Name that Lava, Herdubreid Scientific Challenge and Volcano Riddle

Photograph courtesy of Dr. Carmen Morataya.

Photograph courtesy of Dr Carmen Morataya.

Having the brain rebuilt from top down every Friday never get’s old. I do not know how you guys are doing since I am bad at both riddles and recognizing lavas and volcanoes.

But it is fascinating to witness how the blood hounds of the Volcano Café unerringly zeroes in on the pray. This week I want the name of the lava, the volcano and the name of the local fast food. So, 3 points to be had all in all. I will of course ding when someone has scored.

Tomorrow, or the day after I will post you an explanatory article.


Photograph by Eggert Nordahl under permission.

Photograph by Eggert Nordahl under permission.

Herðubreið is a tabletop volcano (tuya) in Iceland that has been active during the last few years with repeated earthquake swarms and magmatic emplecements. Supposedly the volcano is a defunct part of the Askja volcano. Evidently it is not as defunct as previously believed, and there is quite a lot pointing to it not being a part of Askja.

So, last night I proposed that we should do something with the volcano since it is rather poorly investigated. Ontop of the two questions above we can also have a bit of fun with the youngish looking strato volcano on top of the tabletop mountain. Here is the question, have it erupted after the last glacial period?

I thought we could do this as a case of crowd science. We have access to some equipment, we have access to a lot of people with various expertise, so we could actually collectively make a fairly nice piece of scientific work on Herðubreið.

So, in another word, I propose that Volcano Café officially adopt Herðubreið as our project. Now and then we should post status reports on our progress, if anyone feel up to it, being the collector and editor of what has been said please do not hesitate to come forward! Herðubreið and Volcano Café needs your services.

Have a nice weekend everyone!


Name Those Volcanoes Riddle

The riddle contained the mixed up clues to 2 volcanoes … 1 point awarded for each …

At the intersection of Rts 36 and 119 Peter was totally over come by the glowing clouds; then Bill, Andie and Chris arrived to cover the celebrations!

1 point Sa’ke for Mount Pelee … “Peter was totally over come by the glowing clouds”

Glowing clouds was the English translation of a French term nuée ardente first used to describe the pyroclastic flows of Mount Pelee that engulfed the town of St Pierre in 1902 killing 30,000 people.

1 point KarenZ for Candlemass Island … “At the intersection of Rts 36 and 119; then Bill, Andie and Chris arrived to cover the celebrations!”

The clue pointed to the movie Groundhog day (1993) set in Punxsutawney, starring Bill (Murray), Andie (MacDowell) and Chris (Elliott). Groundhog Day is the US term for Candlemass Day.


403 thoughts on “Name that Lava, Herdubreid Scientific Challenge and Volcano Riddle

  1. Gravatar issues, If anyone cannot log in, that is why, Timing out, Looks like the response time is too long for the TTL. Could be a gateway issue for auths or traffic issue, local to the CDN.

  2. I have made a minor addendum to the post as per promise. It is a clue of sorts.

    Sofar noone has found either the volcano, the lava or the local fast food.
    Now back to reading A Tale of Three Cities.

  3. And of course when Hekla has an earthquake Búrfell strainmeter goes offline and Fedgar SIL.
    Sigh… There is not way we will get the run up with full instrumentation is there.

    • It was mentioned on the previous page that IMO was fast recalculating the Hekla earthquake. And yes, they are taking Hekla serious. Very much so.
      What though is quite apparant is that they currently is not taking Katla very seriously, they have sofar not bothered with the two Kalta quakes that happened before.

      • I think FED ran out of power, I noticed it happens often when there are dark days (like yesterday), so likely Solar Panel Powered only or windmill out of order. Or antenna covered with ice or snow. I think Hekla does not need anymore quakes. Be there quake next, 30 min after strain drops like Hekla, then hot stuff rushing out.. *missed the fun*

        • She is an enormous tease this time around.
          I get the feeling that she has been quietly awake sipping on the beers getting more and more drunk… It is really like looking at a mean old drunk getting ready to hurl all over the party. You know it is going to happen soon, but not exactly how soon. Do you have the time to take the drunk out? To the toilett? Do you even want to get close?
          Hekla should become a member of AA. “Hello, my name is Hekla. I am a Volcano. I use to blow chunks all over Iceland, and on a good binge I hit all of northern europe.”

          • What it upsetting now is that Hekla used to have these 1.5 quakes only before starting the sequence of 4 or 5 quakes that leads to the strain, tremor and eruption.

            Now, it is different.

            But another quake happening today and I will be strongly waiting for an eruption.

            • Me too, but we should remember that she had two nice earthquakes about a week ago, and nothing happened. But, the inflation is continuing at the same speed, and as I have said, there is no way she can take that forever.
              I guess she is delaminating a new layer, or have opened up a pathway to an old magma chamber and that she will erupt when that space is filled up. My guess is that a new chamber or opening of an old half empty is the reason for the pressure not building up high enough.
              See it like this, she erupted in march, but the eruption went into the ground laterally instead of going straight up as usual.

            • That fits into your “many chambers” theory. And this can explain why long periods of sleep will result in such violent eruptions. Many chambers filled, mixes of different magmas, the sum is also a large volume of magma too

              This time I think Hekla might actually sleep way longer and have a large eruption. If Hekla starts that process of filling many other chambers before eruption… what do you think?

