel
    May 4, 2010

    Well according to volcano discovery the Tindfjalla volcano has not had an eruption since late pleistocene early holocene. And even then they were small eruptions it seems.

    However laying dormant for so long and the fact that it is an explosive stratovolcano a big eruption here would be bad i think.

    But i am more inclined to think of the EQ pattern as connected to EF volcano. Some magmatic intrusion to the north and south.

    Not sure wether these quakes are tectonic or magmatic though.

  69. #72 renee
    May 4, 2010

    Jon thought the 2.0 was tectonic but wasn’t sure.

  70. #73 renee
    May 4, 2010

    Have you looked at Jons Helicorder lately?

  71. #74 Kenneth
    May 4, 2010

    @renee, #61: Try this URL and see if you can find anything there:

    As far as I can see EQ’s for the last 15 years can be found week by week. Don’t know if any lists can be found too. I’m at work now and have limited time with limited priviliges (none!) to install any softwares to check those postscripts links, which looks promising(?).

  72. #75 Renato I Silveira
    May 4, 2010

    #71 Daniel
    I think it’s unlikely they are tectonic, unless some kind of subsidence is occurring at such depths. We have a surprising event here, mixed magma, different kinds of eruptions. Its activity is at full length. I should expect magma intrusion going who knows where to. But these are mere suppositions of someone who loves volcanoes but knows very little about them.

  73. #76 renee
    May 4, 2010

    The last 3 EQ’s have been bigger and very shallow.

  74. #77 bruce stout
    May 4, 2010

    To all you “newcomers” there are some essential sites for monitoring the development of earthquake activity:

    Soceul has perhaps the best collection of sites on the eruption in total (add the http link at the front):

    More importantly, you MUST view his animations of seismic activity prior to the eruption to get things in perspective:

    @EKoh #25 thanks for that! I was referring to the simplified tectonic structure of the South Iceland Fracture Zone found in Fig3 on page 4 of this document:

    Which is kind of scary because the last thing we want is any kind of propagation along one of these domino blocks towards Tindfjalla.

    @Daniel 71, Don’t be fooled, Tindfjalla has produced huge eruptions in the past including an ignimbrite sheet. We definitely do not want any hot fresh basalt firing up any deeper reservoir of rhyolite under Tindfjalla (if there is one!!).

  75. #78 Renato I Silveira
    May 4, 2010

    Cams are useless and I will go to bed. I know when I turn my back she will behave as a bad girl, but that’s the way they play tricks on us. We’re in the realm of some kind of big event here, I know that for sure. Enjoy the show. And fare thee well!

  76. #79 bruce stout
    May 4, 2010

    Pardon, an inexcusable laspe on my part: I forgot to mention the source for that last info on Tindfjalla is Heidi Ritter who contributes here. If you ask her nicely she might send you her thesis on Tindfjalla 😉

  77. #80 renee
    May 4, 2010

    Bruce you are so right… But I am curious to see some recent GPS for that area.

  78. #81 Henrik, Swe
    May 4, 2010

    Jon! (#56) Wouldn’t an area such as Kerlingarfjöll (SW of Hofsjökull) be something to be more apprehensive about? To judge by the pictures on the first three or four pages of Kerlingarfjöll sports the following volcanic features:

    A largely basaltic and partially glaciated tuya
    Cinder cones
    Very large rhyolitic effusions
    Active hydrothermal areas (hot springs)

    Or is the Kerlingarfjöll area considered to be part of the Hofsjökull volcanic complex?

  79. #82 Daniel
    May 4, 2010

    #75 Renato
    I do not think its tectonic either but one can never be sure. All events so far would suggest a magmatic intrusion to the north and south at a very deep level. This would be a cause for concern since noone actually knows for sure what kind of magma reservoirs exists down there.

    #77 Bruce
    Dont get me wrong. We would definitely not want a second eruption at Tindfjalla. What i was going for was that the intrusion even though it shows some signs of going north/south has “only” produced two events towards tindfjalla. The rest is still centered around EF. I just think that if something is going to happen i believe that EF will be the one putting up a show.

    But I do get your point and it will be interesting to see what the next few days will bring.

    Lets hope that mother earth is NOT in the mood for a game of domino.

  80. #83 Renato I Silveira
    May 4, 2010
  81. #84 bruce stout
    May 4, 2010

    and to make matters worse, I got her last name wrong. (I am not even sure if she wants it public so I’ll just go and jump in a cold lake now and come back when this is all forgotten)

  82. #85 snotra viking
    May 4, 2010

    See now, the Eyjafjall is splitting apart, just as we discussed in the last thread. I´m believe it´s a rift underneath this volcano, how could otherwise be so high? I saw the documentary show yesterday and they talked about the Lakí eruption, many kilometers long, and 240 (? if i remember right) volcanos.

  83. #86 Renato I Silveira
    May 4, 2010

    Sorry, Google translator changed Ireland with Portugal! Hope come!

  84. #87 snotraviking, sweden
    May 4, 2010

    Vodafone cam is up. Seems like a lot of smoke in the jökull area.

  85. #88 renee
    May 4, 2010

    I have a feeling she is going to put on one heck of a show…

  86. #89 bruce stout
    May 4, 2010

    @ Daniel 82.. sorry, I didn’t mean to imply you were wanting a big event under Tindfjalla, just wanted to put you right on its history.

    BTW, I just checked: Of the last sequence of quakes the two most northern ones at 63.7° and 63.68° are only 1 km deep, which is kind of good news as this means that there is no deeper propagation towards Tindfjalla so that is a bit of a non-issue at this stage. What they might mean though is that the magma is nearing the surface in the Markarfljot valley.

  87. #90 Henrik, Swe
    May 4, 2010

    Something looks to be very different on the Vodafone cam, to judge by the few glimpses possible trough occasional gaps in the fog. I really wish the clouds and fog would relent!

  88. #91 renee
    May 4, 2010

    small break in the clouds on the Poro cam and Voda phone large steam plume

  89. #92 Thomas Wipf
    May 4, 2010

    For a short moment at 7:15 on Vodafone-Webcam one could see huge flooding and right now 7:18 it seems that the steam (lava) already reached the valley now. The whole area above the former lake area seems to be completely different from yesterday! I think big parts of the glacier tongue just vanished…wow!

  90. #93 bruce stout
    May 4, 2010

    @ snotraviking, have a look at that pdf on iceland’s geology. It is very informative.

    Following up on the idea of a fissure opening up in the Markarfljot valley. That could lead to some very interesting water/magma interactions! (damming, phreatomagmatic explosions, flooding, etc) Let’s just hope for the sake of the locals that this doesn’t come to pass. Luckily, it looks like activity will remain at the active vent, as one would expect.

  91. #94 Helen Leggatt
    May 4, 2010

    I agree – from current views it’s almost as if the glacier has collapsed.. v. different contours visible….

  92. #95 Philip Mulholland
    May 4, 2010

    Here is a link to the IAVCEI RSC web page for the Eyjafjallajökull 2010 eruption. Links to the webcams are posted towards the bottom of this page.

    Tips for using and posting links via Google Translate.
    Some of the articles posted on Icelandic websites are written in English, but others require translation. If you want to post a link to a translated article, load the Icelandic link into Google Translate, press the Translate button and then copy the full address of the translated text from the TOP of your browser e.g.

    From VISIR: Increased explosive activity (3rd May)

    From RUV: More activity now than at the begining (3rd May)

    Katla Webcam

    Thanks to the posters here for the original Icelandic links.

  93. #96 Kyle
    May 4, 2010

    4 More earth quakes, is it just me or are they getting closer and closer towards Hekla each time?

  94. #97 Daniel
    May 4, 2010

    Helen. Indeed it looks like a completely different view today at

    I wish the fog would blow away so that we can see the base of the glacier.

    Maybe the camera view has just been changed but it actually looks like half the mountain is gone..:o

  95. #98 Kyle
    May 4, 2010

    Heck just looked at the vodafone cam and it looks like a completely different glacier today!

  96. #99 Henrik, Swe
    May 4, 2010

    Looking through fog can be very misleading, but it looks as if the area behind the large tuff boulder mainly consisted of glacier and that there now is a huge pit.

    @ Snotra Viking (#85). I agree with that! This possibility was originally discussed several weeks ago at the very start of the main eruption or just prior to it.

  97. #100 Daniel
    May 4, 2010

    #95 Kyle.

    I believe they are a way from Hekla.

    And if i have read correct in these forums hekla usually erupts with little or no warning. Normally within a few hours after tremors has begun. So until she blows noone knows. 🙂

  98. #101 David Calvo
    May 4, 2010

    Looking at eldgos camera seems that the lava flow has advance quite a good distance tonight. Maybe the lava front reached the glacier piedemont….

  99. #102 bruce stout
    May 4, 2010

    thats a pretty vigorous plume from the main crater. It also looks more ash rich.

  100. #103 JB US
    May 4, 2010

    Left of the glacier – Do we have a small fissure vent? You see it right above the floor – cloud or steam bed I think. Very small and below the level of the current steam plume and the ash cloud is far back of the steam plume now.

  101. #104 Thomas Wipf
    May 4, 2010

    I think one explanation of the different view is: the vodafone cam has a wider angle now. But now on 7:54 we see the whole volcano with a lot of ash eruption. Great scenery!

  102. #105 Kyle
    May 4, 2010

    @103 the camera is exactly as it always has been.

  103. #106 slt
    May 4, 2010

    Has the Þórólfsfelli cam been moved? Looks to me as if it’s almost level with the main crater … though maybe that’s an optical illusion due to the fog in the valley. Another thing: everything seems to be covered in black ash and there seems to be hardly any visible snow/ice left?

  104. #107 Ruby
    May 4, 2010

    I don’t think the cam has been moved because the picture is the same on vodafone cam In my opinion I think it has collapsed and if you notice everything seems to be covered in ash. I knew something big would happen when the cams were obscured by fog murphys law I suppose.

  105. #108 Helen Leggatt
    May 4, 2010

    Two dark “pillars” now in view at bottom-most viewable area of glacier – rock or ice, not sure – but huge gaping hole between them!

  106. #109 Marc C
    May 4, 2010

    Dear all, beautiful thread. Been following for a few days now. Jus an idea: in order to better see the differences in the landscape on Vodaphone cam: open a second tab, and rewind it to pick a time from the recent past with clear skies at the exact same hour of the day. That way the tricks of the light do not fool you into believing things have gone or appeared.

    Eg: I am comparing the current image with the one on April 27, 14:48 (cam time). This shows many things are still the same, but much ice and snow is gone. Oops, as I say this, fog blocks the cam again..

  107. #110 Daniel
    May 4, 2010

    It got very dark all of a sudden on vodafone cam. Was such nice view just a few minutes ago. Now it pitch black almost.

  108. #111 Thomas Wipf
    May 4, 2010

    Indeed: Vodafone is still in the same position. The fog on the ground makes the volcano look smaller and wider. And there is not so much snow anymore but grey ash. Great lesson in natural optical fooling….

  109. #112 Marc C
    May 4, 2010

    @Daniel: it may be the fog that sweeps up from below from time to time. I see more gray than black..The stones in front of the cam are still clear..

  110. #113 Ruby
    May 4, 2010

    I have been comparing an image from this morning from one taken yesterday and imho there is a big difference the centre has collapsed and on the right it has more of a steep slope now.. Does anyone agree

  111. #114 Helen Leggatt
    May 4, 2010

    @Ruby – that’s what I am seeing, too, after about 10 days of staring at the glacier! I also think the “tunnel” has collapsed up from the mouth and left a gaping crevice – again, all speculation from observation thus far today 🙂

  112. #115 Daniel
    May 4, 2010

    Not sure but I do not think its fog coming up towards the vodafone cam. Left side of screen is alot lighter in colour than right side. Seems more like smoke to me.

    Dont know but i think there will be something big in a not so distance future..just a gut feeling.

  113. #116 Suw
    May 4, 2010

    And for anyone wanting another list of links, try the wiki I’ve been (trying to!) keep.

    It’s collaborative so if anyone wants to add links, they can!

