Answers to the last riddle and an important change in the menu

Inge B gave us a heads up  about an earthquake swarm in Iceland.

Inge B. says: September 2, 2012 at 07:42 

Earthquake swarm at Reykjanes still ongoing, about 30-40 quakes by now:

And the Skaftá glacier run is also still running: water height at 322 cm, water volumn: 276 m3/sec., conductivity went up to 400 in the meantime, now at around 300 and rising again, light absorption went up to 570, now bit more down, but rising.

dfmorvan did a new plot:

Some Vp data for the period from June 14th to August 28th.

georgiade informed us about new cams: georgiade says: September 1, 2012 at 22:33

Hello, to everybody, there is new livecam from Popocatepetl,
in nice weather he is also very good to see in the skyline of Puebla more than 2 chimneys in the skyline on the left,
and I have found another 2 livecams from Tungurahua
I hope it at least, because is not to be seen at the moment a lot

And Grimmster is back!!!

Now to the updates:

AlanC´s evil riddle

Current ranking: ( last updated 1.9.12)

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

Riddle #16 on Answers to Name that Lava III and a friday riddle Author Spica: August 31th.

Of ancient origin and of violent birth, into this world I came; all but to end in fire!
With almost my Masters name, I am located near the home of a small dog!

What is my name?
Of what is this rarity composed?

Answers: Allende meteorite, carbonaceous chondrite in Chihuahua province
Winners: Kelda (3);

More Info: Wikipedia Allende Meteorite

Welcome to volcano cafe has been separated into chapters.
Chapter 4 and 5 have been added.

Help on:

  • How to change your avatar
  • How to add a smiley
  • How to do a video from a streaming webcam
  • How to do a screenshot
  • Where to upload images
  • How to upload a video
  • Plotting for beginners

can be found in “Gems without any relation to volcanoes” to be found in the section Gems in the menu.

Information on how you can be prepared for a volcanic eruption
Icelanders do prepare for Eruptions – A personal observation Author: Islander

Chapter 5

Home: Thats the place where all new posts show up and where you end up when you only go to This is the most frequented place.
Welcome to Volcanocafe: was posted by Carl when the place first opened, you can find the idea behind all of this there, as well as some rules.
NEW Welcome to Volcanocafe now also contains the rules, the list of dragons, HELP and this explanation to the menu.
Dragons Hoard: Updated Treasury got renamed

It is a drop down menu, as you see.

International treasures: gives a list of vocano observatories outside Europe. Things are being added as they come up. I am not trying to collect all avaiable links worldwide, just those were some  action is going on or is to be expected. Trying to have “all” would require checking tons of links ever so often and i just do not  have the time for this.

Archive sorted by date published: selfexplaining

Archive sorted by topic: selfexplaining. Again i am not trying to store “all” links but this was designed to help finding older posts, for whatever reason.

Wonder what Bob is up to: Gives links, and papers to monitor or understand what is going on around El Hierro better.

Wonder what is going on in Iceland: Same as above, but this time with links and papers for Iceland.

Wonder whats going on in Santorini: Here you can find links and papers if Santorini should decide to be more active again.

Italian Job: Tons of Etna webcams and links to observatories and other pages regarding volcanic action in Italy. ( This page really needs more dedicated work by me )

In case some action starts to happen in some other place, and we on VC watch it closely, another menu point will be added here, so not to overwhelm the other archive pages.
Gems: Another drop down menu.

If you klick Gems directly, you end upon a page with beautiful images our readers took from webcams.

Gems without any relation to volcanoes: Here you could find how to change your avatar, how to make a video or a snapshot  from a webcam, where to upload images, the links to how to do plots, or how to add a smiley and other things.

NEW AlanC´s riddles: A list of Alan´s evil riddles with the winners and answers and the momentary score. This will get a secondary menu as soon as the page gets too long.

NEW Sheepy Dalek, Name that Lava: A list with all published Name that Lava riddles, the score and the answers and more information of the different topics. This page grew 2 long and is now split up in NtL I – XX and XXI –   . More pages will be added when the need arises.

