Eifel Volcanic Field I

Few volcanic areas in the world are as easily accessible and in such a friendly environment as the Eifel Volcanic Field. Volcanophiles generally know of the existence of this volcanic field and that it lies somewhere in western Germany. Most ordinary people however have no idea that an active volcanic field with some 200+ volcanoes is located in western Germany, some 25 km from Belgium, 50 km from Luxemburg and 80 km from The Netherlands.

Lush, green, easily accessible and previously quite dangerous. The Shire might have been here before. Image by author.

The field is generally located around the towns and cities of Hillesheim, Gerolstein, Daun, Mayen and Koblenz. The world-famous racing circuit of the Nürburgring (Nordschleife) actually lies around and in between a few volcanic cones, of which the “Hohe Acht” is the most famous one because it’s also the highest point in the Eifel hills.

If you believe some of the more sensation oriented media, you will be led to believe that the Eifel is actually an inflated supervolcano, which has already shown its potential at Laacher See (one of 2 caldera features in the volcanic field) and is just waiting to end civilization as we know it anywhere between Scandinavia, the UK, Spain and the Balkan countries. We’ve all read those articles and wondered if 99% or 100% of it was made up on the spot.

In fact, volcanic activity in the Eifel Volcanic Field has been almost exclusively monogenetic, leaving scoria cones, tuff rings, lava flows and maars scattered over the hills since about 700.000 years ago. The Eifel is the type locality for “maars”, so activity like this all over the world is named after the volcanic lakes in these hills. On one occasion, a significantly larger (one of the most recent) eruption occurred, which left the Laacher See caldera. The good thing about all this activity is that there are a lot of volcanic features to visit and they are almost all very easy to reach. No mountaineering skills are needed and no supplies need to be carried because all this is in the middle of the civilized world.

Scoria cone hidden in the trees in the middle of a field. No guided tour needed here. Image by author.

Once you reach the crater area, you suddenly realize this is the real deal, even though the surroundings don’t look like it. Image by author

The “Vulkanmuseum” in Daun is worth a visit if you have some spare time. A lot of things are explained and a lot of good information is provided. This too can be said about most volcanic features in the Eifel. At many cones and maars you will find information signs with tons of useful information about the volcanic feature you are visiting.

Of special interest are the cold-water Geysers that are found in the Eifel. They are not driven by heat, but by CO2. The CO2 escaping from the magma sources below the Eifel dissolves into the groundwater at some places. Whenever the amount of dissolved CO2 reaches a critical point, bubbles start forming, lowering the hydrostatic pressure of the underlying water, triggering the formation of more bubbles etc etc. This chain reaction, when combined with a ‘conduit’ leading to surface, is what drives the geyser, until enough CO2 has been released to restore the stable situation again. The one in Wallenborn (Geyser Brubbel) is quiet for about 35 minutes and ejects cold water for about 2 minutes. Almost perfect for a visit! The one in Andernach is actually the world’s highest cold-water geyser. If you cannot go and visit them there, just buy a bottle of Gerolsteiner water to play Volcano at home. This world-famous mineral water is extracted from a drilled well and is naturally carbonated by the volcanic field. Shake the bottle firmly, open the cap and you have your own Eifel Coldwater Geyser at home.

If you happen to be a big beer fan, you might want to visit the Vulkanbrauerei (Volcanobrewery) in Mendig, close to the Laacher See. They produce and sell various beer specialties and have a very cool underground cellar (felsenkeller) open for visitors, that is cut out of columnar basalt, which they claim is the deepest beercellar in the world. It certainly sounds awesome to have a huge cellar to keep your beer cold, cut out of columnar basalt underneath/inside an old lava flow.

Already a nice place for a swinging chair. Once you know of the maar below and the scoria cones in the distance, it suddenly gets even better, especially if you took your beer from the Vulkanbrauerei. Image by author.

If you ever happen to be near the Eifel and have a spare day or so, I think this area is definitely worth a visit. Don’t expect any huge and spectacular volcanoes, dangerous trips or much live activity, because most features are quite hidden and somewhat influenced by erosion. The area is kind of like the old Petting zoo of the volcanic realm with some very cool animals in it.

