Lakí deconstructed – A Timeline for Destruction

laki air

Before I start I would like to point towards the previous 3 parts. It might be a good read for those who missed them when I first published them.

Prequel https://volcanocafe.wordpress.com/2013/05/29/central-volcanoes-of-vatnajokull/

Part 1 https://volcanocafe.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/laki-deconstructed-anatomy-of-an-eruption/

Part 2 https://volcanocafe.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/laki-deconstructed-grimsvotn-and-beyond/

The pre Skaftár Fires eruption at Grimsvötn

Two weeks (15 may 1783) prior to the eruption at Skaftár a Brigg called to port at Höfn; the Captain dutifully wrote in his log that there was an ongoing eruption at Grimsvötn. There are few things we can say about the eruptions at Grimsvötn during the Skaftár Fires. What we can say about the eruption prior to the Skaftár Fires is that it most likely was a minimum of a VEI-2 and a maximum of a VEI-3. If we compare to contemporary eruptions it was most likely an ashy VEI-2. Anything smaller would not have been noticed, and might even not have been able to break through the Ice above the caldera, and a larger one would most likely have been written more about.

The same thing goes for all of the activity at Grimsvötn prior, during and after the Skaftár Fires. The eruptions from Grimsvötn back then were fairly small compared to the activity that we have seen during the last 50 years.

The Skaftár Fires Timeline

Úlfarsdalur, the scenic starting point of the Skaftár Fires eruption. Photograph taken from http://bigfoot.over-blog.org/10-categorie-10890519.html

Úlfarsdalur, the scenic starting point of the Skaftár Fires eruption. Photograph taken from http://bigfoot.over-blog.org/10-categorie-10890519.html

The eruptions started at the SW part of the Grimsvötn Fissure Swarm at Úlfarsdalur and extended all the way up to Sídujökull.

We know that there was a minimum of 10 eruptive fissures along this line; they are subdivided into the SW and the NE fissure rows. The dividing point is the old Lakí Mountain that is a hardened leftover from previous phases of volcanism. As such there was no erupted lava from the Lakí Mountain, even though it has a few tuff cones as sub-terranean material was blasted out.

The fissure rows contain five proven fissures each, even though there is a high probability that the fissuring continued further to the NE under the then present Glacier. But, as glaciers move they bulldoze away any proof of such a thing having happened. As we get closer to Sídujökull the evidence is more and more destroyed, and the timeline becomes a lot less certain.

I should here like to point out that there are temporal changes in the eruption as it progresses from SW to NE. From the first fissure we have tremendous output and a much higher rate of activity then what happened as the last fissures opened up. Also there is a temporal shift during the lifespan of the fissures. As they opened up they normally ejected about half of their total output within the first few days. There is also a third temporal shift at play during the fissure eruption, and that is that the fissures opened up with ever increasing intervals. One should also not that the fissures stayed open throughout the entire eruptive period, so fissure number one was open a lot longer than the last fissures.

Just to point out what we are talking about, as the first Skaftár fissure opened up it erupted about 2 cubic kilometers of lava within the first 48 hours of its existence. During the rest of the eruption it effused about 2 to 2.5 cubic kilometers of lava. That gives that the first single fissure erupted roughly 25 percent of all the lava during the Skaftár Fires, and that the same fissure erupted 12.5 percent within 48 hours of the start of the eruption. If we then use an inverted logarithmic scale to the fissures we find that the last fissure erupted far less than 0.1 cubic kilometers in total. And that explains a lot about the last fissures not even being noticed in the general mayhem, and that there is even little evidence remaining of them having taken place.

So, the beginning we know a lot about, but the end is a bit shady.

15 – 29 May: Small but noticeable earthquakes. It is hard to say if these had anything to do with the upcoming Skaftár Fires, or if this was due to the ongoing eruption at Grimsvötn. I have come to believe that they had more to do with the ongoing eruption at Grimsvötn than anything else, but this is not possible to prove even though it is likely.

29 May – 8 June: Strong earthquakes from the area of where the Skaftár Fires would soon start. They were both increasing in numbers and in strength over time. Known damage to houses and witness accounts give at hand that many earthquakes where 5M or above in strength. The residents in the vicinity had to move out into tents to not have their houses fall in over them.

8 June: Large scale explosions and phreatic ash fall over Sída. The start of the Skaftár Fires.

9 June – 7 February 1784: Fissures 1 to 10 (with most likely two more sub glacial fissures) opened up along a line of 27 kilometers. During the eruption several large scale lava surges came pouring out of what used to be river gorges. During the highest rates of effusion entire rivers stopped flowing.

Summer and autumn 1783: Large scale ash fall over all of Europe, Canada, Greenland and Spitsbergen. Ash from this period is found in drill cores from all over the northern hemisphere.

24 November 1783: A very large earthquake ranging from 6 to 7 M happened in the Skaftár district. This was probably caused as an entire section of the fault line collapsed.

The East Northeastern Fires

Contemporary witnesses talked about a second set of Fires during the Skaftár Fires eruption. This has been discredited by later researchers as a geographical mistake by the witnesses. More or less they have stated that the local witnesses did not know how the land around them looked like and that they did not know what part of Iceland was where.

Photograph of Sidujökull, Geirvörtur to the left and Kerlingarfjöll at far right. Image taken by Aggi och Kristrun. Their photographs can be found at http://agnarben.fotki.com/jeppaferdir/ferir_ri_2006/vatnajkull/img_6020.html?cmd=links_to_photo&pid=ffkrbrqbrgssfw

Photograph of Sidujökull, Geirvörtur to the left and Kerlingarfjöll at far right. Image taken by Aggi och Kristrun. Their photographs can be found at http://agnarben.fotki.com/jeppaferdir/ferir_ri_2006/vatnajkull/img_6020.html?cmd=links_to_photo&pid=ffkrbrqbrgssfw

In the end it seems like they knew exactly what they were talking about. During a campaign in 2010 samples was taken and analyzed from Eldgigur, Hágöngur (rubble) and East Geirvörtur that was found to be showing consistencies with general Lakí lavas. Additional testing places the samples close to the given time frame. The area of these samples are following the eastern side of Sídujökull and is situated on the eastern side of the Grimsvötn fissure swarm, whereas the Skaftár Fires took place at the western side. Since no other eruptions have been noted in the area either before or after the Skaftár Fires it seems like the old Priest knew exactly what he was talking about.

There is also reason to believe that this secondary fissure line extended via the known central volcanoes on the Grimsvötn fissure swarm up to Thordharhyrna which is the point that the witnesses said erupted.

Grimsvötn eruptions

Not only did Grimsvötn erupt prior to the Skaftár Fires, it also erupted at least 3 times during the Skaftár Fires. One of the eruptions that have previously been attributed to Grimsvötn was most likely Thordharhyrna.

