Paluweh volcano


Paluweh is a 4 km wide Island in the Lesser Sunda straight in Indonesia. Since late 2012 the volcano has been active spewing ash.  The trace of a pyroclastic flow from February 2013 can clearly be seen on the southern slope. This natural-color image was acquired by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite on April 19, 2013. NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon.

6 people from the village Rokirole on Paluweh island died on Saturday August 10th, after the Paluweh volcano started to erupt 04:27 local time. They were probably caught in a pyroclastic flow sent down to the beach by a partial collapse of the Rerombola lava dome. Before the deaths occured there had been a partial evacuation of the island, among the evacuated villages was the one where the deaths occured. It is unclear if the dead villagers had returned against the advisory.

Paluweh has historically erupted from the Rokatenda crater. It mainly suffers from mild to medium sized eruptions (VEI-1 to VEI-3 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index). The volcano has during larger eruptions caused landslide induced tsunamis and pyroclastic flows and is known for extensive dome building and subsequent collapses. The lava is mainly a basaltic-andesite with a silicic content around 60 percent.

Currently the Indonesian Mitigation Authority is conducting an even larger evacuation of the entire island. It is though uncertain if the local inhabitants will evacuate or not.

The deadly pyroclastic flow caused by the collapsing dome.

The deadly pyroclastic flow caused by the collapsing dome.


Many photos and a video about the brittle new Rerombola lava dome can be found on Photovolcanica:

Paluweh is an island in the Lesser Sunda Straight in Indonesia. The stratovolcano summit is 875 m high, rising a further 3000 m above the seabed. According to the GVP ( the volcano had 8 confirmed historic eruptions, the last one before 2012 was reported in February 1985.

Peter Cobbold first pointed out the eruption of Paluweh volcano which started at 04:27 on Saturday local time and lasted for nearly four hours.

The Jakarta Post reports that “hot lava” flowed from Woje Wubi to Punge beach in Rokirole village.

Granyia pointed out this link to a video of Paluweh´s eruption December 2012:

News about Paluweh can be found on volcanodiscovery:

Citing the VAAC Darwin reports ash advisory of FL140 (14000 feet = 4267 m) meaning an eruption column of about 3.39 km above the summit. Geolurking calculated an estimated mass ejection rate of 8.93m³/s using Mastin et al (2009) (A multidisciplinary effort to assign realistic source parameters to models of volcanic ash-cloud transport and dispersion during eruptions).

As of 2013/08/11 the ash plume was last observed to FL060

According to the Indonesian  Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (CVGHM) Paluweh volcano (Rokatenda) is on orange alert. 

The evacuation of the people of 4 of the 8 villages is ongoing with two motor boats:


132 thoughts on “Paluweh volcano

  1. A huge beast on a small piece of land – the perfect blend for disaster. Fortunately, Indonesian authorities are right on the spot. This could get ugly…

    • I think you’ll find that it’s all huge beast and the people living there have plowed the beast. When you do that, you do wisely to recognise the moods of the beast and not come near.

      As I understand the news, the people had been evacuated but chose to return. Sad as their deaths are, they have only themselves and their own stupidity to blame.

      • I wouldn’t go as far as assigning “stupidity” to their actions. Based on their level of knowledge, they were probably making sound decisions (in their opinion). My definition of stupid is knowing the risk and ignoring it. Shift the prevailing wind by 90° and their derision may not have been lethal… foolhardy, yes, but they probably could have survived.

      • C’mon Lurking! If the Fire Brigade clears the neighborhood because of a gas leak and you run back into your house to pick up the cat and cop it as it goes up, you have only yourself to blame for sheer, Darwin-prize class stupidity.

      • Only because I am aware of what a leaking gas main can turn into.

        Little side note. Driving a diesel powered vehicle into a gas cloud could leave you with a high revving engine that you can not shut off. One safety tip that is usually passed on to Fire Apparatus operators. Don’t drive right up to the scene. You may not be able to stop.

        As for shunning warnings. I do it myself as well. I’ve ridden out (and ridden, literally) more than one hurricane. The gulf coast is is a heavily impacted area. But I live 40 meters above sea level, and 15 miles back from the coast. The greatest threat to me from Hurricanes, are trees, objects, and short spin up tornadoes in the feeder bands. I’ve seen the pine trees across the street bent to horizontal on the upper ends, and had my truck crushed by the Oak that used to be in my front yard. (I posted a cross section of it a few days ago in another thread).

        Just about everything I have is tied up in this house. Do I abandon it for a hurricane and have to cajole and fight the authorizes to get back in afterwards and secure my property? I don’t like being at anybodies mercy. Let alone some power hungry bureaucrat. No, I’ll stick around. I have learned enough about Hurricanes over the years to know when I am in a world of shit or not. (Cameile’s eye passed within 20 miles of me in 1969… but 160 miles inland when most of the oomph had been knocked out of it.)

