Dominica, Volcanic Pearl of the Caribbean – Cold and Hot Soufrières

As explained before, there are many interesting features for the volcanoholics to visit in Dominica. I will describe two and keep Champagne bubbles and Tête Chien for a later post.

General Map of Dominica

General Map of Dominica

Should you decide to visit the island I recommend using a small 4WD because the roads are sometimes terrible (even if the Dominica governement has done a lot for road quality lately) and sometimes they are really very steep or muddy. Or both. With real potholes.

Some steep road in the north of the island

The first feature is the Cold Soufriere.

It is located in the north of the island in the Morne aux Diables caldera.

The fumarolic zone

After steep climbing from the coast and getting gorgeous views on nearby Guadeloupe, Les Saintes and Marie Galante you get into the crater.

Accessing it is rather easy as it takes only a few minutes walking on foot from the road. The Terrain is not difficult and there is even a sign post. It is located in a wide crater or caldera, it is difficult to know because of the vegetation.

Note that the northern coast of Dominica is really nearly linear. Some have seen there the results of landslides in the past and consequently some tsunami risk rumors have begun to spread (a bit like the nutters for La Palma).
There were some studies, particularly from french IPGP and Barbadian USWI who conluded that the risk was (of course) extremely low to nearly non existant.

By the way you can check that this type of feature is also present in the adjacent island of Martinica.

But I disgress.

Once on the spot there are several small bubbling pools and ponds, but no visible vapours.

The size of the visible fumaroles area is about 50 x 50 meters. Some small wood bridges let the visitors pass over the bubbling pools. There are probably some other spots, but as the water in the area is corrosive, you tend to stay on the safe areas.

EP Joseph & al (2011) describes the place as a kaipohan feature which means and “area of diffuse cold fluid emissions”. He states that there a strong H2S smell, but we did not smell any strong sulfur odor while in the area.

He gives values of pH around 1-2 (this is very low – “normal pH is 7” and it’s a log scale, but consistent with the gases analyses, with these values you would get painful blisters or damaged skin in a few minutes of contact) and temperatures about 23-28°C.

It is true that the vegetation is damaged.

Also there is some chemical alteration of the volcanic rocks which are clearly visible.

Finally you can get near the bubbling pools and hear their little song.

This pool size is about 30 cm across. The bubbling is energetic

Here are some small videos. Have a look at the rocks alteration by the acid fluids. Note the damaged vegetation.

Let the videos advance to see all the extracts (5 in all)

Soufrière crater

Soufriere is a small village on the shore of the southern part of the island, facing the Caribbean Sea.

To the south of the island, you also find the Plat Pays volcanic field. In that area there are several fumarolic manifestations. In fact all the south point of the island is a volcanic complex. This is probably one of the most problematic parts of the island with Morne Anglais and Desolation Valley, because they are not far from the Capital City and most populated area, Roseau.

On the highs overlooking The Soufrière village you find a zone of hot pools which have been amenaged to bathe and relax.
If you go higher on the inner slopes of the crater, passing along the cashew nut trees, you reach a fumarolic zone where most of the vegetation has disappeared.

This bing maps link shows the zone from above. Soufrière is on the bottom left, the fumarolic zone on the upper right.

When I refect upon the pictures I’m realizing now that there are maybe the remains of some lava domes. Referring to Lindsay et Al (2003) work there seems to be some dome remains in the crater.

Soufriere crater

What do you think ?

Look at the steam rising from the sulfur fumaroles

It is of course a wee bit steep and as the water pools and streams are boiling, it is better to watch where you put you feet.

There are several sulfur niches in the fumarolic field. Note the acicular (needle like) crystals. Of course there is some hot water vapour so you’ve got to be careful where you touch.

acicular elemental sulfur cristals

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156 thoughts on “Dominica, Volcanic Pearl of the Caribbean – Cold and Hot Soufrières

  1. Continuing Discussion –

    http://en.vedur.is/earthquakes-and-volcanism/earthquakes/langjokull/#view=table

    Now 6 quakes over 2.0. With this amount of energy, I bet we’ll continue to see some more going on here.

    Drumplot can be found here – http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/drumplot/IHVE.png

    This swarm is very close to the Kjalhraun shield volcano, which lies east of Hveravellir central volcano (which is beneath Langjokull). Kjalhraun had a 10km^3+ lava eruption approximately 7800 years before present. It’s estimated that at least the initial stages of it’s eruption were explosive, but whether it was a long-lived eruption (similar to the nearby Skjaldbreiður shield, which erupted over a period of about 40–80 years)

    For now, they seem only tectonic in nature.

    Source:
    Postglacial eruptive history of the Western Volcanic Zone, Iceland
    John Sinton1, Karl Grönvold2 andKristján Sæmundsson3
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2005GC001021/full

    • Hveravellir is a known seismic hotspot. All of the earthquakes are in or just below the hydrothermal fields base layer. All signatures are tectonic, nothing volcanic to be seen.

      I would not be surprised if a small level swarm continues there. The only risk of anything is that there could be a bit of strain built up that could be released in a bigger earthquake.

