Mount Erebus, Ross Island and the Age of Exploration

Satellite image: NASA/JPL. Released under US Gov Common

I have always had a love of the beauty of the Antarctic. When I discovered that a cousin of my grandfather had joined Shackleton’s Trans-Antarctic expeditionof 1914 to 1917 as the official photographer, this love morphed into an enduring interest in the early explorations of the Antarctic and then increased to developing an interest in volcanoes due to the descriptions I read of Mount Erebus erupting.

Mount Erebus is classified as a polygenetic stratovolcano. The bottom half of the volcano is a shield and the top half is a stratocone.  It is is currently the most active volcano in Antarctica and is the current eruptive zone of the Erebus hotspot.  Inside the crater is a persisting lava lake and shows up well in the NASA satellite image above.

Mount Erebus overlooks the McMurdo research station on Ross Island and is the largest of three major volcanoes on the island. We see above in the Nasa picture the lava lake which has been monitored since 1972, this activity has been continuous since then with many minor explosions and occasional larger strombolian explosions that throw up lava bombs to the rim of the crater. Although this activity has been noted since 1972 it is more than likely that it has occurred for most of the volcanoes recent history, because the volcano was active when discovered in 1841 and also when other later explorations took place.

The summit of Mount Erebus rises to 3,794 metres of 12,447 feet. Quite a height when you consider this volcano rises from sea level.

Ross Island

Map showing the four volcanos of Ross Island.

Mount Erubus is situated on Ross Island which was formed by four volcanoes  in the Ross Sea, only one of which Erebus is still active today. Because the ice sheet is so thick and persistent it appears as if it is part of Antarctica.

It was discovered in 1841 by Sir James Clark Ross who perhaps not realising it was an island did not name it after himself, the naming of the island in honour of him came many years later by the polar explorer Robert Falcon Scott. Ross did however name the two largest volcanoes on the Island after the names of his two expedition ship, the Erebus and Terror.

Ross Island was the base for many of the early expeditions to Antarctica. It was very suitable as a base for explorations as it is the southernmost island reachable by sea.  Scott and Shackleton both built huts on the island as bases for their polar expeditions. These are still standing and are now preserved as historical sites.

Today Ross Island is home to New Zealands Scott Base and also the largest Antarctic settlement, the U.S. Antarctic Program’s McMurdo Station.

Erebus and the Age of Exploration

Erebus was first discovered by James Clark Ross and named after his ship. Here is an interesting description of the awe it inspired in these early explorers.

Robert McCormick, the surgeon, described the discovery as “a stupendous volcanic mountain in a high state of activity“. Dr. Hooker ran to grab his notebook and quickly wrote down his reaction: “All the coast one mass of dazzling beautiful peaks of snow which, when the sun approached the horizon, reflected the most brilliant tints of golden yellow and scarlet; and then to see the dark cloud of smoke, tinged with flame, rising from the volcano in a perfectly unbroken column, one side jet-black, the other giving back the colors of the sun….This was a sight so surpassing everything that can be imagined…that it really caused a feeling of awe to steal over us at the consideration of our own comparative insignificance and helplessness, and at the same time, an indescribable feeling of the greatness of the Creator in the works of His hand“. The peak was 12,400 feet above sea level and was belching flame and smoke. Ross named it Mount Erebus and the smaller extinct volcano to the east, Mount Terror.

Members of Shackleton’s later Trans-Antarctic expedition also reported of the feelings caused by the beauty and grandeur of the volcano.

By that time the returning sun was touching with gold the peaks of the Western Mountains and throwing into bold relief the massive form of Erebus. The volcano was emitting a great deal of smoke, and the glow of its internal fires showed occasionally against the smoke-clouds above the crater. Stevens, Spencer-Smith, and Cope went to Cape Royds on the 20th, and were still there when the sun made its first appearance over Erebus on the 26th. Preceding days had been cloudy, and the sun, although above the horizon, had not been visible.

