A closer look at the Eyjafjallajökull ash

The ash plume from Eyjafjallajökull, piercing the cloud deck above the volcano. Image courtesy of the Icelandic Met Office, taken on May 13, 2010. See the latest report on the eruption.

With all the rapid fire news on eruptions as of late, combined with my busy schedule during the school year, I haven't been able to post as many articles on some basic aspects of volcanology. I will try to remedy some of this over the summer and the first will look at volcanic ash and specifically the ash from Eyjafjallajökull. I've taken some photomicrographs of the ash from Eyjafjallajökull (sent to me graciously by Jón FrÃmann) so we can discuss the composition and morphology of the ash.

So, first things first: all volcanic ash is not the same! This should be no surprise to many of you as it just makes sense - different magmas produce different styles of eruption based on the physical properties of the magma, so the ash produced should be different. This is not just compositionally, but also the shape and size of the ash shards will vary with the type of eruption. These characteristics - composition and morphology - are two of the ways that volcanologists can use to match ash deposits with specific eruptions as they can be diagnostic features. This is then used to do tephrachronology, to date ash layers in order to give temporal constraints to the rock record.

Ash is actually made of a number of different materials - what most people will think of first is volcanic glass. Most ash is produced by fragmentation of magma when escaping gases will form bubbles and "pop". This is why most ash looks like cuspate shards - the walls of bubbles - because that is exactly what they are. However, ash isn't merely volcanic glass. It can also have a significant component of mineral grains/fragments (from the magma) and/or pulverized chunks of previously erupted lava that gets fragmented in the eruption. The proportions of glass, minerals and lithic fragments can also help identify the source of the ash (if it is not known).

Now, so far, the eruptions at Eyjafjallajökull have been characterized as anything from strombolian to surtseyan to phreatoplinian to microplinian depending on the amount of water from the melting GÃgjökull glacier involved. This will have an effect on the ash production because as we have seen, the more water involved, the more explosive the eruption seems to become. This means more fragmentation of the magma as it reaches the vent and interacts with the meltwater. However, there also appears to be a component of gases escaping from the mixed (basalt and silicic "mush") magma itself, causing fragmentation of the magma without water. So, what does this stuff look like?

Note, for all of these images, click on it to see a larger version.

Eyjafjallajökull ash under a petrographic microscope in crossed-polarized light at ~40x. Note the blocky nature of the ash and the variety of color. Image by Erik Klemetti.

The Eyjafjallajökull ash is actually not what I was expecting - it is blocky and crystal-rich rather than very glassy and cuspate. Now, I believe the sample I have was collected fairly distal from the vent, so the ash might look different very close to the fountaining, but this is likely representative of the ash that is disrupting the flights around Europe. Here is another look:

Eyjafjallajökull ash under a petrographic microscope in crossed-polarized light at ~40x. Image by Erik Klemetti.

In this image, I've tried to identify the minerals in the ash. There is a lot of white to clear plagioclase feldspar (differentiated from quartz by obvious cleavage planes) and both olivine and pyroxene - now, they are a little difficult to definitively ID in this ash, but there are plenty of objects in the ash that show properties of these minerals under the polarizing microscope. These minerals are all common in basaltic-to-andesitic magmas, so no large surprise here. There also is abundant grey and brown volcanic glass (some of which is black in cross-polarized light) which looks to be full of oxides like magnetite - the tiny black specks in the glass shards. Here is a zoomed in image of ash:

Eyjafjallajökull ash under a petrographic microscope in crossed-polarized light at ~100x. Image by Erik Klemetti.

This just shows some more detail on the mineral grains and the glass shards. So, what can we say about the ash? The minerals and glass are rather blocky, which is more typical for phreatomagmatically generated shards rather than magmatically (only) generated shards. This seems to back up the idea that the explosivity of the eruption is being dominantly driven by interaction with water. However, you would really need to examine some of this ash with an scanning electron microscope (SEM) to get the full grasp on the morphology.

Eyjafjallajökull ash under a petrographic microscope in crossed-polarized light at ~40x. Image by Erik Klemetti.

This is, of course, only a cursory look at the ash from Eyjafjallajökull, but it is fascinating to see that by just glancing at the shapes of the ash shards in the deposits that inferences about the style of eruption can be drawn. Further study of the ash by the legions of volcano experts will likely show that the ash has a fairly complex origin, but at least the observations many of us have made of the eruption are reflected in the ash.

For more information on ash morphology, see:

- Cas, R.A.F. and Wright, J.V., 1987, Volcanic Successions: Modern and Ancient. Chapman and Hall, New York. (specifically, Chapter 3.5 pp. 47-51).
- Francis, P. and Oppenheimer, C., 2004, Volcanoes: Second Edition. Oxford University Press (specifically, Chapter 8)
- Lockwood, J.P. and Hazlett, R.W., 2010, Volcanoes: Global Perspectives. Wiley-Blackwell (specifically, Chapter 7).

More like this

Excellent blog entry Erik!! Items like this are what I especially love about this blog.

By bruce stout (not verified) on 20 May 2010 #permalink

I 2nd (!) that!

Thanks so much Erik for your explanation and photos. ( Learning lots here.) This ash looks evil to the lungs but quite beautiful under a
petrographic microscope in crossed-polarized light.


Thanks for the pretty pics. (Any with a polarizer?) If your scale is right, these are still pretty coarse particles. I wonder if anyone nearby has noticed anything like quartz; I've seen pretty quartz crystals up to about 5mm across at places; sometimes even larger. I've been asked a few times if they were diamonds so I try to explain how you can tell they're not diamond.

By MadScientist (not verified) on 20 May 2010 #permalink

Oops ... stoopid me - I wasn't reading the captions. Oh well, I blame 14 hours out in the field getting windburn; it doesn't help any that my internet connection seems to be maintained by carrier pigeon. It's even worse than an Iridium modem connection ...

By MadScientist (not verified) on 20 May 2010 #permalink

@Erik . I just sent an email to you with 2 SEM images of ash attached. Jón FrÃmann sent ash to me too ( thank you ever so much Jón FrÃmann). I will continue to do more images. My email is birgit.hartinger@aec.at in case my email did not reach you and you would like to take a look at more of my SEMs. Poor Jón FrÃmann already got spammed with most of the pictures i took so far;).

By Birgit, Austria (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Thank you, Erik. For me, this forum is a classroom. Today's lecture is simply super. I'll enjoy (and learn from) the class discussion.

With the risk of beeing proved wrong in the future I would like to say that I now think that Lady EF is going back to sleep.

After the tremorpeak earlier today which seems to have been the final push she gets her well deserved rest. Thank you for the show. :-)

Lets see what Iceland has to offer in the future. Maybe Katla or Grimsvötn will show their teeth.

By Daniel, swe (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Madscientist: since this is ash collected by Jon in Iceland itself, it will likely be relatively coarse-grained, having fallen out of the plume under gravity within a few km. The stuff which is disrupting air travel across Europe will be much finer

The presence of olivine in material whose bulk compostion has been reported as having 58$ silica is interesting..magma mixing for sure?. Analyses and thin-sections from larger fragments will be something to look forward to

Oops sorry, hit the wrong key and didn't notice: it's 58% not 58$ :o) (although some entrepreneurs will doubtless be selling Eyja ash on Ebay for that!)

Dear Erik!

We also have some samples from Iceland. Our ash sample was collected on 1 of May and we have some scorias also from the first vent eruption (in March). Yesterday we uploaded some picture to our hungarian volcano blog. You can find optical and SEM pictures also there. Our research group are working on the samples and hopefully next week we can make EPMA analysis of the glass and minerlas.
Have you noted the new shallow level earthquake beneath Eyjafjallajokull.

@Jón FrÃmann, Did you change anything on your helicorder?
It looks so "clean". Almost looks as if there is a filter on it that cuts out the noise. You can still see earthquakes happening, but the continuous rumble is gone.
(at least for now...)

Awesome post!! Just to add another useful reference to your great reference list:

Fisher & Schmincke, 1984, Pyroclastic Rocks. Springer-Verlag.

It belongs on any volcanologist's bookshelf!

The following is a comment from a friend at the FAA/Engine Safety Division, regarding the effect of ash on airplane engines:
The engineers have been working every day to try to establish an objective "safe" level of ash in order to allow air carriers to operate. Their conclusion is that a low density, the ash cloud is about the same as flying into and out of Bombay, India, with all its air pollution. The real question is who is going to bear the burden of the extra maintenance required after flying through that kind of debris. It may be safe, but it will cause more rapid deterioration of internal engine parts that will have to be replaced sooner than expected. My bet is that you will see the costs of tickets rise to account for that extra cost.

By Janice Sutcliffe (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Now that the weather has cleared up a bit it seems there is almost no plume left? Is the eruption coming to a halt?
I wonder if considering the new EQ's the eruption is going to move east..

I don't understand. There are still interactions between water and magma for the Eyjafjöll eruption? Indeed, there has been some strombolian phases especially during eruption waning phases. From where this water is coming? There is now an obvious volcanic cone in addition of the crater in the glacier. So, if there are interactions of meltwater with magma, then the meltwater must percolate through the volcanic ring to reach the magma (?) or there is (are) a new ground water(s)? If there was strombolian activity, then it means that the melwater do not reach the magma because, I don't know, the glacier is to far from the volcanic cone, why the meltawater reacts again after, if it is the mean of the formation of subplinian columns?

2 new EQ under EJ one shallow and one deep

@parclair - from Mulakot, looks like what steam there is is exaggerated by local weather conditions - no force to it -

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

There may be some quakes due to settling from deflation. So if you have some shallow quakes, it doesn't mean with any certainty that it is due to rising magma, it could be due to the deflation and things settling. I haven't looked at the inflation data (as it tended to be too spotty and hard to make anything out with any certainty) but someone posted here a couple of days ago that it seemed like it was deflating "rapidly" to them. Such a rapid deflation could result in some small quakes.

At the same time, quite a bit of weight has come off the top of that mountain from the heat of the volcano and interaction with magma so that could be another source of things rearranging themselves a little bit. Water is lighter than most rock, certainly, but you still must think of ice as a lighter form of rock. When a lot of it gets removed for whatever reason, it can result in some changes in the stresses in the rock below it.

@Bas v D, The noise you are seeing is human made. I am not ready to call the eruption off in Eyjafjallajökull. But we might be in for a short break.

Currently there seems to be more lava flow then ash coming from the crater at the moment.

I think all the new quakes around Eyjafjallajokull are the result of the noticeably reduced volcanic tremor compared to past days: earthquakes are now probably much easier to spot and locate than before.

Curiouser and curiouser. Tremor seems to be going down countrywide, except for the 2-4Hz band NE of Vatnajökull which shows an increase.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Seems the sky has cleared enough that the thermal cam can see the base of the plume.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@10 Mike Don, I would think the olivine could either be evidence for magma mixing or it could be some accidental material from older solidified lava that was broken up by the explosive activity.

Nice pics Erik. In the third photomicrogaph that may be hedenbergite, which is present in some Icelandic lavas. See if has a strong grass-green color in plane light.

@14 Mariek, how's Blackberry?

@Svatli, thanks for that link thats very useful. By any chance have you been away in the artic circle hiking for the last few months :D

#33: Nope. Mýrdalsjökull is pretty much Katla territory. The quakes are probably her bed creaking as beds are wont to do.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Does anybody else see some steam rising from the Markarfljót river (but not on the branch coming from the GÃgjökull). Just beyond the rocks in the foreground. Do we have some ground heating going on? That wouldn't be too good.

(As seen on the Ãórólfsfelli webcam.)

By Holger, N California (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

What!?! No Kimberlite? Seriously Erik, a very nice explanation, thanks! Out of interest, do you use spectroscopy (x-ray difraction) or tools such as a Chelsea filter (detects the presence of chromium) in volcanological mineralogy?

By Henrik, Swe (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@Kaboom: MÃla is still getting first-time visitors. They recently logged their first visits from Svalbard (Spitzbergen) and W-Sahara.

Aside: Two new minerals on file - eldfellite and heklaite. I'm glad Ms. Takeuchi didn't know of them when she drew Sailor Moon.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

The Hekla and Katla cams are as fogged over as a fanboy's glasses after he spots a busty meganekko.

And Google... don't go there today, or you risk spending the rest of the day playing Pacman on the banner!

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

The plume is tiny now on Ãórólfsfelli cam. Looks to be just steam with little ash. IMO report will be interesting later.

@38 Jon says it's just man made noise in post #26.
It looks like Eyjafjallajökull has just about finished, shame i've kinda got used to watching it.

@ 41 Doug, I wouldn't want to be living near any of the Cascade volcanoes, the following paragraph is from the Cascades Volcano Observatory.

A swarm of small earthquakes started on the morning of September 20, 2009, at about 09:00 PDT beneath Mount Rainier. To date, the swarm has consisted of hundreds of earthquakes, most occurring on Sept. 20. Most locate at a depth of 2-3 km (1-2 miles) beneath the northeast flank of the volcanic edifice, centered ~1 km (0.5 miles) northeast of the summit. The largest event was a M 2.3 on Sept. 20. As of Sept. 23 swarm events continue, but at a greatly reduced rate since early on September 22. Seismic swarms are concentrations of earthquakes that typically are not initiated with a mainshock, and are common features at volcanoes. The vast majority of volcanic swarms are not associated with eruptive activity. Rainier itself has had several such swarms: in the past 7 years there have been similar days-long swarms in 2002, 2004, and 2007, two of which (2002 and 2004 )included M 3.2 earthquakes. The Sept. 20 swarm has produced the largest number of events of any swarm at Rainier since seismic monitoring began over two decades ago, so we will continue to closely monitor seismicity and other geophysical parameters at Rainier.

#35: Hard to tell. The encoder tends to oil-paint the image a bit too much, IMAO, hence my earlier-voiced suspicion of a bandwidth crunch when it comes to the cameras.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@42 Yes

- It is over
- It is taking a mocha break
- We begin the game of musical chairs

@35, you might be seeing either light rainfall or light ash going by - even tho' that little cloud in front seems to barely move, there is other 'stuff' in the air that is drifting pst the camera..

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Doug, I went back to the first of May and I don't really see anything that looks all that different from day to day, but I'm not an expert.

There were a few small quakes in the vicinity of Elbe and Eatonville this week but that's about it for officially noted activity. Last week, Mt. Hood shook a little and the cascade volcanoes have been known to chatter about each other. I choose to believe that's all it is.

Zander: meh. I've been watching Yellowstone throw much more impressive fits for two years now, and nothing ever comes of it. Anyway, watching the volcano in Iceland has had a calming effect re: worrying about Rainier. It's amazing how much explosive energy can be released without really changing the overall landscape much. (But then, I don't live in the lahar zone.)

21 @d9tRotterdam - I think yesterday was one of the time-lapse days that I will remember - the play of ash and light,( in air and on the ground,) plume and cloud, is so interesting and at the same time nature's work of art. Thank you.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Thank you Jen, Zander, Dasnowskier; Rainier is fairly noisy most of the time, with weather, glacier movement, rock fall, water, human noise, etc. What got my attention this over the last few days is the steady rate of tiny quakes, every 3 to 5 minutes, showing up on Camp Muir, Camp Shuman and St. Andrews (that aren't listed on the activity charts), with a few of the stronger ones showing up on Mt. Fremont too. Usually, the weather and glacier noise doesn't register simulataneously on all three of these upper mountain stations. I'm guessing it's the normal hydro-thermal (coffee percolator) noise, just more persisant than normal. But if it continues and strengthens over the next few weeks, it might indicate a different type of activity than normally seen on this mountain.

@Reynir # 45 & @birdseye #47

Maybe you are right. But then again, the clouds and fog roll by and the feature is more or less stationary and apparent keeps puffing away.

Does anyone know, if there were any hot springs or fumaroles in the Markarfljót river valley before the current eruption?

I'll definitely keep an eye on this little 'mirage'.

By Holger, N California (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@Holger52 - There is 'little feature' on the river that had me going a few days ago on Thoro cam - (which I find pretty useless for fine details especially when blown to larger dimansins!) There's a small stream that comes from higher ground into Markarflot and in certain times it looks like steam coming off a little sort of square spot in the river on the far bank...I need a laser pointer that works live on webcams! So do you! ;)

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Over the last few hours there have been reports of blue haze coming from Eyjafjallajökull. It is unclear what it coming from Eyjafjallajökull. This gas is followed by a headache and other symptoms.