    • well it’s probalby easier for you to go there as you live in the UK. Nearby St Lucia (also an interesting volcanic piece, with the famous pitons and a Soufrière) is a popular honeymoon resort for the Brits. You can then take a regional flight to Dominica or take the Ferry (which is a bit rocky ride)

  2. Checking up on MODIS FIRE images can often provide a better understanding on how big eruptions are and where the lava goes than a description, sometimes it is the first you know that some volcano is erupting at all. This time (12./13.8.2014) it were Semeru, Slamet, Sangean Api in Indonesia and Bagana in P.N.G. that caught my eye. All very frequently erupting volcanoes and therefore not getting much mention.

    Except, this time Semeru wasn’t supposed to erupt just now… There is a big worshipping festival going on in the Tenggera National Park, Yadnya Kasada, which involves several thousands (!) of people climbing up Semeru on 17 August… there must be severe restrictions in place this time.

    From the Huff’post foto series of the festival so far:
    “These incredible pictures show Tenggerese Worshippers, an ancient sect from East Java, gathering at the crater of Mount Bromo for Yadnya Kasada – a festival that lasts a month and requires followers to make the trek to the summit to make offerings to the God of the Mountain. The Tenggerese put forth rice, fruits and vegetables, as well as flowers and livestock, which they thrown into the Volcanoes caldera. Yes – they throw live animals into a volcano.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/08/12/these-stunning-pictures-show-tenggerese-worshippers-gathering-at-the-volcanic-crater-of-mount-bromo-to-make-offerings-to-the-gods_n_5671606.html
    Also an interesting read and great fotos here:
    http://mashable.com/2014/08/12/indonesia-yadnya-kasada-festival-pictures/

    • Excellent !
      to be true the worst one was in southern greece. It was a bit like that but the car was standard. Not a bad idea though. Or you can go to Belgium near Tournai, I’ll send you a video. Smaller potholes but higher density.

    • What ticks me off are the ruts that form where the majority of the wheels track. Those can accumulate water and loft/float a tire when you hit that several meters long benign looking puddle.

      The only way to deal with that is to hold your wheel steady and reduce your speed until the wheel sets back down.

    • 1. I would like to see an independent source for that.
      2. Exactly what the world needs, a murderous bunch of thugs with weapons of mass destruction (if at all true). Anybody who believs that they will calmly hand those over? Not me…

      What irks me with american politics is that (if it is true) instead of saying “Holy crap, now the shit has hit the fan” people start bickering and doing the blame game. The blame game has never solved a single problem.

      Now, if IS actually have weapons of mass destruction we will have proof within a few hours when they start using them. Then another round of blame game. A couple of million dead later, another round of blame game.

      Real men do not blame, real men grab a shovell as the shit starts flying and go about digging down the shit.

      Sory all for the rant…

        • I have noticed that the blame game is played from both sides of the party line. I guess that saves all the polititians and also those interested in politics from actually doing something.
          I blame all of them 😉 (insert evill selfdirected laughter)

        • Yeah, and that’s one reason that I think we made a serious mistake by not nuking the crap out of regions where Al Quesadilla lived and trained.

          1) They are no longer a problem.
          2) Anyone thinking to give them support would have to consider the consequences.
          3) Those that hate the US would have a justifiable reason for doing so rather than some made up bullshit.
          4) The sleazebag politicians would have to find something else to dick around with rather than playing both sides…. cuz one side would be freaking gone.

          Moral, you don’t like us? Fine, that’s your prerogative. Attack us and do grievous damage and we will irradiate you.


          The movie and novel Starship Troopers took a jab at citizenship rights as part of it’s dystopian society. In it, citizenship, and the right to vote, were earned by service to the society. The intended slam was against military service earning you that right.

          Given the current situation… I’m not that sure that it was such a bad idea after all. However, the Eisenhower warning would definately be in full play in such an event.

          “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

          The same applies equally well to the Government-Media complex.

          Joseph Goebbels would be giddy with the way it has evolved here in the US.

    • I’d like to see more sources and more information about this. Further, this website looks like an incredibly biased political website that cares little for independent, factual information.

      But yeah, ISIS is a big problem it seems. I want to echo a bit on what Carl said – if people could put their pride behind themselves, we wouldn’t have these hotbeds of conflict like we see in Israel. But it turns out, it’s impossible to get over the past, and people can’t swallow a pill and admit that perhaps they have been asshats at some point or another.

      With the west vs. middle east, this is also true. The USA has likely created just as many problems as they’ve solved in the middle east over the past 100 years.

      From a Machiavellian historical military / political perspective, if you don’t crush your enemies completely and ruthlessly, you’ll be in for a rough ride. As it’s been said, you can’t really do that for something such as ISIS these days since they’re too much of a guerilla organization, and you would likely have to hurt too many innocent civilians for that to occur. It’s like trying to stop weeds from growing by picking off the stem. You can disable it and hurt it, but it’ll just spread, and come back with more fervor than before.

      Until a cultural shift occurs in the middle east, the west will never be able to “win” the battle against terrorists. They can subdue the movements, hinder their movements, and probably prevent outright attacks, but fully stomping out the flames requires an attitude shift, and a movement away from extremist movements.

