Onekotan volcano complex

Photograph by Alexander Belousov.

The island of Onekotan lies to the south-west of Kamchatka, near the northern end of the Kuril island arc. The uninhabited island (excepting several Russian border guards), c45km x 7-15km across, contains two, at-present quiescent, active volcanoes, with Mt Krenitsyn in the south, the highest point at 1324m and Nemo Peak – 1019m – in the north. Both peaks are central volcanoes associated with large calderas, the peaks being developed within the caldera remnants.

Astronaut photograph ISS026-E-16287 was acquired on January 9, 2011, with a Nikon D2Xs digital camera using an 180 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 26 crew., NASA-JSC.

The Kuril arc, part of the circum-pacific volcanic belt, began development to the west and north-west of the Kuril Trench during the Cretaceous Period (c90myrs BP) where the mobile Pacific plate subducts beneath the Okhotsk plate. In common with such locations, explosive andesitic volcanism is dominant. The Pacific plate has an approximate north-westerly progression rate (at present) of c8mm/yr, the subduction shear being at a depth of about 120km below Onekotan; with the island arc/trench distance at around 300-350km. The crustal thickness beneath Onekotan has been estimated at 20km.

Picture from: http://www.lkirchner.de/onekotan/onekotan/coast_and_nemo/coast_nemo.html

The pre-glacial form of the northern eruptive centre of Onekotan comprises an andesitic composite stratovolcano complex of two semi-concentric but overlapping calderas, the largest of 10km diameter. A third caldera, from about 25000years ago, destroyed a cone built within these calderas, with the present twin-peaked Nemo Peak developing within this latest structure, along with the crescentic Chernoe Lake.

Tephro-chronological dates from earlier historic and pre-historic central vent eruptions have been listed (from GVP) at (approximately) 9550, 9050, 7550, 5050, 3850, 2500 years BP and 750 and 1350AD.

Within historic times, moderate explosive eruptions have occurred in 1710, 1906, ?1932, and 1938, with subsequent fumarole/thermal activity.

The southern part of the island is dominated by the spectacular combination of the almost circular Tao-Rusyr caldera with the subsequently developed symetrical cone, Krenitsyn, within the 7km caldera-lake, Kal’tsevoe.

Mount Krenitsyn. Image by Dr. Igor Smolyar, NOAA/NODC.

The 7.5km diameter caldera was formed c7500 years ago (from radio-carbon dating) by chamber collapse following a VEI-6 eruption; one of three VEI-6 eruptions in the Kuril arc (here classified as producing 10-100km^3 total ejecta) in the period 9400-7500 years BP. In addition there have been, since 1712 when the area was first exploited, ten VEI-4 eruptions in Kuril arc.

The strato-volcanic cone of Krenitsyn peak, 1325m high and 4km in diameter, is composed of andesite-basalt. Krenitsyn has a 350m wide-100m deep summit crater, and a subsidiary crater on the north-east flank.

At present it has been quiescent since the emplacement of a small lava-dome from a lateral conduit in the cone at lake-level in 1952, a short time after a M9 earthquake along the subduction fault, since when only thermal/fumarolic activity has been observed.

ALAN C

P.S. Keep the questions coming for the Q&A on GPS:s in Iceland. D.S.

990 thoughts on “Onekotan volcano complex

  1. Picturebook quality! Stunning RIGHT NOW.
    Wish I knew how to post the picture … but I did do a screencapture. Now I just need to work out how to put it up here!

    • Only admins and editors can upload images. If Carl wants that, we could place some images in our mediathek ( one of my vaults 😉 ) and link it from there to make them visible for everybody. In order to do that you d need to email the image. But lets discuss this with Carl first.
      Glad GeoLoco is back.

    • Pretty easy… if you can save it as a jpg, gif or png, you can upload it to tinypic and then drop the link on here.

      • Really dumb – but have copied into a word doc, then cropped the picture, but cannot work out how to save as a JPEG and not a word doc. (Blushing smilie)

        • Open Paint (if you are on windows)
          Then just copy it into the window. Then press save. It will be saved as a png.

  2. Evkdently, the Valpariso quake is now a 6.7 with a PAGER estimate of 47% chance of between 1 and 10 deaths. Valpariso itself was in the MMI V zone… minor to light damage. About 68K people in Quillota were exposed to MMI VII shaking… moderate to moderately heavy damage.

      • I was wondering about that too Jamie. Errrrrm! What’s with the black beans? Do they keep you going through the night shift? 😀

      • I am strictly against a like button.
        If you have the normal like button you are used to from so many sites in here… thats a facebook tool and even though a person might not be logged in through facebook or even have a facebook account, pressing the like button connects this site with facebook and facebook being a datakraken stores data like email and or links that were posted. So no. Please no like button.

        • Yes, and on general, this is not a competition for being liked, it is a discussion-club. Or what we now should call it… 😆
          No like buttons.

    • Morning everyone! Thanks for the lovely sunrise pictures Peloche. A stormy day in southern England today. I too was wondering about the Hekla strain meters – suddenly look quite angry.

      OT: An advisory board has told the UK government that fraking is not a problem, although it does cause earthquakes. The quakes are the same as those caused by old coal mines. They did not look at ground water pollution.

      • Burfell strain is looking really weird now. I don’t think there’s a strong wind and whatever it is has come on gradually. The line is much thicker on all the strain meters, but Burfell and Hekla in particular.

