Eruptions


Sakurajima in Japan erupting in 2000.

Sometimes, it is the volcanoes that erupt out of the blue that get all the attention, leaving the ones that are constant producers to be ignored by the fawning media. Sakurajima in Japan is just one of those constant erupting volcanoes that doesn’t get its just due. Well, over the weekend, Sakurajima broke its own record as it produced its 549th explosive event this year – in June no less – marking the most explosions (video) in a single year at the volcano on record. The previous record for most explosive eruptions in a single year at Sakurajima was 548 set all of last year (2009). The eruptions of Sakurajima so far in 2010 tend are believe to have released over 3 million tonnes of ash – however, the volcano observatory near Sakurajima doesn’t think that this activity is leading to a large explosive eruption – instead they just warn “watch out for large rocky ash falling in surrounding areas.” Good advice!

Sakurajima is one of the most active (unsurprisingly) volcanoes in Japan, just off shore from Kagoshima City, and is actually a series of overlapping cones making up an andesitic volcanic complex – all part of the Aira caldera. The current eruptive period at the volcano started in 1955 and have produced the equivalent of a VEI 3 eruption (albeit over half a century), but it has produced VEI 1-2 eruptions frequently over the few hundred years. In 1914 and 1779, Sakurajima did have larger explosive events – VEI 4 eruptions – so the potential for bigger eruptions is there. However, right now you can watch Sakurajima put on its explosive show via its webcam … so enjoy the record year at the Japanese volcano.

Comments

  1. #1 Henrik, Swe
    June 22, 2010

    Sakurajima is the safety-valve of the Aira Caldera complex. Just imagine all those eruptions since 1955 pent up, then it let go in one really big explosion…

  2. #2 James Reynolds
    June 22, 2010

    Spam filter just zapped my first post so will try again without links.

    Great post Erik, Sakurajima is one of my favourite volcanoes.

    I went to Sakurajima last month to witness the eruptions but was very unlucky to visit during a 3 week break in daily eruptions so saw nothing! Kagoshima on the opposite side of the bay is a great city, and Sakurajima “island” itself is simply stunning.

    It seems to have gone back to its daily explosive routine so once the “Mei Yu” rains shift away towards mid July hopefully I’ll be back.

    Amazingly there’s a high school with a direct line of sight to the active crater from only a distance of about 4km. Whenever the kids are outside they’re required to wear hard hats. I’ve got pics and video on my website.

  3. #3 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    June 22, 2010

    Two webcams for Sakurajima are linked from here: http://www.dpri.kyoto-u.ac.jp/web_e/index_topics.html

    One has a view right into one of the (two) active vents. When it’s not cloudy, the view is quite impressive.

  4. #4 mike
    June 22, 2010

    The most awesome eruption I’ve seen was at Sakurajima. I think it was July 1991. A mile-high incandescent column and a gigantic ash plume with about 30 lightnings per second. I’ve been there several times and this is one volcano that has never let me down.

  5. #5 Passerby
    June 22, 2010

    Are you just checking to see if we are ‘asleep-at-the-wheel’ with respect to the ‘out of the blue’ link in your opener, Erik?

  6. #6 Erik Klemetti
    June 22, 2010

    Passerby – Nope, just like to make the baseball analogy when I can!

  7. #7 Raving about extinct rookies
    June 22, 2010

    NEW EXTINCT VOLCANO DISCOVERED OFF CALABRIA COAST

    The number of Italian volcanoes is now up to 29. Sixteen of these are extinct and 9 are active

    http://www.ansamed.info/en/top/ME13.XAM18463.html

  8. #8 Diane N CA
    June 22, 2010

    Would we be surprised at all if we really knew how many volcanoes there are that are either “extinct” or active?

  9. #9 Raving
    June 22, 2010

    An AUV was used recently to map out parts of the bottom of the Laacher See. Indications of previously unknown subsurface structures were discovered.

    Would it make sense to explore the crater lake at Eyjafjallajökull before it freezes over?

    http://www.atlashydro.atlas-elektronik.com/typo3/index.php?id=1897&L=3&tx_ttnewspS=1271729499&tx_ttnewstt_news=205&tx_ttnewsbackPid=1872&cHash=046884991e

  10. #10 JulesP
    June 22, 2010

    Could someone wiser than me take a look at the Thoro cam – seems to be one heck of a dust storm, but highly localised and with high speed movement only at low level, with a lot of dust/ ash – just seems odd.