A group of German Crater Deer having a good time inside an old volcanic crater. Image by author.

In part II, chryphia will give some more info on the Eifel Volcanic Field in a follow up post. Thanks to chryphia and Spica for helping out on this one!

El Nathan


Name that Volcano Riddle ……

 1 volcano 1 point
During the 1960s ‘cold war’, a discovery in a cavern under this volcano raised the spectre of an impending rocket attack …. SOLVED
Talla 1 point for Shinmoedake – some scenes from the 1967 You Only Live Twice were filmed on locationn at this volcano! (Spectre’s rocket base!)

182 thoughts on “Eifel Volcanic Field I

  1. Great post, Thanks!
    I’ll never complain enough for my stupidity – I have lived and worked in Bonn for a whole 4 months (86-87) and was NEVER told that I could reach all of these volcanic wonders in half an hour! Have been to Beethoven’s house a thousand times looking for what to do (it was a cold, tedious winter). I’ve just come back from a trip to Germany (Frankfurt) and Austria – and no Eiffel. And didn’t get a chance to visit Birgit’s museum in Linz either.
    Shame on me.
    But thank you for the post, anyway.

  2. Do not worry Renato about your lack of knowledge on the Eifel area.
    I live in Belgium about 50 km from the Eifel area and did not know that I lived next to a Volcanic field until I read about it on Eric’s blog.
    Now, when we do go to the Eifel for a week-end I sure do notice.

    I am looking forward to the follow up post! Thank you.

      • Renato, people living near volcanoes do not live in disaster zones.

        I live 50km away from Hekla. Only once, in 1510, a flying burning rock actually killed someone. During other eruptions, big ones, rocks never reached as far away as these 50km. And in smaller, more common eruptions, the only thing you get is a nice show and lots of falling ash. Almost always its only that, and also only if wind is favourable. Otherwise, ash goes another direction.

        I would say 30km is a safe distance for lava bombs and lightning in most cases. 50km is a confortable distance for almost all eruptions, except perhaps very big ones. Actually the worst damage is from ash to local crops, and that might affect hundred kms away. But usually 50km and you almost always affected only by falling ash. Unless its a Yellowstone but that is rare.

        However, there has been rare eruptions in Iceland, that the lava actually run some 150km from the volcano, but this a rare event. Usually, the lava only travels some 5 to 10km away, not more.

        The ash fall travels as much as the intensity of eruption, size of ash particles and wind. Usually, a lot falls within 50km, and some minor ash might fall within some 200-300km, but rarely more, and only with very large eruptions. However, supereruptions can cover a full continent with thick ash. But they are extremely rare eruptions.

        So, Renato, no one worries living 50km away from Hekla or other active volcanoes. Unless something very big and very rare happens.

  3. hi all,
    nice post el nathan. thanks.
    slightly ot, but worth searching youtube for:
    nurburgring in a van, top gear
    clarkson turns pale as a ghost; also check her clutch technique…
    sorry no link, too much hassle from t kindle…

    • Hilarious 😀 And she looks like the type that would do her hair and nails while overtaking a Porsche with that Van on the Ring.

      btw, a proper lap looks something like this 😉

    • The circuit of Spa-Francorchamps is situated on de borders between de ardennes region and the Hohes Venn (german)/Haute Fagnes(french)/High Fens. This is a plateau at 600m above sealevel and is often seen as the start/end of the Eifel. At least it is part of the belgian-german natural park Hohes Venn-Eifel. Also the mineral water of Spa have the same origins as in gerolstein.
      So there is another world famous racecircuit on the ‘feet’ of the eifel

  4. NASA said that the meteor strike across the sky north to south, while DA14 asteroid later today will cross in a south to north, opposite, trajectory. Hence they are completely unrelated.

    Well, I dont fully agree.

