Keep 'em guessing: Crazy volcano names

On advice of Eruptions reader Ekoh, I thought it would be fun to try to come up with a list of the most tongue-twisting and bizarre volcano names out there. I know there are a few out there that I've only typed once (the rest of the time I cut-and-paste), so lets review some recent fun ones:

Eyjafjallajökull (Iceland) - everyone's favorite tongue twister.

Eyjafjallajökull erupting in mid-May, 2010.

And people are still talking about the how the ash crisis was handled.

Kliuchevskoi (Russia) - It doesn't help that it has like ten names to boot (from the Smithsonian GVP):


1994 image taken from STS-59 of a plume from Kliuchevskoi.

Make up your mind already! See a brand new NASA EO image of the volcano erupting on June 6.

Popocatépetl (Mexico) - Mayan and Aztec names are always fun, but there is a reason that this volcano is usually just called El Popo.

El Popo steaming away in Mexico.

Aucanquilcha (Chile) - As I've mentioned, I did my dissertation work on Aucanquilcha, so I am especially fond of this one. Typically the first question I would get at any poster I gave on my research is "how do you produce that". Interestingly, I've never been able to find a definition for what the name means.

Volcan Aucanquilcha near the Chile-Bolivia border. Image by Erik Klemetti, taken in November 2000.

Some reader suggestions:

Skjaldbreiður and Ãeistareykjarbunga (Iceland) - You could fill a book with Icelandic tongue twisters.

Skjaldbreiður, a shield volcano in Iceland.

Pululahua (Ecuador) - I would have guess Hawai`i for this one, but nope, it is in Ecuador (along with one of my personal favorites, Guagua Pichincha).

So, Eruptions readers, what else can you suggest? Remember, we're looking for recognized volcanoes - not random features on the volcano. Bizarre names are good too, they don't need to be tongue-twisters. Post your suggestions here - and links to any info on the volcano too.

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Eyjafjallajökull, an ice-capped volcano in Iceland that last erupted in 1823. We talked a few weeks ago of signs that there were increasing signs that an eruption could occur on Iceland - increased seismicity on the Reykjanes Ridge suggested that magma might be on the move. Now, we have two pieces…

A bit of ifonix googling suggests Aucanquilcha may derive from Quechua "auka" = enemy, rebel and "quincha" = pen, enclosure i.e. rebellious stucture which seems plausible. I can dig up the ref to support that when I am using a decent keyboard...

Hi Erik,

Not too much of a tongue twister but I do love Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai. A formidable name for a formidable Volcano !

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 10 Jun 2010 #permalink

How about Semisopochnoi in the Aleutians?
Russian, apparently means "seven hills". One can see why some Americans informally renamed it after the active cone (Cerberus)

My favourite volcano names aren't tongue-twisters, though:

Billy Mitchell (was it REALLY named after the U S General?)

And what must be the shortest of all:

E-San (Japan, Hokkaido I think)

I'm originally from a Slavic country, so although I don't speak Russian, I recognise the meaning of these names:

KAMCHATSKAIA GORA = The Kamchatka Mountain
KAMCHATSKY VULKAN = The Kamchatka Volcano

Off Topic: Two interesting links: The first one is a documentary on the german news-channel n-tv (I play soccer against a team of this company in Berlin from time to time)about volcanoes showing Dr. Boris Behncke several times on the Etna. And then there are news about Katla presented on the very good German Channel 3sat: Interesting the new theories about the connection or not connection between Eyjafjallajökull and Katla. (only in German). Oh and we had 3 earthquakes at Katla today - almost at the same time. Tremors are also very high again.

By Thomas Wipf (not verified) on 11 Jun 2010 #permalink

@Parclair, from old thread re: keyboards and accents etc - think I threw it in a few threads ago, but downloading "PopChar" makes it very easy to do other for windows or Mac. Not free but not very expensive.

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

@Bruce - Great minds and all that... ;) I also thought of Ngauruhoe, which also is of undying fame for another reason: it's Mount Doom in LotR, the movie.

The maori words are not hard to pronounce, not for a Finn, once you learn that the vowels are the same, 'w' is 'v' and 'wh' is 'f'. Besides, many seem to have a meaning in Finnish, so they are easy to remember: 'ngauru' is close enuff to 'nauru' (= laugh [noun]); 'hoe' (= say something repeatedly [verb imperative]). Kiri Te Kanawa is 'finishing kick in a run - you [2nd plural & polite address form] - canal'. We put a lot of mileage in our words.

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

@birdseye (#8), Parclair, etc. - in windows there is also the program charmap.exe, which displays the character set, lets you pick them into your text, and it also displays their Alt - NumKeypad combinations. On vista, type the program name into the start menu, and once it displays in the search list, right click the name, select Send To --> Desktop (create shortcut), and you have the program easily accessible forever after.

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

I love Hawaiian Volcanos-- HalemaÊ»umaÊ»u and PuÊ»u Ê»ÅʻŠand HaleakalÄ and KÄ«lauea and....

I had a Hawaiian-speaking friend explain the rules of Hawaiian pronunciation to me, and then proceed to tell me a pronunciation for Halemaʻumaʻu that diverted from the rules! All those vowels! ;-)

By parclair NoCal USA (not verified) on 11 Jun 2010 #permalink

Hah-- went to look at PopChar-- it's about 40$US. Yikes! So, tried help in Mac Finder, and up popped a chart complete with an insert button. Now, all I have to do is *remember* it's available. Heh ;-S

By parclair NoCal USA (not verified) on 11 Jun 2010 #permalink

Pululahua photo appears to carry a malware sneaker (adware).

For me, the funniest names are in Chile: Tinguiririca, Irruputuncu, Llullaillaco, Mocho-Choshuenco (I would love to hear English-speaking people trying to say the first two. I'll have my friends here giving it a try).
I hope Ãeistareykjarbunga will never erupt, or I would have a hard time to pronounce and spell it.
I like all volcano names in Iceland ending in -bunga. Sounds very funny, and not Icelandic to me. (Is Google right? - bunga = bulge?)

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

Thanks for this cheerful blog, Erik.
When I was a child, back in the sixties, our family used to live in Libya for some years. From that time I remember very well the name of Wauenamus deep in the desert of Libya (translation: Oasis / hole of mosquitoes). My parents had once been there and found the name warranted ;)

By Barbara, Germany (not verified) on 11 Jun 2010 #permalink

A swarm of persistent dust devils on the Thófólfsfell webcam at 15:55 local...

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

Once more, steam in the lava trench of Gigjökull, right at the shoulder where the flow drops downwards.

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

#7 Karangetang - I have a friend who used to write reviews for the Heavy Metal magazine Kerrang!!
The deep base rumble echoed across the valley, Karangetang had returned and was ready to Rock... Sorry, I can get a bit carried away.

#9 Can somebody please carry me away to the point that the photo of Eyja's ruined glacier was taken. I want to to sit there, take the view in, and think about what it must have been like when the lava was flowing. Looks like it so nearly made it into view of the Vodaphone cam.

Quakes under Katla, inside the caldera. From my very humble view it would seem that quakes has stopped under Eyja, now blackened (from white lady, pristine and untouched, to etchy scarred and black). Could the pressure now transvert to the bigger neighbour, or are the Fimmvörduhals still weak? I didn´t watch the cam back then, could you watch the eruption on-line even then?

I wouldn´t be surprised if we soon see new action.

As for volcanoes, I always have had icelandic volcanos at heart, shortnamed and strong, like Katla, Hekla, Herdubreid,and so on. Powerful names. Seems to be two cultures in naming volcanos, either very short or very long names.