  114. #117 Henrik, Swe
    May 4, 2010

    Daniel! That’s Dante’s Peak, not Eyjafjallajökull! 😉

  115. #118 bea
    May 4, 2010

    Great view currently on the Vodafone cam…

  116. #119 Thomas Wipf
    May 4, 2010

    Watching the heavy dark ash cloud and the wind-direction . I would sell my stocks of airplane-companies today! I think it will hit parts of Europe again!

  117. #120 Henrik, Swe
    May 4, 2010

    #119 It does not look to be nearly high enough. Yet.

  118. #121 sunday
    May 4, 2010

    #117: Comparison between 2.5.2010 9:35 and 4.5.2010 9:35 in Voda camera is interesting

  119. #122 JB US
    May 4, 2010

    Ash 18,000 feet where initial eruption was 30,000 feet.

  120. #123 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    May 4, 2010

    #120 Indeed it is. An immense amount of ice has melted in that time.

  121. #124 Daniel
    May 4, 2010

    Look at

    It just looks..strange..Is that ash on the right?

  122. #125 Daniel
    May 4, 2010

    You can catch a glimpse sometimes of the ash plume on voda cam. It looks to be alot bigger now than earlier today. Either that or the wind has shifted towards the cam.

  123. #126 Ruby
    May 4, 2010

    This is so frustrating I wish the fog would clear so we can see what she has been upto during the night I think she has been very busy while she has been hidden from view

  124. #127 Ruby
    May 4, 2010

    She must have heard me the fog is breaking up again can now see the plume

  125. #128 Sofia
    May 4, 2010

    I can`t recognize me at all! Have they changed the vodafone camera or is the half of the mountain missing??

  126. #129 Daniel
    May 4, 2010

    Now that is some heavy ash fall. Voda clear..Almost.

  127. #130 Mr. Moho
    May 4, 2010
  128. #131 Sofia
    May 4, 2010

    Fantastic! So fantastic! Yes, I see now that the wiew is is the same but the mountain is like collapsed. Maybe thats why the eartquakes earlier. So typical that we couldn`t see that! I`ve been watching this mountain sing now for over a week….

  129. #132 Chris, Reykjavik
    May 4, 2010

    Wow…lots of ash coming down from the eruption. The glacier is completely black.

  130. #133 Lena
    May 4, 2010

    Fantastic! Thanks Mr.Moho

  131. #134 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    May 4, 2010

    @Sofia – the mountain has not collapsed, but the glacier has, especially on the right side. Also, the lack of snow cover and the fog in the valley changes how things look quite a bit.

  132. #135 bruce stout
    May 4, 2010

    The ashfall overnight must have been pretty heavy. You can see the thickness of it coating the glacier in the Vodafone close up.

  133. #136 Ruby
    May 4, 2010

    #129 Yes that is what I have been saying all along see comment 106 and 112

  134. #137 Kenneth
    May 4, 2010

    Hmm, I’m not so sure that the glacier tounge has changed that much. Probably it’s just the fallen dark ash on the ice that make it look that way. 😉

  135. #138 mags,England
    May 4, 2010

    #122,121: On Mulakot cam,I can see what looks like light reflecting off a lot of floodwater at the base of the mountains.

  136. #139 Monika
    May 4, 2010

    @ Mr Moho (128) Good to have a possibility to compare the images. The colours had changed – white to black and black to white on the images, so this could make the differences. The glacier is black of the ash, the foreground that used to be dark is now white of the fog.

  137. #140 Richie-in-Cognac
    May 4, 2010

    Looks like maybe a new quake just now:

  138. #141 Mr. Moho
    May 4, 2010

    It looks like tremors have decreased much over the last hour or so. I wonder if this eruptive event (I consider it as such, given the amount of ash being ejected. It most probably started last night when clouds blocked the view completely) has marked the beginning of the end of volcanic activity. Or if it’s the start of a new and more interesting, possibly long lasting, phase.

  139. #142 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    May 4, 2010

    Míla has changed the orientation of the Hvolsvelli webcam – it’s pointing more upwards now, so there will probably be less washout from the road lamps in the coming nights.

  140. #143 Timo
    May 4, 2010

    Hi, I’m looking Katlas web cam. I’m not sure but are there somekind of flood or meltwater at opposite side of hill or am I seeing totally wrong? (I really hope so!)

  141. #144 birdseyeUSA
    May 4, 2010

    have been specifically following changes in shape of tunnel roof over main crevice for several days, don’t see a big difference from yesterday in the brief glimpses available – ashfall was heavy!, certainly changes the look of contours. Per report from last night,
    as noted earlier, water comes and goes in regular pulses. Depends on when you see the river what you think. We need x-ray vision!

  142. #145 birdseyeUSA
    May 4, 2010

    @Mr Moho 139, I was thinking the same thing. For those wanting an ash/flights map,
    and click on top of list for updates

  143. #146 Manni
    May 4, 2010
  144. #147 Helen Leggatt
    May 4, 2010

    @Manni – thanks for that – have shared it 🙂 Great video of what we’ve been watching over last day or so! Good to see the scale and power of it.

  145. #148 birdseyeUSA
    May 4, 2010

    Days of sitting down
    Eyes rejoice or strain
    Today I stand up?

  146. #149 Carl
    May 4, 2010

    Is it just me or has the Mila Valahnuk gone completely bonkers? It just blinks marrily how many seconds ago it went offline.
    Could someone go and give it a jolly god horse kick? Or perhap’s a Tölt-kick:)
    Also, the Thoro-cam seems to be totally rapt up in a never ending stream of either ash or the damnedest fog (vog) I have ever seen. But it seems rather dark so I would guess ash.

    Comparing the before and after pictures tells me there has been one mighty burp during the night by the Lady, she who once was so pristine and white in her diapers now seems to need a change bad… 😉 I wouldn’t want to see that kind of baby-wipe…

  147. #150 Helen Leggatt
    May 4, 2010

    Lady of lava
    Cloaking the ice
    Reveal thyself

  148. #151 Helen Leggatt
    May 4, 2010

    @Carl – she’s put on her little black dress for a night out painting the town red ;0)

  149. #152 birdseyeUSA
    May 4, 2010

    Gone brain dead – sorry, haiku-philes – @146 ‘ eyes rejoicing or straining’

  150. #153 Timo
    May 4, 2010

    Can anyone check this out. I’m still wonderig is there happenig something! Just look the(left) hill and there is lot of water or mud coming down…Is that normal? I Think not.

  151. #154 sunday
    May 4, 2010

    Just now there was a clear spot in Voda cam. Views of the front of the ex-glacier a plenty. I think I saw some collapses in the right side, near Santa’s face.

  152. #155 bea
    May 4, 2010

    Watching at Katla webcam, quite a lot of clouds in the background…

  153. #156 Dan, Florida
    May 4, 2010

    @148 Helen It worked, she is revealing herself on Þórólfsfelli and Mulakot.

  154. #157 Matic
    May 4, 2010

    anyone know at what direction is pointed Katla cam?

  155. #158 Chris, Reykjavik
    May 4, 2010

    @sunday, #152: Why ex-glacier? The area has been covered with ash, thats why everything turned black.

  156. #159 Daniel
    May 4, 2010
  157. #160 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    May 4, 2010

    #144 Now I know from where came the stones seen here

    Spectacular; helped to judge the dimensions quite a bit. Thanks, Manni!

  158. #161 Dan, Florida
    May 4, 2010

    @151 Timo I’ve looked at full screen and it is difficult to figure out what that is. Maybe if the sun comes on some more there will be better lighting and contrast. I can’t tell at this time.

  159. #162 sunday
    May 4, 2010

    Joking, Chris 😛 But looks like the glacier is only façade as of now. Looks gutted.

    Also there are greyish-coloured vapors ascending from the canyon between the black plume of the vent and the white plume of steam. Lava-emitted fumes?

  160. #163 beedragon Canada
    May 4, 2010

    Vodafone’s lower picture shows that the round tube that the meltwater exits from took a bit of a beating over night. It looks like it’s starting to collapse under the weight.

  161. Yes, it looks like there has not been that much of a change except for probably a lot of collapse of the glacier where the lava is flowing, and the covering by ash of the snow on the near side of the mountain. It is not clear whether the ash came from explosive lava-ice-water interaction or directly from the vent area within the summit caldera; it looks like some snow is remaining without ash near the summit (at right).
    It looks like of the glacier only its frontal lobe is remaining, and higher up the valley it has been largely consumed by the lava flow.
    The eruption appears pretty vigorous but I do not see much reason to suspect something tremendous is going to happen soon as some suggest; tremor levels have actually diminished since the very strong activity a couple of days ago.
    If weather conditions remain as they are in this moment (pretty clear view), that should be spectacular to see at night !!!

  162. #165 birdseyeUSA
    May 4, 2010

    @160 probably seeing ash fall?

  163. #166 Mr. Moho
    May 4, 2010

    From the Thorolsfelli webcam to me it looks like the steam plume is increasing in volume. Is it only my impression?

  164. #167 Daniel
    May 4, 2010

    #162 Boris.

    Maybe you have already answered this earlier (couldnt see it) but the EQ´s a while back. All at around 14-20km depth, same magnitude and stretching in a North / South direction. What could that mean?

    I mean most EQ´s have occured at a quite shallow depth, around 1 or 2km but these were different. Could it be the feeding magmachamber or a separate one?

  165. #168 birdseyeUSA
    May 4, 2010

    Rrrrr- vodacams go out for me as soon as the viewing gets good – but on Thoro zoomed in can see what you mean about maybe lava-related smoke/vapor/whatever you would call it.

  166. #169 sunday
    May 4, 2010

    #163 No, ash falls and is brownish. Perhaps those “fumes” are steam not as dense as the cloud in the back of the glacier tongue.

  167. #170 Leifur
    May 4, 2010

    I wonder if those are 4x4s seen just above the floodwaters to the right (downstream) side of the gap in the moraine – that would confirm my suspicion that people are now driving up to the glacier along the line of the old, washed out, 4×4 track …

  168. #171 Chris, Reykjavik
    May 4, 2010

    @Leifur, #168: I would think that these are jeeps. Most likely scientists from the University are in that area.

  169. @Daniel (#165) – those earthquakes are difficult to interpret; they could be related to magma recharge at depth, or some settling of the deeper portions of the feeder system. In many cases, volcanic feeder systems are elongate, especially in an area of tectonic rifting, but in reality it is difficult to say, because from the available data do not give the focal mechanisms of the earthquakes (that is, the type and orientation of rupture that produced the earthquakes) and so very little can be said.

    From my views of the eruption via the webcams there is only black ash rising from the active vents, and white vapor from the lava interacting with the pathetic remains of that poor glacier. Everything else is weather cloud, which today is quite low.

  170. #173 Jamie Z
    May 4, 2010

    I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that the ice arch at the outflow is going to collapse in the next hour. I believe I have seen parts falling from its underside.

  171. #174 Kaboom
    May 4, 2010

    Just an observation but would what were seeing here tell us that the last eruption was not as bad as this one. The glacier would have taken a long time to get to the size it was pre-eruption. Surely the glacier would have been badly scarred if the last eruption did similar damage. I don’t think 100 years of ice build up would have hidded those scars.
    Any thoughts,

  172. #175 beedragon Canada
    May 4, 2010

    Just to the right of the glacier tongue, and at about the same level as the top of the melwater chute, is an almost perfect black circle that looks like a big button. Is this the end of a lava tube?

  173. #176 MaxM
    May 4, 2010

    @168 That’s probably where the TV news footage was filmed in Manni’s #144 message.

