A busy day for Etna and Galeras

Today was a doubleheader for volcanic eruptions in the news:

Today's explosive eruption from Mt. Etna. Image courtesy of the INGV.

  • As I briefly mentioned earlier, Galeras in Colombia had an "atypical" eruption - apparently meaning it was non-explosive - that has prompted evacuations and a change in the alert status to "Red" for the volcano. Various news sources don't have a lot of new information yet, but you can check on the report on the INGEOMINAS page (spanish) - and they have links to some of the Galeras news (audio, spanish) from their main page. Some of the latest reports from Colombia (spanish) indicate that the eruption is "ongoing" but "under control" and areas around the volcano are experiencing some ash fall. However, Diego Gomez of the Volcano Observatory in Pasto is calling Galeras a "very unstable volcanic system" right now, so we'll keep an close watch on the volcano - which you can do from the webcam.
  • Less than a week after Boris Behncke's great series on the volcano, Italy's Etna has decided to keep our attention by having an explosive eruption earlier today. The INGV already has a great post on the event (italian and english) on their website with pictures and thermal images of the ash-rich explosion that produced the 1-km tall plume. This is the largest explosive event this summer from the Bocca Nuova ("New Mouth?") vent. Again, if Etna is heading into a new eruptive cycle, we'll all want to watch the events unfold - and luckily there is a webcam for that as well.
  • For both of these events, updates as they arrive!

    {Special thanks to all the Eruptions readers who have posted links/info.}

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Note that the update on the INGV-Catania website is both in Italian AND English! I somehow didn't manage to make an English version of the title; next time I guess I will create two separate files.
By the way, some ash has fallen on our house in Trecastagni, about 15 km southeast of the summit of Etna. First time in 3 years that we've had ash from Etna at home.

Thanks for pointing that out - I just sort of muddled through it and didn't even notice the English on the bottom!

Keep us posted on any new developments!

Boris, it might be prudent to re-engineer the INGV website so that it presents in several languages, including English.

It will do wonders for attracting international interest and support. As it stands now, it's not very user friendly to those who don't read Italian.

@Boris Behncke, Catania, Italy, Do you have any online webcorders that I can take a look at ? I think that there might be more to this explosion at Etna then meets the eye.

I am also considering moving to Sicily in few years time (after few years living in Denmark) to watch and monitor Etna eruptions.

Or better yet, public real-time waveform data, USGS-style.
Ok, that's hoping too much maybe :)

@Passerby #4, I am working on an English version of the site - since I am the one single person in charge of this, it takes a bit of time, but all updates from now on will be in Italian/English (let's hope there will not be too much to update on, for the moment, since I still have to do my summer holidays).
@Jón FrÃmann #5, that would be a fabulous thing to have you here and look at our seismic data ... unfortunately all that can be rendered public is what is actually rendered public (we've got to treat a lot of data confidentially due to Civil Defense issues), but once you're here things will be easier.
What is important to point out is that today's event seems to have been phreatomagmatic, and such events are among our worst nightmares, because very often they have extremely little precursory seismic or other activity. In 1979, nine tourists were killed at the very same crater that made today's explosion by a similar, though more powerful event. What is true is that since a few weeks we've seen a series of smaller explosive events (and collapse) in the Bocca Nuova, especially on 5 July and on 8 August. Normally such explosions occur when magma rises in the conduit and encounters fluids, and my best bet is that sometime within the next few days, or weeks, or maybe months, we will see new magma appear within the Bocca Nuova, as happened also in the summer of 1995 after more than 2 years of quiescence. There are frequent explosions also within the Northeast Crater, which is another of the four summit craters. These explosions are still very deep and you will not see any material being thrown out because it is happening presumably at a few hundred meters of depth. But you do hear these explosions when on the rim of the crater, and they appear to be growing in frequency and strength.
So the signs are that magma is rising within the conduits leading up to the summit craters, and hopefully we will see some spectacular activity there before a new flank eruption will rip open one side of the mountain and stress the hell out of us and everybody else involved.