After the Skaftár Fires ended Grimsvötn continued to erupt until April 1784. Grimsvötn once again had a final eruption April 4 – 26 1785. After this final eruption Grimsvötn had a 38 year long rest, probably one of the longest uneruptive periods in the last 500 years.

In the next installment I will get down to the nitty gritty details of the ash and dust of the Lakí eruption.

CARL

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170 thoughts on “Lakí deconstructed – A Timeline for Destruction

  1. Thanks for the article Carl. At the end of the cycle we will all have at least a basic knowledge of the Icelandic volcanoes.
    The first picture is gorgeous.

    • Haha!
      On the day I believe I have a basic knowledge of Icelandic volcnanoes I will get thoroughly bored with them. What I am so fascinated about is that they are like onions, the more I peal, the more layers I find.

  2. Thank you Carl!
    A fault line collapse, is that similar to a caldera collapse? I cannot imagine that the fissure rapidly closes with all the magma still squeezed in.

    • Actualy a Graben formed along a long part of the Skaftár fissures, and a Graben is pretty much a linear caldera.
      And to further answer your question. At the end the pressure was to low to maintain an open fissure line so it closed. As it did that a lot of things got squashed.

  3. Firstly, Carl, let me tell you how much I appreciate your herculean efforts in spreading interesting and sometimes surprisingly detailed facts about volcanoes.

    Secondly, I would like to have a word on the dimensions of the latest, ongoing Tolbachik eruption, that has been subject to some discussion in the previous post. The volume estimates that go far beyond 1 or even 2 cubic kilometers of (dense rock) volume, in my opinion, are very likely much too high. I can tell you this on the base of my own experience with having to estimate and calculate eruptive volumes as part of my work on Etna, and doing frequent measurements, often with the aid of GPS and (unfortunately rarely) more accurate methods such as LiDAR. Some 15-20 years ago, I had a tendency of believing everything to be much, much bigger than it actually was – the diameter of a crater on the rim of which I was standing, the height of a new cone, and the volume of a lava flow. From the kind of eruption that Tobachik’s latest event is, I can quite reasonably assure you that the thickness of the lava probably rarely exceeds 100 m (and only locally, where it has filled valleys), after all it’s basaltic lava that has a tendency of flowing far but remaining relatively thin. It is also almost certain that the height of the new cone(s) is probably no more than 150-200 m – just consider that Paricutin in Mexico grew to 424 m height in 9 years (though the first 336 m of that height were constructed during the first year of activity). Now, the explosive activity at Paricutin was considerably more intense than at Tolbachik, and cone growth must therefore have been much more rapid. Furthermore, I have personally assisted to the growth of the new cone of Etna’s Southeast Crater over the past two-and-a-half years, which occurred exclusively during those spectacular, violent episodes of lava fountaining, all taken together lasting no more than 60 hours, and the cone is now about 245 m in height (and 25 million cubic meters in volume). So I would confidently say that Tolbachik, while being a rather spectacular and certainly very significant eruption, is not as big as it may seen from a distance – but after all, maybe the best thing would be to directly contact the scientists working there and ask them 😀

    Thirdly, a short note on the possible effects of crater lake draining on the explosiveness of a volcano (as discussed in the fine bit about Kelud) — I fear that the change in character from exclusively explosive (during Kelut’s pre-2007 eruptions) to purely effusive in 2007-2008 has little to do with the draining of the crater lake. A very powerful explosive eruption in 1951 at Kelut occurred when the crater lake was about as small as it was in 2007, the only thing was that no lahars were formed and thus the number of victims was limited to 7 (including a few volcano observers) who were killed by pyroclastic flows near the volcano. There are also other examples of absolutely non-explosive, purely dome-building eruptions through crater lakes at volcanoes that normally are very, very explosive, as Soufrière of St. Vincent (Lesser Antilles) in 1971-1972 and at Awu in the Indonesian Sangihe Islands in the early 1920s. So I fear that the explosiveness of an eruption is primarily determined by its magmatic volatile content (phreatomagmatic magma-water interaction certainly can play a significant role in the initial stages of an eruption), which is something we also see neatly at Etna, where impressively explosive volcanism has become more and more common over the past few decades, simply because the magma is rising faster and therefore loses less of its water vapor (which seems to be the one gas that really does the trick in making volcanoes explosive) …

    Best from (currently luckily quiescent) Etna!

    • Hello Boris!

      Talking about Herculanean efforts, this was the mightiest of comments on a long good month!

      Actually I have gotten so much beating over the head about the size of Tolbachik that I had allready planned to write to them and ask, even though I fear my Russian is worse for wear.

      Regarding Kelud, I totally agree that it is impossible to say that it changed the rate of explosivity. I tried to convey that in the post, but… I do not know if I succeeded on that. My point was only to point out a volcano that has been mitigated in a more active fashion, and that it has as far as can be determined drastically lowered the risk of lahars.

      Thank you for your comments and insights Boris!
      I hope you do not get too bored with the drowsy version of Etna!

      • well, I really did not want to beat on you but just bring in what little I have understood in many years of doing practical and physical work on an active volcano 😀
        As for the Russians, I guess most of them do understand English (I know one or two of them personally and they do speak quite good English).
        Finally, you are perfectly right, the main effect of draining Kelud’s crater lake is that the lahar hazard has been much reduced, as was already shown in the 1951 eruption and again in 1990. The problem now is that there is that big dome sitting in the crater of Kelud, and the volcanoes I mentioned before – Awu and Soufrière of St Vincent – had such domes that were shattered in the ensuing (explosive) eruptions, which represents a significant hazard at least within a few kilometers from the volcano, because those areas will be subjected to a tremendous downpour of dense blocks from the fragmented dome.
        As for Etna, I am happy about every day this volcano gives us peace, because her latest activity came close to becoming a real threat to human lives and property, and very likely the next activity will be very similar …
        Cheers, and keep up the good work!

        • Haha, well I can take quite a bit of beating. It normally take quite a bit of it to get through my thick skull.
          I have quite a bit of respect for the Indonesians and their abillity, I think they are up to the task of mitigating the new risks of the dome. At lest as long as people move out of the way next time Kelud desides to put in an appearance.
          One thing that would be good to know is the solidity of that dome, on the pictures I have seen it seems to have decomposed into quite a lot of rubble. If that is a boon or not I do not know.

        • Hi Boris,
          Thanks for your comments 🙂
          I was in Catania for Etna’s last paroxysm (I watched from Villa Bellini,) I did a tour with Paolo from Etna Experience a few days before; which was fascinting.
          I hadn’t actually realised how hazardous the last set of paroxysms was…

    • Thank you Boris!

      The one thing that keeps us aficionados grounded in reality is the voicing of expert opinions, something that is always welcome!

      As for the modification of the nature of Kelud’s future eruptions, I am one of the ones that jumped on the postulated change in the nature of the dome bandwagon. Karl kept whacking at us trying to get us back onto a more sane version of things. Something that is just as hard as estimating output volumes is trying to keep an audience on the same page. Some of us just wander off into the bushes and get lost muddling over trivial items.

