El Hierros center of activity & Riddles

The Tanganasoga central volcano, El Hierro, Canary Islands, Spain.

The Tanganasoga central volcano, El Hierro, Canary Islands, Spain.

During the last few days activity has continued at El Hierro even though earthquake activity has decreased a lot. Harmonic tremor is though still increasing and GPS uplift is rather dramatic with maximum values at 75mm.

With a bit of internet-spelunking I have tracked down where the maximum activity is, an indicator of where a future eruption might take place. The maximum uplift is noticed at the stations HI08 and HI09 (see map) with HI08 moving north and HI09 moving south. No East movement is registering at those two stations, so we can therefore deduce that the maximum uplift is taking place in between them.

Map showing some of the stations. The greatest point of uplift is just south of the red star.

Map showing some of the stations. The greatest point of uplift is just south of the red star.

This pans out quite well with where the maximum registered harmonic tremor is measured, namely CTAB & CTAN. Those two are the main seismometers for the Tanganasoga central volcano. We can after that track the harmonic tremor moving towards the spot of maximum uplift where it abruptly dies off. No harmonic tremor is measured at CRST (La Restinga) station, so it seems that either no magma has moved there yet, or that the magma is moving down a different path compared to the last eruption and that it is accumulating at the spot of maximum inflation.

Onset of harmonic tremor at the CTAB station, image by GeoLurking.

Onset of harmonic tremor at the CTAB station, image by GeoLurking.

We can also deduce that the magma is centered on a point source of relatively shallow depth, probably no deeper than between 4 and 2 kilometers depth. The reason we can deduce that is due to the fact that the uplift is very well centered and GPS-changes die of pretty quickly with distance.


More information will follow as events unfold.

Crab Cioppino

1/8 cup olive oil
1/4 cup onions, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Crab butter*
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped fresh tomatoes
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce, recipe follows
1 cup clam juice or fish broth
2 fresh live Dungeness crabs (11/2 to 2 pounds each) or 4 pounds of live blue crabs
8 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
16 Manila clams, well scrubbed
16 black or green mussels, well scrubbed
Chopped parsley, as needed
Salt and pepper, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste
In an 8-quart kettle or pot, heat the olive oil and saute the onions until transparent. Add the garlic and saute until it begins to brown. Stir in crab butter and let cook slowly for 2 minutes (crab butter is saffron yellow in color and adds a distinctive rich flavor). Next, add the wine, and reduce. Add tomatoes and tomato sauce, broth, and live crabs.

To simmer at low heat for about 5 minutes. Add shrimp, clams, mussels and cook for 2 more minutes. Serve in a bowls and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Add salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, to taste.

If your crab is cooked ahead of time, add it to the recipe at the same time you add the clams, shrimp, and mussels.

*Fresh crab usually has yellowish matter under the shell in the center of the body, called crab butter, or fat, or mustard. It is edible and considered quite tasty.

Tomato sauce:
1/2 cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
40 ounces canned puree tomatoes
18 basil leaves, julienne
Salt and pepper, to taste
Warm heavy skillet on medium heat. Add olive oil and diced onion. When onion becomes transparent, add the garlic and cook until lightly brown. Add tomatoes, basil leaves, salt and pepper, and simmer for 45 minutes.

from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/crab-cioppino-recipe/index.html
Other recipes: http://americanfood.about.com/od/classicchowdersandstews/r/cioppino.htm

Lava on Ice ( also known as Hot Love)

Vanilla ice, raspberries, sugar

Heat the raspberries with some spoonfuls of water and add sugar according to your taste. Pour the cooking berries over the vanilla ice cream.
For the grown-up version you could also add some alcohol like rum to the hot raspberries 😉



Last week Sissel managed to pull away slightly from Evan Chugg and at the same time KarenZ started to eat up the gap to the second spot. We are looking forward to a hard fight for the top 3 positions in todays riddle duell. May the best person win this seasons last riddle-bout!

Image for the riddle.

Image for the riddle.