I have posted some photos on my Flickr page: www.flickr.com/photos/etnaboris

Ok. I must go to work now, just passing by to ask if you see some activity on the right slope of the Galeras cam. The ash cloud is getting bigger, hovering over the village, to the left, but the funny dark cloud to the right, looks weird. Regular clouds?

By Renato Rio (not verified) on 25 Aug 2010 #permalink

@Boris #7: seismic data is considered 'confidential' due to 'civil defence issues'?!

The mind boggles. The word 'idiots' comes to mind. That sounds positively Soviet...

Care to enlarge?

Sheesh, 2 minutes warning on the Etna seismometers (a posteriori) !

@Boris Behncke, Catania, Italy, As the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull showed. I can detect a low harmonic tremor from up to ~40 km away (maybe more, but more distance less signal is always the case). Where I go, I take my geophone with me and I do put them online since I am not bound to any contract like you. I do not like the signatures in the plots on the pictures, they indicate a gas-pressure pocket inside the volcano. I do not know where inside the volcano it might be.

If I move there, I will be there sometimes after 2015. I will let you know when the time comes. :)

Ref [9] (Fireman)

I'm guessing it has a lot to do with panic and lawsuits.

With the way that the Icelandic and Cascade volcanos show up in the seismic data, I was thinking that after that awesome plate outline that Galeras would give this beautiful seismic stack.

I was disappointed. I'm guessing that that the volcanic stuff doesn't make it into the database.


This Emergency and Disaster information site is not up-to-date with Mt. Etna's activity (last Etna page update was June 1), but the map shows activity. Their earthquake listings include whether or not a quake is located near a volcano. I think that's a new feature. The "Supervolcanoes Monitoring System" has quite a long list of calderas and other massive volcanoes.

Good background material, with some answers for you, Lurking.



Scatterers are the signals used to determine magmetic structure placement below the volcano.

This article explains why you have such a busy shallow EQ system (says same thing as chapter, above, but more succinctly).

1989â1995 Earthquake sequences in the Galeras volcano region, SW Colombia, and possible volcanoâearthquake interactions. Tectonophysics 2008

>The area is also affected by the continental faulting represented by the Buesaco, Aranda and Pasto faults belonging to one of the most seismically active structures in Colombia, the Romeral fault system.


>The coexistence of an active volcanic complex and an active fault system complicates the study and interpretation of the different processes taking place in the region as well as the identification of any connection or interaction among them.


1. You may not have access to all of the seismic data for volcanic EQ and

2. The superimposition of tectonic and volcanic seismic activity complicates sorting signal origin/cause.

Might explain the hash of data, rather than a clear signal source below the volcano.

I sort of figured that there was missing data from the catalog. As for the two "platforms" of quakes... I'm thinking that's and instrumental artifact and not part of what is actually going on there.

As for the paper, good read. Any idea how they came up with the idea of "screw" to describe the shallow low frequency events? (tornillo)

Dunno if it implies a shaking or a shape.

The Coda Wave idea is new to me, but I like the idea of the seismo/geo people getting into interferometry to sort of peer into the depths of the volcano's feed system.

Google Tranlate does a good job of translating Boris's website into English. The left side menu is nicely translated also. Just save the link as a favorite.


Or Boris could have the link on the front page within a buttton called "English" - and just letting Google Translate do all the work, lol.

Could use the same trick to have buttons to translate into any languages.

William M Boston

By William M Boston (not verified) on 25 Aug 2010 #permalink

Trying to do my homework on Galeras, just stumbled into this on page 118 in the article you posted (thanks for it):
"Such lava tends to be high in silica (mafic magma)."
I suppose it should be the other way around mafic=low silica felsic=high silica. Or maybe I'm wrong?

