Eyjafjallajökull Update for 5/7/2010

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 last few days than it was in the previous week, leading to more potential for airspace closures over Europe if the winds were to shift. Currently, the VAAC ash advisory only seems to suggest that even Spain may get a taste of the ash sometime tomorrow, but most of Europe will be OK. However, transatlantic routes to Europe could have problems as many flights will need to be routed significantly south to get around the ash. All of this has now lead for a push for satellites that can detect ash more effectively. Tourism in Iceland has seen a boom since the eruption started - one of the economic plusses in a story that has emphasized the minuses.

The latest Icelandic Met Office update for the volcano has the plume reaching 9km / 30,000 feet, which is one of the highest levels we've seen for this plume so far. Ash fall has become severe in some parts of Iceland, where even 65-70 km away from the vent "everything has turned black."I haven't been able to find much else about the "bulging" reported yesterday in the USA Today other than the IMO mentioning "Increased seismicity suggests that new material is intruding from deep below Eyjafjallajökull and latest GPS-observations suggest inflation. So far, GPS-signals are not large." My guess is that the inflation isn't significant, just noticeable on the installed GPS receivers. The composition of the lavas erupting from Eyjafjallajökull are squarely andesitic (well, at least the one sample analyzed so far) - and it does suggest that the current phase of the eruption is more silicic than the original fissure and the eruptions on the volcano in late April. This might suggest that the basaltic magma from depth is still effectively mixing with the more silicic (rhyolite) mush in the Eyjafjallajökull magmatic system.

I discovered the other day that a friend of mine from graduate school is in Iceland right now watching the eruption. Dr. Joe Licciardi is a professor at University of New Hampshire who studies subglacial volcanism (from the glacial side) so he headed out to check the processes in action. The two images in this post are from Joe (thanks!) showing the state of the GÃgjökull glacier (in much worse shape than it was a week ago; above) and a shot of the air quality in southern Iceland (with the plume in the background; below). Lets just say I'm more than a little jealous of Joe right now ...

Volcanic haze (foreground) and the Eyjafjallajökull plume (background). Taken May 5, 2010 by Dr. Joseph Licciardi.

UPDATE 7:15 PM 5/7/2010: The NASA EO posted "_blank">a nice image of the recent plume, showing both the main plume and the windblown lower altitude ash.

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Maybe network was off for Eyjaf too? :)
But I understand she has extra batteries hidden in her magma chamber, for what's been said... BTW, still more magma intrusion going?

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

Harmonic tremor is increasing at this moment. So Eyjafjallajökull is not quieting down at this moment. What is going on exactly is unclear do to cloud cover at this moment.

Food for thought:

Eruptive history, geochronology, and magmatic evolution of the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic complex, Chile.


Hot off the press (May 2010):
-Climate effects on volcanism: influence on magmatic systems of loading and unloading from ice mass variations, with examples from Iceland.

-How will melting of ice affect volcanic hazards in the twenty-first century?

Thanks Jón. She does have more artillery to keep on going. But when she goes quiet... havoc restarted .

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

All cams appear down to me - a problem my end or are you all having the same problem?

By Helen Leggatt (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

@Helen #504 We're all having the same problem.

By Frito Lay (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

>What's with the huge blob of SO2 again

That would be the peculiar thick haze noted by several posters recently.

#502 @Passerby, I think Puyehue-Cordon Caulle is also a good example of an eruption triggered by a large earthquake (as it erupted short after Chilean earthquake in 1960) isn't it? Is there a relation of this event in Iceland with the increased seismicity around the world? - (if it's true there is such an increase) Should we worry about Tambora being so near the last Sumbawa-Region earthquakes, or there are specific characteristics EQs should have to behave that way?

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

@Frito - ok, thanks :) btw - have just managed to get Vodofone cam to load.

By Helen Leggatt (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

@Passerby - Ok, and what there any conclusion as to why that "peculiar thick haze" is showing up as heavy SO2?

By Frito Lay (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

Henrik, Swe careful those inconvenient questions about the Eyjafjöll magma/magma chamber will get you into trouble....for down that path lies bottomless perdition;)

Frito Lay that SO2 increase means that there has been a lot of mafic magma added to what has over time become a more increasingly silica rich mix. The question is where did all that silica rich magma come from? Also what will the mixing of a more primitive mafic and a more silica rich magma lead to? Anyone want to venture a guess?

$508 Yes, Vodafone cam is back. Lot's of steam rising out of the lava flow.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink


Daylight on Múlakot cam and Mila's seem to be awekaning.
Clouds covering our lady.

Posted by: Renato I Silveira | May 8, 2010 11:58 PM


Weather's supposed to be good today, so I hope the Ãórólfsfell camera issues get cleared up. Hvolsvöllur and Vodafone are up.

Steam activity is up a LOT from anything I saw yesterday at the front of the cut in the glacier. And there appears to be a glow. The lava never made it that far did it? And it likely couldn't have overnight without some drastic change in composition resulting in the lower viscosity, right?

Thick haze, change in volcanic effuvia chemistry (noted earlier in this blog thread).

@ Renato: Chile SSZ (Puyehue-Cordon Caulle) volcanic activity is an example of icecap recession-related events over the past 12KY, with increasing silica content over time as rebound is associated with differences in chemistry due to crustal melt origin.

Iceland went through a similar pattern of shield volcano activity with post glacial rebound (3 distinct periods, past 12KY).

# 513 Yes, I think I can see the glow on the "awekaning" of cams. (Sorry for that)! ;)

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

#514 Thank you, Passerby. Lots of precious information in that link you posted, as well as on the explanation in this one. Some theories are quite worrisome as of permafrost melting connections to methane release, and melting of glaciers with destabilizing boundaries and faults.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

# 514 - # 516 Voda cam is off again. :(
Another M 1 eq under Eyjaf!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

The world is going quake-crazy! Our weekend Press magazine's top article was about our very own super-volcano here in NZ - Taupo.

By Helen Leggatt (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

i wish this chat was move like a chat room

we bee ziping right a long in posting commets

Looks like steam plume on Voda cam is being blown to the opposite direction (west).

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

Hi Jón FrÃmann @509. I just had a look at their SO2 plot for NW europe and see a massive hotspot above Tolouse in southern france. Maybe they're just unlucky but I'm wondering about a local source. Are there any you can think of?

White steam rising from the crater now. You can see on Múlakot too.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

It's really tough seeing through the wee gaps in the clouds on the Vodafone cam, but does anyone see any indication of the ash plume or what it's doing? I see the steam plume, but not an ash plume.

Also, I think the mila cams are having more issues than they really need to have as they are set to update every second. I wouldn't mind an update every 5 or even 10 seconds if the link was more reliable.

Lunar landscape on Katla's ash covered slopes.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

Earlier on this thread it's been said lava was never to reach the bottom lake. For what I see now it seems to have gained much more strnght as to get close to that...

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

Is there another lava flow directed to the southeast (left on Thora) of the crater? Or is it just a cloud. If there is, it seems to have grown a lot in intensity.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

Another big earthquake on Indonesia close to the 2004 epicenter. M 7,3




ORIGIN TIME - 0600Z 09 MAY 2010





-------------------------------- ------------ ------------
BANDA ACEH 5.5N 95.1E 0643Z 09 MAY



By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink


Earlier on this thread it's been said lava was never to reach the bottom lake. For what I see now it seems to have gained much more strnght as to get close to that...

Posted by: Renato I Silveira | May 9, 2010 2:19 AM

I'm guessing you're referring to all that steaming at the front of the channel carved into the glacier? I noticed that too (# 513). The lava is supposedly still much higher up the slope, but if so, where is all the heat coming from to make that plume? And I'm also curious where the water is going. It's unlikely to all be being converted to steam, yet runoff has been practically nothing.

# 529 @Ragutis, I was just wondering about the same. Water (and lava) must be blocked. Maybe will soon be seeing a waterfall sprouting there somewhere.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

morning everyone!
@Peter, thanks for that Tahoe paper. I know a seismologist teaching in Northern California so with a bit of luck, I might at least be able to get some datasets via him. Cross your fingers! (He's been pretty busy later with all the seismic activity in California).

I might actually email the GNS people in New Zealand as there have been numerous swarms in the Taupo Volcanic Zone and the GNS people are usually very forthcoming. They might have something to add.

I sorely wish I had time to do a few things:
a) learn how to prepare an animated 3d sequence of the activity and generate one (hint hint for anyone still interested in doing this ;-) As mentioned above socuel has the data.)
b) plot the oscillations in the GPS readings against the wave form in seismic activity to see what, if any, correlation there is.

Failing that, it would be great if anyone with more time on their hands and expertise (not difficult, that one, as I have none) could do this. What would be exciting is, if once the graphic models are in place, we could feed data from Tahoe or other swarms into them to see what comes out.. ok so dreams are free. But it would certainly be fascinating.

@Helen 518 which paper? I could get my family to send it to me.

By bruce stout (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

USGS upgraded it to a M7,4. That's surely a thrust EQ. Indonesia is taking the largest blunt of ongoing EQ activity.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

Bruce - The Press :) in their colour supplement

By Helen Leggatt (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

That's one huge quake in Indonesia... =/

The EQ is pretty deep though (61 km) . Probably will cause little damage...

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink


# 529 @Ragutis, I was just wondering about the same. Water (and lava) must be blocked. Maybe will soon be seeing a waterfall sprouting there somewhere.

Posted by: Renato I Silveira | May 9, 2010 2:43 AM

Yeah, that's what's weird. The last few reports had the lava stuck way upslope. But there seems to be a lot of energy down at that last "wall" of ice before the drop off.

#536 Hot melt water as formerly occurred you think?

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

Can't wait to see the tip of the triangle reaching that frozen plateau.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

#536 Hot melt water as formerly occurred you think?

Posted by: Renato I Silveira | May 9, 2010 3:06 AM

Sure, but the energy seems to have increased quite a bit over the last couple of days. The lava flow downslope is supposedly pretty static, isn't it? Where's it finding new ice to melt? I would have to guess that something changed with the lava flow overnight. It's increased or found a breach in it's dam or something.


Sure, but the energy seems to have increased quite a bit over compared to the last couple of days.

"The lava flow downslope is supposedly pretty static, isn't it? Where's it finding new ice to melt?"
Or maybe it just turned ou to be more mafic. Thie eruption has shown regular ups and downs of effusive to explosive activity. It still can be blocked, but, since it is hotter, it generates more steam. What do you think?

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

Got it! :)
How do you think the fissure event of basaltic lava as compared to this more sub-plinian / strombolian phase?

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

the water or ice in contact with hot rocks will produce hot steam which expands as it rises. A hot water lake will not produce expanding steam only a mist that slowly rises and is not very persistent.(ie the front end of the steam production and the small plume below the rim.