  11. #11 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    June 22, 2010

    @Diane [8]
    They’ve located some of those extinct – and they really are – volcanoes in Finland and currently they are starting diamond mines in them…

  12. #12 thor
    June 22, 2010

    Kultsi, there are lots of extinct Volcanoes here in Norway also.i live in Aalesund btw,.
    and we have also Ash deposits from Katla here, last time she erupted she laid down 20 cm of ash over this area, and that is a lot considered the distance,so the eruption must have been something to write home about.

  13. #13 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    June 22, 2010

    Thor, start making mineral claims on those pipes – some of them might pay up nicely…

    Aalesund is about the closest point to Iceland in Norway – but it’s still farther out from Katla (and Eyjafjallajökull) than Scotland, if Google maps are to be believed. 20 cm (8 in) is a LOT of ash from that far off. In that light, this year’s eruption was nothing – but they did not have jet planes to choke up on ash, then.

  14. #14 thor
    June 22, 2010

    thats true, Kultsi, but I guess everything else choked up pretty nicely,hehe.
    Yeah there are some Olivine mines here that are making some goood money of those old fissures..

  15. #15 Gordon
    June 22, 2010

    Kutsi@3, thanks for the Sakurajima links, I had one of the cameras already, but these variously show marine tropical fish, monkeys running around on scaffolding, as well as a clouded out volcano from several angles. I did see a short explosive burst over one cloud layer, but blocked out very quickly by more cloud.

  16. #16 Henrik, Swe
    June 22, 2010

    Back to Iceland and Eyjafjall, midnight local time. On the Hvolsvöllur camera, there seems to be some intense steaming going on from the main crater. The Thorolfsfelli cam confirms the steaming. Tremor has also increased but not alarmingly.

  17. #17 leon
    June 22, 2010

    agree with Henrick 16

  18. #18 Jane
    June 22, 2010

    Eyja. has a good-sized pillar going now. Just steam? http://eldgos.mila.is/eyjafjallajokull-fra-hvolsvelli/

    The third camera down:
    http://www.mulakot.net/myndavelar.html

  19. #19 George
    June 22, 2010

    Yes, it looks to me like tremor has increased (but might be stabilizing, as it seems to be no longer increasing) and there is a plume. How much is steam is anyone’s guess in this light but considering the crater lake shown recently in photographs, it would seem logical that there would be considerable steam if some magma is working its way up again.

  20. #20 Renato I Silveira
    June 23, 2010

    #19 Good evening!
    I’ve been watching the increase in tremor plots, but since it’s been so windy I thought this was the reason for the variations. (Not an expert here) But, yes, there’s a good bit of a steam plume coming from the crater. Should we follow this closer? If we are going to have magma interacting with this lake we might be getting another few days of fireworks. Missing it!

  21. #21 Princess Frito
    June 23, 2010

    @Everyone – Hi again! I see Helen (Leggatt’s)? arch is still intact. Yay Helen’s Arch!

    @20 Renato
    These past few weeks I’ve barely had time to read this blog let alone respond, but your enthusiasm is so contagious!

    Thanks to everyone else for their informative posts!

  22. #22 Henrik, Swe
    June 23, 2010

    Re Eyjafjall – as of 0530 GMT, the steam column is rather voluminous and seems to have intensified over the past three hours. Tremor seems to be very slowly increasing, even if it’s only a fraction of what it was during the eruption. That crater lake must be heated rather vigorously to produce so much steam.

  23. #23 Greg
    June 23, 2010
  24. #24 Princess Frito
    June 23, 2010

    @23 What a sight it is! Takes me back to the days of yore :)

  25. #25 Renato I Silveira
    June 23, 2010

    @Your Highness! #21: I’m still your truthful vassal, no matter how long it takes for your return. Weaving shrouds to avoid mean suitors and waiting to welcome you back.
    BTW Lady E is showing signs of life and I was lucky enough to catch a picture of an Arctic tern!!! They want us all to move to Japan, but I’d rather be here with the mermaids, the whirlwinds and the blue flowers over Múlakot. Hail!

  26. #26 Greg
    June 23, 2010

    I wish the Westman islands would erupt too, they havn’t been active since the 60s-70s. Would be nice to see two sets of volcanoes erupting at the same time lol

  27. #27 Renato I Silveira
    June 23, 2010

    @Henrik, Swe. Do you believe magma may reach the lake? That would be something!

  28. #28 Henrik, Swe
    June 23, 2010

    Renato, who knows my friend? For this much steam to be produced, the source of the heat must be either very large or very close. Possibly both. But since it seems that it rises slowly, the lake might very well have boilt away by the tame any new magma reaces the surface. If it doesn’t, who’d bet against a Surtseyan eruption? Another possibility – some time ago there was a reference to an account of/paper on the 1821-3 eruption where it was said that the eruption was along a 2 km fissure running N-S. Could that open up again? Then again, nothing more might happen.

