Eyjafjallajökull continues to disrupt European air travel

A shot of the summit area of Eyjafjallajökull, showing the twin steam-and-ash plumes from the lava flow and active vent. Picture taken by Dr. Joseph Licciardi (UNH).

Over the weekend, the newly reinvigorated ash eruptions from Eyjafjallajökull combined with favorable winds meant that ash from the eruption closed airspace over swaths of Europe, including Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria and Germany. These disruptions are continuing into the new week, although most of the disruption is for transatlantic flights. However, the threat of ash is more present than ever, as Ryanair admitted to finding that two planes had ash in the engines (although at first, the airline said they were "separate technical problems unrelated to the Icelandic eruption.") This looks like the pattern Europe may have to face over the summer: if the volcano continues on this pattern of explosive, strombolian-to-plinian style eruptions that can produce significant ash and the winds turn towards the continent, air travel will be disrupted. Some airlines are already seeing the effect of the ash on their business and this is likely to continue as people make plans for their vacations or their swanky film festivals.

Strombolian activity at Eyjafjallajökull on May 10, 2010.

As for Eyjafjallajökull, the eruption is continuing on with impressive strombolian explosions (see above) in the main vent area and the continued, slow progress of the lava flow down the flank of the volcano. Dr. Joe Licciardi sent me a few more pictures where the two plumes - one mostly steam from the lava flow melting ice, one mostly ash from the active vent - can be plainly seen (see top and thermal image below). The ash production from the volcano has tapered over the weekend, but the plume is nevertheless still impressive (see at the bottom), reaching 4-6 km (14,000-20,000 feet) in height. The Icelandic Met Office says that the eruptive rate has been decreasing over the past week as the volcano has deflated, but the eruption have become spasmodic with burst of increased activity. However, none of this suggests that the eruption is anywhere close to an end.

FLIR thermal image of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption on May 10, 2010.

The BBC has jumped onto the "Katla-mongering" bandwagon today as well, with a new article that offers nothing new to anyone who has been following the eruption - more or less, there is an interesting and unproven connection between the two volcano's eruptive activity. What bugs me about this article is in the first paragraph, the writer chose to say "some reports suggest that another, much larger, volcano could stir in the near future." (my emphasis). To me, this implies we have evidence right now that something is going on at Katla. The article, however, merely talks about what geologists are suggesting might happen. It is word choice like this (that I, too, fall prey to) that is very important when talking about volcanic hazards.

The ash plume from Eyjafjallajökull as seen on May 8, 2010.

More like this

A shot of the strombolian activity at the vent of Eyjafjallajökull, taken on May 4, 2010. Image courtesy of the Iceland Met Office. The latest news from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption has the volcano erupting more explosively again (see above), possibly due to an increased influx of water into the…
Webcam capture of Eyjafjallajökull erupting on May 2, 2010. You can see the steam plume on the middle flanks of the volcano - this is likely a lava flow coming from the summit vents. A brief update on activity at Eyjafjallajökull: Overnight, the lava flows from Eyjafjallajökull could be seen in…
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…
Night image of Eyjafjallajökull erupting on April 24, 2010. Image courtesy of James Ashworth. A quick update on the Eyjafjallajökull eruption: Not a lot to report in terms of changes in the volcanic activity at the volcano. The update from the Icelandic Met Office last night sums it up nicely:…

Hear Hear Eric; The problem is that reporters take statements by unsuspecting and sincere geologists and proceed to turn these statements totally out of context. It sells papers and web space you understand, who wants to read the truth, its boring!!

By Richard Oliver (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Here are some pictures of 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...?

I wonder if we are going to see an incresed bulging if this possible new magma at large depth start to move closer to the surface. Right now it seems hard to predict how large this new magma body could be.

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

20% iron seems a little high for that work. Basaltic magmas tend to be more Fe-rich, but 20% is way up there (unless the volcano is also getting showered with meteorites).

What is your take on the recent (last couple of hours) of EQs?

(Since it got lost in the previous thread, unanswered, I repeat my question)

What is erupting?

I can't help but ask the question as the maths simply doesn't add up for me. The eruption started on April 15th, so this is the 24th day. The eruption rate, tephra and lava flow, was 300 m3 s-1 during the first 72 hours and has not been reported to be below 20 m3 s-1. With an official figure of 140 million m3 of tephra for the first 72 hours (=70-80 million m3 compacted magma), the total must now stand well in excess of 200 million m3 of magma.

If we assume that the primitive magma erupted at Fimvörduhals came more or less directly from the mantle and that there was a reservoir of rhyolitic magma below Eyjafjöll, the chemical composition hints that at best, the mix is 2 parts new + 1 part old magma. This would require a magma reservoir of at least 70 million m3 of high-end rhyolitic magma just to explain the eruption to date.

Now, the inflation (1999 and on) was reported as being 6 cm over an area of, very generous estimate, ~500 square kilometers (more likely 250-300). This gives a total of ~30 million cubic meters. It's not enough by at least a factor of 2½ times.

As far as I understand it, either Eyjafjöll volcano must be credited with a much larger magma chamber where magma has been fractionating for a long time or the magma thought to come from the mantle must be of a very different composition from the magma that erupted first at Fimvörduhals.

Could someone with a far better understanding of it please explain - what exactly is it that accounts for the observed composition and amounts?

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

Carl, I am definitely least comfortable commenting on the finer points of the seismic end of the equation. Most active volcanoes will rumble in all sorts of ways, so trying to coax out the fine details is hard to do unless you have all the details of the events, not just magnitude and depth. My guess is that magma is continuing to move from depth, so we should expect a bit of a "steam engine" effect - waxing/waning pulses of eruption as the supply of magma changes ... but thats just a guess.

Erik, I don't think 20% FeO+Fe2O3 is unrealistic. Iceland has some very iron-rich tholeiitic magmas. Hawaiites have ~20% FeO+Fe2O3.

Volcanophile, there seems to be a lot of small earthquakes, most at about 20 km depth. My interpritation is that magma is on the move, I think it might be the same magma that have caused the numerous 20-30 km deep earthquakes during the last week.

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

Nothing on the cams....

The graph on Iceland's Met Office looks exactly like it did when Eyjaf started erupting in mid April.

Is it possible that a new fissure system is opening?

Is that thing about to enter a new phase?

@Jon Frimann... Even the tremor jumped suddenly way up.... I don't get it, what is it doing now...

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

Henrik - I follow your math to an extent, but I don't know if you're taking into account the ~5:1 to 10:1 intrusive:extrusive ratio for volcanoes in Iceland. 70 million cubic meters is only 0.07 cubic kilometers - and I would say it is a safe bet that if Eyjafjallajokull erupted any rhyolites in the past, then there is at least 1 cubic kilometers if not many cubic kilometers of rhyolite "mush" left down there. That rhyolite magma doesn't have to cause any inflation - it is just the "leftovers" of the last rhyolitic eruption.

Stupid volcano! It tries to distract me from other things that I need to do right now. :)

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

I'm tossing out an estimate: As seen from Ãórólfsfell, the apparent distance between the peak hiding the crater and the peak to the left is 1300m (1.3km, 0.8mi).

This is based on these assumptions: 1) The actual distance between the peaks is 1.5km. 2) The two peaks are Fremri-Skoltur (Outer Jaw) and Innri-Skoltur (Inner Jaw). 3) The lines between the RH peak (Fremri-Skoltur) and Ãórólfsfell and the two Jaws intersect with a 60° angle.

Corrections more than welcome - unless accompanied by a vampire.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink


Thanks for the info... Yet another batch of magma on the move...
So no end in sight, that is....

Can this magma, which is now 20km below ground, reach the surface in a few hours? In other word, does Europe have to prepare for a far bigger blast?

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

Someone just put it back to normal, but the Katla cam just got moved by someone from right to left, and then it came back to where it was. Anyway, you have to go full-screen to see it, and then it is still hard to see..but is that steam in the upper left hand corner?

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

There is something odd going on. My sensor shows all types of odd signals, and they don't look they are from a human source. At least I think that. But I am checking to see if there is any human traffic in the area where my geophone is located.

This doesn't look like a human noise because the signal is different and too regular for a human noise.

This starts around ~09:03 UTC and is continuing at this time. If this is from Eyjafjallajökull, it can't mean anything good.

Those how asked my questions in the other tread, I will try to answer them here. Please re-post them here if I forget to answer them.

EK- (hii!! back) - Right-o! I hadn't paid that close attention to the analyses of the current eruption. But from your link it looks like SiO2 is climbing from 48% to 57% to now 61.5% since the onset of the eruption. It will be interesting to see how high SiO2 will go. And they are still fairly Fe-rich. Gotta love igneous geochemistry in real time.

Seems just like something just changed on Hvolvelli.... Abrupt cessation of ash fall.. but the plume is going higher and higher, and is denser than ever.....

Activity is definitely ramping up there yet again...

Something interesting is the new ejecta are pitch black.. has it changed composition yet again? gone back to basaltic?

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

Looks like the steam I was seeing is slowing down or stopping now. It started breaking up from the top of the mountain. It was very narrow where it came up from, and was much wider at the top, which is why I was asking for confirmation of the steam. At one point, before someone's hand moved the cam from right to left, it looked like definite vertical rising of steam.

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

This current burst in EQ rate resembles both in time course (about 2-3hours) and peak rate (40 per hour) the spikelets that occurred during the 24-36 hour long spikes in activity in March. Except that the mean depth is rather lower now, and in March we did not see eqs at 20km depth. Note very sudden onset of this spikelet with no sign of large eq precipitating it: so not triggered by tectonic event?

By Peter Cobbold (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

#20-Good afternoon Jon, the web-cams are down, only Mulakot is avaiviable to me here in the US. Has anyone heard from the Iceland Met office this morning, there is no nee update and the EQ's may be signaling a real ramping up of the eruptions.

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@Erik (#12). Thanks for the answer! No, I did not take "the ~5:1 to 10:1 intrusive:extrusive ratio for volcanoes in Iceland" into account. I just computed the mixture ratios between the Fimvörduhals primitive magma and magma of rhyolitic parameters neccessary to produce the observed % of SiO2 in the erupted material (of course, it's not as simple as that ;) ). Judging by your reply, it is possible that the Eyjafjöll volcano has a substantially larger magma chamber or "magma repository" than one can infer from the information available on the Norvol pages, correct? Follow-up questions:

How long can a body of unerupted rhyolitic magma sit and cool before it's "stable"? How long would it take for a left-over body of rhyolitic magma from the 1612 or 1821-23 eruptions to cook / de-crystallise to an eruptible condition? Is it possible that the rhyolitic mush is much older?

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

I have gotten addicted to this site since my April 19th flight Boston to Belgium got cancelled. I rebooked for June 9 on Aer Lingus, and the day after I did that Irish airspace closed. I am trying to watch and learn and see if I can figure out volcano psychology. Is "Eyjaf" going to let me have a vacation in Brussels, or not? From the intelligent conversations going on here, I'm gradually expanding my scientific vocabulary and starting to get a glimmer of what forces and factors are at work. I love you guys. Keep talking!

By Janice Sutcliffe (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Henrik - nice questions and again, a big piece of my personal research. I would say that a rhyolite body would likely need hundreds of years to fully solidify, and that would be somewhere with a stark temperature contrast between the rhyolite body and the crust. Iceland has an elevated geothermal gradient, so my bet would be that the rhyolite could take hundreds to thousands (?) of years to be considered fully "solid". So yeah, the material from the 1612 and 1821 eruptions are fair game to be remobilized.

Pfft, Ryanair. I once flew on a charter run by Ryanair. The most filthy, decrepit looking jetliner I've ever seen. No surprise they flew through ash.


I posted a comment / question yesterday that is awaiting approval. It was to do with magnetic / electric field disturbance associated with volcanoes and earthquakes and whether or not these are being measured in the Icelandic scenario.

There were some links in it that I'd have to work hard to find again, so if have the comment buried somewhere, pls release it or send it back to me.

Thanks again for a great show!

Beautiful image on Mulakot cam at the moment. Plume seems to rise even higher now.

Harmonic tremors are on a steady rise for the last hour or so http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/Katla2009/stodvaplott.html. Can't help but feel as a casual observer that something bigger is about to happen. Would i be wrong in saying that all signs point to an increase in activity or possible new vent opening.
A new vent in the moraine would be something else.