It just came to mind that if the wind has shifted and will be stable, Mila might be able to get someone up to have a gander at the Valahnúkur cam.

Anyone spot any sign of the ash plume yet?

There was heavy steaming from the flow earlier this morning. Now it seems to have receded. That would be a sign of another big ash puff...

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

But now weather seems to deteriorate and pretty soon it will become a nuisance for volcano gazers. I'll stick to Múlakot.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

Tsunami watch in Indonesia has been cancelled.
ORIGIN TIME - 0600Z 09 MAY 2010

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

Far left of glacier - about on a level with the arch - there appears to be increasing meltwater coming out from that patch of snow, dark patch in middle..

By Helen Leggatt (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

@Birgit, it's definitely pretty crowded. But the forecast on those charts I've posted in #549 seem to show a rather different picture for the next days.
I don't know how airlines will respond to that. I'm glad none of my relatives are going to fly through the Atlantic, because I've already had plenty of distress during the Air France crash flying from Rio to Paris, where a good friend and partner just vanished in the bottom of the ocean. But maybe I am not very good at chart interpretation. Hope so.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

#550 And the flow starts to emit a lot of steam!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

@Birgit #551 FlightRadar24.com doesn't include French airspace, I presume because they can't get the data. We therefore have to completely ignore the big black hole in flights over France on that site.

@Renato #552 I too am wondering how the airlines are going to respond to the ash advisory today. I am supposed to be ahving a house guest fly in from Switzerland (doesn't look likely) and my husband fly back from Budapest (looks like he should be ok but probably diverted northeast of the cloud). But I don't know if that big red zone is the basis of the 'no-fly' or if Eurocontrol makes decisions based on other factors too.

Huge blow out of steam/water under arch just then!

By Helen Leggatt (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

#554 @Suw, they do, indeed, but how reliable are those factors? I don't want to alarm you, but they have already raised the level of tolerance for ash concentration, saying it "should be a safe level" - but who can precise exactly where a bunch of invisible particles should be concentrated in a given moment and location?

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

Not alot to see today.
Some steam on the Vodaphone site but alot of cloud spoiling any view of the plume.
Alot of cameras not working for me so just tried the ones on floodwarn and seems only the one is working there too.

I keep catching glimpses of plume, but it must be really windy up there today as it seems that the plume is bent close to the ground.

By beedragon Canada (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

@ Helen - yep, I saw that too. Maybe we will finally see some action at 'the split rock'.... I know it's been said that the arch is remarkably resiliant - but I'm watching it intently :-)

By Kathryn, Australia (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

@Renato #556 Oh, I'm already a bit alarmed, especially seeing that the current Aviation Code Red zone appears to be being completely ignored, if FlightRadar24 is anything to go by (which it, of course, may not be). My husband and fly more than I like, mainly to conferences and to give training, and I've become very, very, unhappy with it. I'm very conservative when it comes to air safety, and the stunts that the airlines have pulled have not made me feel particularly confident in their ability to assess risk.

Thankfully, come the end of the summer with both change jobs and will be flying a lot less. That makes me very happy.

And now a bit of black humor: My friend is supposed to fly with his family to Paris next week. He said he would send his mother in law in advance to see if the effects of the ash cloud are truly effective. Worst case scenario, he says, she will get there safe and sound - and the trip will proceed as planned. (That was mean!)

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

@Suw, don't worry. The odds are very low for a serious event. Think that an accident will coast them billions and they won't take the chance. And sorry for the nasty wit.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

Today is mother's day here in Brazil, so I wish to all you mothers in this blog to be granted back all love and tenderness you deserve from your children! But you'll need to leave the volcano to enjoy the party. We'll save the nice pictures for you later! Bless you "volcanic" mothers!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

Kathryn - whew, glad you saw it happen, too! I really thought "this is it - arch blow" but no... *sigh*

By Helen Leggatt (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

Finally can see the plume on the cameras
http://www.floodwarn.co.uk/iceland_volcano_webcam1.htm and its still pretty big.
Not much seismic activity but eruption continues.
Seems to be a fair wind there now. Think that plume would be alot higher if winds dropped.
I am glad i am not flying till July, as disruption seems likely for near future.

Thanks for the info Renato ( and for the gratulation because its mothers day here too and i got 3 daughters.)
And for the reliability of flight radar 24, i have this link from the official austrian televison page ( www.orf.at). and i dont think they would post a link under one of their articles which is not reliable.

Ashplume on Voda cam!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

Another EQ SWE of the crater.
And that will be it for today.
Fare thee well!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 May 2010 #permalink

2 EQ's in last few minutes around perimiter of the volcano.

Question for someone who can tell me what the colors mean in the hraun.vedur gosplott-
on the hvo chart, the only time the red line crossed the green was before the last big magma load jitters started - it's done it again - anything there?

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@550HelenLegatt I notice that meltwater stream too -or whatever it is - might just be from warmer weather?

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

And another quakes makes 3...

@Birdseye, yes you could be right - it caught my eye as coming from an ash-free area so thought perhaps some local warming under... but could be white from a slip.

By Helen Leggatt (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Flew out of EWR on a flt to DUS on wed 04.28 with a bit of thought on the doings of ash cloud. Funny thing was about 200-400 mi. SSE of Iceland (using flight map on plane) there was a strong aroma in the plane. Best description of the smell was roasted garlic. This lasted about 30 or so minutes. The meal had been served about an hour and a half earlier so doubt this would account for it. When we returned last night(MUC) we were told that due to conditions associated with the ash we would divert from our normal route. The flt. path took us over Bergen, Norway to the NW about 400 mi., then due W till Greenland then SW along the coast back to EWR. No garlic

@570Suw I saw that last night on the FLIR real-time, it looked then as though it had suddenly blown out sideways, but was too slow on the capture. Good for you for picking it up on the lapsed time.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

On voda cam did you just see the big smoke ring it looks like a big dougnut

@570. I also noticed two separate paralell vent colums for a short while yesterday, at the torolfsfell cam.The second one at the right side was much darker than the other.

Voda down again? Won't load here any more. Mulakot and Mila Hvol seem to be my only eyes this a.m. Anyone else having same trouble with Voda?

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

I've been staring at this http://666kb.com/i/bhjjgvgx4bayjzvvo.gif picture, and some things come to mind.

1) It's slanting, from top to bottom, NNW - SSE
2) There is something at 5-6 km level and then below 8 km going on
3) A far larger color range would make it easier to grasp the 3D picture
4) That picture really needs a (3D) map in it, if not for anything else, at least to assess how many of the low EQs might be stress release from the weight of the mountain on top
5) Would a grid of closer-positioned observation stations in tight time synch (like GPS), observing all anomalies in shock travel times, help in building a picture of the underlying structures. Micro-scale seismology. Don't the oil prospectors use something like this, only they use explosives to get the shockwave.
6) Better imaging of things is a must; in this age of amazing computer power it should not be impossible to build a model that the viewer can rotate to get a view from any direction

Just my 2c; I don't even know if I'm re-inventing the wheel...

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

If no cams, at least a lot of homework posted overnight.....

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

With Ejya just taking a little nap, I would like to say hello and thank you for this great Blog where I'm learning lots and intensely enjoying every post - whether it's geological theory or poetry. I'm another volcano cam addict based in Austria (waves to Birgit) who's getting funny looks from her family because she can't take her eyes off the spectacular beauty of this volcano. I've always loved Iceland (also the music of Sigur Ros which goes together very well with volcanoes) and I'd love to visit the country one day.
Back to lurking mode now.

By Anita in Austria (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Mila Thoro Flir cam back up

Thanks Ruby!

For some reason, only the FLIR shows up for me. But hey, I'll take that over nothing!

By Corporal_E (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

I've been intrigued by the activity and really appreciate the great commentary on this blog - Just noticed clouds have cleared on the Hvolsvelli cam to see the plume still appears quite high and going straight up (sorry for the lack of scientific words)


I just found this really useful page with all the links listed - you probably are all aware of it already, but just in case anyone isn't - here it is.
Also would like to thank you for this fascinating blog and all the very interesting comments too. I've become a devoted fan.

By Merlin, UK (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

It's funny how the plume is really huge on the Hollsvellör cam and is hardly visible on the Voda cam - is it a trick of the light or is it lying flat down first before rising further to the left?

By Anita in Austria (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

>Best description of the smell was roasted garlic.

Sulfides. Interesting that you could smell it so clearly in the plane.

@Kultsi, geologists use a validated subsurface model to estimate location, correct/reposition and verify EQs. In their updates, IMO issues the closest approximation to a 3-D rendering with depth/lat-long visuals in 2-D (two sides of the 3-D cube).

Think this is the most definition I've seen on the glacier in the FLIR cam

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Hollsvellör is about 3-4 times the distance from the eruption site as vodafone is it is perspective mostly for voda to see the top it would have to be tilted so high nothing would be seen on the ground.
and even then i don't think the top could be seen for all the plume in the way
is closer but it is a wide angle cam and is able to see the top from a different angle than Hollsvellör and often the weather is better

@MerlinUK586 Good find, looks like blog's Suw is editing, good job Suw!

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Hi Anita, but i dont happen to know you rl? Correct? And Philipp who provides us with the cool timelaps from the Vodacam seems to be Austrian too.
Blogaddicts (like me)? I tought i noticed the plume on the Vodacam moved to the right. Did you notice this too or am i imagining things ( because of too much staring and waiting for the arch to crumble away.)

Thanks birdeye.
Btw it is announced on the austria tv homepage ( www.orf.at) that austrias airspace is closed and wont open till monday morning due to ash. But if you look at the http://www.flightradar24.com/ the pilots dont seem to care. And i just checked outside and saw and heard a plane above my head, just where the flight radar suggested it would be.

@Birgit, it may also depend on altitude - perhaps lower-level local flights possible?

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

#594) Good morning afternoon. I hope that all the flights over Europe avoid the ash cloud. All it takes is one unfortunate event to shut down all of Europe's air travel. I can understand the airlines need to fly to make their profits, but at what cost??

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@Birgit592 It's unlikely I know you from RL, I'm down in the south (near Klagenfurt). Where are you?
Loads of planes flying overhead here too, despite many airports having been shut down across Europe. Here in Austria airline operator Niki Lauda is once again mad about flights being suspended...

By Anita in Austria (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@Birgit592 It's unlikely I know you from RL, I'm down in the south (near Klagenfurt). Where are you?
Loads of planes flying overhead here too, despite many airports having been shut down across Europe. Here in Austria airline operator Niki Lauda is once again mad about flights being suspended. He says the ash is "completely harmles" and that the authorities are "playing with people's fears".

