Summer in Iceland

AP Photo / Brynjar Gauti. Eyjafjallajökull 2010.

AP Photo / Brynjar Gauti. Eyjafjallajökull 2010.

I thought that I should write a short recapitulation on what has been going on during the summer in Iceland for those who have been otherwise occupied with gardening, beach visits and other general summer activities. I also think that it would be good with a general recapitulation for everyone. As always I am not that good at doing short.


Courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art. Iceland, Land of Fire and Ice.

Courtesy Metropolitan Museum of Art. Iceland, Land of Fire and Ice.

Iceland is run by two different cycles. The first one is related to the mantleplume. About every 130 to 150 years the mantleplumes activity increases, and that corresponds to increased activity in the volcanoes directly on top of the mantleplume. Icelandic authorities put out a heads up on this in 2010, and it is generally believed that the 2011 Grimsvötn eruption was the opening sequence of the heightened activity. The cycle’s peak normally lasts about 30 years, so the peak should come around the year 2026.

The second cycle is the Eastern Volcanic Zone (EVZ) rift cycle. These are the large rifting fissure eruptions like Eldgjá, Skaftár Fires (Lakí) and Veidivötn. There have been 4 of those in the last thousand years with an average mean time between eruptions of 267 years. There are by far the largest basalt floods on earth, and at least 2 of the last 4 flood basalt eruptions rated in as VEI-6.

Remember, I am not saying that there will be a large scale rifting eruption in Iceland, all I am saying that in a while the risk will start to go up. But remember that as far as we know about every third rifting episode never happens and Iceland skips until the next cycle. But if it happens the peak risk would be around 2040.

Now, let us leave cyclical speculations behind and turn our eyes to this summer’s activity. I will do my best to go from North to South in this exposé. I will for natural reasons be pretty brief in what I write about each place.


Askja with the caldera lake in the background and the Viti crater lake in the forefront. Photograph by Stephen Desrochés.

Askja with the caldera lake in the background and the Viti crater lake in the forefront. Photograph by Stephen Desrochés.

During the summer the volcano has been unusually active from a seismic standpoint. The seismicity was of two types, on was running from depth up to the magma reservoir and is probably related to small magmatic intrusions even though no magmatic signals was detected, nor is anything visible on the publicly available GPS-network.

The second activity was anomalous and was very shallow and got its explanation a little more than a week ago as 50 million cubic meters of the 1875 caldera wall decided to up and about down into the caldera lake. This raised the water level with two meters and caused a 30 meter high tsunami to go across the lake.

If the event had happened just a few hours earlier it would most likely have cost lives since there were tourists down by the lake in the vicinity of where the Berghlaup occurred.

There are currently no signs of an impending eruption at Askja. GPS motion is normal, the amount of seismic activity is normal, the only thing out of the ordinary is that it seems like the hydrothermal activity under the lake has increased sufficiently to allow the lake to remain ice free during the winter. This in and of itself is not a clear signal of increased activity in the volcano, instead it could just be the sign that a crack has formed at the bottom and water has come into contact with hotter material.


Herdubreid from an unusual angle that shows the younish looking spatter cone clearly. Photograph taken by Hedwig Storch, Wikimedia Commons.

Herdubreid from an unusual angle that shows the younish looking spatter cone clearly. Photograph taken by Hedwig Storch, Wikimedia Commons.

Northeast of Askja we find the central volcano of Herðubreið; it is one of the few remaining perfectly preserved Tuyas of the world. It formed during glaciation and the outpouring lava formed a cylinder instead of a cone. It is in my eyes one of the most beautiful volcanoes on the planet.

It is normally said that Herðubreið has not erupted since deglaciation, but I am not entirely convinced of that. No samples have been analyzed from the spatter cone situated on top. The spatter cone looks very pristine even though it has been suffering from the extreme weather conditions at the top of the mountain. It really shouldn’t look that perfect and un-weathered if it was 10 000 years old. That being said, no large eruption has occurred there since deglaciation.

In 2007 a seismic swarm started deep down under the volcano of Upptyppingar, in the end more than 5 300 deep tectonic earthquakes had taken place. Back then the general idea was that it was Upptyppingar that had a root filling intrusion, but as time has passed the subsequent swarms has moved from Upptyppingar at an angle until they reached Herðubreið. As it reached that point the magma seems to have started to go upwards.

The original intrusion has since it reached a spot under Herðubreið been accompanied with two smaller deep intrusions under Herðubreið that has moved straight up.

