Eyjafjarðar at Gjögurtá magmatic emplacement

Photograph of Eyjafjarðar by Unnur Elva Hallsdóttir.

Photograph of Eyjafjarðar by Unnur Elva Hallsdóttir.

As I am writing this I can’t help myself from remembering all the stuttering news-anchors trying to pronounce Eyjafjallajökull. Something tells me that they will not have an easier time with Eyjafjarðar at Gjögurtá.

habakukhlaYesterday I decided to put in a short piece about the earthquake swarm at Eyjafjarðar at Gjögurtá since I noticed how the frequency of the earthquakes abruptly turned from low frequency to high frequency. Normally I never write about the earthquake swarms at the Tjörnes Fracture Zone since the swarms there are purely tectonic almost to a fault (pun intended). Also, they happen so frequently that I would be doing them over and over again. Here is a link to yesterday’s post:

https://volcanocafe.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/fiumicino-jebel-al-zubair-tjornes-fracture-zone/

Today’s news

Early in the morning Icelandic Met Office released a bulletin via RÚV1 (Icelandic News) that the earthquake swarm indeed was believed to be magmatic in origin and that it was a probable sign of magma forming at root level depth (10 to 15km), and that it probably is intruding upwards to newly formed fractures.

Background

Habakuk2The Tjörnes Fracture Zone is one of the most tectonically active rift systems in the world, it is continuously suffering from earthquakes, and between 5 and 10 earthquake swarms occur per year (guess why I do not write about them).

It is the area where the MAR leaves the Icelandic sub-aerial part and goes into the Arctic Ocean. To compound the problem it is not only a rift between the North American continental plate and the Eurasian continental plate, the Tjörnes Fracture Zone is a divided rift. And in between the two great Habakuk3rifts we have a micro-plate, a miniscule continent that is neither America, nor Eurasia.

This Micro-continent has been known to move since at least 2008 (when measurements started to be taken on a grander scale), turning in a clock-wise fashion. This movement creates enormous strain and charges the Tjörnes Fracture Zone even more.

Tectonically speaking The Tjörnes Fracture Zone is fully capable of producing earthquakes in excess of 7M, and has done so repeatedly in historical times.

The area is known to contain 4 active volcanoes, The large sub-aerial Theistareykjarbunga Volcano that sits on top of a triple junction where the MAR meets the Tjörnes Fracture Zone, it is also the spot around which the miniscule continent hinges. Out at sea in the fissure swarm of Theistareykjarbunga we find a sub-aquatic volcano. The last two are also sub-aquatic and are located east and north of Grimsey.

Volcanic background of Eyjafjarðar at Gjögurtá

Note the "starcaise step" formation on the mountain in the background.

Note the “starcaise step” formation on the mountain in the background. It shows even better in the image linked to below.

The Eyjafjarðar has step cliffs on both sides. These are remnants of an old large fissure volcano that is believed to have been active before the last ice age. Unlike all the active volcanoes today in Iceland this volcano erupted large flood basalts in layer upon layer constructing a small localized “trap-formation”. In a trap-formation the layers of lava often create stair like steps that is quite visible. The volcano was later ripped apart by the same rift that once fed it with basaltic magma, and is now visible on both the eastern and western side of Eyjafjarðar.

And finally here is a beautiful picture of the trap formation in all it's stunning grandeur. Notice how the Ice has caved out canyons and valleys in the mountain, a tell tale sign of this being an old volcano. Picture found by CBUS.

And finally here is a beautiful picture of the trap formation in all it’s stunning grandeur. Notice how the Ice has caved out canyons and valleys in the mountain, a tell tale sign of this being an old volcano. Picture found by CBUS.

Check out this link to a stunning photograph of the trap-formation:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/blampe/5499536402/

No activity is known from this long dormant volcano, and no magmatic emplacement is known to have happened before today. The only thing we really know is that once upon a time this system was able to produce flood basalts larger than what has been seen in Iceland after the last ice age. Due to the long dormancy it is highly unlikely that if an eruption occurred it would be even remotely as large as the ones in the olden days.

Rifting Fissure Eruptions

Even though it is still unlikely that an eruption will occur I would like to point towards details that is in common with how we believe a new eruption would occur down at the fissure swarms leading into the area between Bárdarbunga/Grimsvötn and Katla.

A rifting fissure eruption is believed to start with an episode where the crust is pulled apart until it thins out enough for the topmost layer of the mantle to decompress. This will cause magma to acreate in the thinned out area causing additional strain on the thinned out crust. As this process goes on it will reach a point where earthquakes start to take place at the bottom of the crust (and perhaps further up as well). The magma will then start to move up into the newly formed cracks and this will both increase stress loading on the crust, and further decompress the top mantle layer creating more magma. If this process is large enough it will after a while reach a point of no return where magma is explosively formed pushing more and more magma to the top of the fissure. This is believed to be the process behind the Lakí eruption.

