Tolbachik is a basaltic volcanic complex, located at the southern end of the Kliuchevskoi volcanic group in the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia.  The complex is made up of Ostry Tolbachik (3,682m); Plosky Tolbachik (3,085m) and the Tolbachik Lava Field. Ostry Tolbachik (3,682 m) is an extinct stratovolcano.  Plosky Tolbachik is shield volcano with nested Holocene Hawaiian-type calderas up to 3 km in diameter; its summit caldera was formed with major lava effusion about 6,500 BP ago, and  about the same time as a large southward-directed sector collapse of Ostry Tolbachik.

Tolbachik is composed of medium – K basaltic andesite. The slag deposits of Tolbachik are rich in minerals. 39 were first described from here, including Alarsite and Tolbachite.  Tolbachik’s lavas originate from modification of H2O rich eclogitic melts by interaction with mantle wedge or through melt fluxed mantle melting. Mineral content of the lavas (Mg and Ni) suggest that the primary melts are derived from a mantle wedge.  The major elements of Tolbachik’s basalts are similar to primitive MORB.

Tectonic Setting

Volcanic activity in Kamchatka has been dated back to the Cretaceous.  Plateau basalts were erupted between the Pliocene and the Lower Pleistocene.  Activity then increased during the Upper Pleistocene to the Holocene.

The current plate tectonic configuration originated during the Late Miocene to Early Pliocene.  The Kamchatka arc is located at the NE of the convergent boundary where the Pacific Plate subducts below the Okhotsk Plate. At the northern end of the volcanic arc, there is the Aleutian-Kamchatkan triple junction, where the plate boundary changes from convergent to strike slip.  To further complicate matters, the Emperor Seamount Chain is also being subducted under Kamchatka.

Image from Google Satelite, text inserted by KarenZ.

Image from Google Satelite, text inserted by KarenZ.

Quaternary volcanic activity is in three zones parallel to the Kuril–Kamchatka Trench: the Eastern Volcanic  Front; the Central Kamchatkan Depression and the Western Volcanic Zone. Tolbachik is located in the Central Kamchatkan Depression.

Tolbachik in the Holocene

A regional fissure zone started to form at the start of the Holocene.  The zone crossed Plosky Tolbachik volcano, filling it with new high-K magma.  It also produced the Tolbachik lava field. A 3-km summit caldera formed following a series of flank eruptions. The caldera was partly filled later by a shield-like volcano. A smaller caldera and a modern crater, intermittently filled by a lava lake, are located in the western part of the larger caldera. Plosky Tolbachik has produced small ash eruptions in Historical times.

The lava field produces two different series of lavas: high-K high-Al basalts and medium-K high-Mg basalts. Low-viscosity high-K basalts have been erupted during the whole Holocene, while medium-K high-Mg lavas are more recent – first appearing approximately 1,700 BP. Some mixed lava varieties have also occurred.

The Great Tolbachik Fissure eruption in 1975-76

The 1975-76 eruption was the largest historical basaltic eruption in Kamchatka (VEI-4). The lavas were: basalt, picro-basalt, andesite and basaltic-andesite. The eruption vents were located along a 28-km-long fissure, producing both medium-K high-Mg and high-K high-Al basalts. Three large cones and a number of lava flows were formed; and, approximately 0.7 km3 of airborne tephra were produced. Most of the erupted products were medium-K high-Mg basalt. Towards the end of the eruption, the lava composition changed to high-K high-Al basalts with some transitional varieties. Total volume of the erupted products is estimated at around 1.18 km3

2012 – 13 Eruption

The 2012 – 13 (still in progress at the time of writing) eruption is similar to the 1975-76 eruption. An explosive eruption began on 27th November 2012. Ash rose to a height of 33,000 ft. A 4-5 km fissure occurred at Tolbachinsky Dol. A 6-7 km fissure occurred at Plosky Tolbachik. Activity is Strombolian at several vents.

The earthquakes occurring under Tolbachik show the following patterns (this excludes the deeper EQs occurring from the subducting Pacific Plate):

Image by KarenZ, all rights reserved, used by permission in this article and context.

Image by KarenZ, all rights reserved, used by permission in this article and context.

Image by KarenZ, all rights reserved, used by permission in this article and context.

Image by KarenZ, all rights reserved, used by permission in this article and context.

GeoLurking estimates that the total SO2 release from this eruption is around 63,179,566 to 73,709,494 metric tonnes, based on geochemistry found in “Sourced and Fluids in the Mantle Wedge below Kamchatka, Evidence from Across-arc Geochemical Variation” Churikova et al (2001) for Tolbachik, and formulas from “Volcanic Degassing” article: “Sulfur release from flood lava eruptions in the Veidivotn, Grimsvotn and Katla volcanic systems, Iceland” Thordarson et al.  Pinatubo produced around 20,000,000 metric tonnes.