A few days ago French tourists reported a strange rumbling from Herðubreið that later turned out to be a small Berghlaup caused by melting ice and snow at the top.

Current assessment of Herðubreið is that of an old volcanic system waking up from a very long sleep. We can probably expect to see several new large earthquake swarms as the magma continues to move towards the surface. It is still not clear if the original intrusion has sufficient heat to be buoyant enough to reach the surface. My guess is that it will take another large intrusion or several small intrusions for an eruption to occur. There has been regional uplift in the area consistent with an intrusion, but it is not large.


Kistufell Hut taken from Urðarháls volcano. Kistufell might be the worlds least inspiring volcanical sight. Photograph by Dieter Graser.

Kistufell Hut taken from Urðarháls volcano. Kistufell might be the worlds least inspiring volcanical sight. Photograph by Dieter Graser.

Kistufell is situated straight on top of the Icelandic mantleplume core. The petrochemical analysis gives at hand that that a large part of the magma comes from the 670 kilometer discontinuity where it passes through subducted slab remnants and is consistent with a formative mantleplume in the lower mantle.

The isotopic heterogeneity within the Iceland mantle plume may thus be viewed as a result of mixing between plume material rising from a layer of subducted slabs (which have partly maintained their geochemical integrity and heterogeneity) and lower-mantle material (FOZO) entrained in the initial stages of plume formation.” (Kresten Breddam, 2002, linked below)

Now, what on earth is the 670 kilometer discontinuity? Well, material above that has the spinel crystal structure and below you have perovskite structure. In short, if your basic magma has spinels in it you have magma from above the discontinuity. If you have a marked lack of spinels the magma formed deeper than the discontinuity.

And the Kistufell magma is poor in chromium spinels, and the few that are seems to have come from xenoliths from the magma conduits rather than from the basic basalt (ol-tholeiite). Also the high amount of Sr points towards a deep source.

Now over to garnets, they form at about 35 to 45 kilometers depth, and the Kistufell lava is very poor in garnets, so it is safe to assume that the magma has formed below that. This differentiate the Kistufell (and other mantleplume volcanoes) from other Icelandic volcanoes far away from the plume core.

There are also inclusions of material that points to the formative mantleplume punching through a tectonic slab graveyard situated above the 670km discontinuity.

Well, I think this might have been the largest digression of my meandering mind ever, but there has been a lot of discussion lately about mantleplumes, especially the Icelandic one. So actually debating the strongest proof for it quickly and linking to the original paper might set some people at ease (or straight). Now back to what I was intending to write all along.

Kistufell has been seismically active since 2007, up until a year ago the seismicity consisted of mainly shallow earthquakes above 10 kilometers depth, but that changed abruptly a year ago where the earthquakes started to occur from 35 kilometers depth up to around 12 kilometers with the main cumulative seismic release occurring around 20 kilometers. One could interpret it as the focal point for a deep magma reservoir that is getting a refill of new magma. It will be interesting to see if this magma will start to move upwards with time.

The only sign of volcanic activity are the deep earthquakes of volcanotectonic nature, otherwise nothing is showing on the GPS-network, and no other signs have been noticed of increased activity at this small highly eroded Tuya.


I feel that going further in one installment would be a bit too much, so I will continue with Bárdarbunga next time. And also, my digression became a bit technical so I will leave things here so people have time to mull it over.

I will just say that currently there is no sign of an eruption being close at any of these 3 volcanoes. And what we have seen so far is rather miniscule compared to what we would see if they were closing in on an eruption.



164 thoughts on “Summer in Iceland

  1. Has anybody proposed reasons as to why there are subducted slab remnants below Iceland in the first place? The middle of the atlantic over a spreading center seems like a really strange place for subducted slab remnants to be hanging out, even if they’re completely ancient.

    • Not that odd really, they are most likely remnants from the formation of Pangea. Remember that the MAR i the rupture, and at one time it was where it all slamed together.
      But it could in all earnesty be more ancient. As far as I know nobody has come up with a suggestion how long a slab remnant can hang out.

      And also, calling them slab remnants are a bit misleading, by the time they reach that deep that have more or less the same heat and density as the surrounding material, it is just that they contain different material than the pure mantle.

        • Uhm, no the slab remnants are far below Iceland.
          The thickness of Iceland is most likely due to accreation as the plume pushes material up against the crust so it slowly thickens.

