Lakí deconstructed – Anatomy of an Eruption

Image from the Open University.

Image from the Open University.


After I wrote my post ‘Central volcanoes of Vatnajökull’ a discussion ensued on the Lakí fissure eruption, both about the anatomy and its timeline. In the end I offered to write a post on it. I not only armed myself by reading more than 30 scientific articles on the subject, I also delved into the largest unpublished scientific material existing for the Lakí lavas. I did this on explicit permission by a mining company, who also graciously offered to pay me for writing the article and publish it on Volcano café. This gave me the opportunity to go far beyond in regards to the research I always do before writing a regular post.

The data covers 8 314 surface samples, 42 drill cores and five stratigraphic dig sites with every sample having been through geochemical analysis. There is also complete geomagnetic sling data for the area and satellite data with laser mapping and high resolution gravitational anomaly data. I here want to point out that the data is collected for a purpose, and I am not allowed to give out data regarding concentrations on any Rare Earth Mineral (REM), nor am I allowed to publish a map showing where some members of the lavas are situated.

Here comes the difference, in science we freely publish our data, in the corporate world it is business secrets. In reality even after taking the restrictions into account the remaining data is far beyond what a scientific project could ever afford.

I will put in a list of articles that I have used in the end of part 3 and 4.

I highly recommend anyone who has not read ‘Central volcanoes of Vatnajökull’ to do so carefully, otherwise you will most likely be lost fairly quickly, see it as the prequel to this 5 part article.

Photograph by Mavur. This image from the 1981 fissure eruption of Krafla shows how ludicrous it is to compare. The scientists on the image was caught unawares as a fissures opened up. If that had happened during an opening of a Skaftár Fire fissure opening they would have instantly pulverized by the explosive force.

Photograph by Mavur.
This image from the 1981 fissure eruption of Krafla shows how ludicrous it is to compare. The scientists on the image was caught unawares as a fissures opened up. If that had happened during an opening of a Skaftár Fire fissure opening they would have been instantly pulverized by the explosive force.

Previous Lakí research

Up until 1993 research into the Skaftár Fires was based upon a model using the Krafla Fires as a type case. This has proven to be a large mistake. Sadly the image of a series of fissures opening up and closing one at a time, in turn drawing magma from a shallow central magma chamber resulting in fire curtaining and mild strombolian eruption characteristics was highly false. It in turn has caused climatologists to gravely misjudge the factors behind the climatic effects of a large rifting fissure eruption.

I will return to the climatic driving factors in part 4 and in part 5 I will return to the magma behind the eruptions. In part 2 I will go through the timeline for the Skaftár Fires eruptions and in part 3 I will talk about the central volcano of Grimsvötn and a bit about the other central volcanoes on the Grimsvötn Fissure Line.

First I would though like to talk about the name of Lakí; it is after all very misleading since Lakí never erupted. Lakí is an old laccolite, a geolithic artifact that is a remnant of old quarternary volcanic activity. The latest eruption was before glaciation. During the eruption it was too hard for the opening fissures to penetrate, something that in the end had a bit of consequence for how the eruption unfolded. So, I prefer the Icelandic term of Skaftár Fires. The main reason is that the Icelandic name is nicely plural.

I will come back to this in detail in the next part, but the Skaftár Fires consisted of at least 10 fissure eruptions and at least 5 other eruptions.

laki fissure line

Anatomy of an eruption

All of the fissure eruptions are sufficiently alike each other that I can start off with describing one and just note the few differences in the next chapter. I have for practical reasons chosen the first eruption as my type case.

For those of you who remember the Krafla Fires eruption, strike that image out of your brains, as we will see the Skaftár fires was a much more violent affair going through several more stages.

At the time of the onset of the Skaftár Fires the tectonic rift zone running between Myrdalsjökull (Katla) up to and including the western part of Vatnajökull had not suffered a fissure eruption since 1477 Veidivötnahraun eruption. In the zone there are 3 large fissure swarms that have had large fissure eruptions.

Basically one can say that the tectonic rift zone is being pulled apart with a speed averaging at 28mm per year, during non eruptive times the spread rate is lower, about 17mm annually as shown by GPS measurements. One can look about the area as a large rubber band that is pulled apart until it snaps, and as it recoils the rubber band moves much further than the pent up strain. At the sites of the fissures the movement was much larger than the pent up 8.6 meters. It is the phrase “on average” that bites us here. The actual fissure width was between 50 and 150 meters at the surface, and that is not even half the truth as we will see later.