In the absence of a time-interrogatable 3D display the table on the IMO page is the only info we have on spatio-temporal activity. During midday's Eq burst there were several brief periods when several EQs were separated by a few seconds, but by a few kilometres in distance. Bearing in mind these are minute magnitude EQs, that suggests to me that the EQs are being induced by a force dispersed over a wide area (and not propagation of strain EQ to EQ) So I'd go with magma on the move, maybe 20km deep, but over what area? An area corresonding the the EQs: 50km2. So what volume of magma is on the move?

By Peter Cobbold (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

I would say that due to the sharp increase in EQ´s today which varied from surface deep to really deep (>20km) i would think that magma is moving. And as a previous poster wrote there seems to be magma moving down there and if the pressure becomes too great for the current vent I also would think it logical that either the vent that is now ejecting lava would increase in size (explode?)or simply that another fissure would open up.

Correct me if im wrong please. :-)

@20 Jón FrÃmann:

This was my question for you:

- Are you already using the Earthworm seismic software suite to process data from your seismometer(s)? If not, please consider using it(*) as it would easily allow many interesting things (better/more advanced helicorder charts and spectrograms for your website for example). With that you could also set up a server to store your data and make it conveniently remotely accessible from the rest of the world with specialized software.

(*) However, whether you can or not, that depends much on the digitizer you're using.

Hi, just took a look at vodafone cam & thinking about, where all the
meltwater from the glacier is heading to? Noticed, that the water running
down the valley seems hotter than in front of the glacier-tongue. Maybe itâs
coming out of the ground? There have been some steam a while ago (14:35), where not expected (could also be a cloud, not sure) so maybe there is a sub-way & a geysir is on the way?
see also flir...

By Marlowe DE (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

#31, the cameras are back up, thanks :o). Gonna hang out with a friend and my grand daughter at the park. I would much rather be watching "E" erupt, it therapeutic. Don't get me wrong, I care about them both, but "E" is awesome to watch.

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Wow did you guys see that on FLIR?

She got dark then there was a big lava burst!

Marlowe DE

I noticed that although it seems to have gone now. I have been watching the vodaphone camera with great interest this afternoon, as several tremors north of the volcano have been at very shallow depths, and have been around the snout of the glacier.

@Jon: your graphs kinda remind me of something I saw a while ago...

When Vesuvius erupted explosively in 1906, Mercalli who was studying the eruption discovered the phenomenon of harmonic tremor.

The night before the eruption reached its climactic phase, he observed that the walls of the seismographic observatory were all vibrating,emitting noise as if someone was running heavy mechanic equipment nearby in the middle of the night. At this time, Vesuvius was still erupting in an effusive phase.

Next day, he asked if there had been anybody running heavy machinery in the neighborhood and there were none. In the beginning of the afternoon, Vesuvius went ballistic, shooting a 13500m high ash plume and sending lava fountains more than 1 km high.

He had been hearing the harmonic tremor made by the ascending batch of explosive magma, reverberating through the walls of the observatory.

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

Hummmmm....66 EQ's....rising silica content....higher viscosity.

"Just as Zathras said. Not good. Definitely not good."
---Zathras Babylon 5, War Without End

Harmonic tremor is on lift off. Graph is now vertical and still rising.

@Mr. Moho, I am not using Earthworm software. I can use it, as I use fairly common hardware that is supported by the Earthworm software. But I choose not to. What I have now is quite good. But I also need something better then what I have, but I have to write that software my self in due time.

The odd spikes on my Hekla plot are from the eruption it seems. There currently isn't any human noise in that area far as I know.

@Paul 41 have ben looking at the EQ's and it seems to me that the trend is not down Gigjökull but the one next door, Steinholtsjökull
Does anyone have a link to a map of the topography under Ejya??

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

Hi guys,

@kaboom: Yap, I noticed that too, heavy tremor after EQs... She's gonna blow or what?

By cristihan RO (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@Daniel 36 In march bursts of EQs went on for weeks, then there was a quiet period of a week before the eruption started. And those EQs were shallower than now (mean 8km rising to 4km in week before eruption) So burts of EQs at 20km depth may have long delayed effects. On other hand in March Eyjaf did not have a conduit(s). So we wait and see..

I'm keepimg an eye on the GPS for inflation- magma rising should cause southward motion of THEY GPS station:
theres a hint maybe. (Note odd time scale: 0.1 is 36.5 days)

By Peter Cobbold (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@ Peter #49

Yes there was a quiet period. But as you point out now that there are conduits it should by logic go faster. A conclusion which is supported by the sharp increase in tremors also at http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/Katla2009/stodvaplott.html

They are pointing almost straight up. Actually off the chart at the moment.

Peter! Did you notice that the onset of this spike was Iceland-wide - as someone pointed out in the previous thread - with two areas of intense activity, Eyjafjalla volcanic system and NNE Grimsey? Both signatures elongated along the orientation of the continental rift as well.

Erik, again thanks for the answer. What is your opinion on the likelihood of a basaltic intrusion at the Godabunga "cryptodome" and what could be expected if such an intrusion would occur?

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

This increse in harmonic tremor looks a bit scary. Meiby magma is starting to accellerate upwards from the depth? How much gas content could it be in this deep magma?

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

Wow, wow, wow! That was a great show last night with no clouds! I was able to watch it from before dusk to dawn and I must say it was just fantastic.

@Jon, your plot is sort of going wild and my guess is like the rest of us: is something more eventful brewing?

Another thing I am wondering about is the size of the rhyolitic magma chamber and if it is a possibility that the current idea of how large it really is could be incorrect. I know it is tricky business trying to figure out the extent of magam under a vocano (ie. Yellowstone which the estimate of the plume is very large). I am still trying to get an understanding of Iceland and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge/hot spot connection. It is my understanding right now that there is a hot spot in addition to the ridge and that makes it for a very complicated area.

Keep posting as I am reading (though I am NOT going to try and catch up with the last thread, LOL)and learning what everybody thinks about this eruption. I don't think it is going to end any time soon so there will be more disruption of flights and so on. Time for Plan B.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@Henrik Around 11.05 Eyjaf and 11.07Grimsey:a burst of 3-4 eqs at both. But Tornes all within 2km of surface vs 20km deep at Eyjaf. Could be mere coincidence. We need software to pick out these 'rapid-fire' EQ events (ie a few EQs within a few seconds) and then build up picture of spatial arrangement over many such 'rapid fire' events, ideally as 3D map. That would firm up any suspected raltionship across Iceland.
I must say compared with biology geophysics is in the dark ages when it comes to visualising events with spatio-temporal behaviour. All those hard won data going to waste.

By Peter Cobbold (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Diane and Henrik now you are both heading down the right road....I saw the light last week, that's when I changed my view of what might happen here. I think last night was just a prelude of what is to come;)

"Zathras warn, but no, no one listen to poor Zathras"
---Zathras Babylon 5, War Without End

Looking at the vodaphone cam on picasa and the outwash stream appears to be reduced to a trickle starting at 14:00 local time. Keeping an eye out for another flood event...

Peter, quake and volcanic study has not had the opportunity biology has had. I know you know that is the case and why. :-) I think this eruption is going to do a lot for research because of the the trouble it is causing. I think it would really be facinating to see a 3D map of the quakes that seem to come as if fired from a machinegun. Somebody will get it figured out, I am sure.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

I asked Mila about the focusing problem on the Thorolfsfell camera and the said the autofocus has been off all the time; the glitch is in the flash server they are using and they are working on it.

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

Says the Tourist Bureau: "Iceland - Never More Alive!"

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@54 Peter
"We need software to pick out these 'rapid-fire' EQ events (ie a few EQs within a few seconds) and then build up picture of spatial arrangement over many such 'rapid fire' events, ideally as 3D map. That would firm up any suspected raltionship across Iceland."

Sounds like something I said yesterday, in different words, so I could not agree more.

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

Large Vulcanian explosion on Mulakot...

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

@Jón #60

If i enterpret the FLIR image correctly that would support your theory. It seems that there are "pulses" coming up and if those were gaspockets or something similar bursting through couldn´t that produce the pressure/sound waves?

Peter I agree, but come, let us share a happy thought: Think of all the science this eruption will result in once it's over. From the potentially paradigm-shifting bolus propagation to "Effects of Ash Propagation on the Western European Socio-Economic Structure". "Interaction of Eruption Plumes with External Sources of Water; Snow, Ice, Steam and Clouds". "Eruptive Behaviour of Icelandic Volcanoes In Relation to Geolocical Position". "The Meteorology of Volcanic Eruptions; Tropospheric Dispersal of Ash and Sulphur Dioxide from the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull Volcanic Eruption".

I am positive that a score of young scientists will win their doctor's laurels from the science made possible. And that Peter, is something for us older men to rejoice in!

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

#60: Those signals looks really strange Jón. They seem very rhytmic.

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

@Henrik. Brain fade again: Grimsey Eq were deeper, ca 8km. Maybe spikes starting?? -I'll archive the 'Tornes small' plots just in case, as we have'nt got Soucuel recording them. Lower crust under Grimsey at 20km, similar to Eyjaf too. Maybe a repeat show coming??

By Peter Cobbold (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

The sound wave must be a very fast rumble, then, well above the LPF's cut-off.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@60 Jón FrÃmann: I don't know if this is too much of a request, but could you upload somewhere the unfiltered raw waveform data of those explosions (or better, the whole section you showed in the screenshot) in SAC format? Thanks in advance.

@Jón #60 Those look very much like drum beats: very sharp attack, short sustain. An air-borne explosion would be similar: the initial shock wave and then more waves from the different parts of the explosion and reflected waves from different paths. The amplitude difference of the attack and the sustain, as well as the length of the sustain should tell something about the distance - like with lightnings.

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

Maybe Henrik, Erik or someone with more knowledge can answer that question? The pulsating imagery from FLIR cam (Thorolfsfelli) can that be gaspockets exploding or just a "normal" rythm from whichever chamber fueling this eruption?

Daniel #73 if it is still doing what it was last night, and I have no reason to think otherwise, FLIR is showing more Strombolian style eruptions. The ash is along with it. Last night it was just awesome with the Strombolian streams of hot lava and rock mixed in with the ash. It was beautiful. In daylight, Strombolian eruptions look black and you can't really see them unless you have infra-red or are up close to it.

Somebody can correct me if I am wrong here. But that is my assessment.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

birdseyeUSA #47

I agree the shallow tremors are not far enough west of Basar to be at the snout of Gigjökull. Interesting there's been another shallow one ENE of Basar.

It's been a fascinating day so far.

We are all going to die.

What should I wear?

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

Nostradamus, nothing.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@77 Nostradamus

Something comfortable. Why live your life wearing something that isn't?

You should wear a smile Nostradamus... And a tutu.


Yep indeed... Only hope there won't be something like...

"Interconnections in Adjacent Volcanic Systems: Eruption triggering at Katla by Eyjafjallajokull..."

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

@78 Jon ... Looks like there might be farm equipment down in the field. Farmers could be stirring up dust. Don't know if I'd be working down there right about now.

@77 Nostradamus ... I'd wear Prada ;)

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

Has anyone tried to hack a geophone to work as one half of a Wheatstone bridge? Did it work out?

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Can't see the dust now ... smoke? agricultural? ... any ideas? It rose like a cloud around the buildings there.

The cross section we've seen from scientists with all the data depict a vertical channel with a number of horizontal sheet intrusions.

I wonder if we may infer, since almost no EQ's occur between 6 km and below 18 km, that there may be a magma dome of height 12 km, since EQ's should not originate in magma, at least not unless it is very highly viscous.

This of course given a very simplistic dome model, and EQ's due to magma flow "scraping" solid matter around the flow channel, and nothing said about the width.

A guesstimate the width of the dome would need more detailed data, and the relative strength of S- and P-waves to help better "map" the magma.

Jon, is there a way I could send an encouraging message to IMO? I just want to let them know that there are people out here that appreciate what they do.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

I'm not really Nostradamus. I just wanted Diane to tell me to get undressed. :)

This thing is a trip that's for sure. A lot of bad stuff is going on right now around the world that isn't good. Surely a sign of doom. I go back and forth between Iceland and the gulf oil spill right now. Not a whole lot in the news about that but it is going to be the worse eco disaster the world has ever seen. Oh, but not to worry, FEMA is going to save us and all the little creatures. They don't even mention it on their website. Assholes, as usual they are no help.

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

From yesterday's Mulakot camera. You can see the acoustic waves in the cloud.


@Kultsi 61 Missed your earlier comment on 3D+time - connection problems.
@Henrik. Yes us mouldy oldies should hand over the torch. I reckon one young PhD student computer wizard (with stats background too) could storm the field with 3D-time analyses of EQ swarms. We are very good at identifying patterns in space, its the time part where software can help. Remember those NW trending lines of 'simultaneous' EQs extending towards Katla, and the arcs around Katla? Were they too 'action at a distance'? or pure fluke?