By snotra viking,… (not verified) on 11 Jun 2010 #permalink

Thing is though, they are all very shallow. Couldn't this just be glacial movements due to summer and warmer temps coming around?

By Laura from Canada (not verified) on 11 Jun 2010 #permalink

Laura, I suppose they could be that, I´m just speculating here :). But shouldnt there be quakes all over where the ice is then? It should be melting even more in the rim than in the middle and I remember right the ice is 600 m thick in the caldera. I have a hard time believing that sun on top should affect the mountain below. But I´m no expert in this area. For a living I work with quality issues in the pharmaceutical industry, no EQ:s there on a regular basis...;)

By snotra viking,… (not verified) on 11 Jun 2010 #permalink

While we all ponder what the eq's at Katla mean (if anything) would anybody who understands dilatometers be able to tell me if there is any significance to the Postpile graph at this link?…

I lack any frame of reference for what the graphs mean, other than that all of the other graphs show significantly less deviation from the horizontal.

You could be very right snotra :) Myself- I'm in marketing, so even further from the science end of things. Just always fascinated by mother nature's fury. I agree with you though, on the rim comments especially. That's what confused me a bit.

By Laura from Canada (not verified) on 11 Jun 2010 #permalink

Need some recreation here and have to stay in bed, having a cold. I want to watch volcano movies. Any suggestions apart from Dantés Peak and Volcano? I have also seen "Supervolcano", staging an eruption in Yellowstone. I don´t care if there not that good, I just want to spend some time.

By snotra viking,… (not verified) on 11 Jun 2010 #permalink

@lurking Looks like access has been pulled for that BP link. I get a "forbidden" error.

viking 26: I have no idea if it's available anywhere on video or DVD, but the best volcano film I've ever seen was a documentary by Haroun Tazieff released in 1958 ('Volcano' in the English version, 'Rendezvous du Diable' in the original French). Some amazing footage covering eruptions at Izalco, Sakurajima and others. Wish I could see it again

Wow, a disaster movie from 1965. I have to see that! The Oil volcano is a disaster itself, but it´s happening and that´s hopelessly depressing.

Thanks, Lurking!

By snotra viking,… (not verified) on 11 Jun 2010 #permalink

The newly launched UCL INSTITUTE FOR RISK & DISASTER REDUCTION has published a review of the Eyjaf eruption.

Volcanic Hazard from Iceland: Analysis and Implications of the Eyjafjallajökull Eruption.

You can read the report executive summary and download a copy here:

About the Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction Information: Reducing global risks and disasters presents a colossal challenge that requires coordinated and collaborative action. UCL (University College London) is uniquely well placed to lead research in risk and disaster reduction, with at least 70 academics across 12 departments and 7 faculties involved in world-class research, teaching and practice in the field.

The Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, responding to the UCL Grand Challenges, will bring together this wealth of knowledge and expertise, and through research, teaching and knowledge exchange aims to overcome the barriers to understanding risk and reducing the impact of disasters.

Common themes of the institute include: how society sees risk, how to link understanding of the causative mechanics to statistical approaches, and how to increase resilience and reduce the risk of disasters; cutting across research in natural, environmental, health and technological hazards.

For further information and for a video of the launch discussion and question and answer session, please see the website on:

The journal Eurosurveillance has published a study examining the public health effects of Eyjaf ash-fall over the UK in the June 10th issue (open access pdf):

Syndromic surveillance to assess the potential public health impact of the Icelandic volcanic ash plume across the United Kingdom. Elliot AJ, Singh N, Loveridge P, Harcourt S, Smith S, Pnaiser R, Kavanagh K, Robertson C, Ramsay CN, McMenamin J, Kibble A, Murray V, Ibbotson S, Catchpole M, McCloskey B, Smith GE. April 2010. Euro Surveill. 15(23):pii=19583.

way back @4, Mike Don, Kick-'em Jenny is always one of my favorites. Very Caribbean.


Link works for me... dunno why the "forbidden error." I don't use that one though, I took the akamai link from inside it and dropped it in the Video Lan Player(VLC), I've even been able to convert some of the feed to a file on the fly for later viewing.

From inside the page linked:

Stigger & Snotra Viking: Nope, both of these are later (Tazieff made a number of documentaries) In fact, I think I saw the YouTube one while I was looking for his 1958 film

EKoh: out of curiosity, I once googled to find the origin of that name. Allegedly it took its name from a nearby islet of that name; which in turn is the Anglicised pronunciation of a French name (which I can't right now remember) translating as "the troublesome cay" Believed to refer to the odd and unpredictable currents in the area

Which made me think about a posting here on another thread by Passerby about eddy currents and whirlpools developed at the surface by otherwise undetectable eruptions at depth. After all Kick-'em-Jenny wasn't discovered until 1939, and might well have erupted at depth many times before that..who knows?

That's one thought that never even crossed my mind! Is this lake something that can remain or is it a temp thing? This would make another eruption from this crater a bad thing.

@ 26 snotra viking: More volcano films:
Magma: Volcanic Disaster (2006, tv)
Trailer works better after clicking on "replay" button; by the third time you can see more picture and the sound is synched up. You only have to see the commercial once. ("expedition to Iceland", could "extinguish every living thing on this planet","Are you seriously considering the global launch of nuclear warheads....")

Joe vs. the Volcano (1990), Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, an adventurous comedy

Volcano: Fire on the Mountain (1997, tv), Dan Cortese, Cynthia Gibb

#38 - Wow, exciting development. I wish they would publish high-res versions of the flyover images like AVO does. The details are impossible to make out at that size. Still, very interesting to see.

By Carla - Seattle (not verified) on 11 Jun 2010 #permalink

@Lurking #27 "Crack in the World" is one of those B or C movies that is sort of weird. I found it rather entertaining when I watched it, but I was rather young then.

@ Snotra Viking, there is one about quakes called Mag 10 or something like that. It is about the US being divided by a major quake. Hope you start feeling better.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 11 Jun 2010 #permalink

I have a cute name of a volcano: Sunflower. How it got that name I have no idea. It is one in the US.

How about Tungurahua? Not sure I spelled it right, but I remember some news people talking about how to pronounce it.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 11 Jun 2010 #permalink

You could fill a book with Icelandic tongue twisters.

that book's already been written, and the Icelanders call it "a dictionary".


By Nomen Nescio (not verified) on 11 Jun 2010 #permalink

The 26th May report from link @38 gave temperature in crater as 300C per heat sensitive camera. Has there been enough rain and snowmelt since then to cool things down far enough for water to settle? If the eruption does restart from its current "pause", and in the same place, then Lady E will make herself heard with a big bang.

@Diane, thanks, I´m at least enjoying myself, looking at various movies. Why is disaster movies so common, is it the ultimate situation? I've liked to see them ever since I saw the movie "Skyscraper on fire" a loong time ago. USGS says this on their page: " * Earthquakes
* Hazards
* Learn
* Prepare
* Monitoring
* Research

Earthquakes, Megaquakes, and the Movies
Lights! Cameras! Disaster!

Throughout the history of Hollywood, disaster films have been sure-fire winners for moviemakers. Beginning with âThe Windâ in 1928, Americans have been plagued by a âTwisterâ and âThe Perfect Stormâ. Weâve survived âVolcanoâ and âEarthquakeâ and âThe Swarmâ all followed by âArmageddonâ. Thatâs not even mentioning us getting through âThe Towering Infernoâ and finally making it to â The Day After Tomorrowâ. #

I just read on a weebpage about a chinese film called Aftershock about a large EQ that happened around 1950?