If we now make a comparison with what has happened at Eyjafjarðar at Gjögurtá during the last few days. We know that it is an area that is consistent with thinning crust, and this could have caused decompressing melt forming a pool of liquid magma to form in the thinned out part. We know that there was a large amount of deep earthquakes for several days down at the edge between the crust and the upper mantle. We also know that about 36 hours ago the frequency shifted and we started to see brittle earthquakes as magma started to move upwards shattering rock as it went.

The big question is of course if this emplacement will reach the threshold and start a runaway process. Or if it will be contained within the crust forming a dyke emplacement. And, even if it stops today as a dyke emplacement, it could still become a weak point that later on erupts. Or, it could go the same way the sad Geirfugl did and die out in a lonely squawk deep down in the bedrock.

Check out this video by DFM of the earthquake stack as it forms and intensifies:

CARL

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461 thoughts on “Eyjafjarðar at Gjögurtá magmatic emplacement

  1. And a 4.4M earthquake 25 km south of Vienna, Austria.
    Not that common, but not unheard of.
    Hopefully we will get a bit of a report from our resident Austrian 🙂

    • DragonEdit: Comment Redacted.
      There is no need to publish data that has not been confimed manually by a seismologist from EMSC-CSEM site when we have access to better data via IMO.

  2. End a new big one near the Moho, coming closer to 4.0M
    Wednesday
    02.10.2013 19:40:24 66.302 -18.589 14.7 km 3.8 90.01 20.4 km NW of Gjögurtá

    The quality is 90% not 99.9%b ut it will not change too much, I think

    • At best a few hours before we have onset of eruption. It could still stop at let us say 2km depth, and the last 2 km is at the same time the fastest part for the magma to rise because of foaming of the lava when the gases expand…

      • if it happened, I would surely surely travel the 6h to the north just to see it. And I would recommend any European to do it. After all, flying to Iceland is not so expensive as it used to be,

        Going to check outside whether the strong auroras are up tonight. Kp is supposedly very high. I could see 30min ago very bright northern lights but totally the glare shining the overcast clouds. Such a shame!!! Look as bright as full moon. Which is nice and usually only once or twice a year.

  3. hi carl is this volcano part of a larger volcano ie caldera volcano if so could the whole caldera erupts plus are these eurtion getting bigger since the 2011 maga thrust earthquake.

    • Hello Jack!
      We should have a post on this sooner rather than later I guess 🙂

      Yes, it is part of a larger caldera. And that caldera is inflating due to a resurgent dome (in the middle if I remember). Sakurajima is though believed to have two feeder systems, one from the calderas magma storage unit, and one that comes up from depth directly.
      It is believed that Sakurajima was predominantly feed at this stage from the independent feeder. But, it might be that the pressure in the caldera system finally grew to big and it started to feed Sakurajima. That would certainly explain the increase in erupted volume. If so the inflation would probably stop and Sakurajima would act as a safety valve. The size of the eruptions lately would be around the figures needed for that. And that would be a good thing. It is better with an ashy Sakurajima throwing VEI-1 to VEI-2 blasts on a daily basis, than a caldera erupting… Of course it would still not be fun for the local residents.

      The eruptions did not grow in size, nor did they get more frequent after the megatrust quake. Instead it seems like some other mechanism has increased the size over the last few weeks, probably something in the lines of what I wrote above.

      I do not believe in a caldera eruption in the near future.

    • If you are referring to Sakurajima, yes, it is a resurgent feature of the much older Aira caldera. Aira pretty much is the entire bay north of Sakurajima.

      Reportedly, Sakurajima takes part of it’s magmatic feed from what has rebuilt of Aira’s chamber. The interesting part is that there has been no reported deflation of the Aira system even with all of Sakurajima’s activity.

      However, I have seen no information that indicates that Aira is actually going to become involved in anything.

  4. Sakurajima seems “steamier” after this eruption. As the ash stopped being flung out it looks like it is emitting steam, and quite a lot of it.
    I guess that would change the behaviour if Sakurajima is getting more water rich magma.

    (took a closer look, definitly looks like it almost pure steam now.

      • Yepp, I saw it 🙂
        The steam started after… More water would explain the more vigorous eruptions.
        It is alternating between white steam, and much greyer puffs in between now.

        • Which begs the question… where is the water coming from? Could it be that it is seepage down through the edifice into an upper region of the feed system?

          That might not be a good thing.

          • On the other hand, aren’t there other vents that have shown some activity in the last months? If the pressure is growing, shouldn’t they be “talking” right now?

            • No, there aren’t other vents. That was just some speculation from watching videos and cameras, but any other vents opening was just steam and ash drifting around the crater area.

              As for the steam plume, this isn’t the first time recently this has happened. I’ve seen this quite a few times looking at the cameras over the last few months.