    When there is a meteor shower, meteors come from same body and debris trail. However they will travel in different north-south south-north, east-west and west-east trajectories, depending on where you are on Earth, and where you observe on the sky. However, their trajectories come from a origin point, the radiant. It is just an illusion in perspective.

    Therefore, it can be untrue to use such an explanation “Oh Russian meteor goes N to S, while the asteroid goes S to N, therefore they are completely unrelated.”

    Furthermore, NASA; just that you know, a space rock as it approaches the planet, it changes its trajectory, by means of Earth´s gravity. You know, the rock enters briefly in orbit, makes a curvature, and ups, its already in a total difererent trajectory than that of asteroid DA14!

    • BTW, I have been reading about the Tunguska event after reading Alyson’s comment over the last thread when the new meteorite struck. Interestingly, the second largest event of the kind seems to have happened in Brazil, somewhere in the Amazon River basin (Curuça River, 130).
      I second Irpsit’s reasoning that it is too coincidental to be a coincidence. But it seems the official astronomy observatories concur that this event has nothing to do with the passage of another meteor near our planet.
      (Where did I stick my umbrella?)

        • I realise they don’t want to worry people but I think we know we are passing through a more cluttered area of space at the moment. I don’t know how long Earth will be in the zone but it is likely that smallish objects like this one that hit Russia are coming from unlooked-for directions. It still surprises me that the object(s) I watched on 23 September aren’t noted properly. They would seem to have been the fragments of a large object that impacted over Finland and then circumnavigated half the globe in the upper atmosphere, in some way maybe having caught the atmosphere at an angle that deflected a direct impact. Reports indicated that thumps sounded the landing of small fragments across Eastern Canada and central USA, but there wasn’t a direct line to impact like this one hitting Russia. And while I saw maybe 12 fair sized objects glowing reddish orange passing steadily overhead there were still 4 in a line visible from Florida, and maybe even Brazil, maybe 6 hours or more later. The largest one I saw was about a quarter the size of the moon from my vantage point, and proportionately they were all moving steadily ‘like a train passing 2 – 5 miles away’. This Russian impact in contrast came to earth at a phenomenal speed!

          Funnily enough the spacewatch dot com website wasn’t accessible for a while after the Russian impact – as of course it hadn’t predicted it at all.

      • I doubt that it is a coincidence. I just dont understand why astronomers jump so quickly to the conclusion that both are unrelated. How much time have they had to study the orbit of the Russian event? Yes, they read the news and immediately say “no, its unrelated”.

        By the way, in some cities the meteor was seen moving South to North, in others North to South, but the real trajectory has been southeast to northwest, passing overhead south of Chelyabinsk to then land on Chebarkul.

        Just watch the videos of the meteor passing in southeast sky (N-S apparent motion) in Ekaterinburg, which is north of Chelyabinsk. And passing in northeast sky (S-N apparent motion) in Orenburg, which is located southwest of Chelyabinsk. With this and the videos from Chelyabinsk, its easy to draw the real trajectoty, independent of perspective effect. And its entry trajectory southeast to northwest is quite similar to asteroid 2012 DA14 trajectory!

        • From the BBC:

          Scientists have played down suggestions that there is any link between the event in the Urals and 2012 DA14, an asteroid expected to race past the Earth on Friday at a distance of just 27,700km (17,200 miles) – the closest ever predicted for an object of that size. Prof Alan Fitzsimmons, of the Astrophysics Research Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, said there was “almost definitely” no connection. “One reason is that 2012 DA14 is approaching Earth from the south, and this object hit in the northern hemisphere,” he told BBC News. “This is literally a cosmic coincidence, although a spectacular one.”

          Source http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21468116

          • Of course, it cannot be truth what this professor says. Where does he find support for his claim? Its very easy to state claims without presenting evidence.

            To contrary I have analyzed the videos and I clearly see evidence of a connection. It saddens me that scientists are so quick to dismiss the link and lack the study of it. Anyone can make claims…

          • He’s a Professor of Astronomy. I’ll take his views over yours any day ……

            Also, coming in from the northern hemisphere of space vs 2012 DA14 coming in from the southern hemisphere of space is pretty good proof of a total lack of connection.

