A few notes on possible flight disruption

Current aviation colour code map by IMO.

Current aviation colour code map by IMO.

[caveat: this is my opinion and in no way should be used for any decision-making]

Given the level of disruption caused by the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull there has been an inevitable level of concern from many readers/commenters on the likelihood of future air travel plans being affected by any eruption in Bardarbunga.

Unfortunately we have no way of forecasting any possible disruption on any particular day, as there are so many variables. Remember that, while Eyja was particularly bad in terms of disruption, Grimsvötn in 2011 caused much less, despite being a much larger eruption.

Variables – For a start, you need an eruption and there hasn’t been one yet!

2010 ash plume from Eyjafjallajökull volcano (NASA)

2010 ash plume from Eyjafjallajökull volcano (NASA)

However, let’s take the case that there is one. The type of eruption (small, large, explosive, ashy, gassy, wet, dry, blocky, squidgy, under ice, under water, on land) can greatly affect the nature of any flight disruption due to the height that the eruptive column reaches, and the type and density of the particles that are ejected into the atmosphere.

Then there’s the weather, which plays a huge part in determining where any ash cloud goes. Wind directions and strengths differ not only from hour-to-hour, and day-to-day, but also at varying altitudes. Winds all the way from ground level to 50,000 feet can affect ash dispersal. Column height is therefore an important factor in determining which airspace is affected; as well as directional changes, it’s mostly the case that the higher the column, the further the ash is carried from the volcano.

Forecasting – If an eruption happens, the variables (eruption type and weather) become quickly known. They are fed into a computer model that provides a forecast of where and how the ash cloud will propagate.

While advances in meteorology allow detailed models to be produced, the models can also be verified and contributed to by a number of observation means, such as both persistent and periodic monitoring from space. There are ground-based radars in Iceland that can provide high-quality data about the nature and behaviour of an ash cloud.

Using real data and model predictions, forecasters have a good idea of the dispersion of the ash and where it is at its most dense. Appropriate warnings (NOTAMs) are issued to operators and air traffic control authorities. For an idea of how it works, and who is involved, have a look at this UK Civil Aviation Authority page:


The UK Met Office operates the London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) with responsibility for overseeing the eastern North Atlantic (including Iceland), the British Isles and Scandinavia. In the unlikely event that ash was to disperse westwards, then the Montreal VAAC would also be involved.

The Met Office uses a programme known as NAME for prediction. Some details can be found here:


Programmes such as NAME allow more flexible use of airspace than during the Eyja eruption, with the result that potential disruption to air traffic should be reduced (for an equivalent eruption) without any erosion of safety.

ritish-Airways-Flight-9 turbine and compressor blades (Image by NOVA13, Wikipedia, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

British-Airways-Flight-9 turbine and compressor blades damaged by ash from Galunggung 1982 (Image by NOVA13, Wikipedia, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

Safety in the air – In the 1980s two Boeing 747s separately encountered heavy volcanic ash (from Galunggung in Indonesia, and Redoubt in Alaska) and in both cases all four engines stopped. While these were very serious incidents, both times the crew got the engines started again and made safe landings.

In 62 years of jet airliner operations, just two non-fatal incidents due to encountering volcanic ash is not a bad statistic.

Advice? – I am loathe to give any other than to say ‘Contact your airline’ if there is an eruption that might threaten your journey.


1,396 thoughts on “A few notes on possible flight disruption

  1. I have been here quite a while, i know some of the posters and their quality of posts.
    So i am quite concerned to see some comments by some respectable posters on how serious this MAY be.

    I realise that we are all still guessing, but the possibility that some talk about happening is rather worrying.
    Keep up the good work.

    • There is a article about Bardarbunga on the vedur.is web. Just follow the news article “Um Bárðarbungueldstöðina” and you’ll see the link. Quite interesting.

  2. Peter, gotta agree with the earlier remark on cavitation.

    You are talking fusion power there, and no one has modeled it much at these kinds of pressures.

    I can see a jackhammer effect with the gasses repeatedly being compressed to cavitation, then having the explosion re-expanding the gasses in a now reduced area.

    Could be enough to keep a crack going, and might be able to make inroads into non-strained rock.
    Would be slower, but that is what we see with the stalling anyway.

    You might graze, and post up a question on this website. WARNING: this site will put you on the NSA watchlist, as it is the extra-cool Los Alamos Labs folks……
    Some of them have been doing cavitation in the labs, and may be able to help with your questions


    and finally, i thought #4 was gonna be Pinacante …

  3. Like to see more but that’s the photographer in me, love seeing 🙂 seen some nice images and a nod to those that got lucky .Lucky git/s…… if you need a camera IMmmmmm here. Nice capture.

  4. Going back a few posts..for newbies, do follow advice given in older posts and head for the top of the page where there are several general and more specific information headings/sources to explore…all the gold nuggets and other jewels collected from past posts that we can’t expect the dragons to keep revealing or reposting while they are busy keeping ahead of other tasks….but maybe not a list of acromyms? Anyone? (Many come from abbreviations of geologic features in Iceland, others are abbreviations for scientific instrument locations , weather satellites etc. etc.) Happy hunting!

    • Go to Dragon’s Hoard and at the end of the list is ‘shortcut explanations’ which is a beginners guide to acronyms. Or ask – someone will be happy to help. 🙂

  5. Updated layout at Baering 3dBulge site: expanded the Coord-/Depth Map; Looks to be a aerial view of EQ locations–take a look! I’m conflicted: I appreciate the awe and power of Earth and Mother Nature– accepting that events are outside my control, but I feel for the People of Iceland and Northern Europe IF a historical eruption event takes place…….We are just specks in the Universe!

  6. Quoting Irpsit:

    ” If magma continued to intrude laterally, more and more and more, as rift widens and extends, then we will continue to see larger and larger quakes in the caldera (as magma drains) until eventually the caldera collapses”

    Ok, I may of seen too much TV and this what I say may seem far stretched and almost laughable, so please, laugh if you want, I won’t be offended, but, with all the weaponry we have, is it not possible that us humans can prevent the worst case scenario from happening? I mean, is there not a way of bunging the flow or directing/forcing the magma back into the caldera to cause it to erupt there?

    Sorry if it’s a silly question as I know nothing about anything other than dentistry 😀

    • You’d have to work with stuff like the Tsar-bomba; even many of it; we don’t want the consequences of that try. Let’s decide to be humble and live with nature and her wild side.

