Fiumicino, Jebel al Zubair & Tjörnes Fracture Zone

A beutiful view of one of the worlds most tectonically active areas.

A beutiful view of one of the worlds most tectonically active areas, the Tjörnes Fracture Zone.


Few have missed the “Vulcanettos” (Mudcanoes) erupting in Fiumicino lately. The main goal for the Italian authorities seems to have been to find out whom to blame for it and not finding out the root cause.

First two small mudcanoes appeared in a roundabout close to the airport at Fiumicino. Samples were taken and Italgas was judged to be responsible for the mudcanoes in the roundabout. Italgas assumed the responsibility and promised to plug up the mudcanoes.

The original Vulcanetto (Mudcano) in the roundabout next to the Airport.

The original Vulcanetto (Mudcano) in the roundabout next to the Airport.

This week yet another far larger mudcano appeared out at sea, approximately 100 meters out from the beach in an area where the new port of Rome is being built. As new samples were taken it was decided that the contractor for the new port was responsible for that mudcano, and they were quickly ordered to plug up that mudcano.

The larger oceanic Vulcanetto.

The larger oceanic Vulcanetto.

Let us now ponder the cause for the erupting mudcanoes. All we have to judge from is the gasses driving the eruption, and they tell a lot really. 80 percent of the gas volume is carbon dioxide, which can either come from decay or volcanism, so it is far from conclusive. The next gas in the mix was methane, which is predominantly found around decaying deposits, but is not unheard of from volcanoes. So, we have to look at the sulphuric gasses. SO2 is normally a high temperature gas that points towards volcanism, and H2S is normally a decay gas. According to the samples it seems to be H2S that is emitted causing the telltale egg-stench. Something that has been reported by local nose-witnesses.

So, instead of blaming the Roman citizens that for the last 2 000 years have dumped their garbage into the river Tiber (Fiumicino is located in the river delta of that highly perfumed river) they have decided to blame the closest by company.

Now over to the meme of plugging the holes up with concrete. It is a particularly stupid idea to plug up gas vents. The pressure is coming out for a good reason at the spots they are coming out. And by plugging those vents up the problem will only migrate over to a spot where you absolutely do not want a mudcano, like for instance on a runway under a landing airplane. Also a bit of serious research into the root cause of the gasses would probably be a fabulous idea.

Zubair Islands

Composite image from band 1, 2, 3 (RGB) at 30 m resolution, Landsat. Image made by Cryphia, courtesy of NASA Landsat Program.

Composite image from band 1, 2, 3 (RGB) at 30 m resolution, Landsat. Image made by Cryphia, courtesy of NASA Landsat Program. Both the size is apparant, and also the location towards the middle of the Zubair Group.

The Zubair Group is placed on top of an old group of between 1 and 3 large shield volcanoes that has formed a submarine plateau over a riftline. During the last few hundred years a consecutively NNW trending line of islands has formed as further eruptions have occurred along the riftline.

In December 2011 an eruption started NNW of Rugged Island that quickly built a new Island. On the 28th of September a new eruption was spotted at a new location, this time it was though not at the NNW end of the Island Group. The original depth for the spot was around 150 meters according to maritime charts, so it is likely that the eruptions initial stage was not spotted, and may have started a few days previous to it being detected.

Currently a pure steam plume is rising 3 000 meters in height, and no ash emission is visible. Such vigorous steaming would imply that the eruption is vigorous since the amount of water heated must be fairly large.

The eruption will probably quickly lead to Surtseyan explosions breaking the surface in the same way they did in 2011 and if we are lucky we will see a new Island being born.

Sadly it is very hard to get up to date information and images from the area due to the rampant piracy in that area of the Red Sea.

Tjörnes Fracture Zone


Image by Icelandic Met Office.

Image by Icelandic Met Office.

A persistent tectonic earthquake swarm has been running for the last few days outside of Gjögurtá. The earthquake swarm has been highly localized and the earthquakes have been between 0.1 and 2.8M in size. The depths have varied from down at the MOHO (circa 15km) up to the surface of the bedrock.

The active rift is on the west side of a small micro-plate that is confined in the East by a faultline running up from Theistareykjarbunga. Of course this is a purely tectonic event, but it might down the line add strain on the inflating volcano.


