Taking stock in the Eyjafjallajökull eruption and its aftermath


A night shot of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption showing the glowing plume from the strombolian explosions and the Aurora Borealis overhead.

A quick update on the current activity at Eyjafjallajökull eruption: the eruption continues at the summit craters, but there seems to be less ash being erupted, at least yesterday. The latest update from the Icelandic Met Office suggest that things are settling down - but floods are still periodically being produced by melting of the glacier:


Volcanic tremor has been similar the last 24 hours. GPS stations around Eyjafjallajökull showed deflation associated with the eruption.

The plume could be seen on IMO's radar till 04:00. This morning it rose up to 16.000 feet, ca 4.8 km, and ash is blowing towards west.

Water in Markarfljot river increased slightly yesterday, probably due to continuous flow from the eruption area (Gigjökull).

You can keep up with changes in the ash cloud over on the UK Met Office Volcano Blog.

As the hub-bub begins to die down from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption, we can talk about some of the interesting ramifications of such a prominent volcanic eruption (at least in terms of the amount of news coverage):

UPDATE: One quick update, but here is a great post on the NASA Earth Observatory, showing not only the visual record of the ash plume, but also compositional data. Great stuff!

UPDATE 2:: OK, one last update - here is an article from NSF talking about the state of glaciovolcanic studies. Lots of nice images modern and ancient evidence of lava-ice interaction.

Unless something changes dramatically, I likely won't have any new posts until Monday - but feel free to post any interesting related information here!

More like this

The GÃgjökull outlet glacier on Eyjafjallajökull, showing the steaming lava flow carving its way through the glacier. Image taken May 5, 2010 by Dr. Joseph Licciardi. A quick update on the ongoing activity at Eyjafjallajökull: The activity at the volcano continues to be more explosive during the…
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…
A shot of the strombolian activity at the vent of Eyjafjallajökull, taken on May 4, 2010. Image courtesy of the Iceland Met Office. The latest news from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption has the volcano erupting more explosively again (see above), possibly due to an increased influx of water into the…
The ash plume from the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption. To say that the Eyjafjallajökull eruption has become the most significant volcano-related news story of the year would be an understatement. There has been wall-to-wall coverage on every major media outlet, dissecting everything from the…

dude that is an awesome photo. its an awesome site, too.
thank you.

Thanks to all the volcanologists on this site for being such good, enlightened and enlightening company whilst I've been glued to the web cams for the last 2 weeks. Like many many others I have used this site and all the links to understand what was occurring and have learnt so much from you all. Biggest thanks to Erik Klemetti for making it possible.

Mesmerizing photo - worthy of a poster or postage stamp.

Looks like SW Iceland is receiving a dose of SO2 along with ash.

http://sacs.aeronomie.be/alert/?alert=20100423_164501_001

Climate and weather effects of this eruption is a nonissue. There isn't enough to cause an marked effect.

Pleased to see that the EU is moving forward on plans to consolidate and simplify flight control authority and air traffic jurisdictions.

For 5 pts - Which two zodiacal constellations are seen in the above picture?

For 10 pts -

For 15 pts - the colour green in the Aurora Borealis is due to...?

For 20 pts - If you pointed a telescope at the edge of the Aurora Borealis on the 1.30 position from the top of the eruption plume, what are the official designations of the famous deep-sky objects you would be able to see?

For 20 pts - In addition to the above there is another deep-sky phenomenon within the field of view which has had important implications for human understanding of cosmology, namely...?

Good luck!

(I expect Monika will ace this quiz)

Sorry, the 10pt question got lost. :o

For 10pts - name two of the brightest stars visible in the above picture. Both belong to the leftmost constellation.

I can barely see Taurus I think, and maybe Gemini? The only problem with Taurus is that it looks like part of it is the Ursa Major. I guess I better enlarge so I can see it. LOL I really don't know my contellations that well. I can pick out a few, but I should study that, too.

:o :o :o "rightmost". Where is the edit function for klutzes like myself!

Here's a very cool site - NOAA's web page on volcanic ash. This is a good site to check out if you want to know more about US ash monitoring plans or the computer model NOAA uses to forecast ash trajectories - HYSPLIT (Hybrid Single Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory). Lots more too! But, alas, no time for me to look this morning.

noaa.gov/features/03_protecting/volcanicash.html

Been a bit too busy to read all the comments in the previous thread. So not sure if this site has been posted before.

Vertical tremor sensor output on the increase again.

Jón! If you mean the smoking one almost on the ridge/lip of the crater, it was referred to earlier today on the previous topic.

Diane, the problem with long-exposure photos is that they skew the contrast between the brightest and the second-brightest stars a bit, so it gets hard to recognise the star patterns from one's own subjective experience.
I am fairly good with naked-eye astronomy, but I am confused.
Personally I have learned to detest the Aurora Borealis
since it screws up otherwise perfectly dark evenings...but with a nearby volcano blazing away, this is of academic interest!

By Birger Johanson (not verified) on 23 Apr 2010 #permalink

Hi Jon. You know they have screen cleaner that takes care of that stuff for you. ;)
All kidding aside, are you talking about the point where the mountain curls down I just noticed that too. At first glance I thought it was just a small plume, but when I enlarged it I noticed it was stationary. It's just left of where we saw the fire last nice isn't it? Maybe where magma landed.

Hi Randall! No, Valahnúk just right of center almost on the ridge. Thorolfsfelli to the left of the left-side crater wall, on the ridge. On the latter cam, you can see a thin streak of smoke coming from it & going into the "valley/canyon" as you could several hours ago from about midday GMT.

@#11 the bit I'm interested in is the sharp edged black feature 2/3 from the left of the screen and 2/3 up from the bottom on the Valahnjúk image.

Henrik thanks man! I haven't been able to watch it much in the past few days. I see what you are talking about and it looks like steam to me....maybe from a lava flow hitting snow.

@jon friman There is definitely a new feature in the Vlahnjuk cam.

Randall! Anna, Frankill & myself leant towards a largish lava bomb.

Diane! I'm not going to say anything yet, but perhaps a few hints? Late April, the Sun is on the Aries - Taurus border. Picture almost directly due south, cannot have been taken any earlier than ~10.30pm GMT... ;) (I did compare with my Skalnate Pleso and am pretty sure of my identifications.)

Jón! (#24), yes that's the one! See previos topic post #301 and on by Anna, Frankill & myself. It *may* be visible in a screenshot I took last night at 22.27 GMT, but I'm very uncertain.

I admit it, I'm confused. Last last I was watching nice lava on the Val cam, where the new black spot is and now I see nothing happening in that area. But on the Mulakot cam I have see major plumes in the last half hours. Are these just different areas on the same eruption with the Val cam just being more zoomed in to a specific area?

Jon (sorry I can't get the accent) I have been looking at the blob in real time with a screen magnifying function on my computer. The blob appears to change shape and emit something that is carried by the wind. To me it looks as if it is smoke. I've been looking on the Val cam - I'll do the same on the Thorolfsfelli cam.

@Henrik, This looks like a cliff area. It might have been warmed up the lava in the area, and melted its snow. But I am not sure, but I find it not possible that the snow melt has started there at this time of year in Iceland.

Oopss, snow melt doesn't start until later in mountains in Iceland. Low areas are usually free of snow (depending on the year) this time of year by now.

Ãórólfsfelli: top left corner. peridiocally something more darker than rest of the clouds. Shadows?

@ 4 Henrik

1) Virgo & Libra
2) I am a little confused about the "leftmost constellation" remark, I would say Vindemiatrix and Porrima
3) Oxygen
4) Not sure I understand the location correct, but I think the Virgo Cluster
5) 3c273

and of course the brightest "Star" in the picture is Saturn...

Ash cloud looks to be a tad more aggressive today, from the view presently on the mulakot webcam. The plume seems to be more ash-dense and less steamy than previous the previous two days of volcanic emissions.

As satellite sensors are seeing a higher SO2 plume concentration, it does raise questions of a possible change in volcano emissions character.

Re picture at top: ...drool...

Re aero forecasts: I look at the charts on the IceMetOffice site (http://www.vedur.is/). One screenful down and click on "Flugveður". That drops you into the wind/temp charts for various flight levels for both EUR (Europe) and NAT (North Atlantic Ocean).

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 23 Apr 2010 #permalink

Jòn, Mattlee, Stub. It certainly looks like a cliff now. Six hours ago is a different matter. Then, only the leftmost part was visible & the rest was snow and it did give off thin wisps of whitish steam/smoke. The visibility was far better than now btw.

Phillip, thanks for taking the quiz! I'll give you 12½ as it is, but as I indeed did goof with "leftmost" meaning "rightmost" (#8), have another go! Oh, a clue - since when do planets count as belonging to a constellation! ;)

Randall Nix #10

Thanks for the link. I found an interesting photo there: Eyjafjallajökull in the summer of 1992, taken from Ãórólfsfell. I'm sure the glacier has shrunk quite a bit since then. Unfortunately it's rather smallish but GÃgjökull looks really impressive and it's got the little lake at its "feet" that has now disappeared. You also get a good view of the strange ridges on top, "The Skerries", which is the site of the 920 eruption.

http://www.volcano.si.edu/

Aside from that, I have no idea what mysterious smoking slabs and blobs you're all talking about.

#29: The MÃla and Vodafone cams were set up especially to monitor the eruption and are zoomed in a bit (or a lot), plus I suspect they have to be repositioned manually at the site.

The cams at Múlakot monitor the airstrip and its vicinity. That one of them shows the eruption is just a bonus. A very nice bonus, mind you.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 23 Apr 2010 #permalink

Mystery solved, thank you Philipp! :bow:

Trivia:

The German turbine manufacturer MTU has requested a few kilos of ash for testing purposes.

Thanks for the clarification Phillip.

Thanks Phillip - that explains it.

I notice on the poro and picasaweb cams that there is much less water. Less ice melting apparently.

As the ash plume changes direction with the wind, it is shifting towards and directly over head of the mulakot camera, affording a realistic perspective of local ash fall, as the ash haze blurs and softs visual details between viewer and emission source point.

Pretty cool stuff.

On Mulakot cam you can see the wind has shifted. Looks like it's raining ash on those buildings.

I think that there is still a lot of magma down there that is ready to erupt. The movement according to the GPS stations is that the there has been deflation on the north-south axis, but at the same time there has not been a lot of movement on the east-west axis. But that suggest that there is still plenty of magma down there that can is might erupt at any time in Eyjafjallajökull.

Jón #45

Didn't it snow yesterday? Theses ridges may have been mostly covered by a light cover of snow.

Yesterday this side of the glacier was pretty pristine. Now a lot of ash has fallen, it's become very gray and the definition of the landscape has changed.

Regarding the dark blob: It is rock, I believe it is part of the original crater/caldera rim and was only thinly coated with snow and ice. I assume that the rock got warm because of the eruption and the snow/ice has melted.

It appears to me that the dark spot on the Vala cam is probably an outcrop of rock that had been heated by the activity in the area and that is maybe why it doesn't have any snow on it. It is sort of hard to guess because we don't know exactly how far away it is from the vent. Even if there isn't anything coming out of it (and from what I have seen today there certainly is!) it will be hot in and around the vent for quite a ways. Then, as has been mentioned, it could be from one of the lava bombs because we don't know how far those where thrown. My guess is the bombs were thown rather far given the power behind the activity. When the weather er...clears....eh?

Due south. Hmmm. I have no idea, Henrik. Different lattitued, etc., can affect what you see. I will take another guess later. :-)

"What, will the line stretch out to th' crack of doom?"
Macbeth Act 4, scene 1

Sorry it's just my way of saying Happy 446 Birthday to Willy Shakespeare;)

"It appears to me that the dark spot on the Vala cam is probably an outcrop of rock that had been heated by the activity in the area and that is maybe why it doesn't have any snow on it"

Same thought came to my mind yesterday but it could also be just some odd angle of the rock and wind currents around it that keep it blown free of snow.

Thanks Jon Frimann for sharing your research project model of pre-diction events even though it is in the beginning stages. I'd have to go back and re-reading the logs but there was one who mathmetically calculated the magma remaining and it would agree with you. Think it might be in the Blog A Quick Note on Thawing of Ice Caps and Volcanoes the 500 plus responses. Also the photo you posted with the black circle drawn helps those of us who are learning to test our observations to validate them without clogging the log here with too much beginner stuff. To all who post with professional science background this picture shot with black circle is a great teaching tool for all the lurkers.