By Renato Rio (not verified) on 25 Aug 2010 #permalink

@ 16. Yeah, sure you can use Google for a hashed version in English (or French or Spanish or German), but it won't bring in non-natives, and it won't build you a fan club and *lots* of tourism revenues that can be translated to supporting geology and civil defense.

That's why the IES and IMO were clever to be as forthcoming as possible in sharing and explaining technical info in updates and graphics with the rest of us outside of Iceland (in English), and I suspect, to encourage realtime webcam coverage.

It's got them a nice dividend in tourism economy, despite the negative press from passenger air traffic shutdown for several weeks in May.

Etna is, as Lurking put it, a huge mother of a volcano. It's sheer height, longterm activity and explosive power, in a heavily populated region, is rarely matched in terms of potential for impact especially when viewed in terms of combined action it's active neighbors to the north.

At Renato, standard boiler plate

Basaltic magma is made up of mostly mafic minerals. Rhyolitic magma has high levels of felsic minerals. Andesitic magma is composed of intermediate minerals -- not quite mafic, not quite felsic, or a fairly even mixture of mafic and felsic minerals.

Mafic magma (basaltic magma) will have a fairly low viscosity and is associated with shield volcanoes (Mauna Kea for example), and mid ocean spreading centers.

Felsic magma (rhyolitic magma) is much more viscous and is associated with explosive volcanic eruptions found in Composite volcanoes (also called Stratovolcanoes).

Andean volcanoes are predominantly andesic and dacites. See wikipages for Galeras, andesite.

Geochemistry and petrology of the Galeras Volcanic Complex, Colombia . J. Volcanology Geothermal Res. 77 (1-4):21-38 (1997).

>The Galeras Volcanic Complex (GVC) has erupted lavas and pyroclastic flows, ranging from basaltic (mafic) andesites to dacites (more viscous), during the last million years.

Wording is somewhat confusing. More attention should be paid to the volcanic earthquakes, regional faulting, and magma chambers inferred by seismic 'reflection'.

For Lurking, 15: see


Refers to seismic record (decay events, signal tailing, coda), not physical manifestation of EQs forming an ascending screw-shape.

Off topic, but I didn't know where else to put it.

FYI. This is a new theory on the formation of the Earth;

Evidence supporting Kevin Mansfield's Earth Formation Hypothesis.

The Hypothesis:

Earth, as we now know it, formed from the collision of two similarly sized planets, called Heaven and PreEarth. Heaven had a radius about ninety percent that of PreEarth. These two, initially comprised a binary system (just like the Earth and Moon presently comprise a binary system) orbiting the Sun.

Like a bullet rips through the skin of an apple, leaving most of the skin unscathed, Heaven crashed through the crust of PreEarth, taking most of its energy into the interior, while leaving much of the crust unscathed. Now, imagine that the mass of the apple and bullet are so large (planet sized) that the bullet cannot escape their combined gravity. Then you have the hypothesized situation. Of course, as PreEarth swallowed Heaven, it greatly expanded in size. This expansion, however, did not leave the remaining crust unscathed.

The Evidence:

1) The hole in the Earth where the planet Heaven entered, i.e., the north west Pacific.
2) The impact mountains around the Pacific Ocean, i.e., the ring of fire.
3) Western impact mountains ripped off continental block.
4) The impact caused continental drift.
5) The theory predicts a single circular continent with splits, i.e., Pangaea.
6) The theory predicts oceanic crust very different from continental crust.
7) Warren Carey's evidence, is also evidence for this hypothesis.
8) Apparent sea-floor ages explained as geochemical gradient due to mixing.
9) The theory predicts Earth's core is rotating faster than its mantle.
10) The theory predicts Earth's magnetic field is rapidly decreasing.
11) The theory predicts/explains magnetic reversals.
12) The theory allows the force of gravity to have been smaller in the past.
13) Removes the thermal catastrophe.
14) The theory provides a decent power source for continental drift.
15) Animations of the expansion plus drift can be produced.
16) Provides a new theory regarding the formation of the Moon.