    • Not a silly question, but I believe it is quite impossible. Anything we try to do would probably only make things worse. The forces of nature far outstrip anything we humans have come up with so far. 🙂

    • Nope, there literally is nothing we can do to stop this. Think of it this way – the strength of Mt. St. Helens in 1980 VEI-5) was 1600 times that of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima.

      A VEI-6 eruption is 10x stronger than a VEI-5 eruption, which would likely be the risk in the event of a caldera event at Bardarbunga. So lets rephrase your question into terms that may be easier for you to understand.

      Do you think anything human can be made to prevent 16,000 Hiroshima nuclear bombs going off in the course of a day? That’s about the energy level we’re talking about here.

      • Lets not forget the VEI6 extends from 10 to 100 cubics, so 16.000 is the very least we are talking here.

        But if we say 20.000 for the hell of it, thats 320.000kt of yield. which is equal to 320Mt, which is pretty much 6.4 Tsar bombs. To release that amount of energy in one single small place, is not that easy to comprehend.

    • ALL PROBLEMS ARE SCALE: I believe you are talking about a colossal scaled root canal with the root being located in the toe!:0 Awesome Events require Awesome imagination for a solution Gaz! Maybe some of the more advanced semi-pro and professionals present can chime in on mitigation—is it even being studied?

      • A hugest grape of tsar-nukes to make it go off where we want and before more pressure is accumulated.
        Worth a try. Oh, and then evacuate earth until nature has recovered…

        • I think I will take my odds with the dyke swarm subsiding and a gentle equilibrium lift on the ‘bunga caldera!:)

    • Man needs to realise that nature is absolutely awesome in it’s power. No-one could even divert a hurricane, never mind a volcano, tsunami, earthquake etc. Mans atomic bombs while powerful (and extremely dirty) are puny compared to the powerful forces of nature.

      • Chaos theory supposes that the right butterfly flapping its wings in the right place could have enormous consequences elsewhere. Perfect as far as I am concerned – I hate the little buggers because their caterpillars are always trying to eat my Scotch Bonnet and Naga Jolokia chillies.

        Stuff all the butterflies you find down Bardarbunga.

  7. It must be strange being a volcanologist, on the one hand, nobody wants a huge eruption that would cause misery to people, or endanger lives, but on the other hand, one would want the ruddy thing to blow so one could get ones hands on all that juicy data, and of course there is something totally stunning about natural events like this that makes most people hope that it blows, as long as its not going to blow all over your house I guess. I just hope that whatever happens the Icelanders are all okay!

    • Nimby. Not in my backyard. But anywhere else it’s just cool. Except for what the locals might endure. On the other hand nowadays you can know where you live and what natural hazards you are exposed too. At least in the educated part of the world (I terms of the modern civilization). If I live in the mountains I have to cope with avalanches but benefit from skiing. If I live on a volcano I have geothermal energy, magnificent landscapes and good wine (in the warmer regions), but have to deal with eruptions.
      We hope and pray and all. But it’s morally ok to enjoy the show, learn from the event, be keen on seeing how society would cope with a disruption.
      Even if the whole population of Iceland dies, it would be quite a small peak on earth’s statistics where 150’000 people die every day of cancer, heart problems, age, famine, car crashes…
      Being “hard” intended to make reader reflect; am not cool with he idea anyone suffers from whatever the catastrophe.

      • Seems to me to be a case of prepare for the worst, hope for the best then become a fatalist. What will be will be.

            • True but only as long as one doesn’t become like the man that refused to move out from living on the slope of Mt St Helens.

            • I’ve already technically ‘died’ 38 times….so I do NOT see a problem with the 39th…I’ve come to the conclusion that I have never lived and this is ALL A DREAM! Informed rational preparation seems to be the order of the day…are we looking at Summer of ’16 event in the States….or has agricultural technology created a buffer in regards? Anyone, please?

  8. maybe try plotting those events on a terrain/contour map? small contour interval would be better to see the outline of the caldera. although the epicenters are probably +/- a few hundred meters laterally.

    • Boy do they like Mt St Helens! It really has everything and we here are all so familiar with all those post cataclysmic eruptions of this volcano. What about the average Joe, who only has a passing interest in volcanoes?

      Surely they could have come up with a few other examples like Pinatubo or El Chichon?

  9. For the pro’s here, is there a good ongoing technical discussion of the science/geology/volcanology occurring with this event, similar to a meterological forecast discussion?

    • I agree with Peter. Here we have semi knowledgeable amateurs kicking ideas back and forth, with an occasional professional stumbling through the door telling us how full of #### that we are. It keeps us on our toes, and we have a general disdain for alarmism.

  10. Although the media here in Iceland is busy brewing political scandals, I believe most people’s attention is on a potential eruption, although the seriousness of the matter appears to be somewhat understated.
    The IMO are good and professional, leaving them with little leeway to discuss potential catastrophic events with us citizens unlike the information here.
    Thank you all so much for keeping us informed. To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
    Although I believe the favorite Icelandic term would be:”þetta myndi reddast”

    • Hi Sue. It is good that the IMO and your authorities are professional. Here we hold them all in very high regard for their well organised systems. That is so essential and really the only way to handle difficult situations.
      I think of the Icelandic people at this time. It must be worrying . I hope the outcome of this event causes minimal disruption , if any, to everyone.

    • Yes, exactly!
      þetta reddast means pretty much, oh don’t worry a solution will come out eventually (in face of a disaster)

      So you get the idea of how Icelanders deal with life in general.
      Cool for many things, but a bit too oblivious for scenarios like these.

      I just made a list of things to do tomorrow, for preparing for the small and rare risk (but significant) of a caldera event. Gas mask, eye protection, extra food, fuel, radio, pet passport, etc. Anyways, I might also come one day to the scenario of being caught even if an eruption is small, next to it, because I travel so much in Icelandic nature.

      And a toy like a solar powered radio sound like a really cool idea, and also handy when in remote locations.

      • question is: how does one can use radio in a remote location to send a message? which frequency, and what to get in order to talk, a transciever?

        • Satellite phone? will it work through an ash cloud??? Also expensive.
          Plan for not being able to transmit messages from remote areas.

        • In radio height is might and you could be naughty and use the airline chat frequency, which will get picked up by passing aircraft. In an emergency I would use that: better in gaol than dead!! On isolated Scottish hills where there was (is?) no mobile signal, a 4 watt CB transceiver signal will get picked up by someone in an urban centre: I know I have tried this in the past.

          No doubt others will have some suggestions and, in order to get some of these frequencies on your transceiver, you may need to do some surgery on your equipment.

