Santorinis possible eruption

Beautifull sunset over Nea Kamen

Those of you who are an avid reader of Erik Klemettis fine blog have probably already read his heads up on Santorinis increased activity posted earlier today. For those that have not yet read it I seriously suggest that you do that.

After reading up on the paper that he is citing I felt that I should write a post myself on it since many come here on the look for news about Santorini. For those that want a longer article with background on Santorini I recommend reading my own last post on Santorini.

Current activity

Image by Newman et ál.

In January 2011 a series of Earthquake episodes, harmonic tremoring episodes and a centered uplift due to magmatic inflation started. Over the last year the inflation rate has been 180 millimeters and continues to climb.

The rapid uplift is caused by a generally small magmatic infiltration, 0.014 cubic kilometer of magma, which is taking place in a small magmatic chamber. We can easily deduce that the chamber is small from the large uplift that affects a small area. It is clearly visible on the animated image below that the uplift is highly centered on a sub-aquatic spot to the north of the caldera.

How would an eruption be?

A hypothetical image of how the magma chamber could look like under Nea Kameni. Please do note that the current inflation is not taking place directly under Nea Kameni.

First let me say that Santorini is one of the most spectacular volcanoes on the planet, but not in how it will erupt. What currently makes the volcano spectacular is how breathtakingly beautiful it is. An eruption will be small, around a VEI-2 to an absolute maximum of VEI-3.

The reason for it not being able to explode like at the Thera eruption is that the magma chamber responsible for that cataclysmic event was destroyed as it happened. And the magma chamber is still slowly being rebuilt. Normally the cataclysmic eruptions take a hundred thousand years to be prepared. The preparation occurs through long series of eruptions that build up the magma chamber until it explosively collapses as it grows too big. And as we know the magma chamber is now rather piddly.

There are basically two ways that an eruption can happen, the most likely is that there will be an eruption at Nea Kameni Volcano Island inside the bay of Santorini. This would produce a moderately explosive eruption that will end with lava being extruded enlarging the small island slightly. The second and less likely style is that we get an underwater hydro magmatic explosive eruption. This would be rather messy, and could severely hinder the evacuation.

Visiting Santorini

There is currently no reason not to visit the island. An upcoming eruption would be heralded by a series of large earthquakes giving time enough to leave the island. Worst case scenario is that you would watch a volcanic eruption that is mainly harmless, and get a bit of excitement as you are evacuated from the island.

If you are a true volcanoholic and want to observe the eruption on site I would suggest bringing your own particle filter masks. Do not expect to find any of them on the island. Also a hard hat and safety goggles would be advisable. Stock up on water, the supply on the island is very limited. And try to stay on the windward side of the eruption to avoid breathing in possibly toxic gases.

For those who want to go I would suggest going together with Tom Pfeiffer over on Volcano Discovery. Then you would both be safer, and have a cunning guide.

When will it happen?

No volcanologist would ever make a bet on it. But if the current inflation rate continues something will give sooner or later. An eruption could come within a year, but it could also wait a few years. The longer the inflation goes on before an eruption starts, the larger it will be.


232 thoughts on “Santorinis possible eruption

  1. To paraphrase the Icelandic Prime minister from what he said after the bank crash and during Eyjafjallajökull.
    “Greece has gotten good at exporting their disasters”. 🙂

    • Carl, there was a paper to say that at one time in its history, it had gone from nothing to something in a relatively short space of time (in geologic terms). That had surprised a few scientists. Just because it did once (?) does not mean at all that it will do it again but it is interesting. I need to go back and see if I can find the link.

      Does anyone else have it?

      • My comment about a paper on Santorini (under Carl’s first comment) has come out completely garbled – please someone at Volcano cafe, sort it out or kindly delete it. Weird – how did that happen?!

        Many thanks!

      • @ All

        Please see Michi’s post below dated 22 March 20.17

        Amazingly, Michi has very kindly looked for, and found, the link to the original paper and summarized the bit I was referring to. I wasn’t dreaming!

        Please scroll down for that summary and click away on that link for an extract of the paper.

  2. Ok new slate I have missed everyone on here and did not want to go away .

    Carl or anyone please let me know if I am still posting wrong and I promise I will try to keep within your guidelines I am sure you will let me know if I go wrong again.

  3. Remember Clintonville and the mysterious hollow booming?

    Well I stumbled upon a site that seems to use some sort of algorithms to judge the statistical risk of anything dangerous happening in an area. Statistics may be wrong now and then, but it is normally withing “the ballpark”.
    According to the site there has never been any significant earthquakes in the area. And of course no volcanic eruptions.
    They state the risk for an earthquake at 0.01 for a 3.5M quake. And a 0 for an eruption. But where it get interesting is when comparing with significant weather impact. Then the risk is all of a sudden 131.74 on their scale. Kind of put the risks into perspective.