      And again, thank you for your information!

  4. Thank you all again for another instalment on Laki and the very interesting comments. Estimating volumes of lava, ash and gas must be extremely difficult at the best of times, let alone when a volcano is in full eruption.

    //Oh my, you English people get dungeonized all the time, wonder why 😉 chryphia

  5. Thank you Carl for another fascinating post on Laki. What an amazing photo too. It clearly shows the scale of the area involved. It must have been a frightening sight. A wall of fire!
    Many thanks for your comments Dr Behncke . I too appreciate comments from the experts and I also appreciate the work and knowledge you and your colleagues around the world have given to better understand volcanoes. The common goal for everyone involved is in trying to save lives. The fact that some of us here were watching Etna’s latest shows without fully realising the danger shows how familiarity can breed complacency. Once again a big Thank You for helping to put an accurate perspective on facts.
    I also want to bring over the link I put on the last post comment as I think others will find it useful. Just to repeat WOVODAT is a relatively new venture and will be very useful in years to come. There are many world wide leads to data on their site.
    http://www.wovodat.org/

  6. Thanks to Dr Boris Behncke for his enlightened advice. I like also his pictures. Apart for the pics directly related to eruptions, the recent ones from Zafferana with the lapili on the cars and road are particularly striking.

    Here is an earthquake animation of the Tolbachik-Shiveluch zone from June 3rd to July 29th.

    Date of event is according to the left scale on the colorbar, hte right sclae shows terrain elevation.

    It’s a day by day animation with a view from the East, then from the south and finally a rotating plot.

    Apparently the deep magma reservoir is still pretty much active.
    There is a low activity for Tolbachik the main clusters are for Shiveluch (I think there was an event around mid July)

    Earthquake data from EMSD, NOAA for the terrain, made on Gnu Octave, Avconv for the video.

  7. Hi everybody, just want to post a picture from Etna taken last year. This is taken from approx 3000m above sea level. I´m sure that whatever lavafield we passed over does not look the same today. This is the slope of Old Southeast Crater.
    Smokin Etna

  8. Great topic, but I have a few comments for you Carl:

    1) The eruption prior-Laki of Grimsvotn: A VEI2 eruption cannot break through the ice cap, if it occurs outside of the caldera (just like in Katla). A VEI3 eruption will be small and with a ash cloud surging in the first few hours and then disappearing. These are the eruptions of 1996, 1998 and 2004. They can be seen from outside Vatnajokull but there can be easily missed if you are more far away. Hofn is not that close to Grimsvotn and Grimsvotn is right in the middle of the ice cap. So I guess a captain on the harbour at Hofn should has experienced at least the average VEI3 sized eruption, like in 2004 or 1996.

    If the eruption was a small VEI4, it would be noticed at Hofn but still it would be not a significant thing for the rest of Iceland. Probably many would miss it, if the initial ash cloud would be lost in cloudy weather in the first day, which is when its really visible and high.

    I remember the eruption in 2011, a VEI4+, near VEI5. The ash cloud at third cloud could not be seen from where I live in south Iceland. The people at farms around Vatnajokull told me, that the ash cloud of eruptions of Grimsvotn was always barely noticeable until the big one of 2011. So I am guessing a minimum VEI3 for that 1783 eruption,and probably even a small VEI4.

    2) the earthquakes 15-29 May 1783: those earthquakes were certainly related to the upcoming Laki activity or to a large Grimsvotn eruption. In the 2011 eruption no earthquakes or anything was noticed all around Vatnajokull, prior and during the eruption. All those large swarms we sawt in 2011were probably only felt in the ice cap itself. So 1783 was a different story.

    3) the eruption intra-glacier descredited by researchers.At that time most populations were far away from even the edge of the ice cap, so I can understand the confusion and lack of reports. I find extremely possible that the eruption also occurred into the glacier, just as you said, and it was not recorded, as it remote and the ice cap is often cloudy, especially if this was after the summer!

    • I got so caught up with my comments that I forgot to say how exciting and nice this piece of writting really is 🙂 Looking forward for the next part!

    • Hello Irpsit!

      Actually the eruption from Grimsvötn did not leave any discernible ash in the ice core samples from the combined eruptions. This tells us that they where small. I would like to note that the VEI-3 eruptions from eruption during 1900 onwards have been well visible. And that there have been VEI-2 eruptions that was also visible.

      • Was Laki ash visible there as well? It should be. Such a long lasting eruption would have ash certainly blown there.
        And probably Grimsvotn would be mixed with the Laki ash.

        As you know, ash travels with wind. I do not know how the wind was blowing in the 15th May 1783. If the eruption was short lived, as usually they are from Grimsvotn, then the ash is probably located only to one side of Grimsvotn.

        What if it was not Grimsvotn that erupted but Thordharhyrna? That would explain the ash not visible at Grimsvotn.

        I know that the past eruptions of Grimsvotn were not seen from Hofn or other spots around Vatnajokull, but 2011 eruption not only was clearly visible there and further away but it deposited ash in Hofn.

        So, this makes our 1783 eruption anything between a VEI3 and a small VEI4. Anyways, I still open to the possibility of it having been just a VEI2.

        It would have been nice also to know about the 934 event at Katla, whether it occurred before, during or after the Edlgjá eruption? And also on the 1477 Veidivotn eruption. Which occurred first, Torfajokull or Veidivotn and whether Bardarbunga ever erupted during that event?

        • There is Laki ash visible in every glacier in the northern hemisphere. But the composition of the particulate matter from Laki is so different that it is very easy to discern from Grimsvötn ash.

          Thordharhyrna almost certainly had one eruption, but that was during the ENE eruptions, not prior to the Skaftár Fires.

          The eruptions before 2011 was visible.

          All of the ashy stuff will become clear after the next post. I might one day have reason to come back to the Éldgja or Veidivötn eruptions, but, in many parts I do not think they where so different.

  9. Carl mentioned Mag 5.0 quakes leading into the main event. This can be derived from quake reports of the various villages and their distance from the fissure. Working backwards through the USGS’s quake model, you can roughly guess what sized quake at that range you need to produce the recorded effects. It’s not perfect, but it gets you within about half a magnitude increment or so. U used formulas from Atkinson, G. M., and D. J. Wald (2007) in my calcs, and they tend to echo what other statements have been made about the initial quakes.

    Now…. to do something useful with that M 5.0 guesstimate. The opening of a fissure logically, happens when the two sides move apart. I’m sure that other motions can do it, but that is essentially the definition of normal mode faulting. Running that through Wells-Coppersmith formulas, I get a typical surface rupture length of 3.09 km, a subsurface length of 4.17 km, a downdip rupture width of 4.07 km, a rupture area of 16.98 km² (the fracture face), and a max displacement of about 5.01 cm. This is the size of the crack that magma would then be pushed up into driven by the sudden degassing and frothing. I imagine that it would widen quite quickly.

