One from the archives

As I was growing up, having an interest in things geophysical/astrophysical, there was always a search for the “wow” factor. Not everyone’s “wow” sense is geared the same… and in some cases, the scale of stuff that people are familiar with has a lot to say about how they perceive the “wowness” of it. Grabbing that meaningful nugget of data, or of a concept that totally re-vamps your experience level is way cool. It changes your world in incremental steps… or at least how you look at it.

The difficult thing is finding usable data to ruminate on, or to have some esoteric thought wrapped up in equally esoteric language. ( It’s not that people are intentionally obtuse with the language or ideas, it’s that there is a lot of technical jargon that develops out of any technical field. (How many of you know that a “gyraline modulator” is?) This post, and the others that I have written, are geared towards the person who seeks to find out more.

This, is more.

Before I continue, a bit about SO2. SO2, Sulfur Dioxide, is a volcanic gas. It reacts with water to form H2SO4, also known as sulfuric acid. Take away the water and you get sulfate, SO4. The reaction in the atmosphere goes something like this:

SO2 1 OH 1 3H2O ═> H2SO4 (1) 1 HO2

In a previous post, I ended on a pretty interesting graphic. (well, I thought it was)

It is derived from “Stratospheric Loading of Sulfur from Explosive Volcanic Eruptions” Bluth et al (1997). This plot shows the e-folding times for SO2 to sulfate conversation, and then for sulfate removal from the stratosphere.

Where this particular model fails horribly, is in how it treats the SO2 input. It assumes one sizable lump of SO2 injected to the stratosphere. Odds are that many volcanic eruptions are not going to be just one quick blast of SO2 and the show is over. For the sake of modeling influx to the stratosphere, you can probably get away with it… but you have to always be aware that this ideal treatment is going to be incomplete. Another line of thinking is that an established vertical plume can eventually propel the gases past the tropopause if it persists long enough and has enough strength.

Revising that plot and looking at the peaks in it and the narrative that went along with it, moderate sized SO2 releases have a sulfate peak about 2.07 months after the event. In winter (for whatever hemisphere) this conversion rate can be slowed by up to 20% (Bluth et al 1997) giving a peak at about 2.27 months. (30 day months). For large eruptions the curves yield 2.78 months and 2.99 months (winter).

Okay, a lot of stuff about … something. But why?

Sulfate is an aerosol: “a suspension of fine solid particles or liquid droplets in a gas.” Smoke from a fire is an aerosol. Clouds and fog are aerosols. That brown crud drifting off of the iron pellet plant in Bahrain is an aerosol. That massive black cloud that spurted out of the stacks on a steam powered Cruiser in Mayport Florida, that then settled on the Quarterdeck of the spiffy new Gas Turbine powered Cruiser moored on the other pier… that was an aerosol. (Trashed a lot of summer white uniforms as the partially burnt diesel precipitated out.) Even that gunky haze that you can see over New York from 30 km at sea is an aerosol (the same for LA by the way). Fine particles suspended in a gas.

In some way form or fashion, they all act upon light that is traveling through them. Reflection, scattering, refraction, absorption. You name it. If the particles are quite small, the effects are generally in the category or Rayleigh scattering. That’s what makes those vivid sunsets or the sky blue. If they are about the size of the light’s wavelength, you get Mie scattering. That’s the effect that makes the clouds appear white.

Now I deviate. As I was growing up, I used to listen to the radio. At night I could pull in stations from hundreds of miles away… during the day time, only the closer stations would show up. I had a great uncle who was into Ham radio, and he took a partial interest in my fascination with all things electric. He gave me a copy of an ARRL handbook. I never got a ham license, but I learned everything in that book… and then some. (I wound up specializing in Electronic Warfare in the military). That late night effect that allowed me to hear stations far away, is caused by ionized layers of the atmosphere.. specifically, the ionosphere.

There are three principle layers involved, the D layer which is strongest during the day, mainly absorbs radio waves. Above that, the E layer, present during the day, acts to reflect radio waves. And above that, the F layer. It’s always present, and in the day time it tends to split into the F1 and F2 layers. This is the one that causes most of your long haul radio intercepts late at night. In CB jargon, its called “skip” because that is what the signal is doing… bouncing off of the ionosphere, back to Earth, and could bounce a second time repeating the process. (no, this is not the Van Allen radiation belts, that is something totally different) “Anomalous propagation” (the real term) can occur due to a number of causes… the sun is the main driver, but meteor showers can energize the various layers also.

This rather busy plot gives you an idea of where everything is at. Note that the vertical scale is logarithmic. Just for reference, I’ve place a few altitude events and items in there for reference… such as Felix Baumgartner’s leap altitude, and the record holder prior to that, Joseph Kittinger. Also noted are high and low altitude of the ISS, and the elevation that Mt Pinatubo erupted to during it’s strongest phase.

