Etna’s paroxysm overview

Since the beginning of this year, Inge B. has kept track of all of Etna’s activity this year and has submitted a summary to keep track of all this for everyone. By now, we have seen a dozen of paroxysms and several other instances of activity at various craters, so it is easy to see people get lost there. For that reason, a table has been made by Inge B. (thanks for that!) which I have sort of converted to wordpress-language.

Etna summit craters map. Image by INGV

Bigger eruptions Date Summit craters involved Characteristics of activity
9-15 Jan 2013 Bocca Nuova (BN) Vigorous Strombolian eruption after 3 months quiescence at this crater which had had its first magmatic activity after 10 years again in 2011.
16 Jan 2013 BN Strombolian activity
18 Jan 2013 BN Strombolian Activity
20 Jan 2013 New SouthEast Crater (NSEC) Strombolian activity, first magmatic activity after 9 months quiescence at NSEC
22 Jan 2013 NSEC Strombolian activity, more intense than the last ones, bombes rose up to 100 m above crater rim
28-29 Jan 2013 BNNSEC Vigorous Strombolian activity, rumbling noises, to be heard in vicinity of cratersWeak Strombolian activity; rhythmic degassing with slight ash content. First time since 12 years, simultaneous activity from 2 summit craters
30 Jan 2013 BN Intensive Strombolian activity, launching bombs to about 120 m above crater rim
Paroxysm 1 19 Feb 2013 NSEC Lava fountaining with production of lava flows, pyroclastic flows, lahars and ash cloud
Paroxysm 2 20 Feb 2013 NSEC Lava fountaining, lava flows, ash
Paroxysm 3 20 Feb 2013 NSEC Lava fountaining, lava flows, ash. Second paroxysm that day
Paroxysm 4 21 Feb 2013 NSEC Lava fountaining, lava flows, ash; 4 paroxysms in 48 hours is very rare
Paroxysm 5 23 Feb 2013 NSEC Lava fountaining, more intense than before, fountains up to 800 m high, lava flows, ash cloud containing scoriae
27 Feb – 4 Apr 2013 BNVoragine (VOR) Strombolian activity, weak lava fountains continuing through 28 Feb 2013Explosive activity, first activity of VOR since 1999. Strombolian activity in the night before Paroxysm 6. Still ongoing Strombolian activity with stronger explosions in between, small ash emission, volcanic bombs during Paroxysm 7. Weak Strombolian activity still ongoing; after activity ceased at NSEC at Paroxysm 8, strong explosions at VOR. Weak Strombolian activity still ongoing at Paroxysm 9.
Paroxysm 6 28 Feb 2013 NSEC Lava fountaining; eruptive fissure opened in the saddle between the Southeast Crater and the New Southeast Crater, lava flows; ash plume, scoriae fallout
Paroxysm 7 5-6 Mar 2013 NSEC Spattering from new fissure in the saddle between the SEC and the NSEC; lava flows then lava fountains up to 800 m high; intense fallout of scoriae in adjacent towns and villages down to Taormina on the Ionian Coast
Paroxysm 8 16-17 Mar 2013 NSEC Slow increase of Strombolian activity; lava fountains, ash and scoriae fall, rather violent paroxysm with several loud bangs heard in population centers around the volcano, gas rings; lava overflow, up to 800 m high lava fountains, ash plume 2.000 m high, lightening within the plume; downpour of heavy material, volcanic bombs and big scoriae in the summit area; after explosive activity ceased: small collapses and slides of still hot material
Paroxysm 9 3-4 Apr 2013 NSEC violent paroxysm, only short time lava fountains, but very loud explosions, noise heard tens of kilometers from the craters, opening of new vents on the NSEC, production of small pyroclastic flows in the summit area (summit area declared “off limits” by the authorities after this episode); ash and scoriae fall in adjacent towns and villages
Paroxysm 10 8-14 Apr 2013 NSEC Long run-up phase beginning on 8. April with loud Vulkanian (?) explosions (heard tens of km away), some rather heavy explosions with ash emission, followed by a period of Strombolian activity of increasing intensity culminating in lava fountaining on April 12, emission of tephra, ash and lapilli as well as lava bombs, less ashfall though than during Paroxysm 9 and the ones in March 2013; lava flow into Valle del Bove; repeated collapse at NSEC, leading to formation of a depression in the cone lava flow from “saddle” between SEC and NSEC in direction of Belvedere activity also from 2 vents at the base of NSEC on the same day; landslide; small pyroclastic flow two days following of declining activity with some production of weak lava flows
Paroxysm 11 18 Apr 2013 NSEC From 16 April on some explosive activity at NSEC, ash emissions, small Strombolian eruptions, slowly increasing paroxysm with lava fountaining in the morning of 18. April; eruption cloud with ashfall and lapilli dispersion in direction S-SW; big lava flow into Valle del Bove, two smaller ones from the “saddle” between NSEC and SEC in directions N and S weaker Strombolian activity still ongoing since morning of 19 April
Paroxysm 12 20 Apr 2013 NSEC Violent activity, ramping up quickly. Fountaining up to 1000 m high with column of gas, ash and lapilli and heavy tephra fall on the east flank. Downpoor of lapilli on the highway Catania-Messina near Giarre. Intensity approximately 30% higher than previous paroxysms.