  1. Stone castle calling the rod of + Image
  2. Frozen squirt at NCIS
  3. Bert and the pastoralists have a volcano? – Kutum Volcanic Fields or Berti Hills (Arjanemm, 2pt)
  4. Angelic woman bathing in the sulphur springs – Qualibou, Santa Lucia Island, home of the Sulphur Springs (Sissel, 2 pt. Bonus point to Christian Thordin for Santa Lucia)
  5. Edible spanish ghosts at Christmas
Score board
19 Sissel
15 Evan Chugg
12 KarenZ
8 Alison
8 Diana Barnes
8 Harrie
7 Shérine France
6 Henrik
5 Graniya
5 Talla
4 Arjanemm
4 Cryphia
4 Kelda
4 Matt
4 Stephanie Alice Halford
3 GeoLurking
3 Michael Ross
3 Sa’Ke
2 Carl
2 Dorkviking
2 Lughduniense
2 Maggiemom
2 Spica´s mate, St. Ananas
1 Bobbi
1 Bruce Stout
1 Edward
1 Irpsit


Recipes by Spica

583 thoughts on “El Hierros center of activity & Riddles

  1. And in connection with a topic that came up in the dungeon…

    According to new research published Thursday in the journal PLOS One, high-resolution photographs can be “mined” for hidden information. Specifically, the authors said that photographs of faces can reveal enough visual information on bystanders to identify them.

    In a small sampling of 32 study participants, test subjects were able to spot familiar faces reflected in the pupils of someone who was photographed 84% of the time, researchers said. When the reflected images were of unfamiliar people, observers were able to match the person to a second mug shot with 71% accuracy.


  2. Err ……. seem to have managed to post that one twice. Feel free to remove the duplicate.


    DragonEdit: Seems like two Dragons where chewing at the same time.. Putting one back.

  3. Side note for people that will be out and about on New Years eve.

    Some locations take the “out with the old” mantra quite literally. Be careful of stuff thrown from upper floor windows if you are out celebrating.

    Anecdotally, I know of couches and TVs that have plummeted to the street.

    This phenomena was even issued to us as a warning during one of our port visits by the local USDAO office.

    • Unrelated side note.

      Best wishes to Michael Schumacher and family. He is in serious condition following a ski accident.

      Also proof positive that just because you are wearing safety equipment, that doesn’t remove the risk of grievous injury. Always watch out for yourself and be cautious.

      I don’t know the details of the accident, but even if you are wearing the toughest helmet in the world, if that helmet comes to a sudden stop, your brain will still be moving at whatever speed you were going when it impacts the front of your skull. The fluid can only decelerate it so fast.

      • I should point out that very few skiers use a helmet… Very few indeed.
        So, I would guess that he did not use one.
        I hope he pulls through.

      • News reports were that he was wearing one. Unlike Sony Bono who just flat out ate the tree. However, news reports also indicate that Schumacher was outside of the marked areas.

        • Kissing a tree is never a good idea. Especially at speed.
          Biggest problem with downhill skiing is that it is rather dangerous, but it is ten times more fun than the danger, so you get all sorts of people doing it, and sooner or later people get injured.

          • I’ve skiied since I was 8 (not this year) and have worked as lift operator for a couple of ski areas. On one occasion, i was running a mid mountain lift. Above me was a black diamond run. Steep, carnivorous moguls. The local ski club from the University of Oregon was there. About 1/2 of the group were Japanese. The instructor was Fritz,a usually easy going Austrian. Not today. The Japanese students were out of control. Fritz needed a cow horse and lariat also a border Collie or two..There were about 10 of the Japanese two of which were now missing.
            Fritz put out the word to Ski patrol. Fritz’s sister was on the Ski patrol. She stopped to borrow my radio. her battery crapped out. As she was talking to one of her team, she
            looked up at the upper run. Forgive me if I don’t get the spelling correct -she gasped: “SHITZE!” at the top of the run which was called RTS-Ready to Ski. Here was this Japanese fellow – one of the missing -screaming as he fall line skiied the run man-eating moguls and all completely out of control. He over corrected and went into the trees. Then out and crashed at the base of my lift shack. Ski patrol collected him and he got a sled ride back to the lodge.
            He wasn’t hurt scared badly. Now the ski patrol had not located the other missing man..it was approaching closing and things were getting serious Ski Patrol had gotten into the SAR mode
            I was taking last two riders.when:”excuse me I need a ride down.” A snow man with a Japanese accent was standing at the lift gate. Covered head to toe-and no equipment. Jettisoned on the way down. He wandered off piste’ got rid of his equipment and wandered down this access road until he found me.
            I couldn’t give him a ride on the lift down,so Ski Patrol, sled and a very irritated Fritz and
            sister showed up. The poor fellow had to go via sled.. I could write a book..

            Edited some stuff away but not all. The correct spelling would be “Scheiße” but this is very impolite, so i d advise.. use “Katsunga”.. same meaning , helps getting rid of emmotions, but hardly anyone understands Suaheli. Spica

        • I have to agree on the fun part. I took a trip out to Crested Butte and had a farking blast.

