Phonolite and more

Teide with phonolite inthe foreground. Image by Author.

Teide with phonolite inthe foreground. Image by Author.

As KarenZ correctly remembered my mate and me hiked Las Cañadas Caldera in Tenerife last september. We joined a group walking on Alexander von Humboldts steps. The famous scientist visited the island 1799 when he was on his way to South America. It is reported that his guides never led him to the very top of Teide against his wishes. But as long as there are quite some “Alexander von Humboldt” hike trails in the caldera and our walk led as away from Teide and not towards it, i seriously doubt i really actually walked in Humboldts footsteps.


Phonolite. Image by Author.

I had been hoping to gain information about the geology features from the guide too, but even being a volcanic layman i think i knew more about it, than he did. After my first few questions he tried to avoid further questions about stones at all costs. (Starting to walk a lot faster or starting a conversation with someone else 😉  ) Naturally i had been reading up on what i might have to expect. Phonolite was among the stones i was expecting to come across. I had not been thinking about the names origin and was not sure if i could identify it. When we took a lunchbreak i kicked a stone and suddenly i heard a melodious “klink”. Oh what was that? Could the name phonolite come from phono meaning voice or sound. It does. And then the group saw me jumping around and knocking the rock you saw in the riddle (above) and neighbouring rocks with a tiny one. I had great fun and i think the rest of the group thought i was pretty crazy.

My personal natural marimba made of phonolite. Image by author.

My personal natural marimba made of phonolite. Image by author.

2 videos were found on youtube by Diana and Jamie. ( I like the second one better , besides the song quality, also because the stones i knocked on, sounded darker than the sounds in the first video.)

Here’s wikis take on the genesis of Phonolite: “Phonolite is unusual in that it forms from magma with a relatively low silica content, generated by low degrees of partial melting (less than 10%) of highly aluminous rocks of the lower crust such as tonalite, monzonite and metamorphic rocks. Melting of such rocks to a very low degree promotes the liberation of aluminium, potassium, sodium and calcium via melting of feldspar, with some involvement of mafic minerals. Because the rock is silica undersaturated, it is free of quartz or other silica crystals, and is dominated by low-silica feldspathoid minerals more than feldspar minerals.

A few geological processes and tectonic events can melt the necessary precursor rocks to form phonolite. These include intracontinental hotspot volcanism, such as may form above mantle plumes covered by thick continental crust. A-type granites and alkaline igneous provinces are usually found alongside phonolites. Phonolites may also be produced by low degree partial melting of underplates of granitic material in collisional orogenic belts.” (Thanks Wiki) ( And Thanks Diana!!!)

Obviously the Devils Tower National Monument is made of phonolitic porphyr too. Here is a paper on it: here is a beautiful image made by one of the TWAN photographers Wally Pacholka.


And more:

We all noticed that Iceland was really quiet lately but Jamie pointed to an article about Hekla´s inflation. Here is the Giggle translate version.

To me it appears that Giggle learned understanding Icelandic a little better since Ejyafjallas eruption, though one lines says, the volcano is ready for soda. So… Hekla is thristy… poor little volcano. (just kidding, of course)

There has been quite some talk about Campi Flegrei on the internet in the last weeks. Some links provided by users:

Video pointed out by ScienzaObsoleta as well as this link to the ground deformation.

Dr Boris B´s commented over at eruptions :
In Italian:
Thanks Alyson and Bruce.

Erik Klemetti on the Paluweh eruption today with NASA images of the ash plume:  (Chyphria)

On the earthquake Mag 8 ( or 7,9) which hit Santa Cruz. The Solomon Island saw a 1 meter high tsunami wave which destroyed 3 villages on the island Nendo. Till now 4 people were reported to have been killed.  CNN says the tsunami warning for other countries was canceled.
Quite a lot of afterquakes:

The riddle Name that volcanoes was finally solve and completly blown by Alison. One point goes to tgmccoy.

160 thoughts on “Phonolite and more

  1. Hi guy’s,
    I am still around, had line problems, a never ending story, will see how long it lasts this time. It has been a bid warmer then usual down under, we had over 40 which was a record for January and all the rain in the last couple of days bumped it up to more then twice the average, but if look at the ground it is as dry as, we got another couple of hot days coming starting tomorrow only in the mid thirties, my aircon is closing doors and windows early, give the outside a bid of a hose down around 2pm, the trees still have their leaves after the storms it is a wonder, so it will be fine, luckily it cools down in the night.
    the EQ in the Solomons could be an adjustment to the plates from the twin 8 quakes off Sumatra, as the Australian Plate is moving NE in laces galloping

    • Oh Hi Ursh, glad you are Ok, i was hoping you would not be affected when there were news about fires and later floods in Australia. ( Because you were so quiet).