Wildly off-topic, yet mildly related

For those of you in Washington State, a region-specific geology blog (fieldtrip descriptions)

http://nwgeology.wordpress.com/new-fieldtrips-and-other-news/

For California and some of the west:

http://geotripper.blogspot.com/

For the east coast:

http://mountainbeltway.wordpress.com/

I will ask again: Has anyone stumbled across a blog like this fabulous one by Erik Klemetti on earthquakes? I search and fail.

Enjoy

@Randall Nix -If you are referring to what appears to be a new plume off to the right of the crater and visible on both Thor and Val then I agree. I have been watching for some time.

Me too! No sign of the clouds clearing though so we'll just have to keep second guessing. lol

Jon I believe it....I can't read Icelandic but I saw the satellite photo. When the clouds broke it sure looked like something else was going on.

Oh dear, I got a nsfw translation of the location. Jon, could you tell us where the new crater is? Thanks so much, I don't think putting the translation I got is ....useful.:-)

Yes, the news that Jón is referring to says the new crater lies within the caldera.

Careful if you want to try Google Translator for this bit, it brings up some tough language (no kidding).

yeah the f word and screw. Kinda funny but at the same time disturbing. This may mean more ash if it is in a area with a lot of ice that will melt.

By Chance Metz (not verified) on 23 Apr 2010 #permalink

@parclair, It is near the north side of the original crater to the north. According to the news this new crater was visible this morning on the radar image.

*laughing* Someone has been playing with Google's translator function embedded box that invites 'improved' translation through offering wording 'corrections'.

Need a better idea of where the 'new vent' is located..preferably on a high definition satellite image.

Wonder if NASA has one.

Jon Frimann, thank you for the news post and translation. I thought I was seeing a new plume to the left of the house on the hill in the Hvolsvelli cam. (The one we've been watching is to the right of the house on the hill);-)

Do we know how winds and weather will be in next week? Will the winds hold the steam and ash over Iceland or is there any possibility to carry them over Europe again?
Thanks

By fire walk with me (not verified) on 23 Apr 2010 #permalink

@Scarlet Pumpernickel[75]

"I think probably the worst thing in this Jack stood over him."

Err... sounds like part of some bad detective novel..

Ah wow, you gotta love Google Translate. It has thrown some doosies at us in the past but, but.....

@ bruce stout: (from the previous thread) I book marked that awhile ago, great explanation.

@ Henrik: I liked the quiz. I knew the O2 but not the others...well except the last question. If one looks really close you can see Santa Clause coming through the Aura, I'm thinking I have the last one correct.

I took(wasted) the time to read to comments from earlier today, in the previous thread. From what I did read, I came away rather disgusted by one individual. Is there any way to keep someone from hijacking a thread like that?

@ SP: *gg*
That translation is really very "interesting"...

The first one is about eruptions in Katla and Eyjafjallajökull since 920 (when Iceland was populated and a record exists). The scale in the upper right corner goes from very small (mjög litid) over middle-big (medal-stórt) to big Erupion (Stórgos).
The second shows the seismic development of this area especially around the 20./21st of march when the eruption on Fimmvörduháls started.

I have absolutely enjoyed this blog since I found it over a week ago!! I have learned so much!

Thanks to Boris(I think) for pointing out the very funny video: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/20/the-ultimate-iceland-volc_n_54…

I just can't help thinking if Ted Knight on the Mary Tyler Moore show would have had to vocalize the name. :-)

Sorry...not an intelligent comment...but hopefully gives a a chuckle to a few of the oldies. (and no..not Chuckles the Clown :-) )

@81 Now that's interesting. The graph for the .5 to 1 not much change, 1 - 5 jumping immediately with 2 -5 being the most dramatic.

As for translation: "Place 30 milliard (US billion) Euros in the Icelandic embassy's trashcan, and we'll turn the volcano off. / Don't call the police"

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 23 Apr 2010 #permalink

@85...I would laugh..but obviously can't interpret the link you provided :-) I'm sure it's hilarious.

@87 Good video. Something I noticed I think. The rock/magma bomb/outcropping that was being talked about earlier in the Val cam, looks like it may be just left of the eruption in the video, only from the other side. The shape looks very similar.

Anyone got any idea if a 3.2 earthquake under Mauna Loa has any significance?

It's in the latest Kilauea update.

What the hell was that, that just lit up the sky over the crater on the Vala cam?

Now we know where the moon is on Vala.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 23 Apr 2010 #permalink

Lightning maybe?

By Chance Metz (not verified) on 23 Apr 2010 #permalink

@David B: I kind of doubt it, Mauna Loa has always taken awhile to crank up. Here it the link to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory;

http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/

It is one of the best sites around for questions and answers. If you click on the Kilauea eruption update in the upper left you will open a page that has links to the deformation, images web cams(http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/cams/HMcam/ awesome lately when it is dark out there)

Lots of info there.

Looks like the clouds might be buggering off for a bit, can clearly see lava bombs on Vala now.

Wonder if the most recent peaks on the vertical tremor plots matches with the approximate time of break-through of this new crater vent.

Both Jon and I speculated that we thought magma might be seeking a new path again. I think he is thinking like me, this isn't Act III yet.

That's to the NE, where the inflation is being maintained at near steady-state.

I am getting odd looking signals on my geophone. I don't think it is the wind, but it might be. The harmonic tremor is steady and appears on my sensor in a wind that is 6.7m/s currently, with peaks of 10.7m/s.

I don't think that the eruption in Eyjafjallajökli is going to stop until the west-east side has started to deflate. When that might happen is a good question, and with no answer at current time. It also a question how long time it takes the north-south side to deflate until there isn't enough pressure to keep the going on like it does today.

Normally there are no earthquakes in Eyjafjallajökuli, far as I know. That is the quiet period. So the early warning signals about the eruption appeared in 1994 when the first earthquakes started. So this eruption has had a run up time of 16 years, maybe longer since recording of earthquakes was poor in Iceland for a long time.

Just saw a tad bit of smokiness right under the mila logo on the eyjafjallajokull-fra-valahnjuk/ cam.

102

http://www.foxnews.com/slideshow/scitech/2010/03/21/volcano-erupts-icel…

Some more amazing pics of eruption/aurora

Posted by: Scarlet Pumpernickel | April 23, 2010 8:03 PM

Is that James May in pic #3?

I've been lurking throughout this event, Erik, and I should take the opportunity to thank and compliment you, as well as the several knowledgeable commenters supplying info, data, links and pics.

Now if only someone could help me figure out why the ruv.is katla cam won't work for me. I've got NoScript for FF, but I've set it to allow all that page.

The katla cam is really bright tonight.

@106 Ragutis You need Windows Media Player plugin,

Anna, #61, I guess the lava won't be going that far! :-)

Thanks for pointing that out.

Well this threat was the most enjoyable, educational and
informative one I have been on for a while. Thanks Erik.

@ Henrik (4) Well, it seems I have missed your quiz... Yesterday I had no free time for watching Eyafjöll' story, but I'm really sorry now. I've been photographing partly similar view of our sky from Hungary about a week ago...

Apologies if this has already been discussed- I skimmed the comments- Katla cam - is that a new plume or something stuck to the screen? Seems quite static yet also appears to move - but that could be down to the low/light.

By Helen Leggatt (not verified) on 23 Apr 2010 #permalink

Helen-- I'm not sure what you're describing--

Earlier Jon sent a news article that suggests a new vent in the caldera, north of the one we've been watching, but that was at sundown, so I've not seen it. I just noticed that there is some glow over the left side of the house on the hill in the Hvolsvelli cam--

@parclair - I'm looking at the "Katla" cam although don't think it's overlooking Katla right now - here: http://www.ruv.is/katla I assume everyone can see the "plume" or perhaps lens dust?

By Helen Leggatt (not verified) on 23 Apr 2010 #permalink

Helen, it's too dark for me to tell whether it's a mountain, cloud, or plume. That white stripe in the foreground...? no idea

@Helen I've been looking at that all night too. Can't figure it out. Almost looks like a thumbprint on the lens or something. It wobbles some but doesn't really change. We should get some light soon, so maybe it will reveal itself before I head for bed. :)

@parclaid I saw that a couple of times also. I believe we're seeing car lights. First time I saw it I though it was flowing lava from left to right, then back left. After the third time - well, fool me once... There must be some ash/dust in the air there.

Some nice Stromboli action on the Valahnuk cam tonight.

By beedragon (not verified) on 23 Apr 2010 #permalink

@JB USA I'm assuming you're asking about tectonic plates. The USGS site http://earthquake.usgs.gov/
will show faults as one zooms into the site. Unfortunately, none are named.

@parclair - pretty certain it's on the camera glass as it has not moved an iota outside of current shape for an hour.. except for the strange illusion of shape-change due to the light effects.

By Helen Leggatt (not verified) on 23 Apr 2010 #permalink

@Ragutis, You need a player that can handle mms protocol and wmv file.

Posted by: Jón FrÃmann | April 23, 2010 9:01 PM
111

@106 Ragutis You need Windows Media Player plugin,

Posted by: Dan | April 23, 2010 9:27 PM

I get a "connecting to media..." message, then "Ready" then "connecting to media..." then

See where I'm going? Anyway, right clicking and looking at Error Details gives:

Windows Media Player cannot find the file. If you are trying to play, burn, or sync an item that is in your library, the item might point to a file that has been moved, renamed, or deleted.

Irritating.

@Ragutis Rings a bell but can't think what it is. You're trying to go to http://www.ruv.is/katla in FF right? Try this
mms://213.167.158.211/katla and see if Windows Media stand alone pops up.

@Ragutis My sympathies. My browser is Safari, and I have the Windows Media Player as an application. Most often, I have to put the URL into the media player to get the wmv files to play. Drag. ;-{

Great views on the Valahnúk webcam this morning / tonight.

Lots of lava splashing about and a decent ash / steam pluming rising...

Hmmm didn't come out as a link. Type
mms://213.167.158.211/katla into the address bar of FF.

Katla Cam http://www.ruv.is/katla

It appears that this cam has been moved to point to Rov-Eyjafjallajokull as that name is in the viewer bottom left.

So are we seeing Katla or Eyj??

Helen, Heh, no wonder I didn't see your spot--I was looking at the Hekla cam ;-)

:D @ parclair!

Vala is blowing black this morning - does this signify a change in type of eruption?

By Helen Leggatt (not verified) on 23 Apr 2010 #permalink

@Helen, at this time of day, everything is a trick of light. the Hvolsvelli cam looks like an atom bomb cloud.

Look at Hvol cam and how high the plume is going. Doesn't appear to be much wind so plume is straight up. You can see it on Mulakot too.

@ Parclair - hmm, not convinced it's all light, emission was very dense and black from Val cam.. still watching :)

By Helen Leggatt (not verified) on 23 Apr 2010 #permalink

130

@Ragutis Rings a bell but can't think what it is. You're trying to go to http://www.ruv.is/katla in FF right? Try this
mms://213.167.158.211/katla and see if Windows Media stand alone pops up.

Posted by: Dan | April 23, 2010 11:50 PM

Windows Media Player cannot play the file because a network error occurred. The server might not be available. Verify that you are connected to the network and that your proxy settings are correct.

Grrrrrr.

@Helen@Dan If that smudge you were talking about is on the left side of the Katla cam, I think we're looking at the eruption plume. Without wind, the plume looks huge!

@141 Ragutis That's frustrating and I can almost guarantee it's something simple. But the brain is fried tonight for me and I'm off to bed. Maybe someone can come up with the answer tomorrow. (btw I'm in US)

@Parclair - I really don't think it's a plume - I think it's something stuck on the cam glass - whatever it is, it hasn't changed shape or moved at all in almost 2 hours!

By Helen Leggatt (not verified) on 23 Apr 2010 #permalink

@142 parclair Notice the mountain coming into focus as it gets brighter? The "blob" is staying the same still. Think it's debris stuck on the lens.

And this time I really am off to bed.

@helen, you're right. Argh! lol at me ;-D

;-D @ Parclair - it's all part of the fun, playing "is it or isn't it?" lol

By Helen Leggatt (not verified) on 23 Apr 2010 #permalink

Looks like a lot of ash may be falling on Hvolsvelli but no clouds on Valahnúk. She looks very angry this morning;) Must be that new vent that opened up earlier.

