Shaky week for volcanoes

We now reached midweek and there has not been much new going on in the volcano world, but some earthquakes happened. One of which was really close to a volcano.

Perspective of Mount Oyama Volcano, Miyake-Jima Island, Japan. (ASTER-SRTM) 10 August 2000 NASA/JPL

Perspective of Mount Oyama Volcano, Miyake-Jima Island, Japan. (ASTER-SRTM)
10 August 2000

Michael Ross informed us that he had a tweet saying something seems to be going on under Miyakejima volcano in Japan? Earthquake swarm in last 3 hours M2.9, 3.2, 4.7, 4.1, 3.0, 3.0, 4.6, 4.4 per JMA

Image Wikimedia Commons: Miyake-jima, 2001-04-01

Image Wikimedia Commons: Miyake-jima, 2001-04-01

Diana and others immediately started trying to find information on this volcanic island. human view of an amazing community living on the edge of a lethal time bomb.. This Island is not a place you would expect to find “happy dancing natives” WRONG! Hats off to the Japanese Tourism industry and government bodies who have, like Iceland and other Volcanic areas, utilised the danger, the beauty and the power and turned potential disaster into a lucrative industry for the locals. Authorities of El Hierro take note! Here is the most brilliant piece of advertising copy ever. It turns around the images and real threat of death and destruction and encourages would be holidaymakers that this is the ideal place for a Vacation of all vacations. It looks beautiful…….. Please read all 3 sections……” ( Thanks Diana Barnes)
Miyakejima – Part 1
Miyakejima – Part 2
Miyakejima  – Part 3

There was a 5+ earthquake close to the volcano. GFZ has it as 5.6 
An of course Earth Quake Report covers this event too! GVP on Miyakejima
The volcano itself is called Mt. Oyama: Wikipedia Info

List of recent quakes in the area.

Another quake just happened. GFZ has it is 5.7. Others sources place it as 6.2


Summary made out of comments on VC on yesterdays earthquake in Iran:

Earth Quake Report on the Iran- Pakistan quake.

Daily Mail:

Iran has a rocky, mountainous soil, while the hard hit Pakistan region is built on a dry lake. That may be the reason why there are more victims to mourn in Pakistan.

Earthquake Report is attributing the death toll in Pakistan to building on lake sediment:

From BBC news website. “Tuesday’s earthquake was about 180 times stronger in energy release than a 6.3-magnitude quake that struck on 10 April near the nuclear plant at Bushehr in south-western Iran. That quake killed at least 37 people and wounded 850.”

USGS M7.8 – 83km E of Khash, Iran

The shake map has been upgraded to VIII:

According to John Search, the Iran 7.8 EQ was 100km SE of Taftan Volcano:

Earth Quake Report on the Papua New Guinea quake.

BBC ( thanks Diana Barnes)

KarenZ: “M6.8 – 19km ESE of Aitape, Papua New Guinea 2013-04-16 22:55:26 UTC 8km
Can’t find a volcano in its immediate vicinity. The nearest seem to be Doma Peeks, Crater Lake and Blup Blup.

I think i can add another odd volcano name to my list of favorites: Blup  Blup!
Here is what Volcano Discovery has on it.

And just so this does not get lost! dfm gave some info on seismic signatures


199 thoughts on “Shaky week for volcanoes

  1. Thank you Spica. I like these mid week summaries when there is a fair bit of global activity. It helps me to focus. and I can find links quickly without having to hunt through all the comments ( Me being lazy!)

  2. Nice round-up Spica – thanks.

    For the UK-based fans of doom there is a programme on BBC2 tomorrow 9pm entitled “Could We Survive a Mega-Tsunami?”.
    Looks like fairly regulation stuff: Canaries falling into the sea etc etc

  3. No
    Etna is not erupting big time.

    Some clouds appear red in the setting sun. Smoke drifts upwars from the new southeast crater which is almost as high as the old one.
    I just wanted to share this beautiful screenshot.

  4. Thank you Spica for the nice summary!
    I am back from a short trip collecting glacial erratic boulders at the Baltic sea, some of which may even be lava 🙂 ….unfortunately I also had to attend some work related seminars during enticing sunshine.

