GVP Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for June 23-29, 2010

Just a reminder, if you any questions for Sally Kuhn Sennert of the Smithsonian/USGS Global Volcanism Program - about the Weekly Report, about life at the GVP, about volcanoes - be sure to send them to me soon at i-84cc6bc3cf2966742ba05c49f79ef53a-email.jpg.

Now, on to this week's update!

Some highlights (not including Gorely):

  • Lahars from Tungurahua in Ecuador moved blocks upwards of 2 m in diameter downstream over the last week and ash fall was reported over 20 km from the volcano's vent. For some reason, FoxNews decided to use an image of Tungurahua for an article on stats of natural disasters in 2009 - nice image, but the volcano isn't mentioned anywhere but in the captions.
  • Small ash-and-steam clouds were spotted at Karymsky in Kamchatka over the last week, reaching upwards of 10 km / 32,000 feet. This goes with the current activity at Kliuchevskoi and Shiveluch, both of which are experiencing explosions produced ash-and-steam columns that reach over 7 km / 22,000 feet. I've been trying to figure out the situation at KVERT now that we've past the date on which they said they would be "closed" due to lack of funding, but no luck. I did notice that the statement about the closure was removed on June 28 from the June 24 update, but that is as far as I've gotten. Anybody have any more insight?
  • Kirishima in Japan might have has a small eruption on June 28, however the details are scant at best.

More like this

So, I'm a little late with this thanks to a little hiatus, but I thought I would post the latest GVP Weekly Volcanic Activity Report. Thanks again to the Smithsonian, USGS and especially Sally Kuhn Sennert! Some highlights include: There were more ash explosions spotted at Ebeko in Kamchatka,…
Sally Sennert from the Smithsonian Institution sent me an email to say that this week's USGS/Smithsonian Institute Weekly Volcanic Report will be delayed due to the inclement weather in the Washington DC area. She can't connect with the server, so the report can't be updated on the Smithsonian…
The latest news from the world of volcanoes, brought to us by the Global Volcanism Program, USGS and the Smithsonian Institution. They are also brought to us by Sally Kuhn Sennert - and if you have a question for her about her job at the GVP preparing the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report and all…
Busy today with scouting out some field location for the class I'll be teaching this fall. Here's this week's USGS/SI Weekly Volcano Report. The report is a little more eventful than last week's, so enjoy! Kliuchevskoi Volcano in Kamchatka, taken summer of 2009 by Theresa Kayzar. Highlights…

Would someone like to look at the Porosfelli cam, and the heat cam? I have been checking this for some hours to make sure I am not mistaken (but could be). There seems to torrents of water flowing in front of Lady E and a smoke plume travelling from left to right (that is also the wind direction) that is traversing over the top of the Eyjaf crater.

At first I thought it had to be cloud, but now I am really not so sure. Is there any indication on the tremor measurements that might suggest activity around Katla?

After hours of checking on what looked very much like an ash plume from something to the left of Eujaf, it appears to be settling - but if someone is still recording time lapse at the poro cam, please do take a look. No doubt there will be more if it is an eruption close by.

There are gale warnings for Iceland for today,July 1, so tremor plots may not be very useful. Could be gusts of wind blowing ash/dust up as well. There does seem to be some steam, near the crater lake or at least near that area-its hard to tell with the camera angle.

hey, you are right about the steam from the left side of the old crater rim..
there has been some earthquakes lately, that probably has opened some hot steampockets and small fissures, so steam and hot air can rise up under the ice..
but yes its steaming goood, and Its probably very very hot indeed,.

and here comes the water down Gigjökull!!!

Can Zombies survive volcanic eruptions?

-If they not are staying near the explotions and near or in the lavaflow or pyroclastic flow..Then Zombies can survive a volcanic eruption..Just as humans does,or animals for that matter..

but why asking about zombies??

Anyways I think, im pulling back the water post,

- It was just steam,I think ,even tough I swear it looked like water flowing down the glacier(Gigjøkull),can anybody confirm or bust me on that one or is it plausible that it actually was some water flowing??..

@#1, #2, #3, #6 - No

Lady E is steaming nicely and every now and then water gets into the lava trench, which appears to be pretty hot and is steaming very well, too.

The hurricane force winds around Thórólfsfell (and it's Thorolfsfelli, Jules, if you can't do copy paste; the first letter is what used to be 'thorn' in Old English) have played havoc with good viewing today.

@Thor - I've been following the passage of water down the Gigjökull lava trench, trying to spot places where the flow gets dammed, trying to estimate the probability of a jökullhlaup. One of the best indicators of water passage is, indeed, the steam emitted, and that is the only way to see it, until it bursts out at the end of Gigjökull.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 01 Jul 2010 #permalink

@Adrian -

That article is one way to look at things; the other opposite is the Japanese way: according to their counting, Shakurajima has erupted about 600 times - this year. Apparently, if there is a lull of a few hours, the next spew of ash counts as a different eruption. (IMO, Shakurajima has been erupting for ages)

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 01 Jul 2010 #permalink

Umm,thats a very good point Kultsi; so,using Japanese reasoning,Eyja can't be too far behind Shakurajima!(I do like a bit of a contest,hehe).

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 01 Jul 2010 #permalink

If anyone is interested in current Iceland water/floods/water, check out the Skafta River, which flow comes out of Lake Grimsvotn in the middle of the Vatnajokull Glacier. It has been flooding, which is normal in the summer time, but since its partially glacier fed it may indicate one of the several volcanoes under that ice cap are heating up.

Hey, random thing not really related to EJ or the post.

I'm currently in Kihei, Maui, HI, and will probably be travelling up to the top of Haleakela Saturday or Sunday morning. Of course, I'll be after sunrise pictures (and some night sky if the moon cooperates), but if there's anything in particular you folks here would like a shot of, I'll do my best. Remember, though, I'm just a guy with a camera, so it's not like I've got a back-stage pass or anything.

Regardless, I'll post whatever pictures I get. I plan on doing at least a little hiking in and around the crater, weather permitting. I just wanted to offer a little something back for all the fun times you guys have given with regards to the Iceland eruption.

Anyway, either post here (I'm day-tripping to Lana'i Friday, but I'll check back before I head up the hill) or email me at dstarfire (at) hotmail (dot) com if you've got anything particular.

The 600 count for Sakurajima is for explosions. The volcano has been in nearly continuous eruption since 1955, and that is counted as one eruption.

Renato, that looks like a huge tornado on top of the volcano. Wait, is that Dorothy? And Toto too? :)

By Dan, Florida (not verified) on 01 Jul 2010 #permalink

#18 Yeah, Dan, just waiting for her to come from somewhere over the rainbow... ;)

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 01 Jul 2010 #permalink

"Alex may continue to spawn isolated tornadoes today over South Texas and northern Mexico." Wunder Blog Weather

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 01 Jul 2010 #permalink

@20 And I have relatives in both places, but all is well so far.

By Dan, Florida (not verified) on 01 Jul 2010 #permalink

#21 That's not to worry, I'm sure the worst is gone for them. But Surges are not helping much for oil spreading, but looks like Florida is being spared for the moment.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 01 Jul 2010 #permalink

Iceland, cumulative quake energy, 15 minute binning window + 48 hour moving average.


... so. They gather up about 40 to 50 thousand sea turtle eggs and move them to a part of Florida unaffected by the oil. If, as I have seen mentioned elsewhere, the turtles know what beach to lay their egg on by navigating back to where they hatched... does that mean that some stretch of beach is soon to inherit a large influx of native turtles? Turtles that will return come egg laying time?

