Digging for data

Tephralayers from the Laacher See eruption at the Wingertsbergwand . Rarely geological structured are layed out in such a visible way. Image by author (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0).

Tephralayers from the Laacher See eruption at the Wingertsbergwand . Rarely geological structured are layed out in such a visible way. Image by author (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0).

Following the motto “Four eyes see more than two” we want to ask the crowd to find links to public earthquake databases from around the world. There are the usual suspects, USGS, EMSC and such, but they only provide events above a certain magnitude. We are also interested in small, local microseismic events which are early markers of volcanic activity. Shortly after they happened, one can plot raw sculptures of the geological underworld in which volcanoes root so we can joyfully ruminate on them in the Volcanocafé.

Finding these lists, bulletins, queries etc. is sometimes like looking for a needle in a haystack, especially when you don´t understand the language. So this is where the riddle trained gang here could be extremely helpful. From the collected links we want to compile a Volcanocafé webpage for future reference and easy access.

The earthquake lists should at least contain origin time, latitude, longitude, depth and magnitude. If quality or focal mechanisms are provided the categorally non-expert VC analysts may happily chew on it.

Some data are more convenient to export than others, and honestly, when you cannot download it all in one file, like for example what IGN kindly provides for the Canaries, then extracting a useful list can be a dreadful chore. So the possibility to export event details in text form, like csv, that can be imported into Excel and other scientific programs, is a real plus. Copy-pasting directly from webpages sometimes also works well, sometimes not. More often than not one has to convert the varying date, time or coordinate formats to something useful.

As a treat, most seismological webpages generate maps to illustrate recent earthquakes for the general public, so you might find some diamond here and there, like the 3D applet of the Vesuvian Observatory. Some data can be exported as kml files for Google Earth, which has become a geographical killer application for both experts and laymen.

In most cases utilizing the data in a non-commercial way with properly citing it´s sources, is sufficient in respect to the corresponding copyrights, but please check it out for yourself!

So, here is a start:


IRIS SeismiQuery  (Seattle, USA) from ICS, NEIC PDE, ANF and GCMT catalogues for quakes something above magnitude 1.7 dating back to 1960. Output as map, html or WEED event file (txt): http://www.iris.edu/SeismiQuery/sq-events.htm

EMSC (European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre) for magnitudes min 3. Output as map, kml, csv (max. 5000): http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/?filter=yes

USGS custom region search magnitude 2.5 dating back 1900+ (check options). Under advanced search options you can select moment tensor, phase data etc.  Output as csv:  http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/map/

ISC-GEM (International Seismological Centre) Global Instrumental Earthquake Catalogue magnitude 5.5 or larger as csv: http://www.isc.ac.uk/iscgem/download.php

GFZ Geoforschungszentrum Potsdam GEOFON Program magnitude 3 or higher. HTML (max 1000 per page) or RSS (20 events) output: http://geofon.gfz-potsdam.de/eqinfo/form.php

Harvard CMT, Global Centroid Moment Tensor database. The database covers 1976 to about 6 months before the present: http://www.globalcmt.org/CMTsearch.html

Countries or regions: 

Spain, Canaries: Well, you know that one: http://www.01.ign.es/ign/resources/volcanologia/txt/boletin_HIERRO.txt

Germany: Events located in Germany and adjacent areas. The specified time span must be shorter than 1000 days for German events or shorter than 400 days for all events analysed by the BGR. Output is kind of pdf (?), no space between numbers and units…such a pain…: http://www.szgrf.bgr.de/seisevents.html

Local earthquakes registered by the seismic station Bensberg: http://www.seismo.uni-koeln.de/catalog/2013.htm

Belgium: Earthquakes in and adjacent areas of the last 6 months by the Royal Observatory of Belgium:  http://seismologie.be/index.php?LANG=EN&CNT=BE&LEVEL=0 . A complete catalogue of events since 1900 can be requested by mail!

Switzerland: The SED provides a html list of recent local earthquakes of all magnitudes: http://www.seismo.ethz.ch/eq/latest/index?time=utc

Britain: Earthquakes around the British Isles of the past 50 days: http://www.earthquakes.bgs.ac.uk/earthquakes/recent_uk_events.html

Czech Republic: Catalogs of regional seismic events recorded by the Czech Regional Seismological Network from 1976. Output as txt. http://www.czechgeo.cz/en/gfu-catalog/?do=processYear

Iceland: And the classic: http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/viku/

Italy: Custom search of all (?) magnitudes. Output as googlemap, csv, kml:  http://iside.rm.ingv.it/iside/standard/result.jsp?rst=1&page=EVENTS

Italy (Vesuv, Ischia and Campi Flegrei): Osservatorio Vesuviano Sezione di Napoli dell’Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia. Output as map and html. Just noticed the 3D Applet, neat!