The morning broke clear and fine,” wrote Mackintosh. “Over Erebus the sun’s rays peeped through the massed cumulus and produced the most gorgeous cloud effects. The light made us all blink and at the same time caused the greatest exuberance of spirits. We felt like men released from prison. I stood outside the hut and looked at the truly wonderful scenery all round. The West Mountains were superb in their wild grandeur. The whole outline of peaks, some eighty or ninety distant, showed up, stencilled in delicate contrast to the sky-line. The immense ice-slopes shone white as alabaster against dark shadows. The sky to the west over the mountains was clear, except for low-lying banks at the foot of the slopes round about Mount Discovery. To the south hard streaks of stratus lay heaped up to 30 degrees above the horizon. . . . Then Erebus commenced to emit volumes of smoke, which rose hundreds of feet and trailed away in a north-westerly direction. The southern slopes of Erebus were enveloped in a mass of cloud.”

NEWBY

Travelling note

Hello everybody, I am out on atravelling fot, and had suspected a bit of problem with finding internet and so on. I thought I had placed the postings on auto-pilot. But apparantly I am a full blown codiot. So I will be putting them in manually now that I have internet access again.

I have seen so many old Soviet factories during the last couple of days, that you would never believe it. I will make a special Panzer edition of the Sheepy Dalek with pictures of the tank-factory I visited. Anybody who wishes to buy a Soviet T72?

I am sorry for the low post-rate during the last few days, but with all of the wonderfull commentors in here I know there was no shortage of infomation.

CARL

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429 thoughts on “Mount Erebus, Ross Island and the Age of Exploration

  1. BTW, thanks for a great article Newby! 🙂 I loved reading it, and it sent me in to an infinite loop on Wikipedia which was really interesting. And the peeing in the snow, and that the reindeers pee contains hallucinogenic factors… The things I learn here never ceases to amaze me! 😉

    • The equipment in the area has been a bit wonky lately for Hekla. The sum borehole strainmeter plot has been down for a month now, and the new version of the plot is not that good.
      But tentatively I would say it could be a transient going on.
      But, it is hard to say for sure.

  2. There is no increase in tremoring on the Haukadalur SIL-station, and the Saurbaer SIL is down.
    It is not good that so much equipment is down at a time when most things point to a close by eruption.
    IMO launched a warning for an imminent eruption on july 7, so one should think that they would have all possible equipment up and running.
    Also, as some of you know. I normally say that I only know one volcano well, and that it is Hekla. Reason for this is that I have read everything published in any form about that volcano. And after all of that reading, and following closely all of the signs, I said that she would likely go between decemberr 2011 and may 2012. I still hold to that prediction based on guesstimation.

  3. I would though say that if the action seen on Storolfsvoll is from a transient or a proto-eruptive behaviour, then the eruption will be at an unusual place. It is normally Burfell that goes avry, and not Storolfsvoll.
    If it is proto-eruptive behaviour the erupton will be on the southern part of Hekla. An area that has not had an eruption for quite some time.
    Everybody from IMO to little me is expecting the action to be on the Burfell Isakot side of the volcano, so it should be a central fissure eruption going into a lava flooding.

    • Melnhausar is even worse than Krokkottuvötn. And Skildingaholshraun is equaly bad.
      I still do not know if it is Theistareykjarbunga or Krafla that is responsible.
      But something seems to be cooking in the area.

  4. Okay, by now we should have seen if there had been anything at Hekla.
    What is visible on Jóns Helicorder is wind noise. Nothing from IMO, and only a tiny tiny little bump on the Haukadalur SIL.
    This might have been a mini quake at Hekla, but if it will be more of them coming? Well that is written into the stars.

    If an eruption starts we will have visible quakes ranging from 0,5 to 2,5 for about an hour or two, then the Burfell strainmeter falls like a stone in the sea. And then ka-boom.
    Nothing at the moment points to this.
    Expect Burfell to fall with hundreds of thousands of units at the onset of an eruption. You will know when it is for real. 🙂

    Problem with the quakes are that since the Saurbaer SIL is out the likelyhood of IMO catching the small quakes is slim. So right now the abillity of IMO is severely hampered.