John Search:

Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Kamchatka, Russia:

“Geochemistry of Primitive Lavas of the Central Kamchatka Depression: Magma Generation at theEdge of the Pacific Plate”, Maxim Portnyagin, Ilya Bindeman, Kaj Hoernle and Folkmar Hauff

“Sources and Fluids in the Mantle Wedge Below Kamchatka, Evidence from Across – arc Geochemical Variation”, T Churikova, F Dorendorf and G Worner, Journal of Petrology, Volume 42, Number 8, Pages 1567 – 1593, 2001.


139 thoughts on “Tolbachik

  1. I am so looking forward to the data for the amount of effused lava.
    I tried to calculate from satellite imagery and known heights of the slagwall and came to something just above 2 cubic kilometers.
    If this continues at the same rate for a while longer I think we might get another case of caldera subsidation in the end.

    Lovely post Karen!

  2. Thank you Karen for an interesting post!

    Here is a snapshot from EMSD of the earthquakes in the week in which the November eruption started. The table bottom right corresponds to the area only in the green circle on the map.

    One thing confuses me a bit: you write about two fissures, one at Plosky Tolbachik and one at Tolbachinsky Dol (the lava field below Plosky Tolbachik). Is that right? I was under the impression that there was only one fissure, occurring roughly along the same alignment as the 75/76 eruption, but with the upper vents at a higher elevation (i.e. nearer the summit of Plosky Tolbachik).

    I posted this a long while ago, but it seems a good time to see it again – map showing the 1975/76 vents.

    Now there are apparently two vents still active: the higher one showing some Strombolian activity and accounting for some ash/gas plumes (the latest a couple of days ago reached 1000 m according to EMSD report) and the lower ‘lava lake’ vent that continues to effuse.

    • Definitely activity at Tolbachinsky Dol.

      Kamchatkan and Northern Kuriles Volcanic Activity
      May 30, 2013, 23:11 UTC (May 31, 2013, 11:11 KST)

      55.83 N, 160.39 E; Elevation 10119 ft (3085 m)
      Aviation Color Code is ORANGE

      Explosive-effusive eruption of the volcano continues. Ash explosions up to 19,700 ft (6 km) a.s.l. could occur at any time. Activity of the volcano could affect low-flying aircraft.

      Effusion of lava flows continues from the Southern fissure at Tolbachinsky Dol. Very fluid lava is moving to the southern, eastern and western slopes of Tolbachinsky Dol. Cinder cones continue to grow on the Southern fissure, a weak gas-steam plumes were observing last week. A big thermal anomaly was noting at satellite images in the northern area of Tolbachinsky Dol all week.”

      • Looking at KVERTs reports earlier in the eruption (e.g. Dec 6 ) there has been activity at the Krasny Cone.

        • OK – having had a good look at all the satellite images and glancing back though the reports I can now see where the two fissures are, and hence bring an end to my confusion!
          There was a radial fissure opened up in alignment with the old 75/76 cones, about half way between the northernmost 75/76 cone and the peak of Plosky. Then there was also a fissure that ran in a more southwesterly direction, which cut across the old Krasny cone. However, that fissure stopped erupting after only a few days, with most activity shifting to a new cinder cone around 1.5 km away and much closer to the radial alignment of the upper fissure. That cone became the main source of lava effusion and remains so today (‘lava lake’ in the satellite pic above).

  3. Thanks Karen a very good post. What a complex volcano this one is . I need to read again and again to get really familiar with it.

  4. I just wanted to remind everyone that the Riddle have sofar not been solver.

    “The Singer that played the bugle”

    And here is another one:
    “the Policeofficer getting a tan”

  5. Very nice summary of the situation KarenZ

    This is a plot I made at the end of last year, a summary of EQ for 2012 in the Tolbachik area up to the end of november 2012

    and something a little more focused

    • Very nice plotting.
      Do you think that deep quake formation is an intrusion or a zone where there is depressure melt?
      Do you think that relates to Kliuchevskoi only, or that it might be part of the Tolbachik eruption?

      • And a third question: Do you think that is a new feature, or would it show up if we backed the timeframe up?

      • Hi and thanks Carl. This was done while you were away.

        I dubbed the effect “the rocking chair”. Got it by serendipity (of course).

        Well I just plotted the quakes you know.

        From the look of the plot I think it shows the arriving of an intrusion (but I’m no specialist as you know).

        I do not get your 3rd question, the date of the events are shown, so I do not know if there were some events before, it would need some rummaging in the russian file. Lurking supplied the first extract if I remember well and I added the new quakes from the Russian web page at the time of the start of the eruption.