          • For me it would be an incredible coincidence unless we look for a more simple and elegant explanation like proposing that the continental slab under Iceland is actually what causes the plume in the first place, or even better that slabs are actually pretty common throughout the depths of the Atlantic ocean and the plume just happens to hit one of them.

            Anyways, it’s a great coincidence a mantle plume hitting a continental slab which hits exactly under the MAR. All 3 in the same spot, and at this time.

  2. A useful and necessary summary. Thanks Carl ! Last unrest for Heirdubreid was around march and April ?

    I made a plot at the time

    • Last big swarm yes.
      But… one could also say that the swarm just slowed down and that it is still running at a more sedate pace.

      • From what you said, it looks like a large intrusion in Uptypsingar back in 2007 fed laterally into Herdubreid in recent years and it happens that the magma is just there. It will eventually erupt somewhere around/nearby.

  3. Humm… lost track one page before the conclution.
    My fault, I fully understand, my brain just resigned 🙂
    Nice recap tho….

      • Only in Holllywood would David Carradines death be called suicide. People rarely tie their own hands behind their own back before hanging themselves in the closet.

        • suppleness is the key 😉
          comptetely OT I just discovered you Swedes make crayfish parties (well with all these lakes…). Wonder if Lurking could cook up something, maybe he has an interesting recipe. Is there some Louisiana crayfish invasion in Sweden too ?

          • Yes, for some reason Swedes are to lazy to go out and fish ourselves so we have Louisiana, Turkish and Chinese crayfish.
            Personally I prefer the wild ones when I get the time to fish them.

  4. There are other Icelandic volcanoes also more active in 2014.

    Hekla and Vatnfjoll region, unusual activity above background, but per se means nothing
    Tungnafellsjokull and nearby, just a few swarms, possibly a couple of intrusions
    Katla, but very little activity compared to 2011.

    But I agree, the region between Kistufell and Askja/Herdubreid seems so active that I really think is one of those closest spots to an eruption, other than the expected Hekla/Grimsvotn duo. Tungnafells and Katla are actually pretty quiet.

      • Yepp, especially in Iceland. If anything is overdue it is actually Mount Unpronouncable in Iceland.
        As most know half of Icelands eruptions comes out of something unknown or that has not erupted for 5 000 years. The last one was Surtsey, and that makes the unexpected eruption pretty “overdue”.

        • “Mount Unthinkable” is also a suspect…. or the flatlands near-by, we also can get a flash flood from “Mt. Unvisible” or flank eruption from “Mt. Sooner or Later”. *grin*

        • How was the activity of Surtsey, earthquake-wise, before its eruption? Any information on that?
          I don’t think a 5000 year old dormant volcano comes back to life, in a quiet and discrete way. And so I don’t think Mt Surprise would erupt without a period of magmatic intrusions and earthquake swarms before its eruption.

          One example was Eyjafjallajokull. Another was Krafla. Probably Askja behaved the same way when it erupted in 1875 after centuries.

          Some spots I don’t really expect an eruption, because activity has been very low there (so an eruption there would indeed be a surprise for me if it would happen in the next couple of years): area between Hengill and Langjokull, Hveravellir volcano, Theistareykjarbunga, Snaefellsnes volcanoes, Grimsnes volcanic system, and probably not a repeat of the Westman Islands, Krafla or Eyjafjallajokull. The following spots are also little likely but changes there for an eruption in next decades are perhaps a bit higher (activity there is also low, but they show more signs of magmatic activity than the former ones): Esjufjoll, Oraefajokull, Prestahnukur volcano, Bláfjoll-Brennisteinfjoll, Tindfjalljokull and Hofsjokull.

          And finally, the likely ones include Mt Predictable like Grimsvotn, Hekla, Katla, etc, and some of the likeliest Mt Surprises would be (because of somewhat recurrent earthquakes swarms and intrusions): Tungnafellsjokull or areas along its fissure swarm, Kverfjoll, definitively the northern region of Bardarbunga (like Kistufell), Vatnsfjoll or in the neighbourhood of Hekla, spot south of Katla, spot southeast of Langjokull, an eruption at Reykjanes. And of course in the Herdubreid area.

          So I don’t think Mt Surprise eruptions are so much of a surprise! The likely 50% of a “surprise spot” are probably the ones I just mentioned. Because of their recurrent swarms or intrusions.

          • I agree on that I see it as highly unlikely that an eruption would come unanounced.

