Sunday Summary

The first week in the new year is over!

Kilgarrah collected some comments which showed what was up on VC. In case you want a kind of weekly review, or if you want to take another look at some of the plots…. Click here.

Tolbachik was clearly visible on the KVERT cam during the last 2 nights. This is a screenshot taken on friday.

Webcam adress: . KVERT has 5 volcanoes on color code oragnge today, Sheveluch, Polsky Tolbachik, Kizimen and Karmsky.

Alaska was shaken by an earthequake Mag 7,5 yesterday
Some commenters noticed that this earthquake clearly showed on many stations all over the world, also in El Hierro and Iceland.
Manfred Betzwieser runs a blog which is written in German but always has the latest news about El Hierro, because he lives on the Canary Islands. He has 2 screenshots of the Seismometers showing the Alaska quake on his site.
I started checking right away, if this might have an influence on one of the Alaska volcanoes. There is a nice interactive map to be found on the Alaska Observatories Website.
And the tremormeasurements can be found at Just click on the volcano on the left side.
Nothing happened. No volcano is on alert level orange right now,

Erik Klemetti published his review on the posts on his blog Eruptions. If you want to rememeber which volcano was active last year, check it out.

Earth-of-fire has 2 articles on the volcanism of the Eastern Meditaranian.
First Intro and tectonics.
The volcanic field of the Golan Heights.
With some activity going on in the sea south of Turkey and some discussions about the volcanism of the Arabian Peninsula, i thought you might find this interesting.

Congratulations to this weeks winners of the 2 riddles.

Though i need to clear with Alan who got the second point. One went to Sissel, but the second one???

Evil Riddle #29 went in on Volcanic Mishaps 2: Mono Lake, California. Author Schteve, January 3rd. 2013

Ladies beware! If you have badly fitting undies, you may find me!!

What am I?
What are my origins?
2 points
I hope you ladies aren’t offended by this one 

Answers and Winner: Quote Alan”: I think I’ll give a point to Sissel, this one is perhaps too obscure !
refer Strain Slip Cleavage!
In a nutshell, a second phase (or further) foliation superimposed on an earlier, existing slaty cleavage”

Name That Volcano #13 went in on: Volcanic Mishaps 2: Mono Lake, California. Author Schteve, January 4rd.
Variety number 9280, No 1 is used to produce a splendid accompaniment to VC riddle solving!

French FIS WC silver medalist might have crashed on No 2 whilst he learnt to snowboard-cross

No 3 The ‘toy’ volcano (photo below)

16762 No 4 is potentially hazardous and unstable

No 5’s new island emerged, bravely flew the Portuguese flag & vanished just 20 days later

No 6 (photo below)

With a No 7 Bang Bang I wish us all a belated, but very happy & peaceful New Year!

Winners Explanation and Answers:
No 1 Ischia – Sissel at 13.41 1 point
Grape variety 9280 is Pinot Noir Precoce aka Ischia (Monte Epomeo)
No 2 Bayonnaise Rocks – Kelda at 14.35 1 point
Xavier de le Rue is Bayonnaise
No 3 Oldoinyo Lengai – dfm at 18.09 1 point
Katja Kafft the volcano photographer referred to Oldoinyo Lengai as ‘the toy volcano’
No 4 Stromboli – Fred at 18.06 1 point
‘Potentially hazardous’ Asteroid 26761 Stromboli – ‘unstable’ 16762 = 26761
No 5 Capelinhos – dfm at 18.17 1 point
No 6 Santa Ana – dfm at 18.11 1 point
No 7 Tequila Volcano – Kelda at 14.53 1 point
Tequila Bang Bang is a great cocktail!

Christian notified us that fans of the nightsky can expect a commet which should easily be spotted with the naked eye in autumn. As long as many here seem to be interested in the heavenly show too, i will give you a warning in case something spectacular should be up, sometimes, in Sheepy Dalek Weekend Posts. ( Unless volcano news are much more important, means, if there is not much up which we could watch closely over the internet)

In the evening Jupiter rules the early night sky in the east. Can you spot a star shining slightly orange closeby? You found Adelbaran, the red eye of the Bull. The Pleijades shine up right of Jupiter and the bright white star to the higher left is Capella.  Below the planet, Orion dominates, with his 7 stars which are discernable even if you are surrounded by light polution. The shape of Orions belt is unique and if you found it once, you will always be able to spot it , high upin the winter sky.