Last Updated: 07/01/2010 18:50 GMT
Substantial ash storm is now under Eyjafjöllum. Ãlafur Eggertsson farmer in Ãorvaldseyri says that nothing has rained. Very windy is in these areas and has Hvid exceeded 40 meters per second. He says that the ride is dust, ash and sand that blow to the ground and damaging trees and bushes, and leaves of tætist eyðileggist. There is not any way to be outdoors unless it be well-armored in the sand so the wind is full of travel in front of people. Visibility is about 300 meters.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 01 Jul 2010 #permalink

@Lurking #24 #25 How does it look for you? Seems to me the shaking is somewhat less frequent?

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 01 Jul 2010 #permalink

Thank you for the E to Grimsvötn graph, it kind of clarified one thing that I have suspected since I was recuperating from Midsummer-partying. I had mentally maped into my poor (then) hungover brain to ask if you could do a picture like that, and here it is without me asking:) Are you a mind-reader?
I have been working on a fluid-motion/stress-tensor modell for that part of Iceland in particular and Iceland in general based on a modell for how ice behaves when breaking apart. The results was pretty odd, but that picture actually showed that I at least am not that totally off and that you can use the ice-modell for calculating the fluid motion patterns of Iceland out of it. Problem was that I used pen and paper for my calculations (normal for me) so getting that into a nice computer picture for all was beyond me. Thanks!

I will write a short summary on my thoughts after some more coffee. I had originally planned to actually write something more substantial for you all to laugh at, but due to changing conditions I do not have time any longer. My plan to retire at the old age of 38 failed after only four weeks:(
My friends are laughing their pants off right now since they hade a book running on how long I would stand sitting on my buttocks doing nothing...

Grimsvötn-Askja Vortex Plume, part 1

The local tectonics of Iceland bear a strong resemblance to ice breaking up in moving low salt ocean water where a large sheat of ice is being pulled apart in two different directions.

As seen in the image-link above there is a strong motion (2.5cm year) apart of the eastern and western parts. It is also possible to see a large fractured part in the middle that is also modeleable according to ice-fracturing.

Here one should make an exception to the ice-modell, iceland has been around long enough to actually be reshaped by the pent up pressures, ice is not around long enough for that to happen in the modell I am using.
The result of this is that mid-atlantic-rift here is bent strongly. Out of this we can deduce some things.

1. As the bend progresses it becomes to far stretched and the fracture should become detached from the main band and "die out" over time. Which is shown on this image:
Look at the Ãraefajökull belt, that is probably the original part of the MAR before it started to bend wildly across Iceland.

2. As the Ãraefajökull belt moved far enough the Vestmannaeyjar/Grimsvötn/Grimsöy-line opened up and was then the actual part belonging to MAR propper. But as motion of that line went to far a new line was formed from Reykjaness Ridge, but instead of going straight it fractured its way up to Grimsvötn, something that will have large implications in the next posting.

3. A new line should soon (geologically speaking) open up from the northern tip of the WVZ to Kolbinsöy-ridge since the pent up east to west-skewing energy is to large in the Reykjaness Peninsula to Hekla area to be contained for long. When and if that happens there will probably be an epoch of rapid tectonic movement as the pent up stresses quickly releases, partnered with very large magmatic release. Something that probably happened back when the Reykjanes Ridge to Grimsvötn opened up. Please note that the main bulk of the magma then did not come up for obvious reasons in the RR to Grimsvötn line, instead it of course flowed up in the line from Grimsvötn to Kolbinsöy line.

After that diversion, back to the GAVP.
(I will post that in a new posting since I do not know how long posts are possible)

Grimsvötn-Askja Vortex Plume, part 2

The main part of storing energy in the Icelandic tectonic system is in lines going west to east where the plates rub against each other causing tension stresses, which are released in larger earthquakes now and then. The figures I used for the pent up energy is to be found here:

I then recalculated those nombers as a whole for the RR to Grimsvötn line.

That pent up energy gives the energy potential for the Vestmannaeyjar to to Kolbinsöy line and the WVZ combined. The pent up tension-stress is of course translated into negative values since we are here talking of something as basic as suction when the parts are pulled apart.
When Ice is torn apart water is pulled up into the crack by this suction-force, here it is magma pulled up, but the principle is the same.

Then we can go into simple fluid dynamics. A rule of thumb is that we will get small vorticii in the water sucked up and that these will be spread out evenly if the fracture is straight-lined. If it is not we will get differently sized Vorticii. The power of the vortex increases with the angle of any corner-structure in the ice, and if the corner is at 90 degrees the vortex will be squared compared to a straight-line vortex. In this case we have 2 (almost) 90 degree corners adding up the power. The vortex thusly created is so powerfull that it can and will controll any other vorticii in the straight-line zone that is ripping apart.
I am not here going to explain why vorticii is always going to start in fluid dynamics, that is really school-book physics and I am pressed for time today.

So what is so wonderfull with a Vortix?
Well it can explain a few things. If a vortex like that exists (remember that this is a theoretical modell based on fluid dynamics using calculations normally used on Ice and water, not magma) it explains a few things and makes one prediction (possible to falsify).
The pent up energy in the RR to Grimsvötn line is large enough to sustain a vortex streatching from Grimsvötn up to Askja, the spead of outer edge movement would be 10cm a year, and it sucks up an average of five centimetres of magma per year, and the area is large so we are talking about something rather massive here. That sucked up magma then spreads out from the Vortex when it hits the crust. When I did the first calculations I got a number for how much Iceland could be sucked up to be between 25 to 100 metres. Then someone posted a link from BBC that gave the actual number to be 50 metres.

(Next instalment, What does Vorticiis have to do with Volcanos?)

Grimsvötn-Askja Vortex Plume, part 3

So what did this all have to do with a Volcano?
Well, a large vortix sucking up water is not so bad when we are talking about fracturing ice. But things change if we add one factor. Let's say that it is really cold and that the water in the fracture almost emediatly freezes over creating a new (thinner) ice-layer. That is what is happening here, almost emediatly the upwelling magma cools of and solidifies into new crust. But the water, sorry magma is still welling up and wants to surface. And it will at the weakest points, and those will be found where the outer edge of the vortix (fastest moving, highest energy) meet the fracture in the ice.
In this case that would be the Grimsvötn volcanic system and the volcanic system around Askja.

Any main vortix will dominate any other vortix that is along the straight-line fracture. There is a mathematical rule that tells us that from a large vortix there will be subvorticiis in a progression outwards and that those are calculable to be the power potential times (in relation) both distance and sub-energy-potential and that is relative to the mathematical irrational constant of approximately 1.6180339887 (I know, but nature really loves that one).
When you calculate it the main southern sub-vortix would be quite a distance away around where one finds Katla. (The same proportionality actually goes for Katlas little slave vortix Eyjafjallajökull.) The main subvortix is about one quarter in energy potential to the Main-vortex (give or take 25 percent). So that is why E has one quarter of Ks energy-potential, next in line would be Heimöy then.
Northward we have Krafla and so on.

So what has this to do with a plume?
Well the suction force is so large that it will start a very deep-going vortix. If you want to you can see it as an inverted tornado, sucking up magma from far below (ground) up to the surface (cloud). Albeit here surface is the core boundary and the surface is either crust or actual surface during an eruption.

