Red alert at Copahue

The acidic crater lake at Copahue. Wikimedia commons.

The acidic crater lake at Copahue. Wikimedia commons.

Earlier today the authorities in Chile raised the alert lever for Copahue to level Red. This was prompted by an increase of seismic signals such as low frequency magmatic Earthquakes. A sign of the pressure rapidly increasing inside the volcano.

The authorities have declared that the exclusion zone will be increased to 25 kilometers from the volcano, and that 2200 people will be evactuated.

Copahues crater contains a highly acidic lake (Copahue means Sulphur Lake in the local language) and the eruptions during the last hundred years have consisted of pyroclastic flows and acidic lahars. During the eruption in 2000 the lake emptied out, but rapidly grew back to normal levels. Technically Copahue is a stratovolcano (thank you Karen for pointing out my mistake) sitting on the flank of a large caldera measuring 22 by 18 kilometers. Technically this make it into a Somma volcano, one of the more explosive types of caldera volcanoes.


Sofar the activity at Copahue has been mainly steam from the lake as it dries up, gas emissions and now a continous phreatic detonation. The alert level was last raised to yellow on the 8th of may.

Here is the direct conclusion by Gil Fernando Cruz at Sernageomin about what will happen:

The intensity and type of seismicity observed in recent days, in conjunction with the deformation of the volcanic edifice, suggest, with a high probability, that the rise of a magmatic body in the shallow layers of the volcano has entered a process of no return. It is highly probable that an extrusion of a dome and its associated phenomena such as explosive phreatic events, magmatic eruptions and a vulcanian type and/or a subpliniana eruption, with intensities greater than seen before might occur. Such eruptions could generate pyroclastic flows and lahars. It is recommended to focus on a radius of 15 km around the active crater and on the banks of the rivers originating in the volcano at the possibility of lahars. The previous alert level is therefore changed to RED.

More will be added to this post as things unfurl. There will also hopefully be a few added links.






Research paper on Copahue:

200 thoughts on “Red alert at Copahue

  1. Thank you, Carl, for the heads up on Copahue. I wonder why they have taken their webcam off the website, if the volcano is ready to blow.

    Here is the (google) translation of today’s report, with some minor editing.

    1. Seismic activity and deformation: The seismicity recorded during the last 24 hours decreased with repect to yesterday, registering four thousand five hundred seventy-seven (4577) events, most of them low magnitude hybrid type, with an average of 269 events per hour, with a gap of a few seconds between
    events (6-8 sec.), resembling a spasmodic tremor. Most events showed a mixture of low-frequency (1-3 Hz) at high frequencies (6 Hz), their size, measured by its amplitude, increased in the hours of the night to return again to the levels of the beginning of this type of activity three days ago. Its origin remains superficial in character. It highlights the occurrence of an explosion at 22:32 HL May 26, which was associated with an LP very low frequency (0.4 Hz) and recording a VT ML = 2.0, located 8.4 km northeast of the active crater. The behavior of the RSAM (measured Automatic seismic energy) continues to show a promotion, but still without presenting important turning point. Recorded was the maximum magnitude equal to ML = 2.0. At the time of issuance of this report, the swarm of quakes continues. Not registered are continuous tremor signals.
    Data obtained through interferometía (INSAR) updated until April 30, 2013, provided by NASA and the Canadian Space Agency, show that the volcanic edifice has undergone a deformation process order inflationary 10.5 cm / year, which slowed somewhat with the eruption of December 2012, then continued up to 17.5 cm, which is considered high. The location of the center of this deformation is approximately 1.5 km to the NE of the active crater.

    Remarks: On the camera installed around the volcano, we could not observe the column of gases due to weather conditions. but once it was possible to observe the column associated with the aforementioned explosion, which reached 400 m in height. From Caviahue the population reported as
    audible the explosion and the presence of incandescence associated with it, which could not be confirmed with the images obtained by the IP camera.

    2. Dangers (as described above in Carl’s post)

    3. conclusion:
    Report: Chief OVDAS Reception:
    The intensity and type of seismicity observed in recent days, in conjunction with the deformation of the volcanic structure, suggest, with a high probability, that the rise of a magmatic body in the shallow layers of the volcano has entered a process of no return, highly probably an extrusion of a dome and its associated phenomena such as explosive eruptions phreatomagmatic character-type and magmatic vulcanic and/or subplinianan, with intensities greater than the eruptive event recorded in December 2012. Such eruptions could generate pyroclastic flows and lahars. It is recommended to focus on a radius of 15 km around the active crater and on the banks of the rivers originating in the volcano at the Possibility for occurrence of lahars. Therefore the alert level changes to RED. Importantly, the development process can last several weeks, but also can occur so untimely anytime.

    OVDAS Report PDF (spanish)

    Can anyone please provide a link to the seismograms of Chilean volcanoes? I did not find them on the website.

      • No, unfortunately, there is no longer a link to it on the website. I still have the cam showing in my collection, but it is stuck at a night image a couple weeks ago.

        • Might have gotten whacked then. Or the webcam grew legs and wandered off.
          Hopefully we can find a new webcam somewhere that we can look at.

  2. Volcano #1 Hoodoo mountain Brtish Columbia
    Volcano #2 Redoubt……•Redoubt 2010-01-05 15:32:11 Aviation Color Code: GREEN VONA: 3613
    I hope my entries are not too late!!!
    I been sooooo busy I have neglected VC…Sorry…. A combination of intensive sales on line and fine weather which lured me to the vegetable patch to dig and get potatoes planted… I managed the first two batches of potatoes this morning but weather gone down hill again. So here I am back at the PC 🙂
    I hope everyone is well.
    Thank you Spica for the lovely post about Vulcan… I have much to catch up on here….

