Klyuchevskoy suffers Large Explosion & Friday Riddles

This beautiful image by Yura Koshel was posted by Shérine France over at the Volcanocafé Facebook-page.

This beautiful image by Yura Koshel was posted by Shérine France over at the Volcanocafé Facebook-page.

As the week is finally winding down I had written that not much is happening. One should never ever do that when dealing with volcanoes. The only thing that had been really brewing was Klyuchevskoy and Sakurajima. Both have suffered from more prominent activity than normal.

What I had been writing was that Klyuchevskoy had suffered from 5 km long lava floods as could be seen in the image up above. The mountain had also gotten higher during the last week, and we were are all looking forward to what the new will be when the eruption finally winds down. Boom! As I was writing this report came in frin KVERT (thanks Cryphia!)

“Strong explosion occurred at the pass between Klyuchevskoy volcano and Kamen volcano at 08:20-08:30 UTC on October 11, 2013. Ash plume rose up to 6-7 km a.s.l. end extended to the east of the volcano. Probably a new flank eruption began at the pass between these volcanoes.”

One should remember that Kluychevskoy is one of the highest free-standing volcanic edificies on the planet, as such it is prone to sooner or later suffer from a flank collapse. This will though most likely not happen yet due to the lava creating a fairly sturdy type of rock.

KVERT image of the large explosion at Klyuchevskoy.

KVERT image of the large explosion at Klyuchevskoy.

What seems to have happened is that the flank facing the Kamen Volcano has suffered a flank vent eruption. This happened as a massive lava eruption happened at the top. My interpretation is that the massive edifice of Klyuchevskoy could not take the strain load and a secondary vent has opened up. If this will affect the eruption up at the top remains to be seen. It could though lower the pressure enough to halt the top eruption.

Image captured by Cryphia showing the side vent towards Kamen volcano. Notice how the lava pouring out of the new vent is illuminating the clouds towards Kamen. http://www.emsd.ru/video/

Image captured by Cryphia showing the side vent towards Kamen volcano. Notice how the lava pouring out of the new vent is illuminating the clouds towards Kamen. http://www.emsd.ru/video/

Here is the link to one of the cameras viewing Klyuchevskoy:


50 minute image capture done by Cryphia from October 7. This image shows a lenticular cloud lighting up from either a large lava flow, or from a flank vent eruption. You be the judge. http://www.emsd.ru/video/

CLICK ON IMAGE TO WATCH! 50 minute image capture done by Cryphia from October 7. This image shows a lenticular cloud lighting up from either a large lava flow, or from a flank vent eruption. You be the judge. http://www.emsd.ru/video/

At Sakurajima the eruptions have continued to larger than normal, and the ash fall over the local citizens have started to feel tired of the constant sweeping of ash, something that local authorities have warned will continue to be the case for the immediate future.

Another thing that happened this week was that our Facebook-page received it’s member number 100, Andrew Reid. If you have not checked out our Facebook-page please feel free to do so if you are interested.



As usual, two points awarded if you can solve the riddle before I append any clues. 1 point after clues are appended. I restarted the score-board from when I started doing the riddles since the system of how points are awarded was so different between me and Kilgharrah.

And whom might this be? Combine the person with the rest of the image riddle.

And whom might this be? Combine the person with the rest of the image riddle.

  1. The Mighty (heavy) + image – Tondano (Evan Chugg, 2pt. Ton for heavy, mighty, Dan Rather = Dano)
  2. Record acompanying (A Record Company) – Deccan Traps (Harrie, 1pt)
  3. Under the shining mountain – Kilimanjaro (Stephanie Alice Halford, 2pt. Kilima = Mountain, Njaro = Shining, both in ancient Khi’Zwahili.
    Un’nataka kahaua anyone?)
  4. Bilingual sickening (french) beer – Mallahle (Evan Chugg, 1 pt, Edward, 1 bonus point “mal=ill”)
  5. Severely Arabic Field (What? Arafic? Is that even a word?) – Jebel Umm Arafieb (Sissel, 1pt)


6 Henrik
6 KarenZ
3 Michael Ross
3 Shérine France
3 Talla
2 Alison
2 Diana Barnes
2 Evan Chugg
2 Harrie
2 Lughduniense
2 Sa’Ke
1 Cryphia
1 Sissel

Lava Pie Lake a la Nyiragongo

Lavapie by Lughduniense

Lavapie by Lughduniense

Dough: Easy to make by hand or with a food processor. You need:

125g (4oz) flour
55g (2oz) butter cut in little pieces
30-45ml (2-3 tablespoons) cold water
A pinch of salt

Put flour and salt in a bowl, add the butter. Knead till the butter is mixed with the flour but the dough is still lumpy and the butter not yet molten. Mix the water into de dough lumps with a knife so it all will stick together, then wrap dough into plastic wrapper and put in the fridge 10-15 minutes and go have a drink in the Sheepy Dalek Bar.

If you are lazy, you put flour, butter and salt in the food processor and mix till no butter pieces are visible. Add water bit by bit till all sticks together, then wrap dough into cling film. Put in the fridge 10-15 minutes and go have a drink in the Sheepy Dalek Bar.

Now for the finishing chocolate lava floor touch: this you need to prepare on beforehand because the molten chocolate needs to become hard again before you use it. Put a pan in another pan filled with water, put in a bit of milk and butter till the butter is molten and add 150 grams of dark chocolate and batter. Put backing paper or a silicone mat on a flat surface and poor the molten chocolate on it to form a circular blotch that’s 50-75% smaller than the cake form you use. I’ll come back to the chocolate later, for now just let it become hard.

For the Pumpkin filling:

750g (1lb 10oz) pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut in pieces
140g white caster sugar or honey
2 eggs, beaten
25g butter, melted
175ml milk
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
½ tsp fresh nutmeg, grated

Put pumpkin parts in a large pan, add water till covered and let it boil. Once boiling put the lid and simmer until tender, ~15 minutes (meanwhile, have a drink in the Sheepy Dalek Bar). Remove water and let the pumpkin cool.