        It is a manual process and the data is a wee bit corrupted so I had to find a trick to get it properly displayed in Octave/Matlab, but it works.

        terrain is from NOAA, EQ data from (you can get access to the quakes list going back one year if you look at the page code)

        • I will try to explain my third question better. But your answer tells me that answering my question would take a lot of rummaging around.
          The reason I asked was that if the same pattern showed before, let us say for years, it would be either the center for a large deep magma chamber receiving continous magma, or it might be the place for a continous decompressing melt of hot material.
          To be honest, I am trying to bangle my poor head around the question how volcanic systems as close to each other could emit such varying magmas. So I am trying to find a pattern in your plot that might answer that question. But, I suspect that any pattern I see might be just delusions in my head (like what Erik wrote about in his last post).

          It is intriguing that the deep spot of high intensity continues unabated after the eruption started. And that requires that pressure is still building at that place even though magma is emitted at surface. So my question was me trying to get a feel for if it is unrelated to the eruption of Tolbachik and that it instead might be the site for Kliuchevskoi magma acreation or fabrication.
          It might also imply that the pressure is building due to magma arriving faster then it is being emitted at Tolbachik, and that would imply that the eruption will go on for a long time.

          The more I learn about Tolbachik, the less I understand. I find the sensation to be lovely, like falling in love.

          • I just reread what I just commented and found that I had failed explaining things again, a sure sign that I have not even grasped what I am trying to ask about… Sigh…

            I feel like Manuel in Faulty Towers, “Si! Me know nothing…”

      • My non-expert take on the quakes at 30-35km is that this is intrusion at the base of the crust. It was there in December 2011 (may have been there earlier but I don’t have data for before then).

        Most likely it feeds Tolbachik but may feed others in the group.

        • Thank you Karen, have you found how deep the crust is there in your rummaging for information?
          I just supposed that the plate that is being subducted would be thick, but I would love to get to know that I was wrong.
          Interesting that it was there a full year before. It should be well above the subducting slab though. If I remember correctly the plates grind each other down to in excess of 120 km as shown in the Kamchatkan quake swarm last week. But, you made me realize this is well behind the grinding, if it was at the slab grinding boundary it would have been much deeper. So, on pure deduction it would be an intrusion of magma.
          What would be really interesting is to see if it would continue after eruption at Tolbachik has wound down, then it would seem to not be Tolbachikian magma. And if it is the magma that is being erupted, then it would really imply that pressure is still building and there is a lot more magma on the way up.

          • From my searching around the internet. Tolbachik (and the whole Kliuchevskoi group) is lies on oceanic crust, with the Moho at 30km depth. The pacific plate is on average 170km deep under de Klyuchevskoy volcanic group. But actually this mantle wedge is what I’m going to write about.

          • From memory the crust under CKD around Tolbachik is 30 -35km (it is 20km to south and 40+ km to the north).

            The melt zone for active volcanoes in CKD is around 150 – 180 km for the subducting slab.

    • Evenin’ all, thanks for the post Karenz a nexecellent summary, well written 🙂 skill, crucial…
      Dfm, the plot is ace…
      Regarding Carl’s salvage operation; I was digging a hole earlier and found a coin (looked like
      a washer at first…) Probeably not terribly valuable, but dated 1918, high copper content
      (worn but not corroded,) RF 0n the “heads,” Liberte, Fraternite, Egalite ont’ “tails,” pierced “at the mint,” face value 25 centimes… Probably worth more as scrap than the face value;nice find though…

      • Thanks schteve.

        So It’s probably a coin brought back by a tommy after the First WW. Nice find.
        When I was a child we found quite often some left ammunition from WWI in our garden. We were not that far from the front. In some places near Lille they still find some shrapnel when they till the soil. Nearly one century after the events.

    • If my calculations is correct and we now have reached 2 cubic kilometers in half a year, and the eruption continous at the same speed for 1.5 years, then we would have an eruption that is 1/2.3 of Lakí (6 cubic kilometers to 14 cubic kilometers of Lakí). And that would make it into the largest effusive surface eruption for a very long time.
      Remember that if Lurkings figures hold true it is the gasiest eruption since at least Novarupta. Probably more like Krakatau, and that is the figure up untill now. Imagine then if it continues for 3 times as long. Then we are stuck with 12 to 15 Pinatubos of gas.

  6. On the mobile. Great post btw. Just reading about that today. Excuse the OT. Did something happen wit the Grim Sil? Looks maybe water!!