    Note… these values are for a single Mag 5.0 quake. In all likelyhood other smaller quakes followed or lead into the Mag 5.0 events. A Mag 4.0 would yield a displacement of 1.17 cm, and might not be seen as a separate event while everyone is scrambling to deal with the initial quake.

    • Now we could have fun here.
      It is roughly 20 km deep ground there, times 27 km length of total fissures, times an average of the Graben of 150 meters. Now, the Graben is not the same as the surface fissure, but it roughly equals the final spread at the depth where the Graben started to form.
      That would take quite a number of earthquakes to produce. Of course there are limiting factors in here somewhere, but one can understand that the locals got their tents out.

      • Mag 4 – Normal Faulting → 1.32 km subsurface length, 1.82 km downdip rupture width.
        Mag 3 – Normal Faulting → 0.42 km subsurface length, 0.81 km downdip rupture width.
        Mag 2 – Normal Faulting → 0.13 km subsurface length, 0.36 km downdip rupture width.

        Give or take. And looking towards the spooky side of things…

        Mag 6 – Normal Faulting → 13.18 km subsurface length, 9.12 km downdip rupture width. 21.38 cm max displacement.

        Derived from formulas in “New Empirical Relationships among Magnitude, Rupture Length, Rupture Width, Rupture Area, and Surface Displacement
        by Donald L. Wells and Kevin J. Coppersmith (1994)

        • There have been a few quakes at Askja that is not yet put in by IMO.
          I wonder if these will also be very deep ones.

      • Geolurking, its an average 30-35km from the nearby population (Kirkjubaeklustur) to most of Laki fissure. So, you can now work with the an estimation of the felt effect of that distance, and see if it matches the opening of the fissure and the M5.0 figure.

        I reckon that the largest quake was at least 5.0. And many quakes M4. I can’t see it less than it. if it would be less, the population would barely notice it, and it would NEVER put them living in tents prior to the eruption. I reckon that even a M5.5-6.0 was possible. then, magma came out, and in large volumes. Scary…!

        • Back when I did my Magnitude Estimates it was based off of a look-up of the MMI scale to match the reported effects at a distant town/village, then working backwards through the equations in the “Did You Feel It?” paper that the USGS uses in their shaking estimates for quakes. Somewhere back in the past posts here, that data and plot may be available, but I can’t quite remember if I linked them in. Might be in The Dead Zone post.

            • No, just notes on houses destroyed and people not being able to stay in their beds.

              I would have been surprised if anyone had written “shat my pants” in those days. They worded things better back then “The days where hard and cumbersome, and the children wept”. Especially in Iceland, they had a poetic scarcity…

              In one of the stories of ye ancient times you have something like this going.

              -Is he at home?
              -I do not know if he is home, but his spearaxe is.
              Whereas the guy who answered falls over dead with his head split open.

        • No, did not forget that one.
          It is actually amazing how often we quote that dead zone article around here. It is my personal favourite of all time in here. It brought together a lot of ideas that had been simmering in the stew.

  10. Geolu. I think Laki displacement was something around 0.5-3 meters wide. There is a very good paper with the figures for Laki, Veidivotn, Elgja and 1862 event, and their displacements. I can clearly see a M5-5.5 fit your figures

    • And to answer that question.
      Those figures are correct. The displacement was about 3 meters for the dead zone. But, at the fissure the displacement was far larger. The average thing doing its thing again.

    • Following my logic (not always a safe thing to do), when the eruption started, it would have eroded the sides of the fissure and continued to opening it up until the flow and erosion rate reached some sort of equilibrium. Probably, by that time, the dominant scoria cones had become stabilized around the largest openings.

      And… there is always that snapping rubber band effect.

      Someone with engineering level knowledge could probably work out the amount of strain and compare that to the tensile strength of solid basalt. (strongest stuff there, the breccia probably can’t stay together very well)

  11. woohoo!!!! Boris on volcano café!!! What a great start to the morning. That’s really made my day.

    • I agree. It was a great treat! And right in one of my all time favorite mind benders. Laki.

      Some may tire of systems in the 63°N region, but Laki, more specifically the Dead Zone is one of those things that will happen, and when it does, it will take a lot of feeble minded journalists by surprise. THAT is going to be the entertainment value.

      It’s just a matter of time. Two years, Ten Years, another One Hundred Years. Hell, it could even be in an hour.

      I did a bit-o-driving and ruminating today. The thing about these fissure systems, is that they are stitched together by basaltic glue. Once the strain gets up above what it can handle, it’s gonna let go. The bug eyed media bobble heads are gonna be a hoot to watch. 😀

  12. Good Morning . I have much to do this morning and feeling almost human again so I need to catch up with some work. Firstly though a big thank you to chryphia.
    An excellent Job on the links provided from the post “Digging for Data”. Your time and hard work is greatly appreciated. it is our volunteers who make VC what it is, a successful and now very useful amateur’s Blog. I say amateur’s blog because most of us are just this, however this is not stopping us being used by students and watched by professionals. I would be interested to know how many students find inspiration or help here.
    So If you are a student please come in and tell us about yourself and your thoughts on information provided here.
    Secondly The TFZ in Iceland is reminding us what an earthquake swarm looks like. Quite sudden and impressive. I think a rifting episode. It serves to demonstrate how very rapidly situations can change. I make no apology for commenting on Iceland. Time and again with thanks to the IMO and their amazing set up, we can see in action, in real time, in our own personal space (laptop or PC) the movement and structure of the MAR, Rifting, Volcanic harmonics. We can interact. React. We can learn. Iceland has an uncommon RRT unstable triple Junction. Japan of course has excellent examples of triple junctions and accessible data is available. However language and script is often a barrier for non Japanese speaking individuals and Online translations are not 100% accurate!
    East Africa, The Afar triangle, would be wonderful to watch and study but political situations makes for dangers other than Volcanic activity. The countries cannot afford the cost of monitoring and equipment tends to go walkabout anyway.
    On the IMO site an amateur like myself can practice their observation skills, watch developing events and discuss with like minded people in blogs like this. This leads to learning. It also prevents hysterical and inaccurate interpretation. (This excludes reporters for certain media who never bother to REALLY listen and learn) 😀
    So, No! I will not apologise for watching and commenting on Iceland.
    http://en.vedur.is/earthquakes-and-volcanism/earthquakes/tjornes-small/
    Lastly time for coffee # 2 🙂

    • I second your notion Diana. Earth shaking goodness, Carl. Love the series and also the follow ups from everyone’s comments adds so much too. Last few months, notable raise in “goldilocks zone” EQ’S centre around a few area’s.

  13. Thanks Carl ,and wow Dr Behnke paid us a visit and explained. Thank you very much!

    Chryphia sent samples from The Eiffel to me and they will go under the microscopes, hopefully under the SEM too because the samples dont seem to be magnetic. But that wont happen before next week the earliest. The museum is opening a new exhibition today called Project Genesis ( about synthetic Biology) and this ( among other projects) takes up my time at the moment.