      • Fracking by itself is one thing, but how and what for do you do it? If it’s for shale gas exploitation, I’d be cautious. They pump down quite a lot of shit to mobilize the hydrocarbs; you sure don’t want anything of that in your groundwater…
        But a general statement that “fracking is not a problem” seems not too professional. In what kind of rocks, structure, environment…
        Angry strainmeters tend to get the volcanoholics attention. But even if it looks angry, the total curves stay in a range that makes me go eat quietly.

        • Hi Loco! They want to frack in the North Sea and Lancashire area for natural gas. The drilling has caused small earthquakes in Blackpool and the Government asked for it to be investigated before drilling was allowed to continue. They didn’t ask the advisory board to look at groundwater (don’t know why) so they just looked at the quakes. Comments to the BBC point out that no politicians live in that area so they won’t be affected. They are also drilling in Northern Ireland and want to drill near the Mendip hills (Bath and Wells) which is quite near me so I want to know the pros and cons.
          Thanks for the soothing comments about the strain meters: I agree the curves look normal, but a lot fatter. 🙂

          • I’m not sure to understand what they really are after. You say natural gas, so it’s sure they look for a “classic reservoir”, I mean a stone formation that has enough matured organic stuff and interconnected intersticial spaces / volumes in it’s structure to have an interesting gas volume contended? But then you just drill a hole in it and let the thing out. Why the fracking? If fracking and gas exploration are combined, it smells like they are after shale gas. Then search google for shale gas and how it lead to problems i.e. on the other side of the atlantic. There are people who now can light their former drinking water… Not a joke, it burns.
            Pros: when the barrel price is in heaven they can make money.
            Cons: phew, erm, a risk they wouldn’t take if the barrel price was low and foreseen to stay low… Quakes, water and soil pollution… But it could be the theme for a bad movie with good scientists fighting bad investors…

          • It is shale gas according to the article I read, the article suggested that the depth was far enough from the ‘much shallower’ groundwater – but I also think the article said that the study didn’t consider groundwater. One other possible site (besides the ones mentioned above) somewhere in wales too apparently. According to the article (telegraph I think google sent me to) that it caused quakes was confirmed, if the quake caused got over 0.5 magnitude they will now supposedly have to pull back from fracking for a certain time period to let things settle down. Friends of the Earth asked for a full enviromental assessment before fracking resumed. I may have misquoted something but I think that was the gist of it.

          • The burning tapwater story is a crock of shit.

            That is not shale gas, it comes from a shallow souce (biotic) and does not match the chemical signatire of shale gas.

            Much of the water used in fracking is from the formation and either returned to it along the way or disposed of in a shallower well.

            In all cases, the state/fed gov monitors the shit out of most operations and would gleefully fine them into the stone age if they could find a problem with their operation.

          • According to what I read it wasn’t gas in the water, but some of the substances that are used to solve stuff down there. Come from a usually reliable source. But nevermind, that’s not the issue.
            Pumping water with who knows what down where you don’t know exactly how things are structured, under high pressure – no one can guarantee you wont create a link to an acquifer, and then you have groundwater pollution. Control whatever you want from the surface. I have seen modeling of how the solvants could propagate in the worst case in a context of molasse-basin contact to prealps – tens of tens of squarekm of groundwater ressources that could have been polluted. If they had been able to give anything like a correct risk estimation, don’t think the politicians would have hesitated giving the permits.
            It’s an illusion to have control over such a thing with the actual possibilities we have, at least in complex hydrogeological situations.

          • Oh, and concerning governments and monitoring. In certain domains I’m one of those monitoring, in one of the countries where regulation is among the highest and corruption of the lowest, both on a global scale. And I can tell you our monitoring asses are wide as hells gate because we get fucked as hard as deep so many times. You can’t exerce total 24/7 control with limited ressources, and reporting from the controlled is not always of the best quality. Some are fair players and you’d manage problems easily. But somehow it’s rarely them who have problems. And then you have the black sheep, who do anything to turn around doing things as they should be done. Well, there are possibilities to push them in the right way, but it would be pink-sighted to overestimate the effects of those possibilities. And I’m not ready to hear that it’s “perfect” somewhere else in the world. Definitely not.

        • Good morning Geo :). I have missed your randy comments. 😀 The prospect of fracking in shale is not good. Shale in Lancashire here where I live (and presumably similar near Blackpool ) is not a very stable rock. It breaks up easily into very fine leafed particles. It’s good for making paths in hilly areas as it compresses with use into a solid “mud”. This shale is associated with carboniferous coal deposits. The bedrock throughout Lancashire is overlain by glacial deposits. These are in many areas composed of fine sandy material and are not good for building on. Our house is on one of these. We are near a main road and the constant vibrations from heavy trucks is causing movement of the finer particles which leads to subsidence.
          With this in mind I cannot see that fracking cannot affect the stability of the local sedimentary rock layers and also the groundwater that of course is found again between the layers of porous sandstone and shale.
          They are exploring the rocks a few miles to the north of us and appraising the feasibility of oil extraction from the shale. I seriously hope they will find it too expensive still!!!

