Theistareykjarbunga – Icelands slumbering Giant

Mudpots in the Theistareykir thermal fields. Photographer unknown.

The Five Large Volcanoes of Iceland

Iceland holds five volcanoes that in historical time shave had eruptions transcending the 10 cubic kilometer mark during post-glacial times. The most obvious are of course Grimsvötn, Bardarbunga and Katla who share the same eruptive grounds for their large scale fissure eruptions in the area of rifting running roughly from Vatnajökull down towards Katla. There we find the Eldgja/Laki/Veidivötn-fissure systems. Among those Veidivötns Thjorsarhraun is the largest lava flow after postglaciation.

These 3 volcanoes are of the rifting fissure type (with that I mean that they have massive fissure swarms that rift, not that they are driven by rifting processes per see), have massive central volcanoes with huge calderas and massive systems of magma-chambers. Normally they have frequent small scale to medium sized eruptions, and only have their large eruptions when the SIFZ (south Icelandic fissure zone) endures a rifting episode. Two of these are powered pretty much directly from the hotspot mantle plume under Iceland. The current location of the hotspot is believed to be close to Bardarbunga.

The two triple junction Behemoths of Iceland

The other two are different from the first 3 in many respects. Both of them are triple-junction volcanoes, driven almost entirely by rifting processes, are mainly fissure volcanoes with fairly unknown internal systems. Both of them are located fairly far away from the hotspot, and both are centers of unusually strong seismic activity for being located in Iceland. Both of them erupt in large scale when erupting, before going back to long periods of dormancy.

In southwestern Iceland we find Hengill, a large scale fissure volcano located next to Lake Thingvellir. The other is the northernmost of Iceland’s large sub-aerial volcanoes, just north of Krafla volcano. Theistareykjarbunga lies in the junction where the Tjörnes Fracture Zone (TFZ), the Grimsöy Oblique Rift (GOR), the Husavik Flatöy Fault (HFF), either directly intersects, or where they mechanically interact in a sense of it. Southwards from this the Northern Volcanic Zone (NVZ) comes running from Bardarbunga. Another thing to keep in mind is that Theistareykjarbunga is the northernmost of the main band central volcanoes of Iceland, and that it might have been responsible for the sub-aquatic eruptions out in Tjörnes area at the tip of its northern fissure swarm.

This of course creates tremendous tectonic strain that from time to time is released as massive earthquakes in the region. The last regional massive earthquake episode was in 1872 when 2 earthquakes larger than M 6.5 hit the Tjörnes Fracture Zone. During the last decades small but persistant quake-swarms have plagues the area.

Due to this a separate dense network of GPS stations where put up in 2006 for continuous measurement to enhance ability of calculating the pent up strain in TFZ and adjacent fault zones. It was emplaced and booted up in 2006. As a point of reference a GPS was placed on the believed to be dormant, or even dead, Theistareykjarbunga Central Shield Volcano, since this should be fairly stationary since it is almost dead center on the triple junction.

And for the first year that actually worked well. Then a continuous uplift started at Theistareykjarbunga with a maximum uplift of 30mm per year. This uplift caused concern, and the researchers then added additional GPS equipment directed at the volcano to get a better picture. Also other observational techniques were employed. Premier among the additional methods was the Envisat Interferograms that confirmed a circular uplift directly under Theistareykjarbunga Shield volcano. It confirmed inflation in a massive magma-reservoir with a depth of about 6.5 kilometers down, and covering an area of more than 70 kilometers making it into one of the largest on Iceland. And it is only logical that a Volcano of this eruptive ability should have a magma-reservoir on a large scale. Data and information taken from the article referenced in the end of the article.