    So, not a fat chance of Clintonville going down the drain from an earthquake, but a torrential flooding or twister is a possibility.

    • updated newz
      CLINTONVILLE, Wis. (AP) — The eastern Wisconsin community where intermittent booming has kept some residents up at night will hire an engineering firm to explore the cause of the racket.

      Clintonville administrator Lisa Kuss said Thursday the engineering firm will install four ground seismology monitors around the city to determine whether there’s an epicenter to the noises that seem to be underground. Ruekert & Mielke, of Waukesha, will analyze the data once engineers get a good reading. Kuss says it’s not known how long that will take. She says the city will spend up to $7,000 on the effort.
      read more here

      • I’ve read several articles on these booms from various news agencies, so I can’t remember which one this refers to, but someone offered an explanation that goes something like this. There has been little snow this year, so the water table is lower and the rocks could be cracking or settling due to loss of water lubrication. For all of you “rock” people, does this sound feasible?

        • Yepp, I wrote about it in the last post.
          It is a process called blocking and can occur wherever you get an open cavity underground.
          I still though would think it is a abandoned mine that is blocking up.

          Anyhoo, blocking normally causes a sinkhole opening up. So they should probably check.
          Geo-radar would have been better than a seismo though.

          • There are parts of the area where I live that requires mine insurance when you buy a house due to miles and miles of old underground coal mines. Thankfully, I do not live on top of one.

          • Similar noises are now occurring 80miles away in a place called Montello, and mining or engineering works and other immediately obvious potential causes have been ruled out, including military ops.

            However, listening to a recording of these noises they differ in 2 ways from other instances that appear to have occurred around the globe in the last couple of years (reports date back to 2009 but with most reports appearing from late 2011 onwards), in that in the Clintonville and Montello cases the noises are said to eminate from underground. Elsewhere they have been described as appearing to be coming from above ground; and the noises sound (to me) a bit like planetary hum as recorded by NASA for Saturn and Jupiter, which suggests that maybe the EM theory could be right, but I would still place bets on this being some kind of earth bound geological phenomenom. Cant wait for the seismic and other reports!

          • I did some research (google) and couldn’t find any mines or caves in this area. There are a couple of granite quarries, but they are not underground. Don’t know if any blasting has been done recently. Sure is intriguing.

  4. Carl, nice heads-up! One thing though:

    “Normally the cataclysmic eruptions take a hundred thousand years to be prepared.”

    In general, you are correct but I do refer you to New Zealand’s Taupo/Okataina complex. Between 280 – 240 thousand years ago, there were no less than one VEI 8 and three VEI 7 eruptions of which two seem to have occured simultaneously. Over the past 50 thosand years, the same area has sported one VEI 8 and two VEI 7 eruptions. Now, Thera (from which the words terrible and terawatt are derived) is not Taupo and most likely there will not be another very large eruption for at least several tens of thousands of years, but there have been in the not so distant geologic past same as with Krakatoa which suggests a substantially shorter interval than a hundred thousand years.

    • Yes, there is always a pesky little exception out there. So, I just talked about Thera this time. One should always remember that the time between the cataclysmic eruptions are depending on the actual volcanic record. And any timespan given might be wrong for every cycle. That is why one should look at the actual chamber size at the moment given.

      • As Dr Shanaka da Silva said in his Q&A over at Eruptions a few weeks ago:

        A model that Patricia Gregg here at OSU is developing also shows that this incubation rate is important in keeping the rocks around the magma chamber warm thus allowing chambers to expland without breaking the rocks. So in both large and small systems formation of a viable batch of magma is critical and this is controlled by the rate of heat input (which is through magma delivery).

        Thus the critical element is not the current size of the magma chamber but the rate at which energy accretion occurs. A large magma chamber with a small rate of accretion will need a longer build-up period than a currently small chamber with a great rate of accretion. If we make the following assumptions:

        a) The volume displaced by the observed uplift over the past year corresponds to 0.014 cu km of eruptible magma
        b) 0.014 cu km magma is also the figure for the current and sustained rate at which energy a.k.a. magma is added to the system
        c) The figure given includes magma remelted and remobilised from the layer marked “Thermo-metamorphic Volcanic Rocks” in the above cross section (surrounding “Magma Chambers”)

        then we can make the following deductions:

        * At present, there is enough eruptible magma for no more than a VEI 3 eruption
        * At the current rate of accretion and provided there is no eruption, it would take another ten years of accretion before a VEI 4 was possible, a hundred years before there could be a VEI 5, a thousand to attain VEI 6 and on the order of ten thousand years before another “Minoan” eruption was possible.
        * Since the uplift is localised, the body of magma responsible must be shallow, therefore the likelihood of an eruption within the next year or years is high, thus the next eruption of Thera will be a medium-sized eruption (VEI 2 – 3) which is the conclusion you have presented.

