Friday Flotsam: Pacaya, Eyjafjallajökull and Katla mongering

This week has been destroyed by workshops and my last death throes with a paper I am submitting on my research in New Zealand. And to think, I thought it might settle down a little after the students left.

To news!

Ash fall on a taxi cab near Guatemala's Pacaya.

More like this

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…
The ash-and-steam plume from Eyjafjallajökull on April 19, 2010. Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland is slowly settling into a pattern of strombolian-to-surtseyan (depending on meltwater access to the crater) explosions that have been sending ash up to 2-5 km above the summit. We can see this new, more…
The eruptive plume from Eyjafjallajökull taken Holsvelli webcam. Image courtesy of Mattias Larsson. Sorry to disappoint everyone visiting to blog while they sit at any number of airports around the world, but the eruption at Eyjafjallajökull appears to still be going strong. The Icelandic Met…
Dark ash covers an American Airline 737 on the tarmac at the airport in Guatemala City. Two volcanoes are making headlines right now (and neither is in Iceland). As I mentioned yesterday, Pacaya in Guatemala erupted (video) causing widespread disruption of life in the nearby Guatemala City and…

Good morning Erik, thanks for keeping us posted in the midst of your other duties. If we get out of hand, let us know : ) Good luck with the paper.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

Hello Erik and everyone. A sad day after the death of the poor Guatemalan reporter due to the eruption of Pacaya.

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

@ Lurking

Thanks for these great "3d" view of the quakes.
Is there a possible way you could show us the releation of those quakes ?
MAP 4.7 2010/05/28 13:44:25 -13.753 166.680 110.9 VANUATU
MAP 5.5 2010/05/28 04:25:59 -14.005 166.604 35.0 VANUATU
MAP 5.1 2010/05/28 03:14:42 -13.821 166.872 35.0 VANUATU
MAP 4.9 2010/05/27 23:38:05 -14.025 167.070 35.0 VANUATU
MAP 6.4 2010/05/27 20:48:00 -13.641 166.713 32.2 VANUATU
MAP 5.2 2010/05/27 17:45:29 -13.656 166.780 35.0 VANUATU
MAP 5.7 2010/05/27 17:24:23 -13.893 166.640 35.0 VANUATU
MAP 7.2 2010/05/27 17:14:48 -13.710 166.507 36.1 VANUATU
MAP 4.8 2010/05/27 01:52:15 -12.204 166.487 79.5 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
MAP 4.7 2010/05/24 13:20:22 -11.129 166.366 153.2 SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS
MAP 5.5 2010/05/23 20:19:40 -17.914 168.796 129.2 VANUATU
MAP 5.0 2010/05/22 14:27:08 -14.053 166.969 34.7 VANUATU

i know its alot to asked because i have no clue right now how to know how deep the seafloor begins.

Thanks in advance!

The Guatemala volcanoes Fuego, Pacaya and Santa MarÃa are all having volcanic activity at the same time. I imagine it´s quite unusual to have 3 Guatemala volcano eruptions at the same time.

By Mattias Larsson, Swe (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

Hi, dummy question (from dummy):

I'm trying to learn read IMO's IGS ultra-rapid graph.
I don't understand how to read the time scale.

Example THEY station:

There says: "horizontal time scale is shown in days since last year"
I don't get it - if there is 2010.35 so what is the date?
Can anyone tell what does it mean? (Google translation to english is LOL)

If I compare same to IES graph it is more readable - at least to me - because the timescale is calendar mont and days.

I think they both are measuring still same thing.

BTW 4 new EQ's around Eyja

I would like to express to citizens of Guatemala my condolences for the terrible accident to 3 people from Pacaya's eruption. The footage of a CNN reporter talking live about the death of his "compañero" is heartbreaking.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

I would love to hear from Erik, Jon or someone knowledgeable on "E" about these recent quakes nearby:

28.05.201014:25:3863.584-19.3631.1 km1.032.128.4 km SW of Goðabunga
28.05.201014:12:3863.581-19.47211.3 km1.460.085.8 km N of Skógar
28.05.201013:26:0563.635-19.74018.8 km1.099.012.5 km E of Seljalandsfoss
28.05.201012:42:0663.612-19.6500.1 km1.099.011.0 km SW of Básar
28.05.201011:29:4863.643-19.3628.0 km0.999.05.5 km W of Goðabunga
28.05.201003:50:2163.624-19.6287.3 km0.899.09.4 km SW of Básar
28.05.201003:30:1163.657-19.66010.5 km0.599.09.1 km WSW of Básar
28.05.201002:50:5763.623-19.6158.0 km1.099.08.9 km SW of Básar
28.05.201001:53:4363.631-19.6157.7 km0.699.08.4 km SW of Básar
28.05.201001:52:4563.626-19.61710.2 km0.699.08.8 km SW of Básar

Lady "E" just slapped the "well-endowed (fat lady)lady" right off the stage, I think she went back to the house :O)!!

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

#9 @Robert Bordonaro: I was just looking at those plots. We'll have to wait to see where they lead to. It's picking up quite a bit! How about tremors? Pity that I can't stay and wait.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

Maybe it was because she was a "flat, fat lady"!! (For non-native English speakers: "flat" means she couldn't sing)!

@Timo #5: 2010.35 is the 4th of February, 2010. Surely someone in your vicinity (or at least the country) publishes a good almanac with a day-of-year column/function.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

#10..HVO/HAU tremor activity is up a little bit. The other tremor plots are very quiet. See link below:

I am no expert, I betcha "E" is refilling her magma chamber and will "exhale"/erupt more ash here in the next few days.

All the web-cams HVO/POR and Mulakot are obscured :O), come on sunshine and clear weather near "E".

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

Of course, it's possible that they're not using Day-of-year as they say, but counting the days as a fraction of a year. In that case you gotta do an int(frac(2010.35)*365) and then go to the almanac.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

Good morning and evening where ever you are.

My condolances to the family of the reporter, CNN and the people of Guatemala.

My DH and I discussed the Mono swarm north of Mammoth Lakes and he thought it could be something to do with water in some crevices or cave-like areas that could make the quakes that shallow. He did say he really has no idea. Neither do I. I am going to try to get some info on it.

Zander, that read was hilarious. As far as I know and understand, nothing is going on at Katla that isn't normal. Eminent my foot! Of course, there is a difference between eminent and imminent. I get those two mixed up and right now, I don't have a dictionary. LOL

Mattias, I think something is wrong with the BKE. I don't know the possition of it, but I don't think anything is going on or Boris would give us a heads up.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

That would make 2010.35 to be May the 7th, 2010 CE, by the way.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

@Thanks for the info, Robert Bordonaro. I'll be back at night to watch cams if weather permits.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

#12 Thankn's Raynir

I thought the graph was more up-to-date (like IES 25.5.2010), so it ends 2010-40 9.2.2010 - not very useful...may be there is an another link to realtime data

#19: The las bit of data is at ca. 2010.41, which by the latter measure puts it bang up to date.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

Re my last: Me and that wonky heap of dark matter within my skull... Should've said 2010.402 or thereabout. By the latter measure, that's the 26th (last Monday).