Theistareykjarbunga Thermal Field. Photographer: Lara Stefansdottir

Theistareykjarbunga as we know it came into existence as a shield volcano in one majestic continuous eruption of Hawaiian type. The amount of magma ejected is sourced by Global Volcanism Program to be the largest in the history of Iceland. But it is actually so that GVP also states that Thjorsahraun in Veidivötn (Bardarbunga) is the largest effusive eruption in Iceland after de-glaciation. I understand their confusion. They are so close in size that a competition is rather unnecessary, but on shear effusive volume nothing on Iceland can compete with Theistareykjarbunga. But then one should remember that it was not an explosive event, and Thjorsahraun had explosive components, and was a lava flow, not a central volcano building event.

According to GVP there have been only 3 eruptions at Theistareykjarbunga, but that is most likely not true, there are more large lava-fields belonging to both the southern and northern fissure swarms than they give credit to. But, it is understandable that they miss some, this is a very poorly researched volcano. A moderate number would be five large lava-field producing eruptions scaling in around 5 – 10 cubic kilometers, and the initial eruption scaling in on a total ejecta volume of 35 to 40 cubic kilometer if one combines the fissure eruption and the lava fields that was produced, and the part of the eruption that created the 30 cubic kilometer shield volcano. The last large eruption is well known, it was the 2700 year old Theistarekjahraun eruption.

Likelihood of Eruption

Theistareykjarbunga will most likely erupt. Big surprise. This is after all Iceland. Almost all of the active volcanoes will erupt many times in the coming geological timescale. So, just saying that it will erupt doesn’t mean that much really.

Image from the Krafla Fires. An eruption at Theistareykjarbunga would most likely be like a much larger version of the Krafla fires.

So what points towards an eruption? First of all the inflation points to an increase in eruptive risk, but there is also tectonic activity under the shield volcano that has a magmatic signature. And of course the sharp harmonic tremoring episodes that happened in October and November.

If one take into account these 3 signs it will give a certain relevance to assuming that the volcano is waking up from the 2700 year old slumber. It might of course still go back to sleep for a thousand years or more, one should always remember that.

But, if it continues to show signs, the inflation keeps on being steady, when would it then go? Well, at a minimum it would need another decade. But that is probably way to short time span. We would need long periods of uplift, ever increasing quake swarms, continuing movement of the adjacent micro-plate. Regarding the uplift, we would most likely need to wait for meters of uplift to happen due to the immense size of the magma-reservoir before it achieves critical pressure. Yes, we could have missed earlier large inflation periods down through the last 2700 years. But we should remember that Theistareykjarbunga deflated during the Krafla-fires, and that we still do not see enough quake activity for there being high pressure in the system. So I still would say that we need between a meter and five meters before anything happens. And that gives a time frame spanning between 30 to 150 years and current rate of inflation. But, the inflation could pick up speed at any time too.

Time will tell.

How would an eruption look like?

Here we are leaving science totally. I admit being on skimpy ground when guessing when Theistareykjarbunga could erupt, but here I am putting on my psychic hat full on.

The known eruption was effusive only, or almost effusive only. There could have been a bit of explosivity due to local hydrodynamic circumstances, but that would have been it. So if nothing has changed in the chemical composition in the magma-reservoir, hydrodynamics, or in the chemical composition of the new magma that has been entering the magma reservoir, then it should be a Hawaiian type of eruption with lava fountaining, probably a fissure eruption either on the flank of the shield volcano, or out into the southern fissure swarm (signs from the harmonic tremoring make the southern part a bigger risk), it would be ranging from the 5 cubic kilometer range and upwards.

Sadly we do not know the amount of gas that would be released during an eruption. We quite simply just do not know enough today to guess about that.

Is there a risk that the system has changed? Could it be explosive? Let us start with the hydrodynamics. I do not think that the amount of water in the system have increased a lot since the last eruption, my guess would actually be that it has decreased due to land uplift after de-glaciation, and a general drying out of that part of Iceland. On that reason I would say no. Could the chemical composition of the magma in the magma chamber have changed? Most likely. As time goes by magma changes chemically as it cools off and mixes with newly infused magma, and cools off again. Often this intermingling of evolved and unevolved magmas can produce magma types that can be fairly explosive. The magmas that was erupted before was low in Rare Earth Minerals, so they were not of the same hotspot origin as the Bardarbunga type that is massive in REM-content. And since the hotspot has not moved that much since the last eruption there is not much talking for it being another type of magma entering now, but this is just guess-work.