@Erik & auditorium(or should I say "viditorium"?;-)
Many thanks for the blog and all these informative posts! Never thought to learn as much about volcanology in such a short period.

@Birgit from Austria: *wave* - from only 40km south :-)

@54 Jón F., from which settlements are the reports coming?

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink


Mula cam has been showing very low clouds moving in, the plume itself was quite low at one point - I suppose clouds could catch and hold down whatever Eyja is putting up in the plume or from the lava exposed on the glacier? - it looks hazy.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@birdseyeUSA - those steam features - are they visable on the Votafone?? The camera has pretty clear pics currently and I dont see them there - though I see what looks like steam on the Pórólfsfelli camera...

Is the blue gas presumed to be Flourine (SP?). The element that was such an issue with LAKI in the 1700's

By Dasnowskier (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@59Jayster, Holger is the one seeing steam, I thought I saw a tiny plume a few days ago but was fooled - I'm blaming the camera ;0 Voda is definitely more clear,glad it's back - it's been down.
Our Mulakot host is busy washing the ash off the driveway, comes and goes in the different views -

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

A nice earthquake visible on Jón FrÃmann's helicorder page, occurred about 20 minutes ago.

@Holger #52: I'm not at all sure, but where I think you saw the steam, I saw a small creek running on the latest Vodafone image. You can see that image by moving the hour slider to 9.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Doug: It might help to know (if you don't live in the area) that we had a very bad storm a few nights ago and since then it's been substantially colder than it was previously. I am sitting here tucked in to comfy socks and a blanket thinking about breaking down and turning on the heat. I imagine things (ice etc) might have been melting and freezing and expanding and contracting and blowing around in the wind, etc.

Lots of quakes on Eyjafjäll today ?
and some EQ on Katla too,. x-fingers notting serious is happening under there..
but Eyjafjäll does probably have a calm fase, she has done that before, and suddenly opened up the throath again.. plenty of ash and Lava where it comes from,.

@thor they are mostly pretty small, no? it's getting cold up there, she's shivering....

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Hi, this is a google translation about the bluish gas emitted from Eyjafjallajökull.

Bluish vapors come out with FljótshlÃð and puts them in the west. They included the dark pong and even cause the most headaches. Deep in the hill town is the Fjótsdalur Thorolfsfell the next-innermost towns are bottom-Tributary, and Smáratún Eyvindr Múli.

Farmers HlÃðarendakoti, which is further out, saw it clearly, and found and notified to IMO at noon. According to see farmers in the Lower Tributary same cows enter the fan campaigns. IMO receives more reports of this phenomenon.

Trying to get this on film but it is not easy. That cyanosis can be seen only as a color change that is transferred to; where it lies over the green grass appears blue. This is clearly a local, is seen with ground and crawl downwind. Therefore, this is unlike any heating or sky fog reviewed our experience.

People feel that this is not sound and the smell takes any doubt. From HlÃðarendakoti saw it take the earth with Eyjafjöll and Big Goals. So it appeared that the horses afgirtu chamber moved ahead faint stench, its what.

It is worth mentioning that in 2002 they got into difficulties Hydrological Service men tests of the river run, just above the ice, because of volcanic gas. The next race, the same year, I went with sulfur measurement and showed his value in excess of levels. Then there were people present at the measuring point at the end of Western KvÃsl beautiful mountain is gone, but was up side down value. Gas is heavy and takes the ground, as farmers in HlÃðarendakoti announced earlier today.


There was a 2.8 magnitude quake at about 18:55 under Vörðufell, which is just off the Mýrdalsjökull map to the west. There was a 1.9 at about 16.42 under Eyjafjallajökull.

@Reynir #63

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to connect to the Vodafone cam all day today. I had to stick to the thorolfsfelli webcam.

Of course they are all fogged in now. I'll keep my eyes open if the 'feature' remains once it clears up again.

By Holger, N California (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

If i remember my chemistry correctly the blue haze could be some sort of fluoride rich gas compound.

Not sure if i remember correctly though. :-)

By Daniel, swe (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@67 - Sulfuric acid mist?

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

There is another EQ on Jón's recorder

Just reported ..

20:05:4864.035-21.2682.6 km2.890.05

#69: I can connect to the Codafone site allright, but the camera is offline here as well. And since the other cams show nothing watchable, I've found TV boring for years, and I'm already done hacking together a CGI script to view the command list for SmallBASIC, I'll have to find something else to burn time.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Hi all. This is a little OT but I thought I would share the "volcano" that we are dealing with. I grew up on the gulf coast and I am heartbroken by what is going on. This is a live feed on CNN of the gusher. I don't know how long they will have it up but I thought since our volcano here is having a slow day you might have a looksie.


By Janet, sad in TX (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@76 sad Janet - that is pretty ugly-looking. and what I presume is the equipment that is siphoning off some of the oil (not much) looks like some futuristic mechanical cockroach -

I have a question - does oil ever 'erupt' of its own accord when there are tectonic events?

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Excerpted from mbl.is:
The eruption is greatly reduced. The flow rate is estimated at 5tn/s, none of which is lava. The plume rose to 3.6km (FL120) at 18:50 UT. Bluish clouds smelling putrid were reported this afternoon. No lightning has been spotted by the ATDnet since 13 UT yesterday.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Very interesting and beautiful blog, Erik. Please send me a necklace made of those ash "stones" :)

By Barbara, Germany (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@82 Julie - thank you- interesting - the things we don't know are out there! I was thinking of dramatic-type sudden releases, ('natural' Gulf Spill) but something like the Ca. Coal Point seep could over time add up -

If any of you posters to this blog attend the San Fran AGU fall meeting, how about putting your blog moniker on your name tag - or on your posters - ....or just Eruptions Eyja or something ;) Imagine there will be some papers and presentations...

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

My opinion is to wait for ground GPS deformation to show clear signs of deflation&subsidence for a more or less prolonged period of time before declaring that the eruption is over.

Besides, average seismicity (tremor) is currently still higher than during the period following the end of the Fimmvordurhals flank eruption.

I am recording a lot of low period earthquakes on my geophone. All of them appears to come from Eyjafjallajökull. This is a bad news as it means that the current plumbing inside Eyjafjallajökull is increasing it pressure. It means that at current rate that there is going to be a explosion in Eyjafjallajökull at any time. How big is impossible to say. But this does not look good in my opinion.

Jón, any idea of what just broke ?

@89 cancel that. Probably a spurious alignment with an earlier trace. Interesting to see the edged thick line trace.

If there's one thing I've learned during my many months of reading here, it's that Jón FrÃmann has never a crepe hanger, and he's never been wrong.

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@Dan #92

It sure is the foggiest we've ever seen the airport at the Mulakot webcam. But it's not piling up on the vehicles in the top view, thus it shouldn't be ash.

By Holger, N California (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

clouds go away
rocks rock 'n roll
She went with a bang

How bad is that?

Hi Holger, You don't think that's ash on the ATV? How would it escape the ash that's surrounding it?

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@94 Pretty bad, Frankill. Pretty bad. ;)

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@93 Holger - Looks more like snow though .. hmmm

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@Princess Frito #95

After looking at it for a little while (since there's nothing to see on the other webcams [am I addicted or what?]), I don't think there is much ash accumulating, if any. Can't exclude a thin layer, though, but nothing substantial. So far that is, I'll keep watching....

(I'll check in later, I have to run pick up the kid from school...)

By Holger, N California (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Whooee! That's effin peasoup on the Hvolsvöllur cam!

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@98 Holger - But ..but .. it's white and furry!?! And in time-lapse, it's accumulating on the front plate of the ATV. The temperature is too high for snow and, besides, there's no precipitation, either forecast or actual.

What the ... is it?

That'll teach me to forego Lady Eyja for Pacman. Damnit!!

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Princess Frito yes Jon has been right most of the time and usually his predictions have flown right into the face of the experts. It just goes to show that intuition is something you can't learn from a book....it's a gift;)

Dan, Florida & Holger, N California it could be fog or the blue gas they were speaking of in the last update. I know Erik talked about the visible things he saw in the ash sample...but has anyone seen a recent chemical analysis?

@92,93, 95 backing up the fog idea, on the Hvol cam, the lights are clear white, not brown like the other night when there was heavy ash...and the guy with the ATV is pretty fussy, he'd bring it in or cover it if the was ash. But I wonder what they are doing there - not usually someone there this late at night, is there?

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

I think we can say that Múlakot is well and thoroughly socked in.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@birdseyeUSA I don't get it, unless it's heavy icefog, which isn't justified by the reported ground temperature.

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Tap tap tap! Is this thing on?

see first pic at //www.mulakot.net/myndavelar.html

That ain't normal for above-freezing temperatures. And I agree with birdseyeUSA - the gentleman who owns the ATV wouldn't have left it outside.

It's like he ran.

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

The first Mula camera works on some other sort of reading, it's always visible when the others have gone dark - not thermal, but something similar -anyone know? The grass is wet and still ashy from yesterday, but the camera caretaker has hosed down the gravel and carted off several loads of ash in the back of his 4x. Present weather says 'widely foggy.' What are you seeing, Princess F.?

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

With just fog the streetlights where brightly yellow
and the halo 3 or 4 times bigger.
Remember Princess Frito? (bathroomman-time)
Maybe a mix fog and ash?

OK... a bit more rectal database adhoc analysis...

Fog is the most likely cause of the bad visibility. This area is very close to the south coast, and very open towards the sea. What surface wind there is is off S-SW. The cams in Vestmannaeyjar show what looks like very low cloud over the town. A cam in Selfoss town (well west of there) shows foggy or smoky air.

My best guess: Peasoup fog rolling in from the sea.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@Dan See my 108

Something's not right.

Backtrack ... a few hours ago, well before the "blue haze" was reported, I watched d9tRotterdam's timelapse video. I was amazed at the cobalt blue clouds (starting around :31 seconds) at a time when the normal background sky was a light torquoise.

Check it out.

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

phooey, couldn't copy the whole link, I'll try again...

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@Princess, I meant he wouldn't leave it outside if it were ashy out there - fog, no big deal - I used to live on the coast of Maine - looked like this a lot...I agree with Reynir, don't think anyting has happened, there'd be other signs. 4x has been outside all afternoon, one way or another. Just looks wet.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Birdseye #77, there is something just as bad or worse than oil that washes up on the Dead Sea: asphalt. There are areas in the ocean where methane bubbles up to the surface, also. I saw a program that showed an area in the ocean, (I don't remember which) that has an area of CO2 that is trapped at the bottom and it just sits there. So there are areas where stuff that isn't what we want to be there is and it can come to the surface.

Let's see. Blue haze with a bad odor. Hmmm. SO2? I think I saw someplace that sometimes the plume coming out of Halema'uma'u will have a blue haze to it and if I remember right, they said that SO2 can have that color. I could be way off so if anyone knows for sure, let us know. It just sounds like SO2 to me, but I suppose it could have flouride in it also.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink


Look at how the spiked interval at 07-09 hours on May 21st has eliminated the variance in the signals. The baseline average signals carry along their former trends.

Whatever was adding the varying flutter to the signal stopped at that 07-09 interval.

Ref 117/77


"The first asphalt volcanoes were discovered in 2003 by a research expedition to the Gulf of Mexico. They are located on a seafloor hill named "Chapopote," Nahuatl for "tar." The site is located in a field of salt domes known as the Campeche Knolls, a series of steep hills formed from salt bodies that rise from underlying rock, a common feature in the gulf. The research team, led by Ian MacDonald of Texas's A&M University, documented tar flows as wide as 20 m (66 ft) across. Also discovered alongside the asphalt were areas soaked with petroleum and with methane hydrate, also spewed from the volcano."


"The world's largest natural oil seepage is Coal Oil Point in the Santa Barbara Channel, California.

When a petroleum seep forms underwater it may form a peculiar type of volcano known as an asphalt volcano."


@113 Frito I still tend to think it's tricks of light and fog. Notice the coloring on each of the different Mulakot cams. Depending on the quality of the camera and lenses, how much light can be gathered and so on, you get different outputs. Also light plays cool trick with water. During some of the bigger thunderstorms here off in the distance, they can have a blue tint to them, and if it has hail, green. Or they can be almost black. All depends on how much sunlight hits and at what angle.
But then again, I could be wrong and this is something totally different. :)

Thanks for the info ,Lurking.

Well, I did a bit of research on the HVO site and I did find out that the blue haze is SO2 aerosols(sp?), hence the bad smell. So that answeres that question. I forgot to get the addy for that info and I will go back for it so all of you can get to it without having to dig for it. :-)

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

21.05.2010 20:05:48 64.034 -21.256 6.1 km 3.0 99.0 5.0 km NW of Hveragerði is this close enough to be of concern?

@Raving [118]

Well, you have about 6 quakes to choose from. Here are the ones in the 0800 hours on that date. One mid level and the rest shallow. (circles are quakes, triangles are volcano locations)


Diane that is why I am back....the blue gas, the EQ's and the fact that it seems to no longer be a completely open system....tells me that something is about to happen;)

Had to reboot not once, not twice, but three times. Grrrrrr

Ok trying to catch up.

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Wondered where you were Randall. I guess nothing was really going on, but according to Jon, something is about to happen. What is anyones guess.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

#128: I'm not the only one here putting up with a Windows computer, then.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@Frankill #110 Oh I remember ;) Poor guy. :)

Ok, without having to read back, are we all on the same page about the possibility of SO2 fog (my post #72?)

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Probably a combination of fog and vog.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Ref image linked in post 125, I forgoth to change the date. The actual date is 5/21/10 vice 3/21/10. The time stamp is accurate though.

And since I have not discovered this thing called "tinypic"... (I'm such a ludite)

Here are the quakes in the same plot from 5/15 to 5/21/


Note: The MOHO depth is approximate. I had to psuedo interpret it from a mangled depth image.

@Reynir #130 - If you're using Firefox to watch the Porosf cam, it'll suck the life out of your RAM in a short period of time (it's the Flash, apparently). I have to close Firefox windows and reopen on a regular basis.

@HRH Diane #129 - *Curtseys* Where you been, Royal Sistah?

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@131 that has my vote was disacussing it with my husband and he agrees. He is Hazmat Technician on the fire dept he considers it a very serious situation where can he find recent data on the air samples?

Princess Frito, I have been here, just catching up and all that. I am not a fast reader so it takes a while. By tomorrow morning there will probably be around 75-100+ new posts for me to go through. I usually start at the latest ones and work backwards to get the gist of what is going on. Sure wish we could see something.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@Reynir or anyone in Iceland - do you know of any ground-level air quality sites in Iceland that Renee #135 can reference?

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Thanks all for today.
@Diane N Ca thanks for the extra hlaup etc. info - going to take a while on that to get through it all! (Got impatient with the two last ones, take too long to load on my rig., or at least right now - ) Ditto thanks for the tar etc, info. Sorta like La Brea underwater?

@Princess Frito, in Maine the fog would bead up on the window screens sometimes, it was so heavy- the locals referred to it being 'thick afog' at those times.
OK, I'm gone, good night all - & have to be away from computer most of tomorrow (all smile...) so, take good notes please.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@Diane #136 - My method is to go from the last post I read and work forward from there, because it's usually: theory, analysis, debunk-or-validation. It just seems to work for me, but I do feel your pain :)

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Diane yeah I told Erik and Boris over a week ago that this thing was leading up to a very nasty event and that I would get back in my box "for now"....well I think "for now" is over;)

#134: So I've noted. I'm gunna make up a page with a Flash player of my own choice to see if that helps.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

OK, so Eyjaf has lots of SO2 in it apparently. Inflation along with the sudden drop in tremor suggests that magma has totally filled a chamber somewhere where there is no opening for it to escape. Gaseous magma + high pressure = high plume if and when an explosion occurs. High plume + much SO2 = temporary global cooling.

Side note: Increased earthquake activity has been observed under Katla. Increased EQ activity also at Vatnajokull, with tremor plots showing strange spikes. Watch the Laki-Bardarbunga-Grimsvotn system closely over the next couple of years.

