While we are waiting for developments, many of our readers are watching the Mila webcams and commenting on atmospheric disturbances over the vast Holuhraun and Vatnajökull landscapes. What comes up over and over again is the question of how to distinguish between cloud formation of all types (small fluffy clouds, elegant lenticular clouds, convection clouds over the glacier) and a potential plume from eruption in Bardarbunga.
Well, we can tell you from experience in watching the Grimsvotn eruption in 2011 on webcams that, if anything happens in Bardarbunga now, you will not have to ask. You will know. When Icelandic central volcanoes erupt, they do not do small and they do not do fluffy nor elegant. They also do not do big. When it’s for real, all they do is enormous.
Here is a timelapse taken as the Grimsvötn 2011 eruption started. During the start of this eruprion, one nuclear bomb equivalent of energy was released every second. So forget puffy fluffy clouds. Think an enormous atomic mushroom going up, expanding to fill in the entire field of view. Like this:
Two more pictures of how Grimsvotn’s eruption looked like by VC reader Bergsveinn Norddahl:
Consider also this: Grimsvotn’s plume height was 20km. Using the formula for estimated mass ejection rate (Mastin et al. 2009), this results in 9,701.4 m³/s of ejected mass every second. That is about 288 one hundred ton trucks like this one every second. Think about this, 288 trucks EVERY SECOND.
So, if something happens in Bardarbunga, you will know. Because what you will see is something of a similar size as Grimsvotn produced and it will be unmissable.
And where to watch? Here is a handy decorated screenshot of the Mila 1 cam, that shows where Bardarbuga is (the large bulge-like extended mountain in the back of the view) and the approximate direction of where Grimsvotn is located, should something happen there.
And if something does indeed happen, our reader sCyborg produced this visualisation of what can be expected on the webcam (note that this is photoshopped):
Will we actually see something like this? Who knows, volcanoes are unpredictable and what is happening in Bardarbunga has never been observed before, as we all know. However, *if* it does happen, you now know what to expect. No fluffy clouds around, but a serious, enormous plume.
/Ursula & GeoLurking
Reference: Mastin et al. 2009, A multidisciplinary effort to assign realistic source parameters to models of volcanic ash-cloud transport and dispersion during eruptions. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research,186(1-2):10–21,
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Clues appended to the remaining riddles!
There are still a couple left… and one involves a basilisk! Head to the riddle page if you think you can figure it out! (Click the link at the top of this page.)
1,398 thoughts on “Is it a plume? Is it a cloud?”
and more OT, but for the hoarde.
Best practices for research blogging
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Alaska quake landslide, and a
subglacial→ supraglacial lake pops a cork
Cool! My birthday! Thanks desert rat 🙂
given the number of twisters, it looks like the lava river is running. just can’t see it.
Would love to see some of our graphing geniuses try and overlay a radar image over the gravity info from the GOCE mission on the MAR up here
and the large scale vision
Can we see Iceland better? What does the other side of the Earth look like?
Nice how this redefines you view of the earth: not a blue shiny round orb, more a rotten apple.
But… when you look at it as a percentage elevation change with respect to the Earth as a whole, it is smoother than a pool ball.
It’s a dragon egg 😀
Thread copied over so Dr Webley’s awesome work won’t be missed:
Peter Webley September 16, 2014 at 17:47
Spica September 16, 2014 at 17:55
schteve42 September 16, 2014 at 18:01
Hi Dr Webley
Very nice images as always, thanks for sharing them here.
If I have understood your work correctly:
Surface activity in/at the fissure is confined to a smaller area than previously, with the small outlying fissures now reactivated.
Looks like NASA had one heck of a run today all found 20 images in this album mirrored from IMO.
cut out example:
Relevant meme: http://static.fjcdn.com/pictures/inception_6080ed_1775227.jpg
I just watched this cool clip with Jerry Goldsmiths music from the edge in the background
Turn the volume up on the player
Great find! Thanks!
I felt the music went really well for what we are doing here during this eruption. The music was the selling point for me.
mila 2 panned to the left..
and back again…. It is moving back and forth – nice overview this way 🙂
and zooming in and out…
That’s all very well, but if they keep moving it like that isn’t it eventually going to gum up the works with that glassy dust stuff?
Lol, why has the comment section been really quiet lately?
Seriously, where is everybody? xD
Um. It’s Tuesday?
(And nothing has gone bang yet…)
I know, but it’s not just today. The past several days it’s been less lively than usual.
At least to me it has. :3
Maybe go back to the beginning of September or August and see how many comments usually come through here! 🙂 Eventually all newbies become old hands and just get on with their lives, only checking in 4 or 5 times a day.
And I’m lurking (actually caught up with reading the blog this morning, though I haven’t time to go check out the interesting new links),. Though I did find time to make one ill-advised comment this morning (my morning is 7 hours behind Iceland’s). But I’ve got work to do! so I can only check the cams and blog every hour or so at this point 😉
One can only invent so much distorted information in a day😃
Well, I’m lurking about, but had to go and fill my car with water as it tried to mimic a phreatic explosion on the M23 (UK) on the way home. I think it’s OK now. Interesting about the mud hole going up (earlier).
