It Started With a Kiss…

Krisuvik volcano fumaroles and mudpots.

Krisuvik volcano fumaroles and mudpots.

So, Volcanocafé readers and kind supporters of our “Hekla:The Movie” project, the first baby steps of our momentous journey have been taken. Carl has left the world of corporate mergers to fend for itself and journeyed to Iceland to supervise the first pre-production meeting, alongside Eggert, Bergsveinn and me (Nick).

Danger at the office with Nick and Carl.

Danger at the office with Nick and Carl.

With gallons of coffee and some excellent Icelandic cakes to fuel the creative process, our intrepid production team has collectively braved the trials and tribulations presented by everything from noxious clouds of SO2, to gangs of Blackpool schoolkids, as we have scoured Iceland for likely film locations. We have but one mission: to boldly go where hundreds of TV and film crews have gone before. But there’s a difference: we’re going to get it right.

Nick wandering into the rotten smell of Krisuvik volcano.

Nick wandering into the rotten smell of Krisuvik volcano.

Here, for your delectation, are some shots taken on the first location scouting trip.

NICK (text) & EGGERT (photos)

Nick diving into the details of Krisuvik.

Nick diving into the details of Krisuvik.

The colors of a volcano.

The colors of a volcano.

To baldly go where nobody has gone before. Graenavatn maar.

To baldly go where everyone has gone before. Graenavatn maar.

Reykjanes volcano at the site of last months steam explosion.

Reykjanes volcano (Gunnuhver) at the site of last months steam explosion.

Note that the steam is going sideways due to the storm.

Note that the steam is going sideways due to the storm.

Carl infront of the Karl Rock. A massive old lava plug from an eroded volcanic vent of Reykjanes volcano.

Carl infront of the Karl Rock. A massive old lava plug from an eroded volcanic vent of Reykjanes volcano.

Bridging the bridge that bridges continents...

Bridging the bridge that bridges continents…


476 thoughts on “It Started With a Kiss…

    • There does seem to be a lot of younger people about. In my day geography field trips involved days out in North Wales or the Lake District 😦

  1. Looks that this EQ is rather wet since it continues for some time in the drumplots..
    Saturday 01.11.2014 14:01:12 64.660 -17.340 1.1 km 4.0 50.5 9.2 km ENE of Bárðarbunga

  2. Heh, i was bored yesterday, so i did watch 2 volcano movies. The first one was the ‘Apocalypse Pompeii’ which was a really bad movie and the 2nd one was ‘Pompeii’ that was much much better :-).

    Anyone with some recommendations on other volcano movies to watch?

    Oh yes, i have seen ‘Dante’s Peak’, so i don’t have to watch that.

    • Journey to the centre of the earth, not strictly about volcanoes but useful for understanding deep earth geology and where all the dinosaurs went to.

      • Seems they did a remake in 1999 which I haven’t seen – it’s on youtube. The original with might be harder to find but I the lower budget “stick rubber on a lizard” dinosaurs are more fun and worth the effort.

          • In my case, I really really have to cut my finger nails! If I didn’t edit at all, you wouldn’t be able to understand a damn thing I’m typing at the moment – they keep hitting two keys instead of one – grrrr! There are also times when my fingers, for reasons known only to themselves, go completely dyslexic – they get the right letters but all in the wrong order. This is particularly problematical if I’m doing something fun with numbers… :\

    • Best of the all the volcano movies is ‘Krakatoa: East of Java’ which is laugh out loud funny nearly all the way through (it’s not meant to be) right from the title (it’s west of Java) through the whole thing with hot-air balloons, nuns, children, tsunami, deep sea diving, whistling noises, flocks of birds. I love it to bits. 🙂

    • There is a movie called Volcano in New York (not really a good one) and there is The core which has a lot of magma but no volcanos. Then you have Aireplane versus Volcano. Look for the killer wave of 1607 on youtube, it´s a documentary of the Laki eruptions.

    • Dear me… I don’t think that’s even an M3… all that build-up then splaaaat! Story of my life really…. ::sigh::

  3. So do we assume from BillG’s entry and proposed mascot above that he’s the self-appointed CEO for Team Red? Be afraid…(but not very..)

    • I’m really hoping that is the case – BillG would make an excellent CEO! I do think though that Team Red might want to work on their motto… “Be afraid…(but not very..)” seems to lack a certain something…

  4. So, we had a spiffing day!
    We scouted out Thingvellir as the Crack of the World. Went to Geysir and did a movie-clip there with me being inteviewed by Nick, onwards to Gullfoss were Nick ran up and kissed the camera. After that we went to the main star.