      • the floods where mostly in Queensland and northern NSW, the system moved south and missed me by about60km or so and went out to see, only got about 60ml of rain out of it.the fires are everywhere really, it is summer and has been dry for most parts, Australia is a continent and is big.

    • Latest news reports are still stating 4 – 6 deaths, so it looks like it’s not going to continue to rise to the levels of the tsunami of 2007 after a M8.1 earthquake, that killed at least 50 in the Solomon Islands.

  2. I keep thinking that I would not sleep properly if I was living near the fumaroles of Campi Flegrei as shown in the video.

    Love the picture of the Devils Tower by the way!

      • Dantes Peak just erupted here on TV, can’t focus on anything else 😀

        But I always like seeing a clear milky way. Best I’ve ever seen was on a midnight boat from Stromboli to Sicily on a very clear night. Too bad a good drink was missing, that would have made an awesome combination.

  3. We have here at our University, a small contingent of various Polynesians/Micronesians.
    I know some are from the Solomons. Not a good thing to wake up to.

    Now for Devil’s Tower: I have a photo of it taken from above from the cockpit of a DC6B
    We were working a fire in the monument….

      • It is in an album and I need to digitize it but I will do so …
        I wish I had the Lead Plane Pilot’s audio- She was going
        Doo de doo wo dum! I knew what she was doing but the
        Cap’n had never seen (and never did, btw )”Close Encounters
        of the Third Kind .” so the effect went over his head…

  4. 2D plot of solomon island eqs for 2008 to 2013 (14:00 today) and IRIS’s map of the last 2,000 in the same area:

  5. About them quakes.

    Everytime I have tried to muddle through the Gutenberg–Richter law, I never can quite synchronize the equation results to the observed events. I can see the same trends in the equations results vs real-world, Where the issue comes in is in the determination of the a and b values.

    Usually by the time I get close, I get drawn away from the endeavor by other stuff. Either another place on the Earth gets noisy, something blows up, or I have work related stuff to deal with.

    In this case, its’ the latter. So, here is a relevant link to the wiki article on Gutenberg–Richter law.

  6. Funny thing – I had an extremely vivid dream last night about an earthquake that measured 9.9 on the Richter Scale. The quake was so strong, I felt it pretty vividly in North America – The earthquake supposedly took place in central america.

    I DID read about the earthquake prior to going to bed last night, so I can’t say I’m clairvoyant :). Although it was odd how vivid the dream was, I swear even to this point that I felt the shaking and rattling in my very senses.

    • A 9.9 would not be good… anywhere.

      Wells-Coppersmith equations predict a maximum displacement of 1468 meters. If its strike-slip, imagine a house on the other side of the fault from you shifting up to 1468 meters to one side. 100 km away from the epicenter, the ground would have a velocity of about 7.4 m/s and would accelerate at about 1000% g. (10 x gravity) (greater than MMI 12, which is actually the top of the scale)

      It would be a disaster of epic proportions.

      The 1964 Alaska Quake was Mag 9.2 and was a reverse sryle fault.

      The displacement values are different, but the MMI calcs are close. (velocity and acceleration forces)

      The 2008 Sichuan Quake would have had 12.79 meter max displacement (Wells-Coppersmith) and 64% g acceleration at 100 km (MMI VIII). It was also a nasty quake at 68k dead and missing.

      The 1976 Tangshan quake had a much higher mortality rate, but numbers from that event are mired in political shenanigans and the actual number may never be known.

      • I kind of wonder what magnitude quake would go off during a full-scale Taupo eruption. Judging from the figures that Bruce gave – especially with the velocity of the eruption, there would have to be some insane shaking going on…

        • good question.. I wonder what it would have been like? Probably a multitude of chaotic waves (also from the impact of several cubic km of pumice landing back on earth over the space of a few minutes). Hopefully the chaotic nature of the event would mitigate the worst effects of ground shaking (i.e. little resonance, like you get in a big quake) but I guess we have to wait and see what actually would happen. The first units of the Hatepe eruption were pretty conventional but ramped up over time, so I guess that would be some serious VT. The caldera collapse stage would have been a big bang, like Krakatoa I imagine.

  7. Offtopic: I had a crazy evening. I tried going into this winter hike to the mountains, into Bláfjoll (which is part of a professional and well equipped mountain group) but the weather became a strong blizzard and gale, and I got stuck in too much snow mountain road and had to be pull by a rescue truck this evening. Drive back afterwards was still nerve-wracking. Such a crazy high adrenaline night but I arrive well home. Nice to be back at the comfort of house and family. It was very deceiving because the night has a very calm snowy night, with not too strong winds, but up 600m high the winds are crazy. Anyways no one went hiking tonight, everyone turned back (those who did not got stuck like me).

    By the way, last weekend a woman died near Reykjavik in a similar winter mountain hike, and also during a strong blizzard weather. I guess my hiking projects have been a bit shaken these last few days 😛 But nature is especially unpredictable and at times violent in Iceland in winter.

