Tolbachik still not giving up

Attention to active volcanoes tends to go down the longer they are active. The only time you hear something about Kilauea for example is when something like a lava lake drains, new lava fountains show up or when a piece of property is destroyed by the ever-present lava flows, which are in itself one of the most exciting things a volcanophile can see. No change means no news, even though the non-changing phenomenon is highly interesting in itself. The same goes for Tolbachik by now.

Great photograph of the eruption by Airpano.

KVERT reports no significant change in activity at Tolbachik recently, which means volcanic tremor is still high and very fluid basaltic lava is still erupting in Kilauea-style lava flows. But, it has been like this for a while now.

Ever since the 27th of November, 2012, Tolbachik has been erupting, which is 101 days today. Lava flows have reached as far as 20 km away from the southern/southwestern flank of Tolbachik (Tolbachinsky Dol), so the question is how long this somewhat unusual basaltic volcano located on the Kamchatka peninsula can keep this activity going. And by unusual I mean: having characteristics of a basaltic shield volcano in a subduction zone environment, like the Alaskan Westdahl volcano and the Nicaraguan Masaya volcano.

Overview of the 1975/1976 eruption. Image by kscnet.ru

The so-called great eruption of 1975 had a erupted lava volume of 1.2 km3 over the course of some 530 days in total, also on the southwest flank. Lava erupted along a 28 km long fissure, reminding of the rift zones found on volcanoes on Hawaii and the Canary Islands. Activity started at the summit, moving down by creating the northern cones along the fissure a few days later. After some 72 days, a subsidence caldera was formed at the summit crater and activity ended in the northern cones after which the southern cone formed many kilometers south of the northern cones. The southern cone produced low-viscosity basalt for the remainder of the eruption.

Scoria and volcanic bombs from a 1975 cinder cone in the background. Photo by Oleg Volynets (Institute of Volcanology, Petropavlovsk)

Activity before 1975 was occurring very frequently at the central vent of the stratovolcano-part of the volcanic complex. About every year or so, explosive eruptions were reported at the central vent, from around 1955 to 1975 until the big eruption occured, after which this type of behavior abruptly ended. The previous comparable eruption happened in 1940, where a small amount of lava was erupted at the southwest flank. Of special interest is a series of eruptions around 1000 years ago and also 1500 years ago, each time producing comparable amounts of lava to the 1975 eruption from the same SW flank, spaced roughly 50 years apart. Apparently  this volcano can alternate between periods of repeated eruption patterns that are quite different from each other, separated by longer periods of relative inactivity.

The current activity has started on the southern flank, north of the 1975 northern cones, along the same fissure/rift of the 1975 eruption. Several new cones were constructed in the first few weeks of the eruption and the very fluid lava has been flowing constantly ever since. Looking at the past, it will not be surprising to see this eruption lasting for quite a while longer, and possibly changing location of the eruptive center along the ‘rift’zone. However, it is impossible to know what will happen the next months, given that some estimates in late December were already up to 1 km3 of eruptive material. In short, we should continue to keep an eye on it.

Lava flows consuming a Kamchatka forest.

Also note this excellent post by GeoLurking on Tolbachik: https://volcanocafe.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/ruminarian-ii-tolbachik/

Last but not least, a great video (in French, but the images speak for themselves) pointed to by Bruce Stout

El Nathan

———————————————————————————————–

Update:

Name those Volcanoes Riddle

No 1 – Its name commemorates the exploits of  two intrepid 17th century ghost hunters. They were priests. SOLVED
No 2 – 3rd most N of the DV 16. SOLVED
No 3 – Local public disorder and an official resignation followed the IDS’s £10m post eruption assistance offer. It was British aid. SOLVED
No 4 – In 1984 it was little wonder that the heroes asked where are we now? SOLVED

Added to the post by Spica

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137 thoughts on “Tolbachik still not giving up

  1. I don’t know what the current rate is, but the 1975 eruption works out to about 2,264,151 m²/day.

    Roughing out the 1783 Laki eruption, you get about 58,333,333 m²/day, or about 25 times the rate of the 1975 Tolbachik event.

    • It was noted in the link, that after only +/- 25 days the erupted volume was already up to 1 km3. I don’t know how reliable that figure is, but it seems a bit much, going at 40,000,000 m3/day. I’m not sure we are watching at almost another Laki.