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

#21 Raynir
OK - both IMO/IES are in sync and almost up to date.
Thank you for your calculations and clarifications:)

28.05.2010 11:29:48 63.643 -19.362 8.0 km 0.9 99.0 5.5 km W of Goðabunga

Quite deep EQ?

Well 10 EQ near "E", magma present in the "E" crater, an 8-9,000 ft steam plume, a lil' ash being tossed in mix. Interesting :o)!!

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

Eruption in Eyjafjallajökull
Status Report: 12:00 GMT, 28 May 2010
Icelandic Meteorological Office and Institute of Earth Sciences, University
of Iceland
Compiled by: Ãrmann Höskuldsson, Hjörleifur Sveinbjörnsson, Haraldur EirÃksson, Björn
Sævar Einarsson
Based on: IMO seismic monitoring; IES-IMO GPS monitoring; IMO hydrological data;
web cameras, ATDnet â UK Met. Offices lightning detection system, Satellite
images, web-based ash reports from the public and scientists that went to the
Eruption plume:
Height (a.s.l.): Clouds have covered the top of the mountain this morning and
therefore the plume has not been seen on web-cameras. Light wind
from ENE.
Tephra fallout: No reports of ashfall.
Lightning: No lightning strikes have been detected.
Noises: No reports.
Meltwater: Low discharge from GÃgjökull.
Conditions at eruption site: IES expedition to the summit of Eyjafjallajökull yesterday.
Tephra thickness in and around the eastern half of the crates was
measured. Tephra up to 40 m thick closes to the craters. Intense steam
rises up from the craters, with occasional small ashy explosions. Noise
of intense boiling and or degassing from the craters. Visibility to the
bottom limited due to steam.
The crater rim is coated with fine ash that extends me 20 m from the
edge. Strong smell of sulfur around the craters. At 20:45 the steam
plume was measured to be at the altitude of 2.8 km.
Seismic tremor: Volcanic tremor is still more than before the eruption and has been
rather steady since 22nd May, but small pulses, mostly on the lowest
frequency (0.5-1.0 Hz), are being detected on the earthquake stations
around the volcano.
Earthquakes: Six earthquakes have been detected under the volcano today, but seven
earthquakes were detected there yesterday.
GPS deformation: No significant deformation at sites around Eyjafjallajökull.
Overall assessment: There is still a considerable amount of steam coming from the
crater. The tremor is still higher than before the onset of the eruption,
and small tremor pulses have been detected on the lowest frequency.
Rain has prevented the ash to be blown up from the ground around the
volcano. The volcano will continue to be monitored closely as before.

Thanks, Sherine, @27.

@ muh [3]

Those are the same quakes as the plot I did in the other thread. I was able to come up with a very low resolution bottom contour plot, so I redid the graphic. Due to the spread of some of these quakes, in order to see them all you loose some of the context of where the islands are at. This is pulled in to yield more of a profile that at least lets you see the islands location with respect to the quakes.

I think there have been a few more since these, so there may be a few missing on the image.

At least 3, possibly up to 4 people were killed by Pacaya's eruption last night:

Tungurahua in Ecuador produced another powerful explosion this morning, two days after a similar event. Pyroclastic flows descended the western and southwestern flanks of the volcano. More explosions followed, generating an eruption column 10 km tall. The inhabitants of nearby villages were evacuated:

/\TUNGURAHUA\actividad\2010\BoletÃn especial del volcán Tungurahua No 09 28 may.pdf

I bet they don't close down air traffic for the entire Latin American region, though. The response in Europe was "over the top" and not like the response at locations on the rest of the planet.

I don'y know about the rest of the planet, but I'm very certain that the relevant officials in Europe are not being paid enough to risk their families' lives.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

@George, #32 - the eruptions are probably not strong enough to warrant widespread air space closure.

In any case if only one plane with one single passenger had gone down during the Eyjafjallajökull crisis, those who today criticize the air traffic closure as "exaggerated" or "over the top" would have cried the danger had not been taken serious enough.

If there was just a bit of a chance of an airplane going down with Eyjafjallajökull's ash, the reaction was warranted. We might be ready to accept that people lose their lives daily in car crashes but I guess we'd not be as liberal with airplane passengers.

Ref: [34]

Of course not, if any of the livestock transporters run into trouble by having the cargo balk at boarding the plane, they loose money.

Let them die for not giving the livestock transport industry money instead.

@Boris, I think part of the reason we "accept" car crashes in which people die is because usually there are few involved, therefore it isn't as bad. I think you get the idea. A jet, however has possibley 200 or more people and it seems more horrific to us. That is until we come face to face with a car crash. I guess our thinking is a bit out of whack. There is a road in Montana where every so often there are white crosses along the road. Some of them are welded together and that means they died in the same crash. There is one place where there are several crosses and there are nine of them welded together. That spot sort of gets into your gut when you see it. It somehow means more. Gives pause. However, even where there is just one cross on that road, at least for me, I think about that one life.

If the road I have to drive to get into town had crosses along the way where people died, there would be a lot. That road is curvey and although it has been fixed in many ways, people still drive way too fast and there are crashes and people die. Sad when I think about it because if they had slowed down a bit, they might not have been in an accident in the first place. But that is the way it is just like in Italy where falling pieces of building can hit you and possibly kill you. So we live with risk and hopefully we can get around the risks and enjoy life.

Now if the weather here would just cooperate, my DH and I could get to the river and get some of that yellow stuff that washes down. :-)

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

Boris@32, Diane@34;, The problem in comparing car crashes and commercial plane crashes is that of who takes responsibility.
In the UK now drivers who cause death by dangerous driving can receive substantial jail terms. This can refer to DUI, driving at high speed etc. It can also occur even when the driver was sober and within the posted speed limit if for example the road/weather conditions are bad, or when the driver is too fast for specific conditions eg. passing a stationary bus and hitting a passenger crossing the road. Each time I consider this I automatically slow down. Each time I consider the effects a crash would have on me or my passengers, I slow down, irrespective of my speed at the time.

Commercial airlines have a legal duty to the safety of their passengers, who have no choice in how they are flown, they either board and trust the pilot, or the stay on the ground. The problem is that the airlines have a need to make money, and are very clearly pressurising the authorities to bend and then rewrite the rules in order to maintain flying. At present in the UK the likelihood of any airline director being held directly responsible for a crash and being jailed for their failings is pretty small, and this encourages risk taking.