        • Not sure distances you are requiring and how widespread HAM in/use in Iceland: but Amazon a Hand-held HAM radios- transceiver/receiver $40.00 to $500.00…would look in the $100.00 and up! Short range pick up GMRS 36 Mile–in Iceland you might get 20-30 miles…more than likely nothing over 15 mi on a plateau!

        • You have a few options.

          CB radio:
          pro: no license, longer range.
          cons: not popular anymore, not monitored 24/7, long antenna so there are few handhelds.

          “Travel/jeep” VHF:
          pro: long range, both handhelds and carmount available (latter can have more power), Much more popular so better monitoring, both by users and Landsbjörg.
          Channel 45 is for public use but F4X4 Jeep club members can use many more, including repeaters for longer range.
          cons: mostly line of sight only in range but repeaters can extend that.

          pro: many bands available (HF, VHF, UHF), HF especially and VHF have long range
          cons: need to take a license to use, expensive equipment, low HF less portable

        • Wouldn’t your best bet if, and that’s a big if, it turns into a cataclysmic event, to just go to the west side of the country? Why would there be a need to leave the country? What I’m getting at is is a passport and banking outside the country really necessary (a passport I know most people already have)? I am not there so I am not judging, or criticizing, that you are doing what you think is necessary to be as ready as you can possibly be. Just curious as to your thoughts as someone who is actually there. I know there others in this community who are there also, and if they want to chime in what they are doing to prepare and why, that will be interesting to know as well.

      • Where do you live Irpsit?

        If a sudden caldera event were to hypothetically occur, I would imagine you’ll hear quite a loud blast. I would say ear protection may actually be worth thinking of (you would likely be able to see the blast before the sound waves arrived)

        • i live in Grimsnes. Straightline it’s about 40km west of Hekla, 100km west of Katla, 170km west of Bardarbunga.

      • irpsit, My Grandmother lived through two world wars and dealt with harsh winters here in Northern England. She taught me to be always prepared for anything. As a result I always have at least a months supply of very basic essentials. Dry & tinned foods and always a good supply of toilet rolls :D. I have a camping stove and full gas cylinder but most importantly common sense and confidence that my family should get by in most difficult circumstances.
        No volcanoes here but we have had times when our village was cut off by snow and no electricity and we managed. There are two generations now who have never experienced several weeks of very deep snow and no electricity and a very soft lifestyle. They would be hit very hard!
        Here’s a silly female comment……I could imagine it’s pretty impossible to wear contact lenses, during an eruption, even with goggles. (I gave mine up a few years ago due to drying eyes. I miss them!)

        • Toiletry items are pretty important. A handful of leaves could leave you with a nasty poison ivy reaction in a sensitive area.

          My grandfather was of much hardier material than I. “bungfodder” were two read corn cobs and one white. The white was for checking how well you did with the red ones. The luxury item was the Sears™ catalog.

          • 😀 We used to have newspaper cut into square pieces and threaded on string in an outside loo/john/WC. I never realised it left black ink marks, especially in the damp winter weather, until a friend’s mother complained to Grandma 😀 I had a primitive childhood just after the last war 😀 😀

          • No poison ivy in the UK. However, we do have nettles! We also have imported a few other contact nasties, the worst one being Giant Hogweed, which causes blistering of skin in sunlight. It is actually quite common in N England. Nettles are pretty much everywhere but like high nutrient soils. Docks (in particular Broad-leaved Dock) likes similar habitats and can be used to relieve nettle rash. It is also ideal for dealing with Number Twos!

        • Sarajevo Siege 1992-1995 survivor here. 44 months long siege, 43 month without electricity, water, gas and with minimal amounts of food delivered by the UN forces by air. Not even one tree survived in vicinity of my neighborhood. All those days I was in military service in Bosnian Army 1st Corps who defended Sarajevo on the inner front line of town about 200 kilometers in length. For months we’ve been fighting in the mountains around Sarajevo at altitudes around 2000 meters ASL. Pretty hungry, scantily dressed, often in temperatures of minus 10-20 degrees Celsius in winter.

          The point of my story is that a human being is quite resilient natural species. Only when our Mother Nature or Evil Stepmother History put us to the test of endurance, we will show much of our strength, which in normal circumstances we are not aware.

          Of course, I do not want Islanders to be on this kind of test in the time ahead of us and that this gonna be done in a very boring and not so spectacular way. 🙂

    • But I’m pretty sure the authorities are prepared to deal with worst case scenarii. Maybe your military or something has advice for basic “preparedness” (although overdoing it with that would make me mad – ehm, even more than I already am).
      And they normally should have plans adapted to different possibilities of worst case stuff.
      Then if everything goes bad come to Switzerland, we have plenty of cheese and nice mountains for hiking and skiing.

      • Perhaps one for Irpsit, does Iceland even have armed forces? You are such a (relatively) small population, I can’t get my head around you guys having armed forces.

            • Yep, WE did, not Irpsit. Irpsit is not Icelandic by birth. Lives here but I think this Caldera talk and BIG eruption has gone too far in speculation. Seriously.

            • Are Iceland residents required to keep two weeks’ supply of potable water per person in each dwelling, at all times? I gather that is a requirement in Calfornia – maybe other USA states. Seems eminently sensible to me.
              A laissez faire, que sera que sera, attitude is asking for trouble if the unexpected happens.

            • No requirements on potable water. In fact most rivers are so clean you can fill your flasks there and no real need for filtering or boiling (but its of course advisable). We do have abundance of clean water in over 98% of our land. You see, we have double water system. Ht and Cold. Cold you can heat and hot yo can cool. Both are drinkable, but the hot has aroma not all are familiar with or want to drink.

              I like comment on Icelanders do not plan, rather improvise. True in respect we might plan more and often, and plan more and earlier. Its an money thing. It costs. Polticians here are rather dumb and are not in line with progress in lawmaking and long term planning. Too many cooks in the kitchen syndrome.

        • There is no standing army, but there are a number of government agencies (such as the coast guard and special police units) that perform some of the duties that might fall under a military purview in other countries

        • “I can’t get my head around you guys having armed forces.”

          They are the masters of infiltration, you’ll never see them until it’s too late. It’s part of their Viking heritage.

        • I know it was directed at Loco and not Lurking, but I did. It pissed my doctor off something fierce. When she asked if I used tobacco, and I responded “yes,” she replied. “Not any more.”

          • My doctor tells me I don’t take my heart condition seriously enough; I tell her that I’m just not stressing about it and that this is a good thing. 🙂 She’s finally decided that she will do the worrying and I can relax as long as I take my medication. 😀

          • I have enough “smarts” to understand what the doctor is mumbling about, and am trying to take it onboard, but have a really hard time dealing with what to me, is pretty healthy food. The bad side is that my wife is on this kick and is throwing every conceivable dietary change at me that she can find. As payback, I’ve made her attend my last two maintenance calls, just so she can keep an eye on me. Many boring hours staring at the road later, she seems happy to have done so. Go figure.

