Iceland seismicity – monthly review (July 2017 edition)

Ever since I began plotting earthquake data for Iceland and generally for the world (where data is available), I was planning to do a monthly review of the seismicity in Iceland, so we can keep track of it on a monthly basis. Of course, if there is any stronger activity or something unusual happens, usually…

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…

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…

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…

The Quantum Volcanologist

Physiology has a dog; physics has a cat. Pavlov’s dog was a sad animal, lying in its cage with wires attached both inside and out, alive but not as we know it. I know – I have been in his lab when the place was called Leningrad. The dog was still there, or at least…

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…

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…

Countdown to Grimsvötn

I have lately read a lot of comments about Iceland being boring and calm. In reality nothing could be more wrong, Iceland is brimming with activity. So, let us take a quick look at some interesting volcanoes before we go to the namesake of this article. Volcanic activity in general If we start in the…