  5. @dfm. Just noticed a link you left on the last post on the 15th to some videos about seismic signatures. Very many thanks for that!!! I found it really interesting, especially the one of the rockfall as I wondered if that is what is shown on the El Hierro tremor chart at 04:22 today.
    It certainly isn’t listed as a quake and yet is the biggest seismic signature showing for today. Don’t think it is a nearby running Elk though. 😀

    • Oops, also just noticed Spica reposted the link above. Many thanks Spica. Will this be put into Gems as I would love to refer to it from time to time and have such a long list of bookmarks now that I keep losing them? 😦

    • Hi Newby.

      Yes I’ve seen this one. It shows nothing on the other islands sismos. so it is not a external quake. It seems like a rockfall to me. IT is interesting to compare the different graphs. It seems now that CHIE may be used to detect rockfalls.

  6. Also noticed there was another small quake close to Hekla area again today. Almost in the same place as the two small quakes there yesterday. Not sure if this is really connected to hekla though of the nearby seismic zone.

    • I saw that too. It is at the border between the SISZ (South Iceland Seismic Zone) and Hekla volcanic system. 🙂

      • Rofl I imagine all deep down there, the Magmatic Trolls, Heklatites and SISZtites engaged in a Tug O’War. Now and then they take to being all shook up by some foreign and far reaching tremor, only to quickly re-group and pull and tug once more……….
        Remember VC’s beginnings and the Saga of the Meaty Hat and the wildly abandoned dancing that was planned?
        This is our Roots calling………..

    • It’s possible the gain/sensitivity has been reduced, or the instrument messed with, around the 9th – but the low frequency stuff is interesting. There were signs of that earlier; I would take that signal to indicate fluid movement. Whether it’s hydrothermal or magmatic, I’m not sure at this stage. In recent weeks I’ve also seen periods where there were a lot of red lines on the tremor plot. Those indicate discrete local seismic events; quakes, or possibly stronger hydrothermal events.

      It certainly bears watching. If GNS suspected something was up, they would raise the alert level or post a report. Nothing yet…

      I will have my own Wellington area geophone online soon. Same setup as Jon Frimann 🙂

      • that’s cool, don’t forget to stick a link to results here somewhere when it’s up and running 🙂

  7. I can’t get any of the Etna web cams or tremor thingies to work. 😦 I bookmarked a load of them last year, but the results are as reliable as the electrics on my old Lancia Thema. Even Newby’s reference seems stuck on 0:11am never to change. Am I doing something wrong?

  8. OT: Again. More Smellivision™

    Today… freshly plowed dirt. Hundreds upon hundreds of acres of it. And what memory did it evoke? Dirt clods. Specifically, playing with the cousins in the field in what was an impromptu softball game using “Horse Apples” for the ball. (Osage Orange). Rather than having to retrieve a pop fly when the batter connects, there is a spray of juice and bits of horse apple flying about. Eventually is just devolves into a dirt clod war. Mostly dry, these clods easily shatter on impact, so even if you hit someone square with one, it turns into a lump of sandy soil when it hits.

  9. Yay! I get to write On Topic! (of sorts).

    Right now, there is a small going on near the North Coast of Taiwan. (24.716390°N 122.788404°E)

    This is in the back arc basin stretching from Taiwan up through Japan. The nearest volcanoes are about 90 km away. This is a spreading center, which tend to form in back arc basins.

    This FYI is brought to you by the the letter seven.

  10. “Early to bed early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise” Yeah Right! it don’t work for Husband….you ever met a wealthy Postman? As for women all I get is to miss Etna’s shows!
    Now have a look at this GPS plot. Look at the dark brown one .It’s labelled Hau ( Haukadalur) am I right in this presumption? Now East trend is up a little, North trend is definitely very down and Up is….well very upward. Am I right I thinking this is GPS for Lady Hekla? if so…. Don’t go for a hike up Hekla Irpsit…. 😀 taken along with Isak readings it seems ominous.