          • Hi Geo and Diana, Sorry I should have said shale gas. I agree with Diana that shale is not very stable. Also I’m mindful of the recent gas leak in the North Sea which turned out to be a natural leak caused by unstable rock above the natural gas reservoir. The guy on the radio this morning said that any quakes would be of the same magnitude as those already caused by coal mining. The problems to housing caused by mining are considerable (leaving out any actual quakes). My grandparents lived in a house in Bristol – people there forget there was once a Bristol coalfield – and their floors were really uneven, trouble with window frames etc.
            The fracking in the Mendips is to tap into the hot water there and use it like they do in Iceland (the names Bath and Wells should give a hint here!). Local people are obviously worried that this water can become a) polluted b) be diverted from its current natural outlets, namely the Bishop’s Palace moat in Wells and the Great Roman Baths and new Spa complex in Bath.

          • Guys, look, hard to tell you details as I’m really deep into that stuff with my job and should thus shut up. I advice the politicians and write their decisions. You can’t of course write what you would like to, but you can change some things in the advising process. I always categorically rejected shale gas stuff. The first time the dude didn’t want to listen – 3 years later he came back on his decision and made everything stop. The second time they (others, somewhere else) followed my advice. Next to that I had to deal with quite a correct group wanting classic natural gas. The environmental office colleagues just went nuts as there is an important water ressource in the region, and they absolutely want to avoid being held responsible for any problem. No idea where the project will end, and its natural gas and I’d say “good” people if you can say so in this domain that try to realize a project. So imagine what we here think of a bit “special” groups wanting to “shake the shale”.
            If anyone comes with shale gas exploitation in my corner, I’d advice highest caution in my job-function, and would fight it like I could concerning a private implication.
            The method can’t exclude un predicted consequences, especially for ground water and I’d even say stability. It’s only worth taking the risk because economical considerations make nearly anything interesting in a future where oil will cost more and more. Let me put it stupidly easy: it’s money against water.
            My 2 pence…

          • Well, I’ve lived without much money for a long time, but I can’t say I’ve enjoyed the times without water so I know which side I’m on so far! 😀

        • Oh! Are those what I thought were sheep yesterday? Islander said the sheep were back. My eyes obviously aren’t too good! This morning I saw a skein of geese fly past as I was watching – magic! Thanks 🙂

  3. Morning Everyone

    Totally confused as somene has posted on earthquake-report.com they felt the earthquake in Kenya but why would the earthquake be felt in Kenya ?
    ,,
    Near The East Coast Of Honshu, Japan Apr 17 04:25 AM 4.9 40.0 MAP

    ,,•Nairobi, Kenya – Woke me from sleep at appox 0515 local time. I thought it was a subway passing, until I remembered that there is no subway in Kenya. My wife was up country in Embu, Kenya and felt it too.,,

    Could they be referring to the Chile quake?

  4. Doh!! Thanks Nelly I did not scroll down far enought to see there have been earthquakes in Kenya.
    Time for Coffee.

    • Morning Judith! Minor quakes are often felt in Kenya (and the whole of East Africa) due to the Great Rift Valley slowly opening up.

  5. @Hekla:
    This is kind of a mini-post.
    Hekla is having an episode of increased unrest as is showing at the borehole strainmeter plots.
    http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/strain/1sec/index.html
    The increase in motion is due to rapid strain movement in the mountain, something that is associated with volcanic unrest. It is considered as one of the signs of increased likelihood of an eruption pending at Hekla.
    If the increase continous we will most likely have an eruption on the way.
    If the increases slowly goes away the risk diminishes.

    What to look for now is an earthquake at Hekla proper or close by at the fissure swarms southern or northern end (withing 5km) of Hekla. The direction of the swarm is NNW/SSE trending. If you see an earthquake you will be roughly 1 hour away from the start of eruption, there will probably be several quakes before onset. Then at the end there will be an increase in number of quakes and the strain will go haywire in a way you will not believe. 5 minutes later you will se an eruption column start to rise (think nuclear blast, not steamy clouds or puffs of smoke).
    If the rapid strain movements continue to raise at this speed eruption should start within a couple of day.
    CAVEAT: This is just an interpretation, it is more likely that everything will go back to normal. If you are a member of the press you should instead consult with the Icelandic Met Office, instead of writing bull-hork based on this.

    • Like I said before, I wonder. Once I’ve removed the eruptions not at Hekla proper as per Carl’s previous comment, the trend becomes even clearer:

      1636-7, 1693 ^1732-34^ 1766 ^1784^ 1845 ^1896-1912^ 1947, 1970, 1980, 1981, 1991 ^2000^ 2000

      ^year^ = period of great seismic disturbance in the SIFZ
      “year” = VEI 2
      year = VEI 3
      year = VEI 4

      Caveat – this only covers the three periods delinated by four identified periods on record of great seismic unrest in the SIFZ. It’s far too small a sample to draw any conclusions on, at best you can call them general assumptions.

      That said, it seems the greatest likelihood of larger than average eruptions is in the middle years between periods of great seismic unrest. The “eruption window”, if I may call it that, 1912 – 2000 is unusual in that not only was there one large eruption, but also three average-sized (for Hekla) ones and furthermore, the unrest that ended the “eruption window” also was the direct precursor of yet another average-sized eruption.

      Based on its eruptive history, the “smart money” would be on Hekla going back to sleep for at least two or three decades after the year 2000 seismic unrest and eruption. However, the period of unusually high activity (see caveat!) preceeding it could indicate that in common with the rest of Iceland, Hekla too could be in the middle of a period of heightened unrest. I’m inclined to the former but am hedging my bets.

      One more observation – with so many recent eruptions, it’s highly unlikely that there is much older and more evolved magma left. Hence the likelihood of an explosive eruption ought to be substantially lower, but never say die!