      Apart from that, most of it’s large eruptions have produced somewhere between 0.3 and 2.0 km3, so if Tolbachik continued at the rate calculated above, it would already have been the largest eruption in historic times.

  2. Also interesting article on Tolbachik, El Nathan.

    Sakurajima has produced basaltic eruption; she seems to do this in cycles. And Etna also produced basaltic eruptions. Both are in subduction zones.

    {grin}

      • No specific reason other than the semi-humor aspect of it.. I tend to be a bit buggy after stupid long drives. I didn’t get home until after 8 pm last night. I did find that on long dark roads with semi sensory deprivation, the Pink Floyd’s “Animals” album starts to talk to you.

        That was enough to scare the crap out of me. So, humor is where you find it.

        Nothing meant other than that.

  3. Thanks Nathan. You are right… I had not realised quite how long this volcano has been erupting. Also the quantity of lava is amazing and it’s not until you had alerted me that I appreciated how big this eruption is.

    • Start of the development of a Trap (as in Siberian Trap) 💡

      Dunno how long it would have to go on for – thousand / millions of years 😕

  4. Hey El Nathan, Tolbachik – albeit already 5 month long, it still looks like a minor fissure eruption, when compared to Icelandic fissure eruptions, namely Laki.

    This eruption is a similar rifting event to Krafla (also started in 1975), or Askja in 1861. Sometimes these eruptions might become very large in time or go on for a long time, but that is rare. On this case, the lava fountains remain rather small and lava streams also rather small.

    Remember that with Laki the lava travelled 100km away (compared to the 20km away in Tolbachik) and the lava fountains erupted 1km high (just look at how small Tolbachik is in the videos). So, no, this is NOT a Laki-like eruption, far from it. Also, no large ash, gas and steam columns like Laki did.

    In Laki the fissure opened for 25km long fissure. On Tolbachik the fissure looks small, at most 2 or 3 km.

    It is a normal sized rifting eruption. However if it goes long years and years, it can form a new shield volcano.

    • I beg to differ. It is LIKE a Laki style eruption, but tiny. Plus, no large swampy land to over-run and make rootless cones.

      I’ll shut up now. I was forced to sit on hold for two 30 minute sessions listening to the background musical track for an old horror movie. Fun stuff. I told him “look, just throw a chair at them and that will get their attention.” (he was trying to transfer me to another help desk in the same building. All I wanted was for them to run the shutdown process so I could change out the tape drive)

      I really wish I knew the amount of OCS that it’s putting out. This is the sort of thing I was yammering about in that post. The OCS (Carbonyl sulfide) is ultra long lived compared to SO2, and can ride around in the atmosphere for years, in the top regions of the major circulation cells, it can get hit by UV-C radiation (200 and 270 nm), be dissociated, and become a sulfate, contributing to the aerosols in the Junge Layer.

    • It doesn’t only go into the Santiaguito volcano, but does a great job at explaining the basics of the technical stuff, physics and chemistry that goes on in magma chambers and volcanoes. Definitely worth a read.

    • Hi Fanfoe, and mornin all,
      Thanks for the link, my old one was not working either…
      Thanks El Nathan for the post, I hadn’t really noted that Tolbachik was erupting basalt in a subduction zone…Hmmm.
      Thanks Kilgarah for the riddles, no idea as usual…
      There’s some nice cams linked in the comments above, thanks for those 😀

    • <<<<<<<< Unpacks her Vin de Plonk, Chocolate cake and sets out Milk and Ovaltine ready for bed time…….
      Clicks on Google search…..
      Volcano… Ghost hunters…. Now let me see…..

    • I’ll start studying to become a clairvoyant immediately. Combined with speedtyping I might just steal a point from you or ‘someone else’

      • Don´t you dare copy-paste and delete comments of honest competitors for a Ding, I will find out with my digital thermometer!

        • It must take an evil mind to come up with an evil plan like that! That is beyond anything I can come up with….. I was referring to the noble art of mindreading, and the skill of writing it down before anyone else 😉 Fortunately, my dowsing rods and the Ovilus I got for Christmas have not picked up on any signs of foul play yet.

      • Got ya beat. I accidentally answered a correct lava type when Carl put out a notice that the riddle was going up in a few minutes. It was about the only point I ever got, though it seems to keep falling off the running tally.

        It was nothing fancy, just me being a smart ass.