              I am still not very sure that it is going to erupt within next months or couple of years…

            • (Due to choice of words in this comments it has been rated PG in Europe and 18+ in the US)

              It is not really my theory of many chambers.
              When they did geospectrographical analysiz of Hekla using the waves of distant earthquakes as “radar-signals” they discovered numerous chambers. During 3 different measuring periods they located 17 chambers. Yes, the different experiments found different chambers, but that is out of placing the devices in different locations and not out of it being especially hard or giving off incomprehensible data as some believe.
              There is no doubt about it, there are a large number of chambers under Hekla as seen on the experimental data.
              I do not think there are that many empty chambers though. And I seriously doubt that it will take that much longer to fill her up. Remember that she has erupted very often lately so the volcanic “sphincters” of the orifices of Hekla are rather “loose”. I think it would take a prolonged period of no infusion of new magma for Hekla to have sufficient time to tighten her arse sufficiently to be able to withstand prolonged pressure increase.

              Rearding the geospectrographical experiments I would like to point out that this used to be my field of work. I”ve gone through both the reports and the data. It is conclusive. There are quite a few “magma chambers” down there, even though I dislike the phrase magma chamber. Let us instead say she has a complicated magmatic system.

          • “Hello, my name is Hekla. I am a Volcano. I use to blow chunks all over Iceland, and on a good binge I hit all of northern europe. Usually I get overly drunk on Fridays nights and like many other drunk Icelandic volcanoes I tend to do my shows on Saturdays”

            Yes again my Saturday theory 😉

            • “And on saturdays I spend my time cleaning chunks from my shoes”.

              I like the saturday theory. I think it is the dancing Icelanders creating a harmonic rhythm that makes the volcanoes want to crash the party. 😉

  4. On Herdubreid, Carl and others: there are two clues to whether a volcano has erupted since the ice age (Holocene) or not.

    A volcano erupting will either produce a lava field, which a discernible vent, and if only tephra is produced, there should be evidence for crater. The degree of erosion of either a lava field or a crater/vent will let us know how old might that eruption have been.

    Herdubreid is surrounded by miles and miles of lava fields, endless landscapes of lava fields.

    They are produced by early Holocene eruptions of Bárdarbunga (Trolladyngja) but the lava fields around Herdubreid come from Askja (which is nearby), a shield volcano called Kollottadyngja (probably belonging to Askja and almost next to Herdubreid) and there is another volcano nearby to the north, which built at least two Holocene shields producing large lava volumes. This is the Fremrinamur volcano with the shields Ketildyngja and Kerlingardyngja.

    Now I have only been to the area once. I have not paid attention to the lava fields around Herdubreid to realize whether or not some of that lava might have originated from Herdubreid. Apparently there is no lava field falling from Herdubreid, so I assume there was not a Holocene lava eruption from Herdubreid.

    However, Herdubreid does have a small crater and vent at the top. It does not seem very eroded, so it could have been an eruption either in late Pleistocene or early Holocene, in form of tephra. I have no clue of the exact age of that, and I guess there is no consensus regarding that.

    Also remember that many shield volcanoes (many of which in Iceland are one-time eruptions, belonging to a central volcano nearby) also have eroded craters at their top.

    A table mountain does not mean that Herdubreid is a central volcano. It could have a monogenic eruption, just like many shield volcanoes in Iceland and in that region around Askja. It just happens that if a shield eruption happens under ice, it will form a tuya. A fissure will form a ridge. Please keep this in mind, when looking at Icelandic mountains.

    The dead zone is full of fissures and ridges, but nearly no tuyas or shield volcanoes. Because that’s the predominant mode of eruption in that region.

    North of Thingvallavatn (Hengill towards Langjokull) and around Askja, we found a lot of tuyas and shield volcanoes but not so many ridges or fissures. Herdubreid is one such tuya.

    Here in the same we also have two volcanoes, with no lava fields, but small eroded crater and lava in their top: Burfell (not the one near Hekla but the one in Grimsnes), and Hestfjall. They could also have erupted in late Pleistocene or early Holocene, no clue.

    Please feel free if you want to keep this information for a future post 🙂 and also I am no expert at all on this, so perhaps Herdubreid might be a central system of its own too, but I suspect not.

    • As i say: magma erupts anywhere it wants across the rift zone of Iceland. Most often within or around central volcanoes, but also in many other spots in between or nearby!

      There is no rule or objectity about what is really a central volcano, or sub-volcano or this kind of stuff in Iceland, just eruptions can occur more often in certain spots and less in others. It also has to do with the angle of the rifting process itself, as I often speak about.

      • No chance of you getting the urge to hike up the volcano to take photos and collect some samples?

        • 🙂 That I would love, Carl!

          But those steep sides seem to much for me, or any other hiker with just a bit of experience. You must be a climber to do it, using ropes and that stuff.

          No wonder that the first climb up was only done in 1908 despite being famous for centuries. It is also in a very remote region. It takes me probably 12 hours of a drive (mostly in a jeep track, and requiring river crossing) to get there, and road only opens in July and August.

          But I have the idea of going to Kverfjoll this summer, if I get the time and weather permitting. So I might pass at Herdubreid bottom a second time.