        On average, this little section of coast gets nailed every 35 years or so. The only thing about Hurricanes that really, really pisses me off, are the ones who build really expensive structures on barrier islands. Every time a hurricane makes a direct strike, the island is overwashed by the storm surge. Just inside the sound, the storm surge was 10+ feet. The island is only about 6 to 9 feet high with the exception of some of the dunes. Insurance pays them when it’s destroyed, and the state as a whole pays higher insurance rates.

  2. Lots of ifyness here… but IF the volcano sustained that rate for a full four hours, you’re looking at about 128427 m³ of ejecta.

    That’s VEI-1 territory.

    • Just to add to the iffiness of it all.. do you think there is any difference in calculating the volume of ejecta if the cloud emanates from the main vent or, as in this case, is a phoenix cloud from a dome collapse? Just wondering as the dome has probably cooled a lot over time so there is much less convective energy to lift the eruption cloud. OTOH, if the dome collapse is mainly powered by gravitation and not explosive degassing I guess that would understate the volume that erupted/dropped off the dome.

      • Hi

        Depends on the size of the dome. When in Guadeloupe in 2010, the Montserrat partial collapse seems first like a big cloud far away (The dome collapsed around 12 AM – the cloud further on is seen around 4PM). 2 hours later night falled 1 hour earlier on the island.

        This is the arrival of the cloud, time is around 4 PM. Looking east from the hills of “Les Grands Fonds”

        Facing rouglhy East @ about 6 PM (the night falls around 6:30 normally)

        Facing west same time

        you see the limit of the cloud

        Looking up same time

        The following morning

      • @Bruce. That really depends. The Mastin document is heavily geared around thermal features and heat flow. The only value that is of any use in the formula is the peak height above the edifice. Once you get away from that, you have convective and scattering forces to deal with, and they don’t go into that.

        Look at it like this… once the dome fails, and the underlying “stuff” is depressurized, that escaping gas frothed magma is what gives you the height.

        I do not usually do the calcs for short plumes… the rate per the equation is … laughable. Something that could conceivably be accomplished with a front end loader and a few dump trucks. A 9 yd dump body would equate to 6.8m³,

  3. Sidenote for the transients, mainly because I got into a discussion about it with my wife last night.

    Volcanic Ash is not the fluffy left over carbon like the ash from a fire. Volcanic Ash has the consistency of pulverized sand and rock, though with sharper edges. When a volcano erupts, this ash it lofted thousands of feet into the air, driven by the force of the eruption and the heat. When the forces keeping the eruption column up decline, the eruptive column collapses upon itself and then fans out from the edifice at stunning speeds. Though the heat may be less than when it was lofted, it can still easily be above 600° to 800°. Remember, it’s probably cooling down from around 1200°C so is still quite hot.

    A sudden horrible death by anybody’s measure if you happen to be in the way.

    • .. yet there are also cold pyroclastic flows that have cooled to a level you can survive. If one is coming at you, just hope you are lucky enough to get a cold one.

      Does anyone remember the hints posted from the MVO (Montserrat) about how to survive one? Thick blankets, duck and cover. Someone once advised drenching the blankets in water but that sounds to me like a recipe for becoming par-boiled. Apparently a monkey survived in Merapi where a whole lot of people perished. His thick fur saved him.

    • Hello and welcome Sonal to our little corner of volcano-watching.

      It is what has caught us all, how can something so beautiful be so deadly. At least for me it is a large part of the attraction.

      Edit: And to finally prove that the world is filled with circumstance of rather improbable statistics. Our new commenter harketh from the city I am currently visiting. I cheated and checked her foodblog about vegetarian food in Singapore, so no worries that I have grown into a psychic.

  4. This is a comment from Mast on an old thread, I thought it should be posted here:

    “The eruptions near Tonga reminds me of the birth of Surtsey in November 1963. Surtsey will have its 50th birthday this year and Volcanocafe should pay much attention to it. At you notice that the Surtsey 50th Anniversary Conference will be held in Reykjavik from 12 to 15 August.”

    • Surtsey was my first memory of volcanoes – I even knew someone with a colour TV just to make it even more exciting !!

  5. I feel like looking at the swarm at Vesuvius, it looks too vigorous to be a fumarole opening. And even if it was a new fumarole opening up, much like a phreatic eruption, that would likely signal that fresh magma has been emplaced into the system one way or another.

    A case can definitely be made for it being more sensitive, or the other stations being less sensitive, but if it was way more sensitive during normal times, I think you would see more background noise. I’m far from an expert, especially in reading seismology, but the high sensitivity webicorders don’t look like what you are seeing at Vesuvius in my opinion.