    • And just to give you an idea of the speed up there, it was the kind of wind that you barely barely can remain stand up and without being blowing away, even with wearing crampons and spikes in your feet. A pleasant night for everyone,

        • Agree with Renato done some back country skiing,spent some time out-longer
          than I wanted and no one thought much about it-though I did tell folks where
          we were going but this was in the days before cell phones. a week later
          (3days longer than anticipated) we made it out of the High Wallowas. but
          had to make a couple of passes at near 3000M. at this time of year .
          had experience at that but still no fun. It was one of those “Lord of the Rings”
          (Notably when the boys tried to make that mountain crossing) moments.
          Glad your safe.. I still have issues with the frostbite that i got and it was almost
          30 years ago…. “We grow too son Old and too late Schmart.!” -old Amish saying.
          Glad I can say that…

          • I am glad you are safe Irpsit. I was a Voluntary ranger for 12 years in a Country park High up on the Pennines. I never cease to be amazed at how unprepared people can be for even mildish british weather. I was involved in many a rescue. A couple sadly not in time. Even the most well prepared and experienced people can get into trouble when weather is extraordinarily severe. Now I am happy looking at the wind and snow from the warm side of the window”

  8. OT: Weird Dog.

    Walking through the living room, I notice a green bean laying on the floor. That’s sort of odd, I haven’t put up any beans since last year. I reach down to pick it up, and the stepson’s dog charges over and snarls at me. Evidently it was his bean. Dunno where he got it, but I threw it away. To make it up to him I gave him a piece of cornbread. He seemed to be okay with the trade.

    • Tonight, at dinner, my wife relates a story from the local news. Evidently, several residents reported a loud “booming” last night. This is not a unique occurrence. It is not uncommon for this sort of thing in NW Florida.

      My concern is what was the source. The Port St Joe fault runs through escambia county Alabama north of here, and down into the Port St Joe Florida area. It’s an ancient transform fault left over from when the Gulf of Mexico opened up several million years ago. Much of the basement around here has a layer of limestone, and sinkholes are pretty common north of Panama City up through the Defuniak Springs area…. the initial fracturing due to the Port St Joe Fault, which then allowed the dissolving of limestone and the formation of underground cavities.

      One line of thought is that some of the Florida “booms” comes from chamber roofs collapsing.

      North of here, is a seismic station that is in the Iris BUDS system, and the waveforms can be pulled down, but before I went to that trouble, I did a bit of poking around on the ‘net.

      Turns out that Eglin AFB reports that they did not have any activity going on that could have caused it, but Hurlbert Field did.

      Which is good. I would rather that be the source than sinkhole formation.

      • 105mm’s Mounted in the Spectre? I was privy to an artillery barrage at the Yakima
        Firing center back in the 80’s Star Shells and a very impressive display of 155’s
        and 120mm tank rounds. I flew some US army staff to the Firing Center (Civvie
        Contractor/Pilot) got invited by a Two Star to see the display… Awe inspiring
        -and glad I wasn’t on the receiving. end..

        • I can honestly say that “I don’t know.” I did have a station chief (FD) that used to do contractor servo work for the AF. At one time had had to do a call on one of the systems that kept “hunting.” (it’s a semi-technical term where the servo keeps moving back and forth trying to find the null position) This had the un-nerving symptom of making the aircraft wag back and forth while in flight.

          For those of you that don’t know it, synchro-servo circuits are a pain in the arse to trouble shoot. When you measure a reading at one point in the circuit, if it’s an error signal, it could be caused by a component further down the signal chain than where you are measuring. The signals in the system loop back around on the components. Generally, when you find an error signal, it’s caused by something “upstream” of where you measured. That doesn’t always hold true in a servo set.

        • About the Spectres…

          Part of the approach for Duke is over the interstate near a rest stop that I frequent when I don’t have the stamina for the last hour of driving. Its pretty easy to loose time watching the C-130 that is out and about, burning up flight hours (training) over the area. I always find myself looking for that tell-tale barrel, but odds are they won’t be clocking up hours in that particular rig.

        • Live fire exercises.

          Reportedly, they have relocated the goats of San Clemente, they don’t have to hold up the NGFS exercises while the range controller runs them out of the hot zone.

          During one event, we were told to hold fire. Over the radio they said it was “Range Fire” Some of us assumed that they were simulating them firing back at us and we would do evasive manuvers. Turns out the range was actually on fire. Our shots had ignited the brush.

          5″ – 38.

          • Back n My Airtanker days we’d get calls out to White Sands (Usually out of Kirkland
            or Alamogordo.) One in particular was interesting it was a fire caused bu a little sumpin’ that went off range-like oh ,100miles to the west of White Sands..
            Igintion source was easy to find-downwind of the 5ft deep crater and scattered rocket parts..