So yes, there is a very slight increase in risk that it will be a bit of explosive component during an eruption. But the average would be mainly effusive only. The scale of eruption though means that parts of the eruption probably would go as a VEI-2, or even a small VEI-3. Not much really if one count the scale of a likely eruption. But, the risk would be high gas content, and of course that so little is known about the volcano. Icelandic Met Office (IMO) will most likely keep an eye on things and expand the network around the volcano well in advance.

Edit: The end of Bob?

The end of Bob? Image gloriously liberated from Spanish authorities.

This could very well be the end of Bob as we learned to love her. The tremoring just went away earlier today. And the earthquake list for the last ten days also speak of diminshing pressure. It is still a bit to early to say that the eruption is over, but it looks like there is a possibility. If it is just a blockage of the conduit, we should during the coming days start to see a marked increase in earthquakes, both in number and intensity. If we do not see that it is probably over for this time. Sleep well little Bob.

Edit 2:

As noted, it might be to fast to bump of poor Bob. Gas emissions are keaping steady, or even showing a slight increase during the last hours. Still the big one to keep an eye on is the earthquake list. But as noted by some of the ever vigilant readers and writers on this blog, the tremoring on La Gomera did not lower when CHIE stoped showing tremoring. So, little Bob might still be able to surprise IGN.

http://www.gobiernodecanarias.org/cmayot/calidadaire/datosOnLineEstacion.do?ides=124

CARL

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-246X.2011.05176.x/abstract

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381 thoughts on “Theistareykjarbunga – Icelands slumbering Giant

  1. On the 29th there was an EQ 1.5 mag at 14.6 located beneath the island on the El Pinar side. So I’m looking at my little cave map, and it seems like this earthquake is close to the Roja cave and possibly left of the Don Justo cave. Kind of in that little triangle of caves But the main thing is that it is close to Mont Julan, which rises to 350 meters. That’s where historically a collapse occured. Do you think the magma is trying to move up into an old conduit under the island to come out at El Julan? I, of course, know absolutely nothing, and I am not an expert. I am just interested in Bob’s behavior. I thought maybe some of the graphs might have indicated rock falls. Maybe rock falls occurred in the caves and went unnoticed. But I would think that if any magma hit a cave, it would not be a slow event. Whatever is happening now, is slow.

    It is peculiar that there would be increased gas measurement while the magma has slowed down (and therefore the gas should have slowed, but didn’t).

    Is there a repository of the old tremor graphs at IGN?

  2. In case anyone wants to know, the seismograph of La Restinga is more “lively” than the CHIE. I do not know what it means but perhaps serves for something.

    • So a little perky Icelandic is not enough for resurrection?

      I am waiting for my personal favourite coming soon… Hekla 🙂

      • Having seen photos of the last fissure eruption there (at least I THINK it was there) then I would love to see it erupt, especially as it is too far from most places to harm anyone unless they are daft enough to climb it now.

        • It is the volcano of Conneisaurs… Not the biggest, but the technically most advanced volcano on the planet together with Etna.
          Much to speculate on there!

        • While you were down with the flu, and we were watching Bob, others were celebrating Christmas.

          Some do it Hawaiian style.

          HONOLULU — A Hawaii man was charged with four counts of assault after allegedly attacking a group of men with what is believed to be a cow’s thighbone, police on the Big Island said Wednesday.

          http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/hawaii-man-charged-with-assault-in-alleged-attack-of-4-men-with-cow-bone-on-christmas-eve/2011/12/28/gIQA47kfMP_story.html

        • I have a cane from south africa…
          It is the bone from a rhinocerous. Well, not exactly A bone from a rhinocerous, more like THE bone from a rhinocerous…
          It would be fun to thump someone deserving with that bone cane.
          Imagine the complaint to the police, Officer, he hit me with a large pen..!