      • Also, we should remember that Hekla changed it’s behavioural pattern at 1947. I am nowadays rather reticent about doing historical-based predictions due to the current(?) activity cycle being rather atypic for Hekla.
        Note, Hekla has had a long trend now of increased eruptivity.

      • Henri,
        always love to read you, and your play with historic data.
        Despite this “liking”, I personally would not bet anything on that kind of analysis in a case like Hekla. Chemistry and structure complexity as well as feeding potential just make anything possible. If I had to put money on a prediction right now, I’d go for a VEI 3+ within 2012.
        But that might be because I’m lavahorny.

        • GeoLoco, did you see the caveat? To make “prognostications” based on that data is at best nothing more than general assumptions, I said so myself. 😉

          Oh Carl, by the way, does that (jumping to “conclusions” based on totally inadequate data) remind you of the firmly held and publicly oft expressed beliefs of a certain Personnage with a bee in his bonnet? 😛

          • Language / formulation issue. And admit I read fast. Didn’t state anything “in opposite” to your comment. Just meant to precise that if usually historical data can be interesting, here i don’t really take it very “serious”.
            Wouldn’t mess too much with clever guys when I’m so terribly in “peer-in quickly” mode… 🙂
            Sorry if I somehow sounded like disapproving your way to put things.

          • No, no! No problem at all. I’m jocular rather than jugular even if I come across as a pompous ass on occasion.

        • PS. Can you see the same error taken the other way? Because the last four (five) eruptions of Hekla were in 1970, 1980-1, 1991 and 2000, the next eruption is due now! if not already overdue.

          • I am though not using statistics for Hekla. Why? Because Hekla has changed behaviour twice the last 2000 years. First when it shifted in as the mass-eruptor from Vatnafjöll (before then it had rare and massive eruptions), and second time 1947. And during this last phase we only have 4 instances (80-1 is counted as one eruption with follow-up eruption).
            I am basing my Hekla-mongering on the changes in data (GPS, SIL and Strain).

            I know you know it, but I wanted to make it clear for others.

          • I know you know I know it ( 😉 ) and now, hopefully, everyone else knows that too. Volcanoes aren’t trains and do not obey timetables even if we humans would wish them too and often make the mistake of doing so. You have to look deeper, literally.

          • Inge,
            As soon as I’ll have the rank of general of the anti-2012er rebel-troops, I’ll ask you to be my right-hand. Everytime it comes to this breed, I can count on you for some reaction. You definitely are the one I need by my side to push them down to the dungeon where our dragons only wait for a little snack! Ha!

        • Thanks. And i am trying to be careful myself but i could have missed some stuff. It is really nice to work under such a devoted leader.

  6. Click to access SoosaluEinarsson02.pdf


    I just found and read this article relating to the 1991 Hekla eruption. It concludes by summarising the pre eruption activity of the last three eruptions.
    No doubt it has been posted here many times! But in case anyone else other than me missed it – well here it is again! (Its a long winded version of Carl’s ‘mini post’ earlier today!)

  7. BBGM everyone, ok call me crazy, but seeing how big the borehole strain red line has become, has induced the urge to keep refreshing the quake map more frequently. Looks like I have contracted some terrible type of volcano addiction twitch.

        • Well, you only need to hit refresh once every 30 minutes, then you will not miss it…
          If it happens at all.

          • Or just continue reading volcanocafé. So many so horny guys will be among the first in the world to notice and tell… 🙂

          • If it happens, then millon-trillon posts here and there, all giving links, then server crash at IMO *so keep please refresh to minimum but read up on previous posts, so not duplicating others already there*

          • Head Islander on this one, I will post all data if it happens, but it will not help to crash the servers of IMO.
            If you want to keap updated, use the front-end server and not any back-end servers that you might have found by dark-arts google-fu.
            By crashing a back-end server you could potentially kill people on Iceland.

          • We could somehow make a promise among our “community”. I’m always on the IMO pages to look what’s cooking. But when the shit goes down, I’m ready to stop that in order not to charge our IMO-heroes unnecessarily. We could have a “convention” that only 2-3 of us, like Carl and the plotters, or whatever, go on the IMO-stuff and we rely on them and trust that we have things quite fast here. It’s hard, and sparing 10 or 20 consulters won’t maybe change the world, but it would be a fair sign of respect and doing what we can towards the IMO-guys.
            Have I become a communist? I thought with age you shift right in political matters… 🙂

          • Fine with me GeoLoco – but you’ll be dealing with the human urge to see what’s happening for themselves – very difficult to stop people wanting to check with their own eyes. 🙂
            I think old ladies become more left and old men go right – in my experience anyway 😉

          • Ok, Hattie. Now I failed, Sorry.
            Of course most of us are already regulars to IMO pages and it handles all normal traffic. It anything happens, say Hekla, Askja, Katla or Dead Zone does goes off, then it will likely be “newsthursty newcomers” (surry the pun) that do not read in here regularily, that swamp the webcameras and seismo pages. I am in no way saying we shall stop, merely this can be expected, and act accordingly, in responsable manner.
            In case of web-cameras showing an eruption, this can well happen outside “camera-in-action” windows, but there will most likely be quick technisians on the scene or new ones set up.
            I might add that if most of Icelands internet goes down for a while, there always will be info to get from foreign seismo or news pages. A major earthquake might knock out power here, but EQ magnitude will always be listed on foreign web pages. Usually nothing under an 6+ Richter will knock out power.