Heat the oven to 180Cº (160ºC fan, gas oven 4). Now get the pastry from the fridge put some flour on a surface and roll out dough till wide enough to fill a pastry form or tart tin. Put in the oven till it just starts to look a bit golden brown. Take it out and let it cool a bit.

Now put the oven to 220ºC (200ºC fan oven, gas 7). (No drink this time, sorry.) Meanwhile crush the pumpkin pieces through a sieve into a bowl. In bowl two, you put sugar, melted butter, milk eggs, nutmeg, salt, and cinnamon and mix well. Add it to the pumpkin mash and mix.

Now you can pour the pumpkin mash into the pie dough and put the whole in the oven for 10 minutes; then lower temp to 180ºC (160ºC fan oven, gas 4). Let the pie in the oven for another 35-40 minutes till the pumpkin mash has set.

Take it out to cool off until slightly lukewarm, in the meantime: why not have another drink in the Sheepy Dalek Bar…

If you are back just in time before the pie has cooled completely, take a hammer and smash the chocolate pancake to pieces, you can also use a knife to carve out nice jigsaw pieces. Now you need to put the pieces one by one on top of the pie with space between them to leave the orange lava shine through between the parts, if the pie is still just warm enough the pieces will nicely melt onto the pumpkin surface, if still too hot they will melt into a chocolate floor fully covering the lava.

Sprinkle with Brandy, Sambuca or whatever you fancy as long as it burns well and serve flambé (have something ready to cover it with in case the pie will catch flames), if you like you can also use a cake sparkler set alight for an extra festive light show effect.


408 thoughts on “Klyuchevskoy suffers Large Explosion & Friday Riddles

    • Why does 72 percent of all Norwegians want to be in a Union with Sweden and Finland?
      -So they can finally win the world championship in Hockey!!!

      (And that would probably be the world record in useless knowledge)

      • I’m pretty sure I can beat the uselessness category.

        Give you an example…

        Several comments ago, I related a story of a guy I know who tried to dispose of a deceased hamster by cremation on a grill, to keep his daughter of having to deal with it’s demise.

        He is of Finnish decent.

        This is prima facie evidence of Finns (or at least their descendants) of having knowledge of the existence of emotions. Granted, he had the physics of what was needed to turn bone to ash a bit wrong, but he was trying.

  1. Well, that is not good.

    News reports place the average wind speed at 200 km/h… or 124 mph. Thats right at the upper end of Cat 3. They also report that it’s going to be a six hour transit time on the coast. Large well organized storms are about that size, and that means that it was well on it’s way towards gaining strength at the time. In 2004, according to one estimate that I saw by an insurance agency, the wind field of Ivan was around 115 mph for 3 hours as it went by. Phailin hit the coast where the mountains will tear it up, but that’s going to extract all that rainfall.

    They seem to have themselves a mess.



  2. Ok, I think I have this screen shot stuff figured out. Dragons, please ignore my e-mail.

    Sakurajima at 5:21 local time:

  3. There is an old axiom…. Never go grocery shopping while hungry.

    I broke that rule today. Here is a brief mental summary of what went through my head.

    “Hmm.. Roast beef. No Pastrami to be found, I might be able to fake a Reuben though.”

    So I did. Even wound up going to a different grocer for the rye. Can’t really do a semi passable but fake Reuben with potato bread. (the roast beef was a bad enough deviation)

    • Hmm maybe some Crepuscular ray sunsets in my future. We are heading into some late Indian Summer weather here too…

    • Cool, how did you get that? Every time I’ve been into Modis, I get the “image of the day” but can’t get into the image gallery to do a search for Kliuchevskoi.

  4. Sometimes the marketing pukes come up with something funny.

    It’s a takeoff on the Headless Horseman tale… from American folklore.

    If you ever get a chance to see it, “Sleepy Hollow” is a pretty decent telling of the story. Not true to form, but spooky enough. (The most glaring difference is in how the horseman originally lost his head… that plus it’s intertwined with other plot devices.)

  5. Re: Carl – Regarding the rise of the continents & rift vs. plume tectonics. Here are a few questions I have that make me question whether it’s actually a plume, or huge rift that ends up forming into a mid-ocean ridge as a continent splits apart. I don’t mean to question everything you bring up, but I just think that the african rift is a huge mystery, possibly the biggest anomaly currently in geology, so it’s worth asking questions about.

    1. If this is a hot-spot style plume, and if the plume is currently roughly beneath the Tanzanian craton, how does this explain the rift-lakes that occur far south of the Tanzanian craton – namely Lake Malawi. If this were a case of a plume hotspot traveling south over the continent as it migrates from the afar rift to tanzania, it shouldn’t yet have impacted the continent way far south of where the current hotspot supposedly lies, but this isn’t the case.

    2. I’ve watched that same video of rise of the continents, where they state that Donyo Lengai sits on the edge of the craton, not inside it. This is a big difference from a rift-oriented plume that is scraping minerals from the side of the craton and a plume that is punching a hole through the middle of the craton. I know this is a huge grey area, and it’s very difficult to come to real conclusions here, but I don’t know if this is definitive proof of a megaplume punching through the Tanzania craton.

    3. When a large rift occurs, it will more or less center around a single line or ridge. Hotspot volcanism has never shown (in my knowledge) to cause continent-long rifts. Even if it’s a huge hotspot (take Siberian traps for example), there really weren’t any continental rifts formed (at least not that I’m aware of) that organized in a roughly linear fashion. I guess, in other words, if you have an upwelling heat source, that heat source would rather punch holes than lines (similar to yellowstone) regardless of how big it is or isn’t. Instead, the African rift is simultaneously active all the way from Afar & the red sea, down to Lake Malawi, which is over hundreds of kilometers south. I’m just not buying that it’s all from a singular hotspot, even if residual magma explains the current volcanism in the Afar region, it just doesn’t seem the most likely explanation.

    4. Grab a piece of paper, then pull it apart from each end – it will begin to tear in a direction perpendicular to the direction of the rifting. This, in my opinion is an extremly simplistic view of what’s happening in the African rift – the continent is being pulled apart. Why? I have no clue.