INGV Catania (also for the pictures), reports (English)
for the 9th paroxysm:
for the 10th paroxysm:
notizie/news/875 (English)
for the 11th paroxysm (as per April 20, 2013): (English) and (Italian)

Photo of Paroxysm 10 at the 12th of April 2013. Photo by

El Nathan

223 thoughts on “Etna’s paroxysm overview

  1. Thank you El Nathan and IngeB. Lots of good observations and record keeping which makes a very nice, concise review of Etna’s activity to date.

    Have a look at Hekla’s upwards up trend here:
    other directions tend to be downwards. A classic sign of an eruption likely any time soon….ish….
    Barne’s Law is more accurate than Sod’s or Murphey’s . So I second guess and eruption June 8th 2012…..My daughters wedding day!…..

    VERY OFF TOPIC… I do wish Lurking et al would refrain from mentioning hats. As Mother of the bride Convention decrees I should wear one, along with heeled shoes and an expensive coordinating outfit.
    Anyone who knows me understands that my bionic right foot does not do heels well. Hats should be for keeping head warm and be made of heat retaining fluffy material and incorporating ear flaps. Body cover should be baggy, layered and easily thrown on in a morning without too much thought or fiddling with arthritic fingers.
    My next door neighbour is a gem. She is also incredibly fashionable and always looks well dressed even when gardening. She kindly donated a very expensive three piece wedding type suit.( I have had to slim rapidly to fit it!) so that has saved a dreaded time shopping. ( I hate clothes shopping with a passion!)
    In a fit of very unusual behaviour for me, a saw a small, dressy bag (Purse if you are from the USA) in Selfridges last time I was in London. It was dusky pink and very unusual. It was in a sale and a true bargain! (I am enforced to be tight fisted with my money! I certainly don’t usually buy fripperies.)
    The bag actually goes with the outfit…..Saw what looks like matching shoes on eBay…bid 99p and won. :D… So all I need is THE HAT!………I think I will go for one of those small feathery/flowered thingies that are worn on the side of the head….I really don’t look good in Royal garden party creations….I look like a small exotic mushroom!.
    I feel I should be more enthusiastic but I feel it is daughter’s day and as long as I look quietly well dressed for the occasion then I will be happy.

    • Oh Lord! I am getting worried about my mental faculties….Daughter’s wedding is June the 8th THIS year …I think it’s 2013 not 2012……or there again……. time for coffee #3

      • Congrats on your thrift for the wedding Diana. Something us pensioners get good at. 😉
        For my daughters wedding I wore a borrowed outfit from a friend, A lovely pearl necklaces, also borrowed but had to buy shoes at an expensive shop as I have feet like a duck, narrow at back and wide at the front so no shoes apart from wide fitting will do. Even then they gave me pain the whole day and blisters the next. Oh the pain we go through for our daughters!

        • OH and sorry to Inge and El Nathan, I forgot to say thanks for that really interesting overview on Etna. It is so good to have all those paroxysms listed like that with the summary of the activity.