How close to the edge are they going to go in order to maintain flying, and at what point are the airlines going to recognise that the lives of their passengers are more important than profit, or indeed the airline's existence?

Official Long Valley update is up:

"Thirty six earthquakes between magnitude M=1.0 and M=3.0 occurred in the Long Valley region since the last update at 3:03 PM (PDT) on May 21, 2010. Twenty two of these occurred in a swarm that began with the M=3.0 earthquake at 11:03 AM on the 21st noted in last week's update. This swarm was centered at a depth of approximately 5 km beneath Little Sand Flat ~ 5 km (3 miles) east of the southern end of the Mono Craters chain (20 km or 12 miles north of Mammoth Lakes). The swarm included four M>3 earthquakes, the largest of which was a M=3.5 event at 10:06 AM on the 22nd. The swarm has largely quieted down as of this update but continued to produce occasional M>1 earthquakes through yesterday evening. We have detected no ground deformation associated with this swarm and see no other evidence that it might be associated with a magmatic intrusion. Low-level earthquake activity elsewhere in the region continued with little change from the past several weeks"


@37 Gordon ~ With all respect, your post actually explains why the reaction was not "over the top" (#32). :)

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

I guess for those who value profit and convenience over human life, the European reaction was 'over the top'.

@Shelly - I read today that Tjornes is an underwater volcano that last erupted in 1868. Maybe it's waking up.

Doubt that there's any webcams up there though :)

By beedragon Canada (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

#44 An underwater web cam... now that I would love to see. :)

Volcano's eruption spurs evacuations, closes airport

(CNN) -- Lava and ash from Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano forced the closure of Guayaquil Airport until Saturday afternoon, an airport spokesman said Friday.

The glacier-capped, 16,478-foot (5,023-meter) volcano has erupted periodically since 1999, with major eruptions occurring in August 2006 and February 2008, the government's emergency management agency said.

Officials evacuated the towns of Cusua and Juive Grande in central Ecuador, the emergency agency said, but no injuries or fatalities had been reported. No further evacuations were planned, the agency said.

The eruption sent a large ash cloud into the air, the Geophysical Institute of Peru said. The height could not be determined because of cloudiness in the area.

Before the long-term eruption beginning in 1999 that caused the temporary evacuation of the city of Banos at the foot of the volcano, the last major eruption had occurred from 1916 to 1918, and minor activity continued until 1925, the Smithsonian Institution said on its volcano website.

The volcano is 87 miles (140 km) south of Quito, the nation's capital.

@Dan: Good evening! Just wondering how would the VE index go for Tungurahua and Pacaya. Have an idea?

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

Just a guess: Pacaya = 2, Tungurahua = 4?

#48 Good guess, Dan. There was a bet that the next VEI3 would go for Katla.
#44 #45
The swarm is concentrated under Grimsey Island, in between the Kolbeinsey Ridge and the Tjörnes Fracture Zone. So it's a nowhere land.
According to the Smithosnian Institute:
Tjörnes Fracture Zone - Submarine volcano
Latitude: 66.30°N
Longitude: 17.10°W
The offshore Tjörnes Fracture Zone is an oblique transform zone that separates the northern volcanic zone of Iceland from the Kolbeinsey Ridge, part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge north of Iceland. A submarine eruption was reported during 1867-1868 at the SE part of the fissure system off the northern coast of Iceland along the Manareyjar Ridge immediately north of Manareyjar Island.
Kolbeinsey Ridge - Submarine volcano - Height: 5 m
Latitude: 66.67°N
Longitude: 18.50°W
A submarine eruption was reported in 1372 near the Kolbeinsey Ridge NW of Grimsey Island. Kolbeinsey Island, the only subaerial expression of this portion of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, is a small, rapidly eroding island that formed during the late-Pleistocene or Holocene. Dredged glass shards indicate submarine eruptive activity during the late-Pleistocene until at least 11,800 radiocarbon years ago. The island was 700 m long in 1616 AD, but had shrunk to 42 m long and 5 m high by 1985 and could be eroded below sea level in the early part of the 21st century. The Kolbeinsey Hydrothermal Field lies south of the island. Thorarinsson (1965) roughly plotted the location of the 1372 eruption at about 66 degrees 40 minutes North. Reidel et al. (2003) note that the location is uncertain, but could lie between the Kolbeinsey Ridge and Hóll Seamount. Other reports of submarine eruptions north of Iceland have an even more uncertain location (1755) or have been discredited (1783 and 1838).

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

Still time to place a webcam on the 5m Kolbeinsky's Island!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

#49 @Passerby: Where is that cam? Couldn't get the coordinates right.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

@Renato Hi there. I really don't understand how VEI is assigned. So I read up a little on it and now I'm even more confused. :)
That being said, my completely non scientific method of determining the VEI (dart board method) would be in the 2/3 range.

#55 Oh! That's cruel, @Passerby!!! Hadn't seen that... This stupid Brazilian was zooming in to search for extremophiles, but I don't think I would see any!!! @Dan, this is heartbreaking!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

@Renato We are pretty much reigned to the fact that it's a matter of when, not if, the oil comes to our shores. I only eat my seafood from local restaurants and from local waters. That may not be possible for a long time. Only time will tell.
This site shows where the spill is. The grey areas is the oil. The question mark at 87.5 is the entrance to Pensacola Bay where I live. We are not sure if the oil is really that close yet.

This image shows the fishing areas that have been closed.

Ejecta/volume/Classification/Description/Plume/Frequency/Example/Occurrences in last 10,000 years*
VEI 0/<10,000 m³/Hawaiian/non-explosive/< 100 m/constant/Mauna Loa/many
VEI 1/>10,000 m³-Hawaiian/Strombolian-gentle-100-1000 m/daily/Stromboli/many
VEI 2/> 1,000,000 m³Strombolian/Vulcanianexplosive1-5 kmweeklyGaleras (1993)3477*
VEI 3/> 10,000,000 m³/Vulcanian Peléan/severe/3-15 km/yearly/Cordón Caulle (1921)/868
VEI 4/> 0.1 km³/Peléan/Plinian/cataclysmic(*!!??)/10-25 km/⥠10 yrs/Eyjafjallajökull (2010)(*!??)/421
From Wikipedia. But I don't think Lady E was THAT angry!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

@Renato We are pretty much reigned to the fact that it's a matter of when, not if, the oil comes to our shores. I only eat my seafood from local restaurants and from local waters. That may not be possible for a long time. Only time will tell.
This site shows where the spill is. The grey areas is the oil. The question mark at 87.5 is the entrance to Pensacola Bay where I live. We are not sure if the oil is really that close yet.

This image shows the fishing areas that have been closed.