          • Try to look for ashes at the bottom that might be associated with a post-glacial eruption.
            Also try to look for stones that could have been hurled from the top during an eruption.

            Now… where do we get a climber to join our little club?

            • “Also try to look for stones that could have been hurled from the top during an eruption.”

              Good idea! Usually my guess (but perhaps here someone can help me) is: a lava rock that has been rounded usually has already encountered significant erosion, and so in Iceland might correspond to an eruption in early Holocene at latest (of course, I dont mean rocks near river valleys but on mountains)

              If a lava rock has very few holes (already very eroded) I tend to think it is a Pleistocene eruption. Am I correct with this logic?

            • Oh me, me, please pick me!! Grins sheepishly and shuffles off back to bed for a bit. Woe is me 😦

            • Ashes near Herdubreid is probably complicate. That place is like a permanent sand-storm place. Almost no vegetation and ash and sand blowing all the time. To do a soil profile there is complicate, but perhaps there is a spot next to Herdubreid, very wet, with a oasis vegetation, possibly the soil there under the plants can have a profile. But again, that place is almost pure ash everywhere. Everything seems to blow there and blow from there to the lowlands 🙂

            • Kelda: I know a climber he hiked kilimanjaro. He said its not difficult but it is still high altitude and a very long walk.

            • Basically yes, but I think there should be quite a lot of not to worn scree below the strato ontop. Try to get to the side of Herdubreid which is closest to the Strato.

              But in the end I guess we will have to find someone who is going up the mountain and then convince them to bring down samples for science.

              Wonder if there is a rock-climbing club in Iceland we could convince to help out for science?

            • what about those guys from one of the last videos I posted. Helicopters could also make it easy to get to the top of it

          • If you choose other volcanoes or mountains as big projects, I might assist more easely. For instance, Hengill is way more assessible for me! Everything in Reykjanes too. Hekla too.

            And while typing this I remember something I saw while hiking last September. On the northwest side of Katla caldera, just outside of the glacier I found a lava field. And it looks Katla to me. So, there you have another Katla lava eruption outside of the caldera but not on the dead zone, but on the other side! And its where actually something quakes happen, just a bit northwest of Godabunga. Want that as a project?

            • Problem with most of the volcanoes is that people are doing research projects allready on them. Nobody seems to bother that much about Herdubreid. And ontop of that there is a rather big conundrum resting at the top of the volcano. And to boot, it is as active as Katla if you look at it that way. It has confirmed uplift, intense and lasting quake swarms… But still nobody bothers with even doing the basic geological analysis to confirm the last date for an eruption.
              “We do not do this because it is easy. No, we do this because it is hard.”

              But of course I would love a post from you on Katlas unknown lava-field and a Hengill excursion post 🙂 Please!!! 🙂

            • Yes Carl I totally agree.

              I think that people do not study herdubreid, and to that matter, Askja or Fremrinamur as well, because it is such a remote spot. But its easy to flight an heli there and just do it.

              I agree with a lack of vision and will.

              Unfortunately I dont own an helicopter!

              But I feel tempted going there with my jeep (but it is such a long way!)

            • I don’t think, it is a conundrum about the top of Herdubreid. It is a tuya from Ice Age with a small shield volcano on top (no strato volcano at all ; a strato- or complex volcano is a big one, like Vesuvius consisting of a lot of layers, i.e. stratae) and this crowned by a little parasitic cone – that is the pic you see. All described by the geologist Ari Trausti Gudmundsson in his book “Íslensk Fjöll”.

              And yes, you have to be a climber with a really good condition to hike and climb up there with gear (like helmet and ice axe and crampons) like Irspit said.

              BTW: What actually is the intention to do research on such a remote volcano and its petrology? Are not University of Iceland doing research in the region and esp. on Askja – seems to be part of Askja system.

  5. A song from the to best of Belgium, Brel + beer, to celebrate my point for the riddle

    Ça sent la bière
    De Londres à Berlin
    Ça sent la bière
    Dieu ! Quon est bien
    Ça sent la bière
    De Londres à Berlin
    Ça sent la bière
    Donne-moi la main

    C’est plein d’Uylenspiegel
    Et de ses cousins et d’arrière-cousins
    De Bruegel l’Ancien
    Cest plein dvent du nord
    Qui mord comme un chien
    Le port qui dort, le ventre plein

    {au Refrain}

    C’est plein de verres pleins
    Qui vont à kermesse comme vont à messe
    Vieilles au matin
    C’est plein de jours morts
    Et d’amours gelés
    Chez nous y a qu’l’été
    Que les filles aient un corps

    {au Refrain}

    C’est plein dfinissants
    Qui soignent leurs souvenirs
    En mouillant de rires
    Leurs poiluchons blancs
    C’est plein de débutants
    Qui soignent leur vérole
    En caracolant de “Prosit !” en “Skoll !”