    5. According to a study for petroleum (http://www.surestream-petroleum.com/USERFILES/FILE/THE%20PROGRESSIVE%20DEVELOPMENT%20OF%20THE%20EAST%20AFRICAN%20RIFT%20SYSTEM%20AND%20ITS%20IMPACT%20ON%20PETROLEUM%20SYSTEMS%20BY%20DR%20DUNCAN%20MACGREGOR.PDF)

    The rifts in the north are actually younger than the rifts in the south. This seems to go directly against the hotspot / core plume model of a gigantic plume migrating from north to south.

    • Also – Point 6.

      The fact that the greater African rift valley is one of the lowest points of land on earth points directly towards a rift source of volcanism as opposed to a hotspot source of volcanism.

      • It would be great to see the African Rift Valley as a result of slab pull on the convergent margins ripping the African continent apart (your paper analogy) but the conundrum about Africa is that there simply isn’t any. To the west you have another divergent boundary (the mid-ocean ridge) and to the east, nothing much of note apart from a fairly dormant mid-ocean ridge in the Indian ocean and one step over, the Australian plate diving under Indonesia and the Indian plate crashing into Tibet. Meanwhile the entire world apart from Antarctica seems to be in a mad rush to make it to the Kuriles before the shops shut:

        Even the western side of Africa is going that way. So why do we have a rift valley there? Beats me.

        • Yeah, that’s precicely why I put the notation of “no clue why” the continent would be ripping apart, especially considering it’s situated on two sides of a subduction zone, but that’s at least “how it looks”. If anything, it would seem to make more sense that Africa would have legitimate subduction zones, as it almost seems like it’s being converged upon, not the opposite.

          With that said, looking at subduction & spreading that way can get really confusing. I’ve read that plate-breakup can be triggered by upwelling of hot convected material accumulating beneath a continent, and that would seem to at least be a possibility here. I think it would be a superplume, but I don’t think it would be a hotspot in the same way that the mid-atlantic ridge that broke up the Americas & Africa isn’t a hotspot.

          • I agree. I think the rift that formed in Eastern Australia and led to the Tasman Sea was probably something similar as the eastern convergent boundary has the Pacific plate diving under the craton, not the other way around.

            • There is another example of continental rifting that doesn’t seem to make entire sense judging by plate motion / boundaries, and that would be Lake Baikal in Russia. Not sure how this fits into things, but it’s worth mentioning at least.

    • Okay, first of all, let me start with saying that it is not my idea, it is the consensus of the big Kahunadom of Geologists that it is a superplume there, and they have pretty good evidence for it. Now over to your theory.

      First of all, for your theory to have any merrit you first of all have explain the huge quantities of magma erupted. At no other rift on the planet has there been even close to that amount of magma erupted. The only exception are at Iceland, and there you have an ordinary hotspot/plume.
      As far as anyone knows there is only one feature that can produce a LIP and that is a larger than normal plume. Remember that we are talking about something that has extruded as much magma as the more famous trap formations like in Siberia, Deccan and the Alpha Ridge. You just can’t explain that with normal rifting.

      Now to your questions.
      1. A superplume creates rifting both infront of, as it passes, and behind. Think of bow-wakes of a ship and you have it. CBUS, the Plume does not travel, you have it wrong here, it is the continent moving north, not the plume south.
      2. Ol’Donyo Lengai is on the side of the craton, but definitly on the craton. And, it is erupting craton base material, not you garden variety basalt like every other volcano in the chain (almost, there are if memory serves two comatose carbonatite mountains close by), with every previous one being basalt.
      3. Pangea and Gondwanaland was ripped apart by a superplume… The plume under Africa is orders of magnitude larger than the other active ones currently active. It is the only one powerfull enough to break up a continent.
      4. The continent was previously put under strain to move in two different directions, so are most continents without them ripping apart. Eurasia is under tremendous strain in 3 different directions, and nothing happens to it. What is the difference? Nothing there to start the break up process.
      5. And the magma is older up north compared to down south. I once again point out, stationary plume, moving continent. So, why are some of the rift younger up north then down south… First of all, I do not know which rifts you are talking about down south, there are very old rifts down there from previous geologic formative processes, remember that. But, I know what you are talking about. The rifting up north has continued unabated from the onset of the original rifting, and it will continue to sprout younger rifts as time goes on, same will happen down south.
      6. Nope, it does not. You seem to see an either/or excluding thing here. Nobody is saying there is not rift. Of course there is. As the continent moved over as the superplume ramped up it inflated the continent, and filled up the land with 1 kilometer of lava. It is not even sure that the part was over the sea level at the time of the start of the process. So, you have 1 km of brand new mountain that is ripped apart by the budding rift, at the same time the uplift from the plume start to go down, presto you get a low-laying area. Nothing mysterious there really.

      I reiterate. For your theory to have merrit you have to answer the question. What makes your rift unlike any other on the planet. Why does your rift unlike any other produce as much lava as the Deccan traps or more?
      I do not see how you will succeed with that, but I wish you good luck.

      I do agree on one thing though, there are horkloads of mysteries in that region that needs to be solved. Because this is in the long run an event that is bound to produce eruptions far more dangerous than any other on the planet.

      • Great answers, thanks Carl! This is why you ask questions (especially when other people know a lot more than you do)!

    • .. errr I guess the pic is more from the west:

      and by way of calibration:
      That cinder cone is at an elevation of roughly 2600m meaning a vertical distance to the summit of about 2000 meters. That would put that fountain in the Kvert photo at roughly 150m. You could add a bit because we are looking up at it. At a guess, those large lava fountains we saw were maxing out at about 300m.

    • Interesting to note that the lava flow from the summit (not just the glowing stuff in this image) reaches right up to this new cinder cone. Should be the stuff of quite a lot of speculation amongst professionals as well as us amateurs.

      • Yeah, that’s why I think Boris is right. The coincidence of new cone forming right where the lava flow ends is just too great. This must be some kind of snow/lava interaction forming a secondary cone.

        • Where does the water melted (not the part turned into steam) by at the edges of the lava flow go? Should more or less end up in the same place and if you have pooled lava there when the water runs down or pooled water when the fresh lava runs down, I’d imagine you’d get some nice explosions and lava spatter. That said, who can rule out a secondary vent at this stage? It would have to be a vent independent of Klyuchevskoy as otherwise it would obey the laws of gravity and not erupt 2½ km higher up.

