Unrest at Ubinas volcano

NASA image of Ubinas volcano from 24 July 2010.

NASA image of Ubinas volcano from 24 July 2010.

Ubinas volcano is Peru´s most active volcano with the composite cone rising to 5276 m on a high plateau. In the last 300 years Ubinas had 14 confirmed VEI 2 eruptions, the last ones in 2006 and 2013, see the GVP report for the eruptive history. The younger of the two major edifices Ubinas 1 and 2, erupts andesitic and trachyandesitic lava. The summit is truncated by a steep-walled, 150-m deep caldera containing an ash cone with a 500-m wide vent that is 200 m deep. Growth and destruction carries through the hundred thousands of years of history of this volcano, debris avalanches extending as far as 10 km.

The summit of Ubinas. Photo by Rubén Marcos via Flickr (CC-NC-ND).

The summit of Ubinas. Photo by Rubén Marcos via Flickr (CC-NC-ND).

IGP reported that a phreatic explosion from Ubinas occurred at 14 February and generated a water vapor, gas, and ash plume that rose 1 km above the crater. From the the latest IGP report (in Spanish): In January a slight increase in long period (LP) earthquakes, a hallmark of moving fluid, was recorded with a maximum in early February. Since 9 February volcanotectonic (VT) earthquakes indicated fracturing of rock at a depth of 9 km and higher. Later in February hybrid events and harmonic tremor, as a sign of degassing, indicated that magma had come close to the surface. SO2 emission rose from normally 155 tons per day to 1300 tons per day in mid February and a thermal anomaly was detected in the crater. Update: The IGP report from 6 March sais that seismicity is still weak to moderate and SO2 emission has slightly decreased. Fresh lava was visually observed in the crater.

Because the current seismicity is not very energetic IGP only expects a small eruption, possibly within the next days or weeks, thus the volcano will stay at a low alert level (yellow) for now. Yesterday the IGP repeatedly recommended the evacuation of the 25-family village Querapi which lies less than 4 km southeast of the steep summit within the red danger zone. Last year authorities planned to permanently relocate the village within a year.

Ingemmet map of danger zones. Red: Zone most likely directly hit ba an expected VEI 1-3 eruption, including pyroclastic flows, lava bombs, etc. Orange: Moderate risk of lava flows. High risk in case of a VEI 4 eruption. Yellow: Minor danger. If a VEI5+ eruption would occur, this would not be the place to be. http://ovi.ingemmet.gob.pe/portal_volcan/index.php/volcan-ubinas/mapa-peligro

Ingemmet map of danger zones. Red: Zone most likely directly hit by an expected VEI 1-3 eruption, including pyroclastic flows, lava bombs, etc. Orange: Moderate risk of lava flows. High risk in case of a VEI 4 eruption. Yellow: Minor danger. If a VEI5+ eruption would occur, this would not be the place to be. http://ovi.ingemmet.gob.pe/portal_volcan/index.php/volcan-ubinas/mapa-peligro

Seismogram of Ubinas from 6 March 2014 . http://vulcanologia.igp.gob.pe/ub1.php

Seismogram of Ubinas from 6 March 2014 . http://vulcanologia.igp.gob.pe/ub1.php

The Observatorio Vulcanológico del INGEMMET (OVI) webcam shows the volcano gently steaming this morning:



Volcanodiscovery Ubinas: http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/ubinas.html
Wikipedia Ubinas: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubinas
Volcano World: http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/ubinas
GVP: http://www.volcano.si.edu/volcano.cfm?vn=354020
VolcanoLive , John Seach: http://www.volcanolive.com/ubinas.html

And News: 2 days ago the National : http://www.peruthisweek.com/news-scientists-recommend-evacuation-of-town-near-ubinas-volcano-in-peru-102428

Volcanic News Eruptions (http://volcansvanuatueruptionsgb.blogspot.fr ) http://volcansvanuatueruptionsgb.blogspot.fr/2014/03/07032014-etna-tungurahua-pacaya-ubinas.html