    I repeat my standard warning, do not climb hekla. Stay at least 2 kilometers away. This warning is even more needed know that so much of the equipment is down. I do not even know if IMO can predict and send out alarms as they should normaly be able to do.

    • Think he’s kidding?

      Hekla is a deathtrap. It takes about Magnitude 1.8 to 2.1 before a human being can sense an earthquake with out any instruments… provided you are standing right on top of it.

      In 2000, you would have had about 10 to 15 minutes warning.

        • 1947, 1510 and 1300.
          Remember though that people climbing mountains in droves is a fairly new thing.
          On any summer day if the weather is even remotly close to being fair a bunch of tourists would be fried instantenously if an eruption started.

      • Lurking is absolutly correct.
        Hekla is most likely the most dangerous volcano on the planet to be around. Because you will never notive anything before the eruption is startin. And then it is way to late to get away.
        Only and very slim chance of survival is if you smell sulphuric gases. And then you would still need to be able to run like Usain Bolt to get away.

        Hekla is the only non-erupting volcano I would not climb that I know of. As Lurking said, Hekla is a deathtrap, set to go.

        • The worst Hekla eruption known concerning deathtoll was in 1104, when she sent pyroclastic streams down into the valley of river Þjórsá. Though it is not known how many people died exactly, it must have been a considerable number, because it set an end to all of the settlements in the upper valley. One of these settlements, Stöng, has been excavated and reconstructed and is now a open air museum near Búrfell, called Þjóðveldisbær .

  5. Little known Hekla fact.
    2/3 of all the historic ashes in Scandinavia and UK are from Hekla. 1/3 is the combined ashes of all the rest of the Icelandic volcanos put together.
    A big eruption from Hekla is Ash Bonanza. That is why many of the eruptions in Iceland are tephra-chonologized using Hekla eruptions.
    Remember, what I and Lurking is stating here is not scaremongering, it is just plain facts.
    But, remember that Hekla will not be that dangerous, as long as you are not ontop of it when she goes. A big one might be a nuisance regarding ashes, but nothing more really.

      • Actually, a volcano that has frequent eruptions can suffer from chamber collapse. That is a very bad thing. So I would not bet on it being small this time.
        Most things actually point in the other direction, on inflation alone it should be a VEI-4, and then we have the so far unheard of rapidity and energy in the mountain tension shifts. And then the transients.
        I would tentively say a VEI-3 or above is incoming.

  6. @volcanocafe2
    Hi,
    I have collected some points on the seismic project of Sarmiento de Gamboa.
    It is rather long.
    Ill try to upload it here.
    Please feel free too move it , cut it or just plain throw it away,
    Regards and thank you and Carl and you all for amazing work

  7. Somewhat off topic 🙂

    I was just absently wondering about Nabro – I’ve not seen or heard anything about it for a while, a quick google search is showing no fresh news for it – it looks like the eruption is over or at least the volcano has gone into a quiescent period. So now I had a thought (seeing as there is a nice seismic station in djibouti that have a bunch of data on the quakes in the area) I wondered whether a Lurking plot of the Nabro quakes had ever occurred ?

    • I wondered whether a Lurking plot of the Nabro quakes had ever occurred ?
      I don’t know but given the location of the volcano and the political circumstances, I sort of think that getting those data to plot would probably not be trivial…

      • The chaps at the Djibouti seismic station sent me an email and then posted the nabro specific webpage when I asked them about it – they sounded pleased to have people interested – I’d guess (though I might be wrong) that a Lurking plot of the quakes they have detected would be something they would want. And they said they had all the raw data logged away so perhaps a Lurking funky shift of the S and P waves might give even more information about what is/was going on at/under Nabro.

        Anyway something that might be of interest if things are a bit quiet 🙂

        • IU ask because I don’t even see a proper catalog. (in my opinion) Just some map plots and a tally count. No lat/lon/dept/mag, let along arrival times at different stations for the phases.

        • Should have been an “I” rather than an “IU.”

          A note about those my plots. These are amateur level plots. I do them because we, as aficionados, suffer from a malady known as “lack of data.” In other words, we have to make do with what we have, sniffing through the crumbs of data that researchers leave laying around or use to feather their nests.