  174. #177 Leifur
    May 4, 2010

    @Chris, #169 – well since you are in Reykjavik I assume you know my countrymen – these could be scientists, newshounds, the hangers-on to those groups, anyone who could invent an excuse – or simply people who snuck past the police when they weren’t looking 🙂

  175. #178 birdseyeUSA
    May 4, 2010

    some nice new still photos from recent flights –
    by the way, thanks for the good late-night-for-some discussion yesterday

  176. #179 Chris, Reykjavik
    May 4, 2010

    @Leifur: I know but I was just thinking the best 🙂

  177. #180 Andy
    May 4, 2010

    @Kaboom The ice flows from the top to the bottom of the mountain in something like 50 years or so – when I was on Gigjokull at the start of the decade you could still pull bits of plane wreckage out of the ice on the snout of the glacier (which was a lot larger than it is now). The plane crashed on the top of the mountain soon after the war I think. With fairly rapid accumulation, as the mountain is 1600m high and the ice equilibrium line is 1100m or so, the glacier could regrow in a century or so. The glacier would quickly hide any lava flows.
    Additionally, there was evidence for jokulhlaup activity from the 1821 eruption, so it would be reasonable that at least the caldera area of the top of the glacier was significantly melted by that eruption. I don’t know of any indication of lava flow activity, like we are seeing, in 1821-23.

  178. @Kaboom (#172) – glaciers have the capability to form very rapidly. At Mount St. Helens, a glacier formed within the crater left after the 1980 eruption, around the lava dome that grew in the center of the crater between 1980 and 1986, and by 2004 it was already well developed. So it took less than 20 years to form.

  179. #182 Kaboom
    May 4, 2010

    Thanks Andy. I was hoping to find some sort of gauge on the last eruption but we’ll probably never know. At least that won’t ever be a problem again i know more about this volcanic eruption than i do about my wife 😀

  180. #183 Diane N CA
    May 4, 2010

    Wow!!! What a difference a day/night makes! What a hole!

    Good morning all. It is 6:54 on the left coast this morning as I write. I can’t believe what I am seeing! I will have to read to catch up and see what you are all saying. It is amazing to me.

    I can’t stay long because of appts. 🙁 But I will be back when it is dark.

    Have fun watching.

  181. #184 Kaboom
    May 4, 2010

    Thank you Boris, I’m amazed at how quick they grow back to be honest but in a way this is good news to me too as when the earth enters a cooling period again all the glaciers that are melting should hopefully be replenished alot quicker than i previously thought.

  182. #185 beedragon Canada
    May 4, 2010

    Looks like we have two new sandbars in the meltwater pool. Could landslides from the ‘gravel’ slopes trigger the seismometers and record as small high-level earthquakes?

  183. #186 Dan, Florida
    May 4, 2010

    In the course of one day the tremor amplitudes have rapidly dropped down to near the levels of just after the eruption.

  184. #187 bruce stout
    May 4, 2010

    This interaction between glacial erosion and volcanic rejuvenation is interesting.

    I assume a glacier will erode the path of least resistance in its descent down a volcano, thus taking out any beds of ash first and avoiding hard lava flows. (is this correct? Or are glaciers such monsters they just bulldoze their way down the mountain regardless?)

    Then, when an eruption occurs, the lava also takes the line of least resistance, which in this case is the glacier itself, thereby filling the wound caused by glacial erosion, thus what was once ash gets replaced by lava. Quite a neat little interplay when you think about it.

    Guess this is obvious, just never occured to me before.

  185. #188 Zander
    May 4, 2010

    I remember the original fissure eruption stopped suddenly after a series of earthquakes blocked the lava conduit and the pressure transferred to the second larger eruption 5k to the west.The tremor has dropped dramatically as before so maybe it’ll happen again or perhaps it is the beginning of the end.

  186. #189 Heidi Ritterbusch
    May 4, 2010

    Better not hope for anything happening in the Tindfjallajökull….

    Still following this blog on and off – exiting!

  187. #190 Jón Frímann
    May 4, 2010

    @Henrik, Kerlingafjöll are there own volcano. But they line inside the fissure swarm of Hofsjökull. But Hofsjökull is so big volcano that inside it there is a another volcano in its own right there also.

    The view of Eyjafjallajökull is quite interesting today I must say.

  188. #191 Thomas Wipf
    May 4, 2010

    @Zander Sounds to be a good explanation: The tremor has dropped dramatically as before. I think this is the beginning of the end, but I hope I´m not right because the volcano show is so great!

  189. #192 renee
    May 4, 2010

    very impressive view on the Hvol cam

  190. #193 Anne in Scotland
    May 4, 2010

    Very impressive from the Hvolsvelli cam at the moment. Also Mulakot. Good “stand-back” views rather than the relative close-ups from Þórólfsfelli or Voda cams we’ve been glued to.

  191. #194 renee
    May 4, 2010

    @Jon What is your take on this situation the beginning of he end or the end of the beginning? I scarcely believe she is done. Her magma chamber may be emptying but she is finding new paths to refill it.

  192. #195 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    May 4, 2010

    Am I seeing things, or is there perhaps another opening forming on the left side of the glacier tongue? There’s a persistent wisp o’ steam over there.

  193. #196 birdseyeUSA
    May 4, 2010

    @193 Does it change at all?
    Ref. collapse of ice bridge, I’m comparing to and wondering what’s really back there – can see top of opening is ‘solid’ rock…makes a good mystery…

  194. #197 George
    May 4, 2010

    The key for me is watching the GPS measurements. If deflation stops or reverses, then it is filling again. And while tremor has dropped from what it has been recently, it is still fairly high in a longer term context. It is about the same right now as it was from 18 to 21 Apr.

    To attempt to predict what it will do tomorrow or next with any certainty is a crystal ball project best left to Lady Sofia up the street. What one could say with reasonable accuracy is that the potential still exists for a continued eruption and that anything can happen. It could simply stop tomorrow and go quiet for a couple of hundred years or the eruption could increase or stay the same.

    Yesterday’s deep quakes followed by shallower ones: might indicate new intrusion into the magma chamber. The problem is public access to timely GPS data. What data I have access to is old and spotty.

    Looking at the various cams, it looks like a new pulse of lava could be flowing.

  195. #198 renee
    May 4, 2010

    I do see the spot you are speaking of and I think sir, you are very correct. Take alook on the right side also I think I see on there also.

  196. #199 Dan, Florida
    May 4, 2010

    @193 Kultsi I see what you are talking about. At first I thought it was clouds. But I believe you may be right, but it’s difficult to find the source. It seems to be shifting and all the shadows play tricks on the eye.

  197. #200 renee
    May 4, 2010

    The spots are always the same and they emit steam on and off

  198. #201 George
    May 4, 2010


    You could be seeing interaction between a lava flow and ice which appears to have picked up considerably in the past hour or so.

  199. #202 renee
    May 4, 2010

    On the Poro cam the one on the right side is visible

  200. #203 doug mcl
    May 4, 2010

    Here’s something to contemplate, if the eruption continues at its current effusion rate for more than a year of so, like Kilauea, it’s not unlikely that the lava flow will not just start paving the valley floor, but will also divert or dam the river Markarfljot, creating a new lake.

  201. #204 birdseyeUSA
    May 4, 2010

    steam emerging way to lower left of Thoro cam, down near bottoom of screen

  202. #205 beedragon
    May 4, 2010

    The front of the slope, below the main ash plume, is steaming up pretty good today. Perhaps with the meltwater channel being plugged from the glacier collapse, the lava is spreading out sideways. There’s very little coming out of the meltwater opening this morning.

  203. #206 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    May 4, 2010

    #199 Not on the left side of the glacier, this far untouched. It coulda been a contrail – they are deceiving, but the collapse/opening the trench seems to be advancing across the glacier now, and I think there’s a depression all the way across the glacier, with the collapse advancing from right to left.

  204. #207 Hans
    May 4, 2010

    Wow … what a different scene after 8 hours of sleep. The summit and higher sections of the glacier/icefield look very depleted – looks like a huge amount of ice has melted and everything else is covered with ash. The harmonic tremors have decreased so perhaps the mountain is now reducing its activity. OTOH the deeper EQ’s yesterday may indicate that something may be welling up in the deeper plumbing below the magma chamber.

    Stay tuned and we will find out. At least all the action is where it is supposed to be. Last night I was concerned that long dormant Tindfjallajökull was lined up along where the EQ’s were occurring. Perhaps some of the EQ activity was due to jokulhaups and so we need only worry about Eyjafjallajökull.

  205. #208 birdseyeUSA
    May 4, 2010

    sorry, midscreen level, i was on zoom – totally new place, i think, not near the outlet at all

  206. #209 birdseyeUSA
    May 4, 2010

    it’s about in line above the two vehicles, the other side of the moraine ridge, has been coming and going,definitely not cloud

  207. #210 renee
    May 4, 2010

    No definitely not cloud

  208. #211 birdseyeUSA
    May 4, 2010

    they’re not vehicles, I guess, but two big rocks where the road is – would I guess be widest margin edge of old ice?? if I knew how to post a screen shot reference I would.

  209. #212 Mr. Moho
    May 4, 2010

    Steam emission looks impressive at the moment from Thorolsfelli cam compared to this morning.

  210. #213 Kenneth
    May 4, 2010

    @doug mcl, #201: “but will also divert or dam the river Markarfljot, creating a new lake”
    It could be quite the opposite too. The lava is cooled and dammed by the flowing water.

    Seems like the power of water is far from negligible, imho.

  211. #214 Gina Ct
    May 4, 2010

    on Hvolsvelli there appears to be a different (new?) plume rising behind the very active black smoker
    also on Þórólfsfelli between the black and main (currently) steam plume there is a new plume showing when the wind allows a view
    on/myndavelar slightly to the left of the black plume and decidedly behind it

  212. #215 Anne in Scotland
    May 4, 2010

    Birdseye – yes, I noticed that earlier on today – visible here in the picasaweb series for today at No 65 or else at

  213. #216 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    May 4, 2010

    It’s clear that the lava trench received a big, new deposit of the hot stuff.

  214. #217 beedragon Canada
    May 4, 2010

    If all you were watching today was the lower of the two vodafone picasa pics, you’d never know Dante’s Inferno was taking place just above it.

  215. #218 Jamie Z
    May 4, 2010

    I am certain I can see a small steam plume now coming out of the glacier half way between the ice arch at the top of the main water outflow and the bottom of the main collapsed area. It is very small just now but can be seen on Mila Thorolfeflli cam.

  216. #219 birdseyeUSA
    May 4, 2010

    wonder if some of the melt is now discharging in the next drainage to the left – can’t really tell from cams

  217. #220 Leifur
    May 4, 2010

    Just a brief note on Icelandic grammar 🙂

    I’ve noticed people referring to the “Hvolsvelli” camera – there’s no such place – it’s a bit like saying “have you met my friend John’s?” – it ignores the declension of the noun. The proper names (nominative case) of the cameras are:

    Hvolsvöllur (Hvolsvollur)
    Þórólfsfell (Thorolfsfell)
    Valahnjúkur (Valahnjukur)
    Múlakot (Mulakot)

    Needless to say I make this comment only because I know you would want to get it right 🙂

  218. #221 birdseyeUSA
    May 4, 2010

    @Leifur218, I think we are taking that error direct from the camera page – grammar again, I suppose? modified by the frá?

  219. #222 beedragon Canada
    May 4, 2010

    Does anybody know the guy on the Thorolfsfell Cam? He’s been waving at the camera while talking on his cellphone and drinking a coffee – just like he’s at a hockey game. I notice, too, that he’s wearing shorts – must be a nice day there! I’m quite jealous.

  220. #223 renee
    May 4, 2010

    tremor plots are making a return

  221. #224 Gina Ct
    May 4, 2010

    @Leifur could you dissect this (from the cam page)
    Eyjafjallajökull frá Hvolsvelli i would like the meaning of each word

  222. #225 Scott, sg
    May 4, 2010

    So everyone goes up, stands in front of the camera…and thinks wow there is a volcano here…I better make a call…

  223. #226 Chris, Reykjavik
    May 4, 2010

    @beedragon: Its nice, almost no wind today, sunny and temperatures around 10°C.

  224. #227 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    May 4, 2010

    #218 Thx, Leifur! I knew those on the web site are inflected forms, but really did not know how to figger out the uninflected (nominative) form.

  225. #228 renee
    May 4, 2010

    Just remember he is a native species and we are watching his habitat. Maybe we can get him to fix the Val cam…

  226. #229 beedragon Canada
    May 4, 2010

    I see that the Hvolsvell cam is back to its original position which means we’ll have lights in our faces tonight again!

  227. #230 Mr. Moho
    May 4, 2010

    Something collapsed a while ago near the main crater. There’s still some extra lighter ash/dirt in the air. On Thorolsfell cam.