    • Back to the dog part of this OT thread.

      I somewhat enjoy the dog. He’s good for laughs. Ultra possessive, if you give him a cracker and he doesn’t want to eat it, he will take it off and hide it somewhere. On more than one occasion I have heard by stepson cussing the dog for hiding crackers in his bed.

      • Wow! You have a dog that doesn’t want to eat something the moment he has it? Definitely one very strange dog!!!! My dog would eat until he was sick I reckon, maybe because he was a stray before we rescued him and was super thin poor devil. so when he gets food he scoffs the lot and will still wants biscuits five minutes later. Going to be hard to stop him getting fat!

      • My springer will eat himself sick. He’s thin due to the way we feed him. But wife bought a dozen English Muffins. I came home from work and the whole package
        was now empty (on the kitchen floor) he also had a can of Dog food just prior to that.
        He sneaked the package off the table (Springer spaniels are very sneaky dogs)while
        wife as doing laundry. Springe now in dog bed all four feet in the air. Tummy looking
        like Python that swallowed a bowling ball- he didn’t eat for about two days..
        Stayed outside a lot too..

        • LOL!!!! Now I know why my dog sleep with his feet in the air. 😀 😀 😀 He even ate half a cardboard lid from a microwave carton the other day because it had a little beef gravy still on it! Fortunately it did exit OK!

          • Newby.. Meg the Lurcher here is similar…. but is at last getting choosy and eating more staple foods than Horse Sh*t, Cat T*rds and rolling in Foxey Do Dah! They have been the odd moment when I would look at her and wonder why I had given in to the idea of another dog… But the rest of the lime I love her dearly 😀

      • @ GeoLurking – do you remember back in the late 80’s when Oreo cookies came out with giant Oreos individually packaged in clear plastic? I had a Cocker Spaniel that was obsessed with one. She would carry it around and then hide it until she wanted to carry it around some more. She did that for months without breaking the plastic seal even though the Oreo had long since become a bunch of crumbs. Finally came the day the plastic could not hold out any longer and she just could not figure out what went wrong. It was very entertaining.

  9. OT and gory.

    The discrepancy could not immediately be resolved.

    Eh? They are looking for gender equality in a tug of war maiming? (lost fingers).

    MY GUESS… is that synthetic line snap-back will wind up being the root cause of this incident.

    Some of the most dangerous things in working with ships, barges and tugs, are the lines. Synthetic lines are prone to storing large amounts of energy when they stretch. This is one reason that natural fiber lines are generally preferred. They tend to just fall away when they part, not blast through bulkheads like they are tissue paper. Never stand in the bight of a line (loop) and don’t stand in the snap back zone of a line under tension. (anywhere along the tension axis)

      • Just around the corner here, they let a big boat into the water a few years ago. One of the tug lines snapped. Nobody was hurt, but as the video shows, things could have been much worse! Around the 1 minute mark it happens.

    • Yo do not want to be on the flight deck of a carrier when the arresting gear snaps gory is not the word, people get snapped in to large hunks of meat faster than a thought USS forrestal 1972

    • Made my morning!!! Its a great fun video Bruce! 🙂

      I still remember the only time I was in Naples, where traffic rules apparently did not exist (like making U-turns even over garden barriers dividing lanes or a public bus crossing with red light everytime, not when it is about to become red, but when it was already clearly red light for quite some time! And 1 in 3 cars had some kind of damage of clash / impact.

      • I actually had my foot run over there. Not bumped or nudged.. but run slap over. Fortunately, it was a tiny car. In hind sight, it was my fault. I was too close to the road… waiting for someone on a moped to snatch my hat off of my head.

        • Ouch.
          Totally agree with you tsunami, beach rant.
          Here it is a somehwat similar situation.
          Not with sea water issues but with avalanches or slipping slopes.
          So many houses stand in dangerous regions. Avalanches have always been going down ceratin paths and just because there was none for some years does not mean it will never happen again.

    • Haha, it is such a LITTLE car it would have been easier for all those people standing around just to pick it up and carry it away. ROFL!!!!!

    • Dont think it was, and Thanks.
      @All … dont worry if something was already posted
      I dnt mind
      If one link does not appeard 17 times all is fine. And if it was on an old thread… it is good if a link is reposted.

  10. Sorry for the OT but I must brag a bit. Although I did’nt get a part in the movie Noah, my one year ols son and my step son got to play in a music video filmed in Iceland Last october. The Musician is also the directer of the video and he is French. My step son is the boy in the sailor uniform, and my son is the baby. Please enjoy. This is a beautiful song and video.