By Dan, Florida (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

#58 Awful, Dan, simply awful. And they haven't yet been able to stop it! What caused that, anyway? Is there an explanation?

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

Take some holidays and come to Rio. You're my guest!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

copied and corrected from Wikipedia

Deepwater Horizon was an ultra-deepwater, dynamically positioned, semi-submersible offshore drilling rig. It was built in 2001 in South Korea, is owned by Transocean and was leased to BP plc until September 2013. On April 20, 2010, an explosion on the rig left eleven crewmen dead. The resulting fire could not be extinguished, and on April 22, 2010, the rig sank, causing an oil spill that is the worst environmental disaster in United States history.

#62 Do they know what caused the explosion?

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

Anyone want to call an eruption imminent up in N. Iceland yet, or do we have to wait for the lava bombs to start to fall?

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

#65) The eruption in N Iceland, if one occurred, would be a submarine or an underwater eruption :o)!

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

@66 ~ Fish bombs!

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

#67 Hail, Your Highness! Still awaken! So, what are the prospects for Grimsey island. Will it burst or just false alarm?
I think our Wonder Lady is back. Didn't know she was a compulsive smoker, though... I'm waiting for the clouds to go and make an assessment at the cams.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

#66) Smoked fish or steamed salmon!!

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

Has anyone posted this video of Cotopaxi in Ecuador yet? Admittedly, the volcano doesn't do much (actually, anything) but it's still pretty awesome. Or awesomely pretty.


@68 ~ Dear Sir Renato, I got all excited about the invitation to Rio until I realized it wasn't for me )-:

I think we have a surtsey brewing north of Iceland (and a few places south as well). It'll take a while for geologists and volcanologists and oceanographers to catch up with women's intuition though *sigh* It's no wonder we've turned to smoking.

I'm waiting impatiently for Vodafone to get their act together.

@70 ~ Both! But on a more serious note: isn't there speculative oil drilling north of Iceland (or people who want to?)

That scares me. And it takes a lot to scare me.

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

@Jón #69 and Birgit Hartinger ~ Awesome.

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

@ M. Randolph Kruger [65]

Definitely... I'm too freeking jacked up to think of anything else.

That region has been popping pretty hard since we have been distracted with Eyjafjallajökull and I've got lizards down here acting like they care..


By Lurking -- with wine (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

@76 Lurking ~ back away from the bottle .... :)

But wait, thank you for the awesome dplots you've been providing. Can you plot fish bombs/smoking fish/steaming salmons? That would be way-cool!

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

I've been keeping an eye on all the activity up north sice I started watching the earthquaques under Eyjafjallajökull. Are there any web cams on GrÃmsey if things do kick off up there?

By Alison, UK (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

Apologies for all the typos in that entry, still half asleep.

By Alison, UK (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

@Princess Frito ~ I found another one showing Akureyri but nothing further north. Some enterprising inhabitant of GrÃmsey needs to get one set up ready.

By Alison, UK (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

@81 ~ Alison, if they're counting on vodafone I'd think they're "SOL" ;)

@82 ~ Jón, I think you mean to say there aren't any sub-aerial volcanoes there. ;)

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

@Jón. Thank you.

As per your link:

"Most of the zone is below ocean, which limits the historical information and geological observations. For studying the dynamics of the zone we must rely on interpretation and modelling based on seismic observations

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

@Princess Frito & Alison, the TFZ is a strike-slip fault - that is, a fault moving mostly horizontally, like the San Andreas in California - that links different segments of the Mid-Atlantic ridge, and of other oceanic spreading ridges.

Fracture zones are NOT the sites of volcanic activity (again, like the San Andreas). Volcanic activity occurs on the oceanic ridge. Actually, the "Tjörnes fracture zone" entry in the Global Volcanism Program refers to an 1867-1868 eruption not on the fracture zone but "along the Manareyjar Ridge".

However, the intense movement on the Tjörnes fracture zone could mean that one of the adjacent segments of the Mid-Atlantic ridge is possibly opening. But rifting events are mostly characterized by magma filling the cracks that open, with little magma reaching the surface, except for really exceptional cases.

Most submarine eruptions are not even visible at the sea surface, rarely they evolve into an island-building stage, but only very few eruptions last long enough to build a sizeable island and emit lava flows which strongly increase an island's chance of survival. The last eruptions of this type were Capelinhos (Azores, 1957-1958), Surtsey (Iceland, 1963-1967), and Nishi-Noshima-Shinto (Japan, 1973-1974).

In the meantime it seems that strong activity is continuing at Pacaya and Tungurahua, with thousands of people being evacuated, and airport closures in both countries.

@86 Boris ~ "However, the intense movement on the Tjörnes fracture zone could mean that one of the adjacent segments of the Mid-Atlantic ridge is possibly opening."

Thank you Boris. This is exactly what several of us have been alluding to for several months now.

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 28 May 2010 #permalink

@Princess Frito, sorry to say that John Seach in this point is wrong. An oceanic fracture zone is not a volcano, nowhere on this planet, that much is fundamental knowledge about plate tectonics and volcanism. But a fracture zone may be very close to a volcano, because at both ends it is linked to mid-oceanic ridge segments, where volcanism indeed occurs. From the distribution of earthquakes on the IMO map it seems that there is a roughly north-south area that is seismically active, whereas the TFZ seems to have a somewhat more northwest-southeast trend.

Obviously it would be very nice to see a major, island-building eruption off North Iceland, though logistically not that easy to follow, and I guess everyone's now familar with weather conditions and visibility in Iceland, don't expect this to be much better off the north coast :-D I'd rather count on good visibility in an area like south of Sicily, where a small, short-lived volcanic island is known to have formed in 1831. But, alas, no seismic activity in that area, for the moment.

I know I'm sometimes being picky but we're in a moment where lots of people are confusing things to a degree that becomes painful, if we think of the Katla-mania.
In the moment a really significant eruption happens offshore north Iceland I guess we'll hear of it. Meanwhile people have been killed at a volcano everybody in recent years has treated a sort of "toy" volcano (Pacaya). If you just look up pictures of Pacaya on Flickr you see masses of people poking around in the active lava flows and there seem to have been no whatsoever safety measures.

#69 This Birgit would be me, and because Jón FrÃmann is so nice to send more ash, there are many more yet to come. Btw Jón a teaspoonful is enaugh. You need almost nothing to do SEMs. And i got to mention that i thank the Ars Electronica Center ( my workplace) for letting me use the SEM ( Fei, Phenom). Those things are horribly expensive. I am an Infotrainer ( guide) there. We are presenting open Labs and in the BioLab i took the images with the visitors around me. Asking them, hm, on which of the particles would you like to take a closer look. Showing them how to set up the sample and so on. People really enjoyed that.