          • If you look at GE there are loads of tiny cones dotted around Kliu mainly to the NE that made me wonder, “well, how did they get there?” Etna has a lot too, but Etna is a totally different kind of volcano with loads of flank eruptions.

          • That would though also depend on the amount of lava being pushed up from the depth, and also if the lava was pushed up independently from the same chamber,

          • Wonder if lava from this volcano also forms lava tubes when it cools on its way down the slopes like it does on El Hierro. If yes, a new lava flow might run into a cracked old lava tube. If the flow meets obstacles within the tube, gravity will build up some pressure which might break the tube wall and cause an “eruption”. If water has gathered at the same place there could be a strong reaction even without any help from gravity. – Just a guess!

            See picture 12263 and 12264 on http://www.jakopin.net/primoz/slike/2007/El_Hierro_2007_VII.html
            for the lava tube structure which I refer to above.

  6. An Earthquake woke up most of us here in Keflavik this morning…ca. 10 min ago..there is a swarm of them at Reykjanes

  7. Another +3 jolt and the earlier one has been recalibrated at 5.3. That’s quite a big one – doesn’t that mean it’s tectonic? (Going by what’s been said on here before).

      • Can you imagine it? 5 am in the morning, beepers going off to wake seismologists enjoying a well-earnt sleep. Coffee-less and bleary-eyed they rush to their offices, grab a paper-cup of Joe or Carbon Remover as the case may be and start their work to disentangle the intricate mess of automatic solutions, everyone getting a different solution and entering it before some supervisor, ill-tempered because of a lack of sleep and hung-over after an important dinner, calls a halt to the proceedings as a conference is needed to resolve the differences. Meanwhile, just off Reykjanes at Reykjanestá…

        Why hasn’t anyone made a soap of this before? :mrgreen:

    • Beach balls! We need beach balls! At a guess, this is classic mid-ocean rifting. The big question will be whether magma rushes in to fill the gap or not, and if so, will it make it to the surface.. or maybe the gap will result in decompressional melting of stuff that was anyway near the solidus. M5.3 is a pretty big quake.
      Most likely this is just another EQ swarm so typical of Iceland. But you never know. Tectonic activity there is so intricately entwined with volcanism. It’s definitely another case of “watch this space”.

    • Were it not for the run-up visible at Reykjanes and Nylenda (+ a few other stations close by), I too would have said it was purely tectonic Talla. As it is, I will reserve judgement until someone informs me what to make of the previous activity.

      • I agree that it looks like magma – but they also had a storm yesterday which might have affected the monitors. As ever, we will have to wait. 🙂

        • If so, the same increase in amplitude would have been visible at SIL-stations close to the coast all around Iceland. It is not, so we may conclude that it is local to Reykjanes.

  8. no news regarding what kind of swarm this is, tectonic or magmatic, I heard of a mirror falling down and breaking in a house in Sandgerdi that’s it, hopefully that will be all

  9. Interesting enough, I was hiking around the coast in that area during the sumertime and i noticed that just at the most south western point of Reykjanes, there is a spot were all the vegitationm has died. Moss, grass, shrubs even lichen was dead. I figured it was ocean water was seeping through the cracks or some volcanic gasses. I thing I have pics but I’m not sure.

        • The vent is in the middle of the picture. A crack in the lava flow. it was very clean in there. the whole area might be around 7m long.

          • Do you know when the last volcanic activity happened there? How old the lava is? I guess this sort of thing happens across all the active part of Iceland, but does it happen often? Sorry to bombard you with questions! 🙂

            • If memory serves the youngest eruption at the Reykjaness volcano was 500ADish.
              About the same for Svartsengi.
              I think this would be Svartsengi.

              I am still highly curious about this, now we have vents doing away grass and moss, we have IMO out GPSing the hork out the place, we have a tremor runup never seen before a tectonic swarm. Hm…

            • Last confirmed submarine eruption was 1926, last significant one but submarine was 1830, lat big one and inland was 1226. All located near the tip of the peninsula. But could belong to your several considered subvolcanoes to which “Reykjanes” is called 😉

              That dead moss pic is surely interesting.

              Seems that Iceland is having a lot of near-eruption events in recent months. And in the most curious spots. Katla 2011, Hamarinn 2011, Askja 2012, Kverfjoll 2013, Hofsjokull 2013, Tjornes 2013, and now Reykjanes?. And ocasionally the Hekla surprise couple of quakes.

    • All the 99,0% solutions seem to be around the same depth, 4-6 km. But there are still a lot of quakes to be manualy calculated… IMO seems to have concentrated on calculating the foreshocks first.

      • That’s very interesting to me actually. They calculated every quake before the 4.8,about 50-60 and none of the +-100 after shocks. Maybe they wanted to see if there was an upward trend in the depths of these quakes leading to the main event. And since it did not went back to their sunday hobbies 🙂

  10. Just so everyone knows, the Riddles are now solved.
    Evan Chugg snagged Mallahle and Sissel did in Jebel Umm Arafieb.

  11. Hm…
    As I go back to review things I notice that the big one knocked out quite a few SILs. I guess that explains why they do not bother with the rest of the swarm. The data after the big one is just to shoddy since the SILs where offline.

        • aah, okay. only time 0730 to 0800 mostly gone, but I seen some few are offline before 8:00.
          But not the importand ones for “seeing” Reykjanes Swarm (rne, nyl, grv, vog, kri, san)
          so that theory is not valid, to me.
          And the “mostly localised” (close cluster) say its not all Tetonic, but we will have to see if it goes off later tonight

            • RUV (Páll Einarsson) says “Sniðgengis-skjálftar” … over my dead …. head

            • And that translated as “Template Exchange rate earthquakes”… Could you help out with a better translation Islander?

          • I am not really buying into it being all tectonic.
            There is this weird tremor two days before the event.

