Pacaya eruption Sunday March 2nd.


The Pacaya volcano erupted early Sunday, creating an ash column which reached almost 4km height. Pyroclastic flows reach 800m in height, the lava streams continues to flow and lava bombs were spawn out.
The volcano lies approximately 47km south of the capital Guatemala City but due to wind directions the ash cloud is moving away from the city. Flights have been diverted from the area and officials are considering evacuating people who live nearby.

The volcano had been on alert level yellow for a while and had been erupting, less vigorous, since january 2nd. producing a lava stream which went down the slopes over a distance of 3 km.

Ever since the authorities for civil protection had declared a yellow alert for the volcano, the protocols by Conred and other agencies had been set in action and because of the lava stream people living directly on the slopes have already been evacuated.

Terra/Modis (NASA) photo from yesterday

Terra/Modis (NASA) photo from yesterday

New video in spanish ( and i have NO clue why it is not automatically embedding itself! )

From Insivumeh (in Spanish but easy to translate) about last year’s eruptions:

Direct Google translate of today’s bulletin:

“Activity: Due to due to the eruptive phase that began at 05:15 am on yesterday and has decreased in activity, but keeping with its lava flows, leaving the western part of Mckenney Cone southbound thereof in an average of 1.200 to 1.300 long, plume that is maintained steadily between 100 and 120 meters above the active crater (2,700 m) with few expulsions fine pyroclastic material that is dispersed to the south and southwest to 600 feet away. It is determined that this effusive activity that has reduced this small eruption may continue for the next 24 or 36 hours. It is recommended to be aware of the new special bulletins.”

And from the bulletin yesterday:

“A new phase of eruptive activity is occurring in the crater of Pacaya Mackenney , from the early hours of this day, with Strombolian explosions , spewing volcanic material at a height of 100-200 meters.

From 5:15 a.m. . This activity is weak effusive eruption , observed mainly in contour washed crater and mainly in the west flank. This new effusive activity may continue in the course of the day and increase your energy , producing lava flows further away .

By the time the explosions are maintained with an altitude of 2800 meters, expelling columns of fine ash 4 miles west southwest at this time. However, these can increase your height , scattering ash columns further away .

INSIVUMEH recommends:

Á CONRED , Keep yellow alert status and pending developments continue current activity.

A CIVIL AVIATION , it is recommended to avoid flying in a radius of 5 kilometers , yet there are fine particles of ash towards west, southwest , and a height of 2800 m . the volcanic complex so you must take precautions. Also be aware of the wind direction changes .

The authorities of the Pacaya National Park, take the necessary precautions during this eruptive phase and identify the area of ​​access to tourists and not be exposed to burns or injury.”

A video supposedly from january 2010

The press is being lazy and so the following 3 articles have the exact same wording.
ABC News
The Weather Channel

Hufftington post ( in spanish) gave the best information so far.

More information:

Volcano discovery:
Volcano Live :

As most of the time with volcanoes of the spanish speaking world, it is/was not so easy to find articles which vary, do not all use the same words and give a little more than the basic information. I will update in case i find new info or in case our devoted readers come up with news. If any other dragon, maybe one who is on FB wants to add: You are welcome!


141 thoughts on “Pacaya eruption Sunday March 2nd.

  1. Continuing our Hekla conversation. I now think Hekla is at its closest as is ever was to an eruption. The earthquakes today started where they occured in last days, in southern edge of the fissure, 7km deep, then another at 4km deep in north edge of fissure, and then one located just within the mountain at very shallow depth. Something is tense within Hekla.

    And perhaps the GPS inflation is actually not noise but real one. And it could be the first time we are actually predicting an eruption with more time in advance of an eruption, more than just hours before the eruption!

    If I can say my crazy bet, I think will Hekla will probably erupt within the next few weeks (March or April). Let’s see how soon it will be. Could be this week, could be just a few weeks ahead.

    I would rather prefer an Hekla eruption tomorrow, than a war in Ukraine.

    Speaking of VC coverage, I think I am the one at the blog closest to Hekla. So I have pretty good view of it (50km away). Sadly weather will be snowy and cloudy in days ahead. Thankfully winds will be southwest, so no ash directed towards us, if she erupts in the next few days.

    When the eruption starts, I would drive to Árnes (25km away) no closer than that during the explosive initial stage, but later at the purely efusive stage (if there are no lava bombs), Burfell is quite a nice place to view it, just 5-10 km away from the volcano.

    I will certaonly provide a nice VC coverage, and perhaps this would be a nice time to meet other Icelandic VC members 🙂

    • Most of what you are saying is following along the lines of what I and Islander have said for quite some time now.
      In regards of the coverage you would find Islander there who will be working both on taking photographs for us here at VC (perhaps even arial photos) and at the same time he will be working on his documentary movie.
      Before going anywhere I would check with Islander since he has been close to Hekla previously during eruption, both on land and up in the air. In regards of safety around Hekla he is our goto guy and we are very lucky to have him around.

      • The Hekla Task Force will be live-tweeting when the show starts. And photos will be seen here.

        Live streaming is a bit less easy, needs a good cell signal and some technical setup.

    • Ok, Yes, been around Hekla a few times during eruptions.
      I think 30 km radius (upwind) be safe regarding rouge rocks (“framandsteinar” ripped loose in the eruption crack) in beginning phase, but ash (tepra), lightning-strikes and even radiant heat up close must be avoided. Tepra can damage cars and machinery, ash and gas poisining are also factors to be taken very seriously.
      Filming from far away is all I plan, going close is for the professionals. Later, when safe, one might go closer to look at running lava. Depends on weather and conditions.
      Yes, I will provide “live” updates, as much as possible, if I can get to the area.
      Large area might be closed (like was done when Eyjo started) but that was “big brother” attitude on behalf of local police, quite unneeded and out of all reality, even not letting experianced news people get close enough to report!
      Documentary is planned, shooting (tests) began last year, many aspects are unsolved, but likely one need it to erupt first, to have something to report 😉

      • Yes, only Askja is a problem, as she is in the interior.
        No internet, so might need time get images out.
        Else it mainly about gettting in visual range.