    Holy crap what a whale of Awesomeness she is! And, to be quite honest. Búrfell is absolutely stunning, I never imagined that one was so beautifull. At Hekla we recorded an imprompty discussion of the volcano and the background of why we are doing a movie about it.

    At Gullfoss we got heavilly gased, eyes stinging, sulphur taste in the mouth, burning nostrils and aching lungs. Nick got the worst of the deal since he ran up the hill to the camera.

    Now, a short nap and then we will go to Stofan Café for beers, hopefully we will meet some nice Icelanders there like Palson. Looking forward to that! 🙂

      • I’m glad to hear that as I missed all the webcam fun! I’m very envious of your adventure/expedition and I look forward to lots of pictures. 🙂

        • There will be a lot of pictures, and a lot of small video clips that are nice and scientific 🙂

          (and a few fun ones too…)

          We has a marveous time doing pre-production and scouting out locations for the movie. Now we have a really good grasp of what and how we are going to do it.

          Me and Nick was talking tonight over a couple of beers. There is a feeling to Hekla that is unique. The other volcanoes we visited was mostly, “Oh look, another Icelandic volcano”, but at Hekla we got that visceral feeling that we were standing under this viscious predator. The sensation really went into our bones that we were physically in danger as we stood a few kilometers away. We felt like pray animals next to a hungry heard of lions.
          Hekla is just a completely different set of beast. It is a volcano worthy of a movie.

  5. Funny event. I had a string of soap balls in the toilet, and these balls were about to slide down the string into the bath tub at any time in soon, but they haven’t done that in a couple of weeks. At around 21:43 this evening, one first ball slide down and made a bang as it hit the bath tub. Two mins later, another ball slide, and then a min further all the balls slided down. It was a funny sequence of noises.

    I ask my wife in a funny way, maybe an earthquake triggered it (think butterfly effect). Actually 1 or 2 mins before the first ball slide, there was really a M3+ earthquake. Some tiny vibration coming from Bardarbunga effected the string and moved one last atom into the threshold of instability.

    A group of tourists in west Iceland tried the not-allowed adventure of driving up a mountain road which is closed for traffic from September onwards due to deep snow. The roads then only open again in June. Obviously they became stranded and help had to come to them, in a difficult rescue operation. People can only drive in those roads, if they have superjeeps and in pairs, and having experienced. Tourists often do this “stupid mistakes”. The road is closed and blocked and it’s not for no reason. Snow can become pretty deep in these moutain roads not to mention the high winds during storms.

    • Trusting people with experience once saved my life on a snowy/iced-up mountain (NOT on a closed road). Such idiots not only risk their own lives, but also those of the rescue teams. How immensely embarrassing, to say the least.

      • Oh… and I did not have to be saved, but was with an experienced driver, who reacted instinctively when things went wrong. One hesitation would have had extremely serious consequences. 🙂 A graphic imagination does not help… 🙂 I saw myself in an icicle, discovered the following summer. Probably by some innocent kid.

  7. Welcome to the RED Team!

    We are looking for some enthusiastic members and when you find out the benefits of joining the RED team, you will want to join, too! Just look what you will be getting:

    1. Unlimited food and beverage at the Volcano Cafe. No minimums. No upper age limit. All Sexes.

    2. At least a 25% chance of being on the team that gets the first M6.0! Guaranteed!

    3. Other team members may like the clever things you say.

    4. Other team members may agree with your technical theories.

    5. An exclusive RED carpet event on the VC.

    6. Other great benefits I can’t think of yet.

    You are probably wondering how you can join, right? Well it’s easy. You can either say you’re IN or do nothing and you’re still in! Didn’t I say that would be easy?

    Other teams will be either GREEN with envy, or down in the BLUES wishing they had our GOLDEN moments. It could be they will try to copy us, but what do they say about that?

    Your leader until someone else is,


    p.s. great day for the RED team!

  8. Eruption at Turrialba today Nov 1st

    Two days ago, Turrialba erupted spraying ash. It seems there has been another eruption today, as yet no official confirmation or information. official bulletin here:

    Please note the onset of very strong harmonic tremor at c. 14:25 local time

    For more information, visit the website of Volcanic Observatory OVSICORI Costa Rica

    DragonEdit: Oh well, the pictures won’t embed. Just goes to show that dragons aren’t always omniscient!