  3. Carl you sneaky entity you….

    You knew perfectly well that a statement like “Technically Copahue is a shield flank volcano sitting on the brink of a large caldera measuring 22 by 18 kilometers.” would force me to do a calculation.

    For all, Copahue sits inside of Caviahue-Copahue volcanic complex. Using the dimensions provided, it probably is the result of about 286 km³ DRE of total ejecta over it’s lifetime.

    Of the calderas that I have calculated, they tend to average around 276.6 km³ of total material ejected, 195.6 km³ to 472.2 km³ at the 95% conf level. This is not intended to estimate what Copahue will do, this is the Caviahue caldera’s past history (estimated) which Copahue is a later feature of.

    Though I could find no reference to sulfur concentrations in “Geochemistry and isotopic characteristics of the Caviahue-Copahue volcanic complex, Province of Neuquén, Argentina” Varekamp et al, (2006)

    The presence of a sulfur laden lake probably indicates a ready supply of it. The average tropopause elevation in the vicinity of Copahue is 10817 meters. If the plume breaks FL350, it’s toying with a stratospheric punch. Remember, this is the average tropopause elevation for June. The actual elevation will generally be within 250 meters of that.

    Standard Caveat: Not a Geologist, Ornithologist, Spelunker, or Purveyor of Grave goods.

    Your mileage may vary.

      • Thanks Karen!
        Of course it should be a strato… To my defense I can try by blaming Wiki, but that is not good enough. I know the lavas in the area do not give shields… Cough cough… Ahem!

      • Wiki be damned. It’s inside the remains of a previous edifice… that makes it a somma, or an overgrown resurgent dome turned volcano. I lean away from “sheild” since it does high silica magma and goes “boom” every now and then. That points at it being a “strato.”

        • Regarding sulphur, during the last eruption it lofted sulphuric slag products. And apparantly the pyroclastic flows where not only hot and nasty, they where also acidic. That is just one thing to many… First being crisped by heat and then chemically melted.

          I got data of the acidity being measured as low as 0.08 pH in some samples, highest pH was 0.3. That is basically ranging from pure sulphuric acid down to someone having tried to dilute the lake of sulphuric acid by taking a piss in it.

    • I have finally elevated into being an entity 🙂
      It sound rather ominous.
      And the best, ah no, worst part of it that Copahue is of the explosive kind of calderas. Most calderas tend to be subsidation calderas. Copahue-Caviahue complex is not, it is of the type that ones went into a lofted state in a rather short time.

      Purveyor of hamlike products.

    • Well, if it’s cousin Puyehe Cordon-Calle is any indicator as for family traits… it will be spectacular.

      I still use Puyehe for my wall paper.

      For scale… notice the radio towers.

      • GVP give Copahue VEI-2’s for the eruptions where an assessment of the VEI has been done (note: not all of them).

            • Oh wise woman, we are well and truly having that rain now. If i had had the time to come on here yesterday and read this I wouldn’t have spent 2 hours copiously watering the garden! 😀

  4. OT

    Actor Leonardo DiCaprio plans to fly to space on Virgin Galactic’s new commercial spaceliner, along with the winning bidder in a charity auction at the Cannes film festival, according to news reports.

    The chance to ride with DiCaprio sold for 1.2 million Euros ($1.5 million) at the amfAR Cinema Against AIDS charity Thursday night

    … only if I am allowed to take a knife, and get immunity from prosecution.

    Note: a firearm might depressurize the cabin once the round passes through squeaky.

  5. Post updated with links and corrections from Karen and Lurking. Thank you Lurking for pointing out that Copahue had nothing to do with DiCaprio 😉

      • Hmm… damn good electrolyte for a battery.

        Hell, if we toss a large frame of copper in one end of the lake, and a grid of lead in the other, wire them up, you could probably get a good 2.2 VDC for as long as the frames lasted!


        • Oh my, not only burned to a crisp by the heat and melted by the acid, now zapped to behork out of the built in electricity.
          I wonder if one could measure an electric field around the lake? And would it increase or decrease as it neared an eruption? I guess that depends on what the metalic deposites consist of…
          Hm… This really give me an idea for an instrument. Time to go put on the thinking cap to wring out the wrinkles into a working theory.

          • Ah, an Volt-Can-O-Meter (TM) ? But there is no lake ontop Hekla, but one in Krisuvæik and Askja, even Grimsvötn (if one can get rid of the Ice) 🙂

          • Ouff… that joke was so bad it hurt 🙂

            I am not sure they are acidic enough. But otherwise they would be nice test volcanoes.

          • uuuoooo… will throw em jokes “slower” in future, Mr. EfkaC. Only my saying its WAY to quiet in Iceland tonight. Even the government is doing nothing!

            • Is it true that there is a new law that every earthuake in Iceland now has to be elected into place?

            • not shure… likely Every Quake now has to conform to international (money) standards and be exportable to safe (money) heavens. Way too quiet since last week (when new government took over). Or was the land shaking to get rid of old Government, that was left wing. Now we have “Right Left and Central wing” Government, that even AFTER the elections promises changes already this summer. Scary. *Holy Godabunga*
              But them what am I playing, I voted for this.

        • Well… the current can probably be high (with the right circuit set up), but the potential is going to depend on the number of cells. A lead Acid Cell is only good for about 2.105 VDC each.