See http://preearth.net/evidence.html where each point above is expanded upon:

A brief history of the ideas.

Many of the ideas above were first presented in a public lecture, on November 2, 2008, at the Alexandra Park Raceway, Auckland, New Zealand. They were subsequently written up and published, on April 20, 2010, in the form of a 26 page paper. The preprint server arxiv.org refused to distribute this paper (clearly, the task of releasing preprints to the scientific community should be taken from those at arxiv.org and given to some responsible party). Consequently, toward the end of May, the website www.preearth.net was established to publicize the paper. This summary of evidence was completed on July 29, 2010.

Kevin Mansfield, has a BSc(Hons) from the University of Auckland (Auckland, New Zealand) and a PhD in mathematics from the University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia).

From http://preearth.net

@William M Boston[19]

Honestly, I don't know. Having worked with instrumentation, my gut feel is resolution error. If the signal from a quake has much ambiguity you will get only as fine a target as can be determined from the gear. You will especially see this in any of my plots that use data that crosses several years of technology improvements. A a rough guide, the most recent 5 to 6 years of data can be (sort of) assumed to have the quality of modern equipment. But you have to be careful with assumptions. (that's based on what I've seen in my plots)

Also remember that I only have access to the data that is publicly available, and cannot do any independent Q&A of what is in the databases. (not a researcher either) I generally count the oddities like that as "instrumentation" or "technology" errors.


That rocks.

So the tornillo is actually the coda waveform itself and is a separate class of waveform... not a quake, and not a harmonic tremor. Sort of a "ringing" of the subsurface structures as seismic waves pass through or bounce off of them. The "scatterers." As previously mentioned.

From one of the other links I was left with the notion that it was something they were just snagging off of the waveforms for arbitrary quakes around the volcano.

That is very cool.

For those who are asleep I can just say that the daytime imagery from Etna is spectacular with nice strombolian activity and a lavarun downslope (Upper-left) if I am understanding the imagery correct from the webcam.
I think Boris summer vacation got cut short on this one.


Anybody with more webcam links out there.
Seems like it is time to sit in the vibrating volcano-chair again and drink beer and watch lava-eruptions.
Good thing = The weather is better for webcaming at Etna.
Bad thing = more people around Etna than Eyja.

Here is a better link with more cams.

It seems like the scineceblogs-goblin had a problem with the last attempt to post it so it is without the http and www...



Two small questions, both probably silly.

1. Is it just Bocca Nuovo erupting, or is it Bocca Nuovo and North Crater?
2. What is the likelyhood of Catania being hit by the eruption? Should I fly down and move my boat from Catania?

Totally understand if you don't have time to answer.

Best of luck with your continued work with Etna, and your wonderfull articles where ominious and fortitious for us volcanophiles:)


By Carl on Etna (not verified) on 25 Aug 2010 #permalink

I'm surpised that sites with web cams do not have scripts which combine a number of past images, say 10, as an animated gif file, which would of course then be updated at the same interval as the webcam (say about every 60 seconds).

Then on the same otherwise boring web cam page, people could amuse themselves endlessly by clicking on the continuously updated timelapse gif animations (say for last 10 minutes, last 30 minutes, last hour). Gif animations are trival to create from image files, so it should be easy to program for automated creation.

Timelapse animations of oldfathful and all the people movements would be interesting and great amusement. And convenient to click a timelapse animation of the last hour to quickly check for a geyser display.

And right now that Etna action with fire shooting up in the air on CAM 3 would be great as an timelapse animation.

By William M Boston (not verified) on 25 Aug 2010 #permalink

Off-topic: If you have to go on geology excursions into the dry, fire-prone forests, here is a bit of good news:
"Fuel treatments reduce wildfire severity, tree mortality in Washington forests" http://www.physorg.com/news201979329.html
In other words, if the authorities do a minimum of prevention, neither geology students nor others need to get burned to a crisp.