        • This is not correct with Hekla. She is not far from populated areas.

          On the contrary: The south of Iceland between Hekla and the lake Thingvallavatn is one of the comparably dense populated areas. And if there would be a bigger eruption, e.g. an explosive one like in 1947, a lot more people than with Grímsvötn this year would be concerned by ashfall and possibly with connected health concerns. Also Hekla does often have a lot of Fluor in its ash which is a not very healthy neither for humans nor for animals – and this is also one of the most important areas in Iceland concerning food production…

          There are a lot of volcanoes less dangerous than Hekla.

        • Close enough, you hit the right thread. (I agree by the way)

          Hekla usually makes a rather nice mess… geologically speaking.

      • Eldfell, Grímsvötn, Katla, Eldfell, and Bárðarbunga…Is there no names easier for Icelandic volcanoes? None is named Bob, or Pancho? I only write any of those names I’ve spent an hour putting a comment.

        • Hello Una, I can’t sleep either, the little cat (Carl) has been singing songs for me for a couple of hours and now I’m looking for erupting volcanos to make me fall in sleep again…

  3. Hello Sissel, I just checked the webcams and noticed the very clear edge to the stain despite a fairly turbulent sea, Bob is far from dead yet, I think he is just resting a little as he has worked very hard the last couple of months. I just looked above at the video and thought, “Wow! What are those white things floating across the sea?” Reality, snow flakes falling from the top of the page. LOL

    • I had an uncle that was drafted in WWII. While at boot camp, he wrote home “the snow is so deep that a mule would have to jump to fart.”

    • Well it was snowing all night. sadly I am too old to properly understand cm, inches is far better for me. Thank goodness for computers and google, now I can convert 30cm to 11 inches. 😀
      Actually we had more on the South Coast of England here last December 15 inches in one day. Loved it, and yes, the buses stopped running after 1 inch came down. Understandable though, who would buy snow ploughs or winter tyres when such snowfall is likely to happen only a couple of times in a lifetime.

  4. Hi Carl – sorry to hear you have been ill. pH1N1 can be a very nasty critter, and it can come back for a second ‘bite’ as virus circulates for a long time in those affected badly and (like most influenza) there is a high level of predisposition for secondary infections… to mitigate that end, please try taking a soluble (very important) zinc supplement, twice a day on an empty stomach to a maximum of 2 x RDA 12 hours apart (i.e 1 x RDA every 12 hours). There is a considerable body of evidence that this will reduce your risks of developing a secondary infection, zinc is also intrinisic to a proper immune system function, as well as a more limited level of evidence that some immune system influenza anti-viral mechanisms are mediated by zinc and zinc sufficiency is critical as the human body does not store it (can provide more information/ reference lists if wished…). If I had knonw beforehand I could have sent you a product sample of something I have been trying to raise investment funding for after 80% mortality reduction in H5N1 mouse model trials… whatever pre-judegements people have about anything that could be considered to be ‘nautral’ in origin, it works.. if you are in London pm me and I will send you some. Wishing you a speedy recovery …

    • There are also plants producing anti-viral substances, withholding viruses from entering human cells (a virus can only replicate itself within cells of living hosts). Could be very useful (if you used it).

      • Sissel, I was reading about elderberry syrup. It seems very interesting. I did not know it had these propidades.

        • Now that’s an interesting word.

          “Elderberry”

          Why is it called that? Why “Elder?”

          Used by the “elders” in a group? Is it an “older”/larger version of a similar looking smaller plant?