    We shall see!

  29. #29 Princess Frito
    June 23, 2010

    @25 Renato! *Swoon* I could use a truthful vassal right about now. Shrouds are working, thanks muchly!

    Lady E looks so beautiful now, doesn’t she? Japan? Pfffftt! Those beautiful blue flowers (that I noticed last week but didn’t have time to write about) are awesome, aren’t they? Who would have known such beautiful flowers could thrive in such hostile territory?

    Thank goodness for nature’s beautiful little miracles and our ability to witness them from afar.

  30. #30 Renato I Silveira
    June 23, 2010

    @Henrik, Swe: I wouldn’t mind a Surtseyan neither an effusive one if the lake will be gone by the time lava comes. Let it keep rising!

  31. #31 Renato I Silveira
    June 23, 2010

    And now I must go rest in the arms of Morpheus. Nights are longer and days are shorter, and there’s work to do.
    I’m happy our “family” is back to the fireplace.
    Dream of flowers, ladies and gents!
    “Sogni d’oro”!

  32. #32 Princess Frito
    June 23, 2010

    @31 Laurence Fishburne is lucky :)

    The images on the Hvolsvöllur cam are reminiscent of the early days. *sigh*

    I hope the dude in the house on the hill got his life back.

  33. #33 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    June 23, 2010

    The recent activity at Eyjafjallajökull is the most vigorous I’ve seen in a while. Whatever caused the extra boiling at the crater also sent a big splash of water down the lava trench, and it reached a point about 600 m above Helen’s Arch, verified by steaming.

    I hope these gushes wear down the north side crater rim. That would release the water sooner; if the lake fills up to 3,000,000 cubic meters and then starts gushing down Gigjökull… One hell of a jökullhlaup with serious consequences.

  34. #34 Princess Frito
    June 23, 2010

    @Kultsi #33 I agree. That water has to go somewhere and I just hope it trickles out slowly.

    I’ve wondered for a while now about the level of the water in the crater compared to what we have heard about the depth of the initial ice layer/glacier to begin with.

    Anyone?

  35. #35 Adrian,Dorset, UK
    June 23, 2010

    Hello to all,

    @34 O Hail Princess Frito,its good to see you back !.With regards to your question try this link http://www.earthice.hi.is/page/ies_Eyjafjallajokull_eruption.The problem of course is that this info is now 8 days old !In theory I would think that the level is now considerably higher !

  36. #36 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    June 23, 2010

    @Princess Frito [34]

    Here’s a link to a picture of the lake: en.vedur.is/media/jar/myndsafn/large/SvBr_gig11juni_003.jpg

    I’d guesstimate the ice walls to reach 50 meters higher than the lake surface.

  37. #37 Adrian,Dorset, UK
    June 23, 2010
  38. #38 Timo
    June 23, 2010

    Strange place of the latest EQ? In the valley near the Thoro cam and depth 11.7 km.

    Date Time Latitude Longitude Depth Magnitude Quality Location
    Wednesday
    23.06.2010 08:59:57 63.693 -19.614 11.7 km 1.3 58.65 6.8 km WNW of Básar

    http://ja.is/kort/#x=464521&y=354297&z=4&services=18%2C16

    http://en.vedur.is/earthquakes-and-volcanism/earthquakes/myrdalsjokull/#view=map

  39. #39 Adrian,Dorset, UK
    June 23, 2010

    Theres a new update just been posted by the Imo.I have a feeling that it may be a few hours old;forgive me if I am wrong but it seems very understated.

  40. #40 leon
    June 23, 2010

    well i would like to say i am learning a lot with your post and links and updates from you all.

  41. #41 birdseyeUSA
    June 23, 2010

    Good morning from Maine – still on vacation but coming to an end soon – the blue flowers are, I think, Lupine, an alaskan version imported to help fix nitrogen in the soil ( and maybe they are becoming invasive.) They were in full bloom here by the field-full and along roadsides (also in pink and white and purple) when we arrived. They are the first to take over barren areas, and there are also hybrid garden versions in wilder colors.

    Ref. the hot lake, yesterday (I think) there was a reference to the fact that ash, from the sides of the glacier around the crater, has been sliding/washing into the lake and insulating the underwater ice from further melt, but at the same time reducing the ice-cooling of the water, hence, water hotter but melting slower…If I got it right –

  42. #42 Frankill
    June 23, 2010

    Many thanks to the cleaning man on the Thoro cam!
    The view is excellent now !!