  6. On a somewhat related note to the OP – Is anybody here an expert, or at least relatively knowledgeable about lava domes?

    I feel like I have a tough time wrapping my head around lava domes and understanding them completely. Naturally, I know that they’re viscous lava extruded slowly from the vent, and will often harden to form a plug, or break apart / shatter resulting in an explosion or larger eruption.

    My main questions about lava domes –

    -What determines the likelihood of creating a new dome vs. creating a lava flow such as a rhyolitic flow? I’m under the assumption they’re relatively similar, with the exception that lava flows are longer and keep flowing out without ever plugging themselves until later on.

    -Does a larger lava dome signify a more heavily plugged up volcano? Take Rokatenda in this post for example, it’s dome is huge, at least in comparison to the typical lava domes that seem to be in a constant state of creation and destruction at volcanoes like Popocatapetl, Tungurahua, or others. The current eruption that just occurred was realistically just a result from partial collapse, which was most likely caused by structural weaknesses due to the size of the dome. If the dome were to cool down so that it would no longer “flow”, I would assume that any reactivation of the volcano 100-200 years down the road would result in a large eruption as it would take tons of pressure to remove a hardened dome of that size.

    -The other thought I had stemmed from the discussion on Kelud the other day. One commentator thought that the decreased water allowed for greater growth of a lava dome. The increased size of the lava dome allows the volcano to plug itself up more than it normally would. The question here, is how much does this actually affect the size of a subsequent eruption? I get the impression that for any plinian sized eruption, a somewhat small lava dome won’t really have a major impact on blocking pressure in, as it’s not a significant enough road block to prevent the massive pressure build up that’s required for more explosive eruptions. On the other hand, a lava dome such as Lassen Peak, which is a massive 600m high lava dome is another beast in itself.

    -Finally, we see larger explosions from volcanoes like Popocatepetl when the dome is destroyed. I think this is only relevant on a smaller scale, but it seems to me like this is a chicken or egg scenario. Does the explosion come from the depressurization caused by the lava dome collapse, or is the lava dome destroyed due to built up pressure breaking through the dome itself? I’m kind of under the assumption both of these scenarios can occur, but I feel the 2nd, where pressure below causes the dome to collapse or break apart is more common outside structural failures due to prominence or size.

    • Oh… I feel a post coming up here…
      There are several versions of lava domes. I will write something up, but it will be for next wednesday.

    • Very interesting questions, cbus20122. Let us wait to hear what experts can say.
      All I can say is that for Merapi, in the last, dreadful eruption we all witnessed, the dome was collapsing every now and then, because new magma was coming from beneath and I remember Boris saying that the shape of the volcanic edifice (too steep) had some influence in its constant destabilization.

    • very cool questions…

      Things to consider… structural integrity, gas content, viscosity, heat, etc.

      I wanted to post a link to a video from Soufriere Hills but can’t find it now. I was sure it was at Photovolcanica but couldn’t find it there but seeing that video was the first time I realized that pyroclastic flows don’t just originate from eruption column collapse. On the contrary, dome collapse is almost the opposite. Ground-hugging beasts that churn down the steep slopes of a volcanic edifice. If you have a look at some of them, like this one:

      it’s almost as if they are generated purely from falls of hot blocks from the dome that, due to heat and kinetic energy, kick up a huge dust storm. Then again, you get flows that display that characteristic surge that obviously have an internal dynamic separate from the huge blocks that sometimes come darting out of them. These are the beasts I don’t really understand. If they were themally powered they would rise so obviously their density is higher than the ambient air otherwise they wouldn’t cascade down the mountain like they do. OTOH they are bloody hot. So they must be super-enriched flows of dust and debris (kind of like a water-driven debris flow but in this case the lubricant is air) that charge down the mountain. In their wake they generate high phoenix clouds driven by the convective energy of the heat expanding ambient air.

      DragonEdit: Youtube link fixed.

      • Pretty damned funny… in a tragic sort of way.

        Imaged the drive, got my username and password reset (finally) so I could bring the machine into the domain, ran the final set-up script and got a good test all the way around. Reboot the double check and get in there to remove the set-up script lest some wayward used clicks on it, not knowing what it could do. Machine won’t let me back in. More correctly, My username and password are good, but the server doesnt’ want to let the PC into the domain… though it was just there. Turns out the final set-up script took the liberty to remove the machine from the domain once it completed. After I finally got a hold of the server ops guy, he stated that the machine had been partially deleted. I can’t log in to grant him remote access, he uses a side door then elevates his privileges to un-hork the machine. I guess when a system admin does it, it’s not a hack, though it uses the same techniques.