  2. I wouldn’t be at all suprised if there is some activity in Iceland … I’ve just booked a holiday there in June! It seems each time I have a holiday something happens … earthquake in Christchurch just before my trip to NZ and Japanese tsunami on the day I flew there, Etna erupting on the day I flew to Sicily, Canadian flights disrupted by Icelandic volcanic ash and eruption on Fernandina Island a few months after leaving the Galapagos. So Iceland watch out here I come!!

  3. I’m finding myself to be very tired today. Haven’t eaten much lately. And nice article, Spica. Enjoyed it.

  4. I can’t get the Ukrainian debacle out of my head.
    It seems like war can start at midnight after the Russian ultimatum. And to top it off they are now at the Finnish border.
    Late, perhaps to late our politicians have discovered that we no longer have any defence to speak about and is now competing on promising the most money to a new army.
    Since I am living close to an airforce base I can hear them launching fighter jets every hour in a air-screen.
    This is just nuts.

    • “Poland calls for NATO emergency meeting, saying it believes the Ukraine crisis is a national security threat.” – at 20:51 CET.

    • Yes, likely som fire be expelled soon, take care
      can not equal possibilities of Hekla, Katla or Putin
      Volcanoes start first I guess *not expert


      • I do not believe in any conspiracy theory except Doves (they poop on me).
        I do though believe in the enormous stupidity of the human race. We do not need to believe in conspiracies when we have so blatheringly stupid leaders.

        • “Was are started by avarice,stupidity and miscalculation,-usually a combination of all three.”
          attr. Churchill..

          • Ya know, things would have been a whole lot different if people had listened to him earlier rather than waiting for the shit to hit the fan. Neville Chamberlain should have been drawn and quartered. (in my opinion)

    • The Russia ultimatum was issue via the HQ of the Black sea fleet. So it does not stand, in order to be recognized as an military ultimatum, A Ministry\Departmental Org would need to issue it to the current Admin of the Ukraine.

      “17:04: The Russian defence ministry has apparently denied reports that Russian forces gave an ultimatum to the Ukrainian troops in Crimea (see 15:58 entry). “This is utter nonsense”, a spokesman for the Russian defence ministry told Vedomosti, a Russian broadsheet.”

      False flag on the way, anyone up to stop it?

      • Dunno. There is a crap load of spin coming off the news reports influenced by vested interests. If it doesn’t fit the narrative, it gets rewritten and twisted to paint a favorable light on it from the point of view of whoever it is that stands to benefit one way or the other.

        The last I heard was that the government that was ousted had been duely elected. Even lauded by them that get excited over such things, as such, that means it was the legitimate government even if it was pro-Russian. It wasn’t until recently that the press began to smear him as being a dictator. The icing on the cake was when Lurch (Mr I married into a god damned fortune) was denigrating him over the “lavish” furnishings of his residence… which was no more opulent than that bling fested eyesore that we call the white house. Along the same note, some reports indicate that Hugo Chavez’s daughters will not leave the presidential palace even though old baby Hugo kicked the bucket. It’s their party pad now. Actual (ex)despot vs virtual(manufactured) despot.

        BTW, Lurch was the one who was skipping out on six figure taxes by mooring his multimillion-dollar yacht in another state: Newport, R.I.

        So he’s really got room to complain…

        • The main problem though is that neither side have done a full term, all have been ousted through popular uprising.
          Let us go through them from one step to another.
          First you had Janukovitch 1, then you had the guy that Janukovitch had poisoned so that looked like a marsupial with tyfoid. Then you had Janukovitch, then Julia who was thrown in Jail by Janukovitch on trumped up charges. All of them at lest semi-legaly elected, all of them ousted from power in one way or another.
          What irks me is that as long as both sides with their backers kept to financial support and let the Ukrainians do it their way all was fine in a way. But upping it with an army like Putin has, well, that is taking it to far really.

          • That is if he really put the army there. That’s also a point for conjecture. I can see him dispatching forces to guard bases and quell idiots messing with the airports, but does he really have feet on the ground?

      • Dunno, the USS Taylor was aground in Samsun Turkey not too long ago.

        And, as I predicted, the Skipper was relieved of command. Even if the harbor pilot drove it there, the CO has ultimate responsibility.

  5. Thank you Spica for a good “quick off the mark” post 🙂 The political situation in the Ukraine brings to mind the invasion of Hungry and the Cuba crisis ,although the latter was for me, distinctly more scary. Maybe the cold war is returning 😦 and likely to warm up. 😦
    The Hungarian invasion sent my well loved Daughter – in – Law’s father seeking refuge in England. Here he met her Mother and so I now have a beautiful daughter – in -Law , the sweetest granddaughter and in June a new little Granddaughter to get to know 🙂 There can be some small positives that come from the nightmare of war.

    • I hope cooler heads will prevail in the end. Even though I do not have high hope.
      In the end I am happy to have Finland between me and Russia today. I think that even Putin would be thinking both two and three times before messing with them.
      I am reminded of my childhood, back then I was used to have a full third of the Soviet army within a few hundred kilometers distance, once again we have that third within that same distance.
      What might not have been fully broadcast in the international news is that Putin has sent 1/3 of his army on an “excercise” next to the Finnish border. That is most likely why the airforce are up flying around the clock as a part of the joint air shield. I would not be surprised if they are flying over Finland today. At least we have an airforce, and this might be the time when we will have to rely on “a few brave men” to keep us free.

      • Then if staying free is important your (country) would be wise to keep a careful distance from the USSA our central planned gov spent over 5 billion on “promoting democracy in Ukraine

        • We will never be left out of it for rather historical reasons. Putin forgets slowly, so slowly that he goes by things that happened a thousand years ago when a few rather dimwhitted Vikings got into their hands to a start a country called Rusland (Russia) and build a capital in what is today better known as Kiev.
          After that we spend around 800 years waring with a country we founded.
          The Russians do not particularly like us, and the Ukrainians do. And I suspect that a rather large part of what is happening now is our fault. On the other hand I am all for poking Putin in the ass, I just wish we had not neglected all of our defence except the airforce.
          I still do not think there will be a shooting war over this, but the next time there will. And by that time we will be better prepared for it. Sorry for my bleak view on things.