  228. #231 Leifur
    May 4, 2010

    “Eyjafjallajökull frá Hvolsvelli” = “Eyjafjallajökull from Hvolsvöllur”.

    Icelandic has retained four cases, nominative, accusative, dative and genitive.

    “This is” Hvolsvöllur – Eyjafjallajökull
    “About” Hvolsvöll – Eyjfjallajökul
    “From” Hvolsvelli – Eyjafjallajökli
    “To” Hvolsvallar – Eyjafjallajökuls

    End of lesson 🙂

  229. #232 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    May 4, 2010

    Why is it that those doods on the webcam are most often talking on their mobile phones?

  230. #233 renee
    May 4, 2010

    Its too far to yell LOL

  231. #234 birdseyeUSA
    May 4, 2010

    they’re calling all their friends to say ‘look at me,’ and, ‘take a screen shot in case it’s not on picasa.’

  232. #235 beedragon Canada
    May 4, 2010

    @230 Odds of finding a landline phone on the top of a mountain are pretty low 🙂

  233. #236 Leifur
    May 4, 2010

    … I’m happy as long as they don’t scribble “Kilroy was here” on the lens ….”

  234. #237 Kenneth
    May 4, 2010

    @#230: I can barely live with it as long as the muppets are not mooning us… 🙂

  235. #238 beedragon Canada
    May 4, 2010

    I think it would be funny if someone stood in front of the web cam with a sign that said “Look Ma! I’m on!”

  236. #239 Zander
    May 4, 2010

    Tremor is on the way back up again.

  237. #240 Gina Ct
    May 4, 2010

    frá Hvolsvelli above the clouds a huge plume much more energetic than the black plume frá Þórólfsfelli has any one said a new vent opening

  238. #241 Scott, sg
    May 4, 2010

    Name and location kept private to protect the guilty…but I was somewhere with someone, when I looked around at a popular tourist spot and they were holding onto a security cctv camera and looking into it. I asked what the hell they were doing…”I am looking for where the coin goes in this stupid telescope…”

    God knows what that looked like to the people having to watch.

  239. #242 Grothar, Florida
    May 4, 2010

    I’m happy as long as they don’t scribble “Kilroy was here” on the lens ….”

    Leifur, you can remember that!

  240. #243 Henrik, Swe
    May 4, 2010

    Interesting interaction between the black eruption column and regular cloud. It’s as if the ash column swallows the cloud and then expands enormously, changing its colour to medium-light grey in the process. Any volcanologist who could shed light on this phenomenon?
    (1645 GMT, Hvolsvöllur camera.)

  241. #244 Sofia
    May 4, 2010

    How many does think that the lava may break thru tonight?
    Well….I suppose it`s the next step or?

  242. #245 Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson, .is
    May 4, 2010

    The four forms for Valafell and other names that end in -fell (and -fjall): -fell / -fell / -felli / -fells.

  243. #246 Alison, UK
    May 4, 2010

    Another earthquake, this time a little to the northwest
    Tuesday 04.05.2010 16:35:23 63.696 -19.705 1.1 km 1.3 47.43 11.2 km W of Básar

  244. #247 Corporal_E
    May 4, 2010

    Hi all, I have been watching here since the beginning of this eruption and posted a few times. I have been on the road for the last two weeks straight and been so thankful to be able to get the real news from all of you. Many, many miles, and many, many thanks.

    All of you have been so awesome for everything from some very creepy haiku (no offense) to the actual stats on this amazing volcano. However, I want to see if any of you know of a science blog simliar to this one for the tracking of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Understanding that no other blog is as good as this one, I have had one huge question since the oil spill began, and I want to keep my neutral friendly status on this board. Thank you.

  245. #248 Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson, .is
    May 4, 2010

    Sorry… I meant of course Þórólfsfell. But for Valahnúkur it is: (Sing.) -hnúkur / -hnúk / -hnúki /-hnúks. (Pl.) -hnúkar / -hnúka / -hnúkum /-hnúka.

    Aside: This is one reason why Icelandic is a lot less dependent on word order than English.

  246. #249 beedragon Canada
    May 4, 2010

    Another earthquake under Markarfljot

  247. #250 motsfo
    May 4, 2010

    small note:
    When ice melts under ash all the ash that fell is still there… it doesn’t go away. So the melting glacier reveals all the ash that ever fell on it. It’s showing past ash too not just this last night’s ash.
    Ask me how i know….;)


  248. #251 Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson, .is
    May 4, 2010

    #248: The hard way?

  249. #252 parclair NoCal
    May 4, 2010

    For those who’ve been searching for a blog on earthquakes, I think I’ve found one:

    It looks promising’-)

  250. #253 birdseyeUSA
    May 4, 2010

    a half-hour behind a lawnmower earns me another 3 hours here? lol
    Question – shows the full width of the glacier. Where the little left side steamers are showing from time to time seems to be below the leftmost part of the glacier seen in this shot. Could melt be working across under the glacier and exiting far left? Looks as though it drains in about the right place…

  251. #254 Jen
    May 4, 2010

    The wind seems to have changed direction, I think we are going to lose our amazing view soon. Somebody, quick, get out the giant fan.

    At times it almost looks like there are ash lenticular clouds forming around the plume. Absolutely amazing.

  252. #255 Mr. Moho
    May 4, 2010

    New earthquake right in the caldera:

    04.05.2010 17:28:34 63,628 -19,621 12,4 km 2,2 90,03 8,8 km SV af Básum

  253. #256 Corporal_E
    May 4, 2010

    It seems to me that the ash output appears to have increased on the Þórólfsfelli cam at the same time the new earthquake in the caldera went off.

  254. #257 birdseyeUSA
    May 4, 2010

    and the steam dropped off too

  255. #258 birdseyeUSA
    May 4, 2010

    has the ash changed content or is it just the light making the color change?

  256. #259 Philipp
    May 4, 2010

    I just started the creation/upload process for a time-lapse animation from today. I don’t know when it will become online, might take an hour or two.

  257. #260 Karl UK
    May 4, 2010

    #245 Try the One of the best online sources of discussions on Peak Oil, the oil industry and our energy predicament. They have a number of discussions on the current spill.

  258. #261 Daniel
    May 4, 2010

    It is a whole new rift of whit steam coming up to the right? Must be hundreds of meters!

  259. #262 Shelly
    May 4, 2010

    #259 I think it’s just a cloud. lol

  260. #263 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    May 4, 2010

    Look like Lady Eyja closed the curtains for today. Actually, viewing was better today than could be expected in the morning.

  261. #264 Corporal_E
    May 4, 2010

    #258 Thank you Karl UK!

  262. #265 Daniel
    May 4, 2010


    Wait until the fog clears. I dont think clouds rise from within the bedrock. 🙂

  263. #266 Shelly
    May 4, 2010

    #263 take a look at picasaweb photo #91.. If that white line is what you mean then it is cloud… Mulacot cam shows clouds along that line too.. 🙂

    It does not rise from within bedrock but does appear from thin air at that level.. has been doing it all day..

    I could be completely wrong of course.. lol

  264. #267 motsfo
    May 4, 2010

    You know, Shelly, i was thinking it was cloud too but then i took Your advice and went to Mulacot and there does seem to be a dark/greyer puff of ashey ‘stuff’ at the upwind side of that long grey cloud.

  265. #268 motsfo
    May 4, 2010

    And of course i can’t see it NOW.
    but it was there.. honest… really… ok, i’ll sit down now.

  266. #269 Spoggy
    May 4, 2010

    #259 I saw it to Daniel, definitely not cloud, a steam plume came from midway up on the right.

  267. #270 Brian
    May 4, 2010

    Has the ash production from the crater stopped. From the view I can see at the moment I feel I ought to be able to see the plume but it’s gone.

  268. #271 beedragon Canada
    May 4, 2010

    I think there was just a landslide from a new steam vent developing on the moraine face to the right of Gigjokull. It was half hidden behind the fog bank, but I’m sure I saw something move. Interesting to see if it triggered an earthquake reading.

  269. #272 Shelly
    May 4, 2010

    Time will tell what it was. lol another EQ in the caldera

  270. #273 Shelly
    May 4, 2010

    Make that 3 more EQ’s!!

  271. #274 snotra viking, sweden
    May 4, 2010

    I wanted to see this program, Planes, Volcanoes & the Truth from BBC, but it was only for UK residents. Anybody know a mirror site or other way to see it?

  272. #275 beedragon Canada
    May 4, 2010

    Hah! But did the EQ trigger the landslide (if there was one and I haven’t just spent too much time looking at wafting fog), or vice versa???

  273. #276 Daniel
    May 4, 2010

    Yes there are indeed more EQ´s. And a a great depth aswell. Last one was at over 14km depth. Makes one wonder what is down there. How big the magmachamber is.

  274. #277 Kaboom
    May 4, 2010

    @Snotra you might be able to download it here a few days after its shown on telly.

  275. #278 Spoggy
    May 4, 2010

    It’s on the voda cam, midway up on the right :

    17:55 small whisp, 17:56 gets bigger and so on until at least 17:59. Wind from viewers right to left, and no sign of cloud coming in from the right, plus the base of the steam stays static on the rock.

  276. #279 birdseyeUSA
    May 4, 2010

    check the mula cam…

  277. #280 Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson, .is
    May 4, 2010

    Hmmph… I was sure enough the lava stream was about to break out of the valley to get to the milk shop and buy a Jökull (Glacier) beer.

  278. #281 snotra viking, sweden
    May 4, 2010

    thanks Kaboom
    I´ll try that.

  279. #282 beedragon
    May 4, 2010

    I see our dumbass hacker is back. Hopefully it won’t take Mila too long to clear the screen … sigh…

  280. #283 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    May 4, 2010

    Duh! The video server running a self-check! Now I’ve seen all…

  281. #284 Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson, .is
    May 4, 2010

    Why doesn’t Míla go that extra mile (pun extremely intended — míla=mile) and put these cams through a Linux or BSD box?

  282. #285 beedragon Canada
    May 4, 2010

    email and beg for them to clean up the screen!

  283. #286 chris
    May 4, 2010

    Re the HP Support assistant the cam

    I think the the important action to take is to uninstall it!!!

    Right where we are looking to… Blimming thing…

  284. #287 Zander
    May 4, 2010

    @272 snotra viking try here It didn’t work first time but worked the second. Was a good program.

  285. #288 Zander
    May 4, 2010

    Oh well i was hoping to see some action tonight after the great weather today.It’s a shame because the cloud must only be 500 feet thick.

  286. #289 Anne in Scotland
    May 4, 2010

    Airspace over Scotland and Northern Ireland closes at 07:00 am tomorrow morning because of ash cloud – BBC

  287. That cloud you see moving into the Þórólfsfell webcam image from the right. It’s remarkably stable but be assured it is nothing else than a weather cloud. It’s at the same level that a more complete cloud (fog) bank was covering the valley floor earlier today. There are no fumaroles (steam vents) or other sources of volcanic gases outside the caldera and the parcourse of the lava flow. What is interesting is how this cloud disappears just above the river, in front of the disintegrating glacier. That’s probably due to the higher temperatures in that area. We’ve seen how dense fog dissolved around Etna’s summit when there were lava fountains, the heat apparently prevented condensation in the area close to the hot lava jets, and so you would stand in that sort of a huge open corridor surrounded by dense cloud and see that fountain …
    My impression is that this eruption is not yet over and not even close to being over. All eruptions that last for some time go through periods of higher and lower activity. It’s never stable and regular. But we will see … for the moment it’s again quite beautiful and relatively harmless (apart from the ash falls which are a nuisance for people living nearby and which still threaten air traffic to some degree). So I guess we’d all love to see this last for some time, especially if the lava eventually decides to come down that valley with the doomed glacier.