      • Best way to solve the problems in the Middle East is to stay the hell away. We do not need to solve their problems. And every single solution would just make it worse.

        • I am of the contention that is is exactly similar to the playground bully phenomena. Reasoning with a bully just gets you a bored bully with no inherent change in behavior. Knock the crap out of a bully, and you get his attention. Power is really the only thing a bully understands.

          Play nice or get stomped into the ground. Qaddafi Duck, Sodomite Husein, and Bander Assad used that to good effect.

          When Iraq II happened, Qaddafi almost immediately gave up his WMD programs and invited someone to came verify their removal. Why our current admin felt that starting a shitfight and subsequent execution of him was a good idea is beyond me. To me it was the epitome of all out stupidity. Hell, even our ambassador got whacked in the process, though I think that was allowed to happen since he was involved in getting the weapons from Lybia over to Syria so that FSA/ISIS could get formed up. Dead Ambassadors don’t testify. Why were the Flag officers of AFRICOM, and COMSIXFLT removed from office under sketchy circumstances? Only they were in a position to render aid (and were in the process of doing so) and they were told to stand down. You don’t lase a target unless you have ordinance on the way or are pretty flipping close to weapons release. What asset was there to deliver it? Why was it turned away? An orbiting Spectre would have gone a long way into stopping that mess.

      • Teh sisters are now in government in Morocco without making a fuss, Oman had democratic elections without parties, Tunisia gave the mils a kick & Libya’s trying hard to become the UAE.

        I spose left alone they’ll like do what Yourop did when it wuz, blow up a princely carriage. (Some couldn’t afford to leave ’em to their devices for long & somehow i can’t get of Carl’s back 🙂

        Serge

    • that is a really good find, I had seen this documentary, it shows life in guadeloupe at the time. really worth looking with a great director. Lurking, you are subversive. Of course today it is really different.

      • Different? The only thing I can think of is that my back hurts and I have been hyper-paranoid at getting my fuel line fixed. That’s done now, and the only thing really stressing me out is the necessity of being in two places at once tomorrow.

        Hint: One of ’em isn’t getting seen until Friday. I am not Schroedinger’s cat. I can not be in two states at once. I am either here, or there, not both.

        • There are actually 3 more possible options. You could also be in a completely different state, or not be at all, or be at all places at the same time (but with unknown speed).

          And that is how bad physicist humour ever gets.

        • State: nah… not going to Mississippi. Thats really the only other state where I would have a reason to go. That would require that I go through Alabama to get to it.

          As for speed, well, as long as I’m not stopped, I’m good. That was why the fuel line had be freaked. Drove 130 miles the other day, pulled into the driveway, and the leak happened. That’s some pretty slim odds of happening, but it was to my benefit. The likelihood of less fortunate turn of events is quite high by my reckoning.

          Reckoning. About the only thing I use from DR is the concept of time-distance. I use that to mentally predict when I will arrive at my destination. But, if you use time-distance to back out the position and motion of the Pacific Plate, it’s pretty likely that the Monterey Canyon was formed by the outflow of the Colorado River.

    • Actually there was a fierce polemic between the famous volcanologist Haroun Tazieff and its ministry which was represented by Claude Allegre. The question was then to evacuate nearly half of the island. They did it even of it was not totally necessary at the time. It was Havoc, because guadeloupe is very populated (it’s not Montserrat with 12 k people at the time it was more like 70k people to move.
      Allegre is a famous geologist and went on being education minister during the 2000. He had a then famous phrase speaking about the french educational system saying that he wanted to “unfatten the whooly Mammoth” (the said educational system). Needless to say it did not go well. Now he is denying global warming.

      • It is somehow good to learn that there are idiots even in France. I guess when the idiots touch the cheese they are dead 😉

  3. Laki area sprouted an largeish quake. 1,6 on Automatic system.
    *wonders if Laki rimes well into a song*

    • After more and more quakes in the dead zone, I was starting to wonder when the Laki area will spit one out. 😀

      • After having morning coffee.
        The depth and location gives that it is almost certain to be a tectonic earthquake caused by isostatic rebound.

        • After having many morning & midday coffee,,,,
          I do miss that quake 😦 gone!

          But I agree, it was equally sexy…

  4. Earthquakes around Hekla, Katla area this night:

    A M1-1.5 around Katla or Torfajokull at 3:14(appears as a double quake in the automatic detection at Torfakull), seems slightly magmatic quake? Not usual per se. http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/drumplot/hekla.html

    More interesting is what might have happened at Hekla. During the night some long-period event (about 3 mins) at Hekla at around 1:38. Not sure what was that. A tiny quake around 7:18 in Hekla and then a somewhat large quake (M1 to M2) around 7:53, probably at Hekla too (shows best in FED station), but that which not shows in the IM map.

    Then the drumplot also shows small quakes at 2:38, 6:09 and 9:14, but more around Katla and just M0.5.

    Have not seen any quake near Laki. What have you guys seen?