In the beginning

What we do not know is what set off the eruptive phase, and we might never really know. It could just have been the rubber band snapping, but at the same time we know that the hotspot under Iceland is cyclic so it could have been a cyclic high (a pulse) that set off the rifting episode. Be that as it may, the rest we can infer from physical evidence and witness reports.

Early in the day on the 15th of May 1783 tremors was noticed in Skaftártunga. It was not anything unusual about that, the local priest though made a dutiful notation about it in his daily journal. The perceived tremor continued up until the early afternoon on the 29th of May. Not even the duration of the tremoring was really that noteworthy for a hardened Icelander.

Nowadays we know what was happening. It was a large scale earthquake swarm running thousands of small earthquakes per day ranging up to 3M. As an earthquake swarm it was fairly large, but nothing that does not happen every ten years or so in Iceland.

In the end it was not a normal earthquake swarm, or even a normal pre-eruptive earthquake swarm. It was the tectonic strain closing in on the point of a critical fail. And that critical fail started on the early afternoon on the 29th of May as the earthquakes suddenly got much bigger. Due to the distance of the witness reports we know that the earthquakes had a minimum of 5M, probably up towards 6M since they started at the bottom of the crust and we know that people had to live outside in tents due to damages to the houses. During the next ten days the earthquakes opened up a wedge shaped fissure from the bottom of the crust, as extremely gas rich magma started to travel upwards the wedge widened at the bottom and more magma poured up. By now the eruption was a self sustaining machine rapidly hammering its way up towards the surface.

As the magma rapidly rose upwards at an average speed of at least 3 km per day it started to degas at an ever increasing rate, and since the volume was very large and the magma gas content was so high a bow wake of gas preceded the magmatic ascent upwards. I will return to how we know about that gas front wave in part 4.

At 09.00 on the 8th of June the bedrock above the rising magma and gas become too thin to be able to withstand the extreme pressure of the rising magma and gas. To compound matters even more the top layer had a water table ranging from 150 to 300 meters depth, mainly consisting of bogs and small lakes.

As the compressed superheated sulphuric and fluorine gas punched through the bedrock the combined force of the hydrothermal explosion, the phreatic detonation and kinetic gas release pulverized the bedrock with tremendous force in an explosion that lasted for about two days. The larger debris and medium sized rubble rained down over the surrounding area, and the coarser sands fell over Skaftártunga and the stoic priest noted that another of Iceland’s eruptions had started. The force was though energetic enough to literally pulverize most of the overlaying bedrock into exceedingly fine dust. The length of the first fissure was 1.6km.

On the 10th of June magma was spotted for the first time as it came flowing out of Skaftárfljót. This first magma was not in an overly thick layer and came out of a fire curtain 1400 meters high. As the fissure continued to widen the height successively lowered as pressure dropped in the system, but the magma had barely started to arrive. The main bulk arrived during the night of the 11th of June, it quickly filled up the river gorge of the Skaftár river gorge and then moved onwards at a speed of up to 3 km per hour.

At that time a second fissure had already opened ejecting a fire curtain and a third was about to open up. For every opening fissure the pressure dropped at our initial fissure and after a while the main activity from it was quiet effusion of a steady stream of lava and strombolian activity at the cones that had formed. The activity continued like this with diminishing activity as every new fissure opened up, but the effusive activity at the fissure did not stop until the 7th of February 1784, and the lava flow did not halt until April of the same year.

As the eruption continued the lava changed that came out of the fissure and eruptive layer evidence give at hand that the temperature of the melt increases as time went by. The magma that came up after the fissure surge tended toward olivine, in the end almost pure foersterite, an extremely high melt point olivine member, was erupted. The bottom layer is almost exclusively blasted bedrock, but over that you have an intricate layering between ashes, lavas, finer grained bedrock as the fissures opened further and further away, and strombolian artifacts. One interesting feature is that some of the fissures produced large amounts of Pele’s hair and Pele’s tears.

At least two fissure openings had a minimum columnar height of 12 kilometers. We know that due to eyewitnesses stating that they could see the columns from a great distance. Problem is just that the previous calculations pretty much did not feel confident with stating higher columns. As we will see in part 4 this was wrong.

I previously mentioned that the magma was very gas rich. We know this from the amount of vesicularisation (fancy word for bubbles of gas in the rock) of the lava. The lava that ended up at the outer of the lava floods cooled rapidly as it contacted with cool rock and retained the high vesicularisation. The lava that cooled slower lost all of its vesicularisation (bubble free). This caused the lava to lose half of its volume, and then it had lost a lot more already during the ascension due to degassing.