By Peter Cobbold (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

The scientists must have a difficult job figuring out the positions of the EQ:s. They are so closely spaced in time that there must be difficult to triangulate between the seismographs. Especially if they want to keep up with the new eartquakes that keeps on coming.

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


Those are shallow... Now it's getting HOT there...

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

The 3D spatial pattern is space might be easy in theory, given the same speed of waves in magma and rock, which of course is not the case, so the waves are refracted, which is not so easy to figure out, exept you know the structure you're going to map, so it has to be an iterative kind of 'tomographic' procedure...

@Jon, what do I click on so I can send an email? It is not imparative that I get an answer. I just want to encourage them.


By Diane N CA (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Katla is sleeping Nostradamus...Ssssshhh you might wake her.

@ Daniel, Dagmar. Welcome to 'spike watch'! If March's events repeat then you'll see lots of oscillations.

By Peter Cobbold (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

#102 @Diane: Assuming you're on en.vedur.is, click on "Hafa samband" at the bottom of the page, then click on "Contact" on the error page that appears.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Eruption in Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland
Assessment - 10 May 2010 17:30
The hight of the grey or light gray eruption plume is ~5 km (17,000 ft) but sometimes it shoots up to 6 km (20,000 ft). It is heading southeast but low level winds are variable.

Ashfall was reported to have been almost continuous during the last 24 hours at farms DrangshlÃð and SkarðshlÃð just south of the eruption. The ash is rather coarse, the grain size is estimated by the farmers to be ~2-3 mm in diameter.

The crater is getting higher. Lava flow is low and not visible on cameras. In the afternoon there was a slight increase in explosive activity, which resulted in a higher plume for a while.

Seismic tremor has been similar for the past 3 days. A sequence of earthquakes started around 11:00 this morning at depths of 18 - 20 km and magnitude range 1 - 2. The earthquake sequence this morning indicates that magma is still flowing in from the mantle. Presently there are no indications that the eruption is about to end.

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

@Beedragon, Reynir, and Jon, thank you and I think I was able to send them a message. I remembered that I had their site in my favorites under Earthquakes so I went there and I think I got it done. At least it seemed to work so I hope they got it.

Thanks again.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@94 Jón FrÃmann: thanks a lot for the file!

Unfortunately, as I feared, data output from geophones appears in detail much different than ordinary seismometers (of which I have far more experience working with). Those pulses with very specific frequencies on a seismometer would most likely indicate something faulty or electronic noise, but in the case of geophones however they must be signals possibly of seismic origin making the instrument resonate at its "preferred" frequencies (at about 9 and 18 Hz which are harmonics of 4.5 Hz, which again is incidentally is your geophone's "base" frequency).

Even so, anyway, I do see hints of natural seismic activity. Hard to say with certainty, though, at least for me. If most of them are the earthquakes showing at the Iceland met office's vedur.is site, then really many occurred.

But I haven't had anything alcoholic since Friday night! So why am I seeing pink elephants on the widescreen cam?

Aside: I like the new zoom setting on the widescreen cam. It actually matches the thermal cam's image now.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Looks like it just got bigger to me. I need to go get some beer.

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

@ kris 100. I'd start by displaying all the EQs in a swarm that occured in closely-timed groups (eg =>4EQs within 1 minute) There may be dozens such groups in a swarm like March's. Then a 3D display of just those EQs might reveal 'structures'. On other hand, a random scattering of those EQs in 3D would indicate no spatial relationship between closely timed EQs. I see the tricky bit being a statistical definition of 'random in 3D' versus 'organised in 3D'.

By Peter Cobbold (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

But I haven't had anything alcoholic since Friday night! So why am I seeing pink elephants on the widescreen cam?

Aside: I like the new zoom setting on the widescreen cam. It actually matches the thermal cam's image now.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Kris B (#88) Yes, that's where my imagination leads me too. In spite of Erik's answers, I do not see how the 1612 and 1821-3 eruptions could have left behind enough material to explain the amount and type of material erupted. Nor does the magma system according to Norvol http://www2.norvol.hi.is/page/ies_Eyjafjallajokull_eruption (scroll to about 2/3 down) with its magma sills at ~3.8 - 6km depth satisfy me as a source for the amount of easily accesible highly silicic magma neccessary to explain the sustained eruption we have seen for the past 3+ weeks.

As I see it, there has to be a large reservoir of highly silicic magma "hidden from view" somewhere beneath Eyjafjallajökull and your guesstimate is attractive Kris. Luckily, this body will not erupt suddenly and cataclysmically but slowly as new, primitive magma from the mantle mobilises it. This, in my guesstimate, is one possible reason why eruptions of the Eyjafjalla volcano last for such long periods of time - months and years rather than days or a few weeks.

Please note that while Erik says that the remaining magma from the 1612 and 1821-3 eruptions are "fair game" when it comes to remobilisation, he does not offer a firm opinion - either way - on whether or not they are sufficient to explain the present eruption nor the presence of other bodies of eruptive silicic magma other than they may be present without any tell-tale signs such as inflation.

Another point - it is only relatively recently that "we" have been able to detect and chart non-eruptive intrusions. It is eminently possible that the 1994 and 1999 intrusion events under Eyjafjallajökull may be the first such detectable to "us" and that they signify that non-eruptive intrusions are a regular part of the life of this volcanic system. In such a case, there may have been enough of them between 1823 and the present to "top up the system" without the need for a deep (6 - 18km) magma reservoir in order to explain the sustained andesitic(?) eruption.

Finally, may I remind you that I am no more than an (opinionated) amateur volcanophile. ;)

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

@beedragon108 I am getting more and more fond of their closing line..."no indications.."
Thanks all for today's/ last night's input. May have to creak back to school for another degree if this keeps up. Any credit for online education @ Eruptions, do you suppose? Erik, there'll be an exam??

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

#116: I hope not. I'll be F-ing lucky if I achieve an F-.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

A documentary on swedish TV right now on Eyafjallajökul eruption. SVT2 for those who know it.

Spectacular footage

FLIR just now real impressiv!

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

@Kultsi, thanks. I think I got it taken care of. I did get to their site and found what I needed to do so sent a message. I think they got it ok.

@Henrik #115, I know Erik didn't say one way or the other about rhyolitic magma and whether it is sufficient to explain the current eruption. I don't think he or anyone else knows for sure because we didn't have much in the way of knowing in 1821-23. You know that, of course. I have a feeling there is more there than previously thought and also a lot of mafic stuff mixed in with it. Whatever is going on below the eruption point, it is definitely more complex than what anyone has thought and there could be all kinds of lateral vents pumping into the system. This would create a lot of influx over the years since the last eruption as you pointed out and and could have been causing some melting of the rhyolitic crystaline mush over a long period of time. I have no idea if this makes any sense, but with the ridge and hot spot being there at the same time, a lot of weird (all volcanoes can be "weird" because they do not behave consistently) mixtures and separations of different compositions can be happening and probably are all the time. It is like what Boris said about Etna: all four summit craters can be erupting at the same time and each is putting out different lava chemical compositions! The same thing can be going in here and I wouldn't be surprised if both could come out of the same vent. I don't know if that has ever happend before, but I suppose it could, if for no other reason that to upset what we think we know about volcanoes. :-)

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Indeed, FLIR seems to show more activity now and in more details than the normal camera.

Henrik, Swe Galileo was an amature too.....I think to really be a good vulcanologist you have to take a course called "Conservative Underestimate and Understatement 101"....it comes right after your first year of "Dodge The Question 101" and follows a course in "Conservatively Vague Answers 102";)

flir is showing lava bombs look at the top of the rising bright yellow look for the violet to red things falling around it occasionally quite a ways from the plume

@124 Oh! You mean the courses all politicians to-be have to take?

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

OT: It's not easy to follow Eyja using an iPhone. You can't view most of the video and image content because they require Flash. Plus there is the annoying business of scrolling all the way up to tap the reload button than all the way back down to see the latest posts. (Is there a gesture for that?) At least there are only 200 of them at the moment. That said, still glad I can check in. I don't like to miss a minute at this point.

By Carla - Seattle (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Is that a little critter in the foreground of the thorolfs cam, or a piece of human trash?

By parclair NoCal (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@Randall #124

And there are those that think these course are required for all scientists, irrespective of what field they work in...

By Holger, N California (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Kultsi,courses all politicians take start with baldfaced lying with a side major it creative bribe taking. followed by treason for beginners

Erik and Boris don't get mad at me....I am only playing with you....well sort of....but sooner or later someone is going to have to step up and say that the Emperor really doesn't have any cloths and that something else....something that you guys didn't foresee is now going on at EJ. I know that you vulcanologist hate to think out of the box but in this case you may have to start;)

Diane (#122), very well said and their unpredictability I guess is why so many of us are fascinated by them

Randall (#124), hehe! Isn't that true of most professions these days? The ability not to committ one way or the other is a survival skill in any cut-throat competitive area of human endeavour. If you offer a firm opinion although 99% certain, that 1% Shylock will invariably turn up for a pound of your flesh. ;)

@126 I saw that too but its been there quite a while now so probably trash

Old USA joke:

How do you know if a politician's lying?

He's talking.

By parclair NoCal (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

"Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game."

For geologists to be entertaining daring ideas in public while an eruption is going on is potentially very harmful. Everyone relies on them to provide hard facts.

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

Randall (#131), both of us are sometimes playing some sorts of devil's advocates on opposite sides - which is actually very useful.

But frankly I don't see anything terribly frightening going on at Eyjafjallajökull in this moment - the tremor has increased a bit, but if you look at the plot that shows the whole story since the volcano broke out on 13-14 April, you see that the latest increase is rather modest:

There have been lots of earthquakes today, which we've had before, and it's likely that magma is on the move. Not much new here, that's been happening since nearly two months now. The volcano for now is an open system and that's much better than a closed system as it was before. Certainly, some volcanoes seem to come to cataclysmic eruptions even months or years after becoming an open system (Krakatau, Tambora ...) but in the case of Eyjafjallajökull, the possibility to behave that way is, to say the least, remote.

As I look at the webcams this very moment (that is, 19.15 h GMT), the ash plume appears quite weak - that's what we call an eruption column that is easily bent by the wind, as opposed to a strong column that will not bend even in the presence of wind: Pinatubo's 15 June 1991 eruption column rose to more than 30 km height through a typhoon (which is the Japanese word for hurricane). So for the moment the thing I would read from the current movements is that the eruption is very happy with itself and will likely continue for a while, while showing fluctuations in intensity.

Today with colleagues of the INGV in Catania we looked at the webcam images and thought of Etna's 2002-2003 eruption, which showed similar fluctuations, and that one went on for about two months producing quite a significant amount of ash (though less than this current eruption). It disrupted air traffic for much of the same period, bringing tourism business in Sicily to a grinding halt. I think the prospect of Eyjafjallajökull going on producing ash and occasionally disrupting air traffic in Europe and the Atlantic for months, maybe years, is disconcerting enough :-D

Not to talk about the Icelanders who are suffering from the ash falls, which is not a pleasant experience at all.

So let us hope I'm right this time and the eruption will not enter into a much more dramatic and destructive phase. As it is, it seems to provide enough thrill, beauty, and suspense to all the folks here on this blog.

@ Randall Nix. 'Out of the box' is just a short trip from 'out of funding'.

By Peter Cobbold (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

I just had a look at the IMO EQ-map of the Tjörnes fracture zone-small. Now two offshore calderas are marked there. That´s new, isn´t it?

Meh... I think Boris is right. The eruption will more likely than not stumble along like a fratboy at a kegger.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Randall (and all): I think the key thing to remember here again is that extraordinary predictions require extraordinary observations to support them. It really doesn't help anyone to say that Eyjaf could have a very large explosive eruption soon if there is no real evidence that would strongly suggest such an event. Volcanologists use a probabilistic view of events when looking at what the volcano is likely to do - to do that is like betting that Dallas Braden was likely to throw a perfect game (for those of you non-American, he is a pitcher who had something like a 0.0015% chance of throwing a perfect game - no hits or walks - but he did it anyway yesterday). Sure, there was a chance he could do it, but I wouldn't have wagered on it.

I understand the concern that volcanologists play down the extreme possibilities, but that is the nature of the profession - we're the one who are supposed to keep a cool hear in the face of, well, an erupting volcano.

