Tempests, teacups and the future

Thanks for all the words/advice about Pepsigeddon here at SB. If you missed it, the powers that be have officially pulled the plug on the PepsiBlog. However, this crisis (as much as blogging can be a crisis) has reinforced a lot of long-standing problems with the management here at SB, so not to sound like Fox Mulder, there is a lot more going on than meets the eye. Now that PepsiBlog is down, I'll return to posting at SB (for the time being at least). However, SB has lost a lot of credibility and very good bloggers as well, so times, they are a'changin'. I strongly believe in keeping a corporate agenda out of journalism - and whether you believe blogging is journalism or just people yammering on out science (at least here) - it is no place to blend advertising and blogging without a very clear distinction. SEED Media might have taken a little too long to deal with this clear breach of journalistic integrity.

That being said, now that I have finally joined Twitter, look at the that feed as a supplement, not a replacement to Eruptions as a blog. Most likely I will use it if something big happens and I want to get the word out quick or just to direct people to the blog (or have any fun comments about the science media in there). Remember, you don't have to join Twitter to follow Eruptions - just bookmark my profile feed (and don't worry, 99% of what is on Twitter will show up on the blog, too.)

I'll have a post up tomorrow about Eruptions summer schedule (prepared before PepsiGate), but rest assured, Eruptions will go on.

More like this

Erik, I was skeptical of Twitter at first, but I think you'll find it pretty useful for sharing/receiving links. I've definitely found some cool stuff through Twitter that ended up being a topic I blogged about later.

And, whether you stay at Sb or not, I'll keep following your awesome coverage of volcanic eruptions.

I was very skeptical about Twitter at first, however I've really embraced it as a powerful tool that in can be. It's especially useful in breaking news situations as well as communicating quickly with some of the news channels I work with.

Glad to hear the blog is continuing for now and hope management do the right thing!

Erik, good to have you back, though I didn't really think you left. I figured you were checking things out before really giving up on ScienceBlogs.

I have a feeling that there was a knee-jerk reaction ( I know all about those as I have plenty of them myself) and if we had been just a bit more patient, things would have turned out ok.

I am not for any corperate blog here. If they want to blog, let the corperations start their own blog site called Corp.blogs or Company.blogs. We don't need them here.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

Someone, I think it was Rialto, asked if the quake in Alaska and the one in CA were connected. I don't think so, but as I have said before, the people at the USGS in N CA had a seminar based on this very idea that one quake far away could cause another quake. I would say that it is possible if certain conditions are in place: seizmic wave action in the right place at the right time in the right direction, a fault that is ready to move, and possible connections that have not been assertained yet.

The swarm that was at Mammoth Mt last year happened an hour after a 7.6 quake in Sumatra. The timing couldn't have been better because that seminar was just a day or so after the quakes.

Now for the quaking in S CA, I do think there is a strong possibility of more quakes moving north. All of this is a result, most likely, of the Baja quake that set things off. It isn't surprising me too much, yet, but I think if it keeps moving north, it will affect the San Andreas IF it is ready to move because of built up stresses. I am sure there are some people here who remember the Palmdale bulge. That is very close to the San Andreas and the movement of the quakes right now is headed that way so there could be one near Palmdale. There was a 7+ out by Ludlow years ago and, fortunately, it did not do a whole lot of damage because of where it was. If it had happend in LA, it would have make the Kobe quake look like minor bump in the road.

This series of quakes will be something to watch as aftershocks can go on for years sometimes and it will be interesting to see what happens in the next few months. There is the possibility that if there are more and more quakes heading in a northern direction that they could start to head NE and move up to the Sierra and Furnace Creek faults. If that happens, that would go along with what John McPhee had to say about the Gulf of CA slowly heading up north and eventually ending up in Nevada. As I mentioned before, I asked about this and it is happening according to the seizmologist I communicated with. It will take a looooog time, but what is happening right now could be a fore-runner of what will come.

By Diane N CA (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

Agreed with the above. This was an un-necessary distraction
-this would've been worse if there was a real eruption going on. I will twitter, if needed, Thanks,Erik....

Academic institutions may be banning 'tobacco industry' funding. (See senate.ucsf.edu/townhallmeeting/index.html for a Ca style, put to a plebiscite example)

Plausible hyperbole example: Ban climate research funding provided by evil BohemianPetroleum and welcome funding by the ethical WorldWhistlingFederation.


Critical review is intoned to be ineffective for the overtly polarized context. The researcher cannot even be allowed to do the research in absolute censure, let alone be permitted to present a product to the peer review process. Society is incapable of trusting critical judgment in the overtly apparent biased context.