NEW Special plots page: Shows examples to very nice plots by various “artists” and gives addresses where to find the newest ones by them.

NEW Microscopic images: Now this is my true baby. You can find SEM images from various volcanoes all sorted to a separate page. At the moment on El Hierro, Etna, Eyjafjallajökull, Grímsvötn, Kilauea, Merapi, Moubt Hood, Newberry Volcano, Novarupta, Puyehue-Cordón Caulle and the Soufrière Hills. More pages will hopefully be added when fresh ash gets sent. ( by you! ). The addresses and an introduction of the scopes and an instruction how they are used can be found on the main Microscopic images page.

NEW Comments by users: Comments just to good to get lost. They might later be imported into a post or page.

NEW VC. projects: Posts about special projects we plan to get done on VC go in here. Like Irpsits research on the different ash layers in his backyard and the SEM images.

Library: Must-read books for volcanophiles can be found here.
Crow`s nest: Has 2 bars in the drop down menu.

Volcano webcams: selfexplaining

Auroralinks: Is here because so many on VC love to watch auroras.
OT Regulars table: OT ( Off Topic )  posts goin here. After they first appeared in Home.
Burfell Dalek BBQ: Comments on the planning of a BBQ in front of a Heklacam went in there but the meeting did not work out.Now you can arrange new meetings in here.


Update: I forgot the dragon cakes. Amazing how many are out there.


112 thoughts on “Answers to the last riddle and an important change in the menu

  1. Just would like to emphasize that I actually didn’t “warn” about an ongoing earthquake swarm on Reykjanes. It was just a “heads up” – these are just small aftershocks of the bigger one of yesterday. Nothing out of the ordinary in Iceland. 🙂

  2. oh Spica – many thanks for your mention of my small contribution(article),

    You have managed your text very much –
    a good signpost is important for such a complicated forum

    nevertheless, please looks sometimes in the Popocatepetl cam in the upper red line(row) at Puebla, today the Popocatepetl is to be seen especially good

    • Yes – was a quite big event. 30-minute main explosive eruption with a 12000-metre ash plume, right up into the airways.

  3. @ Spica
    Good work! Things need tidying/filing to appropriate locations at times and this re-shuffle seems good to me 🙂

    @ the ‘Brain Distorters’
    A clue or two –
    it’s not a mineral
    think to the tree (obscure 👿 )

  4. The Skaftá glacier run is still continuing: water height 310cm, rising; water discharge: 250 m3/sec., rising; light absorption: 550; conductivity: 287.

    I’d though like to emphasize that this is still a really small glacier run, even for Skaftá (normally between 1.000 and 2.000 m3/sec.). 🙂

    A bit of activity is rising at Bárdarbunga: and . But this could be wind related:

  5. The earthqakes at Reykjanes Peninsula are still interesting. The swarm near Fagradalsfjall stopped around 10:00 this morning, only to do some sort of rift jump and continue again near Bláfjallaskáli where the 4,6 quake and its aftershocks were some days ago. The funny thing about it is also that Fagradalsfjall, where IMO measured around 5.000 (!) microquakes between 1997 and 2002 , p.70 , is part of Krýsuvík volcanic system, whereas Bláfjallaskáli area belongs to the next en echelon system to the east, Brennisteinsfjöll. I think this proves the tectonic nature of the quakes.
    We see rifting in action here! 🙂

    • Not very exact terminology used by me here. A rift jump actually means that a big rift is transferred from one place to another – over a long time -, in Iceland eg. the active rifting took part till 7 million years ago along a line which reached from Snaefellsnes over to Skagi peninsula in the north and was afterwards transferred to the places where it is now (Reykjanes, Western Rift zone, Northern Rift zone and Eastern Rift Zone).