I think ash is falling on the Hvolsvelli cam area. Really hazy.

@143 Dan, I sure hope so. Thanks for the suggestions.

Nice show for the Valahnuk cam this a.m. What's up at Porolfsfelli? Someone trip over a cable? :p

BTW, anyone have a link to maybe a pic showing the locations of these cams? I was trying to figure it out on one of those EO pics the other day.

Ash plume is darker and much higher than in the last days. Just passing by and I 've noticed it at once.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 23 Apr 2010 #permalink

... but that plume on Katla cam... I don't know for sure. Could that be a spot on the lens? Or else this eruption has strenghtened a lot!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 23 Apr 2010 #permalink

@randall I can't find any news about a new vent, other than the one that Jon frimann posted. Have you seen anything in the reporting area?

Someone might ought to wake up Erik and Boris.....Looks like we may have a new situation going on here;) I am looking at valahnjuk anyone else looking at the other cams?

Thanks for the information, Randall. This means another night without sleep... How about the winds? Seems to me that it's back to the former direction?

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 23 Apr 2010 #permalink

Looks to me, from Val cam, that there are definitely a couple of ventings going on - one steam and one the darker, heavier looking matter. You can see them intertwine occasionally so not light-play.

By Helen Leggatt (not verified) on 23 Apr 2010 #permalink

parclair

71 Yes, the news that Jón is referring to says the new crater lies within the caldera.

Careful if you want to try Google Translator for this bit, it brings up some tough language (no kidding).

Posted by: Boris Behncke | April 23, 2010 6:07 PM

Just playing catch up here and am also seeing all that black ash on Valahnúk. No new images on Vodafone yet and Ãórólfsfelli is down.

Perhaps someone could go and plug in Poro cam? :D Really want to see what's happened on the glacier overnight!

By Helen Leggatt (not verified) on 23 Apr 2010 #permalink

I got a smile from this video:

news.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474978193377

@george-- it's very cute:-)

Mr Moho made this picture showing the tremor sensor devices for us - maybe he can add on the Live Cam shot locations to his map.

http://img717.imageshack.us/img717/347/icelw.jpg

tremor sensor location on above map (blue-green) matches this websites data
http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/Katla2009/gosplott.html

another poster said from a clock face orientation the live cams are:
Poro at 12
Val live cam is at 1 oclock
Hol at 9

Then we have to start going back into the previous blogs and responses to gain information so they do not have to constantly repeat themselves.

The ploom almost doubled in size on the mulakot cam over the last few mins.

@JB - It's Saturday morning - perhaps they've had a lie-in ;D

By Helen Leggatt (not verified) on 23 Apr 2010 #permalink

@Helen - thanks I've been sitting here for nights feeling like a peeking tom with those farm houses. I was wondering if they decided to evacated with the potential changing winds in Iceland ash fall or their summer holiday also I guess off on vacation.

Wow, the valahnjuk cam is catching some great views of the blasts. Plus, it's as though the volcano is blowing smoke rings every now and then.

I still can't find news other than jon's referral about a new vent. Odd.

Good morning guys. It's 744 BST here and I can see the valahnjuk cam showing much more dark smok, and much more separation between the smoke and the steam. The Thorolsfelli cam is offline to me and the Hvolsvelli cam has the dust in it's eye. Strange thing, tho. The webcam URLs don't seem to match the locations for some reason.

Answers to the quiz (#4,5,8):

* Zodiacal constellations - Leo at right, Virgo at left.
* Two brightest stars - Regulus (Alpha Leonis, right), Denebola (Beta Leonis, center)
* The colour green - (doubly ionized) Oxygen
* Three galaxies in the same field of view in most small telescopes M65, M66 and NGC 3628 (M=Messier, NGC=New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars). Charles Messier was a French 18th century astronomer and comet hunter who made a list of objects easily mistaken for comets. Based primarily on the observations of William Herschel, a Dane named Dreyer vastly increased the list. In between, humanity had figured out the nature of these objects except the galaxy who were referred to as "spiral nebulae.
* In the top left is the center of the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies, the first such cluster identified which led to insights about how matter is distributed within the Einsteinian Universe.

Pretty neat for one photo to contain all that!

There appears to be a crack opening in the glacier apparent from the Valahnúk view. http://tinypic.com/r/fbkg0m/5

I happened to catch movement of it widening in one frame that caught my eye.

Would anyone know how to where left camera here is aimed at?
http://www.heklubyggd.is/vedur.htm

Google translate said: "Bjólfell with Hekla in the back"

I assume EJ must be also back there as cloud formation is interesting.

@stub

What you are seeing there is just an artifact of the air being pushed upward by the mountain and the water vapor condensing.

It's just fog.

Thanks, tougth that it might be something like that. Not many mountains where I live.

On the Val Cam look at the outcrop of rock to the left of the crater. There seems to be a plume behind it. It changes very slowly which would suggest that it is the top of a plume. Is it new?

Val Cam - from what the experienced posters said there now are 2 vents inside the crater. One ash and One stream - separate plumes if I understood them correctly. Where you are referencing outcrop to left of crater - I believe that is ash drift with wind. I've been watching for about 5 hours now -

@ JB USA - Thanks. If it had been the top of a new vent, the vent would have to have been half way down the other side!

Wow! A (volcanic?) rainbow on the Hvolsvelli cam! (10.40 GMT)

Am wishing someone would plug the Ãórólfsfelli cam back in. lol

@Passerby: SO2 is very common, but usually only a real nuisance near the source (converts to sulfuric acid and destroys things). The Norwegians have been tracking the SO2 all along as a proxy for ash - the reason being when it's cloudy you can still track it during the day using an instrument like OMI, while the ash can be obscured by clouds.

See: http://www.nilu.no/index.cfm?ac=news&text_id=33469&folder_id=4316&view=…

And here's a photo of the original ground based ash imager (which was never developed into a commercial product):
http://www.nilu.no/index.cfm?ac=news&text_id=33463&folder_id=4316&view=…

It's a pity I don't know any Norwegian; the English web pages are different and are missing a lot.

By MadScientist (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

Hi. Is there any chance of the vodaphone cameras being extended again beyond Iceland? There seems to be plenty of explosive activity today, judging from what appears to be the sudden blurring of the snow near the top of the rift, and with steam venting either side of the ash plume. There is a very good view from the Valahnjuk camera.

Re the Katla cam: Despite the text, it *is* back to watching Katla. Oh, and the frozen water has cleared off the lens. There's still cloud over Mýrdalsjökull, but the visibility is otherwise good.

Re the Heklubyggð cams: Mt. Bjólfell sits exactly in line between cam 1 and Mt. Hekla. Hence, "Bjólfell with Hekla in the background."

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

does anybody have any idea of the time frame between the the two eruptions back in the 1821 ?

@170,171,172 There was a lot of car activity coming and going at the farmhouse on the hill last night. I considered whether or not they had given up and were moving out. Either that or they were having a party for the volcano tourists ;p

By beedragon (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

@192

I believe it was 18 months ... not sure though. I remember reading that the Katla eruption occured in 1823.

Has anyone noted the quakes farther up into Iceland near Hekla... Not a vulcanologist or a seismologist. Its along the line up there and on the Met page. Anyone have a suggestion of what it is?

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

Randolph! There quakes shown are near Bárðarbunga, Kistufell and Herðubreið (not too far from Askja). Quakes close to Hekla would be very serious indeed as she has a history of erupting within hours of earthquakes underneath. Why not go for a Google or Wikipedia tour to see where each of Icelands volcanoes are located? ;)

If you look in the eq table, you will find a few quakes. But there quality is so low, that they do not appear on the map.

@ MadScientist #187:

I made a rough translation of the most important parts from the article. I'm not Norwegian but Swedish, and our languages aren't that different.

"Technology developed by NILU [Norwegian Institute for Air research] will soon make it possible for planes to detect ash from volcanoes at a distance of 100 kilometres. The camera will be able to warn five minutes ahead booth by day and night. Better prognosis from models are also being developed by NILU. That way, cancellations can be avoided in the future.

The infra-red camera is already developed and tested for ground measurements ⦠By using the infra-red camera, data from satellites and algorithms converting the satellite data, planes will be able to get necessary warnings whenever they approach ash clouds.

Fred Prata [the inventor of the camera] gets publicly available images from NASA-satellites to run them through the software. It calculates particle size, amount of ash and concentration of the ash clouds.

---

Fred has developed methods that lets us measure SO2, ash and ice clouds. NILU has also extended the technology to make it possible to use it for other emissions, from shipping amongst other thingsâ¦"

Map, location coordinates and weather data for the malakot webcam:

http://www.fallingrain.com/world/IC/37/Mulakot.html

@187: yes, I'm aware of NILU and their various tracer maps and commercial spinoff patent commercialization arm, Nicarnica. NILU supplies altitude mapped and modeled satellite data from NASA to ESA, the source of volcanic SO2 warnings to air traffic.

My post/link was directed at Iceland locals, who were immediately downwind of a reasonably fast-moving, low-lying thick plume.

Is it just me or is there another substantial jokulhlaup (flood) flowing down from Gigjokull? Check the Vodafone cam. I last remember that river being just a trickle.

@James, from what I can tell the water has been flowing off Gigjokull pretty much the same all day, I noticed it increased overnight but through today it has been a steady flow..

Gratified to see BA and a few other airlines taking the hint and asking for voluntary cancellation/later rescheduling for regularly-scheduled, nonessential travel on key routes, to free-up seats to be offered to stranded passengers abroad.

Also noting financial institutions are giving stranded customers a break on banking fees from abroad. Every little bit helps to defray the add-on damage resulting from the week-long European airspace mayhem.

@Passerby: you got the wrong location for Mulakot. There seem to be several places in Iceland with this name. The webcam looking to Eyjafjallajökull is in the Markarfljot valley.

Your location is NE, even farther away than Katla-cam

By Günter Frenz (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

Interesting. I wonder why the increase. It's a warm day here, but it's not *that* warm!

@Passerby: The location for Mulakot was wrong. I think I have found the location, it is a small air-field station code BIMK about 17 km NW of Eyjafjallajokul. I have added it in Wikimapia, it is shown up as a small triangle there if you zoom in to city level.

When the north-south GPS point gets to 10mm things are going to get interesting according to my model. But that should allow the second chamber that is located east-west to start emptying at any time. When or if that actually happens is a good question.

There is also a good question how many chambers are down there, and how many of them are full of magma. As many of them might not create a deflation on the surface like the most shallow ones.

James #208 is it a balmy 1C out there? LOL Couldn't resist.

I have not been checking things as much because of things I need to be doing!!!! Did you get up on your flight? If you were able to see what is happening, that would be really fantastic for you. If you haven't, I hope you will have the chance. JUST BE CAREFUL!!!

This is probably a very stupid question, but, can someone explain the horizontal axis in the GPS plots, e.g.:
http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/gps/predorb/golapred.html
The text at the botton describes it as days since Jan 1., but currently it shows 2010-8 to 2010-32.5, which suggests early february for the latest point? I´m confused.

The unit for the horizontal axis is (fractions of) years. 2010.30 is year 2010 plus .30 * 365 = 109.5 days.

By Emanuel Landeholm (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

@ 207 Hmmm, the BIMK Mulakot airport is listed at Latitude: 63.71442 Longitude: -19.87247

Which by mapquest search is located east of Hvolsvullor, and SW of Eyjaf. I don't think it's where you are indicating it is, either.

http://www.airportguide.com/airport/Iceland/Mulakot-BIMK/

The webcam is at an airport named Mulakot (identifier BIMK). So I looked it up and got the webpage I linked in my post above, but listed at different coordinates from the BIMK location, on east side of Eyjaf.

Thanks for the correction. I don't see how there can be several Mulakots in Iceland, how perplexing. Maybe a local can point to the correct location.

Bjarni, not a stupid question at all, though I can't answer it. LOL I just wanted you to know there are no such things as stupid questions on here. We are all a varied lot in what we know and understand so ask away. I am not an expert in anything and I have asked many questions.

