Lava Lakes – The Great Equilibrium Machine

A while ago Jesper Sandberg asked a question about if Grimsvötn could sprout forth a lava lake. I somewhat sloppily answered that I did not think that it was possible. Jesper then asked why not, and I got somewhat flustered since I did not have a ready answer. I promised to come back with a…

The Rumble in the Jungle

Africa in general is a place that is easy to fall in love with, in particular Tanzania is easy to become deeply enamoured with. Sometimes I think that there is a deep DNA-memory remnant in all of us that is telling us that this is our ancestral home. When most people think about Tanzania, they…

Strong tremor signal detected at Grimsvötn

At 19.03 local time the automatic SIL-system in Iceland picked up a strong tremor signal. When this type of tremor signal is visible in Iceland it is normally associated with either a large jökulhlaup (rapid glacial melt outflow) that can become larger than the output of the Amazon River, or it is associated with an…

London VAAC Calling

Lately there has been a bit of discussion about Flight Level Ash Advisories and how people interpret them visavi actual columnal height. Some have been disappointed when it has turned out that the advisories have been up to 3 times as high as the confirmed numbers released by the various agencies at a later stage.…

Was Puyehue Cordón-Caulle really a VEI-5?

That the question even exist is a bit of an oddity in modern volcanology, after all we have known amply how to take ejecta-depth measurements to create Isopac-maps since 1956, more about that below. The reason that this question has prevailed is that there are anomalies in the numbers proven for the eruption, compared to…

End of times and volcanic fertilizer

As I was flying over Ol Doinyo Lengai I contemplated that it is the largest fertilizer factory on the planet. It is the prime cause of the massive herds of herbivores trekking across the inner parts of Africa. The ash from the volcano super-charges the grass with nutrients and makes it the best animal-feed on…

A Green Hawaiian Interlude

A little article while we happily wait for the USGS to confirm that Kilauea is about to sprout a green caldera lake, or not. I normally do not write a lot about Kilauea, the reason for this is that it rarely does anything interesting. But, in 2018 it did quite a lot of interesting things,…

The Forgotten Volcano

A few days ago, I was sipping on a rum and coke as I was flying over Kilimanjaro and the great continental divide ripping East Africa away from the embrace of the rest of Africa. As I did that, I got to ponder the other major tectonic powerhouse, Iceland. People tend to forget or underestimate…

Water, Grimsvötn and Stromboli

After a couple of rather hectic volcanic weeks in the world of volcanoes I thought I would write a little something about two of these events. Namely Stromboli and Grimsvötn, the reason I am cherry picking those two is that they have a common theme, water.   Stromboli Unless you have been to Stromboli you…

Cafébar and Thou shalt not Waffle

I grew up in a news publishing family. This means that for me freedom of speech and, the right to freely discuss topics is a given. But, at the same time as it is a given and necessary right, it comes with responsibilities. In the end the rights and responsibilities go hand in hand with…