Now for something totally new to me. Christian Junge, Atmospheric research pioneer, released a paper in 1961 announcing he discovery of the stratospheric aerosol layer. This region is the area where the nitty gritty happens with respect to volcanoes and the climate. I have spent a few days tracking down good info on the location and the make up of the Junge layer plus some of what goes on there.

It resides at about 17 to 30 km in altitude, depending on conditions. This layer is where sulfate occurs when it forms. How dense it is depends on a number of factors… one of the strongest factors is volcanic activity. A volcano can load this layer quite quickly, and as you saw from the e-fold plot, the material can stick around for a while. One interesting thing that I found out was that the Junge layer can occur at distinct elevation nodes. During heavy volcanic activity, there can be an upper and lower node. Eventually it all settles to that lower range over a period of several months.

Yet another interesting thing about it, is that it is usually there… whether the volcanoes are running or not. There is always a background level of sulfate.

This is where it gets pretty wild.

At one time, it was thought that SO2 in the atmosphere (troposphere) could drift up and cause this persistent layer. With the way SO2 plagued Los Angeles, you can bet your bottom dollar that some people were chomping at the bit to blame modern society. Many of us have sat around the Café or over at Eruptions or Jon’s Blog oogleing the OMI or TOMS SO2 vertical column data. Some of the plumes we have seen are valid volcanic events, many are not. Beijing almost always has a plume drifting out over the Pacific, one plume that was seen was slap dab in the middle of nowhere… until we found an industrial facility in the Northern reaches of Russia. (Siberian Traps fans were enthralled at possible implications) Of course Europe and The US are producers… even with the emissions standards. Couple those with the bona-fide plumes we have seen, Tolbachik, Grímsvötn (for some reason a huge plume formed over Iceland two weeks after the eruption), Puyehue-Cordón Caulle … you would think that there would be a huge effect in the Sulfate formation.

It’s not gonna happen. At least not from SO2. (Note, Grímsvötn easily punched the tropopause with it’s 2011 eruption, I’m referring to the later plume.)

SO2 is a highly reactive gas. As you can see from that plot that it only takes about two and half months for it to react out to below about 10% of what was emitted. (and that’s at the stratospheres rates, it’s probably faster in the tropopause where water vapor is quite abundant) SO2 just does not have the staying power to wind up in the stratosphere due to riding the air currents. In fact, some researchers have studied the SO2 concentration vs altitude and come up with something like this:

Don’t be fooled by that really high correlation coefficient. That’s just how well the curve fit an averaged set of multiple curves generated from the data in Meixner (1984). Think of it as a general guideline and nothing more. What is important is that SO2 trails off quite rapidly with height. It just doesn’t have the staying power.

Before I press on I would like to make mention that the atmosphere is a highly complex dynamic system. We know a few things about it, such as large scale circulation patterns, but with as much as we do know, you can bet your bottom dollar there is just as much if not more, that is not known. Here is a tidbit that most people don’t know.

Notice the red up arrows. These are the regions where low pressure systems dominate. As air rises, the surrounding air flows inward to fill the space. Where the blue down arrows are at, high pressure systems dominate. Overall horizontal circulation of the individual lows and highs is driven by the Coriolis effect … which is due to residual angular momentum from where the air is coming from. In the Northern hemisphere, Lows rotate clockwise, highs counter clockwise (as viewed from the top). In the Southern Hemisphere, the reverse applies.

Across the world, there are regions that have what are known as “semi-permanent” features… the Icelandic Low is one, another is the Bermuda/Azores high (depending on where it happens to be at) There is no hard and fast rule about what latitude something is going to be at, this is just a generalized rendition of where the boundary regions are at.

Notice that not only is the tropopause usually low over Iceland… the general circulation pattern is lofting air to the tropopause. This also applies to the Kamchatka peninsula which is also not too far south of the Polar cell boundary. (The same for the Aleutian island volcanoes)

Now we move on to the reason for the post… (hell of a lead in eh?)

Two of the more significant volcanic eruption styles… are the massive VEI-6+ explosive eruptions… and the not so explosive VEI-6+ flood basalt events. Of the two, one would think that the huge lava flow events wouldn’t have much of an opportunity to loft stuff above the tropopause. We have already seen that SO2 doesn’t have much staying power, and tends to be scavenged out pretty quickly in the area where most of the water vapor is at… down here in our little realm of existence in the troposphere.

Yet there is a way that massive flood basalts can easily contribute to the Stratospheric Aerosol Layer (another name commonly used for the Junge layer.)

It comes in the form of a little molecule called Carbonyl Sulfide. OCS.