              I definitely think Carl’s Grimsvotn model seems pretty appropriate fo rwhat is happening with Sakurajima at this point, with the only caveat that Sakurajima is a much more complex volcano than Grimsvotn. I think that the middle chamber is relieving it’s pressure at a greater rate than normal due to the overall inflation of the Aira Caldera. As that middle depth chamber relieves it’s pressure, magma gets supplied to the small “loading” chamber just beneath the edifice that triggers the strombolian & vulcanian eruptions that have been occurring recently. As the rate of input increases, both the load size of that small “loading chamber” as well as the eruption rate increase. This is why we see both larger and more frequent eruptions – and from what we’ve been seeing, those eruptions have been growing in size and frequency over the last year.

              With that said, the big eruption will occur when the middle chamber of Sakurajima that sits above the primary Aira magma chamber decides it’s had enough, and sends a huge wad of magma up through the conduit. The small chamber that’s responsible for most of the current eruptions is not large enough to cause a huge eruption, but the middle-depth chamber is a pretty large magma chamber (even if it’s small in comparison to Aira’s primary chamber).

              Right now, the middle sized chamber seems like it’s on overload, and it seems to be trying to get rid of as much magma as possible. From this we can assume the input into that middle chamber is probably greater than the output, and as long as that trend continues, it’s likely that it will grow towards a larger eruption. Of course, that trend can stop at any given time, but it’s kind of difficult to predict with a volcano like this.

              Lurking’s comment about water entering the system definitely seems like a very legitimate (and scary) possibility. One thing that is not so well known, is how the large eruption at the middle-chamber affects the large-chamber of Aira. The thing that would worry me about Aira is the possibility for water to get into the system. IF an eruption of a strength of VEI-5 were to erupt (which would be a very realistic possibility for the next large eruption) – there is a very legitimate chance that the eruption would come into contact with the water residing in Kagoshima bay. Once the eruption comes into contact with that water in Kagoshima bay, all bets are off as to what can happen. Krakatoa’s caldera forming eruption was likely around VEI-4-5 before water interacted with the magma chamber, which pushed it to a VEI-6 eruption.

              The question is whether that in the event of a VEI-5 eruption, would that open up the middle chamber to Aira’s water? And lets say that the water came into contact with that middle chamber – it would almost undoubtedly go caldera that point, but would that then trigger a chain reaction to set off the larger Aira magma chamber?

              For a volcano that’s had flank eruptions, this is part of why I find SakuraJima a fairly scary volcano even if it’s seemed benign for so many years. There are just too many bad scenarios that can happen in even a mid-sized eruption there.

  5. A small seasonal greating among all the volcanoes. It does not have anything with them at all to do.
    Just a bit of a beautiful art interlude. I lived in Venezia for a year… watch the movie and guess why.

    • One thing that I learned a while back, from my room mate in “C” school, was that there is a physical difference between a violin and a fiddle. The bridge on a fiddle is not as curved as on a violin. One reason is that the transition from one string to another doesn’t require as much motion. There may be other reasons, but I don’t play either, so I have no idea.

      Doug Kershaw is the first person that I had ever seen giving it hell on a fiddle, but Charlie Daniel’s group seems to have a cleaner sound. Don’t get me wrong, the player in the Vivaldi link above is a class act. This is not intended to try and take anything away from that.

      If you follow the Doug Kershaw link, fair warning, he comes from a coon ass background and tends to use the fiddle as a percussion instrument as well as a stinged instrument. He can definitely destroy a bow.

      And if Zydeco is more your style… Big Mamou enjoy 😀

        • Side note…

          Key West was relatively isolated until 1912, when it was connected to the Florida mainland via the Overseas Railway extension of Henry M. Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railway (FEC). Flagler created a landfill at Trumbo Point for his railyards. The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 destroyed much of the railroad and killed hundreds of residents, including around 400 World War I veterans who were living in camps and working on federal road and mosquito-control projects in the Middle Keys. The FEC could not afford to restore the railroad.

          The road bed for the rail road eventually became parts of the vehicle road that extends from US Highway 1.

      • “Orange Blossom Special” Yeehaaw! love that version! My auntie Gussie McCoy,
        could rip it pretty good dang near won the Nat’l women’s old time fiddler’s contest back in ’69. with the “Special” . Vivaldi is on Wife and I’s favorite composer list, BTW. She’s been to Venice. I want to go…

        • The closest that I got was Emperor Maximilian’s little house up along the coast to the west of there. We came from Trieste. I lost interest in doing further jaunts since the bars were quite cool in Trieste and very entertaining.

          Hey, you stare at coastlines and water for that long and it doesn’t take that much to entertain you. Watching the search radar at the end of Mljet can only keep you entertained for a while. At least I can honestly say that I’ve actually seen a super subduction zone… after it has been lifted up and twisted into mountains. That would be the area around Montenegro and Albania.

          One of our duty drivers nearly drove off a cliff while trying to navigate his way back after accidentally going to Slovenia. Scared the crap out of him. Thats one reason why I shied away from jaunts such as that. I had ridden with our ETC to Dublin when we were in Cobh.. and had just enough time to turn around and come back to the boat. That trip was white knuckle all the way. (They drive backwards from us, but from their point of view, so do we. I think Carl mentioned that it had something to do with whips)

    • For anyone wondering why Venice is in such an odd location… it was more a defensive move than anything else. It’s really hard to coordinate an attacking force if you are tromping through swamps and mudflats. And then have to figure out how to get across the water after that.