    {au Refrain}

    C’est plein de “Godferdomme”
    C’est plein d’Amsterdam
    C’est plein de mains d’hommes
    Aux croupes des femmes
    C’est plein de mémères
    Qui ont depuis toujours
    Un sein pour la bière
    Un sein pour l’amour

    {au Refrain}

    C’est plein d’horizons
    A vous rendre fous
    Mais l’alcool est blond
    Le diable est à nous
    Les gens sans Espagne
    Ont besoin des deux
    On fait des montagnes
    Avec ce qu’on peut

    Ça sent la bière
    De Londres à Berlin
    Ça sent la bière
    Donne-moi la main

  6. Someone is sitting pressing F5 at IMO… I swear that Torfajökull quake was checked within 2 minutes.

    • Hekla weather is rain and mist, every other day, clear inbetween for next six days. So whatever happens it will be detected, either by IMO instruments, other inhabitants or our mk. 1 eyballs watching the mountain via webcameras….

        • as I said, there are lots of water -springs in HAU area, Hekla can have “squeese” effect on them, but “unrest” at HAU can be combination of so many things. Noise is always high at HAU when wind is from south-west, thats when wind blows against the water-river flow (it runs to south-west in Thjórsá in that region). I do not know if there was any ice on the river now, its either gone or still present. Such noise can be from the river clearing itself of ice (??!) but I see there is still some regular whrk hours to the noise. Ese I am runnin out of ideas. Maybe IMO has increased the sensitivity.

    • insane cost (2,000 USD/hr) and takes at least 1,5 hrs fly to there, and same back. For the money almost buy a good 4×4-vehicle and drive it there, but not to the top.

      • Darn! The idea was to reach the top, instead of climbing. No nearby locations to take a nap before venturing up there?
        Herðubreið got me curious…

        • It has me very curious too. I am almost tempted to one day break my solemn promise to never climb a mountain again after being hauled up Matterhorn.
          There must be someone who is a rock climber in here and would love the challenge.

          • I think Herðubreið is not that difficult, normal “climb” rather.
            Pic I linked does show ordinary people. I think its not more difficult han any other mountain and no ropes needed. I did Eyjo once, not the easy route (by 4×4), six hours up, two down… rather steep.

          • I’m not so sure this is an easy climb. The very scarce information given in the Wakapedia entry begins with this sentence, “Due to the mountain’s steep and unstable sides, the first ascent was in 1908 despite centuries of knowledge of its existence.” But perhaps there is a hiking trail there now.


            In any case I am delighted that VolcanoCafé is adopting this mountain! I have been fascinated by Herðubreið for over two years, ever since I began my personal attempts to translate some of the interesting Icelandic place names.

            • BTW, this was the best I could come up with for the Herðubreið area:

              Herðubreið = Broad shouldered, or in context simply “mountain”

              Therefore in the surrounding area you have:
              Herðubreiðartögl = mountain tails
              Herðubreiðarlindir = mountain springs
              Herðubreiðarfjöll = mountain mountain (my favorite!)

            • Oh, do not get into the 18+ rated volcanoes in Iceland. You do not want to translate Upptyppingar and Geirvörtur. I will never stop laughing at the first one. I know, I am silly.

          • As I hike more and more, the more risk I realize there is the “difficult” mountains. I gain more fear not less, as I would have guess. In Iceland people ocasionally die in the mountain so i guess my fear is a natural response of my body/mind.

            Never mind, as I do not have hiking as the main passion, it is just a side hobbie, but I especially like hiking to see the views from the top and geology of each mountain. That’s what moves me.

  7. is the food Venezuelan Guasacaca? I found references to 2 volcanoes in Venezuela but cant find any images or details of lava, so they maybe dont exist? they are called Sanare and Fumarola.

  8. You guys are in the right part of the world.
    I will now go back to reading “A Tale of Three Cities”.

    • on the offchance that is correct – Recent work has documented the northernmost Holocene volcano in South America. The andesitic-to-dacitic Romeral stratovolcano lies at the northern end of the Ruiz-Tolima volcanic chain, NW of Cerro Bravo volcano, and lies east of the towns of Neira and Aranzazu. It has produced two young plinian pumice deposits that blanket areas NW of the volcano. The pumice deposits are separated by a soil layer radiocarbon dated at about 8460 and 7340 years ago.

        • The small Cerro Machín stratovolcano lies at the southern end of the Ruiz-Tolima massif about 20 km WNW of the city of Ibagué. A 3-km-wide caldera is breached to the south and contains three forested dacitic lava domes. Voluminous pyroclastic flows traveled up to 40 km from the volcano during eruptions in the mid-to-late Holocene perhaps associated with formation of the caldera. Late-Holocene eruptions produced dacitic block-and-ash flows that traveled through the breach in the caldera rim to the west and south. The latest known eruption of Volcán Cerro Machín took place about 800 years ago.

  9. A Tale of Three Cities
    In case you didn’t know, Jackson is REALLY into volcanoes. What he wants to be when he grows up usually includes a variation of a ‘ninja chef’, meteorologist, or vulcanologist. Every Wednesday he goes to a class with other 5+ aged kids for 3 hours while I’m in attending a Bible study. He wanted volcano cakes to take to his class, and this is what I came up with! Basically, they were mini bundt cakes (I found the pan at Target), topped with chocolate ganache, and then drizzled with red sparkle frosting. I think they turned out great! Sadly, London fell ill (AGAIN) so we couldn’t go, but I popped them in the freezer, so hopefully they will be okay to take this week. Jackson LOVED them!

    • Ah, well… It was not that, but the cakes looked yummy.
      It is another another Tale of Three Cities that I am proof reading 😉

    • My eeeeeyees!