    Phew! Finally/ Pyrite

    • Oh wow, that is a bit more then we have seen of phreatic explosions for a long time. If it is a new image that is. The report states that there has been a small amount of juvenile magma in the ash, about 10%. –
      Article from “La Nación” 1 November 2014 12:00 – Transl. by Google
      OVSICORI: presence of magma in Turrialba
      The Seismological and Volcanological Observatory of the National University (OVSICORI) last night confirmed the presence of magma in the material released by the Turrialba volcano eruptions that began Wednesday night. […] although most of its contents are old waste disposal, found magmatic (juvenile) that came to the surface in small portion. “It means that the magma reached the surface and the volcano is not only emitting gas freeing, but these gases allowed the magma up,” said Avard. Thursday […] the wind blew debris into the Guácima Alajuela, located 53 kilometers from the volcano; Yesterday the wind was very weak […]
      Findings. The volcanologist Raul Mora, National Seismological Network (RSN) explained that at a visit to the viewpoint of the Turrialba Volcano National Park yesterday, at 12:45 pm, they could see a phreatic eruption (gases, sludge and ash). He said about 20 or 25 meters from the lookout were craters about 30 centimeter in diameter. “That means there fell stones and, upon impact, continued rolling toward the old crater. That got us a lot of attention and joined the Thursday morning saw out red-hot rocks, we can conclude that they are also giving strombolian eruptions. That is, there was magma output. On Thursday we saw rocks up to four meters in diameter in the old crater, but yesterday these stones were almost covered by ash. We have not been able to collect samples of the material at the risk of being so close to where all the eruptions,” he added. Magma is molten rock at high temperature and is contained in the magma chamber of the volcano. Since 1866, Turrialba had no emanations of magma.
      Effects on agriculture. The NEC noted that the agricultural sector is already experiencing losses due to falling ash and the emission of gases on crops.
      An evaluation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG), officials determined that in the region there are 110 producers, of which 22 have no problems, but 88 suffer damage and 40 hectares planted with legumes and vegetables. Felipe Arguedas, director of the MAG Regional Operations, said that the most affected are broccoli and cabbage and, to a lesser extent, potato and carrot. – Journalists Juan Pablo Arias, Hugo Solano and Carlos Láscarez.

      • Ooooh, let’s see what interesting things you have on your computer… Explorer, some note-paddy thingy, Chrome (I use that too), a green thingy, Paint? (I have that too but it isn’t so conveniently placed as yours is), a blue thingy (Word?), an abacus thingy (looks vaguely familiar…), a box, people, headphones and mail. Nothing controversial there – and I can’t read the top ribbon because my glasses aren’t strong enough. (Must get new eye test and new glasses…) 🙂

        • Interesting… 🙂 whole new insight on BillG. Anyhow, am tired now after the nightmare, so I’ll go to bed again. Bye now!

  9. Exciting & changing events & new discovery’s of last week & input of that new data/into the hypothesis model & subsequent conformation plus new image creation etc is delaying my comprehensive VC article on unfolding events at Bárðarbunga……..few more days ….in the meantime ….

    Magma Conduits — “Lava Dome” 🙂 — EQ Fault Line

    • I used to be really convinced but the frictional pressure loss in these very long and thin cracks is immense over reasonable distances let alone km. Also I have seen quite a few of these in Cornwall and elsewhere, and generally there isn’t much evidence of localised structural change (actually often none) in the immediate vicinity of the crack. Even from a long distance that would appear to be the case on the LH picture.

      Also they are often composed of solid white (ie pure) massive quartz, with a melting point way in excess of reasonable magma temperatures (circa 1700c I think) and way more than most rock. I think these are deposited by later aqueous deposition systems in an existing (or later dissolved) crack over an extended period of time.

      If it were filled with dark basalt I would be more convinced.

    • You should also have the baking halo around intrusion in the country rock, or more correctly termed, zone of contact metamorphism, in which the countryrock suffers mineralogical change due to the extra heat and possibly extra ions in the hot liquid.

      • New term, ‘baking halo’, I tend to think of it as ‘heat treated zone’ as in arc welding!

        Both equally descriptive but ‘baking halo’ is more poetic.

      • I do not know much about welding, but in zones of contact metamorphism ions can also come and go. With some hot fluids, of course, we can get some quite interesting deposits forming… not just the quartz… so perhaps it is good… would there be anything interesting, mineralogically, in Iceland?

        • “would there be anything interesting, mineralogically, in Iceland?”