We must agree that the Lady knows how to entertain: perfect viewing weather when the US audience is ready to watch. ;)

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

@Carla (127) - I am suffering alongside you with the iPhone. I was so glad when we got a new post today so I didn't have to scroll down through 900+ messages! (And then when you're on message #859 it refreshes and you have to do it all over again). And then there's the lack of webcams. At least I can use a real computer here at work today - though "work" and "volcano" don't coexist well in my world.

By Jennifer in Portland (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Apart from the fact that the eruption is continuing and there have been a few interesting eartquake swarms, not much is happening at the moment as can be evidenced from the amount of ideas bandied about. So how about we organise those possible scenarios according to probability with the most likely first and the improbable last and then argue about it?

a) The eruption will continue for some time (weeks to months) and then die down with the possibility of renewed activity on a minor scale

b) The eruption will continue as alternative a) but there will be an unexpected, major eruptive episode (VEI 4+)

c) The eruption will continue but one or more new vents, not neccessarily at the summit, will open up

d) There will be a basaltic intrusion at the Godabunga "cryptodome" which sets off a large eruption there (VEI 3+)

e) An intrusion from the Eyjafjalla volcanic system will set off an equally large or larger eruption at Katla (VEI 4+)

f) A rift will open up across the mountain and into Markarfljot (N) and Ãórsmörk (S), as has happened in the distant past and we'll have a fissure eruption of the Eldgja or Laki type

g) An intrusion from the Eyjafjalla volcanic system sets off a major eruption of Tindfjallajökull volcano (the northern "arm" of the Feb-March EQ swarms)

h) There will be a very large eruption (VEI 6+) at Eyjafjallajökull that forms a large caldera, 7+ km diameter

I'll stick with alternative a) but think d) & f) are distant possibilities. What's your favourite of these or do you have other scenarios?

Boris thanks for not getting mad at me:) I like our little adversarial roles we both seem to play(I hope all in good fun)....it's sort of like Punch and Judy;) I started out being conservative and thinking this was not a big deal and I still don't think it is going to be a huge cataclysmic event. I do think something much larger is going on here and I do think it is leading up to a very nasty outcome.

"The volcano for now is an open system and that's much better than a closed system"....yes and thank God for that but I think the key to that statement is "for now"....and with that...I will try to keep quiet and except for volcano/geological related prose, poems and obscure excerpts from different esoteric texts I will get back in the box..."for now";)

Erik et al. Swedish TV just showed a documentary from a team that was in Iceland from the very start. It mentions that two people were found dead during the first relatively undramatic phase of the eruption. Did they freeze to death after getting lost or did they fall into a crevasse? As I recall, there was not much toxic gas around at the time, nor much ash.

Also, the documentary mentiones that GPS became unreliable inside the thick ash cloud -is there any frequency that is unaffected by ash, and would it be feasible to rig up some land-based GPS complement in the future? I ask just in case Katla should provide a much thicker ash cloud...

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@Birger J 147 They were people who tried to get up close and personal with the early Frimm..eruption (as I remember) in a standard SUV on big-rig back roads and got lost and stuck, couldn't tell anyone where they were - even tho' they had cells, they just didn't know.

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

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson that is very close to my "the volcano is spitting up like a freshman at a frat party" comment I made last month....we may have copyright issues;)

Erik I will try to be a good boy..."for now";)

Thanks for all the information and insight. I love the "remain cool while watching erupution" line.

Has anyone discovered an equivalennt blog about the Gulf oil spill? Big media just doesn't give me enough real information.

@Boris Behncke and Erik Klemetti, Can you please take a look at the data that I did collect for a other commenter here earlier. This data can be found at http://www.jonfr.com/sac

This spikes or whatever this is have a interesting features to them. I don't know what they are. But they seems to come from Eyjafjallajökull volcano.

@ Henrik 145. Since the swarm started there have still been very few EQs indeed under Eyjaf to the west of the main vent. So my guess: increased, oscillatory, EQ rate over next few weeks, accompanied by renewed inflation, but with EQs trending progressively more into the virgin western arc of Eyjaf.

By Peter Cobbold (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

amazing how the ash is wrapping itself around that (steam?) cloud...Hvol cam

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

#147: GPS signals are very weak already when they reach the ground, so it takes only a leafy tree to knock out a PS receiver. I think I read somewhere that the US Armed Forces have been playing with aircraft-mounted transmitters.

#149: :-þ

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink


i) Iceland splits in two sending a devastating tsunami across the north sea. Because I follow things in near real time, I am able to save my family by running up to the moose hill in slottsskogen carrying one child in each arm. My girlfriend promises never to taunt me for my interest in catastrophic geology again. Cue swedish national anthem. Fin.

By Emanuel Landeholm (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

shellya I may need to start one since I am here in Pensacola. The only problem is that every time I think about the oil spill I want to either cry, kill BP or throw up....The volcano in Iceland helps me forget about the "one in a million chance" disaster that is about to be washing up on my doorstep;)

#155: Not gunna comment on what it looks like. Dun wanna turn the Pr0n Cops onto this blog.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Randall, Please start one. We need real information. And a community of thoughtful scientist helping the rest of understand a complex system in stress would be a public service. But I understand your pain and share it.

#157 See you in slottsskogen, men springer kanske till änggårdsbergen som är säkrare!

Stefan #151and Birger, I was under the impression they left their car to walk out and two of them died and one survived.

Anna #136, I think Randall was being his usuall self and just kidding around a bit. I hope you won't take it too seriously as he is somewhat, um, let's say, different. LOL

Randall, now don't get mad. :-) BTW, off the subject a bit, we got to the river the other day and I am getting a bit if color. I haven't processed all of what i got as it is raining now. :-( The gold in our area is some of the purest in the world and runs sometimes up to .85-.95 fine. There is also quite a bit of crytaline gold here, too, and I know of one active mine that gets it.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@Randall - I'm sure you've already seen this www.theoildrum.com/ but I'm just posting it here in case you hadn't.

By Frito Lay (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

shellya of all the disasters I have tried to list on my site....I never listed that one as a possibility....I listened to the "experts" and figured that enlightened self interest would keep them from doing something stupid like saving on a $200,000 part and jeopardizing their whole operation and our beaches....I am guilty of the sin of wanting to believe....and it makes me feel like I am a party to the whole thing:(

If this is Swedish humour, i like it :)

By Viktor, Budapest (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

20.15-18 GMT, Hvolsvöllur camera. Eruption column colour changes in spurts from light greay to darker grey. Then eruption begins to progress in short bursts as opposed to more or less continues. Conclusion(?) - irregular supply of magma, eruption on the decline?

@145 I think a with a possibility of f (I cannot get over the directionality of the current eqs along the rift that appears on some maps). So that Emanuel can be a hero, i ;0

@randall Every couple of nights my partner comes home from work and asks about the status of the oil spill. I repeat every couple of nights "You know I'm avoiding all news about that because I just can't bear it". I'm with you, obsessing about EJ really helps not think about what we've done to ourselves yet again. ;(

By parclair NoCal USA (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

The Norwegian Meteorological Institute has produced a nice animated and automatically updated ash forecast map:

The Norwegian text at the top says the calculations have been made using the institute's SNAP model. SNAP (Severe Nuclear Accident Program) is a meteorological dispersion model for radioactive fallout.

The map is a GIF animation. Use Ctrl+F5 to update it.

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

Thank you folks for the updates, info etc .
Plz can someone put a short concise list of the best links for viewing the area, the latest seismic realtime links, realtime anything really ...
what & how we write these comments is interesting ...
like the weather, we occasionally get past ourselves/abilities to tell the future .....

you all keep writing soo fast i have a job keeping up reading :) I doo need to digest you know lol

thanks to the superstar who provides links :)

By David Robinson (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Diane N CA yes as Mel Brooks would say "Humor is just another defense against the universe."....as for the "um, let's say, different"....why thank you....I wouldn't want to be anything else.

shellya I will think about doing that....if I do would you help me police it and keep the conversation going?

Frito thanks for the site:)

Randall, don't be too hard on yourself. BTW, my DH thinks the oil rig disaster is sabatage. Give me a yell on what you think if you don't want to post here.

Henrik, I think the pulsating is just the way volcanoes do. I have watched other volcanoes erupting and they all seem to do that in their own way unless they are doing something like Pinatubo. I don't think it means the eruption is on the decline. It will wax and wane, possibly for months. I expect the difference in color is due in part by steam mixture and also by some difference in chemical comp. And sometimes the lighting can fool you.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Henrik #145

Here's one more potential disaster that you can perhaps work into your list somehow: Slump, slope failure!

GÃgjökull is cradled in Tuff rock that's presumably weakening. The whole thing can collapse and GÃgjökull (or what's left of it) crash into Markarfljót.

Something like this happened to the next glacial tongue in 1967.

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

@Henrik - or venting to more gas-laden magma? (pulse-jet effect)

By Peter Cobbold (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

OT: I just learned that geologist Walter Munk has been awarded the Crafoord prize, the second most prestigious science prize of Sweden (the *most* prestigious one is the one financed by Dynamite Guy)
Incidentally, he helped Eisenhower pick the right day to start the invasion of Normandy, one day earlier and the waves would have capsized the landing craft.
Oh, and he measured the slowing of Earth's rotation.
Not bad for a wave expert.

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Diane N CA sabotaged by greed and stupidity....The sabotaged theory is being put out by the good folks at BP and their friends at Fox News.

ps... You forgot the Happily Ever After.

Anna #172, I think you have a real point there. That would probably be more likely than a huge explosion or a caldera forming collapse. What would you say is a rough idea of that happening and what would be the effect of it? I know it would be a major mess, as if there hasn't been enough problems already. At least right now, what is going on isn't too bad except for the people that are getting ash rain. I really feel bad for them because it is a miserable thing to have to deal with, especially for the farmers and their animals.

You can let your friends know that I care about what happens in Iceland. Yes, it is quite a beautiful show and deadly at the same time. Quite the paradox.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@Anna (#172), yes that is certainly a possibility. Was it Steinsholtsjökull?

Diane (#171), Peter (#173). I described that badly. It's in full sunlight, so the colours were real and they changed from from very light grey to dark grey with each "spurt", which I take as a change in amount of erupted matter. Then it started to puff like an old steam engine with clear spaces between the puffs. To me that looked as if it was slowing down. Of course, it could be a "breather" before the next longer pulse of magma arrives.

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

Diane are you going to get us all to join hands and sing "Kum by ya" i'll go out to the garden and get a daisy to stick in my hair.

Randall, my DH thought sabatage before he even heard that being touted by anybody. No doubt using bad parts has been a major contributor (something I haven't heard about because I haven't been following it; I'm here too much)and who knows what else was done there. I am up to agreeing that some dude made a stupid decission because he wanted to save a few bucks. It is like the guys that built a house I used to live in. They framed the walking closet 24" on center instead of 16" on center. And what for? To save about $20?! Same diff.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

BP oil platform capsize and fall down on unstable Storegga sea floor slope, triggering a major avalanche, in turn triggering a tsunami. The increased pressure from a big chunk of the North Sea sloshing up on Iceland finally triggers a Katla eruption. The ash starts a "nuclear winter" while people inhaling the ash turn into zombies.
FOX News triumphantly pronounces "Global Warming Debunked" and Sarah Palin becomes president. Try topping that, Emanuel !

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@153 Jón FrÃmann, anything yet on the strange pattern on your helicorder plot? It looks very diffrent than any of the previous busy episodes. It is more saw-tooth like and it keeps on going.

Kaboom # 180 say what?! I ain't no hippy! LOL I am starting a flower garden though. :-P

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Diane (177) & Henrik (178)

Yes, I was Steinholtsjökull. These peaks, 400 m high, crumbled and 15 million m3 of material came crashing down on the glacial tongue. I just read about this on Haraldur Sigurðsson's blog, it's not as I'm an expert. It's all news to me (this was a spectacular event but noone got hurt and I don't think there was much damage).

Thank you Diane for your concern. I rather doubt a GÃgjökull slope failure would be huge disaster but I don't know. The area is kind of fenced off by these ridges on sees on the Thórólfsfell cams.

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


And the Katla eruption starts a massive seismic swarm all along the Mid Atlantic Ridge, causing The Canarian Volcano Cumbre Vieja to blow apart and collapse, sending a massive tsunami to NW USA coast.

As the tidal wave slams on the East Coast, it causes the whole continent to vibrate, setting off the San Andreas Fault, and causing the Big One everybody is waiting for... No more L A....

Then... the shockwave causes Mt Rainier to blow its top and erupt in a supercataclysmal VEI-6 eruption, obliterating Seattle in the process...