          Occasionally, we luck out. El Hierro and IGN’s data are one of those morsels that come along from time to time, and I managed to cobble together a crude speed extraction method that seems to work.

          Now, even though it seems to work, that is a lot of room for error. Suppose that the rock that is fracturing happens to be of a different type that the part in the same area that fractured last week? It may generated a different set of speeds.

          Just to give you an example. (KarenZ take note, you may like this)

          This is a plot of the various metamorphic rock types and the seismic speeds Vp and Vs that they have. One thing I learned is that phylitte (which I have mentioned before) falls in the group of greenschist. Typical speeds for that are 6.11 km/s (Vp) and 3.46 km/s (Vs) (Vp/Vs ratio of 1.37),

          Those plots of mine ignore this whole realm of possibilities. Another area that is ignored are the actual paths of the seismic rays. I have an algorithm that allows me to calculate the arrival angle of incidence by finding the apparent surface speed of the wave (as measured in the difference in it’s arrival times at two surface stations.) Once you have that and the native speed of the surface (which I don’t have) you can take that ratio to backtrack the actual path to the source as it goes from layer to layer. (another simplification by using a model) I have what I think is a good four layer model of a generic Canary Island… it’s based off of the seismic speeds at Tenerife. But right now I’m hung up trying to determine the straight path angle with relation to the surface. Yeah, I managed to get the distance, but I have to change my frame of reference from the chord to one locked to the surface. Logically, it should be related to the central angle (the distance between the source and the station) and would be calculated by adding or subtracting that offset…. but every time I try it in a spreadsheet I get bizarre sequences that don ‘t make much sense. So, I drink coffee, stare at a manually constructed plot for a while, go do real work, come back and stare at it some more.

          Yee haw.

        • @GeoLurking you are horking good at making up for missing data – and I think the data is actually there – just they might not have it nicely accessible – but they might be nice and let you see it (they probably won’t have seen your plots, but I think they sometimes talk to Armand) I know it’s all rough ‘I just plot things’ and that means everyone else gets to do the interpretation – and that’s completely cool with me, your caveats are mighty and that earns you respect.

          Looking down this page http://www.oga.dj/nabro.html – makes me think all the data one might want is there, just not neccessarily easy to access.

          I also see what might be one of those ‘screws’ someone was mentioning as a precursor ?

        • “and I think the data is actually there”

          Completely different lizard.

          Those beach balls are the result of eventuated waveforms. They are made by looking at first motions over a large azimuthal area. What I would need would be the actual arrival times at well fixed seismographic stations.

          If you wish to locate that data and run the plots, my methods are available here and over at Jon’s site. I’m not gonna to rattling their cage for data that they wish to stick behind graphics because the public is too stupid to understand it. Its their show, and it’s a well studied system as it is. (well, the rift valley is).

          ANSS is not going to have the data either, stuff lower than Mag 4.5 outside the US just doesn’t make it into their catalogs.

          For now I do not plan on perusing Nabro. I already know what the region is going to do. Rift. There is a triple junction with three major boundaries, at least one of which is a spreading center (the other two are transforms.. I think) It’s gonna open up, ooze lava, rinse-repeat. It happens on a regular basis. Which volcano it is, is pretty much the only variable.

  8. Activity at Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater has dramatically increased last 24 hours http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hvo/cams/POcam/

    The deformation cycle has also changed, with steady but now holding inflation at Kīlauea’s caldera. http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/kilauea/update/deformation.html

    Apparantly the last still occupied structure at Royal Gardens, Jacks Volcano House, is under threat, but it is a survivor, so guess that is in its favour. Plug the following into google earth 19.354403° -155.047148°

    • thanks for that update has been a while since i have seen activity on almost all those cam’s.

      looking at the coordinates. why are all those roads there? it looks like all Forrest to me except for that one house?

      December 2, 2011 flow maps: bye bye royal gardens? (whats already left of it)
      http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/kilauea/update/maps.html

      One day when i am rich i will visit Hawaii, want to see Pu`u `Ō `ō with my own eyes.