By Birgit, Austria (not verified) on 29 May 2010 #permalink

The VEI is a particularly unsuitable method of grading the size of volcanic eruptions. In the end, they are assigned by committé, would you believe it. :loopy: In spite of ejecting ~2½ times the amount of material (DRE - dense rock equivalent) to qualify for VEI 4, it will most likely be classified as a VEI 3, which makes sense only to a committé because then you will have to be a specialist to understand the classification system!

No, let's have a new system that is easily explained to and understood by laymen, such as those who are at the head of public protection and rescue services! If the general public, who might live in a danger zone, had a chance of understanding it as it happens instead having to wait for a committé to decide whether or not their lives and property were in danger or not weeks or months afterwards, so much the better.

Some weeks ago I suggested such a system where Lady E would be assigned VED 4-III-vg (first number volume of DRE, second timeframe month+ for 67% of DRE to be ejected, Vg=vulcanian, glacial or large phreatomagmatic component). Vesuvius 79AD would be VED 5-I-Pfc (volume, inside 36 hours, Pfc= Stratospheric Plinian, pyroclastic flows, collapse event).

With such a system, vulcanologists could say - as an example - that an imminent eruption (in the future) of Mt Rainier pointed towards a VED 5-I-PfLc (violent stratospheric Plinian with pyroclastic flows, big and far-reaching Lahars plus possible collapse), instead of having to explain it every time with the chance of misunderstanding. Civic authorities and the general public in Seattle would know exactly what might be in store fore with a VED 5-I-PfLc rather than some long-winded verbose description mutilated to intelligibility by either politic-economically motivated down-playing of the danger or uncomprehending sensationalist journalism.

By Henrik, Swe (not verified) on 29 May 2010 #permalink

#93 No, greedy me placed most of it in different glass displays in the glasswall of the BioLab and i set some of it up on a shelf in my livingroom. I am also producing a necklace with a glass fiole filled with the ash. ( I attend a goldsmithcourse). ;)
But if the Professor of the university Vienna (who does this Deep Space programm in the museum in June) would want some, he ll get it.

By Birgit, Austria (not verified) on 29 May 2010 #permalink

Information (from direct science site) about hydrothermal activity in the TFZ:

The book "Living earth, Outline of the geology of Iceland", by geologist Ari Trausti Gudmundsson, mentions both volcanic and hydrothermal activity in the TFZ.
quote from the book:
âThe TFZ consists of two main fault lineaments, both subject to shear stresses and transform movements. The northerly Grimsey fault line stretches from the island of Grimsey, southeast into the bay of Ãaxardfjördur. There it connects to the fissure swarm of the Krafla Volcanic System (in the NRZ). At least two prominent graben-like tectonic structures straddle the Grimsey fault line. Volcanic structures have been revealed on the ocean floor within them and the earthquake activity is very lively. Volcanic submarine eruptions have been recorded and geothermal activity is evident. The similarity between this area and the Reykjanesskagi is clear to some extentâ

A document by Agust Gudmundsson with some detailed description of volcanism in Iceland and also a detailed description of the TFZ:…

@Birgit, Austria, That is also a good way to display the ash properly. But I guess geologists can get all the ash they need from the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull. There is plenty of it in Iceland at the moment.

This was just a suggestion that I had. You can do with the extra ash as you please. :)

mhh just a stupid question but is it maybe in the far future possible to collect these kinds of electrons that get focused behind earth ? (@ 96)

yes i know strange future and not now, but is it "theoreticlly" possible ?

@ Stigger no. 100 (Tjornes Fracture Zone)

That paper answers many of the questions previously debated/posed here.

Excellent. Thanks!

Good morning all, wondering if we have any lurkers from Ecuador or Guatemala who could add to what we hear on the news? Always there is a fragile balance between the wonders of nature their effects on the sentient part of nature that includes humans - the more so because we humans can think and imagine and project into the future - possibly to our detriment as well as our benefit.

We are sounding more like ourselves here today - challenging and helping each other again, with some humor tossed into the mix. Post-Eyja depression lifting perhaps, with a willingness to divert while we wait for developments ......? : )

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 29 May 2010 #permalink

I've posted this before but it has some good spoken and visual explanations (and some incredible underwater photography) for anyone interested in what goes on at the bottom of the ocean. We, here at Eruptions, don't have the right webcam but this television crew captured a view.

@La Kat, that video was for a long time my absolute favorite among volcano videos - it was also one of the first that I taped on VHS directly from TV back in 1986! David Attenborough has given so much wonderful nature video to humanity. The footage in this video starts with scenes of the September 1984 Krafla eruption (the last of nine eruptive episodes during the 1975-1984 rifting event), then there are scenes of Surtsey erupting in August 1966 (when the new island had already stabilized and the eruption produced small lava fountains and lava flows), basalt columns, more lava flow footage (presumably from Hawaii as can be judged from the burning vegetation), the lava lake of Nyiragongo in the early 1970s, then again Krafla in 1984, and submarine lava flows offshore Hawaii.

@ Boris Behncke no. 104

Worth posting again, then, even if just for you!

If this video by Sir David Attenborough gets your vote, Boris, perhaps it may inspire some young (or older!) Eruptions members to also one day pursue a career in this field. If you enjoy the work that you do, it is not work but instead a pleasure. (Financial reward is only part of what should drive one's decision as to what one does.)

Thanks for all the extra background information on the video, too. Very interesting. It helps to bring it all more "alive" - if that were possible when watching such explosive scenes!

#97 Villard: #100 Stigger: I'll have a lot of homework to do, thanks! Just transcribe a piece:
"He relates volcanic activity near the zone to crustal thinning from 20 km near the HúsavÃk-Flatey fault to 8 km below the GrÃmsey lineament. In these areas dike injections on a local scale are expected into the brittle crust. Pore pressures from these injections propagate upwards, and these together with local strain changes caused by the dike injections, lead to breaking through the hydrostatic/lithostatic boundary at various places, with the consequence of hydrothermal activity or volcanic eruptions and consequently the release of the pore pressures."
#103 Thank you. Wonderful video!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 29 May 2010 #permalink

#39 Princess Frito, My posting was indeed in favour of the flight ban. Many airlines I suspect will push the risk until it breaks and damn the consequences.

#73 @Princess Frito
Your Highness is mostly welcome!!!!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 29 May 2010 #permalink

At the moment, it looks like Lady "E" is getting rained on. Beautiful pics on the POR web-cam.

Now the rain needs to stop and the skies need to clear so we can see what "Lady E" is up too :O)>

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 29 May 2010 #permalink

@84 Jón FrÃmann (and nothing personal regarding yourself)

No, I cannot read about it there.

Scientists can take their grant funding pork barrels and go stuff it.