IGP report from yesterday: http://www.igp.gob.pe/reportevulcanologico/files/Ubinas/2014/Comunicado%20OFICIAL%20N002-2014.pdf


As usual there is a volcanologist, a volcanic term and 3 different volcanoes hiding in these riddly brainwrecks. 2 points will be awarded for solving the riddles before I start to append clues. Get them while they are fresh!Ephebiphobia

  1. Plastic terrestrial + image – Astenophere (Kelda 2, pt)
  2. Ancestral home of Hugo de Long’s McDonald’s restaurant (Focus on the words Long and Hugo and you will get there) – Lōʻihi Seamount (Spica, 1pt). Lōʻihi meaning long in Hawaaian and HUGO standing for Hawaii Undersea Geological Observatory. Gordon A. MacDonald lived in Hawai’i and explored Lōʻihi Seamount.
  3. Desert musk and honey of the UN (Danakil) – Ardoukoba in Djibouti (Dinojura44, 1pt). The nearby town is the hub of the musk trade and the Assal Crater Lake is literally Honey Lake.
  4. Here I smelt my special carbonate (French helps a lot) – Dieudonné
    Sylvain Guy Tancrède de Gratet de Dolomieu (Dinojura44 & DFM, 1pt). Dolomieu named Piton de la Fournaise and the carbonatite known as Dolomite. It is also the longest name ever for a volcanologist.
  5. From Bethlehem came the Red Oak (Maritime answer) – Victory Volcano (Matt, 1pt & GeoLurking, 1 bonuspoint). Bethlehem was involved in the design of the Victory class ships. Red Oak Victory was a famous Victory ship.
Score board
18 Sissel
10 Cryphia
10 Evan Chugg
8 Kelda
7 Dorkviking
6 Dinojura44
4 Edward
4 Pyter
3 Matt
2 Alison
2 Inannamoon
2 Lughduniense
2 GeoLurking
2 Spica
2 UKViggen
1 Bobbi
1 KarenZ
1 Sa’Ke

CARL (Evil Riddler)

244 thoughts on “Unrest at Ubinas volcano

      • (*Yes, Heimat is “at home” in German and Heimaey is Home (Main) Island.*)
        (*not my business tho, do not know them answers*)

      • Thank you
        A doctorship ? I wouldn’t mind but I think it would mean much more work 😀 . The quality of the results obtained by the spanish team is really impressive. There is in particular (but you will see it in the video) a “dead zone” which appears in the last days of the plot.

  1. #4 James Smithson, Not really a volcanologist but Zinc Carbonate was named after him .Smithsonian…..

  2. Sissel–re: Seach/Murphy…

    Kilauea, a photographer was shooting the 1955 lava fountain, turned his back for a cigarette and when he was done, so was the eruption!

    Taal, I think it was 1911, a journalist was taking photos on Volcano Island, ran out of plates, went to the ‘mainland’ to get more and Taal took that as a sign to cover the island in ash!

  3. Putting 2 and 2 together sometimes is not so easy. All this time that I have been here (since the beginning) I have had a friend from WAYYY back in the day who happens to be a geologist. I’m going to drag him in here next time I talk to him.

  4. Well, since you want the location of the smelter… East African Rift for #4. Its responsible for making the concoction.

    • I can’t see it Spica. It keeps asking for a user name and password but I can’t see how one could register for one. 😦

        • DOD! How dim am I? I didn’t even think to scroll down! 😦 Put it down the the brain deadening effects of a chest infection I am just recovering from.

      • This is what you ll see right now.
        Question… to me it looks as if there have been 2 landslides but how on earth did those deep caverns form which run down the sides? Looks like washed out by water but there are not enough glaciers on top ( if any at all)???

        • You don’t need glaciers to have erosion. With that said, Popo has had collapses, larger eruptions, and dome building events which are the likely culprits when it comes to the root cause for the craggy and mishaped edifice.

    • Yup, swarm, normal tho, bet it was mentioned in RUV news, largest 2,8 R at 07:30 hrs was felt in Reykjavík area (me sleeping tho), nothing other than watch. One Vatnafjöll (near Hekla) quake. My eyes er more in that direction 🙂 Thanks.