By snotra viking,… (not verified) on 11 Jun 2010 #permalink

A few names from Latin America I like...

Minchinmavida in southern Chile - that was where the eruption of Chaiten was mistakenly originally attributed to when it first began in 2008.
Citlaltépetl (Pico de Orizaba) - Popo's evil twin and Mexico's highest volcano. The Conquistadores must've found it easier to pronounce the other more commonly known name than the original Nahuatl name. "Orizaba" is actually a Hispanized version of the Nahuatl word Ahuilizapan (roughly "place of playing waters"). Citlaltépetl is "Star Mountain" in Nahuatl (Nahuatl was the main language spoken by the Aztecs and is still spoken by a number of people in Mexico even today).
IztaccÃhuatl - this the other, more eroded volcano near Popcatépetl.

By MK, Alberta (not verified) on 11 Jun 2010 #permalink

snotra viking, I proclaimed my love of disaster books here not to long ago, and following the Robert Heinlein thread of 2 days ago, I came across an old favourite by DF Jones titled Don't Pick the Flowers (Panther Science Fiction, 1971) in my attic.
This managed to combine experimental drilling to the mantle, vast outpourings from a drilled pocket of nitrogen, suffocation of half the world, collapse of pocket and subsequent multiple tsunamis and Californian megaquakes. Our heroes escape meantime by mooring their boat in a Pacific atoll sheltersd by the crater wall of an old volcano

This combination should make it onto any must read list on "Eruptions"

@Renato #16: Yep. 'Bulge' pretty much covers it for 'bunga'.

@NN #44: Actually, we call it 'orðabók' (book of words).

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

@48 See #38, posted a full hour ago. Flooding risk?? Really?

Now, Brigid posted some cool SEMs of the ash, and her comments indicated that it was quite different than other ash samples she's examined. She was puzzled about a particularly weird image that she reposted in yesterday's thread chitchat here.

See this blog post, with definitive photo of the highly unusual ash deposits, from the Volcano Museum blog (Iceland).

I think I see a mechanisms that may explain how your extruded nano-oddity might have formed. Not seawater in this case, glacier meltwater in the vicinity of the crater.

Hmm... Wouldn't pretty much any Indonesian volcano fit the bill set out by this blog post?

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

Some Hawaiian fish names. Which may also be street names. I love Hawaiian, it's so very liquid in nature, but all those vowel ;-p

Lagoon Triggerfish: Humu humu-nuku nukuÂÄpuaÊ»a

Spotted Coral Blenny: PÄoÊ»o Ê» kauila

Big longnose butterfly fish: Lauwiliwili nukunuku ʻoioʻoi

Cocos Island frill goby: ʻoʻoopuʻohune

By parclair NoCal USA (not verified) on 11 Jun 2010 #permalink

#50 @Reynir: Many thanks. Sometimes Google plays tricks on us, but not this time. Still, it sounds amusingly non-icelandic to my ears. Every time I read "Barðabunga" I smile. If I was to write a story about pirates I would name their chief "Barðabunga". :)

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

Sometimes Google also takes you to places that warm the cockles of your heart:

Run that sucker through google, and hit the [translate] hyperlink.

Heraldur's blog, May 20th.
Photos of the eruption in the year 1821-23 Eyjafjallajökull.

Happily, Haraldur's blog post points to an instructive blog entry on another site that has a very interesting description of the last eruption, 1821-23.

You should also run it through google search box and select the 'translate this entry', too. A bit more work to slog through the translation babble, but worth it for the facts gleaned. Maybe our Icelandic friends here will give us a hand with a phrase or two to clarify meaning in English.

@Renato (#59)

A sad note to this funny thread: A Canadian tourist was found dead and his Australian wife is missing from an accident in the Tungurahua region, Ecuador. But it doesn't seem to be volcano-related: their car fell into an abyss.

The horny devil is up to no good!

@Raving #60
It's a tragic fate, indeed. They've probably been attracted there, just like us, by fascination and awe inspired by volcanoes.
I feel very much sorry for them and their families.
May this unfortunate success serve to us all as a reminder that volcanoes are dangerous deeds of Nature and should be regarded with respect and humbleness.
(Wish I wasn't the one to have posted the bad news)

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

Dawn at Ãórólfsfell.

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

Ring of clouds above Eyjaf on Mulakot cam.

By Carla - Seattle (not verified) on 11 Jun 2010 #permalink

A note on the issue of high-res images raised by Carla (#40). With Firefox you can right-click on an image and click on the first command (something like "visualize image"; "visualizza immagine" on my Italian computer) see the image out of its web page even when it's not a clickable image (I have not found a similar command with IE). This will reveal also the link to the image, which in this case is
Now, if you delete, in the URL bar, the "medium" from the full link, it will allow you to see the full size image (if there is any, and there often is for these in-line images on the IMO site).

Look, there are warm Spring temps that are heating of the icecaps and causing stress/strain tectonic release.

We have seeing the SAME PATTERN of small-quake groupings, on the Reykjanes Peninsula/Ridge, on the (thin crust) boundary transform fault-MAR intersects, North and South and beneath the large icecap of Vatnajakoll and related fissure systems just to the north of it.

As has been aptly opined before, you would need a concentrated burst of MANY miniquakes to raise red flags regarding volcanic activity at Katla.

I guarantee you, the forces necessary for rising magma to overcome the deep iceap of Mýrdalsjökull and the force-moment coupling from the Eastern Volcanic Zone/Rift System and transverse forces from the SISZ and Eyjaf that tends to squeeze magmetic paths shut - is nowhere close being sufficiently present.

Eyjaf = MAR-interplate (vertical force) acting on thin crust (margin) + thinner ice-cap depth + accumulated *in-line* (horizontal) SISZ force-moment couple

Katla = MAR-interplate (vertical force) acting on thicker crust + much thicker caldera-fissure icecap + accumulated EVZ and *perpendicular* SISZ-EYJAF-force-moment couple

Big, big difference.

The driving force mechanisms (and there are several BIG players here - and simply not enough to overcome inhibitory stressors at Katla.

So please take a chill pill, sit back and watch your webcams, thank the folks who make so much technical information available to us for analysis.

And take each day as it comes to us, virtually, on the warm Southern Icelandic maritime coast.

I have the fortunate circumstances of living within a couple hours of all the Washington volcanoes, with the time and means to visit them. So, road trip! Where would you go, Eruptions folk? Seriously, I'm offering to put my camera on a tripod in any location I can reach without technical climbing skills, then I'll post them online for you to view. I've been to the (David) Johnston Ridge and observatory at Mount St Helens but it would be fun to visit this or any other WA volcano from a new angle. Any requests?

By Carla - Seattle (not verified) on 11 Jun 2010 #permalink

My vote, Carla, would be Three Sisters and the volcanic tube (Lava River Cave) area near Bend OR. The High Desert Museum is a must since you are in the area. Very do-able drive from your location.

If you could beam me there, Scotty...

@Passerby, thanks! I have put the Three Sisters on the list. I haven't been in that area before but would love to see it.

@Boris, yes, good reminder for 'hacking' the URL. I use "view image" a lot but I didn't try to test for higher res images yet, so thanks!

By Carla - Seattle (not verified) on 11 Jun 2010 #permalink

Carla @ #67
Carbon Glacier Trail (see Google) Mt. Rainier.

By Terry R - sant… (not verified) on 11 Jun 2010 #permalink

Winds are low, but tremor plots are high at Jón's Helicorders...