Does this mean that society should trust 'critical judgment' and 'peer review' in the squeaky clean neutral context?

By all means whine on about conflicts of interest distorting the academic product. Just don't expect the public to feel confident about academias' skill of maintaining 'objectivity' in a neutral context.


I take a couple of days away from Eruptions, to tile my new bathroom and I return to tumult, uproar and tempest about a fizzy drinks company. Still, there is always a silver lining and mayhap some of your readers will look an unsubsidised site that seeks only to prevent the public being conned by food corporations. All that is required is an open mind. http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/index.html



IMO researchers who are gullible naive unskilled and/or helplessly incapable of detecting and/or declaring and/or managing and/or seeing beyond their own subjective bias should not be academics.

Subjectivity is inescapable. Academia is very good at dealing with 'subjectivity'. Academics are skilled at managing subjectivity because they are constantly struggling to extricate themselves for inevitable subjective blunder.

Insisting that the context must be cleaner-than-clean for credible research to emerge dismisses and belittles the importance of dealing with inherent implicit subjective bias in a research environment.

Raving - It is purely subjective/objective that is the problem. No one can be 100% purely objective (thank you postmodernism), but it is a goal, however unattainable. By purposely co-opting that goal by have the pretense of a science column that is really a PR arm of a corporation, objectively is out the window. This is not to say that the research might not be good, but the corporate agenda might play a much larger role in defining the work. Some people are obviously comfortable with this, others are not. I tend to lean on trying to be unencumbered - but I think there is a strong distinction between subjectivity based on preconceived ideas/experiences versus subjectivity based on a corporate agenda.

Raving - It is purely subjective/objective that is the problem. No one can be 100% purely objective (thank you postmodernism), but it is a goal, however unattainable.

Postmodernism huh? Methinks that is the same old product re-branded with a new-and-improved label.

A more evolved approach ought to be along the lines of ...

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

@Diane N CA #4:
"Someone, I think it was Rialto, asked if the quake in Alaska and the one in S. CA were connected..."
Thanks for your comment. Iâm sorry, but when I posted my question I wasnât careful enough as to check the time on both EQs (CA and AL), thatâs why I was trying to figure out if there could be a common âinnerâ source that could have triggered both quakes at a time, but after my post I noticed my mistake and verified that they occurred quite separately in time. Maybe the whole discussion on âmantle vorticesâ and other possible mechanisms generating fluid motion within the mantle, sort of pushed my imagination too far.
And Diane I most happily accept the suggestive name âRialtoâ you granted me (have you been to the homonymous bridge in Venice? â what a piece of architecture!), albeit my parents chose Renato, perhaps because they havenât been to Venice, though itâs just fine to me.

By Rialto Rio (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

Hey everyone: any suggestions on what the next Eruptions Word of the Day should be? Post here or send me an email.

Eyjaf is making a rather nice steam plume rough guess is about 12000 feet high

I suggest olivine, but I leave the good hints to the experts here. I was just curious about the theory I read, and still not quite understood by me, that olivine suffers chemical changes at deep focus EQs, making ductile mantle act in a brittle way.

By Rialto Rio (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

Yes,its good to finally be able to see some activity at and from Eyja.An excellent steam plume !

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

#15 Yeah! Lady E seems to be alive and kicking.

By Rialto Rio (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

Nature Publishing Group is a 'Vanity' publishing service. It provides a service where authors of scholarly manuscripts can disseminate their research for the sake of recognition and citation by their colleagues.

If the intended audience of the author's anticipated dissemination effort cannot gain access to the publication then it is the author who will suffer the decline.

Perhaps those who publish in NPG aren't interested in dissemination. They care about the prestige.

NPG is lucratively aiming to jack up dissemination income by 400%. Many of NPGs clients are happy to roll over and accept the massive constraint-in-dissemination-for-the-sake-of-profit increase.

Vanity is like that, being very very very 'subjective'.
'Digital Publishing' is über postmodern huh.


A vanity press or vanity publisher is a publishing house that publishes books at the author's expense. ..

In contrast, commercial publishers, whether major companies or small presses, derive their profit from sales of the book to persons other than the author.


@#18 Yep,it's great to see Renato,or is it Rialto ???

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

20# @Adrian It shows better on Hvólsvóllür cam. And Adrian, don't you think Rialto is fun?

By Rialto Rio (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

@#22 Hi Rialto,
Yes,it is fun,hehe and yes,great view on Hvólsvóllür cam. I wonder what is going on inside Eyja and the rock surrounding her ??.