  43. #43 Passerby
    June 23, 2010

    IMO Eyjaf activity updates for June 23rd, including report of an ice tunnel observed in an outlet glacier photo taken on June 11th.

    en.vedur.is/earthquakes-and-volcanism/articles/nr/1884

    The water level of the small lake in the crater is reported to be falling as the ice-wall melt rate has apparently decreased. Periodic steaming and small ash explosions continues.

  44. #44 Diane N CA
    June 23, 2010

    @Birdseye #41 you are right. The flowers are lupines. There are so many varieties of lupine. Texas blue bells are a variety of lupine and here where I live, we have what they call arroyo lupine. It is a bush that is perenial and it keeps coming back. It looses its leaaves and then comes back in the spring. I wish I had some on my property. The lupines with all the wild colors are the Russel hybrids. What I love to see is the lupine and CA poppies blooming together. That is so beautiful. In S CA there is an area that is just rife with wild flowers and it is called the Grapevine. You have to go over the Grapevine to get into LA from the north. In winter, they can get some nasty snows up there. In spring it is a carpet of flowers.

  45. #45 Passerby
    June 23, 2010

    >yesterday (I think) there was a reference to the fact that ash, from the sides of the glacier around the crater, has been sliding/washing into the lake and insulating the underwater ice from further melt, but at the same time reducing the ice-cooling of the water, hence, water hotter but melting slower…If I got it right –

    Source??

  46. #46 parclair NoCal USA
    June 23, 2010

    The view of Redoubt is pretty good today. I really don’t understand how that blister of a dome stays on the side of the mountain.

    http://www.avo.alaska.edu/webcam/Redoubt_-_DFR.php

  47. #47 thor
    June 23, 2010

    passerby :) wont black ash on snow boost melting of snow and Ice??
    I remeber my parents uses ash from the stove, to melt ice on the road in spring, due to the sun heating the dirty snow and it will melt faster..

    -so I guess the ash on the glacier,on eyjafjäll will melt faster than the not covered ice??,

    - black is heating up faster, as black absorbs more sunlight faster and transform in to heat than white, wich reflects heat out??
    also saw a Tv programme on discovery, about the global snowball(earth covered in total ice)and ash from volcanoes helped melting the ice from the planet so sunlight would not be reflected back out again??

    am I wrong here??

  48. #48 Timo
    June 23, 2010

    It seems to me that the outlet pipe from glacier down to the lake cracks and has now been reshaped.
    Also the bick rock on the left side between canyons has splittet.

    Maybe the crater lake is flowing over?

  49. #49 Timo
    June 23, 2010

    Correction: The big rock on the right side in other words west side

  50. #50 Adrian,Dorset, UK
    June 23, 2010

    Hey folks,Good News ! The Flir cam is working again !

  51. #51 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    June 23, 2010

    @Thor [47]
    Helping or hindering melting depends on the thickness of the ash layer: a thin layer passes the heat to snow/ice below; a thick layer is good insulation.

    Stove ash works in two ways: by sucking heat and by partially dissolving into the meltwater and lowering its freezing point.

    @Timo [48-49]
    We have been talking about the ‘split rock’ for quite a while: the canyon got eroded into it fairly early in the game. It’s one of the handy landmarks on Gigjökull. The mouth of the ‘ice tunnel’ in the article also has a name: ‘Helen’s Arch’.

  52. #52 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    June 23, 2010

    A larger pic of the down end of Gigjökull: en.vedur.is/media/jar/myndsafn/large/emmanuel_4097bis.jpg

    I was surprised to see that the Icelandic word for ‘fan’ in this context (keila) is exactly the same in Finnish. Goes to tell that we both preserve old, inherited words quite well.

  53. #53 Jane
    June 23, 2010

    There’s a small plane on the ground, 4th Mulakot camera. I’ve wondered who made all the tire tracks in the grass. Maybe we’ll see some photos soon?
    http://www.mulakot.net/myndavelar.html

  54. #54 Jane
    June 23, 2010

    @33 Kultsi, I hope these gushes wear down the north side crater rim. That would release the water sooner; if the lake fills up to 3,000,000 cubic meters and then starts gushing down Gigjökull… One hell of a jökullhlaup with serious consequences.

    Is it possible to interfere with a volcano’s activity and make a path for the water, to avoid destruction of property and especially the risk of people’s death? It would have to be done with more caution that BP used with its Deep Horizon well, or does the idea just have too much hubris and too much potential for worse catastrophe?