By Anita in Austria (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink


I know they do, even automated ones - for the seismologists' needs; I see results of those daily on the USGS site.

What I thought was that there might be more data to be gleaned from the very small EQs almost always present at volcanic areas, not that it would change anything, the volcano would blow its top anyway and when it decides.

Apparently, the current models are not much, as we have no idea about the actual amount of the magma about to emerge; no idea about the type of the eruption in advance, or which way it's going to turn; not even when an eruption is going to happen.

I admit that the eruptions don't happen often in any one place, but it seems prudent to push more money into research and contingency planning, because even a small fraction of the losses taken by air traffic halt - and not only the carriers - could go a long way there.

Darn, this is getting expensive - another 2c.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

They just corrected the info. Munich is closed since 15:00 Salzburg will close at 17:00 Linz ( my hometown ) will follow at 20:00. And our ever so prominent and important Niki Lauda ( ex formular 1 star and airlineowner) alreday started complaining again, that the flight ban was never necessary and that it is even more unnecessary now.

@Birgit,Anita - go back through earlier days/threads of this blog and you see much discussion of flight safety.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Update on activityEruption in Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland
Assessment - 09 May 2010 15:00
The eruption plume is grey or light gray and mostly 4-5 km in hight (14-17,000 ft) but sometimes shoots up to 6 km (20,000 ft). It is heading southeast but low level winds are easterly.

Tephra fallout is further west now. Black ashfall was detected at Skógar this morning and also at Ãorvaldseyri, just south of the eruption site.

Noise was reported from Vestmannaeyjar-islands (35-40 km southwest of erutpion), Vatnsdalur (190-200 km to the north), and Borgarfjörður (~150 km to the northwest).

Deflation of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano contiues. Compared to last seven days, the output from the volcano has been slowly decreasing but the activity has been pulsating and further changes in overall activity can be expected. Presently there are no indications that the eruption is about to end.

The above is based on a status report issued collectively by the Icelandic Meteorological Office and the Institute of Earth Sciences at 12:00 today.

By beedragon Canada (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

I live in Linz and i totally agree with you, that Niki Lauda just cares for his business and not for peoples lives.
And if you or anyone else here on this blog, should happen to be in Linz, contact me, maybe you are interested in astronomy or our universe too. I work in a muesum and do guided tours there and we have a supercool programm called uniview where you can travel across our universe over a distance of 13,7 billion years back to the big bang. If you contact me, i ll give you a special show.

Ash is NOT completely HARMLESS. It is an abrasive substance the melts inside the jet engine and tears up the turbine blades and can easily shut down jet engines. Several damage reports were floating around in April, from the military aircraft flying through the ash, and a civilian airliner experiencing engine damage. The airlines are playing with FIRE and PEOPLE'S LIVES, in the name of "profit". God forbid there is an unfortunate accident, that will cost lives and hundreds of millions of dollars and SHUT DOWN a good part of European airspace temporarily.

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@MerlinUK586 @birdseyeUSA Yup, that's m'baby! I do have an ulterior motive for collecting all these links, which I'll be able to reveal in a few months, all being well, but if in the meantime they are useful, I'll be very happy. As I've said, it is a wiki so it is editable by anyone who wants to make an account, so if anyone feels like adding links I've missed, go for it!

Right, my husband is on his way back from Budapest, but my house guest has, I think, had her flight cancelled. :/

@Kultsi, the only way I know of forecasting potential magma rise is by pattern recognition of repositioned/validated EQ swarms (as happened in last 24 hours). Clearly, magma is continuing to rise from depths > 10 Km, and appears consistent with decreased icecap loading, increased pore pressure action in the top 200-300 m subglacial depth and in the flood plains below Eyjaf.

Also note that IMO mentioned (yesterday) that the meltwater had apparently changed paths from N to E, indicating new magma movement direction, possibly consistent with the observed second vent reported by Fireman yesterday. Unless we have an recon flight photo showing the second vent location, we have no way of knowing if it's a pre-existing or new vent, or that the new vent is the source of the magma flow path change.

Yesterday there where two earthquakes with the depth of 30.6km and 30.2km. This is the deepest earthquakes that I have seen so far happen in Eyjafjallajökull. Both earthquakes where small.

GPS data from THEY show that the inflation has once started in Eyjafjallajökull. This has happened mostly on the north-south direction of the mountain. Currently there is no deflation or inflation in east-west direction in Eyjafjallajökull.

@passerby or JónF So where is the meltwater direction change showing up?

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@passerby, could you say a little more about pore pressure action in the current situation?

Must have been detected as a change in meltwater flow (Q) monitoring (Skógafoss?) station data.

Can anyone give me a current link to the GPS data? The Háskóli Ãslands site http://notendur.hi.is/runa/eyja_gps.html is woefully out of date, last updates from May 5; IMO has four available, but there are five more in the vicinity.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@Jón Thanks for the link! However, that data is already in a handier form here http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/Katla2009/ - and both links still don't provide current readings for the five HI GPS stations.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

aargh - voda just dropped out

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Hi guys,
Is there a time lapse cathing yesterday evening's lava burst? It was spectacular, but I only saw a few frames from the webcam... Thx!

By cristihan RO (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

The latest ash forecast. Surface to 35,000 in most places in two different strata. Surface to 20, 20 up to 35,000.


The South of Spain continues clear of this. Aircraft reroutes are now carrying them north of Iceland, adding an hour or so or South to the African states or South Spain. Even so Algeciras has yet to be closed due to this.

The airlines are going to have to come up with something soon. The SDR's (Service Difficulty Reports) have jumped across the board for all of the trans-atlantic hoppers and quite a bit for the regionals. Conductive ash in actuator boxes, acidic in air systems. The biggest write ups right now are for air systems (big surprise) but engine abrasion is being noted. Not terribly so just jet but one blade on a Trent costs about 10,000 bucks and more than a lot of money to replace.

A lot of engine joint point erosion and corrosion is also being noted. They can blend it out and balance it for the better part, but if this doesnt stop soon they will simply because of the economics of being in business.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

I never knew that there was a long-recognized connection between seismic activity and detectable electric and magnetic fluctuations.


My interest was raised when I came across http://volcanism.wordpress.com/ where there is a report that

"...in the month of December, 1821, and which in some cases was accompanied with an agitation of the magnetic needle, brought many persons to conjecture that some tremendous convulsion of nature must have visited some part of the globe. This conjecture has at last been verified by a volcanic eruption of the old volcano of Eyafjeld Jokkul, which has been in a quiet state since the year 1612."

Everywhere these days we read of seismometer readings, etc., but are electrical and magnetic forces monitored in relation to the present volcanic activity in Iceland? If so, are they to be viewed online anywhere?

Another interesting paper I hope to finish reading shortly:


and in Wikipedia I found that the term Geomagnetic Jerk can be used:


and Impulsive Jerk:


Thanks again to all for making this area of science more interesting, a little more intelligible, (and thankfully humourous) for non-academics like me.

I just had a quick look at the Katla cam it looks like quite a beautiful day there

#616 Randolph do ypu have a source for the SDR's? I've long suspected that what we will see is no major incident, hopefully, but a general degrading of the european airline hardware, which is going to cost a lot of money down the line. With $100.00 oil a tipping point for the industry ($75.00+ at the moment) this is just another nail in the industry's coffin.

The airlines must balance nonessential air traffic flow against ash-induced damage (surface abrasion, oxidation and air-intake/instrument systems clogging).

My suggestion still stands: offer incentives for nonessential flight cancellation or rebooking to move elective air travel to a later, safer date or choose alternate locations outside of Europe. Even better, work out deals to reroute regional hopper traffic to ground transportation within Europe.

As much as 1/2 of the air travel passenger load is nonessential (nonbusiness, elective). After the first major mishap, fewer passengers will be inclined towards accepting flight risk.

Mea culpa. The data was on the HI site, only it was not in the short period plots. Looks like the south side of the mountain is bulging.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@Bruce 531 It will be interesting to see if any of our academic colleagues have seen such regular EQ rate oscillations before.
There's certainly a huge amount of data to be mined judging by results of a web search for "earthquake swarm".
But we do need better ways to visualise the data, ideally in 3D with selectable time periods...etc etc.
Seems a pity all that hard won data should be sitting out there, and us here willing to interrogate it.

By Peter Cobbold (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

#621: Sad, innit. You guys are ready to fire up your Matlabs and Octaves, if only you can get the hi-octane data fuel for'em.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Thx d9tRotterdam, but how about the Ãórólfsfelli camera time lapse? :(

By cristihan Ro (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Ah, so many posts; so little time. LOL

@Helen #494, I am envious! I would love to see Stromboli, Etna, and Pompeii.

@Bruce, I hope your seizmologist friend will be able to take a couple of moments to give us some of his ideas. I know why he is so busy with all the aftershocks from the Baja quake. CA is getting a lot of them along the border and also they tend to head up north and turn toward the NE. According to John McPhee, the Gulf of CA is eventually going to meet with the Salton Sea again and the water will go up into NV. That will take a long, long, long time. There is a tale that talks about a Spanish ship that is supposed to be buried in the desert because at that time, the water from the Gulf of CA was up as far as the Salton Sea. How it got separated in the mean time, I have no idea.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

looks like the second plume just showed up on Thoro with steam between it and main plume...

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Has anyone found aerial photographs of the crater from yesterday or today? I searched the big photo-sharing sites and didn't find any.

Also, does the IMO or IES have an archive accessible? I believe the IGG does overfights almost daily, but I've only found the few images they put out in press releases.

For anybody who may be new to volcanology (and this site), and has become an enthusiast after being inspired by Eyjafjallajokull's beauty and awesome power - here is a brilliant video about Icelandic volcanoes by Sir David Attenborough.



So, I'm curious, now that the cloud's moving around and the airlines are trying to avoid it -- are there any seaplanes still in regular service capable of landing in the ocean to do a rescue for an aircraft if one does lose its engines and manage to ditch successfully at sea? What would the response time be to get a load of inflatable rafts and rescuers to drop by helicopter, if needed?

Yes, I'm aware how few successful aircraft ditchings at sea have been accomplished.

That would be the latest injection of fresh magma into the crater vent system, indicated by the EQs rising from deep to shallow of the past day, the second such injection in a week (clearly shown on the Eyjaf data synoptis webpage, http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/Katla2009/, under the translated graph title, 'Functionality of Eyjaf last 15 days).

Seems you might need to have special access to that page - got message to that effect

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@Passerby Do you have a direct link to under the translated graph title, 'Functionality of Eyjaf last 15 days? I can't find it. Thanks!