          Yes. Zeolites! (and a whole bunch of other minerals by the looks of things) 🙂 The link below will take you straight to the Iceland page… You might want to take a packed lunch, mind; there’s more in there than you can shake a stick at..

      • From old geology lectures I believe the correct term is ‘metamorphic aureole’. Arran is a great place to see these either side of the radial dike field emanating from Goat Fell. Got slides, yes slides, somewhere…….

        • Metamorphic aureole is the term for the zone of thermal metamorphism in the countryrocks adjacent to an igneous intrusion, yes. The stronger the temperature gradient, the more changes in the mineralogy of the host rock (countryrock); ie the greater the degree of metamorphism. Pressure comes into play also, depending on the depth of the metamorphism event. A small (thin) dyke wouldn’t produce much change in the host rock it was intruding (less heat flow), but a large dyke probably would do, more especially if the magma in the dyke was very hot.
          Metasomatism can also occur (transference of ions, as Lapillus says a few posts up) especially if there volatile elements and water involved; usually introduced from the intrusion. Also, the type of host or country rock makes a biig difference to the degree of (visible) thermal metamorphism and metasomatism. If the chemical composition of the country rocks and the intrusion are very different then there is more likely to be some very obvious changes.

  10. Congratulations Carl, Eggert, Bergsveinn & Nick on the the next step on the path to “Hekla:The Movie” Its always very exciting travelling new & unknown lands & we all know you all had a “ball’,….. visiting hot spings….mmmmm nothing beats the smell of fresh virgin sulphur ….. Hubble bubble of mud pools …. & climbing active volcanos ……& escaping to safety in the nick of time…
    Our family went to New Zealand for 4 weeks & hired a Winnebago van …..lots volcanic activity there too…..most spectacular has to be the most “perfect volcano” — Mount Taranaki New Zealand

          • tsch … aw … In my mind its still Bárðarbunga-Holuhraun Eruption. Hekla has erupted many times. It does not change names by redoing. So this maybe second (third, if the Priming counts) eruption of Holuhraun crater rows. It Laki goes again, it still be Laki … Right ?

          • Pyrite, are you telling me that Holuhraun is on the flanks of Bardarbunga?
            Or just originating from it?
            “On the flanks” would make the BB quite a mountain… such a flat top head… Would be curious about its history.

            • It’s called a flank eruption when a conduit or dike opens up like this as the magma comes from the Central Volcano. Unless a new conduit that feeds magma directly into the proto-volcano opens up, this will remain a flank eruption from the point of terminology. 🙂

            • Ah, so it is a runner plant after all! Wonder if it is really invasive too-?
              Could it spread to the other side of Askja, for example?

          • Huh? How can a volcano have a flank eruption 50 km from its nearest flank? I mean to say! A flank is a flank – as in: the side of of the edifice… don’t tell me volcanologists have changed the meaning of “flank”! This means I’ve been misreading all those papers which mention flank eruptions! Someone should tell volcanologists to stick to common usage of words and stop confusing the inexpert but enthusiastic amateurs – it isn’t a nice thing to do at all! I’m sure their mothers brought them up better than that! :\

            • “How can (et.c.)”

              Well, that is exactly what it is doing right now. Just follow the path of the magma to the point where it originates! 🙂

            • Yes but it’s not erupting at its point of origin and that’s what I thought a flank eruption was! **Resetting mental concept of flank eruptions…** 🙂

            • A flank eruption would normally be on the body of the main volcano. A distant rift would get its own name, particularly if the rift does not directly come from the volcano (as in this case).

              There is a recent precedence for this type of event. In 2005 the volcano Dabbahu had a flank eruption, following a dye formation underneath. The dyke was ltraced to a volcano 30km away, Ado’Ale. The eruption may have been from magma in the dyke, or from a pre-existing magma reservoir under Dabbahu which was reheated by the dyke. Possibly both. But it is named after the place where it erupted, not the volcano 30km away.

    • interesting do you think t base t ground and t air are all temperatures ? if so what scale? fahrenheit? is it freezing in august ? or is it really 30 degrees C in september ? with tground just not plugged in I think. vbatt is presumably just a warning for battery voltage so they know when to recharge it. rhodium and phosphorus are a surprise to me – or have I misunderstood ?

    • Also from funkbook: this hotly anticipated film from ElisabettaRosso:

      Edit: Oh, didn’t realise that vimeo would embed here…
      Edit2: You aren’t the only one… cool vid.

  11. Greetings all ❤

    Just to let you know Mila 1 is working again, IMO public systems all up and running again after the hiatus of the last 48 hours and they are currently manually checking /updating the larger EQs over the same period!