        The reason I elaborate is because I believe that with all the sensationalism and 2012-mongering prevalent, it is important to present not only facts and conclusion, but also the deductions/interpretations that are possible to draw from the available data. In other words, before there was any possibility of another “Minoan eruption” within our lifetimes, we would need to see uplift some 5000 to 10000 greater than which we see at present. If the current uplift is localised to an area with a radius of 1 km, the uplift required for a “Minoan” eruption would be on the order of 18 meters over the entire island of Santorini. It’s just not there.

        • Actually you gave a rather good answer to “mnsteves” question right below.

          Anything that alays fearmongering around an unevolved volcano like Santorini is good.
          Thing is that Santorini does not seem to be able to take much more than is required for a VEI-3 currently so it is probably going to erupt fairly soon.
          But we also should remember that normaly about 5 to 10 percent of the magma is ejected during an eruption. On the other hand that is a bit of a logical pooper since the chamber already contains a lot of magma.

  5. I am puzzled by the mechanics of magma chamber building. Carl, you imply in your Santorini post it takes magmatic eruptions to enlarge the chamber, presumably through erosion and/or melting by fresh hotter magma that replaces the erupted lava. No eruptions=static magma chamber?

    Is there significant convection going on within the plume that brings up higher temp magma to cause chamber melting without effusive erupting? Otherwise the heat transfer doesn’t work.

    I would welcome a pointer to articles that might have the postulated temperature profiles in the magmatic column in erupting and quiescent volcanos. Better yet, a primer on mechanics of magma movement. Thanks.

    • I will have to write a blog-post on this. It is a bit much to just put down into a comment. Also I think the matter deserves a post on it’s own. I think it will take a series of posts to explain what a magma chamber is.
      You asked a really good question, and I will return to it as soon as possible.

      Regarding the temperatures in magmatic columns it is varying so much that I can’t even know where to start.
      From 500 degrees celcius to 2000 degrees would be the simple answer. After that it gets complicated. It depends on the varying types of magmas.

  6. @Schteve
    I ll copy my comment from the last post over here again so that he wont miss it!
    Hi Schteve. Yes i am always around. I am absolutely addicted to this blog and would suffer severely if i would not read it every day. I am just quiet because i am no expert and did not have any news. Yes i would love to have a sample PLEASE PLEASE. Thank you that would rock ( i more than one sense.
    And @All. I absolutely love this community and the friendly banter going on here. I am really very challenged to join you at the barbeque, but i am not sure if i get time off and also… my hero ( a.k.a. the love of my life and live companion) is not so keen on volcanoes as i am and he does not like going on holidays especially not to countries which are colder than Austria. He only goes on vacation to do me a favor andi am going to drag him to sicily and Etna in September. But as long as so many so nice people are going to the barbeque… there will be more than a tear i my eye i case i wont join.

    • Hi Birget, I was just thinking about you the other day and wondering how you were ,and if you were managing to get any samples. Its great that you popped in.

      • Yes i did get samples and all the photos can be found on my flickr
        Which reminds me, i did take more images with the refelcting light micro last week which i have not yet uploaded, lazy me.
        I was just busy working and am still digging myself deep into all available information about astronomy and particle physics, but that will stop soon because very unfortunately the museum is closing the 2 exhibitions on Origin ( Cern Big Bang Standardmodell of particle phsics) and TWAN The world at night. Astrophotography) on April 1.

        • That must be so interesting. I used to love poking around museums growing up in England, and I sure miss them over here. ( Canada)

          • Yeah it is interesting. Especially since you come in contact with so many different topics and we do get tutored by experts sometimes. Like this time when the topic of the new exhibition is “out of control” the data traces we leave in the net without being aware of that fact or last time when we had People who are working at the CERN. ( And one gUy will be back and give a talk on the situation with the Higgs in 3 weeks. I ll definitely be there to listen.)

