Odd volcano news: Volcano stadium, wheat from Eyjafjallajökull and volcanoes as ads

August has been rather quiet for real volcano news, but I did find some more, well, odd news to mention. It is all volcano-related - to an extent - so here we go:

The new volcano-inspired Chivas stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico.

  • Last year we had the volcano mall in Italy, this year we have the volcano football (that is soccer for us Americans) stadium in Mexico (see above). The stadium in Guadalajara has green, sloping sides that that open to the "crater" that is filled with the pitch and the stands - seems fitting for a city in the middle of the Trans-Mexico Volcanic Belt. No word on what happens when the home team scores.
  • Over in Iceland, Eyjafjallajökull is being thanked for bringing a bumper crop of wheat to the southern part of the island. One of the wheat farmers, Olafur Eggertsson from Thorvaldseyri, says that he thinks the ash from the eruption helped by adding nutrients to the soil - although the especially warm summer for Iceland this year likely played an important role as well.
  • And some of you might have seen the news (or the ad) for a new Guitar Hero-like game called Power Gig 2 where the developer supposedly dropped 5,000 Guitar Hero controllers into the crater of Eyjafjallajökull from an airplane. I've watched the video and I'm 99% sure it is a fake - I mean, it is supposed to be July 2010 when they make the drop, but the "crater" at Eyjafjallajökull is filled with a partially crusted-over lava lake - which, of course, never existed. So, yeah, I think they spliced in CGI or other video from a lava lake because dropping the controllers into a relatively cool crater lake (of water) wouldn't have the "extreme" edge that the developers were hoping. However, that means that somewhere in Iceland lie the shattered remains of 5,000 fake guitars ... !
  • And in a less odd and more head-scratching moment - or at least an example of how the media can get things wrong - there is news that Jim Holden of the University of Massachusetts (UPDATE: here is the original NOAA press release, thanks to Passerby) was misquoted as saying he thinks the deep earthquakes underneath Moro Gulf in the Philippines in late July were related to an recently-discovered undersea volcano named Kawio Barat. Now, the article I found doesn't go into details, but the USGS solutions for the earthquakes show focal depths of over 500 km (very, very deep), so for earthquakes like that to be related to an eruption of an undersea volcano would be, to say the least, very surprising. I have a feeling that somehow something go lost-in-translation - the original article in the Inquirer or the NOAA press release doesn't seem to say the same thing.

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Erik, I agree about the Philippine quake stories.The first one, from Gulf News, obviously leaps to a conclusion never made by the science crew. Looking at the speculative trash that passes as top news stories on several sites today, this doesn't surprise me.

Here's a news report (in icelandic) on the guitar drop:

In short:
They had planned to drop over Eyjafjallajökull but it was decided to do it over Hekla instead.
The shot of the crater is CG "enhanced".
Two drops of 250 guitars each were performed by firemen from ReykjavÃk.
A rescue service crew on the ground was tasked with picking up the guitars after the drop as a prerequisite for permission.

By Bjarni, Hafnar… (not verified) on 10 Aug 2010 #permalink

Bjarni - that makes a little more sense, but by "digitally enhanced" they mean "changed completely to have lava in it. The current Hekla crater is quiet. Nothing like "truth in advertising".

The volcano in the video definitely wasn't Eyjafjallajökull; the shape was all wrong, for one; there was no glacier, and it should have been spewing steam. The one in the video had fumes rising.

It was an Icelandic plane (DC3?), though, and there might have been 50 "guitars" that they dumped.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 10 Aug 2010 #permalink

The bumper crops were also mentioned in the St. Helens stories a while back...

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 10 Aug 2010 #permalink

The NOAA research expedition public website info and a press release got garbled by a reporter who sought to connect the deep-focus EQ activity (many more than 3) in the Moro Gulf with the discovery of the new volcano, by proximity.

Jim Holden is quoted in this NOAA Jul 13 press release, describing the discovery of the new volcano

The Okeanos Explorer US-Indonesia Deep Sea Project Expedition specifics and daily log (with cool graphics, photos and explanations) can be found at:


Sorry for spam posting but can someone explain to me why the 2-4Hz bands has been acting like an equalizer today?