  55. #55 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    June 23, 2010

    @Jane [54 & 53]
    Here somebody would suggest nukes. Seriously, it might be possible to blow the rim away, but Iceland has not the delivery capacity, and I don’t think they’d like the US planes delivering the (normal chemical) bomb. Besides, it might shake the balance and start the eruption anew. It’s better to sit and watch; the lake might just dry up, as it seems the water in it is not rising.

    The tracks in the Múlakot grass are most likely from the ATV they have there and run around quite a bit with. They usually have the planes at the apron, in front of the cam for pic 3.

  56. #56 Renato I Silveira
    June 23, 2010

    @Birdseye #41 @Diane #44
    “Lupines” – There’s a species of this genus (legume fam. Fabacea) called Lupinus albus (tremoços) in Portuguese. The yellow seeds are very popular in Portugal and Brazil as appetizers, but they must be cooked before to eliminate some toxic substances within. (Wikipedia). Would never have imagined that they were “my” blue flowers at the fringes of Eyjafjallajökull…

    @Kultsi #52 Thanks for the pic. It gives us a better idea of those tunnels. Funny: Keila is a popular name in Brazil. And spelled with a “K”, which is no longer used in our alphabet. Some prefer it with another obsolete letter “y” – Keyla. I don’t think our “Keilas” or “Keylas” know the origin of their names. :)

  57. #57 Renato I Silveira
    June 23, 2010

    #56 OT. We’ll probably be consuming lots of lupine seeds during the WC game on Friday (Brazil x Portugal). Hope nobody gets intoxicated, as it seems to have happened to poor N. Koreans… :)
    BTW No news on N. Korean volcano?

  58. #58 Renato I Silveira
    June 23, 2010

    Anyone here has felt the 5,0 M EQ that struck near Ottawa? I read it has been felt as far as NY city and Chicago…

  59. #59 Reynir, .is
    June 23, 2010

    Re plants in Múlakot: The one in the gravel is dock (Rumex longifolius). The numerous one behind is Alaska lupine (Lupinus nootkatensis).

  60. #60 Timo
    June 23, 2010

    @Kultsi #51
    Yes, I know the game and I have seen IMO’s latest picture of it. I have been watchig it a while and also I know what means ‘Helen’s Arch’

    It’s only my amateur question: The big rock (ice) is losing the the left top of it – It ‘s splitted (only abt. 10% by now)
    But why? The pressure of ice/melt warter what is coming downfall???
    Something is going on…I think the the pressure is going to break down outlet(s)

  61. #61 beedragon canada
    June 23, 2010

    @Renato

    The earthquake (2nd largest in the world today!) happened about 250 miles from where I live in London, Ontario. I didn’t feel a thing but supposedly people working a little further downtown and in taller buildings felt it.

    The Joke is that it was caused by all the England soccer fans jumping back ON the bandwagon!

  62. #62 stigger
    June 23, 2010

    59: wind pollinated hermaphrodite, which contains some oxalic acid, giving it a sharp lemon flavour. Fine in small quantities, but too much can cause calcium deficency. Eaten as a vegetable, put in soups and used as a dye (doesn’t need a mordant).
    Also, very common.

  63. #63 Reynir, .is
    June 23, 2010

    @beedragon: What? England won a match? I’m avoiding HM as if it was H1N1 and H5N1 together.

    @stigger: Very common is very understating.

  64. #64 Dasnowskier
    June 23, 2010

    I did not feel it in Connecticut and I am probably closer than NYC.

  65. #65 Adrian,Dorset, UK
    June 23, 2010

    Hi everyone,

    Re the blue flowers on Mulakot cam #1. There was a few lines posted some weeks ago about them.I at first thought that they were Lupins,but,I now believe them to be Foxgloves,Latin Digitalis. The Lupin’s flower head is more of a “cone” shape where as the Foxgloves flower is “bell” shaped.
    Sorry Renato, but if you ate the seeds from these plants you would become very ill indeed as they are highly poisonous… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digitalis

  66. #66 Greg
    June 23, 2010

    http://www.politicalaffairs.net/article/articleview/9446/

    How can Volcanoes only make 1% of all CO2 when there is a ridge of volcanoes that spans from the north to south pole in the mid Atlantic, and that is just one ridge?

  67. #67 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    June 23, 2010

    @Reynir [59]

    Are you sure it’s Rumex longifolius? ’cause those do not look like that to me: no long stem with leaves every now and then. I’d rather guess sorrel, Rumex acetosa. The problem with Rumex is the way they easily crossbreed, and the resulting plants may be hard to identify.