    Fixed it 🙂 chryphia

  11. hi all greetings from cloudy lanzarote…
    a full bus scuppered our planned hike today, so chillaxin with a beer or 2 inschtead…
    the kindle doesn’cope well with the ign site… can someone update me ont el hierro please?
    very nice article on phonolite btw
    nice to see you back ursh,was wondering where you’d got to…

    • Perhaps they need to do what the Japanese do and leave a clear marker as to the height the tsunami reached. The warning isn’t always heeded, as it seems the 12th century markers had been considered an exaggeration by more recent developers, who built on lower ground. Nonetheless markers are still there from 9th century and 12th century tsunamis that reached a considerable way up hillsides.

      When I flew to Japan a couple of years ago I recall looking down at all the empty coastline and wondering why it wasn’t holiday developments. And reading the earthquake warnings in the hotel seemed a bit of a curiosity….

      • On the Oregon coast there are developments that are on Sand hooks,
        river entrances and right on the shore lline. While not as extensive as some other
        areas, it was stopped from further insanity by land use laws. However it is rather
        telling as you drive around some of these developents and see DRIFTWOOD
        above the street some old growth logs, too.Meaning that at one time in the
        reasonably recent past,_THE _OCEAN_WAS_THERE_.

        • I am a believer in smaller less intrusive governments. But.. there are certain aspects of the unwieldy beasts that are justification for their existence. The curtailment of bad behavior. They are supposed to add a measure of common sense for those that don’t have it, or who refuse to listen to it.

          Megathrust Earthquakes are sporadic events. Sure, we have had three or four notable ones in the last ten years or so, but they were all on different fault systems. The return rate for the Cascadia Subduction Zones megathrust events has been placed in the realm of 400 years or so. Is there a danger of it? Yes. Does anyone have a memory of it? No. There is some oral history in the legends of the people who lived there, and there is archaeological evidence of it… but no one has seen the level of destruction that could come roaring up out of the sea. It’s hard to motivate people to pay attention to the threat. At least in a sane non-hyped manner.

          I live along the Gulf Coast. Off and on, I have been a resident of Florida for about 20+ years. Now I liver here “permanently.” (well, as permanent as a humans residence can be) One thing that all coasts around here have in common… are hurricanes. Any one region can expect to have a storm come nearby within about 20 to 30 years. Some of these storm can easily push 5 meter storm surges along in front of them. The way a storm surge works, is by raising the sea level in the area. If you have 5 meter waves on top of a 5 meter surge, that’s 10 meters total height to the top of the wave over what the normal sea level is.

          This… is Pensacola Beach. Typical of the Gulf Coast, it’s on a barrier island.

          What is a barrier island? Essentially, it’s a sand bar that has grown large enough to be above water most of the time. Most barrier islands “flow” along the coast, driven by longshore currents. Santa Rosa Island (the one in the picture) has moved west about 1000 meters over the last 150 years or so. Want an example?

          This is Fort Pickens. When it was constructed, the inlet to the bay was next to the fortification walls.

          Fort McRee, a sister fortification, was at a location that is currently located approximately in the mid-channel of the current inlet.

          This Lengthy island is migrating off to the west.

          Anyway…. Hurricanes tend to trash barrier islands. Here is the same location as the first picture, in 2004.

          About a month before the picture, Hurricane Ivan had blown through the area with 115mph (185 kph) sustained winds for about 3 hours. (I rode it out, it sucked… trust me).

          And yet people still build here… and rebuild here… and again etc. It’s not like there is no history of the area being nailed by hurricanes. Tristan De Luna, (wannabe) conquistador, lost most of his ships that were at anchor out in the bay shortly after he first landed here. He was too busy traipsing out through the woods harassing the Panzacola (and other) Indian tribes to off load his stores and supplies. (“incompetent command” comes to mind, but that’s my opinion).

          Back to the sat photos… here is an elevation cut roughly though the middle of those pics.

          Yet, the structures still get destroyed, and the insurance still pays them to re-build there. And everyone else gets to foot the higher premiums to cover the costs. If you gripe, you get get told that they bring in tourists…. and business for the area. Okay… but using the only natural deepwater port in the area to ship products seems like a common sense way of doing things… not wasting time trying to be Destin Florida. Hint… you still have to drive through a separate county to get to the beach that bears the cities name. And… you have to pay a toll to get there. (*the “fastest way to Destin” also involves a Toll, so that’s not really that big a deal. You also have to drive through a city called “Niceville” that isn’t really that nice. you should see the traffic).

          Eh.. enough griping. Sorry for the rant.

          Maybe I should take my own advice? Well… my house is 15 miles inland and 40 meters above sea level. Even a tsunami would have to be larger than anything seen in the history of the settlement of the western hemisphere in order to get to me.

          Now… what is really cool about Pensacola Beach? It’s so white that other than it being 32°C, you would think that some areas are covered in snow. It’s that white. And on occasion, it squeaks when you walk on it. Don’t try to drive on it… you WILL loose traction.