    • “whatever pre-judegements people have about anything that could be considered to be ‘nautral’ in origin,”

      Belladonna is also natural…

      No, I don’t have a hang up about non-pharma treatments, just that you have to be careful. I wholly endorse non-pharma methods, and generics where appropriate.

      Each person has their own opinion on vaccines. Mine is that ever since I no longer get the mandated vaccination (it was military requirement) I no longer have an annual bought with flu. In the last 11 years, I have gotten sick with flu like symptoms twice.

      I know it’s not the Vitamin C, but I consume citrus in a regular basis and stay away from sugar-water beverages. (mainly due to weight issues, which I no longer have a problem with) But… Vitamin C is critical in the Krebs cycle. That is the portion of cellular metabolism that produces most of the energy that the cell uses. (the aerobic phase).

      My belief is that if your cells can easily ramp up activity to deal with problems as they arise, the less chance an infection has to be a successful invader. Vitamin C allows your cells to more quickly “speed up” rather than having to scrounge the materials from other parts of your body.

      • The first english description I ran into:

        http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-elderberry.html

        “Elderberries have been a folk remedy for centuries in North America, Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, hence the medicinal benefits of elderberries are being investigated and rediscovered. Elderberry is used for its antioxidant activity, to lower
        cholesterol, to improve vision, to boost the immune system, to improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsilitis. Bioflavonoids and other proteins in the juice destroy the ability of cold and flu viruses to infect a cell. People with the flu who took elderberry juice reported less severe symptoms and felt better much faster than those who did not. Elderberry juice was used to treat a flu epidemic in Panama in 1995”

        Still don’t know why it is called so.

        • Etymology of the word:
          http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=elder
          Something about its use:
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elderberry

          In my home country we make a syrup from the flowers and drink that in the summer, diluted with water and with lots of ice and lemon. Very refreshing. We dry flowers to use them for an infusion in the winter, with honey and lemon. We also dip the flowers in panckage dough and fry them – this is excellent served with a bit of sugar sprinkled on top.
          For some reason, berries are not as popular as flowers though…

        • Hi Ursula and all,
          i guess if you overdo it on the flowers, you don’t end up with many berries… 🙂
          The Italians make aa potent liqeur from (I think) the berries: Sambuca.
          Latin name for the Elder: Sambucas Nigra.
          It’s virtually a weed here in Southern Engalnd, we’re not very good at foraging so most of the good stuff goes to waste, those elderflower fritters sound good x

        • “Its scientific name is “Sambucus nigra” comes from the Greek “Sambuke” meaning flute music, because of its fresh branches are building a flute. In Italy it is called Array or Mirto, the Arabic ar-Rayhan or Rihan (“aromatic”), the English called “Elder” of the word “aeld” which means fan, referring to the branches served to stoke the fires of the houses”

        • @ Schteve about samucca liquor: it’s made from both elderberries and star anise (so taste is reminding of ouzo) and Italians burn it before drinking:

        • If I could make my dream come true, I would start an Elderberry farm. In spring I would harvest the half amount of the flowers for the delicious and healthy drink Ursula described (if you remove a part of the flowers, the remaining ones grow into larger berries).
          The other half I would let grow to berries to make syrup (and liquor!!) from, as a cure for cold and flu “patients”.

        • Sissel, that shouild be easy enough, here in Southern Engalnd they’ll grow in cracks in the pavement (if you let them).
          You’d also have a nice little sideline in flutes and fire blowers (which you’ll need for your still) and I guess you could burn the prunings to heat said still 🙂

      • Did you know that there is a legend relating the elder with the witches and sabbaths? They used to stoke the bonfire and to curse their enemies, including for death wish. 😯

        • Yes, there are many myths around the Elder, lots of magic, good and bad. It has been very popular for more than thousand years – but mainly because of its health benefits.