Meanwhile, something lurking deep below a well known national park in Wyoming decides it's time for action, culminating in an apocalyptic ash rain all over Northern Hemisphere.

But nobody worries, since Sarah Palin is president and everybody is zombified by Katla's ash still lingering in the air.

And now Global Warming is well and truly debunked.....

Voilà. Food for thought to Emmanuel ;)

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

lol Diane, I hope your not growing any funny plants in that garden :D

@153 Jón FrÃmann: I'm neither of them, but I tried processing a bit the waveform by removing unwanted harmonics and a bit of noise, and the signials are starting to look like earthquakes from Eyjafjallajökull. How far is the geophone from the volcano? From the processed data I'd say very roughly 30 Km, or am I wrong?



i dont get this.

it really looks like a very good beat, why ?

okay we know when we trough a stone into water we will get alot of simillar waves that will weak over time.

like in the morning @ 9:20 and 9:40, but what i dont get are those last 3-4 hours
whole 17:00h ,
we got regluar pulses at

~(13:35; 14:35; 15:35; 16:35)
~(13:36; 14:36; 15:36; 16:36)

~(16:04; 17:04; 18:04; 19:04)
~(16:05; 17:05; 18:05; 19:05)

19:5x & 20:5x

is there something known in the vulcanin world that can cause such regular patterns like we see here for the last 12h?
Sorry for this stupid question im just "scouting" the whole time this beautifull blog, and have watched ofen on your page Jón, but havnt seen something like that in the last 3 weeks.
Thanks for the blog, its a pleasure to read it.


Katla cam looks a bit strange. I guess its sunset reflections but there are orange glowing bits to the mid right of the screen. :-0

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

Kaboom, we do have a few orchards around here, but not on my plot! LOL

@Henrik #178, I took a look at the cam and I see what you mean. I think the higher it goes, the lighter it gets because whatever moisture is in it condenses. One of the things I see at the very left of the eruption column is what looks like ash fall there, or dark eruptive tephra.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink


That would be different, because if such a collapse occurred on an erupting volcano, it could very well reduce the lithostatic pressure into the volcano by removing the weight of all that rock capping the system....

The results? Exposing fresh pressurized magma to atmospheric pressure.... Saint Helens like....

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

(#192 - gone now)

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

Volcanphile, you have seen one to many movies,It sounds like a movie Roland Emmerich would have made. haha
btw you should not joke about such things..

before this ever happen, I bet all the old Volcanoes In Norway would have gone of.. and there are quite a few of them too..

the Oslo caldera fex, the Ãheim Volcano near Ãlesund,fen volcano and so on and so on...

anyways. Eyjafjöll looks beautiful tonight, wonder what more
she has in store.
After that swarm earlier today,it sure must mean something..

#192: My guess would be evening sun illuminating ash suspended in the air. Still plenty of that there. It's only a few km from the village VÃk, which, in the last few days, saw up to 1mg of ash per cubic metre of air.

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

#190 There is still a lot of glacier to melt.

Bye, bye Mustafar...

#197 - that makes sense, cheers.

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

The signal on Jón FrÃmann's helicorder


looks exactly like the signals that could be seen on the seismometers near Mount Redoubt in Alaska when it was erupting. That eruption was going on for a while and kept 'ticking' away on the seismometers. Even a few weeks ago they saw that pattern re-emerge with a few 'proper' earthquakes mixed in. At the time it was enough for the geologists / volcanologists to raise the alert level to orange (it's back down to green now).

Could the same phenomenon going on here?

By Holger, N California (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

I almost get a bad conscience enjoying this view. Will the local government provide some kind of economic support for the farmers who must cope with the ash? Normally I would take it for granted, but there is not anything "normal" about the Icelandic economy right now.

Thor, when you have time check the fossil volcano at Alnö near Sundsvall, the site is contemporary with the first Ediacaran multi-celled animals. The alnöite minerals from the site are unique (alas, no fossil organisms left).

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink


I found some interesting pages dealing with fluctuations in the Earth's magnetic field that can happen suddenly. Is anyone monitoring magnetic and electromagnetic aspects of volcanic activity in Iceland? The mechanical aspects are readily seen by seismograph etc., but what about the electrical and magnetic effects?


Sorry for the flooding...

Is it possible that the volcano is actually alternating between 2 magma types at fast speed? Some kind of "imperfect mix" of basaltic and silicic magma actually...

When a "blob" of remelted silicic magma gets caught into the rising basaltic magma coming from the depths, is is erupted as a puff of white ash... then basaltic magma comes back and the ash gets blacker...

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

Birger, could you send me a link to that?
I know Im lazy,.

David @ 169 - It's not a neat list, but I have made a map that contains many links to webcams and data. Click on my name below to see it.

No quake till 2 hours but still party on the Helicorders

@Dubliner #202, I am not sure if anyone is looking into that or not. I know there are some magnetic field annomolies that happen in various places, but I don't know how they may fluxuate during eruptions. I think a simulare subject came up a couple of weeks ago and if I remember right, not much was decided on one way or another and I don't remember if Erik or Boris commented on it or not.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@PeakVT #205 I've been meaning to thank you for your map. It's awesome! :)

By Frito Lay (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Oh no, BBC ignores the volcano which is doing something to peddle rumors of a "bigger problem" from a volcano which is doing nothing. That's reminiscent of the "Volcano X usually erupts every Y years and it's been quiet for longer than that; we must be in for a huge eruption soon!" The funny thing about every such volcano which allegedly erupts every so many years is that it doesn't - it's all imagined. So in the case of Katla, how many of the historic eruptions have followed soon after an eruption of Eyja? What next - the Yellowstone Supervolcano?

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

@Bas v D, I still have no idea what those signals are. But they keep happening and I am still have no idea. I guess that is going to be like that for some time now.

@Mr. Moho, That is what you might think. But they don't look like earthquakes. That is the interesting part about those signals. This is also the first time they appear on my geophone. I did see something similar on the IMO web page earlier in this eruption. But that was due to water flooding. So far, no has happened yet in regards to floods.

http://www.vedur.is/media/jar/myndsafn/medium/god_12-20_n.png (15th April 2010, 0,5Hz to 1Hz).

@Holger, Interesting. I did monitor the eruption in Mt. Redoubt. But I do recall seeing exactly this. But then again, I forget.

what was all that from the different angle of web cam , darker and higher IR sig, after what appeared to be a lull of some kind ... ?

By David Robinson (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

10.05.201022:08:2163.629-19.57119.6 km1.190.017.0 km SW of Básar

By Gimme more (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@Kyle - do you mean the link? It's still at eldgos.mila.is/english/eyjafjallajokull-fra-hvolsvelli/ and is positioned the same as usual.

By Frito Lay (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Could some subsurface structure alternatively deforming and snapping into its original form explain these pulses?

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Yes but the camera itself seems to have been changed, the framerate is now alot higher, the mila logo in the top right has gone and we now have half of the timestamp bar visible.

The BBC will come back to EF when the ash closes Heathrow/Gatwick again and the world grinds to a halt.

... interesting! we haven't had a strong swarm like that for a while. Also the signal on Jón's plot is very similar to a lot of other plots for erupting volcanoes around the globe, except that here the IMO have gone to the trouble of disclosing the depth of the quakes and listing them as individual events.

For us as casual observers this has two consequences:
1. here at Eyjafjallajökull we perceive a lot of earthquake activity that normally would be underneath our radar in the general carpet of seismic activity generated by any other erupting volcano (Redoubt anyone?)

and I've forgotten point 2 already. ha!

no wait.. I think it had something to do with the depth, which we don't normally see as amateur volcanophiles, so this has opened up whole new fields of speculation for us.

so, given this, I think I'll defer to the experience of someone like Boris who has had years of reading such signals and accept this is business as usual.

that said, I like your list of possible outcomes Henrik. I also wondered today why people think a constant low level of eruptive activity should be seen as a good sign. Isn't the drop in pressure from such a constant eruption conducive to higher levels of melt and exsolution of volcanic gases, i.e. it raises the chance of more explosive eruption, particularly if the constant stream of juvenile mafic material is juicing up dormant chambers of dactite mush? Or have I got my maths wrong? Maybe this explains those eruptions that took a while to "peak".

@ Peter, I'd love to have the resources, time and general nous to pursue your line of thinking. As it is I feel kind of out-of-place, exuberantly waving the flag, hoping someone picks up on this.

@ Kris B. # 88 we tried that using Korf's graph prior to the eruption but there didn't seem to be such a clear "hole" in the middle of all the activity. Maybe we just weren't looking hard enough.

By bruce stout (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

#217: Saturday, at 15:36?

By Reynir Heiðbe… (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

I feel like carting the PC monitor to the bed side cabinet and watching the IR live streaming sing me to sleep ...
no really
nn guys, thanks for help, see soon, bye

By David Robinson (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

The only thing that could maybe there is the cooled old magma (some guys talked about it) from the early active periods, thats getting heated now and begins to melt, mhh dunno .... how would such a ancient magma chamber melt, maybe with small tunnels, etc (pipes trough the stone?), then it could detoned and split them?

so its the old cooled magma thats getting melt ? and is swiming in the new magma and while swiming it hits other parts of it while getting melt ? could something like that make a noise ?

Well since I got this lot for my birthday .. on the 13th April, I can definitely say its been the most interesting present ... ever
I feel like carting the PC monitor to the bed side cabinet and watching the IR live streaming sing me to sleep ...
no really
nn guys, thanks for help, see soon, bye

By David Robinson (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

I love all the disaster scenarios put forward, I spent my teens and beyond on a diet of disaster novel swhere each chapter began with a section, usually italicised, detailing what the fire/volcano/flood was doing from moment to moment before returning to the human storyline.
I seem to remember somebody putting forward their theory that all volcanoes in the world are linked. Perhaps the current rising magma will rebound off a blocked central vent and ricochet around the globe setting every volcano into activity and proving the theory right.

Is it possible that some of the seismic signals being seen at depth are reflections of near surface explosions ... or am I just off my rocker??? :)

@ Holger #200

high-five! I am glad you saw that resemblance to Redoubt too. There is the phrase "hybrid" quake which I have never quite understood but seems to be a mixed form of tremor and regular quake. Maybe that is what we are seeing.

By bruce stout (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Beautiful/weird double-ash-arch on the Mulakot camera!

By cristihan RO (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

I found this clip of the eruption from today. It has some really cool views of the eruption and the big chunks being thrown out. I have no idea what they are saying? :) But they show what looks like a crater maybe from impact of one of these chunks. Maybe one of our Iceland friends can tell us what it's about.


By Janet, TX (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@Gordon #223 Remind me to never take a sip of anything before I read your next post. You owe me some cleaner for my computer monitor lol :)

By Frito Lay (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Also, on the Hvolsvelli camera, if you watch it for 20 sec, you can see a dark plum shooting faster from time to time behind the slower constant brown plume (and yes, that camera has changed framerate, at least)

By cristihan RO (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Gordon, lets hope Not! ;)

But yeah the way this Volcano acts now and have these days, are just like the Volcano In Dantes peak,.
hopefully Eyjafjöll,will not go in that direction,.

IT´s paradoxical to think that volcanic ash can affect aereal traffic here in the Canary Islands in the next hours, and it´s not coming form a Canarian volcano....can all of you believe that we will be hosting the COV6 here in fifteen days and maybe a volcanic cloud can disrupt the conference???

The tailor's wife is the worst clad.....


By David Calvo (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@Bruce Stout #225 & @Jón FrÃmann #210

Those staccato like earthquakes were also present (if I remember it right) in the recent dome-building eruption of Mt. St. Helens. I think in both cases (Mt. Redoubt & Mt. St. Helens) these signals were mainly seen during the mainline / dome building eruption and not in the early, more explosive phase.

Maybe this switch in signal type signifies the transition to a more stable and steady eruption e.g. the dome building phase of Eyjafjöll?

By Holger, N California (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

#226 I saw that too, gave the illusion of the column having hit the ground and bounced.

For those of you that are interested in the land forms being produced by the eruption take a look at the link below


It gives a really interesting insight into what may be happening with the lava flow. May be a good read for a foggy night

MRK @ 231: In all honesty, that PDF you linked to isn't all that bad - I mean, minus the purely speculative geometry of the Katla and Eyjafjallajokull magmatic plumbing, it has a lot of cool info. They even used the right sources for the figure: Nordic Volcanism, USGS, ERSI.

Has our UFO friend shown up again? That white dot looked like it went into the plume!? I watched it from both camera views.

