olcano? Erm... I don't see a volcano? Toba caldera wall seen from Samosir Island, a resurgent dome near the middle of the caldera. (Photo, Sebastian Hubarat, Tobaexplorer)

When Is a Caldera a Caldera?

Léon Prunelle / Originally published September 30, 2014 This is a re-post of an article by Henrik, written during the Bardarbunga eruption when the caldera had started its collapse. It does not take long for a newcomer to volcano-watching, if we are to call our hobby that, to come across the term “caldera”, cauldron. The term is…

Fingered by the Plume

In the last few years new data about the Icelandic mantleplume has emerged that forever has changed how we look at it, and how it affects Iceland. In yon olden days, it was perceived through the eyes of the original plume model that was devised to explain the Emperor Seamount Chain and Hawaii. That means…

Iceland in motion

Imagine an Atlantic island affected by a deep and complex rift, with half the country pulled east, towards Europe, and half pulled west, leaning towards America, but the northern part actually feeling closer to Scandinavia whilst the southern half doesn’t know where it is going. The rifting causes frequent eruptions with significant financial consequences. Its…

The Dead Zone 2: The Sound of Silence

Although I’m more of an unseen hand (Volcanonati?) behind the scenes at VolcanoCafe and the VC Facebook group, I wanted to step out the shadows and give the Dead Zone article some new light. It’s an area I’ve always been fascinated with and it was this very area, along with its fissure eruptions, that first…

Deep magmatic roots of Katla…

For every person that is interested in volcanoes and complex geology, Iceland is probably something special. A unique place where the MAR intersects a mantle plume, or vice-versa. A beautiful island filled with powerful volcanoes and other complex volcanic and hydrothermal features. All in one nice little spot. Of the entire Icelandic volcanic lot, the most…

Questions and Answers – A 1947 commemorative article series

I had planned the third part be an extension of how the sinusoidal 3D-wedge model influenced eruptions over time and how it explains distal eruptions along the fissure swarm. But, there has been a wealth of questions and comments that I felt needed to be answered that do not belong to the article series itself,…

Iceland’s secret heart: Hofsjökull volcano

Where the blood flows calm like a purling river Late March, a few minor earthquakes happened in the sleeping heart of Iceland. They were hardly worth noting, at M1, and 4-5 km deep. The centre of Iceland is far from anywhere. It is calm and is hard to reach, thus receives little attention and fewer…

Form follows function – A 1947 commemorative article series

In physics, there is a famous tenement that reads as, ‘cause and effect’. But, for Hekla I find that the founding principle of the Bauhaus school of modernist architecture is far better suited to express what I will be trying to model and express here. It states that the form of a building will at…

Remodelling Hekla – A 1947 commemorative article series

The point of this series of articles is to propose an alternative model of dynamics, driving forces and magma fractionation at Hekla. It is thus not utilizing the standard volcanological model of how a mantleplume stratovolcano function. 5 years ago, I started to have grave misgivings about how we interpret and model Hekla, as such…

The USGS Volcano Observatories: can we save VDAP?

This April-1 post is correct only in describing what the USGS and VDAP do – apart from that, the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is fundamentally lacking in this spoof. There is also no Mount Rainier crisis, nor has Microsoft captured the CVO outreach! (But regrettably, the proposed 15% budget cut…