        • TELAR…. that’s sort of an important word. Spent several months of my life compiling intercepts along a non-descript section of coastline, partly out of boredom, partly out of paranoia, just to see what sort of activity there was normal. TELARs were my greatest concern. Anytime they were reported to be out and about, I got all freaky in my data compilation. Even got an award for my paranoia because my “database” was a handy bit-o-data for people that followed on afterwards.

          The Americans are not responsible for their own words. It is no secret that in recent years, the U.S. created a buffer zone around Russia, involving in this process not only the countries of Central Europe, but also the Baltic states, Ukraine and the Caucasus. The only response to this could be an asymmetric expansion of the Russian military presence abroad, particularly in Cuba. In Cuba, there are convenient bays for our reconnaissance and warships, a network of the so-called “jump airfields.” With the full consent of the Cuban leadership, on May 11 of this year, our country has not only resumed work in the electronic center of Lourdes, but also placed the latest mobile strategic nuclear missiles “Oak” on the island. They did not want to do it the amicable way, now let them deal with this,” Putin said.

          My concern is that Twit Wonder keeps trying to mimic seemingly significant events of the US presidency, but our incompetent buffoon could screw up and get somebody killed. Poker is just not his thing. I don’t think he could survive on his wits alone, let alone cook a batch of fries at a fast food restaurant without burning his hands.

          • So Putin had to go and do what Crustchev couldn’t do did he?
            I am feeling less and less sorry for stealing his (back then) new radar-system from under his nose. Kind of liberating to know that one was one of the last to give him an atomic wedgie.
            In the end I just hope that we are ready for when he goes for the Baltic states. For the time being I am more and more happy that the Finns gave their hockey team an atomic wedgie on their home turf. I wonder if he is so psycho that the game might be the reason for him scheduling a large military manouver at the Finnish border. Probably a mistake on a Stalin level of things. He lost a third of his army that way.

            • Not really that difficult if you are using a Roro. Moor, set up the ramp and motor off down the road in the TELAR. If the perverts at the NSA had been doing their job rather than checking out the latest self produced porn pics on Faceblerk or Twitjerk, they may have been able to get something going to stop it.

              Today, while I was waiting for the 3 idjits of the helpdesk to do something useful, I sat there pondering that intermediate ballistic missile thing. Ticonderoga class CGs can pick off the missiles in boost phase, but the Idiot in Chief would never lift a finger to protect the US. He’s too busy pandering and fund-raising. Occasionally taking a break to cut US military forces or to prosecute a General for having a beer.

  6. Just a tiny note, the fifth image in the article (right below the lava flow video) shows Santiaguito (seen from the summit of Santa Maria), not Pacaya 😉
    Best from Etna (in continuous mild eruption since 40 days but hidden in clouds tonight)

  7. One thing to remember is Hekla is already inflated. After the 2000 eruption, inflation began and in 2005 or 2006 she was back the the levels she was at before the 2000 eruption, so we now have ten years of extra inflation, we may not see much of GPS meters.

    • The same seems to have been the pattern between 1991 eruption and 2000 eruption. Steady inflation untill “boom” with no sudden rush. This might though not be true this time since we have GPSes closer to the mountain.
      But, I do not expext any large movement detectable before an eruption, and if there was any rapid inflation before the mountain opens up it would probably happen in between data-points.

  8. Nice one Spica! Glad to see you guys are all on the ball. I’ve been kind of busy lately (for all the right reasons).
    On other news, when you read this:
    “At an emergency meeting in Brussels the foreign ministers of Germany, France, Italy and Spain resisted calls for trade sanctions, instead limiting discussion to freezing long-running talks with Russia on visa liberalisation that would have made it easier for Russians to visit Europe.”
    it becomes pretty clear that we are a LOOOOOOONG way away from WWIII. I imagine Merkel told Putin on the phone she had no problem with him taking Crimea but in return he has to surrender the rest of the Ukraine to independence whereupon Putin said thank you very much I was going to take it anyway.
    He’s not stupid. Russia needs Europe as a customer as much as Europe needs Russia as a supplier. Now he looks like a big strong man at home (so he anchors his power base even more), Russia wins Crimea (which is actually Russian in all but name anyway after the Soviets ethnically cleansed it – twice before Kruschev passed it to the Ukraine in one of his many moments of craziness) and the EU gets to pay billions in aid to the Ukraine, which then go straight to Gazprom to pay off their debt. Win win situation.

    /OT rant.. just a few thoughts. Hope to get back to volcanoes sometime.

    • Totally agree with you Bruce. Remember the Cuba missile problem, The USA removed nukes from Turkey as apart of the agreement.

      The build up in Hekla happen last year too, spring time is fun time. We will see what happens?

  9. Islander: I was quite delighted to know you are such an experienced with Hekla eruptions and prepared to do the coverage for the next one, even aerial shooting!

    You spoke 30km radius upwind. What about radius downwind?
    How far does pumice gravel sized 1cm falls upwind and downwind in recent Hekla eruptions? And what about lava bombs, sized like 10cm or more? How about lightning? How further away can it get?

    • I was prepared such. Do not overdo things here. No need for that. You have been informed how things have been arranged.
      No need answer some of these questions, that can not be “precisely” as (they) depend on several outside factors, mostly type of weather, eruption strength and type.
      That is part of eruption research, not our business.
      Are you unfamilar with eruptions?
      For most parts I have avoided having them have better of me.
      And it will stay such.
      Common sense does answer most, but common sense is rather uncommon, some say. Have you ever been very close to a Lightning, or have one crossing the air horizontally in front of you? Mostly these strike from areas (abowe), the sky affected by the eruption (tepra, ashfall, eruption column etc. but can travel horizontally for miles). I have seen such. Better be well gounded (by earth structures or other grounded local objects) and not stay prominently exposed on a hilltop with tripod and camera. Only begs for troble.
      Do you know the difference of “lava bomb” and “framandsteinn”?
      Well, likely does not matter, as 10 cm of each can (will) kill you, unless you are well armored. Hard hats are good assets.
      “Prevailing winds(direction) and eruption intensity, and column height” is answer how most 1 cm tephra/stones, 0,9 cm tephra/stones, and 0,8 cm tephra/stones etc. But you must also consider winds high up, at all altitudes really, there might be several changes in wind-direction depending on altitude. So “Downwind” could be in many directions, and place nobody wants to be at.
      Please have “masks” ready and use in areas of fine ash.
      If you need a proper gas mask you are way too close.
      Heat really affects you close by. Radiant heat can melt your (plastic) clothes
      or you can suffer burns on skin, thrugh these, if going too close.
      But you likely are planning stay well clear, Right?
      Less likely at Hekla is acid(rain), but probably could happen if circumstances are right.
      I think this be enough.