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

@#20 & 22
I'm wondering: are they going to check the mineral swimming pool on top of Eyjafjallajökull some of these days? And perhaps even report on it; it would be nice to know if it's filling or what.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

@#24 Hi Kultsi,
Umm,you read my mind.Also taking into account that The Institute of Earth Sciences report dated 15/06/2010 recommended that the water level of the "mineral swimming pool" be checked regularly........

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink


any suggestions on what the next Eruptions Word of the Day should be?

Akmolith. Definitely akmolith.

Or maybe harpolith.

#23 #24 #25 I've been thinking of that too...
BTW Something's going on near Vestmannaeyjar:
08.07.201018:31:4463.451-20.33914.2 km2.290.023.9 km W of Heimaklettur

By Rialto Rio (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

@#28 Hello Rialto,
Umm, I did'nt see that one;Mag 2.2 but deep,14.2km.Sorry,I was too busy monitoring every where else,lol.

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

My primary web browser (Firefox) went on strike against Sb today. The secondary (Flock) and the tertiary browser (IE) haven't joined - yet.

Sympathy comes from the oddest of places.

By Reynir, NK, .is (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

if possible a photo of peridotite would be nice and a bit of info also :)

@Passerby from a previous thread and any interested parties.

"...Nearby: geothermal fields on the Salton Sea (Salton View, Heber geothermal field at the south end of the Imperial Valley)."

That gave me an idea. A few months ago I found a site that listed natural hot springs and piped that data into a kmz file for Google. Turning that layer on and putting the "crust blocks" (as defined by fault lines and observed quakes) yields an interesting plot.


Unlike Diane N CA, I do think that there will be additional quakes to the North. But that's based on my own loon thinking. (By the way, I am 100% correct in that statement... but it could be 150 years before it happens)

Hi Lurking,two great posts.I've just finished read the geerassociation link proved by passerby.It is really good stuff !

But just looked on Hvólsvóllür cam.Wow wow wow,what a plume !!

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

And before anyone says anything,I know it's not as big as April's plume lol.

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

Word of the day, Erik? I re-visited Borolan whilst in Scotland. How about 'nepheline'? There's enough weirdness at Borolan to keep a magma junkie busy for an entire career!

perhaps the Eyjafjallajökull crater lake is close to dried up now

The lake at eyjafjäll ,might be drying up,but not completly unless there are no ice to melt,or there has opened a hole under the lake,and the water rushes into the mountain..
as long ast there is heat, there will be melting and steam, and that could last a while..
on the otherhand the eruption might not be over either,since this mountain is known for its on/ off eruptions..

- there has been som quaking under Myrdalsjökull,today hopefully it wont lead to more than that ,for the sake of Iceland and its people there.

but who knows ,Nature decides this, we can only watch

Aye! The GEER Association website is a treasure trove. Find their report file directory and bookmark it for leisure reading on the really important tutorial-type large EQs. For the webpage I posted on the April 4 quake, change the http addy, chapter number, from 1 to 5 and read the full report. Last page is very useful exercise in seismic data interpretation for readers of this blog.

Although my post reply to you was lengthy, I wanted to provide refs that discuss various physical drivers (seismic) at this location, from a recent volcanism, subsidence, core/crustal geology, and human-induced hydrology perspective.

Thanks for generating that crustal-block, springs-mud volcanoes-and EQ overlay map.

@Passerby @Lurking @Adrian Thank you folks for the links and comments. I just hate you people for me neither having the time to read them now, nor to take my time lurking at the beautiful Lady E's plume so, all I have to say is: "Good Night" everyone and leave you!. *"!!*!@@*@@?!!!

By Renato I Silve… (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

@32 Lurking-- really loved the pic with the springs and the plates. I really admire your facility with numbers, data mining and consolidation. Thank you for sharing. Heh. I spent many springs and falls in the hot springs around borrego and earthquake valley. A lot of the names brought back memories.

Speaking of springs, I just watched one of Iain Stewart's shows (in der US "How the Earth Changed History, Ep. Beneath the Crust") He made a connection between springs and earthquake faults as one of the reasons so many population centers are built on faults. The area you highlighted has always been agricultural based on springwater (later well).

I agree with you. I don't think the quakes are done marching North. Especially so since the Borrego quake.

By parclair, NoCal USA (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink


Good for you! I agree that it's nice to find those places and people who do what they do for love, not money, per se. I see there are a host of opinions about this, but I'm with you.