    • Oh! Hi Spica 🙂 You must be very busy during the summer months at the Museum. That exhibition sounds really interesting. 🙂 I shall google as it’s a bit too far for me to visit 🙂
      Take care and do not work too hard this hot weather!

      • In case you got any questions or want to discuss it with me, i d be glad to give you all the information i got. You wont find too much on the website. What you see there is more an ad to come visit the museum.

    • Hello Spica and welcome back!

      I am glad you find everything in good order 🙂

      *Handing over the keys*

      Spica, come think about it. You should meet my friend Bruce Damer, he is one of the fathers of artificial life. One of the coolest dudes on the planet.
      For the rest, if you have missed his podcasts you have REALLY missed something. Last one (nr. 14) featured among others Dennis Leary. Bruce is one of the last true geniuses on this planet, and I do not throw that word around lightly.
      He also invented a lot of the cool stuff at Ranx Xerox Parc that makes your computer run, like computer graphics cards… and he is one of the last of the true Hippiesaurus still living.
      For those who have FB: https://www.facebook.com/bdamer

      • Yes it is planned to stay running for a longer time, probably 2 years at least. And i d be glad to guide you around. One of the cool things about my job is… i get schooled in so many subjects. For this exhibition we got lessons and could ask whatever came to our mind about the whole subject of syntetic biology and our teacher was a professor of molekular bioLogy from a closely university who does and has done serveral experiments with Genmanipulation Knock Out or Knock Down technolgy himself. This was more interesting to me then the art exhibits we show , along with the information. ( I like sience better than art.) I learned a lot. The reason for the whole exhibiton is… we cannot give everyone answers but we want to provide some place where people can discuss their worries and fears because syntetic biology is already part of our life. Everyone will be affected in the future. Descissions have to be made what is legal and what is not. I may tell people my personal opinion, the museum does not provide an opinion, just some information and some exhibits which might make you think.
        Would be glad to see you Renato!!!

        • It is cool that Ars Electronica takes such an open minded stance on such a tough subject.
          People have a problem with realising that syntetic life is both a huge risk and a huge chance.

          • And, well this is not the topic of sythetic biology but is also a tiny part of the exhibition and was part of the lessons. All life on earth has DNA. The same code over and over again. Can life (on all the planets or in al the universe) only exist with this DNA T, A, G, C? Or is this just something that happened here on earth and was so successful because it was the first here?. Could something like a DNA be formed with other substances.. Maybe even Carbon replaced with another element? I find this question very interesting because ( my personal opinion) i do believe that life will be found in other places sooner or later. Especially if it should prove true that life on earth first formed around hydrothermal vents in the deep sea. ( So this is not completely OT ;P ) If volcanoes created life… wow.
            500 billion star or so in our own galaxy, most orbited by planets. 100 million to up to billions of galaxies…..volcanoes to be found everywhere in our solar system, so likely in other planetary systems as well. To quote Carl Sagan: ” It would be a terrible waste of space. (If life did not exist on other planets.) Do i believe we will have contact with other life forms? No. not till we develop much further advanced physics. The distances are just so huge and nothing can travel faster as the speed of light. An alien living in the Andromeda galaxy… if they d spot us right now. They would see the earth as it was 2,3 million years ago. Human ancestors may not even have discovered fire. We are far from Homo Sapiens, at Homo Rudolphiensis or so,,, The apes just left the trees 😉 Which aliens would travel for at least 2,3 million years so many many many generations, to reach such a inferior target? And to quote Harald Lesch: What would those aliens be… very very angry. Or would you like to be caged up in a tiny spaceship for your whole life… always the same people around which you cant escape, terrible smell in the air?
            Angry indeed.
            End of rant, sorry.

            • Hi Spica, there can indeed be different base pair combinations that would work as genetic storage material. The key piece of the story is how codons (triplet of bases in RNA) are converted to specific amino acids. This biological apparatus is what limits the bases used in DNA/RNA (RNA uses uracil instead of thymine by the way)

              It should also be noted that life on earth was almost certainly seeded from elsewhere.
              Bacterial endospores survive for an estimated 100,000 year in space which is long enough to travel interstellar distances, in addition the chemical make up of simple life forms is almost exclusively made up of light elements present in first generation stars whereas higher lifeforms have evolved to utilise some of the heavier elements that are relatively abundant on earth.

          • Actually physics is evolving on that front.
            A few months ago a breakthrough was made on the theory for a space engine that would make us able to travel to the nearest star in two weeks using about 2 tons of matter converted into energy (that is whopping lot of energy).

            It barely made any news media. This is how far we have stuck our heads up our arses, a decade ago it would have been all over the news, two decades ago we would have seen steps being taken to build an engine like that for testing, 3 decades ago we would have been on our way to the stars. Now? Nothing…

            I am starting to seriously believe that we humans are entering a second set of the dark ages. Not even a true WARP engine theory is newsworthy…

          • But Carl… how can this be? Proxima Centauri is the closest star and it is 4,2 lightyears away? 2 weeks. According to Einstein this is impossible.

            • Yes, the speed of light is a constant. But there are at least two ways to cheat.
              1. If you travel close enough to the speed of light your mass increases to near infinity and you bend the universe in the path of your direction. This is not the optimal solution due to it taking almost infinite amount of energy to perform.
              2. You create a specialized quantum state field around the ship that bends the emediate space around you, effectively pulling you through a wave of bent space. This is quantum folding of space, or hyperspace to use a common sci-fi denominator. It is this part of physics that has taken a quantum leap (pardon the pun) a few months ago. The principle has been known for 14 years, but before it was impossible due to it needing more energy than the mass of jupiter to work. They worked out that kink. I still repeat that 2 tons of energy is a heck of a lot of energy.

            • Hi Spica. There are solutions to relativity which appear to permit faster-than-light travel, if you take a volume of space with you. Search of Miguel Alcubierre (who originated the first FTL concept), and then follow where that leads …

          • There are no forces affecting those within the Alcubierre field. Problem to solve is more how to avoid, or shield from the Hawking radiation.

            • Yeah,
              But what people tend to forget. Other planets have different gravity. And such a spaceship, which you describe… even if it may be possible, which i still doubt, ..one cannot do this for all of earths population but for a very few people. So this wont safe mankind.

            • I do not think there is one solution for saving mankind. I think it would take a lot of solutions.
              If your really want to save humanity going to the stars is not a solution. It is not even needed really. Look instead at Gerard K Oneills groundbreaking work on space colonization.
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerard_K._O%27Neill

              The White-Alcubierre drive is theoretically sound. Yes, there are problems that need to be solved, but it is basically more of a political will problem than a physics problem. Nobody today wants to go to the stars (except me), even though we could do it in a decade if the will was there. And yes, humans can only exist within a narrow band of gravity. But, with a near infinite amount of stars there are a slightly less near infinity of correctly gravitated planets, and at another slightly less infinite number you will find habitable nice planets.