          • @Islander and the rest:
            I meant the backdoors that exist into the Darker Realms™ of IMO. The public pages are fine, but there are some links that lead to back-end servers. Those can remove IMOs access to data if they are swamped.
            And I will remove links to them if they start to crop up (I know which are back-end links).
            For those in here that have a good reason (Ie, are plotters I will happily give them the links needed), and then they give more accessible data to you in turn.
            Why will I do the removals? Because I sure as hell do not want us to be the reason for it going pear-shaped. And I know that people in here are Dark Arts™ Google-Fu champions and can ferret out a hell of a lot of things. And I suspect several have links that are back-door allready, that is fine with me. But if they go to everybody…
            In a perfect world everything would be front end, but having raw-data from the SILs public would use a hell of a lot of data, and you of course need the specalized programs to interpret it (unless you are Lurking of course).

          • Carl.Could you check through our Whats up in Iceland page. If you check on it in html version you can see the links. Please remove any which could be such backdoor links. You are absolutely correct. In stressed time when something is really cooking, we dont want to cause any more havoc as the one an eruption is already causing. I am not sure if some are such links.

  8. Little swarm in the Gibraltar Strait ?

    1139016 17/04/2012 04:53:10 36.5272 -2.6334 2.6 mbLg ALBORÁN NORTE
    1139015 17/04/2012 03:51:01 36.5189 -2.6281 1.5 mbLg ALBORÁN NORTE
    1138980 17/04/2012 03:01:36 36.5385 -2.6337 1.5 mbLg ALBORÁN NORTE
    1138974 17/04/2012 02:53:43 36.5340 -2.6263 4 2.4 mbLg ALBORÁN NORTE
    1138955 16/04/2012 23:51:26 0.4194 30 2.8 mbLg MEDITERRÁNEO-ARGELIA
    1138950 16/04/2012 18:54:28 36.5362 -2.6236 11 2.0 mbLg ALBORÁN NORTE
    1138935 16/04/2012 13:09:50 36.5129 -2.6254 1.5 mbLg ALBORÁN NORTE
    1138927 16/04/2012 12:28:41 36.5256 -2.6344 2.4 mbLg ALBORÁN NORTE

    • Yes it is rather telling about how much “before” action there is before an eruption (except at Hekla).

      • Mnsr Henri
        ‘revealing’ in the sense of centralisation of loci to specific locations wrt Icelands fracture zones
        As for humour I’m particularly short of that tonight cos the sodd**g system at the lab hasn’t saved a bl**dy thing for 2 days – ‘an update’ has been applied; wish they’d mind their own !”£$%^&*() business

          • Hope its a new bottle cos ther’m b’ain’t gonna be much left!
            Carl
            Before I sign off for a while, what’s the relative positions of the 4 strainmeter bores to one another – ie all round Lady H, one area, in a line or what if you follow, please

          • Heklukriki (Hekla) is if memory serves close to Mjoaskard.
            Keep the bottle! Sounds like you need it.

          • We’ll break out the Caol Isla for when you return after having sorted that ¤$#$&* (etc).

            PS. Thanks for humouring me 😉

  9. And I struck gold here…
    “On 11 January, about a week before the onset of the
    Hekla eruption, the digital seismograph station HAU
    15 km west of Hekla recorded 13 small seismic events.
    They originated near this station and most of them had
    strikingly similar waveforms with prominent surface
    waves”
    Anybody remember these ones that we scratched our head about a couple of weeks ago?

    Click to access SoosaluEinarsson02.pdf

    • But, for all we know that could be normal in the area…
      It should though of course have 3 SILs. I think I read something of the funding for a new Nortwestern SIL-network went to Katla monitoring instead…

      • Yes, article indeed says so, you probably are right funds were diverted. Its known fact not all earthquakes do show up on IMO network. One old IMO staff once told me he had personallly felt an earthquake (in old days in east fjords) that otherwise went unrecorded. I might add that all regular weather stations observers has remarks on earthquakes in their reports. One can look into Tímarit.is and find old issues of “Veðráttan” and have look into this. But these are Icelandic text and in pdf format, but list significant EQs way back to 1932 (?)

  10. And the rate of the 1990 eruption was peaking at 2000m3/s, that would make it into a DIE-3.2 on the Destructive Index of Eruptions scale.

    • Do not know. Fimm appeared out of “background noise” (about 5,000 on IMO SIL scale). Probably “minimun” can be rather low (5,000 – 6,000 on IMO SIL scale), but I think much more strain changes might be needed. I think a few +2 quakes are needed too now (in Hekla proper). But not expert, only my observation on last eruptions (after year 2000 event) seen on the SILs.

      • I agree, I more meant, could Hekla hypothetically skip the few earthquakes? It is not likely with a totally aseismic eruption really. I am just speculating here a bit.

        • Yes, and no. I personally know of no eruption to start without earthquakes. Even the Laki events have quakes reported, and some say Vestmann Islands did go off without EQs, this is wrong (*Irpsit notice*) as there were 2+ 2R quakes both felt and recorded. Only fail then was them were picked up on two old seismometers (and an wrong position was plotted, the wrong one thought more likely, and no warning was issued)!

          • I admit my mistake on the 1973 Westman which had earthquakes before the eruption. I guess my sources were incorrect. I also got to know that the Surtsey eruption had sulphur smell felt on Vík a couple of days before the eruption (I forget where I read that).