            Yepp, you are correct, the local ones where operative, but the further out ones blanked out. Funny…

            • Quakes: Think same as SIFZ (;-) except that has some volcanoes formed in that “alighnment”). Think book-shelf, and move top of books sideways. Keep bottom still. Only one crack giving in?
              (further explained in RUV just now) Hork. No. I do not buy “only tetonic” expanation.
              I´d say, rather try sell me the magma “lubricated” version.
              Then I say I will think about it.
              But swarm is ongoing. So little too early for speculation.
              Of course it can go off “middle in a known Volcano”.

            • Not a new one. There is an old fissure volcano at that spot. It is the actual Reykjanes Volcano that is situated there. And supposedly all the earthquakes took place in or around the magma chamber.
              I could kill for a good close up of the first earthquake over M3 after the big M4.8, that one would be the sweet spot one to find any magmatic fingerprints. Presumably.

              Anyhow, we will have to wait and see on this one.

            • Carl, they are working their way through them. As of now, 54 revised quakes after the big one including two 3.9s, a 3.3 and several 2.5 – 2.9s.

            • I am tired of saying this 🙂 but everything is Iceland is potentially tectonic and volcanic. One can trigger the other, in both directions.

              Because rifting goes on every day, every few days or months, a tectonic event occurs, and the rifting widens. When these events are large enough, magma can progress upwards and usually filling the space, but not erupting. Every once in a while, every few decades, centuries or millennia (depending on the region), magma can erupt at surface!

              Even in Tjornes and South Iceland Seismic Zone, eruptions occur.

              Reykjanes is a sort of in between rifting zone and transform zone. The angle is around 30 to 40º. So strain accumulates here, and is usually released tectonically, but sometimes it allows for volcanic events.

              The depth of this event so far seemingly tectonic, BUT, if we start seeing deeper earthquakes this could point to something magmatic. Anyways, since the region has quite a degree of geothermal activity, I wonder if some pockets of magma are located at more shallow depths.

              But many swarms have occurred here in recent years and none resulted in eruptions. So, its just a wait and see. Potentially this is nothing. But an eruption there would be really touristic!

            • I think it could be less than touristic. After all it would probably shut down the airport. But, Jaime is goint to get front row seat of the eruption, as long as it does not start under his house.

            • 🙂 I am sure if the eruption blocks the airport, they will land the flights elsewhere, so is Icelandic spirit of improvisation in these things.

              Anyways, Jamie will have a surely hell of a view. And judging from past lava fields, they don’t seem to travelso easily until where he lives. Of course one never knows..

            • Yepp, I bet there are several dedicated emergency fields in Iceland that could be used to bring in the tourists 🙂
              I think he would get prime view of the event and still be safe where he is. But, one never knows really.

            • Carl and others, do not give me “airfield closed” treatment.
              It does not happen all that much that way.
              Iceland has several airfields capable for B757´s and smaller A320´s (current main types used to/from KEF / BIKF). Even the airport downtown REY /BIRK is the very best option!
              And REY / BIRK is used regularily by Iceair B757s, with not so much reduced fuel load.
              Then there are Akureyri and Egilstaðir too. But an eruption there will not close KEF, only on “downwind” days at most it can not be used.
              But worse is it then can not be used as planned alternate/emergency field for twin-engined Transatlantic Traffic, and putting some restriction on these airliners (depending on types) or forcing them go further south- or northern routes, than usual.
              If it goes off, its be surtseyjan type, and “ash” be much more coase than Eyjo, but more of it over the “short distances”.

            • Islander and Carl, sniðgengi = transform fault. So the official story is tectonic quakes but those weird ones two days prior…. Hard to tell

  12. Hi all, large swarm at Reykjanes, the area has often tectonic episodes, and only occasionally (about one or ntwice a century they result in a small eruption).

    Most recent eruption there was the 1926, submarine one, I think, It was a tiny VEI0. Since then, there have been a couple of cases of suspected submarine eruptions, but not confirmed. So, it makes sense to expect another eruption in the nearby future.

    Before this, there has been regularly eruptions at Reykjanes tip. In 1830 there was a submarine VEI3. However most of them have been small in the VEI1 to VEI2 range. It seems that Reykjanes is a much more active volcano than Krisuvik, Hengill or Langjokull.

    In 1211 and 1226 there were large VEI4 eruptions. The first formed the island Eldey, just it was located near the coast but it was of the Surtsey type. The second was the largest, it was located inland and resulted in wide lava fields, and I think it was where the swarm happened today and where the large geothermal field is located. The ash of this eruption was widespread across the southwest of Iceland and known to have causes problems (from what I read). And probably this eruption was probably as strong as Eyjafjallajokull (if geological records are accurate).

    Even though Reykjanes seems to have erupted regularly since settlement, its largest eruptions occur when the entire peninsula is going through an active phase, when also Krisuvik, Brennisteinfjollm, Hengill erupt. This last active period for the region, was circa 950-1350. It seems to occur about every 1000-1500 years, grossly estimated.

  13. By the way, I haven’t felt this one in Reykjanes. So, even up to M5 was not felt by humans in Grimsnes, near Geysir and Hekla, where I live.

    Curiously I woke up around 7.30, just as the earthquake occurred, but can’t remember anything weird in the waking up time. Cat was waking me up, as happens every day.

    • I woke up just at 7:31 (alarm clock time), just 2min before the quake. I remember I quickly went out of the bed and went to eat a banana and to the laptop. Sadly, I did not went in the morning to check for earthquakes or volcanocafe. Big mistake.

      But it is so interesting, I was just in my most aware moment of opening a banana in my sofa, and I haven’t felt a thing.

      • And here is a hoot. Several of the SILs betwee you and the spot barely register the quake. It seem that there is something that is deflecting the wave train between you and the spot of the activity. I have never noticed this before. I guess all those NS sprungur acts as deflectors of the noise, or even work as dampeners.

        • Here comes Carl’s clever observation 🙂

          And now I tell you something even more interesting. In 2000 or 2008, when a large M6 happened in SISZ, earthquakes started in Krisuvik and emptied the lake.

          So, the effect apparently happens in one direction SISZ towards Reykjanes, but not from Reykjanes towards SISZ!