Carbonyl Sulfide can be considered as an intermediate between CO2 (carbon dioxide) and CS2 (carbon disulfide). It has a really long persistence in the troposphere… accounting for up to 80% of the sulfur gases present. I’ve seen residence times ranging from 4 years, to 7.1 to 11 years. Basically, it doesn’t like to react. This gives it time to wander throughout the different atmospheric flows and become well distributed. And a really interesting thing happens when it is hit with ultraviolet light of about 200 to 270 angstroms. (UV-C). The bonds begin to break and it dissociates. Once it does that it forms CO2 and S2… the S2 then reacting with the H2O and OH radicals forming H2SO4… the sulfate.

Hello aerosol haze.

Okay… we have a mechanism not involving SO2 that can make sulfate. Some of the largest sources are the oceans, fossil fuel usage, even the making of concrete. (via a catalytic reaction). In general, the background level of the aerosol is not that big of a deal unless something radically increases the amount there… like an large explosive volcano. Or, a really big flood basalt event. (Eldga, Skaftar, Krafla, Þjórsá lava or any of the huge flow fields that pop up in Iceland from time to time)

Remember, OCS is ultra stable in the troposphere, but once it gets to the stratosphere where the UV-C can get at it, hello Aerosol Haze.



This article has gone through about 4 revisions before I actually wrote it. I hope you were able to read it without dozing off. If you did, it’s no big deal. I doze off reading what I think is really interesting stuff from time to time.

Note: The energy in a photon packet (or wave packet depending on how you look at it) is determined by it’s wavelength. The shorter the wavelength, the more energy per packet. 200 and 270 angstroms are the wavelengths that OCS best dissociated at when exposed to it. I don’t know why, but the ratio of the length of the two bonds is pretty close to the ratio of the differences in those two wavelengths. It’s about 1731 times the length of the bond in both cases. Why? I don’t know. I just found it interesting.

As noted there were about four iterations of this post before I actually wrote it. Here is some stuff didn’t make it in, but deserves to be mentioned. (well, since I already did the plots for it)

Stepping back from Carbonyl Sulfide… and back to Sulfur Dioxide and the usual way that volcanoes can affect the Junge layer. NASA GISS has a few models they play with. One is a compilation of the “Stratospheric Aerosol Optical Thickness” (What they have against Christian Junge is beyond me, the Junge layer is where most of this stuff is at.) One of the data products is something called the “Tau Line” and represents the average thickness at 550 nm. (that’s pretty much in the middle of “green” light at 520–570 nm.)


For those of you who are chomping at the bit over the Roaring 40’s, nothing really shows up, but they have some nice graphic of sulfate blooms and spreads for various volcanoes over the years. They also have that tau line data set.

First, let’s look at some of the more recent party poppers.

This is a plot of the Tau Line (Aerosol Optical Depth) in relation to a few volcanoes that have gone off recently. Notice that the hemisphere that received the brunt of the sulfate load depends on what volcano erupted.

Also notice that the shape of the curve pretty much follows the decay rate. The lag time between the eruption and the sulfate peak is noted. For the most part, it follows the growth and decay curves at the beginning of the post. Personally, I thought that was pretty neat.

So.. how do they compare to some known atmosphere shakers? Volcanoes such as El Chichón or Pinatubo?

El Chichón, at 17.36°N, had most of it’s effect in the Northern Hemisphere. According to Wikipedia, the Mauna Loa observatory registered a larger drop in Solar radiation transmittance than Pinatubo. However, Pinatubo (15.14°N) had a longer duration of it’s drop. It also had better coupling to both hemispheres. It also had 4.8 times the output of bulk tephra (using GVP Data).

Comparing them with those diminutive spikes over at the right hand side of the plot… those are the ones shown in the previous plot.

How is that for perspective?

Analyses and visualizations used in this [study/paper/presentation] were produced with the Giovanni online data system, developed and maintained by the NASA GES DISC. (Specifically, the tropopause elevation data)


“Stratospheric Loading of Sulfur from Explosive Volcanic Eruptions” Bluth et al (1997)

Click to access BluthJG.pdf

“The role of carbonyl sulphide as a source of stratospheric sulphate aerosol and its impact on climate” Brühl et al (2012)


“The Vertical Sulfur Dioxide Distribution at the Tropopause Level” Meixner (1984)


“A ThreeDimensional Global Model Study of Carbonyl Sulfide in the Troposphere and the Lower Stratosphere” Kjellström (1998)


118 thoughts on “CSO

    • Northen Sweden then .. they have lots of northen lights and an arctic winter

      South Sweden is as mild as your UK home

      • Still far north enough and its behind the Norway Mountains so the Gulf Stream does not reach there
        Thats why Northenlands in Sweden is cold

        South Sweden have No mountain range and the Gulf Stream air is free to blow across the landscape

        • Kind of like Vancouver, except Vancouver (and Seattle) has a Mediterranean seasonal rainfall pattern – the great majority of the rainfall is from October to January! Summers are usually a lot drier and much sunnier.