Italy (Sicily), INGV:
Regional earthquakes since 1999. Unfortunately they come in chunks of 15 earthquakes per page, that is hard work to copy to txt. Cite as: Gruppo Analisi Dati Sismici, 2013. Catalogo dei terremoti della Sicilia Orientale – Calabria Meridionale (1999-2011). INGV, Catania: http://www.ct.ingv.it/ufs/analisti/catalogolist.php

France and more: GeoAzur, output of seismic query will be sent by email. http://websismo.unice.fr/DataSismo_Acces_Donnees.php?lang=FR

Greece: Institute for Geodynamics, web based output of earthquakes since 2008 and google map: http://bbnet.gein.noa.gr/HL/database
and historic earthquake (magnitude 2.5 or higher) catalogues since 1628 BC: http://www.gein.noa.gr/services/cat.html

Turkey: Bogazici University, Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute (Koeri), National Earthquake Monitoring Center (NEMC) provide a list of last 6 weeks in Turkey in html or export to Google maps: http://www.koeri.boun.edu.tr/scripts/lasteq.asp

Azores: The Centro de Vulcanologia e Avaliação de Riscos Geológicos / Universidade dos Açores unfortunately only provides a Google map without depth information as far as I can see: http://www.cvarg.azores.gov.pt/paginas/sismicidade.aspx

Portugal with Azores and Madeira: Fortunately,
Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA) does a better job. They provide earthquake data from 1998: http://www.ipma.pt/en/geofisica/sismologia/

USA, Pacific North-West. PNSN Historic catalog 1793 to present. Searchable from 1976 with magnitudes between -2 and 9. Output as CSV (max 10000): http://www.pnsn.org/earthquakes/historic-catalog

USA, Alaska. The Alaska Volcano Observatory maintains a database of volcano earthquakes located since October 1989. Request size is limited to a few thousand per search. Exportable as txt, kml and other formats: http://www.giseis.alaska.edu/Seis/EQ/event_request/index.php

Mexico. SSN Earthquake querie (magnitude above about 2) from 2006: and from 1998 to 2005:

Colombia: Servicio Geológico Colombiano, Boletines de sismicidad by month or semester from 1993 as pdf: http://seisan.ingeominas.gov.co/RSNC/boletines/

Guatemala: Insivumeh´s map and table of earthquakes of the last 24 hours: http://www.insivumeh.gob.gt/geofisica/sismologia/sismos24horas.pdf and boletin 2012 as pdf: http://www.insivumeh.gob.gt/geofisica/sismologia/boletin_sismologico_2012.pdf

Chile. CSN earthquake list per day above about magnitude 2: http://www.sismologia.cl/

Russia, Kamchatka: Export local quakes as txt, kml, csv or xml: http://www.emsd.ru/ts/

Final catalogue of the geophysical service RAS for older Kamchatka events:  http://quakekam.emsd.ru/

Australia: Australian Government Geoscience Australia. Earthquakes located in Australia and world with magnitude 1.3 or higher. Output as html (maximal 5000 events), csv, kml, xls: http://www.ga.gov.au/earthquakes/searchQuake.do

New Zealand: Geonet local quake search. Export as map, csv or kml. http://magma.geonet.org.nz/quakesearch/

New Caledonia: Nouvelle-Calédonie (New Caledonia) Sismological Network, mainly covering the surrounding pazific Islands (like Vanuatu, Tonga, Loyalty Is. etc.) up to parts of Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand: http://www.seisme.nc/index.php?option=com_alertes&view=alertes&Itemid=185&lang=en and Java applet with more detailed information:  http://seisan.ird.nc/

Japan: Japan University Network Earthquake Catalog with text files per month from
1985 to 1998:

The BRI strong motion database also contains additional information like waveforms and response spectra: http://smo.kenken.go.jp/smdb

NIED Japan strong-motion Seismograph Networks earthquake search: http://www.kyoshin.bosai.go.jp/kyoshin/search/index_en.html

Philipines: Philvolc´s (Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology) earthquake boletin has a list of the last 2 years on this site: http://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/html/update_SOEPD/EQLatest.html

Now it´s your turn! Hope you will join the hunt! 🙂


Update: Post updated with new links.

148 thoughts on “Digging for data

    • Good find! I only wish they showed them as txt, because here one has to copy every table from every page seperately.

    • I think SEED is not used for event details, but I may be wrong.

      The Standard for the Exchange of Earthquake Data (SEED) is a data format intended primarily for the archival and exchange of seismological time series data and related metadata.


      I ran across the seisme.nc site before but unfortunately they don´t show the exact event locations as far as I can see.

        • Hmm, when I ask for the full time range I get the message “lately reading sequential formatted internal IO”. I reduced the query but it only gave me part of 2008.

          • Could be as simple as a database error.

            I’ve done some CGI scriptiing in Pearl before, and if you horkup (from a codewriters point of view) the database query, the script will typically barf. This usually shows up on the more automated webpage development applications where the person writing the page is sort of at the mercy of the company that put the development application framework together.

