Happy New Volcanic Year!

Stunning photograph of this years Volcano of the Year Award winner, Etna. The beautiful photograph was taken by Turi Caggegi. Could there be more beautful fireworks than Etnas Grand Show number 21?

Stunning photograph of this years Volcano of the Year Award winner, Etna. The beautiful photograph was taken by Turi Caggegi. Could there be more beautful fireworks than Etnas Grand Show number 21?

2013 will most likely go down to history as the year with the least amount of interesting volcanic eruptions. And with that I mean volcanic eruptions that have good instrumentation and webcam, because we need both to be really interested in them.

Otherwise it has been a rather regular volcanic year. The two stars have undoubtedly been Etna and Sakurajima for these exact reasons. Sakurajima has given us daily, if not hourly eruptions to gawk at like teenagers on their first dance. Etna on the other hand have given us no less than 21 spectacular paroxysms to be enthused by, most of them expertly commented on by Dr Boris Behncke from INGV. We are truly blessed by being able to tap in on his enormous knowledge on one of our favorite volcanoes. If only more professionals where like him.

Even though the year has been short on the type of eruptions we prefer, it has been really interesting from a scientific point. We got no less than two new islands, one in the Jebel al-Zubair group that is un-named to this day, and the second is Nishinoshima. Also Kamchatka really dished out candy for us.

The year ended with a bang, El Hierro got a bit of a stomach ache, Chapparastique erupted unexpectedly, the long heralded eruption of Sinabung started in a truly ominious fashion as it started to extrude a large volcanic dome, and Etna put in an appearance. Following all of that while juggling Christmas was hard work, but we did it anyhow.

Awards for 2013

So, without further a due, The Volcanocafé Award of outstanding dissemination of volcanic knowledge goes to Boris!

The Volcano of the Year Award goes to Etna, there really was no contest in this.

The Award for most written comments during 2013 goes to Islander.

Here I had planned to also write who had wone the Riddle award, but due to the weekend of Double-E (Etna and El Hierro) the crowd got distracted, so I have appended the Riddles once again to this post and we will be giving out the award next time.

Now, time to put on the tinfoil-hat and prognosticate the next year…

The Volcanic Year of 2014

During 2014 the Tinfoilers will go all the way with the lunatic and scientifically impossible idea of Verneshots. Out of the dessert a new Messiah will come upon them and he will declare that the Yellowstone Hotspot will jump to a new location under the adjacent craton. Once it is there it will burst a bubble of gas under the craton and the entire craton will be blasted out into space and the US will be doomed as lava pours out and covers the entire continent, except for some reason, the town of Texarcana. The date the Messiah of Tinfoilers predict this to happen will be the mystical date prognosticated in Linear-A by the early Minoans, known in our timeframe as the 22nd of November. And since nobody has cracked Linear-A he will be given the outmost credibility among his Tinfoiling followers. I also Nostradamise that the Messiah of Tinfoilers will be utterly gone with the money on the 23rd of November, never to be seen again.

In the world of reality we will have a few VEI-3 eruptions, and if we are lucky one of them will be in an uninhabited spot with good instrument coverage and be close to webcams. A likely spot for that to happen would be at Iceland, but we might be surprised on this one.

I also prognosticate that Boris will be having a bit of work explaining Etna in 2014 due to more paroxysms. I say this even though Boris says that the magma that arrived during the summer might be finished. There is after all always room for a bit more magma to arrive there.

Sakurajima is always a safe bet. But, as I put on my own hidden green hat of Nostradamus I prognosticate a volcano that will really take us by surprise. So far this prognostication has never failed. After all, volcanoes are a rather surprising bunch of entities.

Riddles

Riddles

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 – Phanom Rung (Matt, 2pt). Home of the Phanom Rung Stone Castle (definitly a stone being dropped there), rung = called, also the site of Buddhist temple, rung = rod.
  2. Frozen squirt at NCIS (clue, think character in the TV series NCIS, “frozen squirt” is a naughty word pun based on synonyms of the volcano and the mountain range it belongs to) – Glacier Peak (Swinemoor, 1pt) Frozen = Glacier, Squirt = Cascade (Range) and Gibbs was told by the natives about the volcano which relates to the basement boat-building character of the TV-series NCIS named Jethro Gibbs.
  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 (clue, think of a something that you eat, the ghosts are of the movie type, churching of new mothers) – Candlemas Island (Evan Chugg, 1pt) A movie with spanish pirate ghost was made there, candlemas is 40 days after christmas, and the edible part is from the South Sandwich Islands.
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

Happy New Year from Volcanocafé!

294 thoughts on “Happy New Volcanic Year!