One should note that the eruption created a series of Grabens along the entire stretch of fissures. A Graben is created as the area around a large fissure eruption settles due to the area below have emptied out all available magma. You could in a way say that it is a non round caldera formation through subsidence. Most of the Graben line was covered by the magma, but in many places the Graben structures are evident. We should remember that not only did Lakí erupt 15.1 cubic kilometers of lava (DRE), it also erupted tephra (0.8 to 1.9 cubic kilometers DRE) and blasted a far larger amount of rock out. To further compound problems we have all that area evacuated as the wedge formed from the mantle upwards to the surface. So, in reality the entire magmatic emplacement was more into the hundreds of cubic kilometers if we count all the magma going up into the crust. No wonder we got a Graben formation when all that magma cooled and shrunk.

No evidence has been found of more evolved magmas in either the ashes, tephras, or in the lavas. Instead all of the samples point to unevolved fresh magma arriving at high temperature directly from the mantle/crust boundary, also the high gas content points to such an origin. There is no sample pointing to magma having either encountered previous melted material, or rested in a magmatic chamber of any sort. This disqualifies any central volcano having taken any part in the Skaftár Fires. In the next episode we will discuss briefly the eruptions at Grimsvötn and the other central volcanoes on the fissure swarm during the time of the Skaftár Fires, and in part 3 we will do a deep dive into that particular subject.


169 thoughts on “Lakí deconstructed – Anatomy of an Eruption

  1. Wow, wow, wow! Can’t wait to read the rest.
    What about that “12 km – columnar height”? Can’t be the lava fountain alone, can it?
    Thanks for the first part, Carl and can’t wait for the next installments!

    • I am coming back to the columnar heights in part 4… (Being a terrible tease here, but it will be worth the waiting)

      Edit: But you are right, it does not have with the lava fountain to do.

  2. OT, Hekla related.
    I’ve noticed almost every time this strain rise, the “Strain release” will occur with a sudden drop. I would not be surprised if a bigger release will show up this time.

    Great and informative post Carl, thanks.

    • Agreed Mizar, Hekla strain certainly seems more ‘spiky’ than recent weeks. Interesting watching at the moment. And wondering! 😉

    • Next one will be either monday or wednesday, these ones take a bit of time to write…
      There will be a light post on friday with Riddles by Kilgharrah.

  3. OT (but volcano related):
    I was just sitting outside in the sun speaking with one of the exchange students. He spoke surprisingly good Swedish for being from China. And we got into talking about volcanoes, and he asked about Chinese volcanoes. So I talked a bit and then I came to Baekdu describing the last big eruption there.
    He got this really incredulous stare and said “I am from Baekdu, is that a volcano?”. After a bit of googling on my new chinese acquintance part he was positively fuming with anger. Apparantly the chinese government is witholding evidence of it being an active volcano from the residents.

    • Yeah, I guess that piss me off also. I find it odd that it would include poo-pooing away the oral history. It hasn’t been long enough for that to have been lost from folklore.

      • You forget that back then Manchuria was a separate country, and if you are not allowed to speak about things unless you wont lead in the back of your head… It would kill off oral tradition too.

        • But why you would want to witheld such information? If the volcano erupts, that rather difficult to neglect/deny. I can’t see how you can take advantage by keeping secret that there is a volcano in the neighbourhood.

          • On average the chinese are pretty good at withholding any evidence that not all is perfect.
            They are also fabricating and falsifying economic data since 3 years back. We in the west have gotten really good at turning a blind eye to China being a very strict, censored, oppressive, military dictatorship complete with political scholing, huge prison camps for dissidents, and a habit of whacking anyone who is not spouting the party line.

  4. Nice! 12 Points for this one … especially shattering the “fact” Skaftáreldar did not come from any Central Volcano (previously often stated plumbed to Grimsvötn or Geirvörtur) 😉
    *.. so, no torture at all ..*

    • I will return to my beloved Geirvörtur in part 3. 😉

      It is fun how something can become “a fact”, that in fact was no fact at all.

      • I have been to the area, but weather was not good for pictures then… so that might be reson to go again, to take some “before” pictures 😉

    • Here in the Cafe, one idea that had been kicked around was the idea that as the fissure formed, magma from a central volcano had moved down the opening fissure and that had assisted hydraulically in providing additional pressure to open the line. (I use “hydraulic” in the fluid mechanics sense, not water, though the water would not have been too happy about the arriving magma)

      That non-evolved bit shoots that idea in the ass.

      • I shot it in the ass with a large bore shotgun.
        The idea was also lofted in quite a lot of papers. I have two more party poopers up my sleave for later.