        • This is Eyjafjallajökull – the one! – , seen not from Thorolfsfell, as the cam name would indicate, but from the village of Hvolsvöllur. I heard, it steams sometimes still a bit, and the lake in its main crater is still rather hot. 🙂

          • The crater lake (in June 2010):
            The lava from Eyjafjallajökull was so hot, normally over 1.000 °C, it takes years, to really cool that down.
            Krafla lava fields eg. are still steaming since the 1984 (!!) eruptions (saw that myself quite often) , and heard also that even Eldfell on Westman Islands is still steaming a bit (eruptions 1973!). 🙂

          • Yes, Eyjafjallajokull still steams ocasionally. I see it from my house every day (as well as Hekla). I could see Eyjafjallajokull steaming ocasionally until last winter, I have not seen it steaming since then. Some friends hiked to its top and saw no crater lake in there (it is gone).
            The lava fields in Krafla still steam, as does the lava field in Eyjafjallajokull, the 1961 lava field in Askja and the top of Hekla (in some clear days you can see this if you are only a few kms away from Hekla with binoculars). Eldey in the westman islands steams a bit in some vents at its top but little (but if you dig a few cms the soil is still hot), as well as does Torfajokull on its 1477 eruption site.

  6. Good evening!
    Is it because it is Sunday why IGN is slow to update some of it´s websites? There have been 12 earthquakes today listed in compared to three yesterday and the day before yesterday not showing on the “LOCALIZACIÓN DE LOS EVENTOS DE EL HIERRO” maps. I would think they do automated updates.

    Curiously, event 1163068 on August 31 (1.5 mblg) happened right on spot where the 4.4 mblg preceeding Bob happened last year. There were a few more in that general area lately. You can see in this updated 3D plot.

    And the top view here:

    • Events 1163068 and 1103959 are close but not exactly in the same place:

      1103959 08/10/2012 20:34:47.92 27.6285N 18.0124W 15.1km 4.4mbLg
      1163068 31/08/2012 05:03:11.75 27.6304N 18.0157W 14.6km 1.5mbLg

      Would post a map but Tinypics tried to download free software which I did not want so I aborted the upload. However, you can key the coordinates into Google Maps to check.

  7. “Why is it only the girls play the riddle hunt?” I think it is because the guys don’t have the patience to persevere.

  8. And… for the ruminarians.

    This is a somewhat silly plot. But it gave me an opportunity to try out a few Excel functions such as STANDARDIZE (generates a Z-Score), CONFIDENCE (generates a confidence interval), and NORMSDIST (turns the Z-score into a probability).

    Plotted against z, NORMSDIST generates a cumulative probability curve… similar to the ones I do in DPlot, but in a numerical format so that I can fiddle around with it in Excel. And… for those that are wondering what the hell a Z-score is, it’s the distance of a data point (in standard deviations, or sigma) from the mean, or average in a normal or Gaussian distribution. (that freaking bell curve)

    Why I did the plot? Well, other than the reasons that I stated, I just wanted to see how we sit in relation to the statistical aspect of a VEI-6 occurring. As noted on the plot, volcanoes don’t give a flip about schedules.

    VEI-6 eruptions happen on average, every 195.3 years. Notice that orange box. In it you will see a number labeled “skew.” Skew comes about when the data deviates from a Normal distribution and lumps up on one side of the average. In this case, most of the points were less than 195.3 years. In fact, the eruptions tended to occur at 0.3838 cumulative probability.

    In part, this is due to the older part of the VEI-6 record, the further back in time you go the less accurate the data is. (If a volcano blows up an island, and no one lives to tell about it, did it happen?) The other part is that Volcanoes don’t follow a Normal Distribution… and they also don’t follow a Poisson Distribution, they just do their thing.

    So… since it’s skewed, I can run a confidence interval on how likely that 0.3838 value fits the real world data. It doesn’t mean that’s whats going to happen… just that it appears this way from the available data. And, as noted, that can be dubious.

    Now… ruminate at will. 😀

    Ruminarian  Noun - Chewer of the cud.
    One who ruminates.  Those involved in deep thought.
  9. Evening all
    And here is the Vs plot.
    Strangely I find the Vs even more talkative.

    the latest EQ are of course the ones which are shallower. Speed is slower when density is lower.