  1. Happy new Year everyone!

    Don’t miss the special Year of 2013 post I just posted before this one, it has a cool summary.

  2. Happy new year to all.

    To finish the year here is the summary for El Hierro up to 12h today.

    The new swarm is clearly visible. There is also one small quake with a depth of 2.4 km not far from La Restinga at sea, but the precision is not good, so I’ll leave it to that.

    I have added a 5.1 event on the magnitude scale to account for the new “record”

    Otherwise there are no changes

    The first part of the video shows an event by event animation starting on the 22nd.
    The left side of the colorbar gives the date.
    Dot size is proportional to magnitude. The scale is given on one side.
    Terrain elevation is shown (see right side of the colorbar)

    The following sequences are a 360 rotation showing all the events and some vertical rotations.

    The last sequence is a zoom centered on the last event.

    Data is from IGN and NOAA, made on Gnu Octave.

      • True. It is also following a sort of plane. I’ll see if I can get something out of it. There is a small “subswarm” around 9-10 km depth which I find very interesting.

        I’ll do some plot later with only the largest magnitudes, but I need to solve a small date display problem so that will be next year !
        Bonne année !

        • Yepp, it would be good I think with a more close up plot of the dyke. And… it looked a bit like something moved towards Bob.

  3. El Hierro GPS figures:
    I have gone through the GPS-figures presented today by IGN. Many have interpreted them as deflation setting in. This is though not the case. If you look carefully you see that every station, on and off El Hierro have deflated an equal amount. So, it is not a true deflation, instead it is most likely atmospheric interference.
    Check the adjacent islands GPSes and you will see…
    http://www.ign.es/ign/resources/volcanologia/html/deformacionHierro.html

  4. My new years promise this year is…
    “Gain a few pounds from eating to much chocolate, start smoking, stop going to the gym, and generally do less useful things”

    • Other than the forced CO regime, I don’t see much of a problem with it. CO is the reason I stopped smoking. At the time, I was in a habit of strapping on an air-bottle and wandering around burning houses. My logic was that pre-loading with carbon monoxide was not a smart thing to do.

      • It’s not, it was the reason I quit too… But, I want a New years promise that I kind of that is contrary to anything anyone else will promise.
        I also promis to stuff sausages with meat this year.

        • I’m just going to sit in glee watching the wheels come off of a wagon. There is nothing more entertaining than watching a narcissist come to the grim realization that he is despised. When reality hits, it hits hard.


          No specific reason.. other than the entertainment value.

          Strutter by KISS

          I edited out the Kiss video and replaced it by E1M1 from the Doom video game. Probably the direct ancestor of all follow on FPS games. The music track is still debated to this day about where it comes from. Many erroneously claim that it is a ripoff of Master Of Puppets by Metallica. In actuality, it’s based off of No Remorse by the same group. Youtube user SonicClang covers this in one of his videos. In it’s original implementation, it was done purely with a Midi track in the game. Like this video, others have covered it using guitar. Later games by ID enlisted the talents of Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails in the Quake series of games. This particular clip features excerpts of someones speed run through the game. Doom was later done as an actual motion picture, and they did a pretty good job of relating the underlying story line. (A teleportation experiment inadvertently opens a gateway to hell) As a bone for the FPS crowd who made this game into a profitable franchise, part of the movie was shot as an FPS like sequence. Though somewhat corny, it was a decent implementation of the game story. Ideally, the player should experience quite a bit of panic while trying to deal with the things that pop-up to kill you. That came across in the movie to some extent. Other movies have tried the accidental opening up a path to hell theme, “Event Horizon” was one such movie.

          Fun with Power Chords…

          • Doom was based in part on the same engine as the Wolfenstein engine, so I would go with the dear old Wolfen as the grand-parent. And blowing up Hitler is always nice 🙂

            • I have to agree, but Wolfenstein was also an ID product. John Carmack and crew made major advances in virtual world coding. The Doom engine brought the ability for rooms to overlap at different elevations.

              Users could actually edit the .wad files and add to the game content, that was one of the things that made it such a popular platform. This was also possible in other games that came along later, I particularly like the DC mod for Battlefield 1942. That added modern weaponry and vehicles. In that mod my favorite vehicle was a rendition of the Hind.

              This pissed EA games off a bit. They bought up the resources and talent that made this mod and eliminated it. They re-engineered the level files and made it damned near impossible to mod it. In later releases, they implemented server leasing as a way to try and suck more money out of the player base, along with controlled ability and weapons unlocks. Why? Because the DC mode kept the game viable with the playerbase long beyond EA’s ability to milk it for money.