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 25 Aug 2010 #permalink

Etna on cam 3 is showing increased intensity. The fire is shooting higher on the left side, and recently it has begun to shoot explosively in the air on the right side also.

I believe the left side is the so called side vent, whereas the right side is the location of the three main craters on the summit. But not sure about that. Anyone know?

By William M Boston (not verified) on 25 Aug 2010 #permalink

Correction to earlier comment about fire shooting into the air at Etna ... it is probably just steam ansd smoke but with the appearance of fire due to the intense side lighting of the morning sun, and to its being washed out as a result of the saturation of the cam's sensors.

The display has showed increased intensity. Was originally just on the left side, but is now occuring on the right side now also, as viewed from cam 3 .

I believe the left side is the so called side vent, whereas the right side is the location of the three main craters on the summit. But not sure about that. Anyone know?

By William M Boston (not verified) on 25 Aug 2010 #permalink


What is going on at Eyja? The Mila webcams show a imho big plume above her.

The left vent is the Southeast crater, on the right Northeast crater and on the saddle between those two, Bocca Nuova (left) and Central crater (right), seen from Cam 3. It looks as if all four craters are steaming violently. And there is a small vent steaming on the slope on the left, which was also steaming when I was there in July.

By Peter Tibben (not verified) on 26 Aug 2010 #permalink

@Jón FrÃmann

Out of curiosity, other than location information, is there anything that can be gathered out of the leading or lagging of the various signals from ESVO vs ESPC? I realize that they are pretty much on opposite sides of Etna and ESPC seems to lag by as much as 3 seconds in some instances.

Stacked plot of the two, ESVO on the top trace.


Sorry been out all day without access to any computers.

There is currently no eruption of incandescent magmatic material under way at Etna. There have been a few more, but smaller, explosions, from the Bocca Nuova last night. No large rocks have been ejected, just ash, and the material appears to be a lot of old, altered rock with maybe a minor fraction of new magmatic material.

@Jón FrÃmann, the signals that you see on the ESVO seismograms are explosion signals, caused by the deep explosions within the Northeast Crater. These have been occurring, though less frequently and less strongly, for many months. It is a very typical sign of Strombolian activity. But certainly the gradual increase indicates that magma may be rising within the conduit of the Northeast Crater. This is, so to say, Etna's most typical business.

@Carl on Etna #28, the latest explosions were from the Bocca Nuova, but the Northeast Crater has continous deep explosions since a while.
Catania has never, not one single time, been destroyed completely by lava flows. It has been threatened on a number of occasions, and its western outskirts were destroyed in 1669, but not its center. Today it would be far more difficult for a lava flow to reach the center of the town and the harbor, because of the multitude of multistorey buildings in reinforced concrete that constitute Catania's suburbs. These would provide a serious obstacle for a lava flow, which cannot be simply overrun or broken down by a lava flow.

In any case there are no signs that at Etna a major destructive eruption is imminent (that would mean, a flank eruption from low elevation). What I consider the most likely scenario is that in the next few weeks to months we will see a gradual reactivation of the summit craters, and then for some time - which may be months to years - summit eruptions, which are the most beautiful thing one can imagine, and they are not a threat to populated areas and human property. They might occasionally disrupt air traffic, because they can release significant quantities of ash.

Then, as more magma usually rises into the volcano's feeder system than exits from its summit craters, the mountain will gradually swell and become more unstable, and this will be recognized by the seismic activity and by the deformation monitoring, as well as gas emissions. In case of a major flank eruption - especially one from low on the flanks - there will possibly many weeks of premonitory deformation and seismicity, as was the case before the last eruption of this kind, in 1669.