This gives that we are here talking about a plume that is actually generated at the surface, and not at the bottom as the standard modell plumes generating heatspots. The standard modell plumes move over time so you get timelined volcanos (Hawaii for instance) as the heatspot generated by the plume moves since the plume is "anchored" to the bottom at the core boundary.
Here instead we are talking about a plume that (for now at least) is anchored to the surface, that is why we are not seeing any timelined volcanos on Iceland. Though we are seeing timelined volcano-bands as I talked about in part 1.

Now someone will probably say that Grimsvötn and Askja has different magmatic composition, and that is probably true. Does this falsify the theory? No, not really. One has to keap in mind that we are talking about a large slowly turning (in human time-understanding) vortex that is succing magma over a large distance of depth, in that vortix you are bound to have "globs" of different origin. But if someone finds lava that is wildly out of line it probably would put the entire theory in jeopardy (I suspect Eric will shot this theory in the foot about here).

So, what does this help? Well, if one want to one can calculate the tension-break points for the intersections of the fractures and the vorticiis. There is probably a pretty distinct height that those parts of Iceland can stand before breaking. Let's say that Askja can be lifted 10cm before magma is pushed up starting an eruption. That number would have to be calculated from the zero level and not todays plus 50 number, but that is just a small problem mathematically. The real problem is to calculate with any grade of exactitude the point of breaking for Askja.
But, when an area is lifted enough it will erupt, release enough of lava to lower to magma level-pressure untill the vortix has moved and sucked up new magma and it all starts over again.

My guess is that this entire area is allways very close to the breaking point and that is why the period of increasing signs of eruption is in many cases so short on iceland. Just think about it, if all that is neaded is a couple of centimetres over a (comparatively) small area just one little wave can tip the waggon and start an eruption in minutes.

It wass rather fun to think about this, I am probably wrong, and you are all welcome to shot me in the fot now. I am sorry though that I didn't have time to write a proper paper about this presenting the graphs for it, and of course the mathematical formulae, but I guess that most of you can deduce those on your own.

Oh, and thanks Lurking (whomever you might be) for that wonderfull image showing the vorticiis of "Grimsvötn-Askja", Katla and the sub-slave Eyjafjallajökull.

Oh, and by the way, if I should do a prediction out of this my little theory, it would be that the likelyhood of the next eruption on Iceland would be either around Grimsvötn or Askja, and the statistical likelihood is 42 percent and that the apparant pent up energy is large, so that would probably be a VEI-3 or larger and will release a larger than average amount of lava. The likelihood of this happening within 15 years is 73 percent.
But the margins for error is massive since I haven't been able to calculate the fracture points...

@Carl That makes sense to me, though I'm no expert, and it would explain the strange "mantle plume" behavior ("the plume is "anchored" to the the surface" ).
I have my own inferred suspicions that next eruption was to take place in the region you mentioned, just didn't know why. Now you got me into this. Good job.
@Lurking: Thanks once more to the invaluable contributions.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 02 Jul 2010 #permalink

English version of @32
02/07/2010 | 14:00
Ash Storm under Eyjafjallajökull
Last night, a severe ash storm raged in the area around Eyjafjallajökull glacier, ruv.is reports. According to the farmer at Thorvaldseyri Ãlafur Eggertsson, it has not rained.

The area was extremely windy with gusts exceeding 40 meters per second [89 mph and it's still blowing hard this morning by Thoro cam]. Dust, ash and sand were being blown around, causing damage to trees and bushes with leaves shredding and being destroyed.

There is no way to stay outdoors if not well prepared, since in a storm such as this one, the sand hits peopleâs faces with full force, Eggertsson explained.

The visibility last night was approximately 300 meters.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 02 Jul 2010 #permalink

@31 Carl,
You have to understand the situation is not analogous to ice (solid) floating on water (liquid). There is not a vast ocean of magma beneath the crust. The mantle beneath the crust is crystalline rock, but it does flow (as a solid) very slowly at the correct pressures and temperatures.
Where plates pull apart(such as in Iceland), what is pulling apart is the crust with the very top part of the mantle. Deeper mantle will well up into the area and the rock will melt a bit as it rises. That's the source of the magma.
Iceland has more melting and heat flow than the other parts of the Mid-Atlantic ridge, such areas are "hotspots". This hotspot has been attributed to a "mantle plume", which again is not rising hot magma, but solid, crystalline, yet plastic and flowing rock from deep in the Earth.
There is quite a bit of study of mantle flow, geophysics can image it because the mineral crystals deform and align, which affects the behavior of seismic waves passing through.
Also, the plume model for Hawaii assumes the plume is fixed in place, there is a linear chain of islands because the plate moves over it. Imagine holding a pen in one place, pointing up. Then move a paper over it -same idea.

@Carl. I think your theory is intriguing. I'm not by any means an expert, but I'm pretty good at seeing connections. (think Podkayne of Mars ;-D) As I've been reading the papers over the last few months, it appears that there is no certainty over plume vs MAR as the source of magma. This would explain the confusion-- a vortex. (Albeit very slooooowww). My (current) understanding of the mantle is that it's semi-solid (mushy ice). So I guess the question may be: what's the take of someone who understands fluid dyanamic?

I keep thinking that the rotation of the earth has got to be bumping the mantle around so that it circulates like the oceans, and massive earthquakes now and then cause waves through the mantle. Then, these waves hit the equivalent of blow-holes (volcanoes, rifts) and the magma starts rising. Your vortex theory would make the mixing-up of plume magma, MAR magma, and local rock explain the differences between the various lava compositions.

Hmm. More thinking and research.

By parclair NoCal USA (not verified) on 02 Jul 2010 #permalink


Yes, I am aware of the semi-solid state of the mantle. Thing is that what we in ordinary life concieve as the "solid" part of the word semi-solid is not at all solid. They are just less viscous than pure non-solids like water. But if you go into the geological scale the difference between a semi-solid like the mantle and the non-solid like water is none at all. The mantle behaves exactly as a fluid in longer timespans.

But you are very much correct in me being unclear concerning mantle and magma interaction, I am very much an amateur concerning that. Regarding fluidity in solids, non-solids and semi-solids I am not.
You are also correct in that I knowingly stretched the Ice-water/magma-crust analogy quite a bit, but I tried to explain in things in laymans terms. There are differences, but the fluid dynamic model from ice-water that I used is still quite aplicable for semi-solids interacting with solids. It is as I said, just a question of the timescale, and here we are talking about 100Ks of years...

Concerning Hawaii, I wrote that it is fixed in the coreboundary, which if I have understood plume-theory is where it is suposed to be attached, and I wrote that it is the upper part that progresses. What I was probably unclear about is that the plates glide over the mantle, mea culpa:)

For those who want a more earthly example of what I am talking about, if you remember your school science you will remember that the flow-rate of silicate-glasses are one millimetre per hundred years in supension-state. And that is counted as a solid since it is in a chrystalline lattice.

I am quite certain that the physics is correct, the things I worry about is the geological facts.

hi does anyone have a link/sat/webcam to show above volcano E would be nice to see above on a clear day

@Carl #36 are you talking about how window glass flows and using that as an analogy for the mantle's crystaline state, yet being able to flow as glass?