              I daresay I may not play another EA game. (or Netdevil for what they did to JumpGate)

              Oh, one aspect of the DC mod that was brought forward from the original BF1942 game engine… you could actually do indirect fire. That was quite cool. In the DC mod, they gave you an MLRS in addition to the howitzer. And… more as an easter egg… you could get a SCUD. For the Coalition side, finding and killing that was usually the highest priority. Finding a place to hide it played quite heavy for the side that had it. Then you had to get your spotter out to find the other base and target it. The ingame SCUD was a bit over powered, the blast effect radius was quite large. But, it had a really low rate of fire and was difficult to get set up and targeted. If your side spent too much time dicking around with it, you never would capture enough control points to win the match.

  5. A very happy, healthy, New Year to everyone. Been visiting family at Christmas time and now I am back home, spending time catching up. Very nice, creative annual report, Carl.

      • I agree, it is budget time, but I’m a bit miffed by this. If you take the Rn curve, this could be interpreted different ways. I’m not saying this is not the case, but I find the presentation a little too opportunistic

      • They’d attract more research funding from overseas volcanolgists if they archived their data in an organised way, made it easily accessible ( in english) and welcomed foreign investigators. Iceland does it, par excellence, with a population seven times smaller than Canaries.

    • Just 6 data points in a year- meaningless. What was basal levels pre 2011?
      Radon data for 2013 lower down the page shows erratic values but as steady upwards trend. Disturbing that they use one spike to suggest its predictor of the 5.3. Even wiki doubts tha vlidity of that eq prediction method. What is basal rate before 2011 swarm? Theres alot of fractured rock under that station, an steady rise in gas flux might be expected purely from that fracturing alone.

      • I agree. The Rn data is far better, and the erratic figures are normal for measuring Rn.
        Even in a house you will get the up and down values, that is why the Rn tests in Swedish houses on uranic bedrock was performed continuously over a year.

        Using one spike is worthless, I agree with that. Unless you are on a spot that is given even data over a long time previously that then suddenly goes up and follows the decay-rate down. But… problem is that it should not work anyhow since there is no new material that is hot so a pre-event would never ever show.
        Here I am going to be unusually categoric since this is my previous line of work, that report is bullshit. You can never predict an earthquake by Rn spikes unless it is happening in a uranium ore body and there is none under El Hierro. What they measured was the same intrusion we followed before the M5.4 quake.

        How do we know there is not uranium ore body under El Hierro? We know that out of the low baseline data… Simple physics…

      • I agree, I think this is purely communication work. !however, NP has a long track history of doing geochemical analyses and he’s a respected professional, but I feel he’s keeping some cookies for later. I’ve tried some giggle scholar search and he’s got a pretty large bibliography. There are also article referring to measures prior to 2004 and in 2011

        • I do not doubt his work as a geochemist. I do though as a nuclear physicist have a bit of a beef with how most volcanologists, geochemists and geophysicists work with calculations and modeling of data from isotope counts, radiogenic gazes, and various members of the periodic table in the thorium and actinid-chains.
          Sometimes it really itches to go ahead and write a more definite handbook on the subject. I really it would help with clearing out some misconceptions. On occasion I have pondered writing posts on the subject, but decided against it.
          First of all it would be rather technical, the posts would be very long, and to top it off it would be boring for almost everyone who is not in the field.
          The sad thing is that even if I found a publisher for such a book it would be an insane loss for me since it would sell in 200 copies tops and it would take me half a year to write.

        • But his publications reveal few – if any – international collaborators to share the costs of expanding the effort that’s been needed since 2011. For instance, there’s not a single Icelandic name in his coauthors there. He works for a government organisation not a university. So the ‘ mot invented here’ attitude may be forced upon him. But its not the best way to deepn understanding of a complex situation.
          He seems to be trying to determine gas emmissions as precursors of eruption:
          http://www.researchgate.net/publication/236671103_Diffusive_helium_emissions_as_a_precursory_sign_of_volcanic_unrest/file/72e7e518d207e46bb5.pdf
          But to me the paper is flawed in that ther is no data on the delat between fracturing at depth ( at least 10km) and gas arrival in his groundwater borehole. Without that information the time courses are meaningless. Indeed I’d argue the first spike in gas was from fracturing during the first swarm ( July) which was in the vicn=inity of the borehole.

          • Now I am confused about if you are talking about Helium or Radon here…
            Helium could make sense, but Radon has a very short half life, 3.8 days down to nano-seconds, with a mean average around 1.6 days.
            So, to be quite blunt, there would be no Radon from July coming up… At lest not enough to register.
            All of the baseline radon is from thorium or uranium at shallow depth. Or from a very fast moving gas stream from magmatic depth.