  12. Impressive list M4+ quakes yesterday!!! No M5+ .


    Saturday01.11.2014 01:36:42 64.667 -17.447 3.6 km 4.0 99.0 4.8 km NE of Bárðarbunga
    Saturday01.11.2014 03:18:49 64.675 -17.485 7.1 km 4.1 99.0 4.3 km NNE of Bárðarbunga
    Saturday01.11.2014 04:01:35 64.674 -17.461 7.1 km 4.1 99.0 5.0 km NE of Bárðarbunga
    Saturday01.11.2014 05:03:53 64.674 -17.439 8.8 km 4.2 99.0 5.6 km NE of Bárðarbunga
    Saturday01.11.2014 05:59:13 64.670 -17.452 8.0 km 4.5 99.0 4.9 km NE of Bárðarbunga
    Saturday01.11.2014 09:00:17 64.675 -17.490 7.1 km 4.3 99.0 4.3 km NNE of Bárðarbunga
    Saturday01.11.2014 10:28:53 64.675 -17.423 3.4 km 4.1 99.0 6.3 km NE of Bárðarbunga
    Saturday01.11.2014 12:23:41 64.677 -17.473 0.4 km 4.0 99.0 4.8 km NNE of Bárðarbunga
    Saturday01.11.2014 13:51:28 64.671 -17.452 2.8 km 4.0 99.0 4.9 km NE of Bárðarbunga
    Saturday01.11.2014 14:01:12 64.662 -17.386 7.2 km 4.5 99.0 7.2 km ENE of Bárðarbunga
    Saturday01.11.2014 15:42:41 64.671 -17.462 3.1 km 4.4 99.0 4.6 km NE of Bárðarbunga
    Saturday01.11.2014 16:05:57 64.669 -17.482 7.2 km 4.3 99.0 3.8 km NE of Bárðarbunga
    Saturday01.11.2014 18:46:49 64.670 -17.447 5.0 km 4.3 99.0 5.1 km NE of Bárðarbunga
    Saturday01.11.2014 21:38:28 64.678 -17.394 8.2 km 4.1 99.0 7.6 km NE of Bárðarbunga

    Todays up to now ….

    Sunday02.11.2014 00:27:02 64.671 -17.449 3.5 km 4.5 99.0 5.1 km NE of Bárðarbunga
    Sunday02.11.2014 04:30:18 64.672 -17.447 7.4 km 4.6 99.0 5.2 km NE of Bárðarbunga
    Sunday02.11.2014 06:53:02 64.682 -17.488 6.9 km 4.0 99.0 4.9 km NNE of Bárðarbunga
    Sunday02.11.2014 08:12:12 64.672 -17.441 5.1 km 4.1 99.0 5.4 km NE of Bárðarbunga
    Sunday02.11.2014 11:12:12 64.671 -17.470 2.2 km 4.5 99.0 4.4 km NE of Bárðarbunga
    Sunday02.11.2014 11:20:24 64.666 -17.452 1.6 km 4.1 99.0 4.6 km NE of Bárðarbunga

    All data source IMO.

    • Although the overall number of quakes has dropped to 140, the number of M3+ is up to 30 and 24 of those are M4s!

  13. When looking at some of the recent “wet” EQ’s from a little distance away, here is the drumplot from HHZ. Notice that the event clusters have remarkable similarities in their pattern of peaks. In particular, the overall time for each “cluster”/event is remarkably consistent around 1:15 to 1:25. I find this to be more than co-incidence. Perhaps we’re seeing ring fault segments failing in rapid succession? (as we were previously ruminating about), and not necessarily “wetness” as in magmatic movement?

  14. There appear to have been less quakes today but look at the peak on the tremor plot.

    Can anyone tell me why that is happening?

    • Storm maybe?

      I’ve been looking for patterns/anomalies and I was wondering if I am imagining this, the red lines are what I see (I know I’m colour blind but I drew them so I know they’re red 😉 )

    • Well, it’s like this: Team Red is again showing who’s on top. Team Blue is making a lot of noise but that’s about it. Once in a while Team Green makes a go for it. Can’t even find Team Gold.