By Dylan Ray (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@210, Jón FrÃmann:

@Mr. Moho, That is what you might think. But they don't look like earthquakes. That is the interesting part about those signals. This is also the first time they appear on my geophone. I did see something similar on the IMO web page earlier in this eruption. But that was due to water flooding. So far, no has happened yet in regards to floods.

Are you referring to the unfiltered or the filtered signals when you write that they don't look like earthquakes?

In my opinion the fact that they have a main frequency resonating with harmonics could either mean that:

a) they're very short, intermittent bursts of harmonic tremors, which I find unlikely given the geophone's distance from the volcano and such high frequencies (high but not impossible) and low duration, or:

b) that, more likely in my view, the instrument is resonating (at around 9, 18 and 27 Hz) for some reason to certain signals/events. Stripping the waveform of those resonances gives these signal a more earthquake-like appearance to me. These signals could be something similar to drumbeat events many of us have seen at Redoubt. This might be a possibility as magma at Eyjafjallajökull is supposedly becoming more viscous.

It's true, though, that I have seen only a short section of data coming from your geophone, so I don't know how it usually behaves to known events. So, while I am speculating you might be right that they're not earthquakes, basing on better experience with the area and your instrumentation.

@232 Kyle I think that white dot was a helicopter. Hopefully getting some nice strombolian explosion pics that will end up online somewhere :)

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

@Gordon #235

That is a very interesting text indeed. It will take a few foggy nights to properly read it though.

Of course its author, Birgir Vilhelm Oskarsson, has posted here a few times already. It must be very exciting to see one's study object come to life again so shortly after finishing a thesis on it...

By Holger, N California (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

I have a question on "more explosive magma" that maybe someone here could be kind enough to explain: I understand the gas released by such more explosive material comes from different chemical composition (silica richer magma). My question is if the gas is physically released, from bubbles stuck within the magma or if it is chemically attached to the mineral so it can only be released by disruption of chemical bonds when heated, or both? Thanks in advance for taking your precious time.

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

fireworks have begun again,.

@MadScientist [209]

I agree. I had heard mention of that relationship so I pulled down the eruptive histories for Katla, Hekla and Eu... Ey... Eyjafjallajökull and did a comparison. With Katla and Hekla to compare against, it's hard not to get coincidental eruptions. Between Kat, Hel Eyj, and Torfajökull there have been something like 14 to 16 simultaneous eruptions among at least two of those critters over the listed histories.

@All.. or whoever is interested.

Some of the more shallow quakes line up on an azimuth of about 21.8º from the main vent and descend at an angle of â6.9º for about 7.54 km. Along that path, the mountain descends at an angle of â10.2º. The start (at the vent) is 0.4 km deep, and the end is 1.3 km deep. Is that about right for a sill forming? Possibly something occurring in the valley?

There seems to be a correlation every night with the start of the fireworks and the time I really should go to bed. However I have a neighbourly cat asleep on my lap so I'll keep watching. I think I saw a pressure wave ahead of a blast on the Hvolsvelli cam. Did anyone else see it?

If you mean a little while ago did the screen suddenly do a quick bright shift that wasn't a refresh, yes.

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

@Gordon Yes! It seems like we are the diehards watching right now, maybe all are getting sleep after yesterday ;-)

It is almost 5:00pm PDT here and I will be watching the fireworks so I am going to sign off for now.

Enjoy everybody who is watching.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

A lot of quakes in the last few Minutes

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

@ Randall Nix Haha! It's really great not to be the only one :-)

@Birdseye, Dagmar, & Gordon,

At least one member of the west coast watch is still up and about (actually still at work). I bet others are still lurking as well...

The night show clearly is the best part of this eruption. The incandescent eruptions are mesmerizing.

By Holger, N California (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

we are watching,. and wondering where the lava goes.??

To all watching the cams: group hug! :-)


I'm still here lurking, its 1am here in uk

I love the night show!

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

Another one from the UK here still watching the show.

@lurking 247 How d'you do that?
Interesting that there are the shallow EQs you have analysed, and the rest at around 20km depth: almost none in between.

By Peter Cobbold (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Still here, still listening/learning...
@Lurking 247 Local structural geologist says that 6.9º about the right angle for possible landslide setup - see AnnaReykjavik@172

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

WOW.. it look beautiful...

Looks like the gas content of the magma has decreased recently. The plume is much weaker. This is leading to better views of the Strombolian activity.

I am hungry a Stromboli would be nice about now.
And some Grappa.

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

It's 2 am here in Switzerland...
I couldn't sleep and got up again to watch the show.
It is a pity the days are so long in Iceland - and they are 2 hours behind us. I hardly get to see the fireworks...

But now I try sleeping again ( got to work tomorrow - I mean later on)
Happy watching!

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

So more EQ occurring, but this time not appearing on Jon's helicorder... it looks like I was really wrong then :)

@Titin #267: Thank you Tintin. The FLIR is a very nice addition.

By Gordys, MN USA (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@tintin267 Many thanks.

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

Night night everyone, I MUST get a few hours sleep now, More nights like this and I turn into a zombie LOL

Happy watching!

Hmm, when I look at the link for the recorders, I see little activity at all....which sure doesn't seem to match the light show we are getting now. It seems contradictory, doesn't it?

Does anyone know the amount of material erupted so far? How much stuff in cubic KM. One person said .14 a couple of days ago.

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

I'm still here too.. :) Ej is mesmerising, I can't take my eyes of her. lol

I see your doing a night shift too Ruby.:)

@Peter Cobbold [262]

"How d'you do that?"

I imported the most recent quakes (starting with the new deep set ~ 5/4 into Excel, then piped it over to a Dplot scatter plot. With that I can rotate the 3D scatter plot around and found what seems to be an alignment. Then I took the lead quake near the summit and the quake at the other end of the line and used a distance and azimuth formula from www.movable-type.co.uk/scripts/latlong.html (Haversine). Then I took the elevation data for the two quakes to find how much drop there was over that distance.

Kludge? Yeah, but I'm just a spectator. It LOOKS to me like there might be something to it, but until someone who actually knows about these thing weighs in, it's just speculation.

Another US west coaster here. I've been here for a while. (Extra hello to Lavendel in my country of birth!)

Amazing show tonight. Simply amazing.

By Stone Girl, Calif. (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@birdseyeUSA [263]

"@Lurking 247 Local structural geologist says that 6.9º about the right angle for possible landslide setup - see AnnaReykjavik@172"

Whoah... that would be really bad. Thanks for the info.

I just worked out that the estimate of 0.14cubic Km would cover my 90m2 garden in a ash pile 1555Km thick. I may have got the decimal point wrong... Anyway the cat's out and I'm going to bed. Goodnight.

I am thinking that this is the ultimate lava lamp. There seems to be buoyant masses of magma from way down deep, rising through a fairly well developed plumbing system, and Mother Nature has taken the top of the lamp.

About a year or so ago, I had found a web page that explained harmonic tremor very well, I will try to find that again.

By Gordys, MN USA (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

I wonder what happened to the folks at the farmhouse? This is the first time I've watched that their lights weren't on.

By Janet, TX (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

#280 They have switched all the lights off, sat on the front porch.. poured themselves a beer and a watching the fireworks :)

@Gordy Stop hogging the blanket!
@Shelly, Janet - I noticed that too.
@All - on the Hvols cam I'm noticing a lot of blue preceeding the lava blasts. Is it just me?

By Frito Lay (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@Randall ~ I can't say as I would blame them. I've been a bit worried about those houses down there for awhile.

@Shelly ~ That does sound like fun...but then again I'm across the world from it. I might be a little nervous with it in my "backyard". Here in Texas the term is "I'm skeered!" :o)

@Frito ~ I've got plenty of extra blankets if Gordy won't share. :)

I would like to find some reporting on the people in Iceland that are dealing with this. Anybody know of a good news source to find out about the locals?

By Janet, TX (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

The big "E" is really going now, some of those explosions must be huge. I've noticed what appears to be a slightly brighter thermal patch at the top of the glacier, could another pulse of lava be moving down the canyon, or is the camera just getting a better exposure rate? What ever is happening it's awesome.


I think the Hvolsvöllur camera might have had some changes. Its video feed for example is much more degraded/of lower quality than I remember. Also before it was much more sensible to light.

Has this been going on every night? Wow. I tried to stay away....

@Frito: I picked up a bigger blanket on the way home...but the chair is the same size. ;)

I think the blue you see is just a relic of the video feed attempting to show movement or lighting changes in low light. Think of it as watching a dark movie scene on an HDTV from a low quality video.

By Gordys, MN USA (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Speaking of theses,(Gordys235) as the US struggles with 400 years of history and a second major oil spill, (man-made, i grant you - could just as well be one of the recent tornadoes or hurricanes,) I contemplate the fact that Iceland's people have been dealing with volcanoes,earthquakes, jökulhlaups and such for 1000 years....have been reading a soon-to-be-defended thesis on one of the Myrdalsjökull glaciers just around the corner from 'ours.' The south coast early settlers were wiped out any number of times. The landscape there has been utterly transformed at least eight times by major cat's astrophies...phenomenal. The show goes on and us little human peeps crawl out from under and start over.

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

Hvolsvöllur may have had changes or it could be that there is more plume ejecting tonight than last night that would mask a lot from that location
even the Ãórólfsfelli visable light camera is more masked in plume than last night

@birdseyeUSA #289: 235 was not me(Gordys, MN USA), that was Gordon(from undefined location).

By Gordys, MN USA (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

I am not a scientist, but I do not trust the local US news coverage about the eruptions & would really like some advice from all of you about my upcoming trip to Leipzig. Plane route w/ layovers: NYC to Manchester, Manchester to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Leipzig on the 20th of May. I am leaving on the 25th- Leipzig to Barcelona, 12 hour layover there, then to NYC.

Any comments or advice? Do you think this is a wise idea to travel right now? I'd greatly appreciate it, thanks! :)

@Gordys oops, sorry - another nail in the mental coffin that tells me it's time to sign off...'nite all, enjoy the rest of the show.

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

@danielle #292

I think it's a bit of a crap shoot right now. Since both the volcano and the weather (wind direction) are unpredictable, you could end up stranded in Europe (I'd prefer Barcelona to Leipzig) or unable to leave in the first place.

I have a trip to Germany lined up for early June and I hope it won't be disrupted one way or the other...

By Holger, N California (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

put put put
11.05.201001:30:3164.624-17.3380.7 km1.673.379.2 km ESE of Bárðarbunga

By holy grail (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@Danielle ~ if it were me I'd be staying put unless it was essential travel. The potential for getting stuck (and not just at the destinations you mentioned, because you could also end up at an alternate airport) isn't worth the agro. Unless of course my employer was guaranteeing me full pay throughout, 5-star accommodations and a lackey to make all the arrangements necessary to get me home before Christmas :)

By Frito Lay (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@293 Danielle (Lovely name btw) :)
This thing has been going on for quite a while with no major changes since the eruption that stopped air traffic. It could go on for months, or settle down this week. In other words, I don't think anyone here can give you a definitive answer. A good site that has about 3 weeks of information well laid out for an easy read can be found here:

Guess it really depends on your circumstances. I wouldn't let it stop me personally. But my circumstances probably wouldn't be the same as yours. Read the above web page and you can get a good history of this eruption. I hope it helps.

The ash plume is not reaching near the elevation that it was last night or today. Hmm, why not? Atmospheric conditions? Change in magma composition, more effusive less explosive? But I do not see a lava flow...to speak of. Did a change in the plumbing cause all of those earthquakes, did all of those earthquakes cause a change in the plumbing, were those earthquakes caused by a new infusion of magma, or a combination of all? Are we just waiting for the next magma blob in our big lava lamp to start floating up, is it floating up already and trying to find a new place to go?(No, not Katla, something more local). I have learned to expect this ebb and flow in an eruption...I am learning a lot, but every time I learn the answer to one question I find ten other questions that I need an answer for. I need more data. This is fun. Learning again, really learning again.

Bed time, goodnight all.

By Gordys, MN USA (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Good morning boys and girls! Rise and shine! :)

By Lady Eyja (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Well thanks Erik... I knew the plumbing wasnt right but its kinda close. The Met Office pics of the old magma chambers with the bazillion quakes that have been in it since it cooled long ago make a pretty good picture.

Artsy-fartsy of course... But we all agree... This mother needs to cool down and soon else it could wake its cousin. I was reading a preliminary paper or the possibilities of cooling from this and while I am a bit skeptical, I am in agreement that that there is just a crapload of SO2, flourides, etc (should see the CO levels) in the upper reaches of the atmosphere and its getting worse daily. GOME is one source and the EU has several but this thing aint helping the health at all. Suspended particles of glass can imbed in the lungs so it just should go away.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

That haze near the top is a bunch of nasty gasses I'm guessing?