          • Yes I agree, I think radon can be confusing. I’ll read the article (thank you) to make my mind, but I think it is not an easy field, because there are so many factors that can have an effect on a gas concentration

  6. No, no, no Carl! Not flaming, bloody boring Etna again and Sakurajima. :mrgreen: You have completely forgotten THE volcano of the year, Klyuchevskaya Sopka (or Kluychevskoi Vulkan):
    Outstanding beauty of 2013

    The outstanding beauty of the 2013 volcanic year.

    DragonEdit: A bit of code-cleaning done.

    • Well, dear Milord P, Klyuchevskoy did ONE spectacular paroxysm in 2013. Etna did TWENTY-ONE in this year … indeed, things that happen too often might get a bit boring after all 😉
      Have a great volcanic 2014 !!!

      • Yes, but I do not have a kitchen-window view, do I! 😉 On my PC-screen, Kluychevskoy was far more spectacular with its “paroxysm” being continuous for almost two months against the few hours of Etna. Be fair here, Etna has already gotten the award several times and Kluychevskoy is more deserving!

        PS. As a historian, I recall a German WW I Admiral, Paul Behncke, who was wounded aboard SMS König during the Battle of Jutland (Skagerrackschlacht). Would he be a relation?

        • And to everyone else, Henrik uses way to exact english. With relation he does not mean relation as the rest of the planet would use the word. He means relative… 😉

          • Why, thank you Carl! The reason I used relation and not relative is that relative suggests a much closer relationship than relation and for all I know, Carl and myself may be closer related – at least based on our predilection for nitpicking! :mrgreen:

            • Oh… Heaven forfend…
              I think you should meet my mother one day. She pioneered teaching Swedish to foreign children in school.
              We might be the only ones who are chuckling when we say “En bokhandlare, flera boklådister”… Hm, perhaps you too. If you chuckled we are probably related.

  7. Right, I’ve got my drinking shirt out of the wardrobe and my best girl on my arm. Look out town, here we come! (actually, I hate going to pubs/bars on New Year’s Eve – always seems like amateur’s night 🙂 )

    Wishing you all a peaceful, healthy and prosperous 2014.

    (thanks to the US Navy’s finest for the patch)

  8. I was just about to shut off my computer for this year, after having posted the latest update (in Italian only for today) on Etna’s activity on the INGV-Catania web site, but thought to have a look here – so I feel really really honored for the “Award” given above, and I am glad my messages have struck destination !!! I hope I can keep on giving my humble input and that we will share the experience – direct and indirect – of many fascinating, hopefully glorious but not too destructive and deadly volcanic events in the next year 🙂

    All the best to all of you from Sicily, with Etna’s lava still trickling into the last night of 2013

    • Happy new year from here too! Congrats to the Etna award and your comments!
      Sorry but Iceland “failed” miserably this year in that respect, no confirmed action but suspects are still being monitored, maybe we will catch them this year. Imagine how stressful airline owners in Europe would be, having here one eruption (on average) every two weeks!

      For those ready having 2014, or them that want see it change in advance (American viewers), here one can see Reykjavik´s fireworks. http://www.livefromiceland.is/

    • So many people waiting to drop a stone… ehm, ball… ehm… I should shut up before I have to explain this for the ladies. :mrgreen:

      • Russian Olympic event. “Synchronized Stone Passing.” It’s the day after the 3 meter vodka hurl.

        Note: If you’re Russian and can’t take a joke… I didn’t make the stereotype.

        Where I come from we actually had a tobacco spitting contest. Nasty competition for any bystanders who were too close. They had two categories. Distance and accuracy. Of course, the anti tobacco goat f’krs protested until the competition was eliminated as an annual event. It may have been replaced by a watermelon seed contest.

        And back to the Vodka topic… think about this. In the US, where Jack Daniels Whiskey is made, it is illegal to buy and sell alcohol. It’s a dry county.

  9. You know I think contrary to what has been said about Etna and Sakurajima getting the awards. Why not all of the volcanoes that went off in Eastern Russia Kamatchka(?) Wasn’t that all in within a relatively short time period where there were 3,4, 5 or 6(don’t remember the number) of volcanoes erupting simultaneously?

    Happy New year everyone. Hopefully Iceland shall fair better in 2014.

    • Well, next time I am ambling your way I will bring something from the further parts of Scotland… If I am allowed to even bring it through customs. Come think about I have never brought a bottle into the US…

    • It can be done, it just has to be declared and possibly a tax paid. The US likes money.