199 thoughts on “Fiumicino, Jebel al Zubair & Tjörnes Fracture Zone

  1. “And by plugging those vents up the problem will only migrate over to a spot where you absolutely do not want a mudcano, like for instance on a runway under a landing airplane. Also a bit of serious research into the root cause of the gasses would probably be a fabulous idea.”

    Plugging those vents up will cause these gases to find another pathway. Some bizarre events will happen then. For example a vent opening up in a crawl space under a house, or a vent opening up in a factory, etc. I think that these gases can have a volcanic origin and that magma is filling an underground reservoir beneath Rome. If that’s true, the area will be uplifted with earthquakes and fumaroles, hot pools and geysers will develop in Rome.

    The U.S.A. has problems again with its debt-ceiling and some governments services will shut down. If the debt-ceiling isn’t adjusted upwards, the U.S.A. will default. Will this cause a V.E.I. 7 financial event causing massive financial, economic and social devastation?

    • During the last “shutdown” I was in active duty. We missed a paycheck or so, and the landlord had to make due with what I could give him, but most of us lauded the momentary ceasing of stupidity. It was like for once, sanity had landed in DC.

      At this point in life, if they do another one, that will motivate me to seriously consider getting rid of my mortgage. (financially It will hurt, but it is doable) The way things are moving, I will be unable to claim the interest as a deduction pretty soon. It seems that if you are able to make your payments, there is something wrong with you and you should be penalized by having a higher tax burden.

      • tn the other hand if you pay off the mortgage your a terrorist because your not being a proper debit slave to the owners of D.C.

  2. Plugging is not the solution – even a child would understand that. Trying to find the origin of the gases instead of the culprits is the only sensible way to deal with these vulcanettos. Hopefully INGV is taking care of this.
    Cheers everyone for the new look and out new FB group. 🙂

    • I must admit that I myself love the new look, and all the new possibilities it gives with images. It is remarkable what difference the new size does in regards to pictures and how you can narrate with them. I hope to become better in that regard as time goes by.

    • “Hopefully INGV is taking care of this.”

      Erm, not really as they will be likely to be imprisoned if they do. I’d rather they appoint a wholly political commission instead and appoint a prosecutor to collect material as they plod along.

      • Mudslinging (how apropriate) and blame games. The telltale signs of a post-rational society, or if you prefer, a decadent one.

        • Enter the sumerians.
          The Law of Hamurabi created the first lawyers. They multiplied like rodents untill 1 out of 10 sumerians was a lawyer. At that stage their entire society crumbled under its own weight.

    • Ciao Renato and everybody else. Just a quick note – some of my INGV colleagues in Rome are rather busy with these phenomena since they first appeared, and it is clear that the main cause is natural. This being an area of young volcanism, gas emissions from degassing magma bodies at not-too-great depth is in itself nothing really strange (think of Iceland and its widespread hydrothermal areas). It is not a sign of imminent renewed volcanism, but simply evidence that some hot (but solid) rock continues to release magmatic gas. There are no geophysical signals (seismicity, ground deformation) that typically indicate volcanic unrest, so it seems not to be related to magma movement. By the way, similar phenomena are quite common in that area, which also has hot springs and areas of gas emission that are known since humans first settled there. The single difference this time is that the media are jumping on it and making all sorts of stories out of it. As far as the more practical issues are concerned, like trying to reduce the gas flow (it is certainly not true that this will be done by simply pouring concrete into the vents), these are in the hands of engineers and not the INGV … luckily.

      • Wise to stay away from the “plugging” part of business 🙂

        I still think that containing pressure is a bad idea. It is not a hard glas bottle of champagne they are dealing with, it is a rather imperfect container of clay they are trying to plug up. In the end I think it would be both safer, and cheaper, to just dig away the mud as needs be untill the “mudcano” died out of lack of pressure. It is after all not Lucy we are talking about.
        But heck, what do I know. I am just a physicist who used to drill into mountains for hot water…

    • What is really wild is the amount of gas being emitted, one can see that along the shoreline of the mud-island.
      Second thing is that if one look at the close ups one can see how brutal it was. The islands seems to almost have exploded out of the ocean.