            It doesn’t mean that the page developer messed up, just that they have a problem that they need to address.

            This really happens quite a bit when shifting from one flavor of application to another… like using an MS based web application development tool to access a MySQL database. It can be done, but you better bring a wrench and a pot of coffee to work out the bugs.

            And, in memory of Admiral Grace Hopper, the first identified computer bug.

      • Those seed files can be handy if you want to look at the actual waveform in a program like SeisGram2K. For the more advanced… you can do waveform picks and spectral analysis with it. …and, if you are patient, export the waveform as an upsampled wave file for use in driving your subwoofers attatched to your chair.

        • 😯 Lurking you are a genius !

          <<<<<<<feels very out of her depth with all this……. But continues to trawl through the internet for anything that may be deemed useful

        • Thank you, I am getting to work on making my chair move around in new ways.
          One has not lived untill one has had an earthquake or two massage your butt infront of the fireplace.
          One day I will make a post of my attenuator driven chair complete with dravings and parts lists.

  1. Here is a view of El Hierro from the south.

    El Hierro view from the south - 29/07/2013

    The title shows the date span.
    The colorbar shows the date color (on the left) and the terrain elevation on the right.
    In yellow All events prior to 18/03/2013
    In magenta events between 19/03/2013 and 31/05/2013
    In Black, events for the month of June

    The location of the recent 2.8 and 3 mag earthquakes are shown also

    What we can see is that the majority of recent events is located under the island, but that the location of these events activates new areas around the yellow cloud.
    There are also some events in the magenta cloud which are the earthquakes of last year activity surge in June-July and september 2012.

    So in my opinion (for what it is worth), I think that there is some type of slow reactivation going on.

    Here is the link for the original pic

      • Still think Hekla comes first
        but Grimsvötn 2nd
        and Hamarinn 3rd
        maybe Askja 4th
        and Eyjo/Vestmannisl./Katla 5th
        – but of course the rouge one will surprise us all
        (really do not know which volcano is closest to eruption)

        • My list would be in no particular order.
          Hekla, Grimvsvötn, Bardarbunga, Grimsvötn, Askja, Grimsvötn.

          I would say that we have the next ten years covered there. The order of them is though highly debatable.

          • “no particular order” save Grimsvötn be every other eruption, so not Grimsvötn next if formuka works out 🙂 You are forgetting “Central-DropZone” ar you not ..

            • Well, I count those in sinse I have mentioned the three central volcanoes on the possibly recalcitrant fissure swarms…
              It could equally well be 3 Grimsvötn eruptions in a row. It was more to point out that one out of every two eruptions in Iceland are from Grimsvötn.

            • What I would not do for one there… Sigh…
              If we all email the Icelandic President? Would that help?

          • next one surprises everyone and it is near Grimsey/Tjornes. Also during the next decade or so, we will see a submarine eruption of Reykjanes, And also explosive eruption at Kverfjoll or Esjufjoll, and another one to the southwest of Grimsvotn and Bardarbunga, but within Vatnajokull (similar to Glálp).

            The common expectable ones include more eruptions of Grimsvotn but small and short lived, a VEI4 eruption of Hekla (large lava erupted following the initial explosive eruption), perhaps later in the decade a VEI3 or VEI4 at Katla (before that we will see many deep quakes),.and eventually a small fissure eruption in the surroundings of Askja

            Another spot I wait to see an eruption one day is at the southeast of Langjokull

    • Well, sofar 2 people thinks I have written to much about Iceland.
      On the other end I have four people telling me to write more about Iceland.

      4 – 2 to the Icelandic team.

      I will just continue to write about what pleases me at that moment when I start writing, and it will be quite a bit about Iceland. Why then do I write about Iceland? One is that I know it pretty well by now, so I can make a quick post out of it without reading myself to death.
      But, the main reason is that I know that almost everyone knows a bit about Iceland and are familiar with how and where to get at the data. So every time I write about how to interpret data I will most likely use Iceland.

      Of course I will write about odd unheard of volcanoes now and then. But I suggest that those who wishes to read almost exclusively about that write more about them, then everyone becomes a happy camper 🙂

      • I also am more than happy to learn as much as possible about Iceland and Icelandic volcanoes. A fascinating country and far too interesting to be covered in just a few posts. many thanks from me Carl for all that I have already learnt and hope to learn further. It is my closest volcanic area so naturally I find it fascinating.

        Are the ones commenting on too many Iceland posts perhaps able to write their own post about the volcanoes that fascinate them? I would love to read those too.

        • I agree fully, I would love to read about those volcanoes too, and the road to variation is to have more writers 🙂

          I would also like to point out that the reason for me doing the (never ending) series about Lakí is that there are signs of a possible upcoming rifting fissure eruption during our life time. As such it will affect the lives of most who live around Iceland. So, I want to get Laki out there in the open so people know what to expect, and I also want to correct a lot of misconceptions and errors that have crept into the picture of how that eruption worked.