            Not sure what your analysis and evidence is that trumps the above.

          • Reposting this link from the previous post:
            I think commentor one has a good take on the connection: The two asteroids might have been on the same orbital plane, there could be more earth might run into at one point. He argues that earth catched the first meteor “from behind” while we get hit from “behind” by 2012 DA14, presuming the rogue asteroid travelled in the same direction of earth.

          • The trajectory of 2012 DA14 in space, relative to earth, is from south to north. This means that it will only be able to strike roughly the southern part of the earth. If it hits the atmosphere under a 90 degree angle (parallel to the surface), it might also be seen up to 23 degrees north latitute.

            This one struck Russia at 55 degrees north latitude, coming from the east-northeast. The direction of origin is therefore completely different.

          • Ref: Irpsit and Hottington Hotworth‘s discussion about 2012 DA14.

            2012 DA14 has already been noted in the press as having a somewhat different than normal trajectory. The inclination is pretty high.

            Irpsit’s observation and concern is entirely valid. Organizations such as NASA are hair-trigger ready to dismiss stuff that they consider ‘beneath them’ and typically don’t elaborate about why or provide bona-fide evidence. I usually equate this to their busy schedule doing important work… such as modifying Iceland’s historical temperature record.

            But… as Hottington Hotworth has noted, the two are apparently traveling in different directions. Wheeling out an actual astrophysicist is a good move. Its his field. (unlike the media using theoretical physicist wannabe supervolcano expert Michio Kaku as they tend to do)

            In an nutshell, if you want to compare them and get as close to iron-clad proof one way or the other, compare the orbital parameters of the two objects. (if you can find them). Related objects are going to have parameters that are very similar. This is the method used to determine what objects that specific meteor showers are related to. For example, the Orionids are related to Halleys comet. Bits and pieces of debris from it are what makes up that anual shower.

            In 1978, astronomer Ľubor Kresák suggested that the [1908 Tunguska] body was a fragment of the short-period Comet Encke, which is responsible for the Beta Taurid meteor shower: the Tunguska event coincided with a peak in that shower

        • Is it plausible to believe that the meteoride that struck Russia was already in earth’s orbit and all it took was the second one to give it a push out of its orbit? In that case, could that be a human artifact? (I’m very lay in the subject, but I find it hard to believe this to bes mere coincidence). Glad that it didn’t happen during the Cold War…

          • But they did happen during the cold war. One reason that they started monitoriing gamma rays was to be able to determine which was which.

            On at least one occasion, Russia’s system went on alert when an atmospheric sounding rocket’s trajectory resembled a sub launched ICBM profile.

            As for gravitational perturbation causing an orbiting rock to de-orbit… no. The forces are much to weak.

            El Nathan is on the right track about whether the two are related. If the inclination and other orbital parameters don’t fit, it is nigh on impossible for them to be directly related. I wanted to mention this earlier, but being on the road, and spending one cell phones entire battery charge on hold, listening to muzak… I never got to it. (as for the hold, I gave up. I’ll just drive back out there next week… and collect another travel fee for doing it. It’s not like I didn’t try to resolve it in one trip, but there is only so much hold music you can tolerate {good lord people, if it’s that important then you might try answering the phone when the tech gets on site to fix the damned thing)

          • Well, back to ‘my’ meteor sighting – I did wonder at the time whether it looped the earth, exiting near the south pole, (last sighting Hobart, Tasmania) and therefore whether it might come back round again. The trajectory would possibly be a match…

            It bothered me that Randolph couldn’t track it, seeing only a 3 second blip of heat over Finland where reports said it lit up the sky as bright as the sun.

      • The earthquake “swarms” between Düsseldorf and Münster near the Netherlands and in the area near Saarbrücken are almost exclusively very shallow and due to coal mining. The other more scattered ones are tectonic earthquakes in the upper and lower Rhine graben….and in the Rhenish Massif in between, but more on that in Eifel part 2 ;-).