    • What a dreadful accident. I am just hearing reports on the morning news. My thoughts with all caught up in this.What Brave fire fighters and rescuers. Deepest sympathy to the families who have lost loved ones.

        • “Oh Dear!!! USA having a very bad week indeed!!”

          It’s what we do.

          Here is a vid from years ago where a rocket fuel plant goes up. It’s a much more distant view than the Waco plant explosion. You can make out the shockwave quite easily as it crosses the desert floor.

          And, here is a picture of the USS Solar. I had long wondered why the pier at Leonardo was so flipping long. At three miles in length, you are not allowed to drive walk or bicycle to the ships berthed at the end. You have to take a bus. On one return from deployment, we arrived just in time to have blizzard conditions greet us. When we got to the base of the pier, it was actually quite pleasant.

          Here is one reason why it is so long.

          There is a monument next to the admin building there. Allegedly, it’s a piece of twisted debris from this ship, put up as a monument where it landed.

    • We had an explosion like that in France in 2001 in Toulouse (South west). made huge damages and killed quite a few unfortunate people. My sympathy to the people over there.

      • They happen occasionally and often claim many lives 😦 looking at the footage here, the fact that the plant was close to a residential area and also that the USGS measured it at M2.1 makes me afraid that many people may have lost their lives there.

        The fireworks warehouse that blew up in Enschede, NL in 2000 comes to mind, leaving 23 dead, 1000 injured and flattening a whole neighbourhood. The Waco blast seems even larger….. so my sympathy is with all involved.

        (first explosion at 0:54 was the smaller one)

        • Sadly so true El Nathan. I really fear that many fire-fighters may have lost their lives in this one as they were so close fighting the original fire.
          I have a nephew working on an oil refinery, he always speaks of the bravery of the company fire-fighters. As he says, “If we hear an explosion we have to stop all vehicles and run in the opposite direction as fast as we can. I can only admire the bravery of the fire-fighters who must run or drive as fast as they can TOWARDS the explosion. ”
          My thanks and admiration to all fire-fighters everywhere in the world!!
          And all my sympathy to anyone caught up in this dreadful incident.

          And as a side not, why oh why do they build such places close to residential properties, or vice-versa?

          • I was just wondering about that Newby – whether any thought was given by the planning authorities to the danger. I don’t know whether the factory or the houses, nursing home, etc came first but they shouldn’t have been that close to each other. The problem at Bhopal was that a shanty town had grown up round the plant after it was built. No new building is allowed near to where I work – or the nearby “fireworks” factory.

            The radio news has said this explosion was heard 45 miles away and there are fears that “scores” of people are dead. A terrible accident and my sympathy to anyone affected.

            • I was on spring break working for a Farmer here in the Grande Ronde Valley of NE
              Oregon when our local fertilizer plant caught fire. (1971)-It had an old (wood) grain elevator full of fresh Ammonium nitrate. Fortunately the fire was caught by the local FD
              The chief knew his stuff-he was an ex-USN (Lurk will appreciate this.) had experience
              with fighting hot nasty fire before-Shipboard at Okinawa in 1945.No one hurt,but they evacuated the area around the town of Alicel for 5 miles…I was glad to see the way they store that stuff changed after that-plant’s gone now…
              Ammonium Nitrate is virtually the same as Dynamite under certain conditions..
              Thoughts and prayers to all who are dealing with this..
              In my firefighting days i never had to deal with that sort of fire…wildland has its own
              cachet of nasty surprises …

  11. Hi Folks, I have been very busy at work for a few weeks and have ot had any time to “webcapture” any volcanoes…Based on recent posts i have restarted a web capture of Etna, however many of the webcams are down, and i only have 3 min updates on the one am i watching

    Popo looks quite clear and update frequently, so i have set that on 60 sec updates.

    I was thinking of an idea of a simple web page that allows folks to enter a link to a webcam and the web-page then goes an runs a service (ie the perl script that i posted a few weeks back) and after some time (specified by the user) a second service converts the jpegs into video and emails it to the user, via something like mutt (which is a linux command line email tool). That way people who come to this website, and see some activity and capture it for all to see.