Passerby, #216, Mapquest isn't always the best to use. Here in town, there is a building called Memorial Hall and Mapquest had the directions really messed up. There is a road call Moshiron before you get into town and they had peole going down that road which is a dead end and you end up in a serpentine field! Besides that, it has pot holes that could swallow a Hummer! LOL Well, maybe not that bad, but you get the point. :-)

I used lat-long coordinates to find it, Diane. Fallingrain- Mulakot webpage had the wrong lat-long and map listed. Thanks for the corrections from the locals.

@Passerby: I had a bit of an unfair advantage - I knew already that of several farms named Múlakot, only one has an airport or airfield nearby.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

I've just cleared out the tabs in my browser and listed a bunch of links on the wiki where I'm trying to keep track of the most interesting/important coverage.

http://eyjafjallajokull.pbworks.com/

It's not perfect (lots of links I've yet to sort out!), but if you get bored there might be some stuff in there you've not seen. And if you fancy helping add or sort links, go for it!

Okay... the glacier is clear enough for MÃla's Vala and the Vodafone/Picasa cams to present an image of the plume. Thora is still out and Hvoll can barely discern anything east of Markarfljót.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

Correction (225), I meant to say Markarfljót River. That's where the meltwater ends up.

Lava has started flowing in GÃgjökull.

I forgot, I can confirm that I still hear the gas explosion from the eruption at the distance of ~200 km. It is quite strange that this even happens.

A very modest lava flow under the glacier, 10-20 m3 (per second? It doesn't say). Few hundred metres long, flowing north from the crater.

So a lot of people here were right last night twilight time (GMT)! There were all these unexplained tufts of steam rising from the glacier! And the steady flow of meltwater.

Wish someone would get rid of the HP Support Assistant that's overlaying on the Vala cam image!

Reports of a thin stream of lava snaking towards GÃgjökull.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

And, yes, there is more water running out of the tongue than this time yesterday.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

There is movement on pic 105 of the Vodafone cam to the right of the crater about an inch from the right side of the image right at the top of the volcano.

"A very modest lava flow under the glacier"

I have been expecting to see this. Each liter of water that runs off that mountain is a kilo of weight removed from the volcano. I have wondered if enough weight can be removed to be something akin to a dome collapse on a more conventional volcano and cause even more material to erupt.

@ 232 the geologists must have known there would be lava flow when they reported the IR imaging of the new crater vent yesterday; they must have seen the new steam column rising as we did on webcams. They went back under better viewing conditions this morning for visual recon and photographic evidence.

They'll be wanting ash and cooling magma to compare to the Fimm samples. We would very much like to know how they compare chemically to previous eruption ejecta.

So that's finally the lava flow many have been expecting (is it a flow or a dome? "hraun" means just "lava" but not flow or dome).

But, Jón, I am really really sorry to correct again something you said - lava flow does not automatically mean it's Hawaiian-style activity. Lava flows can be of ANY magmatic composition, including andesite, dacite, trachyte, phonolite and rhyolite (these are the magma types commonly associated with highly explosive volcanism). Mount Erebus in Antarctica has a phonolite lava lake (!), and phonolite is the same magma that Vesuvius erupted in AD 79, very explosively, to destroy Roman towns like Pompeii and Herculaneum. It's not so much a question of magma composition that determines whether it explodes or flows. It's mostly a question of gas and mostly, water vapor and carbon dioxide. That's what drives volcanoes crazy.

Hawaiian-style volcanism means necessarily basaltic, and I am not sure this is basaltic what we see (but to know for sure we'll have to attend chemical analysis). In that case I would also expect to see lava fountains like at Fimmvörduháls in March and early April, which is not what we have seen these past few days, that was Strombolian or maybe even Vulcanian activity.

I apologize for being so picky because - I should say again - Jón is doing an excellent job in updating us on the events over there, but if someone wants to learn about volcanology here, I should do my best to communicate the correct terminology and the correct facts of that science, which I started studying more than three decades ago...

The lava flow under the glacier might be modest, but tremors are still much higher than during the Fimmvörðuháls fissure eruption. What was the average lava flow rate during that eruption phase again?

@Passerby, #220, got it. I just wanted to let you and others know that Mapquest isn't always the best choice for finding things. Of course most probably already knew that.

Boris, I just learned something from you. I didn't know there were so many types of magma. I sure want to know more about it and I will have to get a book and read more to know what on earth some of those are. Phonolite? What is that?! No, I'm not asking you to explain all that. Just letting you know that I have no clue what it is. LOL

One question I do have and that is this: does the description and name have to do with how much silica is in the magma/lava? My guess is that it does.

Thanks for that bit of info.

One thing I forgot. How do you tell the difference from Vulcanian and plinian? Is it just a matter of eruption size? Sometimes they seem to look the same to me.

Does anyone know which cam might show the new lava flow?

Help - þoro is off, hvol is as good as blind and vala has been commandeered by HP....picasa the only one up right now...any fix for vala?

tj
The lava flow is heading northward, towards GÃgjökull so the valahnúks and vodafone cams are the best positioned cameras to see the flow if it reaches far enough. Currently the vodafone cam shows small white whisps in front of and to the left of the gray ash column, those I think represent the current position of the lava flow.

Jón: Thanks for posting the article.
They say there's "little ash", but that's not what it seems to be happening right now. If you look at Múlatok cam the plume looks preety ashy. While Vala cam was still active, the column was narrower, but still very dark. What do you think?

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

sorry, mula is up, too

The Vodafone/Picasa cams are the best bet as of now, since Hvoll is th only usable MÃla cam. But since the flow follows the ground, the only way to spot it now is by looking for the steam.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

The longer term trend in tremor over the past few days seems to be one of decline. There are times when it picks up but overall, the trend seems to be that of decline according to the graphs I have been looking at.

That having been said, we are also seeing a trend toward inflation again from many of the GPS graphs. That would indicate that magma is intruding at a rate greater than it is extruding.

So it would seem that it isn't "done" yet but it will decide when it is "done" all on its own.

@Diane - the names of magma types are calculated from the ratio of silica (SiO2) versus alkalis (Na2O and K2O), and in more specific cases a few other elements such as aluminium.

Plinian is a sustained, continuous explosive uprush going on for hours or rarely days, normally producing a plume that goes all the way into the stratosphere. Plinian eruptions produce no lava flows or domes but are often followed by them.

Vulcanian means distinct, discrete, separate explosions, producing ash-rich plumes up to a few kilometers high (but way below the stratosphere) and ejecting generally solid, though often incandescent lava bombs. Lava flow or dome may occur during or alternating with Vulcanian explosions. This may be what Jón is hearing at 200 km distance ... Strombolian is normally not so loud.

Strombolian - just for the record - are also distinct, separate explosions but they are less ash-rich or often ash-free, less powerful than Vulcanian, and eject still fluid lava bombs. Strombolian activity is often accompanied by lava emission, which may occur from a separate vent (that is, not the one producing the Strombolian explosions).

Hawaiian activity produces lava fountains normally with very little - often no - ash, lava spattering, lava lakes, and very fluid lava flows. Fimmvörduháls - the first episode of the current Eyjafjallajökull eruption, was a wonderful example of a typical Hawaiian-style eruption.

By the way, 20-30 cubic meters per second, if that is what's happening, would be a quite substantial value at Etna, although we've had extreme cases of up to 300 cubic meters per second in particularly high-effusion rate eruptions.

Hope this is useful.

Posters - by your name please put your country of location.
Especially Icelanders. Those on the ground in Iceland then we knnow your information comes from the local talk/news/scientist. From what I read that schools in Iceland require all students to study geology even your local talk may know more than most people.

Boris Behncke - I believe you are in Italy? Professional Volcanoligist as you say 30 yrs plus. We are all priviledged to have your participation and when you make any correction or ENHANCEMENT regarding the accepted body of knowledge today - then we all learn more from you explainations of someone's comments on this page even if it is Jon primarily. He is also lucky to have a critiquer - who knows you may give him the one bit of information that takes his ideals to the next level in his own research model.

All people in an active volcano event are swamped from the world community and many involved directly in this event are too busy currently. We are lucky to have your knowledge, Boris, here to preview and keep the science blog pure. Perhaps that is why this blog works so well.

FYI, JB, I live in Neskaupstaður, which is on Iceland's east coast and comfortably well away from any volcanic activity.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

@Boris Behncke, You are right on that there are many types of lava flows. However I must point out there appears to be a lot of basaltic magma (Hawaii type) down there. How much of other types of magma is down there I do not know. But it is quite interesting that this magma flow has started. Since this was mostly explosive stromboli type of eruption before. Interestingly enough there is still a active crater there that continues to spew out stromboli type of activity, according to the news.

Now the Mulakot camera is down. I think someone is messing with us.

By beedragon Canada (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

It's a conspiracy i tells ya!

@JB USA - thanks for the positive comments (though I am working professionally as a volcanologist for a bit less than 30 years :-) I have first been fascinated by volcanoes and then studied them, and gradually learned that each answer I found brought ten new questions

@Jón - I am with you that there's possibly a lot of variety in the magma in stock, and that we might still see a certain spectrum of activity types and magma compositions. It's absolutely fascinating how this volcano seems to be digging in its box of tricks and magic to pull out one special effect after the other ... who knows if that volcano will indeed return to basaltic magma sometime, I would not exclude this since it's been the basaltic magma that seems to have triggered the whole story.

I recommend everybody to watch this evening's RUV newsreel (the images of the first service speak for themselves): dagskra.ruv.is/sjonvarpid/4497972/2010/04/24/

I'd blame it on the people in the house on the hill, but their camera is still up :)

By beedragon Canada (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

Thank you, Boris. That helped a lot. I understand it better and I think I have a grasp of it now. I am just going to have to get some books on this stuff and read! I really want to know the chemical comps of the different magamas and such. Now, I'm NOT going to ask you to post that. I think that would be unfair.

Thanks again. I have learned something today and that is a good thing. I remember the Strombolian eruptions on Etna years ago and I wish it would do it again. Just so no damage is done and nobody gets hurt.

Is the Vodafone web cam unavailable outside Iceland now?

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

@Anna you can get it outside Iceland in high resolution by going to extras.vodafone.is/trailers/fimmvorduhals/mx10-4-235-80/2010/04/24/20/current.jpg and keep refreshing as required (not too often).

Mulakot is back for the moment

A tourist was once quoted as saying: "There's no weather in Iceland, just samples of everything." Sounds like Eyji's taken that to heart.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

@Anna #262 Yes, us furriners can't view the Vodafone cam, other than via the gallery of stills here:

http://picasaweb.google.com/102175391233488315229

Btw, does anyone here have connections with Vodafone? I was wondering why they don't find a partner in the UK or USA who can mirror the webcam feed for international viewers. Given the public interest angle, I am sure that someone would be able to help. Indeed, I'd be happy to ask round my techie community to see what's possible if there's someone at Vodafone.is willing to talk to me.

I'm also wondering if Mila are archiving their webfeeds. Again, I'm sure that there would be people happy to help with that if need be.

I wouldn't say that the Hvolsvelli camera is blind. Limited visibility, yes, but still some important information may be gleaned from it:

* Most of the day, the top of the steam plume has been visible. It's lower than the one on the 17th (cf your old screenies), higher than it was on the 21st and as high or higher than the variable plume of the 22nd. So, today has seen a steady production of steam. Melting of the glacier proceeds at a steady rate.

* Throughout the day, there has been a dark component in the emissions (ash?) hiding the volcano which right now seems to have eased off slightly. As long as the Valahnúk cam was online, you could see how rich this dark plume was. Yesterday, cloud helped hide the top. Today it would seem the volcano managed it on its own.

From this, some information of the activity today can be inferred such as the differences in the eruptive activity from the preceeding two days, so Hvolsvelli isn't quite blind in my opinion.

Suw (267)

I dont' have any connections with Vodafone but I'll send them an email. It's a big telecom company and they should have the resources to get this cam going (I know they have the resources!).

The Múlakot-people are doing much better and Múlakot is just a farm+hostel and a local club that's tending to this tiny airfield.

I suggest everyone send an email to Vodafone:

vefurinn@vodafone.is.

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

Reddish-brown smoke in the plume now. I don't think we've seen this colour before.

By beedragon Canada (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

Vodaphone is a large corporation; contact them through their website, suw, and pass along requests or suggestions to them.