  288. #291 Leifur
    May 4, 2010

    On the evening news they warned of the danger of pyroclastic flows – the paranoid among us would claim that this is just another way to keep us away from the area 🙂
    I think the authorities are mostly afraid of repeats of the sprained ankles, dislocated shoulders, broken fingers etc. that the trek toward the Fimmvörðuháls (“Five-Cairn Pass” for the linguistically curious) eruption caused …

  289. #292 Philipp
    May 4, 2010

    today’s time-lapse is available here:

  290. #293 snotra viking, sweden
    May 4, 2010

    I found this teaser on the National Geographic website, apparently they have made an episode in the series “Naked Science” about the eruption at Eyjafjallajökull, coming up on thursday. Short video plus photos available.

  291. @Leifur (#289) – the warning of pyroclastic flows is not as stupid as it might seem. We (that is, a few colleagues from different countries and me) have recently discovered that explosive interaction of lava flows and snow or glacier or simply wet ground can produce pyroclastic flows even at many kilometers of distance from the actual eruptive vents. We’ve seen this at Etna and Kliuchevskoi on various occasions, and probably also at Llaima in 2008-2009, and it is possible that this also happened during the first (basaltic) episode of the current Eyjafjallajökull eruption at Fimmvörðuháls. So if there is warning of pyroclastic flows, I would take this extremely serious.

  292. #295 birdseyeUSA
    May 4, 2010

    the new report is out, notes some of the things we have seen

  293. #296 Jon Newfoundland
    May 4, 2010

    The flow rate of the river has dropped of significantly … is the melt water being blocked in the glacier?

  294. #297 beedragon Canada
    May 4, 2010

    Today’s Iceland Met office update:

    Assessment 04 May 2010 19:00
    Plume was observed at 5.8-6 km height (19-20,000 ft) estimated from the Icelandic Coast Guard (ICG) flight at 10:40 and 15:30 GMT. It is heading east-south-east to south-east from the eruption site. Plume track clearly visible up to 300-400 km distance from the eruption site on a NOAA satellite image at 13:13 GMT.

    Water levels have been rather constant. Water temperature at Markarfljot bridge was low this morning (below 2°C) but seems to be rising (about 5°C at noon). Water level seems to be slightly decreasing.

    Lava is still flowing northwards, forming a lava fall down the steep hill under Gígjökull, about 4 km north of the crater. Blue gas is seen rising from the lava and white steam plumes are seen somewhat lower and mark the front of the lava stream. The size of the eruptive crater is 280 x 190 m. Lava splashes are thrown at least a few hundred meters into the air.
    Overall assessment is that it is more explosive activity and ash production than was observed yesterday. Progression of the lava seems to be slower than yesterday.

    Presently there are no indications that the eruption is about to end. No measurable geophysical changes within the Katla volcano.

  295. #298 Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson, .is
    May 4, 2010

    #289,192: Isn’t this how pseudo-craters form?

  296. #299 Jon Newfoundland
    May 4, 2010

    I should have said … the flow rate of the river appears to have dropped off significantly.

  297. #300 Henrik, Swe
    May 4, 2010

    @Leifur (#289), Boris (#292) I took several screenshots on the 17th which seem to show exactly what Boris describes – a dense plume that barely got above the rim picked up several kilometers in height AND rolled down the slope ominously reminiscent of films of pyroclastic flows after contact with the snow ~1-1½km downslope from the vent. Let me put it this way: I wouldn’t go close just to find out if it was a pyroclastic flow or not…

  298. #301 Ulrike
    May 4, 2010

    Hi all again and Erik our host, who is so light-handed with this blog. Thanks for that. Great work.
    It wasn’t my attention to spark off and uncover a poetic streak in the audience, re. limericks.I have to say, however, I love all the effords made, and Iam impressed. Just shows, that we scientists do have a bit of humor inside … if we hadn’t, how could we survive our various quests…?
    thanks for all the great updates. Feels like being in Iceland again, which for me will not be in the next couple of months :o( due to thesis work on a very different and only marginally related matter.

  299. #302 Anne in Scotland
    May 4, 2010

    @290 Philipp – super time lapse again, many thanks for the time you must spend doing this every day (almost). It really emphasises the change that occurs throughout the day – that you can’t really appreciate just watching. I learnt a lot from todays and realised I was wittering in an earlier post about a possible new feature to the east of the main vent – I realise now that it was a neat atmospheric trick of warm, moist air from the steam vents being dragged over the peak to the east and condesing on the leeward side forming a dense cloud.
    Just as much as the eruption I have enjoyed watching the atmospheric effects of sddenly warmed air being made to do rather strange things by the tortuous air currents being created by this eruption. A cloud-watchers paradise – except when they hide the view of course.
    Many thanks again, Philipp, keep them coming, please!

  300. #303 Henrik, Swe
    May 4, 2010

    @Leifur (#289), Boris (#292) Our friend Philipp has an amazing timelapse of that day, April 17th, from Mulakot which imo illustrates what Boris said very well:

    Thanks again Philipp!

  301. #304 Leifur
    May 4, 2010

    When I belittled the danger of pyroclastic flows I was being facetious – anyone who has seen the 30 metre thick ignimbrite layer in Þórsmörk (from the time Tindfjöll blew up I think) knows that they CAN happen.

    I still want to take the chance 🙂

  302. #305 Jón Frímann
    May 4, 2010

    May is the fog month in Iceland in my opinion. But this eruption appears to be changing. Maybe to more explosive type of eruption ? How knows at this point. The deep earthquakes are really interesting, I am keeping a eye out for that at the moment. Harmonic tremor still shows up on my plot, but a lot less then before. But it is still there, and it fluctuates it seems.

  303. #306 snotra viking, sweden
    May 4, 2010

    No TV-documentaries for me… I live in the wrong country… anybody else has a link for me?

  304. #308 Jón Frímann
    May 4, 2010

    @JDZ, That is a false earthquake (ML3.8). I know, it didn’t appear on my sensor that is located in the SISZ close to Hekla volcano.

    After the last ML2.1 earthquake in Eyjafjallajökull the harmonic tremor started to rise upwards again.

  305. #309 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    May 4, 2010

    She’s barfing: the big mouth-like opening on top of the split rock expels stuff in gushes. It could be ice chunks or gushes of water.

  306. #310 Karl UK
    May 4, 2010

    Scottish and Northern Ireland airspace to close again from 0700hrs tomorrow. Possibility no fly zone may be extended south. Also noticing a light dust covering down here in East Anglia this evening, very light at the moment but definitely ash, like a covering we had two weeks ago.

  307. #311 snotra viking, sweden
    May 4, 2010

    Quite a large number of EQ:s around the caldera of EJ now. Wonder if she´s blowing up again, anybody has GPS data that can give us a hint?

    I´m curious of course.

  308. #312 beedragon Canada
    May 4, 2010

    Well, my boss just cancelled his vacation/business trip to Amsterdam, England, France, and Ireland.

  309. #313 christoph
    May 4, 2010

    Well how disappointed am I? I rushed home thinking that the front of the glacier was going to give way, giving us a good view of what’s lurking behind. Guess It only goes to prove the following….

  310. #314 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    May 4, 2010

    #309 Here you can look at the GPS data:

    As I see it, the volcano is deflating – of course, this is not short period data.

  311. #315 Suw
    May 4, 2010

    @beedragon #310 My husband is supposed to be flying to Budapest tomorrow. I’ve told him to take extra undies, just in case he gets stuck there. Luckily, we both work from home, and he’s just spent extra time setting up our server here so he can access files and work from abroad if he needs to. We’ll see – London may or may not be open for business tomorrow.

  312. #316 beedragon Canada
    May 4, 2010

    @Suw 313, Boss was supposed to leave on Friday, for 2 weeks. Being stuck in Europe wouldn’t bother me 🙂 but he didn’t want to risk spending a week on a cot in the airport!

  313. #317 Suw
    May 4, 2010

    @beedragon #314 I really can’t say I blame him. I think one has to really be prepared for a longer stay, rather than hanging around hte airport. Friend of mine got stuck in Egypt last time. It was supposed to be a 5 night break, turned into a 15 night break… and he actually works for an airline and couldn’t get back.

  314. #318 Dan, Florida
    May 4, 2010

    I could think of worse places to be stuck. It helps to have friends and a place to stay if necessary, near Frankfurt and near London. 🙂

  315. #319 Jón Frímann
    May 4, 2010

    For some reason they have now started to warn of pyroclastic flow coming from Eyjafjallajökli. I guess there have been enough changes on the ash plume to warrant that warning.

  316. #320 Mattias Larsson, Swe
    May 4, 2010

    Snotra viking, sweden:
    Swedish television ( will send a fresh documentary about Eyjafjallajökull on “Vetenskapens Värld” next monday. I will definately watch that one 🙂

  317. #321 beedragon Canada
    May 4, 2010

    It would give me a chance to catch up with family in England that I haven’t seen for a long time. But I’m stuck here in Ontario.

  318. #322 birdseyeUSA
    May 4, 2010

    @JónF Are they mentioning specific areas or just in general?

  319. #323 Goordon
    May 4, 2010

    I’ve just been having a look at some of the other Icelandic webcams. Looks like ash fall over Reykjavic tonight.

  320. #324 Jen
    May 4, 2010

    Don’t know if you were watching on the webcam but a whole lot of steam just started rising up from the ground about 4 minutes ago and is now covering most of the screen. I’ve been waiting for that, I thought it might be all we saw when the dam finally broke. I think something is flowing through.

  321. #325 Jón Frímann
    May 4, 2010

    @birdseyeUSA, This is a general warning only. But it is directed to Gígjökull (where the steam comes from) mostly. But they do not exclude other areas. But the area is ban zone at the moment and nobody is allowed to travel there.

  322. #326 beedragon Canada
    May 4, 2010

    @Jen 322 … Probably not steam. Probably just the same fog that was in the valley this morning. Just when we were waiting for darkness to see where the lava flow has reached. argh!

  323. #327 birdseyeUSA
    May 4, 2010

    and there’s an annoying little cloud showing over on the mula cam…

  324. #328 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    May 4, 2010

    Hah! I saw the quake that just occured (21:44:47) on the Thorolfsfell camera: the tops of Eyja jumped up and down – on a nine km range, the movement need not be much to be visible, and it could not be wind, as there was none.

  325. #329 Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson, .is
    May 4, 2010

    #320: One news site ( quotes Civil Defence on risk of hot gas clouds blasting down the valley not totally unlike the surges produced by Vesuvius way back when.

  326. #330 birdseyeUSA
    May 4, 2010

    ..or there was…seems to form and dissipate fast.
    Humbug-HP has taken over Thoro cam again!

  327. #331 Jon
    May 4, 2010

    @322 and 324 … the “cloud” expanded from the base of the glacier towards the camera. I don’t think it was the fog we were watching earlier … unless the wind has changed.

  328. #332 Daniel
    May 4, 2010

    Oh My God! Who is responsible for computer updates on Mila. Windows 7 reminder is NOT what i want to see right now. :S

  329. #333 stigger
    May 4, 2010

    #329, #322 and #324; Jon I thought so too, it definitely rose up towards the camera and formed quite differently to fog.

  330. #334 Sofia
    May 4, 2010

    What is wrong with the MILA cam? I want to see! Please!

  331. #335 Jen
    May 4, 2010

    HP is torturing me!

    I can’t get though to vodafone right now, either.

  332. #336 Mattias Larsson, Swe
    May 4, 2010

    I don´t want to travel away to much from the main subject of this thread but I just cannot stop myself from bringing this Seismo-blog thread up.

    Earthquakes at 400 miles depth (!!!) in Spain.

    And those extremly deep EQ:s appear to have happened several times during the last century at the same location. The largest was a magnitude 7.0 on March 29, 1954. I have never heard about anything like this before. Anyone of you who have any idea of a possible reason for such deep earthquakes?
    Tell me if I´m wrong but as I understand it there are no other place in the world were such deep earthquakes have been recorded.

  333. #337 beedragon Canada
    May 4, 2010

    Perhaps just a fairly fast moving cloud bank… the view’s not too bad on the vodafone webcam right nwo.

  334. #338 beedragon Canada
    May 4, 2010

    Perhaps Mila just installed a new HP Printer … they come with some of the worst software add-ons. I have a rogue HP pop-up on my home pc, that shows up out of nowhere.

  335. #339 Suw
    May 4, 2010

    Keeping the vodafone cam up whilst I get myself, my hubby and the kittens ready for bed in the hope that I’ll get a glimpse of lava glow before I retire. My dreams have been filled with Eyjaf the last few nights. Can’t imagine why.