Faces in the ash
Some are fearful some are not
They reflect us all.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

This is a great place to get info about the eruption. We have been in Iceland once, and were very surprised by the greatness of Mother Nature. This eruption shows us how small mankind is, wow!

@633, 634:

try hraun.vedur.is/ja/Katla2009/eyja_allt.html

@632/633 Drop the comma at the end and it works. The graph title is:
Graf sem sýnir virkni við Eyjafjallajökul sÃðustu 15 daga

Now we have an opportunity to do something constructive: assist in promoting civil defense preparedness and hazard awareness for Katla and Eyjaf eruption meltwater flood and ash events.

Free, recently published pdf technical paper you can access and download for educational purposes.

Resident perception of volcanic hazards and evacuation procedures. D. K. Bird, G. Gisladottir, and D. Dominey-Howes. (2009). Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 9, 251-266, doi:10.5194/nhess-9-251-2009.


See also, Supplement, hyper-linked at the bottom of the abstract web page, cited above (the evaluation survey sent out in 2009 met with dismal results - an alarming situation that MUST be remedied).

It would be PRUDENT for IMO to expediently consider offering public access to this paper/survey in their News section. They should urge the authors for permission to reapply the survey cooperatively with the Civil Defense Dept. If authors, journal and agency parties are amendable, the survey should be distributed by mail as soon as possible to all area residential households. The survey results and discussion/analysis should be requested from the authors and applied,

This would be the ideal public awareness tool to address risk reduction and improve Civil Defense response readiness for the upcoming eruption at Katla, which I can just about guarantee will take place in the next 6-18 months, as the precursor conditions are present and progressing as expected.

Haha ... I'm a bit slow today. Must remember to hit refresh before I post :)

By beedragon Canada (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Ah! Thanks all :-)

Web page link: http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/Katla2009/

Should paste it into Google and choose the translation link in the results page. That will give you the graphics title translations. The graph shows recent EQs plotted by date, magnitude, depth and Lat-Long coordinates.

My other post, above, is relevant here, because the authors applied to the test survey to area residents to assess readiness of Icelanders to a Katla eruptions, fortuitously. Last couple of sentences in abstract:

' Our survey shows that despite living within the hazard zone, many residents do not perceive that their homes could be affected by a jökulhlaup, and many participants who perceive that their homes are safe, stated that they would not evacuate if an evacuation warning was issued.

Alarmingly, most participants did not receive an evacuation message during the exercise (conducted in 2006). However, the majority of participants who took part in the exercise were positive about its implementation. This assessment of resident knowledge and perception of volcanic hazards and the evacuation plan is the first of its kind in this region. Our data can be used as a baseline by the Icelandic Civil Defence for more detailed studies in Iceland's volcanic regions.'

My guess is that the survey/evacuation drill will receive considerably improved participation response, now that Eyjaf has erupted with several major meltwater events.

Passerby, I hope the people of Iceland will take seriously the possibility of Katla erupting in the next couple of years. Anyone who is living near Katla and the glacial tongues that are reaching the bottom or near the bottom of the cliffs, ect., should pay heed to the jokulhlaup hazard. I hope they will.

I think you have a good point. Do we know if IMO is checking in here to see what is being discussed?

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink


On the THORO cam, the visual camera on top, open to "full screen" on your computer. Notice the vents in the forefront are steaming once again. The main plume is looking very healthy, like the eruption is increasing slightly. The visual camera appears to be working much better today, updated a few times a minute.

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

For Boris:

Quantitative assessment of volcanic ash hazards for health and infrastructure at Mt. Etna (Italy) by numerical simulation. (2010) Barsotti, S., Andronico, D., Neri, A., Del Carlo, P., Baxter, P.J., et al. J. Volcanology Geothermal Res. 192(1-2):85-96. DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2010.02.011

>Do we know if IMO is checking in here to see what is being discussed?

Yes, and other agencies as well.

The Norwegian national broadcaster (NRK) aired a National Geographic show on the Fimmvörðuháls/Eyafjöll eruption(s). The narration is in Norwegian, but parts are in English (and Icelandic...). The show can be viewed here: http://www1.nrk.no/nett-tv/klipp/634580 (Perhaps only within Norway)

Seems like National Geographic is going to wait a bit before airing on its own channels:

By Thomas Nygreen (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Quite some show of our lady on Vodafone cam but wondering why FLIR looks totally different

I think i see big explosions on voda.

Also the Hvolsvelli webcame shows a nice big cloud

By Lavendel, Swit… (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

totally jealous of all of you who can get voda to load! I had it for l while a good deal earlier, now - pfft.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Well done Suw @605 ! - Look forward to the unveiling of the project

By Merlin, UK (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

#653: would be nice to have an translation... my Islandic is not up to that.
But the pictures are awsome.

By Lavendel, Swit… (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@6 55Birgit Europe vs. eastern US, I expect - no links to Voda work for me, and nothing posted on picasa for today so far

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@ birdseye: Also in Germany no Voda or Picasa works today.

By Diana, Germany (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

#659 Diana: for me here in Switzerland works Voda fine, only the Picasa is not updated.

By Lavendel, Swit… (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@diana voda works in germany

WOW... Look at the FLIR Camera Now...

@660 Lavendel "O2 can't do"??! :-)

By Diana, Germany (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Looking at the mountain from different sides, it sure looks there is a source of steam somewhere in the NE corner, or otherwise the clouds forming are fooling us.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Nice view also from Hvolsvelli

@ Bea & Lavendel: I get in Weimar/ Germany, where I am this week-end, also no Voda and Picasa.

By Ilvy, Weimar, … (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

#663, Diana : meaning what? (habe lange Leitung heute)

#656: It's a discussion re the lava-made ice tunnel and its collapse and the cameraman being back to his excellent old form, followed by speculation on if the eruption will move from ash to lava and on the chances of the stream breaking through the ice in a few days.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

#652 Try changing your computer clock to GMT, this was mentioned as a solution several threads back and may still work. Apparently the server likes to talk in that, or similar time zones.

Will release the TIMELAPSE movie from the FLIR Camera tomorrow... (FLIR-2010-05-09)

I am on a business trip and tried to connect today with Voda via a web & surf stick from O2. And this does not work. Also they say in their advertising eyerytime "O 2 can do! ;-)

By Diana, Germany (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

#668 Reynir Thanks! I thought as much, but couldn't get enough to be sure.

By Lavendel, Swit… (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

A bunch of fascinating new photos from my friend Gummi, taking volcanologists up near the vents - setting up COSPEC etc:


Any of the professionals here recognise any of the faces?

Judging by the colour of the ash emitted, I wouldn't be surprised if it was even more silicic now then how it was 3-4 days ago....

Ash is almost white on Hvolvelli... same colour as Chaitén's..


Very very similar...

Will Eyjaf grow a lava dome also?

By Volcanophile (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

#671 Diana: thanks - okay... now you see how much the advertasing is worth :-P

By Lavendel, Swit… (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@671 Maybe O2 and Vodafone don't mix :) Seriously now, I just figured out something: the refresh rate is higher than the speed I get from my ISP (Orange, imagine that :)) and I always got the impression that I can't connect to that camera. It also starts loading somewhere lower in the page, so if you don't scroll you can't see it. What it DOES work is moving back the time-slider, which will give you the image from earlier on, which is also loading fully. Hope it helps for others too

By cristihan RO (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@674 Fireman,wow, thanks; ask your friend Gummi if somewhere on a photo he could describe the sound ..just a roar? what?

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Thanks a lot at cristihan 677: It works! I am connected! :-)

By Diana, Germany (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Help!! I went to full screen and now I can't get out of it. LOL Will someone please tell me how to get out of it?

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

#682) Hit the escape key (ESC) :0).

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

I forgot to say I have a pc with XP on my system.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@Diana 681: well, just giving back to the community ;)

By cristihan RO (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@ Diane #682: You can try ESC.

By Diana, Germany (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@ Robert, I did hit the escape key and it didn't work. It's ok now. I managed to get the command window and got it off. Whew! I don't think I am going to do that again. I even tried to reboot and that didn't work. LOL

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@ birdseyeUSA - I'll ask!

@ Suw - yes I saw that, thanks. Interesting that the plume from that other vent was jet black. Although I haven't seen any further activity from that area. Could it have been just a phreatic event remobilising old accumulated tephra? That would explain the brief duration and the black colour. But then, it looked pretty hot on the thermal imager...

I think Jón FrÃmann is right; I get the general impression, just a feeling, that the vigour is up but the volume is down; I think the vents are getting clogged. I'll be interested to see how the system copes with that and what happens next.

WARNING Gremlins on the Poro cam How far can she shoot a lava bomb?

Apologies if this has been explained but what is the origin of the little white puffs of steam originating halfway down the left flank of the volcano as seen on the Hvolsvelli cam?
Its quite regular definitely not a cloud. I thought I couldn't see the lava track from this view.

Get out of the way you silly boy! LOL

Really, Hi!, but you're only bringing closer the time when someone moons on the webcam.

What's stupid on the Vodafone's refreshing feed, is that it loads the same image twice, then positions the top one to see the right side and bottom one to see the left side - it's the same picture as on Picasa; if you copy either top or bottom, you get the whole five yards.

The GSM data connection dongles are OK as far as you are in a G3 network; once they revert to GPRS, they are almost useless. Open WLAN networks are more useful, but be sure to have your security system up to date - well, that goes for any kind of Internet connection today.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@Diane 682 I sometimes get hung-up in the fullscreen images too. I think it has something to do with Adobe/Flash (but I'm a non-techy so don't ask me to figure it out!). I end up having to log off and log back on and it fixes itself somehow. I did panic the first couple of times it happened though.

By beedragon Canada (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Fantastic shots now on Hvolsvelli cam, with the sunlight on the plume and not the mountain!

By Steve , UK (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@fireman #688 Upthread, Birdseye (#626) said he saw a second plume too, so there are at least two of these events. I don't have the expertise to know how to interpret them, however, but the FLIR seems to show that they are as hot as the main plume. I'll have to leave a discussion of what that means exactly to real volcanologists!

@Brian 690 That is the glacier tongue/meltwater/lava track that you can see on the left flank as seen from the Hvolsvell cam.

The Hvolsvell webcam is northwest of the glacier, the tongue is on the north edge.

By beedragon Canada (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Want to take up a collection to get Mila to install a loudspeaker under the webcam? LOL...

By beedragon Canada (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Just a quick tip for those who're having problems getting off Full Screen Mode when viewing the web cams.

If pressing ESC doesn't work, try right clicking on the screen and pressing toggle full screen. I use this every time on my laptop and it works. Better than having to reboot all the time.

By Misplaced Brit (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@697 Thanks beedragon. For some reason or other I had never seen it on this camera and wasn't sure from the map whether it should be visible. Maybe there had always been clouds in the way.