          If anyone would like to call me alarmist, start with grumping with IMO, it is they who have gone public with it in the first place. I am just setting the scene and trying to explain that it will not be the end of the world as we know it.

  2. Today… I drove. About halfway through, I found myself on Eglin Air Force Base. Pretty cool watching what appeared to be an F-35 buzzing around. (Note, I was authorized to be there, and it was part of my job) It moved a bit quicker that I expected, and I thought that maybe I had misidentified it. On a later pass, I recognized the distinct tail shape. I was happy with seeing it being put through it’s paces… though it was actually the pilot getting put through his paces as he accumulated flight hours.

    Went to a small town and did a repair… used one of the chairs to get more comfortable access to the equipment. Went to put the chair back afterwards and someone had already pulled up another chair there, so I put it into the empty spot. The girl that sits there came over and the two clerks sort of bickered over which chair belonged to who. One stated that she didnt’ care, she just didn’t want to get thrown by the chair. I chimed in, “You only have to stay on for eight seconds.” Since it’s a small town, and she is familiar with the events in the rodeo, she found it amusing and laughed. (in bronco and bull riding, eight seconds is how long you have to stay on for the ride to count. Natch, the animal being ridden has a different feeling about that.

    In some places, that joke would not have gone over well.

    MEANWHILE. I was told to grab some hamburgers on the way home. So, for you guys, I grabbed this photo across the street.

    I really hope that they haven’t adopted that as their new lugnut policy…

    Hint: Think in Spanish…

    • Sorry Lurking I can’t think in Spanish. I tried translations but came up with nothing. and not sure what Lugnut is. Is it the same as a wingnut?
      <<<<<< Feels extremely blonde. 😳

      • Sorry, this is an instance where a bit of knowledge about automobiles comes into play. Without it the humor is lost.

        Lugnuts, typically there are five of them per wheel, and tney serve the purpose of holding the wheel on the axle. If they are not present, or if there are too few of them, there is a possibility of loosing a tire (rolls off), leaving the vehicle with three tires.

        Having lost the letter “I” in their sign, it reads “T RES,” (tres) which in Spanish, is “three.” In extremis, if you change a tire out in the middle of nowhere, and accidently loose all the lugnuts for a wheel, you can “steal” one lugnut from the other wheels (leaving them with four each) and effect a temporary repair in order to get yourself to a safer location where you can then obtain replacement lugnuts.

        This “joke” falls into the same category of the young lady who understood what “8 seconds” meant and found the comment funny. The girl next to her had no clue and just stood there with a vapid look on her face.

        With regards to the lugnuts, maybe this will help.

        Warning, strong language:

        One other item that I found cool yesterday, was a gameshow that my wife had run across. The contestants would look at cars that were pulled up onto a dragstrip, and then were allowed to ask a few question of the vehicle owner/driver. Then they would predict what the car would turn in a quarter mile run based on their knowlege of vehicles. Whoever got the closest to the time for the quarter-mile dragstrip run, won the round. I liked the run by the 386 cubic inch motor in the Chevy Monza. That reminded me of a vehicle that a freind of mine had put together several years ago… a 327 ci in a Monza. Monzas are pretty small lightweight cars, and a 386 is a pretty high horsepower engine. Later, a pair of Mustangs came up, driven by a Husband and Wife. Dunno which, but one of them had a 351 Windsor motor. Again, a pretty beefy motor for such a light car. In stock production, I think Fords last mustang series was a 5 liter (302 ci) for the Mustangs. The wife won the drag race. Her Tee Shirt read “Not your typical Grandmother.” Overall, for a car person, it was entertaining. The turbocharged pickup with Nitrous Oxide was interesting. Seems that the Nitrous was used to get the motor up to speed so that the turbo charger would spin up quicker and then take over. At speed, he was running 12 pounds of boost over normal atmosphere. With turbo charging (and supercharging), the unit essentially forces more air into the engine than normal, when coupled with the appropriate amount of fuel, you get large increases in output horsepower. The air provides the extra O2. In a Nitrous Oxide system, the extra O2 comes from the dissociation of the Nitrous. In extreme cases, so much additional power can be made that the engine itself just detonates, blowing the cylinder heads off of the motor. This is particularly a hazard in high end supercharged systems where the power for the supercharger comes off of the engine.

        Esoteric knowledge and esoteric humor. They don’t always work. Sorry. 😀

  3. Public Service Anouncement

    As of now I will be writing less on VC. The reason for this is real life, chief among them a new work project that I hopefully will be able to get back to in here as it comes closer to fruition, actually, there are two projects and they are both volcano related of sorts…

    I will therefore edit wednesdays (some my own material, and some not). I will of course stay around the other days to comment time permiting.

