Bárdarbunga calling

Image Wikimedia Commons

Image Wikimedia Commons


Ríðum, ríðum, rekum yfir sandinn,

rennur sól á bak við Arnarfell.

Hér á reiki’ er margur óhreinn andinn

úr því fer að skyggja á jökulsvell.




This is one of the most famous Icelandic folk songs, talking about people riding over the highland desert, on the Sprengisandur track, hurrying on horseback over the barren land between the majestic glacier volcanoes, thinking about ghosts haunting the wind-blown valleys between Hofsjökull and Vatnajökull.

This is Hofsjökull glacier volcano. But they will also be traveling past Bárdarbunga volcano. Without being as well-known and popular with the media  as her colleagues Katla and Hekla, Bardarbunga is a volcano which deserves remembering.

Bárdarbunga, a big volcanic edifice and central volcano located under Vatnajökull in Iceland, has been showing unrest for some time now. There was esp. the glacier run (jökulhlaup) from June 2011 into the reservoir Hágöngulón in the highlands of Iceland. But also lately, growing unrest showed on the tremor charts of IMO:


Under the five big ice caps which together cover about 10 % Iceland’s surface, there are located 9 or 10 central volcanoes incl. parts of their fissure systems. Under Vatnajökull alone, there are 2 twin systems of basaltic and rhyolitic central volcanoes, i.e. Grímsvötn-Gjálp and Bárdarbunga – Hamarinn/Loki-Fögrufjöll,  Kverkfjöll in the north, all of these part of the EVZ (Eastern Volcanic Zone of Iceland), and two separate active central volcanoes, Esjufjöll and Öraefajökull, forming a separate belt in the east. (Thordarson, 2007)

Bárdarbunga central volcano, proudly presenting a 80 km2 caldera with a depth of 700 m, and reaching heights of  2100 m at its summit, is placed in the northwestern part of Vatnajökull ice cap, north of Grímsvötn.

Of these volcanic systems, Grímsvötn is by far the most productive with 480 eruptions in 6.500 years, whereas Bárdarbunga prehistoric eruption frequency (which means in Iceland till 1.000 BP) reaches 330 eruptions during the same period of time and an average of 5 per century. On the other hand, tephra layers from Bárdarbunga are dispersed more widely, which indicates „more voluminous and/or longer lasting eruptions than these of Grímsvötn“. Additionally, there were 135 tephra layers which could be identified with Grímsvötn, 87 originating from Bárdarbunga and only 17 from Kverkfjöll since Icelandic settlement started in the 9th century. This gives Bárdarbunga the place of the 2nd or third most active volcanic system in Iceland in historic and prehistoric times – rivaling Hekla. (Larsen,  2011). But probably there were much more eruptions, mostly very small ones which couldn’t break the glacier surface. See also GVP:  http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/volcano.cfm?vnum=1703-03=&volpage=erupt

But Bárdarbunga also has the longest or perhaps – if Askja is competitive enough – the second longest fissure system of Iceland (around 190 km), extending to the south into the Landmannalaugar region (Veiðivötn, Vatnaöldur) and also some 50 km in northeastern direction from her outlet glacier Dyngjujökull. It produced not only one of the most important flood eruption events in historic time (Veiðivötn in 1480), but also an enormous lava field, the so-called Þjórsárhraun (2130 km3) 8.500 years ago.

There has now been some earthquakes, one of them magn. 3.3. Like many other calderas, she shows unrest from time to time, which may or may not mean more. This is anyways a volcano which deserves some attention.

See also Carl’s post about Hamarinn: https://volcanocafe.wordpress.com/2012/01/25/hamarinn-volcano-burns-night/


  • Volcanism in Iceland, by Th. Thordarson, G. Larsen (2007)
  • Basaltic Tephra Layers reveal the Eruption History of the Icelandic subglacial Volcanoes, Grimvötn, Bardarbunga and Kverkfjöll during the last 7000 Years, by B. A. Oladottir, G. Larsen, etal. (2011)

PS: Disclaimer – I am just a layman interested in geology.

Inge B.

(Images Wikimedia commons)

264 thoughts on “Bárdarbunga calling

  1. Excelent post Inge. Not only information is accurate and it points interesting often forgotten details, but your style of writting was very elegant. Great!

    And… I have a personal joke with Bárdarbunga, and it also related to Sprengisandi song! How about this amazing coincidence!

  2. Now my scientific comment: Bardarbunga has thus been erupting roughly every 10 or 20 years. So, since last eruption was (if I remember) in 1910 and before in 1861, so it is well on time to have another one!

    Not a subglacial one that does not erupt through ice, but a VEI3 min eruption.

  3. Bárðarbunga sits pretty much on top of the Icelandic Hotspot. Or at least the location where the center of it is believed to be. While Grímsvötn is a bruiser, Bárðarbunga is the one sitting in the corner that you don’t want to get pissed off. Though mostly quiet when compared to the other ones making a racket in the bar, this is the one that can become quite irritable.