      • Noticed that, but there was a recent outbreak shortly after a lake “collapse” that seemed to be associated. The one I am specifically thinking of, had a fissure exuding magma that ran down the slope and disappeared into another open fissure.

  5. Haven’t seen Carl around yet, but I can tell that there are still no new DING’s. Only nr. 1 has been brilliantly solved by Kelda. And no clues have been given, so every correct answer still gives 2 points!

    • “No mans land” so to speak (between Hekla and Vatnafjöll). Watching…
      I think thats only thing one can do today. No unreast, tremours or no strain falls yet.

      GPS plots (last databoit 7 March) show continiued inflation trend ast about five stations near Hekla, all to north and north-west of the mountain. In two months this is 20 mm up but no sideways motions noticiable. ISAK has drited 7 mm north in same period.

  6. A first set of clues are appended!
    Good Luck!
    I am pondering if Lurking should not get a Bonuspoint for being so close to the answer…

  7. OT but with a very tenuous volcanic/tectonic link (bear with me!)

    A few days ago the BBC reported that a tagged great white shark (named Lydia!) has been tracked from the E seaboard of the US to the Atlantic mid-oceanic ridge:


    So I had a look today to see what she’s got to:


    and she seems to be heading north – following the ridge. Any idea why this might be? Richer source of food because of the hydrothermal vents (but can great white sharks go that deep, surely?)

  8. #2 Lōʻihi Seamount? Lōʻihi meaning long in Hawaaian and Hugo standing for Hawaii Undersea Geological Observatory. How Mc Donald and ancestrial home fits in… no clue

  9. # 3 …Lake Assal (literally honey lake) is a crater lake in central-western Djibouti. The Government of Djibouti has initiated a proposal with UNESCO to declare the Lake Assal zone and the Ardoukoba volcano as a World Heritage Site. (information from Wikipedia).

    OK, some reference to honey, but the musk is still a mystery to me. I’m going to try the others, but it’s really VERY difficult this week!!

      • Wow!!! Thanks, Carl. One mystery cleared up … however, I’ve been having a problem with “smelt” … I suppose the verb is to smelt (metal) and not the accepted past tense of the verb to smell?? As you’re being very devilish this week I’ve been wondering …. I don’t think it’s anything to do with the fish called smelt!!

  10. 5. Hmm… the Red Oak Victory was a cargo ship during WWII, which visited a lot of volcano-ridden places. Not made by Bethlehem, though….

    • Had that too yesterday, it lies in Richmond as a museum ship right now.. -> Mount Rivhmond.. but that was not correct… went to Jefferson because of Pennysalvania and the red oak .. blue ridge mountains… gosh , we are sure coming around on the net if Carl is truly evil… 😉

    • DING!
      Bethlehem was involved in the design of the Victory class ships. Red Oak Victory was a famous Victory ship.

  11. 4. Hmm… in French, Smelt is éperlan or fondre, depending on whether you are talking about a fish or metal refining.

  12. # 4 … This is my last try (hubby is waiting to eat!!!) …. Piton de la Fournaise: “Peak of the Furnace” is a shield volcano on the eastern side of Réunion island

    • On pretty much any inbound flight leg to Europe there will be people with false passports, so it is not conclusive as evidence of an act of terrorism per se. Most of them will be people trying to achieve refugee status, some will be agents from various countries, and some will be either criminals or company agents. Most in the first group get caught, most in the second group never get caught.

    • I agree. However it is strange. Now they find afterwards that there were false passports. When you see all the controls to board a plane I wonder. Ok this is Malaysia but…..

    • DING!
      You beat DFM with one minute…
      Yes, it is the volcanologist with the longest name in history.

  13. #4 Ol Doinyo Lengai in the East African Rift Valley. It is the only volcano known to have carbonitite lava eruptions in recent times,

    • I wonder if even a Frenchman could cough up the full name of Dolomieu five times after a few glasses of wine.
      Dieudonné Sylvain Guy Tancrède de Gratet de Dolomieu is rather a handfull :mrgreen:

      • Not at all. This is just outrageous, Tancrède is bit too much according to 18th cent style. Gratet is unique.