    Off course there are some security issue that can be resolved: ie handling of peoples email addresses and possible denial of service because the system would be allowing people from the internet to start storing lots of data on the server in the form of jpegs and mp4 files.

    Do you think there’d be much interest here for something like this?


    • Hi Greg, not sure it is something I could or would use personally but it sounds a good idea for more computer literate people than me.

    • it’s not today’s but it’s a pretty good one from 3 April so I guess you can just pretend. 😉

      • Thanks for that Bruce, it was better than what I saw today anyway. Today was far too obscured by smoke and ash for me to see much. Hopefully someone will post a good one of today on You Tube later.

  12. The MONTAGNOLA VISIBILE MAP was not too doog to view it from, the main event was obscured by cloud…ash or normal clouds i cant tell.

  13. I am not really an Etna fan. I don’t know why maybe because I have been spoiled with Iceland’s and El Hierro’s brilliant streaming live cams.
    However Etna has put on a very ashy show today and is ,according to the thermal imaging at ING, very hot!
    Stromboli still appears to have a lava flow and Vulcano is degassing. All in all Italy is being lively.
    I hear an excellent radio interview with a geologist from BGS (British geological Society) Dr Roger Musson about the Iranian Earthquake This week.
    You can also listen to it again here. It was a good interview and described the area brilliantly…..

    • Second Hekla “Volcanic Field” quake today.
      This be Anno 1970, 1981, 1990/1, 2000 the plume should already be 50,000 feet visble?
      Whats wrong, is the magma not hot enough?
      *stirs* 😉

        • I think you are reading them not for what they are. 🙂
          The SIL graphs have/show graph (formulas) that “stores” unrest data, “unrest” now is compared to “calmer” before, never knowing what comes afterwards, but I really do not know the formulas used. 🙂
          (Every time you hear horses runnning, do not think they are Zebras.)
          The only thing (I think) Eyjafjallajökull is doing on inside is getting cooler. 😉

  14. Arternoon all, been a very busy week at work, so no time to comment much… Two days off now 😀
    I may be shooting myself in the foot here, but is anyone watching Colima at the moment? I keep getting a 503 error (server maxed out…) Which makes me wonder…

  15. There is something unusual ongoing at the island of Vulcano, I think (no expert). There seems to be some degassing on the older cone, to the right and behind Fossa:
    Most of the clouds would probably be from Stromboli (southerly winds), but I am not sure, if there is not some activity on a new place on the island also.

    • smallish, but very convincing, two quakes today, they are inside Hekla Volcanic Field (Active Volcanic Area) so anything can happen.. given it happens, if, when.
      I think certainly put her back on Yellow *my opinion*

      • Just looking at the info on the chats, apart from the EQ’s and the raise in the grounding around Hekla, Islander did you read anything about Gas or snow-less area’s?

        Maybe you should edit your tag before something happens. 🙂

        • For mountain having very deep magma “system/plumbing”, snow-less areas on it are “worthless” (its always hot from previous eruptions), Gas I know nothing about, and using this for prediction, one must get (I presume) minimium one “complete cycle” for comparision first, to evaluate. But I only put one tag on Hekla – “caution” today!

        • no *probably not*
          but its getting more and more surprising nothing comes of them micro quakes happening week after week, and then the “Seven Deep Quakes of Hekla”
          in last month and …. nothing!
          Does not make sense. There is uplift, and its ready. Why does it not blow?
          Almost beats me, save having fool of all of us. 😉
          The horsefeet we hear running is defenately a Zebra running.

  16. For British readers: wonderful bit of disaster mongering on BBC2 at the moment – Could We Survive a Mega-Tsunami? To quote Private Frazer “We’re aaallll dooooomed!” 😀 😉

    • Ah I loved him on Dad’s Army. A true Scot! Just loved the accent and the “We’re aaallll dooooomed!” 😀 😉 Takes me back to my teenage days in Scotland. 😀

    • Very surprised that the documentary did not carry the usual caveats and was amazingly dogmatic. There were some big assumptions made.