    One small factoid that most people forget. The Hreppar and Tröllaskagi microplates. Between these two lie a tranform fault where each side slides past the other. Where this tranform ends at, is at or close to Bárðarbunga, where it meets the spreading center that runs down through Iceland.

    NOTE: The Tröllaskagi microplate/block may be locked to North America since it shows no or minimal motion with relation to it

    Together, this is an RRF configured triple junction (ridge-ridge-transform). Triple junctions themselves, are some of the most seismically active regions on Earth. RRF types are inherently unstable, and (according to Global Tectonics 3rd ed) eventually evolve into FFR. (transform-transform-ridge)

    So.. you have a rather large semi-unknown volcano, sitting on a hotspot, at a triple junction.

    Is it any wonder why it can get nasty if it wants to?

    September 29, 1996 – A magnitude 5.6 (Mw) quake occurred under Bárðarbunga. This quake caused a lot of questions to be asked. It didn’t show an offset, like a strike-slip, it didn’t show one side sliding over another. It had a “non double-couple” solution that yielded no volumetric displacement.

    Read the analysis here:


    And a more indepth look at it here

    “Insights into the kinematics of a volcanic caldera drop: Probabilistic finite-source
    inversion of the 1996 Bárdarbunga, Iceland, earthquake” Fichtner and Tkalčić (2009 / 2010)


  4. Hi IngeB…thank you for a very interesting post – and I also like your style of writing – it just flows so well…. I also enjoyed the link to Carl´s old Burns Night post, just had a quick read of that and some of the comments there…I felt quite nostaligic to see it again…
    I was quite suprised when I was on google. to learn that Iceland has the largest holocene lava flow on earth..

    “Thjorsarhraun is the largest holocene lava flow on the earth[1], it originated from Bárðarbunga about 8500 years ago, with a total volume of more than 21 cubic kilometers”

    • I live in this lava field. Which meand dome 8000 years ago I would wake up one morning and see lava 150km in one direction and 50km in another direction. Can you picture such a lava flow?

      Where it meets the sea the lava flow was almost 20km wide. And some 10 meter thick at least.

      • Its the closest recent thing we have on Earth to a Siberian Traps. Only 8000 years ago.

        A small baby version of this, is Laki lava field. Its also very wide, but not as dramatically large. About some 70km long and 30km wide.

        Sorry correcting Thjorsáhraun lava field is 130km long and 20km wide where it meets the sea.

        But Bardarbunga has another extremely large lava field to the north (but much older and more eroded): also around 140km to the northern coast.

      • Yep. i can actually but i live in Eastern Oregon.Here is a fellow who took a Motorcycle trip up the Northern California coast to the Oregon coast up to Astoria then to Portland
        then a trip through Central Oregon Scroll down to the McKenzie Lava Beds.
        Looks like you could spit on a rock and hear it sizzle…
        Deschutes River Gorge is quite something too…

          • Thanks Lurk . I was in a bit of a hurry.The thought of shopping at Wal-Mart
            had me distracted.-Kind of like waiting for the Root Canal appointment.
            But more fun-the Root Canal that is..

        • Thank you, tgmccoy, for the nice link.

          Came once up to Fort Bragg, but not further. I very much liked the Sonoma coast, always had a fascination with isolated windblown coastlines … Iceland and such … 🙂

          • The Oregon coast is exactly that. Southern somewhat like Cornwall Northern more like
            Scotland… windy in NE Oregon too but not as much… Port Orford is much like “Port Wenn” In the “Doc Martin” BBC series…Houses not as picturesque…

    • Thank you IngeB, that was a great piece, it really added to my (very) limited knowledge of Iceland’s Volcanoes. Bardarbunga was previously just a name I knew, now I feel as though I know something about it… Nice timely post too 😀

  5. Dragons, there a little something on the test blog which may do for the weekend, (it will only do for the weekend) can you have a look and I will finish off if you think it’s worth it…

  6. Geolurking, concerning the eruption in 1996 half way between Grimsvotn and Bardarbunga:

    The sequence of events was like this:
    29 September 1996 (10:48): a 5.4 large earthquake at Bardarbunga (this was your strange earthquake – before, Bardarbunga has had many 5+ events but none was followed by an eruption)
    29 September 1996: many 3+ earthquakes follow, slowly extending in direction of Grimsvotn
    30 September 1996 (22:00): tremor starts at Grimsvotn: earthquakes nearly stop
    1 October 1996 (06:00): the glacier reveals large fissures and large meltind, but still no ash columns (it is at this time that tremor reaches its maximum intensity)
    2 October 1996 (04:50): the eruption finally cut through the glacier and reaches 5km high. In the days following, it carves a canyon about 200m wide and 4km long. The amount of tephra is 0.6 cu km, making it the fourth largest eruption in Iceland from the 20th century.
    5 November 1996: a very large glacial flood occurred from Vatnajokull

    So, this shows that an eruption can happen subglacially, without causing an ash cloud, and causing only a moderate amount of earthquakes and tremor.