Beedragon, LOL, yes I can relate. I am definitely NOT computer saavy. What I was able to do was get the command bar up and it had the command for full screen so I hit that and it took it off. Now, if it happens again, I know what to do.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

For the fullscreen problem, try ALT+TAB, when it switches to another window it gets out of fullscreen too ;)

By cristihan RO (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Mulakot webcam has a glorious sunkissed plume image of the eruption - worthy of a screensaver photo.

Fantastic viewing conditions at the moment, do we know if the clouds and fog are going to roll in quickly like the last few nights?

#696: No, I don't think so. The clouds nearby formed on a steep ridge, and the sky above Katla is too burnt out to tell.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Well, Vodafone is down, once again.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

#705: Agree. Just wish the Vodafone cams hadn't hung again.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@Brian 690 and Beedragon697
I don't think its the glacier. You can see that steam plume also on the Mulakot cam and it wasn't there before.
The lava must be flowing in a new direction.

By Nancy, Netherlands (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

#696 - I think it must be cloud we can see on the Katla cam - it doesn't seem to be moving much.

By kingbrilliant (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@710 that steam plume is the one you can see up the middle of the GÃgjökull outlet glacier on the Ãórólfsfell cam.

Think it may be very course ash particles dropping out of the cloud, rather than a double plume.

Some nice colours in the sky on the Katla cam.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Re: the second dark plume.

What would a BIG lava bomb flying half a mile (800 m) and hitting the glacier look like very soon after it hits the ice?

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Go fullscreen on Hvolsvell... eruptions just becoming visible :)

By beedragon Canada (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Oh, goody... the Vodafone cams are back.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@714 Passerby Have been watching all afternoon - when the renewed activity started, there was a burst in front (from Thoro's point of view) and at one point soon thereafter, FLIR showed a divided plume. It's smaller - on Hvol it seems that there's the big plume (ash and all) and then a small plume pops up in front. Dunno - have been screen-shotting regularly but haven't a clue how to get them up where someone else could see - have never used any online photo programs, such a computer dork, and on Mac at that, so Windows instructions don't help - and I prefer not to use anything online where I have to pay - except maybe Amazon, which I don't think will help! Luddite, sorry - Snail mail?? LOL

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

#714 Flickr is free for basic use. Go to http://www.flickr.com/ and you can register for free. Its tied in somehow with yahoo accounts. If you already have a yahoo account then I guess it might let you use that - or you could create a whole new account. Hope that makes sense / is useful.

By kingbrilliant (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

and enter the clouds!!

it seems like Eyafjöll is now spewing more lava again, its wisible on the crater rims..

@721 birdseye, the web galleries are also web driven: all the controls for picture uploading are right there on the screen. All you have to know is the directory (well, the kids say folder) in which you have the pictures, so it should be quite easy. There are many galleries to choose from, with Picasa Web and flickr perhaps being the best known.

And yes, the instructions are bound to be on web as well.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Hoo-boy! I thought I was the last person with a computer to set up a Flickr or Photobucket account.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

No Reynir, you are not: I still haven't got one! Any photos I want to share are on FB.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Btw,. can any one tell me, is this a type of Volcano that can produce Pyroclastic flows?
And if, why arent we seeing them rushing down the slopes?

wow - first time I've seen the lava shots, (Hvolsvelli cam) live! I need to go to bed, its nearly midnight here and I've got to be up at 6am, but I just can't take my eyes off it!

By Steve, UK (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

There is finally a decent view from the weather station cam so you can see where Eyja is in relation to the house landmarks. This is a marvelous low-quality painterly scene.


By Carla - Seattle (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@727 Thank all the gods that we are not seeing them! That said, there was some footage that showed some on top of the glacier, just not the kind that kill tens of thousands of people.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Is Hvolsvelli cam usually this dramatic? I haven't watched this late recently, so not sure whether its just because low light or whether it is doing something unusual.

By kingbrilliant (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

From what I see, I estimate that the lava burst reach 100-200 m height (at least)! Should be pretty impressive to watch closer...

By cristihan RO (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@ birdseyeUSA 679: I have an answer for you. "When we where up there it was not so loud, but two days prior to this trip I was at Gigjokull and it was like separate explosions, and very loud."

That kinda makes sense... the acoustic energy is going *up* from the crater, it probably sounds louder from a reasonable distance than from where they were 500-1000M away.

@729 Carla That picture show one of the things that struck me while I was there.

"Yes Dear, I think the perfect spot for our house is right .................. there!" ;)

@734 No, it's really dramatic! Yesterday I thought was impressive, but now it's an almost endless lava burst. I also think the FLIR camera show bigger heat prints. And did by any chance the tremor increased or what?

By cristihan RO (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Thanks all, I 'll try some later, this is the first time I've had a ticket to the show! : )))))

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Thoro cam is stunning !!! Nothing new in terms of EQ or tremors on the IMO site.

By kingbrilliant (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

2 AM here so I should be going, I hope this time we'll have a time lapse for the entire show from someone with the proper tools :) Pleeeaaaasee! :)

By cristihan RO (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Wonder if we have had coalescence of several vents, with respect to the fairly broad base of incandescence visible on the Hvolsvelli cam this evening.

this is the best evening yet~!:)

By parclair NoCal (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Not had time for Ej today due to family commitments, looks like she's saved the best for me.. lol :)12.21 am here, no work for me tomorrow so I just might do a night shift if the clouds stay away..

#742 @Passerby:"Wonder if we have had coalescence of several vents, with respect to the fairly broad base of incandescence visible on the Hvolsvelli cam this evening."
That's what it looks like to me!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

It's really spectacular! Looking on Múlakot cam, if you are lucky, you can see the lava rising from the spot where we saw the "second vent". Maybe it was then digging it's way out and that it finally succeeded.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Wow, this is really spectacular. But what happened to the steam plume from the glacier (in the Thoro cam?) Did the lava cool off enough that no more steam is rising there? My apologies if this has already been discussed.

By Jennifer in Portland (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

EQ swarm commensing at Eyjaf, NW to SE axis. Magma movement to the South.

Civil Defense should be on their toes tonight.

Absolutely stunning tonight! Fantastico! How high do you think that lava is going?

By Corporal_E (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

We have groundwater movement to the North in the floodplain.

By the Grace of God "E" is giving the entire world a magnificent magma/lava display at11:35PM Icelandic time. Hope the low clouds and fog hold off for awhile tonight so we can all stare at "E" in amazement :o).

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Deep magma movement indicated by EQ depth >20 Km.

Something is up, IMO.

Groundwater and visitors. That guy in the cam is getting one of the best shows yet.

By Corporal_E (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@742,746,passerby, Reynir, that's what I've been thinking.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

That guy just added slightly to the flow of the Markarfljót river.

By Bjarni, Hafnar… (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Lava visible in the slope as a bright orange dash, on the right of top of little steam plume...

Heads-up to UK Met - London VAAC. That southward traveling highP will be pulling plume ash to low altitude in the upcoming 6-12 hours.

Lava visible in the slope as a bright orange dash, on the right of top of little steam plume... (noticed yesterday evening... but I was not sure until...)

What do you think it *sounds* like to the guy standing in front of the Thoro cam? (Apart from all the people saying "move, please" from thousands of miles away...)?

That was a big bang that pushed the plume right out of the top of the frame.

Just switched to the Hvolsvelli cam. Look how tall the plume is. (What Brian said in #763.)

By Carla - Seattle (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

#758 "Lava visible in the slope as a bright orange dash, on the right of top of little steam plume..." - could it be a rolling lava bomb?
#742 #746
We have to theories here for the presumed "double plume"
1. A far-thrust lava bomb producing heat and plume
2. The vent growing southwards.
What do you think?

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Oh my - shes extremely active tonight !

@passerby I don't think they've coalesced yet - quick very bright blast on Thorocam from behind the dark plume, almost white - red stuff going on in front but not simultaneous- couldn't catch the white light.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

#765: Definitely NOT a rolling lava bomb. I would guess a chance line-of-sight directly to the lava stream.

By Benjamin Franz (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@768 Confirm the white light. Like a magnesium burst. I didn't get to the button quickly enough either.

#768 - I saw that white flash on Thoro too. What would that be?

By kingbrilliant (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

hvolsvelli cam, what is the source of the flaring diffuse light in the midfield (in the meltwater valley)??

We got lava flowing there as well??

Lava seemingly much more visible on the downward slope now ? I can see several instances of "red" glowing even on the visible cam. Is the lava flow currently greater than that previously ?

Just got a short-lived glimpse of lava about 1/3 of the way down Gigajökul

By Alastair Preston (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

#765 #769 OK. It's difficult to tell. Image is crashing constantly. But I can see the glow.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Got stuck with that the other night, think it's cars going behind the hill, they tell me the road takes two turns there.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Just an amazing show at dusk. Wow. What do you call a Strombolian eruption with a 20K ft ash plum ?

By Dasnowskier (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Negatory. Not car lights, far too large a light source.

Dasnowskier you call it Amazing,.

Now, Eyafjäll reminds me of "Dantes peak"

Here is a memory for you


I think, experts are mesmerized, but we need your evaluation:)

I agree with the car lights theory - the light pans just the way headlights do. Also same happens to the far-left occasionally.

By kingbrilliant (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@780 "Dantes peak"
...another religious reference: I am told the description of the mountain of Sinai is probably a folk memory of a middle east volcano, later superimposed on the biggest (non-volcanic) mountain in the region.
I can absolutely understand why early nomads would associate Yah (or Lah, as in Al-lah) with something like this...

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

This is just amazing but it is 1.15am here and I have to be up at 7am so I have told myself 1.30 and thats it I will have to go to bed, but some how I don't think I'll be able to tear myself away from the screen

I can't remember last evening I watched at this time of night when it wasn't cloudy - but is this unusual or normal tonight ? Just seems increadible the amount of explosive lava ?

Have seen the lights numerous times. The pattern is the exact same every time. Also looked at Google and you can see road there. The distances are deceiving. Smoke/humidity accentuate the lights. The speed is similar each time too. Happens almost every night. Cars.

I had to ask for Pyroclastic flows, and now she has an eruption that can lead to that..

Vulcanic eruptions..

Pyroclastic flows are a common features of this type of eruption. The gas streaming phase of these eruptions are characterised discrete canon-like explosions, which are a particular features of vulcanian eruptions. These expulsions of gas can reach supersonic velocities resulting in shock waves .
The tephra is dispersed over a wider areas than that from Strombolian eruptions. The pyroclastic rock and the base surge deposits form an ash volcanic cone, while the ash covers a large surrounding area. The eruption ends with a flow of viscous lava. Vulcanian eruptions may throw large metre-size blocks several hundred metres, occasionally up to several kilometres.

what else does Eyjafjöll keep up her sleeves?