    • @IngeB and El Nathan: Thanks so much for that summary and the clear map. This makes what’s been happening at Etna a lot clearer to me. Very clear and concise.
      @Diana: I’m the opposite – I love hats but very rarely have an occasion to wear them. It’s the clothes that go with them that are the problem. I try and get something different to whatever is “trendy” and before the event I think I look just great! But there seems to be a problem – I think I look good in hats and exotic outfits but the photographs show a strange dumpy old lady in hat and specs wearing something very odd. At least I always look like I’m having a good time! I think that is the secret: be confident (but don’t upstage the bride!) and have a wonderful time! 😀

      • Total opposites me and you then Talla, I hate hats but fortunately so did the grooms mother so we made a pact that we would both break with tradition and not wear one.She was a willowy (actually very skinny) redhead and I am a small dumpy (actually fat) grey haired old lady. So another pact was that we weren’t close together in the photos. 😀

        • My poor wife came home from work yesterday in quite a state. It transpires that someone is going to start work in her office with the same name. As we all know, you cannot control what other people call you, and there will have to be some distinction to avoid confusion in the workplace. She is now vexing that the new person will be much slimmer than her, so that she will henceforth be known as ‘Fat K******’ !!

  2. Back on topic – has there been any graphics or information about how far the recent lava flows at Etna have travelled? There appears to have been quite large flows down the Valle del Bove

    • yes, there is movement on many of her stations. But sideways motion is also quite a lot on many of them. Think of them stations as a football that sits on calm water, gently rolling up and down, left or right, forward or backwards, on the waves. The mountain rizes and falls, InSAR whoud show this as waves, but that is all part of the “preparations” for the next eruption. We will not see a big total movement untill after it has erupted, you see, its already totally inflated, ready to go!

          • Hello Islander and Lurking!

            Well, not well yet, but slowly on the mend.
            If I ever will be back to my old self we will have to see.
            I am just happy that the place have thrived while I was gone. Splendid work from so many people who have written so much!
            And I noticed there are quite a few new Dragons around.
            There are even a couple I do not even know who they are, and one I suspect is our geologically inclined frequent nameswitcher.

            • Thanks, I do very little here, “shoot down” a odd comment or two at most, and am not part of the Dragon Squadron. Anyways I am glad to see you are back, and hope you can chat a little from time to time. *and missed almost all if not all of Etnas paroxyms*
              Take care 🙂

    • The one with the high jump in upward movement (almost two standard deviations compared to the day before!) is also the one closest to the summit (HEKR).

      • Yes, and especially them charts are detrended, so all you see is actual motion. And throwing up exercises so close? Is that suspicious or do they know more than we do.
        (I suppose they do.)

  3. Hello Everyone!
    Yes, I am alive. In sort, still recouperating though.
    I finally have enough energy to at least look at Hekla. And the uplift lately (that started with the earthquake swarm that Cryphia and Islander plotted so well) is telling it’s tale. There have now been more uplift in 4 weeks then have happened during the previous 3 years. Also E/W and N/S motion trajectories have undergone changes that point towards rapid inflation. Best guess would be that the earthquakes opened up the conduits for a large magmatic emplacement, and that the emplacement is ongoing, but not showing due to Hekla being aseismic.
    So, keep your hard hats on, because if this continues she will erupt. Usual caveat, she might go back to napping yet.

    Take care everyone, I will try to write whenever I can, but no promises.

    • Welcome Back! It’s great to see you here again – and just as Lady Hekla has one of her hissy fits! 😀 😀 😀

        • As long as you are well enough to comment now and then we’ll all be very happy. You can see that the Dragons have done a wonderful job to keep our community together – most of us are still here and will be really happy to see your name in the comments once again! 😀

        • Wow, nice to see you back here, take it easy and don’t let a little Hekla excitement make you overstretch 🙂

        • Look after yourself: do what you can, when you can but don’t try to force recovery too soon.

          As Talla says, we will be very happy to see comments to keep in touch. 🙂

        • Good to have you back Carl! having been rode hard and put away wet more than
          i care to imagine, (though unlike my Cowboy/Indian pop, whose X-rays were the subject of fascination by the local Docs) I can tell you-do not over do recovery-from anything…

        • Yay!!! Best news I had all day that you are back Carl. Take your time recuperating and remember to pace yourself. I for one am so glad to hear you are alive, even if not so well as I was getting really worried. No one is in to beating up anyone on here I hope so relax and take your time getting back. Best wishes for a complete recovery, even if it is a slow one. Sometimes slow is better than fast and crashing.