      Interestingly…. on a return trip fom the Caribbean, many sailors bought alcohol. This particular batch was from St Thomas, which is a US territory. The command enforced the age limits for the state we were in, and only allowed those who were of legal age to pick up their purchases which had been stored until we arrived stateside. After all the purchases were picked up, there was still a quantity of spirits (rum) left. They gave the crew an additional week to arrange to pick up what they had brought back, then it was going to be disposed of. I wound up with a gallon of Captain Morgans. “just get it out of here” I was told. So I did. It lasted about a week. I’m not a great Rum fan, but at one time it was my drink or choice, so I put it to good use rather than having it poured out. I still have a bottle of Bacardi 1873 from that ordeal. I offered to compensate whoever it was that had brought it to the states, but I never had any takers.

  10. All we need now is Harrison Ford chasing a few Nexus-6 replicants around and we have the set of Bladerunner…

    My only question… “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”

    • Psychologically, something must be going on. Now they have “Anchors Away” blaring across the speakers. Almost as if someone is drawing attention to the culture as it existed in the mid 40’s.

      Dunno how wise that is. That generation was known for not putting up with much bullshit.

      • Oscar has issues. One thing in his favor is that the initial police investigator was himself under investigation for attempted murder. That taints a lot of evidence.

        #!/usr/local/bin/perl -T

        (Enables taint checking)

        “Edit: Otherwise you become a president.”

        That’s the problem. They disabled taint checking on that process.
        And oddity for you. Farking hilarious if you ask me. The Whitehouse released a statement regarding him signing up for his signature clusterf%@k of a health care program. At the time, he was in Hawaii on yet another vacation. They stated that they had to work extra hard in getting the system to accept his signing up since he does not appear in most government data bases for identity verification. Yeah, THEY actually indicated that.

        In other rumor, Michel is livid over his flirtatious behavior with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt. (at the Mandela funeral) Body language and facial expressions point to someone being in a world of shit with the wife. This interpretation comes form years of experience as a husband, and anyone who is or has been a husband can read that image quite clearly. “Dude, you are totally screwed” comes to mind.

        You don’t publicly humiliate your wife like that and get away with it.

        “And then revenge is very good eaten cold, as the vulgar say.”

        → Memoirs of Matilda (1846)

  11. it is midday in eastern Australia, time flies, warm,cloudy and I have been working outside, there are always things to do, will have a go at trimming some dogs, I am not sure my hand will let me, can’t get IGN for another hour or so, must have something to do with being in different time zones and resets, but that is life.
    A big Solar flare M6 on the 31st 2013 and big coronal hole for some dancing Auroras around the poles Jan 2-3, other then that things are quiet on the sun, at least the climate change ‘experts’ will have some entertainment until they can get ‘rescued’ from an increasing warm climate full of ice, snow and temperature to match,

    Happy New Year to all

      • And a Happy New year from Wales – Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

        Thank you all for a wonderful year’s worth of comments, facts and information – a toast to 2014 in the Sheepy Dalek Bar – best wishes all

  12. I was standing on the balcony in my old hometown watching the fireworks when the ships in the harbour went bananas.
    It started with the 4 honking larke ice-breakers in Harbour sounding off the new year on their horns. This was answered by the navy ship in port who blasted off The Royal Swedish Port Salute with the forward gun. This inspired one of the foreign ships in port to do their countries Port Salute on the horn, this of course forced the Fleet Command Ice-breaker to answer with the Swedish Port Salute on their horn, enter next foreign ship that did not want to be worse (the port is arranged in a row of sub-ports, Port 1 with navy ship, Cement port, Victoria port (Ice-breaker fleet port), oil-port, general cargo port, Coast guard port (who also happily chimed in), and finally the Coal/Iron ore port. I lost count after 14 foreign ships bleating in turn their salutes and all of them being answered by the senior fleet Ice-breaker Thor. And now and then the Coast guard bleated. They made a ruccus for almost an hour before being done. And all the time the fireworks went on… I wonder if there is a sane dog anywhere in town right now.
    I am just happy that nobody remembered the old 22.5 cm naval guns that is still there in the harbour fort.

    Well, Happy New Year!

    • Well… remember that someone would have to have the appropriate powder charge for it. However, I have seen rednecks throw M-80s into old cannons just for shits and grins. Still a bit dangerous… one got hit by an old beer can that had been tossed into it.

      • I don’t know if that fort is entirely decommisioned, so there might actually be charges inside of it.
        It is not an old fort, it was built in the 30s as a strategic command fort for the harbour and was part of a chain of naval forts with (for that time) modern 22.5 naval guns. Inside of that fort is/was the mine net control center. So I think it is active in some form.

      • Well, if it was maintained… maybe. All the coastal batteries around here have long been abandoned, with what remains of them being under the cognizance of the National Park Service. (Ft Pickens, and the 20th century additions. The same for the Endicott batteries.