  5. OK, I am bored and went to check for quakes for other areas. Quakes near Askja: 1:04, 5:20, 7:35, 10:06 none shows up yet. The 5:20 was NE of Bardabunga M1.1. The 7:35 and 10:06 are local Askja events.

    At Katla: 0:26, 3:15, 6:09, 7:45, 9:15. First two show at IM, but the 7:45 it’s larger and does not show

  6. Thank you carl for the Icelandic summary. Interesting.
    dfm. I enjoyed the read. Took me back a few years to my few years living in Jamaica. No volcanoes but some good earthquakes and a near miss with a couple of hurricanes.
    The jungles were amazing. The top of Blue Mountain was cold but ancient rain forests with lichen covered trees and a myriad of epiphytic plants made it. surreal.
    A word of advice for would be explorers in any tropical country. Don’t enter any caves without completely covering legs & feet so as not to allow the really good , long leggedy, stuff of nightmares, creepy crawlies that live on the cave floors near your naked flesh!!!
    I sensibly stayed outside the cave watching pretty butterflies. My ex-husband and friend exited the cave after only a minute or so and were performing what I thought was a rather poor attempt at a primitive war dance in their shorts and sandal clad feet :D. 😀

    • Many would be amazed and how high a man can kick when he is motivated to do so.

      My typical motivation is from fire ants. The only think that feels good after they all simultaneously bite, is cold running water on my ankles and feet. Prior to that is the spastic dance as you try to fling them off of you.

      DOWN WITH FORMIC ACID!!

      (Which is why the water feels so good, it cools the burn and dilutes the venom)

      Trivia for those of you in the US and are familiar with the Fire Ant. They are an invasive species, introduced to the US on an infested load of Bananas in the port of Mobile Alabama… or so the story goes.

      • Almost got a job back in the 70’s spraying fire ants from a C-46 Curtiss Commando as a Co-Pilot. This was out of Biloxi, I believe. Well the aircraft
        crashed, and it was the last one they had. Seems if you don’t keep the engine oil cleaned out of the nacelles, and if there is a problem with an engine fire, the C-46 did not have an effective firewall. So a dirty nacelle, fire and the main spar was magnesium, (think very large flash bulb.) was not a recipe for a successful landing…

        • I’ve done Magnesium fires, they ain’t no fun. (Engine block → Spray water in, globules of fire come back out at ya. The driver was just as startled as we were on the hose. He cranked throttle open and the two of us were literally laying on the hose to keep it on target. Eventually, we were able to cool it below ignition temperature and it went out. If that hadn’t worked, we were gonna have to box in another unit. We almost ran out of water.)

          • Here they check the data base to see if there is a magnesium block engine, if so they powder it.
            More engines here are lightweight stuff.

      • Actually, fire ants produce an alkaloid, rather than formic acid. Formic acid actually neutralizes it. Another invasive ant, the raspberry crazy ant, uses this to its advantage when fighting fire ants. A Google search will give the requisite info.
        I have considered that vinegar, being similar in structure to formic acid, might help neutralize their sting. I’d like to test my theory, but I’m in no hurry to get stung again.

        • I’m of the kill it with fire mentality. (well, I was.) Now I will use cream of wheat for the next mound I have to kill. It allegedly causes constipation in the species… and they love to eat it.

          Note: Do not use a firecracker. I had a cousin that tried that. It doesn’t work, and you have to deal with the aftermath of thousands of pissed off ants hitting everyone like shrapnel. He made a hasty retreat to the nearby pond. Snakes be damned. I daresay that was worse than when he urinated on an electric fence.

          • Tricking people to pee on the wire is always good clean fun… My ex wife loved to rile up stupid young boys to do that. During our marriage I saw a few young boys try it with good effect.

            • We were crossing a field one time and I was holding the top line of the barbed wire fence up so that my cousin could push down on the next strand and step through. Neither of us knew that the section of fence was on a trickle charger. This variety momentarily sends a pulse of high voltage down the line, then shuts off for a time delay, then repeats. It’s handy for fences not specifically designed to be electric. The jolt hit me, and I did the natural thing… I turned loose. The top strand hit him in the back, which make him loose grip of the strand he was holding, which then hit him in the crotch/upper thigh. At that point, it was more of a comedic effort to get him untangled from the fence before the next pulse came along. Throwing sticks at him didn’t really help. Eventually we were able to wedge a stick on the line to open it up so he could get out.

              I’m amazed that we survived our youth.

          • The other thing that fire ants do is form rafts when it floods. They are small enough so as not to break the surface tension. They grab one another and construct rafts of p-o’d ants as long as the water is high enough. You can’t sink them via normal methods. OTOH, if you spray them with soapy water, it weakens the surface tension sufficiently to cause them to drown.

            My technique (stupid guy trick) was to run a lawn mower over a mound for a few minutes and then torch a pint of gasoline down the hole. It was kind of hard on the surrounding soil.

            On a happier note, there are some people who kill them with molten aluminum, essentially casting the mound and tunnel system. it kills the ants and creates a very nice organic sculpture. It also appears to be moderately satisfying on several levels. Video follows. Cheers –

      • That reminds me of the centipedes in Africa, but they are bigger and shiny black. Locally they are called Chongololo.