  336. #340 Daniel
    May 4, 2010

    If you look at the EQ data on
    it seems that there are tremors ranging from 1km to 22km depth.

    I guess alot of scientists are scratching their heads right now trying to figure out what it means. I mean this could mean anything. All from a vast magmachamber deep deep down or alot of intrusions i guess.

    Refering to a previous post by Boris Behncke which stated that it is very hard to interpret such tremors and what they would indicate.

    Am I totaly wrong if i guess that there is a bigger chamber deep down fueling alot of different channels on their way up to the surface?

  337. #341 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    May 4, 2010

    #331, #329, #322 and #324; I was watching the whole thing. There’s evidently warm air around the waste pond, as the clouds around it dissipated, then started forming right in front of the camera – condensation of super-saturated water vapor is quite fast once it starts. Very fast the cloud layer spread across the valley – by condensation – and then it rose until it obscured the camera. Just before the mountain tops disappeared, the EQ happened.

  338. #342 Peter Cobbold
    May 4, 2010

    re Bruce #2 Boluses are depicted in a schematic diagram on the ‘cold plume’ hypothesis, here (fig14):

    Prof Foulger gives no info whatsover on the boluses, but the hypothesis requires little mixing to occur between the mantle bulk and rising ancient subducted remelted Caledonian crust, so there’s the inference. Maybe the March spikes are the first indirect evidence for bolistic accretion mode? That’s what interests me.

  339. #343 Randall Nix
    May 4, 2010

    Mattias Larsson, Swe there was an earthquake like that in Russia a couple of months ago….so they do happen at other places at that depth.

    Daniel you may be right or you may be wrong….right now I think it is anyone’s guess as to what is down there….I think that is why Boris said it was hard to interpret such tremors and what they indicate….they are scratching their heads a little now but working on an answer;)

  340. #344 Peter Cobbold
    May 4, 2010


    The rolling plot of EQs underneath the map has superfluous colour coding (the plot itself gives age of EQs) I would find it really useful if the colour coding described EQ depth.
    Any one else agree?

    But thanks Jon #1, 18km is deep. Mantle-crust boundary there is measured at approx.20km ( see URL in #340)

  341. #345 Sigmar Reynisson
    May 4, 2010

    I just called some guy on duty at Mila’s surveilance center and told about the Thorodsfell camera situation. I promised to try to call the dude responsable for the cameras. Dunno if that will fix the problem – alas something was done.

  342. #346 Sigmar Reynisson
    May 4, 2010

    HE promised to reach the guy.

  343. #347 Suw
    May 4, 2010

    @Peter #342 There’s a lot that could be done to represent the EQs in a variety of ways beyond what the Iceland Met Office has the time to do. It’d be nice if they released the information as a geo-RSS feed with precise location, time, depth, and whatever other information they have, all labelled up semantically so that people could do something with it. Be even better if that feed was historic with, say, the last year’s worth of data in.

    The Icelandic Met Office is incredibly generous with its data, and it’s great to see such a rich resource. It’d be even more wonderful if they could release RSS feed and maybe even an API so that curious programmers could do something interesting with that data.

  344. #348 beedragon Canada
    May 4, 2010

    @Sigmar Thank you! This happened earlier today and only took them about 15 minutes to fix. This time it’s been up a bit longer. Hopefully they can clear it while we still have light!

  345. #349 Chris, Reykjavik
    May 4, 2010

    @Suw, #345: Thats right. But I think its a problem with time and ressources – especially the last is a problem with the actual budget cuts everywhere.

  346. #350 Mattias Larsson, Swe
    May 4, 2010

    Thanks Randall. Where in Russia did it occure? I wonder what the reason for those events could be. In the article they write that very deep EQ:s can happen in subduction zones, but there are no subduction zonen anywhere near Granada in Spain. I find it very interesting that the deep events have happened at exactly the same place several times. I find it very amusing to think about these kind of things, and want to figure out possible reasons for those EQ:s.
    I guess there is time fore some web-research 🙂

  347. #351 Randall Nix
    May 4, 2010

    Mattias Larsson, Swe I think it was along the Chinese/Russian border but it has been a couple of months so you may have to look at archived info to find it. I don’t think quakes at that depth are real common but they do occur. Here is a good place to start your research;)
    “The deepest earthquakes typically occur at plate boundaries where the Earth”s crust is being subducted into the Earth’s mantle. These occur as deep as 750 km (400 miles) below the surface.”

  348. #352 beedragon Canada
    May 4, 2010

    Eruption (lava fountains?) viewable on Hvolsvell webcam right now.

  349. #353 George
    May 4, 2010

    “but there are no subduction zonen anywhere near Granada in Spain.”

    Depends on your definition of “near”. The Africa is subducting under Spain.

  350. #354 Peter Cobbold
    May 4, 2010

    @Suw It never ceases to amaze me that a country of just one third of a million souls has created the planet’s only whole-nation real-time EQ map.
    I do hope IMO archive their data as the EQ oscillations in march were astonishingly symmetrical and eventually someone in the profession will get interested in them. No signs of that so far so I’ll keep trying.

  351. #355 George
    May 4, 2010

    “has created the planet’s only whole-nation real-time EQ map”


  352. #356 Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson, .is
    May 4, 2010

    Still got the WinSlow$ sign, but the HP screen is gone on Thora.

  353. #357 Mattias Larsson
    May 4, 2010

    Thanks Randall!

    “The deepest earthquakes typically occur at plate boundaries where the Earth”s crust is being subducted into the Earth’s mantle. These occur as deep as 750 km (400 miles) below the surface.”

    That would be at the subduction zones then 🙂 I found this interesting info to

    By the way, there is an interesting lightshow on the Þórólfsfelli webcam now

  354. #358 Brian D
    May 4, 2010

    Great blog. First time poster, here. Porolfsfelli cam showing the lava in the glacier. Almost looks like a new vent its so strong.

  355. #359 Janet, Texas
    May 4, 2010

    I always do a nightly check on Katla. It looks different tonight. Can anyone tell me what the white glow is on there? Would it be snow reflecting? I’ve never seen it before. Usually it’s all black with tv like “snow”.

  356. #360 beedragon Canada
    May 4, 2010

    Thorolfsfell webcam back up and showing incandescence.

    And, honest, there were HUGE lava fountains on the Hvolsvell webcam before the clouds came back :))

  357. #361 Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson, .is
    May 4, 2010

    #357: Looks like glow from the northern sky. We’re in the ‘not quite dark at midnight’ period of the year.

  358. #362 birdseyeUSA
    May 4, 2010

    did anyone notice the two small lights that came up at the lower right side of Thoro cam??Vehicles?? could they have been on the far side of the river…?? in the dark??

  359. #363 beedragon Canada
    May 4, 2010

    @birdseyeUSA I saw the lights too! Would people be dumb enough to try and sneak up there in the dark?

    And I have to edit my earlier post … Strombolian eruptions, not lava fountains, at Hvolsvell. I hope that the clouds will move off so we can see them again.

  360. #364 birdseyeUSA
    May 4, 2010

    @BrianD welcome- we had an interesting exchange a while back about spelling and names and languages; Icelandic uses Th for Þ rather than P … we’re all practicing! : )

  361. #365 Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson, .is
    May 4, 2010

    #357: Looks like glow from the northern sky. We’re in the ‘not quite dark at midnight’ period of the year.

  362. #366 beedragon Canada
    May 4, 2010

    I just saw the little light again. If that is people, I hope they know that there were landslides on the moraine today!

  363. #367 Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson, .is
    May 4, 2010

    B4y wireless keeps b4y falling off the b4y network.

  364. #368 George
    May 4, 2010

    Brian, that is not a P, it is a Þ or “thorn” … and translated to english would be Th so Thoro… not Poro…

    English had the same letter until somewhat recently (in geological time 🙂 and it often superscripts would be added to make words such as an e for “the” and would look like this: Þe . Often the thorn would be typeset as a y and so that became ye and that is how ye Olde Candy Shoppe came to be. It is really “the”.

  365. #369 Janet, Texas
    May 4, 2010

    Thank you Reynir! Being in Texas I’m not used to the “not quite dark at midnight”. I appreciate the answer.

  366. #370 Dan, Florida
    May 4, 2010

    All this education I’ve been getting here. And I just came for the pretty pictures. ;>)

  367. #371 Brian D
    May 4, 2010

    Thanks for the correction, guys. Thoro it is.

  368. #372 Irna
    May 4, 2010

    Hi everybody, is the glow on Thorolfsfell actually sometimes blue or green, or is it a trick of the camera?

  369. #373 Anna, Reykjavík
    May 4, 2010

    Ok, I think the lava will emerge from under the glacier on Saturday May 8th.

    My reasoning?

    Te distance from the crater to the foot of Gígjökull is approx. 4 km. Yesterday scientists estimated that the lava flow has about a kilometre and a half to go to reach the Gígjökull water outlet. It has taken the lava flow an awfully long time to travel two and a half km. A lot of the energy goes into melting ice.

    The Eyjafjallajökull icecap is not thick, only about 250 m at its thickest. Presumably the lava has worked its way through the thickest part and is now flowing downhill under a much thinner glacial roof. So the pace should pick up a bit by my reasoning.

    Anyone interested in placing bets on when the lava will appear in the Markarfljót basin?

  370. #374 Dan, Florida
    May 4, 2010

    @370 Irna That’s a trick of light. Seen it a few times when the glow gets distorted by steam clouds, and even regular clods at times. Prism effect probably.

  371. #375 Irna
    May 4, 2010

    Dan, thank you for the explanation.

  372. #376 George
    May 4, 2010

    Anna, I think it will arrive sooner if the eruption continues at its current pace.

    I say by Thursday.

  373. #377 Mattias Larsson, Swe
    May 4, 2010

    #351 George. I was refering to the article ( that sais that “there are no known subduction zones within 1000 miles of Granada”. If this is true or not, I can not tell. 🙂

  374. #378 Anna, Reykjavík
    May 4, 2010

    @George (#374)
    It’ll be interesting to see. It’s already Wednesday here in Iceland so you’re saying tomorrow 🙂

  375. #379 JB US
    May 4, 2010

    #376 Anna
    Personally I’m Clueless about when it breaks thur but it is Tuesday, 5 pm Pacific NW US time. Currently Wed. your time.

    So you are saying Saturday Icelandic Time the lave will hit the former lake bed – got a GMT (time)?

  376. #380 Gina Ct
    May 4, 2010

    It could be caused by different minerals in the plume / clouds gasses from the lava

  377. #381 Randall Nix
    May 4, 2010

    Looks like 2 vents with splatter at both to me;)

  378. #382 George
    May 4, 2010

    Anna, yes, I forgot about the time difference. It is only Tuesday afternoon here 🙂

    So to put a finer point on it … sometime between 24 and 48 hours from now is my guess.

  379. #383 eddie
    May 4, 2010

    I thought the entire mediterranean basin was a subduction zone, just that there is more movement around ellada than espana.

  380. #384 Anna, Reykjavík
    May 4, 2010

    #377 JB US
    I’m just as clueless as you are (I’m sure even Boris B., the resident specialist, couldn’t be goaded into making a prediction).

    But I’ll say 21:00 GMT.

  381. #385 Randall Nix
    May 4, 2010

    Anna, Reykjavík, JB US & George I will say maybe 24hrs or less;)

  382. #386 Mattias Larsson
    May 4, 2010

    George, Eddie. You might be right about the subduction zones. I found an old article that refered to deep earthquakes under spain as a indication of deep subduction occuring. I am a little bit confused about the article about the deep Granada earthquakes. I found it strange that somebody would write that no subduction zone is known in the area, if there is indeed a known subduction zone there. I have to do some more research on this subject. Meiby I drop a note here when I have gathered more info 🙂

  383. #387 Diane N CA
    May 4, 2010

    Well ,I finally got back after hours in town. I did get to see some of the activity and they zippo, nada. When I tried to go to the Hvo(something or other) and I got that HP nonsense. Oh well…

    I am going to take a wild guess at when the lava will reach the crevice: say about 36 hrs. My initial guess would be 24hrs, but I think it will take longer than that. I really have no idea. 🙂

    @Randall, off the subject, I tried to email you and I got a no delivery thing(I will have to check with my server on that) and I did with someone else also when trying to email about a “hands and pans only” ruling here. Anyway, we were able to get them to withdraw the ruling. We did a major writing campaign and it worked. I ask you, how do you dig out a crevice with your hands when it is only about an inch wide?!! But now that is behind us for the time being. I am hoping to get to the river sometime soon.