    • Wowee! Well, the drumplots were pretty busy from 11:12 to 11:22 and that looks like the right timing for that last peak. I doubt it’s weather, only because when the tail end of that hurricane came through, the tremor plot looked nothing like this. Mostly weather seems to be reflected in the blue band and the green to a lesser extent (1.7 hz – 4 hz apparently). So… another pulse of magma into the system from the mantle? Let’s see if there’s another big earthquake in the offing in the next hour or two. 🙂

      • Oh sorry Mopshell. I just posted without refreshing for a long while and missed your post. Still great minds going on here I think. 😉

        • I heartily agree! Definitely great minds going on here! 😀

          Isn’t this such fun, Frances? I’ve never enjoyed myself so much on the internet before – everyone is so wonderful – I could just hug you all. ❤ 🙂

    • Having looked at this quake chart I think The tremor peak relates to that burst of quakes from 11:10 to 12:12 on the chart.

  15. I have followed this site for the last couple of years. I think it is a strange statistics in the quakes. Almost all the minor quakes ae on a depth of 1,1 km, and most of the big ones are of magnitude 3 – 4 at depths of 4,3 t0 5,1 km and direction NE. Shouldn`t the mounain get tired soon?

    • Welcome cafevisitor … as IMO are not currently manually checking the majority of small quakes … and 1.1 km is the default depth … you should not read anything significant into your observation 🙂

  16. Ok, i watched another volcano movie. I’ll guess anyone have heard about the movie called ‘Airplane vs Volcano’?

    More info about the movie here:

    DO NOT WATCH IT. It’s really bad and the whole scenario they are in that movie is so absurd that it’s not even funny.

    Next time i should look at the IMDB rating before i watch a movie like that next time, lol.

    • Oh poor Tom! That sounds like a very exasperating experience. I’ll certainly take your advice and not watch it!

    • Have you found Krakatoa: East of Java yet? It really is entertaining (but do not expect too much historic, geologic or scientific accuracy). 🙂

    • A viewer review:
      Best movie EVER!!

      This movie has to be the best movie ever created that can actually waste 2 hours of your time without giving anything back. You can actually learn more by watching the wall and following some ants around the house.

      I recommend reading a book about nothing.

      You can go out and just sit on the front of the house and enjoy 2 hours better than this movie.

    • STO has been offline for a long time. For some reason these machines take a long time to settle in – I wouldn’t worry about it too much unless all the other machines started doing weird things too! 🙂

  17. I can see the end of Bardarbunga subsidence, as it’s shown on the picture I made by extending oficial IMO subsidence graph.

    • I was wondering.. has anything like this ever been observed before? I’m guessing that calderas have collapsed slowly, but not with this degree of instrumentation. Did anybody expect this degree of linearity? What is the thinking on the size and shape of the area that is sinking under the glacier?

  18. The subsidence is no longer exponential, as it used to be. The fit shown is here is exponential until early october but linear afterwards at a constant 35cm/day. (Or adding a linear decay of 10cm/day to the exponential decay: up to this point that gives almost the same result.) I think in early October something changed, perhaps a larger flow through the dyke. 35cm/day is about 0.5 cubic kilometer per month across the entire caldera, and this is probably close to the current eruption rate.

    A possible interpretation is that until early October, the eruption brought up magma that had previously been injected into the dyke, and afterwards it is magma coming directly from underneath Bardabunga. But we don’t know whether the GPS is representative for the entire caldera, and we don’t know how much of the subsidence comes from the ice rather than rock.

      • Here it is. You can see on the earlier plot how well the model agrees with the data (black line). It is at almost all days within 20cm.

    • Ok, if eruption rate is constant, then circumferance of “chamber” must have been wider before beginning of October (and getting narrower) but near constant after that (Then Y shaped ?)

      • Applying Ockham’s Razor – which is the simpler solution to fit the observed phenomena?

        a) A magma chamber that changes its shape, or

        b) A change in the rate of influx of fresh magma from the deeps?


      • Not the circumference of the magma chamber but the circumference of the surface area that is subsiding. As long as the latter remains the same, the shape of the magma chamber has no effect. Of course if that chamber is shallow, you might see its imprint on the surface subsidence pattern.

        I see no evidence of inflow or upwelling. Doesn’t mean it isn’t there, but the the only inflation is around the dyke area (I think) , and that is due to magma transport. Decompression melt would also give inflation, not subsidence. To give some ballpark numbers which may be relevant (or misleading), Iceland should gain abut 0.5 cubic kilometre of magma per year. Only a small fraction of that will ever erupt. The eruption rate of 0.5 cubic kilometre per month is 10 times larger. And remember that the magma gain through the MAR is across the length of Iceland, so only s mall fraction will be under Bardabunga (must leave something for Hekla). So I think the eruption is sustained almost entirely by existing magma transported across, Very little is fresh from the deep. It will take many years to replenish what is being lost. The subsidence in Bardabunge is similar to the eruption rate (one can argue about a factor of 2) , so it makes sense to equate them.