            And yes you are correct. Any magma movement to surface should cause at least minor M2 earthquakes. A often erupting volcano like Hekla or Grimsvotn does not need however many earthquakes, because the pathways are already open. But any magma coming upwardsa should cause some quakes.

      • It dawned on me this “agresiveness” might come from further away. I am speculatiing if such could originate from deep within the central highlands.

        • I have more likely culprit. Either SIFZ is getting close to a larger earthquake, but the most likely candidate for a large shift that causes mountain strain would be found from a triangle ranging from Torfajökull down to Katla and then back up to Grimsvötn/Bárdarbunga.

        • Which highlands region? Around Tindfjallajokull or Torfajokull, or you mena further north? My bet is 1) Hekla itself, or 2) precursor to large earthquake to the east or northeast of SISZ

  11. Carl, I think we need to look at everything and try to find out if she is inocent before she is deemed guilty. We always get to excited at every little shake and shiver, but with all of us here we could put together a theory on not why she is erupting in the next 80 minutes, but why she is’nt. What could be makeing these fluctuations on the strain meters, was that steam coming off her this morning or was it just a cloud. Why is there so much noise on the drumplots? Until we see a curtain of fire on top, lets be pesimists.

    Just to let everyone know I am not ranting. This is positive reinforcement. 🙂

    • I have been racking my brain on what kind do this.
      Wind is out of the question, A) it is not blowing a lot and B) not even big storms produce this effect. Waves? Not a lot of them currently, and again, it has not had this influence before.
      Alternate explanation, another volcano is acting up and it makes the strainmeters behave like this. Alternate alternative explanation, we could see strain build up before a large earthquake (unheard of, but not impossible).

  12. And here comes the number 1 (uno) reason why Hekla will erupt tonight.
    I am going to be without Internet…

    (If Hekla goes off I will get to know and will run to the office)

    • Hi everyone, I read on wikipedia about Hekla “it is also unusually aseismic with activity only starting 30–80 minutes before an eruption…how long will it take you to get to the office Carl?

        • oh that´s OK then.. I had to look up the word “aseismic”… and found that the term describes a fault on which no earthquakes have been observed, so is the fact that there have been no quakes unimportant?

          • Hekla very very rarely has earthquakes. Which is very odd for a highly active volcano. It should be quakeing a lot really. So it is important to know. And the rarity of quakes is why we jump like hell as soon as we see even the smallest quake around Hekla.
            A 0.5 at Hekla is more important really than a 3M at Katla or Bob…

      • You should leave your phone number with someone thats sitting with this all night then.. But hey, why don’t write a post about it before you go non internet,and trust me, you’re sure she will not erupt..

        • I have left it already. 🙂

          I do not want to write a post unless I am sure.
          There are too many people writing things to quickly. And, I know it would cause a Daily Fail article.

    • That´s a damn coincidence! I am also on my office its night here in Iceland, because my internet is down at home. Anyways I am close home. Damn, the sky is also cloudy here in South Iceland, but I think I should at least hear the eruption, if it happens, because there is almost no wind.

      yes, I can report that. It was a very calm day. No wind, clear sunshine, but now it is overcast and some snow flakes falling.

  13. Akismet has protected your site from 666 spam comments already.
    There’s nothing in your spam queue at the moment.

    /I find the number of Spam rather telltale.

  14. Good evening fellow volcanaholics. Night shift again and Hekla will be well watched till at least 0800 tomorrow morning. Did anyone else catch that cloud at its summit this morning around 0800?

      • I agree that there should not be any steam coming. But… and bit but, Hekla does steam from its top, but it is usually a small steam coming from its 2000 vent (I saw it when I hiked it last summer). You can see this steaming with binoculars when you are around Burfell for example, but it is steaming just 1-2 meters above ground, VERY LITTLE.

        If major steam was released indeed this morning, then it could mean magma already very close beneath the mountain. if the pathway upwards is already open, that could in theory happen. However it was NEVER recorded before. But it could happen.

        • I have a nice screenshot of it at home, (office computer right now). It seemed as if she was steaming along the top, anolg the fissure, just enough for the wind to grab it. And I swear it looked like little geysers everyonce in a while. It looked different than usual. Only time will tell I guess.

  15. A while back Carl posted a picture in response to someone asking whether Lady H (i.e. the whole mountain) really explodes. I can’t find the post/comment with the link. If anyone has it can you repost it please? Might make an interesting wallpaper on my pc at work 🙂

  16. Does anyone else have that feeling of waiting in the maternity ward,
    no contractions to speak of, and as for dilations?

  17. Hekla will wait for tomorrow.
    I badly need shleep, and wish us all a good rest, or plenty of energy to those in the other time zones.
    Baaaaaaah.

  18. I am going back home. Like Carl, I am also without internet today (at home). It must be Hekla teasing us. At least I have a view from 45km straight line to Hekla. But overcast weather at moment.

    • Ok. Hekla mayby just teasing, but unrest is still on Burfell and Heklukriki. Swarm in north Eeat Fracture Zone and one smallish quake in Borgarfjörður area. If anything happes, it will be covered.