I quit.

#92 @Henrik, Swe:
I had already read this your suggestion on VEI rating, which seems to me very suitable. Thanks for posting it.
#87 #97 #100
EQs seem to be happening mostly between GrÃmsey Lineament and Kolbeinsey Ridge. I don't quite know what it means, but TFZ is further to the SE.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 29 May 2010 #permalink

@#110 Bob, you really have a thing for abbreviations, eh? 'Tis ok, only it's THOR or ÃÃR...

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 29 May 2010 #permalink

#113) It is easier to abbreviate than to cut and paste "Eyjafjallajökull frá Ãórólfsfelli" and "Eyjafjallajökull frá Hvolsvelli". Although Mulakot is easy enough to spell :O).

Skies are beginning to clear over the POR web-cam, hopefully we can catch a glimpse of the steam plume. Earthquake activity near "Lady E" has been quiet so far today, only 2 quakes so far today.

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 29 May 2010 #permalink

POR web-cam?? ÃÃR is pronounced Thor , so the cam site would be like Thorolfsfelli(Thorolfsfetli in Icelandic,I think)

Icelandic is not My strongest language,even tough It should be as they speak the Old Norwegian/scaninavian language.. before the danes started to mingle in and change the Scandinavian language.

höfuðhneiging frá Ãór

Raving (#111), if you will please look up article listed in post #100 and download the pdf, you find this paper out of the IMO geology group provides a superior explanation of probable microseismicity origin on the Tjornes Fault, compared to the brief 2006 abstract Jon cites.

Tjörnes fracture zone. New and old seismic evidence for the link between the North Iceland Rift Zone and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. 2008 R. Stefánsson, G.B. Gudmundsson and P. Halldórsson.

It's insightful to compare the IMO EQ activity graph for total Iceland compared to the Tjornes Fault (large) activity graph for the same time period.

#115 and all my fellow foreign bloggers. I sincerely apologize for the use of an inappropriate abbreviations is describing the web-cams. I sincerely apologize if I have offended anyone.

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 29 May 2010 #permalink

@Raving, #111 - I don't know whether you're still with us or you've quit as announced.

The problem of not having access to the full text of many scientific publications is not one of the scientists, it's the publishers - in this case Elsevier, which occupies quite a bit of the market and does have quite expensive prices. Actually, the problem even concerns many of us scientists, because the institutes we work with rarely have subscribed to all on-line scientific publications. With funding dwindling in many European countries, the problem is rather expected to become more acute.

Please try to understand that if scientific or academic institutions provide, to some (diminishing) degree, access for their staff to on-line publications, there is a certain logic to it, because otherwise how would we scientists be able - except paying exorbitantly for it - to read all that is published in our field of interest? What I find unpleasant is that the interested public is largely excluded from such access, but again, the scientists are not to blame for this.

The contrary is often the case: many publishers demand strikingly high prices for publishing in their journals. You want to publish a 10 page paper with beautiful graphics in color in the American Geophysical Union's Journal of Geophysical Research? You'll be asked to pay between 2000 and 2500 US$. That's maybe ok if you publish on this journal once in a lifetime. Since a publication on the Journal of Geophysical Research is highly prestigious, you'll probably try more than once. I've been publishing on the journal a few times in the past year, and our institute was lacking the grants to pay for these publications, so I guess some folks in the AGU production department don't like me too much.

That's what the reality is like, so dear Raving, don't play the offended here because the problem goes far beyond your horizon. If you're interested in that paper, you ask someone of us who does have access to the full text to send it to you and probably your problem will be solved. Unfortunately, for us the problem of diminishing funding remains, and on-line access to publications that are interesting for us is getting more and more limited. Believe me, I have spent quite a bit of money to acquire publications to which my institute was not subscribed.

Yes, Raving, I have to agree with Boris. The scientists get nothing, nada, zilch, monetarily for their papers. And the schools? Nothing. All the money and all the barriers are put there by the publishers of the journals. And as Boris said, not only do a lot of journals charge "page fees" to get a paper published and charge thousands of dollars more if you want to have color images, but all of the editing of journal and the the article - along with the peer review - is done by scientists on a volunteer basis! The publishers then go and charge libraries tens of thousands of dollars to subscribe to the journal - so, in a sense, we have to pay to get access to our own work. And remember, most faculty need to publish to get promotions/tenure, so we're stuck paying to publish the paper and paying to get the subscription. Don't blame scientists and the funding - blame the publishers for these pay walls for access to scientific research.

#111: Please do download and read the paper at… I'm sure you will find it interesting.
Like you (and most of us here), I don't have access to much of the published work but I can use a search engine. It's amazing what you can uncover if you are persistent and use a little Boolean logic.
#118 and #119: I completely agree with you, it is an iniquitous system.

This issue of public access to publicly-funded journal articles came up in this blog briefly in the past 10 days.

I suggested that Erik invite another ScienceBlog writer, a science librarian, to answer questions from our group and offer advice on how best to find access routes to articles of interest.

Boris is not alone in having to pay out-of-pocket expenses for professional journal subscriptions or to publish papers when one's government employer has cut expenses to the bone and a high-level non-scientist budget manager decides that peer-reviewed publications are now a luxury and not a necessity. Ditto for attending national/international science/engineering meetings.

Why don't universities (institutions such as the INGV affiliated on a voluntary basis) make their own on-line libraries, thus bypassing publishers? I doubt there are many universities that do not have a computer department that holds courses in programming etc, which could be responsible for these libraries as part of their regular duties.

By Henrik, Swe (not verified) on 29 May 2010 #permalink

Erik (and Boris) - do you think that the recent appearance of e-readers (like the Amazon Kindle or the iPad) might improve the situation? Downloads will be far cheaper than printed journals, with the further advantage that downloads could be made of individual papers rather than an entire journal edition. I can foresee the day when journals will be entirely online...with printed copies made available via POD (Print-On-Demand) technology for those who still prefer Dead Tree Tech

Charging contributors seems to be entirely against the spirit of open scientific debate: if a University cannot afford to pay, then a potentially important piece of research might not reach its core audience

Public and private institutions who wish to offer internal group access to journal publishers must pay very large, institutional-level (may be group-negotiated by library conglomerates, for instance) fees - these vastly dwarf page-print charges to authors and individual subscriber fees. Academic abstracting services (who offer searchable archived and indexed listings of publications in hundreds of academic subspecialties) are even more expensive for public and private institutional subscriber access.

One doesn't need Kindle or an Ipad to access inexpensive to digital journal articles - there are electronic download vendors (like Zinio) that can offer free download manager program with web portals that afford journal publishers very cheap means to distribute their publications to a very large global readership.