        • This may be because elder wood is quite stinky when it’s burnt and is best not used in fires – which may explain why you curse enemies when you burn it 😉 The flowers contain natural yeasts and are great for brewing 😀 The berries are poisonous eaten raw. I intend to have a good forage next year as there are loads where I live. Flowers are best picked in the morning (they smell worse as the day goes on)

      • No, I can’t believe the berries are poisonous when eaten raw. Maybe they will make you sick if you eat too may, I am not sure but then the taste (they are a little bitter without added sugar) should preclude that happening. I say they aren’t poisonous as when I was a child my brother was told by other children they were poisonous and to prove they weren’t he ate a handfull of the berries in front of them. I tried a few but found them a little unappetising so spat them out again. My brother is now 65 years of age and wasn’t sick after his experiment.

    • Jules, very many thanks for that information about the secondary infection from bad flu. I had it badly in late November and am STILL suffering the after effects. Constant cough and sinus and throat infections. I was wondering if it was unusual and if I should see a doctor. You have put my mind at rest. I will let nature take it’s course. Many thanks for the information!

      • You are welcome.. whilst I agree with all the comments about elderberry, it is an entirely different animal from zinc. Simply put, if you dont have enough zinc in your diet, your immune system wont function properly and becomes compromised (Th1/Th2 modulation and many other aspects too), and certain aspects of your immune responses dont function well = increased susceptibility to bacterial infections. This isnt the sort of thing that elderberry etc addresses, its more basic than that. Additionally, when ill your physiological requirements increase, as well as the fact that you eat less.. which is why I advocate taking it before anything else whilst ill as a starting point; (but not necessarily to the exclusion of anything else) until you are fully recovered.

        • By the way Lurking, entirely agree on Vitamin C – it only has a half life of 30mins, and when ill (in particular) you cant take too much 🙂

    • I sofar have not had any secondary infections. And feel pretty well, except being terribly sleepy. So I am eating myself across the Maroccan yearly output of mandarines… 🙂 Also a healthy schlogg of cognac seems to do the trick. At least it makes me sleep even more… 🙂

  5. Tremor at Eystri Skogar is picking up again:

    For those who missed this, it seems to be a localised source, since it does not show on any other stations near or around Myrdalsjokull. I don’t think we came up with any explanation for what this actually is, so any guesses welcome…

    • With the vast amount of volcanoes in Iceland, all controlled and monitored … and here we going crazy with just one … what a shame.

    • Imported Giant earthworms? UGH!!! Shudder. why did I think of such a thing? But you did say ANY gueses so that’s mine. 😉

        • No I couldn’t watch it, I have a phobia of worms. Shudders just thinking of them, I even dreamt last night that I was in hospital with a very strange disease caused by worms. Well a nightmare for me!I Serves me right for reading and writing on here when I have insomnia.

  6. We have a sort of fortune tellers in Iceland called Völva. There is one that is quite popular as she often happens to be right, so her prediction who comes between Christmas and new year every year is closely looked at by Icelanders.
    She has made her prediction for 2012, and it is so bad that she has apologized for it, as there is nothing positive to be found in it.
    The worst prediction she has ever made 🙂
    I have only seen a small part of it, look forward of seeing the rest.

        • Have been listening a bit into this prophesy now – “Völva” actually just is the Icelandic word for “fortuneteller” -, but the famost one of these in Iceland is Völvan Víkunnar (Víkan is a yellow press magazine) and it was repeated on Icelandic radio.

          She was talking a lot about Icelandic politics (changes of government and so in the next year), but also about something which could be interesting for us: She was predicting not only one, but some volcanic eruptions for the next year and mentioned Katla (a catastrophic one, of course), Hekla, Vatnajökull volcanoes, but also some eruptions in the sea, in the south in Faxaflói bay and in the north near Grímsey. http://visir.is/section/MEDIA98&fileid=VTV12D02E0D-CAB1-4761-922B-2217620E998E

          This is not really difficult to predict I’d say, because Icelandic volcanologues have been talking about around 8 central volcanoes which could be prepared to erupt in the near future (among them Hekla, Katla and Askja) and – as we saw now- the sea bottom is just like an adolescent with a lot of spots which may erupt with propper handling … 🙂

        • Katla, Hekla, Vatnajökull, sea, in the south in Faxaflói bay and in the north near Grímsey

          Umm… the odds of getting a “hit” with that many contenders is quite high.