          In fact, there are serious water restrictions in Vancouver during the summer. For example, you cannot water your lawn too often in the summer without getting fined. Not kidding – I have relatives and friends there.

  1. What is the latest status on Taal – Philippines, and on São Jorge Island – Azores?

    • Business as usual for Taal at the moment, some weak eruptions that may or may not escalate and a seismic swarm at Sao Jorge caused by an intrusion that may or may not lead to an eruption. So nothing too crazy or boring, just the usual

    • Is magma still flowing into this intrusion?

      Its at 12 kilometers depth still

      • The bottom is at 12 km depth the top might be a lot shallower. Problem is we wont know how shallow until it either goes sideways again further up, making a new dike, or if it erupts. Last eruption took a week, and erupted in a strong quake, which is quite reminiscent of early Fagradalsfjall except that took much longer to surface.

        It is not looking good though, there is high chance of a large earthquake and increasing chance for an eruption.

  2. Thanks GL for this great re-post. Learned a lot the first time around, and twice that this time.
    With the current “lab experiment” now ongoing in the aftermath of Hunga Tonga, will be interesting to review the data a year from now.
    One thing I’ve noted, perhaps unrelated, but the Antarctic NLC season was very late to start and much below normal overall save for a sharp uptick in clouds appearing in the weeks following the eruption before quickly subsiding. It is tempting to think that ejecta reaching well past the Junge Layer into the mesosphere is the smoking gun to explain the NLC spike…but that’s highly speculative on my part.

    • Note: For those who may not know, but NLC’s is the acronym for Noctilucent Clouds.
      They form in the upper reaches of the mesosphere and are seasonal (Spring through mid-Summer), with distinct start and stop periods.
      NLC’s require uber cold temps and a source of nucleation particles/vapor to form. Spectroscopy indicates that a significant fraction of the cloud’s micro-droplets condense around meteor smoke remnants…but in the case of the rare injection of volcanic debris through the stratosphere into the mesosphere creating NLC’s is a question that we’ve never had the opportunity to observe.

  3. Only a couple of questions : 1. Your way to write chemical reactions looks at least bizarre. Reactions MUST be balanced, being conserved the number an quality of the atoms involved at the left and at the right of the arrow.
    2. I am conscious that chemistry in the atmosphere can be a bit different from the solution chemistry I am used to, but mass conservation is a REALLY basic principle since the times of Lavoisier…I am also conscious that, for historical reasons atmosphere chemistry is not in the hands of chemists (like me) but in those of physicists, but….
    3. As usual when a physicist seeks of chemical reactions, charges are optional, and electrons come and go with complete freedom…I mean, an SO4 group must bear TWO negative charges, to be neutralized by two positive ones somewhere else…by the way, charges too MUST be balanced..
    So please, justify your reactions, if you can, for God’s sake (and, si parva licet, for my sake).

    • This came up the first time around.

      You are correct, and I had intended to address the issue eventually. Real life stuff got in the way and I never got around to it. Balanced equations will likely address the quantity of sulphate that ultimately results, but failing to deal with that I opted to use a generalized conversion modeled off of available data.

      • The reactions are as follows:
        SO2 (gas) + H2O -> H2SO3 (sulphurous acid, probably in solution in water droplet)
        2H2SO3 +O2 -> 2H2SO4 (sulphuric acid probably in solution).
        Its possible to do it in the gas phase, but really needs a catalyst or surface to be fast
        2SO2 + O2 -> 2 SO3 (SO3 is a highly hygroscopic solid and will quickly react with any water to form sulphuric acid, which is itself hygroscopic and will form some equilibrium concentration).
        So the droplets of acid will NOT evaporate and can only be removed by falling to earth.
        I have no idea of any effects of sunlight.
        Ozone will rapidly react with SO2 to form SO3 and oxygen.

      • I know that high atmosphere (= diluted gas phase) chemistry is different than ordinary chemistry in solution (condensed phase), here we have a generous contribution by solar UV radiation in generating unusual species. So, if I remember the right way :
        1. In SO2, sulfur is in +4 oxidation state, in H2SO4 is in +6 oxidation state, I mean you need an oxidant to change from SO2 to H2SO4, exchanging TWO electrons. I don’t know the real mechanism of the reaction, that should be a chain reaction, multistep, because electrons are exchanged one by one.
        2. Being retired, I have no home access to databases like those of ACS, but surely someone has yet studied and solved the problem, like that of ozone depletion operated by CFC.
        3. I should suspect the oxidant, in that conditions, could be the oxydryl radical, OH. (OHdot), which I think could be generated by UV action on gaseous water molecules. With two oxydryl radical you can oxidize the sulphur atom to H2SO4 and save the stoichiometry.
        3. Of course ozone (O3) could well be the oxidant, but in this case you need some H source to get H2SO4.
        Is somewhere a good atmospheric chemist to give the right answer ?