  7. For Carl’s questions: This paper is a must read:

    The conclusion:
    Tomographic P-wave images of Klyuchevskoy volcano
    show a significant P-wave anomaly ranging from 20–40 km
    below the edifice of the Klyuchevskoy group. This anomaly
    appears narrow in the 20 km depth range and broadens
    laterally around 30–35 km depth, perhaps suggesting ponding
    and accumulation at the Moho discontinuity. We cannot yet
    determine the level of percent melt in this region, although
    the size of the anomaly strongly suggests that a significant
    amount of magma resides at depth below the Klyuchevskoy
    group and is most likely the main source feeding this very
    active region along the Kamchatka Subduction zone

    • Thanks Sa’ke

      drinking Bush beer and reading about volcanoes. My idea of bliss. thanks for the links and explanations.

      To Carl

      I do not have access to older data from the russian site. It is true that the length of the eruption and its unabatement speaks of huge amounts of magma. I would be interested in knowing what are the effects of this eruption on the present weather pattern (cold for us, hot for you)
      I think I’ll redo some plot later as I have made progress since then (date on the side and so on).Meanwhile I’ll try to update the data, but it will not be done before Monday cos I need to redo some code.

    • I can’t get the paper to open properly – either using Sa’Ke’s link or by direct search 😦

      • Got it now 🙂

        That paper was copyrighted in 2007 if I read it correctly. So the low velocity region was there then.

  8. Here is a project proposal with a map of Kamchatka with GPS vectors showing how the continent is dragged along with the subducting oceanic plate at different speeds. If I understand correctly they also suggest that the Aleutean trench is subducted beneath Kamchatka. That would be another source of magma variety I assume.

    Click to access UNV-GRID-SPREAD-TP_40.pdf

    And for the plotting inclined: I have not tested it (yet), but this seems to be an awesome free 3D plotting tool for geoscience data:

    • Tomography like that is no mean feat. Isosurfaces are in the mix and that’s not really easy to compute and plot. That’s an understatement of course. Maybe some day, but not soon.

      • It surely would involve some serious learning. Besides, I am now not so sure if everyone can “participate” since for registration it is required that “participants must be affiliated with one of the following: a degree-granting institution, or a not-for-profit institution with an education and/or research mission”.
        Is VC a not-for-profit institution? 😉 We are certainly on a mission here, aren´t we?

        • It is a splendid idea Cryphia!
          We should become one really. Then we could do quite a bit of cool stuff.

          I have toyd with an idea of getting under an outreach program at a University. They tend to love popular science blogs, at least the one I am at.

    • The Kamchatka – Aleutian arc junction is interesting: the Pacific Plate subducts under the Okhotsk Plate; and, there is a transform fault between the Pacific Plate and the Komandorsky Plate.

      From Portnyagin et al, there are three fracture zones between the Pacific Plate and the Komandorsky Plate (south to north): Aleutian Fault Zone, Bering Fault Zone and the Alpha Fault Zone. All appear to be transform faults. The Pacific Plate may be tearing / torn along the Bering FZ.

      And going further north, the continuation of what would have been the Kuril-Kamchatkan Trench is now an extinct subduction zone.

      There was also a spreading centre in the Komandorsky Basin (Churikova et al, 2001).

      I have not seen anything that suggests that the Aleutian Trench subducts / subducted under Kamchatka. But not an expert.

  9. Stats…. it can bite you in the arse if you don’t pay attention.

    My wife likes to watch womens college level softball. I stopped to drink a cup of coffee and watch a bit of it on the TV. My wife is rooting for Oklahoma because Texas beat Florida.

    Bases are loaded due to some walks and a couple of doubles. Oklahoma is at bat and the next up happens to hold the leagues highest stats. (stats figure heavy in baseball and softball for a players merit) The Texas coach meets with the catcher and pitcher, they chat for a bit and Texas changes pitchers because of the skill of the upcoming batter.

    The batter gets struck out. But the girl following her, who only had a single for the entire game, gets presented a pitch that she turns into a bunt. A bit stunned (I imagine) the throw to 1st turns into an error and the ball blissfully bounces it’s way down the first base line. The bases empty, as the runners tag home. Due to the error, the batter makes it all the way back to home also. Four runs on a bunt.

    In my opinion, Texas dropped their guard after taking out the high threat batter who was likely going to bring all the runners in, based on her stats, and a lower skilled batter (again, based on stats) cleaned it up and did what they were fearing from the previous batter.

    Stats can help, if you know how to read them, and stats can hurt if you over rely on them and don’t look at the other possibilities. It doesn’t have to be a black swan to bite you on the arse.