      Note: video’s contain music.

      Here is some footage of Pu`u `Ō `ō earlier this here:
      The time-lapse movie spans March 28 and Juli 16 , The uplift was continuous between, but had stalled by the 17 th July 9 to today, July 18.

      This movie shows a timelapse sequence taken from a thermal camera on the south rim of Pu`u `Ō `ō, beginning just before noon on August 3. Just after 2pm, the lava lake and surrounding floor abruptly drop. As the lava lake drops, solidified portions of the crater floor slide into the fluid lava. By the end of the sequence, the floor of the crater is composed of only hot rubble and inclined blocks of the pre-existing crater floor. The temperature scale is degrees Celsius.

    • Oh! That should be interesting.The stain looks closer to La restinga Harbour mouth this morning. Maybe due to stong on shore winds recently.
      @Inge. Thank you for those links re Hekla. This is the difference between Iceland’s safety policy and that of El Hierro’s risk assessors
      ” It is suggested that mitigation of risk can be obtained through a
      combination of public and tourist education, by providing tourism providers
      with accurate information, by setting up warning signs at strategic places
      around the volcano and through information in form of pamphlets and webbased information.”
      …..and now for something different an OT…We have had a snowfall in North Western England. The snow seems to have been or the right variety as so far the traffic, railways and government has not ground to a halt!
      For those of you who do not know, England grinds to a halt because of Snow, falling leaves, winds, rain and hot sunshine…..It’s one of the reasons why we laugh at ourselves so much….Thank goodness we do not have active Volcanoes here!!!
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_wrong_type_of_snow

      • Good morning Diana.
        True, we do like to shut down at any excuse!

        I was waiting for someone else to comment on the stain this morning, I know it’s difficult to get an accurate fix, but it does indeed look closer.

        • Every 2 weeks I have to do a 350 mile round trip to Newcastle on Tyne, I’ve just ordered snow chains for the car!

          Since the cam pics have become clearer, it looks like the old vent is still visible further out, maybe currents are bringing the stain back near the coast as they have previously.

      • Good morning.
        Well maybe we Icelanders do not worry so much about Hekla. Tourists seem to get themselves killed around anyway.. 🙂
        Well no, I should not talk this way, just got my pro tourist guide license last spring. 😦
        But you might have noticed that the essay you were citing is a Magister Paedagogiae of an Italian boy.

        • 1) It would help if you would first get your information right:
          – The author is not Italian, but Spanish speaking. I don’t think he is a boy, because boys don’t go to university – also this has nothing to do with the content of the text.
          2) If you really are a guide in Iceland, you should know this university department: Faculty of Earth Sciences of University of Iceland (Title page!) and the advisor of the thesis : Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson – just in case you don’t know this neither: He is Icelandic (as far as this would mean anything here!) and professor of geophysics of the a.m. university: http://earthice.hi.is/Apps/WebObjects/HI.woa/1/wo/FTPZaFH7EFf3era7N6poqw ./2.HILook7.82.1.0.1.SWSStaffListComponent.7.3.11.1.1 .
          By the way, if you were in Iceland at the time of last year’s Eyjafjallajökull eruption and really interested in Icelandic geology, you would know about this professor, he has been interviewed very often by RÚV and others.
          3) I also went to the guide school in Reykjavík and passed my exam there (in 3 languages), but some years ago and I have been practising as a guide in Iceland since. But this does not exclude being concerned about security issues regarding the people involved. (Not for me anyway.)

    • Upss, sorry that was trace from yesterday evening that came out of nothing. There has been some trouble vith Locadizo

  9. Two Hekla-related things:
    – first, check the webcam today, there’s a special type of wintery light and it is beautiful:
    http://eldgos.mila.is/hekla/
    – If you’ve missed it, I took a screenshot:

    And second, since there’s been questions all around about what to expect just before the eruption, here’s a page that Carl pointed me towards a while ago:
    – this is what the strain looked like just before 2000 eruption – Burfell plummeted and the others went up:
    http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/englishweb/heklafigure1.html
    – and this is a very illuminative description of how quickly it all went in 2000:
    http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/englishweb/heklanews.html
    First earthquake at 17:07, eruption started at 18:17. So, 1hr and 10 min.
    And, what is interesting is this: “Fairly well located earthquakes of magnitudes 1-2 were recorded at 17:30, 17:45, 18:17 and 18:26.” -> Magnitudes 1-2M are normally not felt by humans, so no way anyone on the mountain would have felt them.