          It’s probably going to be highly dependant on the metal’s relative position in the reactivity series.

          • Well, it all depends on the ampeage. I guess it would never get above a 2V max due to the lay up. But… the ampeage could be something else… Imagine a copper porphyri deposit in one end and a lead, polonium or lantan deposit in the other. At hundreds of tonnes each the amps would be there a plenty.

  6. I believe most of the VEI-2 eruptions where Phreatic eruptions. Things change when fresh magma comes out in a large volume. If this is a proper magmatic eruption, it can get much larger.

    As for Carl’s comment on calderas, are you sure that most calderas form via subsistence? I’ve always felt the opposite was true. Most of the caldera complexes I’ve read about mention large eruptions that are concurrent with caldera formation. Even for traditionally mafic volcanoes, many of the calderas are associated with large-scale eruptions. (see Alban Hills, Masaya, and a few of the African rift volcanoes for reference).

    I’m not saying I’m right, and I’m aware many calderas aren’t single-event creations, but I would like to see evidence towards most calderas being related to gradual subsistence before believing it.

    • It is just that the explosive caldera formations have better PR agents.
      Yes, most calderas are formed by large eruptions, but it is the mass of erupted material that makes the roof over the chamber sag down, not an explosion per se.
      If they are associated with a large scale ignimbrite covering a large area, then you most likely have an explosive caldera formation, otherwise it is most likely subsidation.
      Take Askja for instance. It had a very large eruption forming a caldera. It actually in one go created both types. A small caldera was formed explosively as magma hit either an old magma pocket, or an area saturated with water. But the larger caldera started forming after the eruption as the unsuported roof sagged down.
      Santorini, Campi Flegrei and Krakatau are of a third type. Here you have a large normal eruption that causes the roof to sag quickly and the ocean falls down into the by now semi empty magma chamber, causing it to explode in a steam explosion.
      Back to your question. Think about for instance Iceland, all of the calderas are subsidation calderas there.

      • Oraefajokull has a caldera about 2km wide and it is probably due to explosive behavior rather than subsidience. The volcano is a violent one. I am not sure whether that one is really a caldera or a crater.

        I think Tindfjallajokull could be similar and it is associated with a old ignimbrite eruption that was one of the largest eruptions in Iceland in the last 100.000 years.

        Krafla, Torfajokull and probably Katla and Askja all show clearly subsidience calderas.

        Little is know about Bardarbunga caldera, but it is likely a subsidience caldera.

        And then we have Grimsvotn, but again I am no expert with this.

        • I forgot that Öraefajökull had a caldera. Yes, that is explosive in nature. How it is with Tinfjalla I do not know. But, the rest that I know about are subsidation. Prestahnukur, Langjökull, Hofsjökull, Katla, Thordarhyrna, Háabunga, Grimsvötn, Bárdarbunga, Askja, and Krafla are all subsidation calderas. I probably missed one or 15 🙂

          • Well, all are eventually caused by subsidation, but some are caused by explosive eruptions of dfferent degrees (for instance Crater lake or Toba), while others like those in Hawaii by large efusive eruptions.

            I doubt that many of the Icelandic calderas were caused by the violent eruptions that would be required to cause them, so most could be caused by mostly large efusive eruptions, like Prestahnukur.

            But Grimsvotn has sufficiently violent eruptions and a rather small caldera, that could be caused by VEI5 eruptions. At least one VEI6 eruption has occurred in Grimsvotn in recent millennia.

            Until we know how each caldera was caused we cannot be sure. Only knowing by analyzing the eruption history, intensity of past eruptions, and shape of caldera. We here at the blog do not know this for most Icelandic calderas. Which ones were caused by a violent collapse of stratovolcano, and which ones were caused by simply a large efusive eruption.

          • Carl, check out around the web for very large eruptions in Pleistocene that occurred in Krafla, Hofsjokull, Katla, Tindfjallajokull (the Thorsmork ignimbrite). I am a fan of these 🙂 They all seem to have reached at least a VEI6. I search for a mythical VEI7 in Iceland.

            • My bett if I would look for a VEI-7 in Iceland would be the first Krafla caldera. The wall formation is… spaced out… literally. Most likely it was just a massive VEI-6 during glaciation, but…
              I have actually read up on every one of the calderas in Iceland looking for traces of them being anything but subsidation calderas. The only suspect except the two you mentioned is Krafla 1.
              What I think might have happened was that there was a normal large eruption and the transverse graben open up and all the water that had melted was dumped down into the chamber and the whole shebang lofted in a Krakatau style eruption.
              The angle of the caldera walls are slanted outwards, a common sign of an explosive caldera. A subsidation caldera either drops straight down, or are slanted inwards.

              BTW, the VEI-6 at Grimsvötn still just stand for fragments of the caldera size. Most likely the present day caldera formed during the Laki eruption or a previous Laki style eruption. It could by all means have been accompanied by a large VEI eruption.

            • A slant inwards or outwards of the caldera : such a good trick to check whether they were explosive or not. Still erosion can play such a great deal in masking their topography.

              Here is a paper on Katla
              Doesn’t seem explosive either, but I am not fully sure.

              I like your motivation of looking for those explosive Icelandic calderas 🙂

              There are also undersea volcanoes. And as far as I remember some are big. There are at least one offshore from Snaefellsnes, another one offshore of Reykjanes,and a large depression also offshore of Katla.