    I know that you will have an abundance of good articles from all the others who contribute to VC and make it such a wonderful place.

    Kindest Regards

    • ok. since you are in mining business, volcanoes are kind of inverted mines, except you need not dig for material come out – An obvious similarity – so no worry. Time will work in your favour, it does so for the volcanoes ..
      *rant off*

    • I really enjoy reading all of the information provided here (I’m a closet geologist/meteorologist), so thanks to everyone here for this. Carl, will you still be releasing the follow up parts on the Laki eruptions series?

      • Part III is coming tomorrow.
        I got sidetracked due to my horrible butterfly brain. I kind of tend to fly to other flowers (volcanoes) in a random pattern.

        • thanks, I enjoy it all. Have you or anyone here ever investigate the rift zones along the east coast of North America that were formed when the ancient land masses collided and separated. I live in central North Carolina just east of one of these rifts therefore full of shale; however the books that I have read indicate that during the collision(s), a volcanic zone was formed. I assume the remnants of this are long gone do to uplift/erosion; however there are still hot springs in some locations of the NC Mountains. Kind of rambling here, just the topics talked about here, get me thinking and looking around.

          • You live in the CAMP. → Central Atlantic Magmatic Province. Probably one of the largest magmatic provinces on Earth. Very old, not a lot of conspicuous remnants to be easily seen. Further down this thread I made a post that links to a paper about large eruptions, there is some info in it about the opening of the Atlantic.


            It’s not volcanic, but you also have the rather neat occurrence of living near the Carolina Bays. I’m a bit jealous of that. The only similar thing that we have around here are “Grady Ponds” but they do not stand out as clearly as the bays. I am of the opinion that these features are the residual effects of Pre-Holocene object that detonated Tunguska style, somewhere over the Pacific Northwest. That’s the location I come up with by running a bearing line out from the long axis of the Carolina Bays and seeing where they tend to intersect. A “black mat” feature shows up in some Clovis sites, and this seems to correlated with the demise of Clovis and the beginning of the Younger Dryas. Anyway, This whole paragraph is a side hobby of mine that occasionally leaks out into my posts… such as this one.

            Note: The Carolina Bays impactor idea is not widely accepted and is in fact contested by some experts in impact theory. You will just as easily find pro impact articles as you will anti impact articles.

            • Thanks, the bays are really cool, as well as the sandhills and fallline leading into the coastal plains

  4. Hello All,
    Nice and useful article Cryphia, if only I had more time to rummage through the datasets 🙂
    This is a useful addition to your list:
    The full Canaries catalogue is searchable from this page, with output in txt form available for easy transfer of large lists to Excel…
    AVCAN have a wealth of features on thier page, including another searchable catalogue for the Canaries, customisible maps (epicenters only I’m afraid…) and an alleged animation feature (the clunkputer WILL NOT run the animation…) here:
    This one may not be exactly what you are looking for 🙂

  5. For those who wonder what Tolbachik is up too…

    Latest official report put the amount of ejecta between 1.6 and 2.2 cubc kilometers DRE. The eruption is ongoing without any diminishment since the lava lake formed. The current activity is mainly strombolian at the two vents at the new summit. Lava is moving down from the summit through lava tubes out onto the lava field. The field is currently not increasing in size, instead it is increasing in height as new layers are stacked ontop of each other.
    One could say that it has now become a miniature trap formation instead of a flood basalt.
    The flood basalt covers 35 square kilometers, the new mountain has risen 640 meters, and the lava thicknes is in places close to 200 meters.

    As such it is the largest effusive eruption since Hekla 1947 if I am not entirely mistaken.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

      • Sadly no, I guess we will have to wait for the Russians to publish that.
        The Russians have a fairly different attitude to volcano research. They come in after the eruption and pick the volcano apart, and they are very thorough when they do that.
        I guess it has to do with both distance and the relatively limited amount of people in the vicinity. They after all can afford to not give a rats ass about mitigation.

        Expect a paper sometime during the winter that contains everything you wish for, but you might have to giggle it since they most likely will publish in Russian.

        • Bummerz. I wanted to estimate SO2 output.

          If it’s is appreciably larger than Pinatubo, then in theory, it could eventually feed into the stratosphere via the normal circulation patterns. That’s about the only way it could really contribute to the Junge layer. But I think it would take quite a bit more over a longer time to do so.

          • Can’t you find the data from the last eruption?
            There is after all not that much pointing towards this eruption being vastly different than the previous one, just a tad bigger. But, behaviour and lava seems to be basically the same, so I would guess the magma has at least roughly the same content.

            Here is a thought for you. Is there any state of sulphuric gases that could increase temperature instead of lower it? You will understand my reason for asking when I post part 4 of laki.

            • I don’t have a good (recent) reference, but I imagine that increased scattering in the troposphere could cause an increase in the temperature down here near the surface. Rather than passing through the air column and striking the surface and water, then heating the air, the sulfate particles would act as an immediately available source to conduct heat directly to the air molecules that they were bouncing off of through normal collisions.