And I love Eruptions! I check you daily, and I love the fact you put your two cents worth about the political side of science.

Good work and thanks!


Erik, the word of the day could be Pumice? It's one of the most heard by the people, but it is interesting its formation.

By Guillermo (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

Two more quakes under Mýrdalsjökull:
09.07.201006:02:4663.663-19.3570.1 km1.699.05.9 km WNW of Goðabunga
09.07.201004:21:3963.675-19.2695.0 km0.899.04.0 km NNW of Goðabunga

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

That plume seems stronger and stronger... and the winds are strong too, but it won't bend...

By Rialto Rio (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

It's rather impressive on the "Hvolsvelli" cam, reaches some 1500m above the summit or 3000m+ asl. I would NOT go for a swim in that geothermal pond btw.

By Henrik, Swe (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

I wonder where it gets all the pressure from? It rises right through, albeit winds are picking up.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

.. like a giant geyser...
And there was a little spike on the tremor plots, maybe because of the two quakes under Mýrdalsjökull. Dunno...

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

Re the plume on Eyja... you'd be amazed how far a little water can go. To me it looks like the atmospheric conditions are conducive to a good cloud forming (low wind, relatively high humidity).

By bruce stout (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

#53 What you mean by "little water", @Bruce Stout? There's a whole lake steaming out of that crater at a height of almost 2000 m. Do you call it "Little water?" I haven't seen it reaching that high ever since May. There must be some source of extra heat causing it to build up that kind of pressure, don't you think?

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

That was a nice plume:)

The quake and tremor activity have been to low and the quakes to shallow for it to be anything happening from down below. My guess would be that a crack has opened up so that the water comes into contact with hotter material again.
Nice mushroom-like cloud emerging from now that I am looking.

@ 54 Renato, sure there's a big hot steaming bathtub full of water there, no dispute. Just saying the plume is a typical condensation cloud. I don't think there is any pressure involved (other than that of rising steam). Quite possibly the lake has come into contact with hot rock or its drying up and getting hotter as a result.

By bruce stout (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

#55 @Carl
The water from the crater filled in the crack and produced a vortex of steam which is now being projected high up.
All I think about these days is in that vortex theory you posted. :)

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

BTW, Carl, have you heard of São Pedro and São Paulo rocks, at the Atlantic, between Africa and NE S. America? I read that they are an unique case of air exposed mantle. I wonder if scientist came to a conclusion about that mantle composition (whether tertiary or older).

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

@Renato [51] -
I think the geysir idea has merit, the columns of steam rising from time to time are sharp, fast and well-defined; like explosions, IOW.

I've been thinking about the pressure of the ice surrounding the crater - it is living ice, after all, and must be pressing the crater sides pretty hard in its attempt to flow in and fill the hole.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink


I am banned from using the word "vortex" at home after asking my significant other to test my brand new "vortex theory of ejaculation". Cost me a night on the couch... ;)

#59 @Kultsi:
Thanks for the support, but it looked pretty much so. And now it seems the water is splashing all over the rim. I should be in bed to get ready for the long day work, but I just can't!...

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

I heard there was a wall of ice in one of the sides of the crater. Maybe it has just collapsed and the water is pouring into the overheated cracks.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

And now, on Ãórólfsfell cam, I can see gray smoke rising from the right.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink


I seem to have a stupid day today, could you be a bit more specific on where the islands are at?

@Carl: This is from Wikipedia -
The Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago (Portuguese: Arquipélago de São Pedro e São Paulo) is a group of 15 small islands and rocks in the North Atlantic Ocean.[3] It lies in the Intertropical Convergence Zone, a region of severe storms. It is approximately 510 nmi (940 km; 590 mi) from the northeastern coastal town of Touros, 625 km (388 mi) northeast of the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, and 990 km (620 mi) from the city of Natal. The islets expose serpentinized mantle peridotite and kaesurtite mylonite on the top of the second-largest megamullion in the world, and they are the only location on Earth where the abyssal mantle is exposed above sea level.

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink


Is that renewed activity on eyjaf'

By JOnathan Witty (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

#66 I guess so! I've just seen a large black burst all around the crater rim on Hvólsvóllür cam. Could it be shockwaves? And the plume is getting darker, maybe just for the ashes deposited from former eruptions being carried by convection, but something large is going on...