I am wondering about the vortex idea and how much the rotation of the earth can affect that and also the tilt of the axis. I would expect if there is any affect at all, it would not be dramatic from our perspective, but it may be from a geological perspective. Now what would cause some of the magma to be so fluid it runs like pancake syrup out of a bottle and at other times it is like holding a catcup bottle waiting for something to come out and you end up having to bang on the side or bottom of the bottle to get it to come out? I know it has different chemical make-up. The more silicic it is the more viscous it is. How does your vortex (I think of eddies)theory fit into this senario? Also you have to figure in all the gases that come along with the magma. I would think if there was a lot of gas, it would affect the vorticii. When it boils down to it, we really don't know exactly how things are working below the crust, though we do have some ideas about it based on what we see when there is an eruption and also what we see from studying areas that have had a lot of eruptions.

There is so much we don't know and I know you agree with that. I don't have a very good grasp of physics as I did not take it in high school. I did have some in college, but I don't remember anything about water-ice interactions. What I had was just a basic course and then a course called Electron Optics. And all that was 30 years ago. LOL

I will say I do know something about vorticii, though, of a different kind. I was taking flying lessons and my instructor and I were coming in for a landing behind a Piper Cherokee or Dakota (I think it was the Dakota) and all at once our little Cessna 152 started bouncing around and behaving sort of weird. I asked my instructor what that was all about and he told me it was the vorticii from the wings of the plane ahead of us. I can tell you I did not like that at all. I have been told that a 757's wing vorticii can flip a 737. You really get them when the plane is flying hot, heavy, and slow. They teach you how to avoid the problem by either landing in front of where the plane in front of you landed or waaaay behind it. Otherwise, you may find yourself up-side-down.

Vorticii are powerful whether you are talking about water, air, or maybe even magma. I wouldn't be surprised if there are some very slow eddies in magma, but it is so thick and crystaline that it may not work as I don't think there are any vorticii in window glass. But you never know. What could be going on at the molecular level? I have seen the original glass double doors at Jefferson's home Monticello and you can see the waviness in the glass. BTW, you open one of the doors and the other one opens as they are driven by a figure 8 chain under the floor. Original chain, too. If you have never been to Monticello, do go if you can. It is a really neat place.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 02 Jul 2010 #permalink

@dt9Rotterdam -

No, I would not want to be out in that - although at Múlakot it was... pretty tame, as inferred from other data.

I appreciate the fact that our storms very, very seldom reach 25 m/s, compared to 40 m/s in gusts in this one.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 02 Jul 2010 #permalink

@dt9Rotterdam -

No, I would not want to be out in that - although at Múlakot it was... pretty tame, as inferred from other data.

I appreciate the fact that our storms very, very seldom reach 25 m/s, compared to 40 m/s in gusts in this one.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 02 Jul 2010 #permalink


Just plain odd. Using the USGS data, this is a plot of the number of days between quakes mag 6.9 or above, world wide.


The odd part is 1988 to 1990. Any Geo specialists around then care to elaborate what was going on? Major shift in technology and/or resources?

Just curious.

@44: data gaps, 1986-1990, and outlier bias.

Sampling temporal duration isn't long enough to establish a trend, because there could be confounding factors, like seasonal (temperature, melting, wind) bias, or sources of electronic (false signal positives) errors*. You also have questionable data quality in negative magnitudes reported.

*Could have bias from ongoing regional geothermal project construction during this period.

Another source of induced analysis bias is the smoothing window selected.

All your data is telling you is that there isn't much of a discernible pattern of distribution about the average.

Is the distribution of values 'normal' (natural phenomena usually post as normal or log normal distributions)?

(on boredom, you too could be writing reports on WNV, be glad)

Nonetheless, I still think there is a trend for lunch. Lunch is always a good thing. It give you a chance to ponder the 200 miles you put down that morning and contemplate what exactly you are gonna do once you get there.

I hate road days, but they pay well.

And... the lunchtime cluster is amusing. As for the smoothing window, that's the line, the raw data are the dots. Dunno if I can wrangle them into a smiley face though...

Hi to you all !

Quite a good steam plume coming from Eyja,now visible on Thoro cam.

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 02 Jul 2010 #permalink

POPO is glowing again though not as vigorously as last week.

I think he'll let out a blast or 2 sometime this summer.

By Dasnowskier (not verified) on 03 Jul 2010 #permalink

Just after I posted I went back, there must have been clouds before because the glow is now quite strong.
It is reflecting off the billowing material(steam?) for probably hundreds of feet.

By Dasnowskier (not verified) on 03 Jul 2010 #permalink

Yes, in a way I was thinking about windows flowing like in the Monticello (One of the places I must go to one of these days:). But I was more thinking in the way of a glass rod hanging suspended, the flow pattern is more exact there and you do not have to worry about the glass shattering.
Here I do have to make many sad, the waviness seen in old glass is not glass-flow, it is due to the glass panes having been blown, not floated. Pilkingtons floated glass technic was not invented when Monticello was built.
The way to see glass flow is to measure the top and bottom of old glass, if the top is thinner than the bottom, then you have glass-flow. The waviness and stuff in old glass will rather even out over time than oposite.

Back to the vortex (eddy) thingamabit:)
Yes as you say, we do not really have a clue about how the mantle is built up. We have secondary (tertiary really if you think about it) samples from it, but no real samples from the mantle since no one ever has drilled into it. As far as I know the only real tertiary sample is the drill core one from Kraflas magma-chamber. Otherwise only quartiary samples from the top of volcanos. The rest of it is only deduced theories not tested against reallity.
With the risk of angering Erik here, the only thing we know is that there are gasses, and that the viscosity in the mantle can differ in between placces and that when it cools off (as magma) it can become rhyolitic mush (one sample). Otherwise it might only be nice theories, even though I agree with many of them and that the Krafla drill sample made many of the theories much more likely.
But for all we know the actual mantle might consist of snowman dung for all we know. Science is a hard thing.

Know with that off my chest, back to your question.
Yes, gasses and different viscosities would affect a vortex heavilly since it chanes the rate of possible ascent upwards. Highly viscous gassy material would rise much faster and would probably be what tipped the balance and made the volcano go off. But this is speculation on my part since we do not know enough of the composition of the mantle.

Tilt and rotation caused by earth revolvement.
Yes, you are absolutely correct. A magmatic (Yes Ekoh, I know) vortex would revolve in the same direction as the toilett next to it when flushed.
I am though not so sure of earths polar tilt affecting it though.
Normal plumes are tilted due to tectonic plate movement (If I have understood things correctly), but here we do not have real tectonic movement. What! Am I Crazy? Here we have the mother of all tectonics!
The tectonic movement at the MAR is pretty much the lowest on the planet, due to it being the origin of the american and eurasian plate movement. Yes it moves apart with 2,5cm a year on average, but those the MAR in itself move? I do not know. If the MAR in itself is moving, then we have a tilted plum, if not it might be untilted.
The might be untilted comes from me not really being fully shure about if the MAR, the mantle, and the cores relative speeds. If all of them move in the same speed, Straight vortex. If the MAR is standstill and mantle moves, un-straight. And the most fun of them. Let's say that MAR and Core are same-speed and the Mantle is moving at another speed, then we have a strangely curved vortex that would loose some energy. And this was more idle speculation.

Your airplane analogy is nice, the energy in a vortex can be tremendous, if there is a vortex like that between Grimsvötn and Askja then it is so powerrfull that it has lifted the entire Iceland and a large portion outside of it 50 metres from just the shear upwelling force of it. Really humbling if you think of it.

@#48 Hi Lurking,

Your last comment,in brackets,sums things up perfectly.