  5. #2 must be Vesuvius, where the 2nd most N would be Rainier and the 1st most N would be Avachinsky-Koryakski of the 16 Decade Volcanoes

  6. For whatever it’s worth, Laguna Del Maule has been raised to Yellow alert.

    For reference, Laguna Del Maule is a large caldera complex in the Chilean Andes.. As with most large calderas, if this activity is new, it’s most likely just a normal sign of activity related to bradyism, and NOT a sign of an impending large scale eruption.

    http://volcano.si.edu/world/volcano.cfm?vnum=1507-061

  7. Gotta be honest, it’s more fun to spook the doomsdayers. They want their doomsday, so I say lets let them live in fear of it if for nothing else other than entertainment. You can’t control crazy… it is what it is.

    • Right now many are jumping up and down about loud booms and rumbling across many places in the US. Haven’t heard anything here… but then I am listening to music with a pretty heavy beat. Nothing has set the dog off either. That little bugger will bark at anything it doesnt expect or is unfamiliar.

      Both of them come unfreaking glued when there is a thunderstorm.

    • You are the man to do that anyway. I noticed some places outside of VC where you, mr Caldera, were noted for what you said about it, so if you want you could possibly trigger an avalache of discussion leading a Daily Mail article or so if you don’t choose your words wisely 😀

      • To be fair, they were probably referencing other people. I came across the yellow alert update from someone who posted it on Erik’s eruptions blog.

        • I meant your caldera post, not the Laguna del Maule post 😉 I don’t know what happens if those people read that.

    • Loved that Lurk. The Vikings were sailors! Also explains that 3% or so of northern European DNA in certain Eastern Native American Tribes….
      That had to be from oh , 1000 years ago or so..Had a copy this taped to the cockpit bulkhead of my Airtanker..
      Thorkild’s Song
      “The Knights of the Joyous Venture”
      –Puck of Pook’s Hill

      There’s no wind along these seas,
      Out oars for Stavenger!
      Forward all for Stavenger!
      So we must wake the white-ash breeze,
      Let fall for Stavenger!
      A long pull for Stavenger!

      Oh, hear the benches creak and strain!
      (A long pull for Stavenger!)
      She thinks she smells the Northland rain!
      (A long pull for Stavenger!)

      She thinks she smells the Northland snow,
      And she’s as glad as we to go,

      She thinks she smells the Northland rime,
      And the dear dark nights of winter-time.

      She wants to be at her own home pier,
      To shift her sails and standing gear.

      She wants to be in her winter-shed,
      To strip herself and go to bed,

      Her very bolts are sick for shore,
      And we-we want it ten times more!

      So all you Gods that love brave men,
      Send us a three-reef gale again!

      Send us a gale, and watch us come,
      With close-cropped canvas slashing home!

      But–there’s no wind on all these seas,
      A long pull for Stavenger!
      So we must wake the white-ash breeze,
      A long pull for Stavenger!

      Fit at the end of a too long season..

      • It wasn’t just the Vikings. A 19,000 year old Flint Knife was found in the Virginia area. The origin of the flint? France.

        I love it when stuff doesn’t fit the paradigm.

        A fictional story called “Them Bones” starts when archaeologists find a 10,000 year old horse skeleton in a dig in Louisiana. (predates their introduction by explorers). And to top it off, it had a 30 cal carbine shell casing with it.

        • I agree- having participated in a dig where the Archeologist finding arrowheads/and spears from plains Tribes on NE Oregon soil “Impossible!” There was very little interaction from the Plains tribes with the Northwest tribes.” (this was in the early’70’s)
          now we know better…
          We really have no idea,,..

    • Makes me wonder, if priests are ghost hunters, what is it they are trying to accomplish?