        • The main forts are de-comm. About 42 kilometers inland was the actual Fortress, containing five huge mountain forts, 11 command central class A or B bunkers, and 33 sub forts. Took 80 years to build… insane project that might be the largest fortress ever built. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boden_Fortress
          The naval forts was just extensions to that system. But I think that this particular fort is still open. They are still maintaining it quite well, and it is not filled in. So I think it is still active as a mine system controll bunker. Also across the bay is the air-base where apparantly UKViggen got his name from.
          Quite cool really that he got his “name” in my old hometown.

          • I guess F21 was where my quest of many years finally came to an end – my own Holy Grail (powered by Svenska Flygmotor)

        • Fort Pickens and the other emplacements have a … haphazard history. McRee, the fortification on the opposite side of the channel is pretty much down to it’s foundations. There are two official locations for it… on of them places it just onshore, and the other places it somewhere mid channel. The inlet has moved that far since they were built. (Pickens used to be right next to the channel) The Longshore current is responsible for that.

          Of all three, (Pickens, Barrancas, and McRee) Barrancas is the best maintained. You have to go onto Pensacola NAS to get to it though.

          In 1899 a fire got to the magazine for Bastion D at Fort Pickens and set off 3,600 kg of powder. One person was killed, and bricks from it landed over at Fort Barrancas 2.4 km away. Right now, the hole in Bastion D is the entrance into the main fortification. The rectangular stucture inside the Fort is one of the Endicott battery sites. (They used pop-up guns that were concealed behind the natural terrain. I guess an old civil war era fortification made for good cover…) (6-inch M1905 on disappearing carriages)


          Battery Cooper at Fort Pickens

          Midpoint center of the gun is 30.320548°N – 87.282457°W


          Fort Pickens

          • My mom’s cousin was at Ft. Stevens on the north Oregon coast when they got fired on
            by the Japanese sub I -25 . They could not
            get orders to fire back. The commander was
            at home in bed. No subordinate had any ability to Oder the battery to fire. Bud-mom’s
            Cousin, said “the gun crew had the disappearing guns loaded also the 12inch anti ship mortars. But one could fire.”
            Ship mortars (all of this was WW1vintage)
            may have made a very large hole in the sub,
            but no orders,no return fire. Finally the sub on
            the surface! Left through the Columbia river
            Bar and back out to sea. They changed the command structure (and commanding officer}
            after that. The I~25,I -19 and I -22 raised all
            sorts of hell on the US pacific coast in 1942.

    • Oh Carl, thank you so much for that anecdote, I even read that one to hubby and he had his first laugh of 2o14! As he has bad depression at the moment that can only be a very good thing. 😀
      Ever thought of writing comedy? You have a gift for seeing and writing things in an amusing way.

  13. New York drops the Ball for New Years. (Freudian thing?)

    Pensacola drops a Pelican. (Mirror clad Pelican Shaped thing, not a real bird.)

    Mobile Alabama drops a Moonpie of similar construction.

    Speculation, but I think Key West drops trousers.

    … and Indonesia throws mountain tops into the air…

    • I’m just sitting here watching the dogs go nuts, coaching the wife about stuff popping up on her Facebook account, and sipping a glass of rye whiskey. (though I don’t like it)… and watching the
      “Blade Runner” cam in New York City. A good friend of mine made this statement about it.

      “Lived in NY all my life. Never had the slightest urge to go into NYC for New Years.”

      Like myself, he also has a low tolerance for bullshit. In that BF1942 game footage that I posted earlier… he was the guy flying the Apache. What you didn’t catch off of that video is that he is a savant with regards to in game shoulder fired rockets. Notice that I did not close his position as he parachuted down. That’s because he could have easily popped me out of the sky. He’s that good. In my current gaming, he rides in the buggy with control of the rocket launcher. Much like squirrels, if we see an infiltrator/sniper, we have to track him down. Using the infra red mode of the launcher tends to make the little cloaked bastidges stand out like a sore thumb.

      One hilarious aspect about the game engine, is that it does not make them fully invisible. You can hear them slurping around when they engage or disengage it, and when it’s on, they shimmer like the Alien in the Predator movie franchise. So, if you are paying attention you can catch them on the move and pretty much waste their spandex wearing arse… and spandex does not offer any ballistic protection. When repairing a turret in a semi-overrun base, I typically toss a rear facing claymore behind me so that I don’t get snuck up on. I’ve popped a few like that, it’s hilarious.