      • Hi. First Post.
        Though a chemist as a young man I did NOT know the answer off the top of my head, so had to research…
        The issue is:– “How does Sulphur from volcanic sources get to be Sulphuric Acid in the atmosphere?”. The answer is intriguing.
        Let’s get the human conversion established first, because that does give a clue and is also interesting. The main keyword to search for is “The Contact Process”.
        8ᵗʰ Century: Jabar ibn Hayyan
        9ᵗʰ Century: Ibn Zakkriya Al Razi; dry distillation of ‘Green Vitriol’
        [Iron (II) Sulphate heptahydrate: FeSO₄.7H₂O) + copper (II) sulfate pentahydrate: CuSO₄.5H₂O, roasted in an Iron retort]. The end result is iron oxide, copper oxide, water and sulphur trioxide. The latter two combine & form Sulphuric Acid. Al Razi named this incredibly dangerous substance “Oil of Vitriol”. It is powerfully hygroscopic and will for example strip all water from sugar/dextrose/flesh, leaving behind a black carbon fountain + steam (dextrose is hydrated carbon). For this reason, pure sulphuric acid is never known in nature, only perhaps in the concentrated form (which always contains water & will steadily dilute itself, absorbing water from the atmosphere). Oil of Vitriol also has the disturbing habit when hot of dissolving most containers that you may try to contain it within.
        1746 John Roebuck: Lead chamber process: sulphur + saltpeter burnt together in a room lined with lead upon a floor of water. The saltpeter (potassium nitrate; KNO₃) oxidises the sulphur to sulphur trioxide, and from there we progress to sulphuric acid similar to the medieval Green Vitriol process by combination with water.
        1830 Peregrine Philips: The Contact Process (the method used today)
        The key to this is use of a catalyst to convert Sulphur Dioxide (SO₂) to Sulphur Trioxide (SO₃). The original catalyst was Platinum (efficient, but a touch costly) but has been superseded by Vanadium Pentoxide (V₂O₅) — much cheaper. Finally, to illustrate just how much mankind loves to play with explosives, the final stage in producing the acid is by dissolving the SO₃ in concentrated sulphuric acid (known then as ‘fuming sulphuric acid / oleum’) & adding that to water. If this final stage is attempted directly it produces an explosive fog of sulphuric acid due to the vast quantities of heat released.
        Now, how about atmospheric conversion?
        1997 Christopher Whitehead, University of Manchester
        You may have spotted that the crucial stage of man-made production through the ages involves conversion of the sulphur dioxide to trioxide. This is a simple oxidation process & will always naturally occur if both SO₂ & O₂ are both present together. However, in ordinary circumstances it is so damn slow that centuries of time would be required. The astonishing discovery by Whitehead & his colleagues is that it requires just 12 water molecules to naturally catalyse the reaction from dioxide to trioxide to acid. Essentially, this is just one more of the miracle properties of water.
        Here is the crucial paragraph from the New Scientist, May 1997:
        The results show that if a dozen water molecules are involved, sulphuric acid forms almost as effortlessly as in a large droplet. “The water cluster appears to have a double role,” says Whitehead. “The first two molecules are catalytic, and the extra 10 molecules cluster round the reactants, acting like a solvent.” In essence, they change the reaction conditions from the gaseous to the liquid, say the researchers, whose work is published in the current edition of Chemical Communications (p 707).
        (back to me) It seems to be yet another result from naked protons. Water is H₂O, but that is actually HOH. And, as everyone knows, there (cannot) be 3 in this marriage, but who gets the electrons? (hint: it is Oxygen, and it wants both). So, H+ and OH-? But, strip the electron & that makes the smallest, most concentrated positive thing in the universe. Yikes! And an hydroxl radical. Power incarnate.

        Sorry it is a bit long for a first post, but I think that that has the answer in there.

        Thank you! A first post is held back by the system for approval (sadly necessary – not all comments are bona fide). It often takes a while to be released from the dungeon. Future comments should display without delay – admin

        • Having been told that my very first post “often takes a long while to be released from the dungeon” this post is my cheeky attempt to achieve an early liberation. Hey ho.

          • It has only worked if you can see that this post is my 3rd one, and the previous one is the 2nd, and before that a *very* long 1st post. Difficult for me to know since I could always see my own 1st post even though it was marked as “in moderation”.

          • No worries. Your first post only spend a few hours in detention, before being released to the public for good behaviour. It has been visible since yesterday

  4. Atmospheric science is the best science, the tool of death, and the bringer of life on this beautiful planet. I love tracking the weather and climate more than volcanoes but hopefully, I get to see two of my greatest loves unite to put an end to this sucktackular world. 🙂

  5. Is something going on at Kita-Iwo-jima? Volcano Discovery has marked it as an Orange status all of a sudden (which before anyone asks, yes I’m aware that Volcano Discovery isn’t the official source of warnings etc).