        • every now and then I fiddle around with the PC, but usually write things down as I go along, just in case I stuff up

    • Hi Peter

      Yes, things were moving a bit for the last few days and there has been 3 notable quakes today 2.5 – 2 & 2.5.
      Doing a plot right now which will be available later today.
      Maybe a hint of a trend on the GPS, but I think it is yet too soon to tell.

  7. From Eq Report about the El Hierro quakes…

    Most of them in the immediate vicinity of the island and almost all of them at a depth of 10 km.

    This and shallower are where things start to get interesting. Will we start seeing tendrils snaking their way up?

    Inquiring minds want to know. Has anyone snuck a peek at the GPS data? Or has the ruling class pidgeon holed it away for fear of running off green energy investors. It would be a damn shame if that peaking reservoir built into an ancient scroria cone became active again.

    • SABI and JULA might have uplifted a tiny tiny bit, but not sure. It is “about time” now IF the periodicity of previous active periods has any meaning. Current eqs are mainly on the edge of the assumed main magma chamber at 10 km depth. Dfm promised a close-up in the previous post.

      • Seven quakes listed already today for El Hierro and the last one doesn’t show a depth. Interesting increase so I for one will be keeping an eye on it today.
        1226702 13/08/2013 07:57:08 27.7327 -18.0051 (no depth shown) 2.2 mbLg SW FRONTERA.

    • that was the first thought which came to mind when they first spruiked it and showed picks of it and its surroundings

  8. Re Vesuvius “unrest” at station BKE:

    Yesterday activity began at about 7 a.m. and ended at roughly 5 p.m.


    …as in human?

    • I was told some time ago when I got all excited…… Around Vesuvius there are lots of people, all needing transport.! Small commuter trains,. Look at the shape of the tremors… they start small, grow bigger, then tail away then evenish gaps. I would bet my last drop of Cointreau that they are human made. Not to mention the Tourist buses that may drive up to the crater many times a day and probably very near to the Monitoring equipment. When all the other stations show tremors to match and looking more like Bob then I will get excited.

  9. Good morning all. Thank you Chryphia and Carl.
    Firstly I just need to say my thoughts about the human reactions to impending or happening disasters.

    I, here, in my solid little home ,with the supermarket just down the road and a small but dependable income cannot fully appreciate the difference in attitudes to those who grow food out of necessity. Who have scraped together a shelter from rare and expensive resources such as galvanised iron sheets and good planks of wood. These things are more valuable to their family than the crown jewels are to our Royals. Trust me I have lived with people like this. To be evacuated with little or no concept of pyroclastic flows or other extreme volcanics would leave the people actually more brave than foolhardy for they are giving up all their life’s achievements. Rather like knights of old defending their castle. They are not expected to “run away” and leave possessions to marauders or higher authority.
    Who know why these poor people died. There were children. Travel was probably on foot. It would have been slow. If they went back? Dante’s peak springs to mind. OK it’s Hollywood drama but children do silly things in real life.
    Yes! I agree to run back into danger when you know the odds is apparently stupid. Heroes know the odds and still act in an illogical way.
    If there is one thing I have learned in my 60 years + it’s to always expect someone to do something with seemingly little or no reason but with big consequences. Only time will bring to light the reasons. Human nature is unpredictable!
    Blessed be to those who are suffering and those who have been lost.
    Secondly Reykjanes ridge is having a nice swarm to celebrate the birth of Surtsey 50 years ago. watching with interest.
    13.08.2013 07:05:43 63.621 -23.630 15.4 km 2.7 90.01 16.9 km NNE of Eldeyjarboði

    • I agree with you Diana and I agree with Lurking.
      Yes, they made the wrong decission, but they made an unusually informed choice. Indonesians (even the farmers) know quite a lot about volcanoes. They made a choice between not farming, and the small risk that they knew about saying that they would die. Without farming you get famine and people WILL die, going back and people MIGHT die.

      There are most often reasons why people do things that strikes you as odd.

      Those running back into fires to save cats… For them the cats are their children and their lives (to them) would be meaningless without them. And I bet that most of us have done things that in retrospect seem rather stupid and dangerous, even to ourselves.

      A good Darwin-award is when you strive hard to achieve something utterly pointless. On the other hand it is sadly human to do something stupid to keep your livelyhood.

    • Thank you Diana, the way you explain the choices of the villagers of Paluweh, what looks rather insane from our comfortable positions, makes perfectly sense. All people love their children and would literally go over lava for them:
      Still, they chose that their kids should stay with them right below an active volcano, that just doesn´t feel right to me. But that´s me and I am not in their predicament.
      Sad all along.