    • Hi you girls, if you worry so much.
      I must tell you that 112 along with the telephone companies are ordering safety system. witch is supposed to register all cellphones reaching the cells near Hekla. (Burfell mainly)
      This is expected to be up and running before next summer 112 will then have a register over all cellphones in reach of those cell . If IMO gives warning then there will be a SMS warning call to all .

      • Inge B.
        Inge.
        I must really apologize if I offended you.
        The whole setup was just meant as a little self Irony, just like the the British are doing all the time. (the point being that we needed a foreigner to spell things out for us. which seems by the way to be very common meaning her-about.)
        I must assure you that I am very much concerned about safety of my tourists.or fellow travelers.
        That “boy” or young man I met and spoken with him both Icelandic and English(but did not remember his origin) and I attended his defense and discussed a bit afterwards on possible means of a warning system.
        And that professor MTG is an old friend.
        Regards.
        W

      • That sounds like a very good system . Well done Iceland again.
        However it would be sensible to plan walking routes well clear of Hekla. If on Burfell you may get out OK. If you receive a text and have read it on top of Hekla…… pray to the great golden Mayan Sheep God as you try to beat the magma . You may well not have to worry about Dec 31 st 2012 any more

        • Speaking of cars…. I was returning from a service call on a desolate two lane road that has lots of transport trucks, dump trucks and “I just got off of work so get the @#$ out of my way” people. (it’s safer than the other road, believe me)

          On a long gentle curve I noticed an oncoming truck going the other way, with a car following it. I noticed that it’s headlight were really wide compared to the truck. Trucks are almost nine feet wide. Then I realized that he was in my lane and there was not … any… FRIKEN ROOM for him to complete the pass.

          Thank God for a wide breakdown apron.. I used every inch of it to keep from going head on at a closure rate of about 210 kph.

          And heres the part that scares me…. I didn’t even break a sweat. Ordinarily I would have been cussing the rest of the trip back or had to pull over to clean out my shorts.

        • I would have needed some serious pants cleaning after that one…
          Or maybe not, Kievans drive like italian Kamikaze-pilots, and they are drunk as skunks all the time. I passed 3 traffc accidents yesterday.
          I am happy at every millimeter of teutonic armoured steel in the car we hired here. But that might have to do with the rather alternate view of law and order here…
          I have gotten a new appreciation for european (and american) laws the last few days…
          Oh, the police? Ahem, well herearounds they are a mafia gang pressuring money from people. Difference between mafia and police here is that the police have more guns and a license to use them. Courts? Que!

  10. Evening all, hope you are all having a good day, back to bob for a moment if I may,
    I’ve been noodling around with this just for learning purposes and I thought I might as well share it with you lovely people. It shows EQ locations month by month and then week by week, they are not synced (monthly plots start 1/7, 2 weekly start 19/7) as this is a first try. It shows Eqs starting in the north, moving south, and then returning north, Tanganasoga is more or less in the middle of all recorded EQs but they seem to “circulate” the area when viewed over time…
    hope one of these comes out as a link (first try at this too) 🙂

    • Hi Schteve ,thank you for this. It is really wierd how the quakes move, and yes they do seem to “Pivot” around Tanganasoga.A very good first try :).
      I would like to comment on how many people have been learning and experimenting with a variety of plots. I have a suspicion that Lurking has influenced and given great inspiration to many.This is what these Blogs are about., Science, How volcanoes work, Education, Encouragement and Ponderings……. Sheep for short 🙂

      • You forgot the rumination 🙂
        It was after all you who in your whisdom gave us the word for what we are doing.
        Ruminating.