    Back in February 1996, there was a strong week-long swarm from Hamarinn. Probably it was another subglacial eruption, just like the one in July 2011 (in the same month that Katla also most likely also had a subglacial eruption)

    • The actual eruption was not really in Grímsvötn, but at Gjálp, a volcano which is part of Grímsvötn system and lies halfway between them and Bárðarbunga. Only the meltwater of this eruption run down into Grímsvötn and caused them to overflow, the glacier Skeiðarárjökull swimming on the flood, and the flood then run down onto Skeiðarársandur (45.000 m3/sec. at its peak) and into the sea.

      I don’t know, if there really was an eruption in Bárðarbunga, or not only an intrusion into Grímsvötn system. The eruption column was from Gjálp.

      So that in the end, there were no less than three volcanoes involved in this action.

      Photo of Icelandic Hringvegur /Ring Road on

    • A very good illustration of some of the difficulties I have with the “central volcano” definition. How can Grímsfjall be described as a central volcano when this eruption – and subsequent ones – clearly emanated from Bardarbunga?

      • Looking at the map, the Vatnajökull ice-cap is large. Bardarbunga could be a completely separate volcano, especially as it has different magma types from Grimsvotn 😕

      • Most eruptions in Iceland (if not all) are originated from the hotspot beneath Bardarbunga. So magma from there travels either southwest or north, at great depth, before intruding into each volcanic system. Still, the rule does not apply and often an eruption can (and does) occur almost anywhere between central volcanoes. I think the pathway up into the Bardarbunga caldera has long solidified and therefore magma chooses the easy path, already open, around Grimsvotn, or ocasionally towards the lateral fissures of Bardarbunga.

  7. Very informative post, thank you Inge B.
    The song is about getting off the highlands “sprengisandur” in Iceland fast as possible, because there where frightening things there in the past and sometimes in present.
    The name “Sprengisandur”.means blowing sand, an can represent blowing horses ore far worse.
    This place “Sprengisandur” was one of the worst fear places in middle ages, but now tourist attraction.

      • Great post IngeB / great thread to read ! Deux points
        Lurk: Desolation. Its desert mostly devoid of vegitation, horse riding thrught there was once to move sheep from one part of the country to another (north from south), or occational travel between areas, but these were rarer because of the many glacial streams (only typing from memory here).
        One such riding ended badly, 1780-tish, them ghosts hunting the area for ages… Búh!
        http://www.snerpa.is/net/thjod/reynis.htm (Icelandic text)

        • Ah. this was at Kjölur, not Sprengisandur (but similar area), albeit their deaths was due winter and cold, not lack of food.

          • Back in 1990 I went on one of the horse riding trips that are run across Kjölur. It was pretty spectacular with even more spectacular weather, despite it being July. They had us all singing á Sprengisandi in the huts in the evening, probably so the guides could laugh at our horrendous pronunciation.
            It cost me a lot of money that trip because when I got home I went out and bought an Icelandic horse. 😀

          • Yes, because 1) the area is really remote, and 2) people were so afraid for a long time of the implied ghosts roaming the highlands, that they preferred the longer way along the (inhabited areas on the) coast.

          • There was also rumors about bandits making the highlands insecure during the 18th and 19th centuries. Some of them were real, the most famous one, was Fjalla-Eyvindur who lived in different remote places with his wife, stealing sheep (eg. at Hveravellir).

    • Nothing is impossible. This young man, Daniel, has Savants Syndrome. He would be classed as a person with learning difficulties by our education system. It is a form of Autism. Aspergers syndrome is another similar mental state.
      How arrogant and judgemental we are sometimes when we categorise our fellow humans.
      This young man is in one aspect a genius. No more than 50 or so people with his ability. I, however struggle with the basics of French, mathematics, literature, art, science. Yet I am classed as more than average intelligence ! What is intelligence? How can we judge. Yet judge we must to survive in our complex society.
      I try to judge what is best in action, word and deed for a fellow human. I try very hard not to be judgemental of a person’s character and soul.

      • It took me six months to learn how to say Eyjafjallajokull (or at least well enough so that someone else could work out which volcano I was talking about 🙂 ).

      • Icelandic has always seemed a very beautiful language to me! So rich in vocals and musicality!

        BTW: I know the teacher of this young man personally.

      • Diana, while an intelligent person realises his/her limitations, a truly stupid person never lets such trifling matters such as a lack of talent/intelligence/propensity get in the way of his/her ambitions.

  8. Hi

    here is Iceland earthquake animation update.
    This is for 11-18 December

    Data comes from IMO and NOAA
    I have changed some things :
    – font of axes are larger
    – in the first part, the color of the dots change along time (to be precise is changes according to the position of the earthquake in the list)
    – in the second part dot color is according to date

    Activity is mainly in the TF Zone, but there are some quakes under the highlands too.

    • Thanks DFM. In my very amateur observation of the quakes, (and mindful of lurkings warnings about pattern recognitions:) it almost looks as if there is a great slab of magma under iceland angled up at a 45 degree angle across iceland under the active zone, which you can see better at some angles of your graph rotation than others. Of course it is only one months data. I wonder if there is some sub-mantle process that periodically drives this moltent or hot slab ‘up’ – like a pressure surge, triggering increased quakes and plate movements – and for a volcano that is ready to ‘go’ such activity can tip it over the edge into an eruption.

