Hekla – General alert

Photographer: Robert Citron 1970, photograph taken right before the eruption. Courtesy Smithsonian Institution.

Hekla, a brief description

Hekla is probably Iceland’s most well know volcano. It is a fissure volcano, but during its history it has started more to resemble an elongated stratovolcano. It shares together with Grimsvötn the infamy of being the two most active volcanoes on Iceland.

Hekla is the least reliable volcano on the planet. It normally gives very little as a warning, during the last eruption the volcano started to have small quakes just a couple of hours before erupting. And those earthquakes were below the human threshold to notice. Even though there were a few small earthquakes a couple of hours before, it is more correct to say that the time from anything was noticeable until a column of ash started to form was 62 minutes. The same unpredictability goes for all recorded eruptions.

There have been reports that during the hours before an eruption there is a sulphuric smell to the northwest of the volcano, but I would not trust that as a definite sign. All it would take is a bit of wind and you would not notice it.

Hekla is the ashiest of Iceland’s volcanoes. Analysis of tephra finds in Scottish, Norwegian and Swedish peat bogs has lead to a calculation that two thirds of all ash in northern Europe comes from Hekla alone. This ashiness has helped researchers to narrow down when other volcanoes on Iceland has erupted. If you are looking at the Global Volcanism Program and see the word tephrochronology you can assume that it has been dated after comparing to the Hekla tephralayers. Hekla is normally producing andesitic basalts, not the normal tholeiitic basalts common to the other Icelandic rift volcanoes.

The tephras are normally very high in fluorine, and the eruptions emit large quantities of fluorine gas. This often causes large scale problems for the sheep industry since the grazing sheep gets severely affected or killed by acute fluoridosis.

Image: Icelandic Met Office. Harmonic tremoring following two small earthquakes west of Hekla.


Hekla has one of the world’s most complex innards. 27 different researchers using different methods have found 13 different magma chambers ranging from 14 kilometers depth all the way to the boundary where the volcano starts to jut up from the surrounding ground. It is probably this intricate maze of chambers, dykes, tubes and whatnots that makes the volcano so explosive and quick to erupt.

Image: Iceland Met Office. The harmonic tremor spike recorded during the onset of eruption.

Eruptive behavior

Hekla is normally running in eruptive cycles. The current cycle started in 1947 with a VEI-4 eruption that caused large scale impact and fatalities. From 1970 onwards it has erupted about every 10 years with the exception of the 1980 and 1981 twin eruption.

Hekla’s eruptions normally has two phases, first a highly explosive phase producing a high ash column, then often follows a lava phase where either the entire fissure opens up, or parts of the flanking fissures open up. The length of the fissure that opens is normally a sign of how large the output of lava will be. The size of the lava output can range from anything from 0.1 cubic kilometer to several cubic kilometers. Hekla can show any of all known eruptive behaviors ranging from lahars to pyroclastic flows. Lava bombs are common during the initial explosive phase, pumice is not uncommon. Pretty much nothing can be ruled out during an eruption.

An eruption normally starts with a few earthquakes ranging between 1.7 and 2.0M, and then a large borehole transient is registered as the fissure is pulled apart. Harmonic tremoring then skyrocket as magma is explosively pushed up. During the last eruption magma travelled 3500 meters in less than 15 minutes. In 2000 the time from the recorded 1.7M earthquake to formation of the ash column was 62 minutes. This makes Hekla into the most dangerous volcano on the planet to be on top of. If you are on top and feel even the slightest earthquake, or minute tremoring, then you are dead.

Image: Icelandic Met Office. The clearest image of them all regarding the 2000 eruption. Stunning timeline, notice the transient in regard to the earthquakes. Do you think you would survive if you had been ontop when it went off?