      I continue searching since this riddle is still beating me…

  8. No 1 Prestahnúkur

    The origin of the name was an expedition of two priests into the highlands in the 17th century. It was seen as quite an enterprise at the time when they went into this region. They explored especially a valley behind the Þórisjökull called Þórisdalur, which had a bad reputation in sagas and folk stories because it was believed to be haunted by ghosts and that lawless people would be living there. As is clear today, they found nothing of the sort, but they were regarded as heroes when they came back from this expedition

  9. Answers, Links and Solvers to NtV Riddle

    No 1 – Prestahnukur – Alison at 13.37 1 point
    The name means “peak of the priests”.
    The origin of the name was an expedition of two priests into the highlands in the 17th century. It was seen as quite an enterprise at the time when they went into this region. They explored especially a valley behind the Þórisjökull called Þórisdalur, which had a bad reputation in sagas and folk stories because it was believed to be haunted by ghosts and that lawless people would be living there. As is clear today, they found nothing of the sort, but they were regarded as heroes when they came back from this expedition.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prestahn%C3%BAkur
    No 2 – Vesuvius – El Nathan at 20.27 1 point
    The Decade Volcanoes are 16 volcanoes identified by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth’s Interior (IAVCEI) as being worthy of particular study in light of their history of large, destructive eruptions and proximity to populated areas. The Decade Volcanoes project encourages studies and public-awareness activities at these volcanoes, with the aim of achieving a better understanding of the volcanoes and the dangers they present, and thus being able to reduce the severity of natural disasters.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decade_Volcano
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Vesuvius
    No 3 – Soufriere Hills – Alison at 13.19 1 point
    The governments of the United Kingdom and Montserrat led the aid effort, including a £41 million package provided to the people of Montserrat; however, riots followed as the people protested that the British Government was not doing enough to aid relief. The riots followed a £10 million aid offer by International Development Secretary Claire Short, prompting the resignation of Bertrand Osborne, then Chief Minister of Montserrat after allegations of being too pro-British and not demanding a better offer.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soufriere_Hills
    No 4 – Bowie Seamount – chrypia at 20.53 1 point
    Bowie Seamount is a large submarine volcano in the northeastern Pacific Ocean, located 180 km (110 mi) west of Haida Gwaii, British Columbia,Canada. The seamount is named after William Bowie of the Coast & Geodetic Survey. The volcano has a flat-topped summit (thus making it a guyot) rising about 3,000 m (10,000 ft) above the seabed, to 24 m (79 ft) below sea level. The seamount lies at the southern end of a long underwater volcanic mountain range called the Pratt-Welker or Kodiak-Bowie Seamount chain, stretching from the Aleutian Trench in the north almost to the Queen Charlotte Islands in the south.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowie_Seamount
    http://www.songfacts.com/artist-david_bowie.php
    1984
    Little Wonder
    Heroes
    Where are we now?

  10. http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/laguna-del-maule/news/30454/Laguna-del-Maule-volcano-Chile-seismic-swarms-and-ground-deformation-trigger-yellow-alert.html

    Apparently Laguna Del Maule got an alert raised due to a quake swarm as well as inflation that began in January. The inflation is supposedly as fast as 20cm/year. At a stratovolcano, that would be pretty significant, but at a large caldera, that’s really nothing out of the ordinary, although that doesn’t necessarily mean there will be no eruption.

      • Interesting place.Those straight cones would suggest a boundary of some sort.
        Old plate like say the OWL(Olympic Wallowa Lineament) or a spreading center…
        This could be one of those big surprises…

      • tgmccoy says:
        March 9, 2013 at 19:00

        Interesting place.Those straight cones would suggest a boundary of some sort.

        … or they are manifestations of an old upwelling plume head as the ground gaveway and let the magma out. MantlePlumes has a paper that illustrates linear faults radiating out from where the plume head was allegedly at before it started feeding the Snake River plain caldera events. (it’s there, but I don’t feel like poking around for it. I want a sandwich.)

  11. This is OT (sort of) It has almost nothing to do with Volcanoes, but it does deal with seismology. I dont really think it constituts a post unto itself, but those who juggle numbers may find it handy.

    “Autonomous” Definition 2: Acting independently or having the freedom to do so. Autonomous is pretty significant thing when it comes to computers. An autonomous system can be given a problem to solve, and a set of rules to follow, a computer will tirelessly churn away until it either finds a solution that fits the assigned rules, or it encounters an equipment failure or power outage. This is a common theme in Science Fiction. Autonomous robotic systems that can use lethal force that then run amok and have to be dealt with. Generally the protagonist has to pit themselves against the cold logic of the AI. Hal in “2001 A Space Odyssey” or much of Issac Asimov’s Robot series is a good example.

    It’s a scary future eh? Psst. We are already there.