      Image and video hosting by TinyPic

      • What i also find odd. The lack of sand or sediment or life on it, ( corals algae etc.) on it. Has that all been washed away? This does not really look like something which was below sea level for ages ( I know it was just… odd). Anyone happen to know how deep below the sea level this thing actually was?

        • Yes, it was on the 6 meter shoreline level according to the maritime chart.
          The entire shore bottom is marked as muddy so there would not be that much of anything living in it. But, in one of the first pictures one could see a patch of algea that looked seriously unhappy, it grew on the side facing the shore, so I guess that part was in a slightly more shallow part.

        • A few years ago, two fighters collided in the Persian Gulf. The Ark Royal thought that someone was shooting and went to GQ. (I would have made the same call, all they saw was a fireball in the sky) A quick rundown of all the air capable platforms in the area revealed that two of ours had gotten tangled up with each other. One pilot died. Our EOD detachment was sent to recover the pilot and whatever things that had been dangling on the aircraft. Talking with one of them, it turns out that the floor of the Persian Gulf is pretty devoid of stuff and it mostly barren. Closer to the shoreline is where you start getting the corals and other stuff we commonly associate with ocean critters.

          While snorkeling over in the Red Sea, I do know that there is some large things living down there, I had a large ominous shadow scare the crap out of me and I decided that I had seen enough and went back in. I never could get a clear view of what it was, being limited to how long my snorkel was and having no means of self defense if whatever it was decided that I would make a good chew toy.

          BTW, most shark bites are sharks checking to see if you are edible. “Got to taste it to see what’s in it”

          • Well, there was a news story here in the US about two separate workman’s comp cases.

            In one, a woman was hit for back payment of her compensation since an investigator photographed her strutting around in high heels and servicing “clients” in a park…. it seems her ankle injury was bogus.

            Another claim was awarded to a lady who was on a business trip and had a lamp fall and hit her on the head while she was having intimate relations in her hotel room. The key was that she was there on a bona-fide business trip and would not have sustained the injury had she not been.

      • The surf adds to the dramaticalness (did I just invent a new word?) of the whole image. But yes, it seems to have literally sprung to the surface with a plop.

  3. Carl, are you ever going to write a post about Red Sea volcanism? I remember you mentioning a while back that there were numerous & huge buried caldera systems in that area that are almost entirely unknown and unstudied.

    I think it’s a really interesting area, especially given the difficulty in studying the area due to piracy and instability.

    • You named the two reasons I gave up… Due to piracy and the longterm instabillity in the area I had to give up. The little data that is availiable is really out of date, and probably is not that correct.
      I though wish there was studies done there since the volcanism is “odd” when compared to how the known faultlines are running.
      I am though planning to write about it, but it will probably have to wait a few years.

  4. Also – while it’s highly likely that the Italian mudcanoes are a result of new construction, drilling, and excavation, if we were to assume that these formed for reasons OTHER than new excavation, it would be too odd of a coincidence that these both formed contemporaneously after rotting peacefully for 2000 years without an external influence causing the unrest.

    And while it is most likely a result of construction, I don’t think gas content is enough to draw conclusions of what is going on down at depth. If a blob of magma were rising, and heating up a blob of rotting biological material, the output would still have a signature mostly of rotting bio-material. Much like a geyser or phreatic eruption however, the root cause is still possible to be volcanic in nature.

    • It could also very well be tectonic in nature.
      What I find problematic with the “volcanic” concept is that there is quite a bit away to the nearest volcanic feature, at least nearest known volcanic feature. But then, Romes fabled hills are mostly volcanic in origin so entirely impossible it wouldn’t be that there was an unknown old volcanic source down there.

        • It would most likely have caused quite a bit of noise in the form of earthquakes as it rose if it went up into juvenile or highly dormant ground like Fiumicino. But… who knows, that is why I think it is important that they investigate the issue more thoroughly.

          • The other reason this is unlikely to be magmatic is that this is much further west than most Italian volcanoes show up in that area. If a new volcano were to pop up, you would probably expect it to pop up in the middle of rome, as that’s closer to where the magma accumulates for most of Italy’s volcanoes (see vulsini & colli albani)

            • I totally agree with your rather horrible conclusion. It is more likely to happen there, but since all the surrounding volcanism seem to be slowly declining I find it doubtfull.