Signs of the upcoming eruption

In 2006 the inflation of Hekla passed the level of inflation from before the 2000 eruption. This prompted IMO to send out a first warning stating that Hekla would erupt during the next 2 years. The rate of inflation has since been constant, and it has been calculated that the amount of magma in the system is now twice as large as before the 2000 eruption. The inflation first happened directly under Hekla in at least 3 different magma chambers. Since 2007 inflation also has occurred in either a cryptodome or a laterally removed chamber under Isakot/Búrfell.

During 2010 Hekla started to show a new feature, when earthquakes happened directly to the west of the volcano it started to show contractive borehole strainmeter transients, the same as recorded during the opening phase of the 2000 eruption, but on a smaller scale. This has been interpreted as being a sign of the volcano having reached critical systemic pressure.

During late 2010 Hekla started to have small earthquakes. So far they have been rather small, but they have consistently been followed by transients. This is rather worrisome since Hekla up until now has been considered to be rather seismically inert. On the seventh of July a 2+M quake was recorded together with aftershocks. This was followed with a very large transient reaching up the 1/3 of the energy recorded during the 2000 eruption. This prompted IMO to release a public warning that Hekla was about to erupt. Hekla though quieted down after that.

Other signs that have been reported during the last two years are reports of sulphuric smell; this was reported last during the July seven event. Another sign is reports of wells drying up around the volcano. This so far has been temporary only. But it is regarded as a sign of hydrothermal changes in the Hekla system.

There has also been recorded harmonic tremoring and magmatic signatures in all of the earthquakes during the last year. The last recorded episode of harmonic tremoring was during the last 24 hours.

Photographer: Robert Citron, courtesy Smithsonian Institution. Stunning image from the 1970 strombolian eruption of Hekla.

What would happen if an eruption occurred now?

If an eruption starts it would most likely follow the same behavior as before. A couple of hours of very week earthquakes ranging up towards 1M, then followed by one or two earthquakes ranging between 1.7 and 2.3M, a very large transient, harmonic tremor skyrocketing, and then within the end of the first couple of hours a massive ash column would form.

The probable size would be a large VEI-3 up to a sturdy VEI-4. The amount of magma inflation gives a high probability for the entire fissure opening up, with a slight likelihood for a fissure opening up towards Isakot/ Búrfell. Due to the larger than normal accumulation of magma in the system it is not unlikely that the effusive phase would produce about 1 cubic kilometer of lava, together with 0,5 cubic kilometer of tephra. But this is guesswork, and the eruption could be either smaller or larger. This is to be seen as a statistical average based on inflation rates.

Image: Icelandic Met Office. This is how a transient looks like. This was actually not a real transient and it was reset in the next update, but it is the best image I have how a transient actually looks like when it starts.

When could an eruption occur?

An eruption should actually already have happened, so most likely from a statistical standpoint, and with the signs of an upcoming eruption vectored in, we are anything from an hour, to some weeks away from an eruption. One should though recognize that predicting volcanoes is an impossible task. Icelandic Met Office has the best volcanologists on the planet, and they are very open with information (thank you!). During the 2000 eruption they actually hit the eruption on the minute, but it is rumored that it was a combination of tremendous skill and pure luck that made it possible. On the other hand, the skilled are normally lucky. But then, both of their last predictions for Hekla did not work. Why? Because Hekla is one of the most complex and unpredictable volcanoes in the world. But, I would be surprised if we got into June without an eruption having occurred.

Image: Icelandic Met Office. The real transient from the eruption. Notice the pattern with Búrfell falling sharply with all the others going up. The tell tale sign of Hekla ripping open.


Sadly the Hekluvöktun is not fully operational right now, but it is still the best source of information. I though hope that IMO will fix the page soon. It is not good that the borehole strainmeter plots have been down for months. It is after all the best way to see that an eruption is starting. Currently we have a larger chance by watching the cams.




And a stark warning!

Do not, for any reason climb Hekla. If you do you are playing with your own life. I would also strongly suggest that you should stay at least 5 km away from the volcano. If you are within that distance you would probably not have time to get to safety. This is not a joke.