    • Hi Birgit, thanks for getting back to me,
      Your job sounds really interesting, (with perks too 🙂 )
      Samples heading your way (I’ve another volcano in mind, La Palma also had an eruption in 1949), the post from the Canaries is notoriously slow, so I will probably be back and posting here before they get to you… I’ll try to give as much context as I am able (exact location and a photo of the sample in situ etc,) I will look forward too seeing the results… Thankyou for your awe inspiring pictures.
      Have to go water the garden now… we’ve a hosepipe ban starting before we get back, and chances are while we are away the weather in SE England will be glorious. Or snowing, once we couldn’t fly back from Gran Canaria for 3days due to snow at Gatwick. Schtill, better to be stranded on the way home than on the way there I think…The weather in England never seems to be just normal when we go to the Canaries 🙂

      • Hi schteve, I have spent all morning heavily watering my garden too. If they are going to ban hosepipes I intend my garden to be close to boggy when it starts. 😉 Well not quite but it is so parched that it would take a lot of watering cans full of water to bring it to what one would expect it to be in March/April. I also spent a while filling up a large and empty rainwater butt and filling up the small wildlife pond we have. Better to be prepared. Mind you, I expect it is likely to be heavy rain all April to make up the averages, although no sign of it so far. The last time there was a hosepipe ban here it was only affecting East Sussex but West Sussex was exempt but I wont take a chance of that this year. I wouldn’t mind so much if they didn’t charge so much for the water rates.

  7. Forgot: Thanks Carl for hosting this blog and heads up to Ursula and all who help with this blog. If i can be of any help .. let me know, i d be more than willing to help. And i did not miss a single day since the cafe opened. ( And i have helped to set a up a new intern informationplattform for the empoyees of my museum and we changend this just recently to wordpress, so i am slowly learning how to deal with things with WordPress, before I used Drupal)
    Congrats on half a milion visits.

    • Hello Birgit!

      All help is appreciated. Please drop me a letter at the email given to the right-hand side up above.


  8. Sorry if this is a rather stupid question, but after looking at that animated gif image, is the whole island inflating or just part of it?

    • A simplified model… the Mogi model, extrapolates the size of the uplift based off of the amount of intrusion using a point source spherical model.

      It works quite well because the crust behaves as an elastic sheet. (which is what model assumes)

      Remember the story of the Princess and the pea?

      She couldn’t sleet well because there was a pea under the mattress that made her uncomfortable at night.

      The mattress is the elastic sheet, and the pea is the magma intrusion. Same effect.

      Now, for the sake of argument, replace the pea with a soccer ball. The amount that the surface of the mattress is offset or distorted is much greater, but it still dictated by how far away you are from the point directly on top of the soccer ball.

      So.. yes, the whole island is uplifting. But the amount depends on how far from the source, and how large the source is.

      The graphic may be misleading, since it doesn’t tell you what the length of the arrow signifies. It is likely in the millimeter range. All you can derive from the graphic, is how much one location has lifted in relation to the other locations.

      Hope that helps.

      • *sleep.

        As far as I know the Princes wasn’t a weather phenomena. Unless that was supposed to be a singular “u” instead of “ee”, in which case I don’t think she could be considered much of a princess.

  9. Re Luisport’s video posting at 12:39 (last post on “Icelands Forgotten Volcanoes” ). Carl, is this how you are going to do your campfires for the BBQ?

  10. Another small quake in the dead zone.

    22.03.2012 18:26:37 64.225 -19.331 1.1 km 0.6 72.84 12.2 km WNW of Sigöldustöð

  11. I found this animation with sound of the big 2011 earthquakes profoundly impressive. Sorry if this video has been linked here already.

    While searching for the creator of the video (which I could not find so far) I stumbled over the homepage of Zhigang Peng who translated some earthquake spectrograms to sound. I find it very elucidating to sense what these rainbow colored plots encode.

  12. OT but the weather here in Fuerte is going crazy .

    Just drove back home and it was 27 degrees in the car its nearly 10 degrees hotter than a couple of nights ago and we have the Calima again so soon after the last one .

    • Hi Judith, welcome back!

      Your “Calima” comment sent me scurrying to Wikipedia to read more about it. I think that calima is such a pretty word, but inhaling dust doesn’t sound very pleasant. Do you ever have to stay indoors during calima times, or are there any health risks associated with it?

  13. A link to a recent Paper about Santorini.
    Sad it is not for free, only a summary.
    It is about chemical analysis of the minoan erruption magma, more specific about the crystallisation processes and how long the magma was in the chamber before the minoan erruption.
    I dont want to quote because it is not for free.
    Summary is they say that there was no slow growth of the chamber, in geological terms. More than 90% of the magma was less than 100 years in the chamber and a big part less than 10 years.

    Is that the paper you meant LAKAT?

    • @ Michi

      Oh Michi, whoever you are. you are a star!

      You rock!! Thank you so much.

      I knew I had not imagined it. ( I am a bit of an elephant in the memory department but hate posting something without being able to back it up with the appropriate scientific link.) You have restored my credibility. Well, at least helped it a bit.

      Nice summary.

      I am now very excited…….