  10. “The singer that played the bugle”

    Mount Adams

    Bryan Adams sang this song: “Sound the Bugle”
    Main feature is its flat summit

  11. The chamber pressure is the sum of lithostatic
    pressure and an additional pressure DP which
    increases due to magma replenishment or crystallisation
    [20]. The overpressure cannot increase indefinitely
    because it eventually acts to rupture the
    reservoirs walls. This triggers upward dyke propagation,
    but not necessarily eruption, because the dyke
    may stop before breaching Earth’s surface. If the
    initial dyke stalls at depth, replenishment continues
    and the reservoir overpressure keeps on increasing
    until it is large enough to drive the dyke all the way to
    the surface. Once this is achieved, eruption ensues.

    [20] S. Tait, C. Jaupart, S. Vergniolle, Pressure, gas content and
    eruption periodicity of a shallow, crystallising magma chamber,
    Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 92 (1989) 107– 123.

    Caldera formation by magma withdrawal from a reservoir beneath a volcanic edifice
    Pinela and Jaupart, Earth and Planetary Science Letters 230 (2005) 273– 287

    So… if an intrusion does not initially push all the way to the surface and erupt, it is possible that an emplacement can slowly modify the surrounding rock and even have “chamber” crystallization increase the pressure in the emplacement, eventually driving a path to the surface.

  12. nice post but it left me with one question I guess I’m going to google for
    what are ” eclogitic melts”

    • Dunno if this helps. From Wiki:

      “Basalt is generally created as a partial melt of peridotite at 20–120 km depth. Eclogite is denser than the surrounding asthenosphere. Unless the eclogite is created in very young oceanic crust, it is cool at the time of initial subduction and so is carried down into the mantle. If that subducted eclogite is subsequently carried upward with peridotite, as in a mantle plume, it may melt by decompression melting (see discussion in igneous rock) at lower temperature than the accompanying peridotite. Eclogite-derived melts may be common in the mantle, and contribute to volcanic regions where unusually large volumes of magma are erupted. The eclogite melt may then react with enclosing peridotite to produce pyroxenite, which in turn melts to produce basalt.”


      • Does decompressional melting cause earthquakes and, if yes, what order of magnitude would they be?

        • I can’t say… but by my logic, if an area achieves melt, as it moves it would seem that the load on the rock would change and could cause fracturing. These would be manifest as small quakes. Think creaking building.

          • If the pressure pushing the magma upwards was great enough you could get medium sized earthquakes. A bit more then a creaking building, more like a building being built.

            • I hate that.

              I was sent to do a site survey and count the equipment at all the workstations and what was in the server rack at a site… and all I found were people hanging drywall. It took 3 emails and photographs to prove that the site was not operable and had no gear.

  13. I need to go back over those sulfur calculations. Gimme few, but remember that this is for available sulfur, not for what was explosively erupted.

    • From Sourced and Fluids in the Mantle Wedge below Kamchatka, Evidence from Across-arc Geochemical Variation” Churikova et al (2001), 5 samples listed with TiO2 / FeO ratios that average 0.312091063 (0.138169911 to 0.486012214 @ 95% conf), and the equations from “Sulfur release from flood lava eruptions in the Veidivotn, Grimsvotn and Katla volcanic systems, Iceland” Thordarson et al.

      I come up with sulfur values of 68 to 234 ppm by mass. Now, what is important is that this is elemental sulfur. How it is combined into the eruptions products is not looked at. It could be SO2, H2S, OCS, or some other compound. Most likely is SO2 or into a crystal structure for some of the minerals.

      If you assume (always be careful of that word) that all of the sulfur goes into SO2, and that the density of the magma is 2500 kg/m³, I come up with 38,085,116 to 131,384,504 tonnes of SO2 over the life of the eruption. (41,131,926 to 141,895,265 tonnes for 2700 kg/m³ density magma)

      Caveats: The formulas were meant for Icelandic Flood Basalts. Using them for Tolbachik is just to get an idea of what may be there. Caveat #2: This is for the most part, a non explosive eruption. At last nothing on the order of Pinatubo or Puyehe Cordon-Calle. Most SO2 released will likely be into the troposphere. What part of it is OCS (carbonyl sulfide) I have no idea. I have read that OCS can have an atmospheric life of up to nine years. The old article Ruminerian V only looked at SO2 to sulfate conversion rates. In that, it seemed that sulfate levels peak a few months after the SO2 spike. OCS potentially provides a broader, more constant influx of potential sulfate material as it is wafted up near the stratosphere on the general circulation patterns where the hard ultra-violet light can dissociate the molecule. Caveat #3, I can’t even hazard a guess as to what the circulation period is of the major cells. At 60°N and at the Equator 0°, the general trend is upward.