  5. I love the unexpected.
    I was just going through images for Olafsfjördur in Iceland (where the swarm is). And I found a trap formation that has been ripped apart by the faultline.

    This links to a perfect picture on one side of Olafsfjördur:

    And here is the other side of the faultline…
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

      • The banded layers stacked ontop of each other, looking like the stairs of a staircase. You can see them both on the image I posted here, and on the link I posted.
        Every step is a layer of erupted magma. When these mountains (really just one mountain, it was cloven later) was deposited something did layer upon layer of basalt floods. Very interesting. It was probably done as the faultline originally opened up.

        • Trap is derived from the Scandinavian (Swedish) word “trappa” meaning stairs. Once you realise the derivation, trap formations become instantly visible.

            • No Sake, sorry to steal your thunder:

              “The term “traps” is derived from the Swedish word for stairs (trappa, or sometimes trapp), referring to the step-like hills forming the landscape of the region, which is typical of flood basalts.”

              While the Dutch have always been great tradesmen, Swedes had to settle for nature and sciences during the 18th and 19th centuries. 😛

            • Henrik, actually the trappa moved on to Holland with the Ship-wrights that came here and helped us to build the örlog-ships. They brought the word trappa back home when they returned.

            • Don’t know which was first (that’s why I said maybe). But I know the Dutch and Hanze tradesmen have had some influences on the Scandinavian language. The language of the Hanze was Plattduutch or Low-German out of which Dutch evolved. For instance when I was in Bergen (=Mountains in Dutch), I visited a museum about the Hanze and it was for me easier to understand the original historic documents/names than the English explanations :). The same happened in Copenhagen: I could easily read all vegetable names on the Danish menu because they where borrowed from the Dutch. But I didn’t knew how to pronounce it, so I used the Danish menu to decide what to eat and the English to order.

            • How do you know it was borrowed from the Dutch? FYI a great many words and concepts stem from the Viking incursions of the 9th to 10th centuries which has left trails in English, French, Dutch, German and Russian.

              No, traps is NOT derived from Dutch. Trust me, I’m a linguist and I should know this.

            • Well, dutch is a conglomerate language that has borrowed from many languages all around.
              But as Henrik said, this is a Swedish word derivable back into the ancient times of forn-nordic. But I will leave any excursion into linguistics into Henriks more able hands.

            • The Hanze documents weren’t in Norge but in Platduutch and a lot of their terms were borrowed in Norge. And the vegetables I’m sure because the vegetables and their names came to Denmark in the time of Christian II who married Isabella of Austria (born and raised in Ghent together with her brother Charles V). He had also a relation with Duveke, a Dutch woman. To keep them happy, he brought vegetables and farmers from the low countries to Copenhagen to give them a feeling of home. And about trap, I believe you if you say the word trap in trap formation comes from Swedish, but it’s clear that the Swedish and Dutch trap are related, but I’m not sure which was first: Because trap in Dutch is related with the words tred(e) (= step) and already in use in 13 century. Maybe it is just a old Germanic word that survived it both languages.

              Also words can make weird journeys. For instance Dutch borrowed the word doping from English. But the English word dope (from which doping evolved) is borrowed from the Dutch . I comes from the Dutch word doop (Eng: baptism) which comes from the verb dopen ( to put someone/something in liquid and take it back out: like he doopt his pen in the ink).

            • Sorry to rain on your parade gentlemen, but the illustrious Mathematician Simon Stevin in the preface of his ‘De Beghinselen Der Weeghconst’ delivered the irrefutable proof that “Duytsch” was the original language. Trap therefore was Dutch before it was Swedish.

              DragonEdit: Me Dragon, me ancient. Oldest Language of Stupid Human in Europe be Basque. I ate them, they tasted like shrimp.

            • And to one-up… hm, two-up.

              Tycho Brahe conclusively determined that the Swedish Island of Ven is the center of the Universe. Inspired by this Olaus Magnus definitely put the long lost Atlantis in Uppsala. So, all culture spread downwards 😉

            • One does not argue with the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, except that one guy that chopped off his nose in a duel between gentlemen…

    • it is strange, the frequency on the FFT is quite high on Corc and there is a low component on Ctab. There are low clouds on the satellite from Modis, maybe bad weather or high seas?