      It didnt’ work so well for General Edward Pakenham’s forces in 1815 either. Though, we did have some assistance from Jean Lafitte and Barataria Bay pirates in the way of cannons and powder.

      • Lore has it that the Kidds of south Mississippi can trace their lineage to William Kidd, reportedly another pirate. Seeing that many of the immigrants in that area at around that time were of Irish and Scottish origins, I can see where the region would have seemed hospitable to a fellow Scott. My family on my Mom’s side (Irish) had been in that area since around 1790 (as determined by court documents from Natchez MS. He was awarded 4 horses and 10 gallons of “good whiskey” by the judge, the quality of which was to be determined by a third party when presented as payment by the defendant who had lost the case.)

  6. That is a LOT of steam coming up. It kind of makes you wonder if a larger wad of magma is rising to heat the groundwater.

    • And for what it’s worth, I don’t think it’ll amount to anything, but the whole “boiled frogs” reference definitely is something to keep in the back of your mind here.

    • careful, careful: visible steaming is in many cases NOT an indicator of increased volcanic activity, but of increased air humidity (and/or absence of wind, which on volcanoes often blows the gas plume to the ground making it less visible).

      • I’d imagine the opposite in this case as there is little or no magma being ejected, i.e. the Sakurajima volcano has temporarily exhausted its supply of eruptible magma. We saw a lot of that with the Eyjafjallajökull eruption.

        • Dunno about that. I’m pretty sure that my wandering around the yard with a billy club in the middle of the night wasn’t the brightest thing in the world to do. It was gonna be one hell of a floor show for somebody.

          • ROFL Reminds me of the night my former boyfriend was treating a pack of dogs who were attacking our dogs with several loads of buckshot wearing only a pair of cowboy boots. Thank God we lived in the country!

            • We had a religious nut-cracker who was married to a popular female singer… While “making bacon” (Canadian term) with the prefered sex-object of most swedish teens he suddenly jumped up grabed a rifle, kicked open the window, and shot Bambi (A deer).
              The rest of Swedish Maledom decided that he was the largest idiot on a pair of legs…

              (True story)

            • But did he get the deer?


              Overheard two tax clerks discussing a new requirement for a background check on hunting licensees in this region. They were perplexed as to why.

              I’m not very keen on the idea, but in a way it does make some sense. There are a lot of military bases in this area that have periods where their property is open for hunting… though you have to get a special permit to use them. Additionally, there are a few State Workcamps out in the hinterlands. (I’ve been to a few of them to service equipment)

            • He did… And lost his weapons…. and got a fine the size of a small country for weapons violations and hunting code violations. On top of that he had decided that since he was a preacher he did not need to bother with registering his fire-arms, or get a hunting license… So, another fine (he was skimpily avoiding prisson).
              His wife got 50 000 letters from men promising to never jump off her in the middle of Bacon Production.

              And here is the slimey numbnuts together with the woman he abruptly ended the Bacon Production with in order to kill Bambi. They divorced soon after…
              Image and video hosting by TinyPic

            • I am in favour of weapon permits and background checks. If you really need a gun faster then the few weeks it will take to get the permit you probably should not get the gun in the first place.
              Against popular belief (even here), Sweden has more guns per capita than the US, and this regardless of having some of the most restrictive gun-laws on the planet (and having had them for a very long time).

              Although, I wish they could bake together the various different types of gun permits there is. I spend quite some time on keeping my licenses due to me having to do separate tests on the various classes of weapons I own (and how I use them varies too).

              First I need to do the bi-annual service weapons test. (Sniping gun, sub-machine gun, pistol).
              Then I have to do a civilian gun club test (same sniping gun and the pistol)
              After that we have the hunting test (sniping gun, shotgun).

              Notice the common theme… I am doing different tests on the same blody rifle. I recently had to take an accuracy test to be allowed to keep my hunting license. So, off to do a shot where I had to hit a target a square foot in size at 150 meters. This with the most accurate sniping rifle in existance… I could have done the shot at 2500 meters and still have hit.
              So, soon I will have to redo the test at 300 meters to be allowed to shot in the gun-club range. This time I will need to score 45 out of 50 points. And on and on and on…

          • Well, I didn’t want to put myself in the position of having to meet moderate force with lethal force. I reserve the shotgun for home invasion. I keep a .410 next to the bed with slug and have the 12 guage in the same room but a bit further away should I need greater firepower. Odds are that if I do, I may not have time to get to it. Next to the .410 is a machete just in case I don’t have time to chamber a round.

            Either way it’s gonna be messy, but I’m not going down without a fight. If they have to crawl away or use a tourniquet, I’ll die peacefully.