            • Sounds to me like your wife is one of the world’s treasures – a born carer. 🙂 I know you know you’re blessed that she focuses this gift on you but it brings balance to the love and devotion… there HAS to be a downside somewhere! 🙂

              I don’t have a spouse so I’m happily meandering along at my own pace. I probably should have someone who keeps a sharp eye on my diet and exercise regime – my doctor would be so much happier if I did! – and in the absence of such an angel I shall probably die a little sooner. But that’s okay – there have been so many joys along the way that they far outweigh the small miseries so I consider myself to have done very well overall! 😀

            • Well, historically, my family on both sides have had issues with coronary stuff. I keep having flashbacks of having to deal with the hospitals and such… only this time I’m the doddering old fool who is on the last segment of track. It’s spooky. I don’t want to wind up dieing on the shitter.

      • I just spotted Geo’s comment about nice cheese. Probably not first on my list of essential criteria for a new homeland, but I like your thinking.

        We have plenty of rain in Wales. Two days into our Icelandic road trip, my 6 year old remarked he felt right at home because it was raining so much.

      • No military here; just a bunch of hard working voluntary rescue workers from all walks of life ready to save the day.
        Thank you all for your kind thoughts.

        • Yes, it’s important that you know that behind our happy bantering and fun we have trying to make sense out of what we can see and learn from all the provided data, we really feel with the concerned.
          Having passion for something gives you he energy to study it well, and based on the acquired knowledge one can begin to imagine solutions to a problem.
          I wish you that you will not be affected; and if yes, then I wish you the strength to go through the rough times that might be ahead.

  11. Was just thinking, its amazing how little we know of Iceland’s volcanism despite how well studied it is.

    Think about it, we know of major volcanic eruptions dating back nearly 100,000 years in many areas of the world, but in one of the most well studied areas in the world, we hardly know a thing about eruptions before glaciation.

    Heck, we don’t even know if the biggest Volcano on Iceland had a caldera event just 800 years ago (and this is looking more untrue as we go).

    • ‘Yall think about it. If it had a caldera event 800 years ago, how has the floor of it been converted from haphazard rubble, to a mostly solid block that can withstand the pressure that is now pushing this dike around Iceland like a lost sheep?

      • We’ll it has a 600m ice cap on it ,that helps.Plus don’t lose sight of the possibility that this could be the beginning of a volcanic event that takes decades in the making,it’s not necessarily the climatic event?

      • A 600 meter ice cap has as great a chance of holding that back as spending a day on Myvatn and not seeing a fly. (maybe 1030 kg/m³)

        The general thought is that whatever is down there that is seeking to get out, had to take a dike and couldn’t get to the surface. The only way that seems possible, is if the caldera floor is much more solid than it was thought to be. That hints that the caldera event that it had, may not have have actually happened. Or that what went up was through a leaky gasket over along a ring fault that has since sealed up.

        • It’s not just the 600m of ice but the overlying rock in the caldera .Yes eventually given enough magma at eruptive temperature it will burst thru that icecap like a knife thru butter with a massive phreatomagmatic eruption.But that amount of ice would probably delay the event as opposed to it not being there.You are assuming that the magma is in a eruptible state ,if so where is the sulfur dioxide emission and hydrothermal activity venting thru the ice?

        • Actually… I’m not making any assumptions about the state of the eruptible magma. Just on the state of the floor of the caldera. I am beginning to think that those who question the veracity of the previous caldera event may correct. A torn up caldra floor would functionally resemble a pile of rubble, with many cracks,crevices, voids that are easily navigated by a fluidic material. My contention is that is is much more tough and resilient than would be expected, based on the path that magma involved in Mr. Dike™ took.

          • It depends if the magma supposedly being diverted is mantle source “fresh” basalt,the caldera is probably composed of higher silica rhyolite mixtures,maybe this viscous rhyolite remnant is acting as a plug so fresh magmatic intrusion is being diverted.At the same time heating and mixing of the “plug” is causing quake and thermal activity in the caldera.Now if this was happening it would take some time for this extremely viscous plug to reach eruptible temperature and open a vent via gas driven magmatic eruption or phreatomagmatic eruption.So hence the initial flurry of activity then a slow down as heat and pressure need to build in the system.The Ice cap acting as a moderator on both.This is probably 99%BS but something to think about lol.

  12. The ring faulting around the Bardarbunga is looking more and more obvious every day. With all those M5 placed around. While some days ago, the emphasis on the east side, then moved north, now it’s the west side showing most activity.

        • Yes, that is what I belive. By intense monitoring they have come up with a few alternate scenarios that we must belive. This is advance thinking, admitting it can proceed along different paths, with different outcome. Any speculation of Caldera or abowe VEI-5 has no proven ground, I belive

          • Indeed, the caldera rim being a weakness it’s normal to see seismic response there. Interesting to keep an eye on, but clearly shouldn’t be over-interpreted.

          • This caldera issue is new to me. Sure, it’s something that has been rattling around in the back of my head, but is there actually serious consideration of it being a possibility?

            … been out of touch most of the day, been laughing my ass off at discovering a DMV site that actually has their server up on blocks.

            This particular site had an issue with AC condensate in their previous location, but to find this as a precautionary solution just hit me square. It plays right into the Redneck meme of having cars up on blocks in the driveway.

            (it’s actually also good for the server, it lessens the dust load that it gets exposed to) … until some tech like myself comes along and has to wrestle with it to get the access covers open.

            • Hope that’s an anti-static carpet….and that the site doesn’t get earthquakes…had a customer in southern California that suffered through an earthquake, a fire, then a flood (due to damaged watershed from the fire). Shake and bake….rebuilt three times…shows how resilient folks can be….

              Have to say it looks a a lot better than this,er,building:

            • Anti-stat carpet? Nope. I was there when they were laying it. Normal, run-of-the-mill zap the crap out of you in winter, carpet.

              Note, you can make a somewhat static proof carpet with a bit of diluted fabric softener spritzed onto the floor.

      • Very true. To quote IMO:-
        ” For example, an eruption inside the Bárdarbunga caldera is possible but at present considered to be less likely.”

    • Awesome video! Good depiction of how the swarm was stalled from the 20th to the 23rd, then rapidly jumped forward in a pretty short time period.