        I guess the fire ants in the Americas are similar to the red ants in Africa – particularly as Lurking says they bite at the same time. The red ants swarm over you and then they all bite together. It’s horrific! Ants often march in their millions during the rainy season and if you are unlucky enough to encounter them, the only thing to do is run. Our house got in the way of an ant army once – they were the small black ants rather than the red ones – and all we could do was turn the garden hose on and keep the storm gutter round the house full of water while they passed. Best to let any livestock out to fend for themselves – chickens, goats etc. or they will kill them, by suffocation, and by shock from the bites I guess.

        In West Africa the black ants march in columns with large ‘Soldier’ ants on the flanks to attack anything that tries to get them. I trod in a column by accident when I was very small. Luckily we were near the sea so my mother picked me up and threw me in and then spent an hour or so picking the ants’ heads out of me. Once they clamp on, they don’t let go! 😀

        • oh! yes! but bigger and as Talla says shiny. The Millipedes are even worse but they seemed to be happier outside the caves.
          Ants! Oh I hated the ants. big ones that took chunks outta you and at the other extreme the pepper ants that made runs ,I am sure deliberately over my dressing gown. Put it on and you are covered with apparently millions of miniscule creatures that got everywhere and only a shower with lots of soap removed the irritation.
          Also more advice to intrepid world explorers. Never, never put a half eaten sandwich on your camp bed in an A-framed beach hut at night. Combine this thoughtless act with skinny dipping in the Caribbean under a full moon, and after marvelling at the luminescence in the warm shallows of the ocean, always check where you sit (obviously in a small palm thatched shelter it will be the bed). You will find this mix of sandwich, bare rear end and ants is not a good combination. 😀 😀 The time I took to cover the distance between hut and sea water would put Mr Bolt to shame 😀

          • I discovered how to lift straight up 2 meters and levitate sideways one day as I was sitting down on a slab of old concrete. In one of the large cracks there was a scorpion.
            I had to buy a kiddy bathing ring for my right buttock since it had become twice the size of it left companion.

            I blame Rommell for that experience, it was after all his concrete slab.

  7. Hey, does anyone knows whether there are ultramafic rocks in Iceland? (low K, high Mg, I), I reckon there are not.

    Need them because I want to grow plants adapted to ultramafic soils.

  8. Summary of the largest quakes in Iceland, last few hours, from the drumplots.
    http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/drumplot/

    These showed in the automatic detection and are regular M1 to M2 quakes at Bardarbunga, Katla or Askja:
    Vatna 0:13, Vatna 1:53, Askja 2:15, Vatna 2:27, Katla 4:19

    Not showing in the system, are quakes of similar intensity, around 2:37 (somewhere between Hekla and Katla),4:10 (Hekla?), 4:20 (Katla?), 6:26 ?, 7:50 (Katla?). Always those elusive quakes at Hekla and Katla.
    Other than that, quite normal time for Iceland.

    Not yet in the drumplots is a swarm at Bardarbunga after 11:20, largest quake M2.2

    • But it’s nice to see that with the drumplots, it is possible to detect small quakes occuring at Hekla, nearly every day. However those rarely made into the IM map of earthquakes.

      Thus Hekla does not seem really an asseismic volcano at all. Just like it happens at Askja, Katla or Bardarbunga, Hekla has quakes nearly every day and night.

      The detection of quakes at Hekla has really increased much after its last eruption in 2000. With so much sensitive equipment around the volcano, now we can see all these microquakes happening in near real-time. It will be nice to see how Hekla behaves in terms of these quakes showing in the drumplots before its next eruption, and before the final string of major earthquakes in the last hour before the eruption.

      I wonder whether these microquakes are just increasing in frequency or it is just the equipment that is much more sensitive now and available for the public to see it in near real-time.

      BTW: Snaefellsnjokull is another volcano that has quakes nearly every day or few days. They just don’t show up in the automatic detection, but I remember a scientist that spend there a few weeks and concluded that a lot of swarms up to M2 happen in the volcano but those earthquakes go always unnoticed. The reason is a lack of sensitive-enough detection equipment, around that volcano, which is still active.

      • Yes, because a lot of smaller earthquakes (and even sometimes large ones) never make it to the IM map or list. Example: quake at Laki two days ago, or a smaller quake at Krisuvik today at 10:40.

        • The tremor level at DYN (SIL for Bárdarbunga) started to increase slowly before the swarm. The tremor continued to increase slowly after the swarm, but has by now stalled at a constant level.
          The tremor level is not strong and is not an indication of an eruption.

      • And in regards of activity amount.
        Yes, we see more earthquakes now due to better and more equipment. And yes we see more because there are more activity.
        The last few years the area has had the same equipment density, so the recent change in activity we see is real.

        • Yes, that applies for Bardarbunga area. Same equipment as it was, but now showing up a bit more activity. Which is not surprising due to increasing hotspot activity (of which the 2011 eruption is but one example)

          But probably for Hekla, the increase in activity is due to much more equipment and more sensitive ones.