486 thoughts on “Hekla – General alert

  1. It is quite amazing this afternoon. It seems as though it is going to come out of the sea now. There has been smoke constantly for the last hour or more.
    I also wanted to share these pictures but I put them on a post where nobody is looking so I am going to put them here OK,
    Its nice to see how quickly nature is able to recover at times. Here is a photo of Jokulsarlon yesterday (A beautiful early sunset for your eyes to behold) and one of it from the month of may after the eruption of Grímsvötn.
    Jokulsarlon black

  2. on front page of local paper (Tenerife News english publication) it says that permission has recently been given to an australian company to search for crude oil 50 miles off the coast of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura -could they have started boring already! If this were true would this sort of activity have any effect on the graphs measuring seismic activity on the canary islands…

  3. I have been away from the computer for an hour then just checked the moviestar cam and i was just going to close the link when I saw a flare of flame! I am 100% convinced it was a smoking stone as it was there and gone but beyond any shadow of doubt a tongue of flame. I will now watch for a while and let you know if I see anymore. So excited as it was definitely flame, just a quick flare then gone.
    If you find it hard to connect just keep trying. sometimes it takes 4 or 5 tries.

    • Yep, just saw another very small flash. The first was larger and a definite flame, this was just a small white momentary glow.

      • Huh, I am gutted now, nothing more though I have watched the screen for 12 minutes until my eyes were sore and my arms ached from having my fingers hovering over control and print screen buttons. Perhaps it was a hot stone coming up at the same time as a bubble of gas and igniting it.

        • Ah, just saw another white flash so patience is most definitely needed! I just want to see another flame though, I had thought it was Bob getting glose to surfacing first then realised it must be gas igniting.

  4. Sorry should have said, the place to look is right in the middle of the screen and perhaps slightly right of the mid line.

    • Judith and other ‘watchers’, sorry to disappear so abruptly but hubby called me to watch a program about Natures Weirest Events. They proved the vast majority have plausible reasons but the reasons they gave for a few others didn’t seem a good enough explanation for me. Red winded blackbirds falling from the sky on New years eve last year and early in the New year this year. They said they showed sign of trauma and had ‘bumped into each other in flight at night’ more likely the trauma was caused by them hitting the ground when they fell from the sky!! Don’t worry i am not a doomsday prophet and I am sure there is a perfectly rational explanation, just not sure they got the right one.
      Back to flames on the sea, I think I must have been very lucky too see that flame and am more than ever convinced it must have been a lucky coincidence of a gas bubble and a flaming stone meeting.

      • I think the flaming/smoking stones are the bright white points of light but what I first saw was a definite flame. Seems it isn’t going to be repeated tonight sadly and I can no longer access the
        moviestar cam. 😦

        • Yes Newby, I have seen clear and large flames! Just extuinguished really quickly but it is worth to keep looking!

        • Thank you so much for that confirmation, I was almost, but only almost begining to wonder if I had imagined things.

        • Well at 22:10 I finally saw another flame dance on the sea. I have had a glass of red wine (purely medicinal 😉 ) so sadly my reactions weren’t quick enough to capture a screen shot. I am just pleased to be sure I am not seeing things. Night all, I have to be up early to take daughter for a health/employment assessment. 😦 Hard when I am retired to have to be getting up early when I don’t want to. Such is life! Night all.

  5. Well well, I finally get home after all the visiting and turn on the tv and turn to Discovery channel, only to catch a documentary on 2012, where everything goes wrong, i.e. all the “escalating cataclisms that could end the life on Earth in 2012”, first the Sun eclipses the centre of the Universe, then this same Sun hauls a deadly CME to the Earth (as if that doesn’t happen regularly, see spaceweather.com) that causes satellites to malfunction and blackouts in the electrical grids of entire continents. The the Earth’s magnetic poles will shift. Finally, a supervolcano will erupt in the US and causes pyroclastic flows to cities all over the US (ehm?) and, for the big finale, the Earth’s crust will spin on top of the astenoshpere and continents get crushed towards each other and in the middle of other crust plates the crust will try to stretch, which will cause giant fissures to open and spew magma.