        • Nice to see you too. It’s ok whether you remember me or not. I’ll take whichever. The important thing is that you are relatively well. Take care.

        • Carl, so pleased to see you back! You’ve been hugely missed. Please take care and get well as fast as you sensibly can.

  4. Regarding the SILs on Iceland. It is exactly as Islander said. The stations are up and running, but the server that shows them publicly seems to be done. They are though up and running and nothing much is happening except at Reykjaness Peninsula, but that could be weather or some such. Even though I am looking a bit suspiciously at the clear rift line that the small quake swarm produced a couple of days ago.

  5. Good to see the Dragon Master back. Now….. about those Red High Heeled wellies that went missing about the same time as you did…….

    <<<<<<<<< Grabs her hard hat, ducks her head down and scuttles out the door before Carl hurls some heavy geological specimens. 😀

    Seriously! I am very happy to see you again Carl and do take things easy. :D:D I am sure us VC Ladies will make sure you look after yourself 🙂

    • Well, I have a few niceties from Guatemala around… Hehe 😉

      Seems like I went to the wrong part of the world for volcano watching (as you know), I should as it seems have gone to Sicily instead. As usual I missed the eruption, but things worked out for the best anyhow (as you also know).

      After those hints and innuendos I guess someone will hurl a heavy geological specimen my way 🙂

  6. Just a short comment, I am not going to lament over the whys of me disappearing. Publicly I am just going to say that I have been ill.
    I should though say that my memory is not the best yet, so if I seem to not remember things, and seem to have a problem remember who everyone is, please forgive me for that. I am getting better though, bear in mind that only 4 weeks ago I could not even get moving by Hekla almost erupting.

    I do not remember the password to the old VC mail, so if anybody of the oldtimers wish to get into contact with me I will come up with some way for you to do so.

    • Well it’s great to have you back, and if not quite yet in one piece then I hope they are all coming back together quickly!

    • Great to have you back, that is for sure 🙂 you should be able to see my mail, so when and if you feel OK enough, please drop me a line.

      And please don’t force recovery! Take enough steps at a time and not too many 🙂

  7. So, we have……..
    Points for Kelda and Newby for Kilt Rock and the same time for the columnar dolerite sill, it’s composition intruded in Jurassic sediments (good for ammonites 🙂 )
    Talla gets the wooden spoon for having visited, seen, photographed and then forgot about it; therefore no Talisker to wash down the veggie haggis!!

    • (Still holding head in hands and moaning) It gets worse – I’ve a friend who recently got a job at Talisker Distillery! I’ll just have to go up again this year and take photos of some of the amazing rocks of Skye and do a photo post for everyone! 🙂

  8. Hey Carl, nice to see you back, I hope whatever was wrong with you is now been banished, we have all missed you, you have plenty of catching up to do, but you have had a great crew looking after things for you, and a big thank you to all of them.

  9. Nevado Del Ruiz is continuing it’s swarm, with what looks like it’s most energetic quake yet (possibly above 4m).

    Also – obligatory happy to see Carl back!

  10. Look! Up in the sky! It´s a bird! It’s Carl!
    Yes, it’s Carl le Strange, visitor from another planet who came to earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal dragons.

    Great to have you back!

  11. Carl, do never discuss residential property with alligators! They tend to disagree on their own way…

    Good to have you back! 🙂

  12. Hi Carl good to have you back! Sorry you are in a bad shape. I’m sure everybody here have been missing your sharp comments and articles. Just lean back and enjoy the fone work done by the people here while you are recooperating, and remember it’s your good work being carried on!!!

  13. Welcome back, you ol’ Swede. Tough to keep us “down” for too long! BTW, my son suffered severe brain damage after a heart problem felled him at age 17. Hope this is/was not the case with you. But in general, recovery does takes time and patience will be rewarded. I think your next weeks/months reviewing the fabulous efforts of those who’ve strived to follow your past examples will provide as much “healing” power as anything else known to man!

  14. hi carl,
    glad to see you back and i’m glad you are on the mend 😀
    we’ve just arrived in catania, all seems quiet at the moment with etna…
    we got a good look at the fresh lava flows from the bus, impressive…
    i am susceptable to s&£’s law so she will probably be quiet as a church mouse until we get home on 4th may…
    planning to have a closer look in the next few days…
    thanks to ingeb and nathan for the useful summary.