@birdseyeUS #138 - I'm sorry I didn't get to respond properly to your many posts to me this evening. Enjoy your weekend, and maybe we'll have this all figured out by the time you return on Sunday. ;)

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Currently, the view from the Katla cam is close to wallpaper-worthy.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@Reynir #141 - Let me know how you make out with that.

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Boris will be amused to know that Eyjaf can blow smoke-rings, too.


Doubt the volcano is going to 'sleep'. Plume purported topped 11 Km (photographed from a jet breaking through the cloud layer, reported on international news). This maybe just another 'pause'.

Very interesting EQ activity pattern occurring over Iceland - presumably attributed to a combination of Spring melt (glacial/pore-water microquakes) and geothermal activity.

The bluish haze is vog; quite common in Hawaii.

Hello there from the tropics! I was away from the computer and I had Hvolsvöllur cam on full screen mode. For an hour or so I kept looking back and what I saw I thought for sure were big snowflakes hitting the cam. Not an ash either snow expert here, but didn't quite understand the "blue sulphuric fog" theory and looking on Mulakot cams seems to confirm the snow hypothesis. And yes, the 4x was already there earlier. (Apologies, your Highness!) Though still concerned about Jón's previsions...

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

One thing-- if the volcano is degassing, that makes for a less violent eruption, right? It's when a volcano can't degas that the eruption is more violent. This is not to say that there wouldn't be an explosion due to the phreatic connection.

@ lurking, cool tinypix picture. I guess I'll need to investigate.

@reynir, thanks for the heads-up about Katla cam. Halemaumau just vogged in.

By parclair, NoCal USA (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@ 135, 137: Below is a site with what looks to be real-time monitoring data, but there doesn't seem to be a station on the north side of Eyjafjöll.


# 148 "Something is rotten in the State of Iceland!" (d'après Hamlet Act 1)

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Good night all. Rain and who knows what is coming in here. Have fun.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@Randall Nix: Poor Lady E!... any doctors aboard? ;)

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@Sir Renato #147 - No apologies are necessary, my friend. I'm still sticking to my theory, though, that the cotton-like "fog" deposits are something else ;)

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@Lurking (#131)

- Changes seem to occur during surface quakes
Depth = .1 km

- The variability is a superposition.

@Princess Frito, I am not always right. In fact I am more wrong then right.

Harmonic tremors have started to increase again. It happens at slow rate at the moment. But I wonder what is going to appear on the GPS data.

I don't think this is over. But it might not have long to live at this time. But for how long is hard to say. It might be anything from next 3 to 12 months to come.

@PeakVT #150 - Thank you for the link. The blue haze, if I'm correct in my Icelandic geography, is SW of Eyja. The reason it struck me when I heard about is because it's in the same location as the Icelandic Farm Holiday I'd been looking into at FljótshlÃð:


By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

#156 Definitely something unseen and unexperienced by this humble and loyal vassal. Just a tropical lurker's dumb opinion.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Renato I Silveira I actually hope the volcano dies but I don't think that is happening anytime soon. My girlfriend against my advice flew to Amsterdam yesterday so I am giving her updates via her Blackberry.

@Sir Renato ~ Ok so I went to Google "vassal" and got annihilated by someone named Pacman. What the h**l kind of vassal are you anyway?

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@157 @Lurking (#131)

I think that the vibrations are coming from the vent at the surface. Just as with a musical instrument, the vibration at the vent set up resonance throughout the magmatic chambers and tubes.

I've never seen the Katla cam look so .. photogenic. *sigh*

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

And I've never seen the Hvolsvöllur look so .. well, there's nothing there!

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

And as for the Ãórólfsfell cam... the same. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Niente. Zero.

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

#161 Don't worry, Randall Nix. Lady E seems quiet for now. Thought she might use some Dimeticone for sulphides relief. :)
#163 I'm trying to figure out what kind of enemy might be threatening Your Highness. (From PCman:Beware the ghosts!)

BTW: Mulakot looks now as a frozen Icelandic landscape. What about the eruption? Seems gone for now...Weird..

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@Randall #161 ~ Put down your Blackberry and get a girlfriend who'll listen to your advice.

Seriously though, what corporation doesn't know about Webex? Skype? Te-le-phone. I hate to sound like that weird guy who posted here a few weeks ago, but do we really need to be polluting the skies when *gasp! who knew?* we've had teleconference capabilities for a few years?

But more importantly, what right-thinking corporation distances a valued employee from their loved ones?

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Princess Frito nah it's not like that she and two other women are on a little European art vacation. She is fearless when it comes to a vacation....no volcano could ever scare her;)

Better visibility just now at Mulakot. Looks to be fleeting so get it while you can.

By Carla - Seattle (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@Renato #168 ~ Oh Ok thanks! And what colour are the vassals? I need them.

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Oh also, Thorolsfelli has a view of steam rising up from a much lower point than previously, if this is indeed steam. Lava progress...?

By Carla - Seattle (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@Randall #171 ~ Oh ok good. I hope she and her travel buddies will share their art with us upon their return. :)

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@Carla #174 ~ You just want to make me drain my RAM, don't you?

Ok (plugs nose) I'b goinb ib!

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@Carla #174 ~ *Surfaces* Ok Carla, I think you're right. I wish the Voda cams were working so that we could get a better view.

Ok anyone on here with a Vodaphone account - BOYCOTT!

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

In case this view is the only one we get before things clear up again Monday, here are a few pics from the Thorolsfelli and Mulakot cams that show a bit of what we've been missing.


@Princess: Maybe a little honey will work better with Vodaphone. They have been really generous by making that cam available. I know you are only kidding, though. :)

By Carla - Seattle (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Hey folks! I'm going tomorrow morning on a beautiful short trip to Petrópolis (YRH Frito: it's there where the Royal Family Orleans e Bragança used to spend their summers - but no volcanoes. You'd enjoy that). Beware the ghosts, goblins and trolls. To much volcanic watching + sulphuric inhalation may cause delirium...) Be back on Sunday. Save the good news for me.
Fare thee well ladies and gentlemen!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Morning everyone, a very interesting read.

Henrik #43 an excellent specimen indeed! what a beauty.

raving # 118 that is really intriguing because this burst and sudden cessation of tremor on all plots comes smack bang in the middle of the last swarm but it does NOT correlate more closely with any spike in earthquake activity between 7 and 9 am on May 21 .. most strange.

Lurking #125, 133 Where were you before the eruption? These are fantastic charts!! Note the intense source at depth below the estimated moho. Bet Peter is interested in this.

@ everyone: Has anyone got an explanation for the cessation of tremor when the eq plots indicate another rising pulse of magma? Makes no sense to me at all.
Ok, I am assuming the eq plots (lurking's #133 plot in particular) do in fact indicate another pulse because
a. it looks exactly like every other pulse to date, and
b. the quakes are constrained along a narrow vertical line, i.e. conduit
c. if they were the product of settling I would imagine they would be more widespread

I can't see any inflation on the GPS plots so I imagine the volcano has indeed run out of oomph...but then why this last burst of seismic activity? I don't get it.

By bruce stout (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

I don't know about anyone else, but I've easily gained five pounds watching this eruption. Me bones need to get out of me chair. Off for the night. Ciao!

By Carla - Seattle (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

doh .. maybe I do get it.. The eruption has run out of oomph because it has exhausted its nice little stash of andesite mush (at least the stash near the active conduit).. so this last injection of mafic material didn't fire up any explosive material because there is none left.. ergo it's returning to the Hawaiian type of eruption we saw at Fimmvorduhals ... talk about being two bricks short.. ok must be time for my morning coffee.

By bruce stout (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@Carla #178 ~ Of course ;) But if it were my own cellphone provider it would be a different story. ;)

@Renato ~ Enjoy your trip and bring us pictures upon your return. *Waves farewell* See you on Sunday!

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@Raving #181 ~ Raving, my Homie! I'll stick to Beaver Tails, but thanks anyway ;)

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

I'm sure there remains several of us who still believe what's been happening is based in tectonics.


By Princess Frito (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Since the last graph was well received, here is the image for the quakes from 5/21/2010 0:41 to 5/22/2010 5:01
.. roughly the last 29 hours.


Don't ask me what they mean, I just like seeing how they are related to each other.

@Bruce Stout (#180), tremor and earthquakes are two different pairs of shoes. Tremor is caused by movement of fluids (e.g., magma) and gas (degassing or bubble formation) relatively close to the surface, and if tremor is low there's not much going on in terms of magma movement and magma degassing at shallow depth. Earthquakes are caused by the breaking of rock, which can also be related to magma movement, but it can also be a response of the volcanic edifice to the strong deformation it has undergone before and during the eruption. In recent months we've got lots of earthquakes at Etna but very low levels of tremor, and that means that magma is currently not close to the surface, but it seems there is quite a bit of magma moving at greater depth.

I've got no way saying what Eyjafjallajökull will do next and if it will do something at all. There seems to be continued seismic unrest (earthquakes), which I would interpret as a sign that the story is not yet over. The eruption has been quite varied until now so I guess no one here would be very surprised to see still more examples from the volcanic repertoire displayed. Let's as always hope it will not be too much of a problem for the Icelanders (I'd say they've had enough already); personally I'd love to see another basaltic episode like the Fimmvörðuháls eruption in March and early April ...

@Frito Lay
Yes we are fond of our beaver tails eh. 8)

@bruce stout Tectonic as in not volcanic?

Look at http://i47.tinypic.com/34hzbeo.png and see how closely the change in pattern of variance/flutter occurs when the shallow EQ happens. Perhaps spurious but maybe not so?


20.05.201015:33:5063.615-19.9180.1 km1.6

20.05.201023:42:0463.607-19.6300.3 km0.7

21.05.201000:41:1263.617-19.6360.1 km0.9

21.05.201002:27:5863.608-19.6340.1 km0.7

21.05.201004:26:0263.616-19.6250.1 km0.7

21.05.201004:26:2763.626-19.5830.1 km0.8

21.05.201005:37:5363.617-19.6270.1 km0.6

+ the swarm a .1 depth from 08:00 -->08:30

By Raving | TO (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@Lurking (#192)

That was indeed a nice graph. Would be nice though also to see one based on the west longitude axis. :-)

But this graph is really nice. Gives a good overview of depth and concentration. Thank you for that..:-)

By Daniel, swe (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@Jón Frimann

Are your helicorders offline or has the tremor ceased totally?

If there are not tremors at all then wouldnt that mean that no magma is moving? And since the scientists in Iceland suspect that there is no traditional magmachamber as much as several conduits from deep below wouldnt that mean that the eruption seems to be winding down or even stopping?

By Daniel, swe (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Doh! you just had me running to Google to check out 'Beaver Tails' - surely they couldn't..... surely they wouldn't..... But no, good ol' Google assures me that Canadians have pastries shaped like beaver tails! Phew!
Look anything's possible.... my son had pizza with reindeer and bear on it when we were in Lapland, so it's not that far a leap to consider tail of beaver.
And then I got sidetracked by a little Pacman........

By Kathryn, Australia (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Bear and reindeer pizza? Uh that sounds...Well the diplomatic word would be..Interesting.

Which Lapland did you visit? The swedish or the Finnish?. :-)

By Daniel, swe (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@Daniel - Finnish Lapland, we were at Akaslompolo over New Year 2009. Wonderful place, wonderful memories. Loved the kaamos.
And don't worry, I didn't try the bear & reindeer pizza... as you say....interesting.

By Kathryn, Australia (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Good morning @ all! At last a day that started with sun and without rain here.

Thanks Lurking for your charts!
@ Boris, thank you for putting all the information in perspective. I'm learning a lot here on this blog.

I love it here: serious information, diskussions, and inbetween some jokes and oftopic items. And... everything in a very good atmosphere and with respect!

By Lavendel, Swit… (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

Earthquake table Date Time Latitude Longitude Depth Magnitude Quality Location
22.05.2010 07:54:42 63.631 -19.620 6.2 km 0.4 37.46 8.6 km SW of Básar

First, thanks for an amazing blog Eric.
I also want to thank you all for contributing to such a nice blog. I have been hanging around lurking since the start of the eruption and I have learnt alot from the pros and others.
Now continuing on strange food I have to share another and it's a pizza with a burger and fries.

By lyset, swe (not verified) on 21 May 2010 #permalink

@Peter Cobbold (#80) What I found so beautiful was not so much the periodicity but the repeating patterns of each cycle. Apart from the change in pattern, it reminds me of the light curves of Cepheid variable stars. Could it be one of the Icelandic Geothermal plants we see in operation? (Man-made noise, another phenomenon usually operating on a 24-hour cycle...)

By Henrik, Swe (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

Out of the catalogue of possible volcanic expressions, we've had just about everything possible with low-silicic magmas. Correct me if I'm wrong, but what we haven't been "treated to" belongs to more silicic magmatic systems:

* Dome extrusions and related collapses
* Plinian (and sub-Plinian) eruptions
* Full-fledged pyroclastic flows (there have been episodes which are best described as pyroclastic flows, but on a small scale)
* Flank collapse
* Caldera collapse

As far as I understand, we are not likely to see any of these so, apart from a renewal of previous episodes, what new phenomenae can Eyjafjalla Volcano still surprise us with? My guess is that the following are possible even if unlikely to once-in-a-blue-moon new events:

* Extrusive Hawaiian-to-Strombolian in new locations?
* Major lava extrusion event and associated phreato-/glacio-magmatic events?
* Basaltic intrusion into the Godabunga cryptodome and subsequent Vulcanian-to-(sub)Plinian subglacial eruption?
* Opening of a Laki/Eldgja type fissure across Eyjafjöll and beyond (It has happened before, many thousands if not tens of thousands years ago, as evident from the appearance of the mountain with the split summit crater and valley where GÃgjökull sits)?

What say the experts?

By Henrik, Swe (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

I hope this eruption calms down and gives all of northern Europe a break. They could use it.(especially after Inter beats Bayern latter today, for German fans)
I think it is reloading however, and it ain't over till it's over.

By Dasnowskier (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

@Lurking (#192) Which program did you use to build the graph? Does it allow for rotating the graph? A moving picture would really point out the 3D structure of the EQs.

@Kathryn: Ãkäslompolo is, indeed, a fine place - and I don't think bear & reindeer pizza is strange, seeing what some people put in theirs...

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

@ Henkrik (#205)

What do you think is the most plausible scenario? Now that science community has established that there is not a "normal" magmachamber per se beneath Eyjafjöll. It seems to be several crevices and conduits leading up from the mantle.

Now if we were to extend that theory.
1. The mantle is quite deep (20km+ as I have come to understand).

2. At those depths even a slight deviation in direction of the conduits (say 10 degrees angle or so) would be quite a distance on the surface right?

3. This would mean that the conduits would cover quite a large area which in turn could possible affect both Katla, Grimsvötn and Bardarbunga?

If we look at the seismic activity a month back or so it has been a very active area.

By Daniel, swe (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

@Daniel (#209) Katla, possible. Bardarbunga, Grimsvötn no. About a week ago, there was this deep swarm oriented N-S that Haraldur Sigurdsson remarked upon in his blog. At the time I wondered "where does or could this fissure lead to (on the surface)? I still wonder.

As for Eyjafjalla volcano since you ask, my personal opinion is that she's shot her bolt. If there is renewed activity, it's most likely going to occur where we already have an open conduit (path of least resistance). It *seems* that the supply of crystalline mush has pretty much been exhausted, so a return to more basaltic Hawaiian-Strombolian avtivity seems most likely. But I do feel that Godabunga is worth a bet on the side as the intrusion was fairly recent.

By Henrik, Swe (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

Hahaha! Pardon my language, but kin'l! While writing the reply to Daniel, I googled Godabunga+cryptodome+intrusion and was astounded to find that the wording of the top three results seemed very familiar. Turns out one post I wrote some weeks ago was quoted twice for the top two results:

//wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/10/iceland-soon-to-be-ashland/ - verbatim, almost half-way down

The third referred to the post itself on Eruptions.

The fourth most popular was Erik's original Eyjafjallajökull topic.

Armageddon Online uses this blog as a source too - //www.armageddononline.org/Eyjafjallajokull-Katla-relationship.html

Kin'l... xD

By Henrik, Swe (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

For the record fluorine is yellowish, Hydrogen fluoride is colorless. Hydrofluoric acid in concentrations above 50 ppm for more than 30 seconds are generally fatal or so destructive as to render the victim invalid.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

But that still doesnt tell us what that might be thats been coming out of the thing. What are the common gases that might be brown?