      • Hey, Takk 🙂
        I have seen Eyjafjallajokull from distance, and from an airplane. After the eruption I hiked to the Fimmvorduhals site, where lava was still hot enough to melt the rubber of my boots.
        And Grimsvotn 2011, I started seeing it at our place, then we drove to Kirkjubaerklustur, 60km downwind, where there was a volcanic night, and heavy ash fall. Obviously a mask was necessary (and sunglasses were helping too). So, my experience so far is only with ash.

        I assume that going to Árnes or Hella, if people are not downwind during an Hekla’s a nice spot to see it. Unless its an eruption VEI4+ or bigger. Probably better to be careful during first few hours. If we are downwind, then I will stay at my home and deal with the falling gravel.

    • Interesting to follow this discussion – it must be a strange feeling to live close to a volcano which can erupt any time. I think it is good to emphasize that volcanic eruptions are dangerous and that a lot of precautions have to be considered. A sudden change of wind direction can easily turn a safe spot for watching in a dangerous nightmare within a few minutes.
      Does anyone know how noisy Hekla’s eruptions are? I assume it starts with a loud “boom” which can be heard in a radius of at least 30 km’s.
      Can you actually see the mountain from your house or “only” the eruption column? (I guess only the latter)

      • Thanks. I do see several volcanoes from my house – and on all reasonable clear days will see eruption columns as far away as Grimsvötn.
        Have seen Hekla, Eyjo and others over the years, both near and from far away. Both day and night, from air or the ground. Hekla is noisy!
        The plan, how, when, where and such is confidential and can be subject to changes and or eventual develoments. Only Carl here at VC is in the know – and if others like get (feed) from us, for licencing or publication – contact via the VC email.
        Also its planned Junior can edit photos and reports direct to VC, saving Dragon time and shorten time image(s) can appear.
        Currently getting an C-300 here for video is beeing considered.

  10. AS it should be some time before Russian tanks make it onto Skye (assuming the bridge is strong enough) I’m more interested to know what effect an eruption of Hekla could have on us here in NW Scotland. What’s the worst case scenario? Should we be getting in extra food for our hens (see and Highland Poultry Adoption on Facebook if you dare)?

    • I would probably eat the hens… But otherwise I would do very little.
      An Hekla eruption would be no worse than Eyjafjallajökull or Grimsvötn 2011. I would suspect it to be a small but very furious VEI-4 when it happens. I would though like to point out that it is far from certain that something will happen this spring.

      • Oh, something will definitely happen. It will get warm and all the alarmists will come out saying that it’s “unprecedented” or “worse than we thought.”

        • I think they might go as far as “End of the world” and “Global climate and magnetic shift” :mrgreen:

          • Magnetic shit, definitely, dunno about the end of the world, that might have to be due to some sort of collapse. This doesn’t rule out the Goricle having a prolapsed pupillary sphincter.

        • Oh, and we should not forget that someone will start talking about Iceland Verneshooting to Mars like a giant Frisbee. :mrgreen:

          • They might have a problem with the needed kinetic energy. I’ve been reading up on the kinetic energy side of things and the depth of dissolution may be a curtailing factor in generating the requisite energy impulse.

            I saw a rather cool video about the Castle Bravo “Fk up” that nearly killed the test crew. The fusile section was made up of about 30% Li-6 and the rest was Li-7. The Li-6 was supposed to be the fusile material and they seemed to neglect how easily Li-7 could loose a neutron. Doing that it became Li-6 and effectively tripled the reaction mass. It went from being a designed 5 Mt device to an actual 15 Mt yield. Needless to say, it singed the control bunker.

            The fallout from that and the inadvertant location of the Daigo Fukuryū Maru (Lucky Dragon 5) brought the inherent nastiness of nuclear weapons to a wider public audience.

  11. It’s not often I am computer literate at 2.23 in the morning. Thanks to my two Long Dogs (Lurchers) , Poppy the 5 month old puppy who is already larger than a medium dog as shown of dog food boxes, and trusty Meg, I have had a trip out onto the decking to view the almost cloudless sky and the covering of frost. The dogs now relieved, are curled up on their beds….I am wide awake and in VC :D. In future I will allow husband to go to bed first and I will take control of the dog’s usual toilet needs and bedding down rituals before I go to bed as I usually do. Being woken like this has not happened for some time nor has me going to bed early. I therefore feel I have scientific proof that there is some positive correlation with these events and Husband going to bed and locking up last.
    I fully realise this is possibly a positive negative on his behalf, rather like his inability to fully control the washing machine and laundry sorting, yet is amazingly adept at dismantling a motor vehicle engine and enabling the dishwasher to clean the said engine parts.
    Diplomacy and talking, give and take on both sides, keeps our marriage on track and very unlikely to turn into a war zone which would be emotionally & financially damaging to both of us. I certainly do not think WW lll is imminent. But a little sabre rattling and the odd skirmish keeps everyone on their toes. Complacency is not a productive tactic.
    I have had a fear of nuclear war since the real threats in my early years made it close and possible. I pray no country ever use these weapons again.
    I prefer to have to deal with nature’s volcanic bombs and ash clouds. They have been written into the natural cycle of events.

    • PS. I wonder what would happen if my streamlined and very fast Long Dogs met up with Lurking’s brainiac Dogs 😀 😀

      • Braniac? My dogs? Not hardly. The Tooth monster only responds due to the consistency of my commands. My wife can tell him the same thing and he will just stand there and slobber, wagging his tail because he knows he is being talked to. Hell, he was chasing the ball the other day and ran slap into an oak tree, despite seeing it at the last minute and trying to avoid it. In essence, he body checked the tree.