  9. Good morning all.
    @ IngeB Many thanks for this post beautifully written. It certainly puts Bardarbunga into perspective and also into the running for the next Icelandic Volcano eruption.

    I do hope tgmmcoy returns safe and well from his visit to Walmart. In fact a small prayer and offering of plastic holly and a white christmas CD to the great gods of the supermarkets may make his return from the dark side possible.

    I will not do my big Christmas shopping until after the 22nd December 2012 ….just in case I put myself through that hell unneccessarily. In fact, I iced my Christmas cake yesterday and unfortunately there was a mysterious omen!!!!! I have these decorations to place in the white snow-like frosting. A boy on a sledge, a polar bear, three little fir trees, two deers (of uncertain species) and a plastic golden plaque that reads” Merry Christmas”. These I have had for at least 17 years. Every year they come out and are placed in boiling water to steralise and kill last year’s bacteria. :)For some reason this year the Golden “Merry Christmas” warped. 😯
    Is this a sign that the boiling point of my tap water is hotter? That there is some addition to the household water supply? Is it a sign from the water Gods?…… Or even some , foreign deities ?
    I shall hold on, as I said, until 22nd Dec…There is no point wasting my time and money if I am not going to be able to enjoy the festivities on the 24th onwards

  10. Just done a very rough ball park calculation of the size of Sakura-jima’s eruptions for 2012.

    Using the formula kindly provided by GeoLurking: V (m^3/s) = (h/2)^(1/0.241) and:

    1) an eruption rate of 875 from 01/01/2012 to 17/12/2012 (number kindly provided by Sherine in a comment in the previous post)
    2) an average plume height of FL100 (may be slightly on the high side for an average)
    3) volcano height of 3,665′

    I get a DRE of 4.43*10^7 m^3. which puts Sakurajima in the order of a VEI 2 to VEI 3 (Vulcanian – Pelean).

    But don’t forget that the formula has an error factor of 4!

      • And this, north of Landmannalaugar, is more or less the region we are talking about.

        The photo is taken from the western slopes of Bláhnúkur, a rhyolitic mountain within Torfajökull caldera. To its feet, the black lava field is made of obsidian and called Laugahraun. In the middle ground and to yr. right, you have mountains belonging to the Torfajökull caldera, actually indicating her limits. Between Bláhnúkur and the lava field, there is a small canyon, called Grænagil, with a very nice marked hiking path up to Brennisteinsalda for these who don’t prefer the rather steep and exposed hiking up on Bláhnúk.

        The crater rows in the background are belonging to Bárðarbunga.

        I think the photo illustrates rather well the proximity of both systems and why it was possible (at least three times), that intrusions from the Bárðarbunga system could incise an eruption in Torfajökull. See also: http://www.earth.sinica.edu.tw/~gzellmer/download/epsl_269_387-397.pdf

      • Ehm indeed… 🙂 Yes, this is bang center/middle in Vatnaöldur area, producer of many large (historic) lava flows, but wonder if same poisonus chemicals as come up in Laki events.. Wonder now how many face-masks a day are needed living (downwind) under a Laki sized event, and how many be needed to survive such for say 8 months… Statistically speking we are nearer every year. I do not think Bárarbunga itself will show soon (already taken care of by Gjálp 1996), so possibly a tourist one be next (Note: A Laki event: Tourists can not come here cause of limited or no flying be possible).
        But likely I will still be happy and well past the next 48hours.

  11. updated: Wednesday, 19 December, 2012 at 04:25 UTC
    Volcano monitors say Ecuador’s Tungurahua volcano shot lava 1km above its crater overnight and blasted hot rock and gas nearly 3km down its flank. The regional director for the government’s emergency agency is Lourdes Mayorga and she says officials have prepared shelters and are working to evacuate any people in danger. The country’s National Geophysics Institute said the volcano blasted lava well above its crater overnight and sent out a plume of ash and gas about 1.5km high. The renewed eruption in central Ecuador began last week and plumes on Sunday rose as high as 5km above the 16,479-foot (5,023-metre) crater.

    • Dear Luisport. We really appreciate the news you bring. Especially as not many do this lately and we get informed about whats going on in the volcano world.
      But for the Xth time. PLEASE do not copy paste whole articles. Please use your own words. Even when you provide the link this IS a Copyright violation.

    • Rule of thumb. (this works for me)

      1) Paraphrase where possible.
      2) Limit direct copy to about ten percent of the original.
      3) Use ellipsis to connect critical portions of the copied text to that part that emphasizes your point.

      For example “… the dog was last seen on Belmont St. … attacked a squirrel 5 Dec. in front of the Courthouse…”

      That “…” part allows you to string bits and pieces of quoted text and lets the reader know that there is stuff there in the original that is not present. If they want more detail they can go to the link.

      The other benefit of rephrasing or paraphrasing is that it lets us know how you feel or interpret the material. It adds a bit of your impressions and makes the post more personal.