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

Nitrogen dioxide is reddish brown but is that something that occurs in a volcano or an Icelandic one?

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

EQ swarms: Am I wrong or is this a new behaviour of Eyjajallajökull? These little EQs, the reduced activity at the vent, less tremors???

By Thomas Wipf (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

Had to stop by at least to say good morning to all and how much I appreciate this international common-interest educational and fun exchange community. Who knew. A very serendipitous find, for me.

Also, I maybe missed it earlier, but I notice that on the en.vedur EQ map .the EQ's seem to be running a lot more E-W than I remember - any comments?? Deflation?

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

@Dagmar #212, rather a swarmlet, but nonetheless ... the system continues to show some dynamics, and it is possible that this eruption will open another chapter.

Though it might as well not. Eruptions do finish, sooner or later. Forecasting when they will do so is still far more difficult than forecasting their start. And, after all, earthquakes are not a one-hundred-per-cent certain indicator of renewed activity, if I may once more cite examples from Etna.

At our volcano here in Sicily there have been a certain number of eruptions that were not only preceded but also followed by strong seismic activity. Maybe the most dramatic seismic swarm of this type occurred a few days after the end of an eruption that had lasted from April until October 1984. The seismic swarm was not followed by renewed activity; a new eruption began, however, in March 1985 but there was no apparent cause-effect relationship between the October 1984 earthquakes and the March 1985 eruption. But it is true that Etna is a very different volcano especially in terms of its eruption frequency, since the 1821-1823 Eyjafjallajökull eruption Etna has had approximately 50 eruptions. So, after all, anything is possible by the look of things today.

The only other blue haze I know of is in the Blue Mountains in NSW. The atmosphere is filled with finely dispersed droplets of oil, which, in combination with dust particles and water vapour, scatter short-wave length rays of light which are predominantly blue in colour.

Now I don't think that there are a hell of a lot eucalyptus trees in EJ but a similiar type of mineral oil may create the same effect... just a thought...

Cloud looks set to lift overnight, bright sunshine for tomorrow with a S-SE wind so we should get some good views from Thoro cam. :)

Yay Shelly! Now, off to bake some cheese ball appetizers,(crunchy, spicy...) Will save some for the rest of you for tomorrow....remember, take notes today! : ))

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

22.05.2010 11:57:57 63.627 -19.621 5.7 km 1.1 99.0 8.9 km SW of Básar
22.05.2010 11:57:39 63.617 -19.656 2.3 km 1.0 99.0 11.0 km SW of Básar
2 new EQ

Good morning all, the Katla cam takes the 'window to look out of ' award today.

@202 lyset, sweden Thanks for the link and LOL "Aftonbladet has the story, along with images that may be disturbing for readers with a sensitive palate." :-D

@Boris Behncke Thanks for using teachable moments to help us learn about volcanology ;-)

@Erik K. Thanks for the informative blog, and permitting community-- there's another blog I follow, but the community never seems to develop. I think it's the fact that the blogger doesn't seem to follow the thread and comment every now and again to keep the discussion going-- '-)

@ all

Re: volcanic gas


One of the reports stated that this " blue gas" clung to the lie of the land" suggestive of a heavier gas like CO2 which typically does this (N.B.so no camping in dips on a volcano which is a known degasser, folks!). However CO2 is colourless yet deadly, in high concentrations, all the same. We presumably have a mix of gases going on here and hopefully Erik will help......

Alien Alert on Poro cam....

Good Lord its a field trip! or an invasion

Re crowd at Thoro--This is why I stopped backpacking-- lots of work to get to places, no reward because of weather;-P

@ All

Re: Volcanic Gas (in general, now!)

As we know - Iceland and Hawaii are volcanically unusual in that they have "spreading" in common....

John Seach's reference on Helium is interesting for this reason. Here it is:

@Renee How sad must that be - to go to a volcano on holiday and see nothing but fog!

I was going to yell at them to get out of the way because I couldn't see, then I realized I wasn't really missing anything :)

By beedragon Canada (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

The only other blue haze I know of is in the Blue Mountains in NSW.

From Wikipedia: "The Blue Ridge Mountains are noted for their bluish color when seen from a distance. Trees put the "blue" in Blue Ridge, from the isoprene released into the atmosphere, thereby contributing to the characteristic haze on the mountains and their distinctive color." - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Ridge_Mountains

I don't think isoprene is the culprit, though. It boils at 34C, so I think most would condense out by the time it reached the Markarfljót.

Tricky one, this.

Any art teacher will tell us that "Colour is a function of light" but the only interesting "blue gas" reference that I have found is for ozone!!

Back to our master....

A bluish gas haze is frequently reported from volcanoes everywhere..it usually seems to be mostly sulphur dioxide and water vapour, with varying amounts of carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide and hydrochloric acid. A rather unpleasant mix. Low concentrations of H2S or CO2 would certainly cause headaches, both are heavy gases, both lethal in higher concentrations (suffocation for CO2, actual poisoning from H2S) Blue colour unlikely to be from fluorine, since it is usually in concentrations down in the ppm range, which is just as well. The problem in 1783 resulted (partly) from fluorine getting into the food chain and giving livestock fluorosis.

Hydrofluoric acid BTW will dissolve glass

On the Mulakot cam, "EYA" is starting to send a steam plum up about 14,000 feet or so, very little ash appearing at the moment. "EYA" is still alive and kicking:


By Robert Bordonaro (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

On Mulakot cam all I see is cloud. lol

#234..For a few minutes the steam plume was visible, unfortunately now it is not :o(...

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

@ 233 mike don

Thanks for your input/explanation. So it is most likely "a mix" as described in your post and presumably it is the CO2 component which makes it heavy and hug the lie of the land.

Have not read before that this phenomenon is frequently reported so not as unusual or as interesting as I had hoped/thought!

There was a group of people on the Hekla cam, unfortunately I could not get a screen capture. They gave a good perspective of size. They walked out to the instrument and the tallest person didn't quite reach the bottom of the dome.

Robert, Shelly. At about 8.30 or 9am GMT, the summit was clear for a few seconds from the Thorolfsfelli cam. No sign of any eruption. Right now (15.30GMT), with not much cloud hiding the summit, there can only be a puny - if any - eruption going on. Not even the 5m3 s-1 reported yesterday. It looks as if there is nothing more than regular cloud there at the moment.

By Henrik, Swe (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

@Henrik, thats exactly what I thought. lol There have been fleeting glances this afternoon too and not a plume in sight..

"E" is quiet for the moment! However, folks, I doubt she is finished, there are a number of small quakes underneath "E" so I am sure "E" is getting ready for an encore performance.

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

Did anybody hear the fat lady sing?

No plume; the one from previous days would be visible now, but there is none. No tremor either. The EQs are still going on very well, so perhaps not all is said and done.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

@240 geolith - interesting, thank you!

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

Looked to me a few(?) minutes ago that Eyjaf. was emitting a very low steam plume. Well, she has earned her cat nap.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

#145 @Frito-hime: Success -- for small values of success. I managed to get Flowplayer to show image streams from Hvolsvöllur and the thermal imager (needs the flowplayer.rtmp plugin) but no joy with the widescreen cam. Doesn't look like much memory saved wither. Just has to be the godsforsaken Flash-thingy that goes pacman on it.

The VLC plugin for Mozilla does display the WMV streams from the Hekla and Katla cameras on Firefox.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

I think it's a bit premature to be saying that it's all over for Eyjaf'l. I'm afraid we'll just need to develop some patience, and wait and see.

One swallow doesn't make a summer, and one dip in activity doesn't make for an end to her eruption. ;)

Hey, does anyone know why the Voda cam keeps tripping off? Battery powered by solar or something like it or is it generator powered. Seems that just when we need it most it goes into the pooper.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

#248: No idea, never been to there, but I most emph agree on it being a major bother. I rather like having both the fast-but-mediocre stream from MÃla and Kukl and the slow-but-pretty-good images from Vodafone.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

@Peak VT: I believe the Blue Mountains that Bill G. referenced are in New South Wales, Australia (NSW), rather than the Blue Ridge Mountains in the U.S. That would also explain the vaporized eucalyptus oil. :)

By Carla - Seattle (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

#247: Depends on how long the lull lasts. :-þ

Heh. Thorn is a very useful letter, right?

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

We are conmemorating the 50th anniversary of the biggest quake recorded in modern times.

By Guillermo (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

#251 Right useful in drawing smiling Aussie pirates: (-:þ

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

WayOT: Here's one for the airline execs, even though they're almost certainly not fans of poodle rock bands:

Welcome to the stage... Europe... with "The Final Countdown!" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_IKcMl_a9A

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

#253: Oooh... you're ]:-) eeevil.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

Henrik Oh ye of little faith;) The Fat Lady is just behind the curtain getting ready for the next act...she isn't ready to sing the final aria....not yet. Maybe she will sing Götterdämmerung or maybe just Habanera at the end either way I don't think it's time to turn out the lights on the old girl.

Suw (#247) true, but at the moment there does not seem to be any eruptible material remaining and little or no magma movement (tremor) "below". In an earlier topic, Erik said that not only magma from the recent 1994, 1996 and 1999 intrusion events, but also the residual magma - "crystalline mush" - from the 1821-3 eruption (1612 too?) certainly could be re-mobilised by a fresh intrusion of basaltic magma from "below". It would seem that Eyjafjöll volcano has run out of eruptible material - for the time being.

Earlier, in the pre-main eruption days, Korf plotted the tremors and there were few in the 5-9 km depth range. Some thought it might be a magma reservoir since EQs are a sign of rock breaking. In the paper quoted by Randolph K - http://www.vedur.is/media/vedurstofan/utgafa/skyrslur/2009/VI_2009_013… - Hjaltadóttir, Vogfjörð & Slunga came to a similar conclusion based on the 1994, 1996 and 1999 intrusion events. According to their paper, the evidence points to a magma reservoir at 5-8 km depth.

If this is now thoroughly depleted and there are no other accessible reservoirs of "crystalline mush" (apart from the Godabunga "cryptodome"), then the volcano is done for now. My feeling is that we will see more action from this volcano, but most likely it will be effusive(?) and basaltic. As Boris says (#193) "personally I'd love to see another basaltic episode like the Fimmvörðuháls eruption in March and early April..."

That said, this volcano has surprised us all before and there are three observations that have not yet had an explanation, deductional or observational:

a) the curved arms visible in the early EQ data, one curving from N to ENE through Markarfljot, SE of Tindfjalla towards Godabunga, the other on the southern side curving ESE - E - ENE towards Katla.

b) The gross over-representation of EQs at 1.1 km depth

c) The fissure evident in the very deep EQs of a week ago remarked upon by Professor Haraldur Sigurdsson. The EQ signature is similar to the one covered by Hjaltadóttir, Vogfjörð & Slunga, only this fissure(?) is located several kilometers to the east.

By Henrik, Swe (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

Having read the IMO update (thank you Robert), I definitely hear Maria de Montserrat Viviana Concepción Caballé i Folc singing something by Grieg. ;)

By Henrik, Swe (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

#260, What does the reference to "Maria de Montserrat Viviana Concepción Caballé i Folc singing something by Grieg" actually mean? I am not the World's brightest individual :o), thanks.

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

@Reynir #251 When we know now long the lull has lasted, we will have waited and seen. Q. E. D. ;)

Btw, I do like your inventive use of the thorn. I shall have to nick that for myself now! Hey, maybe we can create a whole new raft of emoticons based on non-English letters. :-þ

@Kultsi #253 I like the cut of your jib, m'hearty! although really it looks more like an Aussie wearing a bowler.

@Henrik #258 Do we actually *know* there is no eruptable material remaining, or is that a supposition? If we know it, what's the evidence (other than the lull)? True, tremor has dropped, but other than the massive spike in tremor prior to the phreatomagmatic eruption, have we seen it correlate to changes in the eruption intensity? I can't say that I've been able to make a simply, by-eye correlation, but then I'm not a scientist (anymore).

In terms of what's down there, do we know how big the magma chamber is, how depleted it is, whether it can be recharged and if so, over what time scale? (I am still confused about the comments others have made about there not being a reservoir at all, but just pipes straight to the mantle. Where did that come from? It would seem to be in conflict with the paper you quote.)

The truth is that, for us volcano watchers, there are lot of "If"s that we just don't have the information to address right now. I'd suggest that saying it's over, or saying it's not, is based more on our own hunches and wishes than on the evidence.

So I prefer to just kinda hang out here, patiently awaiting Eyjaf's next step, should there be one to makeâ¦

Besides, I rather like the company. I've learnt a huge amount over the last couple of months, and would be loathe for that to stop!

@Kultsi, Askola, FI [208]

"Which program did you use to build the graph? Does it allow for rotating the graph? A moving picture would really point out the 3D structure of the EQs."

Excel and Dplot. I grab the EQ data from the en.vedur.is site and merge it with previous reports that I keep in a spread sheet. Dplot integrates well with it. As for angles on 3D scatter plots, yes, you can slew around any axis you choose. There is no "fly through" or "fly by" mode, but I have experimented with doing frame grabs with Desktop Video Recorder... unfortunately the vids come out quite large and don't scale very well when trying to make a usable video.

The terrain data is from www.viewfinderpanoramas.org/dem3.html, I had to fight the SRTM files to get the chunk just covering the volcano. There was an issue with East and West Longitude but I don't know if it was Dplot or the format of the SRTM file. MOHO data is from an edited MOHO graphic found on the Internet and edited to remove the annotations, that was then imported to the program and adjusted to the approximate MOHO depths as stated in several reference found on this site.

@Daniel, swe [195]

" ... Would be nice though also to see one based on the west longitude axis..."

Piece of cake.

Same data as last graph, updated to the most recent quake.

View looking North


And the same data viewed from the west.


#261 - @PeakVT - thanks for clarifying about the "blue" mountains.

By Carla - Seattle (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

Icelandic Met Office update is as follows ;

According to reconnaissance flight, the plume is estimated at 4km/14,000ft height (a.s.l.). The plume is lightgrey and grey, and a light easterly wind blows it to the west.

No reports of ashfall today; no lightning strikes have been detected since two days ago and there are no reports of noise from the eruption. Meltwater discharge from GÃgjökull is small. The eruption is ongoing similar to yesterday with occasional explosions in the crater. Neither crater nor lava is visible due to clouds over the volcano.

About twenty earthquakes have been recorded since midnight, the majority at shallow depths. GPS deformation indicates subsidence of the volcano.

Details in a status report issued collectively by the Icelandic Meteorological Office and the Institute of Earth Sciences at 14:00.

#267 Nessun Dorma? That's a tenor piece. In Questa Reggia, otherwise...

@Robert (#262). Maria de Montserrat Viviana Concepción Caballé i Folc, usually Montserrat Caballé, is one of the great sopranos of last century. She is/was also, how shall I put it, "amply endowed". Basically I'm saying I can hear the fat lady sing. The Grieg part was for Randall. He's got a nice selection to choose something suitable from dependant upon what happens next. It may turn out to be "the beginning of the end", but it could also be "the end of the beginning".

@Suw (#263). Of course it's supposition or speculation based on the facts available to us, I quite agree. Some weeks ago, I commented upon the discrepancy between the volume of erupted, old material neccessary to explain the high silica content visavi the observed inflation. Erik explained that old "mush" from previous eruptions could be sitting there without causing inflation. Now, since basaltic magma cannot erupt explosively on its own and the eruption has wound down to the point where there is no strombolian or vulcanian activity and very little tremor, can it be otherwise?

Naturally, Eyjafjalla volcano can have other untapped reservoirs/sills/tubes/pipes, not forgetting the Godabunga cryptodome, but at least this part of the system seems to have been emptied of eruptible material. And of course, I could be utterly wrong and something big is cooking. ;)

By Henrik, Swe (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

@269 snotraviking - wow, now that's a voice! The song even mentions a princess, so it's uber cool!

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

For comparison, here is a full 3D view of Icelandic quakes since 4/17. I don't have a complete surface grid of the terrain, and for clarity, I left the MOHO trace out. Some key features (landmarks) are labeled for reference.