            But, then Mount Predictable is doing a Hekla and has inflated fast in the last month without making almost any noise. See below.

          • I wouldn’t put it past the Westmanns to cough up another eruption with not so much notice–two within ten years and only six years after Surtsey ended before Eldfell.

  5. Remains found on Mount St. Helens believed to be missing Japanese man

    Yosuke Onishi, 27, was last seen Nov. 27 Yosuke Onishi, 27, was last seen Nov. 27

    Search teams located human remains on the south slope of Mount St. Helens consistent with a Japanese man who was reported missing on Nov. 27.

    …Search teams found the remains west of the normal south climbing route, just below the crater rim. Personal belongings located with the remains were consistent with what was reported to be with Onishi at the time of his departure from the resort on Nov. 27.

  6. Thanks for that good recap there Carl! As ever, when your keyboard spouts a post, I find myself wanting more 😉.

    A thought occurs, can you imagine the reaction of the tinfoiler media if there was a peak mantelplume + rifting episode basalt flood eruption in/around a volcano whose name translates as Mount Coffin?

          • Well… There are couple of better explanations that come to mind.
            A) Your new job has claimed to much of your mind.
            B) It’s too early in the morning.
            C) You’ve aged too much.
            D) It’s that Götaland air… Not as good for the [old] noggin as that sweet sweet Norrland air.

            Now you just need to take your pick

            • I will go with A) and:
              E) My favourite brand of coffee has been bought by Nestlé and is now utterly destroyed tastewise.

            • The Zoegas brand. It used to be the premier brand of the regular store coffees.
              So, now I will have to go with beans from a micro roastery instead since the other store brands are also owned by large corporations that produce shit coffee. Sigh…

            • Ouch. My favourite beans here in Australia got bought by Coca Cola. Spend my money at a boutique roaster now.

            • If this continues I will buy a micro roastery and a coffee plantagion to secure good “shit”… Sigh 😦

            • Tell me about crappy coffee. Here in our little burg we have this “box store” also known as the
              “used food store” cheap, but surprising. They have several brands of European (notably Italian) and micro roast coffee. I am impressed. Wife and I shop there a lot for items that can stay fresh fairly long. They get good European cheese there too.

            • @Carl… Yaupon holly, Ilex vomitoria has a high caffeine content in it’s parched leaves. It was the basis for the “Black Drink” used by indigenous tribes here in the SouthEast. It’s species name comes from the way it was used. They would sit around drinking it. Then go purge it. Return and drink more. Evidently it gave them a pretty good caffeine high.

              If society ever completely disintegrates and coffee becomes unobtainable, I will be seeking this holly in the nearby forests.

    • That is actually 600 quakes per week, not month. And that last week featured 133 more quakes than the previous one. There is a new info bulletin each tuesday, so we will see new info today. The deformation is also still occuring at a constant rate. So this volcano is by far not done with anything. It quite an unhappy camper.
      I would say its just slowly but steady reheating/cooking all that old rhyolite/dacite down there 😀 The stew should eventually be ready to boil up. 😛 After a sleep this long, you cant really jumpstart such a volcano in a few days, if at all 😉
      I am a firm believer than something will go off eventually. But what exactly and when and how strong, is a subjet of speculation and expertise. I would expect to see some public reports of land and ground/material survey, for analysis of possible nature of past eruptions. But hey, we are not talking Iceland here. 😉

  7. Mt. Snæfellsjökull (exercise) will “erupt” ash at 14:00 hrs today, and continiue to 17:00 hrs.
    During this time they (likely IMO) will calculate its ash dispersion.
    Rant: *somebody is expecting the unexpected, so exercise it*

    Today visibility is excellent. No way hide that plume.
    Carl, did re-read your article. Its much better today 😉

    AND yesterday I drove thrugh definite volcanic smell. Like Cloride (as in used in swimming pool)
    shortly before Kerið, Grimsnes.

    • Sorry the chemistry kicks in.
      What you smell in the swimming pool is usually chloramines (so hypochlorite HClO/CLO- combined with organic matter and ammonia).Volcanoes usually emit HCl which is really very soluble in water. Carl or others could maybe tell if there is chlorine gas (Cl2) which will dissolve in water to produce hypochlorite – pure chlorine gas is used for water disinfection for large flowrates like for potable water production).
      Now with all the chemical mixture coming out of a fumarole who knows what can get out of that…..