This is the first night that my family is not mad at me for staring at the cams. In fact, my wife and kids are actually 'kinda' watching it too! The lava bombs are so amazing!

@Renato, I saw you mention Brazil earlier...o volcao e magnifico hoje, nao e? Eu falo bem, mas e muito deficio para escrever. Sou Americano, mais minha Mae e do Sao Paulo mesmo. Prazer

By Corproral_E (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

In my humble and diletantish opinion, not Vulcanian. More Strombolian-Hawaiian. Frequency of bursts seems higher than the one in typical Vulcanian.

If you go back and look at some of my posts from the last 2 threads and you will understand why it is so explosive. I have been saying for the last few days that we had entered a new phase and this was going to get nasty....I even told Erik and Boris this would happen and nobody believed me....Just a crazy old guy with eclectic volcano related prose, poetry and esoteric text;)

"No one, ever listens to poor Zathras no, he's quite mad they say. It is good that Zathras does not mind, has even grown to like it."
----Zathras Babylon 5, War Without End

#790 @Corporal: Muito prazer! I was away from the computer because they're showing Eyjafjallajökull on National Geographic channel! I'm kind of split in two. I don't want to miss the show, either here or there. And tonight it's been so special. We don't have volcanoes in Brazil, so you can imagine how thrilling it is to witness this. OK. I'll be back soon. Take care!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

#794 @Renato: If it is the same Nat Geo show I saw the other night, it is pretty good until the Global Warming stuff. Great imagery.

My 3 year old son is calling the lava bombs on the cams right now "Hot Pockets" lol.

By Corporal_E (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Any explanation for that grayish-whitish line running diagonally from the hot spot at middle slope to the left of the glacier?

"Zathras is used to being beast of burden to other people's needs. Very sad life. Probably have very sad death. But, at least there is symmetry."

#793 Not quite sure if your seeing the same thing, but I think what you might be looking at is Flashing Arc, Perret 1912.

Could be gas flash points and all that, I think from memory CO is about 600C etc.

Boris or someone will know all the details there though. Or correct me ;)

By Scott, sg (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Anyone know what the cross-hairs and red triangle in the FLIR cam mean? Is that the hottest spot? I've noticed it periodically jumps down yo the lower white spot, even when the main eruption is going full bore.

"Yes, Zathras understand. Everyone always coming to Zathras with problems. Big responsibility but Zathras does not mind. Zathras trained in crisis management."
--Zathras Babylon 5, Conflicts Of Interest"

I am sitting here in total awe of this lady, I haven't seen her put on such a display as this before..

Awesome! But scary!

"Bomb is armed and fuel is lit" - this is how the National Geographic show on Eyjafjallajökull ends. And it sounds true to me...

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Well... it's pretty obvious that there is a lot of pressure there now. Doing a fudge comparison with the camera's viewing angle to the vent on Google Earth shows that that plume and debris is easily reaching 400 to 600 meters height.

I've notices a few quakes at â8.3 km depth along a line to the base of the Reykjanes peninsula, likely following what is/will be connected to the Mid Atlantic Ridge in that area. Does this constitute a triple junction? Beats me. If so, that will be at least 3 of them in Iceland along the borders of it's microplates. You can also see that there was some activity along a line â1.1 km depth towards the original ficcure eruption... and a couple of deeper ones a wee bit closer to Katla.

For the experts out there... what are the possibilities that this magma will leak over into other nearby systems? Based on the historical record, it's Hekla and Katla are both way early to be due for an eruption, Hekla only has a 10 year interval in her eruptions about 3.3% of the time, and Katla only has a ten year interval about 12.3% of the time. It's been only about 10 years since they had activity. Torfajökull, off in left field north of Katla, has an eruption within 500 years 58% of the time, and it's been 533 years since it's last at 1477. The alignment of some of the quakes trends off towards the NE in that direction.

None of this means squat as far as predictability goes... at least I don't think it does.

@Shelley I agree awesome but scary I hope the people down below will be ok, and yes I know I said I would have to go to bed at 1.30am to get up at 7 it is now 2am here but hey this is too good to miss

Now she's throwing lava bombs onto the top of the glacier where you can see them land! Looks like a new feed into the top lava stream, too, hot spots in the stream ...

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@Ruby, At least I get a lie in tomorrow/today.. I booked a day off so I could webcam watch.. lol

You must be on the same timezone as me NE UK, where are you?

I've been watching this lady since her awakening in April and reading all your comments here without saying anything. But now i can't help but say that what I am watching tonight on Hvolsvelli and porolfsfelli cams is the most impressive live eruption I've ever seen.

@Shelly: I know what you mean. I feel small yet exactly the right size against this incredible force. It's a privilege to be able to see this happen in real time.

By Carla - Seattle (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

No-one ever listen to Zathras.

#810 Welcome Greggig.. This is the only live eruption I have ever seen! Technology, you gotta love it :)

Unfortunately I have another Babylon 5 quote for our situation and it's not good...."The landslide has started. It's too late for the pebbles to vote."---Ambassador Kosh

@Shelly Yes same time zone N.Ireland Uk, you couldn't have booked off a better day for web cam watching lucky you I will have to drag myself off to bed very soon, well I'll try:)

Nice fountain. :)

Now I wish we had a network for distributing the live images so more people could see it without so much skipping etc. Anyway, you can see the sand plume on the visible cam, but with the scaling of the IR image due to the hot fountain, most of the mountain and the sky as well as the plume are invisible.

By MadScientist (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

(#815)Hey Dan, are you enjoying the "E" eruption? I have several tabs going, the HVO cam, the POR/FLIR cam, Eruptions blog & WU blog, plus I am listening to Melissa Scott. This is almost as much fun as following a major hurricane :o).

By Robert Bordonaro (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Timing the lava bombs from apogee to ground, assuming they are big enough not to reach terminal velocity, they are reaching up to 1200m.

Steam has started pouring from the slope again, lava flowing? but then I'm probably stating the obvious. lol

Bord, I least I don't have a vested interest in the volcano, at least until July maybe, when I head to UK.

Hurricanes in the Gulf, you bet I'm on top of them, out of necessity.

#822-Dan, don't worry, "E" will still be in her eruption mode come July. And don't have to worry about Hurricanes in the Gulf until at least July, at the earliest. The Gulf is warming but not many temps >80F, unless in/near the Loop Current.

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

That latest blast had lava bombs taking 20 seconds to fall so 2000m!

Steam on Thoro cam is very strong.

By Corporal_E (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Bill S some of that could be in your connection or their website so it may not be quit that high.....but they are high maybe...1/2 to 2/3 that high.

Great show tonight!

@raving781 that's the one that came right after , or shortly after, the white flash which must have set off the ice cream cone tower...I had both cams running.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@ Dan, Florida [822]

Did hear about the residents down on the coast in Walton county that went nuts over a crude oil sighting? Turns out it was peat from someone's flower garden...

and dawn breaks in Iceland - that was quite a night!

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

ejecting material about 1000 feet plume about 18000 feet

visible light cameras take a averaged light reading across the entire field of view to set the f stop so it will get overloaded with a mostly dark background and a bright spot yealding white flashes when overloaded at the spot source

@GinaCT 831 - but how come that's the only one seen at all all night? It was so bright and so fast - all the other explosions have been bright and have had white areas, but this was a single incredibly bright flash as though from a much hotter source - and the subsequent cloud is the only one that has shot straight up like a tower and been shaped like an ice cream cone on top - just curious ....

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Gina Ct did you see it a few hours ago? The ejecta went much higher than 1000ft and several times the plume went far higher than 18000ft....no trick of the light or quirk of the camera;)

Gotta get some sleep - hope you on the night watch have good viewing too, this was a treat - tho not forgetting its consequences on the ground and in the air. Gina 831, I'll be back and check for clues some more tomorrow, thanks. : )

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

It was quite a night, indeed!!!
And now to bed, ladies and gentlemen!
@Corporal Desejo a todos de sua famÃlia um feliz dia das mães!
Prazer em conhecê-los.
Grande abraço.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

birdseye extremely hot ejection most likely equivalent to a brick of C4 going off flammable gasses possible

Randall no i didn't see it earlier but i wager you are right my est based on a 35-30 K height to the top of the image on the Hvolsvelli based cam and to many years being in avation

@birdseye # 834

Left coast night watch reporting for duty... ;-)

Busy week (work) and busy weekend (social obligations) didn't allow me to watch much, but tonight I'll get a few hours of volcano watching to relax. Fortunately, the show is quite good and will make up for missed views do to fog or work...

By Holger, N California (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

but what i want to know is who stuck the pin in the dragons butt to get em so angry

@Gina #838

Earlier today I took my 10 year old to watch "How to train your dragon". It was quite entertaining and the answer to your question is clearly "the vikings", based on the movie.

There were also several themes in the movie that reminded me a little bit about Iceland (or the little I know about it). BTW, how was that movie received in Iceland?

By Holger, N California (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

What a show this has been. I hope everyone has a good watch tonight!

@Renato Muito obrigado. Feliz dia das Maes tambem! Espero que o volcao continua essa show amanha! Mutio prazer, e ate logo! Abracos!

By Corporal_E (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Erik, I think this is the all-time Eruptions record of number of comments, but many of them are useless (#839 per example)

By Guillermo (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Here are more nighttime memories


Guillermo why you got to be like that? Really what did comment #842 add to the discussion...how useful was it....except to hurt someones feelings?

midnight time to sleap

I think that @842 is the most useless and callous comment on here...anyway, back to the volcano. It is impressive how visible the lava bombs still are even with sun rising.

By Corporal_E (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Right coast reporting for night duty, SIR!! :)

Was out visiting all evening and managed to get my hosts hooked on the Hvols cam :)

By Frito Lay (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Silly question, but the snow/ice on E which we could see in April...did it all melt away due to the warmer weather, or is it because of the heat from the volcano?

Izzy some melt mostly covered in ash.

Corporal_E stay tuned there will be more fireworks;)

Frito I hope you were able to see the show;)

@842: As long as the casual chitchat remains at low volume, why make a fuss? This is an unusually polite technical web log; Eruptions is exemplary for it's helpful and pleasant community of volcano enthusiasts.

@Randall, yes, actually I did...for hours! I used it as an educational tool for my young nephews and found out they know more about eruptive phases than I do )-:

By Frito Lay (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Nightly SO2 blob check:


By Frito Lay (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

It's just after midnight here, so I have to get some sleep. For those just coming on tonight, the EQ activity, lava fountains, steam vents, and lava bombs were simply awesome and deserve some review. It was great watching it with all of you! Good night ya'll!