              Another interesting place to look is just north of Hengill. There you have the Thingvallavatn, where subsidation is occuring. Its a large caldera-like depression. And eruptions around have been very voluminious, in terms of lava volumes. Could well be the largest caldera in Iceland. Literally the place around it is crowed of shield volcanoes, some quite old. Have you check on that?

            • Thingvallavatn is fun. Did you know that the fissure of Hengill runs right across under the lake? I would not be surprised if that is a caldera. Or some sort of pseudocaldera.

      • This is sort of true, but there are still tons of calderas that do not have good “pr agents” explosive or not.

        Also, If you’re pulling your explosive vs. nonexplosive caldera idea mostly from Iceland, then I think that’s a flawed presumption since Iceland is different than what you see in more traditional arc volcanism.

        In arc-based volcanic areas, I don’t think you will find many subsistence based calderas. Sure, there are some, but they’re predominantly associated with explosive eruptions. Just about all the central and south american caldera systems (there are a LOT of them) are associated with large-scale eruptions.

        In hot-spot systems, especially oceanic hotspots, you definitely find more subsistence calderas, but even then, I think that’s more of a guideline than rule.

        • I just used Iceland as an example.
          I could go ticking off calderas down the globe.
          Take Guatemala for instance. Two large calderas. Lake Amatitlan and Lake Atitlan.

          Both of them have done VEI-7 eruptions, in Amatitlans case 7 VEI-6 and VEI-7 eruptions. Both calderas are subsidence calderas. The point you are missing is that to have an ignimbrite spreading all over you need to have pressure. If you loft 100 cubic kilometers of material in the air through a 300 square kilometer opening it wont get more then a couple of meter above the ground. To get enough pressure you need a tighter orifice then that.
          At Amatitlan you had large eruptions causing the weakened graben to give in dumping the lake down into the chamber, whoosh.

          I am going to say it like this, very few volcanoes have had eruptions that blew away the entire caldera in one go. Most of them started with large scale normal eruptions. Often both effusive and explosive (and/or) which in turn weakened the chamber roof sufficiently to dump in a load of water. You need a lot of driving force to make something go caldera in the way people assume it does.
          To be honest, I would like someone to exclusively prove that even one caldera has happened in an explosive only way. It grinds down into physics really.

          • Of course there is going to exist one somewhere. So beat me over the head with a few of them. My point was more that they are rarer then one might think.

            I would though laugh my arse off if the big chicken colored rock volcano in the western country starting with a U also was caused by water dumping down into the magmatic system.

            • Great discussion 🙂

              Its all down to pressure. Eruptions of a large volume of magma can happen in a spectrum between fully explosive and very quickly, big blows, and gradually and very mildly, even purely effusive. Then you find everything in between. Take Yellowstone for example. If the eruption happens over time, then it could cause a large caldera, and not be so violent even if releasing about 2000km3 of magma. But I am not saying that it did so.

              Again the VEI is just a measure of total amount of magma or DRE. Intensity of eruption is how much volume per measure of time (quickly or over time). A much better indicator is size of ash plume, because that is directly indicator of pressure.

              However we simply do not have data for most pre-historic eruptions in their column height. Another good indicator of intensity of eruption is climatic disruption. Of course it depends on gas composition and geographical location. But a short quick big blow, causes much more volcanic winter than a gradual large eruption.

          • Okay, I think I was mis-representing what I meant by explosive caldera. I don’t mean calderas that are formed from a single humongous explosion that gets rid of everything on top in one go.

            What I’m referring to are calderas that are associated with non-gradual collapse events, typically associated with large scale eruptions. Novarupta and Pinatubo are both good examples of these.

            When I hear the term subsistence calderas, I usually think to caldera formation that takes place over a long period of time and isn’t associated with explosive eruptions. They’re both formed from subsistence, but one occurs much quicker and is almost always associated with large scale explosive activity, whereas the other is associated with more benign volcanism.

            • Ah, then I understand you 🙂
              Both are termed subsidence calderas. Even though the very slow one should probably be called a blocking one.
              But the Novarupta caldera formed through pure subsidence, and at a different spot then the actual eruption. And Pinatubo was/is more of a large honking crater really.

              There are also explosive eruptions that goes on for years forming in total VEI-7 eruptions through a large vent, and as the eruption progresses the chamber falls down on it self.

              It is the very large ignimbrite eruptions that is rare. The chicken colored rock volcano in the country that starts with a U might have been explosive (driven by high magmatic water content and extreme initial pressure). But that is one of the few I can think of. But, for all we know there might have been a large lake, or a lot of melting ice there too. I do not know, I am not an expert at the chicken colored rock volcano.

          • The only way I can see a caldera forming from mostly explosive mechanics, is from piston or trapdoor collapse. Either way, the material was removed from underneath and the roof fell in, forcing the rest of the material out.

            However, the Nigorikawa type are probably purely explosive…. but then, they have a Maar like structure.

            And yeah… Kimberlite deposits probably have a similar form.

            • Here came the one 🙂
              But, aren’t kimberltes formed from magmas that is high in water content?

    • Just imagine how many thousand earthquakes we are not seeing that are 3.9M and below?

    • Kamchatka and Chile are running the scene now!

      I wonder how large will Copahue be. I think we will see at least a VEI4.

      And possibly even a VEI5. With some possibility of a VEI6, but much less likely. A VEI5 is actually statistically due to occur any time soon. I can’t remember the last VEI5, well in the 1990s Pinatubo had its VEI6, and Grimsvotn almost reach VEI5 two years ago.

      • Copahue has not produced an eruption greater than VEI 2, based on GVP. This does not mean that she can’t produce larger eruptions but how are you calculating the VEI-4 & more?