      • Or loading of that wind/hydropower project?

        Water being pumped through a pipeline would explain that weird Long Period event that shows on CORC.

        • Orchilla is on the opposite side of the island. Plus the plant has been running for some time now I think. The graphs from Corc do not show some very big differences for the last days.

          • I don’t know really, you’re better than me to read the graphs. Normally pumps like the ones used run at about 3000 rpm (or 1450 as an industry standard, but I don’t think so because of the pressure needed), so I don’t think we could see them.

            • I was more thinking back wash, or a large airbubble travelling upwards in “whooshing” factor.
              But… on regards of pumping water… I am a noob. I have succesfully installed a pump in a boat once, but that as far as I know about it 🙂

            • Normally on this type of system, you install devices to remove bubbles.
              Turbines hate bubbles as do pumps. It causes cavitation on the blades which is real bad (can destroy the impellers)

    • The model would though tend to put it towards the southwest of the last eruption. 230 meters in that direction at least 😉

      As you know it was caused by a hotspot that found a crack in the eurasian plate at the Eiffel. Any eruption would have to follow the Eiffel fault, either side would be to thick. And the plate is moving with 2 – 3 centimeters east, and to the north, per year.

      Transfering concepts from a subduction field to a hotspot field is bothersome at best.

    • On randomness – this can get a bit philosophical, but I think randomness gets a bad rap in science. Most of what we call random is simply a system where there are too may variables to accurately predict, or a system where we aren’t able to measure the variables/inputs. Technically speaking, that’s not really random, it’s just “more random” than a simple system with very few variables.

      So the idea that any volcano is “unpredictable” technically is untrue (although unless you’re omnipotent, it would be pretty impossible to track every input required).

      I’m not a physicist or math geek, but from what I’ve heard, the only truly random events known in the universe occur at the quantum level.

      • in essence, you are correct. Knowing the actual chamber pressure, and the the shear strength of the rock all the way to the surface, accounting for all desity changes so that you have an accurate confining pressure, as well as knowing the underlying stress field, yyou could probably get pretty close to predicting when it erupt.

        Written in a hurry while trying to scarf down an order of fries.

        • Following this… I would like to mention that one mode of solving the Mogi model yields variations in chamber pressure. So even though it seems daunting, it is conceivable that an adept researcher could get pretty good info when a system starts to go squirrelly.

          Good GPS or survey info is needed though in order to form a baseline. It’s really too bad that the GPS guys are so paranoid of someone seeing the numerical data that they go to great lengths to hide it…. even resorting to throwing bureaucrats at people.

  6. Good evening all! Thanks Carl for a good roundup of the latest developments!
    Meanwhile I have been sporadically watching webcams as I have no time for deeper digging at the moment…

    Here are two highlights that can not be seen all too often:

    Reventador (Ecuador): I think there is a lava stream visible going down on the left side of the volcano; watching the images changing one can see it steaming. (cam image cropped)

    Copahue (Chile) steaming heavily:

    All sources on my cam-collection pages:

    • Not sure of the word Lociche… Gurgle says it’s Italian and translates to English as Lociche.

      Checking normal mail, all I have is the company that I sub for telling me that Forestry killed another laptop.

      In my Spookmail account (Google) I have a flight aware news item that leads with:

      Apple’s Maps App Directs Drivers onto Taxiway Bravo at Fairbanks International Airport” Since it’s Apple, that’s about par for the course. I had a competing app try to steer me down a boat slip in Panama City once, so I take applet directions with a grain of salt. Having been a sailor for 20+ years one piece of knowledge that is all important and shows up on most navigational charts:

      “The prudent mariner will not rely solely on any single aid to navigation, particularly on floating aids.”

      Note: “Spookmail” as in “Spies” → the mail box regularly scanned by the NSA. Hell, they are probably corporate partners.

      • Well, it was kind of a word-blend of Loco and Logic… So, I kind of wanted to alert our geological friend to stop sliding around in mud and check his mail.

        • Then I will stop chanting nasty things about various mail administrators.

          If any passerby really wants to know the inner-workings of mail systems… specifically the Sendmail program, I highly recommend this book.