  68. #68 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    June 23, 2010

    @Adrian [65]

    The blue flowers are definitely lupines, the placement of flowers at the early phases of blooming is very distinctive, and the first time I saw those I identified them as lupines (US) or lupins.

    I do agree that ingesting foxglove/digitalis would be hazardous to one’s health, although it’s been widely used as medicine for heart problems.

  69. #69 thor
    June 23, 2010

    -Greg

    1% of all Co2 is also almost as much as humans make,.

    -the rest is actually the nature own pollution and that is a lot.

    the oceans for one is the biggest co2 contributor, then comes all the gasses from the ground,and soil, and all the co2 that are bound in the icecaps,then comes what the trees and all the green plants emitt,and on top of that comes volcanoes(but they are really not as co2 polutant as the rest, Volcanoes contribute with far more dangerous polutants than C02..

    co2 is not the most dangerous gas that is made on this planet,its just more easy to meassure and point fingers at, than the rest.

    -Water vapour is actually far more dangerous as a warming gas than Co2.
    Co2 is actually a cooling gas in the atmosphere, but combined with water vapour and other climate gasses and pollutions, it contributes in the big picture..

    Am i making any sense here?? I really am not sure..

    but this is what a scientist tried to explain..

    anyways

    The planet needs co2,but with all the other polutants c02 just helps driving the climatechanges..
    A warmer climate per se, is not what we should fear , that we can adjust and benefit from, but the consequenses that follows after a warming ,are far more dangerous. As history tells us ,after a warmer climate , usually a really scarier colder climate follows,that is something we all should worry about.

  70. #70 Diane N CA
    June 23, 2010

    In the US, all varieties of dock weed are supposed to be edible and I think there are about 40 species of dock. You have to cook it to death to get rid of the bitterness, but I have not tried it. I read about it in a book on survival.

    My first dog was on digitalis for her heart condition. It is in very small amounts and I am not sure how it helps, but it is used a lot.

    Lupines are one of my favorite flowers and they can be rather prolific. I suppose if you don’t want them taking over, don’t plant them. Still, I think they make a beautiful display and they are not weeds. At least I don’t think so. :-)

  71. #71 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    June 23, 2010

    @Timo [60]

    I’m not sure what you are pointing at, but the damage done to stonework around the place was done by abrasive stuff mixed in the water gushing down Gigjökull in the main phase of the eruption: boulders, stones, gravel, sand. All that stuff did cause much erosion in the places where the flow was concentrated – and there was a LOT of stuff: the bottom of the lake that once was there is now 50 meters higher and dry moraine in the dejection fan. I once estimated the split rock to be about 250 meters (~275 yds) in diameter, so that gives one perspective of the size of what’s been going on.

  72. #72 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    June 23, 2010

    @Thor [69]

    Plants are actually CO2 binders: they take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, in their phase in sunlight; the nighttime cycle is the other direction, but the net effect is to reduce CO2 from the atmosphere. THAT is the reason why cutting down rain forests is such a bad idea: barren earth does not release oxygen. Algae in oceans are another major oxygen source / CO2 binder.

  73. #73 George
    June 23, 2010

    Plants are actually CO2 binders: they take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, in their phase in sunlight; the nighttime cycle is the other direction, but the net effect is to reduce CO2 from the atmosphere.

    That is until the forest matures. Once it is fully mature, it is at equilibrium with about as much CO2 being absorbed by growing biomass as is released by decaying biomass. A young forest is a CO2 sponge. A fully mature “old growth” forest is CO2 neutral.

  74. #74 Mr. Moho
    June 23, 2010

    A little bit offtopic: Mila’s Thorolsfell thermal camera is working again and it’s showing hot spots on Gigjokull glacier (or what it remains of it).

  75. #75 bidseyeUSA
    June 23, 2010

    @Passerby 45 – sorry I didn’t get back sooner – we headed out for the day right after I posted – I have been going back thru the past coulpe of days but haven’t found my source – it was on the blog I’m pretty sure, tho’ possibly Fréttir – and it was referred to as a translation of the Icelandic; also I think the explanation was given as being from one of the Icelandic volcanologists blogs – wish I could do better, I’ll keep looking! I’m sorry I didn’t post as soon as I read it. Always harder to reconstruct!

  76. #76 Passerby
    June 23, 2010

    We have an volcanic SO2 eruption signal coming off of the Kamchatka peninsula.

    http://sacs.aeronomie.be/alert/?alert=20100624_034501_001

  77. #77 Passerby
    June 23, 2010

    @75 – not to worry. If you come across it again, post it, will you please?