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

Risk of flooding in Eyjafjallaökull persists:
"Civil has decided to block public traffic to the location. This was decided at a meeting of civil defense today because the water has accumulated in the crater Eyjafjallajökull and risk of sudden flooding. Helicopter flew over with scientists gosstöðvarnar tonight to check conditions. She landed just before ten tonight(...) Although it is not clear how fast the water accumulation will most likely lead to run down GÃgjökul. However, there is a high likelihood that it will happen over the next few days, "said Magnus Tumi. It is, however, every reason to restrict traffic to the location as the authorities have decided."

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 12 Jun 2010 #permalink

Jon...your thoughts about Katla?
I didn't saw 7 eartquakes in katla's caldera in one day since i looking at seismic activity there

Wind speed increase showing on Jón's Helicorders.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 12 Jun 2010 #permalink

@Matte, Don't forget that there was rain recently - that will add to glacial melt, plus, there is sun almost 24/7 now in Iceland. I have seen snow melt in Greenland a foot a day in May/June, we used to mark it off on sticks for fun - so, movement around the top of the Myrdals ice sheet no surprise, I should think...lots of extra liquid to help. Ice is alive. We'll see.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 12 Jun 2010 #permalink

@Renato, Wind are low. But there is a lot of human noise on the sensor this moment.

@Matic, I am just waiting an seeing what happens about this.

Note on Katla: Currently the amount of is just about normal background level. So while that is all easy on this. But I am still watching for a change in the activity.

I have several favorites on the difficult to pronounce (or even spell) list.

Amchixtam Chaxsxii is a submarine volcano in the Aleutians: Chaxsxii
AVO's website will even pronounce this one for you!

Semisopochnoi is also in the Aleutians:

Ingakslugwat Hills is a volcanic center in SW Alaska: Hills

Again, for the Katla-worriers: The # and depth of quakes at Katla suggest to me that Katla is not waking up. These quakes strike me as near-surface seismicity related to faults or ice in the caldera. If we start seeing lots (tens to hundreds per day) quakes starting at depth (greater than 5 km), then we can start talking Katla. Until then, the seismicity at Katla is likely benign (volcanically-speaking)

5 EQ's over 5m on table between EJ and Katla

Thanks for the comment, Eric. Good to have some benchmarks to help us amateurs keep things in perspective.

@Jon are your Seismograms affected or can they be affected by solar activity such as radio waves etc or am I really off on this question?

Interesting images on Ãórólfsfell cam. Weather is deteriorating, winds blowing from all directions, bringing what seems to be hail or ash close to the lens. Steam and clouds everywhere. Plume looks darker and there's what seems a steam flow all the way down Gigjökull. Worth taking a look.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 12 Jun 2010 #permalink

Guys, please, toggle Ãórólfsfell cam full-screen and tell me what's going on.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 12 Jun 2010 #permalink

Renato-- The thoro cam lolks odd-- for weird, check the mulakot cam

By parclair NoCal USA (not verified) on 12 Jun 2010 #permalink

@parclair It's difficult to match both Múla and Thórol. Don't you think that the plume is sturdier and darker, or it's just my eyes?

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 12 Jun 2010 #permalink

In my amateur opinion there's some lava interacting with the lake in the crater generating explosions from different locations in the crater. But I may be wrong. Tremor plots are high in Jón's Helicorders, but so are the winds.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 12 Jun 2010 #permalink

Mulakot webcam has water and maybe ash from mowing that took place yesterday (see d9tRotterdam time-lapsed video link, above) on the lens from rainfall in the past 6-8 hours.

Thank-you for your kindness in the continued provision of these webcam movies, d9t.

Renato--I really don't see anything different. Lots of spots on the thoro cam-- rain and dust, I expect. Could that be it?

By parclair, NoCal USA (not verified) on 12 Jun 2010 #permalink

Ok, I'll risk a little further: winds are blowing from ESE straight onto Múla cam. From Ãórólfsfell cam we are looking towards south, but still we get ash and sleet on the lens. My guess is that this huge dark cloud is generated by Lady E and is coming from the crater towards the observer. I maybe totally wrong, but this eruption gained a lot of strength from interaction of lava with the crater lake. And I think tremor plots are showing more than just wind and noise from outside. This is the advantage of being a total amateur: you can place guesses and don't get sued for them. :)

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 12 Jun 2010 #permalink

According to yesterday's IMO report (Google translated with a little "help"):
"Scientists flew over Eyjaföll this morning. As clearly shown in the accompanying photo a crater lake has formed. There is still potential for magma eruption in a small channel or small eyes on the west or southwest of Gig wall, see edge veils far right. Water vapor mainly from the north edge."
What I am seeing now on Thórólsfell cam is a dark plume originated from "behind" the top , to the left (SE), and heavy ashfall.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 12 Jun 2010 #permalink

Seems to be some interesting activity around the Geirfuglasker Volcano, 3.1 kilometre from Eldey, nice deep quakes coming now.

Geirfuglasker was, before it simply blew up in 1830, the last refuge for the Great Auk (bird). After the explosion of Geirfuglasker the last 50 pairs moved to Eldey where museums had them killed and stuffed.
The last pair was slowly strangled in 1844 by Jón Brandsson and Sigurður Ãsleifsson while their steadfast friend Ketill Ketilsson stomped the eggs into "scrambled Auk-eggs" with his boot.

Well... ya got me.

According to the ultra reliable Wiki-'hunch'-ia, Geirfuglasker is at 63.3177, -20.4979 and Eldey is at 63.733333, -22.933333, a distance of about 130 km.

The site doesn't list either one (at least where I can find it).

So, going on what may be bad data, here is the plot of the area that Wikipedia lists for Geirfuglasker.

All June quakes, perspective plot.

IMO EQ map indicates activity on the Reykjanes peninsula.

Geirfuglasker, with listed coordinates of 63°19â²3.72â³ N and 20°29â²52.44â³ W, lies in the Vestmannaeyjar islands.

The IMO Iceland seismicity map shows *zero quakes* in this immediate area.


look at the thorolfsfelli cam, cool clouds, seems like they are wallclouds, and some roations..

@Passerby, #52, that one is hillarious!

The Sunflower crater is not mythical. It is a real volcano and an old one at that. The last time it erupted, it sent ash and pyroclastic flows in a number of places and it blew out due north so the northen part of the crater is gone. There are remnants of another crater near it that are much less defined. There isn't very much info about it and I don't know why because it did some real talking when it blew.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 12 Jun 2010 #permalink

Earthquake at the Nicobar Islands 7,7. A tsunami warning is out for all places around the Indian Ocean.

the spikes probably comes from the winds, that rotates on the top.. it looks like small tornadoes touching down, from time to time,. Just a wild guess that those might just make some waves on the plots,.

or Eyjafjäll might ,just have another show for us the next hours or so,.

we have to watch and see,.

These may not be wall clouds or tornadoes in the sense that we think of them in the Midwest. Dependong on the air temps about EJ etc we may be seeing her make her own localized "weather" as the warmer humid air near the crater meets the cooler drier air in the clouds going over. Just a thought.

Look at the Hvo cam and you can see clearer definition of the clouds and crater top.

Good evening, fellows!
While you were watching the WC game(!) there was a lot of action taking place around Ejjaf and Jón's Helicorders.
Yes, there were winds and dust devils, sleet and snow and heavy weather, but still I'm waiting for a confirmation that there has not also been any kind of phreatic eruption in that crater lake.
Well I'm sure you wouldn't miss the game for that, but it was interesting to watch, though.
And probably I'm totally mistaken here... :)

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 12 Jun 2010 #permalink

@Jón I had wondered if that could be the case with the times coinciding. It is very impressive that they can detect an earthquake so far away.