    • While one is always desperately sorry about the children who naturally trusted their parents, I do not buy into this. The Indonesian authorities do have extensive experience in dealing with people with little or no education and awareness of natural hazards. They WILL have made the situation quite clear to the adults and if they choose not to listen and returned after being evacuated, on their heads be it. It is not as if they were ignorant of the fact that Paluweh Island is a volcano as it has erupted several times within living memory – 1963, 1972 (VEI 3), 1973, 1980, 1984, 1985.

      • I would like to point out that this “eruption” (it was no eruption, it was more a landslide really) was so small that a fumarole opening up in Iceland could do the same if it was in an unfortunate location.

      • Quite. And I would direct you to the caption of the leading image at the top of this post:

        “The trace of a pyroclastic flow from February 2013 can clearly be seen on the southern slope.”

        It’s easy to see it’s reached the shore.

    • I am waiting to see if that 30km earthquake was real.
      Lots of the quakes seems to have been deeper than the MOHO, but I am waiting for the IMO to update them before I start running around playing lip banjo…

      Lip Banjo:

  10. And here is the closest webcam to Geirfugladrangur. It is situated at the volcano north of Geirfuglasker volcano, the Eldey volcano.
    Seems like todays commotion is not upsetting the gannets on Eldey.

  11. This is a really nice impression of Shiveluch huffing and puffing between the ever-present clouds compiled by Canal Volcan. The timelapse covers the previous two days:

  12. Hi

    Here is the update for El Hierro island earthquakes from August 1st to 13th (last event shown @ 3.04 AM).

    On the first part there is an event by event animation, showing the date (look up the left scale of the colorbar).

    In the title you can see the current rank of the event vs Total, the day and time of the day, and finally the magnitude.

    I have kept the view angle constant to avoid unecessary confusion due to plot rotation.

    Circle size is proportional to event magnitude (4 times for the current event relative to older events).

    The following parts (2 & 3) are day by day animations, but this is a bit fast to see something, I’ll fix that in a later version.

    The Fourth part is a rotation showing all the earthquakes positions.

    The fifth part is a zoom centered on the last event.

    The terrain color refers to elevation (see right scale on the colorbar).

    The blue mesh is the bathymetry around the island.

    I have reduced the depth scale to concentrate on the present action so a few quakes maybe missing.

    Do not get over excited by quakes showing very shallow depth or depth equal to zero. They are for the moment events with a very low quality in localization.

    The yellow cluster are all the quakes from July 2011 to March 18 2013.

    The magenta cluster are the events from March 19 2013 to May 31st.

    The black circles are events for June and July 2013.

    So, we can see many things on the plot.

    First the activity west of the the western tip of the island is diminishing almost to zero in the last days.

    On the contrary there are 2 active zones for earthquakes, one located under El Pozo/ Sabinosa and the other more to the east of that under El Golfo. For the second cluster the acticity is less and is deeper, so the the quakes under El Pozo are the more active and are shallower (also I think that much of the stronger quakes are located in that cluster).

    I’ll try to show that for the next update. Also the 2 clusters are quite distinct for the time being with a small “dead zone” between them. This can be well seen at the beginning of the video but also around 50 seconds.

    Do not hesitate to comment and to give your opinion on the plots, what you like or not, and what you could see as betterments. I try to keep the video around 2 mn because I think that otherwise is gets rapidly a bit boring but that can be changed very easily.

    Data from IGN and NOAA, made on Gnu Octave, Avconv for making the video.

    The video is available on YT in HD.

  13. Regarding the swarm at Vesuvius –

    I don’t know a ton about seismology, but I don’t feel this would be human related. Why would a station shows zero activity for quite a long time, suddenly start picking up human activity 2 days ago? That doesn’t add up. If it was picking up buses, this station would be showing activity like this for the last 10 years constantly, but that’s not the case.

    With that said, the tremors are somewhat strange, and do seem to be showing an interesting pattern. Most of the quakes seem to have a bottleneck looking shape in the middle of the quake, where they grow, spike, then decrease shortly, then spike again, then shrink. Without knowing much, I would say these look like Carl’s long period quakes, but the bottleneck in the middle is a little weird.

  14. @ Carl and considering CHIE, there is something which I do not find logical. Why is IGN showing such a bland display on CHIE ?
    My opinion is that they are not showing us what they get but just what they want people to see. Or more probably the opposite. What they want people not to see. (“See, nothing happening, there nothing on CHIE….blablabla”).
    However I’m pretty sure that they do not squander the little money they have. Why pay for an equipment if you’re getting no data ? that’s sheer nonsense. So I think they just keep the data to themselves and make a special plot for the outside.

    • I guess they are just showing a dialed down plot. Making a fake one is harder.
      But it is still rather disgusting from a scientific point. On the other hand, you know that they hate us personaly? Rather amazing really.