          If DNS is your stubling block… try this one.

          That “passerby” word means any generic transient reading along. However, if THE Passerby happens along here, we sure would like to hear from you. Our exchanges in a previous version of Eruptions was quite enlightening.

        • Not digging up my SO2 plot again. But there may be an issue with the size of the SO2 peaks in the North compared to the South.

          However, if Dr. Klemetti is satisfied with their evidence, that’s good enough for me. Specializing in petrology, I think he knows conciderably more about the needed criteria for a match than I do.

          • Oh I do not doubt at all that it is the right mountain, nor do I doubt that Erik is highly able to judge the pros and cons of the evidence. No, it was something else that caught my eye and made me go “voot”.

            • The 803 A.D. one? That’s like, near the beginning of the Dark Ages and slap dab in the middle of the migrations period. (when most of our ancestors said “Screw it! We’re moving”)

            • “This is similar to one eruption I’ve been working on, the White River Tephra in Alaska, where a massive eruption in 803 A.D. that spread ash across much of eastern Alaska and the Yukon (and is claimed to be the largest plinian eruption of the last 10,000 years) is still not conclusively matched to a source vent. ”

              This caught my eye. It’s not that I wasn’t familiar with the White river tephra deposit. But most of what I had read on it made it seem like a Pinatubo sized event – not the largest eruption of the last 10,000 years. I had also thought it was pretty well established to be related to Mt. Churchill.

          • Okay from my brief digging –

            Apparently it’s already been concluded that Churchill wasn’t the source. This not only establishes that Churchill wasn’t the source, but the lack of an ash deposit makes it evident that wherever the eruption source came from occurred to the east of where Churchill lies, as the ash traveled eastward.

            On a slightly OT note – I actually met the guy (well, sort of) who wrote this article. Lonnie Thompson is one of the pioneers in ice-core research. I took an environmental geology class in college, and he came in and gave a guest lecture. I can definitely say that that class influenced my interest in geology quite a bit.

    • Yepp, there we had another one. I love these smaller traps… On the other hand the Columbia River Basalts are only small if compared to Endekan-Parahna, Deccan and Siberian traps.

  7. Hey everyone! I’ve been “trapped” by all the discussion above… and Samalas! WOW!
    Great findings!
    How about the plain old English word “trap”? Or the French for “attraper”, with a similar meaning? Or the Italian for “trappola”? Or in Portuguese for “aTRAPalhar? Henrik?

      • I was wondering this was the largest eruption in the last 2 million years its was a vei 8 the high end as well and the report said if I read it right this eruption didn’t effect the climate in the long run only for a few seasons. I was thinking if this eruption doesn’t cause an ice age or a start of one, none of them will not even Yellowstone . so it must be down to the sun and earth’s tilt. .

        • It is probably mostly the earth tilt and the sun. But if you have an unusually deep sun low and get a Toba. Or a Toba and Meteor. I think we need to look at the Twin effect.
          Problem with the Tobas is that the toss up a lot of gunk, but the gunk falls down really rapidly. A brute of a VEI-8 will have lost 99.9 percent of the atmospheric ash within 24 months, same as a VEI-6 has lost 99.9 percent. What I am after is that the effect regardless of size will be very short.
          A Trap-formation on the other hand is not huge per year, but they can go on for a hundred years, rest for a while, then dunk of another 100 years. And all of those erupting years will be as big as Laki or even bigger. And that would give the long term effect necessary to make life way too interesting.

          • And if the big ash-out isn’t good enough, the SO2 to sulphate conversion rate, and then the precipitation of that sulfate (sedimenting out) follows a pretty strict curve.

            No matter the size of a single emission, the sulfate from that SO2 spike will peak between 2 to 3 months later, and then will trail off.

            This plot is designed to be used as rule of thumb based on percentages. Just scale it to whatever size eruption you happen to have. (SO2 tonnage)

            I don’t have Carbonyl Sulfide (COS) emission data, but since it is such a long lived molecule it can ride around on the normal global circulation and not take part in a reaction. (I’ve read of stay times of up to nine years or so) It isn’t until COS gets hit with 200 to 270 nm light that it dissociates and can then take part in becoming sulfate.