    Discovery, seriously??? This is worse than Daily Mail!!

    • That was on here a new weeks ago…. it was funny!
      Natgeo is now airiing a documentary on the Hessdale lights in Norway and other light fenomena related to earhtquakes. How scientifically true is that?

        • Yes…I would have been worried too if I hadn’t learned about the reality here and on other places. It is hard to find reliable information online about these things, If you do not know where to look for yet.

          I hope there is someone here who knows more on these Hessdalen lights and on lights seen prior to major earthquakes. I am really curious if these are as real as the Discovery-end-of-the-world-documentary or not…

    • We get regular CMEs and the magnet poles are shifting all the time, albeit slowly.

      Even if Yellowstone or someother so called supervolcano erupted, it would not send pyroclastic flows over every US city (although some may be unfortunate enough to get volcanic fallout on a scale to be highly inconvenient).

      The crust is moving all the time and even the continents moved closer (we would need significant global cooling for this), it could not happen in the space of 12months.

      We are far more likely to have an economic global catastrophe than the doomsday prophesies from natural disasters.

      • And not even that is likely to happen since 2/3 of the global econonomy is booming.
        China, India, Southern America, Australia, Russia, Middle East, Africa and Scandinavia is pretty much freewheelin’ due to economy going well.
        It is just that the heavilly borrowed parts of Europe and North America is paying the price of having borrowed above their abillity to pay that is causing local problems. They should courtmartial their politicians, start paying taxes and shut up… Oh yeah, it is an economic law, a countrys abillity to spend is dependent on taxes coming in.

      • An eruption by Yellowstone would be almost all encompassing. The ashfall would almost be incomprehensible. Not saying anything doomsdayish here.

        • Yes, but it wouldn’t cause a pyroclastic flow in New York, would it? That’s the kind of stuff they were showing…

        • I am hoping I can talk here without offending anybody. I don’t think KarenZ will take offense. No, New York will not go down like that. But the ash in other areas would not be “highly inconvenient.” It would be crippling. There would be nothing for 600 miles around this volcano. I am not worried about this volcano erupting. It has bubbled along for a very long geological time period. But, if some says, “Gee, I hope Yellowstone never erupts again,” I can respect that, because it would be a humongous disaster.

        • Thing is that sooner or later we will have a VEI-High event.
          Yellowstone is though one the minor suspects really.

          As far as I know there is none of the “supervolcanos” that are showing signs of unrest. Well there is one that is inflating, but even when the “supervolcanos” erupt they normally do it in a rather boring VEI3 to VEI5 style. Or even smaller.

          Take Mt Fako for example. It is a “supervolcano”, or more to the point, the Volcano Field is one. It is suspected of being responsible for cracking apart Africa and South America. It has an eruption on average every 20 years. Normally very piddly VEI2s. Yes, over millions of years it has created a rather stupendous Stratovolcano. But it has for all those million of years not even managed to erupt hard enough to cause even a subsidized caldera.
          The only really exiting thing with Mt Fako is the elephants that pester the forrested sides of the volcano. Actually the most dangerous thing with the volcano is to be gallomphed by an elephant… “supervolcanoes” are actually rather boring… 🙂

          If you want to find something even larger than “supervolcanoes” you could always read up on a very rare phenomenon known as Trap-formation. They make Yellowstone look like grannie-pants. I only say Siberian-trap, Deccan-trap, And the still active Yemen-trap (the one sprouting islands). Traps are on a scale so ludicruously large that it is unfathomable.
          And… Not even one of those would be certain to bump us off. I am though surprised that there has not been a documentary about them. Murdervolcano will erupt for the next 10 MILLION years!!!