  15. It’s a pleasure to see you back Carl ! I cannot say how it makes me happy to know you’re coming back.
    We’ll have plenty to discuss about soon. Take care !

  16. There was a young man called Le Strange
    T’was knowledge he liked to exchange
    His flock likes to chat
    And to enable that
    This blog he came to arrange.

    One day Le Strange he went missing
    His flock left wondering and wishing
    Weeks past with no word
    But now we have heard
    He’s back and his cheeks need some kissing.

    Welcome back Carl. xx
    PS: I meant the cheeks on the face 🙂

  17. Dear Carl

    You do not know me, I’m more of a silent observer

    but I am very glad to read you here again, you have been missing me with your comments

    • Sounds like everyone on here has missed Carl. Maybe we should have a special Wednesday Sheepy dalek bar as a celebration? No more evil riddles though. my head still hurts from the last one.
      Welcome back Carl, as you can see from all the messages you were greatly missed and we do promise to be gentle with you.

      • I agree on this, I maybe go and take a new picture of Hekla for Friday post, possibly. Dunno if weather be any goo next days, rain here tonight..

  18. I also lurk more than post (first one only a few weeks ago, but have lurked since this blog was born)so just had to pop out of my rabbit hole to say a quick welcome back to Carl! It was great to see his name pop up on my RSS feed again! Hope you are back to 100% soon but take things easy in the mean time!

  19. I had cataract surgery 10 days ago and the computer is my biggest obstacle, so I haven’t been around lately. Hopefully, when I have the other eye done on May 3, everything will come into focus as planned. As I was quickly scanning the last 2 or 3 days, I was very happy to see that you are back, Carl! I, too, have missed you very much. Best wishes for a speedy, full recovery.

  20. Welcome back Carl. Like the rest I’ve missed your insightful comments. You mention Guatemala. My wife went there in summer 2011 on a moth and butterfly hunt, and missed all potential volcanic activity (much to her disappointment!). She had a good time and met loads of great people. I hope it was not too unkind to you. Two weeks after she came home, her companion who remained there suffered his first and only armed hold-up and robbery out in the countryside (he was OK). A nation not without poverty and many flaws, but a lot of good people there too. I’m looking forward to hearing more from you! Take care now!

  21. Fireworks on this cam NOW. Wish i knew how to get a screen grab and post it,
    Mind you, even if you told me it would get lost in the holes in my brain. Mad Cow?

  22. Windows 7:

    Select the Windows button in the bottom left of your screen
    Select the “Snipping Tool”
    Use the cursor to select the area you want to grab
    Select “Save As” and type in the file name you want and location you want to save it to.

    Windows XP

    Use Control or Function Print Screen to select the screen shown on your computer
    Use Control V to paste the image into a file (Word, Photoshop etc)
    Use an image editor to tidy up the picture.

  23. OH!!!!! 3 quakes at Hekla!!
    23.04.2013 22:04:44 63.921 -19.913 8.0 km 1.0 99.0 14.3 km WSW of Hekla
    23.04.2013 22:02:10 63.922 -19.921 8.4 km 0.8 99.0 14.6 km WSW of Hekla
    23.04.2013 22:01:31 63.921 -19.911 8.3 km 1.2 99.0 14.3 km WSW of Hekla
    Now I am getting excited! All in the same area too.
    If I am a witch then Carl is a wizard if he came back in time for Heklas increased activity!

    • They are nearly at same time. Perhaps the first quake, caused by magma movements, triggered two aftershocks.

      That spot should lie at the western edge of Hekla 8-10km deep “magma chamber”. A magma moving there, could snap rock further westwards.

      That only shows increasing pressure at Hekla. That, the sudden recent inflation, the loud blast event my hiking friends experienced. It all points to her being close.

      We needed some data on gas emissions at Hekla. In former eruptions, gas was released and noticed by people several hours before. It is a pity that there is NOT any measurements on this. Or perhaps there are but no made public.

  24. Carl: happy to have you back!
    It is exciting to have you back at talking again about volcanoes, and who knows, about your passion on Hekla, Hengill and Theistareykarjbunga 😉

  25. Carl: I also wish you the best wishes for your recovery.

    Usually dealing with our own personal interests that makes us happy as is very positive for most illness recoveries.

