Dissecting Hekla

Hekla is the most mysterious of Iceland’s many volcanoes. Its brooding summit overlooks the broken plains 800 meter below as if it were an English Lord (or perhaps Lady) of the Manor. The fiefdom looks bare and uninviting, but that is not purely Hekla’s fault: once this was dense forest, but it was cut down…

Black Swans and Iceland

Two weeks ago I wrote about statistics and the possibility to predict volcanoes in any way by using statistics. I think that the point was a bit lost, my entire point was to show that it was impossible to in any useful manner predict when an eruption would occur, and also that it is impossible…

Sheet dyking at Skjalfandi

We rarely, if ever write articles about earthquake swarms at the Tjörnes Fracture Zone. The reason for that is glaringly obvious, those swarms are incredibly common. Pretty much, a day without fairly intense activity is a rare beast indeed. So, this is a bit outside of the ordinary programming. The area is one of the…

Bárðarbunga… A restless giant

I got the honour and privilege to be the author of the first blog post of 2018. So let me take this opportunity to wish all our readers, visitors and the managing team a very happy and healthy new year.   The Bardarbunga eruption in 2014 was impressive in many ways. It was a rifting event,…

A volcano is born unto us

A bit about the importance of data-plots It is now many years since I did any heavy scientific lifting. But, the fun part of writing for Volcanocafé is that I get to do quite a bit of work in the field of volcanology in a relaxed popular science setting. It is a rather well-known secret…

The Woolly Mammoth Guide to Icelandic Volcanism 2018 – Chapter 1

Reykjanes Ridge and Eldey-Geirfuglasker Volcanic Belt A year and a half ago I wrote what I thought would be the end of writing about Icelandic volcanoes for quite some time. Reality obviously caught up with me, and I had to write quite a few more articles. The Woolly Mammoth was not intended to be left…

The Usual Suspects

This week there are three volcanoes worthy of attention. So, I thought I would write a brief update on them since we have covered them either recently, or in detail. Without further ramblings let us go on to Gunung Agung. And as I came to my final and third volcano life coughed up a fourth…

History of Öræfajökull

Iceland has ice. Glaciers cover 10% of its landscape, including its highest volcanoes. Of its frequent eruptors, only Hekla is (almost) ice free. Katla, Bardarbunga, and Grimsvötn, which together account for the large majority of eruptions, are all hidden underneath ice sheets, which gives problems studying the volcanoes themselves. But a more serious issue is…

Öraefajökull – A challenge for volcanology

A couple of years ago I was asked on a radio show which volcano in Iceland I wanted least to erupt. I quickly answered Öraefajökull. It confused everyone, and I got bogged down in explaining why an unknown (to the layman) volcano would be that bad. It is though true, if there is a single…

An Iceland Enigma – The Thórsmörk Ignimbrite

Today we welcome a guest post by volcanologist Dave McGarvie. Dave is a senior lecturer at the Open University and studies volcanoes in Iceland and Chile. He can be found on Twitter under the username @subglacial. One of the wonderful aspects of working as a volcanologist is Iceland is that fascinating new puzzles and their…