  14. As usual, I was a million miles away from the right answers, but the journey found some interesting reading.

  15. Victory ships are a big part of why we aren’t all speaking German. Super cheap, super fast and easy to build. Hauled cargo well. Armed poorly, but well enough to present a threat to the U-boats hunting them. They put military supplies into allied hands in Europe. Of course, this one was in the Pacific….

    • And it is also the type of merchant ships that had the longest run on our oceans. Around 20 years ago you could still see a few of them hauling cargo around the world. And that would be 10 times the time that they were designed to exist. Basically they were designed with a five year servicetime in mind.

    • “Victory ships are a big part of why we aren’t all speaking German”

      Funny that, considering that technically, that is what we are doing right now. English falls into the family of languages that derive from the West Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family.

      English, as we know it, just happens to be one of the most morphed versions of the languages in that family. It has a large number of loanwords from the different cultures that it has been used in or come into contact with. Many of the words were adopted from Norman French, which came about as a group of Normans (north men) accepted a land grant in lieu of the usual Dane-geld payment. This was in part due to the previous invaders having exhausted the coffers of the Franks (another Germanic tribe). Part of the logic in the land grant was that they would be available to fight off later invaders. Who better to fight off a Viking raid that a group of Vikings?

      But… when you boil it all down, many of us owe our heritage to some Germanic tribe somewhere.

      Quirky sidenote… The House of Windsor was formerly the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha before George V renamed it due to anti-German public sentiment. Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was (a branch of the House of Wettin) that once ruled the area of today’s German states of Saxony (953 years).

      And… if you want to get even more bizarre, Virtually all of the Germanic peoples are in some way connected to the land of the Geats – Götaland. (one of three lands of Sweden and comprises ten provinces.) Due to whatever pressures that kicked off the migration period, they wound up in the European mainland. The Wielbark culture is closely affiliated with this movement of people. Conjecture: Some of the words in german (proper) have vowel changes around the anchoring consonants which do not change as the tense of the word changes. This is reminiscent of a Semitic language and probably occurred sometime during that push to the Black Sea. (Source: TTC lecture → “Story of Human Language”) That little factoid made me laugh my arse off at a certain dictator/zealot’s obsession at eliminating a group of semitic people. That sort of throws his purity idea out the window since those two groups of people were in contact probably as early as 500 AD, and like most normal people, intermingled genes. (Never underestimate the tenacity and drive of a horny teenage hominid. Like the Bonabo, humans will nail anything that sits still long enough. IMO the Neanderthals didn’t have a chance, we bred them out of existence.)

      • You know my tenement, everything is our fault. The Götar was not that nice about over-running Europe. And a few hundred years later the next wave of us came running but they had better PR-agents and a cooler name (Vikings). Everything is more or less our fault.

        I wonder if it was not the other way. Think about the Neanderthals for a minute. You had hugely muscular guys with large jaws that walked about grunting. Must have made the Homo Sapien teenage girls go wild… After all we are basically talking about the Neanderthals being the perfect beach specimens that teenage girls still run after… Big over-muscled large-jawed idiots. Here I blame teenage girls boinking the Neanderthals out of existance. :mrgreen:

        • You may be on to something.

          Not inferring that she would, but she epitomizes the persona.

          Side note: Genetic research has shown that Neanderthal had a mutation in the MC1R protein that led to reddish hair though this mutation is different than the one that accounts for human red heads. In my opinion, the reputation that red heads have for being somewhat “wild” may in part be a relic from our interaction with the Neanderthal line of hominids. If you disagree, that’s your prerogative. I’ll still sit back and admire the Shirley Manson eye candy.

          Estimates on the original occurrence of the currently active gene for red hair vary from 20,000 to 100,000 years ago. →(Wikipedia) So, that puts modern style humans in northern Europe quite far back in history, a recent discovery of human foot prints in an ancient mudflat in northern Great Britain dated to around 800,000 years ago supports that.