By Corporal_E (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Southern hemisphere reporting in for watch duty :)

Could someone just clear up a niggle for me - the steam plume on the Hvolsvelli cam on the left hand slope - that's the same plume as on glacier, right? I am assuming so from position of cams, but haven't noticed it on Hvols cam before.

By Helen Leggatt (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@ Corporal_E 'Nite!

@ Helen Leggatt - that is my understanding as well. It had thrown me when I first saw it too

@Passerby - thanks a mil!

By Frito Lay (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

The vodafone camera view right now (11:20 PM CST) is really clear. The ash looks completely different then that from just a week ago. Nasty brown muck. Since the composition is increasing in silica does that mean that the basaltic magma has cutoff from feeding the chamber and we're just venting the old melt (a little house cleaning) before going back into dormancy?

Thanks guys - thought as much. My particular focus has been on the arch... :)

By Helen Leggatt (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Kver, more like main-lining the deep stuff (very little to none shallow magma chamber or intrusion sill/dike melt).

Eyjaf is settling into her regular routine.

Anyone seen the latest analysis of the ash....that will tell us more about what's going to happen next. I wonder if the silica content has down or up? According to yesterday's report it has been steadily increasing since the fist eruption....that is in spite of getting recharges of what should be very mafic magma. Also the ash plume has been getting lighter gray....when this all started it was black.

Passerby do you have CO2 stats or sat. pic?

@Randall #863

Thanks for the encouragement. Nevertheless, I'll keep the chitchat down and focus more on truly volcano related matters.

Here is a picture I took quite a few years ago of Iceland. Not strictly Eyjafjallajökull-related, but still relevant.


In case nobody figures out what it is, I'll post a solution.

By Holger, N California (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

some parts look exactly like cloiuds,but majority dont,so i guess its soap suds upon a piece of glass held up to early pre dawn/dusk sky

By VulcanEye (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

From the Vodafone camera it looks like the ash plume is partially collapsing to the ground to the south. I'm not sure if this is only due to the wind.


From the Vodafone camera it looks like the ash plume is partially collapsing to the ground to the south. I'm not sure if this is only due to the wind.

Posted by: Mr. Moho | May 10, 2010 1:14 AM

More ash does seem to be falling out sooner. The eruption is still pretty energetic and getting it up there a ways, so I'm guessing the ash is getting heavier. Could be coming out as coarser particles, which would fall sooner. But also, the plume appears to be lighter in color, which hints at a change in composition.

The ash plume looks just as murky and dirty as it did earlier, however a new plume of steam (to the left of crater on Thoro cam)appears to be mixing with it to make it lighter in places. I assume new lava outflow.

By Helen Leggatt (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

There's very little steam venting from further down near the wall of ice, particularly compared with a couple of days ago. Just wisps at the moment yet the heat cam shows a lot of heat down there. Why might that be?

By Helen Leggatt (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

For the German speaking members on this blog: There is a new article at the news magazin "Der Spiegel" regarding Eyjafjallajökull and the closing of the airspace in April:


It reports that the pilots that flew the first flights under 'sight only' rules in Germany were in fact very unhappy to fly under those conditions. They state that it may not have been safe to fly during those days, even without the danger from the ash.

By Holger, N California (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

I think that the current vent might be getting bigger. But so far it does not appear that a new vent has opened up. But the risk continues to be there at current time.

I suppose all the night-watchers are sound asleep, I´ll throw out a question anyhow.

Picture´s/screenshots/videos from the past night? I posted my screenshots from Hvolsvelli cam on flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/50029293@N05/?saved=1 Note: the pictures are not in the right time order in the album, start looking at the last, that´s the right looking order if you want them in chronological order. Time from 22:00 to around 1:00 in Iceland.

I didn´t have a working Thoro or vodafone cam yesterday (slow computer), anybody got some nice screenshots?

Amazing how calm she looks in daylight, tonight's fire cascades very a strong demonstration of the forces of Nature.

By snotra viking,… (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Under the island - middle of a mountain
there is a big bad - boomin' system
it's gonna blow oh oh oh - volcano

Perhaps "Götterdämmerung" is a more adequate background music, but I just like "Volcano" from "The Presidents of the USA"...

Been lurking around here the last weeks - thanks Erik for your blog! As a former geology student I love to read the serious discussions here.

Thanks at all the nightwatchers for the screenshots and timelaps movie's. It seems I took the wrong night to go to bed in time :-(

Question: is the FLIR cam out of order at the moment? I get " server not found", although the daytime cam shows...

By Lavendel, Swit… (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Re: FLIR - it is okay now.
I can watch th shoe.

By Lavendel, Swit… (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Is it only my impression or from the FLIR camera there is really more hot material deposition at the feet of the ash plume (which also seems hotter) and down the glacier than usual?

#885: I get the same impression, Moho. I also have the impression it extends farther down as befor.

Maybe because more ice has melted and so the lava is more "visible" ?

By Lavendel, Swit… (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

@885&886 Yes there is more and it does extend further down I was up very late last night until 3am uk time and it looked like she just spewed it out over the edge but I shall have to watch the time lapse video when available to get a better look. It was just amazing last night the best I have seen yet I ended up only getting 4 hours sleep but well worth it:)

Lavendel, you´re welcome. The screenshots were to good to keep on my own computer. Amazing really. I just miss the sound! Must be a real noise from the eruption!

By snotra viking,… (not verified) on 09 May 2010 #permalink

Warning! This comment contains supposition!

@renato #711 Yes, that looks like the same sort of event that Fireman captured and that showed up on the FLIR camera. An yes, I'd agree its placement is consistent with the FLIR and the other screenshot.

I'm not sure if it's just that the plume is suddenly billowing sideways, because it looks a lot more like it has an upwards motion rather than sideways. But stills can be deceiving.

@passerby #714 I'm even less sure that it's coarse ash particles dropping out - that is happening, but on the downwind side of the plume, and it looks quite different to my eye.

@Kultsi #718 I'm not sure that the second plume is the result of a big lava bomb displacing tephra because firstly I think it'd have to be a *really big* lava bomb to create a plume that high, and secondly, the plume would surely have a different shape? If you look at this diagram of crater impact formation, the ejecta would look very different to the billowing cloud we saw.


To me, the billowiness of it indicates convection, and that it was hot was born out by the FLIR. Would lava bomb impact ejecta be that hot?

@thor #727 Pyroclastic flows happen when an eruption column collapses under its own weight. There have been warnings that pyroclastic flows are possible from this eruption, but I've not seen any official reports of any so far.

@Christian, you keep mentioning 'lava bursts'. Can you explain what you mean precisely. I'd google, but all I get are references to World of Warcraftâ¦

Finally, a plea to everyone who's awake when I'm asleep. If you see something cool, please try to get a screenshot! If you're on a Mac, then Skitch.com is great - it's not just a screen capture tool, it's also a website to upload to. I'm sure there's an equivalent somewhere for PC.

Flickr is a good site for hosting images - its basic account is free. There are loads of other services as well, so plenty of choice.

I never get to see all the nighttime shenanigans as I'm asleep, so screenshots would be great make us Europeans feel less like we're missing all the fun!

And on that note, thanks to @Raving for the screenshots. Wow, she's pretty impressive at night!

Hello there! Just a brief comment before I go to work:
What is that reddish cloud or fog that appears on Múlakot cam? (http://www.simnet.is/jonfr500/earthquake/vefmyndeyjafjalmulaen.html) It seems coming down the western slope of the volcano. If it weren't so "hazy" it could pretty much look like a piroclastic flow. But could also be a blurr on the image, but it persists when refreshing. Just take a look.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

#893, Dylan - thanks a lot!!
She really is impressiv at night.

By Lavendel, Swit… (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

This ash cloud seems dark and heavy enough to produce a piroclastic. It should look lighter, though, shouldn't it?

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink


Thanks for that photo Jon, it clearly shows us what is happening to the glacier that the cams can't..

#895 Chris

Can it be agricultural or other man made noise perhaps?

@895: I noticed that too, I wonder if it's cultural noise or sequences of many small earthquakes.

Two questions for for Jon:
- Wouldn't applying a low pass filter of 10 Hz instead of 5 Hz better capture local small earthquakes by the way?

- Are you already using the Earthworm seismic software suite to process data from your seismometer(s)? If not, consider using it as it would easily allow many interesting things (better/more advanced helicorder charts and spectrograms for example).

Múlakot come is showing some strange sort of halo.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

#894 Renato, I have noticed that on other mornings too.. but saw that it was circular.. If you pan out to 75% so you can view the whole picture you will also see another 'light anomoly'.. Light play on lens I suspect as it only happens at this time of day..

Big explosion now, about 10:45 local time

Thanks everybody for saving some of the spectacular moments that the webcams offer at night - some of them are really impressive. It seems that this night the incandescent bursts have been taller than before, it looks like 200-300 m in height. I don't know whether Jón's information (#884) about the ash plume being 10 km tall is realistic - the whole morning I've seen it being about as tall as the mountain itself, and that's less than 1700 m. I'd give it at best 5000 m (altitude above the sea level) throughout this morning. Certainly, the plume has become again much darker in color than it was in the past few days; that might mean there's a compositional change toward more mafic material - hopefully some new analysis will be published soon.

Someone a few days ago wondered whether the latest chemical analysis (with something like 61 per cent of Silica, SiO2) was dacite. It's not, it's still andesite (dacite has >63% SiO2). In any case the increase in silica content throughout this eruption is truly quite unique, it will be fascinating to see what will come out of in-depth analysis of all that material, both regarding the eruptive products and the geophysical (seismic, deformation) aspects. Though I fear this will happen only in a few years, considering the Icelandic scientists are being kept very busy for the moment, the analyses and interpretations will take their time as will the writing of scientific papers plus the editorial process they'll have to go through for publication ...

May be a dumb question:
what is the white "stuff" at the foot of the gletscher? It has grown bigger as yesterday. At first I thought it was water, but it is to slow for that.
A mudslide? But why is it so white then?

By Lavendel, Swit… (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

For everybody: several small earthquakes occurring right now in the caldera and just north of the volcano.

@Jón (#884) Where did you get that figure from? Judging from the webcams a figure of ~10,000 m does not seem reasonable, at least not in the vicinity of the volcano.

@everyone. When you judge the height of the eruption plume, only the Hvolsvöllur cam is useful as the others are too close and give a faulty perspective. The highest peak of Eyjafjallajökull is 1666m above sea level. Using the apparent height from Markarfljot (level flat area at lower right in camera view) to the top of the mountain gives a useful figure of 1600m (1 mile / 5,250ft). If you use a ruler to measure height, you will see that usually, the eruption plume is no higher than about 2,000m (6,560ft) above the summit or ~3,600m (11,800 ft)above sea level.