      • & the conclusion that the UK could not plan for a tsunami event seemed to be wrong.

        It was based on the fact that Japan had planning and measures in place but the 2011 tsunami was still devastating, totally ignoring the fact that the measures would have been effective for smaller events. A 9.03 Mw undersea megathrust earthquake may well be bigger than a landslip from La Palma – I need GeoLurking to advise :smiles hopefully:

  17. We have a plan to hike Hekla this Sunday.

    I am part of a winter hiking group, and we have that plan, apparently our organizer is in close contact with the Civil protection and they said that nothing unusual is happening at Hekla.

    I am still undecided to go, because of being Hekla itself. If I go it will be the second time I hike the mountain after a period of marker unrest (the first was in August 2011). My colleagues are all excited to hike Hekla, but I think knowing too much on Hekla makes me think twice.

    • Hi Inge B. here is a good site on the recovery of St. Helens by Weyerhaeuser Corp.
      Not a commercial for them, entirely but a good lesson on how resilient nature is.
      Sometimes with human help…
      Weyerhaeuser lost millions of mature trees that were ready for the second or third cut
      in that area..
      St.Helen was part of my life for about 7 years after the blast…
      I knew an old Alaska logger who had some experience with volcanic ash who was
      hired to salvage log the blowdown. Oregon saw chain company made money while that
      was going they’d go thought 3-4 sets of saw chain in a day. Not to mention
      filters and masks for the crews…

  18. I think Nevado Del Ruiz is gearing up for a larger eruption. In the last two years, it’s been showing intermittent activity with some small scale eruptions. For anybody who has been following it, it’s been undergoing a intense earthquake swarm in the last week and a half, including a m4.0 quake yesterday.

    Add to that heightened fumarolic activity and deformation, and it’s only a matter of time til it erupts in my non-expert opinion.

    I think the question with Ruiz, is whether it will form a larger eruption than the 1985 event (which was the largest volcano disaster in the last 50 years due to lahars), or if it will go “bigger”, which is most certainly has the potential to do. Hopefully people will have learned their lessons from the 85 disaster and haven’t re-built on the lahar plains.

  19. Can anyone explain the pattern of tremors at Smjorgil please? I would say it was some sort of traffic as it is happening morning to afternoon and decreases at night. Someone maintaining the equipment? A river freezing over every night? I don’t think so. This is on top of an Ice cap….helicopters working?
    There is similar “traffic ” pattern at Haukadalur but I know there is a road near there.

  20. Russian quake and aftershock:
    5.7 266km ENE of Kuril’sk, Russia 2013-04-19 03:15:54 45.700°N 151.231°E 120.3
    7.2 250km ENE of Kuril’sk, Russia 2013-04-19 03:05:53 46.182°N 150.796°E 122.3

    • This is the 4th big quake in the Kuril Island area since 28 februari
      From USGS:
      1) Magnitude 6.9
      Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 14:05:51 UTC.
      Location 50.934°N, 157.339°E
      Depth 52.5 km (32.6 miles)
      2) Magnitude 6.5
      Friday, March 01, 2013 at 12:53:52 UTC
      Location 50.938°N, 157.511°E
      Depth 40.9 km (25.4 miles)
      3) Magnitude 6.1
      Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 04:18:34 UTC
      Location 50.718°N, 160.155°E
      Depth 9.7 km (6.0 miles)
      4) Magnitude 7.2
      Friday, April 19, 2013 at 03:05:53 UTC, (today)
      Location: 46.182°N, 150.796°E
      Depth: 122.3 km (76.0 miles)

  21. My horking brain hurts and my eyes are bleary (driving all @#$ day). Going to bed. G’night (enjoy)

    Hawaii’s Magma Chamber May Be World’s Shallowest

    When Ditkof applied the technique to Hawaii’s volcanoes, she found the islands’ fiery mountains share a single so-called magma chamber, which lies a mere 1.9 to 2.5 miles (3 to 4 kilometers) below Hawaii.

    “Now we know the chamber is at a shallow depth not seen anywhere else in the world,” Ditkof said.

    In comparison, the magma chambers beneath Iceland lie at an average depth of 12.4 miles (20 km).