        The one dog that I had that I concidered “smart” (as dogs go) was an “American Eskimo.” Beautiful dog, hyperactive to a flaw. I called him into the house in Jersey, and he came tearing ass in the door, hit the hard wood floor and slid, still full speed, into the book case. He yelped and ran upstairs. That may have been the cause of the brain tumor that he later developed…. or it was the Chinese manufactured dog food.

        The two current rat dogs are Father and Son. One is Pekingese and the other is part Chihuahua. The part Chihuahua is as ugly as sin. Imagine something not much heavier built than a Chihuahua, same coat, and the squashed in face of a Pekingese. He somewhat resembles a bat in the face. They are both genuine cowards, but if I were that small I would be a bit apprehensive as well. They are fast to alert, and the Tooth monster will trigger off of that. If I’m sitting outside, the part Chihuahua will actually hunt and catch flies. I think he actually enjoys it, but I think he picked it up from the cats he used to live with, because he is a red bug fanatic. (laser pointer). He even got the Tooth Monster into chasing the red bug, which is quite funny to watch. Tooth Monster will actually track the dot across the ceiling and charge from one end of the house to the other to get it. With his mass, you have to be careful that no one is in the way because he will take your legs out from underneath to to get past.

        BTW, me being the asshole that I am, call the Tooth Monster “Jake.” His given name is “Baxter” but I didn’t like it. I am a believer that a dog name should be something that you can shout at the top of your lungs and not look or feel silly. The American Eskimo was named Sebastian by my daughter, I just called him “Sparky” from his lively demeanor. We had a FireControlman on one of my ships with that as a nickname, though when he got lively, sparks were usually involved.

        The part Chihuahua I call “Pooter” because that is my first experience with him. It doesn’t have to be yelled because he won’t wander too far away from you. Done in a sing-song voice, he will come scampering because that means treat. “Toby,” the Pekingese is just plain insolent. You can call him all day long and he will just ignore you. He is the oldest dog and tends to just do his own thing. You have to keep an eye on him because he likes to escape. About the only think that livens him up is when my stepson comes over. (it’s his dog after all, but his apartment doesn’t allow pets.)

        • Thank you Lurking. I feel I now understand your occasional rants against your canine lodgers 😀 Funny how whatever the breed or misbreed they become an integral part of our lives. I thank my two for getting me off my backside and away from the PC. I have lost an amazing amount of excess blubber because I now HAVE to walk and exercise. Better still I now have an excuse, on a sunny morning, to potter in our limited countryside and enjoy the Coltsfoots and Pussy willows, the first signs of Spring 🙂
          I am so pleased we don’t have Mountain Lions, skunks or porcupines. We do have small Roe deer and a pair of Muntjacs locally, rabbits and squirrels are about the most encountered animals. tgmccoy you live in a lovely corner of the world but I am pleased we don’t have to worry about out canine friends at night.

        • The American Eskimo (Sparky) became quite close over time… even to the point where I didn’t kill him when he connected when he snapped out at me. He instantly knew that he had done something bad and cowed since he just knew that a return strike was coming. When it didn’t happen he was a bit perplexed. I gave him a stern “Bad dog” and left it at that. (he didn’t draw blood) He then retreated to his safe zone. (always give them an “out” to a place where they can feel secure)

          In later years when he developed seizures, I would have to leap out of bed and tackle him, holding him still until it passed so that he wouldn’t run into anything and suffer additional injury. The onset of the seizures typically resulted in him running as fast as he could from what ever it was that was coming on. It was horrible seeing him in such frightened misery. Eventually it was too much to keep him sedated (diazepam) so we had him put down. The diazepam had become of little use. Good Lord I hated having to do that.

          • My old dog also had seizures and I went through the same hell with her in the last month of her life. In the end she would snap at me and the puppy – she was such a sweet dog before the seizures started and I knew it was fear that made her do it. As she was so small she did no damage. I wish I had asked for her to be put to sleep when she first became ill, but I kept hoping she would get better. If there’s a next time I’ll ask the vet to tell me honestly and truly what’s going on and I hope I’ll have the strength of mind to do the right thing. My other dogs have died in their own time and that was the only time I had to make the decision.

            The puppy is now six and going strong!

            • Yeah, I hear ya. The loss of a good dog is essentially the loss of your best friend. Despite overwhelming odds and great personal danger, they are usually the ones that you can count on to come to your aid in the middle of a fracas. How many so call human “friends” would just sit there and watch you get your ass beat? No, a dog is loyal to the end.

              If you are emotionally distraught, the dog is there to give you company, and is usually reflective of your mental state. Always there to say “Hey buddy, I’m here for ya, it’s not so bad. You can get through this.”

              Or… “RUN!!! IT”S COMING!”

    • Ah the ritual of Dog. My springer goes out before Wife and i go to bed. He’s usually asleep before we are anyway. He’s on the largish side of Springer but no Rott. Anyway we have these two Corgis across the street. who will alert on anything Deer, Turkeys, Mountain Lions. (Yes they
      are quite common as we are only 1/4 mile from the Mountains surrounding the valley.) So we tend to pay attention they never get off the Deck. and we never let Rollie out without gong out first or with him if it is after dark. but that is rare, Never in the middle of the night. He got nailed by a Skunk once, Never again. Nice spring-like evening here (9:00 pm PST). Little waxing crescent
      moon going down over table Mountain-the place where the Lions live… Heard frogs for the first time this year!!!.
      We can still get nailed but it is getting less and less likely to stay around…Love spring…

      • Speaking of frogs.

        In the more modern FPS games, the designers try to recreate the audio ambiance of the setting. Sometimes they get it wrong, sometimes they make it unnerving. In one map of a BF2 series game, everyone is fighting in a canyon and it’s pretty tight and difficult to move from one end to the other without encountering opposition forces. The snowy mountainous environment has wolves in it’s audio environment. On more than one occasion, a relatively new player will go wandering off to try and find the source of the wolf sounds…. AK-47 or RPG in hand. Usually they walk out of bounds or get picked off by the enemy.