They should be able to mirror the webcam signals outside of Iceland with very little difficulty; their home base is the UK.

http://www.vodafone.com/index.VF.html

Meanwhile, I've put in an informal request for another set of high resolution satellite thermal images of the crater and lava flow, including an estimate of temperatures.

Speaking of the mulakot camera, isn't that our lava melt steam indicator drifting horizontally across the glacier surface? I've been watching odd very low clouds for several hours, thinking that might be their source.

I hope the Mulakot farmstead folks know how grateful we are for their kind provision of the volcano webcam images.

Henrik #268, thanks, you're right, Hvolls not blind, but for a non-scientist, what can be inferred from it is just a little about changes in the color and amount of output. Which is why I am grateful to you and others for all the better-informed discussions here. Now all I need is to find out how to run ruv.is on a Mac not also running windows. Anyone?

By birdseye USA (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

birdseye (273):

RÃV wants you to install Windows Media Player. Yes, I know it's awful.

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

Everyone , from the pros to the amateurs, on this blog are doing a great job on putting lots of interesting info to read. Myself, never been interested in volcanos before , accidentally got on this site looking for info regarding the safety to fly right now.
Not only I read stuff that helped me make my mind not to let my niece fly but I became a "glued to the monitor" reader of this blog.
Thank you all for your input here.

By Jessica , Toronto (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

last vodaphone shot, looks to me like definite new steam, a fair amount - nothing in the previous photo to indicate an oncoming cloud..??

By birdseye USA (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

Windows Media Player for Mac OS X 9.0, with browser applet support.

apple.com/downloads/macosx/video/windowsmediaplayerformacosx.html

birdeye,
There is a Mac version of VLC (video lan client) and it should be able to play most video streams (it can play RUV streams in Win 7).

By Bjarni, Hafnar… (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

At least I can console myself by watching Mt. Fuji sunning.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

The ash plume is estimated to be 4 km high. Meltwater 100-120 m3 per second. This info from mbl.is.

The distance from the crater to the opening in GÃgjökull where the meltwater is pouring out is 4-5 km in my estimation. That's where the lava is heading and in my guesstimation it's got something like 1.5 km to go.

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

I'm using xine-player on Linux and I can see those videos too. No MS-Software needed.

By Günter Frenz (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

Thanks Bjarni (great place, Hafnafjordur) and passerby for Mac references. never thought i'd need this pc stuff. And I was proved wrong about the cloud in the next picasa post, oh well. I'll stay quiet now!

By birdseye USA (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

Heh. VLC is a nice thing to have, including on a Windows box.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

#280 Anna, Reykjavik

"That's where the lava is heading and in my guesstimation it's got something like 1.5 km to go."

Which might cause a different problem. If the lava flow obstructs the drainage channel, I would expect water to rise until it finds another outlet. This could mean flooding down a different channel than the one currently being used.

Well, what do you know.

A Vodafone-man got back to me. He said that now that the air-travel crisis is over traffic from abroad has probably lessened considerably. So Vodafone might consider opening up for traffic now.

It's getting dark in Iceland now so I wrote back and asked if they could do that tomorrow morning. Got another email right away: He's going to call a technician tomorrow morning to fix this.

He calls this web cam a "pet project" and apparently Vodafone in Iceland isn't willing to spend any more money on it. The relationship with Vodaphone in the UK is very superficial.

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

Is it just me, or has Sakura-jima got the sniffles?

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

@birdseye - for yet another option I can recommend Flip 4 Mac. Irritating name but it's mature and very Mac-friendly...converts WMV on the fly then plays via QuickTime inline within the browser page. I use the free version.

By Carla, Seattle (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

Jessica (275)

Yes, this blog is dangerously addictive! I'm not particularly interested in volcanoes either ...

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

@286 Anna Really appreciate the effort. Quick response. If they open it up that would be great. If not, well nice effort anyways. Again, thanks for trying.

By Dan, Florida (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

Starting to see some nice explosions from the crate on Hvolsvelli now.

@Anna, #286: The same is true for the MÃla Webcams, they are not going to put much more effort in them like repositioning them or so, they will just run. In the first phase of the eruption the had almost every day some people looking for the cams.

George (284)

"If the lava flow obstructs the drainage channel, I would expect water to rise until it finds another outlet. This could mean flooding down a different channel than the one currently being used."

I guess it's possible. But it seems to me that water and lava alike are draining down a wide subglacial valley (between two high ridges). So even if the water rises and finds another outlet it's not going to be far from the present one.

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

Well, I'm turning in for the night

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

Hey I offered to let them use my unused business high speed via Bellsouth. I asked for a local to contact them and give them my email. So far no takers and I dont speak the llanguage.

Dont know who to contact or who to ask. It would work fine I think but I dont know the processes. And it would be the magic word to everyone on this planet ....FREE !

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

@ scarlet 285 , nice post thanks. I'm a little surprised that there aren't more videos posted around from people who actually were up there at the time, it was very busy with people at the time.

@Zander Maybe they are just getting back from Iceland/still pretty battered from not being able to get home for so long? As some would have been trapped there for sure?

By Scarlet Pumpernickel (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/europe-flight-ban-an-overreac…

Virgin Atlantic founder Richard Branson on Saturday labelled as unnecessary a Europe-wide ban on flights prompted by the volcanic ash cloud, which grounded air traffic for days and left thousands of travellers stranded.

Mr. Branson said his airline's engineers insisted planes could have flown without any danger from the ash, spewed by Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano.

By Scarlet Pumpernickel (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

@299 $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Looks like my whiney email to Mila worked :) Valahnuk camera is back up.

By beedragon Canada (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

VAL cam back in working order - light glow showing

PORO cam says down for maintenance

beedragon #301, thanks!!!!!

By birdseye USA (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

@300 He needs to expand Virgin Galatic, in Space, you can't hear volcanoes scream ;)

By Scarlet Pumpernickel (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

@Nick #202: Thanks for the translations. :)

By MadScientist (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

Well, I'm sure they didn't fix it because of my email, but I don't mind taking the credit.

The volcano looks pretty active tonight. She's definitely a nighttime party animal.

Fingers crossed that the Porolfsfelli cam will be up by morning.

By beedragon Canada (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

#294 Anne

Yes, very possible. You are apparently more familiar with the subglacial topology. Speaking of which, know of any links that might show that topology?

#280 Anne

"Meltwater 100-120 m3 per second."

A cubic meter of water being 1 metric ton (not counting sediments), there would be at least 100 to 120 metric tons of weight per second coming off that volcano.

Looks like EJ is settling for a long mellow ride. The Val cam looks shows nothing impressive.(Still nice to look at)
Let see how long this lasts.

By Dasnowskier (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

Erik-if you are lurking out there. What does a telemetered sensor cost to put up ? Same thing about the webcams, does anyone know how much a web cam costs thats solar powered and can withstand the elements and an eruption?

For me, I sure would like to have a long look at Gaua soon... Another two quakes in the 5.0 range tonight out and near Tonga.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

some nice steady fountaining on the valahnuk cam right now. Certainly looks very similar to the Fimmvörduháls eruption. It'll be very interesting to see the chemical analysis to see how similar the magmas are.

re Gaua - I'd love more information too - apart from trusty old Radio New Zealand there seems to be virtually no other source out there. Makes me realize how spoilt we were with information on Eyjaf.

I hope other volcanology institutes around the world take this to heart. For instance, the GNS site in New Zealand is great but as far as I know they don't present the seismic information in tabular form which would allow the Soceul's and Korf's of this world to provide us with such stunning graphics. IMHO that is what really kicked off the discussion here and I am very very grateful to the Icelandic Met Office and socuel, jón and korf for their input. Together they made this eruption absolutely unique for many of us.

In all the other eruptions I have followed over the last five years or so, there have been seismic plots, RSAM plots and so on, but no real means of getting a handle on the depth and progress of magma movements, so you are sort of left with basic information like "she's on the boil" and "oh no, she's simmering down again", "oh she's ramping up again", and "oh no, she's not" etc. but this is not exactly the stuff late night discussions are made of, well, at least not very fruitful ones.

By bruce stout (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

re: 316

I think it's the wind blowing up some dust, not a lava bomb...if you look in the picture to the right, you can see similar dust trails being lifted by the wind

By lifeblack (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

Interesting tidbid of information, a bit off-topic, but...
apparently the trees you can see up on the hill behind the Múlakot airfield are the tallest in Iceland, some 24m high, Black Cottonwood planted back in 1963! Ok, I'll shut up, back to the volcano talk...

@Randolf #313: Telemetry costs depend an awful lot on the specific setup. It can be anything from $120 per month to over US$80k per year for displaying web cam data, say, every 10 seconds.

As for equipment costs:
cheap webcam: $80
appropriate solar panel: $200
treated wooden post for mounting: $80
telemetry package: (depending on type) $400 - $30k.
battery + solar charge controller: $120 to $800 (once again depending on choices)
housing for cheap webcam: $200

Depending on your telemetry equipment, you may or may not need a computer of some sort to act as a supervisor, otherwise add another $400 + whatever time you spend programming.

So, a simple webcam can cost anything from a little over $1k to over $30k with monthly telemetry costs ranging from $120 to over $6k. And of course, as per the commercials: the look on your face when you find someone had stolen or destroyed the equipment the following day: priceless.

Oh, and since Iceland can get very very cold, you probably need closer to $2k of solar panels + heaters - and that's if you choose to install the batteries underground to help with the thermal regulation.

Erik featured a portable low(ish) cost sensor suite a few months ago; I can't remember what the system was called. As for sensors, the price again varies widely. For strong motion sensors you can even use a modern solid state accelerometer ($27 or even much cheaper). Geophones would be the cheapest seismic sensors with fair sensitivity (a few tens of $ to ~2k), and the really good stuff permanently installed on large slabs at seismic observatories will cost a few thousand to a few tens of thousands.

By MadScientist (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

@Passerby #271 I was chatting to an Icelandic friend who was telling me Vodafone.is has nothing more than a name in common with the UK company. They are a separate entity that just licence the name. I agree that they should be able to mirror the webcam outside of Iceland without too much difficulty, regardless of their relationship to Vodafone UK. I would have thought they would see it as a great PR exercise, actually!

@birdseye #273 I'm on a Mac too. I use Flip4Mac WMV Components for Quicktime which allow you to do all sorts with WMV files on your Mac. Free to try, $29 to buy.

@Anna #286 Excellent work! I'm not surprised they don't really want to spend money on it, but with the entire world watching I think a little investment would make them look good! But hey, what do I know. ;)

@Beedragon #301 Thanks! Valahnuk is a useful cam :D

Hey! If the constellation on the left is leo, how come it looks so much like a crab? I see so much more crab in there than the official cancer constellation. I can't link to a pic so I'll try to explain: The two bright stars in the centre of that constellation are the eyes, while diagonally below them we have the legs and diagonally above them the large pincers. Looks nothing at all like any lion ever did. As for virgo. Yes, but it actually looks like a unicorn to me, with the two bright stars at far right being the horn.
As for the other quiz questions, I did know the green is doubly-ionised oxygen.

I'm sorry. I'm only doing this because I can't get to any of the webcams right now :-(

I just got up and half expected to see some signs of the lava flow. What happened to it? I guess the lava is just quietly spreading out and piling up under the glacier.

Someone started a Facebook group recently ('Help the farmers') and a team of people is going to the Eyjafjöll district today to help the farmers scrape the ash off their fields. It is raining intermittently, and will continue to rain for the next few days, and this will help to wash out the poisonous fluoride in the ash. Volcanic ash is a good fertilizer but only in moderation.

I don't know if the signal from the Vodafone web cam is available outside Iceland. If it isn't it will be within an hour or two.

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

#323
http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/ash/remove.html
US government site

Site to consider when cleaning-up ash - lessons learned from US Mt. St. Helens 1980

Some artist saved and commercial ventures - make all types of things to sale from the ash - pottery etc

Watching the news of people driving their cars thur ash to study by scientist - replacement of equipment not just planes was very expensive. Stock up on car filters etc

We are watching the plumes of ash but what are they reporting as to the depth of the ash fall at your airport, farms, local areas.

Ash - people even put in viles and sold Mt St Helen's ash for years to tourist.

