Seismic unrest and the future of volcanism at Herðubreið

I had intended to write either an angry op-ed, or a piece about Guatemalan volcanism. But, as usual Iceland had to butt in and grab the attention, so here we go (again). Seismic unrest at Herðubreið Before I write about what has happened in the last few days and about what is going to happen…

Iceland going Boom?

A little while ago there was a short interview published with Professor in geophysics, Páll Einarsson. In the interview it seemed like he was stating that Bárdarbunga, Grimsvötn, Hekla and Katla all were preparing to erupt shortly. First of all let me state that I deeply respect Páll as a geophysicist, problem is just that…

Tapping the Bárðarbung

Being considered the world leading authority on something is probably more of a curse than a blessing. All of a sudden you have a reputation to defend and everyone will be annoyed with you when you do not agree with their interpretation about what is happening. To top it off there will be a not…

Debunked: Feeling the strain

Why on earth am I using the term ”debunked” about a piece of equipment that is used by scientists across the globe? The answer is quite simple, it is when laymen start interpreting them that they are overused, or used in ways they were never intended. And this causes a plethora of faulty reasoning and…

Signs and Portents of Iceland

Icelandic volcanoes are all about long term projections. They do not do things in the short run, before any eruptions you will see either several intrusive episodes like at Eyjafjallajökull, or you will see signs of steadily mounting pressure prior to an eruption. For some Icelandic volcanoes these two processes goes on for decades, or…

Unrest at Hekla

At 07.55.04 Hekla suffered an earthquake of M0.9 at 0.7km depth under the west slope of Hekla proper. After that followed two badly localized small tremors before a second earthquake with a temporary solution of M0.6 at the same place and depth. After that came a final (so far) small tremor. This follows after ten days…

Eldgja: Feeding the Fire

The facts of Eldgja are well established. We know approximately when it happened, where it happened, how much lava, tephra and sulphate was ejected. We have found the tephra in Greenland. We think we know the human impact over much of the northern world, arising from three years of winter. But on other aspects, our…

Eldgja: Eruption dating

The previous post described what we think we know about the Eldgja eruption. Our knowledge about one of the largest eruptions in Iceland is somewhat limited, surprisingly so given that Iceland was already well populated. One of the few things which seems secure is the date. Eldgja is believed to date to 934 AD, continuing…

The Eldgja Eruption: Iceland’s Baptism by Fire

Iceland is the most volcanic place in the world. Explosive eruptions, from many different volcanoes, are common, unpredictable and, when seen from afar, exciting. But don’t be fooled. These volcanic explosions are small fry, and mostly harmless. Less common but far more devastating are the other type, responsible for 80% of all Icelandic lava and…

Pluto: the big-hearted dwarf + Katla Reawakening

Its career as a planet last for less than half its year. Pluto was discovered late, in 1930, as our final planet, completing the Sun’s brood of nine. (In hindsight it had been seen, but not recognized, as early as 1909.) But it was always an odd one, the runt of the litter, banished to…