Sky and Teleskope Magazine offeres a sky chart and information on whats going to be seen in the next month. Here is January 2013. On this page you can click an audio  podcast which takes you on a tour through the nightsky. I always listen to those 5 minutes in the beginning of every month.


57 thoughts on “Sunday Summary

  1. (reposting)
    Hierro. Last week’s brief eq swarm has a surprisingly large effect on GPS stations Fron and H102. Both shifted about 20mm up and 20mm south:

    and Valverde H100 shifted 20mm eastwards

    Seems a lot of movement for a small swarm. Anyone got a URL for the cumulative energy plot ?
    Its the large motions accompanying rather few eqs that I find interesting. But I cant find the cumulative energy plot to allow comparison with the second (deep) 2011 swarm.

    • IGN stopped thier dynamic plot quite a while ago, just checked the AVCAN site, they don’t have anything there…They never did have a dynamic one, just did them as and when they had a point to make… They sometimes post them on facebook though… Any Factbookers online?

      • Thanks Schteve.
        In terms of number of eqs, the recent swarm had many fewer than in Nov 2011. Looking at area under the histogram, I reckon 30 fold fewer?

        Yet in the Nov 2011 swarm Fron GPS moved a similar distance, 30mm, but north. The north motion is the opposite direction to the recent swarm.
        Cant find uplift data.
        So the recent swarm does appear to have been much more effective in shifting the surface GPS stations than the activity in Nov. 2011. Why?

          • Thanks Karen, great plots.
            So Nov 2011 released 2million MJ, compared with 12 thousand in Dec2012. So ratio:166
            Yet ratio of uplifts was 1.5
            The Dec 2012 swarm was several km east from previous activities so looks to me like a separate event. So while I accept GeoLurking’s comment, I find it diffcult to believe the rock was hotter than in previous swarms..
            Also I think I recall Valverde didn’t shift in 2011 but did this time – suggesting a wider sphere of GPS motion despite the 166-fold smaller energy.
            Maybe Hierro is not finished yet.

          • AVCAN said a few days ago that there was a magma intrusion in late Dec. Given that the EQs were a little more to the east than earlier activity, seems reasonable that FRON would be more impacted by it.

            Thought there had been both uplift and dropping at VALV (but my memory is not as good as it used to be 🙂 ). Nagoya (Professor Takeshi Sagiya) did a plot from Jan 2011 which had some interesting trends – deformation started well before the large swarms in 2011. I did not keep a copy but perhaps GeoLurking did 😕

        • Hi Peter,
          manually read out the GPS data from Frontera and Valverde (about per month) from and put into a 3D plot.

          Here is the EW view:
          And the NS view:
          And top view:

          There was some stagnation thus some points in the paths are not showing (compare color).

          If you like the plot I could add more stations and could upload an animation tomorrow.
          But if the use of the Nagoya data is improper, dragons, please delete my links. I remember there was some trouble Geolurking had with them, no?

          • Did not update the page for a while…Geolurkings approach at 22:50 is maybe more graspable. Anyways, learned to do path plots in 3D now 🙂

          • Hi Chryphia – great representations thank you. Comparing dark blue ( Nov 2011) and red ( recent ) the motions look comparbale despite 166 fold different energy releases. The mid 2011 energy ( from karnes plot) was somewhat less than Nov 2011 while your plots show greater motion ( green and yellow) So maybe there’s trend emerging of less energy accompanying GPS motion with each successive swarm. Is that commonplace?

  2. Offtopic Astronomy and Sky: Yes, 2013 will have (very likely but not yet certain) two bright comets visible naked eyed, one in March, another one in November. Both in the northern hemisphere. The first comet could be as bright as Venus, the second as bright as the Moon.

    But these are predictions very difficult to make, comets are notoriously unpredictable but since we are statistically “overdue” for an historical extremely bright comet, this could be it.

    • Cometary brightness is very deceptive as it works this way: The total light is given as if it were a point source when in fact it’s an extended object which means that the perceived brightness is always far less – the light is “diluted” over the total area. If a comet really does become “as bright as Venus”, don’t expect it to be anywhere near “as bright as Venus”. You’ll still be able to pick it out if you know where to look for it but you still have to look for it, especially if it’s not high enough above the horizon to appear after it becomes completely dark. At dusk, you might not make it out even if it is “as bright as Venus”.

