Answers to Name that Lava XXI and riddle #14

First a stunningly beautiful image of Hekla taken from the Mila webcam early morning of the 19 of August by me.

We are discussing which place is best to upload images: The comments are implemented on to help Newbies get started.

The Nama that Lava riddle is also answered on the Answers to NtL Page part 2

Answers: Quote Alan: “ Shap ‘granite’ – more correctly or of UKV is a relatively small intrusion to the east of the town of Kendal in the English Lake District.“ Kendal Mintcake
Winners: 2 Topey 1 Henri/Liet Kynes 1 Karen, 1 Ukviggen

This week saw the return of his “Evility” Alan C with 2 riddles.

NtL: Topey got 2 points for Shap Granit and Kendal Mint Cake.

Shap Granite is common in Lake district especially around the town Kendal. A Pdf showing the goelogy is linked to the image

Monzogranite Wikipedia
Kendal in Lake District ( Wikipedia)

Lake district is said to be one of the loveliest countrysides in the UK. It also has a National Park as tourist attraction.


Kendal Mint Cake ( Wikipedia)
A Peppermint glucose tablet is covered with chocolate. Climbers like it as a snack because of its high energy content.

Romneys seems to be Alans favorite.


Evil riddle #14
‘If you wish to see my castellated layers, look hard amongst empty shells!
Oh! and don’t forget to look; you may find a dyke!’

a) What exactly am I?
b) With what is my dyke associated?

Fortification Agate

I just liked this image a lot. This is one agate i would really love to have.



Image comes from this link:

Quote his “Evility”: “I think we will do without the AGATE DYKE!
Refer to Spica’s 01.24 post, the laguna Agate next to the ammonite shows a beauty in the SW part of the specimen!
Real name is
Dilatation Dyke of Escapement – ie where excess fluid bursts from the amygdale and leaves a healed crack on the outside of the ‘stone’ Hope you liked this one!!”

Winners: KarenZ and ?

Also answered on the Page AlanC riddles and answers.

Update: The Winners of both riddles have been updated.

Current standing: Name that Lava: August 20th.

10 Spica
7 DFMorvan
6 Sissel
5 Ursula
5 Diana Barnes
5 KarenZ
4 Talla
3 Chryphia
2 Doug Merson
2 Hattie
2 Schteve42
2 Irpsit
2 Stephanie Alice Halford
2 Lisa
2 Henri, Liet Kynes
2 UKViggen<
1 Topey
1 Inge B
1 Heather B
1 Jamie
1 Jim
1 Luisport
1 Alan C
1 Bobbi

Current ranking: Alan´s ridlles

6 Talla
6 Sissel
4 KarenZ
3 Henri le Revenant
3 Chyphria
2 Ursula
1 lughduniese
1 purohueso745
1 UKViggen
1 Carl
1 Spica

261 thoughts on “Answers to Name that Lava XXI and riddle #14

  1. Great summary, Spica, thank you (and I want that agate, it is so beautiful!!).

    Just one funny slip that you might want to correct:
    Climbers like it as a snake because of its high energy content.
    Snake – an animal, Snack – Mahlzeit. :-)))))

    • Just a little amendment, if I may, which you will see if you open that geological map. Shap granite is a speciality only of the village of Shap, which has, as the map shows, three quarries producing three types of stone. The main quarry you see as you drive past on the M6 is the lime quarry, with the limeworks right by the road. At night the works are all lit up and steaming away: when my wife (a Lake District local) was a little girl she thought it was a fairy castle (Aww!)

      Shap (I believe, standing by to be corrected) is also famous for being at the top of the steepest incline on the main rail network of England (maybe even UK). It also has an outdoor swimming pool, which is rather amusing given that it is one of the coldest places in England. It is however, obviously a romantic place: my in-laws first met at a dance in the Shap village hall!!

  2. Please forgive me, but I do not agree with the answer to this month’s “Name That Lava”. It is totally unscientific. Shap Granite is a local and commercially applied name to a variety of granite scientifically described as porphyritic granite. Ukviggen posted the correct answer at 16:18, it’s the third reply (not counting later subreplies).

    Names such as Shap Granite, Cape Ruby or Gotland Marble are completely untenable as they attempt to make unique and hence enhance the commercial value of a particular product found at many other locations, of the same appearance, composition and paragenesis and undistinguishable from the “genuine” mineral or rock. This practice also opens the door on fraudulence. Say you want to have Shap Granite for your kitchen floor. How can you be certain that it actually is Shap Granite you’re buying and not identical porphyritic granite from, say, Tadjikistan or Outukumpo for which the dealer pays but a fraction but you pay the full price asked for “genuine” Shap Granite. At the same time, your savvy neighbour lays his entire downstairs floors with porphyritic granite from Ekatrinburg and, having paid less than you did for your kitchen floor, claims his/hers is Shap Granite and not a soul the wiser. :mrgreen:

    A short summary on “Shap granite”

    (Nor is it technically a lava – as was last week’s “lava” – it never erupted, thus it’s not lava but solidified magma. But we’ll allow for poetic license!)

    • Outokumpo? ROFL!

      The difference between Lava and Magma is at best semantic. I have always intended the competition to include both, but it starts to get cumbersome calling it Name that Lava, Magma, Intrusive or Otherwise VolcanoRelated Rocks 🙂 And, half of the ore mined was lava, now they are into the conduit magma, slowly shovelling away down towards the magma chamber.

      But I tend towards your standpoint on the Outokumpo Granite. Local brandnames are a nuisance really. Take for instance carrara marble. There are other marbles that nobody can see the difference from, or would even say is unusually nice marble.

      • Not entirely semantic if you think about it. Lava has erupted which means that it has degassed and dehydrated, explosively or not, and was at a pressure of 1 At (960 mB) when it solidified. This process occurred rapidly, which means there was little time for mineralisation, on occation so rapidly that there was no crystallisation and it ended up as glass (obsidian). What minerals are in lava had crystallised before it erupted and any such crystals tend to be small (microscopic).