@Anna..... Vodaphone cam is available outside iceland now.... :)
if I'd known about the facebook group, I'd have come back to help......
I was there 4 weeks ago to see the "Tourist Volcano" and had a real life changing time.
Such a beautiful place with beautiful, kind people...

@Anna..... Vodaphone cam is available outside iceland now.... :)
if I'd known about the facebook group, I'd have come back to help......
I was there 4 weeks ago to see the "Tourist Volcano" and had a real life changing time.
Such a beautiful place with beautiful, kind people...

Mulakot Cam is interesting. The weather, ash fallout, position of the sun and other factors are creating many optical illusions. However, I have been watching the extreem left hand side of the picture where on first sight there seems to be a gap in the clouds/ash/steam. I can see a separate column of cloud/ash/steam rising. It is intermitent (possibly hidden from time to time) but I would be interested to know what others think. You may have to refresh 20/30 times before anything is visible.

JB 325:

There's some very fine ash in the air here in ReykjavÃk but not a whole lot, the concentration is less than on heavily polluted days.

There is no ash fall at the airports. The disruption is caused by a layer of ash at 20 thous feet (or something like that).

The only area that's been heavily hit by ash fall (with a depth of several cm) is the strip of land between Eyjafjallajökull and the sea -- and it's only 4 km wide. This is the farming district of Eyjafjöll.

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

JB 324 & Chris 327:

The cleaning up of ash has been going on for several days now. I don't know who's in charge of operations, most likely the Civil Defense Dept.

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

mattlee #324

I don't see the plume column you are seeing to the extreme left. I don't think Eyjafjallajökull even extends to the extreme left of the Múlakot cam. But I've been seeing what looks like steam just below the main column and a bit to the left, in a kind of hollow. This made me wonder if another lava flow has started towards the west or northwest, melting ice as it goes.

According to mbl.is slightly less meltwater is coming out and nothing much is happening: http://www.mbl.is/mm/frettir/innlent/2010/04/25/eldgosid_afram_a_sama_r…

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

The vodafone webcam pic is showing a huge amount of water coming out of the main channel this morning. I think that opening is at least 5m x 5m (guesstimating from a previous pic with a helicopter in it).

By beedragon Canada (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

@334

See told you they used their computers... ;)

Once again it's proved computer models don't work.

We know this in the world of financial, computer models can't pick stocks. There have been lots of attempts to make black boxes that can pick stocks and the market, but the real world is too complex to rely on models.

By Scarlet Pumpernickel (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

@Anna, Reykjavik. Thanks for looking. It's difficult to interperet most things at the moment. I'm probably wrong. I do see your steam however.

@R. de Haan

I thought even you were better than that. Surely you must have seen all the news reports featuring the NERC's Dornier plane with the instruments fitted, active in iceland ths past week.
http://arsf.nerc.ac.uk/

Shoddy.

SP @ 335. We have not come to expect better of you.

@Scarlet Pumpernickel .... Better to fly then without the correct data?
As I understand it, the airlines, a few weeks before, were asked to set the level of ash they could fly in. They didn't because they'd be sued if they got it wrong...
Lessons will be leant from this and maybe the airlines should fund more planes and research into the affects of volcanic ash. Blame really doesn't get anyone anywhere... Everyone involved should take some responsibility and look towards the next big one and what are they are going to do about it otherwise the same will happen again. The airlines blaming the Met office makes me laugh... Who would the airlines have blamed if 2 planes went down with 800 passengers? If we all went round blaming others for our own mistakes we've made, nothing would ever get better.... Just think, if the airlines had put say 25% of the money they'd lost to research, we wouldnât be having this discussion. Agreed computer models are not ideal but better than 800 dead people?......

@anna I don't think it is steam but water coming high off the glacier inside that new tube created creating a waterfall. If it were steam, surely we'd see it coming out the front and weâd be seeing more of it????.....

Interesting day today. There was an earthquake in the area ~5km SSW Básar (M1.8 at 1.1km, 5.5km SSW Básar). It's a bit too shallow and not as powerful as the last one there, the M3+ that seemed to end the Fimvörðuhals eruption and presaged the main(?) eruption.

From the cameras available, there seems to be a lot of steam production from outside and N of the vent area. There are only hints of a weak eruption column in the now-available Vodafone cam (thanks Vodafone, Anna & others!), also it seems very different from yesterday's - ashfree? Tremor is showing a substantial downward trend on all five stations and Jón's geophones show much reduced tremor.

Are we entering a new phase or is it just a lull in activity?

A clarification for those (relatively) new to the blog: The main conduit is some 2½ km below the area ~5km SSW Básar according to models of the volcano. From there it branched off towards first Fimvörðuhals and later the main crater.

I remember driving a long the riverbed past the tongue a few weeks ago and being amazed how much earth had been pushed out from it. Little did I know that Iâd be watching it on the Vodaphone webcam with such a changed landscape.
Wish I was still there right nowâ¦..

@339 Agree, the government should fund scientists properly and not interfere with their work as well.

I hope they increase their real surveillance systems after this event. And maybe build some more blimps so people can still fly when ash is very bad ;)

By Scarlet Pumpernickel (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

On earthquake list i saw that has been quite few earthquakes in past few days around Baroabunga and Askja vulcanoes. Is that usual in iceland or is something to be worry about?

13.25 GMT Vodafone cam, vy high magnification (use "Ctrl" "+" or "Ctrl" "mouse wheel"). There is activity on the LEFT side of the crater, right where GÃgjokull begins. Also, steam rises from the hillside outside and in front of the crater, well to the right. As and if visibility improves, we'll get a better look at what's going on.

#335: There is a difference, an enormously important one, between models not working all the time and models not working, period. Due to the extreme lack of reliable Seers, all means of getting a repeatable insight into the future require modelling, be they computerised or not. Why repeatable? To show that you're not spewing nasal demons.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

Christ #339

Here's a picture of the crater yesterday. I expect it looks much the same today:

http://www.mbl.is/mm/frettir/popup/mynd.html?imgid=528978;nid=1486264

The white steam is rising where lava comes in contact with ice. The lava is flowing downhill, under the glacier. You can see the path it's taking -- the snaking depression in the surface of the ice, the holes etc.

Yesterday the lava flowed 300 m away from the crater. I expected it to continue flowing downhill and eventually appear from under the glacier but apparently it's moving very slowly and mostly piling up.

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

Ash is now spreading again from West to East on the 65 degree latitude line. Actual height is not known but it is being called surface to FL200.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/aviation/vaac/data/VAG_1272196203.png

The last couple of Voda's showed me that it was at least that and maybe higher.

EVEN if the VAAC/MET and the various transport ministries get together on a standard its going to take years to produce one. Bottom line really is that you cant throw more than a couple of hands worth of sand into an engine even on the ground without incurring major damage to the engine, much less clipping along at 500 mph plus and ramming this stuff into the various parts of a flying machine. It gets into the landing gears, the actuators, the drive gears, the electronics and it abrades the hell out of the aircraft in general. It is a much better idea to sit and wait and if that takes a year then take a boat cause you arent going to be dead from stupid. They will insist its safe to fly because they will find someone that is dumb enough to be buffalo'd into saying it is and then they have their goat for the sacrifice.

We can keep whipping that pony until its dead. The result is that if you put aircraft up into this stuff you will see a number of them coming back with all sorts of problems. If the ash is thick enough, then a lot of them wont come back at all.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

Hmm... Looks like there's steam further down the tongue.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

All of a sudden, the meltwater has stopped flowing. And yes, I specialize in stating the obvious :)

By beedragon Canada (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

@eddie | April 25, 2010 8:18 AM

I just posted the link to this message because the article was published today and the information was new to me!
The header of this posting states "Taking stock in the Eyjafjallajökull eruption and its aftermath" so I am not off topic.

I know most of you rather stay grounded than fly but these kind of responses go to far if you ask me!

It's easy to take note of an article without making unfit judgements about the poster don't you think so?
Especially because I didn't add any personal remarks.
Just posted the link!

By R. de Haan (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

I didn't even know that the UKMetOffice had any sampler aircraft, not had I heard anything about that NERC plane.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

#355 M.R. Kruger

The Vodafone cam is open now.

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

I've been waiting for days now (it seems) for that enormous wedge-shaped chunk of ice to fall (left of the opening where the meltwater is pouring out).

It's been slowly detaching itself, sliding down and now it's partially obstructing the opening. But it refuses to tip over and fall down.

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

Beedragon (#352): "I specialize in stating the obvious :)"

It's only obvious if everyone else is looking at it, so thx! At what time? (GMT please!)

Anna@356 --

I've been waiting for the very same thing -- actually wondering how the face manages to hold around the opening, considering all the fractures.

Also fascinating (to me at least) is the structure that looks something like a giant baby booty, further to the left of the opening, clinging to the otherwise (relatively) regular slope. An old eruption site, perhaps?

@Henrik 357 - flow stopped or decreased significantly at approx. 3 pm (gmt). I think where I am in Canada is GMT-5. If you want to see the change, look at the vodafone picasa albums. Flow changed between pics 105 and 106.

By beedragon Canada (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

Between snaps from 14:06 UT and 15:03 UT there is a slight but noticeable increase in flow from GÃgjökull. From 15:03 to 15:59, no obvious increase.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

Anna, #358, I have been wondering about that tenatious chunk of ice that clings for dear life on that precipice, too. A few days ago, I saw a dark area on it that seemed to just appear and I wondered about that. I did see it a couple of days ago before Poro when down. Or was it on the Vodaphone pics? Whatever. We may see it go eventually. At least it is something to watch for. :-)

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

Just looking at the Voda webcam (whilst I should be doing something else, but still), and have noticed what appears to be steam rising from what looks like a crevice in the close-up view.

eg. skitch.com/suwc/dyxmb/vodafone.is-eyjafjallajokull-17-31-25-apr-10

I'm pretty sure it's not just passing cloud as it peeks out from behind an outcrop.

Is the melted water still that hot as it leaves the glacier or is that indicative of nearby lava?

Here's another, slightly better screen capture:

skitch.com/suwc/dyxmk/vodafone.is-eyjafjallajokull-17-38-25-apr-10

(Sorry if this posts twice - got held for moderation due to the URLs. Erik, do you happen to have a setting in your mod tools for trusted commenters? My comments get held whenever I post more than one URL, though others seem able to post more than one. :D )

I just found Já.Is map service, which has much more detailed place names than GoogleMaps. It also has the position of the MÃla.Is cams marked. Click on my name to go to the site. (Apologies if this is a repeat.)

Suw @ 363 - Sadly, I have no real control over the SB spam filters. Heck, my comments will get stopped by the filter a lot of the time. The best move is to email me if you're having problems posting and I can free the comments from the queue (which doesn't inform me when a queue has formed - I just have to remember to check).

Looks to me like flow is increasing. If you click quickly between the Vodafone pictures at 16:18:12 and 16:58:14 and look in the lower right corner. Watch as a new stream of water begins to grow.

@363 What looks like steam is motion blur on a stream of falling water. It has looked like this on and off for many days.

@erik #366 Aaah I understand! No worries. I will be more careful in future to strip out 'http' from urls as that seems to be what trips the filters!

Btw, fab blog you have here - really enjoying it. Bits of my memory I thought long since turned to dust are stirring, and I find myself rather wishing I hadn't sold my undergrad volcanology text books!

@brian #368 I know that whilst the camera doesn't lie, it does fib a little once in a while, but this really looked like rising steam, not motion blur. The view from the Voda cam is really murky now, otherwise I'd take more screenshots.

Glad to see the Vodafone site back up again. But too much clouds today over the volcano. Ugh. I wonder if this cloudy weather's expected to continue for days? About the amount of nice weather and favorable viewing conditions we've been having for the month of April - was it average or unusually good or bad?

@Suw... I think it is coming out much higher than you might think. Donât think the stream is at the bottom at all. I think its fine water droplets being created by a waterfall. If it were steam, I'd expect to see a plume coming out of the entrance once in a while but have not yet seen one yet...

Then again, I could be completely wrong...;)

@suw(369): one or two inserted hyperlinks won't set off the spam filter, but three will, from my experience.

Surely it's possible to ask ScienceBlogs technical staff at to craft a short macro to send an email or to have a popup box (visible only to admin rights holders) to inform blog authors like Erik that they have pending messages in the spam filter-audit queue.