    • OK. Why, when you link the raw image does Tinypics then go an change it to the upload page (after you have checked it, gone away to have a cup of tea and watch a TV programme)? Grrrrrrr.

      • It does that from time to time. I cleared it by setting up an account and doing a few pics from it. Then the raw URL started working again on the non-logged in part.

        As noted… its for pressuring you to set up an account. As for money, I think they make it from selling your e-mail addy. I have no way of checking main-abuse@uu.net so I am not sure. (that’s the old spam reporting addy that they had. At one time, when an ISP had too many complaints, MCI-Worldcom would just cut the ISPs feed until they rectified the problem causing the complaints)

        When Tiny-Pic did it to me… they kept putting up either a picture of a shoe, or some kids in front of an anime mural.

  5. There wont be riddles today. First so not to disturb the attention for Nathans first post. And second because one NTV and one Ding at NTL is still missing.

  6. Well What a fascinating post. Thank you Chryphia and Nathan. I have read about small bits of the area but this brings it together nicely. I wouldn’t mind a holiday there.
    All these things from outer space…..I do hope the one due today won’t hit my greenhouse. I need it soon for my seedlings….
    As it’s Friday I would like to ask the following blonde question …..OK, physicists, what’s the speed of dark? And …
    if your car could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights work? 🙂
    I reckon the last NTL is……Basalt from Mauna Kea lava Flows Hawaii

    • Hi.
      on NTL No the lava dont know much about it, that and the location count to me as discovered, just not the acurate island.

    • And at what speed does your car have to travel to shrink so much it actually falls through a gutter. I had to calculate that in school. ( Honestly, that was one of the “examples” we had to solve.)

      • Sorry to have brought back bad memories Spica LOL! It’s sort of like I always thought if one man could empty a bath in so many minutes how long would it take three men. I always wanted to say..a).I don’t want men in my bathroom and b) I could pull out the plug myself

        • Thats what i told my professor back then, he was NOT happy. He also let us calculate how fast we need to approach a trafic light to see the right light as green. He thought this kind of math good examples, we just laughed at him and shook our heads.

  7. To the Islanders, I’m plotting the “around Hekla” not so deep (10 km) right now. I’ll need your input as there are some mountains not named (please);

  8. Dear fellow volcanoholics, I am following this blog already for quite a while, and I’ve learned a lot!
    Now it’s the first tine that I think I can contribute something to it… I used to live in Germany a few kilometers away from the Eifel, and discovered a website with seismograms and earthquake maps of the area . The Earth is still a bit shaking there form time to time, and recently there have been some small quakes:
    Unfortunately it’s only in German, but they also have a catalog of quakes since 1975 (“Erdbebenkatalog”). Enjoy!

  9. Ntv was in the Azores so as we have had Pico, Fayal and Terceira, that leaves:
    San Jorge*
    Sets Cidades*

    * = preferred as last eruptions were more recent.

  10. Ntv could be Mount Erciyes and the geological features wigwams or tent rocks. But as this volcano is less than 250km from its Asian capital, it is unlikely.

  11. No idea how longer will it be on the USGS page…
    Seems like the russian blast was registered by something, somewhere
    “Magnitude ? (uncertain or not yet determined)
    Date-Time Friday, February 15, 2013 at 03:22:00 UTC
    Friday, February 15, 2013 at 08:22:00 AM at epicenter
    Location 55.150°N, 61.410°E
    Depth 0 km (~0 mile) (poorly constrained)
    Distances 6 km (4 miles) S (185°) from Chelyabinsk, Russia”

  12. Couple of on topic ruminations…

    1. The Alps were formed at a convergent boundary. To the north is the critter that is the topic of the post.

    2. Fer the plotters; at one time a plot and/or a paper about the European Moho depth came across some of the VC discussion. If I remember correctly, it is also now availible as gridded data. It might be worth your while to rumage around and find that again.