              Not an atmospheric scientist and the only tree rings I’ve counted were from the oak that killed my truck. (I still have a slice of that tree out in the garage)

              Speaking of such… here it is.

              This tree (Oak) was felled by Hurricane Ivan in Pensacola Florida in 2004.

            • Some legs, a fair bit of sanding, oil and elbow grease and you would have a great table with a great story there Lurking.

            • It would be a pretty dinky table. This section is about 7 inches wide and 11 inches long. It’s also only 1.5 ” thick.

              In the disassembly process, I grabbed a slice of it and let it dry a bit. Later the next year, I ran it through the planer to get a somewhat smooth surface, then sanded it down and affixed it to a section of plywood so that it would not crack into pieces as it dried.

              Things were pretty hectic after the storm and I did not have the ability to plank it, or to store the planks. Hell, I was doing good just to eat for a while there. Had a generator keeping by freezer running and was currying favor with the neighbors by helping them get the trees off their stuff.

              My reason for grabbing this section was because it killed a truck that I had for 14 years. I figured that at some time, I could go back through this ready made history of the climate here. (growing seasons).

              Putting it out here on the board is a way of exploiting this asshole of a tree.

            • In fact, the only real thing I have done with this tree is to use some of the wood to make a handle. I had throught about making a custom knife handle, but I don’t have a suitable raw blade that needs a handle.

              I tend to accumulate stupid stuff like this. I even have a brick from Garden St in down town Pensacola. My stepson was on a paving crew down there and grabbed if for me when they were redoing the roadbed.

            • He has not mentioned it, as far as I got he was on a family vacation in Japan, and just photographed things as he more or less passed them by.

          • The numbers they presented are probably from an older data set.
            I also noted a few “oddities” that make their set pretty illogical from a mathematical standpoint.

            Hint… Just do regular math on the numbers they give and you get that it does not add up.
            Let us start with the new cone, at 600 meters it has an abolute minimum volume of 2,4 cubic kilometers. Most of the cone are lava bombs and so on, let us therefore divide by 2 so that we get DRE (Dense Rock Equivalent), now we have 1.2 cubic kilometers of DRE.
            Let us now say that the average height of the lava field is 30 meters. That would give 1000x1000x30x30/1000/1000/1000=0.9 cubic kilometers. Let us now say that it is not fully degassed lava. A good guesstimate would be that there is still 30 percent volume that is gasses. And that leaves us with 0.6 cubic kilometers DRE.

            Let us now do the tally on ther numbers:
            1.2 + 0.6 = 1.8 cubic kilometers DRE.

            As I said, their numbers did not add up.

            • Regarding the cone number, that is from a standard cone (read stratovolcano), this is not a standard cone since it is a shield volcano. That means that it is really a very low figure that a gave.
              As noted, this is standard high school math and geometry at worst. I am pretty stunned that they got the numbers so wrong. It proves a meme of mine, you do not get good at math just because you have a degree that comes with a funny hat.

            • Where did the 600 m figure come from? That’s nearly one-third of the prominence of Plosky Tolbachik, so surely a cone that size would be very obvious. Could it not be 60 m? (just thinking aloud)

              Tolbachik a minute ago 🙂

            • I have seen that figure in two different reports now. Problem is to discern how the shape of it is.
              It is a flank cone on a bigger cone, that is about the only thing I know about the shape. People always go for glossy close ups of the fire fountaining and do not put up distance pics that are worth a damn. On the other hand, remember that those pictures of the firefountaining is taken from an adjacent mountainside, not from the ground up.
              But, given the time and level of activity I do not have any reason to doubt the height. 60 meters would on the other hand be astoundingly small.

            • Seems like 600 is about right. As you said Cryphia, there is no scal, but the surroundng mountains give a pretty good clue.

              Thank you very much!

            • From the article: ” small lava flow from the central area of eruption travelled to the west and descended 9 km along the valley of Vodopadny creek to a height of 650 m a.s.l. …” I think a.s.l. means above sea level. So it is not the height of the lava flow, its the height of the valley

            • Yepp, that is the height of the lava flow above sea level.
              Question seems to be the height of the new little mountain that is forming.

            • I swear I’ve seen this document at some time on my PC, but I can’t find it.

              Regarding SO2

              From: “Effects of megascale eruptions on Earth and Mars” Thordarson, Rampino, Keszthelyi, Self (2009)

        • They calculate the lava volume as follows:
          First flow (Vodopadny flow): 5.654 km2 times average thickness 0.0048 km gives 0.027 km3
          Second flow (Leningradsky flow): 17.035 km2, average thickness 0.0122 km, gives 0.208 km3

          • And still witnesses on the ground, aerial photographs, and satelite imagery give completely different figures.
            I think that what they are presenting are old data from the beginning of the eruption.