    • Well Ursula it certainly sounds funny, except as you say, very many people are going to be very worried that these thing are really likely to happen. My daughter has occasional bouts of paranoia caused by severe depression. If she saw something like that it could cause untold damage to her. So these sort of sensationalist programmes make me very angry.

      • Yes….I can fully understand that. Even my husband looked really troubled after seeing that documentary and it took me a lot of time to convince him that this all was not worth worrying about.
        The thing is, even if all these things are very unlikely to happen in our lifetimes, or to have major, major consequences, we all know that science is in the dark sometimes and that not everything can be forecasted and that there is a lot we do not know yet.
        So, you cannot say that these things will absolutely not happen, just that it is not very likely,. And that is not comforting enough for a lot of people.,

        • I agree and what bothers me most is that there was so much sensionalistic misrepresentation in this show. Take for example CMEs (coronal mass ejections) – the way they showed it is that in the solar maximum that is to start in 2012, there will happen exactly one huge CME that will eject material exactly towards the Earth and cripple the planet with its effects. OK, it is possible that it will happen. But maybe not in 2012. And what they omitted to say is that a CME is not something that happens only once, but continuously (like I said, follow the spaceweather.com and you’ll see there’s one of these every few days) and that the geomagnetic storms that are caused by solar wind from CMEs actually happen quite frequently and not just once in 2012… . An omission that makes this phenomenon sound very dangerous. Plus they arranged the clips with the astrophysicists that they interviewed on the topic so that it all came out as one huge doom prediction about solar wind-caused catastrophe in 2012, even though it’s something that happens all the time.

          Same thing with supervolcano and pyroclastic flows destroying US cities (I can’t get over that…). And other stuff (giant fissures in the middle of continental plates on 21 Dec 2012? Yeah, sure.)

          Meh, I am just so annoyed!! Best to stop watching TV at all!

        • Ursula,
          Didn’t they mention the supervolcano under the Laacher See in Germany which soon may bury South-Britain in ashes (source: Daily Mail)? How could they forget??

        • I will place here a link to a paper that disputes the La Palma tsunami theory. It basically describes the science of landslides. It specifically discusses the disputed tsunami paper, and although it is very dense it’s a good paper to read for a feel of overall consequences. Scientists disagree about things all the time. This is a paper that discusses the reasons WHY the authors dispute it. Basically, given enough displacement under the right circumstances, a megatsunami could occur. But not likely for the Canaries, according to this paper. A future landslide is highly likely, however. But of course, nobody knows nuttin about what will happen in the future. It’s all guesses. So, don’t waste your time worrying about it.


  6. Karen
    Thanks for the photo link.
    On one of the photos on of the rocks has a white line going round the circumference please could someone let me know what this is?

    • Don’t know without a chemical analysis, except that it looks like the white stuff in the restingolatas. I was more concerned about one that looked rhyolitic – but again we would need the chemical analysis to confirm & even if it was, it could be old debris rather than new lava.

  7. Is the one that looks more pinky the rhyolitic one and is this the more dangerous one because of the chance of explosions?

    • Finer grained lighter coloured stones. How dangerous it is depends on whether it is new stuff or whether it is old debris. Even if it is new stuff, it has emerged without major explosion. But it may not be rhyolitic.

  8. I am no expert at all but living on one of the Canary islands I think its amazing that similar rocks I see on the island from erruptions thousands of years ago I am actually seeing today being expelled from an errupting volcano near El Hierro.

    • judith, I was just thinking the same… these new expelled rocks look very similar to what we can see every day from the old erruputions that happened before our time

  9. Debbie
    Just a thought is this not a bit frightening though aswell because look at all the volcanoes on each island could this mean we are heading towards the unknown?

    • Nope, it points to that we are into what should be known allready 🙂
      If IGN had done its job that is…. 🙄

  10. i think that we are all looking at the unknown for the future, but life has to carry on as best as it can, when I first moved to Tenerife 24 years ago I joked with my husband that we needed to buy a helicopter and build a helipad just in case El Teide ever decided to errupt, but the reality is I feel there is more chance of me getting killed in a car crash, or blown up by terrorists, or run over by a bus than Teide or any of the other volcanos in the Canaries getting me..