      SO2, the most likely major part of the sulfur release, react with water to eventually form sulfate. Once that happens, it starts to glom into particles and sediments out. Done in the troposphere, it has little chance to get to the stratosphere. Pinatubo forcibly deposited it’s SO2 load up into the stratosphere. Tolbachik SO2 probably can’t easily get there, and if there is an appreciable OCS component, it has to hitch a ride on the prevailing air currents. Caveat #4: This isn’t my field. I’m just some guy playing with a spreadsheet in NW Florida.

      • I have vague memories of a large sandstorm in China in 1996? from which sand crossed the Pacific to the USA, crossed the USA and then crossed the Atlantic to reach the UK. It may have gone further.

        • That would be more along the lines of zonal flow. I’m thinking more of the over-all circulation patterns of the Hadley, Mid-Latitude, and Polar cells: 0° up, 30° down, 60° up 90° down. (these are the general boundaries, they actually move all over the place when the fronts start jockeying for position.)

  14. Hah…. stats scores another victim.

    This time it’s inferred stats. The gut feel type that people assume has some meaning.

    Seasoned pitcher. Gobs upon gobs of experience. The batter? A freshman, slight of build. The pitcher puts one up in to the strike zone at a pretty good clip.

    The little freshman gets up underneath it and launches it over the wall behind the the outfield back between 1st and 2nd base. Home run.

    Nothing against the pitcher, but she assumed that she could put the ball across the plate fast enough to force a strike. Bad assumption. ‘grats to the Michigan batter (Sierra Romero). She done good. When they take advantage of your lesser experience, put it out of the park. 😀

    Too bad they didn’t try that stunt with more than one runner on base.

    Just saw a bit more caution on the part of the pitcher. The batter is a known power hitter. The pitcher toyed around with her a bit, but the batter nailed it pretty hard, but with a bad trajectory she clipped her own shin. Hopped around a bit, but it got the pitchers attention. She wound up with a walk and took the base. I think the pitcher didn’t want to take the chance on a home run. With her on 1st, they could still get her out, most likely at 2nd (they have been doing that a lot in this game)

    CAVEAT: I am not a fan of sports in general. Unless it is watching my most hated driver loosing in Nascar. Personally, I don’t give a crap who wins, as long as it isn’t a specific driver (or his team-mate). Think of me as the anti-fan.

  15. 4.0 earthquake at the southern tip of Ireland!

    Magnitude ML 4.0
    Region IRELAND
    Date time 2013-06-02 12:43:23.5 UTC
    Location 51.31 N ; 9.50 W
    Depth 15 km
    Distances 315 km SW of Dublin, Ireland
    220 km S of Gaillimh, Ireland
    96 km SW of Cork, Ireland
    31 km SW of Skibbereen, Ireland

    • The Wales quake last week showed very well on the Belgian seismographs. This quake isn’t visible. But the 6.2 Quake in Taiwan from this morning you can see well. Is this due to the plate where the quake is situated? The Wales quake was as big (maybe smaller) as this one but you could very easy see the P- and S waves. South-Ireland isn’t that much further away as North-Wales for Belgium, yet this quake you can’t see at all.

    • Humm… these most have fallen in an IMO dungeon and be discovered today (they were not on the map yesterday).

      • Yes, and they explain my comment yesterday.
        I looked at the strain and saw that it was all warped up with really rapid movements at Burfell up and down.

    • There seems to have been a bit of trouble at around 6.30 this morning. As Islander says, they seem to have resolved it as 3 mini-tremors.

      • No idea, but the number of rapid movements on the strainmeter is interesting. But, the scale is not that large, so anything stands out nicely now.

        • if anything is to come, then its the Litla-Hekla area, or towards Haukadalur at extreme west end. (The) “inflation” seems have manifested itself of about 10 mm abowe the norm, every month, since March (-: has FEDG GPS been removed to safety, there are no points since early May this year….

          • So its not game over!! maybe we are in extra time for this year. I have over 190 dog years left in me.. Hekla and all other ones, take all the time you need. **rant over**

            Well spotted yeserday, Carl. Islander, seems to me your on the money too.

            • Yes, I think (know) Hekla eruption window is open .. i.e. not over. It however worries me the inflation is most on right (north) side of Hekla. Any large lava there can affect roads and river nearby. But as usual we will have to wait, ah.

          • Actually the largest inflation is on the northern end of Heklas slope, pointing towards Burfell/Isakot.
            Hekla just loves to tease us. I think she will wait untill next spring. But we are still in the end of what seems to be the eruption window for Hekla. I think this mid winter to late spring eruptivity has to do with waterlevels.

  16. I expect this has been already posted – it’s from August last year – but it’s a gorgeous video of Iceland (12 mins long) with atmospheric music and lots of volcanoes. It shows Herðubreið (I think) at the start and finish

    Happy relaxing Sunday!

    • Thanks Latika!