    • ‘Tokyo, March 28 (Jiji Press)–The Japan Meteorological Agency on Sunday issued a volcanic warning for waters around an undersea volcano near Kita-Iwojima, an island in the Ogasawara chain located some 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo.

      According to information from Japan’s Himawari weather satellite, the undersea volcano, called Funka Asane, is believed to have erupted around 6 p.m. Sunday (9 a.m. GMT).

      The agency said ships sailing in nearby waters need to be on the alert for falling rocks and floating pumice stones.

      Funka Asane, located 4-5 kilometers northwest of Kita-Iwojima, erupted twice or three times a year in 1930-1945. After the eruptions, discolored water apparently resulting from volcanic activities was sometimes observed in the area.’

      This above from a website called Nippon.com

      • Ah that would explain it. Seems there has been many unconfirmed records of potnetial eruptions from the Funka-Asane crater in recent times and they all originate from submarine vents.

      • Not intended as a plug for a specific service… but if you HAPPEN to speak Japanese, RadioGarden, a phone applet, can provide you a live feed from local radio stations from around the globe. If you happen to find an NHK affiliated station, occasionally they broadcast in English.

  6. Azores swarm haves magmatic component, but probaly is very little magma involved and mostly tectonics

    • Given there has not been a modern eruption on land in the Azores I think there is a lot to learn from this. It was said somewhere that there was a similar swarm to the current event in 1964, but there actually was a submarine eruption in that year. In fact pretty much every time there has been some major tectonic activity on this island there has been an eruption of some sort, only two of which were on land though both being the biggest overall.

      So basically chances are not high this just disappears to nothing, though an eruption more likely will be small and submarine. Azores is a bit like Iceland where tectonic movements can turn into volcanism even if initially it was unrelated.

    • Azores Plume is Nowherelse near as powerful as the Iceland and Hawaii plumes

      The Azores Plume was not able to build the Azores Plateau above the ocean waves like Iceland did

      There are 100 s of volcanoes in Azores Plateau, most are submarine, eruptions in the whole Azores area as a whole is Once every 20 to 50 years. But the induvidual large volcanoes in Azores often go many 100 s of years between eruptions and the smaller submarine systems go 1000 s of years between.

      Volcanism is active in Azores but its not very intense

      But They do have perhaps the worlds best climate

    • But more earthquakes are now incomming in Sao Jorge

    • …The earthquake swarm itself continues, but has been decreasing in intensity. In the past 24 hours, São Jorge volcano had 1 quake of magnitude 3.0 and 25 quakes between 2.0 and 3.0. On the other hand, the seismic plot has been showing an episode of what could be volcanic tremor a short time ago this afternoon; it could also be a local disturbance (some machines running near the seismic station etc); we cannot judge this without other data available. However, it if IS volcanic origin, it could be sign that magma has been moving inside some of the newly created conduits.

    • Probaly is very very little magma involved ( just a few million cubic meters ) which is very small

      Its a slow event and not been crazy in Earthquakes for now

      At La Palma the seismic hammering was crazy .. But La Palma is a much thicker crust as well than Azores

      • The eventual eruption will be very small and last less than 3 weeks. Feel free to bet otherwise!

      • The historical eruptions are slow and either very brief or quite long lived, which suggests they are fed by regional decompression melting. Eruption will be a lot like Fagradalsfjall except more strombolian. The pyroclastic flows in 1580 probably were cone collapses down a steep slope like what happens on Etna or Fuego rather than actual explosive eruption plumes. If the eruption on La Palma happened higher up on the volcano it probably would have dome similar. The strong quake activity might encourage this.

        That also might mean this takes a while to actually erupt too, keeping us on our toes for a few weeks/months.

        • Good point about the PF’s of 1580. Probably a lot of small PF’s on steep volcanoes are from avalanching of lava,spatter and or scoria down steep slopes rather than classic column collapse where a jet is too large or slow to mix with enough air to become buoyant.

          • I guess depending on circumstances we might get to see for sure soon. This really is something of an underappreciated hazard of basaltic volcanoes, pyroclastic flows and fluid lava are far from mutually exclusive, especially if a cone can form on a steep slope or reach a suitably large size.

      • Coud last just a few hours as some of the smaller events at the 100 s of other submarine volcanoes in Azores sometimes do

        But I think perhaps a few days If it erupts

        1998 – 2000 submarine events at Serreta in Azores lasted for quite a while

  7. Kilauea is preparing for something soon. GPS and tilt are showing inflation and there are lots of eruptions in the crater. The lava lake height graph also got fixed and is showing a clear rising trend a lot faster than before. Pu’u O’o also has a signal outside of south flank movement for the first time since September, its not very big but it is there, there is something in the works.