  11. If we are in what should be known already should we then have nearly a whole day with smoking lava stones.
    If only a percentage of them are being seen on the surface what is actually happening underneath what we cant see .
    Is this not worrying?

    • maybe I am naieve, but I do have faith that the situation it is being closely monitored as best as it can be by the experts and the authorities and maybe they are not sharing the information as well as they could be, but i feel that if there is any real danger from this current situation in El Hierro, they will resond adequately…after reading comments on various sites over the past months, I think that it seems to be the general consenus that absolutely noone can be sure what will happen but in the meantime people have to get on with their lives.. the tourism sector and the fishermen etc in El Hierro are suffering greatly economically and probably emotionally, but they still have to put food on the table to feed their families….

    • There is nothing happening below that has not been happening for months really.
      It is just that it is getting closer to the surface, so there is starting to have steamflashes. Perhaps combined with gases being ignited by restingolitas. This will probably increase during the next weeks if Bob keaps going.
      It is not a big threat to the population.
      I would like to repeat, as long as Bob is going functioning as a safety valve it is good news for the population. Even if she surfaces they will be safe. Only those living in La Restinga would have to move for a while out of the not so big change of lavabombs falling down. Nothing more will happen.

      • Thanks for that Carl, whilst I am really facinated by what is happening and almost sometimes am willing for something spectacular to happen, I would rather that the people of El Heirro knew that they were safe (well as safe as they could be) in what I am fast beginning to understand is a very unpredictable world of volcanos

  12. Don’t forget all, the Quadrantid meteor shower could be visible tonight – if you can see the sky. We’ve a h.ll of a gale and rain now!!

    • Judith, actually I was not being 100% truthful, it is actually a bit nippy here at home tonight and I have got my socks on with my nice fluffy slippers that my daughter bought me for Christmas.. but in general, day to day I don´t wear them.. I cannot imagine walking bare footed on my cold tiled floor this evening…

  13. Since this is the day to rant about things…

    Bear Grylls!
    Who ever let the idiot open his mouth?
    He just claimed that you if you breath in air at -40 your lungs will crystallize and you will start to cough blood… Odd, it did not happen to me when I spent a night at minus 52 degrees. And it did not happen in northern Canada at -58 either. Oh, and I am talking Celcius here. But I can confirm that at -58 it is A) hard to find the whinklepiece of the male anatomy, and B) it freezes before hitting the ground, and C) it feels like whizzing liquid fire…
    Please Discovery Channel, fire the idiot!

    • 🙂 🙂 🙂 That is why all the arctic and antarctic explorers died coughing blood I assume. OH NO THEY DIDN’T!!!!!!

    • Bear Grylls quote of the day…
      “The best food to survive in Siberia is an eyeball”, said in the place of the world where there is so much wildlife that you could just club it. No, I am not joking, reindeers are so stupid that you can walk up to one and beat it to death, and the rest of the heard wont even move…
      Bear Grylls, Sage of the Idiot Tribe

    • I once heard Harry Connick, Jr. say that he was somewhere so cold that his whinklepiece looked like a stack of buttons. Funny what sticks in your mind…

    • Can you give us the link. (( I tried to capture the flames too but i was always too slow. All i managed was the end of one flame and that looks like one white dot in an anotherwise completely black picture… not spectacular at all

    • Here is the flaming Restingolita: (hands trembling a little during typing because of excitement):

      The flame appears after 12 seconds on the right side of the picture. Thereafter, a weak flame at 0:50 and a little less weak at 1:19.
      Is’nt it fun!!

      • I saw the one at 12 seconds, but the others I couldn’t see…
        But the one at 12 was really nice 🙂

      • Sissel, could you do a mini-post with this video?
        Just the video, and the seconds the flames show, and roughly where on the screen?