@renee #107 I know what you mean, but the winds have been blowing straight towards Hvólsvöllur and Múla cams, I think the dark cloud came from the southern part of crater and the white steam is blocking the view of the base of the plume. If you look on Múla cam you'll have a better idea of what I mean... But all is just a guess here. :)

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 12 Jun 2010 #permalink

Whatever it is, the image from Hvólsvóllur looks gorgeous!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 12 Jun 2010 #permalink

Midwestern ,Tornadoes is a faaaar other game,they are made by rising hot air from the gulf ,meeting coller air from the North, creating explosive thunderstorms(supercells) that frequently creates Twisters,we all know as Tornadoes..
Tornadoes ,can occur all over the world even on iceland,been recorded a few times, tough in a weaker state than the tougher American ones..

I have seen , two, floridian Tornadoes, and even tough they were small comapared to the midwestern winds, they killed 4 peoples, uplifted house roofs,and uprooted some trees.

-we have tornadoes even in Norway,(mostly small F0-F3,and some have done quite a lot of dammage) and most places in Europe have them too,actually Is GB the one place that has more Twisters, pr squaremile than any country in the world,tough I have never seen one in GB, when I have been there.

The Nature around us is quite wonderful,and quite Amazing, but sometimes i just wonder if its out to get us all.. :))

@Jón FrÃmann #106 Jón, what do you think the red spike on 21:22 accounts for?

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 12 Jun 2010 #permalink


The Florida tornadoes that scare me the worst are the ones embedded in land falling feeder bands. You never see them coming and the wind is already moving pretty fast... plus the tress are already bent to near breaking. But with sustained 60 to 100 kt winds, why not have a fast spin-up twister to brighten your day...

something is happening it looks like 2 places are active or the lighting is fooling me yet again
cant tell if it is steam or ash

#115 @Gina Ct I agree with you.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 12 Jun 2010 #permalink

Lurking, I agreed with you on that, tornadoes in landfall Hurricanes are the worst, you dont see them, and you dont hear about them before theyre there..
"normal" tornadoes are easier to detect unless its dark, just watch the clouds for the classic round shaped mushrom folding overhead, and the colour dark, blue grey,green, is good indication that something is brewing, and if the winds pick up , and you have rotation, then you know whats comming..

But the freakyiest thing in FL, they dont have the sirens(only one siren in Universal St Orlando) the rest of the place is dead silent about the weather. thank God for weather channel..
I was on Epcot,during my first Tornado experience in FL, 2005, good year for weather :).
I saw the twister long before the cast members saw it, I told one of the members, and pointed at it, he saw it, and said that there were no Tornadoes In Florida, haha, I told him otherwise.. he then called one of his buddies, and he saw it, he was from somewhere Midwest, and then things happend pretty quick..

and he called on his handfree, and the park was quikly evacuated inside the buildings,I was standing outside the whole time just to watch the storm pass by.. cant forget that sight.. and what a windy took the small twister about 2 mins to pass over the park,and over the lagoon,notting serious in dammage, only smaller loose objects and branches from some trees, where lifted in Epcot area, but in Brandon, Fl, 4 peoples were killed,and some houses and cars and trees were dammaged.

the second experience was in july 2007, a storm came over us in Orlando, near I drive, that storm was not the strongest, but, it had a smaller twister, that touched down some seconds,maybe a minutte or so.I would guess it was maybe F1 in size.

After theese experinces with thunderstorms, and all that ,I have been hooked ever since..

and the Hurricane that hit North western parts of Norway 1992.. was just the beginning of my enhusiasm for weather and nature phenomenons..
its just truly amazing, but sadly many peoples looses theyr lives,in these events, and that is the down side of Nature..

Gina Ct & Renato I Silveira

yes the steamplume has some ashcolour in it, so its darker, the wind is blowing towards the thorolfscam, so its hard to tell,but on hvollscam, you can see the cloud is darker.
probaly water in the crater that makes it more explosive again.

Just to confuse things there seems to be a few Geirfuglasker lurking in Iceland.
1. A lighthouse outside Vestmannaeyar, LAT: 63° 19.0' N
LON: 020° 30.0' W
2. A rock next to Surtsey.
3. A former "thingy" 3km NNE of Eldey.

I guess it is the same silliness that goes on around in all oceans, that people reuse the same name again and again...
Thing is that I am now not sure of which Geirfuglasker blew up in 1830, nor which dang Geirfuglasker was the Great Auk homestead before Eldey...
But the one I was talking about is the "thingy" close to Eldey, of that I am still sure:)

And I still think that Geirfuglasker is a strong candidate for the most tongue-wrenching volcanic name. (Here talking about the blown up Geirfuglasker:)

#118 @Thor @Gina Ct: Yes, I'm worried because local authorities are afraid that the 300 m x 10 m lake could flow into Gigjökull. They blocked the area for safety but scientists don't think a jökullhlaup will occur any soon, but still, with all the weather/eruptive activity and big spikes on helicorders we keep wondering if there's any imminent danger to people underneath. Thank you for your kind attention.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 12 Jun 2010 #permalink

@thor re: 'canes and 'nados.

The only time that I ever cursed at my mom was around 1996 in central Mississippi. We had been visiting at my grand dad's place where she grew up and it was a typical hot/humid summer evening. Storm watches and warnings went out, and we started monitoring NOAA's broadcasts. In one of them, a funnel was sited at a location 9 miles south and 9 miles west of our location. I went out on the front porch and marveled at the intensity of the lightening, which was so bright and frequent that you could read a newspaper, interrupted only by momentary flashes of darkness. I then saw a dark region of the sky with no lightening.. putting two and two together I rushed back in the house and shoved the couch up against the wall and had my wife and mom throw blankets and pillows back behind it and to crawl underneath them while I went and killed the electrical mains and dove in on top of them, doing my best to burrow underneath the cushions. Tornado yanked the roof off and uprooted 150 year old pecans tress... and sheered all the nearby pines off at 30 feet up. We were lucky. To this day my wife freaks out at the slightest inclement weather... and riding out Ivan in 2004 didn't help any. (~115 mph for 3 to 4 hours)

Yee Haw. BTW, when it's your turn, your gonna bite it no matter what you do.

Um, the problem with asking people for "difficult" volcano names is that the names seem difficult only to someone who doesn't speak the language. Someone said that Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai was difficult -- not if you speak Tongan. Halema'uma'u? Piece of cake if you speak any Hawaiian.

Eyjafjallajökull is difficult to those, such as myself, who speak no Icelandic.

What volcano names are tonguetwisters to those who speak the language?

@ lurking #122

Thanks for sharing that story, very lucky indeed.

Two questions if you don't mind answering,
1: How long did the tornado take to get to you when you realised it was coming?
2: Why did you curse at your mother?

By Dylan Ray (not verified) on 12 Jun 2010 #permalink

No Carl. Only you are confused.

Geirfuglasker is an volcanic island (eg, its a large rock) and is part of the the Vestmannaeyjar island group. It has a lighthouse, installed in 1956 and converted to solar power in 1993. The original island rose and later subsided, but it was replaced by another push of eruptive basalt.

Here is a picture of it.

The wikipedia page on Vestmannaeyjar lists the islands.

@Dylan Ray [124]

Mostly it was a blur, but in times of stress when you have a person in your charge that just blankly looks at you when you issue a directive... you tend to emphasize what you want done in no uncertain terms. That is what happened. I had no time to discuss why I wanted her and my wife under the relative protection of the pillows and blankets.

As for the time of arrival? In retrospect I'm gonna have to guess at about 3 to 4 minutes. No sooner than we were hunkered down than the floor started bouncing up and down and the porch swing came crashing through the front window as the roof was lifted off. I figured we had a problem when I felt the water running down by back.