    • I particularly liked the phenomenal ChickenFoot cover of Deep Purple’s “Highway Star,” then I looked them up and saw why they were so freaking good. (Michael Anthony, Joe Satriani, Sammy Hagar, Chad Smith.) Many covers sound like steamed crp.

      Michael Anthony → Van Halen bassist.
      Joe Satriani → allowed them to pull off the synthesizer parts with just a guitar
      Sammy Hagar → Van Halen vocals (for a while) and Montrose
      Chad Smith → Red Hot Chilli Peppers

    • Interesting. Hope it isn’t like Spock staying ”Interesting.” as the Enterprise pops out of warp into the middle of the Klingon battle fleet..

    • Excellent. Shows the hesitations in the advance, and I think events triggered maybe 10km ahead of the intrusion.

  13. Sheesh! I leave for just 3 sec… ok, 3 years… and all hell seems to be breaking loose! Renatooooo!!!

  14. About the Bardy and H-bombs theory, I would say that in a way it might be a noble cause, but I cant see who in their right f**king mind would actually go do that. 😀
    I mean, come on. Tsar bomb had a seismic energy release of a 8.1 quake, were it detonated underground. I would rather detonate that in Yellowstone rather than in Vatnajokull. 🙂 (if it were even technically possible)

    • You drop a small nuke to make a first hole, then larger one, and when the hole is big enough you send a convoy of lorries strong enough to carry the tsar bomb and drop or roll it in.
      Still doesn’t answer who.
      Geeez I’m getting tired…

  15. @All – Irpsit included.
    Please do not overdo speculation. There is no eruption started.
    Let time tell, please. 🙂

    • I am personally inclined to agree with you about the doom-spreading speculation of large caldera events and their possible outcomes. However …

      [puts Dragon hat on]

      … where Irpsit or any other commenter was born is not relevant to this discussion. Let’s keep it nice please 🙂

      • Yep, shure want be polite. Otherwise I think answering questions on how Icelanders are or are not have lead (newcomers) to answes, that I think best left to Icelanders themselves.

        However *puts on Aviation Historian´s Hat*
        History has had three airliner size jets fly into volcanic clouds (two B-747 and one DC-8-72). The last mentioned flew into Hekla eruption cloud, by mistake. Details in earlier comments. These are also on Wikipedia, with references.

        • OK – just want to keep things running smooth here. I would disagree with your point, however – the sharpest observations are sometimes (but not always) made from outside.

          I did answer your point about the DC-8 – there are so many comments now (can’t think why!) that it’s way, way back in the comment field now. In essence, it wasn’t really what anyone would call a potentially life-threatening incident – the flightcrew didn’t register any loss of performance or damage and they flew the aircraft for a full resrarch campaign in Sweden and then ferried it back to Edwards before the minor damage was ever discovered. There have actually been more severe incidents than the DC-8, but none (to my knowledge) that come anywhere near the magnitude of the two 747s.

          • Ok, no problem. Will not comment on “sharpness” or “outside – inside” looking. Speculation was running amok, in my humble opinon. I can take the blame be the person to let the crowd fall silent
            (read: stay polite, focussed and down to earth), but not speculate so much as to lose grip on comments! As you say, eruption has not begun. How can it go Ripping or Caldera on that?

            But I have been totally busy on other cool matters and done very few commenting, and previusly not minded numbers of speculative comments.

            *Air Historian Hat, w. Diamonds and Oakleaves* 😎 ….
            *CPL, ATP, IFR, ME, SEP (not current)*
            *FAI Gold and double Diamonds*

            Re- DC-8 When I last looked, no response was there. I know you are in aviation circles.
            My point is also, you did not mention there were any other incidents, minor or othervise. I think saying “In 62 years of jet airliner operations, just two non-fatal incidents due to encountering volcanic ash is not a bad statistic.” The fallacy here is not saying that jet (correctly turbine engines) can take a lot of punishment, ash, birds etc. without the plane actually crashing.
            Fallacy also here is not mentioning that the two B-747 were at cruising altitude, i.e. having ample time restart engines, and the engines did restart.

            • There have been over 90 ash encounters by airliners. The NASA DC-8 was just about the least serious one I could find any information on – if it had just been an ordinary airliner it would probably have gone completely unrecorded! If you want a third, then there was another 747 that flew through the Galunggung cloud and lost two engines, and this was shortly after the BA flight had lost all four! There were at least two aircraft (727 and a DC-8) had their windscreens damaged in the St Helens eruption resulting in a serious degradation of visibility. My point is, only the two four-engine stoppages were what I would consider as truly life-threatening.

            • There you have it. 😎 90 incidents and no fatatlitiies or crashes. That is much better info that just two (admitted three B747´s).

    • I am not sure about any scenario, I must admit.

      But let’s keep to science. How much energy do we need to push Bardarbunga into caldera mode?
      And how much magma we do need to drain out of the caldera?

      Those are important questions to really put the risk of such an event into context and statistical probability.

      And considering that it’s called risk mitigation.

    • without any over dramatisation or ” panicking ” of the populous. The point is potential, I dont have a clue and in point of fact nor does anyone else what will or willnot occur. As of tomorrow we might not see another hiccup from bardarbunga in next hundred years
      but unlightly. Equally unlightly but perfectly possible (which cant be said for many other volcanos, is massive eruption with following fissure eruption , eclipsing anything modern humans have seen with all of the effects that would follow discounting this is somewhat naive and silly. Which is what most people in order to feel “safe and comforted” in there day to day cosseted lives.

      Further there is a very well documented documented issue in such scenarios called ” normalcy bias ” in a nutshell this can lead to refusal to accept what is going on during a traumatic event.

      Talking/discussing these events is a very positive and helpful way of both planning for and dealing with events ie if this happens we ll do A if that B etc etc

      Nothing said here change what happens in bardarbunga for one nanosec but it just may help some people if the worst happens. Everthing has to be kept rational, we all know nothing has happened about ground but many people here feel whats happening below ground is now giving serious cause for concern and needs to be aired in a sensible way. Which is there right.

      “The most dangerous things in life are those that we know to be true that just aint so!”

      Watch wait and see .Hope for the best prepare for the rest.

      • “Everthing has to be kept rational”

        That’s the problem. It is not a rare occurrence for another site or “news” organization to take something we say out of context and balloon it into some imminent catastrophe. All we may have done is to mention something in passing as we banter back and forth.

        • Ummm so are you suggesting people give up rational discussion and debate , become gagged because a bunch of f*******ts who would have trouble disgesting the “beano ” let a lone a scientific paper. May take and distort what is said.