          • Problem with the UK “Mudflatians” is that they bought the bucket and died out.
            But red head time is about when we started cajoling with Neanderthals. Personaly I think we over-excagerate the difference between the Neanderthals and homo sapiens. Probably due to bad wax-modelling a hundred years ago. If you dressed up a neanderthal in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and sent him down the street nobody would notice anything really peculiar.
            The difference is probably bigger between two nearby african tribes, and i doubt someone would say they are not homo sapiens. In reallity the only true difference between us who are not descending from africa in the last thousand years is that we are horribly inbred.

          • Well, considering that the mudflat tourists were there before all the caldera festivity in Italy (geologically coincidental with Laschamp event), It’s little wonder that something came around and took them out.

            About that similarity thing…. in the past, some researchers have equated Neanderthal lifestyle to be similar to that of a Rodeo Cowboy based on the type and style of bone injury that is evident in their remains. Getting up close and personal with ill tempered large critters. Others have postulated that their physiology resembled that of professional body builders based on the number of muscle attachment points evident in the bones. One really odd thing is the generalization that they were dull witted… yet on average, their cranial capacity exceeded that of modern humans.

            Now something else to consider…

            Pinpointing the origin and evolution of speech and human language is one of the longest running and most hotly debated topics in the scientific world. It has long been believed that other beings, including the Neanderthals with whom our ancestors shared Earth for thousands of years, simply lacked the necessary cognitive capacity and vocal hardware for speech.

            Associate Professor Stephen Wroe, a zoologist and palaeontologist from UNE, along with an international team of scientists and the use of 3D x-ray imaging technology, made the revolutionary discovery challenging this notion based on a 60,000 year-old Neanderthal hyoid bone discovered in Israel in 1989.

            “To many, the Neanderthal hyoid discovered was surprising because its shape was very different to that of our closest living relatives, the chimpanzee and the bonobo. However, it was virtually indistinguishable from that of our own species. This led to some people arguing that this Neanderthal could speak,” A/Professor Wroe said.

            “The obvious counterargument to this assertion was that the fact that hyoids of Neanderthals were the same shape as modern humans doesn’t necessarily mean that they were used in the same way. With the technology of the time, it was hard to verify the argument one way or the other.”


            • I find it amazing all of the Neanderthal bashing that was done back then. I think it was a psychological issue back then among european researchers to try do distance themselves from anything they saw as “savages” so the could feel “über-menshy” about themselves.
              I am pretty much a firm believer that the neanderthals was just your garden average homo sapien that left africa before the rest of us did and changed due to surviving at least one ice age on their own (natural selection). Natural selection seems to favour bulky muscular individuals when it comes to survive the cold. That little trend seems to go for a lot of species spanning from rhinocerous to humans.

  16. Congratulations to the riddle solvers! 🙂
    Here is a new video from IGP of Ubinas hot lava. The blueish SO2 containing steam is clearly visible.

  17. 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. I am very thankful to the IGN because they released this data freely. This is just great and gorgeous.

    Domínguez Cerdeña, I., del Fresno, C. and Gomis Moreno, A. (2014) “Seismicity patterns prior to the 2011 El Hierro Eruption”, Bull. Seism. Soc. Am. 104, Vol 1. doi: 10.1785/0120130200.

    I wanted to do an animation to show the whole set of data.

    Dot size is proportional to event magnitude.
    The colorbar on the left side gives the date color. On the right it shows terrain elevation.

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

    it is a simple rotation but there is a 2 degrees tilt to try to get a better view.

    • Nice one dfm, thanks.
      This makes the lead up to BoB look like one big dike intrusion, I wonder if we would see similarly constrained formations if the new algorithm was applied to the later sets of quakes?

      • yup, the dyke like effect seems clear. Maybe they’ll do the rest also. The algorithm is available I think.