GOD and MID station has been all over the place and these sit on either side of Lady E. MID on west and GOD on east side.

By Daniel_swe (not verified) on 10 Aug 2010 #permalink

First of all, the item in The Inquirer was not a 'press release'. Both it, and the one in the Gulf News, were "news" reports from obviously science-impaired journalists, who wanted to goose their stories by dragging the recent earthquakes into them. There was no 'garbling' involved. It was out-and-out falsification, since Jim Holden apparently never said one word about the earthquakes in an actual NOAA press release.

Just a comment on the stadium story (haven't had a chance to digest the rest of the post yet). Latin America seems to have a strange link between football/soccer and volcanoes. There is a football pitch in the crater of Guatemala's Agua (according to GVP), and before it resumed activity in the 1980s there was a pitch -of sorts- on the caldera floor of Colombia's Galeras. Can't imagine that the playing surface was much good, probably worse than Wembley (in joke for the Brits on here) Wonder if there are/have been any others?

Erik, you didn't pursue this link //top-10-list.org/2010/01/01/largest-underwater-volcanoes/ in the Kawio Barat-article? Amongst other things, this list informs us that "Heimaey, Iceland" is the world's fifth largest underwater volcano. Funny, at height of some 9,100m (29,855 ft), you'd think that the world's tallest mountain as measured from base to summit, Mauna Kea, would at least get a mention...


PS. The summit of Mount Everest is only about 3,650 to 4,650 m (11,980 to 15,260 ft) above the plateaus on either side.

By Henrik, Swe (not verified) on 10 Aug 2010 #permalink

@9 - Yeah, maybe I was hoping that it was just a mistake/mistranslation, but yes, you're probably right that it was a media grab.
@10 - Wow, I'd love to see any info about the pitch on Galeras!
@Passerby - Thanks for the links to the original press releases. I think I'll elevate them to the main text.

Yesterday there was some odd signals in the tremorcharts at http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/Katla2009/stodvaplott.html

They seem to be in some sort of a pattern. I mean MID and GOD charts. This would suggest some sort of manmade noise. Can this be confirmed?

It was mainly the 2-4Hz curves which were affected.

Today it started again and this time it is both 2-4Hz and 1-2Hz.

I am really curious as to what may cause this. Any suggestions?

By Daniel_swe (not verified) on 11 Aug 2010 #permalink

Erik (12): the Galeras reference came from Stan Williams book of the 1993 eruption, 'Surviving Galeras', page 28: "an old wooden soccer goal sits in pieces on the amphitheater floor, placed there by police and soldiers who once played on what was undoubtedly the world's most dangerous soccer field"

@Kultsi #4 - To be exacting, "Páll Sveinsson", TF-NPK, is an ex-USAF C-47.

@Raving #13 - Finally we know it wasn't our fault.

@Kultsi #14 - Markarfljót flooded today.

By Reynir, NK, .is (not verified) on 11 Aug 2010 #permalink

Well, that's assuming that anything was ever dropped. Otherwise whoever pulled the stunt should get a huge fine for dumping without a license and they can pay for the mess to be cleaned up as well.

As far as dropping things go, I'm always reminded of Lockheed-Martin dropping a satellite in the integration bay ...

By MadScientist (not verified) on 11 Aug 2010 #permalink

I don't believe there is a lava-lake in ANY icelandic volcano?

And by the way, Guys/Girls - I'm going up there again - leaving from Copenhagen tomorrow morning. After being there for the Fimmvorduhals-eruption at easter this year - I feel an urge to go back and trek across the new lava. Will send you all a thought when standing up there.

Best wishes

By Heidi Ritterbusch (not verified) on 18 Aug 2010 #permalink

#19 @Heidi
I don't think there is any lava lake, no.
Wish you a good trip, and please, tell us if hot lava is still present under the solidified new ground.

By Renato Rio (not verified) on 18 Aug 2010 #permalink

Cool Heidi! Throw some scoria at the wind for me.

By bruce stout (not verified) on 18 Aug 2010 #permalink

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