        Magma still retained its water and gas content when it solidified, a process that took a very long time and one which allowed minerals to crystallise out of the melt as the changing mineral content, falling temperatures and pressures allowed. Thus they are rich in well-crystallised minerals. The crystals formed are large, the record garnet specimen (Arendal, Norway) is about 7 meters (24 feet) in diameter, the largest tourmaline is 3 x 1 meters (Schorl variety, opaque black, Skrumpetorp, Sweden) there’s a beryl from Brazil weighing in at 200 tons, in the Urals a quarry mined a single feldspar insividual for decades. If exceptional conditions prevail, the crystals formed can be very pure (gem quality).

        In short, lava – few poorly crystallised minerals. (Solidified) magma – a wide range of minerals, not rarely large and well crystallised.

        But, I have no quarrel whatsoever with the name of the competition using the one term covering both as long as the specific specimens used are referred to in the text with their proper classification. 😉

    • Hey, it’s OK!
      (I think) I got a point anyway for the equally appropriate monzogranite. But why I don’t get another for orthoclase, plagioclase, biotite and quartz I don’t know!! Let’s see what the Evil One has to say.

      And, two weeks on and Russell Crowe is STILL more famous than Peter Jackson 🙂 🙂 😉 😉

          • There was a wonderful guy on the radio today extolling the virtues of wheelchair rugby (aka ‘murderball’). Little to do with the able-bodied game, but sounds splendidly violent and definitely something to watch out for in the Paralympics.

      • And anyway neither Russell Crowe nor PJ are particularly good examples of the best that NZ has to offer. Ed Hillary wins that one hands down. in my ever so humble opinion, naturally.

        • I almost said who, but then I remember that he is the second man ontop of Mount Everest after the Tibethanian climber Namgyal Wangdi. Namgyals familly fled from Tibet and he came to grow up in a nepalese sherpa village.
          Together with his brother Topgay he started the first company that coaxed up tourists up Mount Everest. He died in 1986 in Darjeeling where he lived. Little known fact is that he held all 3 records of having climbed highest on Mount Everest, and as such 3 consecutive highest climb records.

          Topgays brother is of course better known as Norgay Tenzing.

          • Should also point out that the record that Sir Edmund and Norgay sat on that day has never been beaten. No climber has since then climbed as high as they did. This due to the mountain diminishes at alarming rate due to deglaciation.

        • The best NZ has to offer? The All Blacks and Sir Richard Hadlee, closely followed by the odd joint of mutton in my opinion.

          • Interesting how you Swedes have at once pretty good knowledge of NZ and also get it kind of completely wrong at the same time. Ed Hillary is indeed the best NZ has to offer because he epitomized the better qualities that NZ can produce in its people. His feat was not being the first (or second) man on Everest (Norgay and Hillary were always goods mates and neither of them ever disclosed who was first, would anyway be entirely beside the point). No, Hillary’s greatest feat was all he did for the people of Nepal thereafter, using all the proceeds he got from public talks etc, to set up local hospitals (he even lost almost of his family in an air crash in Nepal as they were flying back from one of these hospitals). He was unassuming to the extreme and never trumpted his mountaineering skills. Look up his comments when they found Mallory’s body and there was talk of whether Mallory had perhaps got to the summit first. Gives a pretty good indication of his character.
            As for the All Blacks, yep they can be pretty inspiring but I was really disappointed by Richie McCaw not deigning to even so much as acknowledge the French performance after the last World Cup final. That was pretty appalling. NZ, alas, has changed for the worse in the last 30 years, though it can still produce an awful lot of really good people.

            Rescued by Spica

          • So funny, the way you perceive history if you rely on what’s taught at school and don’t check up on your own. The picture I had of Sir Edmund was the one presented to me of the typical Sahib who rode the local population for his own glory. What you say paints a completely different and very laudable picture of a gentleman in the true sense of the word. You have enlightened me, thanks!

            PS. I see you pass on Sir Richard. 😛

    • Now I may have got this completely wrong – Shap granite is a porphyritic granite, but not all porphyritic granites are Shap granite – so Shap granite is surely more accurate as it is the name given to a specific type of porphyritic granite. Also, why is its common name deemed less accurate? Go into any shop and ask for porphyritic granite and you won’t necessarily get Shap granite; ask for Shap and that’s exactly what you’ll get. Or have I got this waaaaaay wrong?

      • I quite agree, but didn’t you get a point for Shap granite anyway? I thought you did. You certainly should.
        My point was for the term monzogranite, not the porphyritic bit (even though it is, as you say, porphyritic).
        Liet got the secondary minerals, even though we don’t what they are yet!

        Anyway, it’s only a bit of fun to get us all learning stuff.

          • I only have a few minutes this week here what with one thing and another
            Riddle first – easier
            One point for Karenz Fortification Agate
            One for Sissel for the agate dyke not in as many words – ‘healed crack’!

            Shap ‘granite’ is petrologically an adamellite or monzogranite. It is also tenuously associated with a suite of lamprophyre dykes in the Sleddale/Kentmere areas. THAT stands –
            point to IKV.
            Granite is a ‘bucket’ term as is basalt – Scottish carboniferous basalts are subdivided to Dalmeny, Jedburgh, Marcle, Craiglockart etc each with their own characteristic mineral assemblage
            ‘Granite’ is also applied to rocks of ultrametamorphic provinces for acid melts giving a rock of granitic appearance
            The accessory minerals in that specimen are Molbdenite, chalcopyrite and minute (too small to see here) purple fluorite – point to Liet.
            Point to Topey – Kendal Mint Cake (variety Romney’s choc coated)
            One to Karen for the whole rock mineralogy

            Back Thursday (briefly)- I have something/one to ‘sort’!