          • But the Krisuvik ones happened further to the north. So those ones might go around whatever is dampening.
            I should have written a post on this interesting little phenomenon ages ago really.

            • Ah, I was fast asleep and whould not have bedged. And was on other side of Irpsit this time.
              An unexpected observation made (several times) during the last two days will be kept quite secret. Nothing will leak out … 🙂

            • GRRRR! Carl, now you are doing it too! Where was he? You can’t just drop tiny crumbs like that and not expect us birds to pester you both!

            • Yepp, I guess they ran out of magma to lubricate that bookshelf at Reykjanes.
              But it will come back, I guess it will.
              No wonder they planted out a network of GPS´s last weekend.
              “Breadcrumbs Clue”: Friday facebook. Goes off every 12 minutes or more often. Another famous and has numerous bothers all over the world. If y get these, you are hot!

            • I love watching that webcam. What did you do to it Islander? Don’t tell me you put a gallon of washing up liquid in it. 😀

            • No, getting to it was going it too far. Saw it tho.
              Seems its solar powered, and up a shallow edge.

            • Islander, it looks like you were right, Reykjanes is trying hard to come back. Shame I must “awa tae my bed” as the Highlanders of Scotland would say. Keep an eye on it for me please. 😉

              DragonEdit: The Scots are now capitalized.

            • Oh my goodness!!! I will get slaughtered! I wrote Scotland with a small letter, no capital. oh, oh, oh. Apologies to all Scottish people.

            • *nearest Good Dragon – Please correct with capital in Scotland *
              I will watch Reykjanes so wit will do as little harm as possible.

        • The energy propegation model that the USGS uses has two main settings. Westcoast/Calif and non Westcoast//Calif.

          Im pretty sure that the myriad faults and fault blocks of the region between you and the epicenter is closer to the disjointed crust arrangement of California.

          • Fortunately I already have those models implemented in a spreadsheet. This is based off of Atkinson & Wald’s MMI algorithm which is behind the “Did You Feel It?” series of USGS products.

            As you can see, the apparent intensity drops off much more quickly in the California “all faulted up” model.

            This was what I used to come up with Laki being initiated by a series of Mag 5 (or so) quakes. I had quake effects listed in the historical literature at a few locations around Iceland in the descriptions of the event. Working out the equivalent MMI. Using the distance to the faulting area allowed me to get a ballpark figure for the quake size.

            Ref my plot. MMI 2 to 2.5 is where you start to feel the quake.

            • However I am 100km away, and haven’t felt the earthquake. MMI would be 2.6 accordingly to the plot.

              There must be, like Carl said, something absorbing or deflecting the waves, in between me and Reykjanes.

              A while ago, a M4 in Bláfjoll (50km away), was also not felt by me. I don’t know what the model would give, I assume probably a MMI of 2.1. I am assuming I can downgrade the MMI by one order of magnitude and still give approx results.

              One time, I felt well a M3-3.5 quake in Thorsmork, near Katla (it was 20km away). It should have been a MMI of 2.5. I heard that quakes around Myrdalsjokull often have weird propagation in the different directions from the glacier, and this makes their detection more complicate.

              Another time, I felt a unrecorded quake in Fimmvorduhals, probably from Eyjafjallajokull just 5km away or in Fimmvorduhals itself. This should have been a quake of what magnitude, so that no instrument outside the glacier detected but i did (instruments were all at least some 5km away).

              One time I felt a M1.5 quake in Hestfjall, just some 5km away. It was almost imperceptible.

            • Important note…. MMI 2 to 2.5 is where you start to feel the quake. An important part of that is being in such an orientation, physically and mentally, where you would notice. Personally, I have slept though missile launches three decks above my head.

              SM2-ER launch – USS Braindamage (Bainbridge). This bird doesn’t piss around about launching. Pull the trigger and it’s gone. The only thing that will stop it is eating the target or getting a kill signal from the ship… or if a fin falls off. (I’ve seen that, it’s spooky) The deck under the launcher is covered with an ablative coating in order to keep from burning hole in the deck. This is the same sort of material that kept the Apollo capsules from burning up on re-entry.

              Here is a plot that I think Carl wanted to see. Time v Depth v Mag.

              This is straight off of the list on IMO’s website. The only data manipulation was to convert their time-stamps into something Excel could deal with.

            • And that would put the bulk of the quakes around where that magma-system should be. I have only seen M5ish quakes in Iceland in the vicinity of a magma system once before, and that was inside Bárdarbunga before Gjálp blew.
              Interesting, this could be the reason why Irpsit didn’t feel it and that some of the SILs shows it as smaller than it was. The magma system was in between. But to know that we need locationing plots that are high resolution to pick through.

            • And that puts it in the area of where the chamber is believed to be.
              The powerplant is adjacent to the limit of the chambers inland demarcation.

              And the rift is perpendicular to the normal faultline, same as the volcano is.

            • And most quakes align up “like all volcano ridges in the area” (my emphases).
              Alighn to North-East (70deg), not Tetonic (apx. 35-35 deg). Why? Becuse pressure from directly below, pushing up. Not sideways, like land-drifting (rift). Not Magmatic? Hork no.

            • .. and don’t forget that just because you don’t feel a quake doesn’t mean that the waves are not passing through. You just might be located at a node where there is not much ground movement whereas north and south of you all hell could be breaking loose.

  14. Tonight Nautilus will be multi-beaming an area of 3 possible volcanic cones. If they like what they see, that will be the next dive early tomorrow morning (Eastern time is 5 hours earlier than UK time). Stay tuned.

    • Olga Girinas text to the Image she posted by Yuri:
      “New cinder cone at the pass between Klyuchevskoy and Kamen volcanoes – the flank eruption occurred in period on October 08-11, 2013. Strombolian and Vulcanian activity of Klyuchevskoy and lava flows effuse on the south-western its flank are continue.”

      • Well, if it is a flank, why does the the top vent not stop? Simple hydraulics sort of indicates that it would drain back down to the lower vent. Has to be some pretty complicated plumbing for the “pipe resistance” to stop that from happening.

        That would also mean quite a bit more pressure to drive both hydraulic “systems.” Something catastrophic should be in store if that is the case.