        • Vikan just means “The Week”, A fortune teller is Spákona, Völva is a old name for something similar.

          She says there will be a very large eruption in Katla, then she says there will be “Hræringar” that will move Hekla and Vatnajökull, and also movement in Faxafloi bay, in the sea and in Grimsey.
          Hræringar can mean eruptions or movement, like quakes.
          She says the summer will be cold and wet, much worse than the last few summers.

          She has been wrong sometimes, at least about dates, but she has often been right also, Sometimes about things that are not so predictable.

        • The predictions of this special fortuneteller in this magazine are each year very much talk of the town in Iceland also in other Icelandic media like the radio etc.

        • I wouldn’t say that the Icelanders are “odd”. 😯
          First it is not possible to say something like that about a whole country’s population.
          Second, the elfes are just in a way a special part of Icelandic traditions and culture – and cultures are different.
          Third, not all of the Icelanders are believing in the existence of elves. 🙂

        • It is also believed that the elve tru was partially taken over from the Gaelic culture which the vikings encountered on their raids to the British isles. http://visindavefur.hi.is/svar.asp?id=2342

          “(…) margt í álfa- og huldufólkstrúnni ber fremur keim af gelískri þjóðtrú meðal Íra og Skota en því sem þekkist meðal Norðmanna.”(..) a lot of elements from the belief in elfes and the Hidden People has its sourcemore in the Gaelic popular belief of the Irish and Scottish tan in the Skandinavic culture.” (Gísli Sigurðsson, professor of Icelandic at the Árni Magnússon Institute)

        • Ok so I am only half awake, and started reading your comment about the elves thing being taken over to Iceland by the vikings. The trouble is my brain substituted the word garlic for gaelic. Sure laughed. That was a doh! moment.

  7. http://www.ign.es/ign/resources/volcanologia/html/eventosHierro.html
    Just been looking at this… the “outline” looks pretty similar for the last 3days, 10 days and for all EQs… Meaning that there’s ongoing activity in the “established” areas of activity; it’s not the first time that EQs have been mostly under El Pinar, but it’s been a while, there have been periods during the eruption when EQS have been mostly under El Golfo or mostly under Las Calmas…
    My question is, is this the magma “sloshing” around deep under El Hierro, or (given the shallower trend of recent EQs) might it be magma finding it’s way to the surface via the tubes and caves of El Hierro?

  8. I am a bit busy these days…..So not a lot to add to the comments.
    Talking of sink Holes…..
    My kitchen floor has sunk. It is like a crazy house in a fun fair!! It is due to the breakup of the in-fill in the foundations. The house was built over 100 years ago before building regulations. The insurance company says it is not subsidence as the walls are not cracked. 😦 So… 2012 will see the concrete floor being broken up and Husband infilling the gap beneath with more concrete. This is a common problem with old houses. I am dreading the onset of all this messy work in the spring.

  9. SatRep: Red Sea part 1 (2 parts so no chance of spam filter :o)
    28-12-2011 Eruption Cloud mixed with a normal cloud. (other islands also had some clouding that’s why i say mixture. could be totally volcanic)

    preview (1024 x 497)

    full size (right click save as.) (1897 x 920)

    • SatRep: Red Sea Part 2
      28-12-2011 Trails of magma bombs shooting away?

      preview (1024 x 493)

      full size (right click save as.)(1899 x 915)

      • also this video might be handy if you want to know where the new island is under the cloud. although its pretty dark because i didn’t use a tiff viewer. full screen and 1080p recommended.