      🙂 🙂 🙂


          • .. I’d better correct myself here. It is not short repose times as much as short periods for the , as they put it, “final assembly of large silicic magma bodies”. In other words, when a large caldera eruption starts cranking up, it can crank up very quickly, within the order of 100 years.

            Another interesting discussion in the Santorini paper is the question of uplift for such a large body. They posit a certain amount of “downsagging of underlying crystal-rich magmatic mushes and crustal layers”, implying that inflation alone is not the be-all and end-all of the size of a magmatic intrusion.

          • Evidently… there is more to it than meets the eye.

            A granite
            intrusion was encountered by a geothermal borehole, 250 m depth, drilled in the southeastern caldera rim near Athinios. “A geothermal anomaly has been identified in the southern part of Thira, in a grabenlike structure between Akrotiri and the prevolcanic basement outcrop. The geochemistry of some fault controlled thermal springs indicates a temperature of 130-160°C in a relatively shallow reservoir in the basement (800-1000 m depth)”, (Barberi and Carapezza, 1994).

            Click to access suarez.pdf

            I’m going to bed now. I’ve been trying to finally figure out how to use K-Ware’s HEAT-3D. It’s a program that lets you model magma intrusions into rock strata and look at the dissipation over the years. It will be a hoot if I ever figure it out.


  14. Listening to my stepson relate the issue of one of the dogs that they used to run.

    It seems that the dog would run deer like no tomorrow, but would not bark, yelp, or bay. Their solution was to tie a cow bell to it’s collar. Reportedly, everything would run when they heard the dog coming.

    Having been brought up in central Mississippi, I could just imagine the thought that would cross the mind of a farmer who didn’t know the cow bell was attached to a dog running out through the low land and brush chasing deer.

    “Man, that is one fast cow”

  15. M 1.5, Wisconsin

    Date: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 05:15:57 UTC
    Tuesday, March 20, 2012 12:15:57 AM at epicenter
    Depth: 5.00 km (3.11 mi)

    • Just found this on the internet posted part of the comments the rest can be found on the link shown below.

      *The Governor Angel Aguirre reported that it will support with geologists of the Mexico Autonomous National University (UNAM) and the autonomous region of Guerrero to investigate the possible birth of a volcano in the vicinity of Huixtepec and Huajintepec, belonging to the municipality of Ometepec, and that it could be the factor of constant quakes in the region.*

      • Thousands of Dolphins are leaving the California coast see video below.

        There are discussions on the internet asking if this is something to do with the movement of the tectonic plates ?

        • Hi Judith, glad to see you back 🙂
          These dolphins are as is said “Stampeding”. There well may have been some seismic activity that would have sent out waves. Has anyone checked against the time ? I would ask… “What happened at that time?” and then check seismogram s for any quake or explosion in the area. If that was clear then my guess would be a large pod of Orca the dolphin’s #1 predator.
          On viewing this “stampede” off the Newfoundland coast I also wondered if it could be a feeding strategy, panicking and herding large shoals of fish such as herrings.One thing it probably is not here…tectonic plate movement!.. But who knows what Dolphins can “Hear”

          We cannot say that this “stampeding” behaviour on such a scale is infrequent as it is just chance that it has been seen. It may happen more frequently.
          Another question would be….”Why so many dolphins in that area at that time?”
          A very interesting clip thank you Judith. I will root about and see if there are any answers to my questions on line.

          • As a kid I remember my Dad waking me early one morning on the Kaikoura coast of New Zealand to see hundreds of dolphins feeding about a kilometer out from the shore. It was a sight I’ll never forget. They were leaping and somersaulting like there was no tomorrow. Fantastic. I don’t think it is unusual to have such large pods come together.

          • @ Bruce Thanks for that. It must have been a fantastic sight. Lucky you! Dolphins and porpoises have found to have numerous very organised feeding strategies. They often circle a shoal of fish and produce a wall of bubbles that corral the fish and send them to the surface. They work together. if you watch the second clip closely you can see the first line of dolphins are moving around the surface in different directions… then the next line is very fast and looks almost as if they are possibly chasing the fish towards land. then in the distance a final line that will stop the fish from doing a “U turn” and escaping. Just a theory of mine.

      • Judith, this comment (06:41) contains a copied text but no personal summary.
        Rule 1: Make a summary of it in one sentence.
        Further, it does not tell who originally wrote the text you copied.
        Rule 2: Make attributions; name and organisation (or site) of who wrote it.

        • Hah hah hah, she met rule number 1. That whole thing is one sentence. It does seem to be a summary. At least, since I don’t read Spanish, it is a good effort to tell me what the article said. She would have published the translation, but she is now forbidden to do that, sadly.

          And, why does the link not meet the standards for rule number 2? Seems like a redundency to me.