My concern for cutting of the the electricity was due to my uncertainty about how much of the knob and tube wiring had been replaced. I didn't know, and thought it would be a good idea to kill it while I had the chance. (knob and tube uses exposed wires on insulator posts) It's amazing what goes through your head in a sheer panic.

Lava flow descending through Gigjökull producing various steam plumes.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 12 Jun 2010 #permalink

My introduction to Atlantic hurricanes was Hurricane Frederick. Rode that storm out in the apartment loft over a converted barn, as it swept inland and rode buckshot northward over the Alabama-Mississippi border. The entire barn structure swayed, shook and creaked loudly in protect but somehow managed to remain upright and intact, despite the Cat 4 howling winds and intense rains.

Our idiot landlords didn't even have the courtesy to offer (nor we, being hurricane-naive Midwesterners, the sensibility to demand) proper shelter.

As Lurking observed, these powerful storms can chop-off tree-tops to a uniform height for many miles of surrounding Pine Barrens: that damage remained visible on the hillsides for at least a decade afterwards. The flooding that followed cut us off from town for a few days as it caused the local 'crick' to overtop its banks, in the 'loop-de-loo' deep dip in the road, under which it traversed, when in normal flow. At extreme flood stage, it widened to several hundred feet; not even the most 'shine'-powered mini-pickup, the preferred wheels of the locals, managed to ford it at speed, although there were several noteworthy attempts.

However, it was living in proximity to a genuine piggery, about a quarter-mile away (upwind, thank the gods), whose tiny forms of boisterous pigglets could be seen romping and hurtling around the pens - clearly visible from the tiny apartment kitchenette window each morning, and lowing cattle herd (replete with a very large but docile bull) that could be seen up close and personal as they grazed on the rolling hillside across the road, that reminded us daily of our truly rural setting.

Frederick was our 'Welcome to the Deep South' surprise.

Remember the post was about strange volcano names. I like the Kick em Jenny and was near to add Michinmahuida, but some readers won me.
To Renato Silveira: Cowabunga!!

By Guillermo (not verified) on 12 Jun 2010 #permalink

@Passerby (#91)

If Gorley is indeed active, then it must have happened after KVERT issued it last update, on June 10th/11th.

Ironic that Moscow news reports the eruption plume before AVO and KVERT.

Surely not the Ironic Curtain ? +1 KVERT

About us

The âVoice of Russiaâ â is the veteran of radio broadcasters. On air since October 29th 1929, âVoice of Russiaâ shapes Russiaâs image worldwide and introduces the world community to Russia and its opinions on global events.

âVoice of Russiaâ today broadcasts to 160 countries in 38 languages 151 hours per day on short and medium waves, in FM band, via satellite and through mobile link. In 2003 âVoice of Russiaâ was among the major international radio broadcasters to launch daily broadcasts to Europe in Digital Radio Mondiale.

@Alison #109, it is indeed possible to record large earthquakes all over the world - you can also clearly see them on the INGV helicorders transmitting data from Etna. In this very moment, you can see them here

(note that the graphs are gradually shifting back in time, and will disappear from view after 1 day, like those of the Yellowstone helicorder graphs)

@Renato I Silveira #127, I think there may have been hot water flowing down from the crater lake - a new lava flow would have been reported loud and clear and probably a resumption of eruptive activity would be rather explosive than effusive (lava emission). The situation is certainly very delicate due to the lake that has formed in the crater, because (a) it will likely enhance explosive activity in case eruptive activity resumes, and (b) strong explosive activity will possibly expel the crater lake, along with loose volcanic material (tephra), which will produce mudflows.

The ten or so names of Klyuchevskaya are basically two. There're different transcriptions and variants along the lines of Mt. Klyuchevskaya, Klyuchevskaya Volcano etc. Just nitpicking.

@Passerby: no, it is you who is confused, look at the end of this posting:)

@All: The quakes at 63.46'26''N and 22.55'38''W, 2 nautical miles NNE of Eldey (Reykjanes Ridge), is still going on nicely.…

Oddly enough the epicentres are not in any of the known shallows of the Eldey chain of shallows.
Hard to say if it is normal rifting of MAR or if it is something else. But it is nicely concentreted.

And here is the nice tidbit for Passerby, absolut proof of the Geirfuglasker where the Great Auks lived in 1830 untill it disapeared. It is the shallow smack in the middle of this very government page.
I guess you are now going to say that Eldey and Reykjanes Ridge is in the Vestmannaeyar?

On nautical names:
When I sailed from Stockholm to Umeå (Sweden) I tried to count places named Själahällan (Soul Cliff), but I lost count after 20.
I have noticed this fenomenon all over the world when I have been sailing, the same name is used over and over again. This especially goes for descriptory names like Geirfuglasker, if my forn-nordic serves me correct it would be roughly translated into "Great Auk Small Island". Any Icelander feel free to correct my translation:)

This is why one should never be sure of a name being that singular. That also goes for rather quaint land-placenames to...
In Sweden there are no less than 2 Kräkångersnoret (Bovine Regret Mucus-Snot).

Sorry for this OT on names.
I though very much wish that Kräkångersnoret was a Volcano, would have been great hearing foreign news commentators trying to pronounce it:)

You know... with the brief amount of time that has passed since the Auk was wiped out when compared the Mammoth or Mastodon, you would think that the geneticists would try to reconstitute that species first... or the Tasmanian Tiger. There's a far greater chance of getting functional DNA.

Well you know Lurking, there was a team who wanted to do it for the Tasmanian Tiger, but the project was stoped due to legal reasons.
As far as I get it there is no problem attaining viable Auk and Tas Tiger DNA, problem seems more to be right-wing christians trying to stop any research that they see as un-godly. In their view God wanted the Auk and the Tas Tiger extinct, and he in his infite wisdom used humans to kill them... Rubish in my opinion.
But then I am strongly in favour of both constructing new versions of known life, and even wet-lifing entirelly new and hitherto unknown forms of life. And no need to ask, I am in favour of tampering with humans, we are a rather shoddy design to beginn with:)

A couple of nice links for the Reykjanes Ridge.
It for instance clarified the actual name of the Volcano that seems to both have created the shallow of Geirfuglasker (which for a short while in 1830 was the Island of Geirfuglasker).
The name of the Volcano seems to be if I interpreted Erik Klemetti correctly Reykjaneshryggur, ie. Reykjanes Ridge, and not Geirfugladrangur as was my last guess:)……

The last swarming was around 18 february of 2010.
The Volcanism sited above page has a stunning picture of the quaking for the entire Iceland on that day, look at Eyja and Katla area. It looks as it does today, calm and quitet with only small shakings, and that was pretty much 2 months before Fimmvörduhals blew up. If nothing else it says something about how hard it is to predict volcanos.

Boris Behncke, this seems like one of your favourites, what is your take on the subject?

I found an interesting article by Weir about the Reykjanes Ridge and Peninsula.
If you look on page 2 you will see that the center of activity right now is in the intersection between line A and line B at the A2 point 2 nautical miles NNW of Eldey.