    • Fantastic photo but now I am TOTALLY confused. What the hell is that second line of lava doing there and where did it come from? The new cinder cone is located at the base of the mountain so that is obviously not the source. But this second line of magma starts above the terminus of the summit flow so it must be fed by another source AND it is not following the law of gravity and falling down the mountain but is an oblique gash across it. wtf?

  15. This is a close-up of todays earthquakes in Iceland. The green ones are the larger (ML 1.5+) from 1995 to present. These are the ones from the listi (only 99% quality) up to 9:38 UTC.

    • Are the yellow and red ones from today?
      If so it seems like they all are around where the believed to be chamber is.

      • Yes, the ones with the colors from the color index are from today and the green ones are older. You don´t have the coordinates of the chamber by chance?

  16. OT

    I’ve mentioned the missile houses before, and how noisy it is to sleep next to the magazine. I’ve never been able to show a picture of it though. I found one.

    This is a view of the top of the magazine with a bird in postion to be lifted to the handling rails where the wing and fins can be attached prior to being loaded to the launcher.

    • We need bigger than those to blow up the Reykjanes Magma Chanber. *Now, I probably I am watched closely by all functioning US agencies, cause of using word “to blow up”.*

      • Dunno if this could even approch the task. One of the primary kill methods that these use is to open up into what is essentially a giant fly swatter and shred the aircraft as it passes by.

        Rip the skin open on an aircraft and they tend to disassemble of their own accord.

        Oh… and you don’t get much warning. The illumiator hits the target just before the missile needs it’s last update. So, a few seconds warning at most. And I can’t say how fast it goes, but the target has a snowball’s chance in hell of evading it.

        • OT-Got a question, Lurk,- in the Picture of the launch-which Bainbridge? CGN-25? My cousin’s Pop was on it when it was first launched. ..
          On the subject of swatting things, back in the mid ’50’s the Navy was using old F6F Hellcats as target drones.
          China Lake was testing the first type of anti-aircraft missle using the ‘cats as targets (I think Terrier missles if
          memory serves. Well according to the story (as told to me by an old Naval Weapons Test guy I know. ) The
          Test was a dud. the Missle did not get near the ‘Cat and the ‘Cat merrirly went on its way-not responding to any
          input by ground control. So they decided to call the Airforce-as they were the only ones with aircrat that were
          armed (alert) in the area. So the USAF lauches two of their finest interceptors (F-86D or “Dog”) Sabres. Now
          these aircraft, launched from George AFB, were the best interceptors of the day all weather, radar equipped,
          and NO guns (this philosophy would bite us in Vietnam) just 24 “Mighty Mouse’ folding fin rockets in a tray
          that retracted under the nose..Now the idea was to get as close as possible, salvo the load and hope the
          “mice” would hit something important. Well they intercepted the ‘Cat and fired both loads at the hapless
          hellcat.and-nothing happened.most of the rockets exploded harmlessly in the desert except for one that trailed ooff to Palmdale and hit a parked semi full of produce. Now what. Seems that the Navy sent a fellow up in a
          guide plane-an F7F tigetcat that thye used for some of the drone flights.
          They got aong side the Hellcat and could no regian control. so they just secorted it until it crashed in the Sierria foothills. by then the Navy had gotten a F3D skynight armed (Navy) all weather /night fighter that
          had 20mm (4) cannons. from then on they kept something armed that could shoot down a drone…
          something with guns..

          • Yes, CGN-25.

            From what I understand this ship underwent a full on upgrade to a Nuke plant from it’s original conventionally powered design. The ship had a motto of “30 knots no smoke.” Sailors tend to embellish stuff like that with truisms from their own experiances. “30 knots, no smoke, 31 knots no fantail” was what they came up with due to some sort of vibrational issue that began cracking some welds.

            I think that this is the reason that they didn’t do any additional refits… though it did not keep the follow on ship from getting run over by a carrier.

            USS Belknap after being struck head on by the overhang deck of the USS John F Kennedy… and also why you keep such a close watch on the carrier if you are in formation with it. They have been knowill steer for good winds across the deck with little warning. The Law of Gross Tonnage tends to outweigh standing orders.

            As far as I know, the Bainbridge is the only ship to shoot it’s own Electronics Countermeasures antenna off of the ship. It seems that the CIWS had not had it’s firring cutouts changed and when they went to “full on” CIWS in air auto mode took issue with the spurious RF and tried to kill it, thinking it was a target. (anecdotal from an OS that used to be stationed on it.)

            I’ve also heard of helo pilots who grow quite nervous at CIWS inquiring and trying to track the rotor tips, quivering like an over over-caffeinated terrier waiting to pounce. I think they have since changed the protocols to prevent that from happening. Dropping in for a hover has got to be un nerving with that thing swinging around to watching your rotor blades. (also anecdotal)

            (not anecdotal) A Meteorologist Mate that was briefly attached to our ship was highly paranoid of the CIWS and did not want to be anywhere near them when they were in a ready status. It seems he is the only person who had ever been shot by one and survived. He was on another ship and pointing at a cloud when a round that was fired at a towed target went over the island and hit the bridge wing he was on… filleting the arm he was pointing with. He spent forever in the hospital as they put his arm back together. Gruesome photos.

            • USS Belknap had a aluminum superstructure when they collided with the John F Kennedy they ripped the fright deck aircraft fuel lines off the carrier (there run up the outside of the ship to reduce the fire hazard to the ship common in carriers in the 70’s) dousing the Belknap with a couple thousand gallons of jet fuel

  17. I think the Reykjanes swarm is interesting too. It will be interesting to see whether it is indeed tectonic or if it is magmatic.

      • I got a comment with white island does it have a possibiliy
        of a Krakatau like eruption due to its being,well, an island?
        Or is the plumbing different?

        • It is most likely to juvenile to have a large enough chamber. But previous islands seems to have blasted away.

          And to answer Lurking, Dino was well earlier today.

            • The Volkner Rocks are the remnants of a previous Island that went poop before the current White Island came up.
              But, as I said, White Island itself is to juvenile to contain a large enough magmatic system to be able to do something overly large. Historically it has done several VEI-3s, so a small VEI-4 is perhaps possible at this stage.