Passerby (and anyone); this whole thing makes me wonder about the economics of publishing an academic journal. Granted, the publishing costs for a print journal will be high (short print run and complex colour graphics etc)..but given the income streams already mentioned -and some journals, e g Nature, also carry paid advertising- along with volunteer editing and peer-review work... All I can say is that the balance sheets must be rather interesting

And since, as has been pointed out, the content of said journals (though not, crucially, the journals themselves) is substantially funded indirectly by the public, then some equally interesting questions may be raised about access.

@Raving (#111), The link opens up for me. I do not understand why you don't get the full version of this paper. But I can send you the pdf if you want it. I did download it. But the publishing status is a mess in the science world, as explained here above.

First I agree with Boris and Erik. Not getting access to new publications is a real problem. I know this very well from the Lifescience field.
The only solution is posting open source. Here you pay the same costs for the publication, but at least your publication is open afterwards.
@Mike Don: This problem is also present with the journals being published electronically. Try to get any article from Nature which is not free available and you will pay at least 30$ for a PDF.

@Jón: For some journals the subscription runs via the national library of Iceland. And so everybody with an icelandic IP has access to that particular journal. Unfortunately this does not allow us to get access to all journal of Science Direct.

I work for an organization that publishes scientific papers (not geology related). Ours are based upon technical conferences and symposiums, which cost us millions of dollars every year to put on (our symposiums range from smaller meetings where a few hundred may attend, to larger meetings where we may have 15000 attend). And that is where some of the money to purchase those proceedings goes to (in addition to the enormous expense of renting convention centers, our company has to pay us, the workers, we do not work for free!). We are a non profit organization that does take in a little more money then we spend (hopefully), and a lot of that goes to scholarships, etc.

As tehnology changes, we do publish fewer and fewer hard copies, and we have a digital library which people can subscribe to so they can download papers. If we did not charge for our proceedings, technical books, or even digital papers, we would go out of business, and our technical conferences would not be put on, and therefore none of the scientific papers would be published.

That alleged "investigation" of engines which flew through the volcanic plume is largely nonsense because no one knows how much material they flew through and for how long - except perhaps for one or 2 DLR flights and even there it is dubious that the engine conditions were sufficiently well known before flight. Nor were flights allowed during the worst of times. Now if airline operators will care to deliberately fly empty planes through volcanic plumes over the ocean and gather appropriate data until they have signs of engine failure and were to do so for about 400 cases then I would accept that they have sufficient empirical evidence to set limits. Then the only remaining challenge would be to develop instrumentation to aid the pilots as they make decisions and fly through the stuff. Personally I'd like the airlines to cough up money to do proper engine testing on the ground - it's very expensive since engines can cost about $20-$30M for the larger or more specialized types. I'll wait and see though - maybe there will be sufficient evidence and appropriate documentation and publication of procedures - but I doubt it.

Windscreen scouring and fouling is another problem which no one seems to care about. Electrically charged sand would coat the windscreens very well; uncharged sand would simply scour but not stick very well. I guess if you have ILS3 you don't really need to see out.

So aside from the Katlamongering it seems the airline operators are still keen on blowing smoke at the volcanic ash.

Now back to the Central America volcanoes ...

By MadScientist (not verified) on 29 May 2010 #permalink

Is Eyja waking up? Looks like a small plume and Flir is picking up heat.

Calm down folks... GPS shows nothing, tremor shows nothing, Jon's helicorders show nothing. Talk to me again when the plume is hotter than the cooling lava on the glacier... until them she's just steaming.

Robert Bordonaro, Arlington, TX, USA I think we only have steam now. My girlfriend flies home tomorrow from Europe so I hope there is no ash.

Randall, it's hard to tell it's only 1:25AM Icelandic time, so there is truly not enough light to judge whether we have steam and ash mixed of just steam. We'll find out later today!

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 29 May 2010 #permalink

Heh. No voting for me today, be it Eurovision or council elections. I had Important Work to do: Tossing spoonfuls of fertiliser on growing saplings.

Anyway, we'll know that Big E is stoking the reactor again when the cross on the thermal imager starts hanging onto the plume.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 29 May 2010 #permalink

Hoooo... A ghostly monochrome landscape on the Katla cam.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 29 May 2010 #permalink

There is a chance that a eruption has started again in Eyjafjallajökull. This time it appears to be lava eruption. This is only semi-confirmed by web cameras at the moment.

@ Jón: what do you base that on? Yes there's a weak plume, predominantly steam, as we've seen recently. But the FLIR cam just shows the hottest spots in the scene as being the still-warm lava in the glacier; nothing new there either. You helicorders do show the faintest tremor above a flat line for the last 15 minutes or so; do you read anything into that? Wind is zero and probably not much cultural noise at 02.00...

If there is an eruption it's small, gentle, effusive, and not encountering any significant water...

Good morning everyone! Yessss! She's definitely back! The color of the plume at the bottom tells me she's back. On Ãórólfsfell cam. Maybe a gentle lake of lava forming in the crater that can be picked by FLIR cam.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 29 May 2010 #permalink

#147 Correction: "...that cannot be picked by FLIR cam."
BTW. The icecap is back too, on Múlakot.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 29 May 2010 #permalink

@147 Renato Good evening. It does look like maybe there is some ash, but the clouds just don't want to go away. Until we get a better view it could just be lighting playing tricks on us. It's been a while since we could really see anything.

@Good... er... evening (I'm already tomorrow, Dan!)
Yes, we can't tell much, but what if it isn't as explosive as before, just a gentle effusive flow inside the crater? That wouldn't produce much ash, would it? Neither would be detected by thermal cam, or...? (Look at my presumption here!)
BTW News from the spill are a bit more optimistic, aren't they? Or maybe it's Tinker-bell telling me so?

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 29 May 2010 #permalink

@Dan, look on Ãórólfsfell cam: to the left of the plume isn't there a tiny drizzle of ash fall?

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 29 May 2010 #permalink

@Renato I don't know about that one. Have to wait for one of the volcano people. :)
And no, the news is bad on the spill. The last attempt to stop it failed. I don't know what they will try next. Very scary.

And on that note, this old man is off to bed. (you know Tinker Bell is an unreliable source don't you? ask Peter Pan) :)

Night, fellow!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 29 May 2010 #permalink

@Renato I Silveira (#148): The white stuff you are watching is newly fallen snow. ;)
The ice cap is still there though, it's just that it is covered by several layers of ash and snow.

#155 #156 @Kenneth, @Randall Nix: Ok. Lets wait and see. Would love to see lava flows coming from the main crater, like in Fimmforduhals

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 29 May 2010 #permalink

Sizable plume visible on Mulakot webcam, now that the sky has cleared. Darn, had to wait past 11pm PST to verify it. It's darkly colored in appearance, but we have a low angle of incident light complicating matters.