            The shortest home invasion event in this area consisted of two guys who kicked in a residents door. He dropped the first one on the door stoop and the other one crawled away to the bushes where the deputies found him. It seems he kept his shotgun next to the “comfy chair” that he used to watch TV. (He lived in a high crime part of town, so I can understand his reason for keeping it there.)

    • I think so, but it is hard to tell without a plot proving if it is. I prediict that we will have plots later tonight (psychic mode full on here).

    • I should add that the very large 1914 flank eruption of Sakurajima (which came after a period of more than 120 years of quiescence, not continuous activity as we have since 1955) was handled rather ingeniously by the Japanese back then. There was a disciplined response and timely evacuations saved thousands; indeed all victims cited for the 1914 eruption were due to a major earthquake (possibly the earthquake was related to readjustments in the caldera system).

      • Yepp, they are impressive.
        I doubt that any country would have dealt with the Tsunami and the following events in such a decisive and effective way. I fear that any other country hit wit a catastrophe of that size would have had far higher casualty figures.

  7. Well crap. Time to go pick up some more water and gasoline.

    On the plus side, it’s still a baby and hasn’t matured very much. Maybe a low Cat 1 by the time it gets here.

    In about 168 hours, it will be messing with the area up around Greenland as an extratropical low.

    The part that I don’t like about it, is that we have a pretty decent on-shore flow as air drives up to meet the dropping cold front. Karen could get caught up in that and come to shore west of here, that would put me on the strong side of it. If it goes east of me, it’s more of a nuisance event. (weak side for me)

      • I already have 15 gallons of potable water, and enough food for 4 weeks, though what I concider as acceptable eats to get you by, the wife isn’t too fond of. She would really freak out if she knew my plans for the backyard squirrels if things got really bad. I have snares availible.

          • Yah… only a couple of models have it getting to low cat 1. The prob is that its track puts it over that warm finger of vurrent that squirts out into the gulf. In 69, that made Camile into a monster.

        • I have a healthy sized tom cat he decided i needed a treat so Tuesday morning i got up went to the kitchen to get my coffee and feed the cats (1 tom 3 lady’s all in a non reproductive status) the “gift was on the floor a large grey squirrel with the head devoured neatly the rest left for me nice kitty . at least it wasn’t a snake the senor lady likes bringing those home her biggest gift a couple years ago was a 5 foot black snake

            • I agree while i am not fond of snakes they do have a role in the environment , at least she would eat her catch after i tossed her and her prey back outside the other thing she is good t is moles my yard was being trashed by them until she figured out how to dig them up, better than poisoning them

            • I have always liked snakes. It is pretty much the only travel friendly animal one can have.

              Yepp, much better than having poison all over the garden.

        • That is not a good plan. A good plan would include how to provide the squirrels with food during a crisis, not only yourself. Now there even is a possibility that the hungry squirrels will enter your house by night and nibble away all nuts in there.
          Think about it.

          • I have live oaks in the yard. The squirrels have plenty of food from all the damned acorns that keep peppering the house. Last spring I had cleaned off the roof of the patio. Now it sounds like someone throwing rocks at sheet metal when they hit.

            • Oaks…
              I love to run in the forrest. My favourite haunt, sadly it is not around my neck of the woods.

              Image and video hosting by TinyPic

            • When Ivan rolled through here in 2004, it tore the shit out of everything. Some people offered to clean up the Naval Live Oaks reservation. The US Government declined. They sent in teams to collect the choice paces of wood that could be used to maintain or repair the USS Constitution and placed them in storage.

              One of the things that shipwrights of that era did was to choose pieces that had a natural grain for the portion of the support structure that they would wind up in.

              That reservation is a great place to get a traffic ticket. The side traffic drops to almost nothing (almost no side roads) and the terrain is mostly flat and non curvy. Florida Highway patrol has plenty of places to tuck back in and still watch the road, and if you are really lucky, you will get a park ranger. Hello Federal Magistrate Court.

            • I’ve always considered traffic cops cowards, too chicken to do a proper police job cleaning out human filth and trash. To add insult to injury, in many countries they earn more than real cops do. Should only earn half.

          • And if the squirrels enter the house, I’ll have to chase the rat dogs around to keep them from breaking stuff.

            About a month or so ago, they managed to corner one on the patio. First time I ever heard a squirrel scream in peril.

            • Have you ever heard a rabbit scream in peril? I didn’t know they could make any kind of sound until I heard one let out a scream that sent a shiver down my back. Don’t care to ever hear that again.

      • Gonna be fun. I’ve seen two or three track projections that put it at different landfall regions. The guy from forestry that I was talking with today said that the one he saw placed it on top of Ft Walton Beach. That would be quite interesting… that would mean that Destin would catch the hard side of it.

        I guess it would be their karmic payback for putting in all those roundabouts.

        Hey, maybe some of them can get their wish. “Open the Old Pass” bumper stickers are all over the place down there. IF there is one thing that can do it, despite government regulation and wishes… it’s a tropical storm.