    Missile seeker logic is either fully or semi-autonomous. The weapons system operators determine what it is that they want to kill, localize the position, and then tell a missile where to go to find the target and do that. (the assignment of rules) The missile is launched, then using an autopilot system, flies to the assigned area and begins looking for the target, following the rules of what a good target is supposed to look like to its sensors. The more advanced systems can discriminate between false targets (decoys) or jamming signals and ignore them. Some even perform radical in flight maneuvers to lessen the chance of being shot down during the final run-in phase.

    I mention all of this because I have always been impressed at what automated systems can do. One that I love to tinker with is Eureqa’s “Formulize.” It’s a program that will (autonomously) perform formulaic fitting operations on the data that you feed into it. The standalone version is free to use, so it fits my budget. All you have to do is give it the data, tell it what to look for and then let it do it’s thing.

    Grabbing the quakes listed as aftershocks for the 2008 Mag 7.9 Sichuan earthquake, dropping them into Formulize and setting what I want it to look for, it churns away and spits out this:

    Note the green circle. That’s the best solution at the time I stopped the program. What is really interesting is that formula is pretty close to the form of Omori’s law.

    Now, the quakes that I fed into it were of the form of Magnitude, time in hours since the main shock. Notice the stats for how well the formula fits the data. A 0.632 correlation coefficient isn’t that bad.

    So.. why the yammering about it? Well, there was a Mag 4.5 in the Sichuan area of China (Saturday, March 09, 2013 at 12:23:58 UTC) and I wanted to see if could be related to the nasty they had in the area in 2008. With as long as it has been, it can’t really be called an “aftershock,” but it is in the same fault system and its placement is about right, being just to the NE of where the main quake was at.

    Personally, I think we are far enough along for the normal background seismicity to be what is at play. But… time will tell.

    http://formulize.nutonian.com/

    • …., fail, I read the other linked post, where there was that unanswered question, and confused the windows, thought it was the current one, and posted on the wrong side, :facepalm:

    • Nice. Very nice. 32.4 million m³/yr of volume change isn’t something to be sneezed at.

      (160,000,000 m³ cumulative over the 5 years study)

      And (oof!) :”The rate of vertical uplift has accelerated from zero in 2004 to 300 mm/yr in 2012.”

      • The big question is how much inflation occurred between this time and the last eruption? It may have been quite prior to 2004, but for all we know, there may have been 100 meters of uplift in the 1800’s, and we wouldn’t be able to tell (at least not with current information).

  12. On Laguna del Maule: it is a volcano worth to be concerned with.

    This has the potential for a the next major Tambora, Pinatubo or Krakatoa-sized eruption. But large inflation is also part of normal behavior of caldera volcanoes, which does NOT mean an eruption, since it could be followed by subsidience, or also minor eruptions.

    But worth to keep a close eye. As I said, this could be the next “big one”. On average, a VEI6 eruption occurs somewhere in the world once or twice per century.

    • True. Scattered in this system’s recored are lots of scoria cones and fissure vents.

      Just because a system once was nasty does not mean it’s always nasty.

      19,000 years ago: “Rhyolite coulee dams the paleo-outlet and causes lake level to rise 200m higher than today.”

      I had to look that one up. A coulee is a thick lava flow that is much like a dome, that oozes down a slope.

      • The whole area is riddled with it. I’m guessing any caldera-forming eruption would have been rhyolitic as well, which makes it interesting to see that these coulees are really flowing from almost anywhere within the caldera system.

        Tells you that the supply of magma is possibly quite constant, but that it regularly finds a way out because there is no proper seal above the magma chamber. It also probably means that gas can easily escape as well from the magma reservoir, otherwise the rhyolite would produce an explosive eruption instead of producing a thick lava flow.

        So, continuing along those lines, you would have to know when all off those coulees have formed. If they have been forming quite regularly up to the present, the inflation probably means that just another one of those coulees will form in the future. But if they happened quite regularly up to a point in history, after which it went quiet for a long time up to now, it could mean that a proper seal was formed in the magma chamber, and we are now just waiting until an explosive eruption will happen at some unknown time in the future.

        • An FYI for you, or for anybody, really.

          One thing that I learned while poking around in different papers, is that when you see an old scoria cone, the long axis of it tends to indicate the orientation of the dike that formed it.

    • Not to nitpick, but the initial caldera forming eruption here was likely much larger than Tambora. The caldera here is approximately 3x the size of Tambora’s Caldera from the 1816 eruption.