Folks, if Eyjafjallajökull were erupting again it would certainly be on the Icelandic news. It is not, so I would rather say what you've seen is still-hot material, in the crater and lava flow areas. That stuff will remain hot for many months. At Etna, the craters that were active until July 2009 are still steaming and often people believe they're reactivating, even though they're not.

I don't know whether all of you have heard of this - talking about submarine eruptions, there seems to be one going on. But it's not in Iceland, it's near Sarigan in the Mariana islands:

Ah, I remember Sarigan - I was wishing I were flying there rather than to Anatahan but the helicopter didn't have the range (and anyway I was supposed to fly to Anatahan). Was any equipment placed around Anatahan or Saipan after the previous eruption of Anatahan? Is the HVO still responsible for Anatahan?

By MadScientist (not verified) on 29 May 2010 #permalink

@Boris Behncke, Not necessarily. The media in Iceland currently has other things on it mind at the moment. This eruption has also been going on for some time now, so no new news there anyway in Iceland.

#160 #163 #164 Thank you Boris Behncke. We need your professional opinion as to support or to "kill the buzzes" generated by our lurkers observations. I only disagree that we should take the press and media for granted, since this eruption is far from causing the big fuss it did last month and there's no interest to go on talking about it. On the other hand: has it "officially" been declared "over?". Thought we still had more time to speculate before we reach the deadline. After all, that's our entertainment: to make suppositions about what we see.
The plume overnight was quite dark and strong, as well as the old lava flow, which was emitting much more steam than formerly. And we would love to see a beautiful effusive eruption from good old Lady E and that makes us "see" things. But if your experienced advice tells us so,all we have to do is thank you and leave her in peace in her lull. Thank you!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 30 May 2010 #permalink

Desperately looking for an Ielandic phone book.I will pay someone to clean the lens on the THOR cam!

Good afternoon to my fellow bloggers. Hope all is well :o)!!

If someone is near the THORO web cams and could be so kind as to clear the moisture and ash off the camera lens, I/we would so greatly appreciative.

Thanks my friends in Iceland for allowing the world to share the eruption of "Lady E" :O)!!

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 30 May 2010 #permalink

By the looks of the air around the Thoro cam, it may just be too ash-dusty for someone to go up there to clean (and it's Sunday today.) I don't know if you can drive, think it may be a bit of a hike.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 30 May 2010 #permalink

...and not knowing how these cameras are set up, they may be accessible only to someone from Mila...(locked box on high pole or something.) I expect that with nothing much 'happening,' they're pretty low priority on the expenses list right now - but, good luck with contacting, it would definitely be nice to see as clearly as possible. : )

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 30 May 2010 #permalink

Odd ash-dust storm visible on only one of 5 webcams at Mulkot (Eyjaf view) - due to moraine/peripheral valley convective winds?

Hello fellow volcanism fans! I wanted to see the Iceland earthquake data (from modelled in 3D. So I made a spreadsheet this rainy afternoon, to generate a Google Earth KML file showing location and timing of the earthquakes for the last 48 hours. Earthquake depth is represented by putting each marker at an altitude above surface equivalent to the earthquake depth below surface. This trick is needed, because you can't see underground in Google Earth :) The file is here for download…
The results in the Tjörnes fracture zone are especially interesting!

By d9tRotterdam (not verified) on 30 May 2010 #permalink

Yep. Strong off-shore winds. Full-blown ash/dust storm. Visibility will be low. Bid your webcam viewing hasta-pasta for a while.

I looked up the Ãórólfsfell webcams about two hours ago, obtained quite clear views, and nothing that looks like eruptive activity. Dear friends over here, the volcano is currently taking a nap. There are quite dramatic eruptions taking place elsewhere. I know, no webcams there. But you can count on it, there will bee a time when some spectacular eruption will be visible on webcams again, sometime soon. Maybe in a place with more stable weather conditions?

"... in heat and sweat and dust and sun..." Sorry. Couldn't resist after looking at the MÃla cams on 'tho'. It's from last year's rockabilly hit "Ryk og sól" ("Dust and Sun"). Just had to slip it into the CD drive.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 30 May 2010 #permalink

#173) At the moment, the steam plume is being straight back away from the camera, probably due to high offshore winds.

Earlier today, about 6 hrs ago, the steam plume was up to about 10,000 ft before being blown from right to left.

I totally agree that the eruption has basically quieted down to a steam plume, with little or no ash. Magma was spotted on Friday flowing through the volcanoes plumbing system, from someone who either climbed the summit of via plane/helicopter. Earthquakes were quite numerous on Friday, but were greatly reduced over the weekend. Tremor at "Lady E" is very greatly reduced, except at the HVO site, where the tremor activity was continuing, at a much lower level than before.

It may not be quite over yet though :o)!!

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 30 May 2010 #permalink

Ãórólfsfell webcams are showing some nice puff-balls of steam that are getting shredded by the wind

Well, if anyone *really* wants web cams at other volcanoes it should only cost $200k to set up and perhaps $80k per year to maintain the VSAT service (though I suspect folks would prefer other instrumentation instead). I'm talking about completely stand-alone systems you can put out in the middle of nowhere (for example, on Sarigan staring toward Anatahan). However theft remains a problem ... and of course there's no one to clean the lens. And Erebus is out of the question, except perhaps in summer. And the volcanoes don't erupt all the time - there is always a volcano erupting somewhere but which one it will be is anyone's guess.

By MadScientist (not verified) on 30 May 2010 #permalink

@d9tRotterdam I notice from your GE link that there is almost a ripple effect - quakes starting to the southwest and threading their way up toward Tjornes either side of the center. Probably nothing to it except coincidence but it looked interesting.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 30 May 2010 #permalink

#177 @MadScientist: I've just come out with the same idea on the other thread. So, it's feasible... why not? Erik? Boris? Everybody? "... it should only cost $200k to set up and perhaps $80k per year to maintain... "
Well, if not a cam, let's say, better monitoring systems than those we saw in Seach's footage on Vanuatu... I would sign a list of donations...

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 30 May 2010 #permalink

Please check out the THORO cam and Flir something is going on. I swear there is a new plume coming from the left and the original steam plume is larger too.

#180) I noticed that!! I wonder which vent opened on Lady E :O)??

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 30 May 2010 #permalink

I knew I wan't seeeing things thanx Robert did up look athe tremor plots they are ver high now

MAP/ 5.2 /2010/05/30 21:25:30/ 13.142/ 145.274 / 75.8/ GUAM REGION
Will be back tomorrow to follow the news. Amazing news!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 30 May 2010 #permalink

thanks for this insight. I would have been surprised if this weren?t your position. But the manner in which you described it was to the say the least, ambiguous.

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