        • Why should melting cause inflation(or deflation)? Melting material must be there already. Why would melting cause any remarkable volume change? I mean… bucket of ice melting to water does not change the volume very much.

          • True. The density decreases a bit as it melts (that is why it comes up) but not by a lot. But decompression melt happens at depth. As it rises, it begins to affect a smaller area on the surface. I would expect to see a localised inflation. But there is nothing here that rules it out and it is not unreasonable to expect some to happen as magma is drained.

            • One more thing about this, I don’t want to nitpick but understand. When solid (or only partially solid) rock turns to magma by melting by solidus point change by pressure change and it’s density decreases from solid, why it should rise? In magma chamber the new melt is surrounded by older melt which density is, I suppose, pretty close to new melt? I would understand if there was density difference inside melt but is there?

          • Timo, the difference of water to ice is roughly 10 percent. Do you consider this little? If you have thousand liters, compare to 900 liters, roughly?
            Perhaps in a bucket the volume change is not that much. But, your scale is different here.
            Just for arguments sake: water is compressible.
            Not in our bucket, but if in an ocean, welll maybe…
            (and I can already anticipate a flurry of raised eyebrows etc…)

            • I didn’t meant that to be taking literally, I know water is very unique. Just an example. I haven’t found even phase diagram for rock, you happen to know where I could find one? And yes, water is somewhat compressible but so is rock. Only scale is different. There is no incompressible material in universe. Only in theories using ideal material.

              Albert just told rock’s density decreases a bit as it melts, just an opposite to ice. Ok, but how much? Would be nice to know, as I can pretty well understand it depends on rock composition. Basaltic rock maybe?

            • basalt has a density of around 3 grams per cuibic centimetre and the liquid form has 2.6. Say a difference of 15%. In reality. the composition will change, melt will be partial, gas may form, etc.

        • “Iceland should gain abut 0.5 cubic kilometre of magma per year.”

          Question. Is this derived from the volume of the island verses it’s age? If not, what is the source of that?

          • I got it from the spreading rate, the length of the country, and assuming a depth of 30km. The latter is a bit high but than, I ignored the subsea part so it goes both ways. This is how much new volume Iceland needs per year. I remember reading a number of 0.9 cubic kilometer per year derived from the size of Iceland and its age, so the numbers agree well enough.

    • Using 20 unit long rectangles to plot drop the gradient has changed thus –

      I would agree about the parabolic curve up until the 16th October, but after that a straight line can be drawn through the subsidence to date.

  19. ESCM have it at a 5.2
    Magnitude mb 5.2
    Region ICELAND
    Date time 2014-11-02 16:05:49.5 UTC
    Location 64.42 N ; 17.11 W
    Depth 10 km
    Distances 234 km E of Reykjavík, Iceland / pop: 113,906 / local time: 16:05:49.5 2014-11-02
    148 km S of Akureyri / pop: 16,563 / local time: 16:05:00.0 2014-11-02
    94 km W of Höfn, Iceland / pop: 1,695 / local time: 16:05:49.5 2014-11-02

    IMO are likely to have that 1 or 2 degree bigger I think.

      • She did indeed. Her words in reply to me wondering out the spike in tremor earlier were,
        “So… another pulse of magma into the system from the mantle? Let’s see if there’s another big earthquake in the offing in the next hour or two”.
        Well done Mopshell!!!

      • Let me be the first to congratulate Team Red from Team Gold for that big whizzbanger! We have been on a health & safety course as a Team so will not be indulging in those highly dangerous mega-quakes for a while. I must say your scary fertility mascot (gross!) is doing you proud! Love, The Golden Ones.

    • I tell you my observation, ksk is usually many minutes ahead of dyn and von. It is distant but it’s often easier to compare magnitude by looking some distant station. Big ones are visible everywhere.

  20. Up at 3am to check on Miss Barda……. WTF …….. this is NO GOOD

    I say ~2 weeks …..max 4 untill Kabooom!!!