              I though agree with O’Neill. Why bother with planets to begin with? Our planet fetishism is rather hilarious really. Going to Mars is ludicrous because we get yet another G-well trap to burn energy to get out of. If we instead do it as O’Neill suggested we could graze out among the asteroids for all we need, sharing the raw material of thousands of planets worth. It would also be rather cheaper.

              O’Neills book is a classic:
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_High_Frontier:_Human_Colonies_in_Space

            • I thought the Hawking radiation problem with Alcubierre drive was solved, as was the requirement for amounts of energy equivalent to converting the whole planet Jupiter to energy. What remains intractable is the negative energy densities, although the Casimir effect may point in the right direction …

            • Also worth reading up on a construct called a Krasnikov tube. Cracks are starting to appear in the idea that FTL is forever denied us, although there do remain difficult to solve problems with both negative energy densities and preventing causality violations. I wish I was able to get my head around more than the merest layman level explanation of this stuff, but alas my talents lie elsewhere.

            • Hello!
              Well I knew about the energy problem being solved. Not that the Hawking radiation was solved though, thanks for that info I will take a crack at reading up on it later today.

              I have never been that worried about negative energy density, it is after all not ruled out in Wheelan interpretation of the Feynman path integral solution. Basically, for every positive energy density there must be a negative, albeit not necesssarily in our universe. But, what can be positive must also be possible to have in negative. There are several intriguing possibilities here.

            • Causality would not be a problem.

              That is mainly a misconception. You are after all not travelling faster than time, so you will not come home before you left. And since you are folding space you are not even travelling faster than light, you are travelling a shorter way, so no causality conflict.

              I have even had to educate a couple of former collegues on this. It is very easy to make this mistake, so if even physicists are making the mistake then it is very easy for non experts to make the same mistake.
              After all, we have pounded into the minds of people that C is a constant that cant be surpassed. So we are now into our third generation saying that it cant. Which might be true, but here we are talking about making the road shorter, not making the car faster.

            • I thought it had been shown that any mechanism for exceeding C includes the possibility of causality violation by creation of closed time-like curves.

              As for the Hawking radiation proble, if I can find the reference for that I’ll post it.

            • Yes that is true, but in the case of a White-Alcubierre drive you are not exceding C. You are just travelling a much shorter distance, thusly negating the causality conundrum totally.

              But, you could in theory travell to a star, blast it apart, and then go home, wait a few years, and see your handiwork again. But, it is still not a causality paradox. And that is in and of itself a paradox. (Not more though than that you could see the universe as a movie theatre projector in this case).

    • Thank you Pyter.
      This article neatly summarises what a responsible task professional Volcanologists undertake and the awful dilemmas they face. it will be a good day when all countries of the world that have a volcanic threat, have Governments that are committed to support and funding for adequate and secure monitoring equipment, and staff to oversee the data provided. This quote sums it up nicely:-
      “If we had had seismic instruments in the area at the time we could have seen these deep magmas coming,” said the study’s lead author, Philipp Ruprecht, a volcanologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. “We could have had an early warning of months, instead of days or weeks.”

    • Hi There Renato. Is the weather warmer for you yet? Cooler here but lots of heavy rain and thunderstorms. Very typical British Summer weather 😀 Will you soon be having a break from work or do you not have long vacations “mid winter” in Brazil?

      • Hi, Diana!
        Today we had what I call a “perfect day” – sun shining at daytime and cool nights. High 24, low 12. Whoever comes to Rio in such gorgeous days will think this is paradise (definitely, not the case)… 😉
        No winter vacations (usually in July) because we are trying to compensate the days we had strike. Only a week in the last week of August.
        Still very little time for my beloved volcanoes…
        Best,
        Renato

      • Oh Diana, it certainly is very un-typical British Summer weather here on the South Coast today!!! A max temperature of 29C here and even at almost 11:00pm it is still 20C with 87% humidity!!! Far too sticky to get a good sleep tonight!

            • Hope you feel better – it made me feel a bit unwell too. But maybe that was down to the choice of liquid I have employed for rehydration 😉

            • LOL 😀 I can only guess but I expect it would be a good guess!
              Thanks for the good wishes. Doc changed some meds i was taking so probably didn’t help. All I really need is a good, SAFE volcanic eruption to help me feel better.
              Or better for still for the idiots across the road who think 11:30pm is a good time to shout, scream and curse, to shut up!! Hot summer nights aren’t all they are cracked up to be! 😉

            • I know the feeling…
              Last night we had 25 degrees and 94 percent humidity, and at two o’clock I heard comotion outside. So I went out on the balcony and saw a bunch of young guys in their late teens early twenties running around another house completely starkers while being cheared on by a bunch of young women.

    • Carl,

      As the quakes are being revised by the seismologist on duty (99%), the depth given is between six and ten kilometers and all the deep ones have disappeared. Looks like it’s tectonic after all.

      • Not all of them, there are two confirmed below. One at 10 and one 15 km.
        It is an odd spot for tectonics, but the wave forms are mainly consistant with tectonic events with a couple of possible exceptions. Which in and of itself is odd since it is all taking place within the Theistareykir fissure swarm.

        On the other hand, the area is known for having large tectonic earthquake swarms that sometimes have a bit of non-tectonics interspersed in them.

        Just to be clear, this is in no way indicative of anything going to erupt.

        • Hey Carl, how I would love to see a shield volcano erupting 😉

          To confess I am a little bored and having a volcanic eruption now in Iceland would stir a bit things up 🙂 But i only ask for an efusive one.

          the swarm: That spot where quakes occur is at the end of the Theista volcanic system, or perhaps it extends a little bit further out into the sea. Its also where the transform zone starts to join the rifting region further north. But in that transform zone, as in all transform zones in Iceland, there is active volcanism, and in that spot there is active volcanism underseas, just not so often as in the rifting regions. Same thing for SISZ: there are active volcanoes at the SISZ, and sometimes tectonic episodes there end up as volcanic eruptions, its rare but it does occur every few millenia. I think that in Tjornes eruptions are a little bit more often that that.

          Just as a side note, I really like that spot. You see lots of rifting fissures in a valley, tupically of a rift valley. In Kopasker, nearby, there was a very destructive M7 eartthquake in 1976. It was the last big one. Now everyone waits for the next one. Where it is going to be exactly, seems no one knows.

          • Well, if that swarm had hit 10 to 15 kilometers to the SSW you perhaps could have seen a Shield volcano erupt. That would probably had disturbed Theistareykjarbunga a lot.

            I do not think Theistareykjarbunga is inflated enough to erupt, but whoever really knows… I still hope that this swarm does not continue to wander towards Theistareykjarbunga.