      On the top end of potentiality (which is highly unlikely), the largest estimated eruption possible Laguna Del Maule caldera would probably be more comparable to eruptions from Long Valley Caldera or the Aira Caldera.

      It’s important to note that Laguna del Maule is not really a typical stratovolcano with an accompanying caldera. It’s probably more similar to a pyroclastic shield volcano or Rhyolitic caldera as seen in New Zealand.

  13. Hi

    Here is the Earthquake animation for El Hierro in February and up to March 9th 2013.

    First part of the video is day by day earthquakes for this period. Then a 360 ° rotation sequence takes place, and is followed by a 0-90 ° rotation to show the earthquakes locations from above.
    Last part of the video is a zoom centered on the coordinates of La Restinga.

    It seems that the recent activity is located to the fringe of the previous swarms so it “could” mean either that the bolus is cooling down generating quakes at the limit of the warm mass or that some new magma is taking a new path, but considering the few earthquakes the first hypothesis seems to me (not a specialist) the most probable.

    If some specialist feels free to comment, please do it, you’re welcome.

    Made on Gnu Octave – data from IGN and SRTM (extracted with SAGA GIS)

    • There have been a couple more quakes today – a 2.2 in Atlantico and a 1.9 SW El Pinar – just rumbling along, rattling those pots and pans…

  14. This is interesting: Infrasound of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake was measured with the Goce satellite (Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer). In the thin thermosphere the waves spread out to km (vertical) amplitudes which in turn can be measured with Goce´s accelerometers.
    http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/The_Living_Planet_Programme/Earth_Explorers/GOCE/GOCE_the_first_seismometer_in_orbit
    “GOCE: the first seismometer in orbit around the Earth”
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/grl.50205/abstract

  15. Why did the Gnome cross the road? (okay, did the gnome ever cross the road?)

    Note: This vid is subject to being yanked if I or another Dragon feel that is detracts from volcanoes. Seeing as it’s the weekend I’m taking a chance.

      • Members of the Klan are already midgets…
        I say that from multi-racial, Southern Appalachian
        Heritage… My Indian Granma had her 12 ga. ready when
        the Klan started up in NE Oregon back in the late 1900 early 1920’s..

        • Interesting. I thought the Klan was more associated with southern states (from an non documented european point of vue….). So it was better not to bother your Granma…

  16. Hi, i am sorry for the lack of a post but with my connection over the weekends recently it is more like impossible to go websurfing.
    Anyway Tungurahua http://iptv.orf.at/stories/2171008/ the article has a video linked to it where you can actually see the eruption, whenever i check the webcam, there is either nothing up or thick clouds.

      • Speaking of California….

        The quake set was on the portion where the San Andreas turns back to the west.

        My read is that this lessens the stress on the South end of the Salton Sea. Whether that equates to decompression melting and eventual reactivation of those scoria cones we have yet to see.

        • News media is making this out to be a PRECURSOR to the BIG ONEEE!!
          I’m sorry but scaring people about a swarm does everyone a disservice..
          I hope Lurk is right and we get a nice cinder cone event…

        • Well, to me honest, you can’t rule it out as an indicator that strain is moving northward along the main fault. In that case, it’s always possible.

          One thing to consider, is that many segment of the San Andreas are aseismic, and are areas of creep.

          Yet another is that a lot of the energy from the motion of the crust fragments dealing with the push of the North American and Pacific plate, end up raising the transverse ranges just a wee bit higher. This motion takes up a lot of the energy and keeps it from linearly moving up the San Andreas. The crust blocks are essentially a giant pile of rubble. Push on the side of it and the rocks adjust to a new equilibrium.

          I had a pet ‘loon’ theory of my own a couple of years ago. At the time, an area of quakes kept showing up about 143 miles north of the previous set every 4 to 8 weeks or so. My calculated arrival at the north end of the Gulf of California was within about a month of the large Mexicali quake. I had figured that the energy ‘wave’ had dissipated into the many faults in that area, and that it wold be nigh impossible to keep track of where it was or should be at. I was correct… not in nearly getting the big quake (which I know that I actually missed) but in loosing track of where the ‘wave’ would be at. I counted it up as being lost in the many crust blocks. By my original calcs, that wave would be far past the Mendocino triple junction by now.

          This quake set could be a manifestation of that alleged ‘wave’ that I lost track of. What is certain, is that a lot of energy went into the system, where it comes out is anybodies guess.