        • Copahue hasn’t produced an eruption greater than VEI 2 in historical times, but it has gone much larger in the past (most likely VEI 6 – low vei 7).

          • And the mother caldera have done large VEI-7.

            Personally I do not buy the VEI-2 eruption thing. Most likely these have all mainly been phreatic detonations or phreato-magmatic explosions. But probably no real eruptions. So, if this turns into a real eruption all bets are off.

            Footnote to Irpsit.
            I think we had a VEI-6 during the summer. The large pumice raft eruption over at the caldera down south was most likely into that range. But we missed the fun due to the depth of the ocean.

            • Probably yes, but I would not be surprised by a VEI-4. Above that would be rather surprising.
              But, we should also think about the possibility that it might not have erupted at all for quite some time due to it only having had presumedly phreatic detonations instead of real eruptions.

            • The actual size of a volcanic edifice isn’t really a strong predictor of eruption size. In fact, the more explosive a magma gets, the less likely you are to see a large summit and conical profile. Explosive magma just doesn’t flow well enough to lend itself to building a pristine summit, and when it is emitted, it often will blow the edifice up before it can reach any decent size or height.

              I agree however that it most likely won’t be a huge eruption, but it’s pretty tough to predict what it will or won’t do without further information.

  7. OT. A couple of days ago I watched this horrible movie called “Magma Disaster” or something like that. In the very first scene, we see a bunch of geologists getting killed by an eruption of “a volcano in Iceland who happened to be dormant for about 700 years”. Later, a scientist character says that the volcano was Grimsvötn! No wonder the film was so bad – there was no ice or snow at the eruption’s spot and the lava was spewed in a matter of seconds – the researchers that were collecting samples on the volcano’s slopes didn’t see any tremor until the last second before the flooding of lava occurred. I thought Irpsit would like to hear about that! 🙂

    • Magma: Volcanic Disaster…
      The solution is of course to nuke all volcanoes on the planet…

      • This is terrible. Not only not very dramatic but the facts are totally wrong. Grimsvotn stays in the middle of a ice cap, not a forest like scenery, of which they are almost none in Iceland!

        And nuking volcanoes to fix the eruption? Seriously??

      • That was a seriously cheezy looking CGI-volcano. Had they ever seen a real volcano?
        What impressed me was how they constantly got the scale wrong of eruptions from a volcano. Lava floods where a few decimeters high. Lava fountains only a 100 meters high. People could outrun concussive fronts… For being volcanoes that would whonk the world they looked rather puny.

      • Scale has a lot of meaning when it comes to volcanoes. Remember this image?

        Note for the transients. This is a compilation. The silhouettes were added for visual reference.

    • you must be joking, that “film”(sic) is soooo bad… I think it was shown here on State TV some time ago (that TV station typically has cheap programs on all days, except them “Wildlife Qests” by Attentionboroughgh 😉 .). Rather watch Dantes Peak several times in a row. It even had Lurking style pickup running on spokes only. Luckyly they were not Magnesium Aluminum light weight ones..

      • One would think Iceland of all countries would avoid that movie… Or perhaps it was aired as a hilarious comedy? I see before my eyes an entire nation of people who knows better sitting quietly ticking off scientific errors.

        • I think it was shown when everybody thought there was endless money in them banks, wherever that idea came from. But no. It was shown here! But I bet its not on IMO list of historical facts.
          FYI – today was “hot tap water off day” in my capital city and no heat on radiators (them ovens for you normal people). Scheduled to last to 18:00 hrs UTC, but it was only 16:00 hrs when water returned. I washed the floors (using hot tap water and some soap) yesterday because of this..

          • Why on earth was the hot water turned off?
            It can’t have been to save energy or something, it after all comes up out of the ground regardless.

            • Repair. I guess it needs changing them pipes regularily (one days shut-offs generally is when they are switchings or connecting larger-mains).

            • Shure hope that re-light failed, ´cos some of my hot tap water is from several bore-holes just a mile from where I am and live – guess why the city name is Reykja-vík (Smokey-Bay) but for there was (is) natural hot spring in middle of the valley (Laugar-dalur), in middle of city, so not very deep to (old) magma chamber!.
              Actually I have old (hopefully exstichnt) volcano in my back yard.

            • No, Mt. Esjan is much younger. The old “Reykjavík volcano” is nearly all eroded away, it was Millons of years ago (just like in Edinbourogh). Must dig out that paper on it, or was that in an old book (think rather in old volcano book). Volcano Center is near location of The Mental Hospital “Kleppur” near the Sundahöfn Harbour. This volcano is the cause for hot water pumped from underneath the city. I´ill dig some out. In meantime

        • Carl now I am just recovered from ROFL – Late Last Night (LLN)I did not get the “ticking off” part (I suppose some of my cold is still stuck in my brain). Imagine the whole nation of Icelanders sitting patiencily with the long list of “schence fails” and gettin full BINGO on all counts. It must rank as most stubit volcano comedy ever!
          *I guess stupidity never will me made illegal*

  8. My wife made supper. While eating, she rattles off a litany of reasons why she had not finished cleaning stuff around the house. (newspapers, old mail etc).

    I stopped her and asked her a question. “Since when have I ever asked you for an excuse for anything? You haven’t felt good lately, so be it. You do what you wish.”

    For some reason, she seems mad at me now even though I took care of the tasks that she gave me. I even made breakfast.

    • I guess I was supposed to sit and listen. But with the caterwauling cretin on American Idle blasting away on the TV in the living room… err, nah. Someone really needs to stick a fork in ’em… they’re done.