    • Happy birthday, Joke Volta, from me, too. I especially love your beautiful photographs! Thank you for that and your good work. 🙂

  10. I am sorry it is a very bad video. I have been having trouble but I think it will be sorted soon.
    This is Bob at sunrise today. I am sure this is jacuzzi disturbance as the area of white water does not move and disintegrate as do the normal white topped waves. if it is agreed that this is Bob jacuzzi, then Bob is still awake>
    [video src="http://s186.photobucket.com/albums/x96/wildjinny/Volcanoes%20and%20Iceland/?action=view&current=Bob30thdec.mp4" /]

    • Many thanks for that Wagabond. It is interesting and I wonder if the cynobacteria and algae are similar to those found round the black smokers in the Mid Atlantic ridge (Mar). These micro organisms will multiply and provide food for animals as they return to the area once the water becomes suitable for habitation of higher life forms.

      These bacteria type organisms must have drifted from somewhere and my guess is that they do not flourish in normal Ocean water but small numbers of single cells must become detached from areas round other volcanic vents and are carried away on ocean currents. When they find another suitable habitat they then start to multiply prolifically. Of course as the Canary islands are actively volcanic then it is possible the bacteria and algae are peculiar to this area and are different those found in the MAR.
      I look forward to reading more about the results and identification.

      • Hi Diana,
        I agree, an very interesting article, there didn’t seem to be too much sensationalism/spin… IMHO reasonably faithful reporting of the professor’s experiment.
        I would query his suggestion that the enviroment around BoB is primeval, but I wouldn’t dismiss it…
        Thanks Wagabond for the link.

  11. Maybe this is just my way of thinking but I cannot get my head around that a machine that could potentially be the saviour of saving lives is still out of action and has been for a while. Why on earth have not the powers that be provided a new machine to El Hierro do they think that this is all a joke.
    Also can we really belive anything that CHIE is showing now if it is malfunctioning all thetime?
    Also why have at least three other machines on the other islands been down all at the same time aswell?
    It just seems so crazy and so not right when peoples lives are at risk?

    • /sarcasm on
      Well, you know, it’s holidays, everyone is on leave, so how can we expect that anyone should fix anything during the holidays? There’s more than enough time after the holidays for this kind of stuff…
      /sarcasm off

      Although, I do hope I am wrong… 🙂

      • Didn’t someone say recently that while the El Hierro staff were on holiday, monitoring would be done from Madrid?

        Hope they can get someone out to put in new equipment asap.

    • the yesterday part does not look right.
      There should be some red color down at the microseism region < 1 Hz even without eruption tremor.

  12. Are we saying then that at this time no Co2 levels are being monitored that deformation of the island is not being monitored and really the population of El Hierro have been left in the lap of the gods?

    • Exactly at least until the central banksters figure a way to fleece the island and leave every one living there destitute

  13. Judith.
    No need to worry.
    CHIE and most of the stations we have access to are dinosaur stations since 1988, Single component analog stations, the analog signal carried by telephone to Madrid ?
    Next generation are digital broadband stations by VSAT sattilite .
    The one in Hierro is CTIG

    In addition there are temporary 6 Digital stations on El hierro 3D 1Hz
    http://www.02.ign.es/ign/layoutIn/volcaDetalleTerremotos.do
    They are watching here picture from Joke
    https://picasaweb.google.com/110327184570944806725/ElHierroDecember282011?authuser=0&feat=directlink
    So they are watching closely. 🙂

  14. 2011/12/30 12:59:36.14 Depth 22.70 M 1.10 W FRONTERA.IHI

    2011/12/30 12:59:04.60 Depth 19.60 M 1.80 NW FRONTERA.IHI

    1119453 30/12/2011 13:01:32 16 1.1 W EL PINAR.IHI
    I copied this from the ER site, looks like 3 quakes in rapid succession.

  15. Pingback: FIUMI DI RAME E CIELI DI PLATINO | realtà o fantasia ?!

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