263 @ suw, " Besides, I rather like the company. I've learnt a huge amount over the last couple of months, and would be loathe for that to stop! "

I can only agree! Feels like a science-based lecture room, together with a bunch of nice guys. Love to be online here and hear you all speak your opinions. I like to add that it´s really fun to have contact with people from all corners of the world, me sitting in a distant one here in Sweden. Cheers to you all:-)

By snotra viking,… (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

Lurking, it´s great with your 3D plots. What can you read from them except getting a visual picture? The EQ:s under Eyja are really lined up! Isn´t it unusual to have such a straight line from the core to the surface?

By snotra viking,… (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

Maybe "E" is in a short lull. There is still a plume of steam/ash up to 14,000 feet, although I cannot see it at the present. There were 20 shallow quakes inside her earlier today, plus the "blue haze" and sulfur odors from yesterday.

The last time "E" erupted, she went on and off for 2 yrs. I have read that the 2010 eruption of "E" has discharged more ash/magma/SO2 and other trace elements in abundance than the 1821-23 eruption did.

I wouldn't say that the eruption is quite over yet.

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

Lurking, those are terrific graphs. Gives us an inside view of the plumbing that we'd never get anywhere else. Thanks for all the work you've put into this!

sunday you are right that really wouldn't work for her even though Sarah Brightman and Aretha Franklin have both sang it....maybe something else;) Do you have any suggestions?

@snotra viking [274]

... What can you read from them except getting a visual picture? The EQ:s under Eyja are really lined up! Isn´t it unusual to have such a straight line from the core to the surface?..."

Well, whatever I can feed into it. I've done 15 minute binning via Excel and stuck it in there and found an odd â3.8 (if I remember the number correctly) day interval to spikes in the 15 minute rate, the stuff on the 21st fell right in the window of what that indicated. (the 15 minute idea is not mine, I read about it here and tried running a plot to see what it looked like) If that run was correct, expect a flurry of some sort of quake activity there around the 24th or 25th. That is unless the volcano is over. Never can tell ya know.

Using a Z-axis of the quake magnitude gives you a really odd plot that I am not too sure is of any use. Dunno, I'm not a Geologist.

My data is limited to what I can pull down from different locations off the Internet. I found a cross section image of the different layers of the Icelandic crust from one of the numerous references cited here, and was thinking of taking a slice through Eyj of the quakes and laying it on top of that. Might be a good follow on side project while I can pickled Okra.

As a side note, I may have found a utility that will allow me to extract usable terrain data, but I have to poke at it a bit to figure it out.

All and @269 snotra viking Wow, I liked Jussi Bjorling" s Nessun Dorma. A please, please,please???????? requesst. In the future when you post an opera song/aria, could you recommend a singer too? Then I can hit the web for a recording. I'll learn even more!;-)

263 @ suw, @273 snotra viking, you said it all for me (I've not the words). I'm so thoroughly enjoying this community. It's really pushed my desire to learn geology to the forefront (that's what I'm reading these days). And I've learned more about computers, opera, poetry, linguistics than I've learned in a long time. Thanks all ;-D


Thank you for this impressive graphic. personaly i think it could be an interessting move to send your images to the http://www2.norvol.hi.is/page/nordvulk_forsida (Nordic Volcanic Center in Reykjavik) and ask, if they also have such graphics to publish. i think you could even point them to this blog :)

@Robert, #276. Maybe the volcano is in a short lull, maybe it's fallen asleep for centuries, difficult to say. Certainly the fact that its last eruption continued for about 2 years does not say anything about how long the current eruption (or eruption sequence) will last. If you look at the eruption durations of other volcanoes, you'll find they vary from eruption to eruption.

Like at Kilauea on Hawaii, where the current eruption is going on since 27 years, but other eruptions of the same volcano have lasted only a couple of hours. Or Hekla in Iceland, whose last eruption went on for about one week (in 2000) whereas another eruption that started in 1947 continued for more than one year. When dealing with volcanoes, we must be aware that they are beyond human timescales and time units. They are incredibly complex systems. Magma is some really really odd stuff, it has nothing to do with fluids that we know from everyday life, like water, milk, honey, or blood.

Whatever magma movement occurs at depth, it may or may not lead to an eruption, and even if a huge amount of magma starts moving, maybe only a tiny fraction of it will come to the surface, and the rest will stay down there forever because it's physically more convenient. You'll have to put a huge amount of data together to recognize what's going on and what how it might develop, and you need a volcano to give you clear signs. Volcanoes do not always give very clear signs, which can be totally frustrating. This is why there is often so much uncertainty, it's not because we don't have the knowledge or our instruments are not good enough. It's because we can tell only as much as the volcano allows us to.

So, from the signs that Eyjafjallajökull is giving, it is possible that there will be more eruptive activity sometime soon. But it is equally possible that this was it - because nearly anything is possible at any volcano that's still capable of erupting.

@ lurking-- love the graphs. Have you seen the one at http://islande2010.mbnet.fr/2010/03/eyjafjallajokull-levolution-des-der…

Scoll to the bottom of the page. I find yours a little easier to read. Soquel has frequency plotted and the long/lat plane. I think you've added a lot of information to the discussion. Between the two charts, I can make sense of the data. Thank you ;-)

@Lurking... I too would like to thank you for all the hard work you put into your graphs,, they make a layperson like me understand things much more clearly.. Thanks!

Good afternoon. I have been catching up and I just refreshed and, well...

@Sunday, #268, I sing tenor. :-)

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

@Lurking - Thanks, the Dplot tip is valuable! It's easy to get the data into a spreadsheet, but Excel is not up to making a 3D plot.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

@Parclair [283]

"...Have you seen the one at..."

Yes I have, that is very similar (data wise it's identical) to some of the plots I have come up with that left me sitting there scratching my head trying to figure out what it ultimately meant. My final take on it was "quakes happen at so and so a location a lot," which we sort of already knew.

In my last post I mentioned possibly laying the quake plot across an image of the Icelandic crust details. Unfortunately, that cross section is oriented at about a 45º view and it would take me the rest of the day to figure out a data transposition routine to get the quakes projected in that manner. With 3D scatter plots in Dplot, you are limited to plan view backgrounds. That's why I had to fake the terrain and MOHO with an actual data grid of discrete points. If it were E-W or N-S slice it would be a simple construct.

Mammoth Lakes (Long Valley) keeps shivering....


Since it's a slow day in Iceland, would any of you expert types have an opinion on what the heck that is that occurred between 18:04 and 18:06 UTC? I have seen things like that at Yellowstone and they've turned out to just be noise but it occurred at multiple stations and was recorded as two earthquakes, 1.6 and 1.9. To my extremely amateur eyes it looks kinda long period.


Ack. reading the times wrong, make that 17:34 and 17:38. Which means they weren't recorded as quakes. Maybe I'm just an idiot. Anyway, it does show up at multiple stations so humor me and take a look.

@jen 289. I looked. I haven't followed long valley, but i checked your sites, and it looked to me like 1 quake, two aftershocks. Then I thought, ok check quakes (which I do on a daily basis)


is the closest map. It all looks kind of normal to me. But I can't explain the tremors. That's jelly-like.

Good think the quake happened the day *after* the Tour of California came through Mammoth! What a shock to some of the riders if it had ;-)

@Jen [289]

Not an expert, but I had a discussion with a guy (also not an expert) about a wild arsed theory of mine I refer to as "stress waves." I got the idea by looking at the quake patterns of everything within 100 miles of the San Andreas from the Rivera Microplate in the south to the Mendocino triple junction in the north (near Mendocino, natch) IT looked a bit like this (800 pixel wide):


Anyway, based on that, and an odd occurrence of a series of not large, but significant quakes traveling up the Gulf of California by about 145 to 153 miles every 2 months, I sort of predicted that SoCal might see an increase in activity if my theory was true... and that come Summer, the "stress wave" would be in the area just north of Los Angeles. Since then, Mexico had their shaker and the southern extent of the Elsinore fault (everything south of the Yuha Wells fault which cuts across it) has been creaking ever since. This region is also known as the Laguna Salada fault area.

Prior to that, I had been musing over the activity in the southern end of the Owens Valley, it was odd in that there was a Geothermal plant nearby and I wondered if it was connected. This whole region is peppered with caldera/volcano formations such as Kern volcanic field (VF), Kings VF, San Joaquin VF, Aurora-Adobe Hills VF, and Long Valley VF. In turn, these may be the result of turbulence due to the root of the Sierra Nevada mountains falling off a few million years ago as this area ceased being a subduction zone. That root that fell off may have caused what had been termed a "Lithospheric Drip" centered about 36.241197º N - 119.392756° W under Fresno and Visalia California. (it's a big drip, about 130 km across at the 150 km depth range.

As for the increase activity... well, the line up through that whole Owens Valley region has been active lately, all the way up the east side of the central valley. Related to my weird "stress wave" idea? Dunno. Its just a thought that crossed my mind. (FYI, this is what I was looking at before Eyjafjallajökull erupted.)

"This is why there is often so much uncertainty, it's not because we don't have the knowledge or our instruments are not good enough. It's because we can tell only as much as the volcano allows us to."

Well, part of it is also the great uncertainty of exactly what lies below. We can know, for example, that there is a certain kind of rock down there but we can not know its condition. Where are there weak points? Are there cracks in it? Exactly where are those cracks? How long are they and how much have they weakened a given piece of rock?

The thing is that you can take exactly the same sort of rock in two different places and the two pieces will fail at different pressures. How much pressure will a given piece of rock take before it fails? Nobody knows. And then once one piece fails and the magma moves up a bit, we have to start all over again. How much more pressure until the next failure? You can just not know these things. And if a failure occurs, will it cascade through a lot of rock or will the failure only allow the magma to go a short distance?

All of those things are complete unknowns so one must look at potentials. You look at the inflation. That tells you that pressure is building. That brings with it the potential for something to happen. If a given area is inflating and there are also signals from tremors or quakes, that might mean there is stuff moving around down there.

An example might be a wooden board. If you put it under pressure and continue putting it under pressure, you will hear it begin to creak and crack. As you continue to put pressure on it, it will pop and crack and creak some more and at some point it will fail. But if you took a different piece of lumber and put the same pressure on it, maybe that one would hold or maybe it will fail at a lower amount of stress. But we can say that if pressure is increasing, then there is a greater potential for something to happen. Predicting exactly when it is going to happen can be more art than science.

It sure would be nice to get a clear day and see exactly what is going on up there.

Parclair, and others.. glad you liked Jussi Björling. He is long gone but he is still here with his music. There is a piece called Till havs, (To sea) you really shold hear too, so here it is.

I only express my feelings toward this community, it´s great!
Hat tip to Dr. Eric Klemmenti who makes it all possible.

By snotra viking,… (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

@snotra 294-- Went to the link, bookmarked it, and got one video after another of him. Lovely :)

George your post made me think of a poem/prayer by Goethe. I posted the first part of it a few weeks ago. It's too long to post thing whole thing here but well worth reading in it's entirety.

Nature, a Fragment

She is all. She rewards herself and punishes herself, delights
and torments herself. She is rough and gentle, charming and
terrifying, impotent and all-powerful. All is eternally present
in her. She knows nothing of past and future. The present is
eternity for her. She is kind. I praise her with all her works.
She is wise and still. We may force no explanation from her,
wrest no gift from her, if she does not give it freely.
She is full of tricks, but to a good end, and it is best
not to take note of her ruses.

She is whole and yet always unfinished.
As she does now she may do forever.

To each she appears in a unique form.
She hides amid a thousand names and terms,
and is always the same.

She has brought me here, she will lead me away.
I trust myself to her. She may do as she will with me.
She will not hate her work. It is not I who have spoken of her.
No, what is true and what is false, all this she has spoken.
Hers is the blame, hers the glory.

Goethe, Nature, a Fragment

slight clearing on the Poro cam E looks strange tonite

reddish type glow it may be a trick of the light or a reflection from the lava seems to be more area's of steam on the glacier than before.

she looks very silent tonight,the skies are clearing up, on thorolfs-cam..

anyways, I have a question,Ive been to Lanzarote a coupple of times, and been into the timafaya area,.
And what amazes me there is that resturant on top of one of the craters,they uses the heat to grill and steak theyr food theyr serving inside the resturant, and outside there are these drillholes, they fill with water,and it shoots up seconds later, and of course a hole where they make a neat bondfire with bushes,that they put into it.Now my question is this, are this area still active? and are all those Volcanoes in that area just sleeping? and are all still this Hot,as the one the resturant lies on?
for me this looks a bit crazy to build such a building over a crater,that just might go boom,if moder nature decided it too? could some one explain how this ispossible.you can actually hear the rumble deep down from the hole,where the grill are,.

The Poro cam shows the steam vent in front, that is gently simmering and the ash/steam plume in the upper right of the pic, as of 1106 GMT.

Activity is greatly diminished, BUT, it is continuing nonetheless. The plume may be up at 12-14,000 ft max, but I believe "E" is far from finished. The "fat lady" is in the building, but she has lost her voice.

My opinion is that this is a temporary lull :o)!!

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

I agree with you on that, we should not be deceived,and think its over there is still lava and there is still steam and some small amounts of ash there.she might just be backbuilding, she has done that before.

I think we should invite Gummiey to join our discussion group here at Eruptions. After all, we're probably the majority of the regular peeps at his new blog.

she isn't totally dead making a bit of steam plumes

@thor Well as i visited Lanzarote, they explained that after the big eruption (1730 to 1736 and 1824 created 23 % with 3 to 5 km³ - a unique big eruption with lava in history) which created the Fire Mountains with all this great cones and lave fields the gases now can escape easiliy there through the many fissures which occured during the big eruption in the 18th century. So there is no threat of an eruption in the near future. I think there is some monitoring in the canarian islands like fore Pico de Teide and La Palma but not for Lanzarote.

By Thomas Wipf (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

Thor, I am enthralled by your post, which I read out loud to myself. I don't have any answers but those seem like reasonable questions and I totally want to go there when I visit Iceland. Do you have pictures from your trip?

By Carla - Seattle (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

Hahaha haha. Guess I won't be finding Lanzarote in Iceland! Adding the Canary Islands to my wish list. :/

By Carla - Seattle (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

Looks like fog/vog is socking in the PORO/HVO and Mulakot web-cams for the evening :O)-boo, hiss, sigh!!!

At least I had about a 15-30 minute viewing of the ash/steam plumes!

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

The most recent set, by themselves, no Surface or MOHO layer.

5/22/2010 0:24 to 5/22/2010 19:31. Latitude limited to 63.466N to 63.7. View is to the North, effectively a cross section encompassing Eyjafjallajökull and Katla.


ok, so when Haiti had the earthquake and, what, the Yukatan had an earthquake. They said that they were not related. Then Chile had an earthquake. How can all these plates be rubbing together and against each other and some plates be subducted... how can these not be effecing each other... I'm sure the scientists know more than myself, but it just seems that the Earth works as a whole. I seems to me that the Earth has to equalize itself. It needs to be balanced and the Earth will do what it needs to do to accomplish that balance. I don't know, I guess I'm a "look at the whole picture" kind of gal.

By missyland michigan (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

hehehe ,I guess you wont find Lanzarote on Iceland ;)..

But yes,Im wonder about lots of things regarding to that island..

-I dont have any pictures from those trips,unfortunatly.. I was just a little kid back then.

But Iceland is on my want to go list.-

its not that far from here, about 60 miles(Norwegian miles that is, I think, about roundtrip Aalesund-Oslo in Distance by car)

Thats Why we have a lot of ash deposits in this area from the Katla eruption( ca 20 cm of ash)

-I can barely just Imagine ,how that must have been like.

-where I live ,we actually live on top of a long fault line,and have reagualry earthquakes(Moere faultline system, wich is considered one of the most active faultline in northern Europe besides Atlantic ridge), and there are lots of Volcanic rocks (olivine) and ash and deposits from now "dead" volcanoes.

why I say "dead" is because it has been some hundred million years since last time the mountains here had any eruptions.

-But small quakes, we have almost everyday(mostly are to small to be felt ,but we have had a few that have been up to 5 in the scale)..

-Another scary thing we are dealing with, where I live is The Aakernes crack.Its a big mountain ridge that are sliding down towards the Geiranger/Storfjorden and are located near Hellesylt(a small comunity inside the fjord)
-The mountin it self moves about 15-20 cm a year,and when it slides it will probably create a Tsunami that will become at least 60-70 metres in height. Is`nt nature wonderfull ?