        In Planetside2, the setting is a futuristic combat. The Terran Republic has to deal with humans who have fully adopted alien technology (the Vanu) and a third faction (New Republic) who use whatever works. In the middle of a stark and rocky desert terrain (Indar) my partner and I were trying to weasel out a sniper that had been taking pot shots at us. As we were cresting a hill, I distinctly heard a frog. In a desert biome, with not water around. TheGit (the guy I was with) noted that he has heard trees that have a whir and metallic clank when you walk near them.

        In another game that focuses on building stuff, Minecraft, I had excavated a huge chamber under the hilltop fortification that we had hastily built to protect us from the nightime critters. (creepers, skeletons, zombies etc) Over time the place had become more of a castle than anything else, complete with lava moat. Anyway, I built an automated “trap” that bombarded you with chicken eggs if you tripped it. In Minecraft, any thrown chicken egg has a probability of generating a chicken when it hits a solid object. Due to the high rate of fire of my chicken trap, the end result were scores of A/I chickens wandering about clucking at you.

        On the subterranean rail line that we had built to connect all of our build areas, for a while, there was a zombie stuck in a mine cart making the circuit, along with a pig and a cow. I never could figure out how to get a creeper into one though. They just hiss and blow up if you get too close to them. I probably could have done it if I had reworked my northern facility, it started off as an experiment with a large number of TNT boxes arranged into a diamond structure. When I set if off, 3/4 of us crashed out of the game due to the large number of particles flying about. I later built into the hole that it made and had hours of fun messing around with it. I even managed to get a spur from our rail line run out to it, though it took hours of excavating to do so. When blasting, you occasionally hit magma pockets that can mess up your work or kill your character. Tossing water on it turns it into rock, and if it’s non flowing, “obsidian.” In the game mechanics, obsidian is impervious to TNT, so any that you make has to be chipped out. (which takes forever). But, you can make a portal with the obsidian that takes you to the netherworld. A place similar to a stylized hell with nothing but lava, netherrack (a type of stone), gasps (huge flying jellyfish like creatures that spit fireballs at you if they see you, which can destroy the netherrack and leave you standing on a precipice over the lava.) and pigmen. Innocuous creatures that just wander about grunting… unless you hit one, then they all swarm you and flail at you with swords until you die. That game has changed a bit since I last played it. One of the things that “Notch” (the developer) has added are Snow and iron goloms. They can be made with certain arrangements of the materials. For the most part they are benign AIs that don’t like the other AIs and will attack them on sight. I liked setting up the Snow golems against the skeletons. The skeletons can be quite humorus. If you get enough of them into a somewhat confined area, then pop one so that he attacks, if he hits another skeleton they get into a free for all gang fight against each other. (with bow and arrows).

      • you’re not alone !
        I notice the nice colors of the local mancha. “La culture volcan” just speaks about the small blue lake and its evolution. I wonder at the small gulf open to the sea (on the right bottom) and its colors. I find the change from blue to marroon may be due to iron oxydation (iron II is greenish and iron III is rusty in color). But that leaves the strong blue color – probably very acidic too. Or maybe it’s silica I think I remember Nogami saying about El Hierro that blue was for silica rich solution and yellow/brown was due to aluminium….

        • What I am hoping for is that the lava flows will create a natural bay or harbour that ships can dock in. That way I could sail to the place later on 🙂
          I am also impressed with the speed it has gone from shield building to what looks like a miniature proto-stratovolcano.

          • yup it is true that the lava supply does not seem to abate. Plus there are 2 vents. I think you’ll get your mini harbour soon plus maybe a black sand beach for sunbathing….. 😀

            • Perfect!
              Then we just need to install a couple of solar energy panels and a beer fridge and we have our own volcanic resort. 🙂

            • and a desalinator. This part I can manage.I like beer, but not all the time !
              Then we can build a small schack and lo ! here is a new resort island for volcanophiliacs ! sort of a concept we have there. The only thing is the negociation part with the Japanese for the lease of the island….

            • Just make sure the desalinator also desulphuriate the water 🙂
              I think that the Japanese would let us be there as long as we are not chinese.

            • Actually sulfate (SO4) ions have a very good rejection (over 99.5%). But I would avoid aluminium salts as Al is a real poison to the reverse osmosis membranes (the output drops a lot). So you need to have a clean intake…..then I do not know under which form (ionic or precipitate) you would find the minerals. But as there could be plenty of other components (heavy metals, acids, dissolved gases) I would put my intake as far as possible from the mancha. Gases go right thru RO membranes (rejection is 0 as for all gases, O2, CO2, you name it) so for instance I would not like to have some HF or H2S in my drinking water…..

            • Well, you are the expert, so you will be in charge of drinking water.
              I guess we could forgo showers to not tax the fresh water system. 🙂

            • graphene filter that only lets water through I gather (they say it’s good for distilling – but perhaps you could use it to make drinking water at a push?)

          • Hi Edward

            The graphene sure looks like an interesting new development.

            However I don’t think it will be a revolution.

            Membrane flux is a direct function of pressure and is mainly used to push against the natural osmosis pressure (hence the name for reverse osmosis), which itself is the consequence of the water being salty.

            The thickness of the membrane is a (minor) parameter, but of course the thinner the membrane the lower is the pressure needed to get thru. That ‘s precisely what the manufacturers of RO membranes have been doing the last 30 years.

            Also the main problem with RO (or ater with graphene) is that you block nearly everything including bacterias, dirt, silt, you name it. So, in real life, the problems you get are mainly due to biofouling of the membranes or scaling because you concentrate the minerals on one side of the membrane.
            Note that membrane systems are a way much economical on the energy part process because there is no distillation (aka change of phase) which is very costly in therms of needed energy (enthalpy of vaporisation).
            So from my point of vue, if they manage to get a working and cheap material it will only change marginally the equation. At this very moment a RO module producing about 1000 l per hr “pure” water at 80 bars form seawater cost around 400 US$ and wil last around 3 to 5 years. More problably we will see this material first in the purification field before getting water from it.

            • Graphene has become a trendword. It is a good material in a few examples, especially where the electric charge is important, or you want to make something really thin. Problem is strength. It is far from the strongest of materials.
              I do though bet that seem maniac fly fisher will soon pay a gazillion for a Graphene rod. Not because it is better (it would suck), but because they are all crazy and are prepaired to pay anything to be ontop of their other crazy friends.