          For transients: I am not a geologist nor am I trained in the field. I drive long distances and work on intricate pieces of electronics for a living. I am not an expert in seismology, but I am a relatively well read amateur. If you are the media, I HIGHLY recommend that you contact your local USGS office for authoritative information on these quakes and any possible future events. Don’t be lazy and parrot me. Do your job.

        • Speaking of driving. Last week, I lamented driving a lonely dark two lane road in the rain, listening to Pink Floyd “Dogs” off of the “Animals” album. Being quite tired, the lyrics gave me psychological fits that had me questioning my humanity.

          Tonight, I drove that same stretch, not quite as dark, just at wet, just as tired, but was listening to “Quatto” by Eisenfunk. No pseudo Zen thing…. but it was quite entertaining and I felt much better by the time I made it to the Interstate.

        • Now for something semi-useful.

          Using Well-Coppersmith equations for a strike slip, and assuming that all of the quakes were strike slip, and acted in response to the same stress field.

          2.7 – 0.13 mm ave displacement
          4.7 – 8.12 mm ave displacement
          3.0 – 0.24 mm ave displacement
          2.8 – 0.16 mm ave displacement
          2.8 – 0.16 mm ave displacement
          2.5 – 0.09 mm ave displacement
          2.5 – 0.09 mm ave displacement

          Total displacement from listed quakes – 8.99 mm.

    • Mornin Bruce, and all,
      Thanks for posting that, a nicely written, balanced article…
      Only 950 people living in the danger zone, the main risk is damage to infrastructure…
      An eruption within months to years according to the head honcho…
      36 eruptions in the last 10,000 years at 24 distinct sites, nothing for 500 years…
      It does sound like a decent candidate 🙂

    • Mornin Newby,
      Have you got schnow there?
      Our back garden is a winter wonderland once more…
      The signal at chie is interesting isn’t it?

  17. Morning Newby & everyone. Hubby back to work so back into my old routine again. I love him lots but it’s good to potter and work without interruptions. 🙂
    You are right Newby. I shall keep an eye on that. Also hekla area has had some tremors and I am watching that closely too. I hope you are warmer than I am this Morning newby. It’s freezing here although sunny. I think Him Up There has sent Iceland’s weather to us by mistake! :D, http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/oroi/mjo.gif

    • Hi schteve and Diana. At the moment I am wearing two jumpers indoors and two pairs of socks when I walk the dog. Wellies, ( even non-red ones 😉 ) are very cold footwear. Had three inches of snow in back garden and only one inch in the front. Back garden is south facing so sheltered from the gale force, evil, north easterly wind. Walking the dog this morning was fun as he thought the hip height snowdrifts were wonderful. Must admit I found them fascinating too, haven’t seen many bad drifts since I moved to the South Coast 45 years ago.

      I noticed Hekla looked a little unsettled too but haven’t had time to read back the last few days so thought maybe someone already commented on it. Nice to have a couple of places to watch for possible developments.

      • I think the data is MJO is showing noise around 7 March (why? because it strangely finishes as suddenly as it started – usually tremor starts suddenly but decreases gradually). Its also noise in recent days – volcanic tremor should increase also green and red lines, and this has not happened.

        I think Hekla is still very calm.

        • Thanks for the local info Irpsit., mind you I will always keep an eye on Hekla anyway as it could always go so suddenly that I would hate to miss it.

    • I was thinking about something like that also: Tremor keeping to working hours, starting 9:00 flat. 😉

  18. Slightly off topic from current events.

    I found the following book on google, you can read the entire thing for free. It’s probably the best free source for learning about volcanoes I’ve found. It has enough “advanced” stuff that most people on here can learn from it, yet it’s not uber scientific and academic so that it’s unreadable for the majority of people here.

    Find it at the link below, or simply google “Volcanoes: Global Perspectives” and it should pop up (hit the preview button and the entire book will be readable).
    http://books.google.com/books?id=eJopFDVRgYMC&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

    • There’s only part of the book in the preview. (I just bought myself this for Xmas so I thought for a mo I could have saved the money, but not the case)

        • Very much indeed.

          With all the unusually cold winter weather for halfway March here (many many records broken the last few days in The Netherlands, Belgium and N-France), you would think that Christmas is underway. I’ll be asking Santa to put this under the tree the next few weeks 🙂

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