    Very interesting about the Kay-becky earthquake today. No aftershocks in the immediate event window afterwards, but one other 5 Mag EQ listed in the area in 2010, from the USGS historical seismicity maps. I found that to be odd, as no mention was made of it in reports today.

    Locally, we had yet another series of low energy shocks here in the intermountain area of WA. The EQ map for our area is also looking distinctly odd. I’ve been watching these maps for a decade (job related stuff).

  78. #78 Renato I Silveira
    June 23, 2010

    Good evening/morning everyone!
    Guys! You sound like the witches in Macbeth. Now I know where Shakespeare got his inspiration from: digitalis, lupines… Brrr…
    Hope the Portuguese anticipate Friday’s match with lots of those for snacks! ;)

  79. #79 parclair, NoCal USA
    June 23, 2010

    I’m not sure whether there’s a downpour over Taal, or if it’s erupting:

    http://www.mycam-asia.tv/cams/philippines/luzon/batangas-taallake-yc/display_current.php

  80. #80 Renato I Silveira
    June 23, 2010

    @parclair #79 I think I can see raindrops splashing on the lake foreground.

  81. #81 Renato I Silveira
    June 24, 2010

    #79 Nothing on PHIVOLCS either. But that dark cloud over the crater does look impressive.

  82. #82 parclair, NoCal USA
    June 24, 2010

    Ah, rainstorm. Sorry for the false alarum, but thought you’d want to see if it was real. ;-)

  83. #83 Renato I Silveira
    June 24, 2010

    @parclair #82 Please, keep posting all you see. Puzzling images is what keep this blog going. We like to weave theories, set quizzes and try to solve them . Today I had a highly sophisticated lesson on plants and learned about poisonous from nitrogen fixing Leguminosae out of sheer observation of blue lilies on Eyjaf’s slopes. Yesterday I learned about Arctic terns and prenatal clinics on Icelandic glaciers.
    Maybe what I called raindrops are, in fact, boiling waters and that the whole caldera, which yet is not defined as a caldera, is bubbling with toxic miasmas and is about to blow the whole Nanny state out of it’s Imelda’s shoes. Just post what you see and we provide you with the necessary feedback. We have here support from a team of moderators and collaborators that excel in scientific knowledge and they will help us when we go freak in our strangemost opinions. Thank you!

  84. #84 Renato I Silveira
    June 24, 2010

    BTW I learned that all species of lupines found in S. America grow on Ecuadorian Andes. A correlation between Eyaföll and Mama Tungurahua?

  85. #85 Renato I Silveira
    June 24, 2010

    Fare thee well, guys. Maybe I’ll be back tomorrow…
    Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
    To the last syllable of recorded time;
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out brief candle!
    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.
    – Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 5

  86. #86 Chris, Reykjavik
    June 24, 2010

    @Adrian, #65: These are definitely lupines, and more specially, the Alaska lupine (Lupinus nootkatensis) which was brought to Iceland after the second world war to protect the soils. Today a number of people wishes, that this has never been happened, since the lupines overgrow a number of icelandic plants.

  87. #87 Reynir, .is
    June 24, 2010

    Kultsi [67] – Our sorrel (R. acetosa) is a lot smaller than dock (R. longifolius). Besides, I’ve eaten enough of the former that I should be getting to know them apart.

  88. #88 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    June 24, 2010

    Reynir [87] – we have both of those, too, and they are really easy to tell apart, but the pic is not very good. My bad.

    In my young days I ate quite a lot of sorrel, too…

  89. #89 Greg
    June 24, 2010
  90. #90 Reynir, .is
    June 24, 2010

    Kultsi [88] – Forgot to mention there’s loads of dock around the block I live in. Not such a posh place, eh? :-)

  91. #91 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    June 24, 2010

    @[90] Reynir, that beats concrete and blacktop any time – besides, that is nothing that a scythe can’t cure.

  92. #92 Reynir, .is
    June 24, 2010

    I prefer a small pruner. Fortunately the dock isn’t in the avens, or bartsia, or fleabane, or buttercup, or dandelion, or … (ya get my drift). The block is right on edge of town, y’see.

  93. #93 birdseyeUSA
    June 24, 2010

    @77 Passerby – have been unsuccessfully ranging far and wide in search of comment source for hot lake – must have been a side-trip into Icelandic need-translating references, but I remember it came as a followup to the reported 300º temperature. I’ll keep looking as I have time, but I don’t have the language for an Icelandic search – must have been a lucky strike at Rúv, Icelandic Review or Fréttir. Toss in garbage as unsupported!