    • I hate how Popo is the new subject for doom and gloomer’s affection, but I do agree that it’s a highly dangerous volcano if it ever were to experience a larger scale eruption than we have seen in recent times. I believe popo has experienced 3 St. Helens style flank collapses within somewhat recent geological time, and given it’s prominence, I would be afraid for people nearby if this were to ever occur.

      That potential ring fault forming is also rather worrisome, but likely a long time off from doing anything major even if it is a legitimate ring fault forming.

  14. Good content here today.A belated hello to Boris,also.Been flying a bit and will be helping with the
    Wheat harvest here driving a truck… Thunder is forecast today…

  15. Dragon anouncement!

    It seems like summer vacation is over for the spammers, and that they have picked up a trick or two while resting their evil brains.

    This place is protected by an autonomous bot called Akizmet, most of you never notices how effective it is, unless you are unfortunate enough to be grabbed by the scruff of your neck and dragged down into the Dungeons by it.
    Some of you might have wondered why we never even contemplated disarming it since it now and then start to beat on our commentors, if you had been a Dragon you would have known why. Our work would have been impossible without it.
    Today I have cleared 16 spams, 14 of those were caught by Akizmet, 2 I had to remove manually. This might seem like good statistics, but it is not. During the last 2 days 4 Spams passed Akizmet, and that is 2/3 of all the Spams that has gotten through in the last 3 months. So the spamers have gotten better.

    So, expect to see a spam now and then that has gotten through. It will quickly be removed by one of the Dragons.

    Do not answer a Spam!!!

    If you do it will wreak havoc with the comment field when we remove the spam, and any answer you write will have to be deleted. When we delete your answer you will run the risk to be identified as a spamer yourself, and trust me, the Dungeons are not that nice. So just leave the Spams for any passing Dragon to gobble up.

    Thank you for reading this!
    The Dragons™

  16. Speaking of Irazu above – I have watched it’s seismos for a while now and saved some. To my untrained eye it looks pretty restless, on July 18 even more than that. But I cannot find any statements or recent reports of activity. Does anybody know more or where to find Irazu’s current alert level?

    Irazu, July 17
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Irazu, July 31
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Irazu, August 01
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Dragonedit: One of the links was broken, fixed it and inserted them as pictures instead. And a typo in the date fixed.

    • Sorry that I stole the Spam from you 🙂

      They are really pesky today. I hope that Akizmet learns their new tricks soon.
      I have not seen this many spams in months, and I have never seen this many get through the filter since the place opened up. Sigh…
      Thankfully we are a lot of Dragons!

      • no problem of course. Yes it is strange to see that many spams. I must confess it was the first one I saw “live” in the comments. Strange.

        • They seem to have come up with some new trick. I guess that Akizmet will learn soon enough to see through it.
          But, I guess that for the next few day we will have to be extra vilgilant.

            • ROFL!!!

              Well, it seems to have solved the problem.
              But, it will most likely take me for ever to get used to you not being your old yellow self!

              Try to stay out of the Dungeon now 😉

          • A Dragon would leave a line saying it was edited. So i guess a wordpress error. Btw i cleared some spam too around noon. With 2 i was not even sure if it was spam. But as long as no name was mentioned and not the word volcano… i had a spam lunch.

            • The spams today have been way more intelligent than before today. It seems like the vacation sadly did the spamers good.

            • Hm i think they got better bots. Many spams we had been getting were done by bots, i am certain of this. They reprogrammed them. Dragons, also check cause sometime a bot copy pastes lines from old posts. Has happened before. I have not seen it lately.

  17. ‘Irazú Volcano, Spanish Volcán Irazú , active volcano, in the Cordillera Central, east-central Costa Rica. Its name originates from the indigenous word for “thunder.” The highest mountain in the Cordillera Central, Irazú reaches an elevation of 11,260 feet (3,432 metres). It is a popular ascent for tourists, as its cone offers (on rare clear days) views of both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Costa Rica. The active crater is 980 feet (300 metres) deep. Irazú Volcano National Park is linked by paved road to Cartago. The volcano’s eruptions of 1963–65 produced ash that dammed a nearby small river, flooding the city of Cartago and causing serious damage to coffee crops. The ashfall created considerable inconvenience for residents of San José, 34 miles (54 km) away.’

    according to the http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/293734/Irazu-Volcano

    PS – it’s good to be back!
    I am finding it difficult to access volcanocafe quite often at the mo – the dragons are guarding the castle well!

    Oh – I see I have to sign in afresh! Curiouser and curiouser…

    • Are you signing in for every comment, or do you log on as a user?

      Please tell me if you have a problem. Try to explain as well as possible.

      We have had a lot of spam problems today, and it might be that the spam-bot is tightening the security even more.

      • Now I am getting flummoxed!!

        I wrote a long and detailed reply to your question above and clicked send – and it told me I am posting too quickly!!!

        Briefly, then, I had my computer searched thoroughly by Windows or Microsoft a few weeks ago and it has been a bit gummed up since I accepted that update. All my signed-in websites were signed out, so subscriptions that were out-of-date couldn’t be re-accessed but other things I could just sign back into.

        I don’t remember what I originally signed into Volcanocafe with but when I try and confirm now it says Problem Loading Page. I suspect the problem is with my computer, or my forgetting what I originally signed in with!

        Best wishes all

        • Hi Alyson, best wishes to you too and how I hate those updates!!!!! They seem to cause me all sorts of problems. If I didn’t have a clever, or perhaps I should say very computer literate son, at home I would often be in big trouble. I now get worried with every update. 😦

        • Do you try to sign in down below the comment box, or on the sidebar?
          I get the Problem Loading Page with using the one down below the comment box, but have no problem signing in with the Log On link in the sidebar.

          • It has taken me a couple of attempts to get back here again now and my last sign-in gravatar is still showing as my details for posting now – below the comment box. I shall try to be patient!

            (Once I realised the update was gumming things up I tried to reset my computer to before – but my computer said No – it wasn’t allowed.)

            I guess they just want to link up everything we do, so that they have tabs on everyone!

        • I got that error message when I first signed in this evening under my green avatar; I think that it is a WordPress issue.

  18. M5.0 – 36km S of Redoubt Volcano, Alaska (USGS)
    EMSC:
    Magnitude MI 5.0
    Region SOUTHERN ALASKA
    Date time 2013-08-01 21:32:46.0 UTC
    Depth 122 km
    Distances 4727 km NW of Nuuk, Greenland / pop: 14,798 / local time: 19:32:46.0 2013-08-01
    979 km W of Whitehorse, Canada / pop: 23,272 / local time: 14:32:46.0 2013-08-01
    200 km SW of Anchorage, United States / pop: 291,826 / local time: 13:32:46.0 2013-08-01
    72 km NW of Anchor Point, United States / pop: 1,930 / local time: 13:32:46.0 2013-08-01

  19. Since it is friday… A musical interlude.

    I normaly detest A capella choires. This is the brilliant exception to the rule.
    For the ladies… The guy with blonde hair to the right (Kasper Ramström) is actually the deputy chief of the Finnish National Murder Investigative Squad (when he is not using the darkest voice on the planet). Which makes it rather ironic when they sing “Mama, I killed a man today…”
    And, I admit to having been more than a little in love with the dark haired woman (Mia Hafrén).