        • “The secret of freedom is educating people”

          “The secret of tyranny is keeping them ignorant”

          -Maximilien Robespierre-

          • I don’t really give a rats arse about Robespierre’s mandate for government-citizenry interaction. I have been in the position of not being able to aquire gasoline for the generator, or standing in line waiting for ice and water. It isn’t fun. Things were working just fine until FEMA showed up and screwed up the supply systems that had been worked out. Rumors drive crowds, and crowds don’t typically follow logic. Governments play the crowds so that they can stay in control. Failing that, they then bring out the hired thugs and the guns.

        • Actually, I’m stating that we always have to be aware of the danger and couch our language accordingly. It also means that we have to be quite pragmatic as to how likely or unlikely a potential event could be.

          That’s just the way it is, and why we cite sources. It’s also why Carl tends to start most of his updates by specifying who has the actual authority to declare an eruption has occurred. We can not make that call. Anyone relying solely on our word is a fool.

          The last thing we want is to be responsible for a run on commodities and foodstuff, or wide scale panic.

  16. From NASA Earth Observatory, Satellite picture of the day:
    Curiosities of the Danakil Depression, August 27, 2014:

    Quote: “Like some fantastical land conjured by a storyteller, Ethiopia’s Danakil Depression (or Afar Depression) exhibits some uncommon wonders: lava that burns blue, bright yellow hot springs, and lakes of bubbling mud. These otherworldly oddities are all manifestations of a tectonic process called continental rifting. In other words, the Earth is pulling apart at the seams here….”

  17. I still cannot get pictures from Mila cams. This since this morning when our Broadband provider was “working on improvements” 😦 No TV or internet all morning. I have tried re- installing Flash player, but still black screens. Can anyone suggest what could be wrong? It was fine yesterday so I think something I need to adjust on my PC. I have made sure Flash is enabled.

    • F5, but I must admit large volume traffic maybe has problems. And Síminn internet TV has had problems within in Iceland at approx 19:00 hrs (18:00 UK time) two night in a row. I remember similar in 2011 and 2010, when loads of peoples were trying connect and watch.
      Current link, but is your “Java” also new and updated?

    • Diana, if you can get them on my website then your stuff should be ok, because mine are linked to the same stream. The Mila website in itself is one big piece to load, takes a long time with me as well even before I get to the cams. Maybe, if your connection is not the best, it can’t digest it.
      If they worked yesterday, and you cannot get the cams working now on my or Tom’s website, then it must have to do with a faulty internet connection, methinks.

      • Obviously it’s night at the moment of this post 🙂
        Unlike a certain person, thought the cam was covered in ash….

        • Loko, this is not a mirror, it’s linked to the original stream. Or, maybe, I am not so sure what a mirror is?

          • Oh, so they are embedded links on that page, not re-hosted streams?

            I thought they were possibly mirrors, (reflections of the original) given that they all load instantly for me, yet the originals just keep buffering (connecting) without ever loading.

            • Yes, they are embedded. It may have to do with that they are stripped from all the larifari that comes with them on the original websites. And, the still ones are often stored on different servers than their respective websites, and I get them directly from the storage.

  18. I have not seen this being mentioned here although it was written in the beginning of this period.

    Haraldur Sigurðsson volcanologist blogged on 17th of august about a theory regarding the quakes in the Bárðarbunga caldera. I will do my best to translate part of it here with the help of mister Google.

    First blog about this:

    Bardarbunga is on the world list of Göran Ekström for unusual earthquakes,
    In October 1996, many earthquakes occurred in or at the edges of the caldera. Whether this was related to the eruption in Gjálp that year is controversial subject, but actually irrelevant here in this regard.
    There were a total of ten large but relatively shallow (3 to 8 km) earthquakes in Bárðarbunga in the twenty-year period (1976 to 1996), which form a ring around the caldera. They are all in sizes of 5.1 to 5.6 and at depth 3.3 to 6.7 km.

    Meredith Nettles and Göran Ekström have interpreted these quakes as a result of pressure by a sort of conical cap in the crust under Bárðarbunga, (shown on a image in the blog).

    It is a circular rift system under the caldera, defining crustal cap. On top of the cap sits magma chamber, near the surface, as the third picture shows. When the magma accumulates in a shallow magma chamber, the pressure grows there, which results in the cap is pushed down, circular cracks formed around the cap and cause earthquakes.

    Nettles and Ekström draw a channel through the center of the cap through which the magma rises to the magma chamber above the cap. This picture is the first one that has been drawn from the earth’s crust under Bárðarbunga and it will no doubt be improved and refined over time.

    The caldera shown on the surface of Bárðarbunga is about 10 km in diameter, and it is likely that the shallow magma chamber is similar in size. Now it seems the earthquakes arrange in circular shape along the outer surface of the carton, as shown in the last picture.

    Is it caused by movement of the cap, which Ekström discovered under Bárðarbunga? Is the magma then accumulating in the shallow magma chamber above the cap?

    According to his model we can expect earthquakes of magnitude 5, when the cap is pushed down.

    • Yes, I’ve read that paper. It’s a really strange model to get your head around.

      It appears to relate the quakes to movement of the floor – the FLOOR – of the magma ‘chamber’; the floor being the top of a conical section ‘plug’ of rock, and the quakes occurring on a conical surface rather than a fault plane; this model being invoked to explain the non-double-couple nature of the quakes.

      If I have this model straight, it would imply that, when magma flows into the ‘chamber’, it responds as much or more by the floor *sinking* to accommodate the magma, rather than the ROOF lifting.

      I’m really not sure I understand it, or if I do understand it, I’m not sure that model is… entirely correct!

      • That lid ( roof) must really be screwed down tight !! to resist the reaction to a downthrust on the floor of the shallow chamber.
        Also not sure….

    • Haraldur Sigurðsson further explains the Ekström pump beneath Bárðarbunga
      Also on 17th of august.


      Again – translation with the help of mister Google.

      Bardarbunga volcano is covered with glacier and information from normal geological observations do not exist. But geophysics does not fails us here.

      I’ve discussed previously the interpretation of Nettles and Ekströms on the structure of Bárðarbunga, but their model is based on the seismic data. I want to be clear from the beginning, that this is their model, not mine. However, I find it interesting and it clarifies various aspects.

      Lets look at it as a “working model”. Göran Ekström is a professor at Columbia University in New York and is recognized scientist in his field. I have decorated their photo (shown in the blog) with colors, to clarify the subject.