    • Still the normal looks of a strainmeter booting up after having been down. Nothing out of the ordinary.

  12. Sort of an answer to Lurking way up ahead…

    It is my experience that the higher up the food chain an officer has climbed, the more likely he is to have grown nicer traits. The worst ones are always captains followed by majors. After they become colonels or higher they tend to be nicer to the lowly green ones.
    By accident I discovered that the higher officers used to take a sauna on friday afternoons and that they would happily stand a minimum paid grunt a beer or five. Next I discovered that a sauna after a few beers is a far better place to ask for leave of duty compared to asking your arsehole of a captain.
    The sauna thing though missfired and I got carted off to specialist training and later on War School. I fully blame the beer for me becoming a Major Arsehole. Becoming a Major Arsehole is also accidentaly where I discovered why most company captains are Arseholes, you need to be one to get a bunch of 18 year olds high on hormones to do anything except eating, sleeping and thinking about humanoids that they want to boink. My experience is that an 18 year old wearing fatigues would boink anything that slightly resemblas a vertebrate.
    Just as a cruel joke on them someone had placed a nurse school across the road. For some reason a student at a nurse school is violently allergic to young men in green clothes, most likely since they are becoming nurses to bag a doctor at a hospital. This of course upsets the hormonal 18 year old so much that they fall asleep after overeating. Rinse repeat.

  13. IMO shows now a M 3.4 at 10 km depth very near to Jan Mayen Island. Perhaps Beerenberg will put up a show before Hekla does.

      • Not an expert, but it does fit quite nicely in the range that her typical repose periods last. It may seem odd, but on the grand scale of things, it’s not that big of a deal.

      • One should always remember that Hekla has only been a frequent erupter for 44 years. Before that she erupted about every 60 years for a thousand years. Before the it was once every 500 years. 14 years is most likely well within the normal parameters for Hekla.

    • Wonder if not the Norwegian National Gris of seismos might have a unit or two on Jan Mayen that we could check.

    • That earthquake seems to be outside the fissure and is probably tectonic activity in the “Sprungur” closest to Hekla. Hard to know if that is pressure release or normal activity.
      There is really nothing to do right now. Just to sit and wait if there will be more activity.
      I would though like to say that every hour without any clear signals is most likely due to Hekla not going off right now.

        • I am still in for Grimsvötn as the most likely too. But Hekla is a close runner up and I would not rule out Askja/Herdubreid either. Or something else completely. This is after all Iceland 🙂

          • Well, with not so professional math, 2016-2018 would be realistic Grimsvotn eruption time frame w/normal inflation I believe. Maybe early 2019.

            • Somwhere then should be the point of eruption. But it is just a statistical guess. I am more in favour of looking at the cumulative seimic moment. And so far that have not ramped up that much.

            • I predict Grimsvotn either late 2014 or in 2015. Grimsvotn is known to erupt every 2 or 3 years when at its most active. Just check its eruption history. Grimsvotn is also known to go for decades without erupting, and then return to active mode without a big one. I think basing predictions in seismic cumulative data or GPS data is not very reliable way of predicting it. Most likely, and due to increased hotspot activity we will see a new fissure eruption in very soon, but outside of the caldera this time, probably more southwestwards.

              Hekla on the other hand, so far, has nearly always had a clear correlation between dormancy time and how strong the eruption after that (does not mean it cannot do a black swan event). So far, it was having fairly big eruptions very few centuries until near the settlement period, then erupted VEI4 eruptions about every 60 years (but not very regular), then after a dormancy period of 100 years, it erupted another bigger one and remained erupting later VEI3 every 10-ish years. It could well change the pattern one of these days. Most likely, back to previous mode (every 60 years or so), or even do something completely different.

      • Like most women, she is playing it for effect.

        Nothing misogynistic here. When you have a talent for maintaining attention, you play to your strengths. Hekla is still a hot topic despite the fact that other eruptions have come and gone.

    • Tomorrow we should be able to see if there is a clear signal on the GPSes.

      I just recognized that I was probably the first person ever to say that after noticing earthquakes at Hekla :mrgreen:

          • I am just pointing out that we have seen GPS motions like this previously at Hekla without anything happening. I think we will need a few more days before we can say anything for sure about the PGS motion.

            I know, I am boring 🙂

            • Nah, just boring 😉
              In a way I am thinking of if we are not missing out some clues.
              We possibly have smell, that may be other sources, do not know of any ground water level changes, no gas measurements or if local animals have changed behavour …

            • I have first noticed the GPS data of Hekla last Sunday. I think it is still unconclusive, but it is resembling the same sort of events as last March (2013). Small GPS motions, ocasional earthquakes. Perhaps they will launch an alert when data becomes more conclusive.

              Like islander said, the only thing missing is the borehole/strain data. It hasn’t shown anything yet. No transient events. Nothing so far.

              But the earthquakes are clear. The GPS might be just like year. And the smell event of last Sunday might have been a third sign (but this one was even a less reliable thing).

              I am still sticking to it: Hekla will most likely erupt between now and May.

              I did a curve of all past eruption history of Hekla. It shows a rather gausian distribution (no reason why it shows that) of a peak of eruption frequency around March, April and May.

              Even these unrest events seem to fall into the same tendency.
              It is just like Katla, that shows seasonal earthquake activity in summer to autumn, and also the distribution of its eruptions fall more frequency in those months.

              No idea why both Hekla and Katla seem to have these seasonal trends.
              Data is still small to be very conclusive, but the trend seems to be there.
              And I have no explaination whatsoever for them.

            • I have been down the road of distribution of eruption time myself and nothing happened. Yes, there is an increased likelyhood of Hekla erupting between decembar and may, but at which year?

      • Here is my view. Non-expert opinion :mrgreen:
        There was three (or more) Microseisms at Hekla today, again. Similar number as yesterday (but the one 10 km V of Hekla may not be raleted, as its located within SIFZ). I think conditions now be so near, that the Lo-Pressure Weather System approaching may trigger more, but as March last year, it may not.
        But as forcast is for snowing later tonight, this might make stake-out futile.