  3. Hi everyone.
    Thanks Spica for your great conclusion to last week’s name that Igneous rock :D. Higly professional 🙂
    Just experimenting with copying some Urls. I hope they work… if not… back to the drawing board.
    This is a lovely picture of Mt Kilimanjaro.
    And after i have crocheted the viking helmets for Carl et al here is my next project
    Our local # 49 Bus tends to look rather drab especially in winter……

      • Hi Karen,
        there was talk of a possibly period of new activity about a year ago, because the ice is melting in Kibo

        • Kilimanjaro is considered inactive with most recent eruption 100,000+ years ago. Some sites reference an ash pit in the center from minor activity 200 years ago. There are fumaroles so there is some localized latent heat up there but not a cause of glacier ice melting.

          In spite of the alarmist use of Kilimanjaro’s shrinking icecaps by Al Gore in his “Inconvenient Truth” as a poster example of global warming, the consensus of cooler more scientific heads is that the glacier has been shrinking since at least 1880 due to the imbalance of sublimation and precipitation. Current conditions, perhaps exacerbated by vegetation reduction on the upwind slopes, seem to be just too dry to maintain an icecap.

          Incidentally, there are some claims of growth of the icecap since 2000.

      • If you look on Google maps the mountain is pratically clear of ice – the glaciers are very much smaller now.

          • Yes, what is the defining characterestic of a tuya—morphology of the peak (Kibo looks a bit Tuya-ish) or existence of a specific geology caused by subglacial emplacement of lava. The internet searchable definitions are not consistent or enlightening.

            In any case I wonder if the 100 meter glacier postulated for Kilimanjaro is enough glacier to cause a tuya even if extant at the time of eruption. I imagine thickness of ice to result in tuya varies depending on the magnitude of eruption.

            What are the depths known or calculated to be associated with tuya?

          • A tuya forms by erupting through an ice sheet. Being only 600,000 to 1.2 million years old, there was no ice sheet for it to erupt through. Kilimanjaro is not a tuya.

          • No, it just has very sticky lava that gives it unusually steep, but even sides. But, there might have been a blowout in the cone during the last larger eruption. You can see where you have what looks like something in between a crater and a caldera. It is believed by some that the volcano was taller before, and that a portion blow up and out taking the top with it, and that Kibo has later been slowly filling up getting a more narrow crater as time goes by.
            There are actually more than one holocene crater up there, but the main vent that is clearly seen in the middle of the top have youtfull looking ashes. According to a friend of mine who has climbed it twice it is the area with the highest amoung of glacier disapearing. First time it was covered up and not visible, but last year it was visible, and according to him it is now much more visible judging from the arial picture.
            I am trying to coax him to write something about Kilimanjaro, but he is claiming the “not allowed by sponsor card”. I am though stubborn.

    • Before anyone tries to show their ass and state that it should be “gravity,” “graphity is the way the original article is headlined on the source website.

      But Mt. “James Quach” seems like one of those names that fall into some sort of weird synchronicity. Like a Volcanologist named “Sparks” or such.

      • Or the head of the LKAB (The dudes with the Kiruna-mine). He is named Björn Sprängare, or in English Bear Blower (Eat that Bear Grylls).
        In Russia he has an even cooler name, they renamed him Urs Dynamit.

    • BTW… until someone can cough up a graviton or proof of it…. I’m sticking with the Big Bang idea.

      Massive fortunes and some pretty extreme science and engineering has been thrown at LIGO and it’s relatives. As of yet, not even a hint at gravitational waves arriving at our position from catastrophic stellar events. (Magnetars, Black Hole formation, Neutron star formation etc…)

      One idea has it that gravity or the graviton, is not bound to this universe and can leak into or out of it.

      On thing is certain… from the observations. CBR slowly declines. Take that process back in time, and at one point the universe was opaque since the energy levels were so high. This is about the point where nothing atomic could exist… the only thing around were individual quantum particles. Before that, they could not even exist.

      Many base theories about how stuff works have come and gone. Some are re-vamped and trotted back out. Some die on the vine. This is just one more in the long line of “hey, maybe it’s this” (now pony up some money so I can go spend my career looking for it)

      I am probably getting old… but I am beginning to think that this never ending quest to piss money away on huge programs to find elusive particles or prove some theory is a waste.

      If these money hungry boondoggles were not siphoning entire societies into permanent indebtedness… how many people would not be paying through the ass for subsistence?

      • No CERN, no Internet to complain about CERN. 🙂

        I would say that the big problem is not that a few scientist get a horkload of money. I have a problem with megacorps stealing the money from people, then buying politicians to steal the governments money, and then changing the laws so that small companies can’t compete. There’s how 87 percent of all the wealth get’s into the hands of 20 percent, while the poorest 40 percent get 0,5 percent of the wealth. Those 40 percent that get the 12,5 percent slice is the middle class.
        That’s how many people pay through their ass for subsistance, they are robbed.
        (Current US statistics)

        Edit: I am a Swede, according to a US poll we are the most communist country on the planet to the dismay of the Castro familly and the north-korean dictator for life Kim Ul-Jong. It is not so off, our right wing conservative party is after all far to the left of the democrats. And I am a self professed voter to the left of the middle in Swedish terms. I am also a friend of high taxes. I also seriously think one should get shot for making more than a billion in your favourite currancy. A few million is OK, more than that and you are an ass and the gene-pool would probably be better without you. Yes, I am raving extremist. Just thought I should add this for clarity. If I ever become a billionaire I would of course be the brilliant exception 👿

        • Anybody who is surprised to find that Swedes are extremists raise a hand. Oh, your hand is down? Well, you are a Swede I guess 🙂
          We are normaly fairly convinced that we are the epitome of normal. We are not, we are puffed up silly windbags who love to tell anybody around how to do things.
          But… It works for us.