          Now my point… (took me long enough eh?) If people are this oblivious to the dangers of Hurricanes, how can we expect them to take a megathrust quake threat serious?

          • People generally aren’t risk averse to stuff they can’t see with their own eyes.

            I would argue that at least half the population in the Pacific NW is clueless about the danger of a megathrust tsunami, and the other half (living by the shore that is) is simply aware of the risk, but willing to accept that to have a house on the beach.

          • I agree, Lurk my main thing is that ever now and then someone who built a 3mil+
            mega house on say, Siletz Bay, gets a Stika log thrown though the living room
            plate glass and wants the Insurance co. to pay for it..Or the Government. I really don’t
            have problem with people who build a passable beach shack as a getaway.Knowing that there is a good possibility (especially in an El Nino year) it may not be there
            next summer after the Old Man North pacific has his way with it, But that is a chance you should be allowed to take…
            Yep you are right on both accounts. Muni and county governments are sorely
            lacking in real prep for the “Big One.”
            Believe me, I know….

          • Eh, So you have also the squeaking sand effect over there. Heard the same when living near bordeaux on the atlantic coast. Lots of sand dunes there and they’re moving also….but no hurricanes, just winter storms

  12. Solomon Islands EQs for yesterday to today at 09:50:

    There have been EQs since but my download earlier this evening did not pick them up.

      • Please Newby do me a big favor and dont even try
        I love Sakurajima and i love this cam, but the constant zoom in zoom out … something is about to happen and someone zooms in on a cloud arg. SO please please Newby dont try. ( It is kinda selfexplaining if you do but not so very easy to handle if it is your first time. 😉 )

      • I just wait for it to load. But to change the time on 373 you select the time from the boxes with English numbers (its about 08:32 at the moment) – so change the hour (e.g. 08 to 07)and the minutes (e.g. from 32 to 40) and press the rectangular button above this. This should start the video playing.

        Boxes highlighted here:

  13. OT (and cruel)

    (What Has Been Seen) Cannot Be Unseen is an Internet axiom which states that one literally cannot get rid of the mental image that becomes part of the memory after looking at a disturbing photo or a video. The phrase is commonly used as incredulous reaction to a shock sites or a surprising revelation of anomalies in an unsuspecting image

    As some of you know, Beyonce lip synced our national anthem at the Inauguration thing-a-ma-bob. Later, in a press mind-meld prior to the “super”bowl, Beyonce did an impromptu rendition of it with no assist. (perchance to prove she could? beats me.) From what I gather, it was a good rendition of it.

    Anyway, she performed during the “Super” bowl event, though she wasn’t the anthem singer. According to a few sites, her publicist is “trying to get less than flattering photos of her removed from the Internet.” {yeah….. good luck with that}.

    Anyway… REMEMBER What is seen, can not be unseen. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

    Nice set of guns there….

    (Attn: Geoloco, That also means well developed arms) Really, would you want to receive a punch from one of them? I wouldn’t. I like my jaw just where it is at.

  14. Curiosity, the latest and most sophisticated Mars Rover, has found a gear shift for a ’71 Ford Maverick.

    Well, that’s what it looks like to me. A friend of mine used to drive one… he had dropped a 302 Boss into it and had to chain the right front of the block to the frame to keep from snapping motor mounts. This is what the shift lever looked like. {note: the Maverick was not produced with the 302, but they thought about it. From what I’ve seen, it would have been a seriously scary ride}

    How it got on Mars is beyond me. The last I heard, his mom had put the car in the ditch while going to get bread. (light rain, the massive torque started the rear tires to start spinning and it just slid off the road),

    • Discussion about this with a friend, brings up the point that it’s pretty small… too small to be the shifter for a Maverick. It is in the size category of a paper clip. If so, I’m leaning towards extramaritan origins. Possibly an alien artifact off of a spacecraft from another planet in the solar system. (Earth)

      • Not taking the dimensions into account, it really looks like the Loch Ness monster to me 🙂 Well ok, that was a bit unrealistic, but maybe a mini martian horse stuck in the mud then.

      • The article that is in the link says it protrudes one fifth of an inch from the surface. That is pretty small!! To me it would appear to be just a totally natural protrusion,

    • Had to remind me of the Roadrunner eh?

      Different Road Runner. Odd sort of car… but a beast for it’s time. Competitor to the Pontiac GTO (ancestor to the Firebird). {At the time Chevy was playing around with marketing the Z-28.} At my age and employment level, all we could do was drool. (and some built, as noted earlier about the Chevelle and the Maverick) Later, I was able to find a “70 and a half” Z-28 chassis but I got ripped off my a “friend” of a friend. Who was supposed to pick it up and drop it off for me. I had run out of time on leave and had to go back to San Diego and could not oversee the transactions. I’d have to say the Z-28 was my favorite of this era of cars. (Z-28 – 327ci V-8. Stock redline was up near 9 grand)

      Since then I have owned a truck. It has changed my whole outlook on life. Yeah, a car is sexy, but there isn’t a lot of room to throw stuff in the back and just go. Not only that, but you actually have room under the hood of a truck to work if you need to.