  18. Latest quake near Hekla. There is a lot of small unrest in the area.
    09.03.2014 16:31:30 63.906 -19.597 9.2 km 1.5 99.0 10.1 km SSE of Hekla
    I am seeing more tiny events in a small time span than I have ever seen. I put this down to more monitoring with more sensitive equipment, but none the less it is interesting.
    Nothing obvious in the stain meters maybe a small blip on the Burfell plot at just after 16.00 hours 9th March.
    The quakes are now just over 8 kms deep.

    • I agree Dianna, quite a pretty ring of quakes around her now. Mind you it has happened before and then gone quiet again but one day she surely must wake.

    • I agee Diana, I’m still watching Hekla although I don’t have so much time to post on here. I still read most of the posts by everyone! Hekla does seem to be very restless.

    • IMO is keeping top members on the nightwatch. My guess is that it is Sigrún Hreinsdottir doing the work. I guess that due to the constant remodelings of the Krisuvik earthquakes (official green star now). And the plotting of the quakes have been nothing short of magical. So, either she or another big Kahuna, but the attention to Krisuvik makes me suspect special personal interest in that volcano.

      • If one of the locals would be in the vicinity of the lake soon a look at the water level would be a good idea, or even take a look if our friend the steamin mudpot is above water level again.

  19. There is a yellow discoloration in the light green water of the Ijen crater lake. Have not seen such before, although I have not paid much attention to it yet so it might be normal. Ijen is on alert level II (yellow/waspada).
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

  20. M 6.9– 77km WNW of Ferndale, California

    Before anyone gets excited… this is in the region of the Mendocino triple junction and this particular plate shard (Gorda microplate) has had Mag 7.0+ in the past with no additional quake worthy effects. So… it ain’t that big of a deal… yet.

    For the Volcano Fans, “The subducting Gorda Plate is connected with the volcanoes in northern California, namely, Mount Shasta and Lassen Peak. Lassen Peak last erupted in 1914-1917.” (From the Gorda Plate Wiki entry)

    A Mag 6.9 reverse fault quake is good for a max displacement of 1.45 meters, with an average of 0.65 meters across the fault face. (Wells-Coppersmith formulas)

    Potentially, the surface manifestation could be about 30.69km long, but you would need an ROV to go down and see it. Provided the quake was shallow enough for the fracture area to reach the surface.

    Caveat from Wells-Coppersmith “Reverse-Slip relationships are not significant at a 95% probability level”

    • For them that don’t know… Triple junctions are usually one of the most seismically active structures that you can find. The Mendocino triple junction is no different. As a general rule, only a few configurations of triple junctions are relatively stable, most evolve to over time by the actual junction traveling down one of the fault lines until a stable form occurs.

    • My wife who is currently at our home in NorCal about 150 miles from the epicenter, reported the quake as long (>15 seconds) and rolling of light intensity. The Moment Tensor (Body Wave) indicates this was lateral strike slip, with very little oblique component.This is consistent with similar quakes in the immediate vicinity, and by all means, not unusual.
      Also, an aftershock pattern is now emerging along the San Andreas’ northern extension where it veers westward near Cape Mendocino, with some interesting aftershocks moving towards the coast with some even occurring inland.
      As Lurking said, this is a highly active area for quakes (by far the most active along the entire West Coast). What is a bit concerting, though, is that the frequent activity over the last few decades have been fairly restricted areal-wise to near the triple-point. At some point, the faults outside this zone are going to let loose….but at this time there is nothing in this event we’ve haven’t seen before with past shocks.

      • Was wondering when you would pop by 🙂
        I agree totally with you. It is a common area for this type of earthquakes. I do not much will follow after it. But, as you say sooner or later there will be activity in the faultline that is subducting (causing Lassen among others), and that might be quite a lot more of a bother. Nothing pointing to it happening soon.

  21. And after sleeping on it.
    One point to DFM for writing his answer at the same time as the other was published.

      • Do not feel guilty, let me be the guilty party :mrgreen:
        I just remembered that I did like that the last time it happened, so I should do the same this time around so that everyone is treated the same.
        It should be a fair game, at least as fair as possibe.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s