    I just hope it waits until after I get there, else I might not get to see anything 🙁

    • Be careful on Oahu. The vice cops there will set your ass up in a heartbeat.

      • Not going to Oahu, only in transit at the Airport for a total of about 5 hours. All of my trip is on the Big Island, for obvious reasons 🙂
        I managed to find accomodation very close to Kilauea (close being that if I was there in 1790 I would be dead…) so if anything happens at all while I am there you can all bet I will be there in an instant.

        Most likely outcome of this magma pulse is just a more rapid filling than expected, which is good for viewing.. Next would be an upper ERZ intrusion and small eruption, probably somewhere in the Mauna Ulu area. At this stage the lake might not be high enough to drain by itself, or induce a larger ERZ eruption, but then who knows.

    • I been on Big Island many times .. lovely place

      How long will you be there?
      Kilauea near caldera volcanohouse is a good place .. spectacular nature and its not as hot and muggy as it is in the lowlands …

      • Staying in Volcano, about 2 km northeast of Kilauea Iki. There for 1 week.

        Probably will go everywhere on the island I can though, see the other stuff in the day. The nights are reserved for Kilauea 🙂

        The way the crater looks now is exactly what the descriptions of the caldera in 1868 looked like, for a few days before the big quake there were many lava lakes and cones. That lake was probably higher and certainly a lot more voluminous than this one though so I dont think a major drain is imminent yet but if it is I hope Pele can wait for me 😉

        • I’ve been to Volcano to go shopping. It seemed to me to feel claustrophobic–all the trees, very quiet, misty. You can’t tell that you’re anywhere near a volcano.

      • Will be very hot in lowlands
        The lowlands are as hot as Shingapore all year around! Despite Hawaii is latitude 20

        The high pressure around the Hawaiian Islands with sinking air .. is probaly why it push beyond 30 C in shadow daily

    • The shallow earthquake swarms of Kilauea’s rift zones are presently very quiet. The east and southwest rift connectors have shown to always flare up with earthquakes before anything happens at Kilauea, any new intrusion/eruption occurs. So being very quiet now I think means the volcano is stable, and that magma is not exerting enough pressure on the surrounding rock to initiate new intrusions.

      • Its an open channel up now that keeps things well vented

      • So the signal is deeper down then, a more distant eruption. Good means I will get to see something 🙂

      • Hector how did you make that map? Looks very computer intensive if all of those are separately rendered pins.

        Does show very clearly that the ERZ conduit is only clear where it is not parallel to the rifting. The actual rift zone itself must be more complicated, magma chambers at least exist at Makaopuhi and Napau, possibly under Pu’u O’o too. The rest seems to be smaller storage pockets and dikes/sills. The conduit must still be there when there is no spreading but stops at Mauna Ulu. Sort of like a hole drilled at an angle to the wood grain is how I imagine it.

        • Those are all small circles, each corresponding to an earthquake from Matoza’s catalogue colored by location:


          I turned them into kmz files using route converter.

          The plumbing is indeed complicated. It does seem however that the connector conduits are more seismogenic where they go at an angle to the rifts. The East Rift becomes less seismically visible upon reaching Aloi crater which is where the magma starts to flow in the same direction as the rift. The connection however seems to be open down to almost Cape Kumukahi. There are occasional earthquake clusters down to Puu Honualua possibly representing small blades of magma from ancient dikes that are pushing into the ground and trigering earthquakes. There are also two areas of deformation one in the Middle East Rift Zone and the other in the upper part of the Lower East Rift Zone, which I think correspond to sill complexes. The one in the Middle East Rift Zone, centered downrift of Pu’u’o’o, has shown to be hydraulically connected to the summit, because it seems to deflate when the summit is erupting. The one in the Lower East Rift Zone might be hydraulically connected too because it seems to follow the summit eruptions but more weakly because it doesn’t contain much magma. Possibly the MERZ and the LERZ act as magma systems with a central magma storage consisting of sills and a series of small satellite dike-like magma bodies that feed new dike intrusions.

          The Upper East Rift Zone is also fascinating, I’ve observed it has four systems each with double magma chambers and their corresponding collapse craters, and they also have large shield volcanoes, Mauna Ulu, Kane Nui o Hamo and Pu’u’o’o. First is the very minor system consisting of Keanakakoi and Luamanu craters, which erupted in 1971 and 1974. Second are Hiiaka and Pauahi craters which sometimes have erupted together but also individually, eruptions happened in Aug 1968, May 1973, Nov 1973 and 1979. Third are Aloi and Alae craters, they erupted in 1962, Aug 1963, Dec 1965, Feb 1969, and May 1969. Fourth is the pair of Makaopuhi and Napau craters which have the largest magma chambers and erupted in 1961, Oct 1963, Mar 1965, Oct 1968, and in 1983

          • It is interesting in that case that the further downrift the chambers are they get bigger. I had assumed more as yet uncollapsed chambers existed east of Napau though, but then maybe the lack of collapses shows that isnt there. I guess though Makaopuhi and Napau are completely within the ERZ, while the others are sort of on the edge.