  26. Well now I really must give up Hekla and Etna watching and try to sleep. As usually all the fun will start now. 😉

  27. I can not post anything nowadays since I have not the right to do so any longer, and I am really not up to it yet.
    But here goes my shortform on what is happening. If any of the Dragons wishes to post it with a pic or two I would not be sad.

    Hekla unfolds…

    We all know by now that Hekla have been unusually active since august 2011. Back then she had a small earthquake swam that back then made the IMO raise it’s level of allert. Nothing happened back then. Well, one small thing happened. The inflation died down. Before the inflation period ended we know that more then twice the amount of magma had entered the system than before the 2000 eruption, already back in 2004 the magma influx had surpased the levels of 2000.
    For almost two years no real inflation happened, just localized inflations, that later went away. After the 2011 quakes Hekla have been fairly active, for being totally aseismc, on the seismic front, with occational earthquakes happening sending shivers down our spines.
    Before the 2011 earthquakes, the strainmeters started to show an increasing number of rapid strainchanges that was interpreted as a high pressure within the system. Those transients continued up to the present.
    On the 17th of march (correct me if I missed the date) a very large earthquake swarm happened in and around Hekla proper propageting from depth upwards. On the plots you can clearly see that this affected a minimum of four of the known magmachambers under Hekla, and that they seemed to affect a large portion of the extent of the fissure residing under Hekla and in a WSW/ENE direction outside of Hekla proper.
    I interpret what happened as an aborted eruption. The real question here is why a full eruption did not start. There was more seismic activity recorded during that episode then ever recorded before an actual eruption.
    After the earthquake swarm a steady inflation of Hekla started. I interpret this as the earthquakes having opened the system fully up to the 1,8km magmachamber (top of chamber) and that an ongoing magmatic emplacement is taking place. For normal volcanoes this would have produced a large number of ongoing earthquakes, but as mentioned above, Hekla is normaly aseismic.

    Nothing new in what is written above, most here have been around as it unfolded.
    Here is my problem. Hekla does not show it’s cards before erupting. During a normal runup it just quietly inflates, have a very limited number of earthquakes between 30 and 80 minutes before erupting (and those are really few and small), and then the mountain rips open. After that it is sulphur, brimstone, ash, lava, and fire bombs. Hell opened up, icecream sold at convenient locations, if you would like to see it that way.

    What Hekla does not do is give signs 3 years in advance. And Hekla does not have earthquake swarms years in advance, albeit small. And… Nobody have seen rapid inflation after a swarm. And earthquake swarms does not cover the entire rift.

    My point is that we have never seen anything like this, so the bets are off. One way too look at it is that we are the victims of technological skew, ie that we now have so much more equipment that we are seeing things we never before could see.
    I do not believe that is the case. Yes we see things clearer. But we are seeing new things clearer.

    Today we had 3 earthquakes at roughly 8 km depth, 14 km west southwest of Hekla. That is the extreme end of the fissure. Last swam extended to the extreme other end.
    I think what we are seeing is something new from Hekla. I think that this time we will perhaps see a rifting fissure eruption out of Hekla, not a regular fissure eruption in Hekla proper. If this will entail fissures opening outside of Hekla to the WSW, ENE, or in Hekla proper I do not know. Worst case scenario is absolutely that the rift opens across it’s length. Currently I am not ruling that one out, even though it is not that likely.
    I do though believe that what will happen will happen soon. Anytime from the next hour, to within a few weeks judging by the inflation rate.

    Usual caveat is that the volcano might go back to napping, and nothing happens. I though do not think this is the case.


    • islanders comment was cleared by our Akismet to pending, He tried it again and the second time it went in normally, why it was considered spam is beyond me. It happened to more people lately that comments of regulars with no link or one link got cleared most times to pending, not to the spam box. We do not know why.
      Please crowd, if such a thing happens to you… try again and let us know.
      Thank you and please read islanders very informative comment below. Spica

    • Something to consider.

      Perhaps Hekla’s multiple chambers exhibit different behaviors while getting ready for show time?

      If so, perhaps the chamber at play is different, with different “pre-requisites” before going off?