  10. In Iceland VEI5 eruptions tend to occur during the peak of activity of the Vatnajokull hotspot, which occurs at roughly 120-160 years. When the cycle reaches the peak, plenty of eruptions tend to occur over the period of a few decades, and we can expect one or two VEI5 eruptions in Iceland. Outside of this peak, generally no large eruptions occur (but they do in some ocasions).

    This cycle, is still poorly studied and it also seems to be a little irregular. The last cycle started around 1862 when there was a large fissure eruption in Vatnajokull (Bardarbunga), following this Askja has a series of eruptions culminating in a large VEI5 in 1875. The next two decades Iceland has often eruptions, most of them from Grimsvotn, and one of Bardarbunga in 1902. Activity in Iceland calmed now a bit in the 1910s, but in 1918 a large eruption of Katla occurred and the early 1920s saw plenty of activity around Vatnajokull again. The rest of the next 100 years were pretty much calm, (except for the large eruption of Hekla in 1947 and the 1960s and 1970s saw some activity in the westman islands and then in Krafla). Now, 100 years after calm activity, we seem to be arriving at a new peak in volcanic activity in Iceland. Before the last peak in the late 19th century, theprevious peak in activity was probably in the 1720s was volcanic activity was really high in Iceland. Except for the large eruptions of Katla in 1755 and Laki in 1783. Following this activity was calm for almost another 100 years.

    If we go backwards before 1720s there also seems to be the same pattern of a cycle of roughly 120-160 years, of high frequence of eruptions in Iceland. However the cycle is irregular, and often peaks in activity might occur within a short period (such as the eruptions of Vatnaoldur and Eldgjá within 60 years).

  11. A bit OT:
    Greenland ice melting and the disappearance of the Arctic Sea Ice are now talked about a lot in the media. Dan Scatterfield eg. mentions a paper that predicted the today situation:

    Also Icelandic geologist Haraldur Sigurdsson talks about it in his blog and shows the degree of melting of Arctic Sea Ice:
    But he has also been to Greenland himself lately. What surprised him most, was that there was now a lot of lakes, rivers and streams on the ice. There are now such a lot of lakes on the ice, that one lake is to be found per 33 km2. They went by plane and helicopter, and also took samples of water temperature.

    • There are data about the earthquake swarm(s) here:

      They are not on the Reykjanes Ridge, but on the peninsula Reykjanes(skagi). The activity started on Friday (at noon) with a 4,6 magn. near Bláfjallaskáli – see older comments – and continued at another location near Fagradalsfjall with a 3,2. What we see, are the aftershocks at both locations (or so I believe – no expert). It’s a lot of them by now, around 100. But both locations are known and previously mapped faults and fissures. 🙂

      • I dunno whats happening here, but I think that this could be volcanic eq’s. This volcano has been sleeping since 1300’s, and as any other volcano, she is in the run to be the next volcano erupting. The sad thing is, is that I cant find much about her. I know she is dangerously close to Reykjavik, and that she should be kept an extra eye on.

        My human instinct, if you wanna call it that, would look at the last week as one whole, and see the other earthquakes along the line here, but why does the swarm continue here? And why the creep is Jon at saying its a volcano far too south that is causing this? Nothing adds up!

        • In some of my comments of the last days here, I put in some links to literature about it and comments of Icelandic geologists. Like the last ones, I am pretty sure this is tectonic. 🙂

        • Well.. one thing I can tell you, is that Jon knows his volcanoes. He may be an amateur, like a lot of us here, but he is well steeped in what the Icelandic systems are up to.

          • @Lamiah.
            Now I know, what this is about: There have been t w o bigger quakes in this region, one on Friday at the Bláfjöll location, where most of the quake activity is now (not any more on Jón’s quake map), and the other one later at the Festarfjall location. The one indicated at Jón’s / IMO’s map is the Festarfjall quake. The activity changed it’s center again after a quake swarm at Festarfjall and went back to the Bláfjöll location. So this is correctly indicated at Jón’s, but a bit different from the actual situation. 🙂

    • I know the region, too, have been skiing there and hiking.