        • Can you believe that the main TV news here didn’t say a word about Kanaan’s feat? Copyright issues, I guess. I.e. 90 % of Brazil doesn’t know anything about it! (Actually you were the one who brought this about to me!)

        • At least the race had few incidents. In a recent Nascar race (go fast, turn left), the line that they tether a camera on came loose and got tangled up in a few cars causing damage. These are “stock” cars, built to a common design and emblazoned with decals to make them look similar to normal production cars, but definitely not “stock”. They are more akin to Formula cars by having a specified design. Though the formula is more for a high speed sedan than anything else.

          On the really high speed tracks, they have em toss on restrictor plates in order to keep the speed down to just below 200 mph. They get spectacularly squirrelly above that. Their aerodynamics are not like that of Formula cars at all. There is nothing uglier than a Nascar vehicle cartwheeling down the track spraying parts all over the place. Even with the safety measures, stuff can still get nasty.

          Which leads me to a secret dream. A national race. Shut down a section of interstate and let them go all out from New York to LA. Hell, even better, from Nome Alaska to the Straits of Magellan. I’d love to see them trying to cross the Bridge of the Americas at the Panama Canal at high speed.

          • It would definitely highlight substandard roads… If I was able to choose the route, I would include Interstate 20 through Jackson MS. The Yazoo clay problem there is so bad that I have seen tractor trailer rig trailers, snap in two… at 55 mph.

          • You know Lurking…. You are on to something.
            It would be like a Paris-Daccar race, but on roads. Factors like longevity would come into play, and also the abillity to drive really fast without unnecesarily (how that now is spelled, been sleeping in the sun) wearing down the car.
            Heck, even I would be thrilled by a race like that, and I am not even into cars.
            To really make it into a pooper of joy (baby) they should put in two drivers and drive non-stop (well, I guess not really, still need pit stops) so that the race would become really open. In the end you might have one car leading with a day and then the crank shaft comes flying out in the Atacama dessert and they loose.
            A car race that you can watch for 15 days, it would be like Tour de Frank only more interesting and with less doping. And the beer potential would be ginormous.

            • Some kind of Cannonball run. It’s been done in movies. Now in real life, that would be something else.

  9. Rather OT and not academic comment as usual as it is only Coffee #1. And again cold, wet and grey after 2 days of summer sunshine. I have to wait in for a courier collection this morning so here I am taking time to catch up.
    Thank you Renato for sharing your movie experience. For those who feel something is missing from their lives.. here is the trailer to the film that so impressed him…..I worry about Irpsit and Islander now. The movie industry is advising to Nuke Iceland and every volcano. I wonder what the IMO graphs will look like! Will the Hekla Dalek survive? As Renato points out this is supposed to be Grimsvoten!!

    Poor Lurking. I hope Mrs Lurking has a better day tomorrow.
    There are several Videos on You tube that show Copahue and the ski resort of Caviahue where there is now an obligatory evacuation.
    Here is the crater as seen in March 2013 .You can almost feel those sulphuric acid fumes!

    I hope all people will be safe and that Copahue has no nasty surprises planned for the people in her vicinity.

      • Thank you Diana 😉
        No worries, I just stay in my Nuke Proof Bunker every time there is a bad film is on local TV – that is quite often really – and try catch up on V.C.
        I do see that Hekla is not sleeping, its only idle at the moment. That can change without (much) warning. The only predictable thing about Hekla is that its unpredicatable, but then its not unpredictable is it? The road constuction contractors seem be at work again today.

        • As a sparkling teen I worked one summer for a company building ’em backyards bunkers. I have never met so many loons in my life. They fell out of fashion as the cold war ended. Since Russia will attack is in a few years I think they where not such a bad idea after all… Or, my loon factor has gone up 🙂

          • Ah,, never tought of you having been younger at one time 😉 but every concrete basement can be regarded as NB in its own right.

    • Thanks!
      That must be the least OT post in here being advertised as OT 🙂

      • Photo-montage ? Taking time-exposure from aeroplanes is extreme difficult (maybe from balloon?) but it seem taken much higher up than Etna is, to show a town below whould require a large crane or aircraft, possibly a Helo. Or photoshop!

    • Karen, a question.
      Do you have a location for that helicorder?
      When I went to the main page I found no way to know which helicorder covers what area. And the Manizales did not even list Copahue on the list of covered volcanoes?

  10. Here it is 28 degrees Celcius… For the southern types like Lurking this is normal… Here it is not that usual with 2 week long heatwaves in may.
    I am feeling lazy and try to do as little as possible right now, heat up a Swede and you get a beer guzzling lazy bastard.

    • We have all your rain and cold in southern England! By the way, a recent survey puts Sweden as the second happiest (developed) nation on Earth, after Australia. UK comes 10th – Iceland is 9th! 🙂

      • They must have done that survey in the summer…
        Swedes are bipolar, every one of us. During winter we are the most insular surly bunch existing on the planet (Finns not counted). We look straight down into the snow and talk to nobody. Come summer we get overly friendly, treat the entiire country as our own living room and try to have all that fun we didn’t have in the winter in a couple of months. Then we go back to being the normal depressed bunch.

        • Nah, I see just about every nordic people do that, perhaops not the Danes, they have Öl at work to make up for that ….
          *dashes so not be hit by Swedish missle aimed at him*

          • Hehe, nah… We got rid of the missiles as we dismantled our nukes.

            Hard to be depressed as you are sauced all the time. Perhaps we should do as the danes did.