      Now… yeah, it’s just a game. It’s important to realize that. But one aspect of this game is that you get to explore the intricacies of how futuristic weaponry will affect a battlefield when it comes to fruition. How would an armored and augmented exoskeleton weapons suit be used in an actual battle? With augmentation of the load carrying capability and the fitting of AAA “pom poms” (proximity bursting shells), would the “MAX” suit be able to fend off the air support of an attacking force? How about the light unguided rapid fire missiles of the “Fracture” rockets? Can you impart enough damage to make a marauding tank back off? Can the attending repair engineer keep the MAX up and running long enough for it to be effective? This evening, my party of three, acting as a squad with a few additional players, failed to take the position that we were moving on. We were forced back to the last capture point and were able to hold it against their counter attack… with only about four people on defense. Even with futuristic weaponry, the high ground is still the high ground. We could wither down their forces before they even tried to ascend the hill. I didn’t have enough fire power in my MAX suit to take out their tanks, but TheGit using his guided missile could. All I could contribute was a “Fire for Effect” tactic, flooding the area withe these small, somewhat harmful to armor, but not quite lethal projectiles that kept their repair crews from getting to the tanks.

      If I had to make an estimate of what a real world equivilance would be, it would be the same amount of damage as 5 to 10 kg HE shaped charges. Yeah, you can kill the armor with it, but you have to pound the hell out of it… and that affords him the opportunity to return fire. One direct hit and your out. So, when he fires, duck. But keep his attention on you so that the guy with the much more lethal weapon can concentrate on getting a good shot.

      Yeah, it’s just a game, but a very fun one when you get several players together and act and move as a squad… and we always stay in verbal communications with each other. It’s not “Tribes,” but its about as close as I have seen to the original game. Even more so than the “Tribes Ascend” title. In that one the fun part is messing with the other players head in what sort of tactics you can pull off. (such as sliding right into their generator room and throwing a crapload of grenades as you go right on out the other door. There are about three heavy classes in that game. (essentially, armored powered suits… but it is not Mechwarrior.)

      Bah… I’m getting wordy, and this is fully off topic, so in keeping with the Blog focus:

      Sinaburg’s eruption at FL200, equates to about 14.4 kg/s of DRE using the Mastin et al formulas. The corrected height above the edifice is about 3636 meters.

      • That Sinabung blast has got to be well above fl 140-I think
        more like fl 300. This could get nasty.
        Cold,rainy, night in Ne Oregon. Local yahoos setting off
        an assortment of illegal fire works at 7:00 pm. Springer
        under bed, ready for 12 am happy New Years to all.

        • They are calling it FL200 now. I get an error trying to get to the other report. (ADVISORY NR: 2014/1)

          VOLCANO: Sinabung 261080
          PSN: N0310 E09823
          AREA: Indonesia
          SUMMIT ELEV: 2460M

          ADVISORY NR: 2014/2
          INFO SOURCE: WEBCAM, CVGHM
          AVIATION COLOUR CODE: RED
          ERUPTION DETAILS: VA PLUME OBSERVED ON WEBCAM TO FL200.

      • It does look impressive in the webcam view, but I guess that was not a particularly huge eruption, the plume probably is a mere 1.5 km high (or even less). You will probably see many similar or even larger plumes in the next days, weeks, and months, most of them generated by collapse of parts of the growing dome into the deep ravine below, forming pyroclastic flows. The whole thing looks amazingly similar to Unzen to me, where in 1991 a lava dome began to grow at the head of a deep ravine, and all the time the side of the dome crumbled into that ravine to feed pyroclastic flows, some of them quite large (including the one that killed French volcano photographers Katia and Maurice Krafft and U.S. volcanologist Harry Glicken). Unzen never went explosive big time in the four years of its eruption (that was left to Pinatubo, a few days after the Kraffts and Glicken died at Unzen), but it produced an amazing number of pyroclastic flows.

        So there might be an Unzen scenario, with Sinabung mostly growing its dome and making dome-collapse pyroclastic flows (also known as “Merapi-type pyroclastic flows”, because most eruptions of Merapi, except for the one in 2010, quietly squeeze out lava domes that crumble and collapse to make pyroclastic flows). On the other hand, Sinabung might rather follow the Soufrière Hills example, where dome growth and collapse was interspersed with more explosive events. Finally, there is the specter of a Pinatubo-sized eruption, but that seems rather unlikely – you’d need to see some tremendous seismic activity, very vigorous ground deformation and huge amounts of SO2 emission before that, and that does not seem to be happening.