  13. Unsolved from last week …..
    No 2 – A volcano that is noted for the exceptional proliferation of large examples of the same geological features. Despite the local name given to them, they are definitely not fit for human habitation! HINT This volcano lies 250kms from its Asian capital city.

    The geological features are vesicles (solidified lava bubbles)

  14. NASA has published an update on the meteor, increasing the size of the meteor based on info from a worldwide network of sensors. They now estimate it had a size of 17 meters, while weighing 10 million kg, making it the largest observed object the enter the earth since the Tunguska-event.

    This equates to about 2600 m3 of meteorite material, with a density of 3.8 kg/l, which means this meteor was most likely a high-iron abundance chondrite. If you don’t know what that is; it is the most common type to hit the earth 😉

  15. The Eifel area is also a mineral collector paradise. The region has 374 valid species reported and is the type locality for 35 species. See http://www.mindat.org/loc-16010.html for the listing. I have a small suite of minerals from there and expect a package any day now with more specimens.

    Die Mineralien der Eifelvulkane by Gerhard Hentschel is a good book in the minerals if the area. It was published in 1987 so it is a bit out of date.

    Another resource is the CD Minerals der Vulkaneifel by Blass, Emmerich, Graf, Schafer, and Tschortner. I have the first edition which was replaced last year by a newer version.

    The Eifel region is a place I would very much like to visit.

    Note – I do not speak or read German so I have to use a dictionary to use these references.

    • Speaking German I´d still have to use a dictionary to use these references – for the minerals 😉 . Even after 20 or so of Alan´s evil riddles they are a book with seven seals to me.

      And after having read a little Eifel literature I can´t say the German papers are easier to understand, quite the opposite. Firstly, nomenclature is not international. Secondly, German academics tend to write long and complicated sentences. In Biology there is a formal system for naming plant and animal species, why not in Geology?

      • For minerals, there is an IMA ( International Mineralogical Association) committee that is responsible for approving new minerals and nomenclature. I do not have much of a problem with the mineral names in German or most other similar based languages. Geology is a different matter, they do not follow the mineral naming conventions of the IMA in that they still used old mineral names that are now considered as a single mineral. The plagioclase feldspars come to mind. There was a series that has now been consolidated into two minerals, the end members of the series.

        Another good reference is extraLapis No. 34, Eifel Mineralien der Vulkaneifel. Besides the minerals, it cover the geology and geography of the area. Many good photos.

  16. Crazy crazy idea guys, but could the magma chamber under Hekla have expanded since the last eruption? And that these quakes are from Hekla? Or could it be Laki? I’m just asking, cause I honestly dont know 🙂

    • No relationship to Hekla or Laki (which is even more distant). This is Torfajokull volcano, a volcano that has nothing to do with them. It has ocasionally (every few centuries) small explosive and efusive mixed eruptions, but usually co-occuring with the extremely large lava eruptions of Veidivotn (which is also independent of Torfajokull). These co-eruptions are not a coincidence but are poorly understood. At least six of them occured in the past 10.000 years, last two in 870 and 1477

      • what I like with volcanoes in iceland is that the plumbing system is wee bit like this

        NB : this irrigation water in Southern Tenerife : the thing Not to do (from an engineer pont of vue), bot one (1) guy know where all the pipes go….


      • So what you are saying is that there is much that is not understood when it comes to possible connections between volcanoes?! Well, if make it very very very simple, there is many volcanoes in that area, exept from Eyja, none of them have had any eruptions lately. And we could expect any of them to go. Right? We have Katla, that has been restless, then fallen back half asleep, with a minor swarm now and again. But nothing huge like in 2011. We have Hekla, that gives little warning before an eruption. You guys said that she seems restless now aslwell. Then we have Torfajokull, which I dont know anything about, other than the quakes happening now.

        They are all close to one another, and we have all seen how widespread the earthquakes do get before an eruption. So I ask again, could it be possible that this activity is coming from one volcano, and not 4 different ones? Could it be that you guys are missing something here? I only ask, cause there is not much knowledge about this. 🙂

        • There is ultimately only one source of magma under Iceland: the hotspot located under Vatnajokull 150km wide, which at around 100km deep spreads towards the entire range of Iceland, mostly northwards and southwestwards, and feeds all Icelandic volcanoes.