            That COS idea is a wild hair of mine that I have yet to see anyone research. If valid, it could provide a mechanism where a trap formation could impact the stratospheric aerosol layer (Junge Layer) without having to have a plume punch all the way there as a massive SO2 injection.

            I yammered about it in Ruminerian V Just remember, there isn’t really any research about it, but hopefully someone with the knack for this sort of thing will one day, dust it off and take a serious look at it.

            Note: The references and data sources used in that and other plots on that page are listed either in the text or at the end of the article.

  8. Go help people in distress, and someone has to try and make a buck off of you.

    I think that in the future, Colorado, and specifically Boulder County, should be left to fend for themselves. Ya don’t want our help? Fine, someone else probably does, now piss off.

    • That is… funny in so many ways. First of all putting a parking ticket on a military Blackhawk. Wonder if they got the license plate number, or the VIN-number, correct on it? Hm…

      And then… “Boulder County Ordinance Violation”, that is just hilarious in regards of a Blackhawk.

      My brother used to live in Boulder. He had a few things to say about the local law enforcement there. According to him they used to check DUI by asking if you had more “than one”, meaning if you had drunk a Kegg or more. When I visited him I noted that the 1 Kegg rule seemed to apply to the officers themselves when I found one with a 6-pack in usage in his patrol car.

    • Yes, it is starting to be one of the more tenacious swarms. Still far from one of the biggest, but it is very even and very localized. And it runs straight from the MOHO up to bedrocks edge and back. If that swarm had happened in a volcano I would have been counting down the beans to an eruption by now. Probably a tectonic lock being pulverized or some such.

        • The interesting part is all that ash, pumice and assorted volcanic sand that has piled up lately. It is starting to look like tuff cone of gigantic proportions.

          • I was just thinking about that, Carl. I’m also wondering about just where is this ash being created, what is burning up. Is it throwing its guts in the air. What replenishes the ash. It seems like it should have run out of “steam”. Probably Volcano 101.

            • yepp, volcano 101.
              Very ashy magma that rips apart on the way up forming that ash. And volcanic ash is not ash like in what you get in your fireplace. It is more tiny shards or rock coming out at extreme temperature. Volcanic sand would have been a better word for it…

  9. I just now noticed the structures at the base of Sakurajima, where this huge cloud wants to land. Dang, I would move. Wait, I wouldn’t live there in the first place.

    • Not knocking IMO, but that was one thing I liked about IGN’s spectral plots. They were very easy to read.

      When a harmonic tremor starts to increase in frequency, the fluid/gas making the tremor is being forced into an ever more confining space.

      • I have sent a wish list once… I guess it got stuck in, let us do that when there is nothing happening list. And that list in Iceland means “never gonna happen”.
        Sad, it would help everyone to understand better.

      • If this is in ref to Carl’s 00:40, it means something is changing. I never have been good at IMO’s spectral representation so I’m swinging at the dark here.

        Usually, low end tremor means bigger open space, higher means tighter, more confined. In FFT spectral representations, if you see harmonic tremor that starts climbing in frequency, it can mean that the dikes and feeders that make up the “chamber” are becoming more pressurized. However, this is from interpreting it on stratovolcanoes. What it means for a rift system I haven’t got a clue.

  10. As some of you know, boletin HIERRO.txt has been seriously truncated.

    I have on hand a version that runs from 2011/06/08 to 2012/09/16.

    If you have a text version of this file that covers any of the region from 2012/09/16 to the present, or at least until they truncated it I would appreciate it if you could send a copy to me as an attachment.

    Please use the standard volcanocafe address. Once I have acquired the missing sections, I will collate it into an excel spreadsheet and make it available for any plotters that wish to explore the phenomena of Bob. If I ever figure out how to get WordPress to take a text file as an uploaded media, I will make the flat text file available also.

    This is not an official VolcanoCafe project. It’s just something that I think should not disappear into the bit bucket.

    Remember, just the raw text file if you please. I don’t need it converted to excel as that would require me to try and decipher what changes that the data may have gone through. (floating point conversions etc)


    For GeoLoco and other purveyors of the slightly odd;

      • I think it is actually censored in the UK. It contained ladies in rather sturdy bikinis with paperbags over their heads. Apparantly that is deemed to naughty by your government for you to watch Diana…
        I guess the responsible authority is out dogging in a park by now.