Interesting reading to say the least:)

@Boris #131 Thanks for your experienced evaluation. I was kind of confused during yesterday's activity. There were too many things happening at the same time (strong winds, whirlwinds, precipitation, steam emissions)and the weather clouds were frequently covering the crater. But every now and then I could see on Thórósfll cam strong dark plume emissions rising from both the southern slope (darker) and from the northern (white steam) for short bits of time, these plumes were rising vigorously upwards. Meanwhile Jón helicorders were showing violent spikes (probably due to high wind gusts) and sleet/ ash was falling unceasingly. Later, when "tremors"/ winds had decreased I saw in Gigjökull various steaming plumes being emitted from different segments along the previous lava path, but then it all became diffuse.
In the last hours Jón's helicorders were again showing variations, but I wasn't here on time to check wind strength, which now returned to calmer levels. I was really concerned about the possibility of some interaction of lava with the water in the crater which could, indeed, cause some significant joküllhlaup. Thank you!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 13 Jun 2010 #permalink

@ Thor #112: if I'm correct the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany and Poland have more tornadoes every year than GB. But it doesn't really matter, because all of the mentioned coutries are part of the 'European Tornado Alley'.

Last Tuesday I went for a little storm chase with a friend of mine. We chased two supercells, of which at least one produced a funnel (it didn't reach the ground for as far as we could see). I'll upload the video some time later in the coming week :P .

No Carl, it was you who babbled about seismic activity on Geirfuglasker because you associated it through a quick read of webpages on the Great Auk. I pointed out that the activity focus was on the Reykjanes peninsula in my response, above and Lurking also responded at about the same time to correct your geography gaff.

Typically the first question I would get at any poster I gave on my research is "how do you produce that".

I knew it! Far from being mind-mannered geologists questing only for the sake of pure knowledge, you vulcanology guys really are trying to create doomsday weapons to take over the world!

By Pierce R. Butler (not verified) on 13 Jun 2010 #permalink

@142 (Passerby)
In my post #95 I clearly wrote about the Geirfuglasker and the eruption there in 1830. Then you stomped on me so hard that I in a later post checked and found 2 more references to Geirfuglasker (Lighthouse and rock beside Surtsey. Again you stomped on me. You never ever said there was a Geirfuglasker in Reykjanes Peninsula (which would be hard since it is in the Ridge, not the Peninsula at all as you now claim to have known all time along).

And in the end I was correct to beginn with, the Great Auk Geirfuglasker was just to the west of Eldey, and that it is/was a volcano that erupted in 1830 causing the Auks to migrate to the neighbouring Eldey to be slaughtered.

Sorry for sounding a bit testy, but when somebody out of the blue decides to stomp on me, is wrong, and still tries to roughshoe me then I get irritated.

So in simple words, you are proven wrong and the proof is ambundant in the posts above.

To the rest, sorry for the tremoring the crust:)

@ Carl [136]

"... problem seems more to be right-wing christians trying to stop any research that they see as un-godly..."

Odd, considering that I fit that bill. If it's un-godly then why did they exist in the first place? I hardly think that two cretins hopping around in the last known nest of the great Auk is an act of God.

Now when it comes to things like the movie concept of bringing back a T-Rex... well, that falls into the category of how do you control it, and what happens if it gets away from you. As we can see from the BP event in the Gulf and the wildly chaotic world wide financial issues, mankind has achieved near perfection in controlling the forces around us, both natural and non-natural. Perfect ineptitude that is. I sit here and marvel at the push of technology, watching 4 separate video feeds and musing at the one Oil-Cam Bot that had to cut the other one loose.

This is getting depressing. Bah... I got to go find more quakes to plot.

@145: I wonder if Elsevier will give a care. What's not discussed in public is science-publishing dilemma: internal flow of profit, from popular core journal subscriptions and bibliographic/citation databases moneymakers to cash-sucking niche-market conference proceedings, scholarly reference texts (including those used for college coursework) and technical newsletters.

That point was raised here recently by another blog poster in response to discussion on public access to science and technology journals and technical reports for research funded by government and thus indirectly subsidized by taxpayers.

Once again, I suggest that Erik invite another Scienceblog author, John Dupuis (Confessions of A Science Librarian), head of the Science and Engineering Library at York University, for a Q&A session on the Eruptions blog.

While I can identify with the Pharyngula commentary closing, of access limitations when library subscriptions do not include journals to which one needs access, he can still use the regional university interlibrary loan system to gain access to those articles.

For those who work outside of academia, subscriptions and paper publishing costs (as well as attendance/traveland registration to national meetings, software tools, etc) are paid for out of pocket by science and engineering professionals as budgets are squeezed dry of research 'fringe costs' coverage.

@150: >Bah... I got to go find more quakes to plot.

Would you please plot up the quake swarm on Reykjanes Peninsula?

This is a little OT but since it's seismic related I thought maybe I could find an answer here. You guys have been so helpful with my novice volcano questions I'm going to toss this one out. I've been watching the live seismic server and it's looking rather odd today. Would this be a computer glitch or actual activity of some sort? It almost looks like the whole earth is vibrating!

By Janet, Tx (not verified) on 13 Jun 2010 #permalink

Lovely and informative plots as usual.

See Weir et al JGR 2001, the citation Carl linked, above, Figure 11a.

It's the crustal structure/thinness under aesthenosphere-crust lower boundary flux, as suspected, a key player in sudden bursts of miniquake activity.

Thank-you, Lurking, for your help once again.

@153 I really hope that is a glitch in the system!

@Lurking (#154) - No, Reykjanes does not rhyme that way: the Reyk part is 'rake', the latter part is 'yuhnehs'. Try Spanish, only 'j' is not 'h', it's initial English 'y' - and that goes for _all_ Nordic languages, including Finnish.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 13 Jun 2010 #permalink

Hi Folks!,

Re 153@Janet. Would those violent tremors be from the 7.5 "quake from the Nicoman Islands last night ??

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 13 Jun 2010 #permalink

158@My Idiot Self,

Sorry, should have been Nicobar Islands (LOL).

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 13 Jun 2010 #permalink

@Kultsi, Askola, FI

Thank you. That settles a minor dispute I had with the rest of my gaming clan. When I started describing the tectonics of the area the idea of "Rick James" came up and it was found to be good for a snicker or two. I had an In-Law stationed at ReykjavÃk and I was pretty sure the pronunciation was different than that. I'm still miffed that he didn't come down and meet me in Napoli when we both happened to be in the same city that year.

Speaking of Napoli... I am still amazed at how easily amused the sailors of some countries are. On New Years eve, while the town is erupting with fireworks, smoke and noise, some sailor on the ship next to ours grabbed some distress flares (high way flares) out of their helo (parked on deck) and were running up and down the pier waving them around. Quite the show.

[Country name withheld due to the international nature of this blog]

@Janet, #153, on the way the quakes look on all the graphs, it is most likely the Nicobar 7.5 quake. Quakes are measured all over the world and any large quake is picked up everywhere with one exception: there is a so called dead zone that, if my memory is correct, is directly opposite where the quake is located.

I mentioned some time ago that I had the privilege to see an old book of the 1906 SF quake from all over the world. It was very interesting because the seizmographs were different from different countries. One was all in circles. Most seemed to be what is familiar to us today. The instrumentation is so much more sensitive that they are picking up quakes that have been there, but not detected. I asked about the seeming more quakes in CA than there used to be since I have been watching the maps. I was told it was most likely due to better and more equipment to measure quakes.

I hope this helps you to understand a bit about what is going on. I think quakes and volcanoes are some of the most facinating things that happen on earth. Scary sometime, too.

Have you been in any quakes that you felt?

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 13 Jun 2010 #permalink

@159: your seeing differences in response along (horizontal) substructure lines, see Fig 11, Weir et all. We saw this deviation in off-vertical EQs on response lines that clearly showed this layers, in other plots you've posted, but this complex but elegant paper really spells out why, in their model.

You can see an example of what Diane is referring to in the San Andreas/Imperial fault quake map.