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

Hi everyone !
Well,I must admit that I quite expected to log-on this morning and find that there was'nt any plume, or anything else for that matter,coming from Eyja.But lo, a fine plume eh ?
@#53 Hi Bruce.I totally agree with your thoughts re weather conditions.They are giving the plume a great chance for height/expansion growth.
@#59 Hi Kultsi.
Your thoughts re the living glacier are superb.Its very easy to overlook the fact that the ice is always moving,which I had done..
Now,the question of plume pressure.There must be a heluva lot of water falling/coming into contact with very hot material,otherwise,surely,the plume itself would not be so vigorous.A very large kettle continuously boiling...
The only thing that explains the continuing "steaming" is that the liquid in the crater lake has somehow breached through.Whilst there is liquid so she will continue.I don't think of what is in the crater as being water any more.
I saw the grey smoke from the right also.There was an occasion last night on Mulakot,where there were two distinct plumes,large steam and much smaller ash, to the right of the steam but the ash plume did'nt last for long.
Geysir,possibly,vortex,possibly,too much conjecture which I don't like.
@#60 Hi Carl,
Slightly off topic and far too much info,don't you think, lol.

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

Somebody wake Erik. I can see ashes hitting the cam!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

@Renato [62] -
There are ice walls, tens of meters high, on all sides of the crater except north, where the lava flow melted away the ice to carve a trench into Gigjökull.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

Renato,which cam ? Much prefer Renato by the way !

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

Sorry for that Adrian, sadly most swedes lack a filter for those comments;)

About it being a vortex making the steam-plume at E. Nope... not related, I would guess that a crack opened up.

Hi Carl,I thought your comments were lovely,I'm chuckling as I type this,hehe.Please don't apologise !

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

@Adrian That's my christening name, so be free to call me as you please. For a moment there were lots of tiny gray particles hitting the cam, I guess they were ash being carried by the displacement of air. The shape and color of the plume don't seem to be steam only. I think I've seen some lightning also, and surely a very strange ring-shaped black burst around the whole crater, very strange. Well I MUST get some sleep before I go to work. It's 6:30 in the morning and I've been working on a translation all night. I'll leave the volcano into your hands. Get me informed about the news, if you please. And thank you for keeping me company. It has been a thrilling experience to watch this happening. Good day!

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 08 Jul 2010 #permalink

That is quite simply to much steam for it being the usual almost boiling swimming pool. I even think it is to much for a small crack having opened up.
I think something a bit larger is going on, there is no way we get a 3km steam plume looking like that without fresh heating material poping up. I would say that the tube has opened up and that is ice-melting at the contact with lava or water contacting with it.
But I am probably wrong.

But I cannot see any quakes or tremors allowing for the tube opening... Mysterious, can E open her tubes without the tremors starting big time, or some quakes?

Or perhaps the tremors in Jóns helicorder was the opening? I just noticed some nice small tremors and low wind.

Carl,thats the only tell-tell that i've picked up on;the violent activity on Jóns helicorder over the last two to three days,even though the activity has now fallen away.
Eyja's present activity surely just is'nt being caused by "falling water" ? On the other hand,water and lava normally equals-bang ???

By Adrian,Dorset, UK (not verified) on 09 Jul 2010 #permalink

I think we missed the pre-cursors during the two huge storms with more than 40m/s winds that hit iceland which shook Jóns helicorder. I think some of that tremoring was actually some kind of pipe-opening.

Yes it should go bang I think. That is what I am not getting. I guess that it is a small thing, or that the water in the lake was almost gone.
But it could also be a very slow and lava-only event, like if E had turned into Kilauea all of a sudden to make us go collectively bonkers:)

But I guess Jón or Erik soon will tell us that we are seeing things again. BTW, who ate Jón? Haven't seen him posting lately...

Exciting Times are Very Near ~ Mother Earth Weeps, As man continues on his path of greed, God ponders our fate indeed. Mother Earth Weeps. For balance is gone and disasters draw near while man plays stupid and shows no fear. Mother Earth Weeps. And as the Whale cries her sweet sad song, we poison their home her whole life long. Mother Earth Weeps. As the Eagle seeks to find a new lofty perch, he chokes on the air as he widens his search. Mother Earth Weeps. The Lion now roams in his limited space, for his den is now death per the human race. Mother Earth Weeps. From the meadows to the mountians with all that is deep Mother Earth suffers and continues to weep. Mother Earth Weeps. But God was awake, He saw and heard every call and now He looks at Mother Nature as She plans the fall, and Jerry Myer shall warn Prepare Ye All, For the ground shall quake, The Mountians Will Erupt, the wind shall turn, the fires shall burn, and the sea will churn ~ So say I ~ Jerry Myer

By Jerry Myer Jac… (not verified) on 18 Jul 2010 #permalink

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