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 03 Jul 2010 #permalink

Lurking, what you are seeing in your plot is a cessation of the lowest level seismic signals. You have it again at 7pm. You have a minor opposite in the early hours. For the geotech folk, it is typically interpreted as a change in background level - ie, noise within raw data, bias from human activity.

Rock embedded piping will resonate with major changes in heat flow. We see these in water demand plots. A serious chunk of the population gets it's hot water and heat in Southern Iceland from long, long network runs of geothermal system piping. That would bias a large portion of the seismic detection network, the SIL.

*squint* Get a clue: if I use a statistical term like 'smoothing window', ya think I might know a bit about data plotting??

In this case, you, like Carl, are chasing red herrings with his vortices and flowing glass.

Window glass doesn't flow perceptibly, even over many hundreds of years- it's another of the endless physics myths that is perpetuated by the public.


Ed, a geology expert who knows a bit about mantle processes (he's a petrologist), tactfully dispatched Carl's theory'. Carl didn't get the clue. Now he is prattling on about 'How Much We Don't Know', the fallback of the science-naive public when their ignorance is laid bare.

@#57 Hi Jane,

Mulakot is primarily an airfield so im surmising that the activity is "aircraft orientated".The weather is pretty bad though.

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 03 Jul 2010 #permalink

@passerby. I guess the question is (as a beginner): Has anyone applied fluid dynamics to the movement of the mantle and plates? Solids move, albeit slowly. I think pointing Carl in the direction of geophysicists who use fluid dynamics might be more useful than just shutting him down. -)

By parclair NoCal USA (not verified) on 03 Jul 2010 #permalink

Hi Carl. Intriguing ideas and thank you. Although my primary degrees are in biochemistry and related sciences, I have spent a lot of time lately studying theories of bioenergetics, which first took me in the direction of particle and theoretical physics, and now I am looking at the earthâs regulatory systems on a macro level, ie considering the earth as a living entity in itself. I am trying to gain a greater understanding of earthquakes and eruptions as part of the earths self correction mechanisms, especially during a period of global warming, but need to gain a greater understanding of the geophysics of earths itself as a starting point. I hope that some of the real experts here will debate your ideas further, and while the model may not be perfect it will be interesting to see why this could not be occurring, if that is the case.

Thanks d9tRotterdam for the Mulakot webcam time-lapse. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzOmr6u8k5E. If you look, especially at the early section there is what looks quite like an eruption plume, which at first glance appears to come from Ejaf; the only problem with this is that high winds are blowing from left to right, so it cant be coming from Ejaf. Comments anyone?

The only eruption plume on that video, is the Original plume, wich sits on the top of the main crater.
there is somewhat that looks like steaming from the side, but i recon its only low fog clouds, generated by the mountain and rising air,..

@Jane [57] -

Looks like a party - and like always, the weather participates. :D

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 03 Jul 2010 #permalink


"Get a clue"

Nice. You make a blanket statement that dismisses the whole graph and I point out that the raw data is also in there and you take offense?

"...Sampling temporal duration isn't long enough to establish a trend, because there could be confounding factors, like seasonal (temperature, melting, wind) bias, or sources of electronic (false signal positives) errors*. You also have questionable data quality in negative magnitudes reported."

I never claimed to be an expert at seismology and geophysics, I just make plots and ask questions. I don't put forth any ground breaking theories that rattle the framework of human understanding. I just look at data and make plots. The lunch time cluster just looked amusing to me, and since it's at about 18 to 21 km deep.... seemed to be a bit outside of the realm of human activity. I can't hazard a guess as to why... other than possibly being an artifact of someone coming in after lunch and looking at a chart that was spit out while they were absent. It wasn't until I had posted that I noticed that there is a lighter and more diffuse version of the deep lunchtime cluster from midnight to 3 am UTC.

As for Geothermal plant influence, I don't think they drill that deep... 65600 feet would be one very deep well. It would be interesting to read an idea of what mechanism could do that.

The obvious connection is the position of the Sun relative to Iceland.. but as has been pointed out, this is just a fractional slice of time, even though it is over two months long. To incorporate a longer series of observations would require access to data that I don't have. I could disassemble the Icelandic quakes from the Google plugins, but those points seem to have a loss of depth resolution, even for recent data.

In summary, laypeople such as myself rely on people who seem to have a clue to explain the oddities we see. I for one am enjoying the alternative to mantle plume / buried crust block idea as being stated by Carl. And I also enjoy the ideas concerning the extensional movement of Iceland's fault complexes and seismic zones that you have presented.

So... for now I'm just going to go can some pickles.

@62 Kultsi
And they didn't invite us? After all the publicity we have given them? tsk :)

By Dan, Florida (not verified) on 03 Jul 2010 #permalink

about that vortex theory,.

as I have learned, the MAR(Mid Atlantic Ridge), does not move much, but it moves, it expands and contracts,and shifts directions from time to time, remember that Greenland and North America have colided with Norway(europe) creating the largest mountain range ever created , the caledonian mountain range(it was heven taller than the Himmalayas,the remains are still visible as the Sunnmörsalps and Langfjella mountain range, and it extends well in to Sweden and Finland, and down to wards the British isles(mountain ranges in Scotland are also a part of that if I dont remember wrong,.

so that means that the MAR, has been contracting, before it started to expand again(why these occur no one really knows)

the MAR, has an arm expanding downwards towards Norway, and outside the Northern Norway lies a gigantic hotspot Vøring platau)(its not reconed to be hot anymore??) but the caldera there is tremendous 50 Miles wide(Norwegian Mile = 10 Km)
that hotspot caldera(volcano) must have been formed the same way Iceland was formed, maybe by the same hotspot ,and the Hotspot Moved with the MAR, so the Norwegian caldera cooled down, its logic,when the MAR expanded and the continents drifted apart the hotspot plume folowed and later formed Iceland??

and now back to the vortex, deep down there, of course its logic and makes somekind if sence ,the whole mantle and magma moves and rotates, and are effected by the rotation of the planet. as the oceans and Airmass moves,so there must be vortex movement down deep, probably looking much like large hurricanes and lov preassures,and they probaly rotates somewhat the same..
But we must not forget the large tidal wave ,from the moon.. the moon makes a large wave, that move with the moon around the Earth, and it retracts and expands every 6 hours,.
I recon that this is the same deep down under the crust, the pull from the moon and the sun must make a similar wave on the magma??

#63 Gentlemen, please! No grudges. Keep the interesting discussion going. Of course, there are brilliant experts here, to whom we are mostly grateful, but this is not the Academy. After all, what is the purpose of a blog like this? I suppose people are entitled to post their comments freely, and should be glad to be contradicted from those who know more, or at least, who are able to contribute with a different point of view. And in doing so, some light may be cast upon controversial issues concerning the invisible deeds of Mother Nature.
@Lurking's graphs may not be the state of the art, but they help us a lot, computer dummies, to visualize things from a different perspective, and thus, gives room to someone like @Carl to theorize with his own tools, in a brilliant way.
And therefore, thousand thanks to @Passerby whose keen eyes and ears are always attentive to detect whatever slips maybe made regarding scientific procedures.
Could it be any better?
Meanwhile, Lady E still shows signs that she might not be over yet.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 03 Jul 2010 #permalink

btw, could man make a volcano , by drilling? if they drilled deep enough??