        • Oh For Goodness sakes! Every woman in the UK knows a paper bag means a total disaster at the hairdresser or facial improvements that turned out to be an epic fail 😀 :D. ….There again I do worry sometimes about out politicians and their antics. Maybe I am just missing out on some very exciting bedroom adventures.

          • You can rest assured that your politicians are trying them out one by one, and they just want to keep all the fun to themselves. So they have instigated censorship so nobody else will have fun.

    • Check out the volcanocafemail googledrive, dfm has deposited the boletin txt there. The drive can also be used to share the data via link or publicly.

  11. From the above discussion. A nice little challaenge for us :-), lets see if VC can find the source of the White River Ash.

      • It is Churchill. USGS mounted an expedition and took a bunch of samples and found the same type of ash, and a caldera the same age. I do not really understand why Erik says that it is open for debate.

        Edit: Only reason I can see is that he is sitting on research data that is not publicly available.

    • In the crust at great depth at that particular location implies no more than 15 – 20 km. That’s how thick the crust is there. Found this map of the hotspot:

      • Och! I counted at least 4 more than 15 Km down. Looking at the graph of Hella SIL , I still think it looks more magmatic. I have always thought and observed, The red (Higher Wave lengths) are more active when the tremor is caused by magma intrusion. When all three wave bands react very strongly together, repeatedly over some period of time this for me reads as something magmatic such as an intrusion especially if the tremors are deep.
        I do think the rifting may be allowing magmatic intrusion here. I watch with interest and I advise anyone in the Skagafordur area who has delicate Glass ornaments to quickly pack them safely away for the time being!
        If these quakes get stronger is there likely to be tsunami type waves created up and down the Fjord?

        • For that (tsunami-type waves) to happen, you’d need a very big landslide which would be accompanied by mag 7++ earthquakes. But there’s nothing that says that the next big rift eruption (Eldgjá, Skáftar Fires, Krafla Fires type) must necessarily be on land as far as I’m aware.

        • No, no known history of Tsunami there.
          These are sideways rifing, not one plate going under (like Japan). My take on on this is this: Intrusions are suckied into the rifts voids, i.e. caused by the rifting (quakes), not the other way.. Anyways I am on satandby… what to expect I do not know.

        • Actually the red are lower frequency, now we are having higher frequency quakes, and those are brittle quakes as magma shoved it way upwards.

          (I love when I was right…)

    • I wrote up above during the night that the frequency had shifted upwards.
      Previously Diana noted that the earthquakes where low frequency mainly (red spikes), but about 24 hours ago they abruptly shifted to high frequency (blue) earthquake spikes. This is a sign of magmatic shift.
      For some horking reason it seems like we might be getting a rifting fissure up in a spot that has not rifted for more than a thousand years.

      • Beneath this Live cam of Sakurajima is a running banner that I think may be a warning. I therefore tried to get a translation. Google did it’s stuff and came up with the first sentence… Quote ” Everyone, now look crisp” Rather an unfortunate translation I fear!
        It was impossible to copy the rolling banner so here is the link. If anyone else can either read it or translate it more sensibly I would be very grateful.
        I clicked on the 3rd picture down on the right hand side.

        • Hi Diana, I managed to copy (part of?) the banner. It says:
          Google says that it means:
          “It is very grateful to those of ordinary cooperation NPO financial base severe.” 😕

  12. If the quake swarm continous for a few more days up to a week we will most likely have us a rifting fissure eruption out there at Gjögurtá.

  13. And the name of the place will give horrible flashbacks for news-anchors around the globe…

    The current activity is at “Eyjafjarðar” outside of “Gjögurtá”. I wish them good luck.

    • Does fjardar means fjord? And if we ( the non-Icelandic speakers) can have some fun; I would translate Gjögurtá as Yoghurt(a). :mrgreen:

      And as this is in the sea, what would be the effect of water on a fissure eruption?

  14. Pingback: Eyjafjarðar at Gjögurtá magmatic emplacement | VolcanoCafé

  15. OK, now, where do I read, here or Facebook. So I have been on there for years, I still don’t want to know.

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