    Anyway I hope the clouds and fog will go away so we can see something. At least I can see morning in Iceland at about 8:30pm here. Lets hope we see something cool!

  384. #388 Mattias Larsson
    May 4, 2010

    One more article on a possible subduction zone

  385. #389 Randall Nix
    May 4, 2010

    Diane N CA really…it shouldn’t have come back can you resend it? I have an email that I have been working on for you with links to info on gold locations in Alabama, Georgia and one of them has a lot of info for all 50 states. I have been so busy lately with work that I haven’t been able to do anything much except go to the beach on Sunday…to say goodbye to an old friend:( I am going to go ahead and send what I have now and more later.

  386. #390 Lurking
    May 4, 2010

    @381 & 384

    Parts of the Med are made up of active subduction zones, the rest is either oceanic or continental convergent zones… which under the proper conditions, become subduction zones. I imagine that what a particular area is or was doing depends on what geological period your in. The Spain/N.Africa area shows as a Continental convergent zone turning south into the corner N.Africa about 160 km SE of Gibraltar. (per USGS Goog Earth Plugin)

  387. #391 Diane N CA
    May 4, 2010

    Randall, it had to do with something in my email that looked like spam to the servers. I got it with another friend of mine. I am not sure what happened so I will try to reword it so it will go though. I think it may have to do with the words regulation or ruling.

    Thanks for what you are going to send. I understand being very busy with work.

    Sorry gang about being off subject. The issue was a ruling by the California State Parks involving 55miles of river and they were issuing a “Hands and pans only” rule for gold panning. Totally ridiculous! We were able to get them to withdraw the ruling. It was done in an underhanded way with no public hearing for public input.

    Well enough of that. Does anyone know what is happening on Eyjaf now or is it still all clouded in?

  388. #392 Doug C
    May 4, 2010

    On the subject of deep EQ’s, there are three locations I can think of off-hand that have EQ’s deeper than 500 kilometres: the Salta, Argentina vicinity (East of the Andes); West of the Kamchatka Penninsula; and East of Vanuatu in the Pacific. These are all related to subduction.

  389. #393 birdseyeUSA
    May 4, 2010

    @DianeNCa -looks dark all over – look at Picasa towards dark and see two little lights toward bottom right and later one higher up – looks like someone hiked up there or drove up. Maybe going for night shots? There were a couple of good explosions visible at one point but I don’t think Picasa got them to full effect. tremors headed up again but at lower levels. New reoprt in, click on the fuller report there are more details.
    Eyja is tossing and turning in the dark,but I’m turning in- now you keep watch!

  390. #394 Diane N CA
    May 4, 2010

    Birdseye, I will just keep watching because in about an hour, I will be able to see something if the clouds go away. Have a good sleep.

  391. #395 George
    May 4, 2010

    From the abstract of a paper that a quick goggle turned up:

    In this paper we present new results concerning the existence and subduction of Meso-Tethyan oceanic
    lithosphere in the upper mantle beneath Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle-East. The results arise
    from a large scale body wave tomographic analysis of the upper mantle in this region. It is shown that much
    more subduction has taken place beneath the Aegean and Tyrrhenean region than was previously estimated.
    The Eastern Mediterranean basins are linked to the old Meso-Tethyan passive margin and may in some parts
    be underlain by oceanic lithosphere. We demonstrate the existence of an old northward dipping subducted
    slab beneath Spain and the Western Mediterranean. A large zone of suhducted oceanic lithosphere is found
    beneath the entire Alpine orogenic belt from Spain to Iran at depths between 250-600 km. This zone
    represents major parts of the Meso-Tethys.

    W. Spakman 1986

    You can get it here:

  392. #396 Randall Nix
    May 4, 2010

    Out of the mist the dragon is slowly coming into focus;)

  393. #397 Renato I Silveira
    May 4, 2010

    #384 Larsson, I’m from Brazil and I grew up believing that we didn’t have any earthquakes here because we were far from convergent boundaries etc. But then I learned that we had a series of M6+, even M7 quakes in the past, in the Amazon plain. That’s because far from the boundary of Nazca plate with S. American Plate we have those very deep so called “deep mantle quakes” (sorry I’m no expert)which still are a mystery to geologists. They occur where they weren’t supposed to, because at this depth nothing would be brittle enough to provoke EQs. So they have this hypothesis that some kind of mineralogical chemistry happens that makes rocks become brittle (olivine, I think) and it happens very far from subduction boundaries. Maybe this is the case in Spain. There’s a famous M 8,3 La Paz earthquake that was at such depths and many more in Peru and… in Brazil! I was happy because we do have earthquakes (I always envied chileans for that). And they are harmless, but felt from far distances. Uff! Hard to explain it in English, but I tryed.

  394. #398 Helen Leggatt
    May 4, 2010

    Can clearly see on Thorolfsfelli cam the lava glowing halfway down the glacier. It looks like there might explosive activity – or could be glow from steam – hard to tell. Might we see explosive activity in that place?

  395. #399 Renato I Silveira
    May 5, 2010

    I think I missed something in my amateur explanation: the quakes are caused by the subducted plate, but the oldest part of it, far from the spot they came under the other plate – so I suppose those quakes in Granada could be the deepest part of the African plate becoming brittle far underneath Spain, am I right?
    And back to Eyaf: I can’t see much on the view frá Þórólfsfelli, just big drops on the lens.

  396. #400 Doug Merson
    May 5, 2010

    This is a strange night. The only web sites I can connect to are Eruptions and the Thorolfsfelli camera and its fog bank. 0330 comes early so it is off to bed.

  397. #401 Raving | Hogtown
    May 5, 2010

    @Renato I like “tryed”.

    It is quaint in a deliciously twisted way.
    Goodnight to all and to jökulleyjafjalla all sow well to.

  398. #402 renee chicago
    May 5, 2010

    1st EQ of the day 1.4 22.7km 4:32:18

  399. #403 bruce stout
    May 5, 2010

    @340 Peter,

    Thanks!! What a great paper. I like the way he enumerates the problems with the mantle plume hypothesis. It would be interesting to see how this was received by the geoscience community as it is way above my head to make any assessment. But I can follow his general argument and it makes sense, though it seemed to me that he was NOT arguing in favor of upwelling continental lithosphere but rather eclogite, which is oceanic lithosphere that was subducted to great depth approx. 400Ma when the lapetus ocean closed and Caledonia and Greenland converged. Greater thickness of this material under Iceland and perhaps the odd bit of continental crust explain the anomalous volume of magma erupted at Iceland when compared to the rest of the mid-ocean ridge.

    Re the boluses: I take it you took this model from figure 14 showing uprising pockets of melt. I am not too confident about its validity because it is extremely schematic. I have seen a similar diagram to explain the Auckland Volcanic Field, which is composed of untold monogenetic cones where the diagram makes more sense (each cone being one such “bolus”) but Iceland seems to be way more complicated.

    I would love to know how much melt is pocketed between the mantle and the crust for instance. How hot this might be, how it interacts with the crust, etc. For me, this still remains the main mystery of the extremely symmetric seismic activity prior to the Fimmvorduhals eruption because I think it is an expression of some mechanism by which melt rose from a pond at the mantle/crust boundary and “flooded” through an existing network of conduits and fractures, creating new ones as it went by fracturing rock and so on. The mystery being, why did this happen in nearly perfect waves and not in one steady stream.

    BTW, great to hear from you again. Very stimulating.

  400. #404 Renato I Silveira
    May 5, 2010

    On the Vodaphone cam there are the same droplets as in Thora and also strips can be seen on the upper left of the screen. Ashfall?

  401. #405 Renato I Silveira
    May 5, 2010

    And Katla looks gorgeous. There’s this dark plume to the left (from Eyjaf or just clouds?). But the landscape looks somewhat lunar.

  402. #406 Jón Frímann
    May 5, 2010

    I do not like the fluctuation that follows the earthquake on the harmonic tremor levels. I do think it is a bad sign. Whatever is happening at ~23km depth does not show it self on the surface any time soon I think. It might take days or weeks until we see any change from what is happening at he great depth under Eyjafjallajökull.

  403. #407 Kathryn, Australia
    May 5, 2010

    While things are quiet and ‘fogged out’, I thought that I might share an exchange from last night…
    19 yr old son “surely you’re not watching that volcano on your laptop again!”
    Me…. “why not?”
    Him… “get a life, read a book…do something interesting”
    Me …*shakes head* “it is interesting and very informative; so far I’ve increased my knowledge on volcanoes, EQs, Icelandic language, air safety and Haiku!”
    I dare not tell him that I’ve resorted to taking my laptop to bed…might get a severe talking to!
    But I must thank everyone for their willingness to share information, observations and opinion in such an open and welcoming forum.

  404. #408 Jón Frímann
    May 5, 2010

    @Kathryn, Australia, You do have one volcano in Australia. But I can’t say that it is the really active type of volcano. As most of the time it seems to be dormant.

    More info.

  405. #409 Emma, Lancashire UK
    May 5, 2010

    From the latest report at:

    “GPS deformation:
    Irregular oscillations in vertical component of stations next to the volcano.”

    I’m wondering if that links up with the deep earthquakes. Is yet more magma attempting to push itself up?

    @Kathryn: My kids think that I should get a life too. I’ll stick with Eyjafjallajökul though! I like the idea of taking the laptop to bed … now all I need to do is get a laptop.

  406. #410 Emanuel Landeholm
    May 5, 2010

    I wonder what the error bars are for EQ depth… Seeing as they are reported with 3 digits. I too am puzzled by the deep temblors. My gut feeling is that those quakes are due to built-up tectonic stress that would have been released anyway, but the process is accelerated by the heat- and pressure gradients caused by the eruption. Either that or there really is a significant change in magma flow rate (GPS plots should be helpful).

    Another thing that has struck me is that tremor seems to build up, then a deep quake hits and tremor suddenly drops and starts to build up again.

    Interesting, all the same.

  407. #411 mattlee
    May 5, 2010

    Has anyone looked at Katla lately. There’s a “cloud” behaving rather strangely. It’s in the wrong place to be steam from EJ

  408. #412 Jón Frímann
    May 5, 2010

    @mattlee, It’s a cloud. Nothing more. You are going to know for sure when Katla starts erupting. It’s going to be on the news across Europe when that happens.

  409. #413 Mr. Moho
    May 5, 2010

    GPS readings are indeed strange. Refer to this map:

    GPS readings are updated to today:

    Þorvaldseyri (about 7 Km S of Eyjafjallajökull)

    Sólheimaheiði (about 21 Km ESE of Eyjafjallajökull)

    Goðaland (about 16 Km ENE of Eyjafjallajökull)

    Lágu-Hvolar (about 42 Km ESE of Eyjafjallajökull)

    Why it’s stations closer to Katla that are reporting proportionally higher upward ground deformation?

  410. #414 bruce stout
    May 5, 2010

    @ Mr Moho #411

    I don’t see what you are referring to. GOLA has actually dropped significantly and SOHO is well within its normal pattern of deviation.

  411. #415 Daniel
    May 5, 2010

    Are you sure you are not reading the North East displacement? Only station showing a slight increase seems to be HVOL. And that is (so far) only a small increase which I would guess is part of Katlas normal huffing and puffing.

  412. #416 Mr. Moho
    May 5, 2010

    I guess it’s normal behavior, then.
    Sorry everybody.