            • OK, so them Swedes admit having had Nukes and Missless ?
              Me think them not that peaceful after all 🙂
              I think the smith finishing that house (at left) perhaps had one Öl, maybe he was a Dane or Swede, or islander, I do not know, but putting Grass on that roof must rank as fail. How to go about cut that? Rather steep I think for one can crash down if not careful. No way any sheep can gat at that. @Skagafjörður, Iceland, own picture in summer 2012

        • Mom’s side of the Family. Irish to a fault. Some Scot thrown in for good measure… as well as a tiny fraction of Choctaw.

          According to a New Yorker article that I read years ago, people from my part of the US will kill you over a hog.

          Dunno about that. I haven’t seen a lot of hogs that are worth jail time.

          • I read that article. Everyone assumes that we of Southern/Appalachian extraction are
            automatically ah, Hillbillies. Well, ok. but we’ve been running vehicles on Ethanol before
            Anyway back from Anchorage Ak. Had a lot of fun and learned/relearned much.
            Got a question: as i was lying down to Seattle, Sunday, I believe near Stika. i had encountered
            a Cinder cone field and a fairly large cone/crater. what is this? appeared to be on the north
            end of the prince of Wales island group..
            Beautiful weather all week. BTW..

            • Yeah, but when we did the food to fuel thing it was to keep the grain from going to waste… and it wasn’t denatured, so you could still consume it… as long as you didn’t fall off your horse you were good.

              Maybe a bit of liver damage, but no one really lived long enough for it to matter.

              Ethanol can contribute to lead poisoning even if you have silver soldered joints.

  11. Reykjavik Geothermal Washing Facility (in last century)
    is situated ontop of old magma chamber

  12. Is there anyone who have succeded with downloading and opening the full papper that Lurking linked to? I can’t for the life of me get it down.

    • This was weird.
      I could not download that paper that Lurking had referenced to. It froze after two pager. It also whacked internet explorer so I could not watch videos. So, I restarted the computer, but IE was still whacked.
      So, to watch DFMs video I started firefox, watched the movie, and then tried to download the Lurking papper. Same shit happened again.
      Now I am on Crome, but I am sure as hell not going to touch Lurkings paper again, Crome is the last installed browser I have, my other two are now gone.

      • Not my paper… Varekamp et al wrote it, all I did was find it.

        I have sent you a re-optimized (according to Adobe) version of it… and probably opened myself up to some really weird advertising via Google’s targeted ads.

  13. Is it the paper Lurking linked on may 27 at 20:45? I’ve no trouble at all with it. It opened in seconds in Adobe (very fast). I use firefox

  14. I give up… Computer is not working as it should, it is 28 degrees, there is a river nearby…
    Beer… Definitly time for a beer by the river. Or five.
    See y’all tomorrow!

    • Resaved that paper allowing Adobe to optimize it. Sent to your other, other E-mail as an attachment. No program barfing observed on this end.

      Sent via two different Email accounts. The one linked to my log-in here, and one from my Gmail account. Odds are, since I used Gmail, I’m probably going to get advertisements in ash removal services…

    • I got only half of that, can u send the upper half, please (15 to 28 degrees?) 🙂
      *Had look at old Reykjavik Volcano, seems there is band of copper there?*

      • I’m confused. Was that addressed to me? If so, to what are you referring to? If you like I can send it to you also… but as far as I know, Reykjavik was not in the subject matter…

        • Not to you, do not need that paper, my comment was @Carl, I was asking him send some of his hot weather here, but he likely dashed off for some beers, and has not returned.. yet. * and second comment was before posting pics today, of my yesterdays fieldwork (in thread abowe)*

  15. Replies to Carl:
    on VEI6 last year: I agree that the pumice raft was probably a hell of an eruption, most likely a VEI5 or VEI6. It had to be something very large… Anyways, what I wanted to say is that now many models forecast for one of the coldest summers in decades for Europe, the anomaly is about 0.5ºC which could have been caused by a very minor “volcanic winter” from some eruption in 2012. Guess what happened? The pumice raft and the Tolbachik. In addition to the very low solar activity and some changes in ocean cycles, all of this can explain why a cold 2013 summer and who knows very cold in the upcoming winter.

    on Hengill: yes, I am aware of the fissure running beneath the lake. However there is no trace of severe explosive behavior in that region. But all around the lake there have been massive effusive eruptions (some have been almost up to the volume of Laki). Yes, yes, Laki-size. Thingvallahraun for instance is 11 km3 magma, while Laki is just a bit more around 14 km3.

    With so many shield volcanoes and fissures around the lake, its no wonder that the whole region is sinking quickly century after century, forming the caldera-like depression. Probably largest caldera in Iceland.

    The shield formations around Thingvallavatn are: Haedir, Mosfellsheidi, Eldborgir, Lyngdalsheidi, Skjaldbreidur. There are other shield volcanoes further north and south. And these are all eruptions formed during interglacials. Then, one must add all subglacial tuyas formed, also of large volume eruptions.

    • Warning, 2¢ from the peanut gallery:

      I am a proponent of volcanism having an effect on global climate. I relish slamming naysayers with cold hard data. However, I can not find anything that I can point at and say “Yep, there is is.” I have even toyed with a mechanism where flood basalt events could conceivably have an effect on the aerosol layer, but examining the CET (Central England Temperature) the longest direct temperature measurement series there is, I can’t find a correlating signal.

      Either I don’t have the mathematical wherewithal to dig it out, or I’m missing some key step. (probably the former).