      • Yes I think you’re right, faking the data would be too time consuming, better to show a little. For the hate part, isn’t it a bit too much? it is too much honour ! Personaly, I’m just doing some plots for my pleasure and I hope to kindle interest in some people. One of the positive side for me is that, after nearly 2 years, I’m beginning to get my hands on Octave/Matlab, and That is quite nice believe me.

        • There is no honor among criminals….

          Not saying that there are criminals present, but you do have a lot of money involved that could (or has) flowed into the country if that pesky volcano would only shut up and quit spooking the wallets.

        • I received a letter too… I would say that the word “utter and bitter hatred” covered it quite nicely. Admittedly he disliked any amateur dabbling with his pet volcanoes, but for some reason we were on his top position.
          I would though like to state that it most likely was the quite unique view of one person, albeit in a high position in the organisation.

          I just put the letter aside since I felt to honoured 😉

  15. Why would they hate us, Carl? I would very much appreciate if an IGN scientist would come in here occasionally and put us back on track. I mean, with only little information interested people will make up their own “science”, assumptions and conjectures based on on scant data, that is natural. If they found the time for some explaining words for us, that would be really helpful and improve the climate.

    • Hi
      They can’t come Granyia. We’ve seen many many times that there are intestine struggles among the different authorities and that henceforth the communication is pretty much controlled. It is understandable even if like you I would find great to have information first hand. Also maybe they do not have the time :grin:.
      There is also the fact that Nemesio is in Japan for a conference…..

    • Granyia, El Hierro was supposed to gain world wide attention as being the first 100% green energy community. With wind power, one of the most vexing problems is when the wind doesn’t match the consumption rate. In normal settings, for load matching, peaking reservoirs are used. Cheap night time grid power is used to pump water to a storage reservoir which is then used via hydroelectricity during peak load times to augment the grid. Two things El Hierro has, wind and convenient bowl shaped basins up on the top of the mountain. We call them scoria cones. You can find the first (seemingly operable) one here 27.795038°N – 17.923449°W.

      You still have to have someone fund the construction of a project like this. Spain’s job market has been fully decimated by the green agenda, loosing more jobs than the green economy has produced. Oh what a shining star El Hierro could be if it all worked. The last thing that El Hierro needed was bad PR from a twitching volcano. Too much attention and the investors may balk at funding what could easily become a temporary structure… lasting only until a pyroclastic flow or lava fountain took it out.

      Much work had gone into keeping track of landslide potential. Probably the main focus of IGN since when “Bob” started up, they seemed to have been caught with their pants down. This difference in motivation may have been evident in the point of contention that came about over the composition of the restolingas. IGN sided at trachyite, the University guys leaned towards rhyolite. The difference is in the inherent explosivivity of any surface manifestation.

      Their focus on landslip is evident by they way their official GPS network was set-up. All they provided were baseline distances between the different stations. No lat/lon/elevation data at all.

      So, when some data mining entity (me) ran across the three axis GPS data being collected by a researcher from Japan, and constructed a rather detailed plot of the surface deformation trends… the guy in charge of coordinating the interaction with foreign researchers had a cow. He sent me what essentially amounted to a cease and desist order. The only real difference is that no lawyer was involved. (I’ve gotten those before)

      His claim was that I had purloined the private data of the researcher… which is unmitigated bullshit. The data was sitting in the open on the web. No passwords, no firewalls, no effort to secure it whatsoever.

      In order to quell the issue, I yanked the GPS vids as per his request. In order to divert animosity over the videos being yanked, I placed the request in the follow on vid. After all, it wasn’t I that arbitrarily yanked the videos.

      Since then, the researcher has removed the textual version of the GPS data and only placed his graphics up. They could be used, but digitizing it adds a layer of uncertainty, and it’s a royal pain in the ass.

      So… on at least two fronts, IGN is trying to protect the money flow. 1) From the green investors, and 2) from milking research organizations to come study the volcano.

      In my opinion, and in my opinion only, any published paper about El Heirro that does not include Carracedo in it’s author list, is not worth the shit that it is made of. Carracedo seems to be the most pragmatic expert on El Hierro. Not that vociferous buffoon over at IGN.

      I’ll leave it at that. Those who were around know who he is. He isn’t even worth mentioning by name.

      • “Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity”-Attr. Heinlein
        Trouble is, that may be both…

      • As a cynic… I follow the opposite axiom.

        “Never attribute to innocence that which is best explained by a motivated self interest.”

        — My dog Spot.