        • The photo I posted of Shiveluch way back up the thread shows a similar process to that which you describe. It looks like a big event: large plume and a p-flow of several kilometres length, but in reality was just a minor collapse of a small section of lava dome into the ravine between the dome and the caldera ridge

          • On the other hand, the problem with Shiveluch is that it is a large edifice, so pretty much everything looks small.. Not even to start about the problem with Klyuchevskoi…

  14. Back to riddle 1: The rod of Guan Yin is maybe a needle (from the legends). The needle: a volcanic basalt needle in Le Puy-en-Velay, Auvergne. “Jutting dramatically towards heaven, the rock needle has been a sacred place for thousands of years: a prehistoric dolmen was built there and the Romans dedicated it to Mercury before the Christians built a chapel to St. Michael” From: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/france/le-puy-st-michael-chapel
    Volcano: Chaîne des Puys, France.

    • Dr Morataya sent this news item from the eruption on Pacaya, so far 1 person has died, and 3 children are missing.

      • Just for everybody here (I already said this on Facebook); this is footage of the late May 2010 eruption, which ripped a huge crater out of the summit of Pacaya and carved a deep fissure into the flank; this was followed immediately by a brief flank eruption low on the southeast flank, with lava flows running through pasture land (that’s the event with the cows grazing near the lava flow) and coming very close to a village. After that major event (I repeat, that was in May-June 2010), Pacaya was quiescent for about 3 years and started erupting again more vigorously in the second half of 2013, with a new cone growing within the large 2010 summit crater, and small lava flows overspilling into the large 2010 fissure on the upper flank.

  15. And on a completely different track…
    The big news here in Sweden is that a Swede has become Man of the Year in Iceland.
    Iceland is now having the guy who made us go to the Eurocup and Football Worldcup every time as their coach. Iceland almostt made it to the Worldcup so they made him Icelander of the Year (Iceland is not often even a contender).
    Instead we got Dorkmaster 2000 and was eliminated before even Iceland was. We should have kept the dude we sent to Iceland… 😦

    My general opinion is though that Swedes suck at Football and should concentrate on beating the living daylights out of everyone in Hockey. :mrgreen:

  16. Well happy belated New Years everybody!
    Looks like my post from last night got vaulted… but that’s what I get for posting A New Years greeting in Icelandic (which seemed a great idea on my third glass of Kraken rum). (^_-)

    Anyhoo, good to see that this year started with a bang!

  17. WOOT!

    Cabbage and Black Eyed peas are on the stove!!!

    Unfortunately… no rutabagas.

    (but that’s okay, usually when my wife tries to cook rutabagas, the rutabaga wins.)

  18. Nr. 5: Spanish ghosts at Christmas – likely to be the “Santa Compaña” (“Holy Company”), a midnight procession of souls led by a living person, carrying a cross. The procession announces death. – A myth from Spanish Galicia and Asturias. However, I do not see any volcano connection yet…

  19. Clues have been appended to the two remaining Riddles!
    Now I will append a clue every now and then untill they are solved.

  20. I just spent an age looking back for the hekla sweepstake stuff – I managed to find Kilgarrah listing mine as ‘in 2014’ but I can’t find the comment where I originally wrote ‘not in 2013’ but the search feature is a bit tricky – and won’t let you search comments. Anyway I just wanted to claim my prize for the sweepstake – I think someone said it was a free trip to iceland during the eventual hekla eruption?! (ok I can’t find that comment either – possibly as I’m just wishful thinking)… happy new year everyone btw 🙂

    • Sadly I would say that is wishful thinking… As a community we do not even have an economy to buy a single cup of coffee… 🙂

    • Kilgharrah´s exact wording was: “Nearest to guess the date and time (local) of the first Hekla ‘explosion’”. Problem is, you didn´t give an exact date, you wrote “not this year”, so technically with equal likelyhood it could be any day from Jan 1st 2014 until Hekla vanishes. Stefan had August 16, 2013, so his guess could still be closer. 🙂

      • I see what you’re saying – but if Hekla erupted today my guess would be right and stefan’s would be 4 an a bit months wrong, if it erupts tomorrow same (plus one more day error for stefan) so the limit as time tends to the end of hekla is for mine to remain correct and stefan’s to tend to larger error.
        if we go to time tending to infinity (and therefore hekla never erupting again) we still get my statement correct and thus … for an infinite number of cases divided by the same number of days my mean likelyhood is 1 while stefans error tends to infinity at more or less the same speed as the rest of you who guessed a date before stefan’s (must remember to stop looking at infinite series you can mess with them and prove whatever you like).

        • In the unlikely case Hekla is extinct, all answers would be invalid 🙂
          Edit: I would suggest you can claim your win not earlier than the day Hekla erupts.
          Another edit: If Kilgharra doesn´t show up to settle the case I think the dragon´s should hold a small meeting in the den 🙂

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