Katmai close to a nova rupta?

Photograph from Watchingforrocks.com Novarupta main vent in the middle of the image.

Commenter Luisport brought this to my attention. Following close to the centnerian celebration of the Katmai and Novarupta large eruption on the june sixth 1912, the volcanoes in question seem to have a slight case of being hungover.

As many of my readers know Novarupta was responsible for the largest eruption during the last 197 years. The eruption of Novarupta was about 30 percent larger than the more famous eruption of Krakatoa.

During the last two days Katmai/Novarupta has been suffering a medium sized swarm of earthquakes ranging from 2 to 3M. The number of earthquakes is not that high, but it is still worthwhile to point it out.

Source: USGS/CVO Alaskan Volcano Observatory. The red dots is the site of the current swarm.

Roughly at the same time as the onset of the earthquake swarm the level of tremor increased sharply for about 14 hours before falling back to back-ground levels.

Image USGS/CVO Alaskan Volcano Observatory.

Katmai/Novarupta is currently coded as a GREEN volcano, as such it is not deemed to be close to an eruption according to USGS/CVO Alaskan Volcano Observatory.

The current increase in activity is interesting, but my guess is that this is not the run up to an eruption. Instead I interpret this as a magmatic emplacement into the volcanic system. Something that could lead to an eruption in the future.

USGS/CVO Alaskan Volcano Observatory. Higher resolution image of the earthquakes. The large red blob are the current quake-swarm.

And even if there would be an eruption it would not be on the scale of the 1912 Novarupta eruption due to the magmatic system being severely damaged in the previous eruption. An eruption now would most likely be in the VEI-2 to VEI-3 range.

USGS/AVO-site with webicorder and webcam:


Image by GeoLurking. On this perspective plot one can see a small stack of earthquakes forming below Katmai. It starts at around 30km and goes upwards. The stack is still not highly defined due to the low number of earthquakes. An earthquake stack like this is normaly associated with the “feeder tube” of a volcano as new magma is entering the system. For further plots by GeoLurking look in the comments. For larger view click on the image.



265 thoughts on “Katmai close to a nova rupta?

  1. SICILY, ITALY . 2012-06-15 00:24:36.0 UTC . 37.01 N ; 15.00 E . 24 km . ML 2.0
    2012-06-15 04:40:38.0 UTC . 38.30 N ; 14.49 E . 220 km . ML 2.4 … and…
    IONIAN SEA . 2012-06-15 06:27:22.0 UTC . 37.43 N ; 16.41 E . 2 km . ML 3.8

    • Ah Ha! New Moon! Despite the fact I am a scientist and a very logical thinker I still greet the new moon by bowing 3 times and turning a round silver coin over in my pocket. This, according to my family folk lore will ensure a comfortable financial situation for the month. Not huge amounts but enough not to have to worry. However if you view the new moon through glass then there will be dire financial consequences! I am not sure whether my spectacles are included in this or whether the glass bit is associated with windows. This superstition has followed me around the world all my life. The one time I had a REAL financial disaster was after I had looked up and the New moon was positively glaring at me through the landing window. I now err on the side of caution!! 😀
      I hasten to add there is as much evidence of the inter-relationship of my bank balance and the Moon’s cycle as there is of CMEs causing earthquakes. Maybe I should send my bank statements to Lurking along with dates and times of my turning coins over and data on the visibility of the new Moon in North West UK just to be sure.

      • On a serious note. Thanks Luisport for these links. They do look like very large CMEs It should be good for Aurora watching and maybe will affect some computer systems/ mobile phones etc.

          • Uhm, Luisport you are a volcanoholic. So I guess you would only become happy if you where forever banned to a pool of sulphur :mrgreen:

        • Any aurora watchers would be rather sad…
          Here up in my neck of the woods it is bright and sunny almost all night, so any auroras are totally invisible, and so goes for the entire northern hemisphere at sufficient northerly persuasion.

  2. @Ursula, Spica and Volcanocafe2:
    I have sent a mail to you… See who looks at the mail first.

    @The rest, have to do a panic thingy that I did not know of… So I have sent image and riddle to them for posting since my day just disapeared.
    If they can’t do it I will do it late in the evening. So, please if it is late, do not hit me too hard.

    • Be Honest Carl…… You will be watching Sweden play England at Football. I really dislike the football culture, but I must admit to having a sneaky interest if ” My side” is playing. I don’t know too much about the game these days but since 1966 World cup the English team seems to be on a downward spiral. May the best team win!

  3. Hello all. It’s been a while so I figured I’d give you all something to talk about. So back in March I decided to grow a beard. Then last month with full beard in effect, a friend of mine ,(who happens to be in the film making industry) says, “don’t shave it, I might have a project for ya”. So long story short, Come summer 2014 you may see me in the epic film “Noah” with none other than Russel Crowe, Jennifer Connely, Emma Watson and many more. The casting directer seemed to like the fact that I can imitate accents. Tell me to break a leg.

    OBTW. They are filming it in ICeland.

    • WOW! Who do you play? Is it a real biblical epic with the animals going in 2×2? I have freinds who played extras in a Cromwellian things – 2 seconds and you miss them – but they had a great time. (And break a leg). 😀

    • Oh Wow! Congratulations. I will send in your name for an Oscar Nomination! 😀 Jamie do you get to be on location in Iceland? How exiting! I wonder though why iceland? England would be a better setting at the moment or where Lurking lives.. both places seem to be more rainy than Iceland. Do they want another extra in the form of a dove? I can bring along a couple of my pigeons for a small fee 😀

    • Oh how neat Jamie. Two of my sons were extras in the second Pirates of the Carribean , it was a great experience for all of us, so I sure hope this works out for you.

    • Yeti? Big Foot? Manbearpig?:-)
      Great! Congratulations.
      Maybe it’s the beginning of a great actor career. I’m nearly a bit jalous. My job asks for a lot of acting but it has no effect on the salary… 🙂
      Looking forward to seeing you on screen.

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