        • Since you can’t stop them from stealing (they see it as their right, what they do as in the best public interest and themselves as noble), are you saying that the only solution is to eliminate the thieves? If so, I’ll vote for whatever you vote for.

          Hang on a minute. On second thought, as the initial theft is performed by the politicians and as the big corporations steal from the politicians, they are in fact are stealing from thieves, which makes them present-day Robin Hoods. They even hand back the money in the form of wages.

          Getting complicated? :mrgreen: Not really, all that is required is to prevent the first theft. Let people vote for what services they want, price tag attached. As soon as those elected fail or exceed their mandate, they go to jail for a very long time indeed. Chaingang variety.

          It’s called accountability. Montesquieu specified it as a necessity if democracy was to work, but of course the thieves didn’t want any accountability, so they did away with it a.s.a.p. That’s why our Western “democracy” doesn’t work, at least not well.

          • Long winded but fairly funny answer getting lost due to me using the word nazi twice. Did not even end up in the spam box.
            Well, the consensus was that people are idiots, so instead of getting a medical insurance they get liposucked, have viagra insurance with free gluteus implants, or in my case would be so confused that I had my lips enhanced 16 times in one day.

        • Interesting article in New Scientist (18 Aug p46) on that very topic – predicting USA and west europe political instability will soon ( decade) shoot up as result of a cycle of rich/poor imbalance. Population biologist has applied his mathematical skills to history: Peter Turchin , Univ Connecticut,

        • I’m a big fan of the Scandinavian approach.. even did one paper on Scandinavian politics as part of my BA… and New Zealand, when I grew up was closer to Sweden in its social market approach than it was to England.. it was a great place to grow up in… and then came Rogernomics:

          … which in an almost Scandinavian inversion of political polarity sums up extremely right-wing economic policy introduced by the left-wing party.. yeah, it gets confusing.

          • To confound it we instead had the Conservatives re-wamp themselves into The New Workers Party.
            People believed that they all of a sudden cared about the workers and voted them in. Now we understand that in a diabolical play with words had renamed the rich people to be the New Workers, and not at all a party for the old workers that actually get dirty at work.

          • That sounds about right. Ah, how I miss the old days of clear party lines and good state husbandry of essential functions like power, health and schooling. Of course bad state husbandry of these critical functions can be just as bad as despotism but I had the feeling it was all working well in NZ.. oh well..
            btw, Carl, did you get my hurried missives? I’d be happy to rework them if you think they are of any use.

          • (Chokes) Scandinavian what?!? Even if (paid for) investigations show Sweden is one of the least corrupt nations, exactly the opposite is true. Sweden is the most organisedly corrupt nation on the planet, but is expert at hiding this fact to make it seem legal and above board and this is why the “Scandinavian Way” is lionised across the globe.

          • Hendrik, you are misunderestimating (great word, thanks Mr. Bush) my age… I studied Scandinavian politics back in the seventies, back when we were all sweetly innocent and discussed everything in terms of communism and capitalism, with social market economies like the Scandinavian ones, sitting in the middle. I have no doubt entrenched interests run through the Swedish economy as they do through every other modern economy.

            Dragged out of the dungeons by volcanocafe2.

        • I’m fully aware of CERNs connection with the Internet. My issue is the never ending quest for more grants to examine in great detail… the inane.

          Just like the US school system, one of the highest funded per capita, and produces some of the highest quality morons that money can buy.

          Recently, The University of West Florida jacked their tuition rates by 15% in one year. This is much like all higher education sytems nationwide… each year, an increase higher than inflation.. generally by a factor of two or more. Sorry, a tenured F’wad spouting his bullshit in my opinion.. is worthless. UWF deiced that they would buy a Country Club while they were at it. What do we get with all these higher rates? Well papered and heavily indebted burger flippers.

          At some point, all things out live their usefulness… Unions are at the fore front. No longer representing the needs and concerns of their members, many are fully engaged in nothing but influence peddling. Lament the large corporations all you want, but you will find some of the most insidious activity in the organizational structure of your local shop.

          A lot of people jump all over the oil companies and their huge profits… did you ever consider what sort of overhead that they run? The daily lease rate for a drillship capable of operating in 4000’+ feet of water is $469,000 USD per day

          What sort of overhead does Micro$oft or Apple have compared to that?

          • I agree with all of that and in similar fashion, I have translated a number of environmental audits and the care with which all of these private sector companies go about their business would shame most consumers out there (I used to work for Greenpeace, remember?) No, the malaise is not “corporate greed”, a very vague expression if ever there was one, I think it is deeper and more widespread. You see it in just about every little niche of the economy where somebody thinks they can milk their situation for all its worth.
            Years ago I used to think it was cyclical, societies go through stages of absolute devastation due to war or famine or some other upheaval that brings everyone down to the same level and that basic human instinct to work together for the greater good comes to the surface. As they get more affluent this essential social bonding starts to fray at the edges and then permeate all levels of society. Soon or later the whole thing breaks down again. I fear we are pretty much reaching the end of this spectrum at the moment.

      • I am sitting on the fence here, it is always good to ask questions etc. someone else might come up with answers or new idea along discussions, there is a saying:
        the biggest stinker can be the greatest linker

  4. The last couple of earthquakes have got a little stronger and one is deeper and they seem to be changing direction.

    1161867 20/08/2012 11:16:27 27.7736 -18.0903 11 2.0 4 W FRONTERA.IHI [+] info

    1161894 20/08/2012 11:54:48 27.7209 -18.1624 20 2.7 4 W FRONTERA.IHI [+] info

      • Hi Newby, each “swarm area” has kind of a strength footprint. It doesn´t necessarily have to be because of depth, but on average you are right. The swarm going up to Bob had a strong earthquakes composition for example.
        My laywoman guess is that strength is correlated with expansion velocity of the magma, combined with or caused by properties of the crust.