      Where is the bleach when you need it? :/

      On an another note; I’m on duty all of tomorrow (06:20->21:30) controlling the airspace just east of Iceland, so I’d appreciate if she didn’t do anything funky until Monday …

      • Hello!
        Are you a new airspace controller, or one of our old ones with a new name?
        I am happy to have widened your horizon on finnish culture 😉
        Now if I can just run fast enough before Stoneyard can get to me…

        • Ah, I’m “one of the old ones”; Long time since I logged in (been following as a reader though), so I couldn’t really remember which name I went by… 😉

          I’m from Norway though, and studied in Malmö, so my cultural horizon has had a few clashes with Finland already 🙂

      • Argh! Truly mind-melting! But Carl, a good six months or more ago you posted a video of a Russian woman singing a patriotic Russian war song. I liked that lots and followed it up. She is Elena Vaenga, and I now have CDs of her songs, plus loads of clips! So thanks for that! She is a kind of Russian Barbara (a French singer).

        • Ah, well… My campaign of cultural edification has it’s ups and downs.
          I have posted a few good ones as you noticed.
          I am for now done with finnish music.

  10. Nevado del Ruiz is a broad, glacier-covered volcano in central Colombia that covers >200 sq km. Three major edifices, composed of andesitic and dacitic lavas and andesitic pyroclastics, have been constructed since the beginning of the Pleistocene. The modern cone consists of a broad cluster of lava domes built within the summit caldera of an older Ruiz volcano. The 1-km-wide, 240-m-deep Arenas crater occupies the summit. The prominent La Olleta pyroclastic cone is located on the SW flank, and may also have been active in historical time. Steep headwalls of massive landslides cut the flanks of Nevado del Ruiz. Melting of its summit icecap during historical eruptions, which date back to the 16th century, has resulted in devastating lahars, including one in 1985 that was South America’s deadliest eruption.

  11. or – Santa Isabel is a small andesitic shield volcano that is dwarfed by its neighbors to the NE (Nevado del Ruiz) and SE (Tolima). Three lava domes occupy the elongated, N-S-trending glaciated summit region, which has two main peaks. Holocene lava flows fill valleys SW and SE of Santa Isabel. A small Holocene lava dome was emplaced at the center of a circular depression about 10 km SW of the volcano. No historical eruptions have occurred from Santa Isabel.

    i can keep going through the list but it’s getting a bit old now, and Star Trek is on, time to drool over young Spock 🙂

    • ok maybe one more – Volcán Sotará, also known as Cerro Azafatudo, is a little-known andesitic-dacitic stratovolcano located about 25 km SSE of Popayán city in southern Colombia, SW of Puracé volcano. Three calderas, 4.5, 2.5, and 1 km in diameter, are found on Sotará, giving the summit an irregular profile. No historical eruptions are known from Sotará, however the volcano currently displays fumarolic and hot spring activity.

      • Live long and prosper Talla 🙂 and while you’re at it can you solve the quiz please so I can relax and chill 🙂

    • Bruce Stout

      Can someone just get me a taco? My brain is already hurting.

      And the original Taco Grande video link until I remembered Pico De Gallo

      And if you can find it, this stuff is worth the trouble of looking. Probably the best pre-made hot stuff I have found. 😀

  12. Ad break so one more – Purace?One of the most active volcanoes of Colombia, Puracé consists of an andesitic stratovolcano with a 500-m-wide summit crater that was constructed over a dacitic shield volcano. Puracé lies at the NW end of a volcanic massif opposite Pan de Azúcar stratovolcano, 6 km to the SE. A NW-SE-trending group of seven cones and craters, Los Coconucos, lies between the two larger edifices. Frequent explosive eruptions in the 19th and 20th centuries have modified the morphology of the summit crater. The largest eruptions occurred in 1849, 1869, and 1885.

  13. Three cities, a perfect Blend of food, and a hidden clue up in my original post that as per promise was revealed today. And it is a volcano in the Americas that is the culprit…

  14. OT and half arsed spooky.

    Computer games are successful if they bring something for the player to experience that they can not get anywhere else, or that play on nagging fears the lurk in the back of you mind. One such game is the Resident Evil™ franchise. It’s spawned many incarnations and a few successful movies. The basic background plot, is a large pan-national company (The Umbrella Corporation) has bio-engineered a virus that mutates those infected into zombie like creatures. It’s a take off on the zombie genre, but it plays on concepts such as the Andromeda Strain (alien virus that gets out of containment). When you look at the history that mankind has had with errant diseases like the 1918 pandemic and the millions who died from that… you can see where it hits a resonant background fear.

    One aspect of Science Fiction (which is what this all is) is that sometimes it successfully predicts the future. Author C. Clark’s plot device of Geostationary Communications Relay satellites became real. The movie depiction of the clouds of Jupiter in the 2001 series turned out to be pretty close to what it was like when an actual spacecraft got close enough to take decent photos of it.

    So… sometimes fiction becomes reality.

    Recently, there were reports of several hundred pig carcases floating in a river that runs through China. This is un-nerving because pigs are occasionally used as surrogates for humans in medical training due to the similarity in internal physiology. It turns out that it was most likely black-market pork producers dumping them due to changes in laws and regulations within China. But mass deaths of something like that does make you take notice, especially when you consider the various hosts that Influenza tends to attack (pigs being one of them). Influenza typically has a designation such as “H1N1”. This identifies the version of Influenza by a couple of proteins that it manifests. The way I understand it, is that the H and the N are the different methods used to get into and then out of a cell.