Note the stark difference in the number of quakes South of the US/Mex border as opposed to North of it. This is mainly due to instrumentation.

You can also see that the number of quakes plotted on the north segment increase with time as the station population increases (â1977).

@158~Adrian: Looks like that's what it is. You and Diane seem to agree.

@162~Diane: Thanks for the info. I knew I hadn't seen so much "black" on those graphs before. I guess the big quakes are sort of like hitting the earth's tuning fork.

I have never experienced a quake...I am in tornado country. I've only been in one and hopefully I'll never experience that again. I don't think I want to experience the earth moving under my feet either. LOL! Ain't nature great?

By Janet, Tx (not verified) on 13 Jun 2010 #permalink

Latitude Limits 63.6N to 64.2N, longitude set to the limits of Weir et al Fig 2(c).

Quake Dates 06/7/10 00:17:40 to 06/13/10 17:47:21.

Background image is Journal of Geophysical Research, vol 106, No B4 pg 6351 Figure 2(c), cropped to match plot.

Distortion of symbols is due to scaling to plot and rescaling back to original background aspect ratios.

@Janet, #165, the quakes aren't too bad if they are small. I have felt many quakes. I was driving on I80 when the Loma Prieta quake hit and I was on my way to Sacramento and had just left UPS. I thought the road needed fixing big time and what I was feeling in the car was the "corregated" waves of the quake perpendicular to the direction I was headed. It didn't dawn on me until later that it was the longitudinal waves on the road I was seeing, not a bad road. LOL That quake hit at the right time as most people were at home or in the stadium to watch the Battle of the Bay.

Once I was sitting in the library at school when a fairly strong quake hit. The books were rattling on the shelves and I was wondering if they were going to fall off. None did. There was a gal sitting across from me and her eyes got wide and I asked her if she had ever been in a quake before. She hadn't. It scared her. Thing is, it wasn't that big a deal to me because it wasn't that big of one even if the books rattled in the shelves. The epicenter was somewhere near Truckee which is on I80 in the Sierras not too far from Reno, NV. That one was probably the stongest one I have been in. I have not been close enough to a large quake near enough to the epicenter to really get the full brunt of it and I'd just as soon not be.

I was in Yosemite over a 4th of July weekend and there had been a couple of 6+ quakes before that and I was feeling aftershocks all weekend. Some were very mild. Others were a bit stronger, but nothing over about 3+.

I don't mind being in small quakes no larger than, say, 4.5. Anything more than that? Not!

OT, I was in N DAK in Mandan once when the siren went off. I could have seen the tornado if I had gotten outside quick enough, but by the time I did, it was gone. There have been some in Sacramento, btw. Once a friend of mine and I was in a restaurant and we were not far from an intersection. The weather was crazy that day and we were looking at the clouds just east of the interesection. We saw the rotation! It did not form into a tornado or a funnel cloud, but we both decided I needed to go home. There was a tornado that did touch down in Sacramento that day. I think there was more than one. So CA can get them, too, just not as many as the mid-west. Lately, though, in the last few years, it seems like we are getting more of them.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 13 Jun 2010 #permalink


I just noticed that you all were discussing a Mag 7.5. I must have gotten caught up fiddling with graphics.

Interesting page from the USGS is

It shows the antipode of the quake, which would be somewhere off the coast of South America, vicinity of Ecuador. In the seismo graphs that you linked, station IU/OTAV, Otavalo, Equador is pretty close to that region, and shows less "wiggliness" than the others. Same thing for IU/PTGA, Pitinga, Brazil. Now why they were going nuts at the start of the day, I don't know. It could be geomagnetic since we have been having a few M- and C-class eruptions on the Sun. Seismographic equipment has to be sensitive to get high quality data, and that does make them prone to noise from the electromagnetic background.

I have seen that series of plots do wild simultaneous gyrations with no quake reported before. I could have sworn that we had seen an impact event... something as big as it looked would have been reported immediately, but there was nothing.

By Lurking --- in… (not verified) on 13 Jun 2010 #permalink

Never been in a quake. Been in to many hurricanes. And was in Wichita Falls Texas for the 1979 Red River Valley tornado outbreak.
Saw it from my 3rd floor apartment. Had gotten my 2 year old out of the hospital about 2 hours earlier. Mother had flown up to help with son. I didn't curse at her like Lurking did :), but she said I had never spoken like that to her before went I sent the family into the bathroom with a mattress, so she knew it was serious.

@166: yeah, not too shabby of a 'data fit', considering the logistics of EQ positioning. Thanks!

@Diane: I was in a meeting with USGS-Sacramento in Spokane (that's clear across the state), discussing data from a jointly funded project, when a large quake struck near south western WA* a while back. We were 10 floors up; the building moved quite fluidly, as expected. Most of us were plainly startled as main and then aftershock undulations continued for some time.

The Sacramento folks barely noticed, and so we continued our meeting as though nothing had happened.

*Nisqually quake, Mag 6.8, near Olympia, WA struck on February 28, 2001.

In the UK eathquakes are not common. We had a few in the early 1980's in which people reported being 'moved' sharply along in their houses on the Welsh borders. My experience is of 2 small quakes, firstly lying on the ground (sunbathing)in East Anglia as 2 ripples passed underneath through the soft earth of the fens. The only accompanying sound was a kerdunk kerdunk of a lorry passing over them on the road nearby. It caused minor damage to buildings in the City of Cambridge
In Wales the hills locally are of shale, and a quake centred 80 miles away arrived with a crescendo like an express train but merely wobbled the house gently for a few seconds after it roared through. Most people slept through it, though a late night radio show at the epicentre reported it in detail as it occurred. These were not frightening, just interesting to compare.

@Passerby, I was on the 4th floor of the "tower" at Haward State, now know as Cal State, East Bay, when the Colinga quake hit. We were in a room that has large windows on one side and so we just caually moved away and when down the staircase to the outside. One of the buildings in SF swayed three feet side to side durning the quake and the radio station I listened to was located in that building and they reported it.

Two weeks after that, I was in a classroom that was on the first floor of that building (part of it was underground and sort of a daylight basement) and I felt a jerk and that was it. The person across the table from me looked at me at the time and I think we were the only ones who felt it. I wanted to go to the seizmograph drum recorder I had been watching just before! I didn't and I wish I had. I later found out that the Hayward fault moved. Cal State East Bay is on the escarpment hills just above the Hayward fault and I lived just down the hill on the other side of Mission Ave that is right on the fault! I bet people away from the fault felt more of it than we did. That can happen if you are on the epicenter and the quake isn't very big.

Rumble, rumble, rumble. ;-D

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 13 Jun 2010 #permalink

Oops. During the second quake I was not in the tower, but a different building.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 13 Jun 2010 #permalink

@168. Well whaddya know. If you play with an overlay projection of the USGS pode-antipodal map onto the present global EQ map, you get quite a nice match of recent (last 24 hours) EQ activity.

Makes sense. Nifty.

Don't forget Tupungatito (for non spanish readers), Descabezado Grande & Descabezado Chico

By Guillermo (not verified) on 13 Jun 2010 #permalink

Thanks for the post, Raving. Looks like KVERT is being reasonably cautious about attribution of an eruption at Gorley (considering their meager monitoring resources), as it could also be it's close neighbor.

Recent activity/photos, KVERT (captions in Russian): 2005-2006-2007.

Hear is three interesting names for volcanoes. All in Madagascar.Ambre-Bobaomby,Plus two real good ones, they are cones of the Itasy Volcanic Field. (1). Andranojavatra and (2) Ambohitritainerina. It gives me a headache just trying to say the last one.

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