The worst scenario we're imagining is a flank eruption that develops extremely fast and emits lava at very high rates, as in 1981, when lava initially travelled at a speed of 3 km per hour - and the nearest population centers were 7 km away. Luckily in that case the lava passed between two villages. That was on the sparsely populated northwest side of Etna, near the town of Randazzo. An eruption of this type on the very densely populated southeast side would be an enormous challenge.

Funny anyway how I just posted that big Etna story one week ago and now the volcano is getting a bit more active.

I will keep you informed ...

Eyjafjöll has a nice big plume today ..

I guess thats only water from the crater that has made its way inside the crater..

it looks nice tough in the sunlight..

@Boris Behncke, Catania, Italy. I am going to send you a email this weekend with few questions. Since if I am going to move close to Etna volcano in Italy. I have few questions to ask and to be answered if possible.

I am considering skipping Denmark all together and go directly to Sicily, Italy.

I have been trying to read your data. But I don't have a lot to work on. But I do believe that the magma that is pushing up the volcano is moving faster that you currently think. But with the data shortage that I am dealing with, I might be wrong. Only time is going to tell me what happens next.

Here is a capture of a frame from web cam 3 earlier today. http://i38.tinypic.com/vp8fx1.jpg From that angle and with that sunlight angle, the steam can easily be confused with fire shooting up from Etna's craters. But no fire ... yet.

Here is a quickie gif animation I made from of 12 frames from the web cam.


Notice also the venting from the lower ridge on the left.

Curiously, the vid cam (#3) refreshes the screen every 20 seconds, but only refreshes with a new image every 2:40 seconds. I wonder if that is by design or by malfunction. About 3 minutes between images seems unusually long. Due to the long image display interval, there isn't much continuity between the frames.

Anyway, web cams create image frames perfectly matched to frames required for timelapse animations, and, as mentioned above, it would be so useful, interesting and esay to have such timelapse gif files automatically created for viewing directly from the webcam's page. Such a shame not to implement that.

Ha ha .. This awesome song comes to mind when viewing cam 3.

All devotees of Etna should play that song for her! A great song, and so fitting for Etna at this time! When you listen carefully, you can hear harmonic tremor! ;)

And soon Enta and her devotees should play this equally great classic song for the molten lava struggling within her. So appropriate for the moment! ...

By William M Boston (not verified) on 26 Aug 2010 #permalink

Here is a capture of a frame from web cam 3 earlier today. http://i38.tinypic.com/vp8fx1.jpg From that angle and with that sunlight angle, the steam can easily be confused with fire shooting up from Etna's craters. But no fire ... yet.

Here is a quickie gif animation I made from of 12 frames from the web cam.


Notice also the venting from the lower ridge on the left.

Curiously, the vid cam (#3) refreshes the screen every 20 seconds, but only refreshes with a new image every 2:40 seconds. I wonder if that is by design or by malfunction. About 3 minutes between images seems unusually long. Due to the long image display interval, there isn't much continuity between the frames.

Anyway, web cams create image frames perfectly matched to frames required for timelapse animations, and, as mentioned above, it would be so useful, interesting and esay to have such timelapse gif files automatically created for viewing directly from the webcam's page. Such a shame not to implement that.

By William M Boston (not verified) on 26 Aug 2010 #permalink

@Peter Tibben re #35

Thanks for the description. Let's see if I can correlate that with the following Google Earth pic:


My favorite view of the summit craters, as in the pic above, is upside down with respect to cam 3's view, but I have it imaged correctly now in my mind for that perspective. :)

By William M Boston (not verified) on 26 Aug 2010 #permalink

@William M Boston:
Thanks for the *gif time lapse. And I agree it would be a good idea to have them at the websites.