    • Quote from KarenZ’s article courtesy of google translate:

      ‘sensors housed in balloons launched by AEMET from the national park has detected an abnormal gas convection reaching the stratosphere, which could be the origin of the hole. “It’s like a chimney effect shaped umbrella, a beret gas, which is located on a diameter of 3 km above the crater of the Teide, in height. The interesting thing is that this is the first time you can establish a direct correlation between volcanic emissions and the ozone hole created by them. We are preparing a joint paper PEO will be published shortly in the journal “O’Zone” of Trinity College. University of Dublin ”

      Technical AEMET balloon launching in Ucanca

      At the end of the meeting we also talk with the shop steward of the national park workers, who expressed concern about the harmful effects they could have on their health of UV radiation, already high in the mountains, to be released the beneficial effect of ozone screen: “We have requested regulatory balaclava and gloves and goggles transmittance 0, according to the European standard EN 1836, although we are very concerned about a couple of fellow albinos. One of them has been affected by the strange appearance spots these days. ”

      From the Cabildo of Tenerife, in coordination with the PEO, have launched a series of recommendations in hotels for the thousands of tourists who visit these days. Yet there are controls at the entrance of the national park, where young volunteers give to visitors who come in bikini or swimsuit and sunscreen old mechanical divers donated by an NGO, gloves, masks and goggles, acquired all it cheaply in the markets of the top blanket of Puerto de la Cruz and Bravo Murillo.

      In AVCAN follow carefully this disturbing news and I will forward all communications issued by the PEO.’

      • I find the idea a bit dubious.

        The overall average circulation pattern at this latitude is downward towards the Earth. At 0° (Equator) and the surrounding doldrums, the over all pattern it up, towards the tropopause. There is also another region where this occurs… usually around 60°N. That is why the semi-permanant Lows form in those areas (example: Icelandic Low)… and why the tropics tend to spawn large scale low systems. (tropical storms, typhoons and hurricanes).

        The Stratospheric Ozone layer is at about 20 to 30 kilometers elevation… above the tropopause.

        So… lacking a mechanism where gases from Teide can reach this altitude… given normal circulation, and without an energetic eruption to loft the gas past the tropopause.. I have to take that claim with a grain of salt.

        I think you may better see my point once Ruminarian V is released.

    • Don´t worry, I believe it was a joke for the day of the Holy Innocents (like our April fools day) December 28. It is so funny the say “Plan Especial Ozono”(PEO), Peo is a fluffer or well an air escape of of your, well…….. OK, a fart lol

  3. Well, didn’t even make honorable mention in the Sunday Summary. Guess that proves my point that some of the stuff I write is a bit “out there” for most readers.

    Anyway… continuing the Peter Cobbold sub-thread that was brought forward about El Heirro’s GPS oddities.

    Most GPS researchers are highly paranoid about their data output. Nemesio Perez and fit over Sagiya’s GPS data is a prime example. (Perez was fearful of loosing interest in research in his fiefdom since I used Sagiya’s publicly available GPS information. FYI: Research ≈ $$$) God forbid somebody actually come along and pull information out of it and present it in a way that is easily understandable for the public at large.

    I have no misgivings about my ability. I know full well that this is not my area of expertise, and I do not claim to have some deep understanding of the processes at work. That would be total bullshit on my part.

    So… digitizing the last few days of IGN’s GPS data, dropping it into a surface and fitting a poly sheet to it, re-griding to fill the gaps… then dropping that into Google Earth to see where everything is at, you get this:

    Note: This is not krigged data. Krigging would be a more elegant way of doing it, but within the limitations of my software this will have to do. The numbers on the right indicate the implied total uplift over the last 6 to 7 days in mm.

    This was to over come the polysheet’s tendency to go nuts in interpolating outside of the area. In essence, it’s like holding the corners down on a sheet to make it press into the outline of whatever it is you are covering.

    Areas away from the island have greater and greater error.

    Over all, the average uplift for the listed stations is about 3.1 mm/day… starting on about 28 Dec 2012.

  4. Hi all, a comment on commenting..
    No, one cannot edit a comment once it is posted. Only dragons can change that then, but we will do so at your request as fast as possible. ( Depending if a dragon is online, Yes, as unbelieveable as it may seem, dragns do have a reallife too 😉 )
    We can also remove complete comments, but only if there was no follow up… In case we delete one and there was a following comment, it messes up the system and comments end up in very odd places afterwards.
    Also.. with wordpress it is not possible to place images inside a text. Only Youtube videos work, if the user has the youtube window open at the same time, ( and if the person who released the youtube video allowed it to be implemented.
    Thank you.

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