    • Isn’t that in the area of the recent large EQ? There would be aftershocks. But, now they are checking out a possible new volcano there?

  16. Good morning everyone….or Shleep well to those far west of the MAR.
    A nice little cluster near Askja, Iceland
    23.03.2012 06:00:50 65.130 -16.382 5.4 km 0.7 36.57 4.7 km N of Herðubreiðartögl
    23.03.2012 05:39:25 65.095 -16.417 10.8 km 1.3 68.83 1.7 km WNW of Herðubreiðartögl
    23.03.2012 05:13:29 65.098 -16.409 8.9 km 2.0 90.01 1.6 km NW of Herðubreiðartögl
    23.03.2012 04:28:52 65.106 -16.401 7.9 km 1.4 73.01 2.2 km NNW of Herðubreiðartögl

    For more information on this area I found this. Although now there are SILs in the area it is still an interesting little paper with a couple of clear plots beneath the Askja/ Herðubreið fissure line. Deep quakes were found suggesting activity in low crustal/ top mantle .

    Click to access 822.pdf

      • It ramped up fast too…
        I wish we had a spectral plot of it, one of the few good things about IGN was that they published the spectral data too.

        This is not the first time Santorini has had this kind of tremoring, but it has a nice harmonic tremor look to it.

        • How about this explanation? The scientist on duty saw something interesting and decided to increase the sensitivity, hence the sudden jump. If so, it’s not as dramatic as it seems.

          • Carl, that’s what I referred to – the sudden jump in intensity at the far right where the colour chnages on the same line from red to blue. Before that there was a slow increase that (to me) looks as if the wind has picked up as it’s symmetrical and gusts with no indication of tornillos.

          • It is not that sudden, it took a couple of minuts. If one throws a switch to adjust the sensitivity you get a second quick jump. It still has a sloping transient.
            No, I do believe it is some kind of tremoring. But, what it is, that is the question since we can’t see the frequencies involved.

          • Please take a look at 05.58! If not operator induced, why the sudden jump in intensity and change in colour?!? However if you’re right, is it time to issue an alert, i.e. a change to yellow or orange?

          • I was talking about the 05.58 all along.
            If you look closely the change was actually 06.28, it is just that the change was so large that it covers anything from 05.58.

            It was most likely a sudden increase in Harmonic tremoring.

      • Santorini seismometers: If one checks the archive for SANT on say Dec 16, ’11 or so and again during this Jan, this type of activity occurs in the plot. Had a comment back in Jan re: this activity which seemed similar to “BOB”, and was reminded that it was likely to be associated with wind. This unit is on or near the top of a hill called Prifitis-Ilias. This location is near a road and a tour bus turn around. The periods in question did have wind over a portion of the “tremor” based on the weather station readings from the airport about 1200 ft below the hill. Think there are also some other facilities incl. radar in the area. The station was established in the 90’s and may have been upgraded in 2000 +/-. So it is hard to say if some of the activity is due to tremor or that, plus other factors. Have not been able to find a critique of the installation, but the calibration test data is available on line.

        • I would say that todays action was true.
          Reason for that is that it coincides with other seismometers showing activity associated with harmonic tremor.
          Which is to be expected. One should remember that each month the ground rises and average of 15 millimeter, and that is not possible without rather noisy infiltration periods.

          If memory serves the January episode was quite a bit more powerfull than this. And that was not related to weather either.

  17. After reading the article that Judith found about a new possible volcano in the area of Mexico affected by the 7.4M quake and all the after-shocks I think I have to say that it is not a volcano.

    The sulphuric smell and boiling water found by the locals point more towards the quake having cracked an aquifer that runs close to an old magma emplacement of the already existing volcanoes in the neighbourhood. What I am trying to say is that the quakes have made hotsprings crop up in the area. Not an unusual occurance in volcanical areas after a large mainly tectonic quake.

    • Good morning Carl and everyone,
      I agree with you.
      USGS describes the quake as the result of a thrust-faulting mechanism and the depth/magnitude are consistent with a tectonic event.
      I was wondering if Paricutin was a volcano born out of the blue and did some research at the Global Volcanism website. Found this:
      “The widespread Michoacán-Guanajuato volcanic field contains over 1400 vents, including the historically active cinder cones of Parícutin and Jorullo, covering a 200 x 250 km wide area of Michoacán and Guanajuato states in west-central México.”
      But it would be thrilling to witness another volcano being born in that area, wouldn’t it? :))
      As for the dolphins, I agree with Bruce’s and Diana’s theories: probably there are some herring or sardine shoals needing to be “tamed”. And they really know the meaning of the word “teamwork”. 🙂

      • One should though not rule out that the quake might have created the environment for future eruptions in the area. By fracturing the rock it could very well have created weak points for sill and dyke intrusions.
        So, do not rule out a future little volcano popping up. But the current activity is most likely just a new hydrothermal field. Which might be a huge boon in the area giving thermal baths, geothermal energy supplies and so forth.