      Not all text can be treated like this. Really short snippets or chunks of data may be too short, or have already been treated to these rules of thumb. In that case, locating the original is handy, if you can do it.

        • I think with tweets, you run into the issue of not having a lot to pull info from. Treat them as individual statements that someone made. Where it get to be a problem is when you run into drawn out back and forth exchanges. As long as they are attributed I don’t see a problem. (The user agreements may even waive copyright, I don’t know since I am not a twit. …and yeah, I meant for it to come across like that. 😀 )

          • Hi Luisport n’ Geo,
            I think Geo is right, as I understand it these are in the public domain and anyone can subscribe; I see tweets reprinted in the newspaper and there is such a thing as a retweet. (the Royal Marines call it advancing too the rear…)
            The name of the twittering game is to accumulate followers…
            As long as they are attributed I think whole tweets are fine, but please Luisport not every little thing; and please summarise if it’s a series of tweets on the same topic…
            This verdict is of course, subject to an overrule by the Linzer Vulcan Frau 😉

          • Uh… re-reading this, I am not entirely sure about my use of the word “where”

            It looks odd in that context. It’s correct, but seemingly clumsy. The intended meaning is (from TFD) “2. In what situation or position”

            And I am a native speaker. (Redneck tainted, but still English… sort of)

          • Hi Geo,
            It reads fine to me, and believe me; I can agonise over this stuff when putting together a comment, never mind a post…

          • Hi again, I guess get not gets is a typo… I think the “clunk” is:
            “Where it gets to be a problem is when…”
            But it’s not a biggie and we don’t have an actual style guide here… 🙂
            This is said with all due respect, just tipsy chatter…

  12. Hello again. This is great: http://io9.com/5969691/watch-how-the-ground-really-moves-during-an-earthquake Description: “Back in 2011, geologists working for Signal Hill Petroleum and NodalSeismic conducted an extremely detailed survey to measure the 3D rock structure beneath their Long Beach oilfield. To do so, they deployed a series of seismic arrays consisting of 5,300 nodes spaced about 330 feet (100 meters) apart. And then the earthquakes hit. The results can now be seen in this remarkable video — what shows a series of seismic waves rippling through several Californian cities.”

  13. @All: As we all know, friday will be the 21st of december 2012. On this very special occasion a special DOOMSDAY post will go in. Please contribute as much as you can friday: Niburu videos, pictures, scaring prophecies, stories which never were told before. So we can all know and shiver. The last day of the Mayan calender – it is once in a lifetime!! And if the world is still turning at riddletime, the post will be updated with evil riddles – that is, if they manage to get here; if the electric grids still work and internet still exists.

  14. Hi

    Here is the zoom on Tjörnes Fracture Zone for 11-18 dec

    There seems to be a change of direction in the “upwelling” of the quakes around 12 km depth for the westernemost zone. See at 0.08′
    There are still 2 main zones, one being the most active is in the west and the other one is bit less active.
    Some recent quakes are in the Husavik area seem to create a third zone.

    • LOL! You made my (last) day, Loco!
      Thankfully I read it before the greedy dragons! I can happily die now !
      (And I thought you were one of the Neanderthal kind….)

    • Can’t top that. Beautiful tale.

      I can say that I endured… no… let rephrase that endured the non-stop inventory of “stuff” that could be Y2K susceptible. Pretty much anything with a circuit board was deemed to have some sort of vulnerability and had to be inventoried, with background checks with the manufacturer or design authority to certify that it was Y2K compliant.

      This went on for quite some time. Eventually, it was done and the powers that be were somewhat safe in the knowledge that things should be okay when the great moment arrives.

      We are out puttering around, halfway across the Atlantic. Midnight. Nothing notable. About 30 minutes later, we notice that we are going backwards on one tracking system. “Odd” everything else says we are going forward. Celestial Navigation, the radars, all the other Nav systems. But this one system… not fully tangled in with the morass of navigational data streams, but taking a feed off of it, says we are going backwards.

      Turned out it was one circuit card out of several thousand interconnected individual circuits… had decided to decrement rather than increment when Y2K came around.

      It took every bit of 5 minutes to overcome the problem (we went to manual updates on that system) and picked up a replacement card in the next mail run.

      • So somehow the 2000 doom happened, to a certain extend. Let’s hope we don’t see might it only be 1% of the 2012ers fantasies realized… 0.01 Nibirus on my head will hurt…

        • Nibiru is a red Herring. Physics pretty much eliminate it.

          The 2012 catastrophe already happened… at least in the form of this “Fiscal Cliff” our media keep yammering about. What they don’t realize, is that the US has already driven off of that cliff… the argument is actually not about avoiding it… but just how hard we are going to hit the ground.

          The only thing keeping the whole thing somewhat working, is the dollars World reserve currency status. Loose that and the US will out run the Roman empire in the speed of it’s collapse. I imagine that the crater will be about the same size… if not a bit deeper.

          Certain entities are doing their best to ensure that the US can not recover from the financial morass. That is according to plan. Without the financial resources, the US will never recover.