  14. In this 3D plot you can see Hekla´s seismicity from 1990 until today (color from cold to warm). The earthquakes leading up to the 1991 and 2000 eruptions are in blue and violet, respectively. The last three earthquakes (3. and 4. March) pop up for a moment to highlight their location. Otherwise size is proportional to ML. Current ones are pretty small still. The height axis is compressed twice to get the Moho into view. If you want a better resolution, please view directly at youtube.

    • Nice plot. Some of the quakes in the Southeast belong to Vatnafjöll. But those are hard to edit out. 🙂

      • Thanks! Next time the frame could be shifted to leave them out. But then, they also provide some reference.

    • Well it’s pretty neatly centered in the bulk and under the structure. However the magnitude seems small compared to the previous events.

      • Yes, they are small. In a real event I am expecting something in the realm of M2+ at depth of 2 to 4 km.

      • Instrument bias may play a role, who knows whether the small events slipped through analysis the last times.

        • I think the cut off value was around 0.7 as the 2000 eruption happened and around M1.2 at 1991. Now it is well below M0… It says quite a lot about how much the technology has changed during the last 23 years.
          But the biggest difference this time around is something that we have not yet seen, and that is the amount of earthquakes that will be visible during the eruption itself. In 1991 almost all earthquake activity was drowned out and in 2000 only half of the believed earthquakes was possible to extract out of the data and that extraction took months of hard manual work. Next time around most earthquakes will be possible to pinpoint within hours as long as the majority of the network stays intact or is functioning during onset of eruption.

          • In the past I have used the venerable cheeseburger as an illustrating point for just how little energy is in the smaller quakes. This is a bit distracting since it uses the caloric (chemical) energy of the burger for comparison, and that tends to be extracted over a period of time.

            a Mag 0.7 or 0.8 quake is about like a 2300 kg object hitting something at 112 kph if you wish to stick with kinetic energy examples.


    I was looking at GPS data today and noticed that Grimsvotn had something happening this last January that never happened except immediately after eruptions: notorious deflation. It deflated quite a lot on the 24th and 25th January 2014.

    It deflated 6cm just on those two days, permanently (and definitively it was not noise, as event also showed a south motion component of a 4 cms, and east motion of 2cm. Compare to 20cm deflation, 27 cm north, 16cm west, after 2011 eruption.

    This was 5 days after a glacial flood from th nearby cauldrons. On that day, I know that at least one earthquake happened towards the southwest of Grimsvotn and a deep one.

    Interesting no?

    Perhaps a minor subglacial lava eruption was happening during that week.

  16. This is an animation of Sinabung from last September until yesterday shows some Badangeo webcam screenshots with relatively clear view. Some trees disappear, I guess to provide line of sight to the pyroclastic flows. Later on one can see the lava tongue grow steadily.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

  17. Hi

    This is a visualisation of the earthquakes under El Hierro prior to the 10/2011 eruption.
    IGN has released a set of corrected earthquakes positions, using a new algorithm and presented the results recently. (Thanks for Schteve for pointing this out).

    I wanted to do an animation to show the evolution of the quakes position versus time with this new data.

    It’s a first try (I redid the Octave code from nearly scratch) so please be indulgent and do comment if you see something which could be ameliorated.

    There are 4 parts to the video which correspond to view angles.

    Each part is subdivised into 2 subparts where you find a day to day plot and then a cumulated plot view (with the new plots being added).

    First part is view from the North, second part is a view from the East, then there is a South east view and finally a view from the top.

    Some locations are shown, but I will try to better that for the next plots.

    The title bar show the day date or the date span.
    Dot size is proportional to event magnitude.
    The colorbar on the left side give the date color. On the right it shows terrain elevation.

    Data is courtesy fo IGN, NOAA, made on Gnu Octave 3.2.4 (Linux)

    What I find very interesting apart from the quality and coherence of the data shown, is that for instance around 1′ you can probably see the effect of the weight of the island structure on the earthquakes locations. The shape of the swarm in blue seems to show a sort of parabolic shape which seems to coincide with the importance of the island structure above. Maybe this is an artifact, I don’t know.

    There are also interesting features around 19” where you can see vertical structure (dykes?) appearing very quickly. See also around 1’05”, 1’21”-1’27”
    Around 30′ you can see also the change of earthquake depth, with the quakes going deeper. It is interesting to note that also around 1′ and 2′ where the quakes’ path crosses the old quakes path by going under it.
    Finally the advance toward the eruption spot can be very clearly seen around the end of the video.

    Enjoy !

    • Nicely done! It shows quite clearly how the cracks propagate. Now it doesn´t look like a big central magma “chamber” under Tanganasoga any more. Personally I find the cumulative plots easier to grasp than the day-to-day plot (out of sight out of mind 😉 ).

      • Yup you’re right, i’ll modifiy it because the day to day does not bring much information. I tried it because I was not sure what I would get (there is something like 3k points after all)

        • Hi DFM,
          I liked the plot very much, the lead up to BoB makes more sense with these revised co-ordinates 😀 regarding the day by day plot, what may be useful is showing a few days or a weeks worth of quakes; but updating that day by day so that with each iteration the quakes of 8 days ago (for example) drop off. The ign localisation plots work this way…

          • Hi Schteve

            Good remark, I have already implemented this before it is not difficult to redo. I’ll think about it and make a few trials with different “window” width.

    • How about that. Now the quakes form the more expected stack structures and track along the expected N-S trending weak seams of the underlying crust as it was formed in the ancient past when this area was along the MAR.

      • what is interesting is that you can see the dynamics of the sill and dyke forming. But of course that could be a figment of our collective imagination too…. -;).
        I wonder at the bow shaped form of the early swarm when seen from the east.

        • dfm. thank you . What an enlightening plot! It certainly shows a possible structure of the “chamber”. Thinking along the plume theory it’s interesting to note the west to east movement of the magma and as Lurking has mentioned some North South movements. To me it is interesting to try to fit it in with the general direction of the line of the historical plume activity . When looking at the MAR there are many huge fissures that run at right angles to the rift. Is the west east movement following one of these ancient fissures or is it newer lines of weakness caused by the plume? I know what I am trying to say is not terribly clear, I am just getting my head round ideas and questions raised by this plot.

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