      • Confining pressure.

        Confining pressure goes up as the depth increases. The greater this pressure, the more stress it takes to break the rock. Throw in a bit of pore pressure and some other dynamics… like greater plasticity with increased heat, and you will generally see that the deeper quakes are the larger ones… and you also don’t pick off the tiny quakes as well from under that much mass. Lots of attenuation.

        • I see. So frequency of (detected) small quakes is a function of distance from the seismographs. But the apparent absence of strong earthquakes in the central swarm? Well, that is the one right under Tanganasoga, i.e. “soft” magma chamber?
          3D with the last 70 earthquakes in respect to mblg.

        • Hello Ursh, I play around with different color tables, some appear more appropriate to me to highlight differences and enhance contrasts than others. Thank you for calling to attention to that other people might perceive the intended effect quite differently.

          But anyways, this reminds me to first check the plots with a color simulator for all the dichromats out there.

          And while searching that I learned about this achromtic eyeborg:

    • That is one weird shadow.
      It shows as 3 separate locations after one large spike at most likely Fimmvörduhals (head calculation) with a depth of 9 to 12 km.
      This one will be interesting to see what they come up with.
      The reflections of the quake was, entertaining. It is almost like effect predated causation on this one. One of the more odd ones I have seen, so I could be way off in my small calculations.

  5. Now I can die.
    Because I have seen it all.
    Just deleted a spam-message advertising “Fake beets” and stores where you could get contraband beets. Next time I buy my beet I will look at it very closely and ask myself, “Beet my friend, are you a pirate copy?”

    • Alas poor Yorick, I beet him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite flatulence, of most resounding volume: he hath blown me out of the back door a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! My nose reeks at the digestive problems beget upon his consumption of beets…

    • Had I not seen it earlier on the daily fail today I wouldn´t have guessed, but they are snowflakes, taken with specially chilled microscopes or something like that!

      • I was amazed when I found out what they were the patterns in them and so perfect how can water cause something so unique and think I have read somewhere that every snow flake is different,

          • Yepp, it is stunning sometimes. And then we have sometimes entire forrests covered in rimfrost. It is very beautifull. It is when humidity in the air freezes as it touches something that is colder, like trees. And sometimes when that happens and sun hits all those billions of ice crystals you get a wast cathedral of shimering light. Diamonds up my…

            The general concept:

            Cathedral of Light:

            Heck, now I almost miss winter…

          • Sometimes you do not need trees to get rimfrost… Men can do it on their own.

            Image can cause some women to get… intrigued:

            Edit: I do not remember who it was that got so “happy” with snow-pictures and webcams with snow. But this is a special one for you.

            Edit2: No Diana, that is not me… But it could have been.

          • I am living the the wonderful winter wonderland at the moment and it is freezing cold, I think I will admire those things better from a distance, like summer. Humans are funny we always want what we can’t have

  6. I won’t post a link in case some spam filter stops it.

    But I notice the latest update on El Hiero from Earthquake Report mentions ultra rapid inflation .

    “- 2 more earthquakes during the late afternoon. The first a M1.2 at a depth of 9 km in the El Golfo Bay and the second a M1.8 at a depth of 20 km at the western tip op the island.
    – The GPS Ultra rapid inflation from this morning has been confirmed by the more accurate Rapid data for both PINA and FRON stations”

    David B

    • Well, the only oddity I can see is over on HI05, which seems to be up a bit.

      If they are using PINA and FRON from Nagoya, they better be careful, the corpulent one may have a cow. (and for some damn reason, he reminds me of Vladimir Harkonnen)

      PINA, off of that set, may have some vertical deformation, but it seems to sit slap dab in the noise of that station. In other words, it’s has transited about as much as it’s showing right now in short order…. throughout most of its record.

    • Problem I am having is the lack of horizontal motion. When the last bubble of magma came up it moved EW and NS quite a lot on most station. There is no motion at all at any station in EW and NS.
      So, I would wait a while…

  7. Been doing some revamping of data.

    A while back I did a “poor mans” tomography. It was far from an actual inversion process, and since I did not have a lot of faith in it, I quit doing it. It was quite illustrating… at least to me. But the ease with which it could be misconstrued made me a bit uncomfortable. I don’t like putting out crap data. I didn’t mind communicating the methods to those who asked, the basics were sound. The issue was with doing the gridding of the data and the false sense of knowledge that it gave. It’s very easy to look at a pretty plot and to think you know what it says.

    So… I quit doing them.

    However, we can still use those methods to extract meaning from the data.. not looking at the quakes en-mass, but on an individual quake basis.

    At 8/20/2012 11:54, a magnitude 2.7 quake happened at 19.6 km depth at 27.7209N – 18.1624W. It’s event 1161894. Pulling the phase data, it hit a few of the stations with P and S waves at the expected time… P faster than S, etc. I picked this quake since it gives a semi-good profile of the depths.

    When a quake occurs, it’s pretty close to a point source event. It’s not really, the energy is expended across a fault plane, however big it is. But for our purposes, we can use that event to glean a bit of data. The seismic waves, specifically those hitting the regions in El Hierro, do not bounce around the mantle and take oddball paths to get to the stations. They are, for all practical purposes, straight line events. Sure, some bending can occur as they travel, but we aren’t concerned with that for now. When a seismic station picks up a wave, that wave will have traveled through the rock and will carry a delay based on what the characteristics of the rock are. This has to do with all the Elastic modulus, the Sheer modulus and a few other things. Accounting for the curvature of the Earth, we can determine via some triangulation and trig, how far the wave actually travels on it’s “straight line path.” With that, and the phase delays, we can find the actual velocities of the waves.

    Doing some sleuthing, you will find that the average density of the rock that the wave went through, can be found via some juggling of formulas and the P wave speed, and the S wave speed.