By Renato Rio (not verified) on 26 Aug 2010 #permalink

AVO raised Cleveland to yellow due to a 'persistent thermal anomaly'

By Guillermo (not verified) on 26 Aug 2010 #permalink

@44 William M Boston
Thanks for the time lapse gif. For comparison, see picture
http://picasaweb.google.com/ptibben/EtnaSicily#5507022110941199874 which I took on July 17. The steaming east vent of Southeast crater on the left and right from the centre, on the slope, is the small vent (yellow sulphur deposit)on your time lapse gif.
Boris has some nice aerial pictures of the topcraters on his flickr page http://www.flickr.com/photos/etnaboris/page21/

By Peter Tibben (not verified) on 26 Aug 2010 #permalink

I just came up with a rather perverted idea...

I was leafing through pictures of Etna and suddenly it dawned on me that it would be perfect to build a house inside one of the 300 smaller craters. If I understand it correctly they just blow once. But I guess there is a law or fifteen against doing it. But oh my... wouldn't it be beautiful to live in a crater when the volcano goes:)

You can see what I am talking about in the third picture from the top in this link, I say "dibs" on the one in the middle (imagine a concrete walled in castle with a watch-tower with decking around a cool beer and...)

@Carl, living on a volcano would be fine *except* for the sulfur in the air. Kinda takes away from the pleasure... (sulfurous beer, yech) ;-)

I wonder how high the sulphur concentration in the air is about that spot?
I don't think it is that noticable except when Etna is blowing hard. And to be honest I could stand some sulphur in my bear to watch Etna Bopp from an observation tower. But my original plan was to have the tower glased in and the entire compounds air running on an air-purifier/degasser in a presurrised setting. I don't want to get totally gased if the wind is wrong. But around the plattform there should definitly be som decking so one could sit outside schmoozing a bear when the wind is blowing gasses away:)


Let's rephrase the craterhouse discussion into silly question number three and four for Boris:
3. How high would the concentrations be of Sulphur and other poisonous gasses around those smal 300 craters? Is it still breathable?
4. Is it a ban against building a house there? I could as well just build a house there to go along with the boat I allready have there. (If your around the port someday it is the vintage 50 fot Alden that is currently being repainted thanks to the good crafts-men in Catania.

Carl, Is it really worth the feeling (to be watching Etna go up in a major way) to be telling about it to St. Peter at Heaven's Gate? ;o)

Actually I think I've done something worse...
31 August 2004 I was sailing like a madman to get south of the Virgin Islands to avoid Frances to no great luck. Volcanos might be passably dangerous, but I would take them any day to a category four hurricane. Sitting on 17 ton boat that gets airborne is as close as I ever want to come to St Peter and his merry Wallruses.

(LOL) I'd rather have my beer in a pub next door. :)

By Renato Rio (not verified) on 27 Aug 2010 #permalink

@53 try riding a aircraft carrier in a hurricane and taking green water over the bow, early 70's


Done it in a Frigate... does that count? I know it's not as but but we buried the gun mount in green water, which then smacked the bridge.

I would not like being on a carrier if green water hit the bridge. it is a rather interesting experience not knowing if the boat is going to auger it's way to the bottom or come back up

I would prefer to be indoors on a carrier then being tied to the rudder-wheel housing outdoors on a fifty fot sailing yacht any day to be honest.
The sheeting of water from the waves (it is no longer mere spray in a 4) travelling at 125 knots have a tendency to give you a rather nice skin peel, but it hurts like hell.
Plus that it solves the problem of having to go to the mens room, you are generally so scared that you just solve it by pooping in your pants. But I guess I am a wuzz:)
For those wondering what the name is of the sail you use in a hurricane, it is called a storm monkey. Mine was one square-metre and it still sufficed to give me 9 knots of continuous speed.

But... If you do it correctly you can hike the stern on a wave-front and just happily surf for the next twelve hours with your eyes riveted backwards up the 20 metre greybeard behind you, after a couple of hours you will probably be speaking to it since it feels like an old friend, I even named "my" wave Herman after Herman Melville.
Good thing was that nobody even cared about me entering the US. I guess the Coast Guard and US Customs had better things to do.