          • Lurk, we live in a world where what people want to believe matters more than reality and I’m not talking about religious people but the dumbasses that constitute the majority of almost every electorate worldwide. To make matters worse, ambition far outweighs ability in most professions. To illustrate – while we still would not allow someone of limited intelligence and dubious ability to become a brain surgeon just because they want to, such people meet few obstacles to their ambitions in the areas of banking, higher education or Government employment (to mention three examples). It never pays to be smarter than the boss, but when the boss is publicly elected politicians? A sure-fire recipe for disaster.

          • Mr Mollusc,
            It’s pure pleasure to read your views on society and communities in general.
            In these matters, even the few times I’d have a bit of a divergent opinion, I juste enjoy the pay you put it.
            I’m kind of stuck with work-shit, but somehow the day is getting nice. I’ll end this working-year today at 5, whatever comes, and the net is full of gems now that the end approaches.

          • Thank you! In these last days of Political Correctness, it is a relief to be able to call a spade a spade without being lynched by people who have decided that it’s a fragrant rose.

          • Speaking of things failing from the sky. Back n my Airtanker days I knew a
            Captain his name was Ralph “Rancid” McFarlane. Ralph was a Mormon with oh 12-13
            Kids at the time. Ralph was a nice guy ,but always on the look out for cheap stuff.
            food and tools mainly.Well, the local Winslow Az. Wal- Mart had a special on “Beenie
            Weenies.Ralph decided to load up and when he got sent home to Cedar City Ut. he’d
            have the winter’s supply for the Kids .So into the back hatch the 24 cases of Beenie
            Weenies go.Now he was flying a P-2 Neptune an old 50’s Naval Patrol Plane.
            The Problem: the Back hatch was on the rear fuselage UNDER the belly of the
            Aircraft. If one did not lock the hatch, the contents of the aft compartment(if not lashed down also ) would now be airborne, as the aircraft climbed , turned and did things
            airplanes do on takeoff climb-out. The air pressure cause the hatch to open,btw.
            Well they sent Ralph home.His Co-pilot who thought Ralph had lashed every thing down,
            was blissfully unaware of the situation..They were sent home unloaded. so they were nice and light, with attendant steep departure angle. Our DC-6 was the local tanker.
            So just after Ralph had left-we get a dispatch, We line up on the runway, and we could see this case of Beenie Weenies about halfway down.so we tell dispatch who contacts
            the Airport Manager. Carlos. Carlos drives out with his pickup and over hand held
            radio says ” Ayeee! what is a case of BEENIE WEENIES doin’ here!” I and my Captain
            Steve, look at each other and Steve said over the radio.”Kinda hard to explain-we
            will tell you when we get back..” Ralph made to Cedar City -with two cases still in the Aircraft. He flew right over the Navajo Indian Rez. We had visions of some dirt poor
            Navajo shepherd Not knowing where his next meal is coming from .Then from
            out of the sky a case of Beenie Weenies.falls…. Sort of a Navajo version of
            “the Gods Must Be Crazy”…

        • Even a 0,000,001 of a star will hurt if comes tumbling down on someones head, but I think the worst that can happen, be that, someones work week ends, and Sheepy Dalek Bar opens (cheers). But humm… that “Sattelite”, N-Korean made (bet it is just a surplus old Toyota engine simulating the sattelite payload, or does someone have a photo of it ?) That can of course crash, or someone else can crash.

          • Oh my 😉 *mentally picturing …. spraying his coffee horizontally onto his widescreen … then bowes in respect and wipes screen with a dry cloth* But yes, why waste a precious Sattelite if you know (almost) for certain it will most probably crash? Probably them are them most surprized of it still flying.

  15. OT Guys – sorry to be boring, but I know some of you are a little older in years… or have health problems, so if any of you have underlying illness that makes you susceptible, go and get a flu jab while you still can? The US is already starting to have a doozy of a season, and its spreading out from the south eastern states. Just to play safe, cos this H3 is somewhat nastier than usual. Click on any state for a snapshot of incidence in that locality.

  16. On 18 April 2008, a user uploaded a video of a Santiaguito eruption. The people in the video prove that you don’t have to be a Redneck to die of stupidity. The didn’t die, but lets just say that they were not in the safest of locations.

    One thing they did do, is to allow us to see the initial clearing of a vent.

    Notice A, B, and C in some stills from that video. a ring fracture is initiated, and progresses around the perimeter of the vent. If you watch the vid a few times, you can see it too.

    Pretty cool.

    Also, notice the two bottom images. I noticed this rock as I was trying to rotate the images to get rid of some of the wild camera shaking. In the last frame I noticed that the rock I was using as a reference went airborne.

    Here’s the actual vid on Youtube. It’s been posted here before, so there is nothing really new about it. Just a way of looking at it.

    • Interesting.

      Watching the video, I got the impression that most of the initial eruption came from the vent to the left of the arrowhead under C in your still. But this could be because it is closer the the camera. Those guys had a very lucky escape;.

    • I have armament, fuel, food for a couple of months, and a route to my ancestral homeland… which is only 300 miles away. If I can make it there, the world can go to hell. I won’t care. I will be “home” with my parents, grand-parents, siblings, cousins, and any relations who left this world before me.