      One of the people that I follow quite a bit, is Willis Eschenbach over at WUWT. (In the traditional meaning, not the Twitter mangleation of the meaning) Generally his posts are quite entertaining and occasionally, provide clues to ways of poking at the data to make something interesting pop out, if it is in fact there.
      If you have the time to dig for it, his write up on the Argo bouys is a fantastic read and illustrate just what you can dig out if you keep poking at it long enough. ( He scripted a retrieval tool to pull all the single buoy data down into a spreadsheet.)

      Anyway… recently he ran across an oddity in “Energy budget constraints on climate response” by Otto et alia. In it, he noticed that the paper’s screening effect from volcanic aerosols seem to lead the actual eruption. After a bit of poking at it, he came to the conclusion that the author had smoothed the data, and that caused the effect to smear into the months before the eruption. A more recent article that he did that follows the volcano meme, is where he stacked the volcanic data and compared it to synced up but stacked temperature data for the same eruptions. All centered around the eruption date. He has this to say about what he found:

      Well, there is a temperature drop starting about six months after the eruptions, with a maximum of a tenth of a degree. However, El Chichon is clearly an outlier in this regard. Without El Chichon, the signal gets about 50% stronger.


      This seems to agree with some of what I found looking at SO2 to Sulfate conversion rates when prepping Ruminarian V. Not that there is anything profound about it, just that it bears watching, and that some of the ideas that some of us may hold dear, may not always be correct. You always have to watch out for that. It is a good idea to toss a model out the door if it doesn’t fit the data. Not tweak the measured data to support the model. (Like Reykjavik getting colder in the past just recently. As far as I know, IMO, to their credit, didn’t agree with NASA’s adjustments.)

      (Image links to the VC Ruminarian V article)

      WUWT → Volcanoes: Active, Inactive, and Retroactive
      WUWT → Stacked Volcanoes Falsify Models

      Oh, and something else about him, he usually makes his data available or points at it so that the reader can fiddle around with it themselves.

    • Geology of the area from Wiki:

      “The geology of Llŷn is complex, the larger part of the peninsula is formed from volcanic rocks of Ordovician age. Rocks of Cambrian age occur south of Abersoch. Numerous granite intrusions and outcrops of rhyolite are responsible for prominent hills such as Yr Eifl whilst gabbro is found at the west end of Porth Neigwl. The western part of the peninsula (northwest of a line drawn from Nefyn to Aberdaron) is formed from Precambrian rocks, the majority of which are considered to form a part of the Monian Complex and thus closely related to the rocks of Anglesey. Numerous faults cut the area and a major shear zone – the Llyn Shear Zone – runs northeast to southwest through the Monian rocks. In 1984 there was an earthquake beneath the peninsula, which measured 5.4 on the Richter Scale and was felt in many parts of Ireland and western Britain.”

      A lot of its past would be shared with Snowdon.

      • The last one we had brought next door’s ceiling down and ours cracked. the insurance paid up. Pity I already contacted them about our sinking kitchen floor…they said it’s not subsidence because the retaining walls aren’t cracking. Could have blamed it on this last quake . It didn’t wake me up and we would have felt it here. Darn it! The one night I took a painkiller after several disturbed nights!!!

  16. Well the webcam capture of Copahue for yesterday was pretty awful…saw glimpses what look to be snow covered trees occastionally, but the weather was the same all day.

    I assume its the middle of the night there, but for some reason there appears to be occasional flashes of light through the fog

  17. I have returned from Santorini , I am a bit tired today, buy will work on a Draft Post tomorrow and post it over the week-end, we had a wonderful time and I have over 1000 photos of my visit, including a huge amount of Piccys of the Volcano (an awesome sight) AND a nice few samples for Spica which I will post to her as soon as I can.
    I have a grin from ear to ear, my first visit to a real Volcano, Going back again in October, we liked it so much.

    • I’m in the camp that sees Santorini as the most likely setting for the Atlantis tale. If so, you have been to one of the oldest placed of civilization on the planet. The closest I ever got was Knossos in Crete.

      I imagine it was a very cool trip!

      • You are right Geo, it was an awe inspiring trip, what a beautiful place, some great views everywhere you go, great food , lovely wines and the locals were the friendliest I have ever had the pleasure to meet.
        I would recommend a trip to the Island to anyone , EVERYONE who visits the Island should go to the Volcano, its a landscape like no other, I can imagine the surface of Mars being very much like it in some places, truly magic.

  18. Hello all!

    Just so you know if you are looking for todays post I am sitting writing it. It took a bit longer than I had anticipated… It will be done before evening is over.


  19. Evening all! If anyone says, Tolbachic is finished, they are wrong! Here is the MODIS Fire image with hot spots detected yesterday (KLM on Google Earth). I think this is quite a big area, forgot to take the scale.

      • There have been no bulletins issued for today yet. Maybe they’re waiting for something unusual to happen, don’t know. As for yesterday, activity was picking up a bit. These things may take time, so, let us wait and see. 🙂

        • Yes, as we all know there has sofar only been phreatic activity, so there would be no visible hotspot, or at least a very small one.
          I though sounded on Gil that he believed it to be a rather certain thing that it will erupt, but he was hedging a lot on when it will happen.

    • Thank you Granyia for that image.
      What really impresses me is that there is a not insignificant change in height in the eruptive area. It does not only cover a very large area, parts of it have risen more then 300 meters according to people on the scene.

      Interestingly enough the post that is coming in a way relates to this, even though it is about a completely different set of volcanoes. But, the principle is translatable.

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