      That was among the best spent 12 minutes of my life.
      Normally I hate cheezy music to nature images. But here it was pros pulling out all the stops, and with specialized music that was edited to sync with the images. And the photography… Those ultraslow pans under timelapse filming… hours to slowly move a camera 5 cm…

      If you had 500 people in a movie theatre and showed this you would get all of them to sell their souls to go to Iceland… Now back for the second dose.

      Edit: It was even better the second time around… Voff!

    • Great video! And Mono is actually one of my favourite bands.

      On the video: actually Iceland (and more specially Landmannalaugar) is the only place where I have seen clouds moving at same time in 3 different directions and speeds, quite opposite to each other. Obviously those clouds were at different levels, but it was not only a great magical thing to see but really weird, even for a weather freak like me!

    • To me that is indeed tragic. I love the whole idea of storm-chasers. My brief brush with tornadoes in Wisconsin (yes, Wisconsin!!) in 1984 had me hooked.
      But…I’m not sure Mr Darwin would agree, but what did he know?
      Thanks to him we ended up with giraffes.

      • “Thanks to him we ended up with giraffes.”

        Brachiosaurus, Sauropod, Brachiopod.

        (yeah, I know the biologists are gonna give me hell for that wordplay.)

    • Tristán de Luna y Arellano, 16th century Conquistador, felt that chasing the natives around the local forests were more important than offloading his ships that were at anchor in the harbor at what is now Pensacola. September 19, 1559, a hurricane came by and destroyed most of his fleet. He later had to be rescued Ángel de Villafañe.

      Pensacola and the Gulf coast periodically get nailed by hurricanes. When Ivan blew through here, it took about 3 hours for the wind to let up. Here is a wind field map.

      Yes, I find storms fascinating also. But you have to respect their power and act accordingly. About the worst damage that I got from Ivan, was an oak tree laying on my truck. Had the truck not been there, the tree probably would have rolled on over into the house. The neighbors either side of me had roof damage. And here is the weirdest thing. In the middle of the tempest, I saw lights in the driveway. I went and looked out the garage door (to which I had installed makeshift shoring to help it resist the wind) I saw a tractor trailer cab turning around in my driveway. I have no idea why he was out driving around in the middle of that mess.

  17. Woof woof!

    I actually liked that one. While the bobble heads were discussing one driver jumping the restart, (and he got penalized for it) out of nowhere comes a driver who then has to contend with Montoya (the leader) who has a copious amount of Formula and road race experience. In other words, hard to pass. He knows how to keep you behind him. True to form, Montoya saw that Stewart was making attempts at an inside run and shut that down, Stewart was forced to work it out on the high side, which he managed to do. I haven’t seen a driver appear out of nowhere and drive it to the finish like that in a long time. That was a good run.

    Side note: In soccer, the US seems to be making a decent run against Germany (for some odd reason, we aren’t known for our talent) beats me as to what is going on there. My guess is that Germany will figure out something and clean our clock.

    Elsewhere, it seems that the Northern Cordilleran Volcanic Province in Canada has a pretty decent manifestation in South Eastern Alaska. A few “new volcanoes” have been discovered. One of the younger lava flows is “The Blue River lava flow” at only about 120 years old.

    Little hints like the 120 year old flow are the sort of clues to the presence of potential Black Swans lurking in the recesses that can leap out and shake societies reality.

    • Poor sap!
      His thesis handler should have stopped him and had him redo his entire work.
      As he mixed up samples from Hekla and Katla and compared them against Hengill pressurisation data he get whonked up data due to Hekla and Katlas magmas being from very different production processes involving very different internal pressure gradients.
      There are also a bit of a methodological problem with how he chose his samples.

  18. And Irpsit is going to become a very happy man…
    I was fairly bored so I started to sort data on the Lakí lavas. It is not this often I get this surprised, but the data is there plain and simple… and yes, I know I am a terrible tease now.

      • We are not going to have that much fun…
        It is bad enough with Hekla doing andesites.
        Nope, there is rather different set of fun to be had.
        You are also going to like this one.

        • Really? The SZ magma?

          OT side story.

          I got yelled at by the wife. I asked her why she was pissed, I didn’t have anything to do with Stewart winning at Dover. (Stewart is one of her favorite drivers)

          It turned out that she didn’t want to cook, and I can’t really blame her. Cooking can be a pain in the arse if you aren’t up to it. She wanted a burger, onion rings and a chocolate shake. (what is with women and chocolate anyway?) I wound up having to take the rat dogs with me. The stepson used to spoil them by taking them for short drives. The dogs love it. So, off I go with the two rat dogs hopping all over the back seat, barking out the rear view window, etc. Dunno why the guy behind me got pissed and roared around and off down the road. Evidently he didn’t appreciate the yipping dogs. I picked them up some beef jerky at the corner store and retrieved the burgers.