    • I wonder what the more excitable crowd will make out of that volcano.
      Before they used volcanoes like Hekla, Askja and Katla. I can readily understand why they have gone for more obscure options since those exercises always lead the (excitable) Daily Fail to sprout a doom and gloom article.

      In regards of DFM defering a chemical question to me… Uhm, well I know that if you split the beer atom you get bubbles in beer… I am seriously sucky at all things chemical unless it does not blow up in some way. Returning the question to DFM :mrgreen:

      • Well, I meant that you have experience in volcanoes and so may know what gases are spewed off !
        Concerning Iceland I’ve read that they emit more fluor (under HF gas form) than other volcanoes. Normally there should be water vapour, CO2, Sulfur dioxyde (SO2), Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), and probably some Hydrogen chloride (gas HCl). I’m not sure about chlorine gas (I think the Cl part should be associated with something else).
        Nice gif by the way.That’s one reason Not to do some chemical synthesis on monday mornings. It’s like commissionning a plant. Never start do to that on a friday….. 😀

        • Gases. I will leave it here. Probably nothing despite some strange smell in the air.
          That is Irpsit county BTW, so we probably will know soon enough, if anything developes.

          • Actually, the human nose’s detection threshold levels for gases are pretty low. I don’t have the figures here, but we’re talking something around the part per million (ppm volume) The problem is that some gases (methane for instance – one I had forgotten coming also from the volcanoes) have no real odor. That’s why cyclohexanone is added to natural gas to give the characteristic odor.

          • Islander: yesterday I actually drove around Kerid area too and stopped in the area yesterday and today also for a long while, (was bathing in the sun there) and… no smell. Wind is not high, so anything local would be felt.

            Sometimes I feel H2S smell from Hengill, when wind blows from there. But never Cl smell. And never in Grimsnes area. But the other day I felt a weird smell (HCl or HF?) near Katla west edge.

            • Ok, I belive you, but two independent noses confirm the Chloride smell – felt inside vehicle – roughly downwind from Kerið. Distance maybe one or two km, but for a duration of only a few hundred meters, then it was gone.

            • Next time I get near a bottle of HCl I’ll give a sniff. From a distance of course. Never put your nose over the open neck of a chemical bottle. Ever. Use your hand to move the vapour over the bottle neck toward you.

        • “Nice gif ”

          Thanks. Ran across a panicked Beaker and felt that it was appropriate. 😀

          I may have cursed myself though. Right after I pulled into the driveway, my engine cut out. Took a look, and have a puddle of fuel under my truck. I think I lost a fuel line off my filter. Gonna have my grandkid crawl back under there since he was the last one messing with that part of the system. I have until Thursday before I have to be out and about again, and right now he is up on a tower.

  8. Good afternoon all! I am glad the topic moved to South America, so I am not too OT with mine 🙂

    There is now a webcam installed monitoring Sabancaya volcano in Peru. It shows a mighty steam plume but I don’t know if this is “normal” behaviour of that volcano, I have seen no recent report on either the IGP nor the OVI websites, nor is a seismogram available, as it seems. Or does somebody else know where it could be hidden?


      • OK, OT here we have Hekla (nothing happening there) and couple of haymakers in action.
        We lack running commentary, like game of soccer or baseball to go along.
        I think that farmer just got an bulls eye, and will make fresh hay in the evening. At right we have same farmers field that was cut only at noon. Will be ready in afternoon tomorrow problably.
        🙂 🙂

        • Very interesting… I just saw a big bird flying away from Hekla in panic! Does that mean she is about to erupt – the volcano, that is… ? The farmer has left too… very suspicious!

          • I’m wondering if the Big quake in the west yesterday has woken Iceland up because Earthquakes are beginning to romp up for the first time in like a month maybe longer. with the count going from around 40 to up to 90 for a 48 hour period.

            • About a week and half since the last peak. And this is still well within the normal range for Iceland.

            • OK, intersing indeed.
              This is what we have so far : big fleeing birds, strange smells, coweggs, quakes in dead zone, farmers doing haymaking, excercice in remote volcano. Anyone got at theory?
              My bet is on Mt. Unthinkable, with Mt. Nippels as spare option.
              12.08.2014 14:24:46 63,964 -18,956 0,1 km 0,6 99,0 5,9 km ESA of Landmannalaugar

            • Do not forget Mount Unmentionable…

              I guess that it is the time when Icelandic farmers and sheep do things that might involve Upptyppingar.