@127 Carla, 144 Jennifer
Re the iPhone scrolling frustration on long webpages, I have a workaround for you :-)
bookmark this link in your iPhone browser: javascript:window.scrollTo%280%2Cdocument.body.clientHeight%29
Name the bookmark something like âJump to bottomâ. Once a long page has loaded, just click the bookmark to get you to the bottom instantly.

By Anton, Australia (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

re #303
whoops the whole link didn't show in my post, join up these two lines for the correct link :-)


By Anton, Australia (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Danielle, my suggestion is and this is my business that if there is ash then go to Montreal then to Finland and drop back in. One thing is certain, you put a certain number of pieces of tin into the sky, a certain number of them will drop back in the wrong configuration.

They are now acknowledging ash damage to engines but the SDR (Service Difficulty Reports) for all air carriers is on the rise. Electrical, air systems, and of course the engines. Is it the ash? Well Hell yeah it is but if they say its a real problem then they will turn around and ground everyone. So they are kind of on the honor system. You know honorable mention if you go down in the N. Sea. If you place yourself onto a plane then you are accepting that there is a risk. I wouldnt go through the UK on a bet because thats almost like ground zero for effects behind Ireland/Scotland.

Thats not to say that the ash isnt in Finland too on the day of travel. You just have to use your own bean and say whats happening. If Randal or Jon who are on this thing like ugly on an ape say its getting ready to blow, then I would want to be reading USA Today and not the inflight magazine.

Do I think you would get there okay? Sure... But if it goes while you are enroute and it shoots ash west to 20 or so west, they are committed...point of no return and you are going to get to see an ash cloud up close and personal. Eruptions though are pushing this stuff variably from 16-35,000. There are stratum, but here is my thing... How do they KNOW? There is no radar out that far, the space based stuff is only as good as a cloudy sky. Sounds kind of like..........Indonesia from a few years back.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink


I just wandering because we speaking of magma flow on FIR

but i think it'linked to sun exposure because now heat colour are exactly on the same spot than the sun exposure

does anyone get a picture of the magma flow ?

"I am not a scientist, but I do not trust the local US news coverage about the eruptions & would really like some advice from all of you about my upcoming trip to Leipzig."

I would say the airline itself would be the best source of information. In this economic climate, they would not be keen on anything that would result in the loss of equipment or the potential for a huge payout in case of an accident but they are going to go with two things: The engine and aircraft manufacturers' recommendations and their own maintenance history to date. If a route becomes too maintenance intensive to fly for a profit, they will cancel the flight.

Some people seem to be behaving as if this is the first time there has been an erupting volcano near a populated area. The airlines have many years experience flying in places like Central and South America, the Northern Pacific, Japan, Philippines, Indonesia, the Caribbean, etc. where a volcano is erupting just about on any given day of the year. Someplace on this planet there is a volcano erupting near an airport or three.

I am still not aware of any casualties resulting from commercial flight due to volcanic ash. You are more likely to have a problem from pilot error or another mechanical failure. In fact, you are more likely to experience a crash on the ground getting to or from the airport than from a flight.

Airlines are not in the business of destroying engines or aircraft.

Airlines are in the business of making money*. That means if they lose say 3 billion being grounded and they fly and lose 1 plane, say 1 billion, they are still 2 billion up.

That is what they employ financial mathematics people to calculate for them. It is a numbers game pure and simple.

I don't know specifics, but from what I know Philipines, Indo etc. It is fairly easy to divert planes around. If there is an eruption in Indo they just come up from Aus further east or west into SG. Same for Philipines. I think one issue is the sheer density of traffic/airports in Europe and the small geographic size.

Eg. A flight from Sydney to Tokyo can go further out into the Pacific or via Singapore side if there is a problem in the Philipines. Same thing with Indo, rather than heading north at Alice springs over Bali into SG they can head up over the Perth route and come in over Sunda.

In the case of Europe the options for avoiding the stuff are fairly limited.

*If it wasn't for government assistance a fair number of airlines would have gone bust years ago. So the business aspect for many is dubious to say the least.

By Scott, sg (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Good volcanic morning to all of you from Canary Islands, absolutely isolated right now. Airports closed since 6.00 AM GMT, and we are 4.000 km away from Eyjafjallajokull....nature is just unbelievable.

By David Calvo (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

Re RyanAir: It seems the fashionable thing to knock RyanAir, but please note this:

RyanAir has admitted that two of their planes have suffered ash-related engine damage. Which other airlines have behaved as responsibly? Just compare with the behaviour of KLM, Niki Lauda and Lauda Air, Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Atlantic and others whingeing about "over reaction" and "unneccessary flight bans".

Credit where credit is due - "hat tip" to RyanAir's CEO Michael O'Leary!

Rainbow on Hvolsvöllur cam. Well, part of one.

#238 Dylan:

Maybe UFO entering ash plume = Ball Lightning?

Beautiful. Two amazing and contrasting views of Mother Nature.

By Evelyn Sweden (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@Henrik 312 Re: Ryanair:
Ryanair has said there is no truth in a claim that volcanic ash had been found in the engines of its planes at Belfast City Airport.

Four Ryanair flights were cancelled at the airport on Sunday, leaving dozens of passengers stranded.

Some of the passengers said that they were told the cancellations were due to the ash being found.

However, the airline said the planes all had separate technical problems unrelated to the Icelandic eruption.

The airlines affected were due to travel to London Stansted, Bristol and East Midlands airports.

and on the news this morning
A Ryanair plane travelling to London Stansted has made a precautionary landing at Belfast City Airport after taking off on Tuesday.

A Ryanair said: "After take off cabin crew noticed an acrid smell and standard procedure was followed and the aircraft turned back and landed".

All 154 passengers disembarked safely at about 0730 BST.

A spokesperson from Belfast City Airport said emergency services were at the scene as a precaution.

The source of the smell is being investigated

Forgot to say Good Morning Everyone :)

#Danielle 293:
I'd say IF you'd get lost in Frankfurt due to a new flight ban, you could easily travel on to Leipzig by train. The airport has it's own train and subway station and to Frankfurt main station it's only minutes (when taking the subway). There you should be able to get a train to Leipzig. I just checked out www.bahn.de and there are direct trains from Frankfurt main station to Leipzig departing every hour. Takes about 3 and a half hour.

I'm not sure about Manchester. If Eyja is puffing along in the same way for the next days, there could be an airspace closure (depending on wind directions). In the last days / weeks often Irish and sometimes Scottish airspace was closed.

Been watching the Ireland airspace situation, because my brother plans to fly from Dublin to Frankfurt on May 19 (Air Lingus) to come visit us.

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

Ruby, I read the article Erik referred to //news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/8672663.stm and on the BBC site, there's only one more recent article that pertains to RyanAir http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/8674226.stm One of their planes made a precautionary landing in accordance with SOP after cabin crew noted an "acrid smell".

I suspect the reason so many people knock RyanAir is because they, quite rightly I might add, refuse to reimburse passengers and put them in hotels for the duration at RyanAir's expense when events outside their control force flight abandonments. I fly RyanAir and will continue to do so because their service is cheap and reliable and the aircraft I have flown on have invariably been new.

After the European Air Closures revealed their true faces, I'll never fly KLM, Lauda or Virgin...

Thor, check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aln%C3%B6n
The "Geology" chapter describes the composition of alnöite (eng. spelling alnoite). Note that the volcanic rock is alkaline. Also, note that the timing of the eruption is at the extreme end of the neoproterozoic, so it might have had some impact on the climate at the dawn of multicellular life.

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 10 May 2010 #permalink

@Henrik 319 My apologies Henrik I did not see the article where Ryanair admitted to ash being found in engines, I am not ditching Ryanair at all I believe its value for money and I know alot of people will not agree with me here but I can fully understand why ryanair do not want to pay out for accomodation and meals etc. after all you can't expect to pay out around £40.00 for a cheap flight and then expect ryanair to pay out hundreds of pounds in return it is a business after all, I have heard of some people putting in for upto £600.00 claims when they only paid £40.00 for a flight.
If you are on a package holiday with a tour company I think then the situation is different.
I think if you pay for flight only and the flight is cancelled or delayed due to volcanic ash then as long as they put you on the next available flight you should pay for your own accomodation and meals. If it is the actual airlines fault for the delay or cancellation they should then only have to pay out.
Everybody knows the situation with the ash and when flying they know the situation can change at short notice I am going on holiday to spain in July and even though it is weeks away I know that under these circumstances it is uncertain as to whether I shall get away or not.

Strange unknown signals started appearing again in Jon Frimann's helicorder. I wonder if new earthquakes will also soon start appearing on the official EQ lists.

@ Mr Moho & Chris funny you should say that:
11.05.2010 09:30:54 63.613 -19.671 13.9 km 1.1 46.76 11.8 km SW of Básar

@323: if those are really air pressure waves from explosions occurring at the volcano as initially hypothesized by Jon yesterday (although there has been no direct mention of audible explosions in the most recent status report from the Iceland met office), and not directly earthquakes as I thought, then a new EQ swarm might start soon. We will see.

hey guys n gals. :))

have anybody noticed how much ice has melted recently on Gigjökul,and how fast it has gone? The wierdest thing is that its nearly any meltwater under it.

and tell me, you who know, a lahar is the same as a jökullaup right??

@Ruby (#321) Cheers! We're in perfect agreement here. By July, hopefully, everything's back to "normal" again.

@Henrik Thanks, hopefully! I need some sunshine:)

Good morning!

Thor (#326), there has been very little melting in the past days. The moraine facing the Thórólfsfell cams is pretty dry and there's no meltwater to speak of appearing anywhere else.

It must be because there's not much lava. I think there's just a trickle and that it's flowing on top of the slightly older lava that's already cut a path 200m wide.

You see there's hardly any steam, just some puffs in the north flank, just above the split boulder.

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 11 May 2010 #permalink


Correct me if im wrong but I am under the impression that a Jökullaup is a flood of meltwater while a Lahar is a mudflow.

@Daniel - that is what I have always been led to believe. Therefore I assume that what we might witness would be a glacial burst, which would be a Jökullaup, but might a lahar result from it?

By Helen Leggatt (not verified) on 11 May 2010 #permalink

@Helen - Yes that would be a possibility. So that would mean that this volcano has invented a brand new phenomena...Lahalaup? Jökulhar?


@Danielle at 293
Here is a link to Manchester Evening News which is a very good source of info re air travel in manchester and will have links to other sources.


By Merlin, UK (not verified) on 11 May 2010 #permalink

Re - the 20% iron lava bomb
Many large lumps that get thrown up will fall straight back down, get reheated and thrown up again.
Could this be a refining process for lava bombs?

White puffy cloud stuff coming up from left side mountain on hvolsvelli webcam. looks interesting

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

could just be clouds emerging over the horizon but it follows the slope of the mountain.

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

There is a small steamvent on that side (visible on vodafonecam). Quite small at the moment.

also here one on the right side

left side still a qustionmark, could be clouds, could be another one, the 3rd webcam isnt working for me.
lets see what will happen..

mhh and white cloud appread right in the middle of the hvolsvelli webcam.

wow this is huge.

A distant view of the eruption, a webcam in Surtsey (one of the Westman Islands). Not live though. A lot of ash seems to be hanging in the air:


Still a lot of ashfall in the farming districts south and southeast of Eyja. The ash is very dark and course, basically like sand.

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 11 May 2010 #permalink

Dennis - I've been watching it too, on Hvolsvelli cam, and it sure looks like steam to me, too.

By Helen Leggatt (not verified) on 11 May 2010 #permalink

To the far right on Hvolsvelli cam there is a small peak that appears to have steaming occurring behind / from it? Or are these white puffs we're seeing just clouds forming?

By Helen Leggatt (not verified) on 11 May 2010 #permalink

Enjoy while you can. Weather's not looking good from tonight onward into later tomorrow.

nah i think you are right im watching it a while now.
and its expaning and got phases, so you could be right.

Just lost the Mila webcams - but mulakot seems to confirm that there is white cloud in front of the grey plume - so that would be steam wouldn't it?

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

@Helen #348, I think the white puffs are clouds.

The video link in #345 will show you how little steaming there actually is.