      • Don’t be too hard on the theory. It was a plausible explanation at the time.

        Even though wrong, little ideas like that are food for thought when trying to muddle out how something works. It was much more workable than the “A Sasquatch tore open the crust” idea.

        • Ahh! Amazing post Carl! This is what makes me happy 🙂 I always had that feeling about something “wrong” with these dead zone eruptions, they always seem to mismatch the eruption pattern of their (supposed) central volcanoes.

          Now we know, without doubt, that Laki was either a pulse of hotspot magma directly there, or a rift event that allowed that hotspot magma to come up. Either way, this is fresh new magma, unrelated to Grimsvotn.

          Carl! Likewise, for Veidivotn. The eruption only occurred in that area and at one small spot at the edge of Torfajokull. Therefore I propose the theory that the pulse of fresh new magma must arrive at Veidivotn, near Landmannalaugar, unrelated to Bardarbunga or Torfajokull. But because it is so close to Torfajokull, it triggers always a minor rhyolite eruption there.

          Question is: if this pattern goes on forever, then it is just like the birth of a new volcano (for example Hekla). Slowly an eruption occurs always at the same region and starts forming first crater rows and then a stratovolcano. A magma chamber starts to be defined below that region. Could Laki and Veidivotn be such systems, birthing volcanoes?

  5. The REE bit has me intrigued. It’s either normal “corporate secrets” or there is a competitor snooping about.

    How many Chinese “tourists” visit Iceland on a regular basis?

    They are as bad as Star Trek’s Feringi.

  6. Interesting post! Did not stop for even a sip of wine while reading it 😀

    Am I right in thinking that there a some similarities with Tolbachik? Tolbachik being a smaller version.

    • Dunno, mamga ascended to within a few km of the surface as seen by the quakes, then they slowed, then the quakes reappeared over near the fissure line.

    • I was thinking the same. But Tolbachik is far less violent. Tolbachik seems also have straight access to unevolved lava’s and there is also an mantle wedge, only with Tolbachik and the CKD it’s a permanent feature. The volcanoes are also more or less constantly erupting.

    • Tolbachik seems more like a picture perfect version of Krafla Fires.
      And the lava production mechanism is different.

    • I hope there isn’t too much damage. The floods of Central Europe has been in the news here the last week. Hopefully the worst part is over.

    • Hi Spica! Glad to hear from you. I hope there wasn’t too much damage near you. Floods are awful things – the effects are so long lasting.

    • Hi, Spica! Good to hear from you. My friends in Salzburg also have suffered from the intense flooding of the Salzach river. Hopefully we’ll be able to have our appointment next January: this time I am staying for longer. 🙂

  7. Very interesting! I’m looking forward to the next instalments.

    Here’s a heads up to British readers: Sunday night at 9.00 on BBC2 – first in a 4 part series called “Rise of the Continents”. Professor Iain Stewart (him again) explains how the present continents were formed. According to the Radio Times there is “talk of subduction, cratons and mantle plumes” amidst great scenery. It starts off with Africa. I’ll be watching!

  8. WOW Carl !!!!! Just got a first chance to read the above article and wow again, what an article! How wonderful to get such a mass of scientific data to sift through and what a wonderful job you have made of the presentation of the first part. Definitely befuddled no more! 😉 Many thanks for such an interesting post and can’t wait for the next one.

    • Hi Newby

      good see you popping by.

      El Hierro is making some quakes today (9). Some locations and depths are let’s say interesting. We’ll see how it develops in the future. I owe a plot of El Hierro with the new windowing system.


  9. Fantastic reading. Is it possible please to have captions on the first and third images, as I want to know what/where they are!!! (I’m guessing the third shows the results of one of the three Skaftár Fires fissures? Thanks Carl.

    • I don’t have the charts needed, but it appears that an aircraft came to a turn point and took a southerly leg and headed south.

      Can’t really tell the view angle from the video, but trying to match the summit profile, it appears to be looking at about 175° from the direction of Iztaccíhuatl. If so, it could be the leg that goes south from the turnpoint. Benito Juarez Int’l Airport (Mexico City) MMMX / MEX is the airport you need to pull plates for. (a low level chart for the area would help quite a bit also.)

  10. Carl, If you even publish a book or short story, I will buy it and If I understand the mining side to it, I would buy one for the other half too. 🙂

    I am going to paste them all together later and read it a few times. The people at the time could of went mad with the noise, heat and smell.

    Skaftár Fires, love the name.