    • I must also go to shleep! I have training tomorrow so won’t be able to log on till after lunch so all shy volcanoes can happily erupt knowing that I will not be watching them! Shleep well all volcano friends! 😀

  19. Hi all

    While waiting for Hekla to ‘explode’ has anyone noticed that Krokottuvotn seismic station in showing what looks like harmonic tremor? They’ve had a few quakes around the area and I recall this place was doing something strange last year….?? Clive

    • In all likelyhood just another “wait for Hekla” night. Been quite a few already.
      Yes, its unrest in north. Quakes maybe are causing this?, and there seems very small Harmonic tremor last night. Anyways, tonight there more unrest than usual. All around
      I often have an “gut feeling like tonight”, and therefore am watching *closely* http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/oroi/kvo.gif

    • Hi Clive. Renynhlid is also showing tremors. There is a geothermal plant nearby, Maybe some work going on there. There again maybe not 😀 maybe the TFZ is just very active and making things wobble.

          • Hi Diana, yes, for the first time today that rib is very slightly less painful, when I breathe deeply (as they insist you do frequently through the day to prevent pneumonia developing) it is now just very painful, not totally excruciating pain. Another 7 days and it will be bearable without painkillers if the last episode was anything to go by.
            I take it your hubby is asleep if he is a postman? Oh how I pity people that must work in the morning. Retirement is so sweet, doing what you wish rather than what you must.
            Haha! I wish!!

          • Good to know we are spreading a little cheer in this doomed world. 😀 Hattie How is Florida? My husband went there a couple of years ago and had a wonderful time. Last year he “did” california, the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas. It was amazing I saw him walking on the Skywalk. he sent me a text to say what time he would be there and I watched the web cam and SAW him!!! Isn’t the internet wonderful? I couldn’t do the long haul flight so had to stay at home…..but seeing him there and sharing from across the pond was wonderful

          • @Diana, I am always so amazed at what wonders the internet and technology has brought into our life. To see the other side of the world sleeping while I am wide awake or vice-versa is something I will always be amazed at. As for all the videos and live web-cams of volcanoes, well I consider I have been really blessed to live in such an age.

          • Hi Diana just returned from supper. It is really nice here, we are in a small place and it is nice and quiet and relaxing. Kind of what I need after the past few years. The weather has been wonderful, and I love the palm trees.The internet is such an amazing thing, I just love it.

  20. Sleep well all – my beloved football team got promoted tonight so I am deliriously happy. Someone of my age (and with my knees) shouldn’t be leaping barriers to be on the pitch, but it’s not often one gets the opportunity …

  21. Well as regards strain at Hekla, not a lot changing one way or the other. Sleep for me I think and best wishes to all the night watchers. If I wake in the morning and she has blown her top I might say a few unladylike words like. ‘oh bother’, or ‘what a nuisance’ or if I am feeling particularly aggrieved, ‘Oh Drat! ‘.

    • Yes, and no. There was very slight “change” tonight in Hekla strain “aggressiveness”, it decreased for a while but then increased again. I heck do not know if this has any meaning, or if this could be anything. The swarm in the north indicates quiet times maybe over. Anyways Carl will be notified if anything serius happens. He likely will be up early in the morning anyway. TTGN Newby

  22. I am all cocoa – ed out… I can’t stay awake…… This is the signal for something to happen as soon as I log off…….
    Shleep well everyone or have a lovely rest of the day.

      • Not at all Tyler. Good you asked this. Yes, I think so. Its also half way into next one, Vatnafjöll to the south of Hekla. As we suspect lava might be on the move from North of Hekla, it could be moving there, to area SW of Hekla. This has had eruptions (many thousands of years ago), but also “valid area”, and could be the cause of the unrest seen on the strain meters since yesterday.

        • It’s on the western side of the NNE/SSW trending fissure line that runs through Hekla. Note that Heklas fissure swarm does not run in line with Hekla itself.

          Thank you Islander, I looked at the SMS, and noticed that it was a bit far away from Hekla to make it go off, at least at that M-rating. So I went back to sleep 🙂

  23. Ok, I have 7 tabs open right now.
    1- borehole and siesmicity
    2- uncorrected strain data
    3-myrdalsjökull quake map
    4- Haukdalur drum plot
    5- Dalek webcam
    6- Jón Frímann’s drumplot for hekla
    7 and volcano cafe.

    Am i missing anything?

    • Yes, sleep. LOL 😛 Trouble is I can’t sleep either and it is 1:24am here. I don’t have bags under the eyes I have suitcases.

    • humm, Sorry to stir you up! Handbags or Suitcases ?
      (“Handbags at Dawn” come to mind)

      • Yes, if the Islander refers to Iceland then you too should be asleep. Actually it is strong wind and hail battering on the window that woke me so I had to check Hekla was still there. Interesting quake but a bit small to be significant perhaps?

    • 2012-04-17 23:36:17 -19.861 63.889 0.3 7.9 auto
      2012-04-17 23:36:17 -19.841 63.921 0.2 11.8 auto
      Its depth that worries. Seems maybe is false.

  24. Unlike Carl, I’m usually lucky with those guys. I was there for Grimsvötn, Nabro and Caulle and in most of Etna’s shows. You can check the suitcases under my eyes! (And you bet, I’m a working fellow)
    It’s still kind of early in Rio (9:41), so, I’ll take the chance to see what Lady H has kept for us tonight…

    • Ok. I was lucky also with many here 2010/2011, spotted Eyjo well in advance 00:30 hrs 14.04. and was out early with camera but little seen due clouds. Saw it well later.