          Then magma rises under each of them, but eruptions occur at different occasions under them. Magma takes a different timing under each of them.

          Most likely within the next few years we might see restlessness in all these volcanoes, but probably only an eruption at either Hekla or Katla, or both of them at separate times.

          Torfajokull usually has more rare eruptions. And usually its eruptions are triggered by a large intrusion starting at Bardarbunga, from what it is thought, that spreads so much southwestwards that also triggers a minor eruption at Torfajokull at same time, while a large fissure opens between both volcanoes. But some people here at Volcanocafe have hypothesized that it could be Torfajojull and not Bardarbunga the starter for those large eruptions.

          Also I have heard that Torfajokull restlessness can precede an eruption of Hekla. On Katla, no one really knows how it behaves earthquake-wise before an eruption, except for some major quakes (larger than M3) usually felt in its vicinity, before past eruptions.

          In Iceland you never know!

        • could it be possible that this activity is coming from one volcano, and not 4 different ones

          I wouldn’t say it that way… but it might be one magma intrusion event that hasn’t really picked a preferential volcano.

          Yes, it’s a bit of anthropomorphism, but sometimes it’s handy to think of it in this manner. It covers the “we don’t know because it has not exhibited a specific tendency towards one of the other” side of things.

          (as an ex fire fighter, I am quite familiar with the assignment of personality and will to fire as if it were a living critter. Yes, it’s inaccurate, but when you think about how a fire feeds, you can try to “out think” it and take away the things that it needs to survive.)

    • Lamiah: Hekla has had erratic patterns of eruption in the past, but nearly always its intensity correlates with time since last eruption.

      Also, a volcano like Hekla is very young and is expected one day to erupt very large and become a caldera. No one knows when, but it is very unlikely in soon, because it erupted so recently and there are no signs of it, but we never can say never

  17. Dfm: I cant open the link to your Hekla-Torfajokull quakes plot!

    Yes, its nice to study them, one was almost 3.0. And Torfajokull has been behaving gradually more restless, and more importantly, with deep quakes (meaning fresh new magma)

    At same day, Katla has also a swarm, with deep quakes, and a near 3.0.

    Not connected per se, but probably a pulse from the hotspot is making both of them restless, with new magma entering deeply under them. As is also under Hamarinn and Askja and Tungafellsjokull. Question is: what happens in the future there?

  18. Well that will have rattled the china – and hopefully won’t be followed by aftershocks! One wouldn’t want it to loosen the area south of the epicentre, towards Naples.

    The Greek one a few days ago has left that area still getting plenty of aftershocks across NE Greece.

      • So yet more coincidences??? I personally think that is more than one too many. Has to be a link to the asteroid I would say.

          • You are probably right. About 5 years ago I was walking along the promenade around 7:00pm on a sunny evening when hubby stopped to talk to a sea fisherman. Suddenly I yelled, “What was that!” as a flash of light flew past, seemingly across the English Channel. As it went past, what looked like sparks were coming of it behind. Definitely not a firework and definitely not a marine flair. Only thing left was a meteorite. First time I ever saw one in daylight and so low. Must have either landed around the French coast or in the sea. Both hubby and fisherman to busy talking about fish to even look up! DOH!

          • I agree with purohueso745. Alyson seems to think that one meteor looped the loop round the world – but it was actually several meteorites coming in and being recorded in the media because of one large event. I used to live in an area with very dark skies (no light pollution at all) and if I bothered to look I would be guaranteed at least one ‘shooting star’ a night. The bigger ones, that looked low down and fiery, were memorable but still miles high. Even the one that caused the most commotion in the community and was seen by hundred of people landed 100 miles away and must have been miles high although to us it looked like a couple of hundred feet up.