          And sadly no stations near Snaefellsjokull and nearby volcanoes, and still few stations to measure activity at the dead zone and at Langjokull/Hofsjokull.

    • The drumplots are frozen (again), so we will most likely never see those quakes. 😦

      I do think that Bárdarbunga is nearing an eruption ever so slowly. I will publish a post later today on the subject. And take later as intending much later, like during night sometime.

      • I noticed something that I want to ask you. What do you think is the events that started at 8:35 and 8:52 at http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/drumplot/ISKR.png that showed up about 2min later at http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/drumplot/IJOK.png. Also a bigger one at 4:41.

        I saw something similar happening the other day at Hekla, that showed in a few stations.

        These are clearly not earthquakes. They could be a rockfall, a passing big vehicle (or even airplane/heli?), a large movement of snow or water, or perhaps magmatic tremor.

        What’s your oppinion on this Carl?

        Two more questions:
        How do you distinguish magmatic from tectonic quakes? The magmatic quakes show waves building up more gradually and last longer? Well, at least most quakes show the signature of tectonic quakes, beginning sharp and lasting short period.

        Does the depth of the quake affect the wave pattern you see at the drumplots?

        • 1. It is hard to say what it could be. It could be movement at depth. But I am not sure, I have though followed similar signals for months now.
          2. Wave forms and frequency.
          3. Yes, deeper earthquakes will behave like earthquakes at a similar distance. Also heat muddles signals.

          • It would be nice if some spectograms was available, at least for the events picked up by STA/LTA. Any news when seismic data will become available to public?

  9. A reader sent a question via mail which i cannot answer so i paste it in here!
    Hi Volcano dragons,
    I am following your interesting discussions closely. Very exciting and I am
    learning a lot! Some questions
    Large asteroid impacts like chicxulub or larger more ancient ones must cause a
    lot of seismic shock waves. How deep are they believed to penetrate and what
    could the long term seisimic and volcanic activities be? Any connections with
    mantle plumes/hot spots?

    • Well Carl is the true expert in waves here, but I would say that there are major differences between a quake and an asteroïd impact : The asteroïd strikes the surface of the earth so rock or water. Instead, the quake originate usually a few kms to a few hundred kms deep. So the wave pattern, especially the reflective part should be widely different. Also there is the huge difference between rock and water, water vapour will produce additional effects

    • There is a variety of speculation / theory about this. With that said, it’s just that – speculation.

      http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S31/90/32S94/
      http://www.mantleplumes.org/WebDocuments/Antip_hot.pdf
      http://www.academia.edu/1343370/Antipodal_focusing_of_seismic_waves_due_to_large_meteorite_impacts_on_Earth

      One of the main criticisms of the theory is the assumption that to have a direct antipode effect, a comet or asteroid would have to strike the earth head on at a 90 degree angle. Comets and Asteroids transfer their energy in Vectors. Unlike a bomb blowing up, the energy is transferred in the direction in which the object is traveling instead of just a circular blast.

      The problem here, is that most asteroids and comets impact earth at an oblique angle. So the energy transfer through the lithosphere shouldn’t converge at a point on the opposite end of earth.

      With that said, it’s definitely plausable that large impacts can an affect on volcanism, and there is often quite a bit of shocked quarts that can be found in the geological record during trap events. I think a more interesting idea would be the concept that a LIP hotspot could form at the site of a large impact event, instead of the antipode. This hasn’t really been explored too much; mostly because trap formations would completely destroy any evidence of an impact crater. In my opinion, if there is enough energy to cause a plume on the opposite end of the planet, it would seem more likely that a plume could form at the site of a large impact.

      Of course, the antithesis of this theory is that known large impact craters such as Chicxulub don’ exhibit any major signs of volcanism.

      • I would like to make a correction here. A small one 🙂

        If you have ever had the pleasure of looking at artillery being shot at water you would know that the splash always go straight up regardless of the angle of the grenade. Same principle goes for the shock wave from an asteroid impact.
        Personally I think the theory is plausible, but it would take something rather astonishing for it to happen.
        Chixcoloub and the Deccan traps are likely to have a connection, both in time and in antipodal location.

        Let us just say that I never think we will have proof for it, but I do not see it as out of the question from a physicist standpoint.

  10. From a Wikipedia article.

    “Her father was a school teacher. Her mother, [redacted], who was an alcoholic.”

    One common thing, culturally here in the states, is to infer that alcoholism is some sort of malady, much like a disease that people suffer from. The way they stated it, it sounds more like a profession. Depending on your point of view, it may seem like a more accurate portrayal… or not.

    • I had the utter displesure of having a neighbour who on his retirement decided to drink himself to death.
      He both had the willpower, the money, and the skills to plan it and execute it. He even employed a person to stock up his bose cabinet, clean and cook for him.

      Than he sat down in his sofa and started to drink. It took him 5 years. You normally do not see end stage drunkards. Normaly they freeze to death or die from other problems.
      The end stage is not beautiful when they start seeing things and screaming.

      I do not know what he saw in the end, but it could not have been anything nice. If I have ever heard someone scream in anguish and fear it was him. For the last month he saw things, and they were not nice things, one night he ran out and fought things in the yard.
      It is not a way of dying I recommend. But in a way he really made drinking into his profession.