      In short, the pump works as follows:
      (1) basaltic liquid flow is stable up from the mantle, and accumulates at the bottom of the crust (yellow area).
      (2) Due to its lighter density it moves through the crust (red arrows) and flows into a shallow magma chamber under the caldera Bárðarbunga. Perhaps this is happening right now today. It is not clear exactly where upward stream is. Nettles and Ekström put it under the middle of the caldera (red arrow), but it could be elsewhere.

      (3) Magma accumulates in a shallow magma chamber with time. Magma chamber pumps up. It will put pressure on the crust above and the cap below. Above the magma chamber land will rise when the caldera bottom lifts. Accompanied by many shallow earthquakes in the caldera brim, as now happens.

      (4) The downward pressure of the magma chamber can trigger large earthquakes of magnitude 5, as the ten, which Nettles and Ekström explored in the article 1998. These earthquakes happen when cap slides down and cracks form along the sloping walls of it. This is not a cork that one draws from the bottle, but the cork you put down the bottle.

      Movement in those circular and steep cracks is as small arrows show. But the pressure in the magma chamber may also lead to a volcanic eruption on the edge of the box, especially if regional rift system of the volcano is active. It is the interaction between the pressure in the magma system and the effectiveness of the regional rift system that is crucial for the volcanic eruptions, which would probably be a rift eruption, if any will be.

      Ekströms model of Bárðarbunga is supported by geological observations of other ancient volcanoes, like the third picture shows (see blog). Wherein is a cross-section of such a volcano, where ring dykes and conical passageways are formed. Circular formations are common in the roots of volcanoes in Iceland. Conic forms, for example, form well-demarcated circles around the volcano Sedberg in Snæfellsnes, as I blog about here before: http://vulkan.blog.is/blog/vulkan/entry/1176622/

      They form when magma is pushed up into the crust in the center of the volcano by conical cracks. Also, ring dikes, a well-known phenomenon in the volcano theory and were first discovered in the roots of ancient volcanoes in Scotland, such as the Ardnamurchan peninsula. Perhaps the most spectacular ring system of tunnels is found in the Sahara desert. There is Richat ring Mauritania, about 30 km in diameter, as shown below (see blog). Here has been so much erosion, the rings have come to the surface.

      Conic forms are formed when rounded part or plug of the crust sinks down, as Ekström suggest for Bárðarbunga. When the tap sinks, then magma seeps into the circular cracks and hardens as ring dikes. But both the circular dykes and conic can contain large amounts of magma, no less than the magma chamber that may be on top of the cap. The large eruptions occur when regional divergence is in the Earth’s crust in such areas. When regional rift system is activated and cuts the main volcano, there is risk of
      big magma flow to the side from the shallow magma chambers and fissure eruptions in the lowlands in the vicinity. Such fissure eruptions, which are directly linked to Bárðarbunga, are for example, the crater row called Vatnaöldur and Veiðivötn.

      • And this morning (26th of august) Haraldur Sigurðsson further discussed this theory regarding the big quake.


        This morning was the largest earthquake in Bárðarbunga to date. 5,7 was the strength and depth of 6.2 km. It is located deep under the northern edge of the Bárðarbunga caldera, according to the Meteorological Institute.

        Please note that on this earthquake scale, for example, a size 5 quake is no less than 33 times larger than the tremor of size 4. This great earthquake is of the same magnitude as the ten earthquakes under Bárðarbunga Meredith Nettles and Göran Ekström studied in their article in 1998 There were earthquakes from 1976 to 1996, they explored, at depths up to 6.7 km.

        What is it that could trigger such large earthquakes under the volcano? What does it mean for the sequel? Experts have indicated that they consider the earthquake this morning was the result of liquid flow out of the magma chamber under the caldera and into the dyke. It would be the roof which is lowered and earthquake will be at the edge.

        According to this interpretation the magma chamber should reach down to 6.2 km depth. Magma chambers of Icelandic volcanoes with calderas are relatively shallow beneath the surface. It is believed that the magma chamber is 2 to 3 km beneath Krafla, 2 km under Katla and about 3 km below Askja. Magma chamber at up to 6 km beneath the caldera Bárðarbunga would be very different from what we have become accustomed to. Therefore w should consider the possibility that the large earthquake is of the type that Ekström suggest: Connected in a circular motion fissure, which is in the earth’s crust UNDER the magma chamber. I’ve discussed previously here Ekstroms model: http://vulkan.blog.is/blog/vulkan/entry/1428037/

        And also here: http://vulkan.blog.is/blog/vulkan/entry/1428340/

        Seismic engineers have yet to determine what type of tremor that is, from the “first motion” or exploration of movement of the first wave of the quake. But in the meantime we must take into account that it is according to the model of Ekstrom. If the caldera roof is losering and causing the earthquake, it should appear on the GPS instrument on Dyngjuháls. It’s not. Then one suspects that the cause of these large earthquakes is something else than deflation of the caldera.

        • I am in no way a specialist in the matter.
          How ever, Haraldur Sigurðsson is quite a specialist in the fields of volcanoes so I believe his blogs are interesting to the readers of this forum. I find this “cork” theory quite interesting to say the least.

        • Last paragraph is a DING.

          So conventional wisdom may have things precisely wrong.

          It has been said (I think even by IMO) that the caldera rim quakes are caused by subsidence – deflation – as magma leaves the magma chamber. I have asked before, exactly what is the evidence for that?

          Now perhaps it’s the other way around; magma is flowing IN to the chamber, in addition to into the dyke, and the quakes are caused as the FLOOR of the magma chamber subsides, making room for MORE magma.

          It’s quite a conundrum, and a rather worrying one.

          • My theory is fresh magma is heating the old viscous remnant of the caldera formation and this increased plasticity is being deformed by glacial pressure ,as increased amounts of heat enter the system uplift may occur.Watch for a stabilization then subsequent uplift?I agree the magma flowing out from under the caldera causing quakes seems unlikely.The quakes seem to be occurring along natural faulting and this quake activity is part of the upwelling mantle magma.Truth or fiction you decide lol

    • Was it just me who noticed how worn they looked in the video?
      The IMO must feel like they are under siege right now. Pretty darn good article actually.

      • I quite agree Carl. That poor lady in charge looked exhausted, even to the shoulders slumped. She must be putting in colossal hours of overtime.

  19. So as I understand it, after reading all these blog posts to now.

    At this current time with tremor graphs consistently dropping over the last few hours, even with a couple of 3+ thrown in, still dropping, at this point the tremor will continue to subside to nothing or another large one is about to go off, given that’s been the general pattern the last couple of days?

    • 2.0 on the surface in the Caldera right now, that can’t be good in the long term, is that the first larger one at surface levels?