        My last check of the current models put it ashore on Mobile Alabama. That’s no good, that places me on the heavy side. But I am 15 miles inland, so that will cut the wind down a bit.

  8. Thanks to you guys on Volcanocafe, I understand now why there are some ghost stories in Iceland… I spent in 1996 a night at a shelter hut in the north east of Eiyafjördur, and the group I was with started telling ghost tales of the area in the evening. Suddenly a piece of wood fell to the floor and everybody got a bit of a shock. When I went out, I was hit by a shoe that fell from shelve over me. Now I know it was definitely the TFZ in front of our doorstep that had a bit of a shake that day. Thanks guys!

    • Yes, the TFZ is one of the most active tectonic systems on the planet. So, things move about there.
      Islander pointed out a couple of days ago that there is an entire mountain moving about there (flowing).

  9. Now the ugly begins. Shooting in front of the Hart Senate Office Bldg. in D. C. Capital Bldg. is on lockdown. Don’t know yet if there are any injuries or deaths.

    • Who ever knows.
      I would not be surprised if she just temporary lost control of the car, and that she was gunned down, and that the police officer was hit by friendly fire. Something sounds odd in all of this…

  10. Also, Aso Volcano is gearing up. It has been set to a higher alert level last week or so.So far only incandescence can be seen, but Aso is quite able to do a great deal more. I have watched it since it last eruption. There was a small crater lake at the bottom that had filled up almost to the rim during the years folloeing the eruption (several tens if not hundreds meters high I think). All the water has evaporated this year undtil the bottom was dry recently.

    Last 40 minutes at the seisvol website – 12th from bottom:
    http://www.seisvol.kishou.go.jp/vo/32.php

  11. The Nautilus R/V will begin its final leg of the 2013 season tomorrow. This leg will be of the most interest, I believe, to Volcanocafe members. They will be researching landslides, earthquake faults, underwater seeps, mud volcanoes and underwater volcanoes including Kick-em Jenny and Kick-em Jack. For anyone not familiar with the Nautilus, you can watch the dives of the ROV’s live via satellite communications. You can read about the mission here:

    http://www.nautiluslive.org/mission/2013

    Click on “Greater Antilles”

    I hope it is ok to post this, Carl. I believe it could end up having some great material for discussion.

    • Hey, this is VC, does it have with science to do it is always okay to go OT… (and to be honest… if it is a fun rumination too) 🙂

      • Ontop of that, Robbert Ballard is a geologist from the beginning, after all, we are talking about the dude who found the black smokers.

        Something tells me that Nautilus will be the topic of the weekend, and we will have a Kick’Em party when they get there.

        • I did not know that about the black smokers. I know he’s a geologist. When he’s on the microphone during a dive, he’s so knowledgeable. And boy can he get excited about a new discovery! I think Dr. Ballard is the reason I enjoy the Nautilus so much. I have watched some of the other research vessels, and yes they are doing a great job, but they seem so prim and proper about everything. On the Nautilus, they have fun while doing serious work. It keeps the team from being bored and allows their excitement to be recognized and appreciated.

          • Yepp, he found them in ’79. Productive dude, he also of course found both Titanic and Bismarck.
            I still remember those first hazy videos of the smokers back when it happened.

    • Super cool they’ll go to Montserrat and investigate near Dominica also. Can’t wait for Kick them Jenny.
      Apparently they’ll have a peek at some small volcanoes between Montserrat and Guadeloupe. I know there is a fault running from Montserrat to the south island of Guadeloupe (Basse Terre). Should be more than interesting. This zone is also some of the sources of the faults that supply Guadeloupe Geothermal plant in Bouillante.
      So this not OT at all. Dominica is a really very interesting volcanic island with the second larger boiling lake in the world.

  12. And here is a little perk me up for those who love the Auroras 🙂 This is actually what they look like, impressive without photoshop even.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

  13. Are the earthquakes at tfz starting to (just starting to taper off) just slightly? I know Green stars are still on there. Do the go back down before they start to surface back to a raid rate

    • It looked like this for days before it picked up speed. I would not like to say anything at this point. It could finnish abruptly, it could taper off, it could increase with a roar, or just go on and on… Nobody knows with these things.

        • I checked some of his links. Broken links or info published quite a while back. One was a Nat Geo article from January 2011. These guys can make even legitimate references lend credence to the hysterical crap they spew.

        • only presenting information that provokes a fear reaction

          Rule of marketing #1, Sex sells. Fear is a close second.

          (and while selling via “sex” usually you can only hit half the market at a time. With fear you can hit the whole market at once.)

          From the comments section: “Vanessa ooit live gehoord, alsof er een school kraaien staan te krassen. Vanessa is een zwarte bladzijde in de Nederlandese popmuziek” → Interpretation, not a flattering comment.


          And something Carl might really appreciate… other than the violin surfing. But, it’s not as complicated as il Prete Rosso.


          “Guys back me up on this, If you’ve seen one woman naked, you want to see the rest of them” — Ron White

          And my favorite line by him.