@Thor #67 All I can say with my poor Geological knowledge is that they've drilled into magma both in Hawaii and Iceland when exploiting geothermal energy. Well, if you injected water and dug a wider hole, hmmm... I don't think it could lead to anything much different from an eruption. But, to state that would become a real volcano, I don't think I could. I'll try to get the links to these incidents and post them further.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 03 Jul 2010 #permalink

ignore the above link i got it from youtube the above you have to pay just look for it on youtube

god im dumb you can go on the link@ 70 go to the bottom right to his blog

@67 if we drilled in to earth and drilled into hot magma.the hole would cool very rapid and seal almost straight away you would need millions and millions liters of vodka {Topgear} and magma prove drill just to get the tip in it wont happen

ejaf is emitting a nice steam plume best seen on the

Eyjafjallajökull frá Hvolsvelli cam

look at porolf cam mila down to the right that fog thing

so its totaly impossible to make a man made volcano?? im not so sure..

oilspill Bp is man made i would class that a volcano.And why would you want to create a man made volcano?looking on the web its already been happening man made volcanoes.
Anyway could this be happening to Eyjafj,One such obstacle is an accumulation of pumice,which can create a massive stoppage in the magma pipes.How ever once the magma finally breaks through its barrier and explosion type eruption will usually takes place. taken from Topbits.com http://www.topbits.com/how-a-volcano-erupts.html

#69 Thanks for the new time-lapse, d9tRotterdam. There are so many details to see in it, I had to replay it a couple of times.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 03 Jul 2010 #permalink


Well... If a volcano is where something fluid/semi-fluid is coming up from the ground. Then yes. But it's more of a man-made Asphalt Volcano. Those occur naturally, but as far as I know, are not as prolific in their activity. In 1906, one probably went off in a violent fashion, but usually they are content to stay in an "ooze" state.


" Using high-resolution sonar equipment, David B. Prior from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and his colleagues identified the crater in 2,176 meters of water southeast of the Mississippi River delta. The elliptical hole measures 280 meters across, 400 meters long and some 58 meters deep, and sits atop a small hill. Downslope lies approximately 2 million cubic meters of ejected sediment.
Because the area is known for its reservoirs of hydrocarbons, Prior surmises these substances caused the explosion that produced the crater. As one possible explanation, he suggests hydrocarbons seeping upward along cracks in the seafloor might have collected under some impermeable barrier until pressure forced the buoyant gas to blow off its cover. Based on the crater's appearance, the researchers think it may be younger than a century old. In 1906, sailors in the area reported seeing bubbling water, which may have been caused by such an eruption."

Science News, Feb 4, 1989

As for the man-made volcano status... it's about as valid a candidate as the Sidoarjo Mud Volcano in Malaysia.


Well... ya got me to reading again.

The Sidoarjo mud volcano, if you can believe data derived from wikipedia, is still at the 100,000 m³/ day flow rate. Over the period o June 06 to Sept 07, about 45,000,000 m³ have come out of the hole. During this time, subsidence is estimated to be between 0.5 to 14.5 m.

Our BP cano... if you use the high FRTG number of 40,000 bbl/day, is at about 457,883 m³ of total flow. 686,825 m³ if you believe the higher flow estimate of 60,000 bbl/day that a University of Georgia scientist stated.

The depth of the fetid fizzling fissure in Sidoarjo was 9,298 feet. The source of BP's boiling pustule is 18,000 feet.

So... BP is over twice the depth, and at 6% to 9% of the flow rate of Sidoarjo. I imagine that things would have to get substantially worse in order for a caldera like depression to start forming at BP's shindig.

Hm, I think you missed a couple of points in what I wrote.

But that is only good since I obviously was a bit unclear:)

First of all I agree with Ed (I guess that would be Ekoh), he most likely has a good and vallid point. Why? He pointed to something that might actually put my little theory out completely.
What is that then? Simply put (simplified), the internal resistence (friction times pressure) of the semi-solids making up the composition of the mantle might be to large for a vortex to be able to spin up.
But, and this might be a big but that needs a lot of thinking! That would probably make all kinds of plums go out the window. Because if the internal resistance is to big for one type (vortex) than it is likely to be to big for a straight up-welling plume too.
Intriguingly enough Ed pointed out something in what he wrote that is massively interesting and that I did not know. (That is why I love to chat with the real experts when I am out of my own field of expertise.)
The thing he pointed out was that plumes are probably made up out of hotter and more viscous material. What so great with that?
Well, let's say that you had a nice blob of hotter and more viscous material to start with, and that started spinning. Then that would slowly start to suck up the slightly colder and more "un-viscous" material. Whats up with that? Friction! Friction equals energy production, and that energy can only go into one form. Heat. So the un-viscous colder material would than heat up and go into viscous. That process could then probably keap up as the pent up energy just keapt on building up untill you had a vortex-plum reaching far down.

Passerby, I am very much aware that I am fishing a bit in my theory and that I am not in my field here. But, I am a good physicist and the logics is sound in its own way. There is probably something wrong somewhere in my theory and I am looking forward to someone shooting me in the foot.
But thing is that there is a plume there, the only difference with the standard model and my vortex is that I put into a spin since that explains a couple of things more than the standard plume.

Glass! If you re-read what I wrote you will see that I killed of the myth of glass flowing being visible. I was talking about the much slower actual flowing of glass.

Mantle-composition! You know as well as I do that nobody have taken a drill-sample of the material in there, so I do not really get what you are talking about. Theory is one thing, and most of them are probably correct, but without physical proof, they are just theories.

And Passerby, you idea of of hot water piping causing lowered earthquake energy during lunch was the funniest red herring I have ever heard. There quite simply is not enough energy around in the pipes for that. The Icelandic thermal plants are very small, around 20 to 80 megawatts each. And what it had with lunch I do not understand at all, unless you actually had a red herring for lunch. Think about it...
I guess you got it from the alarmist theory that the drilling at Krafla having started the "Krafla-fires". And that was ludicrous to start with since the energy in a drill hole is very small. If your pipes is a fly in the next block over, then a drill hole is like a mosquito in sahara affecting you. Word for the day, power-proportionality.

Good points!
It shows how unclear I have been:)
I would like to say that if by chance I would have a point in my speculation of the plume spinning and being caused top down instead of down to top, I have to warn against even trying to use it in other places than this particular spot of Iceland since it is derrived out of the unusual circumstances of that region in Iceland.
I would also like to point out that it is a short lived phenomena (in geological times). This vortex I am talking of would probably not have been around at the times you are talking about, it was started and is powered by that unusual bend in the fracture zones and volcanic zones.
Let's say that the line from Hveragardhi to Kolbinsey ridge became the main point where iceland separated instead of the line Grimsvötn to Kolbinsey, then the vortex would start to die off emediatly. But that would still require that a new line of fracturing opened up from Langjökull to Kolbinsey (the part from Hveragardhi to Langjökull is already fractured.

My point is that if my little model is correct, then it would still only be a local modell for iceland.

@Carl, the lunch thing was mine, Passerby just commented on it. I though it was as good a reason as any to explain an odd cluster in my graph of 18 to 21 km deep quakes that tend to occur in Iceland around lunch (1100-1200 UTC). There is also a more temporally diffuse and deeper group (25 km) that occur from midnight to three (0000-0300).


The sample group is limited, only taking in about two and half months, and was more of just a weird plot to see what it looked like. I never was trying to make a point.

Well, for my 2c, Carl, I am very much enjoying the theorizing and debate. I like your style.

re the suction aspect - that reminds me of the push/pull discussion going on: i.e. as to whether continental drift is driven by the MOR pushing the ocean plates apart or, alternatively, the ocean plates are getting ripped apart by the pull exerted on them as they "sink" at destructive plate margins.