        Continuing. I don’t harbor any idea of undue malice on the part of the entity that I speak about. Being falsely accused (what was inferred in the email) of conducting an illicit act to acquire the GPS data sort of pissed me off. I’ve suffered through investigations due to erroneous accusations before. I’m not particularly fond of being wired up to a lie detector with an NCIS agent asking be questions. Been there done that, got the Tee shirt. I am merely drawing conclusions based on what I have seen and what could be the motivations for various actions. That bit about drawing researchers to the island was specifically stated as being what I was hazarding.

        BTW, that investigation thing. The combos on the safe and room had been changed the Monday after I had gone on leave… and I was two states away when the material had come up missing. Three separate inventories had been done since I had left on leave and nothing was missing. Yet I was accused as being the one responsible. Piss me off? You bet your ass it did.

        I didn’t have to wait long for karma to work that one out. The accuser involuntarily left the military due to psychological reasons.

        • Back in the 80’s ,I was accused of stealing company Jeppesen (Nav) charts. The chief pilot of this particular outfit had left them in a motel room supposedly he was on a Charter- the night before. His Girlfriend delivered them to his home-and his wife opened the door-that neither knew about either was Karma served sunnyside up…

          • Ow!

            A brain fart is slang for a special kind of abnormal brain activity which results in human error while performing a repetitive task, or more generally denoting a degree of mental laxity or any task-related forgetfulness, such as forgetting how to hold a fork. Tom Eichele, a neuroscientist at the University of Bergen in Norway, was part of an international team of researchers who identified activity detectable in brain scans up to 30 seconds before a mistake, which could be referred to as a brain fart, occurs. The researchers suspect the abnormal behavior is the result of the brain attempting to save effort on a task by entering a more restful state’. The scientists detailed their findings on 21 April 2008 online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The scientific term they gave the phenomenon is “maladaptive brain activity change.”


        • Thanks Lurking! I had heard this and that but could not make a picture out of it all. Now the relief stands out clearly, with the volcano not being the highest peak in it but a great heap of money.

    • There was actually one volcanologist from IGN who commented in here during the eruption, and who also sent us a goodly amount of hidden data. There was a lot of back door fighting between “The Hiders” and “The Openers” during the eruption. The Hiders ultimately won out.

  16. Hey everyone, thanks for the kind words regarding my previous post. I am currently on holidays and also away from Iceland, on the sunny and hot weather. See you guys within a couple of weeks. 🙂 I will pop by if something interesting happens

  17. Another deep quake
    13.08.2013 23:22:34 64.511 -17.690 15.8 km 1.7 99.0 6.3 km ENE of Hamarinn

  18. Good day/ evening/night & morning 😀
    El Hierro GPS and everything else can be found here.
    Click on El Hierro in search…. or any other Volcano in the drop down menu.
    It’s a bit fiddly to enlarge the individual windows but it can be done with patience 😀
    I have also asked over in Eruptions about the tremors at BKE Vesuvius. So far one response. who assures me everything is OK there and nothing to worry about. Signals are mechanical not magmatic. Full answer can be read on Ericks Blog comments here
    Nice continuing swarm on the Rekjanes Ridge.
    Nice day and no excuse not to run Meg ragged . Yesterday she raised a deer. Absolutely unheard of in this industrial area (The local land is called Roe Acre though, so historically they must have been here).. but yes! A Roe deer on the reclaimed scrubby land. There is hope for the world if we just let Mother nature do her thing and help her as much as possible. It startled me though, I thought it was Meg then realised it was larger and she was behind!! She was so good coming immediately back to heel on call. and the deer carried on and disappeared into the thickets.

    • Good morning Diana!

      It is amazing how fast nature comes back as soon as we humans move on to other parts.
      This summer I was fishing in an abandoned mine sludge pond. Nature had taken over completely and the entire place looked like pure wilderness even though the mine was closed down in the seventies.
      In the mining tower there was thousands of swallov nests, and animals moved along in the new forrest. It was like no human had ever been there except for the manmade bird cliff.

      And before anyone asks… It was a sludge pond from an iron mine. If it had been a copper or lead mine I would have checked the water-tests online (all are checked every year). Iron mines rarely if ever produce anything poisonous, lead and copper mines most often did. Nowadays the sludge is controlled so hard that it is cleaner than if you had never opened the mine to beginn with.

      • In copper/zink/nickel/lead mines you have a rather low percentage of what you are looking for. Normally it would be between 1 and 10 percent of “the goodies”. Most of the rest is grey rock. But a small percentage is also other metals, and some of those are rather nasty heavy metals. In older mines those are/were dumped into the sludge pond since it was not valuable enough for the big operators to refine further.
        Today the mines often subcontract the “dredge” (which is actually refined) to a smaller company that refines out these punishing metals from the dredge, thusly diminishing substantially the toxicity.

