Hamarinn Volcano – Burns Night

Image by Global Volcanism Program. Stunning view of the enormous craters of Hamarinn.

Hamarinn Volcano might hold the title as Icelands most over rated volcano. Why do I say that? Well, basically we are talking about the magic volcano that almost never have erupted. Actually, it probably never even erupted in 1910, but I will come back to that only known real eruption.

At best Hamarinn had a small eruption back in 1910, a weak VEI-2. But regarding the location it could equally well have been a Gjálp eruption, or a flanking fissure eruption of Bardarbunga, or for that matter Grimsvötn. Otherwise no real eruption since deglaciation. The location was set well after, and the opening was rather in between Lokis east Cauldron and the adjacent fissures of Grimsvötn and Bardabunga.

Technically Hamarinn is counted as a part of the Bardarbunga system. It is believed that Hamarinn is involved in the veidivötn eruptions. There is also a theory that it works as some sort of of connective reservoir between Bardarbunga and Grimsvötn. And judging from the imagery plotted by Lurking during the run up to Grimsvötn 2011 there might be a connection between Hamarinn and Grimsvötn. Actually there is more evidence of that connection than Hamarinn to Bardarbunga. Be that as it may.

Due to Hamarinn probably not having erupted since de glaciation the top over Hamarinn has probably solidified to much for any eruption being possible without something extraordinary happening. In a way it has become an inverted cryptodome, instead of being magma on the way up forming a new magma chamber, this is an encapsulated old chamber.

Through the volcano runs the most famous of Icelands volcanic fissure swarms, the Veidivötn, responsible for one of the two largest eruptions in Iceland since deglaciation.

So far so good, but why do I get annoyed with Hamarinn as a volcano, eruptions or not? Because now and then hydrothermal activity causes a Jökulhlaup associated with Hamarinn. And all of those get into the Global Volcanism Eruption list of eruptions. Sofar there are eleven eruptions listed that has never broken the ice, only caused a jökulhlaup, and rather small ones to boot. And yes… The harmonic tremor spikes during the Jökulhlaup. Well, duh, Jökulhlaup cause that all of their own. And to be honest, to give those small swings the eruption would have to be VEIminus1.

Nowadays we read reports of Hamarinn erupting every other month. It is silly, we are talking about a volcano that has not provenly erupted since well before the last woolly mammoth died out. Thankfully the two new SIL-stations will put an end to this nonsense.

Jökulheimar and Dyngjufjöll has proved that the last tremoring was indeed Bardarbungas fissure swarms responsible for, and that it was in the northern swarm. Still we get reports blaming Hamarinn for it.

And one other thing that ticks me about Hamarinn. Loki-Fögrufjöll? Isn’t that a too pompously grandiose second name for a glorified inverted cryptodome?

Burns Night

Just taste how volcanically correct a name Robert Burns is. On demand I am shamelessly going to plug that it is Burns night tonight. You are supposed to drink copious amounts of whiskey, chop up enormous haggis’s with swords and listen to bagpipes. To me and any snake that is far better then painting myself green and drink beer on St Patricks Day. Since I like snakes, after all they save far more lives than they take due to killing rats. I am rather against St Patrick the Snakewhacker.

So for all snakes and poets out there. Sing Auld Lang Syne, drink up and listen to your neighbour strangling the pipes.


1,302 thoughts on “Hamarinn Volcano – Burns Night

  1. Even the earthquakes in mainland Spain getting bigger.

    emsc tells 4.4 in spain

    2012-01-31 14:36:42.3 39.11 N 2.55 W 10 A SPAIN LDG
    2012-01-31 14:36:22.4 37.78 N 3.13 W 4 mb 4.5 M SPAIN MAD
    2012-01-31 14:36:20.3 37.57 N 3.18 W 5 ML 4.4 M SPAIN NEIR
    2012-01-31 14:36:07.3 37.77 N 3.11 W 6 ML 2.9 M SPAIN MAD
    2012-01-31 14:36:06.8 37.82 N 3.14 W 10 ML 4.4 A SPAIN MAD
    2012-01-31 14:36:05.7 37.79 N 3.13 W 5 ML 4.4 M+ SPAIN INFO
    2012-01-31 14:36:00.0 Moment tensors A SPAIN MT
    2012-01-31 14:35:53.0 37.30 N 1.88 W 12 ML 4.7 A. SPAIN IMP

    • Interesting indeed.
      Looks like a cryptodome that have been sandblasted so much that it has surfaced from the limestone that covered it.