      Stupid story for ‘yall.

      While I was a Fire fighter, one thing I noticed was that the Florida Highway Patrol kept loosing cars. They would burst into flames and get destroyed. The culprit? The Catalytic converter on the 5 liter Mustangs tended to ignite the grass during traffic stops or when they were laying in wait. Lately, I’ve noticed that they use a lot of SUV’s now. That’s handy. you can keep a dog in the back for contraband searches and it’s a great place to put any peripheral “stuff” that an officer may need to take with them out in the field. Smart move in my opinion. Plus there is less of an ignition hazard.

      SUV can’t catch a speeder who tries to evade? No problem. There is not a car or motorcycle built that can outrun a radio. As for northwest Florida, I know these roads quite well. Fleeing on them is tantamount to just driving off in a ditch. You aren’t going anywhere. If you get lights, your best bet is to just pull over. I know for a fact that there are mutual aid agreements among pretty much all of the jurisdictions around here, and even up into Alabama. You will not get away.

      To give you an idea of how convoluted the roads are… The other day, I took a wrong turn, and due to traffic, I could not get out of the lane I was in. I wound up on Eglin AFB. No problem, show my military ID, enter the base, find a safe and legal place to turn around. I can imagine would would happen to someone running from LE winding up headed into the base. They have automated barricade systems designed specifically for gate runners. If they are like the ones that they put in out in a base in California, imagine a car, shredded. The one system that I remember, (This is not at Eglin, I will not elaborate on their arrangement due to possible security concerns. This is a different and unspecified base from about … 15 years ago.) was made from a hydraulic tensioner system that had steel cable in a trough in the roadway. On either side, the cable was tethered to graving blocks. Those are normally used in drydocks to set the ships on for when the drain the drydock. These were suitable for holding up the weight of a carrier and made of concrete with wood planking for the hull to rest on. If you did bust through the gate, you aren’t going very far dragging two or three 8m³ blocks of concrete along.

      Evil… pure evil.

  15. The weirdness of San Diego.

    for a while, I worked in the “Bravo Watchtowers” and kept an eye on the parking lots. My job was to call security if I saw anyone messing with the cars. One evening… cold, tired, hungry. (my sandwich didn’t’ last very long) I over heard some commotion on the radio. It seems that a car was fleeing from police, and had crashed outside of base. The occupant had leaped from the car and dove into the water and swam onto the base. Security was headed there to apprehend the person. Identifying clothing? None. They were naked. (at least according to the description).

    Dunno how it turned out, but it made me suspect the sanity of most of the people in National City.

    This is also near the time when I experienced the only earthquake that I have ever felt. At the time I lived in Chula Vista, and it was when they discovered the fault that runs up the middle of San Diego Bay. Before that, no one knew it was there. It was a tiny quake, possibly not even Mag 3.0. But the entire building shook and made a lasting impression on me. Not one of fear, but of fascination of how the building responded. Had I been smart, I would have turned and looked at the pool. (hindsight is 20:20) What did I get out of it other than that? Yet one more thing that terrorizes the wife at the thought of it happening. I spend most of my time analyzing weather data just so I can keep her advised and calm her fears. I do seismic and Volcano stuff because after a while, weather gets boring.

    Though I did have the opportunity today to give a friend of mine a ration of hooey about the blizzard that he is getting this weekend. The system that is going to do that, formed up right over my head. I watched it on Doppler radar as the characteristic spin started for the low that will trek up the eastern seaboard. It’s a cold core low, which is typical. That sort of Low gets it’s energy from the temperature and humidity differential between the two side of the system. Warm core lows, the ones that make tropical storms, operate in a different manner, and are hard pressed to stay organized this close to the coast. (generally they fall apart)

    A weather tip for you so you can amaze your friends. In the Northern Hemisphere, if you put your back into the wind, the system that is causing it, will either be a Low to your left, or a High to your right. Or a combination of both.

    • Similar thing with the north Pacific, we get Lows out about 130W, that from below 40N.
      bit of tropical moisture but cold core… Had one do that back in 2002 that formed
      right at 40N and blew its way right up the Oregon coast. I lived in this area that
      was down in a “Holler”as my Kentucky born Mother-in-Law said . Tore though Coos Bay ripping trees and power lines down 110mph winds and some rain…when it hit the East side of the Cascades it dumped snow like 2ft in La Grande, where my Mother lived…
      Didn’t miss flying courier/freight then-one of those jobs where the only reason to check
      weather is to see how scared you are going to get..