Using the same scale, the distance to the top of the screen is about 3,300m (11,000ft) above the summit or just under 5,000m (16,400ft) above sea level.

By Henrik, Swe (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@881JónF Thanks for the photo, places the vent much better for me - but also makes it look small compared to the mountain and glacier, so the pyrotechnics last night were doubly impressive.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

7 EQ's in 9 minutes.. 5 deep 2 shallow.. What is Ej up to now?

Wow that was a nice little swarm..11 quakes ranging from 600m to 23km deep.

These figures could change ofcourse since they are not 100% verified yet.

Add 4 more EQs ... now we're up to 11!

By beedragon Canada (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Add a couple more. I think I counted 13 but they're happening quicker than I can post!

By beedragon Canada (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

I counted 18 in only 22 minutes.. !!

Wow again...the map is full of new EQ´s now..Something about to happen??

@918 Judging from the rising plume I'd say it's already happening.

That's an incredible increase in black ash since those earthquakes

By Alison, UK (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

h m m m m m m .... 22 little earthquakes in less than 30 minutes, that's quite intense.

Let's see what this volcano still holds in store for us - maybe Jón's 10 km was meant as a forecast (a field in which he's often been surprisingly accurate) ¦

and on the FLIR cam high activity!

By Lavendel, Swit… (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Last time I saw a swarm like this was when the new eruption started. This is # 3 I guess.

@#906 Lavendel, I think it is water channels/mud left behind by the meltwater coming down the west/right side of the glacier; as the meltwater input has abated, the moraine left behind has dried some and now lets some of the water seep into it, but apparently the mud clogs up the moraine, so the channels extend farther and farther. The amount of water from the right side is larger now than in some previous days.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Is iceland splitting in 2? Just joking..:) But it does seem like the entire atlantic ridge trembled abit.

Correct me if im wrong but this is the biggest swarm since EF blew her top isn´t it? Maybe a new vent about to open up?

Whatever it is she is definitely putting up a show now!

@922 Alot of hot stuff accumulation to the left of the vent on the FLIR cam.

oh - why do I have to leave just now?
Hopefully things don't get worse for the people in iceland right now.

By Bettina, Germany (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

I assume a second vent will open soon. Wow and good weather today! Or is she waking up Katla?

By Thomas Wipf (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

#924 Kultsi, thank you for your explanation. THat makes sense to me.

By Lavendel, Swit… (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

More and more EQ so many I cant count them now

I recorded video last night that caught a huge fire show from the Volcano. I will get it on my web site later so anyone can view. I thought it looked awesome. Will post a link when its edited to size and put on site.

Amazing sequence as the plume punched through the overlying wave cloud and then created a small new one of its own above before rising through that.

I count 39 EQs now, but I have to leave for work now :(

I'll check in when I get there to see what's happening next!

Last night's show was awesome, my husband and daughter were even interested.

By beedragon Canada (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

well. that's 35 earthquakes in the past hour. I don't know whether a new vent will open or rather those vents that opened within the caldera on 13 April and then became inactive will reactivate. Thomas (#928), I don't see any reason to expect Katla to erupt now, all the seismic activity is at Eyjafjallajökull in the moment (except for one small quake further toward Katla) - and the Icelanders really wouldn't need that ...
Pyrotech (#931), looking forward to your video. Here on Etna in my hometown Trecastagni we had to content ourselves with the fireworks for the local patron saint, Sant'Alfio (but the fireworks were spectacular). Etna is still making us wait, luckily for many of you who'd run out of screen space and bandwidth to have all the webcams running at the same time :-D

@Anna, Your sure to be more familiar with the EQ situation in Iceland.. Is what we are seeing now 'normal' behaviour?? I have only been following the EQ's for about a month so am at a loss as to what/why is happening..


It looks like those sharp signals from Jon Frimann's helicorder were real earthquakes as I suspected.

I think many more small earthquakes occurred between 09:00 and 11:00 UTC will be added to the official list at a later time, then.

#936 I meant to say EQ activity over the whole of Iceland and not just the Mýrdalsjökull region..

An exciting lunchtime on all the iceland cams!

Greg, I find the Table tab on the Met Office earthquake page helps you see which EQ has just happened.

Also, the melt water appears to be steadily increasing again- lots of little stream showing at the base of the morrain(?forgive me if that's the wrong term). It could just be the sun on the water, but it had tailed off quite a lot in the last day.

Loving the timelapses - thanks all!

aaaaaaa - heck of a time for a 'server not found' for Mila!!!!!

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@virdseyeUSA.. that happened to me and refreshing didn't work. Try opening it in a new window, that did the trick for me.. :)

whats up with the cams?? all seem like they are down at the moment..
One quake near katla, and 35 at eyjafjöll, now shes up to no good..
Had an small quake here in Norway last night, not sure if that is linked to whats happening on iceland, but I would not be surpriced if it was..
we all live on an living and ever changeing planet , and some how all is pretty much linked to gether, remove a piece of the puzzle and h!#" breaks loose

that was on Thoro cam only - on Hvol, a heffalump in a hat....
voda won't load again, we're last-on-the-line for cable Grrrrr

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink


I don't follow the EQ activity closely, sorry. The latest barrage of quakes (almost 40, starting at 11:00 GMT) was reported in the news but scientists don't believe it signals something catastrophic is going to happen. Perhaps more magma pushing up.

There's less ash today and the lava flow is increasing somewhat.

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Shallow quakes circa 1km depth in the valley to the north.

Deeper quakes circa 20km depth under the volcano itself.

42 EQs in under an hour...
I rather hope that is a new went opening up, because I think the alternative would be even worse.
Because if there is a sudden large presure build-up without a new place to go it might go rather Krakatau on us.
The reason for me thinking like that is that this Volcano seems to have a rather complex tubing system and if that is shaken around enough the magma and gas release rate will sky-rocket like an erupting geysir. Thing is that I kind of think that is why we have this large swarm, shakes happening all over the tube system shaking loose a lot of new gas that will make a rather huge explosion when going through that rather narrow throat of Eyja.

Thanks Anna, maybe someone else can answer.. :) I'm loving the way the top of the plume is playing with the cloud cover..

@946 I'm amazed that the ashfall you can see on the Mulakot camera can be less then yesterday. It looks pretty dire. Maybe the wind has changed from the sensitive areas.

What is happening. This activity scares me a bit. It reminds me of the activity before the main vent eruption started. Only this time the earthquakes are occuring on depth all the way from 1 km to more than 20 km. A new puls of magma coming up the main vent from 20 km depth?

By Mattias Larsson (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

I am fearing the same Carl.. if this new preassure build up dont get relesed, she might blow the main crater.
then we can start talking about an Eruption much much larger that it is now, this Lady has more up her sleeves than we know about.

hopefully as long as shes not blowing outwards like St Helens,it wont get to bad.

The ash looks really dark know.

By Mattias Larsson (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Jón @ 881 - excellent find! Thanks for sharing.

If anyone wants to see the ash column from really far away, RUV has panned the Hekla camera to the right a bit.

@Boris That sounds to be a good explanation: Maybe the old vent starts to erupt again! Let´sm hope Katla will stay quiet!

By Thomas Wipf (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Wow I've just got back in, what is with all these EQs that's an awful lot in such a short space of time, she put on a real show last night but all these EQs what does it mean

A perhaps more realistic scenario than the Katla one is if there's a basaltic intrusion in the Godabunga "cryptodome" and that erupts. IIRC the Godabunga intrusion was attributed to the Eyjafjölla volcanic system, not Katla. However, why should there be one when there's an open conduit all the way?
(If you look at the IMO map for the Myrdalsjökull area, Godabunga station is the black triangle about 8km SW "M" in Myrdalsjökull.)

By Henrik, Swe (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Quick have alook at Hvolsvelli cam it looks spectacular

Good morning all! Bom dia @Renato! Does anyone know how much the volcano has inflated in the last few days? The show last night, coupled with the EQ activity means she is really gearing up for....something. But what?

By Corporal_E (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Did anyone else see rocks being hurtled out (at least what appears to be several km to the left) on the Hvolsvellör cam?
If so, then things must be getting very, very dangerous for the people living in the surroundings, let alone for scientists venturing onto the glacier or anywhere near.

By Anita in Austria (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@955: the last one looks more like a large harmonic tremor burst. By the way, as I wrote before, many smaller earthquakes appear to have occurred between 09:00 and 11:00. They haven't appeared yet in the earthquake list on the Iceland met office website (vedur.is).

@959 I saw one a few minutes ago. It went across the sky to the left, looking like a meteor on the thermal cam.

By Alison, UK (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@961 Alison, yes I seen that too it went so fast if you had of blinked you'd have missed it

Vertical tremor plots all show very low activity. No new vent. Depth of EQs indicates more magma moving upward from deeper locations, pressurizing the conduit and possibly remelting and activating existing vents.

Those of us who study volcanic emissions impact would very much like to see a new ash particle size analysis conducted with repeat comparison of samples collected over distance, please.

Also would very much like to see the plume gas analysis conducted last week, IES. The clearly visible blue haze and reports of odd smells at altitude by passengers in planes suggest enriched sulfur and halogen emissions, but we're also thinking perhaps certain metallic elements may be present at higher concentrations than expected.

Perhaps UK university collaborators could be tapped for rapid deployment of air quality samplers (gas and particulates).

Earthquakes from the last smaller swarm are starting to appear in the official list. I hope those occurred between 09 and 11 UTC will soon be added too.

@962Ruby and 961 Alison,
The rock must have been huge because I saw it on the Hvolsvellör cam, which is 30 km away.

By Anita in Austria (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Ok the Video i caught last night has been cut down to under 3 mins. It does linger on some frames as was captured whilst in work on a dongle thingy. But the sequences clearly show the lava being thrown hundreds of feet in the air. It was taken about 1 AM UK time today.
You may have to add windows media player first time which when you click yes on top of your screen takes 2 seconds as saved it as wav or avi.
I will add more video footage as days go on.
The direct link to page is

I guess they have a lot of work right now with all those deep small EQ:s

By Mattias Larsson, Swe (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Here is more of the same, holes in the ice after "shooting rocks" http://gummiey.posterous.com/

what do you experts say about the claimed 20% iron content of these rocks...?

The EQ list for this morning is up to 51 as of a minute ago, and more keep being added.

By Corporal_E (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

..and off to the new page....see 969

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Does anyone know why the valahnuk web camera hasn't come back up on the eldgos.mila. web site? I really liked that view the best. It just says that it is under maintainance.

By missyland (not verified) on 11 May 2010 #permalink