Diane #362

There are two huge pieces of ice in the river in front of the opening. They weren't there yesterday. I assume they broke off from the top of this big slab we're talking about. It seems to be slowly crumbling apart.

It would be very interesting to see a time lapse video of this opening in GÃgjökull and how it's been evolving over the past few days. Probably of scant geological interest but fascinating to look at :)

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

Took another drive out there last night. The noise is really obvious at night - it sounds like thunder and you can hear it quite obviously from Hvolsvollur when it's quiet. I have no idea what it's going to be like from the crater rim!

Some long-exposure photos from last night (alas, with no sound!):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/10738332@N00/sets/72157623929341304/

Messages that are held for administrator - I wonder if they are held when you forget to check Remember personal info BOX. That appears to be the difference in messages held that I send.

If you post links and want to avoid having them captured in the antispam filter, all you have to do is CANCEL the "http://" bit at the start of the link.

So the address for this page would read:

scienceblogs.com/eruptions/2010/04/taking_stock_in_the_eyjafjalla.php

Compare

static.panoramio.com/photos/original/13260384.jpg

extras.vodafone.is/trailers/fimmvorduhals/mx10-4-235-80/2010/04/25/08/53.jpg

It explains a lot.

@375... Great photo's James..

Hey James, classic Strombolian eruptions. Great shots. I am glad you were able to get out there and see it. No soound? Oh well... I was able to watch the video of the guy on Katla and he let us hear what it sounded like. I can tell you I would not want to be close to the rim!!

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

@379 Raving.
Says a lot. The lake broke through the end moraine eroding it and draining the lake. Also the area I thought was glacier is actually rock and probably will not slide.
Great pics

By Dasnowskier (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

Thanks Raving... Your right. It does explain lots....

@James 375.
Great pics James. Do you remember the shutter speed,aperture and ISO. The exposures are spot on. I would like to know for some city night shots I am debating in my head.

By Dasnowskier (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

@382: It's probably not so much the lake breaking through the moraine--it seems to have always drained through the NW corner of the end moraine--as the lahars completely filling the lake with sediment eroded from underneath and beside the glacier.

@ Dasnowskier 384: you can get interesting city night shots by taking several exposures, most of them wrong, and compositing them :-)

Google "high dynamic range".

Mike

Raving (379)

Amazing. What I thought was ice is actually rock! GÃgjökull really hasn't changed that much which is strange. The main change is the massive amounts of mud and sediment that's washed off the mountain with the meltwater.

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

James--thanks for the photos, must be nice to be there :-)

That rocky portion which some of us thought was ice was covered with glacial ice as recently as the 1990s. Like many glaciers worldwide, glaciers in Iceland are retreating.

Take a look at two photos of Eyjaf, one taken in 1992 and one in 2010 (before the summit eruption took place).
http://en.vedur.is/about-imo/news/2010/nr/1865

You will notice just how much Gigjokull has retreated. The huge moraine at the base, which looks like a breached volcanic crater (which it's definitely not!), might have been the terminus of Gigjokull during the Little Ice Age.

By MK Alberta (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

Google maps set up to show the terrain and photos reveals interesting features.

Wonderful photos James!

commondatastorage.googleapis.com/static.panoramio.com/photos/original/4065033.jpg

More can be found in the link below.

maps.google.com/maps?ll=63.673983,-19.659004&spn=0.107645,0.424004&t=p&z=12&lci=com.panoramio.all,org.wikipedia.en,com.google.webcams

@passerby #369 Sadly, two or more links gets held every time for me - this isn't the first time I've forgotten to delete the leading http://! One gets through, two gets held.

I don't know what software ScienceBlogs uses, but tools like Wordpress allow for a more nuanced set-up where users can be moderated first time round, and something like reCaptcha can be used to help filter out the spambots. They also automatically notify the blog author of pending comments. Of course, if the platform is custom-built or using old software, it might be quite hard to build this sort of functionality in.

@JB USA #377 The 'remember personal info box' should, in theory, set a cookie on your machine so that your browser remembers to fill in the details for you when you return. Doesn't work for me, but either way is unlikely to affect comment moderation.

@Boris #378 Yes, indeed, removing http:// turns what would be a link into plain text and so the system doesn't flag the comment for URLs. However, sometimes I forget. ;)

Blogging's what I do for a living (I'm a social media consultant) and I'd be happy to talk to the Science Blogs people if they'd find it helpful, but I suspect this is an issue of software rather than choice. Given that there are some 80 blogs on this platform, they would have to weigh up whether a bit of inconvenience to commenters is worth what might be a hefty tranche of work behind the scenes. It may be that it's just not financially viable to invest developer time in fixing something that can, after all, be worked around.

@dasnowskier,#384: Look on the right side beneath the image. There is some information about the camera Canon EOS 350D) below is a link to get more information. If you choose this one, you get all the EXIF information which is stored in the image - focal length, aperture etc.

I've been gone for a couple of hours, and when I got back, Vodafone live was having over load problems;-( BUT :-) I went to the picasa site, and started whipping through the slideshow.

Not only is more water coming out of giga's mouth, but STEAM is too! That's the first I've seen steam. I don't think it's any colder now than before. Could this mean the melt source is near the mouth?

This also explains a lot:

Some of the meltwater has been flowing in a different direction, that's why there's been no flooding to speak of at the GÃgjökull opening.

Presently a lot of meltwater is overflowing farmland that lies to the south of the glacier. The warm water has dug canals in the surface of the glacier, 50 m deep.

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

>Presently a lot of melt-water is overflowing farmland that lies to the south of the glacier.

Yes, it explains a lot.

Just had a look at Vala. Looks to me that the lighting is a mix of magma glow and remaining daylight.

#386: Hmm... bracket seven bells out of it and then average the shots? Sure wish sometimes that my el-cheapo digital brownie knew about auto-bracketing.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

I think there was a lot of meltwater coming out of the Gigjokull opening this morning (up to Vodafone picasa pic 106). Then it seemed to stop quite abruptly and shortly after, steam started coming out. I originally thought this was a slower water flow, and then Anna mentioned that she saw two large ice chunks in the water at the base. I actually think this is when the water started to divert to the other opening, and the water level below the glacier mouth was actually dropping, so the rocks which were already in the river (and not new ice chunks) were exposed.

By beedragon Canada (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

Chris @ 392.
Perfect, exactly what I wanted.
Thanks

By Dasnowskier (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink
By Scarlet Pumpernickel (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

@chris #339: It's very complicated (has been since Moody's adventure in 1982). Some airlines advocate open sharing of all information (within a consortium - not for the public) while the vast majority of airlines refuse to cooperate and would rather keep all information secret. Organizations like the ICAO can coerce some level of information, but sometimes information which scientists may want to look at is not necessarily reported. Also these encounters are very rare so until a plane is actually downed by volcanic ash and you get some emotional effects, there will be resistance to broader reporting. There is certainly much more that engineers can do on the ground and it would be nice to have some turboprop aircraft and helicopters fitted out for studying volcanoes (but this costs quite a fortune). However, even if engineers did studies on accelerated wear or engine failure for given amounts of sand and particle size distributions, I think that data can be no more than a guide for engine maintenance. With current discussions it is looking like "zero ash tolerance" is still the only sensible position. That position may change as we get more information, but even if we did establish conditions for flying through volcanic ash, we still need appropriate instrumentation on *all* aircraft which may fly through ash laden regions and at the moment there is no clear case for what type of instrumentation will do the job. There is definitely no single type of instrument which will provide all the information necessary.

By MadScientist (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

@SP #345: Doppler RADAR has no value whatsoever for volcanic monitoring (though the sales people like to make these fantastic claims). What can be achieved by Doppler radar is better done (and orders of magnitude cheaper) with infrasound monitoring and even the simplest tropospheric backscatter LIDAR.

By MadScientist (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

Mad-I would disagree about RADAR being worthless. The radar can be tuned to pickup ONLY ash if it was selected and never see the B747 or other aircraft plowing through it unless their transponder was on. LADAR/LIDAR are limited in range severely to a couple of miles due to light attenuation and unless mounted to an aircraft its not going to be too helpful anyway out over the pond or the lake. Even then, what do you do if you are beyond the point of no return and you are in it?

Indeed, the doppler/MTI feature can illuminate even moving air by the molecule size of water in it, or things in the air. When Doppler was first being tested in the 80's in Oklahoma the NWS was issuing severe thunderstorm/tornado watches and warnings based on information received from those radar sets.

The local news guys and the storm chasers would be hauling tail out to Chickasha and Ponca City expecting to see a supercell building. Nothing there.... sort of. What did they see? It was so sensitive that it was picking up the mosquitos rising with the air currents around the Canadian River. Clouds of them. Nearly invisible to the eyes. So its a matter of tuning to the frequency level of the item you want to sense for. Ash is dry and it aint going to show up very easily on even a weather radar unless you have it set for it. But its a weather radar, not an ash radar. I and S bands would find this very easily as its set for aircraft and with two or three in sync, turning their little hearts out... You can see stealth aircraft as they are radiating with about four million watts of power and all together about 12 and it resonates against the clouds and rocks, hills and makes them visible for a short time. Easy to vector a fighter in on top of that general area.

This is air mode of NWS radar below and it would easily detect ash, even in the sizes that we are talking about in a glass plume like we have seen, its already been seen on the radars out ther. Below is not an ATC radar/ But you likely would see ash and aircraft with only the aircraft to give you altitude because above FL180, everyone is on the same altimeter as they pass the area of control and its all transponders rather than raw radar returns. Thats due to the distances involved and what is called slant angle. Its also the reason for the large minimum distance of separation between aircraft during radar operations.

As for tuning, you might not see the aircraft unless they were transponder equipped above or below or in an ash cloud at all but the ash would be seen in broadband mode and that would be without tuning a thing. See all of it? Nope. Space based radar? Star Wars and we cant deploy it.

For example you cant see aircraft here below, but you can see moving air, and rain because its tuned for it. It can pick up hail too. With scan angle from other radar sites around the US at least you can get a vertical return but on a single unit there is no altitude scanning either, That would require yet another transmitter on a different frequency or set with a PRF (pulse repetition frequency) to send it out and get it back before it pulses for the longitudinal reply. That pulse would also have to be emitted from a special wave guide and not the main bang. The main bang could receive it but not send it. Even then you are talking about big mojo bucks.

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/ridge/radar.php?rid=eox&product=N0R&overlay=111…

Range for MTI? Well its whats on the newer radars that assists the doppler effect with a signal discriminator mounted to it but call it 20 miles.Not great, but good enough for a turn around or avoidance.

Bottom line is that you send the signal out, you have to get it back and a bazillion particles are going to show up in front of you. Did you get them all? Was the ash attenuating the signal? Dont know. Maybe if you have a snickety snack radar operator you might get an altitude read on it via SLAR (Side looking Airborne Radar) but what the hell if you are going to do all of that you should just throw the passengers overboard because now its an airborne sensing platform and not a pax jet.

I hold no grudge against LADAR/LIDAR either. Both are damned effective on the battlefield because you can even tune it to pickup truck exhausts and gasoline fumes. Its the same poop though just using light to produce the return. Tune it to gas fumes, it uses the frequency discriminator to lock out say, cigar smoke. Is that possible? I can assure you that it is. There are other forms of radar that can map you inside your house as you move, from the air. They are extremely powerful and you might feel a bit nauseated afterwards but not as bad as the Afghans in the 80's when the Mig-25's were simply running down valleys in flights of three and turning on their 600kw acquisition radars and microwaving the natives to death. How do you like your Afghans, regular or extra crispy?

Finally LADAR/LIDAR are visual systems that employs mirrors and high powered pulse lasers. It would have to be carried in a pod of some kind and thats pretty big even with what we have out there now. Also, what do you do when the receiving mirror cover gets coated up? Cant turn on the windshield wiper as it will scratch the plastic or glass covering to the mirror.

I have a better idea and that is that you dont leave unless you know its safe personally. Dont depend on the pilots, ATC, VAAC, God or what have you. If you climb on the plane when there is ash out there then you are upping your chances for a ride into the N. Sea and it forgives no mistakes. 34-38 degree water and you might scramble into a raft if you really work at it.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

@Dasnowskier, 384:

I was shooting 30-40 second exposures for the long-lens shots, f/6.3, 300mm, ISO 400. I cranked the exposure some more in Adobe Lightroom since they were still a little dark for my liking.