    Click to access 1998-10.pdf

    That event… 1161894, yields an average density of

    2.74 g/cm³ for the wave that went to CHIE
    2.82 g/cm³ for the wave that went to CJUL
    2.77 g/cm³ for the wave that went to CMCL
    2.85 g/cm³ for the wave that went to CORC

    Since CJUL and CORC are almost on top of the quake, it shows us the approximate density of the strata going straight down to the quake.
    CMCL and CHIE are off to the side, so the waves passing this route went through less dense material and the speed slowed a bit, yielding a lower overall density. This is possibly due to the “hot” region, or some vagary with the way the strata is layered.

    For reference, solid Basalt has a density of 3.1 g/cm³, solid Granite 2.7 g/cm³ (approx).

    I’m too tired to fiddle with this anymore…. so I though I would stick it out here for proper rumination.

    • It would also imply that the hot region (if that is what it is), or the bulk of it, is at a depth of less than (very roughly) 12 km (i.e. one third of the way from the hypocenter to the station as this would take it out of the region where all four stations are affected) – or, alternatively, it is in a very focused region at depth that affects the waves heading to CHIE and CMCL but not those heading to CCUM and CJUL. I love ruminating first thing in the morning.

      • Possibly a stupid idea, but it might not be 🙂
        if you were to take a 3d model, and draw a line from the quake to each of the stations just using one colour but (based on the inverse of that average density) with different colour intensity (I think it’s called alpha in some graphics programs) and then did the same for a bunch of other quakes would that show up a region that was darker because of a pattern in the differing average densities of the rocks, or would that just show up the areas where most quakes had been (again).

    • I can replicate your result for CHIE but not for the other three stations using one formula from the paper linked based on Vp (the other was within 2%). Vs produced completely different results for all four stations.

      But, from memory, we use slightly different formulae for straight ray path because I use Excel.

      Could be lack of caffeine. I’ll try again later but suspect I need to know more about the geology of the area to work out what is going on.

      • I have been reworking the positions of the stations from the phase reports. This was a preliminary run using those. Right now I have the standard error on them down to about 500 meters in Longitude and 70 meters in Latitude.

        For the distance, I use a strait ray path and do not account for the station elevation (yet). The straight ray path takes into account the curvature of the earth and the spatial relationship of the hypocenter to the station.

        The Vs formula in the paper is based off of the speed in feet per second, so I had to convert km/s to ft/s.

        According to the paper the Vs formula has lower variance than the Vp formula (which is from 1961).

        • Ft / sec does produce a better result from Vs 😀 Thank you.

          Results still differ because we have used different ways of calculating straight ray path but I have the same result for CORC, which is what you would expect as it is the station closest to the EQ.

    • This is just too brilliant! It’s the sort of wizardry that they perform to get an idea of the location, size and extent of magma chambers. Let’s see, this quake was at 19.6 km, right? Let’s accept that figure as fact. The seismic waves then have to pass through a bit of crust and layers of sediment before it encounters the El Hierro prominence. And now we get into the realm of assumptions:

      First, is the crust homogenous or not? Since the angular deviation results in a much smaller actual physical distance the closer you get to the quake “point” (good qualification there, Mr Lurking!), the likelier it gets that any deviation in density/permeability will affect the LOS to the stations equally. But even so, a homogenous crust ought to be highly unlikely.

      Second, the sediment layer. Water and clay, ought to be much lower density and affect the obtained results. Nor likely to be flat and uniform as if rolled out with a baking pin, i.e. further source of discrepancies to take into account.

      Third, the Hierro prominence. How uniform/homogenous is its composition, possible magma sills aside? Old conduits filled up, not with magma, but with seawater?

      In spite of these caveats, the densities you have found indicate that much of the distance covered is made up of minerals/materials other than basalt! Look forward to the next part!

      Apologies for stating the blatantly obvious and thinking out loud! 😉

        • Which implies that Lurking should have gotten values much closer to the 3.1 of basalt and not almost bang on granite at 2.7. Since he didn’t, either there’s a problem with the calculation or the composition from 19.6 km down and up is much different from what is currently believed. And I refuse to believe that Lurking is that much off. 😉

        • No, not a problem. That Basalt is layered with consolidated (to some extent) tephra deposits. Overall the density is about right when you consider that it’s also passing trough sediment and material at or below phyllite (just below mica schist in the metamorphic family of ‘stuff-you-can-do-to-rock-after-the-fact’)

          That 3.1 g/cm³ is solid basalt.

  8. Good morning/evening G’day to everyone.
    Really not much happening so far today. I have an early appt. so shower time and off to get ready. BBL
    Thinking of showers…..I haven’t heard from GeoLoco for a while. I hope he is OK.

    • Yes, it could. The question is how much of an effect the longer “in the sediment” run would be over a heated and less dense region would be. I can run the density calcs off of either wave, and I can also do speed differences…. or ratios.

      The real question is what can we find from each method.

      • The question is can one predict the result of those calculations for future earthquakes that happen at a different angle. Or will the calculations of another earthquake-seismometer pair that intersects the “tomographed” region fit to the model. Complicated at first glance.

      • That’s where the field of inversion calculations are concerned. I don’t have a handle on that. (yet, and it may take quite a while to figure it out… if I ever do)

        All this does is look at what info can be pulled from one quake with a bit-o-logic and trig.

    • Who knows? 😉

      Last time, Carl thought that the 3.1 to 3.8 (the seismologists just couldn’t reconcile their different results when recalculating) was because the glacier split apart. Myself, I favour the idea of a collapse of an ice cauldron or possibly this scenario:

      Beneath the glacier, there is a layer of water which acts as a sort of cushion for the glacier. When there is a small, subglacial eruption such as last year, not only does this melt the glacier from below but the forces generated scour channels in the “topsoil”. Once there’s been an outflow, jökulhlaup or otherwise, a new point of stability is reached and the glacier again settles on its cushion of water – unless it encounters an obstacle such as a rocky outcrop. The glacier and outcrop crush each other (resulting in shallow quakes, the kind we see all year round).