Hi there, I'm not sleeping well tonight, too hot for me in Aberdeen today.

I'm so impressed with the dedication that people are putting in here on a regular basis, and I can but add my thanks to them for the info, links and gentle humuor provided.
This is the third time I've checked on progress today, and I sense a slightly melancholy and becalmed atmosphere on the good ship "Eruptions". Lots of fog, not a lot of visible activity at Eyja, and people just waiting to see what happens next.

I think a lot of us are are slightly caught between wanting things to be over for the Icelander's sake, and wanting things to continue for our own education, enjoyment and continuing sense of community here.

@ thor [313]

Aakernes crack? You guys aren't getting ready to do a repeat of the Storegga Slide(s) are you?

That... would be bad.

As for mountains getting up and walking around, try Heart Mountain in Wyoming (USA). It's what's left of a landslide.

From Wikipedia:

"Between 50 and 48 million years ago a giant sheet of rock about 500 square miles (1,300 square kilometers) in area detached from the plateau south of the Beartooths and slid tens of kilometers to the southeast and south into the Bighorn and Absaroka Basins."

And the spooky part:

"The consensus favors catastrophic sliding and calculations suggest that the front of the sliding mass may have advanced at a speed of over 100 miles/hour (160 km/h)."


23.05.2010 01:00:05 63.617 -19.630 1.3 km 1.4 90.01 9.9 km SW of Básar first EQ on Sunday

Further to my last comment at #314, I've just been at the Montserrat Volcano Observatory website
and it's a salutary reminder of what an angoing eruption is doing to the landscape and community around it. I really don't want to see that happening at Eyja or anywhere else.

Pyroclastic flow on infra red imaging camera - terrifying.

Sorry, I just reread 318, I meant pyroclastic flow at Montserrat, not Eyja, but didn't make that clear!

@Gordon great site loved the pics too bad the live cam was down

Can someone please take a look at the Poro cam I recognize the vent but to the left is that a new steam vent above the cleft?

perhaps a bit of fresh lava in a new place

Mulakot webcam is showing clear indication of a plume. Neither tall nor vigorous, yet it's still there, puffing away.

Iceland-wide EQ activity remains elevated; small swarm (must click on the region. not main map, to view the tightly overlapping shakes) on the Tjornes Transform Fault, concurrent with a single EQ at Eyjaf.

@321 renee I've been looking and I see what you mention, but I really can't tell what it is. Maybe when we get better light (provided the fog stays away).

"E" is puffing away!!!!! She is visible on Mulakot and on the POR web-cam. "E" was just taking a brief break :O). I am sure that "E" will continue to erupt for at least the next several months, on and off. It is a beautiful sight! I feel for the great folks in Iceland who have to put up with SO2 and heavy duty ash fall from time to time!!

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

#325 what is the POR web-cam? Is that the porolsffelli web cam? The views I have are very foggy. Am I missing a better view, because the plume looks the same as a few hours ago.

By missyland MI (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

I'm sad he's winding down because I think there might be a loss of community. I'm mostly happy, that's enough for the farmers. I hope that the community keeps checking in on Eruptions and commenting when moved to do so-- then we can keep going;-D

By parclair, NoCal USA (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

Back long enough to say goodnite and to thank you for the interesting day, just getting caught up.
@gordon, cat keeping you company still? those Merapi pics are amazing.
@snotraviking, Bless you! Jüssi Bjõrling - I grew up hearing his music, he was one of my Mother's favorites, along with Kathleen Ferrier. I hadn't thought of him for a long time.
@Lurking, great graphics, Boris, B. always the steadying hand on the tiller of the good ship Eyjaf...

All of you, thank you so much for being here. Night watch, all yours...

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

325, The POR (porolsffelli) web-cam looked real nice earlier. But now it's a bit hazy/foggy there. The eruption is not quite over yet!! Mulakot web-cam http://www.mulakot.net/myndavelar.html had a nice plume stream earlier, but that is also hazy now also.

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

@Dan Yep, that's the one I have. Thank you! Is it really windy there and that is why the plume is almost horizontal?

By missyland MI (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

@ 326missyland MI that's actually THoro cam - back a few threads we had a discussion about translating the Icelandic 'þ' which is pronounced 'th' - since then some have forgotten, or missed the discussion. So, it's not P, it's TH for THorolfsfelli, one of the Mila cams.
Tomorow I'll look up the rest of that thread piece, there was a bit of linguistic history too.

@ 327parclair - I for one will keep checking back here, and probably on others of Erik's threads...

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

Gee! Doesn't the weather realize it needs to cooperate and let us have clear skies so that we may see our beloved volcano erupting???? Geesh! :)

By missyland (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

Sorry birdseyeUSA I was just copying the name off the eldgos.mila.is site.

By missyland MI (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

birdseyeUSA - Duh! :) Now I see the "P". I totally never noticed that before. *chuckling*

By missyland MI (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

RE: Long Valley and surrouding area; I believe the quakes that are actually north of the caldera, since they are not showing that anymore (at least I can't find the Long Valley monitoring site). That area can have swarms as almost any area around there. The Adobe Hills area has them occassionally and that is pretty normal. It looks like Mammoth Mt. has calmed down for a while. Most of what I see is what I call background noise with the exception of S CA which is rocking like crazy with aftershocks from the Baja quake. What I found interesting about that was the curve of quakes that headed NE from the main line of quakes. That is the area that I think John McPhee was talking about when he figured that the Gulf of CA was going to open up and eventually merge with the Salton Sea again and go further up into Nevada. That will not be for quite a while.

I am not an expert in this by any means. I have just been watching CA and NV for a long time and I have seen swarms come and go. They are something to be taken seriously because you never know when something else might happen. There is a magma chamber under the China Lake area. I am not aware of a geothermal plant in S CA, but it wouldn't surprise me if there was one. The one up north is quaking all the time because of the geothermal plant re-injecting the water.

Right now I am not happy with the changes they made to the CA/NV map. The color makes it hard for me to really see some of the quake posts. I think the other map was just fine and why they changed it is beyond me. Oh well...

Time for me to hit the sack so I will catch up in the morning. Good night all and have a good night/morning where ever you are.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

Well, I guess its up to me to ask the obvious its the question... Time for the consensus of opinions..... Is it over? Is it a lull? Is it collapsing and waiting for the next influx of magma into the chamber to blow it in a loud and ugly manner? Please, do state your case for whatever you think is going to happen next.

It will be either fiction or fact for sure.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

@Diane the swarm is to the North of the Caldera but not all that much. (20 km north of Mammoth Lakes.)

It's on the Long Valley Special Map:

And it's still doing it's thing, popping away every couple of minutes for the past half hour or so. The Long Valley monitoring report is only updated once a week, but here's where it lives:


(At the time the last report was written only the first 3.0 of the current swarm had occurred.)


Yes, those quakes are in the Inyo Craters region which, I believe, last saw an eruption about 500 years ago or so. It would be considered a potentially active region.

The volcanic tremor is dropping fast at the moment, currently the tremor is reaching background levels fast. This might all be over. But we just have to wait and see.

As it is possible that this eruption might start all over again. It did so on the 1821 to 1823 eruption, when it took ~6 months break before it started again. How long this break might last is a good question, if this is in fact a break that is happening at the moment.

@Diane N CA [337]

"... I am not aware of a geothermal plant in S CA, but it wouldn't surprise me if there was one. The one up north is quaking all the time because of the geothermal plant re-injecting the water."

36.039286°N - 117.802038° W

I ran across it while snooping around some quakes on Google Earth about a year or so ago. I noticed some crooked pipes off to the east that looked for all the world like steam pipes I've seen. The distinctive bends are there to compensate for heat stresses in the piping.

From Wikipedia.

"Commercial power development began in the 1980s. Located within the China Lake U.S. Naval Air Weapons Station near Ridgecrest, CA, power plants at the Coso Geothermal Field are currently operated by Caithness Energy, LLC (Reno, NV). It currently produces 270 MW from four geothermal power plants. More than 100 wells have been drilled throughout the field, with production depths from 2,000 to 12,000 feet (610 to 3,700 m), and temperatures from 200° to 350°C."


Does anyone have a link to any reliable inflation data for the Eyjafjallajokull area? The stuff I have been looking at is spotty and the stations aren't updated in those charts at the same time. It makes it rather useless except over a long term historical sense.

@George [345]

I agree. Not very useful. From what I understand they used to make the raw data available, but now you have to essentially tell them what you are going to do with it. Sort of hard to justify that you are just a bystander and want to look at it, but, it is their data and they use the usage info to justify expenditures for the equipment... at least thats they way I read it.

Along those lines, many thanks to Jón FrÃmann for the geophone displays.

That 15 minute interval counts of the quakes that I was looking at seems to point to a drop dead date of about 5/27/10 4:50. If the activity doesn't pick up by then, this thing is probably over... for now. That is 2 SD beyond the average peak interval in that rate. That average points to 5/25/10 0:33 at the next peak in the 15 minute quake counts.

But as I've pointed out on other forums, this is a volcano, and it will do pretty much anything it wants. And, I am just a guy sitting around poking at numbers.

Here is a graph of the 15 minute counts.


#314: well said! My sentiment exactly.

By Lavendel, Swit… (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

Good morning volcanophiles!

There is some kind of plume, steam to judge by its colour, visible in the Thorolfsfelli camera (IIRC, gramatically it should be Thorolfsföllur?). It does seem to be far from the vent, but as that is still shrouded by mist, perhaps it's a drifting plume that does not reach visible altitude until far from its point of origin.

For those who want her to start again, the plume is very similar in appearance, if not as vigorous, as it was around 9pm GMT on April 16th, just before she sent a massive, black column skywards. Oh, and there is a *tiny* uptick in tremor.

Re pronounciation:
à is pronounced "th" as birdseyeUSA points out, but it's the unaspirated "th" of "think", "thick".
ð is also pronounced "th" but aspirated as in "this", "there".

I don't know how the Icelanders feel about us mangling their language, they are much too polite, but translitterating "ð" as "d" - Bardarbunga - and "Ã" as "th" - fra Thorolfsfelli - seems acceptable. ReynÃr, Jón, Anna?

By Henrik, Swe (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

The plume looks very much like just steam. Water seeping into the still-hot but otherwise inactive vent?

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

Does anybody else see what I think I'm seeing: the steam plume is to the west from where the explosive plume was?

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

@Thor and everyone else interested in Lanzarote:

My husband and I went to Lanzarote just after Christmas, and it was a really amazing place once you get away from the touristy restarts. We went to Timanfaya, and the explanation we were given there for the heat that powers the bbq and the little steam 'geysers' (they only blow up water that's put in there by the man doing the demo) is that there was a small residual magma chamber and temperatures just a few meters below the surface get up to 400C - 600C.

Timanfaya specifically and Lanzarote in general are not considered active. The Canary Islands were formed as the ocean crust passed over a hotspot. Lanzarote is 35 million years old, and has now moved off the hotspot. The residual magma is not enough to start a new eruption - it will probably just sit there, quietly cooling until all heat has finally dissipated, I should think. Might take a while, though.

The other amazing thing about Lanzarote is that it has one of (if not the?) longest lava tubes in the world, which is in total 6km long and runs from the top of the Montaña La Corona to the sea. You can enter it in two places: Jameos Del Agua and Cuevas de Los Verdes. "Jameos" is the name given to parts of the lava tube where the roof has fallen in. They were often used by the local people as hiding places when the islands were raided or invaded

Jameos Del Agua is an amazing place, with a fabulous restaurant, and auditorium (the most acoustically dead place I've ever been outside of a recording studio!) and a pool to sit around. They also have a great geology exhibit there too. My husband and I went for dinner, and not only was the food lovely, but they left the museum and everything else open so we found ourselves alone, at 10pm, reading up on the geology of Lanzarote!

Both the Jameos Del Agua and El Diablo, the restaurant at Timanfaya where you can eat food roasted by the heat of the residual magma, were designed by Cesar Manrique, probably the most famous Lanzarotean and a man who did a huge amount to bring art and modern architecture the island. (Fascinating man - well worth reading up on!)

Cuevos de Los Verdes is further up the lava tube and is a path that runs through the lava tube. Nothing has been done except to light the tube and make the pathway safe. It takes about an hour to take the guided tour, and it is utterly amazing. In one area, where the tube spreads out wide, they actually have a grand piano and concert area!

I still haven't managed to upload my photos yet (bad me) but I did find Lanzarote to be quite a stunning place. My poor hubby had to put up with me getting all over-excited about the geology there. The lava fields are amazing with really good examples of pahoehoe and a'a lava.

Anyway, I could go on, but I think this comment is long enough as it is!

It certainly looks that way Kultsi, and to the south as well if you squint through the haze at Hvolsvöllur. (Use the houses on the hill as a reference.) It looks as if the plume may originate from the same side of the vent as on April 21st, the SW or SSW side. Plume height no more than 5-600m above the summit (~2200m, ~7000ft, above sea level).

By Henrik, Swe (not verified) on 22 May 2010 #permalink

As one of many on this forum, I sense a overall feeling of "withdrawal" from this volcanic occurrence, that for the first time has been documented "live" within a community.

As with anything that is 'addictive' as many have indicated, self included, and occupied so much time and attention, I reflect upon the recent events and ponder the future.

Furthermore, whilst I feel empathy for those affected with the financial impact of the fallout of this eruption, I respect the knowledge and wisdom gained so far. Is the fat lady going to sing again or are the last months of our lives already written in history?

#354 That gneiss rock is very sturdy, but it has a tendency to split at the morph lines. Usually, the boulders tumble down piecemeal, and a big split is really rare. If that one comes down with any speed, it's going to cause one helluva local tsunami, quite not like the one in Alaska http://geology.com/records/biggest-tsunami.shtml but still a big one.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

I have been avid following with nothing useful to add for weeks, I enjoy learning about this eruption and Iceland, for years I have wanted to visit and am even more eager than ever.

A big thanks to all the people here for creating a really pleasant environment to learn and share :)

While Eyjafjallajokull sleeps, here http://www.geonet.org.nz/
is an excellent site to browse. There are two New Zealand volcanoes with elevated alert levels.

good morning! looks like someone from Fréttir is out visiting the Mulakot cam folks...
I caught a quick glimpse on Thoro cam and while I didn't see much in the way of 'plume' it did look as though there was more steam near the top of the glacier. More than the past few days? Who knows.
I hope in the long run that those who lurk/post here will continue to send Erik any results from studies that you know of/come across relating to this eruption, for us and so they can be added to suw's great collection site,

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

Hi to all,

Anyone looked at the katla cam on Ruv recently ?

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

Possibly just cloud at top left corner.

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

Yes, I believe that it is only cloud,sorry, I will climb back under my rock.

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

@zander 357 Thanks for the excellent link! I've been trying to find info for NZed. ;-)

According to the Iceland Met office, there is not much if any ash falling today, as they stated the eruption is minimal and will be monitored for further updates, if necessary. Not much earthquake activity under "E" either.

The UK Met office states the steam/ash plume is rising to about 8000 ft. A quiet day, some steam from the vent on the glacier. I still believe the eruption is not quite over yet :o)!

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

At noon Magnús Tumi Gudmundsson, geophysicist at the Icelandic Met, said that the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull has stopped, at least temporarily. This is confirmed by Ãmar Ragnarsson, a well known environmentalist and reporter, who flew all the way up to the crater around eleven oâclock this morning. He said that vapour was still coming out of the crater, but no ash.

Sigthrúdur Ãrmannsdóttir at the Icelandic Met Office says that it is not sure that the eruption is over even though it seems to be at the moment.

In the past few days the volcano has shown signs of reduced activity. From noon yesterday the eruption seemed to be grinding to a halt. Very few earthquakes have been recorded in the past few days.

Gudmundsson warns that in the eruption 1821-3 the volcano did stop for a while and started again so more time is needed to see if the volcano has gone to sleep.

#365) Thanks for the new and detailed information. Considering "E" has already erupted more material than in the 1821-23 eruption, maybe she is taking a brief break.

I am not a vulcanologist, but I really doubt "E" is finished this quickly!