        I think the flaming farts of Bob merrit it!
        Good catch!

        • Nope, this has been classified as Bob. It is in the middle of the Stain of Bob from the eruption cam from Ustream. I do not think a ship will park ontop of Bob in the middle of the night to shoot with a flamethrower.
          It was also seen during the late afternoon.
          But it took untill Sissel attacked it before we got video of it 🙂

        • I should also say that it has been seen by several of our less excitable commenters in here during the day, but they could not catch it happening on photos.

          So a real biggie up for Sissel who cought the best in action!

      • I am afraid I am a little disappointed as the two I saw were a lot bigger and a red flame. Not to denigrate what Sissel got though by any means because she did what i couldn’t and that is capture a picture!!!! Thank you very much Sissel for that as it proves I wasn’t imagining things. I can promise you though, they can be a lot bigger and a lot brighter. I have seen quite a few of the ones Sissel captured but only two of the big flames. I think it things continue as they are there will be a lot more of the larger flames to be seen in the days to come. I agree with Sissel, it is getting exciting now. Bob MUST be getting much closer to the surface by now.

        • I can understand you, but here we have it on vid, so it is proof of what you saw.
          Now we just have to wait for a large one getting caught. And I think there will be more of them soon.
          Now Bob is finally starting to be exiting 🙂

        • Oh dear, I am really sorry Sissal, when I re-read my post I have made it sound bad about your video and I really didn’t mean that at all, just that I was hoping you had got the best one I saw which wasn’t likely to happen at all. I am so pleased you know how to capture a video as I wouldn’t have had a clue! I couldn’t even get a single screen shot. I think in a few days or even a week you may be getting some really superb shots of Bob at night,. I think this is the first real video I have seen of confirmed activity from the eruption site at night, so very well done indeed. A first!!!

  14. Bear Grylls on eyeballs again…
    “An eyeball contains more protein than a steak”
    No it does not, it is the part of the body containing least protein except areas of pure fat…

    • After watching Sissels video I am in a good mood again. So I will watch some Star Trek DS9 instead 🙂

  15. Boris on Eruptions – Etna ramping up. Not much visibility! Don’t know which is worse – looking at inky blackness or thick moonlit cloud in the hopes of some flame!

  16. Hi everyone, one of these days I must intrduce myself formally. I am a follower of this blog and jons and the AVCAN. etc I just wanted to share my video of the flaming piroclastos this evening at el Hierro. It really went into high action this afternoon and when the sun went down I saw a huge flaming stone with smoke. As I continued to watch I recorded a video which has 2 explosions.. Here is the link. http://flic.kr/p/b7tmDi

    Lori from Spain

    • Hello Lori!

      This goes for Ursula also. Is there any way we could get this video to and put it into the post that Sissel is preparing?
      Vid two vids it is kind of a slam dunk.

      Beautifull vid you captured, is it okay if we publish it?

      • Hi Lori and welcome.

        @ Carl: you could include the flickr link Lori listed to Sissel’s post, but because it’s a flickr and not youtube link, I don’t know if wordpress will recognise it as a video. It may just post a link…

        • I think it will, but could she send the original somehow to us?
          And we post it that way?
          Like giving her the email to the page?
          You decide, I am the living codiot you know 🙂

          Would it be possible for you to post it at YouTube too? Then we could add it to the other video in the post?

        • Carl, I’ll email you the embed code that I grabbed from flickr, try putting that into the post and it should come up as a video (I think).

      • Yes of course! I’m flattered. I managed to download it from YouTube and played it on the VLC player. But it is rather big, because of the lenght, 13,6 Mb.

        • Fantastic, now two vids of this exciting event, I wonder if this is the first blog to spot them?
          I had been going to go to bed earl but now wont sleep for ages.

  17. This time it really seems to be bob and not a tanker 55 kilometers away!!!
    Thanks to all the people who uploaded those videos, I have been following in volcanoes for only 2 years and mainly from the Canary Islands and I thought I would have to wait like 30 years (or more) to see my first eruption in the Canaries. Looks like mother nature made me a favor XD.