      • Gurgle often let me scratch my head, do not think its worth shredding tears over… 🙂
        Skaftáreldar are interesting for so many things. For starters I have them in my (memory) geans (DNA), as my great-grandfather is from this area, but have not been able confirm his ancestors there at the time (1780s). Anyway I feel as I have them in my DNA, judging from some kind of memory effect kicking in, when reading up on the story.
        EQ´s must have started much earlier than said, more likely them not be felt in the beginning. It took Eyjo magma two months or more to reach the surface. Therefore we likely will get 30 days warning of next event, that can come any year from now.

      • Gurgle splits them words wrong, as “Skaf” (Skafa) is scratching or more correctly scraping, then “tár” is indeed tear. But it should break that down as Skaft-á (Handle-river) -ár simply be the pluiral of rivers ( one: á, many: ár).

    • I am going to do that at end of part 3.
      Otherwise I would have to post them every time.
      And… I am keeping two more things up my sleave so… Excuse me for a bit of showmanship here.

  11. Ref the Geochemistry.

    I understand the lock and key aspect of the REE. But is it possible that we can get pointed at the non REE percentages? I would even be happy with just SiO2, FeO TiO2, Na2O, and K2O at different stages of the eruption. (mainly FeO and TiO2.)

    But then… I’m greedy like that. You know I’m gonna shove em through the sulfur formulas. I do stupid stuff like that.

    Additionally, and from an esoteric point of view… you don’t happen to have anything that indicates percentages of carbonyl sulfate to SO2 do you?

    (I had to ask and fully understand the data limitations, so if it’s a no go, it’s no big deal. I am also aware that some REE data can be inferred by the other chemistries. I’ll be damned if I can do it, but it is an area of research that a lot of people have been poking at.)

  12. Awesome post Carl! Part one leaves me desperate for the rest. You have put a huge amount of work in this and we are in for a magnificent treat! And that is not to say other posters lack anything. I am humbled by the posted articles from all of you. I wish I could show even the slightest iota of ability to match any of you. What a wonderful community this is!!

  13. Adding another WOW! Carl this is gripping stuff. You have also managed, by means of clear and concise writing, to draw the threads of information I had muddled through, into an amazingly solid mental image of the beginnings of the fissure eruptions. The locals must have been very stoic.
    Also so interesting is the unevolved magma detail.
    I watch the tremor graphs now with more understanding. I have a timescale for quake activity in my mind. The swarm off the coast in Northern Iceland shows what we should be seeing before any major eruption.
    OMG!! How exciting this is… waiting for #2 Post.
    I need coffee # 2 also….. BBL>>>>>>>Potters off to kitchen……

    • OOps forgot to say in my excitement…. YOOO HOOO! Newby good to see you. I was worried. Hope all is OK with you and yours. (((((((((Hug)))))))
      Now all I need is to see that Ursh is OK.

            • During your absence we have been contemplating renaming you.
              This due to you not being so “New” around volcanoes. I think we decided on Teenby since Grownupby was a bit cumbersome. 🙂
              Good to have you back!

            • LOL Carl. I have been thinking I need a new name too.One that will actually show that I know little about volcanoes but have a tremendous enthusiasm for them! How about Volcofreak? 😀

            • Ah, I think I have it, how about Oldby! Would reflect my advancing years. OK, just advancing, not galloping as hubby suggested. 😉

            • Yepp, definitly time to let there be a new generation of Newbies that you can take care of 🙂

  14. O/T (for the biologists). Since 2000 There are again beavers living in the Dijle-valley, South of Leuven. It’s a real beaver paradise (The last Belgian beaver was shot there in 1848) and the population grew very fast. Now they’re migrating out of the Southern Dijle region and the beavers are colonising the whole Scheldt basin from here. When they migrate they have to pass the city of Leuven. First it was thought that beavers would have troubles with it, but that isn’t the case. The last years, beavers were sometimes spotted in Leuven city center. One ‘beaverhotspot’ is at the terrains of the AB-Inbev headquarters and the (old) Stella Artois brewery. Last month a beaver was sleeping in a car-free main shopping street at broad daylight after been spotted the night before in the party-neighbourhood. Now a beaver couple has settled in a quarter of Leuven near the Grand Beguinage. They can be seen gnawing and knibbling trees at night. Next week, a nature organisation is holding a beaver safari every night well within the city walls of Leuven. The local city fauna exist mostly out of stray cats, mouses, rats, pigeons, magpies, blackbirds, other small birds, frogs in the pond of the park, and now also beavers.
    I actually pass very often through neighbourhood and I had seen some tracks from the beavers along the Dijle, mostly saw-dust from their gnawing activities. But I thought it was from migrating young beavers, I never realised there was actually a beaver couple living here.