    • Good lord. Wife is wtching TV and the only thing on are Reptile Dysfunction commercials. “if it lasts longer than four hours call your doctor”….

      … no, call your producer. You may have found that career change you were looking for.

    • I am uncertain if this is same quakes. One mentioned in USGS log at Kuril’sk Islands off the North of Japan. Now Reuters saying a 7.0 an hour ago. USGS hasn’t updated to this one or it’s same quake.. Coffee # 1 not kicked in yet, only half way through it!

      • Yes Diana, same quake, checked area on Google earth which shows the quake, close enough to Japan to be mistaken for a Japanese one. So an early reporting mix-up I reckon.

        • Part of the island chain is Russian, part is Japanese and some islands are still subject to discussions on who owns what in the region – as far as I remember.

          • Actually they are all Russian, although Japan claims two of the main ones plus a couple of rocks. All will be revealed in a new post coming very shortly!

            • Hi … errrm, I’ve been working on a couple of posts relating to the cultural, political and, of course, the geological landscape of the Illeung Basin. Life and work has been more busy than expected so they’re not finished yet. Just wondering whether I should keep working on them or if they’re included in yours, should I stop?

            • Hi inannamoon – Please, please keep working away!
              My thing is strictly Kurils – there’s a bit about the sovereignty of the islands, but Tsushima is a long way from where I’m writing about 🙂

            • ok cool – will do, they wont be ready for a couple of weeks though. Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Diana! I was also trying to work out what is showing up on the Hekla strain meters. Doesn’t seem to be anything local but the Hekla meter itself seems to go up rapidly just before the ‘blip’.

      • If you look at Jóns Webicorders, Somthing shook on all the metters at 0315. Same time as the “blip”. But nothing on the map.

        • Thats Kuril Islands quake, fairly certain of that, and possibly “local situation” (wind and wind direction) may have affected wave spectrum shifting it to (higher?) frequence as it passed Iceland, so it left visible trace on the Helicorders (usually it does not show?) Speculating here.

    • Thank you, Chryphia, for the heads-up. 🙂

      Interesting, that all of these quakes are southwest of Hekla, but on the other hand, it wouldn’t be good if an eruption would take place in this part of the system, as it is nearer to populated area.

      BTW: Maybe we won’t see a lot very soon, there is another storm warning in effect.

      • Storm already is starting. This quake was “found”, it was not there on the IMO charts about one hours ago. My theory is that these Micro-quakes be precursior to Hekla eruption (altou they are in both SIFZ and Hekla Volcano Active Area, within the “flank crack system”), but it can be days or weeks left. Another take could be that next eruption fissure be from 12km SW of Hekla to 5 km NE of Hekla – 17 km long fissure ?
        * and starting from Sunday morning … 😉 *

  22. Meanwhile, Etna is not really resting.

    Tremor has its ups and downs, more ups than downs lately. And the Italian media are asking if there is again a new paroxysm just around the corner.
    There is again some noise coming from the volcano too.

    And Dr. Boris Behncke posted a new picture from the last paroxysm:

    • the Italian media are asking if there is again a new paroxysm just around the corner.

      Dumbass media… A more sound question for them to ask is:

      Who is going to get sued next for even hazarding a guess about something geological?

      or even better:

      Who is enriching their pockets from not enforcing sound construction practices in seismologically hazardous regions?

    • At a guess a hot water main. I have seen plenty of videos of cold ones blowing like that but that has to be a hot one because of the steam. Assume they use hot piped water as I have heard they do in Iceland. Hopefully Islander or Irpsit or someone can confirm that for me. It is certainly a pressured water main for sure. Great fun, unless you were the poor devil with you car close to it. LOL 🙂

  23. Etna tremor rising faster than on the 18th. I reckon another paroxysm is definitely on the way. Hope it makes it in time for me to watch before bedtime as I have to be up early tomorrow so an early night if possible.

    She is still pretty smoky today and a small heat signature starting to show on the thermal cam. Could have been there ever since yesterday I suppose and obscured by smoke whenever I looked before.

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