            • Yep, that too 😉
              Upptippingar and Farmers nights are in early September.
              (mixed with Brennivin)
              *now I break off on “Cosmos” on TV – manadatory on my “farm”*

    • Kverjoll fits the profile for Mrs Surprise, because no one expects it, but it does have deep swarms ocasionally, and even up M3 quakes if I remember well, and a strange phreatic event 1 or 2 years ago. And after all it sits very near the plume center.

    • Interesting, probably some nice labs applications for the moment, for instance creating specific agitation zones in chemical reactors could lead to better yields….

      • Didn’t think of that, good point Dfm. Shame the article is quite limited in information. From reading it i have no clue if this could be scaled up and have some weird effects on a quake scale for example.

        • If you go back and read my wavy gravy post and the second post you have all the information needed to figure out how this happens.
          The physical solution is actually dead simple (after having tested it in the bathtub with a yellow rubber duck of course).

    • I am not being uppity about this, the explanation is quite simple, and I am sure that one of the readers in here will grasp the concept that eluded the scientists in question if they read what I wrote in the two wave articles I published.
      The solution is so simple that they probably overlooked it since they thought it was to simple.

      See it as a physics riddle. Read first, then go and grab a yellow rubber duck and it should become self evident.

      • One David Carradine scenario is enough.
        I saw an interview with RW a while ago and he did not seem that well balanced then.

        • It was not the normal insanity of RW, it was more a person being so sad over things that he had gotten unhinged.
          I am a big fan of his… I grew up on Mork and Mindy…

        • Mindy for me. I later had it in for the Janet character of Three’s Company. Now the zombie that kills me the most is the one that looks like Joyce DeWitt. I generally stop and kill every one of those before we head into the city.

            • I was a kid when Mork n Mindy was first shown, it took me 15 years to really get the joke about Mork sitting on his face…

          • Woot!, Robin Williams is still causing laughter even after he died. The news head was trying to relate a tweet that was put out by the motion picture industry. “The Voice of the Genie in Atlanta…” (should have been Aladin) “you are free”

            He stammered on that one for a few tries. For you non US types… Atlanta is the capital of the US State of Georgia.

      • Or Family Guy script writters are psychic…

        Anyways the world is full of these stories. A friend of mine dreamt about a airplane crashing into the twin towers some days before it happens. Another friend of mine by a weird coincidence lost an airplane to NY before that terrible day. One of the last times Hekla nearly erupted was just the day after I have hiked it. Coincidences abound, Meaningfull or meaningless, the world is full of these weird things. We could go on with more…

        • Oh, I would not say that the person acted like an arse 🙂
          I would say that the person was caught at being a psychic. 😉

          I do not think I have ever laughed as hard as when you pulled that one off!

  9. This will make Mikegrimsvötns day… since it is Grimsvötn doing a Peekaboo.

    North motion = -35mm
    East motion = 10mm
    Up motion = 20mm

    All of this in the last month, that would be the fastest GPS motion recorded on any station since the rebound in the first 3 months after Grimsvötns 2011 eruption. I think that we will see the Cumulative Seismic Release plot start to move upwards in the not to distant future.

    And here is the cam…

    • “And here is the cam…” …which unfortunately is stuck on June 24… they might unstick it, hopefully, if there is something going.

    • Always!!!! When you least expect it, the usual suspects show indications of them beeing the guilty ones. This points to suspicious activity down at Hábunga (SW of Grimsfjall), on the Grimsfjall – Hábunga – Geirvörtur – Eldgígur – Laki line. Give it 48 hours. *not expert*

      • Only problem is that the GPS is on the southeast side of the caldera on that Nunatak.
        And the GPS is moving SSE indicating that the center of inflation is NNW of it.
        So, either the inflation is in the center of the caldera, or there is one heck of an inflation towards Bárdarbunga at either Gjálp or Bárdarbunga himself.
        Most likely to be a center of caldera inflation though.

        I guess we will know when the other stations start to pick it up.

        • Give it another 48 hrs (a wise mans advise). That might be a bump.
          Changes in GPS “usage” in middle east countries these current days might influence current mesurements (giving more precision)

          • Uhm, the trend have been going for a full month now straight as an arrow, I would not call that a “bump”. Even I call that a trend.

            • Grimsvotn has sometimes erupted every 2 years when you check its eruption history.
              This is a fact, and so since Grimsvotn erupted in 2011, I don’t see it as a surprise if it erupts in late 2014 or in 2015.