  15. I spend part of my days munching on spam that Akizmet catches (Akizmet is the spam bot, trust me without it you would go nuts).

    One might think that it was mainly sex spam and such that was caught. But nope, 65 percent of all spam is in regard of a horrible ugly Australian Unisex sheep-skin boot apptly named Ugg.

    After 2 years of munching on the Uggs I today decided to take a look at what it was.
    The poor sheep must be circulating in their graves (stomachs) from having been turned into such a huge fashion catastrophy.

    No wonder they need so much spam to even sell one pair.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    • Another spam just reminded me that Uggs can’t take water, rain, dampness, or any liquid without getting stained or loosing their shape. And that I could find them in baby sizes… Wander what will happen if a baby hurl on them…
      So, they are not only ugly, they are useless too…

    • LOL Carl, I laugh every time I see some one wearing a pair of those dreadful boots and believe me, as far as I can see they always end up in those shapeless messes portrayed in the picture above. And some sheeple pay good money for this rubbish. 😀
      Now Diana’s red wellies, now THERE is a fashion statement!

  16. If there’s anyone passing by right now take a look at the wonderful sight of Tolbachick with a Hekla-type cloud hat. I’ll post a link to the grabbed image later. Just passing by…

  17. just got a nice screencap myself – I’ll see if I can get it uploaded somewhere to paste a link

    • IGN are going chinese on us. Soon they are also going to deny Baekdu – Bob…

      I am not surprised. They have tried to hide things for a long time. And that last 80mm uplift in march was pretty scary, it is about what was needed for the second and third eruptive phase, and just 40mm less than what it took to start the eruption to beginn with.

      • By the way, the windowing for Bob is on its way. I’m trying it with different window sizes. I’ll get ready late tonight or tomorrow for the riddles.

        Here are 2 still views (no rotation) for Tolbachik with 2000 and 1500 quakes windows



        • Chosing by the calendar also gives me the problem, but not navigating with the orange arrows or directly changing the date or station in the adress.

        • You guys do know that a recent US court ruled that fiddling around with the URL at this level was the equivalent to hacking right?

          (It’s not, but Judges aren’t the brightest bulbs in the pack. Now, if you hammered the server with packets and make a buffer overflow error, then exploited that, well, that is a variation on actual hacking methods)

          • I’m sure it pleased his smugness quite well. It still doesn’t hint towards him having any integrity, and possibly as having a very poor intellect.

            It indicates the sort of perverted mentality that thinks that data tossed out on a website somehow remains private data, never to be seen by the world. That’s like running your underwear up a flagpole in the front yard and then being aghast that someone actually saw the polka dots. (Nemisio comes to mind)

            Now… if you try to secure it with an authuser mechanism, legally, that indicates that the owner tried to secure it. (albeit rather poorly) and circumventing that is legally a hack. At least in this case there was a control mechanism in place and I can see the logic of prosecuting on those grounds. Additionally, if someone tried to brute-force the authuser password gizmo, a properly set up server would log the shit out of each and every attempt… complete with IP. (Which is why proxy servers are used quite a bit.. even multiple chains of proxies) Just for the fun of it, I made a post on a thread on our clan server from a proxy out of Tehran university. It puzzled “Bones” (our admin) to no end. He knew it had to be a proxy, but he couldn’t figure out who made the post until I started laughing my arse off about it.

            • No need to become red… We live in Europe…
              And if you live in Sweden it is next to seen as a “Human right” to hack, download, and be netpirating all over the place.

            • Not according to EU law at least. No clue about UK law, but I seriously doubt it.

            • UK law seems to be a mine-field, based on damages / any malicious intent (e.g. denial of service attacks or fraud).

          • Thanks for the heads-up. Wouldn´t have thought that something so obvious as typing in a particular date might be regarded as hacking. Well, just to be on the safe side from now on I will only use the arrow buttons like 600 times to get to 2011 ;-).

            • The only reason that I pointed it out, is that some people out there are extraordinarily zealous when it comes to data.

              Personally, I have had all of my phone usage info “gathered” by the FBI in their Verizon data gobble. I did 20+ years in the US military, so that alone makes me a suspect in the eyes of our Dept Homeland Security. Suspect of what, I have no idea. According to news releases, the content of the phone calls was never gathered, yet I know full well that there are NSA equipment located in some phone switching centers due to lawsuits that were filed about the one in LA, and that In-Q-Tel has thrown lots of money at automatic transcription and data mining software companies.