    • Oh crap – I called it, think I better stop posting.

      On another note, who was the person making up the dispersion maps, might be time to make a new one including the projected path of Hurricane Cristobal heading straight for Iceland in a week or so, given it will be in a diminished state, it’s circulation patterns will still exist.

    • Now that would be a feat! Geophysically, how would that work?

      (I’m pretty sure that you meant that the river flows in the vicinity of the dike, or over it. 😀 )

      • Look at the main IMO page (http://en.vedur.is/), go to hydrology, then pick a river. Pick Jokulsa a Fjollum Grimstaddir, click open, and then modify the chart time scale (“Skali” lower left corner) to 2 weeks (2 vikur), and look at vatnshiti (water temp). It goes up slightly over time while cycling between day and night temps.

        • If you look at the two-month trend you will see that the river temperature is simply returning to the normal warmth it was at about a month ago. Looks like several weeks of increased flow (probably from rains and melting ice/snow adding to river) which lowered the temperature. The flow is now dropping back down and temp coming back up.

    • Confirmed FLOW and TEMP deltas in previous 2 days from prior pattern. Increasing! I do not read the language nor possess long-term trend analysis and specific gauge location–looking back a week see quite a change in past 48 hrs. EQ’s compressing/heating the glacier or magma or both?:)

  20. Good point, you got me.

    Yes, I meant the river flows over that geographic area where we are seeing the quakes.

    My Icelandic is nonexistent, but from the graphs, it looks like the water is coming through a couple degrees warmer over the past two weeks.

  21. Magnitude mb 5.1
    Region ICELAND
    Date time 2014-08-27 00:16:31.8 UTC
    Location 64.52 N ; 17.07 W
    Depth 2 km
    Distances 241 km E of Reykjavík, Iceland / pop: 113,906 / local time: 00:16:31.4 2014-08-27
    134 km SE of Akureyri / pop: 16,563 / local time: 00:16:00.0 2014-08-27
    93 km NW of Höfn, Iceland / pop: 1,695 / local time: 00:16:31.4 2014-08-27

  22. Islander: I agree that over speculation in such a large scenario is not that desirable. I admit the talk went to much in doom direction and less into science. Yes, for a while I indulge in a catastrophist fantasy. So let’s stick to science. I contemplate such scenario because I want to debate how would such a process arise. I want to understand how it works, and we can only do this by debating. You can’t blame me for that 🙂 But I agree we must debate in the proper tone, a sober tone. I agree to refrain from doom talk, but I don’t agree to refraining to talk about caldera events just because they sound like doom, especially if we use the right tone. Hope you understand my point, as I understood yours.

    Such caldera eruptions do happen regularly in the world, in large eruptions happen in Iceland. Also calderas (you can see as evidence the fact that nearly all volcanoes except for those in Reykjanes have a caldera – except for Hekla because it’s too young).

    I understand you might want to stick to the reality of the current situation, fair enough. The reality is that Iceland did have periodic large eruptions in the past and so I think to debate about such a possibility at this time, if we do it properly, is not over speculation. Because at this moment we have just seen what a few months ago we speculated as a highly theoretical scenario that would lead to a large rifting eruption like in Laki. Now we have seen the sequence starting.

    I agree no eruption has started. True enough. I have repeatedly said that perhaps this dike is going to stall and remain quiet. I also considered the possibility of a shield volcano. And also debated on the possibility of a caldera event. You can’t blame me for discussing such possible scenarios. You look at the geology of the area and you see: ridges, large fissures, calderas, evidence for many small sized eruptions too. You see pretty much a bit of all, around Dyngjujokull.

    We already know that any lateral dike is rather small, and that rifting might or might not lead to mantle decompression that triggers a large rifting eruption. Thus we more or less understand how a large rifting event happens and how a small rifting events happen. Their difference is in mantle decompression. So we understand that.

    Perhaps now I am eager to understand is how does such a caldera event arises. So far, as best as I know, we only know of one confirmed event (Askja 1875). What happened was a large lateral dike, then eruption, and within a month, a caldera subsiding and then the final eruption/ caldera implosion.

    I think it’s fair enough to both A) discuss whether or not Bardarbunga had a caldera event in 1477. This is relevant to the present situation. B) discuss if a rifting eruption occurs (and that is a possible scenario), how would a caldera event arise. Which factors do we need to have?

    • I think we shall not speculate this at all, leave it up to the experts, be patient, and be cautious. Krafla fires in 70s/80 were small rift eruptions. Overstretching this after just ten days, that is not wise, it can go on for years, with no real harm at all. *not expert* Leaving argument.

      • I think the discussion has been very good for comparative newbies learning about this subject. I have only been watching these for a couple of years, but since the start of the current event I have learned a great deal through the discussion on this and Jons site.

        The IMO are speculating themselves, having produced three scenarios and further not ruling out a caldera eruption at Bard.

        So, please keep talking. The site is performing a great service to education. Many people come in here originally and are looking for the disaster potential they see in the media and on ‘nutnut’ doom videos on YT, but after they have been here a while they clearly learn something and that can only be good.

        You both know the subject well, things are changing rapidly and up to date debate on the possible interpretations of data is very interesting. The one thing I would shoot you down for is using too many abbreviations that not many outsiders understand lol.


    • I read this incredible blog because this wonderful community is comprised of very capable, scientific minds who speak about the any / all possibilities in a most responsible way.

      I hope their voices aren’t silenced.

  23. Notwithstanding the quasi null probability of such a thing happening, I still can’t get the scale of what a caldera event with lots of ice on it might be. A big mountain with a magma chamber under, that is not a big cavern full of magma, but could be more like a sponge, covered by ice, falling on itself. The scale seems off my daily life reference.

  24. A second M 5 earthquake? Previous was 2.5 hours ago.

    Magnitude mb 5.0
    Region ICELAND
    Date time 2014-08-27 02:50:38.8 UTC
    Location 64.75 N ; 17.37 W
    Depth 2 km

  25. For the plotters and code fiddlers out there.

    Based on the recent large quakes, my formula for estimating Mo from the magnitude is now


    Results are in Newton-meters. The formula has a 0.9991 correlation factor in matching ESMC derived tensor solutions. Previous versions were 0.9989 and 0.9990%.

    • As for info from a link, SHORT snippets are fine, such as:

      Model calculations based on GPS measurements indicate that the volume increase is just the last hour is about 50 million cubic meters. The amount is slightly lower than 500 cubic meters per second, or almost 1.5 times meðalársrennsli Library, so sizes may be placed in context.

      (See Just Sue’s link above)

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