    • Nothing new, that has been happening on and off, the last few months. Just making the news to highlight it for the public and to the tell “the nice people” who crossed the border, next time the shells will be bigger.

      The trucks were only 1/3 full, the other “veg and fruit” must of gone off and been removed before the last stop. 🙂

      I do wonder what team did the spotters belong too?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monroe_Doctrine

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_invasion_of_Panama

      “United States’ justification for the invasion”

      “Safeguarding the lives of U.S. citizens in Panama. In his statement, Bush claimed that Noriega had declared that a state of war existed between the U.S. and Panama and that he threatened the lives of the approximately 35,000 U.S. citizens living there. There had been numerous clashes between U.S. and Panamanian forces; one U.S. Marine had been killed a few days earlier.
      Defending democracy and human rights in Panama”

      “Protecting the integrity of the Torrijos–Carter Treaties. Members of Congress and others in the U.S. political establishment claimed that Noriega threatened the neutrality of the Panama Canal and that the U.S. had the right under the treaties to intervene militarily to protect the canal.”

      Maybe the Russian’s need a better PR team, I mean “Operation just cause”, hell ya, I buy that for a dollar!!

      Of course its different and much more messy, I could not compare the two events, from my view point.

      • We have no justification. Just some old decrepit billionaire trying to cash in on oil shale by sending in his hired Chicago goon. The only problem is that goon and his minions are about as incompetent as the idiots driving him are old.

    • Opening stage of what could become WWIII if this is handled badly.
      What I fear is that the world will do a Chamberlain and that we soon will hear “We have peace in our time” and that the west backs down on the Russian aggression.

      It is an utterly black day.

      • My opinion is, Russia does not have any clear military objective or political even at that. Not many Simulations would back going into the Ukraine. A rapid reaction force Nato led reaction force could be sent in (air drop) and moved up to Kherson Oblast, Crimea would be still cut off. The steps are not great for hiding against Artillery. The Autumn rains are weeks away, then winter,

        Lots of wasted money. Everyone, should take a hit at round table talks and back off.

        • I agree on the last part.
          But sadly as surveilance gives at hand NATO will not send a force, and it is also quite possible they would be vanquished in the attempt. There is just no European political will to support Ukraine. After all, since the majority of European states would not even support us if we got attacked, why the heck would they support Ukraine? And yeah, we bug the European Parliament and the Representatives just to know who we can trust. The answer was almost nobody.
          So far we have only gotten a lukewarm “yes” from the US, but only if we pay for it. And of course the French (Stinky cheese forever!). The rest of EU told us to sod off and NATO said that even if we were members they would not come.

          So, what would the problem be with 3 obnoxious Nordic Countries gone off the map?
          Well, the only part with money would be gone. All of Europes toilett and office paper would be gone. No more iron or steel, we have all the mines in Europe. And to top it off, the Russian navy bases all over the place. Oh… almost forgot, 60 percent of all of Europes oil production and 75 percent of the natural gas production. You will miss us as the industry is at a standstill, cars are standing still, the houses are cold, and you have to wipe your arses with dried leaves. Now guess why The Nordic Countries is and have always been the Russian Endgame. With us taken they have control over Europe without even fighting.

          So I dearly hope that people will back off. But with Putin in the other end it is pointless.

        • I agree. All this confusion we see in the world is man’s madness. It is craziness and emotions Russians feel their need to stand up and become a power again, and Ukraines feel their need to stand up against Russia. US wants to diminuish Russia power so it will, behind the curtains, do what need to be done to corner Russia. And then we have native people, some are fed up with the Russians, while others don’t want to have nothing to do with the western world, coming and doing their own agendas. Agendas, of pipelines, agendas of controlling a region, from both Russia or the west. A lot of political agendas. In the middle of this, we have people that go emotional, crazy and are frustated and so crazy things.

          It’s not like a conspiracy of X versus Y, it’s more or a highly complex puzzle of emotional people with their own agendas, fears, wishes and manipulation. Lots of frustated people too, which having nothing else to do, go in manifestating their agressiveness in this conflict, in one side or another.

          It’s the same in the Middle East or any other conflict in the world.

          The question is ought to ask, are several:
          – What can we do to prevent our politicians, be Putin, Obama, Ukraine PM, or any other, of persuiting a more peceaful agenda.
          – What can we do to prevent people of taking one side against another side, and be sucked into a conflict, where hates grow, and then develops into a full blown war.

          Man kind never seems to learn from its mistakes.
          100 years after WWI and I wonder whether we have evolved further or not.

          • We tried peacefullness against Putin and dismantled a lot of our armed forces.
            As a way of saying thank you Sweden is currently the only country Putin is doing airbombing practice raids on. Lesson to be learnt here, Putin is not a nice man. And being nice to him just makes him worse.
            In my opinion defending Putin is no longer more sane than those who spoke out in Hitlers defence in 1939.

            I reiterate the words of the brittiish PM… “We now have peace in our time”. Some idiot will soon say that after having had a meeting with Putin. Trust me on this.