Phreatic explosion, lol? UK becoming quite volcanic lately, huh?
London’s exploding pavements – video:
Exploding sidewalks? Sounds really scary!
Not only fire exploding either!
This one actually made me laugh, not if it had been my car though!
Oh wow, I had to laugh too 🙂
One thing puzzles me. None of Ye Olde Le Strange Lurking music lovers, have found THE theme song. 😉
“I can see that it won’t be long
You grow cold when you keep holding on
You know you’ve changed
And your words they lie
That’s something you can’t deny”
“I know there’s something going on
I know it won’t be long
Won’t be long before you’re gone”
Well, I don’t know to which song you’re referring, but this is an apocalypse song with a nice beat and that you can dance to. (nod to the late, great Dick Clark) It’s got hurricaines, overflowing rivers, earthquakes, etc., and even mentions an “eye for an eye,” so as not to leave out the bible/koran. It’s my “go to” “we’re all gonna die” dance party oxymoronic song. Thank you Creedence Clearwater Revival! 🙂
Anni-Frid Lyngstad apocalyptic? 😀 That never struck me.
I was thinking more like, “when all this dies out and nothing apocalyptic happens at all”. Since that is the usual route for these events…
Then, it won’t be long before the “seriously interested” righteous ones are gone, back to whatever they were doing before.
I am more a fan of satire, which is why the lilting melody and toe-tapping beat of this song appeal to me. It is _not_ intended to be taken seriously.
Well, sorry, I’m from Scandinavia. This one pretty much wraps it up then? 😉
I thought they looked cool, back then…
Interesting timing…U2 released their new album yesterday (Songs of Innocence) which contains a song titled “Volcano”. :). If you have an iphone and icloud backup, it was automatically downloaded onto your iphone yesterday.
Good luck to people in the area, three to four days of very light winds to come and already the cameras are looking choked up. Sincerely hope there’s no significant escalation within that time frame.
Vog filling quite a bit of Holuhraun. Picture still from the Kverkfjoll cam (IMO, I think).
click on pic to zoom…looks like a LONG lava river today
It seems there is much less eruptive material now than 24 hours ago, jugded by the webcams.
i’m thinking the opening is enlarging and the lava is just pouring out.
This is what it looked like yesterday evening, I still think the lava outpour is less. Less illumination on the clouds tonight.
TBH it not even that dark yet, give it another 30-60mins then try for a like for like comparison 🙂
Agreed, I was premature in my assessment.
http://i60.tinypic.com/dxk3tl.jpg Currently .
My first comment, loving cam 2 panning across this evening. Hi all
I’m sure some dragon will welcome you, but til then, welcome! what part of the world to you call home?
Thank you . I am in UK 🙂 been watching the cams daily. Pretty addictive stuff. Stunningly beautiful and deadly.
Hi Jan! Welcome! And feel free to explore the hidden treasures of the site!
Thank you, and I will.
Would you look at that at least one thing right 😉 “looks like it’s pooling on the south side, would be interesting to see pictures tomorrow” or something like that i said XD
I thought that colin said that (just kidding). anyway since south is down hill that was a great guess! if this keeps up it should pool upon pool until we have a mountain. that’s my prediction. *no expert*
then in a million years or so it will have its own magma chamber, then erupt, then collapse to form a caldren, then more tourists will come. then will see if i’m right.
and by then they might have figured out a way to actually look down there to see what is really going on and they won’t have all this fun guessing.
Well, there’s the problem.. There’s two red arrow looking things, are they a new type of fisher?? And they seem to extend into the sky.. Daaaaamn. 😉 How many meters high are they? lol
You got me i meant to say loooook new fisssuurrre! 😮
A report from Eggert Norddahl in Photographs and Text directly from Volcanocafé Productions First Movie shoot.
Oh wow, pretty cool pics there… I think I found what i’m doing tonight while I recover from this root canal.. lol
If I start to slur my sentences too bad, just tell me to go to bed.. 😉
BTW Carl… I never got a reply to my email about donating to the movie project. Do I need to resend it? Sorry for the OT, but thought I should say something while reminded of it.
Likewise here Carl. Let me know if I need to resend.
/me loves the Mila 2 panning version
Just wondering what the new Dalek double left blink would mean.
In the mean time; here are a few pictures of the lava fighting the river from the air. Published by mbl.is.
Oh wow, I like these! Thank you!
New post is up! Check it out!
OT Grand Daughter number 8 arrived safely today, a big welcome to Scarlett, im sure she will be as big a Volcano addict as her Grandad.
Scarlett is a great name for a volcanoholic gal!
No 8! Congats and may Scarlett brings you so much joy grimmster… …Still waiting for my first to sort his life out…..
Congratulations to you and your family. Love her name
Congratulations, Grandad! 🙂
Welcome to the world, Scarlett. 🙂
Our baby shield is forecast by some to peter out, it doesn’t look like it has any intention of doing so at the moment –
Another big one on the IMO plots.