          … so anyway they evacuated the keys except for one guy who is gonna stay there, and tie himself to a tree on the beach to prove a point, and the point was he said that at 53 years of age that he was in good enough condition to withstand the wind and the rain from a force three hurricane.

          Alright… let me explain something to ya.

          It isn’t that the wind is blowing, it’s what the wind is blowing

          If you get hit with a volvo, it doens’t really matter how many sit-ups you did that morning.“

          • 😀 Hypothermia is another interesting way to go. Especially as by then you’re already praying for that Volvo and have been for a long time.

            • Dunno about the hypothermia. I’ve puttered aroung the yard in outter wind field several times, it’s exilerating but not cold at all.

              Oh, and some of the most beutiful weather is after it drives through and off to the North East. The sky is vivid blue and the air is typically the dry side as it is being pulled down behind and into the storm. The suck arse part of it is trying to remove the debris or find your car. By the time I cut my Bronco II out from under the oak tree, I had a brush pile 150 feet long and 14 feet high. And no electricity for five weeks. When it got too hot, we would go hang out in the car to cool off. Then I started siphoning gas from it in order to keep the generator running, that saved the contents of my freezer, so no loss there. Standard fare was hash browns kooked on an iron flat plate on the grill and whatever else I could figure out how to cook on it. Mixed vegtables wrapped in foil and a pat of butter worked just fine on it. (No squirrels died in that episode.) In the evenings I would run an extention cord to my shop fan and sleep on the patio. After a while you do start to get a bit rank, so sponge baths took care of that problem.

              Yep, Hurricanes can be adventurous. Tomorrow I think I need to go through my collection of discarded batteries and find a few with low internal resistance so that I can charge them up. (12C 18 aH). With my new freezer, I should be able to keep it running on just a power inverter for about 5 days. (new since Ivan) I also need to top off my gas cans. I can store about 25 gallons of gas. Even have a special enclosure for them that I built near the back fence. I keep them locked up and together with a sheathed steel cable.

              Now I need to go to sleep. two and half hours fighting this critter and the long arse drive to get there and back have worn me out.

              And yes, it was a successful operation, though I had never been inside that model before.

            • Henrik, hurricanes are surprisingly warm compared to the storms you and I are accustomed to. You rarely die out of hypothermia from a hurricane.
              I have had the utter joy of having had intimate relations with a rather large one out at sea. Nothing I recommend, but I was nowhere close to freezing to death.
              The advantage with hurricanes out at sea is that there rarely are Volvos flying about. Instead I recommend going nuts as quickly as possible. If you go stark utterly bonkers you have a small chance of surviving. Staying zane will only kill you. Oh, and remember to change your underware afterwards if you survive…

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Floyd

              According to the weather services it was supposed to go north at an earlier stage, one can see where it diverted straight for land instead. It makes a sort of “kink” there. If I had known then what I know now I would have high tailed it soutwards the first time I heard about it. I would have had the time.

            • Real men chaining themselves up to face a hurricane do it in their birthday suits in an exposed location.

            • Congratulations Henrik!
              You have just invented BDSM Naturalist Hurricane Chasing as a sport. When are we going?

    • Ah, the moved one. They had placed that at another site in the beginning of the summer, it did not work well there, so they moved it again. Same name though.

  14. You’re not doing it right!

    In 1726, upon the arrest of pirate chief William Fly, officials brought him to Boston where he was executed. His body was then gibbetted on Nixes Mate to serve as a warning to sailors not to turn to piracy. Before Fly’s execution, he famously scolded the hangman for incorrectly securing his noose, then re-tied it himself.


    Nixes Mate

    Probably not that odd of a thing. If done incorrectly, the noose slowly strangles the victim. With the right knot and proper placement, death is quick.

    • Probably done on purpose by the hangman in order to inflict as much suffering as possible. Another thing, it was not uncommon for the friends of the executed to stay behind and “pull his legs” in order to make his death as swift as possible. It was considered the humane thing…

  15. Friday thoughts on climate change observed in the alps:
    Glaciers go back in the alps. No doubt.
    Since when – hmmm, we can often read 1850. What was particular in 1850 – the Dufour map was published. A great cartography work. Milestone in precise mapping.
    What did we have right before 1850? The so called mini ice-age.
    So we observe glaciers going back since the moment where we created a reference, right after the mini ice-age. I’m really, really astonished.
    I heard a colleague say that he talked to a French friend who claimed they had glaciers even “growing”. Ehm, it’s known that with melting, the crevasses extend. Some steep alpine glaciers “slide” down and look like they’re moving forward, but their volume decreases.
    It is just incredible that, at least in the media, politics and among a larger public, there seems to be no hope for a little bit of logical thinking / arguments when talking climate and environment.

    Special thoughts go to GeoLurking. Good luck with the storm.

    Have a nice day.

    • Thanks. I have no open calls tomorrow, so I can fret with the rest of the city about getting ready for it. I may put up one piece of plywood, but only on the side of the house that the wind will be coming from. I have enough precut wood and clips to do the whole house, but this isn’t much of a storm (for now). It’s smaller than Hurricane Erin (1995).