            • Me? Not probably. I always had the idea that Grimsvotn is ready for another eruption.
              Just needs to receive a new fresh supply of magma quickly.

            • I think I said it was not likely. And I still say that he is not ready to erupt, just that he is now moving towards the possibility. Remember that we are still far away from the level of cumulative seismic release that we normally see prior to an eruption. I do though note that the earthquake activity can pick up very quickly.

    • Nothing much. Cop shoots a suspicious person, turns out to be an unarmed kid. The rabble rousers and race baiters come in and stir up shit. People use the opportunity to go get free stuff, passing it off as “anger.”

      The instigators of such activity should be drug across a parking lot by their scrotum. You can bet that anyone that gets photographed partaking of the looting will be charged with theft. How is that helping a community?

  10. Well I am sitting in NE Oregon. watching major Cumulonimbus buildups. Severe TRW forecast. Hail, rain,etc. but lots and lots of lighting. I may be busy….
    Starting to look positively Wagnerian out there….

  11. Doggie games… I held the tooth monster down, held his jaws shut, and rubbed a peice of cooked hamburger all over his snout then turned him loose. Talk about an antsy dog… 😀

    Yeah, I gave him the piece of hamburger afterwards. It was a hoot watching him go ape@#$@ over it though.

    • I used to put a piece of chocolate on the nose of my boxer.
      He politely sat and waited for permission… problem was that he drooled all over the place while waiting. Still miss the ol’ bugger 30 years later.

  12. Carl, regarding Grimsvotn inflation in last month:

    Hamarinn station gives you the answer.

    The station was first moving NE but then started moving WSW at same time as Grimsfjall moved SSE. Hamarinn has not moved upwards. This shows that inflation is not at Hamarinn and is located at roughly east from it (or even eastnortheast). This would mean inflation would be located somewhere between the NW part of Grimsvotn caldera (near the Skaftá geothermal cauldrons) or even in direction of the Bardarbunga caldera.

    But as DYNC has not moved a bit, I don’t think inflation is at Bardarbunga. It is probably at the NW corner of Grimsvotn caldera.

    • It could actually be Gjálp that is inflating.
      I do not believe that it is Gjálp though, I still believe it is Grimsvötn himself that is inflating. I am just throwing out options here.
      I was not expecting Grimsvötn to pick up inflation speed over time. If this had been seasonal isostatic rebound we would not have seen the fast SSE motion of the station, than it would have been dominated by regular uplift.

    • There’s been talk of exploration for some time now. I think that there was an exploration platform in the harbour of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria last year. Maybe there is oil. Or not. The 10% figure means nothing as there has been no drilling research done there (only remote methods I think). It’s a bit like shale gas in Poland or France. Anyway I do not think the local authorities will be happy with this as they see the harm it can do to tourism. There’s also the question of territorial waters with Morocco. So even if they do not search for oil in the Canaries, Morocco will do it on its side (they have no hydrocarbon ressource for now).

    • Oh and the german article also mentioned that they will need to stop drilling should an earthquake mag 4.5 or higher happen in an area of 75 km around the drilling site.

    • In my early spelunking for data, I found borehole derived info that gave a just little enough data to be non useful for coming up with a temperature gradient. The focus of the research had been on determining if the volcanism of the Canaries was enough heat to cook the hydrocarbons into an extractable product. The result was yes. The locations tended to be eastward of teh islands, towards the continental shelf of the country of Africa (a country in accordance with the US VP’s statements, the rest of us know that is erroneous.)

  13. Mt. Unexpected Volcano is shakin its flanks. Tetonic only as far as I can see.
    New area swarm started 20 min ago (still unchecked).
    Curiously this shows on all meters in the central highlands.

  14. Digressing mathematically from an excellent largest digression … the paper below investigates the “enriched-type” of mid-ocean ridge basalt (MORB) part of the Depleted MORB Mantle (DMM).

    These are rich in “incompatible elements” one cute description of which i found refers to them as those who prefer to be in the liquid phase of a melt, for instance Rb, Sr, Md & light rare earth elements.

    Which made suspicion arise that nothing less than full-blown proof reading can get me out of quer. Which is logical as otherwise it’d have been a development instead of an indeed excellent digression.

    Ocean ridge mantle plumes (or other way round) anyone?


    Apols to experts; and for being late, was quite a dig up to there already.

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