              Have I got anything to hide? No.. unless they are really interested in my disdain of function creep or how much I hate a specific model of color copier. But that is not the point. Why should I be looked at (genetically, or via fingerprint) unless I am a suspect?

              Meh.. I guess that little rant makes me a suspect.

    • I have been pondering how I could help you in your search for gases and so on. About a year ago I sent you a published paper with data on the Lakí lavas, in that there was a chart with basic constituents like magnesium, SIO and soforth. You should be able to get what you need from that if memory serves.

      Regarding “competitors”, chinese stick out like sore thumbs in Iceland. We hired Icelanders and had a couple of swedish geologists with them. Swedes look like Icelanders so they are easy to hide. And if anyone asked they just said they where from a swedish University doing a volcanic survey. Even the volcanologist they encountered fell for that ruse. Thankfully they where not around when the kilometerlong magnetic slings where laid out in large grids all over… That is not standard issue volcanologist tools. Same goes for the drill rigs. I think though that the rumours ran a bit high in Höfn…

        • Yepp, it was an interesting rumour 🙂
          I was hitting my knees as Jón talked about ’em. But, off terrain drill rigs moving about like dinosaurs it was not so crazy that people believed it.

    • I’ve had a … “shitty” day. Right now, I am enjoying a festering hatred of all mankind.

      The gimpy weather idiot on the local TV ticks me off with his missives, and the special report on the two farking morons who got their car stuck in the water under an overpass just sends me into a whole new realm of pissed.

      When interviewed, they blamed a passing tractor trailer rig for causing it, yet when you see the video footage, their car is sitting in 3 and half feet of water, which is clearly up to the top of the engine. Yeah, a rig caused that…. riiiiight. (bullshit) And while they are sitting there wailing about the car, a white van drives by and off into the deep, stalling also. Not one of those two self centered IDIOTS lifted a finger to try and flag down the van to warn them. And when the news crew helped the elderly lady out of the vane, the two cackling idiots are laughing at her.

      I hope that karma visits them with a nice fat steaming pile of what they deserve out of life. I have no sympathy what so ever for people that act like that. F’em. Figure it out yourselves you self serving twats.

      I have flooded out my vehicle before. It ain’t no big deal. Get up off your ass and deal with it.

      And if you drive off into water that can clearly cover your hood… guess what. IT’s YOUR FAULT.

      Side not for whoever may not know. If water can cover your exhaust pipe, it can stall your engine if you are at low idle. You have to maintain a high RPM in order to keep the water out of the pipe. Drop to a lower gear to get a higher RPM range.. and be prepared to face the consequences if you encounter a missing manhole cover. Flooding can occasionally lift them off their openings. Find one of them, and you are gonna be there a while. Yet another reason not to try and cross a flooded section of road.

      About the shitty day. “pop the three tabs on the side of the unit” he says. What do I get? A large pile of bright yellow toner dust all over the table. Yay. I think it scared the legislative intern off, he using his laptop while sitting at the table I was working at when it happened. I didn’t curse… but that would have been the appropriate time to do so. The setting was not appropriate, so I didn’t. I keep a supply of 92& isopropyl in a spray bottle and a clean cotton rag for just such an occasion. Cleans it right off, though you smell like a dental office afterwards.

    • To understand Congo one must have been there.
      The situation is currently so bad that there for all practical points and purposes are no longer a government function in that area of Congo.
      The place is ruled by the militias that are to strong for the government army, and the UN peacekeepers are not charged with routing the militias, only to protect the townspeople. It is a mess.
      Trust me Ursh, it is not the government that is the problem, they would want to put up a good warning system, but with the rape-militias roaming the countryside using child-soldiers to spread the terror there is nothing they can do.

      And if you think it would be easy to whack the militia groups, think again. The M23 fields at least half a million soldiers. It is not called the African World War for no reason. Sofar more then 20 million have died.
      M23 (also known as God’s Army) lost the war in Rwanda, so they came over into Congo instead to continue their religious genocide. Their leader has proclaimed himself as Jesus reborn, and has set out to kill all non-believers and every one who is not of the correct “people”. Think Hitler Christ and you have it…