          Wife said she was sorry for yelling at me. I still don’t know why she was pissed to begin with.

          Oh well. (DDG-13… USS Hoel… ex USN Destroyer) I think of that ship every time I use that phrase. I remember sitting in port watching their weapons department scraping and painting their missile launcher for 3 weeks. They get underway for an exercise, after they returned, that launcher is scorched black. Three weeks worth of work gone to hell with one launch. “Oh Well”

          This was the same time-frame that one of my co-workers was yelling at me as I was up working on an antenna. He was pissed beyond belief. He felt that I blamed him for my missing radio out of upper ECM. I knew better and had written the incident off to experience. I knew it had been stolen, and was not happy about it myself, but I didn’t blame him. He eventually found out that it was a signalman who had lifted it and wound up getting put on report when confronted the signalman about it. Justice can be swift and brutal in confined work environments… and Fred was not a small person.

        • For being a very clever guy… You haven’t figured out that sometimes all the reason a woman need to yell is lack of chocolate? There is a bunch of research done on how chocolate works as a hormonal balancer for women.

          My brother was once kicked out of the house at 2 at night to walk 5 km through a snowstorm to get his wife chocolate. When he returned with the chocolate he was kicked out again for bringing the wrong chocolate. When he then came home once again, he found his wife happily asleep gorged on the faulty chocolate. The marriage didn’t last.

          Sense moral. I always have a chocolate bar stashed away since hearing that story, that practice have saved me on occation when I get yelled at. Sticking a piece of chocolate into the mouth of the yellee often cuts them short. Only problem is that sooner or later they figure it out and start yelling to get to the chocolate they know you have stashed away. Still though much better then the snowstorm.

          Personally I get cranky with low blood sugar.

          OnT: Nope, not that lava. Now I have to come up with where all the mysterious ash came from and how on earth it got spread like that.

    • Why me? i haven’t clearly understood you guys talk on comparing Hengill and Hekla…. Was there anything interesting for me to know? 😉

    • No earthquake is probably more logic. A 4.0 quake should be mentioned in the news, certainly in a area where there are practical no quakes at all. And that you can’t see the quake at the belgian and Irish seismographs says also something.

    • There are two interesting aspects to it though. First, the eq had been reported to EMSC by a French military organisation that deals mainly with the physics of atomic explosions (but also with normal gelogic/seismic processes). Secondly, on Earthquake Report one eyewitness reportet that “it felt like rumbling thunder, I opened [the window?] to listen then it faded”. Which, of course, could really have been a rumbling thunder.

  19. OT Late night Weekend Post to give you potential fodder for nightmares.

    Gurgle translation of part of the lyrics. Any inaccuracy is gurgles fault.

    Because you are
    what you eat
    and you know
    what it is

    The song is actually about the Armin Meiwes incident, but it is what came to mind when I read the following article.

    Being human, I can say that we are capable of some pretty brutal stuff. Just look at the concept of a Blood Eagle, or the activities of the Aztecs (and forerunners). Even the worship of Moloch involved the sacrifice of infants. Yeah, we be disgustingly brutal. Yeah, the sacrifice of care seems to be what humanity had devolved to. Maybe we do need that asteroid after all.

    Spanish researchers have come up with a dramatic new theory for the end of the Neanderthal – that humans ate them.

    The researchers say that Homo Sapiens can be considered an ‘alien invasive species’, and point out we have already contributed to the extinction of 178 large mammals.

    Today they called for further research on the bones of Neanderthal man to look for signs of human tooth marks.

      • Only problem being that we did not eat them, we impregnated them. All europeans carry 4 percent neanderthal dna. Africans, asians, and so forth do not. It probably explain a lot about us of european descent, and not in a good way. It at least explains me after 10 beers… “Gruk must…”

      • I agree.

        … Of the primates and great apes. Mankind’s closest living genetic relative, the Bonobo, will nail just about anything that is not nailed down. The next closest, the Chimpanzee, has been known to hunt down kill and eat other smaller primates as a hunting pack.

  20. Hey everyone!

    I returned yesterday safely from a great adventure, going until the highest point in Vatnajokull and in Iceland, the Hvannadalshnukur peak, at Oraefajokull volcano. Such a massive glaciated volcano and great view. Of Vatnajokull and its volcanoes, and of the massive caldera of Oraefajokull. I’m quite tired today. I haven’t slept over the weekend, because the hike took 15 hours, many of those in the glacier. But well worth. I hope to write a post on this volcano and my journey.

  21. Pingback: Tectonics of the Kamchatka Peninsula | Volcano Hotspot

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