    Other recent news indicates that an avian variety has been seen that has mutated such that it can reproduce more readily in the cooler esophageal regions of humans as opposed to those of birds.

    So… this is eye popper:

    Appalling irresponsibility‘: Senior scientists attack Chinese researchers for creating new strains of influenza virus in veterinary laboratory

    Experts warn of danger that the new viral strains created by mixing bird-flu virus with human influenza could escape from the laboratory to cause a global pandemic killing millions of people.

    Add to that the issues that have been brought up with different adjuncts used in vaccines and it sort of scares the bejeevous out of me. Adjuncts are the material added to a vaccine that are used to heighten your immune system response (get it’s attention) so that it won’t ignore the {mostly} harmless vaccine material. Alum – hydrated potassium aluminium sulfate, is one of them. Other studies have equated aluminium compounds with the onset of dementia.

    CAVEAT: I am not a virologist or biologist. Just some random person that is suspicious of quite a lot of stuff. (and yes, I did have my Anthrax vaccinations when they ordered me to have them years ago).

  15. On the subject of Beer-Tom T Hall:

    Don’t drink at all any more mainly due to a little Cherokee in the McCoy
    line-Granma was 4’11” but though it fit the Saturday Beer theme…

  16. And since Finnish Culture make people reach for Nukes… Here is a finnish song about them. Introduction in Dutch.

  17. Came back again to the blog.

    Unfortunately I couldn’t do any nude gardening today, because I am ill. Sort of a cross between flu and cold.

    Anyways I always tend to catch my yearly ill in May (shift of season perhaps?)

    On the multi chamber of Hekla and erupting more likely because conduicts are open. Well, I have seen several interesting patterns in Icelandic eruptions per region:

    – Hekla was long asleep at the beginning of settlement (between 780 and 1100), while Reykjanes region was highly active. At same time, also Langjokull and Prestahnukur had an eruption, and also at least one eruption at Snaefellsnes region at that same period! At that time, Katla was highly active. But Grimsvotn seem to have been quite quiet at this time. We can see a focus in the whole of the western volcanic zone and Katla, while Hekla and most of Vatnajokull were having a quiet time.
    – Later, between 1000 and 1177, Katla was having a long sleeping period, and then Hekla had one of the largest eruptions of the Holocene. As if the region in south Iceland shifted a pattern.
    – Until 1350 approx, Reykjanes peninsula was still highly active, but Vatnajokull was quiet.
    – After 1360, no more eruption occurred in Reykjanes (or anywhere in the western region of Iceland) while Vatnajokull started having very large eruptions: 1362 Oraefajokull, 1477 Veidivotn. Grimsvotn also started having more active and larger eruptions.
    In 1700s, another gradual shift occurred. Grimsvotn was having more frequent eruptions and in 1783 we had the Laki episode. On this century, we also started to see activity in other volcanoes further north which were long quiet. This trend has been occurring until now. This includes several eruptions in Krafla in 1720s and 1980s, Askja from 1874 onwards, and a couple of them at Kverfjoll. All these 3 volcanoes were sleeping foe centuries, at least since the settlement. In the eighties, the activity on Krafla also coincided with large quakes at the Tjornes region.
    – After 1918 Katla started another large dormancy period, and again a very large eruption of Hekla occurred (in 1947). And Hekla seems to have once again became much more active.
    – Starting in the sixties, the westman islands also came to life after many centuries of dormancy. For some curious reason, a few decades later, Eyjafjallajokull, which is very close, had its largest eruption in probably a long time.

    This could be probably due to the hotspot magma choosing differert ways upwards from century to century, and erupting more times at a certain region at times, while others go dormant.

    Carl/ Spica: I think this could give a nice introduction to our next post. I will send you a mail.

      • Sent 🙂

        on 26 april or +- 1 day, Hekla had its last earthquake. Later that day, an earthquake occurred at the west region of Torfajokull. Today the same occurred again. Its not the first time that quakes do occur consistently on that spot of Torfajokull.

  18. Acatenango. andesite with tephra and ash, part of the Aactenango-Fuego massif. Could also be Meseta and Fuego, both of which are more mafic. Fast food is tamale. Coffee – anacafe.

    • And just so the other Guatamalan volcanoes don’t feel left out, there are:

      Pacaya, (basalt and andesite)
      Agua, no historical eruptions but debris flows and lahars
      Atitlan, andesitic with possible rhyolitic tephra
      Toliman, andesite
      Santa Maria, basaltic / andesitic / dacitic
      Almolonga, andesite / andesitic-dactic
      Tajumulco. andesitic-dactic

      Off to bed now. Good luck anyone who is still guessing 😀

          • Nothing wrong with a bit of horse on the BBQ.
            The european horse meat scare is rather hilarious. Up untill 10 years ago horse was a staple in the meat section of any store in most of europe. It is actually prime meat, problem is that horses are no longer a working farm animal and have become a play-pet. And you might eat your work animal, but most people do not eat their pets.