        Quite often the only thing that the big operators refined out of the dredge was gold since various governements forced them to do that. This was done at a loss since these companies geared their production towards the primary metal. About half of the worlds gold is produced at a continous loss. So, one of the scrap metals subcontracted today is actually gold.
        The smaller companies can use different refinement techniques that are totally different than the large scale refining of a primary metal so are therefore way more cost efficient in that capacity.

        For those who like gold…
        The Västerbotten Field is the largest natural deposit of gold in existance. No part of it is though economically viable to mine. All of the gold mined there is actually coming out at a loss as the large operators mine for copper, lead or zink. But, and this is a hilarious thought, wherever you go there in this immense area of land you will be walking on gold ore.

        • Correction:Zink = Zinc 🙂

          I Like gold..used to work in gold mine..becomes interesting when you have more than 30 grammes of gold per tonne of rock, at that point gold tends to be visible, albiet at tiny specs. My favourite show on TV is Gold Rush…although that is not really gold mining in my opinion…just panning for gold nuggers on a larger scale, the gravel must be very rich for the gold they are extracting.

          I used to work in an Nickel Mine…and one of the nasty by poducts was Asbestos…not so bad for the tailings dam..only for the poor operators working in the dust

          • Haha, well I am after all a swede and we spell it Zink. 🙂
            So, on occation I spell those names wrong Koppar = Copper and so on…

            I agree fully with you on the amounts needed. People just see the word GOLD and then they go for it, forgetting the cut-off points and percentages needed to even make break-even.

            Yuck, asbestos is nasty. I am happy that I never have had to deal with it. Here arounds it is normally arsenic that is the “nasty”.

            • Zink/Zinc…. really odd spellings. I usually get under my wifes skin wnen I tell her it is “Sink”.
              …she hates that.

              Its a quirky pronunciation that she has used her entire life.

          • The English are weird. How about Natrium (na) which they insist on calling Sodium, or Kalium (Ka) they are convinced is Potassium. I ask you…

          • Even worse is that they are convinced they are right, God-givenly so, and the rest of the world wrong. Greenwich meridian which in fact runs through Paris and is so defined. xD

          • Actually the Paris Meridian would be Greenwich longitude 2°20′14.03″ east.
            In this little case I give the UKians the right of it. The French Meridian was one of several used localy.
            The reason for the Greenwich meridian becoming the world dominator is due to the admiralty being foresighted enough to actually publish their naval charts. Thusly it became the staple meridian for all merchant mariners who purchased the Admiralty Charts.
            From that stage of “Information wants to be free” the UKians have now fallen into filtering and censoring their internet to keep their citizens away from nudity, profanity and scientific forums.

  19. I have a rant that will beat any of geoLurkings work related tribulations….
    An ebay member contacted me to say he was blocked from bidding . he lives in New Zealand. I checked and New Zealand is fine with me I allow postage to there and I have sent stuff there for years….
    I contacted EBay Live customer services Chat. (Like a chat room you typr in your queries….
    I was on for an hour .. patience wearing thin… several departments and cut offs included….
    Why cannot I send to new Zealand>>>>>>>>>> This is not a joke.. it’s an actual quote that was sent to me…….

    As you know, New Zealand is not on the same continental shelf and so is not part of the continent of Australia but is part of the submerged continent Zealandia. Zealandia and Australia together are part of the wider region known as Oceania or Australasia. Therefore, since the country is not available and selected on the post locations, the buyer will not be able to place a bid.

    I can find no reference to New Zealand in the many tick boxes….so presumably now nobody in New Zealand can bid!

    • Ebay have just proved that New Zeeland does not exist. Somewhere here probably the last of the Lord of The Rings movies is explained. 😉

      That quote was probably an automated text copypasted in by someone who works their help desk in Hyderabad India.

      • yes I got the impression as I was passed to a department labelled “Locations” that there was a hint of BOTulism. But it was such a priceless excuse I laughed and am still laughing… talk about trying to blind a customer with science 😀 😀
        I bet they have a page from wiki open for every customer query 😀

      • g’day Greg!! 😀 😀 Now! Now! One day ebay may well find an excuse for Australia’s sudden disappearance off the map… probably it will go walk about!

        • I did find Australia missing off a list of countries on some website ordering list…they had stated that the country list originated from google…anyway there loss of sale on that occasion

    • Yep, two knocks .. 😉
      Phantoms knock twice, or Postmen, whatever
      We do need more, I think
      After relative silence in quakes this summer (compared to last winter) we could see heavier swarms in next months. I miss swarms in middle areas, notably east of Hekla but west of Hamarinn …
      – I have estimated we are nearer to an eruption in Iceland. On average in 20th Century there was one eruption every four years. Now it´s two years three months since last (major) one (Grimsvötn – May 21, 2011) so statistically “averaged” we are more than half-way nearer to next one … right?

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