      • Analysis & plotting of all data ……also reveals plume fresh magma North side rising up from -8km at 1km+- per week

      • 100% fresh magma, hot gasses & hotter liquids moving Upwards!!……..its vibration oscillation within the conduit……..they are called drumbeats …

        • And Mopshell guessed correctly over 3 hours ago that magma may be moving upward. She will be miffed Mopsie when she wakes up! 😉

          • More happy surprise than miffed! I did see it when I got up this morning but had no time to comment as it’s my shopping day. At this time of the year I go out as early as I can before it gets too hot. Arrived home to see that Team Blue had put in the first appearance Monday morning (possibly an M4+ but hard to tell this early on). Lots of time left (another 21 hours as of now) for everyone to have a go. 🙂

            Incidentally, Frances, Team Green were the undisputed winners on the last day of October and the first day of November – great reasons for you and your Kermit mascot to be very proud! 😀

          • nearly done only a few more days…..this cycling we are now seeing is caused by

            … expansion pressure of fresh magma, hot gasses & hotter liquids in the quake void area is presurising the 500km3 chamber……… causing the caldera floor to rise see GPS…… as its nearing a new equlibrium state……these rises are getting larger & higher…….eventually the pressure gets too great and…….the liqiuds move very quickly into the fractured Northern side wall causing the vibrations and squalls of EQ’s…….as this is the easyest path …………..the injected fresh magma, hot gasses & hotter liquids then rise & rise causing more vibrations and moore squalls of EQ’s..
            …… repeat ….repeat…..untill zero hour

    • Well, this might have some bearing on any future eruption. I was in Iceland in August and left on the 1th. When did it all kick off? August 16th, with some signs of increase on the 14th. I’m due in Iceland again and I’m due to leave on the 18th…

        • That’s going to make November and unusually long month – does that mean Christmas will be delayed this year? Will I have more shopping days?

          • We’ve taken Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve out of the worldwide calendar in order to accommodate November 31st through 33rd (Blame Richard!). This means December runs as follows:
            1 – 24, 27 – 30, leaving you just as many days for shopping but what you should be shopping for is another matter. This is a matter of Gender Equality as women enjoy shopping and the preparations while men don’t and men enjoy the celebrations while women don’t.

            Just as to not confuse anyone, 2015 is still scheduled to begin on January the first. Unless Richard has other ideas. 🙂

            • Actually I’m not a happy shopper, Supermarket shopping I see as a necessary evil but things like clothes and shoe shopping can turn me positively glassy-eyed! I do like stationary and handyman stores though and I like buying presents for people.

              I’m not big on the whole decoration thing either but I love Christmas Day food! Oh and all the delicious leftovers! 😀 I think I’ll just move the food thing to January 1st – that should work. 🙂

  21. In Space, no one can hear you puke

    “As Smart News has written before, smell is chemistry. And the specific chemical concoction found on the comet 67P/C-G—made mostly of dust and ice, but also small amounts of organic compounds—means that it has a particularly distinct odor: “rotten eggs, cat urine and bitter almonds,” says New Scientist.”

    Read more:

  22. EchoohcE
    thanks for the link to zeolites! Now I know there is a mineral called heklaite, colourless, vitreous, orthorhombic, and usually appears as “Fine-grained mass of micrometre- to submicrometre-sized crystals”. Nice to learn something new.
    And goes with the theme in the main article above..

  23. IMO:
    Sunday 02.11.2014 16:05:42 64.709 -17.311 4.0 km 5.3 99.0 9.3 km SSW of Kistufell

    A bit outside the comfort zone?

    • I was just going to ask if there had been a definite magnitude assigned to the big one earlier this afternoon. There appears to the an upswing on all the tremor meters on the IMO site. Very interesting! Typical that it happens on a day when I’m having to spend all my energies sorting out my finances! 🙂

    • OH Yes, just checked the location on Google earth. Interesting location indeed. Especially in view of it looking like magma rising on that one and complete with drumbeats. If anything happened there then it would indeed be a flank eruption. Only saying IF.

    • I’m wondering if that will be reviewed again… it’s a very unlikely location for such a big quake. I wonder what IMO and IES make of it?

  24. Timo,
    found something for you! Phase diagrams for basalt and other rocks!
    Try this one:
    (Remove the zzz of course)
    From the following thing: decompression melting can melt some 30 percent….
    The following one is full of info for all kinds of magmatic rocks, and by skimming you can get the basaltic ones (though gives me headache – so many phase diagrams)
    With a simple cursory look it is quite apparent that the answer is not that easy…
    But with a second thought, these things will give some indication what could be happening there, though the approximation you were given could work… if you had the pressure and temperature as simple things…
    One thing makes it easier: usually some minerals tend to occur together. But, alas, I am yet to see the rock type of BB except claim for basalt (though not with a sample)..

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