      What I think may have happened here is that a moraine dam has failed or been eroded. As a result, a “negative cavern” has formed. Think of a crater with a breached wall through which the water has run out and the glacier resting on the crater rim. Make it large enough and the glacier will fail catastrophically and come crashing down, or at least huge blocks of ice from the underside. To generate a M 2.8, you only need a chunk of ice about 30 – 40 m in diameter and about 5-10 m thick to fall 10 meters.

      I wouldn’t want to be spelunking there at the moment… :mrgreen:

      • Icelandic daily newspaper Morgunblaðið had an interview with geologist Prof. Magnús T. Guðmundsson from Univ. of Iceland ( ) by the end of July during which he explained some of the workings of Katla (the interview is a month old, but the general information might still be valid)
        – There were more small quakes in Mýrdalsjökull since July last year than have been during last years. This is connected to the glacier run of last year.
        – There has also been unrest in Mýrdalsjökull in the years 1955, 1967, 1977, 1999, 2001-5.
        – A lot of geothermal heat is often to be found in the caldera – which might be precursor to an eruption or not, but it is clear that the quakes measured at the moment come from volcanic / geothermal activity and not from the glacier.
        – It is not possible to predict date or intensity of any eruption in Katla.

  9. Tuesday
    21.08.2012 07:08:15 63.623 -19.072 1.1 km 1.1 90.01 5.0 km NNE of Hábunga
    21.08.2012 07:04:01 63.640 -19.186 3.8 km 0.6 39.26 3.2 km E of Goðabunga
    21.08.2012 07:04:00 63.598 -19.109 1.1 km 0.3 53.59 2.0 km NNW of Hábunga
    21.08.2012 07:03:00 63.633 -19.087 1.1 km 3.1 90.05 5.9 km N of Hábunga

    • Not sure – the readings are lower but not inconsistent with the overall trend. The vertical readings have shown a wider range than the horizontal ones. We need more readings to be sure.

      But downward deformation can be from magma moving away or from rebound (gravity pushes back against the upward momentum).

  10. @Renato, a completely OT question for you. I just read about this programme in the news:
    So, my question: do I understand correctly that this is a programme where Brazilian government fully sponsors students/postgrads/postdocs from Brazil to go study/work abroad? I don’t speak Portuguese, but with coming in with some Spanish, I think that’s what this is. Is this correct? If so, can you perhaps find some information in the Portuguese version of the page how a university from one of the listed EU countries (and working in one of the relevant listed topics) would go about reaching candidates for this support to get them here? My department would be likely very interested in such an opportunity to get good quality students, but I can’t find any information for the uni-side of things, it seems to me that the page is aimed solely at students….

    • Hey, Ursula!
      Just passing by to catch the news in between work shifts, when I saw your question.
      I took a quick look at the site, and yes – from what I understood, this is aimed only for the students – but I found this link with the names of countries and institutions associated with the initiative.
      “The Science Without Borders Program has agreements and partnerships with various educational institutions, exchange programs and research institutes around the world. This space aims to facilitate access to information about available and calls on partners in each country of destination.”
      “…this page will be constantly updated bringing new calls, new agreements and partnerships, number of vacancies, types of scholarships available, information from embassies and consulates, as well as educational and research institutions of prominence. Access the menu next to the country of your interest.
      Should you require further information, please contact us through the channels available in the footer of the Portal or in accordance with the instructions set forth in the texts of calls.”
      I don’t know if I understand exactly if this is what you are looking for, but I’ll come back later to perform a more accurate search.
      Wish you luck!

      • Thanks Renato, I found what I was looking for on the paises page – a link to my national agency which I shoudl contact.
        And I think this is a great initiative by the Brazilian government! 🙂

        • You are most welcome, Ursula!
          Our country is in desperate need of qualified main d’oeuvre. There is a great chance that you may get what you want.
          Wish you luck!

        • Spain used to operate a scheme for selected students to work for PhD in UK. I had one such 20 years ago and he was an excellent young scientist. Interestingly his PhD was submitted to, examined by, and awarded by the spanish university. Thesis was written in spanish of course, which made my contribution to it minimal ( unlike one supects many theses where supervisor reads drafts!). So well worth going for IMHO.

  11. Heads up for British readers here. On Thursday 30th August (so next week) on BBC2 is the promised programme by Kate Humble on Iceland volcanoes. It’s on at 9.00 pm and is called:
    “Iceland Erupts: a Volcano Live Special”. She looks back at catastrophic eruptions of the past and meets scientists monitoring the volcanoes. 😀

      • Thanks for the heads-up, Talla, should be interesting viewing. Wish it wasn’t Kate Humble though (can’t stand her for some reason). Kate Winslet perhaps? Local girl, fellow Reading season ticket holder, sits a few rows behind me 🙂 Kathy Burke (true legend) would do just fine, too!

        • I shall be travelling to London then …Sigh. 7.15 pm from Manchester to Euston.I may love Volcanoes but not giving up my VERY cheap train ticket for Kate Humble and Katla. :D.

          I can hear her rehearsing now…… “Eyaf….. Eyyaaf……Eyafjal……..OH Hork! Just cut and pan to Hekla!!!”

          You realise folks.. without Eyafjallajökull’s shenanigans we would probably not be on this blog.

      • It is just some clouds, if you look at them farther away (in the middle), there are no clouds at all on the first picture. And there seems to be more wind and from another direction on the second picture, so that it could also be the wind driving the steam in some hollow in the mountain or so. There is nothing strange going on in the region and often clouds on Vatnajökull.