One thing that comes to mind about your theory is that if such a vortex is a product of a shear in the MOR it would suggest you would also find anomalous amounts of melt at other "kinks" in the ridge, like the Kane Fracture Zone off the coast of Brazil or the Chile Rise to take two at random. Is this the case? Or is the tectonic setting there "cleaner" in its fractures than Iceland?

By bruce stout (not verified) on 04 Jul 2010 #permalink

ive just watch a movie called Magma,volcanic Disaster The core expanding they used nukes in the North Atlantic Ridge to ease the pressure the film was released in 2006

How strange thanks Renato also just watch volcano under new york drilling to make energy, both films gave ideas even the co2 that got mention made me think of the current co2 rise that has made headlines in recent months, Can volcanoes be to blame there no other answer than that surly, you cant see co2

@Leon: I didn't watch the film, but CO2 is an issue concerning volcanoes. I'm not quite sure, but I read there was a number of incidents in California (Yosemite Park?) with dead trees and people getting intoxicated in ponds. CO2 emissions are not felt, but can be pretty hazardous in high concentrations. But there are other volcano gases far more toxic than CO2 and the amount of CO2 produced by burning of fossil fuel (incident in the Gulf) or wood fires is far greater than that from volcanoes, but it will affect the whole climate not individuals as I think is what you meant.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 04 Jul 2010 #permalink

my last question for today. looking at the Supervolcanoes monitoring system what does last activity mean? i do have an idea but iam not sure as some of them are saying current dates,example:Naples-Italy-27/06/10..New-Zealand-Toypo volcanic zone-03/07/10 and New-Zealand North islands again-03/07/10 as these have not erupted for thousands to millions of years. I have done a lot of reading on Yellow stone and there a two way debate 1 says no it will never erupt like has done the three times in history before, and other says yes it will!.i also understand that 2009 was a new record for increase in earthquakes worldwide with 2010 set to beat that with 150per cent increase.It seems to me that its quite possible for at least one super eruption to happen in our life time i say within ten years if the current trend continues,everything is increasing co2,climate shift/change, storms/hurricanes, worldwide cooling,volcanic with the Bp oil spill adding to the problems.maybe all fields of research and data science every piece info should be brought together to the table everythink has a connection or chain link possible or not?.

@Leon: I understand your concern. Maybe one of the problems is that one you mentioned of much information brought together (via Internet) but not in an evidence-supported way. You have to be careful with information you get: there are many websites that say whatever they want, with no scientific basis. And we tend to assume that problems happening now are bigger then they've ever been, but if you look back into historical data you'll see it is not quite so. Yes, we have concerns with a world becoming smaller and growing populations, affecting global climate with industries and all, but we also know that big peaks of CO2 have happened before, so we must take good care of this planet, which so far is the only home we have. But don't get stuck on those apocalyptic stuff , it won't happen as easily as it sounds. Yes, there are big volcanoes that formed calderas, but there's nothing "super" on them, since they've behaved most of the time as gently as other regular volcanoes.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 04 Jul 2010 #permalink

@Leon #91 Funny video, thanks for posting. And take the good advice from it: enjoy the weather!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 04 Jul 2010 #permalink

@Leon / Renato I Silveira

Back before I had this gee wizz graphing program, I did several plots of Yellowstone during a couple of it's swarms. ( it tends to have them ) The plots I did were limited to depth verses time in Excel, they were a hoot. You could see the depth trending up from the magma chamber and then back down again. I still have the Feb 2010 graphics from that.


And an over view of where in the Caldera it was at.


The 2008/2009 swarm started under the lake and slowly migrated to the North and eventually petered out northeast of Fishing Bridge. That area is where logically, if you DR out the historical track of the hotspot (15 million year run) is about where it should be at. Most of the sensible people were expecting a hydrothermal explosion at worse along the north shore area. Digging around the net a bit, you would find that there is a ridge with fresh rock that was found in the lake a few years ago. This was where the swarm began. It was quite the show... from a data plotting point of view.

Precious material, Lurking! I'll have to go to bed now, but tomorrow I'll watch them more carefully.
Good night everyone.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 04 Jul 2010 #permalink

@leon 99

Leon, Renato is right. Take what you read with a big grain of salt. For example the info on the Taupo Volcanic Zone is just plain wrong. The TVZ had its last major eruption in 1886 which is just the blink of an eye in geological terms. Taupo itself has erupted at least 27 times in the last 26,000 years, three of which were huge eruptions by todays standards.

More to the point, the Taupo system is described as a chaotic system, meaning its past behavior makes it almost impossible to predict its future eruptive patterns and certainly frustrates any attempt to forecast any exact dates for a future eruption.

By bruce stout (not verified) on 04 Jul 2010 #permalink

@bruce stout [96]

"...the Taupo system is described as a chaotic system, meaning its past behavior makes it almost impossible to predict its future eruptive patterns..."


Now where have I heard that before...

... oh yeah, the Stock Broker caveat:

"past performance is not indicative of future results"

@Bruce Stout:
Thank you for pointing out my obvious flaw:)
Now that I have read up on KFZ it seems like there are no processes like the vortex at all going on there. But, it is an old inactive fracture zone. Though I found some intriguing comments on it in an article. It is there mentioned that the KFZ has a slow rotation xounter-clockwise. That might, or might not, support the vortex idea. Mainly it is a bit interesting.
My take KFZ is that it lacked something that Iceland has, that I haven't taken into account. There is something more playing in Iceland I would guess. What? Help!

I found some other fracture Zones that was equally clean as KFZ that didn't have any volcanic signs, but then I found 2 that actually could have or had a vortex plume. I know waaaay to little about these volcanic islands to say anything really.

At Ascension Fracture Zone you have some features that actually look quite a bit like Iceland with local ridges pushed up, complex rifting and a volcanic island close by that seems to be fairly stable. You also have 2 nice seamounts (Grattan and Stewart) close by. What these might have to do with anything I do not know. If, large if, there is a vortex here it is a small one.

The second is of course the Azores. There you have complex rifting, a nice uplifted bank (hotspot?), fractore zones, volcanix zones, what looks like a local subducton zone. Without having done any calculations or going indepth it looks very intriguing from my point of view and might hold a quite large vortex-plume. And I just love the pictures of the Good Morning volcano:)

Another thing I noticed is that it looks like there was a rather large island around the same spot about a hundred million or more years ago, and that the island cracked apart and that half drifted to the east, and the other half to the west.
If you look at google earth you will find Great Meteor Tablemount and Cruiser Tablemount to the East, and to the West the Rockaway-Yakutat Seamount. Interesting if nothing else. If that once was a large island, then that vortex would have been going, stopping, and starting again. That suggests there is some triggering factor I don't really get.

Nice question Bruce!

@ lurker.. my history on the share market is absolutely abysmal. The only think I have ever half-way prophesized correctly (apart from having my account tax-barred which I am getting pretty good at predicting) is the eruption at Fimmvorduhalsi.

@ Carl, it's interesting you mentioned the Azores as I looked at those in Google Earth while zooming around the planet's MOR's and thought, hmm, they're could be another candidate for your theory. BTW, what is that massive circular feature directly south of Sao Miguel Island and stretches all the way to Sao Pedro? Looks like an impact crater but I am reticent to read too much into Google Earth as there are some artifacts in there (look at the scar crossing the Kermadec Trench for example).