          One other item you have to watch out for are pedestrians. Seemingly, like locomotives, people coming downhill are just as hard to predict as trains and they think they can dart across with room to spare, which is rare.

          Since I dropped a very callous video in my last, here is one that is more atune to sensibilities.

    • When my squadron was deployed (VF11 , late 60’s early 70″s) there were ports of call in the med that the favored object to toss out the window was the chamber pot I was never lucky enough to be a target but i knew some airdales that couldn’t stop caterwauling once they had a liter of ouzo in them and earned the annoyance of the residents in the 2nd floor of the shop/dwellings

      • A monster aircraft of its time, the F4… with enough power, a wheelbarrow with a good pilot can kick your arse. 😛

        Not to mention the wheelbarrow can carry a lot of stuff. This is not intended to belittle the airframe, it’s just that in that particular era, raw power was the rule of thumb. (Hell, the 327 ci Camaros of the day had about a 9K RPM redline right out of the factory. And the Rat Motors were still in production and readily available… for a price. And, a fuel tank fill up didn’t require a 2nd mortgage.)

        • We called the F4 a flying brick! Vf 74 lost one on a cat shot plane had what appeared to be electrical system failure, about half way through the cat shot the flaps blew up the hydraulic system had a few peculiarities like loose power and the flaps are allowed to retract with the air load . sadly at the end of the launch there was not enough airspeed for it to fly it settled in the water about a mile in front of the Forrestal pilot and REO never got the canopy open and sank with the plane

    • I can hear the shouts of ‘gardy loo’ from here! Very tentative volcano link as the Royal Mile in Edinburgh used to echo to this sound and its malodorous accompaniment……

      • The port I was in when we got this specific warning was Napoli. The same place where I got my foot ran over and barely noticed it. Most of us had migrated back down to the pier in order to check out the midnight festivities. Quite the fireworks show… mostly impromtu. Since were were attached to a NATO taskgroup, all of use were moored at the pier. I watched one of the Turks scrounge what appeared to be highway flares out of their helo and proceed to run up and down the pier, madly waving them about. After while, I lost sight of the other end of the pier from the smoke… and natch, some asshat foamed the fountain with AFFF. It just kept producing these large wads of foam having the appearance of large pieces of broken up styrofoam… but with the ability to float about on the wafting breeze.

  4. @Carl. I directed an acquaintance here in reference to some volcano stuff. Their initial observation was the drifting and falling ash was a a neat effect. (the snow).

    I thought that was a bit funny and had to explain that it was WordPress’ snow. 😀

  5. 2013-12-30 08:03 UTC
    NO more earthquakes, very calm graphs but again spectacular deformation charts.
    Deformations are giving a totally changed pattern this morning. The Southern areas are subsiding. The eastern central area is stabilizing BUT the western central and northern areas are inflating (western area very strong). HI10 (El Julan) has no data for the second day in a row. The changing deformation pattern shows the biggest magma movement below the island concentrating in the El Golfo area (Sabinosa to Frontera) and is an additional sign that the crisis isn’t over yet.
    The strongest deformation today is noted in Sabinosa (GPS station HI03) where the ground was lifted 3 cm in less than 24 hours. The station HI04 (slightly west of HI03 (see map) has however stabilized data.
    This crisis will only end when the deformations are stabilizing everywhere. http://earthquake-report.com/2011/09/25/el-hierro-canary-islands-spain-volcanic-risk-alert-increased-to-yellow/

    • Luisport, please at least use quotation marks when you only post a quote. Otherwise you present it as your own work which is not very polite towards the real author and also confusing for the reader.
      Better: write a small introduction to the quote, tell short who wrote it and other details of interest.

  6. To schteve42 and all who like beautiful fireworks:
    Boris Behncke made this beautiful video clip “Happy little bubble” yesterday evening, showing a big magma bubble bursting from the crater. Seen from the town of Zafferana Etnea:

    • Thanks Sissel, as long as i don’t know where everyone is and some things needed summing up i am going to publish a new post in a minute. I will add your comment there right now.

  7. As good a time as any to ask.

    What is the link to the Reykjavik harbor cams that will best see the fireworks? Last years show was awesome, so I figured I would ask now so that there won’t be a last minute scramble to find them.


    Note, if any one has links to fireworks cams of other cities, feel free to throw them in here also! Last year for the 4th of July, San Diego managed to inadvertently lite off every one of their displays at the same time. A 17 minute fireworks show fired off in about 15 seconds.

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