        There have neither been a lot of quakes lately in the region nor any harmonic tremor or such. 🙂

        • Good Morning /evening G’day.

          I think I know what Islander and Irpsit do in summer. They take it in turns at the VC Ice-cream van parked up on the car-park. There is a good view of Vatnjokull Volcanoes from there too.
          (Every time I visit the Jokulsarlon web cam there is a little white van there )

        • Hello, Inge,
          Thanks for your answer 🙂
          I think if here what was going, I would have read long time ago something in the forum,
          I wanted to make only the change obviously on a look

  12. Huh… we have a fire in the vicinity (not in my building or even visible from here but the London skyline does not permit a good view of the horizon) so doors and windows closed. Smells here of burnt matches (SO2 and phosphorous) and possibly rubber.

    If this is what the people in Hierro go through, they have my sympathy.

      • Possibly, but I am 10 miles to 15 miles away so I would expect it to be something more local. However, if it is the Heathrow fire, it must be a lot worse nearer to it.

      • Err.. tire fires typically don’t extinguish very easily. All you can really do is flood the carp out of them and hope to contain it a bit.

    • Volcanic islands form and erode all the time. There have been eg. small islands which formed on Reykjanes Ridge and eroded (re. Thompson island, they looked 5 years (!) later) or during the Surtsey eruptions.
      But there is a clear difference between an island and a pumice raft. 🙂

  13. 4.6 2012/08/22 10:59:46 -12.066 109.427 14.8 NORTHWEST OF AUSTRALIA
    I wonder why there has been so many intraplate earthquakes in the Indian Ocean (both Australia and India plates).
    BTW where is Geoloco? He would jump on my neck if he was reading this my comment… but I’m just curious.

  14. Btw i had the interview, now lets see what comes out of it. Should be in the paper next ( not this one) weekend.

  15. Against popular belief, I am alive and well.
    But I have a very serious load of work right now.

    So, do not be surprised if I am rather gone for a day or so.


  16. Schteve sent a cool post 2 days ago.
    Do you want it?
    Then i ll press the publish button. It is about plots for beginners!

      • & estimated densities for the island edifice. This is based on estimated layers below Orchilla and taking into account the distance of the EQs from the receiving stations.

        Note that the model does NOT include flexing of the ocean crust for the weight of the island.

      • Those are pretty good… but this is getting about to the level where it can get deceiving.

        Quakes are points (effectively). The density calculations are the average for the entire wave path. In other words, from that “point” to the siesmo. It’s very easy to be thrown off in thinking of these as being representative of conditions at the “point” where the quake occurred, but they are not.

        It might be possible to do a set of quakes at a particular layer, then take the set for the group of quake the next layer down, or above, and extract their apparent densities in order to puzzle out one layers effects from another.

        Example, quakes between 10 and 11 km show a density of 2.78 g/cm³, quakes from 11 to 12 km show 2.98 g/cm³, 9 to 10 km show 2.75 2.78 g/cm³, With a bit of work, and much gnashing of teeth, you might be able to discern a depth v density plot that was representative of a virtual borehole.

        But it would take a lot of quakes… and probably would not reflect the dynamics of the region… just the average over time.

        This is one of the reasons (the last version of the plot) that I got the heeby jeebies over doing those sort of plots. Each incarnation seemed to easily contradict the previous version. It wasn’t until I sat down an thought about it for a while until I realized that I was looking at the data improperly. You have to consider that it’s the entire path your looking at in those numbers.

        Taking a look at the density calcs on a single quake basis at least allow you to stop and think about what could cause the variations that you see (in apparent density) Also, doing one quake across as many stations as possible can give you a feel for the structure, though not actually point it out. In this way each quake is it’s own sample signal, not obfuscated by the vagaries of the other quakes.

        Until someone can come up with a way of doing inversion with this limited data… it’s about all we have to go on.

        Meanwhile… another source for noodling around the density v velocity calculations.

        Click to access 2007-01.pdf

        That is, unless you want to catch catfish in a unique way…

        • One thing that could be messing up my second plot is the fact that I do not know how much the ocean crust has flexed under the island. Also an adjustment for the height of CJUL et al may improve the result.

          I could throw a lot of data at the formulae I am using at the moment but I’d prefer to be more confident with the formulae.

        • A couple of things that may help… well, ideas to read about, are bulk modulus and shear modulus. You may not take a lot away from it, but familiarizing yourself with how the P and S relate to it helps.

          The same can be said of “Visualizing Stress” and the two freebe programs they have to dink around with the concepts.

          I’ve found that a lot of material about Oil/Gas Field exploration techniques is informative. Despite the general contempt that many exhibit towards that industry, a lot of what we know about seismology and strata come from there. In fact, many data sets from bore holes and well logs provide the crucial framework that a lot of geology is built on.

          Not only that, but their product allows me to go to work, make money, and feed my family.

        • Thank you for the links.

          Some simple plots emulating bore holes (Note: proper boreholes would be a lot smaller but it was difficult to find recent eqs which occured close enough to each other).

    • Actually… tissues from the 32000 specimens were successfully grown and the seeds form those plants successfully germinated.

      Svetlana Yashina from the Russian Academy of Sciences grew the plants from immature fruits recovered from the burrow. She extracted their placentas – the structure that the seeds attach to – and bathed them in a brew of sugars, vitamins and growth factors. From these tissues, roots and shoots emerged.

      Either way, it’s still amazing.

      And an added bonus, though the species of that plant still grow in the area, the morphology was different than the modern version.

      Yashina found that the ancient plants are subtly different to their modern counterparts, even those taken from the same region. They’re slower to grow roots, they produce more buds, and their flower petals were wider.

      Mindful of [other researchers mistakes], Yashina carefully checked that her plants were indeed ancient ones. She dated the seeds directly, and her results matched age estimates from other samples from the same burrow.

      The other link

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