            Now time to sleep after writing yet another whale of a Laki post.

    • Great news from Tolbachik. It looks like you arew describing a shield volcano, no?
      The picture also seems to show that, but do we have a better photo of the overall perspective?

      If this is so, it is releasing at a quite fast pace, since it formed a high mountain within just a few months.

      And you are not only correct but I can say more. Hekla 1947 had large release of magma but was not a flood basalt that much. I would say this is the largest effusive eruption since 1861 eruption of Bardarbunga (in the dead zone), or the 1875 Askja (which had also large volumes of magma released prior to the big boom)

      But I know little of other potencially efusive eruptions in past decades around the world.

  6. Hi

    As for Tolbachik, there is the possiblity to get the local quake list using this page


    just right click and choose “see source code”. In your browser adress bar you should get


    At the end fo the page you get one year’s worth of quakes.

    I think it’s Lurking who gave me this link a while ago, so the credit goes to him.

    Of course you have to make a few manual corrrections to get the data……

  7. Here is a (yet another) close up of the eruption.
    This is taken straght down into one of the two craters (the lower one). I would say that it is not from a 60 meter high mountain…

    With due thanks to Shérine for posting it originally.

    Edit: I just noticed an error here, this is not Plosky Tolbachik as it states in the title, it is of course Krasny.

    • This video looks like it is from the current eruption as far as I am aware. I agree with you, it does not look like a 60-metre mountain (that was just me thinking aloud). In fact I don’t think it looks even that high (it’s quite a small lava lake), although the video appears to be taken from the side of the crater that lies below (downhill from) the main cinder cone.

      There are a lot of photos of the cone, and it seems that it has grown on the side of an older edifice, so that it appears quite large, even though much of the ‘cone’ is older material.

      Even so … to my often confused eyes it does not look like a 640-metre mountain either. That is twice the height of the Eiffel Tower, or two-thirds the height of Stromboli! Forgive me, I may be missing something competely (quite common as my years advance!) but I don’t see anything remotely of that magnitude in any photo.

    • … well, I think one of the last things that I would want to do with my life, would be to stand on the tippy top of a freshly piled scoria cone peering down into frothing magma.

      Loose pebbly rock is loose pebbly rock.

      One thing that NASCAR drivers really do not like, is to get up into the loose debris up next to the wall in the corners. They tend to eat the wall when they do that. It’s like having no grip at all. A lot of times, this area of debris is refereed to as “the marbles” from all the semi spherical rolled up balls of rubber from the tires.

  8. Saw this in an abstract of the IAVCEI meeting: VHub, a collaborative volcano research and risk mitigation group has formed.

    VHub is an online resource for collaboration in volcanology research and risk mitigation. VHub provides easy mechanisms for sharing tools to model volcanic processes and analyze volcano data, to share resources such as teaching materials and workshops, and to communicate with other members of the volcanology community and with members of the educational and stakeholder communities. Volcanologists can use VHub to collaborate with people around the world, and can have full control over the privacy of that collaboration. VHub is provided at no cost for users.


  9. And… back on the LIP meme, “The largest volcanic eruptions on Earth” Scott E. Bryan et al (2010) shows a proposed cross sectional schematic for four distinct emplacement types; Large Volume low-temperature rhyolite ignimbrites, Large Volume high temperature rhyolites, Large volume flood basaltic lavas, Primative, mantle dominated basalt lavas.

    Dunno how long the document will stay there, it’s an “Authors Personal Copy” version.


    For Renato: Figure 7 of that document may be of interest to you. It shows roughly where the igneous zones are at in South America that equate to the same system on the African Continent at about the time of break-up. North of Porto Alegre you start getting into the zone where the material was deposited. South of Curitiba. Additionally, in the area from Curitiba to São Paulo (and north) are a significant collection of dyke swarms. The ones around São Paulo seem to have a NE to SW orientation. At Curitiba they trend NW and SE.

    • That would be Ol Donyo Sabuk, about 65 kilometers from Nairobi.
      It is an unlikely place for an eruption, but on occation there are seismic activity.
      Give it a couple of million years and there will be magma shooting out of the ass of the entire place, but that is then.

      The earthquakes on the image are tectonics, but the background noise is more interesting. That is that blasted superplume eating away at the Craton.

  10. @Carl
    Err… I’m going to strengthen the weaker team… that makes us 3… It’s not that I find the Icelandic volcanoes boring, not at all, but to me reading long posts one after another should at least involve an *(almost) erupting* volcano(es). So, I scan the long passages about non erupting Icland diagonally, and continue with great interest the articles on volcanoes of the world I don’t know much about, and of course all the comments about *action*. Also very interesting to me are the basics of plate tectonics and seismology and the inner workings of a volcano, but I do not want to go all too deep into that.