  94. #94 thor
    June 24, 2010

    Updates on Eyjafjäll:

    GPS measurements show slight movements towards the mountain except at Austmannsbunga in Mýrdalsjökull, which shows movement towards southwest. No obvious explanation has been found for this movement.

    what do you guys mean about this, what is moving ??
    magma?? or the ice??

    im lost,.

  95. #95 birdseyeUSA
    June 24, 2010

    @thor – the GPS meter is moving, but I guess there is no reading yet as to whether it is ice creep (if the meter is placed on the glacier, I don’t know its location) or under the ice,or the ground, In any case we’ll find out later if it is something important that continues, or just a passing moment. More ‘wait and see!” Anyone else??

  96. #96 Zander
    June 24, 2010

    Looks like sakurajima is huffing and puffing this morning .I caught a glimpse of a quite a large black plume just now.

  97. #97 Passerby
    June 24, 2010

    @95: GPS geolocation is a means of ascertaining point movement of landmass (vertical and horizonal displacement) over time, in response to inflationary and deflationary volcanic activity.

    What this particular station appears to indicate is revealed in this quoted material:

    ‘Two continuously recording GPS stations close to the southern edge of the ice cap (at Katla) are used with network measurements, now concentrated on the two GPS points on nunataks in the Myrdalsjokull ice cap, Enta and Austmannsbunga. Four tilt stations are also situated around the ice cap and are measured annually. The horizontal component of the GPS displacement shows an outward radial pattern, originating from the northern part of the sub-glacial caldera.

    All the GPS points show uplift between the 2000 and 2003 surveys. The continuous GPS stations show a southward displacement component in addition to background plate movements. Using the displacement vectors in a forward grid search for the best-fitting Mogi point source, suggests a centre of inflation in the northern part of the caldera at 4.9 km depth. The rate of uplift at the Austmannsbunga GPS point increased markedly between the 1993-2000 measurements and the 2000-2003 measurements, from a few mm per year to about 2 cm per year.

    Back-tracing the 2000-2003 time series of the vertical uplift of the Austmannsbunga point suggests a start of the inflation in the early spring of 1999. This, together with the July 1999 jokulhlaup at Solheimajokull, may be taken as the first signs that magma started to accumulate beneath Katla. The cumulative uplift of the Austmannsbunga point since 1993 is 7.2 cm. With the location of the Mogi point fixed at 4.9 km depth, this corresponds to an uplift of 12 cm directly above it.

    A sub-surface magma volume increase of 0.019 km is implied. Even though the 1999-2003 inflation is only small so far, it indicates increased magma accumulation in the roots of the volcano, and must be taken seriously in light of Katla’s history as one of the most productive and dangerous volcanoes in Iceland.

    Source: urekamag.com/research/g/113/godabunga.php

  98. #98 Kultsi, Askola, FI
    June 24, 2010

    @Passerby [97]

    IOW, they said the kettle is at least warming, in the last statement of “not knowing what it means”?

  99. #99 Passerby
    June 24, 2010

    They say nothing about kettles warming. The location of this nunatak GPS station should be put in perspective.

    See: Surface and bedrock topography of the Mýrdalsjökull ice cap, Iceland: The Katla caldera, eruption sites and routes of jökulhlaups. Magnus T and Company,

    http://www.raunvis.hi.is/~mtg/pdf/Jokull49_HBetal_Myrdalsjokull.pdf

    Katla has already shown significant signs of recent inflation interpreted by the gurus as chamber magma accretion. This small uplift is not unexpected.

  100. #100 Jane
    June 24, 2010

    @ Boris Behncke: There are some papers the Italian government should read, linked on the USGS website such as: Earthquakes cannot be predicted; Geller, Jackson, Kagan, and Mulargia
    http://scec.ess.ucla.edu/~ykagan/perspective.html
    Another: Global Seismic Hazard Assessment Program for the Adriatic area. The hazard map is strikingly different from the seismicity map. http://earthquake.usgs.gov/hazards/products/foreign/

    I found these and others from links on the left-hand side of the world or US latest earthquakes map at the USGS site, in category “Future”, with “Earthquake Scenarios”, “Predictions”, and “Probabilities”, which link to resources on many websites. Eruptions censor ate my previous post with its several links. Maybe 2 links will be allowed.

  101. #101 Helen Leggatt
    June 29, 2010

    @Princess Frito – good to see my arch is still going strong! I keep tabs on it every day :))

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