            Few remembers that the Hamburger does not derive it’s name from the city of Hamburg, it derives it from Hamburger meat, aka horse-meat. So, a proper hamburger should be made out of horse, not cow.

        • Yepp, and here you did it again. Half of what you wrote as an answer is half the answer to the lava question 🙂
          (no, not bisquit)

    • Yeah, thats not the only one. It looks as if they all have risen about 20mm this year.

        The bunch of important GPS near Hekla. Isakot shows inflation of Burfell Volcano, not Hekla (but the chambers there can feed Hekla now). The whole area is “fluid” and we can get a eruption fissure anywhere within 5 km of Hekla proper, even out of system one (Vatnafjöll, Búrfell, Tindfjöll, Torfajökull). Try imagine taking a stick and erect under top of Hekla (and it having surface like rubber mask), then imagine stick leaking to each side in slow motion, creating waves of rise or fall, like a stream. As shown in 2010, an maga emplacement (dyke) can turn course and shoot some kilometers in a few hours.

        • I though think it will stay within the fissure system of Hekla.
          But that turn of the magma was odd in Eyja.
          I still believe that it was errant magma from Gódabunga that erupted in Fimmvörduhals, and then moved on and hit the rhyolitic mush under Eyja. There is a few things pointing towards that being possible. Quake stack form, radical difference in chemical composition between Fimm and Eyja lava, and so on.

          • There were a lot of deep quakes under Eyja up to 3 months before, and also sudden and strong GPS movements, mostly there and also around Skogar, which is actually near Godabunga and Fimmvorduhals. I am not sure where inflation was highest but it was very high in Skogar.

    • You missed the last post?

      What is scary is that there is a bunch of GPSes on the move all the way from Eyja via Hekla, all the way up Hekla fissure to a point between Hofsjökull and Vatnajökull. The hypocenter is 1km north of Hekla.
      It is basically the same uplift that we saw durng the weeks before Eyja erupted with a low level Bradyseism.
      And it is not during the last year, it is during the last 5 weeks.

      • Hekla has everything to erupt. And a sudden fast GPS inflation is a serious sign.

        If this inflation trend continues Hekla seems set to start to erupt anytime between 20 May to 10 June, with inflation reaching a peak about 4cm.

        • Yes, something like that. But, I am not so sure she will pass the current 30mm (top notation for 1 station) with that much. Around your estimate it will be 50mm of uplift at north of Hekla.
          I would say june 10 is a good guess for a last day to erupt. But, it could be one hour away as well.

            • Perhaps including also the SILS around Katla and broadly across south Iceland, across 100km around Hekla.. if not asking for too much

              And that could also be for a next post 😉

            • It’s a matter of extracting the data from the graphics. Digitizing the data is a real pain in the arse. Carl had requested the textual data, but that was no joy. The reason given was plausible, having to do with a large number of factors that have to do with extracting meaningful data, and then with having research data leaking into the wild and tainting its newness for publishing. I have to give em that. (essentially Nemisio’s arguments but put in a congenial fashion… had it come from the actual researcher it probably would have had that tone rather than Nemisio’s wail about hurting the money stream. He struck me as a corpulent man guarding the jelly donuts rather than a scientist.)

              So, we are stuck with digitizing the GPS, back engineering the trends. This introduces error in the resultant data. Yeah, the actual data points that make up the plot would be cool, but they are not forthcoming.

          • Saturday night is perfect for eruption. Imagine the people at social meeting going outside for smoke (19/20 March 2010), after having one or two drinks,,, then see red glow over Fimmvörðuháls. I had been waiting for eruption for several weeks, when that happened, I only said to my self “ok. its happening” but it was small and nothing interesting, yet, it was just news. But Hekla one, especialy larger one. Thats World news. Likely be brake for Norwegian ATC persons, but along with chaos for Eurocontrol 😉

            GL Edit: Made some spelling corrections. if it changed the meaning of what you wanted to say, please advise. (Ex: wainting → wanting or waiting?)

            • Actually, in 2010, for a period just after the eruption the only airspace in the area that was open for business was our Norwegian one … Everything else was closed, and ALL intercontinental flights was routed through a very very tiny corridor over southern Norway. I wasn’t working that day myself, but I’ve heard that the traffic load was rather … Intense. So, not today Hekla! 🙂

            • Well ya never know. Being a volcanohile, wanting could have worked also. Given that you have to endure whatever it does, it’s unlikely, but still… plausible.

      • with quieter times in some areas and eruption in others, then a change around, might have something to do with Iceland being dissected by the moving Atlantic ridge, pressure valve (eruption) release, Hekla might not be it, her shape has filled out visually, so we wait as a new day dawns and the Lady is hiding behind a misty veil, wonder what she is hiding?