    • Ursh! Good to see you. Are you OK?
      As for the Congo and other states in Africa……I dare not start I will get far too political, but I do wish their governments would spend money on welfare not warfare.
      I did my bit in the 60’s to try to change the world. Now I am of the mind that world peace and the end of famines and disease is part of a long evolution that societies have to work through. There are no short cuts. Colonial rule and missionaries only confused the evolutionary process. Kingdoms in Africa then were actually doing OK without European “help”. Time to stop and coffee # 2.
      <<<<<<<Joins Lurking in his general rant on human kind of the less intelligent or selfish order.
      A couple of years ago the short journey into town may once a week have had a marked incidence of stupidity/carelessness. Now it's a daily occurrence. Yesterday saw me stopping for two drunks (this at midday) who walked straight in front of me. Why did the drunks cross the road? To get to the next Pub! Then I narrowly missed a young lady busy texting on her mobile and walking straight off the curb without a glance left or right.
      I drive slowly, not because I am elderly or a woman, but because I know it will be my fault in Law if a careless pedestrian ends up on my car bonnet (Hood) As for the local taxi drivers, they have their own set of highway rules. Such as ….
      Thou shalt make a U- turn anywhere without indication.
      Thou shalt park on double yellow lines, on dangerous bends and on the pavement.
      Thou shalt believe in other driver's psychic powers. They can read your mind and know what you will do next.

      • @ Diana,
        I am a bid out of sorts, a few more days and I will be fine, things have a tendency to come out of left field at times.
        since it is Friday a bid of OT: just a reminder, the planet is in all sorts of shit and we hear all the bad stuff all the time and forget about the good stuff, I came across this video of NZ, about a beautiful song and stunning landscapes our volcanoes might be a handful when they erupt, but down the track they leave beauty in its place.

          • Ursh get well soon and take good care of yourself(((((((((((((Hugs)))))))))))
            Beautiful …I can see why so many want to emigrate there. I look after my husband’s very frail and disabled Aunty who lives up the road. Her son and family emigrated to New Zealand a few years ago and they have never looked back. It’s very hard on Aunty Doris as she will never be able to travel there. I shall send her these videos. Her son got her a lap top before he left and I have taught her how to Skype and email etc so she does not feel totally cut off. You are right. The world is beautiful.

            • Diana I am fine now, thanks for the hugs. I put those videos in to have a look at another angle angle to our volcano watching, a side often forgotten while we contemplate and can’t wait for eruptions, also wonder why people live around volcanoes comes into it, forgot that most of you are about 10-11 hours behind when posting, was mend for Friday.
              I am glad Aunty Doris will be able to virtually travel there and share in the beauty of her families new home.

  18. Lurking, if you want to take your mind of being bugged…
    There is something large inflating somewhere northish of Hofsjökull. It is quite clear if one looks into the data for central island. One needs to kind of thing away the already known inflation of Hamarinn/Bardarbunga area. I think it could be Askja, but I am far from sure. North Iceland data show a roughly inverse pattern in places. It is clearer in the longer detrended data set compared to the one year rapid set.

  19. And for the paranoid… a little known fact.

    Color copiers and printers have a built in function, that as far as I know, can not be bypassed or defeated. They print the serial number of the unit in coded little yellow dots on every single page they print.

    Ostensibly…. it is to aid in tracking down counterfeiters. But taking the mindset of function creep… tracking down the serial number and who purchased a particular printer that produced whatever disagreeable document that a well connected organization wanted to find… well, thats entirely possible with the technology.

    • The same organization that put that one in uses it to track threats to the president of the US. Also the FBI, and pretty much every police force on the planet uses them to track down extortionists, kidnappes and whatnots.
      So, I buy my printers at vendors without security cams in other cities and pay in cash. I do not want everyone to know everything.

  20. OK! back On Topic. Helkla strain looks likeshe tangled up her balls of knitting wool! …And where are the shortwave signals?
    Carl notes the inflation towards the North of Iceland….
    Dyngjuhals is messy too. Ok! Looks like some technical hitch but the long waves are righting themselves but still busy…..And just look at Jokulheimer to the south

    Either the graboids are partying or there is a constant deep tremor.
    Or am I just being alarmist?

    From Skrokkalda up to Askja I have a feeling there are signs that something is changing. Where and what we can only guess. Is it a fissure starting? One of the Ice covered volcanoes?
    or both?

  21. Pokarekare..Learned this in school,1959 – great memories – still following along here, albeit sporadically – nice feeling of ‘home.

      • I’m surprised the Dail Fail missed a trick in failing to emphasise the volcano angle – normally they go for as sensational an angle as possible- – and as some of the photos show lava, it’s not exactly ‘unobvious’ (if that’s a word!) that these mountains are not just any old mountains, they’re volcanoes – and erupting volcanoes at that!

  22. Pingback: Lakí deconstructed – Grimsvötn and Beyond | VolcanoCafe

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