  413. #417 La Kat
    May 5, 2010

    @ Mattias Larsson no. 334

    Re: Deep Earthquakes

    You may like to read this article:

  414. #418 bruce stout
    May 5, 2010

    No worries!! we’re all keen watchers 😉

  415. #419 Jón Frímann
    May 5, 2010

    About the GPS data. The THEY GPS station is showing interesting behaviour. The North-South is deflating like normal. But there is a huge inflation happening on the East-West (they way the Eyjafjallajökull volcano actually lies) happening. It moved 5mm in ~24 hours or so. Given the early lead up to this eruption, it has become clear that the movement to the East-West is more important then the movement to north-south it seems.

    But the North-South has it’s role to play in this, that is clear already and has from the start. But the East-West movement appears to be the driving force behind this eruption for some reasons that I cannot explain. Today it just had a big inflation pulse. What happens next is a good guess. But I don’t think it is anything good.

  416. #420 bruce stout
    May 5, 2010

    @ Jon, I saw that too, but I remember similar “outliers” in the past that were subsequently corrected after a day or two so I tend to wait a day or two before reading too much into the GPS readings. However, if it is correct, you are right, I don’t think it is a good sign either.

  417. #421 David L. Ireland
    May 5, 2010

    @beedragon Canada. You said yesterday or the day before that you have to go out so no screen captures. I did not get to answer this yesterday. I have a program that captures the Vodafone camera – usually even when others can’t get on to it as it goes direct to the page, and can also download the Mulakot cam and the Eyja plots automatically. It does not work with the streaming cams however. Basically any static picture it can pick up. I use it for Vodafone, Mulakot, Chaiten, Villarica etc and the tremor plots. (Unfortunately) It only runs on Windows at present, but I am working on that, and the whole thing is work in progress. It gathers USGS quake data and can create sound files from seismo data. I am working on Icelandic data at present – just a matter of time I don’t have right now.

    It is free so you can have a look and throw it out if you don’t like it. It has never been offered to the larger audience so is only used by a few diehards on the Volcano Watch and Quake Watch threads on ATS.

    Just at the moment the help files are a bit out of date, but there is a support email address on my site and I would be happy to assist.

    The program is called QuakeData, it is FREEWARE, and you can download it from here.

  418. #422 Henrik, Swe
    May 5, 2010

    @Jón Fríman (#417). E-W drift due to continental rift? Clues: Eyjafjallas E-W elongated shape plus N-S split through the crater? Ie a parallell to the Eldgja and Laki fissures albeit on a much less grand scale?

  419. #423 snotraviking
    May 5, 2010

    @kathryn (405) I too take the laptop to bed, I have to since the interseting things happen when it´s dusk or dawn. Dawn I never see though, it´s colliding with children going to daycare and such. Happy you few who has this, watching volcanos, for a living. I´m sure I would have been a very keen scientist in volcanology. Another life maybe!

    But then again “Learning is living”, an just as you have, I´ve learned a lot, and intend to follow this as far as it goes, whatever the family says.

  420. #424 beedragon Canada
    May 5, 2010

    @Kathryn 405 I usually end up having to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom (sorry for the TMI) and it’s been really hard for me not to run into the living room and check the webcams, because, you know “it’s daybreak in Iceland!”

  421. #425 beedragon Canada
    May 5, 2010

    Hopefully this morning fog will be gone in a few hours, like yesterday.

    There were a couple of moments last night where I was able to see some fabulous strombolian eruptions on the Hvolsvell cam. How big does a lava bomb have to be, if you can clearly see it fly through the air, for a distance matching the height of the eruption itself, from 25 km away?!

    (I can’t do the math on that one, my head would explode).

  422. #426 Marginata, Scotland
    May 5, 2010

    Can anyone access all the Milu cams today or is it just me having problems? The only one I can get is the Thorolfsfell one and it’s just showing fog, the other 2 cameras dont work at all.

  423. #427 Kyle
    May 5, 2010

    @424 It’s not just you, the other 2 cams are down for me too.

  424. #428 snotraviking
    May 5, 2010

    Beedragon, do you have any screenshots from yesterdays lavabombs? Would love to see some.

  425. #429 beedragon Canada
    May 5, 2010

    @snotraviking Sorry, I don’t have any pics. They were only in view for a minute or two before that HP screenshot blocked everything!

  426. #430 dubliner
    May 5, 2010

    If Katla normally goes with little or no notice, are there changes that are not being looked for?

    For example, is there any value in monitoring the subglacial temperature of the rock surface? Would it give any hint of a temperature increase prior to eruption?

    Does the surface temperature increase prior to eruption?

  427. #431 Chris, Reykjavik
    May 5, 2010

    @dubliner: The problem with this volcano is, that its under a glacier. And you don’t know, where its going to erupt next. The things, that can be measured best are earthquakes (if swarms appear people will get cautious) and the movements of the mountain by gps measurements.

  428. #432 Peter Cobbold
    May 5, 2010

    @Bruce 401. He’s a she! – Foulger is a Prof. at Durham Univ UK. While her boluses are indeed merely a schematic depiction I think they reveal her thinking. She has to explain how eclogite that is not so very much hotter than the mantle bulk rises from depth to the crust mantle boundary. She finds no evidence for heat-driven convection (no hot plume) so buoyant boluses of eclogite that remain distinct (as in lower density and in chemistry) than the bulk mantle seem to be the only plausible resolution.

    I guess there’s no seismic data on the Auckland Volcanic field and hopefully no new data forthcoming! But I do wonder whether other volcanos lying over the plume in Iceland that are not primed to erupt have shown EQ oscillations in the past(Hymaey? Kraftla?).

    I see the symmetry of the each EQ burts being the result of a bolus merging with the liquidus of the lower crust boundary, here at 20km depth. The upward force generated by addition of new buoyant material over a large area is then amplified hydraulically as the force becomes concentrated into smaller area of liquidus penetrating vertically into an increasingly solid volcano mass above the bolus. A bit like brakes on a car- a small force over large area translates into large force over small area at wheel cylinders. Hydraulic transmission and amplification of a boluse’s buoyant force would have to be capable of triggering maybe 20 to 70 EQs per hour (as in the largest spike we saw)each of mag 1 to 2. Its beyond me to assess feasibility of that. But to see the effect it would be important that the volcano did not offer an immediate low-resistance liquidus route to releasing the bolus’ hydraulic pressure as an eruption. So volcanos with well-formed conduits and magma chambers (eg Hekla)would simply erupt upon arrival of the first bolus rather than show EQ swarms and EQ oscillations. Hence the need to look for EQ oscillations in long-cycle volcanos or maybe fissure eruptions. The logical conclusion of all this speculation is that eruption cycles over Iceland’s cold plume could reflect not the local activity within the volcano but the activity of the deep mantle and rising boluses.

    Boluses might be continuing to arive under Eyjaf even now. So something we should look for now is oscillations in Eyjaf’s eruptive activity. If more boluses continue to arrive under Eyjaf,now that it has a low-resistance conduit formed they would according to the hydraulic coupling accelerate eruptive activity. The few deep EQs seen at present may indeed relect a new bolus arriving. Its impoprtant to recognise that hydraulic coupling does not require that the bolus magma itself rises the 20km to the surface: there may be very little delay indeed (as with brakes on most cars). On the basis of the oscillations we saw in march each eruptive oscillation would have a duration of roughly 36 hours. Unfortunately the small numbers of EQs under Eyjaf at present do not allow us to discern statistically an oscillatory pattern, just hints. What we need is numerical measure hour by hour of the plume’s mass. Lots of pictures of the plume I gather: pity there’s no numbers. Anyone out there seen time-lapse images showing 36 hour-long bursts of Eyjaf’s activity??

    If Hekla is also bolus-fed there should be evidence in the literature for oscillatory bursts in its eruptive activity.

  429. #433 birdseyeUSA
    May 5, 2010

    thanks to all you overnighters for your discussion of deep quakes. much appreciated.

  430. #434 Daniel
    May 5, 2010

    It seems she has entered a quite calm period. Tremors on both Jón´s helicorder page and the one at hraun.vedur are showing significant decrease in tremors.

    This in combination with quite alof of deep EQ´s would that suggest a “calm before the storm” and that she has found other conduits and outlets or is it as someone said earlier “Beginning of the end”?

  431. #435 birdseyeUSA
    May 5, 2010

    some fantastic new Met Office photos (4 May) at

  432. #437 birdseyeUSA
    May 5, 2010

    also Fréttir ( news about earthquakes yesterday,web translation.

    “Seismic measurements now show a new dynamic shots under Eyjafjallajökull.
    GPS tracking service and IES support this interpretation. Therefore be expected to market erupted continue unabated over the next day, for the IMO said.

    It says that since Monday has been under increased skjálftavirkni Eyjafjallajökull. Accurate earthquake locations show that they first be deep in the earth, at about 23 km depth, but then moves up. This indicates probably that new magma is þrýstast the bottom of the magma channel. She ýti the top remaining magma to pressure change moves up the surface. Therefore be expected to erupt continue unabated over the next days.

    Then says that substantial changes in the post-stop around the GPS Eyjafell last two days. At stations BAS2 and STE2, which is just north of the glacier, can now detect a new entry to the north. They moved south of the glacier (Þorvaldseyri) now to the west, and FIM2 station, which is somewhat further east, the sample transfer to the east.

    Distribution skjálftavirkni the magma channel also provides evidence of the location magma chamber that has erupted since the 13th April is believed to be in the 3-5 km depth, where earthquakes have not occurred.

  433. #438 Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson, .is
    May 5, 2010

    The IceMetOffice geologists think there’s a new burst of magma flowing towards Eyji. There were reports of the rumbles from the volcano being audible far and wide this morning.

  434. #439 Mattias Larsson
    May 5, 2010

    Thanks everybody for all the help about deep earthquakes! After some reading I start to be convinced that the most likely source of the deep Granada earthquakes is a deep subduction zone under Spain.

  435. #441 Scott, sg
    May 5, 2010

    I see fog cam is still working perfectly…

  436. #442 bruce stout
    May 5, 2010

    @ Peter,

    I think I am with you all the way on this. What we are trying to explain is the genesis, not of magma, but the conditions needed that trigger its further ascent through the crust.

    There are a couple of standard mechanisms for this, at least as I understood it with my layman’s reading of the matter:

    1. Crustal extension / fault propagation
    here seismic movement “opens” up pathways for buoyant magma to ascend, facilitated also by the fact that the concomitant decrease in pressure will encourage the phase change from solid to liquid in existing shallower chambers of magma already cooled to a crystal mush (I think this is what we observed in the second phase of the eruption starting April 14)

    2. top pressure (squeeze)
    also possibly triggered by seismic activity – this was suggested in one paper on Chaiten I think.

    3. buoyancy
    apart from the general propensity of magma to rise anyway, a diapir (read large body of magma) will push up the crust above it leading to radial dikes and eventual/possible eruption at the surface.

    and lastly
    4. the case we have here where pulses or boluses of magma ascend from deeper in the mantle and stall at the mantle/crust boundary which, if conditions are right, trigger an intrusion event and possible eruption along lines similar to the crustal extension scenario. If I am not mistaken, this is the typical scenario in most monogenetic volcanic fields.

    Right, looking at the pattern of seismic activity prior to the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull and the history of the region, I think we can rule out mechanisms 2 and 3, leaving the classical crustal extension model and the ascending boluses theory. Generally I would tend towards simple crustal extension and resulting ascent of magma from a pool of melt at the crust/mantle boundary. This could display a spike in activity as it would release a flood of pressure into the network of conduits and sills in the crust which would also propogate upwards in the fashion that we saw.

    But I have a gut feeling the pattern of seismic activity would not be bell-shaped in this case but skewed with most activity at the onset and tapering off as the “flood” lost steam.

    Which leaves your boluses theory. These have the advantage that they would display such a nice bell-shape as we saw. The only problem I have with the theory is that it implies that these boluses are arriving in a nice steady stream like beads on a string and also at a pretty rapid clip, particularly when you think the mantle is plastic anyway. I have problems visualizing that.

    On the other hand if the boluses were arriving at spatially scattered locations under the crust, I would not expect the periodicity we observed in the individual swarms. Rather, I’d expect them to vary or even overlap which doesn’t seem to have been the case. So, if we are going to go with the bolus theory, they must have arrived like a string of beads – and on a pretty rapidly moving string at that. Which raises a whole load of other questions.

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