      Failing that, and I am accosted along the way, I’m gonna take somebody with me. That is the person you don’t want to be. If I can’t get ’em… I’ll settle for an arm or a leg. Since medical help is not going to be readily available as the world ends, that missing appendage may be a detriment.

      • Just reaching the limits of my english-reading with those last lines in that comment. What exactly are you gonna do with an arm or leg? After ripping it off somebody?
        I must be a bit “perverted” by “joy ride” and suddenly start seeing you as Rusty Nail…

      • Think Karl Childers from Sling Blade.

        Not that I plan on doing anything with the appendage. The idea is if I’m going to croak, I’m gonna make it worth my while and leave whoever it is in relatively bad condition. Given enough motivation, I will get a piece of whoever kills me before I die. God willing.

        Think of it as a keepsake. (I’ll even settle for an ear or a finger)

        It’s just my nature. I was in a psuedo fight with a kid way back in school. He punched me, blood was streaming. By the time the coach broke us up, I realized that I was returning the favor with a table.

        I don’t remember picking it up. But he did.

        • Now I get it. Was not completely sure how to interprete “accosted”.
          I think I can very much feel what you mean.
          We have small black, sometimes black and white, spiders. “Jumping ones”, “hunters”, not those who install a web. When I take a piece of paper to crush them, I always en up with goose bumps or a shiver down my spine. Always, really always, when they see me come, their last reaction is to turn towards me and go into “attack” position. Some jump at the paper. Like “I’m not even some grams but I’ll get you b-tch!” They don’t run away, no, they face the situation, the ennemy, and give all they have as a last action. What an attitude, and what a strength. Like someone that was very close to me said as last words as he had decided to leave before cancer completely finished paralyzing him: “You got to be consequent in life, don’t you!?” Well that’s how I promised myself to face those green lizard bastards.
          (mix of sarcasm, derision, drama, fun, serious here – all at the same time; perfectly normal if you think I’m loco… :mrgreen: )

          • There was a poster that showed up during the heyday of Disco… it featured a caricature mouse just before being hit by an eagle’s talons. The mouse was flipping off the eagle. The caption read:

            “Last act of Defiance”

          • GL that poster was on every toolbox in a certain shop of certain commuter Airline
            I worked for-you had to be there-on second thought no you wouldn’t..
            I didn’t want to be there..

    • Interesting… I didn’t know she was booed by the audience upon her return to Brazil, promping her to record Luiz Peixoto and Vicente Paiva’s “Disseram que Voltei Americanizada.”

      The source is Wikipedia… so it could be outright wrong. Thoughts?

      • Yes, very true.
        After her Hollywood career, her fans didn’t like the image depicting her with those huge banana hats and other artificial ornaments and gestures conceived by movie designers. I pretty much agree that she used yo show a dantier, lower profile, yet her extravagance is really something unique.

    • Hi Lucas,
      How was Lanzarote? Any signs of impending doom over there? Was the 1824 cone reactivating when you visited? 😀

      • It was really brilliant. However, the path that I saw on google earth for the 1824, wasn’t actually a path, so I couldn’t get to it. Something else made up for it though when I stumbled on a great walk (very little known) whilst driving from Timanfaya, it was really great, the scenery was unbelievable 🙂

        Saved from the dungeons by Sissel

    • South-west England is more likely to drown than get hit by an approaching planet – lots of flooding again this morning! To add to the festive fun can I point out that tonight at 12 minutes past 8 the time (if you go by the British/European calendars) will be 20:12, 20/12/2012. Or 2012 2012 2012. 🙂

      • Yeah there are about a dozen flood alerts here in the northwest as well, we aren’t on yet but if it keeps raining we probably will be by the time I get up in the morning. I don’t think there will be a problem where I am though, the high tides here are currently only about 4 metre… based on past experience, short of genuinely apocalyptic conditions, the river probably won’t even get to the base of the wall.

        Hope the rest of you UK residents are ok.

        • Doing OK here Stephanie although the local Rife (Sussex name for a river) a few hundred yards from me has now spilled out onto the cricket field. Usually when it gets that bad they install pumps at the river entrance to the sea. (It has to be pumped over the promenade). Can’t let Butlins Holiday Camp get flooded!!!! 😉 Money talks, thankfully for me.
          The SouthEast have 74 flood alerts, 9 flood warnings and I severe flood warning currently.

  17. Let’s “torture” Sissel a bit…
    Best reactions to “catastrophic” events: an extract by many bits… Not tryind to ridicule these people. But with distance, it’s a way to deal with what they lived to look at it an easier way than it was possible at the moment of the events.
    Bad flooding in Switzerland, 2007; a farmer to a journalist, talking about him being the last one to refuse evacuation: “I’m against that water that rises and floods my farm!!!”