      • And I thought this would be the landing structure of the 2012-aliens when they finally come to get us?! 😯 mrgreen 😉

    • Thank you, thank you very much indeed Carlos for presenting this one to us.
      It is very intriguing in so many ways.

        • No, it is most likely stonedead. Pardon the pun.

          In reallity it is of course the spot where Elvis will be reincarnated for the start of his farwell-tour of 2021.

    • Yes, but it is not so strange, there was really bad weather when that happened. The interesting part is the run up to the glitches. Krafla is on the move I think.

  2. Well its so interesting for me to read all your comments and must admit the hairs on my arms keep peaking when I read more and more about recent earthquakes and how stronger and more frequent they are happening especially in Europe.

    I know you are going to say they happen everday but to me there is a pattern here I have no idea what it means it just looks to me that each one is having an effect on the other and its as if something has triggered them and awoke them all after thousands of years.

    I know I am 250 km away from El Hierro but its always in the back of my mind what if Tansganosa blows what actually will this mean the line of earthquakes is quite unsettling how they are splitting the island in half.

    Every day for work I drive past the Volcano Red Mountain on the edge of the sand dunes in Corralejo and must admit I look at it more closley now looking for any signs of movement thinking how magma still could be moving under there.

    Anyway thanks to you all for keeping me sane lets see what tomorrow will bring.

    • Believe me, there is a pattern to it.
      It is a pattern that has been ongoing for the last 25 million years. It is quite simply tectonic forces pushing Africa into Europe, and the spreading of the MAR squeezing Europe against Asia.
      Nothing mysterious, and absolutly nothing new in that. And the quakes come and goes in small swarms, and those might look like a quazi-pattern. Only way to track changes is over a long time.

    • Have you looked at the pics from the helicoper this morning? I think they are much better than the video. Carlos posted the website @ 18:15

    • Uhm… Did you check the amplitude of those quakes?
      I would not get worried about a -0.3 quake really. What make me lift my eyes i when we start to have hundreds of them a day above 2.0, with several between 3 and 5. Then I would get nervous about having to fry my hat.
      And… there are as many microseismics in Hekla as there is in Katla. And Hekla are not supposed to have them.

      Regarding the hat, I think I will fry one just for the hell of it 😉

      • Also, it was just 10 of them in the region and 3 of these around Torfajökull (a very different system), peanuts, I’d say! 🙂

    • Oh, and those this mean that you are taking me up on my bet?
      If so, see you up on Búrfell for a brew and a hat 🙂

      • Yes, smallish, no worry? Look at depts of some of them in latest swarm and some today. That is interesting when we are supposed to have “quiet season”.
        re those Micros.. in Hekla. I have no access to seeing them, so can not take your bet, have “no numbers” to bet on (and do not own a Hat) only Húfa. But probably will watch close-by or even attend. Depends.

        • That one went to fast…

          The depth is at 1.1 which is the default depth. Most likely this is ice fracturing.

          It would be more fun if you attended. I guess a húfa could be BBQed too 😉

  3. Did anyone notice on one of the photos from the link Carlos posted from today the one that had the SLS in a straight line this was identical to the photo Dr Elena circled of the mouths and line of fissure from one mouth to another.
    You can actually see the mouths quite clearly with a circle shape in a darker colour.

  4. @ Newby I just saw your posted video of the Xploderz. Does this leave “stuff” on you clothes if you are hit with it? Kids toys make good crazy people toys. Could be fun at a beer party 🙂

    • Sorry Bobbi, i don’t have an answer to that question. my kids are grown up and i think this is a fairly new toy. You could put “wear old clothes”, on the invitation. 🙂

  5. Judith, there is someone who wants me to forward a book-link to you regarding a book you where interested in. Is it okay if I do that? I do not know your mail-preferences really.

  6. Speaking of Xploderz …. is this thread gonna blow? It has 1280 posts!

    Carl! Check the Volcanocafe’s seismograph stat! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s