  19. OT

    A Harley biker is riding by the zoo in Taronga Park, Sydney when he sees a little girl leaning into the lion’s cage.
    Suddenly, the lion grabs her by the cuff of her jacket and tries to pull her inside to slaughter her, under the eyes of her screaming parents.
    The biker jumps off his Harley, runs to the cage and hits the lion square on the nose with a powerful punch. Whimpering from the pain the lion jumps back letting go of the girl, and the biker brings her to her terrified parents who thank him endlessly.
    A reporter has watched the whole event. The reporter addressing the Harley rider says, ‘Sir, this was the most gallant and brave thing I’ve seen a man do in my whole life.’
    The Harley rider replies, ‘Why, it was nothing, really, the lion was behind bars. I just saw this little kid in danger and acted as I felt right.’
    The reporter says, ‘Well, I’ll make sure this won’t go unnoticed. I’m a journalist, and tomorrow’s paper will have this story on the front page…
    So, what do you do for a living ?
    The biker replies, ‘I’m an SAS soldier just returned from Afghanistan
    The journalist leaves.
    The following morning the biker buys the paper to see news of his actions, and reads, on the front page:


  20. After harrassing finnish music I feel that I should post a last video with Swedish music so you all get how elegant it is…
    It is an aquired taste…

      • Eddie Meduza was quite an experience. He was more of a comedian then a musician. He is the only one in sweden who have been close to actually get banned from playing his music.
        Let us just say that the texts where rather low brow and sexist. And then he found a way to get even more annoying and formed a band called E Hilter and his Luftwaffe. After that he had to sell his music via privately copied cassettes for a few years. You could call it the epitome of Swedish Redneck music.

        • Featuring Steve Gaines (RIP). This is the real deal, not that fake assed crap that Ronnie Van Zant’s brother fronts now.

          Amazing what you can do with three lead guitars… (they swap off lead and rhythm parts on the fly)

          Note for anyone taking offense at Skynyrd being associated with rednecks. I am a born and bred redneck. My family has been in S Central MS since at least 1790. I grew up on Skynyrd and feel that I am more than qualified to make the connection. Don’t like it? Pack Sand.

  21. In the quite likely event that Hekla erupts into foul weather, does anyone have a link to live upper level radar data, so we can see what’s going on with the plume?

    • To me, given current condtions, it appears that it would to a loop-de-loop around Iceland before it decided to go anywhere. Once it gets to elevation, possibly a jaunt towards the SW out over the North Atlantic. If it punches the tropopause, no idea what the winds are doing up there. Probably move north with the general flow. Then its a matter of OCS and SO2.

      • Agree with that analysis. that acutally could have implications for the whole northern
        hemisphere if she goes seriously plinian…
        In about 2 weeks I head for Anchorage for Sim training (last 4-engne Douglas Sim in the US.)
        at least it’s on the other side of the planet///

        • Well, yer into the fire thing. (putting it out)

          Something that may or may not be related.

          Between Conejo_Valley and Rincon point, are ancient landforms. Just off shore, in the Santa Barbara channel, are a few asphalt volcanoes. Ashore, near LA, are the La Brea tar pits. All of this area is over top of the South Eastern end of a lesser known microplate that dives under California with no subduction zone. When the Farallon separated, the “slab pull” forces declined and left the shard to it’s own deviced. Eventually the San Andreas fractured through the area.

          Evidently, hydrocarbon ignited and exist in the subsurface as a smoldering mass, occasionally manifesting as smoke and fire at the surface. Not a volcano in the active sense, though some people get excited by it.

          It might also be the source for surface fires under the right circumstances.

          After drought, floods, wildfires and a devastating earthquake, what’s next for Ventura County?

          Well, did you know about the county’s two volcanoes?

          They aren’t much as volcanoes go–one is dead and the other is really just a smoky hole in the ground–but these days, you can’t be too careful.

          Some residents may not realize it, but a chunk of mountain near the Conejo Grade, where thousands of cars and trucks whiz by daily on the Ventura Freeway, is the site of a volcano that once disgorged lava with alarming frequency.

          And if motorists continue north, they will cruise past what many call the “Rincon Volcano.”

          It’s as much a volcano as Centralia, Pennsylvania. (not a volcano, a subterranean fire.)

  22. Today my internet provider loose me as a customer. I have been loyal with them since I had my first PC think more than 15 years. A new customer gets free all sorts, a Tivo box free and more powerful broadband, more TV programmes. As a loyal existing customer I get £9.00 off my annual bill. My costs altogether monthly are the same as the new customer’s when the free promo ends, the difference being the new customer has Tivo box forever rent free, more programmes and faster broadband. To get a Tivo box I must pay for installation and then £5.00 a month rental. To get more programmes I must pay. For the more powerful broadband I must pay.
    I will have no broadband soon so….farewell internet provider and farewell VC This loyal customer will be loyal no more so won’t be able to contact you all via the internet after I am disconnected today. So if I am quiet you know why ….and Hekla may well erupt, unseen by me, in protest 😀 😀

    Tomorrow they come to fit My husband’s Tivo box and faster modem as a new customer of Virgin media. 😀

      • So far, as you see, I have internet access…I am hoping since it’s bank holiday they may forget to turn me off 😀 😀 I think Maybe Hekla is waiting for Daughter’s wedding on the 8th June 😀

        • Don’t worry, they rarely miss an opportunity to be jerks. They may be late getting something turned on, but they will likely be on target for shutting it off.

  23. Darn it..I looked at that Volcano but thought it wasnt right! ButI was right with the phreatic nature of the Volcano 😀 Lava in pictures is ash,tuff, and volcanic bombs.
    Local fast food… tortillas, mainly with fillings of beans or meats. Fresh fruit is a favourite snack tamales and empanadas. These fried pastries usually consist of corn meal, potatoes and meat….Sounds also like the fast food chains like McDonalds and Burger King are also there but expensive!

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