    • On a permanent landslide (20-30 cm/year in calm phases), severe reactivations all ~5’000 years, millions of cubic meters: “I come to this place for 20 years now and you’re just a silly idiot, everyone clearly sees that nothing slides here…”
      Erm, used as one of the most typical examples of that kind of slide / context in international workshops, visites several times every year by students and other groups to “teach” geomorphological reading of that kind of beast.
      Oh, the silly idiot was clearly meant for me…

    • Permanent landslide again, severe with probably same 20-30 cm/year movement (but less instrumented, so by feeling of a silly idiot. Categorized “inconstructible”. A guy started “negociations”.
      “Look, you say it moves severely, I say it doesn’t, let’s come to the conclusion that is moves only a bit and that under these circumstances I can build my house…”
      “Add two camels and a blonde in Wellies and we have a deal…”

    • Big block, 3-4 cubic meters, properly separated from the rockmass, “slide-surface” oriented dip-slope. I say no to a construction. The guy: “But this stone stays there for years, so why should it come down after I have built my house?”
      “Gravitiy and it’s action through time…” (I didn’t say it so shortly and brutally…)

    • An incredibly arrogant architect-chick: “These hazard maps must have a problem, what are this blue dots, lines and circles? That doesn’t make sense, there’s not even a slope!!!”
      “Miss, these are target disks for meteoritic impact. We calculated the spots where the probability is highest for a celestial body to hit us, even taking anomalies of the magnetic and gravity field into account.”
      “Erm, WHAAT?”
      “Is it that dangerous? I didn’t know, I live very close to such a spot.”
      “No miss, I was just kidding as we had so happily started our phone call. Sorry. It’s just sinkholes and where we strongly suspect the potential fot them…”
      Please don’t feel sorry for her. It’s a horrible bitch in behavior.

        • Dont lead me on that trail…
          Should they have basics in statics? Should they know what I’m talking about when I say geotechnique? Should they know that earth / soil has a maximal angle from which on a slope won’t be stable?
          Questions I have many, answers much less… Ehm, I have them, but they are not acceptable… Whatever. Silence is gold… Oh dammit, too late… 🙂

          • Geo Loco I have sold Real Estate in Oregon for 13 or so years. I lived some of your story about architects, engineers and stupid bureaucrats. I lived on the southern
            Oregon coast, Your home will likely be on some sort sand,Serpentine rock, or Clay
            on top of Said rock or sand.. Now add slope and lots of runoff and you have a recipe for slides. One developer in general comes to mind. This Klown put in a development above another. scabbed the hill side clean, put in a clay topsoil mixed with sand, on a clay topsoil on sand…33 100×75 lots.-in 19 acres of hill side..The lower development
            got most of the upper five lots and some of the Sewer pipe and Water main..which
            wasn’t on- into their back yards… The sun was obscured one morning by the Lawyers circling.. Oh, and this project had the blessings of the City and County planners..

  18. Ahhh, the misfits of misery.

    Friken news heads are going nuts over this cluster of short spin-up tornadoes that rolled through here this morning. Busily shoving cameras up peoples arses, they come across as the true examples of the shallow dregs of humanity that they are.

    “… now let’s go to Debbie at the Motel Six on Interstate 65…”

    I’m not going to tell you what thought went through my mind when I heard that. I was still snickering at “… and as we pan the camera you can see some of the debris… and that car passing by there….”

    News Freaks, get off the mindless banter. We know you are just a bunch of idiots trying to make a buck hyping peoples misery. We get it. Why don’t you tell us how the job market it looking up and we are no longer running a negative budget.

    …oh that’s right, you can’t.

    One tidbit that crossed this channel a few weeks ago, and I don’t think anyone really clued in on the ramifications of it. A private company is giving Pritchard Alabama funding for 4 officers tasked specifically with writing traffic tickets on I-65. The company will then split the proceeds of the citations with Pritchard Alabama.

    I wonder if it’s going to be as efficient as the traffic light camera companies… you know, the ones who short the yellow light so that you invariably have a higher chance of running a red light.


  19. OT
    Ongoing (non volcanic) seismic activity near towns of Torreperogil and Sabiote in Jaén province, Andalucía, Spain. Appears to have begun about 2 weeks ago. IGN record showing numerous EQs in 1.5-2.6 (up to 3.7) mag range

    Lorca 5.3 mag EQ in 2011 is fresh in region’s memory. Local precautions starting to be taken e.g. church closures

    Article in UK Independent 18 Dec

    Plenty of reports (in Spanish) on YouTube and Spanish media sites.

  20. Wellwell, there are places where it is the 21st…
    Doom? Doo-hooooooom?
    2012-12-21-hype. I’m gonna miss you.
    Any 2012ers around? Huh?
    Pfffff, it’s not even funny. The last years of chasing them where much more delight than seeing them on the ground of evidence.

  21. A little assistance please – does anyone have the link for the Eivor ‘Dansadu Vindur’ with version with the English overwritten, I cant find it anywhere, but Diana posted the song a few weeks back, but no links to it!!
    Beware tomorrow!!

  22. I shall add a bit Cowboy Ghost Riding to the Mix.. My Pop who was both Cowboy and Indian.
    loved this song . He’d call a ragged cloudy sky- a ” Ghost Rider’s ” sky..

    this is the Original Vaughn Monroe Version.
    Like Johnny Cash’s too.

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