              Völkner Rocks in the upper right corner. Notice the nasty sulphur run-off.

            • I did a bit of reading on White island a while back. From what I came to understand, there doesn’t seem to be any large potential for huge eruptions. As has been stated, while it’s a huge volcano, it’s magma chamber doesn’t seem to be evolved to the point that it would form any particularly large eruptions. So while the threat of water always exists, it would need to form a large enough eruption for that scenario to occur, and that doesn’t seem all that likely at this point.

            • Mike, sorry I was not perfectly clear, I meant that it has a juvenile magma system.
              But, such a highly active system and such a small edifice and volcano? It can’t be old.

              So, back to age.
              It seems like the destruction of Völkner Volcano happened 37 thousand years ago, and that the sub-aquatic White Island started forming 12 thousand years ago, with the oldest record of sub-aerial rock to be 4 thousand years.
              When they talk about rock and clast 30 km north of White Island that are old, they are from Völkner, not White Island. I pieced that together when I combined it with another paper that did not date the same field.

          • So have the rat dogs, but they aren’t any closer to catching a squirrel. The closest they got, I intervened when I heard the squirrel scream. Like I really want to explain to my stepson how his dog was mortally wounded by a squirrel.

            • Lurking has some fierce squirrels much bigger than the grays in new england they have been known to attack humans

            • Dunno about the temerity of my squirrels… unless they are trying to get back at me for what I did to them in Mississippi. A 12 gage (full choke) and #8 shot at 20 feet is not a pretty sight. (wasn’t that smart of a squirrel)

          • And Sakurajima has been “messing around” for 60 years without a big bang and herein lies a clue to the workings of volcanoes: A volcano that has a regular habit of many small eruptions releases pressure before something big can build. The ones to watch are the silent ones, the ones who have been quiet for centuries, the ones known to be capable of big eruptions.

            • This is mostly true, but just because something has been relieving pressure doesn’t mean pressure isn’t still being built up. I agree that this is true most of the time, especially in more traditional arc volcanoes, but I don’t think it’s quite as much of an exact science as this would seem.

              It’s important to consider a bucket scenario when taking pressure relief into consideration. Even if a bucket has a hole leaking from it, if there is more water coming in than there is water lost through that hole, it will eventually spill over. In simplistic terms, even if there is a pressure release valve, if the input is greater than the output, all that release valve will do is prolong the time until the tipping point.

              In SakuraJima’s case, even it’s been relieving pressure via small eruptions for over 60 years, inflation rates have shown that the degassing, vulcanian, and strombolian eruptions haven’t been able to slow down the pressure-build up. During that period, it’s also been inflating for almost that entire time as well. While that’s partially a result of it having 3 separate magma storage chambers at varying levels of depths, it’s still all part of the same system (aira) in one way or another. The inflation at SakuraJima shows pretty clearly that regardless of the level of pressure release, more magma is coming into the system (regardless of where that is) than is being relieved.

              Of course, SakuraJima / Aira is an extremely active volcano in a less than traditional subduction environment, so it’s not a huge surprise it’s a bit different than most volcanoes, which usually deflate or stay netural when they have an “open” volcanic vent.

            • I would like to point out that I know of no caldera with active vents that is stable state.
              Both Tondano and Amatitlan are highly mobile systems with rapid phases of inflation and deflation even though there side vents are going just fine.
              I do not think Aira caldera will go. Data seems to suggest instead that Sakurajima will have incrased activity, and that a new side vent might form out at the mainland at Kokubu area in due time. At least judging by the InSAR data.

  18. Speaking on inflation rates & pressure release relating to SakuraJima, it got me to thinking.

    I really wonder what the inflation rate is at the southern tip of Kyushu, where the Ata Caldera lies. If the Ata Caldera area has been even half as active as Aira over the last 4000 years, there should be some pretty notable inflation in that area considering it’s a closed system. The last eruption was supposedly in the 9th century at the KaimonDake stratovolcano, and it’s been almost entirely quiet since then.

    Of course, it may just not be very active, which would explain the lack of activity there (although it’s far from inactive).

    • Re the question of continued inflation – the 5 cm per year is not very much when you consider other Caldera systems:

      a) Campi Flegrei inflated some six metres over the period of five days that preceded the Monte Nuovo eruption in 1538. A small eruption considering the inflation.
      b) Rabaul. The caldera inflated 6 metres overnight before the simultaneous eruptions of Vulcan and Tavurvur that destroyed the town of Rabaul in 1994.
      c) Ioto (Iwo Jima) has inflated at a varying rate of between 100 and 800 mm (3.9 and 31 in) per year, with an average rate of 200 mm (8 in) per year. Only small, phreatic eruptions yet in spite of an uniterrupted inflation over at least a thousand years.

      The question is how much and how quickly a caldera system as large as the Aira Caldera has to inflate before the more nibiruistic amongst us 😉 have their wish? Five cm per year seems pitiful and almost insignificant when compared to the above examples.

      • One should also note that the inflation of Aira is almost outside of the caldera in the far north at the Kokubu area. The rest of the caldera is either not inflating, or inflating at a far less impressive rater. The actual average is more in the neighbourhood of 28mm over 3 years…
        The Kokubu has more the air of a spot where a new vent could open up given enough time. And that would not be great news since that is where you would find Kirishima City.

        • And of course Kokubu is almost halfway to Kirishima-Shinmoedake. And there you have a system that is really troublesome.
          Having a volcanic vent opening on the brink of the caldera in the midle of the city of Kirishima would be a nightmare.

          By the way, do not mix up the city of Kirishima and the Volcano Kirishima, they are not in the same place.

      • Active resurging calderas are some of the most intriguing volcanic features. Interestingly, whilst Campi Flegrei had just one minor magmatic eruption and 1 (possibly 2 if you believe a report of an eruption in 1927) phreatic explosion, and Iwo-Jima has had minor phreatic explosions for decades. Rabaul (specifically Tavurvur) appears to be different in that it has had long term magmatic activity, appearantly this is due to the fact that Tavurvur sits atop an active geothermal system.

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