    • I responded… but the jealous llamas absconded with my post and placed it down below at December 6, 2011 at 00:52.

  11. @GeoLurking: plots of the P wave speeds and S wave speeds for November (2D this time.)

    We seem to have a bit of everything shown on your plots. However, as the Nov quakes cover quite a large area (including the debris from the El Golfo landslip), this might not be surprising.


  12. This is not criticism, don’t take it as such.

    First, it’s a good plot concept, and it’s really fantastic that other people are exploring this activity with the tools available.

    I ran into issues with resolution and getting my point and lines to come out looking halfway decent.
    Part of the problem that I encountered, was caused by scaling issues on my output and the size of my lines. In order to get as much detail in that I could, I would scale my plotting window to the native size of the common video formats.

    4:3, 3:2,phi:1 5:3 and 16:9 are the most significant aspect ratios.

    If your display or output window is 640 pixels wide, a height of 480 would be 4:3. 386 pixels would be 5:3, 360 pixels would be 16:9

    For a display window of 1024 pixels wide, a height of 768 would be 4:3. 614 pixels would be 5:3, 576 pixels would be 16:9.

    Generally, I try to make my output window 1450 pixels wide by 815 pixels tall, and then push the video out to Youtube as high def and let it sort out how to deal with the down scaling to other sizes. If the user wants the more detailed version all they have to do is to select it.

    But the most important thing is to try and keep the output window in the same aspect ratio as your finished product. Generally, if you down-scale it yourself, you will wind up with aliasing and blurriness. The downside of my method is it leaves some rather large finished files on the hard drive. After about a week or so I delete them and reclaim the space. As long as I have the raw data that they came from, I can reproduce them.

    And.. I re-emphasize, this is not criticism, just advise. As you pointed out it was a first try and I hope what I have provided is helpful. It’s good that others are exploring this “seeing the data for ourselves” hobby!

      • Thanks Lurking,
        I’m working on a rather feeble laptop so I didn’t want to fill it up with 2 minutes of movie that would take 40 minutes to save, and I was only aiming for a rough “overview” anyway …The screenshots are from AVCAN and can be “Tailored” for date, depth and magnitude (there’s probably more but…)
        It clearly makes sense to upload int highest possible res and let Utube sort (top-tip), then “junk ” all but the “raw material.”
        So, since you think it may be useful I’ll carry on noodling!!!

        • Oh yeah… even if you just fiddle around with it you accomplish a lot that you don’t realize. For one, it forces you to critically think about problem solving, you develope skills that can be used to plot almost anything as long as you can wrap your understanding around it, and, it helps in getting an idea of what is going on.

          Even if you only plot for yourself, you gain knowledge.

    • Actually that would be a good advice for many plotters out there. I have found plots from people far outside our field that should have benefitted from this tip of the day.

      • You ought to see the problems I have using DivaGIS with Iceland. I occasionally use a geo-referenced image but everytime I lock in the reference points the image gets badly skewed. (has to do with latitude-longitude projections).

        Thats why I have to redraw the crater/calderas/fissure swarms and then use my drawings rather than the raw background picture.

        It’s…. a pain in the arse.

        • Yes, it is rather nasty of the planet to not conform to square shaped projections, naughty naughty planet 🙂

      • Well, then you may want to pull this down and add the image to your collection of stuff for your “Gems”

        Various pixel counts to aspect ratios that I have collected.

    • This sounds interesting. Thank you for the link.

      A less known aspect of the Ring of Fire. I think I would like to know more about it. 🙂

  13. Bonne Saint-Nicolas / Ein schönes Sankt Nikolaus Fest! Don’t go to hard on the “Glühwein”… 🙂
    (in some European countries we celebrate that guy today, I think he’s the one from who Coke took the idea of Santa, but I might be wrong of course – don’t want to start world war III because of such a comment…)
    Holy Randy! If you don’t manage to follow the action in here only for a few days you’re immediately lost in the interstellar space. Impossible to fully catch up. I just saw that you have now started drinking goat-juice, and then decided that I shall live with a certain lack of knowledge about details from this “community”… 🙂
    It goes on with very nice posts and this magnificient mix of information and fun in the comments. Please keep it on for 30 years so I’m retired and have time to read all of this mental candy…