So please give me a lot of land in a crater adjacent to Etna.

By Carl the sligh… (not verified) on 27 Aug 2010 #permalink

gina ct 56: You know you're in trouble when the Captain comes up and tells you that your transfer to submarines has been successful :o)

@Carl #48 and following - no problem with the gas at Etna except if you're right at the summit on the downwind side. There is no gas emission from any of the craters on the flanks (except those formed in 2001, 2002-2003, and 2008-2009, which will remain hot still for a few years to come). There are areas of diffuse carbon dioxide emission especially in the valleys above the town of Zafferana, but those areas are now well known and are not open to development (construction, agriculture).

Many of the cones and craters on the sides of Etna are already private property - but most of them are on the territory of the Etna Natural Park, where construction is either totally prohibited or allowed only in a very rudimentary way. So I would rather propose some place lying on a ridge or on a hill rather than in a valley - unfortunately in recent years much development has taken place in valleys, and these are at high risk from lava flow invasion during future eruptions. So those areas are no-no for anybody interested in moving to Etna.

I do actually like a lot sitting on my terrace watching Etna with a good beer or a good red wine produced on Etna - and our home village sits on a little old cone and thus is more protected than many other areas.

For the moment there is no visible activity at Etna except for vigorous gas emission, sometimes rhythmic, and numerous small explosion quakes. Things might still take weeks to months to evolve to some more serious summit activity.

@Boris Behncke, Catania, Italy, You have a email from me. I hope it arrives.

In regards to Etna, I think that there is more going on the meets the eye and I am expecting some explosions in two to four weeks time. But my data is limited and I might be wrong because of that.

@Carl the slightly Ahab

Back during an interdiction ops, we ran across a beat to h3ll and back, storm rigged sailboat. The occupant asked for a whiskey, so we gave him the position. He then clarified that he knew the position and actually wanted whiskey if we had any to spare.

Odd things you find at sea.

>I am expecting some explosions in two to four weeks time.

*snort* After Boris patiently explaining that INGV is fully expecting a *continuation* of sporadic deep phreatic explosion with occasional ash emissions, with good potential for increasing activity, I would say your 'call' is a safe bet.

@Peter Tibben #47
Great set of Etna pics, and informative descriptions! Thanks for link.

By William M Boston (not verified) on 27 Aug 2010 #permalink

At 15.08 on wednesday 25 I was arriving to the summit of the Etna central crater. I listened a profound but not loud sound and immediately appeared a brown and white cloud of ash like a mushrom. I didn't see nothing more because I ran down the slope as quick as I could. Three minutes later I turned for the first time and I was very impressed by the enormous dark mushrum that was over me. Luckely the wind was flowing in the opposite direction and I saw a gentil man that was waiting for me at the base and the bus of the funivia that was collecting people. I'm very impressed. The next day I put a candle to Santa Agata for my great luck.

By maria congost (not verified) on 28 Aug 2010 #permalink

#66 @Maria Congost
Surely you were lucky. That's the reason why I say I prefer watching these wonders of nature from afar. But I must confess I kind of envy your experience. You will have a story to remember for the rest of your life. Boris: keep two eyes open, you and your family.

By Renato Rio (not verified) on 28 Aug 2010 #permalink

*cocking an eyebrow*. Etna at 28 to 1, but Vesuvius at 12 to 1?

Geologically-challenged dolts.

#68 @d9tRotterdam: Good to have you back with your timelapses. We can see quick bursts of ash venting from the main crater.
#69 Yellowstone 50/1 (????). I'd place my bet at Galeras. Recent activity didn't correspond to all the buzz that took place before. And then, Katla? Who knows?

By Renato Rio (not verified) on 28 Aug 2010 #permalink

Umm... Santa Maria/Santiaguito at 33-1 might be worth a punt.

By Henrik, Swe (not verified) on 31 Aug 2010 #permalink

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