      The funny part about that storm was that I successfully predicted a track shift based on an oddball wind stream that the storm had to cross. The weather gurus at the time did not expect it to jostle to the right south of Apalachicola and hit here. Pensacola’s most significant damage (that I saw) was a tree plopped right down in the middle of a roof as if it had grown there. That was down near the water front.

      The greatest hazard from small storms like this is the never ending tornado watch. Short track spin ups happen in the feeder bands quite a bit. Generally they are EF2 max.

      • I know it’s a bad thing when bad weather comes. But personally, when I know we’re getting heavy weather, I like to “get prepared”. It somehow gives me a good feeling to do something essential. It satisfies basic instincts somehow. It makes me feel alive, things make sense. I hope you share these feelings and that you can get something “positive” out of it.
        It’s sad to see that you guys over there have real problems while the “leaders” are playing their games. I would be so pissed…

        • I prefer to carry in some extra fire wood from the garage (that I use as a wood shed). I fill every candle holder I can find. Place comfy chair infront of fireplace and as the storm starts I fill up a thermos with hot cocoa and sit down to read something appropriate infront of the fire.
          Only other real weather proofing I do is that I have cut down a branch that could have popped a window. Trust me you do not want a broken window in a snow storm. You will have a snow bivac inside of your house before you know it.

          Sometimes when there is a really big snow storm I like to take a walk outside, dangerous as hell really, but the feeling of doing it is insanely rewarding. And then coming home to the roaring fire and the hot cocoa… Bliss!

  16. I don’t know which one of these songs I prefer. The new Miley Cyrus “Wrecking Ball” or the new Britney Spears “Work Bitch”. Miley is more naked and licks a hammer, but in Britney’s clip there are more girls and thus finally the total surface on naked skin is bigger – and there are sharks and a Lambo. But the Lambo is white. White cars make sense in the desert where it’s hot. But did we have to make a trend out of copying rich sheikhs. I don’t know. I like my cars black, whatever the trend. Maybe I’d be ready to talk about a dark british racing green if I ever bought a Jag. Or a fancy Imola orange with a lot of metallic flakes to make it reeeeally deep for a “fun car” like a 2.5 inch lifted Wrangler with 32″ tires and a badass V8. Yeah but no, black or anthracite, maybe silver will probably be it.
    Oh Miley, oh Britney. Oh my. Watching you on my smartphone gathers so many factors that show how “far” we have come. May the gates of hell between Bardarbunga and Katla open and lead us back to a path that makes more sense.
    Could this be the basics for a new religion where I’m the Guru and the mantle is our divinity, magma his/her blessing? Naked Diana under her shower will be a very important element in our iconography. As well as Carl and his meat hat. The “churches” will all be Dalek-shaped. To become a priest you’ll have to pee ontop of Hekla.
    Friday. Fry-day. No wonder my brain feels roasted.

    • It’s in my nature to go with colors that don’t stand out. I like to blend in and not be noticed.

      My dream car is a 72 Camero with a 327. I came close, and almost had the chassis once, but alas, it will never happen. I did have an F150 with a 5 liter and no emissions crap at one time. Gawd would that sucker come off the line. Un muffled straight exaust on a V8 will definately wake the neighbors. He didnt really care though, his toy was 427 CI shoe horned into a Jeep. Now that was thunderous.

      • Colours to blend in…
        I remember a photograph of a certain GeoLocicher gentleman in day-glo yellow apparell, shining off a smile that was so white that it should be forbidden, while cuddling ancient mining equipment… So, GeoLoco is more for standing out in a crowd.
        And yes… He really wears two rock-hammers in quick draw holsters… (For the Ladies who have not seen the picture, let your imagination run rampant, then you have it)

            • The day in this mine with those old miners was too much. And it’s an asphalt mine, so you can imagine the smell. And the guys telling me how healthy that stuff is and that you never get a cold or running nose when you breath that very air everyday…

              And that smile is exactly the one I’ll put on with my fixed focal mirrorless cam mounted on a tripod in front of the erupting hell’s gates.

  17. A quick Rumination during a coffee break . I have gone cross-eyed looking at assorted old coins and tokens trying to identify them ready for sale on line.
    My thoughts are with you Lurking. Preparations though ,as GeoLoco says, help you to feel you still have some control over the uncontrollable. I remember Hurricane warnings from my time in Jamaica.
    I watch the TFZ with interest. It’s taking a coffee break too. 🙂
    It’s officially Friday our leader has decreed……
    Sooooooooooo…….
    (This is a little rude, my apologies but it did make me chuckle)
    @ GeoLoco et Al (Who is Al?)…Enough of this sexist frivolity and talk of us ladies……
    Here you are ladies. Our revenge! (OK! So I did some modelling many, many years ago but for the record this is not my good self even though I really empathise with this ,lovely dignified lady )

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