    • Haven’t got any Glühwein, GeoLoco, but I might celebrate St Nick with a spot of glögi with vodka (happy memories of Lapland). On the other hand….. it’s been 30°C here today so maybe not a good idea. How would St Nick feel about a nice cold gin & tonic?
      I agree with your comment about a magnificent mix of information. It seems that ideas bounce around here like balls on a squash court. Then someone else picks up a racquet and puts a new spin on things and the sequence starts over again. Love it!

      • 30°C? We’re around 0° (bit more, bit less), it’s windy, sometimes it snows, then rains again, and later is freezes so the road get’s a little “challenging”, sun rises after 8 and sets 16.30. Let’s hope we get some decent snow, at least that’s something you can play with (building iglus with the kids, skiing etc.).
        St. Nick for sure woult take some gin-tonic too. The one we had in our village (approx 1’000 souls) was hardly 15 years old – it was pretty funny to see this “pure skin” behind the white beard…

    • No, actually the coke santa was made by a swedish designer who worked for Coca-Cola company. He took a santa picture by yet another swedish painter and changed the santa costume from grey with red trimming into a red one with white trimings, and christmas as we know it was born.
      Not one of the better swedish ideas really…
      Yes, we are a world conspiray…

      • Christmas as we know it from TV… We still had the story with the child that was born somewhere in Nazareth, and the 3 kings following the star and bringing gifts, and that’s why we have gifts for the ones we care about… And it was so great to get good gloves for skiing – and who the F cared for a Wii, as you can’t play it in the snow… 🙂
        I’m starting to be afraid of Swedes… And why the hell is Santa’s home in Rovaniemi if he is a Swede? I’m puzzled…

        • i don’t know if this is true or not, but i heard that it was kind of a mixture of all kinds of myths and story’s. and what Carl said made by Coca Cola company.
          any way my adding to the story:

          i heard that one of the story’s was the sitting on Santa lap was the same as the child offerings that where brought to some sort of god.

          also that the star on top of a Christmas tree is sun worshiping.

          anyway Christmas is about money nothing more nothing less xD

    • Ein schönes Sankt Nikolaus Fest! back to you.
      I love the Spirit behind Christmas. To me it is a family feast to remind us that the days are becoming longer. It is a time of hope and defeat of the cold, evil, winter witches that lurk in every apple orchard. I love the smell of the ivy, holly and fir tree branches that I use to decorate the house.The scent of spices and good home cooking. I love the mistletoe bunch that we kiss under. It is all very pagan. The addition of the lovely Christmas story of the Baby born in poverty yet being revered by wise men makes this festival even more mystic and magical.
      I still celebrate Yule with traditional activities that I loved in my childhood. It is good to see my children carrying on these traditions in their homes with my Grand children..
      Yes The shops and TV hype is horrendous.but it can be overcome by making sure the little ones are given the opportunity to believe in elves and angels,magic and St Nicholas.
      I think I still believe in all this…. just a little bit 😉

        • Yeah, Christmas is a renewal, a chance to relax. Give yourself a break and let a little magic inside. No harm done. Give toys to children, kick back, enjoy your traditions.

  14. There seems to be a lot of bubling and/or smoking stones popping up on the webcams at the moment. Worth a watch for a while. Sadly I have to go out and will miss things for a while.
    http://earthquake-report.com/2011/11/12/32535/
    Huh! Just went back for another look before I posted and nearly had a heart attach. Lots of grey smoke! Then I realised it was a ship. Ah well bob has to surface sometime surely.

  15. @ GeoLurking That was some near Miss! I am so happy you are safe. next time try this curse on bad drivers.
    Point two fingers at the offending driver and say out loud
    May the Great Mayan Sheep God turn your fuel tank into a water carrier.
    and may your big end drop off. 🙂

    • That was great, especially the part about the end dropping off. I may apply it to other circumstances. There are a few ends that SHOULD drop off…

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