Shooting RAW is important because otherwise you lose all the highlights when you increase the exposure later on.

I wish I had a similarly long lens with a much wider aperture but shooting at night at 300mm isn't something I do often!

I'd like to see mass flow rate calcs for typical jet engines, from the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 (turbofan, Airbus) down to smaller regional hopper engines.

Shouldn't be that hard to estimate particle mass flow in Kg/hr for a permitted loading rate of 2mg.m^3 ash.

Big, big difference in particle size effective surface area for interaction with the inside of a engine or external instrumentation ports.

If the jet manufacturers sent off to Iceland for ash samples, they would get the gritty large particle ash collected on the ground, with a relatively small surface area. That's not what they would have encountered in the air. Plus there is this little issue of accumulated surface charge on these really small particles which tends to make particles stick like magnets to surfaces.

Large particles do not have this surface charge accumulation, as it's lost by surface-transfer during early mixing and sorting in the plume.

Capture of charged particles is called electrostatic precipitation. Whether this is a factor or not depends on the accumulated grime on the engine surface and it's net charge characteristics.

Bet the ash mass flows estimates will shock you.

Flow rate (m^3/s) = Duct Area, m^2 Ã Velocity, m/s

Aircraft flying safety in Ash.
I'm sure this will become a big focus for military budgets to research. US takes their injured military from Middle East to military hospital in Germany. They had to fly US injured troops during this airspace closure in Europe to USA hospital. UK had to pick up their soldiers via their Navy.
The research will probably get alot of financial assitance in military budgets.

@409 James

How do you determine to use that f6.3 is that something you just played around with? Do you use a lower ISO otherwise you get too much noise?

By Scarlet Pumpernickel (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

Scarlet-I guess that Dr. Veenema in the NL didnt have to take her car down to get it washed either?

There were noted ash falls all over Europe and the article you posted is now calling it a limit? How NICE!

There goes good British common sense. We are now politically correct with just about everything on this planet now. Eyjaf 1, UK 0's. Its like I said about the WTC take down, they just didnt kill enough people to fire the public up to demand a front end alignment all over the Middle East.

Thats okay, we will just watch their limit go down in flames either on a regional jet or an over the water flight. Then the cockroaches will scurry for cover.

Passer, the intake mass flows are set at calibration for a "standard day" calc in which they sim it in an engine test bed up to whatever altitude they want. Thus the intake rates are variable AND controlled by computer. RB211's Trents all have different capabilities and insides 800-900s' are especially different in many ways. E.g. the 900 uses a -500 core and has a tiled version. Anyone who suggests that these guys just set a limit is on crack. There would have to be an ICAO agreement on that. There hasnt been and there is no way in this litigious society that they are going to fly in any of the limits suggested because if its bigger or in higher quantity per cu ft. of intake and it goes down, its on the operator to prove they were operating legally. No dodgem on this one...Remember, Prima Facie evidence?

If it goes down they cant say that they didnt know it was there.. Nor can they try to duck and cover. Its criminal what they are suggesting because those of us who know, really know simply are rolling our eyes and making sure our black suits are pressed and cleaned at all times. Someone show me the operators manual insert that established a limit. It doesnt exist and he current flight criteria into those areas is noted as "operator decision" whether to go or not.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

6.5 quake s. of Taiwan... No tsunami to US West Coast or Alaska. Correction, updated to 6.9 quake now...

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

Can you provide a range of values for the typical jet engine for mass Q? Surely we can get a ballpark figure to estimate potential for ash mass exposure in a typical flight hour.

Since the average ash mass was found between 4-10 Km (boundary layer interface), pick 10 km for air density (clear sky conditions), mid day, average cruise speed mid-flight.

I read this on Fire earth website.
Anyone could explain if there's a scientific basis for such a statement? Is this site reliable?
"A Powerful Earthquake May Strike Iceland"
Sounds too much for a bunch of small jolts.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

Has anyone been able to sign into the Vala Cam tonite?

By renee usa (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

Poro is out. Vala is "thinking" but doesn't go anywhere

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

That was indeed a nice little EQ swarm. Many around same depth and over 2 in magnitude..One was even over 3 mag.

Wow. sure is a Tröll ...

I am intrigued as to why the earthquake swarm at Bárðarbunga hasn't caused a huge stir here. Surely it's quite signigicant?

I guess they won't know if it's an eruption until someone goes and looks. However, during the Eyjafjallajokull eruption i recall that the plume showed up on the rain radar of IMO. Sadly thier radar doesnt quite reach the point where the earth quakes are but just nearby there is a 'rain shower' that seems a bit out of place.

http://en.vedur.is/weather/observations/radar/

Jamie: I am very interested but I have so little knowledge on it that I am not commenting other than stating it is interesting. Awaiting a more knowledgeable person to shed some light! Maybe they are all in bed. 09:45 BST in UK at the moment.

http://feww.wordpress.com/2010/04/22/the-next-icelandic-volcano-likely-…

"The moderators have now allocated the following probabilities of eruption to each of the volcanoes/volcano groups previously listed:

1. Probability of a second Icelandic volcano erupting this year: > 80 percent
2. Kolbeinsey ridge (Last erupted: 1999) or a new submarine fissure in its vicinity â probability of eruption: 80 percent
3. Krafla (1984)/ Theistareykjarbunga (< 1000 BC)/ Tjörnes fracture zone (1868) â probability of eruption: 52percent
4. Askja (1961) â probability of eruption: 66 percent
5. Bárðarbunga (1903) and neighboring GrÃmsvötn (2004) â probability of eruption: 84 percent
6. GrÃmsnes (> 3500 BC) â 40 percent
7. Reykjanes (1879) â 50 percent
8. Eyjafjallajökull â probability that the current round of eruption would last more than 30 days: 34 percent
9. Katla â probability of eruption: 64 percent
10. Other Icelandic volcanoes not mentioned on this list: probability of eruption: less than 40 percent

A Map of Iceland Volcanoes. Click image to enlarge.

Bárdarbunga, one of the most active volcanoes in Iceland, is a massive volcano with a 700-m-deep caldera which lies beneath the NW Vatnajökull icecap. A fissure eruption at Thjorsarhraun produced about 21 km³ of lava, the largest known Holocene lava flow on the planet."

By Scarlet Pumpernickel (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

@428: That swarm just a boob quake day anomaly - normal tectonic operations will resume tomorrow. Move along folks, nothing to see here...

( facebook.com/pages/Boobquake/115608248460905 for those of you who missed this historical event )

@431: Some GPS stations, though, are reporting a slow but overall (considering the past 7 days of activity) steady upward deformation. Check out GOLA for example.

If it's going to to like the Fimmvörðuháls eruption phase, this currently slight trend should accelerate upwards as tremors subside.

Just my speculation, though.

Heh, the comment format thingy ate part of my comment, ment to say that at the moment it appears that intrusion is less than extrusion.

I will watch GOLA.

Looks like our trip down Eyjafjallajökull road is coming to an end, a shame really as i was enjoying the journey.

The cloud cover on the Vodaphone cam is giving teasing glances at the flood water this morning.. It has risen dramatically overnight..

@Philipp (#425). You're right about Virgo! I've checked against my Norton's and Becvar's and it's almost exclusively the stars of Virgo in the shot except for the lower left corner (Libra) and top right (Leo). However, none of the bright stars of either of those constelletions are in the frame. Scrap the Messier bit & the star names, but the Virgo cluster of galaxies is still in the frame. Sloppy of me, I apologise. May I plead Caol Ila as an excuse? ;)

Erik/Boris/EKoh/Gijs! Since we do not have access to proper instrumentation, what are the possible causes of the eq swarm WSW Kistufell? Intrusion event? Tectonic adjustment with no volcanic component? I know a lot of us get excited, but isn't it possible that those thirteen quakes M1.2 - 3.3 at 2.6 - 8.7km depth may have nothing at all to do with volcanic activity?

@ Henrik 175. I think you've mixed up your constellations for your quiz! Philipp is right - the photo shows mostly Virgo, with Libra at left. The core of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies is very close to the top of the frame at 1 o'clock from the plume (Epsilon Virginis is the star at top centre). Saturn is the brightest object, close to the brightest part of the aurora and within the western stars of Virgo (not far from Beta Virginis). Spica is hidden right behind the base of the plume.

Some great information here about Eyjafjallajokull though, thanks all!

@Henrik, #440: This area is quite active. And as far as I remember there was a statement by the volcanologists here, that Grimsvötn (which is in this area) has reached the same state as before his last eruption.

Caol Ila's a good excuse!

I remember before this event, there was a clear swarm around the current volcano and lead up activity, and I thought here we go, and I was puzzled to see the Iceland authorities say it wasn't an eruption then that beautiful fountain appeared :P

Hopefully another one turns on, the more the merrier

By Scarlet Pumpernickel (not verified) on 26 Apr 2010 #permalink

Any official statements or comments from the scientific comunity regarding the recent EQ swarm?

It trembled a bit yesterday also but if you look at the depth (dont know the accuracy) the tremors today has gone alot more shallow. Yesterday alot of them were at 10km or more and today its around 2-5km depth.

This volcanic eruption is the gift that keeps on giving...and with a backdrop of the spring constellations, and some marvellous glacial/post-glacial geology.
The ash cloud also gave a useful lesson about the vulnerability of technology, without causing a single death!

BTW, before Eyafjallajökull erupted and we speculated about the size of the coming erution, I joked about Pat Robertson saying something stupid about cause and effect...it seems he dropped the ball, and Rush Limbaugh took it instead: http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201004160035
Some people are just soo predictable. It would be cheaper for the TV channels to replace the pundits with a "neural network" AI using a simulated face.

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 26 Apr 2010 #permalink

Are there any worries that Grimsvotn or Bardarbunga erupting? Reason I ask is the peak in EQ activity earlier today. And it has been shaking a bit on and off for a while now.

@Birger Johansson{448]

Congratulations. You've earned the George Soros Cookie. Now crawl back into your septic tank so we can enjoy real volcanic news.

By Cow on a Bungee (not verified) on 26 Apr 2010 #permalink

So Birger whats that about.? He was kidding. And lets hope that even in fun he isnt right because any bigger eruption equates to dead people and a box load of them too.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 26 Apr 2010 #permalink

@Chris, 442:

Yeah, Grimsvotn's internal pressure is thought to be reaching similar levels to immediately prior to the 2004 eruption. The sub-glacial lake there (caused by passive geothermal melting) is also reaching its maximum height.

In 2004, the lake breached its ice dam and this sudden release of overlying pressure is thought to have triggered the eruption. In other words, the jokulhlaup came *first*. We can probably expect a similar scenario again this time around.

this may not be over...
Interior of Iceland's Volcano Heating Up

High-resolution visible and thermal infrared images captured by a joint NASA-Japanese satellite sensor and compiled by University of Pittsburgh volcanologist Michael Ramsey provide the first clear glimpse of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull that has disrupted air travel worldwide since it began erupting April 14.

Ramsey, an associate professor in Pitt's Department of Geology and Planetary Science, collected images taken by NASA's Earth-orbiting Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflectance Radiometer (ASTER) instrument showing that although the volcano's infamous ash plume is receding, its internal temperature is rising.
http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2010/04/icelands-volcano-heats-up…

By lisa Gentry (not verified) on 26 Apr 2010 #permalink

@Chris:

Yep. The conservative estimate (speak to one or two people from the Institute of Earth Sciences) seems to be 'within a year or two'. I think that's very conservative indeed.

"In 2004, the lake breached its ice dam and this sudden release of overlying pressure is thought to have triggered the eruption. In other words, the jokulhlaup came *first*."

I have often though that the mechanics of a sudden release of water could act much like a dome collapse does in other volcanoes and the sudden release of material above the volcano could result in an eruption.

That is one of the things I have been watching with this volcano. Every cubic meter of water that comes off the volcano from melted ice is a metric ton of weight that is relieved. 100 m3 of water/second is 100 tons a second or over 8.5 million metric tons a day.

Not too long ago I bought this off-the-chain gaming PC, with about 6 GBs of memory and it is so SICK! I can play Mass Effect 2, StarCraft, and The Impossible Quiz and with no interruptions what-so-ever. I bought mine from eBay, all for like $1000 dollars all in... pretty good deal in my opinion.