      • from memory Paricutin was an aperture in a field and sometimes had smoke coming out as long as people have been around, I have it in a book I should have, unless my kids in times gone never returned it. The quakes seem to make a beeline for the coast, there have have been numerous quakes along the red line going down towards South America, so I suppose something had to give

    • Carl, please explain the difference between Judith’s cite and everyone else on this page who have NOT followed the stated rules 1 and 2. I am not getting the nuance of it.

  18. A morning quick visit
    Bob has a good pale stain and a suggestion of an open ‘ring’ between Bob and harbour left 1/3 of screen
    Muckycam shows nothing!!
    See ya tonight I hope!

  19. Forgot – @ Diana
    Collared Dove fledgling has left the nest and is doing well ,the parents keep following me about the garden after corn – Mr Dove takes corn from my hand!!!

  20. The submarine eruption site possibly shows a faint degassing stain. But as the image quality is poor and no further activity can be seen it is difficult to say for sure:

    • Hello Luisport!
      Could you in the future put in a line about what it is about? Then people know if it is something of interest to them.


        • No, and I do not know why it did not show.
          Just to be certain in the future, just write a line or two of what it is about, and why it is interesting, then everyone knows 🙂

  21. There is an alert in Chile the near Araucania because of the earthquakes in Llaima volcano.

    **Chile Santiago, 23 mar (PL) the national Office of emergency (Onemi) decreed the State of yellow alert in four communes of the Chilean Araucania by the increase in seismic activity at the volcano Llaima.
    Such a condition was adopted then that in the past two weeks the terrestrial movements in the depths of the Llaima triple.
    Seismic activity is located in the vicinity of the crater depths of 1.5 and 2.5 kilometers, the Onemi said.**

    • Judith, this comment (11:21) contains a copied text but does not tell anything about who originally wrote it.
      Rule 2: Make attributions; name and organisation (or site) of who wrote it.

      I also think it would be polite to mention the language of the site you are linking to (when different from english). Your link leads to a spanish site; not everyone will try to read it.

      • It was the link below I posted that wrote the article there was no name so I could not say who posted it it was just the newspaper prensa latina and i did attach the link it refered to.

        Most of my links will be is Spanish or from the native language of the country where the volcanic action is therefore sometimes I will not know what langauage it is written in.

        I am only translating of course part of the text to English and adding the link as I have been asked to to which my comment refers to.?

        • No, the link did not write the article.
          This article does not tell the name of the author – but you still should attribute to the site you copied the text from. In this case “Prensa Latina” seems to publish the article (you could tell with some words what kind of institution this is).

          Remember that most of the readers of this blog are not spanish speaking, so spanish links will not be read by everyone. Therefore it would be polite to mention the language when you link to a not-english site.

          Also keep Carl’s guidelines in mind. Do not post (parts of) other’s comments if the subject is not REALLY interesting.

          Guideline 3 (partially): “It should be about a big change in things. Examples for this would be the harmonic tremoring increasing massively, Bob shooting large stones into the air, lava pouring out on the island. You all understand what I intend here I hope. It should be something noteworthy.”

          • Actually, I would say that it really follows the guideline nr 3.
            I at least found it interesting. Anything containing a possible volcano popping up is fair game to publish.
            But I agree about giving the quote a bit of more information and from where it was. It helps people to decide if it is worthwile to go deeper into, and also gives headroom for a discussion.

            Regarding interest, if a small quake (let us say 0.3M) under El Hierro is a weak 1 on the interestingometer, then this was at least a 7 on a 10 grade scale. This is of course my personal opinion.

            And it is good that we have these discussions out in the open 🙂

          • I think a good way to get around the nr 3 would be if the commenter took a few moments to write why they found it interesting.

            I would have written something like this…
            “It seems like there is a possibility for a new volcano to form in the wake of the Mexican 7.4M.” Or why not a question. “Could there be another explanation for this?”

          • Adding a personal note (like Carl suggests) is a little introduction to the reader. A small effort if you are really interested yourself – and very pleasant to read for others.

          • Well, now I am thoroughly confused. I must say, the learning curve just keeps getting harder. Are these rules only for Judith? I see samples of other people doing the very same stuff that you are calling out Judith for doing. The very same stuff. Oh, my.

    • This might help to clarify:

      A yellow alert has been issued for Llaima volcano, Chile. Prense Latina has reported today:

      “…[as you have quoted above, which I won’t repeat]….”