By bruce stout (not verified) on 04 Jul 2010 #permalink

Are you looking at "the collapsed caldera-mathingy" between Sao Miguel and Sao Maria?
If that is the crater-like thing you are talking about I would guess it is a collapsed caldera. You have 3 small rim islets in the south-east.

I guess you could get vorticii as soon as you have complex rifting. But it would of course never occur close to subduction volcanos.

Thing is that one should really check which of the volcanos are still active. It probably is a Hawaii like moving hotspot since the islands are stringed out like that. But if the volcanos are "active" on most islands in the chain, then it would be a vortex candidate. Off to read up on the azorian volcanos for me.

@Bruce part II
Just looked at the sum of volcanos in the azores. Pretty much all of the main volcanos in the eastern grouping are active like crazy. The 2 islands to the west of MAR seems to be less active, and for obvious reasons I totally disregarded Madeira since the inly reason for their inclusion in the azores seems to be political and not sub-surfaces tectonical;)
I would say the likelihood increased of this being another place with surface static plumes that can be explained with a collection of vortix-plumes.

Carl, yep that's it. If its volcanic its bigger than Toba!
100 km x 70 km.. that's just a wee bit too far on the side of mind-boggling, so for the moment I'll just assume it's another artifact.
I'm at work at the moment but I'm itching to read up more about the Azores now!! All I know is they have some pretty impressive calderas for a MOR setting so there is obviously much more at play here too, just like Iceland in fact!

By bruce stout (not verified) on 05 Jul 2010 #permalink

check out the activity right now, july 5, EDT 9:13 AM, on Bardabunga, Iceland. A 3.0 --if verified.

Hello everyone, I am really enjoying reading your comments about the worldwide volcanic activity.

I have been looking at the sheer number of volcanoes located in Iceland and I am awestruck at how many there are in a relatively small area. I brought Iceland up on Google Earth and zoomed in just enough to see the water surrounding the island, it almost seems that the entire island is just the peak of a large caldera, if you look just south of the island you can almost see where there was a very large lava flow at one time

By Robert Hurst (not verified) on 05 Jul 2010 #permalink

Not quite the peak of a giant caldera... what exactly is down there is a subject for discussion. Hotspot, Underlying oceanic crust fragment... it gets kicked around a bit. Iceland is about 40km thick in the vicinity of GrÃmsvötn and about 20km thick near Eyjafjallajökull. It has lots of volcanoes, some of them active, sits astride a spreading center (Mid Atlantic Ridge) and to top it off, has all these neat quake stacks poking up through the crust... usually to a pre-existing volcano.

30 Days of Quakes - 5 June to 5 July, perspective view looking North West.


@106 i like your graphs looks easy to read and to my question of above i dont believe in everythink i read thats why i ask you all here you seem to know what your taking about.i got the supervolcanos info from National association of radio Distress and infocommunication [Emergency and Disaster infomation services]EDIS. havaria@rsoe.hu or http://hisz.roes.hu/alertmap/index2.php and lot of them showed recent activity[meaning EQ or Tremor] as you go on to this site you get a map of the world scroll out and you get all this info

@#106 Lurking,Hi,

Do you remember back around a month ago you did a correlation graph showing 'quakes under both Eyja and Katla,looking North ? Any chance of an updated one from 01/06/2010 to 05/07/2010.
Many Thanks in advance,Adrian.

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 05 Jul 2010 #permalink

Well, as of right now they don't show any quakes there on the 5th. (19:01:00 on the 4th is the latest)

But here is a rendition from June 1st to July 5th, view North.


Lurking,many thanks thats great.Seems to be more quakes under Godabunga....New fissure that you we're wondering about ? I tend to agree.

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 05 Jul 2010 #permalink

Yeah,I know,a lot of speculation ! Who knows etc..

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 05 Jul 2010 #permalink

A plan view of that area was placed in "Mystery Volcano Photo #22" at post 46, but it only covers 12 to 13 days of quakes.


Umm, I tried copy/pasting that link but it just took me back here.

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 05 Jul 2010 #permalink

Well, many browsers will auto complete for you.

I strip the http bit off to keep from setting off the Spam Filter on the blog.

At three is gets mad.

Try this:


hi does anyone have a web cam link for katla, the one i have is switched off

I have two questions to post before I go to bed:
1. I was looking for the âmissing partâ (at least to me, so far) of volcanism over the so called âPacific Ring of Fireâ and I found out on Google Earth that there IS a belt of volcanoes in Antarctica closing the southernmost part of the circle. But no subduction zones showing. What causes these Antarctic volcanoes to be there? Mantle plumes?
2. I read that the rocks of São Pedro e São Paulo located to the northeast of Brazil are a rare example of exposed mantle. Are they quaternary or tertiary mantle? Was it caused by rifting? They arenât aligned with Ascension and Azores-Madeira archipelagos...
Donât bother to answer, but I would love to understand the processes involved.
Be back tomorrow. Night folks!!!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 05 Jul 2010 #permalink

To add to the science debate, The vortex idea is very interesting, one wonders if, to quote Nasa
'NASA scientists using data from the Indonesian earthquake calculated it affected Earth's rotation, decreased the length of day, slightly changed the planet's shape, and shifted the North Pole by centimeters. The earthquake that created the huge tsunami also changed the Earth's rotation.'

This MUST have created currents inside the mantle
Now we know viscous solids move very slowly, and that iceland is pretty much opposite Indonesia on the globe, so perhaps the recent activity in iceland is the 'ripples' from Indonesia travelling around the planet and all kind of meeting at iceland and sloshing up.

Bit like if you had 4 people at each corner of a bath of water who all create a wave at the same moment, when they all meet, you can get a fairly large spike of water forming in the middle of the bath.
Its just a thought, and I'm no scientist, just an artist who has spent many hours observing the motion of things around me.

By Bev Wallace (not verified) on 05 Jul 2010 #permalink

And reading through this http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050112194812.htm

' Earth's oblateness (flattening on the top and bulging at the equator) decreased by a small amount', which might account for the volacnic activity at the north pole,the earths 'waistline' at the equater got tighter, stands to reason the pressure caused by that has to be released somewhere

By Bev Wallace (not verified) on 05 Jul 2010 #permalink

@Renato thanks but thats one i got and its blank unless they switched off

@#115 Lurking,Hi,

Thanks very much for that link.That data really is food for thought;got me thinking.
Thanks again,Adrian.

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 06 Jul 2010 #permalink

@leon [121] -

You must have the Windows Media Video 9 codec installed to play that one.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 06 Jul 2010 #permalink

at121 arr cheers mate i did have this working at one time somethink must of gone wrong i have had to re install other codec as well a week ago. thanks dude

@Bev Wallace #119 - #120 And if you think in geological time span the EQ in Chile happened when the whole mantle was still sloshing a bit from Indonesia's EQ (since it only happened 6 ys. later), so it would add up to the shifts and moves. Can you imagine?, the whole S. America was displaced by ~3 m in minutes!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 06 Jul 2010 #permalink

Hello everyone,

Speaking of displacements,the IMO have issued another severe gale warning for Southern Iceland;winds up to 40m/s.
Thoro cam is already starting to shake.......

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 06 Jul 2010 #permalink

July 8th--look at the Porosfelli webcam for the steam coming out? Beautiful view..not a cloud. Heat cam shows it as well. And from HVO, a good look too. HVO tremor plot does show a few little spikes, and a few tremors near Katla. Gale is passed now.

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