  19. I don’t get very excited about sports. I carry a general disdain for most of them. Being from the deep south, it is almost heresy to not watch NASCAR… but I don’t . I don’t have a favorite driver. I don’t have a favorite team. I do enjoy watching a good pass and thoroughly enjoy it when one specific driver, or his team, looses or suffers misfortune. Other than that, I could really care less. I’ll not mention the driver, just on the off chance that some of you actually like Jeff “the pompous” Gorden. 😀 It’s your right.

    However, I do occasionally enjoy the odd ‘thing’ that passes as a sport. Such as the wild arsed idea of constructing a really wide and mostly flat bottomed bob sled course… complete with moguls, and then having 4 skaters race down it. That was… different. They call it “Crash Ice.” As one would expect, the skaters with speed skating experience dominated it. For one of the “color” spots (where some yammering idiot interviews someone and tries to tell you a bit about the technicals of the sport), they failed to mention that in that “most important part” of the run, the launch, where you take three power strokes off the line to get up to speed, that it’s pretty important that you don’t loose traction when your skates dig in… so balance and finesse have a lot to do with it rather than pure power. You people with ice skating experience know what I’m talking about.

    So… I get hungry this eveining and go pick up some tater logs. (deep fried potatoes cut lengthwise into four sections) and come home to see the wife watching “The World Cup of Darts” I arrived just in time to watch Wales beat South Africa. Again… I don’t follow sports that closely, but it was more entertaining (and understandable) than the Curling that was on earlier. At least with curling, they are sliding stones of granite down the ice. I understand granite… but thats about all I can take away from the game. However, it was cool watching them yelling at each other about when to sweep or not sweep the ice in front of the sliding stone. But I think it would be more exciting watching that hunk of granite being re-melted and thrown out of the top of a volcano.

    Sorry for the OT, and congratulations Wales.

    Note: I do enjoy watching down-hill ski races. Those are a hoot. Unless the skier catches a gate in the groin on Super-G. Then it’s just sympathy pain.

    There is also no way that you can convince me that early in it’s history, that down hill skiing did not have the phrase “Hey, Watch This!” uttered by what amounts to a redneck with a couple of boards strapped to his feet. I am a redneck, and I have skied, so I understand the connection quite well. 85 mph on slick snow/ice with trees whipping by on either side, and nothimg more than your prowess on a couple of 1 x 4 planks keeping you from eating one of those trees is not what most sane people would think is a “good idea.” I am reminded of the 40 year old commercials featuring Euell Gibbons. “You ever eat a pine tree? You know, many parts are edible…”

    Super G isn’t that hard… unless you want to win. This guy doesn’t tuck very much, but you get to run the course from his helmet cam.

    • “Due to its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire, Seattle is in a major earthquake zone. On February 28, 2001, the magnitude 6.8 Nisqually earthquake did significant architectural damage, especially in the Pioneer Square area (built on reclaimed land, as are the Industrial District and part of the city center), but caused no fatalities. Other strong quakes occurred on January 26, 1700 (estimated at 9 magnitude), December 14, 1872 (7.3 or 7.4), April 13, 1949 (7.1), and April 29, 1965 (6.5). The 1965 quake caused three deaths in Seattle directly, and one more by heart failure. Although the Seattle Fault passes just south of the city center, neither it nor the Cascadia subduction zone has caused an earthquake since the city’s founding. The Cascadia subduction zone poses the threat of an earthquake of magnitude 9.0 or greater, capable of seriously damaging the city and collapsing many buildings, especially in zones built on fill”

      Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattle

      The first European settlement was in 1792. Not local so I don’t know how good the records for EQs would be around that time and earlier. 😮

  20. John Seach:
    “Barren Island Volcano, India
    An eruption occurred at Barren Island volcano, India on 16th February 2013. Ash emissions reached 20,000 ft and extended 120 nautical miles southwest. Barren Island is located in the Andaman Sea. It is the northern most volcano in the Indonesian volcanic arc. The volcano is associated with the subduction of the Indian Plate beneath the Burmese Plate along the Andaman Trench.”

  21. Pingback: Sheepy Dalek on a saturday | volcanocafe

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