  16. Pointing to the german blog by Manfred Betzwieser again!
    He reports that there was another eruption below sea level at the west of El Hierro. 5 tiny spots. He also says, that this is where people had been noticing a change of color in the sea and noticed smell of sulfur. Now it came out that a cone had formed there which was not as high as our Bob, ( btw when he mentiones El Discreto… thats Bob) but it came closer to sea level than Bob ever did.
    He also mentiones that he would not be surprised if another submarine eruption spot would be discovered farther north, where change of color in the sea has also been noticed and sulfur smell also been detected and suggests that those events seem to have happened in a kind of circle around Tanganasoga.
    Anyone interested in El hierro should really visit Manfreds site from time to time. His reports are very up to date, partly because he lives in the Canaries and partly because with his blog he seems to want to help the people living there to be informed about the situation.

    • Hi Spica

      I read his blog regularly as it seems to me it is a very good source of information. Also kann ich mein deutsch praktisieren ! I will send a plot later today about this eruption and probably an update on El hierro as there were a few earthquakes yesterday.

    • Could you please elaborate on what “bad” is? Will the whole Groningen gas field subside 50 m? Just curious…

      • Bad as in:

        – A lot of damage in the future which is a nightmare for the people living there and which the NAM (Dutch Oil Company) will have to pay.
        – Possibly halting production by the government due to public opinion, meaning a huge loss of revenue for the NAM and the Dutch government and dependence on import instead of exporting 50% of the gas to Germany, France, Italy, who will then have to rely on more import as well (read: Russia).
        – Difficulties in obtaining new permits for additional exploration/production anywhere in The Netherlands, even there where there is only a minimal chance of damaging earthquakes if the field is emptied completely.

        The Groningen Gasfield is about 150 meters thick (very strong sandstone with +/-17% porosity), and is down to about 35% of it’s original pressure. Subsidence has been happening, but it’s not going to be 50 meters 😉 that would leave most of the province about 50 meters below sealevel. But don’t forget, an area of 25km x 45km is lying on top of 150 m thick standstone that has had it’s pore pressure lowered from 350 bars to 130 bars (and down to almost 0 bars 50 years from now). Those 3 km of rock on top of it pushing down is going to have an effect to such a relief of pressure (which is what the earthquakes are showing unfortunately)

        • Thank you. Read at Wikipedia that 1700 billion cubic meters of gas was produced so far (at 1 bar and surface temperature presumably?). I was wondering whether methane is gaseous or liquid at this depth and temperature, so basically how much the evacuated volume is at depth.

          And connecting to the volcanic “hothouse” to “icehouse” cycle theme, if a hypervolcano blew up the whole volume at once…methane has a global warming potential 72 times that of carbon dioxide over 20 years, and 25 times over 100 years (

    • A good start to my day reading this. I am not sure of the implications to human kind but I rather wish the greenhouse bit would help to warm up my weather here. The jet stream has been seriously wobbling for 12 months and I could do with some nice warm temperatures and less rain to grow my courgettes this summer!!

      • Diana, I have grown courgettes before, they grow like weeds, you cant go wrong! and I live on the west coast of Ireland were it always rains.

        • Yes they like water but the cold here is not conducive. We are a lot colder than on the North West coast near Blackpool because we are higher up on the Pennine Hills and it gets really chilly! The only spot they grow really well is the south facing side of my garden shed. if we have a warm summer they grow anywhere well as long as they are watered.
          We are about three to four weeks behind growers in the south of England. We have a very short ripen season hence apples that need a long time to ripen such as Cox’ orange pippins do not do so well unless you have a really sheltered spot.

      • I always blame the Bad Boyz of Kamchatka for my unending Green Tomato summers.
        Now I have my greenhouse built we’ll have a hot summer..
        Hot for us is a week of 35C…..

      • the weather has been topsy turpy down here too, my tomatoes just didn’t get any,that isn’t right, it was one 2cm across, but the miniatures are now flowering now, potatoes are doing ok, everything else just died, never had anything like that before, some plants had die offs of sots after rains, weird, well there is always next year, even the chooks are not as prolific with their eggs, warm weather you are welcome to it, I had a stinker of hot weather, not many days below 30 in the last couple of month, today only 24 and some storms, all the animals are asleep early, silencium

  17. Spica and dragons,
    Boris has posted a number of must-read books in pdf over at Erik’s blog.
    I see no reason why you can’t follow his suggestion and place the links on VC’s treasure…

  18. Two strong aftershocks closer to Lata, Solomon Is. have caused further damage on the already devastated island: cracks were opened and flights carrying food supplies couldn’t land because of the shaking. All inhabitants have been evacuated.
    (in Spanish)
    (I only spotted one at the USGS site)
    6.8 21km SSE of Lata, Solomon Islands 2013-02-08 11:12:13 10.904°S 165.895°E 18.0

  19. Pingback: Nonsense and stuff | Zoopraxiscope

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