      At the moment, there is no reason for panik: These are known tectonic fissures where the quakes started.
      On the other hand, Reykjavík is surrounded by active volcanic systems, everybody knows, and they are monitored very carefully. Also Bláfjöll volcanic system has been the most quiet of all these. 🙂

      • I though wouldn’t recommend skiing with an eruption ongoing nearby. Would not be such a lot of fun with all this sulfur stench in your nose! :mrgreen|

        • Brennisteinsfjöll (Bláfjöll is part of it) is still the most quiet of all these systems, if you see it at a larger scale. No known uplift eg., in the contrary to Krýsuvík and Hengill /Hrómundartindur. These last ones also had a lot of these quakes swarms in the last years! 🙂

        • Like what was stated… it’s the MAR.

          Notice the diagonal alignment of most of the clusters.

          @Inge B.

          I know you are also quite knowledgeable in the geology. My intention was to not denigrate the tossing of a name. I’m not qualified to second guess any of ‘yall about Icelandic Geology and I tend to defer to those that know more… unless I can find something to poke a stick at. 😀

        • And an FFT of all quakes back to 1995 vs a noise set with the same Mean and StDev.

          Nothing really crawls above the noise floor with great purpose… but it’s worth a gander.

          The 317 to 470 some odd bump could be related to the annual season changes.

    • wow, is that a real photo? it´s so beautiful, but looks more like a cartoon animation than real life….I suppose the comment that the Ski area might be affected is a bit obvious….hot lava no matter how slow it moves is probably going to melt the snow!

      • Probably a high dynamic range (hdr) picture. You put together many pictures, same frame, but taken at different exposures. Then you somehow take the best of every exposure. So you reach detail where there was too much shadow / light to get it with one single exposure. Remembers what the eye does by permanently adjusting contrast etc. If well done I just go nutters looking at hdr-photographs. But many just overdo it and it looks weird. If you like that kind of photos, I recommend maging a google image research with “hdr photography”.

  12. I do not mean its a volcano lightning up either. If this volcano is gonna wake up, I think it needs a bit more quaking. But I dont think its a car either… Haha.. Well, it can be tectonic, but the location is kinda suspicious..

    • I’m no expert in Iceland nor in Icelandic volcanoes, but a long time observer, and swarms like this one were seen before, not exactly in that particular spot, but I concur with Inge, probably MAR activity (MAR has been very lively lately).

  13. Off topic reply to Inge (in Arctic sea disappearing): this year has been my 3rd year living in Iceland, and actually I noticed how thin and widely broken is the ice in Langjokull. I never saw it like that in last years. Also, Kerlingarjokull, if it was nearly ice-free in 2011, this year it became snow-free even earlier. It amazes me the speed of glacial retreat. When I lived in the Alps it was fast but not as fast as in Iceland. Anyways, this is widely known by scientists.

  14. In Reykjanes earthquakes: it is purely normal and tectonic, guys.

    There are 4 volcanoes along this system, but it’s also the rift where earthquakes occur almost every day and swarms like this occur once in a while. In last centuries, the area has seen sometimes earthquakes larger up to 5.5.

    Volcanically, eruptions do happen at this region, they are largely non-explosive (except when they occur by the sea), they seem to occur in cycles, with long breaks in between. Between 1100s and 1340 there was many eruptions in all 3 volcanoes (all except Hengill). Then, no more eruptions occurred. Before the period of last activity (in 1100-1300s), there was another sleeping period of nearly 1000 years.

    • This last activity period on Reykjanes started earlier: in the 9th century. Remember eg. the “Christnitakahraun” from the year 1.000. 🙂

  15. Over on Er Armand has posted about Joke mentioning that people in the Sabinosa area are smelling strange smells.

    ,,Joke tells us that people living in Sabinosa and in other parts of the El Golfo bay are complaining about strange smells. This goes onfor at least a couple of weeks. ITER and IGN are told to take samples regularly, but the biggest complaint from the population is that nobody tells anything,,


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