    • This goes too fast, the flame is not visible anymore.
      NB the video already is on YouTube, this is the link:
      You only have to add http in the beginning! (if I add it here you see the video again).

  18. Might the flame be methane, from sedimentary layer, igniting?. Most volcanos dont have that possibility.

    • There could be that, but I am not sure. I could also be the famous roosters that have started to show up.
      I guess that time will tell 🙂

    • As mentioned… it goes too fast. As best I can see there are two flare events.

      Using VLC, I stepped through the frames at a zoomed in point. The zoom frame is in the same spot for both step sequences.

      First flare. Frame by Frame

      Second flare. Frame by Frame

  19. I must also mention that there is a man “Julio” on AVCAN who is going to leave his recorder on all night and then do a timelapse for tomorrow. He also just said that he is going to edit right now a short one.

  20. By the way, I just got info on which volcanoes are on the heightened alert level on IMO.
    This is the definite ones on alert for today. The list does not contain Hekla, which is on permanent watch by the duty officer.
    Grimsvötn, Katla & Askja are on alert.
    These are the only volcanoes on any kind of alert on Iceland by the IMO.

  21. He also wrote “Joke Volta, una persona que vive en El Hierro y ha ido a comprobarlo in situ dice que si, que son piroclastos y que al volcán se le ve muy vivo.” Joke Volta, a person who lives on El Hierro has gone to check out the place and says that yes they are piroclastos and that the volcano is very alive.

  22. Finally something that helps against coughing… Homemade Black Current liquoeur… 🙂
    Cut the coughing right out…

  23. Time for bed for me now (although I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep with the horrible winds howling around the house – we’re having a huge storm tonight, apparently there were hurricane force winds measured earlier this evening…). Nighty night all!

    • Ursula, I thought the storm wasn’t too bad down here the other night but tonight I took a walk to the shop a few roads away from me and was aghast to see that the whotle gable end of a house had blown down into the front garden. As we have another storm through tonight I will take a stroll along tomorrow to see if any more damage has been done. I hope they had kept their house insurance up to date! A few trees down in the park but not a lot of major damage here. Worse up north I think.
      As for Carl sitting watching the snow fall,…. Oh I am SO very jealous!!!

      • You would not be, it is turning into slush the second it hits the ground.
        Imagine between 1 and 5 decimeters of standing ice slush and you have it. It is plain horrible… Yuck!

  24. And me here with clear skies the moon Jupiter and now Mars is just rising in Leo but cold too well not like in Canada where I’m from originally. But I’m near the ocean in Lepe so it is very humid which makes it worse. Soon I’ll make it to bed too, but this volcano has me stuck here.

  25. I would just like to say there is nothing going on at Hekla at the moment. No warnings have been issued, the measurement at Saurbær is a malfunction. I’m not saying she won’t erupt as soon as I hit “post Comment”, I’m just saying there is nothing happening there at the moment. We may have to wait another 100 years for her to say hello. Then again, It might be tomorrow. Of course you are right Carl, I would never clime that beast……. again 😉

  26. Congratulations on the flare videos all!
    I’d go along with Peter C’s idea of gas distillate emission from the Jurassic sediments
    a) one of the flock mentioned yesterday some company ware starting oil exploration ‘nearby’ so there must be some suggestion of a hydrocarbon source formation somewhere in the Jurassic – thinking now of the Kimmeridgian in the UK as thje source of the Wytch Farm oil in the Triassic sandstones and the Bridport sands
    b) there are many examples in the Scottish coalfields of natural coke being extracted where dykes and sills cut thruogh coal seams and natural occurrences of burnt de-carbonised Carboniferous oil shales
    To me it seems probable that the magma has distilled hydrocarbons fron the source formation and the gasses are reaching the surface and igniting either via the vents or fractures

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