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

23.05.201015:08:5663.607-19.6475.8 km2.2

Two young ladies having a picnic on the Ãórólfsfelli camera. According to the FLIR, the red-head on the left is the hottest thing in the frame. I am inclined to agree. ;)

By Henrik, Swe (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

According to the Iceland Review, all eruptive activity at Eyjafjallajökull has ceased, "at least temporarily":


But in the meantime, eruptive activity seems to have increased significantly at Rinjani on the Indonesian island of Lombok:


Rinjani has been erupting since May 2009, producing a lava flow that entered into the caldera lake Segara Anak. The eruption was a modest, low-rate event and attracted many tourists. The latest activity has been described as "big" and lava is reported to have reached the caldera lake once more, raising its temperature from 21 to 35 degrees centigrade.

@368 LMAO Now that one had me bust out loud laughing. Wife gave me a strange look. She's thinking maybe we're spending too much time staring at web cams. LOLOL

@ 369

Anak - child of Krakatoa?!

@ And I was was just thinking her coat isn't very well insulated.

By Carla - Seattle (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

#368 I wish the ladies would wipe the cam... I do agree that the readhead is the hottest item in the pic.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

Intriguing to see concurrent microquake activity among the seismic foci (west end SISZ, Eyjaf, Vatnajakoll and Tjornes).

It points to larger active energy processes beneath and within the lithosphere under Iceland and elsewhere.

Looks like the steam plume in the upper-right hand corner )POR cam) has started once again, and the small steam plume is on the middle of the picture :o)!!

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

[Uninformed content follows ... ]

Yes, there's a distinctly end-of-term feel on here (perhaps everyone should bring their games in tomorrow), so thanks to everyone from me as well, as a non-volc bystander who's been fascinated by all the info and discussions. Of course Eyjafjallajökull might well fire up again tomorrow morning, but I realise (I think) that it could just as easily be in six months or two years or more and still be essentially the same episode - as even short-term geological time-scales go.

Obviously there's activity going on elsewhere in the world which I'm sure will be very absorbing even to the uninitiated, once I've torn myself away from this one. But Eyjafjallajökull feels like our local volcano here in the UK. And since I was lucky enough not to be flying anywhere, I confess to having found some selfish enjoyment in all the travel chaos, and in the airlines' hysterical, self-serving duplicity. (I gather the relevant advisory and regulatory bodies having been trying for years to involve the airlines in setting accurate safety limits for flying through volcanic ash. But for unedifying reasons of their own, the airlines preferred to let the authorities impose ultra-safe zero-tolerance limits in the absence of the vital data that the airlines chose to withhold ... until now).

Enough from me. Thanks again to Erik and others. I'm really glad I found Eruptions and look forward to keeping in touch with all your volcano talk.

By Daniel Simmons (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

@zander 357, Raving362, JónF 376 - thanks for these posts , all interesting and useful.
Does anyone know if the 'angle of repose' holds for crater walls? Do craters choke off (aside from lack of supply below) because of gradual filling-in of falling material?

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

@Jón (#376) Thanks for the link! That really seems to be it, for now at least. Best views of the lava flow I've seen this far.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

As for withdrawal; kinda. But I'm more disappointed as I'd hoped the explosive, and so disruptive, phase would end but that would be followed by a period of entertaining lava fountains and flows.

@JónF - wow - no wonder the camera went offline there! Was that an excavated area you show or part of a slip of some sort? (hard to tell how long it is.)

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

@363 Parclair, @380 birdseye, thanks to you also.

Good morning everybody. It is now 11:13am on the left coast. :-)

@Parclair, the link you gave me wasn't the one I was looking for, thanks for the one you sent. I really don't like what they have done to the maps and such. To me, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I guess I will just have to deal with it. :-(o)

@Jen, you gave me one of the ones I was looking for. They sure have changed things as they used to report every day. I guess it has to do with cut-backs. Still...

@George, thanks for the link to that map. That is the way like to see it. The way it used to be. BTW, the quakes are up in the vacinity of the Mono Craters which are between Mono Lake and Long Valley. The Inyo craters are in the caldera. I have been to one of them and you can hike to all of them. The one I went to is not very big and is filled with greenish water. I wanted to go to the other craters, but I was not in that kind of shape to do that much hiking. It isn't that hard, just the distance. I can say that Long Valley is a really beautiful place to go and look at geology and volcanology as well. A lot of large lava domes are there and they are of different material. At least two are obsidian: Obsidian Dome and Lookout Mt.

@Lurking, thanks for the info on the geothermal plant in the China Lake area. A few years ago, there was a very misinformed person claiming the government was using the area to experiment with creating quakes on demand. They had no idea of the magma chamber under there and the plant. I guess that is where some of the swarms come from when they have them between Ridgecrest and China Lake. There is also some mining going on in the area so any blasts can creat a "quake". I see that in NV all the time as they are doing a lot of mining there all over.

I am going to miss Eyfaf if this is it or even if it is a long lull in the eruption. Yet, it will be interesting to watch and see what happens next and I am sure there will be another volcano that will do some voicing of its opinion soon and we will have something else to watch. After all, they are erupting all the time. So I doubt we will be left without something to take a good look at and, as you all know, there is something to learn from each eruption.

Cheers everybody.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

hvo and hau tremor defiantly showing a slow rise, god esk and mid may be also rising but to small now to be sure

so is something going on or am i just being wishful

"BTW, the quakes are up in the vacinity of the Mono Craters which are between Mono Lake and Long Valley."

Well, it is sort of hard to say where the Mono craters stop and the Inyo craters begin, it is sort of subjective as they are all part of the same system and have formed craters within the same timeframe. The Inyo craters do extend North over the rim of the caldera toward Mono Lake. It is almost wrong to give them separate names as they are all part of the same process. I suppose it just depends on which side of the Inyo/Mono county line the activity is located. :)

Cheers, Diane, and all - I'll be in & out - early June we're of for 3 weeks vacation back to Maine where there are no volcanoes but some nice rocks - I'll have my computer, just in case.... : )

Reynir, thanks for 'Ormurinn Langi,' I've only got it through the chorus and first couple of verses, but I'll keep on working at it! I have been keeping a journal of sorts of this blog, in two parts, science and 'humanities.' I look forward to putting it on paper, along with some of many screenshots, to keep as a memento.

Don't forget, you can still download and print onto stiff paper your very own keepsake Eyjafjallajökull model at http://www.bgs.ac.uk/research/highlights/iceland/3dVolcanicModel.html : )

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

@376: temporally clustered earthquake sequences are tracked by geologist for good reason, in tracking evolution of activity at volcanic centers. Tectonic activity is the result, not the cause, of catalytic energetic processes.

Mulakot webcam shows a healthy plume. This eruption is very much certainly not over.

Anyone else see those specks up there? They appear to be moving. Gummiey and pals?

Check Katla. HVO low-frequency rising fairly rapidly. No other tremor graph on the page is going up this fast. (HVO is close to Katla, on the southeastern side (away from Eyjafjallajokull).

evening all..hows every body doing?

whats the latest On Eyjafjöll tonight,. has she done anything new today, or has she been silent ?

birdseyeUSA @328 - Cat is still coming round from time to time. Favoured position seems to be to drape herself over my shoulder and purr loudly. The whole family is starting to miss her when she's not here. Enjoy Maine in June.

btw whats that gloving dot on the heat cam,in the sky,over the mountain??

WOW , a new vent has opened up in the sky !

"btw whats that gloving dot on the heat cam"

My guess would be that it is something on the lens of the camera.

haha, just what I was thinking,.

@397 I've been looking at that also. But I can't get to the Ãórólfsfelli cam to see from that view. And voda cam is completely gone.

its a UFO, that are touring the Volcano, as it has gotten so much public interest that the word has spread intergalactic.. hehe

wonder what will happen next up there,the next following days and months, I bet that eyjafjäll has more up here sleve..she just needs to rest a little bit,its a tough job for an old lady to keep up the steam all the time and her heart condition.. hehe

tremorplotts for snb shows a small increase, hvo seems to be decreasing again. esk and mid also decreasing.

for me it may be just a small increase or decrease, but i am definitely not able to get to any kind of conclusion... wait and see :)

btw. i also asked myself about this dot. maybe its a fly, or a star? dont know

Bet ya a virtual beer it's the moon on the thermal imager.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

Nah! I don't think it's the moon at all,, crosshair picks it up as the hottest object intermitantly..lol

What a lovely sight from Ãórólfsfelli cam. Who cleaned the lense?

the dot seems to be moving from the left to the right at a slow rate. maye still somekind of a star?

but eyjafjalla is still "smoking" the steam plume is clearly visible, but still pretty small in comparison to what we've been able to see the last few weeks

@ 396Gordon -Thanks - still blackfly season there, and mosquitos coming on strong. Re: cats, strays are the best kind, tough but grateful. Have been owned by several.

Did actually have two earthquakes a few years ago in Maine, 3-4 range,epicenter right across the water from home. Very loud sharp bangs, and a thump. For the first one everyone shot out of sleep thinking their furnaces had blown up, it was in the middle of the night. Second one, I was sitting on a big granite doorstep, could feel the thump. A fault no-one had known about.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

George #389, as far as I know, all of the Inyo craters are in the caldera. The Mono craters are much higher in elevation than the Inyo craters. I can check things out on the maps and see what they say about it. Might be an interesting search.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

The ref's blown the whistle on the second quarter of the game. Now we'll just have to wait and see when and where the third quarter is blown on.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

Last week, the Independent's travel correspondent, Simon Calder, wrote an article about visiting Iceland to see the volcano. He mentioned in jest that an Icelandic witch had predicted the eruption would end on the 23rd... so I guess the pseudoscientists will be celebrating today ;)

IMO has just posted today's summary at http://en.vedur.is/earthquakes-and-volcanism/articles/nr/1884:

'Assessment 23 May 2010 18:00

'The eruption plume is light in colour, contains steam, and is heading south in a light northerly wind. The plume is estimated at 3 km/10,000ft height (a.s.l.). There are no reports of ashfall; no lightning strikes have been detected and no noises reported. Meltwater discharge from GÃgjökull is low.

'Measurements with a heat camera made from an aircraft gave just under 100°C as the highest temperatures at the crater. The crater could not be observed, due to steam rising from it. No signs of extrusion of magma could be seen. Volcanic tremor is still decreasing and is approaching the level it had before the eruption.

'Today, the eruption seems to be dormant. There is still a considerable amount of steam coming from the crater, but no ash can be seen in it. Details in a status report issued collectively by the Icelandic Meteorological Office and the Institute of Earth Sciences at 17:00.'

Thanks Erik, everyone for all the informative conversations over the last few weeks.

By Mike Richards (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

@StarBP (939), This might just be wind or the ocean wave. But we just have to wait and see. The wind can have a effect even if it is far away from Iceland.

@Mike Richards, I am sure that they won't know what is coming. My models are showing something interesting. But it is due process and verifying in my brain so I am not ready to discuss yet what my models are showing at the moment.

What the dot is on the infra-red cam is a good question. Might this be Venus ?

They changed the hight at thorocam so that we can't see the SPOT, which you can see on the thermo

Re. the hotspot on the FLIR cam ... Mulakot showed what appeared to be a helicoper hovering over the crater (or close enough!) at the same time. Not the moon or Venus ;)

By beedragon Canada (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

@George, I checked on the local TV station as they have an interactive map for weather, but it is a MS program like Google Earth. The Inyo craters are three small craters in the caldera. The first two have water in them and the third is a dome formation. Further on up the pike is a large dome and it may or may not have a name. The Mono Craters are south of Mono Lake and east of Hwy 395 before going down Deadman's Pass. That takes you down into the caldera. Yes, they are part of the same chain of volcanoes and I think the Mono Craters get their name from Mono Lake as the are close by. There are quite a few of them and then there seems to be a break and then you have the much smaller Inyo Craters.

It is kind of interesting that the map shows the green color of the water in the first crater and blue water in the second crater. That is a bit odd to me as I would think both would have green water. Anybody got an answer for that one?

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

the bright spot should indeed be Venus. just googled a little bit so check which stars or phenomenons are visible at this time and venus was one of the visible "objects".

Re, the FLIR hotspot. I think it's the moon, it's been there for hours moving slowly from east to west and gradually getting higher in the sky. I don't know why the moon would show up in the FLIR though.

@415, 416

i thinks its not a helicopter or something human made. it is moving to slowely and to constantly. also there is the slow move from the left to the right (or north-south if i am correct)

I doubt the dot is venus, because the thermo cam shows heat and not light. Venus can't be a hot dot, it is too far away and also the dot is too big to be venus I think.

@Zander, No this is not the moon. As it is too high for that location, and I did see it on the Heklabyggð web camera earlier. Also, this is too small to be the moon I think.

On the Thoro cam, I am seeing somthing between the two points on the Gigjokull glacier. Can any of the rest of you see it? It is on the top in the middle and I am wondering if it is a high feature of Eyjaf or what it is. Jon?

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

Forgot to let everybody know I am looking at Thoro zoomed to 400.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

OK, this is for any Icelanders lurking...
Is this a recognizeable Icelandic volcano or someone's imagination....?? there is no identification or makers mark - purchased in Reykjavik 2000.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

JON i am very interested in your model as I do not think this episode is over, something tells me that magma is being
moved and is coming from farther away then thought. I think that this unrest to going to spread and encompass a larger area.

Amazing just how little steam is coming from the crater now. Very unscientifically, I am however convinced the show is not over yet.

Hey y'all. I wanted to thank you all for the immense amount of knowledge you've shared since the beginning of the eruption. I've been reading without responding since the beginning.

@birdseyeUSA #426
That is, indeed, Mount Hekla. See an image of her (yes, Hekla is a female name) here: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/21/Hekla_2004.jpg

By InterestedIcelander (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

Bright dot gone now, did anyone see if it disappeared or moved off the screen?

#428, Alison: yes, amazing. Especcially wenn one thinks back a couple of days...
However, I can imaging the Icelanders beeing happy enough that the ashfall has stopped.

By Lavendel, Swit… (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

I won't bet against the moon having shown up on the thermal imager. It's tilted ca. five degrees upwards. ... 'Course it is! Ãórólfsfell peaks at 900 metres below Eyjaf., so it has to be tilted to put the crater mid-screen. And the moon is, what, 25 degrees above the horizon?

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

Super-clear viewing on the Thorolfsfell cam right now. The cam's aspect ratio has changed, so be sure to right-click and change the stretching if you go full screen.

I'm still maintaining my map of webcams and other stuff, though naturally updates have slowed over the past few days. Click on my name below to view it.

Thanks Lavendel!

Strange music: http://siminn-http.straumar.is/lv

This is "Veðurómur"/"Hubbub Weather", an audio artwork broadcast on the web as a WMA stream and on FM at the generator station in Fljótsdalur, E-Iceland.

You can replace 'http' with 'mms' in the url.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

@421 Dagmar, The tremor has just shot up, something's cooking.

Evening everyone! Just got back from my weekend break and all the fog, and vog and ash and plume, all gone. I'll miss it very much is if this is the end. I'll miss all of you. I take the chance to thank Erik and Boris for the wonderful opportunity to share with you people from all over the world the knowledge, the friendship, the arguments, the poetry, the awes and anxieties inspired from this amazing volcano. Thanks for your patience to keep answering our dumb questions and hearing our most extravagant theories.
Thank you Icelandic people, Mila cams people.
Takk fyrir hlý velkomnir! Takk ReynÃr, Jón, Anna!
I'll be dropping by, as a lurker, as I always have done for the past year.
And maybe we'll be hearing from Katla someday from now.
"Sunday 23rd May 2010
Katla volcano, Iceland
In the past 48 hours 3 earthquakes occurred at Katla volcano, Iceland. The earthquakes may be due to ice movements within Mýrdalsjökull glacier or magma movement under the volcano. Scientists have been keeping a close watch on Katla volcano, due to the possibility of an eruption triggered by the activity at nearby Eyjafjallajokull. An eruption of Katla volcano has the potential to be more devastating than the current eruption of Eyjafjallajokull." John Seach (http://www.volcanolive.com/news.html)

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

Zander, I see it, they are also the cams closest to Katla... I think none of this is over yet.


On the Thoro cam, I am seeing somthing between the two points on the Gigjokull glacier. Can any of the rest of you see it? It is on the top in the middle and I am wondering if it is a high feature of Eyjaf or what it is. Jon?