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 11 May 2010 #permalink

Humm a laharlaup/jøkulahar.. hehe that terminology works for me.. but when St Helens erupted they spoke of massive lahars forming from the massive Ice and snow melting at the top.. and correct me if Im wrong, didnt the same happen up at vatnajøkul when the Volcano erupted there some years ago?
I remember watching on tv those enourmous flods containg mud and stones and other stuff rushing down the mountain and taking with it roads .. Looked then like a Lahar to me..

maybe Jökullaup only a icelandic word for the same thing as an Lahar, because I have never heard it used other places,when Volcanoes erupt under ice covered peaks

That looks like ash in the air on the Hekla cam

Its the second cam down the page first is Katla.
Hekla looks very like an eruption although i know cloud can look similar. Surely that plume is not the same volcano we been watching. Must be cloud?

a Lahar:


Snow and glaciers can be melted by lava or a pyroclastic flow during an eruption


A flood caused by melting a glacier, lake breakout, or heavy rainfall, also called glacier run or jökulhlaup on Iceland


Water from a crater lake, combined with volcanic material in an eruption.

-In particular, although lahars are typically associated with the effects of volcanic activity, lahars can occur even without any current volcanic activity, as long as the conditions are right to cause the collapse and movement of mud and soil originating from volcanic ash deposits.

Lahars can also be asociated with larger landslides,containing big quantums of water.

Ok ,I now understand what a Lahar is..

Mornin' - error in my post yesterday #290 "...thesis on one of the Myrdalsjökull glaciers just around the corner from 'ours.' The south coast early settlers were wiped out any number of times. The landscape there has been utterly transformed at least eight times by major cat's astrophies..." should have added 'in the last 4000 years' - but two or three of those have been within settlement times.

Lady Eyja is putting heavy technological pressures on this techno luddite's learning curve - had to finally risk loading a free player that will play the .ruv files on Mac, it had gotten just too frustrating not to be able to see them. ; ) It's always a terrifying plunge because I'm always afraid everything will crash, freeze or disappear. Don't even own a proper cell phone!

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

@Helen #348, I think the white puffs are clouds.

The video link in #345 will show you how little steaming there actually is.

at 0:50-> :55, when this postion has increased over the day ? they are flying into the right direction for it, or am i totally wrong now ? because you cant see this location where the clouds are forming on any other webcam.

I am convinced that its an eruption, its got to be an ash plume and that camera has remained in that position throughout and not seen that before.
Please can some expert follow the link and report back as i need clarification either way, Hekla cam not Katla both on same page!

Dennis #358

Sorry, correction: The link is in #343.

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 11 May 2010 #permalink

@Birdseye #357

You can download Windows Media Player for Mac. It works for the rúv files.

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 11 May 2010 #permalink

Pyrotech- its only low fog or clouds on katla, there is no eruption,yet..

the eruption you see on floodwarn cam is Eyjafjöll,.

Frito Lay @ 208 - Thanks!

Katla is not erupting. But the RUV webcamcam is not a reliable guide because Katla is not a simple peak like Eyjafjöll and Hekla. It's a large caldera about 6km by 10km, entirely covered by an icecap. Activity could start well from the location of the camera, and would be noted in other instruments before it became visible in the camera.

The ash plume visible on the right side of the Hekla cam is from Eyjafjöll.

@359 pyrotech, What you see on the hekla cam is the current eya eruption cloud in the distance. Hekla is the snowy mountain on the left behind the stone pillar. It is just very clear weather at the moment....

Re #359 Any comments?
Happy to be proved wrong, just looking for second opinion.
Any one with suggestions on what i can be?
Its second cam down, Hekla cam. bottom right of picture huge plume. Never noticed it before. Someone with local knowledge can prob put my mind at rest because to me looks like a new eruption.
Comments please !!!!!!!!!!!!

Mula cam shows a great deal of blowing dust at lower level, suspect the stuff at the top is blowing ash, not steam. It's headed out under the plume in a different direction.

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

*blink* *blink* Didn't imagine that the explosions in Eyjafj. were powerful enough to be detectable in Europe. Sub-hertz sound waves?

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 11 May 2010 #permalink

Cheers all, just never seen it before and thought it was new. I check that cam every day but like you said clearer today than been for a while.
Thought i was first to notice something new.. lol

@birdseye, other cams show this too

Jon's helicorder spikes
This is probably a rubbish observation but it seems from memory that these signals start at 9 in the morning, stop for lunch for half an hour, take an hour or so off for dinner and go to bed at around 9.30 in the evening.
Eruption seems to be going rather well at the moment depending on your point of view.

My guess is that if Hekla, Katla or anything was erupting, we'd have heard a lot more about it than it sneaking up on a webcam.

Reynir, fex the instruments in Norway detects not only the quakes from eyjafjöll, but also quakes happening in USA or even deep down in indonesia.
everything is connected you know. deep down under us.

@AnnaReyk 361 Thanks Anna, I got something called VLC, seems to do the job!

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

Your right pyrotech it is an eruption but its the one we have been watching for the last month. ITS NOT A NEW ERUPTION. ok

#372: Was thinking about a comment made by an Italian scientist in the RUV pistle above, that his colleagues had been *listening* to the eruption from their posts way down Europe. I knew that rock could convey the shocks to seismic instruments, but never imagined that they had Listening Monks there.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 11 May 2010 #permalink

370 its truely strange, i dont believe in such things, but what does this data show us?
i had gave one idea of my own, no response to it, someone sad they would crap some data up from earlier eruption where "harmonic termors" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmonic_tremor) are shown and maybe some explainations, nothing yet here.

@370: no, that observation makes a lot of sense. The fact that they start on morning and end on late evening (possibly with lunch/dinner pauses) is very suspicious. I would wait a day or two before declaring that cultural noise with good certainty, though. I personally started thinking about this possibility earlier this evening, but it could have been/could be a coincidence (also if I recall correctly Jon said that there wasn't human activity at the time of those signals around the geophone yesterday).

Here is a article which appeared on the Icelandic news website, Pressan, yesterday and caught my eye:

Icelands largest volcano waking up?
Icelandic Civil Protection Agency wants a risk assessment regarding a possible Bárðabunga eruption

Bárðarbunga in Vatnajökull, the largest central Volcano in Iceland, is showing signs of waking up but Katla is still fast asleep, despite the ongoing eruption in Eyjafjallajökull. A project manager at the Icelandic Civil Protection Agency deems appropiate to make a specific contigency plan shouls an eruption take place at Bárðarbunga.

Geologist Ari Trausti Guðmundsson has counted a number of earthquakes from data belonging to the Icelandic Met Office, originating in the northwestern Vatnajökull during a 5 week period. The quakes were about 100 in total and about half of them were directly under the Bárðarbunga caldera which has not erupted in historical times.

Guðmundsson told Pressan that there are no telling signs that Katla is about to erupt despite historical clues point to a close relationship between the volcano and Eyjafjallajökull volcano.

He says the earthquakes under Bárðarbunga are intruiqing and a research on how deep the originate could provide a clue of a possible magma intrusion.

He handed his notes over to the Icelandic Civil Protection Agency.

Guðrún Jóhannesdóttir, a project manager at the Icelandic Protection Agency, told Pressan that specialists continuingly monitor the frequent earthquake activity at Vatnajökull.

âThere is no risk assessment or a contigency plan available should an eruption start in Bárðabunga, like we have for Katla and Eyjafjallajökull. I think it would be good to do such assessment and I have showed the MET Gudmundssons notes. Bárðabunga is a volcano that needs further study.â

Ãmar Ragnarsson, a well known and respected reporter in Iceland and a Volcano enthusiaist, made Bárðarbunga a topic on his blog on march 12th.

âAn eruption in the northwestern Vatnajökull could have more disatrous consequenses than an eruption in Eyjafjallajökull. Glacier flood are in danger of hitting the damsystem at the Tungnaár-Ãjórsár area or go north into Jökulsá á fjöllum river. The axle Bárðarbunga-GrÃmsvötn is at the center of the active zone which runs right through Iceland and therefore in the middle of the hotspot, which in one of the two biggest in the world. The other is at Hawaii.â

The largest earthquakes at Bárðarbunga of this year have been measured at 3.3 and 4 on the richter scale, which are the largest quakes since 2002.

The Bárðarbunga system is roughly 200 km long and 25 km wide and is covered in ice. The biggest lava flow from a single erution in the country, in fact on earth since modern time, is derived from Bárðarbunga. The Great Thjorsár lava which flowed about 8500 years ago from the volcano and all the way down to the ocean.

Steinunn Jakobsdóttir, from the Icelandic MET office, states that a lot of activity has taken place in the crust this years and some disturbance has been in the area around Bárðarbunga. However she says there is no great concern about an impending eruption there.

But she also points out that the continuing activity at Bárðarbunga suggests that the volcano is very much alive.

@365 What you see in the Hekla webcam most definitely is the Eyjafjallajökull eruption. Seen from that webcam, Katla is totally obscured by the Hekla top.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 11 May 2010 #permalink

@Brian 370, you might be right, there is something suspcious about those spikes in the plots. They look like noise (electronic?) But it still is strange they havent shown up before. Maby somebody bought a new electronic device to follow the eruption and is interfering with the plots.

Well phooey, the daily network overload goes into effect. FLIR (for the moment) and Mula my only eyes,so... have fun.

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

@Anna (#343), thanks for that video link, that's some spectacular footage! But it also shows that the eruption is quite stable for the moment - there is vigorous Strombolian activity from a single vent, and it looks like lava oozing through one side of the growing pyroclastic cone. You can also see some incandescent lava in the deep channel cut into the glacier. The eruption plume appears slightly more sustained today than yesterday, but remains way below 10 km altitude.
No apocalyptic scenario on the horizon with an eruption going on like this, but chances are elevated that it will continue to be a serious nuisance for people living in the area, and to disrupt air traffic as soon as the plume drifts south or southeast.

there is what looks like steam rising from the river on vodafone

Reynir @ 376 - seismologists can listen to volcanoes with seismometers and with infrasound (see link below). Does anyone know of an infrasound station in Iceland?


@381 Bas v D - there are also coffee breaks at 11 and 13... A GSM transmitter? They have _very_ interesting effects on nearby electronics.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 11 May 2010 #permalink

Thanks Renato
That is useful.
Lack of topography on my behalf lead to mild excitement.
At least i can see visible possibilities now thanks to your link

#384: Nah, it's a Kansas song: Dust In The Wind.

#385: Learn a new fact; you'll live the day.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 11 May 2010 #permalink

So now the question for Jón FrÃmann is: Did you recently install any electronic device wich is switched on at 0900 and off at 2130 hrs? It could be anything like a new modem, fan, heater, electronic clock, Big screen plasma TV (kidding). You probably thought of this yourself, but the simplest explanations are usally overlooked.
Regards Bas

himmelspretten er på torsdag! :) fri dag her også

#386 Welcome! This map was posted here before and was very helpful to locate things around. Now, to the new thread.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 11 May 2010 #permalink

@392, 393 Thanks, guys, for reminding me! Would be totally stupid to run out of something and go to the store to find it closed.

Ascension Day is a holiday in the Nordic countries.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 11 May 2010 #permalink

Neither Hekla or Katla are erupting. They dont even have hot spots on MODVOLC. Like someone says above the eruption is from Eyjaf, and that mother IS erupting.

If this continues and especially if there IS another volcano getting its back up, then there is going to be a re-tasking of the sky birds over the N. Hemisphere with the idea being that the use of the fuel will be justified and that they have redundancy in the hurricane sectors.

They are talking about it now but the WX people are not happy. They want their birds parked over the hurricane areas. A slight realignment to even another 250 to the North would give us a lot of good pictures of all of Iceland. We can see them now but we cant see directly into the box like the can over Kamchatka. Eyjaf is currently generating about 20 megapixels and has been as high as 300. Some of that is due to obscuration from clouds/ash but we can see it for now.

Here is a link to it. I am not happy about the two newer hot spots on each corner. Is that a new vent to the left of the main?


By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 11 May 2010 #permalink

@Anna#343, Thanks for the RUV video link. Amazing scenes! It helps explain the foreshortened views from the Thoro cams.
I think it was shot from the helicopter spotted last night by Kyle,Dylan,beedragon et al, at about 7pm May 10th blog time (sunset).

By mags,England (not verified) on 11 May 2010 #permalink

Oh, instant dumb detector... Folks you go to that site and you have to hit the mouse several times on Iceland or use the known volcanoes on the right and then you zoom. Then hit the days or weeks you want to see. Zooming is the important thing though.

Our little Eyjaf on a one to ten scale is a full blown 5 but not much more. Think about what Katla or one of the others could do for the world environment. Add in a couple of Kamchatkas or Sakura-Jima's and we would be in deep trouble and fast.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 11 May 2010 #permalink