      One of the last things I expected a year or so ago, was for a wad of magma to take off to the south and then hang out seemingly in some one else’s fissure swarm.

      • Yes, and does not conflict with any other ideas, but again I know nothing how the chambers can interact, except getting newer (different) fragnated stuff to react from. But I too think its possibly building up to 1947 or (worst case 1104) scenario, in a few weeks time.

    • “During a normal runup…”

      Carl I think we’re definitely looking at ‘technological skew’ as you put it. We’ve only seen in semi-living memory a small range of what Hekla is capable of. And we’ve only had decent instruments on the mountain for the last couple of eruptions, which happen to have had the well-known characteristics.

      I think anyone talking or writing about Hekla should have a little warning bell that goes off every time they find themselves talking about what Hekla ‘normally’ does.

      We only know a little about what ‘normally’ encompasses on that mountain.

  28. Ah, Carl, an Dragon may whip this up in the morning…
    ant there was possible quake at 00:42 (fed & mjo again have spikes at same time)
    but here goes…
    The swarm started about 11 March (SSE of Hekla), then 13 March, 21 March (2x), 23 March (2x) but these are only them quakes I found stored in “semi-auto-list” on other website, but total in NE there were seven quakes reported by IMO (when it was raised to Yellow), all placed about 5 km NNE of the top of Hekla. This is not at extreme end, that extends to about 15 km NNE of Hekla. However the three quakes recently SW and SSW of Hekla (19 April) preceeded todays three quakes (23 April) by four days. Seems it be about a calendar month (or 28 days Moon cycle) in between.
    I already had proposed “long fissure rifting, possibly along the entire length” (as worst case) but usual eruptions are about 8 km long, maximum total be 25 or 30 km (using total length) and be of Laki style and consequences. Is that impossible?
    Else I do mostly agree on inflation (news rumour has it this way too, I reported that about two months ago), rather difficult interpret this now “as nothing is happening”, rather it should have already happened. What is different? None, I think. There were several Micro quakes reported detected near Haukadalur (HAU) before the last eruption. We likely are seeing them now, so stay tuned (as they say in the former British colony of North America).

    • Thank you for correcting the dates.
      And I agree that there was a small quake 00.42.
      But the quakes 3 days ago was not in the Hekla system. And some of the other earlier quakes was also outside placed in the Vatnafjöll system.

      I am actually sitting comparing notes with the 3 last eruptions, and I am very much into that something new is happening. But what we will have to wait and see. I though thing that Hekla does not have the capacity for a Laki sized eruption. And if it does it would be bad indeed with a VEI-6 initial eruption, 10km lava, and enough fluoride gas to take out Iceland and a part of Europe… Yikes… I meant more like something on a smaller scale of a rifting fissure eruption. More like a Krafla version.
      British Colony of North America? Hm… The Dutch, French and Swedes also had colonies there 😉 And that blasted Icelander preceded all of the colonialists with his Fauve Manché colony 🙂

  29. I think some consideration should be given to the thorium data from Grimsvotn, which I posted about on Erik’s blog a few weeks ago.

    In summary: thorium isotope data from Grimsvotn shows a continuous increase in thorium in magmas erupted from the Grimsvotn system ever since Laki. This is interpreted as concentration increasing due to fractional crystalisation. In simple terms, 2004 was, to some extent, the final end of the Laki eruption!

    This changed in 2011. Thorium numbers in the 2011 magma dropped way back down, to levels last seen when Laki erupted. This is interpreted as indicating a fresh pulse of magma from the mantle recharging the system. The fast inflation prior to the eruption, the size of the eruption, and the immediate resumption of strong inflation post-eruption all lend support to this hypothesis. Interesting times ahead!

    This is Grimsvotn, right on top of the conjectured hot spot or plume.

    The big question: does this have any implications for Hekla, somewhat over 100km away? I don’t know, but I can’t help but wonder if there might be. There’s tentative evidence for the level of activity of ALL Icelandic volcanoes waxing and waning on a cycle in the hundreds of years…

    In other news, my geophone was delivered today. I’ll be putting it online, Jon Frimann style, in the Wellington NZ area soon – and it’ll be coming with me any time I go on a volcano. If I’m camped out at an eruption I’ll be providing tremor data as well as film and commentary 🙂

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