          • Psst… “X” and “Y” are co conspirators. There is no “good” guy. Just layers of assholes looking out for their own pocket. If they can play both sides against each other, the easier their job.

  11. 2 Kiska Volcano (Qisxan Kamgii in Aleut), a stratovolcano located on the northern end of Kiska Island – an island in the Rat Islands group of the Aleutian Islands of Alaska.

    • Yes, there is and no there is not at the same time.
      There is a raw data list that contains slightly more earthquakes. I use that one when I calculate the earthquake locations. I sadly am not sure if that one is public or not, so I will not hand that one out.
      Then you can sit and compare drumplot images and get a fair idea of minute quakes. And a couple in here have at least limited raw data access on request that we do not give out the links. It is a privilage given so we can talk about Icelandic volcanism in a more informed way.

      The internal links will always be edited out both here and at Jóns place since we do not wish that the internal servers at IMO gets swamped. That could after all kill people. This also goes for links that goes to backend servers that still are available with tremendous dark arts google-fu.

      But those who have more access almost always publish all of their “findings” in here, so nobody is left out. 🙂

  12. 1 Cadair Idris or Cader Idris is a mountain in Gwynedd, Wales, which lies at the southern end of the Snowdonia National Park near the town of Dolgellau. The peak, which is one of the most popular in Wales for walkers and hikers,[1] is composed largely of Ordovician igneous rocks, with classic glacial erosion features such as cwms, moraines, striated rocks, and roches moutonnées. – From Wikipedia. –
    One of the paths you can take up the mountain is the Pony Path.

  13. TGIF!
    Tomorrow will be my first totally free day from work since I moved down south and started my new job.

    And what better than to spend it with an Impromptu VC meeting. If you read odd news on sunday from southern Sweden it will probably be from me and Henrik le Revenant having done rather stupendous things, especially if you read about a dawn raid on Denmark.

    I hope everbody will have a nice weekend. Now it is time to leave the office (at nine in the evening) and go home to write tonights post.

  14. Number 3 could be Nightingale Island, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. Will try to find out which one is it.

  15. Number 2 seems to be some remote island, either Pacific or Indian Ocean (introduction of dogs), probably at the tropics (Coffee and probably casualities by an hurricane).

    Could be Caroline Islands, Luzon in the Phillipines, Papua New Guinea, difficult to say…

  16. No. 1 – not sure what Matt is looking for but here goes. The ponies are from the Shetland Isles, an archipelago, “The geology of Shetland is complex, with numerous faults and fold axes.” Wikipedia

  17. No. 2: Kiska Volcano on Kiska Island, part of the Rat Island Group. This was invaded in WWII by the Japanese. The only people on the island were men from the US Navy Weather Detachment.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiska

    The story involving the dogs and freshly brewed coffee can be found in the wikipedia article.

    • Just seen this has already been dinged hours ago! My computer just does not update – I really must get a new one 😀

  18. USS Porter’s DD-579 “Other History

    From November 1943, until her demise in June 1945, the American destroyer William D Porter was often hailed – whenever she entered port or joined other Naval ships – with the greetings: ‘Don’t shoot, we’re Republicans!’

    For a half a century , the US Navy kept a lid on the details of the incident that prompted this salutation. A Miami news reporter made the first public disclosure in 1958 after he stumbled upon the truth while covering a reunion of the destroyer’s crew. The Pentagon reluctantly and tersely confirmed his story, but only a smattering of newspapers took notice.

    Fifty years ago, the Willie D as the Porter was nicknamed, accidentally fired a live torpedo at the battleship Iowa during a practice exercise. As if this weren’t bad enough, the Iowa was carrying President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the time, along with Secretary of State, Cordell Hull and all of the Country’s WWII military brass. They were headed for the Big Three Conference in Tehran, where Roosevelt was to meet Stalin and Churchill. Had the Porter’s torpedo struck the Iowa at the aiming point, the last 50 years of world history might have been quite different.

    The USS William D Porter (DD-579) was one of hundreds of assembly line destroyers build during the war. They mounted several heavy and light guns but their main armament consisted of 10 fast-running and accurate torpedoes that carried 500 pound warheads. This destroyer was placed in commission on July 1943 under the command of Wilfred Walker, a man on the Navy’s fast career track. In the months before she was detailed to accompany the Iowa across the Atlantic in November 1943, the Porter and her crew learned their trade, experiencing the normal problems that always beset a new ship and a novice crew. The mishaps grew more serious when she became an escort for the pride of the fleet, the big new battleship Iowa.

    The night before they left Norfolk, bound for North Africa, the Porter accidentally damaged a nearby sister ship when she backed down along the other ship’s side and her anchor tore down her railings, life rafts, ship’s boat and various other formerly valuable pieces of equipment. The Willie D merely had a scraped anchor, but her career of mayhem and mishaps had begun. “

    http://bobrosssr.tripod.com/porterstory.html

    From the Wiki article: Fate: Sunk by kamikazes, 10 June 1945. While technically correct, the ship was actually sunk by ordinance carried by the plane that flipped over after it crashed, and the Porter ran over it.

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