  20. it is Friday night, morning for most of you, I came across a video from the archives of the volcanic eruption of Mt Vesuvius – 1944, it is black and white no less, it takes to long to acess for me, it should be easier for you guys,

    DragonEdit: Link remobed on Urshes request.

    • could one of the dragons please delete the link, it is not available ?? was the wrong one in any case, thanks

      • Hi Ursh. Good to see you. Are you OK? Thanks for this footage. It’s interesting to listen to the commentator’s explanation of how volcanoes work. It shows how much our understanding has developed in the last 70 years. The Plate tectonics theory was not accepted until the 1960’s , what we now accept quite naturally was unknown in my childhood. I was also told by the Nun who taught me that mountains were formed by the hot earth cooling. Mother Mary Aquinas actually brought a cooled ,baked cooking apple into class and showed us it’s wrinkled skin. ” Ranges of Mountains ” she earnestly told us. Wrong and simple the lesson may have been but I will always remember it and the wonder that “Things” happened to solid rocks. Earthquakes and Volcanoes were awe inspiring and so started a lifelong fascination with the rocks we walk upon.
        I suppose the moral of this rumination is never to dismiss out of hand, or be scared to propose new theories. They may be the seed of a whole new understanding for there is still much to be discovered..
        Time for Coffee # 3……….I have been up and working already! 😀

        • Hi Diana, I am fine, just trying to deal with a curve ball life throws one at times, keeping busy is the best for me. I came across this video clip by accident a few days ago, thought Friday would be a good day to post it, times have certainly changed, our knowledge of things is on a different plane, sometimes I think, the more things change, the more they stay the same, in a roundabout way that is. There was a another clip, which I can’t find anymore which would be interesting, the top of Mt Vesuvius from an egg beater, looks amazing, it even has two flimsy parts almost opposite, which look like spouts on a cooking pot to drain fluid for sauce, enough better call it a day, BBGN

          • I will plaster that video in on tonights post.
            It was marvelous Ursh!
            Best thing with curveballs is to have a large bat and swing hard at them. On occation though one misses them… Stay safe!

            • it must have been a dangerous time for everybody being that close to it and a marvelous record for scientists to have a go

            • Speaking of balls…. last night my wife was ticked off that there was nothing on TV that interested her. So, she watched the live broadcast of the local minor league baseball game. The local team is the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. (it’s a fish), They were playing the Mobile Bay Bears. (a non-existent animal, unless you count the indigenous black bear population dealing with a Mobile Bay Jubilee)

              Anyway. This came about (IMO) from Hurricane Ivan. The sewage plant was located in a formerly industrial area about a half mile from the bay shore line. After the storm surge, all of downtown smelled of raw sewage and dead fish for about three months. This was the straw that broke the camels back. They put forth a plan to move the treatment plant up near the former Monsanto plant and Gulf Power generating station. This would (in theory) protect the plant from the storm surge. How that works out has yet to be seen… the Gulf Power Plant was put out of commission when the same surge inundated that part of the bay. (and also took out the Interstate Bridge).

              The industrial area became the target for development as a “maritime park” and the Studerville boondoggle began. So far, they have managed to build a Baseball field.

              I watched the game long enough to watch one of the Pensacola players lay into a pitch that went right into the middle of the strike zone, with great focus and concentration… wiff the ball and strike out. I chuckled and left the room. As I left, I mentioned that the Womens College fast pitch softball games were more exciting. I got a frown and a nod of agreement from her. I do have to admit, that swing would have put it deep into the outfield… had he connected. Failing that, he just looked ridiculous.

            • Side note about that bridge…. the decking near midspan was lifted off of the pylons by waves reflecting off of the sides of the bay. The decking was a full 30 feet above sea level. The interference pattern of the reflected waves riding on top of the surge is what got to the decking.

    • Well, I can only thanks thanks, it is really a well of information. I knew of course of the eruption, but it is the first large footing I get to see. The lava seems quite fluid and I am intrigued by the little cone spewing vapor seen at the beginning of the film.

  21. Spica got me thinking this morning about space colonization.
    And I got to thinking who in here would make the best space colonist.
    To survive and be able to contribute to your space colony you would need to both have a specialisation, and be a good generalist (knowing something about everything) and at the same time be a pretty good farmer. Also, being strong willed is important.

    The award as being the best Space Colonist at Volcanocafé goes to our own Diana. She would make space both tasty and gorgeous

    Riddles at 1600 hours Blog Time!.

    • Aw! Shucks! Well thank you Carl !
      Now I couldn’t possibly survive in a space colony without companions who would be essential to making life bearable.
      I nominate the following to join me….
      Carl to provide leadership to keep the Colonists in order and he has the sort of Mathematical thinking required to work out the nitty gritty of space living.
      Lurking and tgmccoy because they can fix planes, trucks and so,logically, space craft.
      Kilgarrah to provide mental stimulation so everyone would be so intent on solving riddles they would have no time to go space crazy.
      Spica, Cryphia, Alison, Karen Z and Talla who would keep the persons mentioned above under control and stop them from tinkering too much when the workings of the intergalactic Space station are performing perfectly well without super boosters, hyper- sonic jet thrusts and any other modifications that they may dream up.
      We need Renato Rio and GeoLoco to give incentive to the ladies to don more feminine apparel than the day to day work uniforms as well as adding their knowledge to the practicalities of geological and academic studies during explorative sorties onto forbidden planets . 🙂
      I would seriously need Ursh and Newby to help me prepare chocolate cake and Soul food in general (as well as being the source of Hot gossip over numerous cups of Coffee (Grown in the colonial hot houses)
      Islander and Irpsit Would you be willing to help out with the crop growing and sheep rearing? You both seem very gentle and steady ,qualities needed for farmers. maybe also in true Icelandic tradition you could be our Poets and compose the great Saga of The Voyages of Volcanospacecafe. 😀
      If I have not mentioned YOU this is because I would need volunteers to help me out in any areas of Colonial life I may have overlooked…….. 😀 Suggestions welcome. 😀

      • Hi Diana! To treat galopping homesickness and/or chronic volcano deficiency I would provide several webcams (2 on Iceland, 1 each in other interesting countries 😉 ) to look back to our beloved Mother Earth. I have no other useful survival skills, but can play the tin whistle, if that is any good to the community. If you would take me along that is…

    • Hmm… Steamboat is in the Norris Geyser basin. I don’t have a link, but I remember there being reports of increased ground temperature there a few years ago. Even killed a few trees if I remember correctly.

  22. Pingback: Deconstructing Lakí – From Ashes to Ashes | VolcanoCafe

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