      • Please, don’t tell me that! I saw it through the webcams.
        You are the lucky one to be around so many of these wonders of Nature.
        No volcanoes here… 🙂
        BTW Think Hekla is going to schleep, and I can’t win a d* solitaire game…

        • Outch, veeerrry sorry, I am.. and I saw on webcams too (because 2,5 hrs driving out one way, and cost of gasoline killing many trips there, could feed for a week on that money).

    • HEL (Hella Town) is going down fast now. That might be in line with recent quake (S of Hekla). Others are north of EQ (and Hekla), but STO to South-East of Hella. Hard to explain but I even expect quakes due east of Hella Town, but maybe in the mountains there, around Þríhyrningur, Gunnarsholt or Árbær Farm. This area is either sands or lavafields, from old lavas from Vatnaföll system. An very large lava from there might go all way into farmlands around Gunnarsholt or Árbær.

  25. workers where exposed to radioactive waste around a highway buildingsite —-

    “As we’ve taken down the cutting there we exposed the face of the existing material (and) came across a clay material that when it’s exposed to air it gets an orange streak through it,” he said.
    “There were a number of workers that felt a little bit of nausea and there was a bit of vomiting when they were in close proximity.”

    • That’s not good, I think that to be throwing up you have to have been exposed to quite a lot of radiation. I am no expert , and might be wrong.

      • waste from a reactor to be sent to USA a few years back, the truck it was on had an accident, apparently things where buried somewhere there, it was found when they where doing roadwork upgrade, I saw the initial report and pic, wish I copied it now, it disappeared, was a package somewhat damaged like plastic wrapper kind off and had the yellow nuclear sticker on it, clay something or the other, everything is hush hush now

          • it is scary, there is a bid of a sramble (my word) to say it isn’t and everything is fine, but those initial reports and pics are unforgettable

          • I found the initial article with pic, I am not sure it will copy properly
            NSW road workers sick amid radiation scare, cant copy the pic, won’t let me
            April 18, 2012 10:55AM
            radiation nuclear radioactive
            Fears after workmen find radioactive waste buried near construction site. Picture: AFP
            ROAD workers have been taken to hospital vomiting after discovering suspected nuclear material buried near the Pacific Highway.
            The waste was buried off the highway after a truck transporting radioactive isotopes from Sydney’s Lucas Heights nuclear reactor crashed north of Port Macquarie in 1980.
            The material was being taken to Brisbane to be shipped to the United States, the ABC says.
            The upgrade’s project manager, Bob Higgins, told the ABC workers fell ill after unearthing a strange clay-like material.
            “As we’ve taken down the cutting there we exposed the face of the existing material (and) came across a clay material that when it’s exposed to air it gets an orange streak through it,” he said.
            “There were a number of workers that felt a little bit of nausea and there was a bit of vomiting when they were in close proximity.”
            An environmental impact statement for the upgrade of the Pacific Highway stated there had been some uncertainty about where the waste had been left, it said.
            Work on the highway has been suspended while specialists work out what to do with the radioactive materials and if they pose a risk to workers or people travelling through the area.
            Read more: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/radioactive-waste-stops-highway-upgrade/story-e6frfku0-1226331282148#ixzz1sNl2mBOi

          • Judgng by the colour and how it was wrapped up that was a something called yellowcake. It is uranium that is not metallized, it is the stage after the cyclotrones, and before being made into a metallic rod.
            Put to many around each other and you get critical mass. Because if they are alone they are not that radioactive, but put 14kg of it together in a lump and it will instantly release a massive wave of radiation and stay radiative for the time together.
            Sorry to say this, but in the business this is what we call Instacancer™. They are dead, they are just still walking.
            This is of course true only if they where carting yellowcake (probable since Australia produce half of the worlds supply) and the containment failed so that to many cakes kissed each other. Especially probable if they bull-doozed them together and packed them down in the clay.
            Muppets.

          • Yepp, after looking at the picture, that is yellowcake, not any waste.
            Anybody within 7.2 meters will die withing 2 weeks, anyone within 40 meters will die of cancer within two years, the rest have a severely increased risk of dying by cancer within ten years.

            Who on Earth got the idea of bulldozing together yellowcake into a pile… and then covering it in what looks like bentonite clay, neutron containment field au-naturéll. They pretty much built a low-level reactant critical mass unit, and the poor sods cracked it open.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellowcake

          • thanks Carl, I thought it wasn’t good, had a funny feeling in my gut, I remember it from somewhere, but then I do a lot of reading. Time will tell, they should leave that stuff in the ground, the Aboriginal Dreamtime (lore) calls the part where they mine it, the sickness country and don’t go anywhere near it.

          • Is there any doubt at all that there is a risk?? They buried nuclear materials at the roadside? What a way to solve a disposal problem…hey, this is a 2012 joke, isn’t it? Hey, you got me!

    • Yeah… had to quell a disagreement between an Uncle and a Nephew.

      After few shots of whiskey and grilled sausages… they are okay. I didn’t have to club either one. Wound up in a volcano discussion with the Grandkid’s girlfriend. (the Nephew in the previous equation) Now she is either fascinated by the natural forces of the world or thinks his grand dad is just plain weird.

      I think I lightly covered everything from Hekla to Nabro to green desert glass… even connected the cave structures that she was exploring this last weekend to the semi-dead fault line that runs nearby. (Karst topology spurred on by percolating water trickling into the fractured limestone along the Port St Joe fault.)

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