Posted by: Diane N CA | May 23, 2010 5:57 PM

I mentioned @392 that I thought it might be visitors. But looking back through Vodafone's archives it appears to be a natural feature that ash/steam/haze has, more often than not, obscured.

Yeah thats a strange little hot dot.

@Diane That feature got my attention too.
I'ts part of the crater. all my pictures taken reveal this feature.
howerver there seems to be 1 or 2 very small plumes in front sometimes.
Its changin colours now and then, white/grey.
Yesterday evening i saw a dark grey puff coming up from exact the same location.
There was a thin line of clouds beneath it so i could not see where it originated from.
Funny thing is this happend twice. most likely they where just clouds......

Hm i think the moon would also give a bigger footprint?

@Jón FrÃmann After the second fissure stopt and before the crater erupted was it "tremor-wise"
the same as right now?

"The Inyo craters are three small craters in the caldera."

I suppose that depends on whose words you read.

The Inyo Craters are a 12-km-long chain of silicic lava domes, lava flows, and explosion craters along the eastern margin of Sierra Nevada south of Mono Craters near the town of Mammoth. Inyo Craters overtop the NW rim of the Pleistocene Long Valley caldera and extend onto the caldera floor, but are chemically and magmatically part of a different volcanic system.


The Mono Craters, lying on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada between Mono Lake and Long Valley caldera, form an arcuate, 17-km-long group of 30 or more dominantly rhyolitic lava domes, lava flows, and tephra rings. The partially overlapping dike-fed domes were erupted near the margin of a pull-apart basin on the east side of the Sierra Nevada. Explosive eruptions began more than 50,000 years ago from now-buried vents, but almost all of the exposed domes and flows are of Holocene age. Activity has propagated both north and south from the center of the chain during the late Holocene. The latest eruptions occurred about 600 years ago, nearly contemporaneously with the eruptions from Inyo Craters to the south, producing a series of tephra rings and obsidian lava domes and flows at the northern end of the chain accompanied by eruption of locally extensive tephra layers.

Those two descriptions from the same source and describes them as if they are separate systems, but actually they aren't. The description below is more to my liking as I believe it to be a more accurate description:

The history and deposits of the Mono-Inyo Craters volcanic field overlap with Long Valley caldera in time and space. The Mono-Inyo Craters volcanic field developed along a 30-mile-long (50 km) fissure system that extends northward from Mammoth Mountain on the southwestern rim of the caldera to Mono Lake.

But it is six of one, half dozen of another to me. If someone calls them Mono Craters or Inyo Craters ... they are simply talking about opposite ends of the same system.

I suppose this picture shows what I mean. Exactly where one begins and the other ends is pretty much a coin flip and both are fed from the same magma.

#440, Where is you get the info concerning the increased tremor at Eya?

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

I see a very strang this at all the tremor point of Iceland the whole country. Look at the right and notice that at almost all the red line has gone straight up to something more than 3000. http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/oroi/allarsort.html
ALL seismics spots...

@ Erik Klemetti, i've just noticed that this blog was posted at 3:16 am ! That's what i call dedication...or is it insomnia :)

@449 yes I see the same thing that is very strange!!!!

@Renee It is, I wonder what this could be!

George, I know there are domes there that are part of the system. I am talking about two small craters and a small dome feature that are off of the Inyo Crater Rd. just north of Mammoth Lakes. These are the ones they refer to the Inyo Craters and are the ones you can hike to. From the MS maps, I could see the trail that makes a loop to the first crater, the one with the green water in it. Unless a lot has changed there since I was there, they are still referred to the Inyo Craters. I hope you don't think I am arguing, because I am not. It is just what they say in the area. Regardless, it is a neat place to see as well as Mono Lake, Mammoth Mt., Devil's Postpile (they drive you down there) and the road that goes to the area where you can see the Minarettes. It used to be you could drive to the Minarettes, but no more. Then you can go up on Lookout Mt. and see the other domes in the area. There is so much to see. Anyone who is studying geology should go there at some time in their lives.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

What steam there was earlier today has diminished to almost nothing. My completely uneducated opinion is that it's about to go dormant, or... something has plugged up and sometime soon we will see something big happening.

I also would like to comment on the enjoyment of this blog. The experts and amateurs alike have created an atmosphere of learning beyond anything I expected. And the camaraderie of people from different parts of the world has been a plus. I still plan on hanging around, and also maintaining my blog for the evidently fair amount of people (from that blog) that have come to use it for updates and the links. 36 different countries, kind of cool. :)

Jon, Erik, Boris and all can you explain to us what my observation @449 could mean? http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/oroi/allarsort.html

Renee (451) saw it too. I am really very curious! Thanks

"I see a very strange thing at all the tremor points of Iceland the whole country. Look at the right and notice that at almost all the red line has gone straight up to something more than 3000. http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/oroi/allarsort.html
ALL seismics spots..."

@430 interestedicelander - Tak fyrÃr, that is fun, I am glad to know 'she' is 'real!' : ) It was in an antique shop. From what I have read (or been able to find) the falcon and the dragon were both symbols in Iceland's earlier history before the new flag.( I think the dragon looks like lava....)

@ 424 Diane , I think the tiny bump on the crest is the glacier peak on the other side of the crater, if that's what you were looking at - at least as best I can make out from the topo map posted earlier.

@ 441 Renato Silveira - Renato, be well. See below if you do not already know about this..

Big geology/physical sciences meetings at Foz do Iguaçu in August, maybe you can get there. If you can find anyone you know who is going, you can be registered as a guest, otherwise (for a higher price) you can register yourself - some very interesting things to see and learn at those meetings, in both lectures and 'posters.'

36 countries -and peaceful exchanges - pretty good,Dr. Erik Klemetti. Gold star - we'll all be here or there on your blog I suspect from now on, regulars, those of us who didn't know such as a geology blog thing existed, and those who(me) had never entered the blogosphere before at all. What a nice introduction.

@ Mila(Milú?)Mulakot and Vodaphone folks, the Katla/Hekla cam people, also IMO, so many thanks for your time and efforts. This has been (and will maybe/probably continue to be) a tremendous privilege, to have visual 'participation' made possible around the world and 'in the moment' without an editorial intermediary, and with knowlegeable 'interpreters' available.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink


A low-frequency spike like that is probably a tectonic earthquake in a distant land which is also detected here in Iceland.

USGS website is showing a 5.9 in central Peru at around 10:45pm UTC so that's my bet.

Some residual material being blown out of the vent, perhaps? Impossible to tell from that if it's fresh magma being fragmented into ash, or just older stuff.

On that moon theory for the FLIR hot-spot: I expect others are much more on top of where the moon should be and when. Anyway, my trusty Yes Cozmo wristwatch reckons the moon should set at 2.24am UTC/GMT at those co-ordinates (assuming sea-level and no volcanoes in the way).

By Daniel Simmons (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

@458 Good catch there. Weird that it happened just as a cloud/fog went by. Bad timing there. Definitely looked like an ash burp to me. Don't see anything corresponding to it on helicorders or EQ's though.

@Lurking - thanks for posting the info on Wyoming's Heart Mountain at #315. It is almost impossible to imagine that event. 'Course, last night I watched The Fire Beneath Us about the Mount St. Helens eruption, which makes it a little more possible to imagine.

By Carla - Seattle (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

#454 @Dan, Florida: It's been my pleasure to share all those beautiful moments with guys like you. Still praying for the best possible solution to oil spill at the Gulf. Maybe you could post again your blog's link so that we could keep in touch.
#456 @birdseyeUSA: Hope you be well too. Thanks for the hint about the meetings. I've been to Foz do Iguaçu before and it's certainly an interesting idea to follow such an important event.
I'll be hanging around for a while, so we may discuss new outcomes over this and other events.
Good luck to you all!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

@454 Renato Just click on my name. :) It's at the weatherunderground web site where I keep close track of the hurricane season, and more recently the oil spill. There is one lady who has dedicated her web page to the spill. She is from 1/2 hour down the coast from me.

#464 @Dan, Fl: Of course, that one is already on my Favorites list. Thanks again. I'll be dropping by!!! See you soon. Maybe on another morning to remember some of Elizete Cardoso's highlights.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

Dan, Florida I don't know if you have looked at my weather site yet but if you get a chance click on my name and you will see it. I haven't added anything since last year but I think I may add a few more pages to it soon.

@Dagmar (#431). Tremor is indeed increasing, but not so much at Godabunga, which is the station that has been most "in tune with" Eyjafjalla volcano. This rise in tremor is visible all over Iceland:


(If you haven't bookmarked this page, do so. It's very useful. Click on the little squares to see each station although not all are on-line.)

In the west, on Reykjanes peninsula, the tremor is discernible. In the north, the tremor has already peaked and shows a downwards trend (03.40 GMT). Not so around Vatnajökull, as an example look at station Fagurholmsmyri:


From what little I have learnt over the past few months, I'd say the rise in tremor does not come from the Eyjafjalla volcanic system. My guess would be that it's Bardarbunga volcano, which has been showing signs of unrest, but it could be something completely different.


By Henrik, Swe (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

Pretty neat how the fog that's got the airstrip blanketed is slowly flowing along the ground and invading the view from Ãórólfsfell.

Erik, Boris, Diane or anyone else who was here in early Feb when we had our little Yellowstone discussion;) I think you will enjoy this story. Notice the comment at the bottom;) I actually posted the comment to the story last night in Denver. They must have sent the comment out along with the story to all of the other affiliates because I have had lots of new people from all of the major markets coming to my site today from that story.

Erik I know how you hate for the press to get it wrong but someone has to keep an eye on the scientists too:)

The Risk Of Yellowstone's Mighty Volcano
Good Question: How Big Is Yellowstone's Super-Volcano?

Dagmar, nice catch! The rise all over Iceland and the similarity in the curves' peaks and troughs is most interesting. I'm sure Peter Cobbold and Bruce Stout will be as interested in your find as I am!

(Also, sorry! From your later posts I see that you have your bases covered already. A case of being too helpful I'm afraid. ;) )

By Henrik, Swe (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

Just got caught up after being away for almost 2 days and whoa! What's up with all the "good-bye's"?

And Reynir, Renato, Randall, ya'll got some 'splainin' to do.

By Princess Frito (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

Princess Frito who me I didn't say I was leaving....I was here bugging Erik and Boris before EJ and plan to be log after EJ is finished....I don't think it's anywhere near finished;)

Whilst Airline Execs hold impromptu Mexican hat Dance parties in board rooms throughout Europe and North America.

By Henrik, Swe (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

I saw earlier in a post that they think earthquakes under Myrdalsjökull might be due to melting ice. Why now and not before? The latest EQ where inside the dotted line of the caldera. I find it interesting and also scary, since Katla is capable of so much bigger eruptions. Something stirring or am I just "on my toes" here?

By snotraviking, sweden (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

@Randall, #468. No doubt we'll be here following new volcanic events as they happen (I did mention Rinjani on Lombok, didn't I? #369) and continue our exchange of ideas :-D As for the article about Yellowstone that you cited, it does contain a fundamental sentence: "The likelihood statistically of a large caldera forming eruption is about the same as a mile wide asteroid hitting the earth". Now that's really not what we are wishing for, and I think so many generations of mankind have made it through the millennia without being bothered by such REALLY BIG DISASTERS that I wonder why we should be the one that ends up in one. Surely enough, more than sufficient bad stuff has happened, and quite a significant portion of that was inflicted by our lovely, intelligent human species itself.

Pretty amazing, though. Now that Eyjafjallajökull has calmed down, the view on the webcams is clearer than most of the time during the eruption ... d9tRotterdam (#458)'s video shows a puff of ash, which is something that can happen after an eruption is essentially over, and there are good chances that there is a lot of unstable material in the crater area that is prone to sliding. At Etna we once had a very powerful lava fountain (that was 23 November 2007), with tens of meters of hot material accumulating on steep slopes, and for days there were chunks of this stuff falling off, exposing the incandescent interior, which was well visible on the monitoring cameras and people thought this was renewed eruptive activity. On one occasion there was even a sort of "secondary lava flow" formed, that means still fluid material flowed out of a sort of "pocket" for a short time, after the overlying crust had fallen off.

Thanks to all of you for the enthusiasm and the thought-provoking discussions and questions, and sometimes even criticism. Being part of this exchange has been a challenge at time but that's a challenge all volcanologists and seismologists must face. We need to communicate what we know (or what we believe to know) to people like you in a manner that you can easily understand. We often have to do with people that don't easily believe what is said, or sometimes outrightly deny it. But that is part of the job.

I guess we'll all be here following events, be this a new episode at Eyjafjallajökull or some other volcano. Remember, each year some 40-60 volcanoes erupt, and I also believe one of them this year is going to be Etna ... and that will be a new challenge, because I'll not have much time to be on this blog when it happens, but at the same time it will be a great pleasure telling you about it.

@snotraviking, sweden[478]

Dunno, but I am a bit the disbelieving side about the quakes being related the ice. Shallow ones? Sure I can buy that, but not the deep ones. There have been a few relatively deep ones angled towards Katla, but they are too dispersed to even hazard a guess about what they mean. Before the main Eyj eruption, there was a large wad of quakes about halfway to the original fissure eruption, this set of widely spaced quakes are much deeper than that. There is also a grouping even deeper that seem to follow a line off to the west.

I cannot believe this is the end? Despite of all the earthquakes? I reserved flights to Iceland twice last spring and both times the flight was cancelled because of Eyjafjälla. Now if I try this the third time will you promess me that it won't be waste of my money and Eyja will erupt again? Plan B (=actually getting to Iceland) would be nice, too, of course, but - I would miss this blog a lot.

If this really is the end - Tak fyrÃr - for your patience in allowing amateurs like myself to "hang around" and learn :)

Another small EQ beneath the Katla caldera. It is at alittle more than 1km deep so i dont know, it could be melting ice since the temperatures are reaching 10-15 degrees (50-60 degrees Fahrenheit).

By Daniel, swe (not verified) on 23 May 2010 #permalink

@ Boris Great comment as ever! My parents will be at Etna in October and if there is an eruption I will be there too this time! Maybe we can now have a closer look to Turrialba on this blog (http://www.ovsicori.una.ac.cr/vulcanologia/videoturri.html). The seismicity of this volcano is very nervous right now. I don´t think there will be a big eruption, but my question is: Why is there such a high seismicity? Is it caused by the strong fumarolic activity (we have reports of jet steam-sounds, new fissures and of course this strange eruption of white material in January (?) this year). I always also have a look at the seismicity of the Phlegrean Fields at Pozzuoli (especially Solfatara), there is also a low but continuing seismic activity maybe caused by fumarolic activity, well let´s say it more precisely: By hot water interacting with hot rocks in the ground? I´m looking forward to the drills at Solfatara which are planned for this year. Oh and here is a great website about the Solfatara-crater: http://www.solfatara.it/vulcano/en/index.php (not only with a photo of Sophia Loren standing in that crater) but also with a great thermal picture of the crater in the gallery: http://www.solfatara.it/vulcano/en/gallery.php Oh and there is an intresting BBC-interview with President Ing. Giacomo Di Salvo http://www.solfatara.it/vulcano/en/video.php Well in many German newspapers and websites and also in some documentarys they say, that the Vesuvius is the only active volcano on Europes mainland, but I think they forget to mention the Phlegrean Fields....

By Thomas Wipf (not verified) on 24 May 2010 #permalink

Good morning,evening, night etc to all.

Well, so much for her subsiding, Thoro cam showing steam coming off the Glacier and is she running two vents again ???.

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 24 May 2010 #permalink

That steam on the flank is picking up - wasn't very noticeable an hour ago. The steam at the top is going higher as well.

By hannahsmetana (not verified) on 24 May 2010 #permalink

@479 Boris or any other expert out there, could you please recommend any literature for the amateur to learn more about seismology,geology or vulcanology ? I've been visiting this blog for many months now and have been fascinated by what i've learned so far, thanks.

As Boris and some others pointed out earlier. Steam can easily be formed a long time after the eruption has subsided due to residual magma and collapsing parts of it. Even small Ash clouds can rise but still, the eruption has died down to almost nothing. We will see in the coming months if there will be any renewed activity or not.

But i´ll give her a big thank you for the show she displayed during the last few months. :-)

By Daniel, swe (not verified) on 24 May 2010 #permalink