    Now, that does not mean that anything needs to change in the blog, there is enough for everybody to pick from. One can always skip what seems a bit long-winded, after all. 😉

    • Tooting my own horn here… but some of my stuff tends to be more in the weird vein than just Iceland. Sorry to those who don’t like it. I get bored a lot and some stuff that I see just strikes me as astoundingly odd or downright stupid… and I sometimes yammer about it.

    • @Carl
      I should have written “long pages of comments” on Iceland, not “long posts”. Because I do read ALL posts. Thank you and all other authors for writing them!

      Don’t worry, I for one like your ruminations and yammerings! 🙂 And… your comments break the Heklamania into digestible parts 😀

    • And just like that, it’s over. Was a much bigger burst than i’ve seen on the webcams before however.

      • Yes, it’s only weatherclouds now. You could grab and drag the image from your browser and post it in tinypic.com. That would save the moment for eternity… or at least for 60 days 🙂

      • Agreed… but thats if you can get back to it. Meanwhile, them clouds look like…. the same crap I see here all day long.

        “bomp be doop be doo… gonna rain on somebody soon…”

  11. I really want to be able to understand some of the physics and technical details that fly around here. I get really impressed with people who understand the inner workings of computers, airplanes and weaponry, let alone the mathematics of solar flares ,Volcanoes & earthquakes.
    Whilst looking for web cams trained on obscure Volcanoes I came across a wiring diagram. I think it’s the motherboard of my computer but there again it could be an MRI of my brain because The Almighty was having a bad day when I was created. You know the sort of day…. when the PC crashes or you download a really bad piece of malware and you feel like throwing the whole lot outta the window!

    • I know how you feel, Diana! I can understand all sorts of things, like the Plantagent family tree and the difference between sherds of Peterborough ware and Deverill Rimbury pottery (I’m showing off here), but I can’t get the DVD player to work with my ‘new’ TV (I’ve had it for 18 months). 🙂

      In view of the remarks about non-erupting Iclandic volcanoes getting too much attention I hesitate to mention the small quake near Hekla and resultant small drop in the Hekla strain that happened early this morning. 😉

      • I am actually surprised that the earthquake influenced the strainmeter at all.
        Well, it is more than one volcano over. The earthquake happened on the other side of Vatnafjöll, and ontop of it is a very piddly quake that is at laughable depth.

        I wonder if the quake really caused the drop, and if so it says a lot about how full Hekla is.

        • The tremor may be only 1.2 in strength but it is 9.4km deep. The strain drop happened an hour or so later (it’s hard to tell on the scale) so maybe not related, and it was a very small drop, but these things may be important later (if/when Hekla goes Bang!)

      • Talla You understand the Plantagenets? Sheesh! I get so mixed up with my Richards and Henrys. The White Queen drama on BBC has made the end of the dynasty almost but not quite de-confusing 😀
        Impressed at being able to identify pottery… My limit is Roman Samian ware compared to iron age stuff. Talla I would love to meet up and have a good chat one day. Is it you who lives near Brighton? My son has just moved there and I will be visiting at the end of Summer hopefully if all goes well with the house sale.

            • Certainly not high-heeled willies, Diana! Though they would certainly get attention from the local Constabulary! 😀

            • Come think about it, High heeled wellies might get you two IT-impounded for spreading volcanoholic pornography.

              On the other hand I do not know of a faster way to get GeoLoco out of lurkmode…

        • Hi Diana! I’d love to meet up – but I’m in deepest, darkest, Wiltshire. Let me know if you’re ever in this direction. Next week I’m on holiday – that means I’ll be working 9 til 5 on a volunteer excavation near me. Luckily it is Roman so no need to identify weird bits of very old stuff. The Plantagenets are easy if you think of them as a very messy real-life soap opera when reading history. I’ve always loved family trees – I have an autobiography by HRH Princess Alice of Athlone (one of the minor Royals who used to appear at every occasion and I couldn’t find out who she was) and at the back are 4 pull-out family trees of Queen Victoria’s immediate family and how they are all inter-related.

          • Oh now there is another Dynasty that gets me confused! 😀 The European Royals!
            Ahhhhhhhh! Wiltshire. if I win the lottery one of my holiday homes would be there, in a house with an unexcavated tumulus in the garden. 🙂 You and I could do a good dance on The Cern Abbas Giant (who would put Upptypingar to shame) 😀

            PS Can you guess I am bored out of my tree being cooped up in the house?

  12. Since I am confined to the house because my foot has a perfect replication of Icelandic Sprungens in the form of vertical lesions across the top of my foot (Only a true Volcanoholic would describe their plague ridden body in these terms!) I have managed some Googling.
    It would seem we are in good company in the search for Volcanic monitoring data world wide. WOVODAT is a new venture but will be useful in years to come.
    Look to the top left of the home page and there is a list of WOVO-Observatories. They link to individual country sites and also has webcams. I am enjoying this!

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