  22. GEOSCIENCE Australia has recalculated the earthquake data and is now reporting a M 6.1 ! magnitude at a depth of ONLY 3 km. This earthquake has to be called VERY DANGEROUS for the people living in the immediate vicinity of the epicenter.

    – USGS has calculated that approx. 1,000 people will have experienced a strong shaking (MMI VI) and another 1,000 a moderate MMI V shaking. 3,000 people a light shaking.

    • Friday March 23 2012, 09:25:13 UTC 106 minutes ago Near Ernabella, South Australia. 6.1 3.0 GeoScience Australia

    • they did, somebody must have been working late or read my earlier post on it, being where it is with mostly small Aboriginal communities and some stations, it should be to bad, unless some mining operations could be affected by it, the felt radius should be extensive as well, there is nothing in the news as yet, except the ABC a 2 liner

      • From the map it looks to be in the middle of nowhere – less likely to have major damage reported. Uluru shows up as the nearest place. Would all mining in that area be opencast?

    • Hi, Luisport, where is your cite? Just asking. I can’t possibly figure out where that link will take me. Is it in English?

  23. I think the local authority boat was trying to have a look, was getting a hairy and is hightailing back to the habor

    • Thanks Sissel!

      I could not load the cam where I am sitting right now.
      It sure looked like there is som hydromagmatic activity. There where some impressive bursts of what looked like greyish water now and then to the left of the clealy visible stain.
      Bob is sure buzy now. I dearly wish we could get some new bathymetric data. Sad they stoped using the Ramon Margalef.

      Wait a minute? Isn’t it today that they release the bi-weekly “Bob is dead report”?

      • Glad you tell there were “some impressive bursts of what looked like greyish water”, Carl.
        Yesterday, about 13:30 UTC, I was looking with a half eye at the webcam and thought I saw two water columns in the middle of the picture. But when I looked closely (with both eyes) they were of course gone and did not return. So I decided not to speak about it…

      • I was just going to ask if anyone knew when a new bathymetry was going to happen. Am I just confused, or is there a discrepancy as to whether Bob is 90 M or 80 M or 70 M?

        • Latest report clearly stated 70 meters. Which is where it should be if the growth rate had been continous.

          • If memory serves it is the dive depth at which they where level with the volcano yes.
            One should remember that it is not a bathymetry, it is in function a lode-sounding of the depth. But it is fairly acurate anyhoo.

  24. There is definitly something going on at Santorini.

    SANT is showing what looks like harmonic tremoring. There is not wind to explain it away with.
    THRA is showing Popcorn (mini cracking quakes associated with magmatic intrusion into rock. The cracking is caused by the pressure.
    There is also increased activity and Popcorn on the temporary station SAP2:

    For comparison one can look at the ANAF that is on the next island to the east. There is nothing on that one to write home about. So whatever it is, it is local to Santorini.

    I get the smell of a run up episode…

    • I should not have written that it was something interesting going on…
      At the same time I did the harmonic tremor at SANT just stoped dead in the track. Seems like the Popcorn stoped at the same time.

      Nice littly run up episode though. It will be interesting to see how it will look like when the final run up starts.

  25. Could this mornings harmonic tremoring at Santorini have been a new injection of magma into the system?

        • I wish I could do that…
          I follow suit with missing every eruption on the planet by moving my office to Barcelona and the HQ to Teneriffe… Sofar I have nearly missed 12 eruptions, two of them from Anak Krakatoa.

          • If it’s any consolation I’ve never seen any big eruptions either. When we were kids Ngauruhoe would have Strombolian eruptions twice a day and we just thought it was normal and would go on doing it for ever. Ruapehu had a bigger eruption when I was a kid too but we were about 200 km away and could only make out the eruption cloud from a distance.
            If it weren’t for family commitments I’d fly to Santorini tomorrrow. The thought of drinks on the terrace of some nice apartment overlooking the caldera… the Med in springtime…

          • The best is the amount of times I have missed Etna when visiting Catania. I am still convinced that Boris Behncke used my visits to plan his vacation knowing nothing would happen.

    • Thank you for the tide information; we may start to see bigger waves as the retreating tide meets the upsurge from Bob.

      • I’m seeing burbles way out in the distance during the last several days, and way more today. and so sparkley! LOL is this what obsession feels like?

      • I was seeing something in the distance but too far to tell what it is, plus the fact that it is distorted by the vapour (mirage effect).

          • On Sissels video there was not a lot of reflections, more than the sun occasionaly reflecting in a breaking wave.
            So I would say that there was definitly something out there when she made the video.

          • Sissel’s video is very clear (& also confirmed by my video); but it misted over later.

            Last time I looked it was too misty to tell what was going on with the jacuzzi location and behind it. On the otherhand, there was something to see.

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