            The magma chamber under Napau might extend east of that crater now though after the recent activity. Pu’u O’o had a mostly vertical conduit to get such tall fountains for so long, it is too far east of Napau that it can easily originate directly there without being very angled.

            Does make much more sense that Pu’u O’o is a close satellite of the Napau chamber, as opposed to a direct satellite of the caldera at the summit. Of course they are all connected but it always looked wrong to me, especially the idea of a hole only a meter wide staying open for 20 km over 30 years. Imagining not a 20 km tube but rather much shorter tube sections that exist between larger permanent chambers makes it a lot easier to imagine it staying open for decades. I imagine the conduit is a lot bigger than a meter too in the highlighted area, it was able to handle flow rates of 1000 m3/s in 2018, it is probably cylindrical and well over 10 m wide.

  8. Institutio Volcanologio de canaries estimated that 20 million cubic meters have now been intruded under Sao Jorge .. same as La Palma
    Then the resulting eruption coud barf out as much as 220 to 300 million cubic meters like What happened at La Palma

  9. We now know how much #magma is involved with the ongoing intrusion at Sao Jorge; 20 million m^3. This IS a misleading figure as it represents the volume of the initial intrusion. La Palma’s initial intrusion was 11 million m^3 but it erupted >300 million m^3. #volcano #portugal

    • How big were the 1808 and 1580 eruptions? Seems neither were very big, just destructive.

    • It is expected that the sizable dike we have at Sao Jorge will end up being more voluminous than the intrusion of La Palma which was a sill that sent one small branch of magma towards the surface.

      It is also taking a long time to grow which I think is to be expected too. Caldera systems, like Kilauea, Sierra Negra, Krafla or Okataina have huge magma storage close to the surface. So the intrusions grows extremely fast and often erupt within a few hours of starting.

      Volcanoes that lack major storage instead grow their intrusions slowly, this includes Sao Jorge, Fagradalsfjall, Lanzarote, or Mayotte. It can take days, weeks or even months of a slowly growing intrusion before one of the propagating magma lobes breaches the surface, and even then the intrusion often keeps growing.

      The key I think would be to monitor deformation, as long as the dike keeps opening up there will still be chances of eruption. The pattern of deformation and crack opening could possibly predict where magma is going to erupt and when, although this would require a lot of cutting edge technology

  10. Fabulous post, GL and many thanks for it! Very thorough.
    Your tropopause diagram reminds me of when I was a youngster, travelling south on holiday with my parents. We would leave north-east UK, and head for southern France. My parents always laughed at my observation that the “sky is higher” in France. I was sure of it.
    When I first saw a tropopause level diagram, I felt I was justified. There really is a difference, even if it is not a huge one.
    Laugh all you want but I’m sticking to it. And I bet it feels the same in the north vs south US.
    Anyhow, thanks!

  11. São Jorge Island (Azores): likelihood of eruption increases as 20 million cubic meters of magma estimated intruded at depth
    Tue, 29 Mar 2022, 07:08

    According to latest calculations, the Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands (INVOLCAN) estimated that as much as 20 million cubic meters of magma have intruded under the island of São Jorge since last March 19.
    If the figures are correct, the likelihood of a volcanic eruption in the Azores is no longer a small one, and we therefore assign our color code “orange”, as a warning of potential activity in the near future.
    For comparison, the initial magma intrusion leading up to last year’s eruption on La Palma Island in the Canary Islands was estimated to be only 11 million cubic meters only, while it erupted a total of approx. 300 cu m of magma in the course of the 3-month-long eruption from September-December 2021. The preceding seismic swarm lasted from 13-19 Sep 2021 and is in many ways quite similar to what is being observed now on São Jorge.


  12. Ruapehu currently undergoing strong tremor.
    Geoff says sustained elevated tremor, combined with the slow lake heating, continues to indicate that gas is fluxing through the system.

    “However, the slower-than-expected increase in lake temperature suggests a partial blockage may exist in the vent beneath the lake, preventing the hot gas from entering the lake.

    “This could allow pressure to build up within the volcano.”

    He says the interpretation of this activity is consistent with elevated volcanic unrest and therefore the Volcanic Alert Level remains at Level 2. The Aviation Colour Code has been raised to Yellow.

    Also Azumayama showing internal tremor.

    • First eruption on land in New Zealand for a good while, since 2012 I think, and since 1995 for anything definitely magmatic. Shame Ngaurahoe decided to stop gtowing in the late 70s, next magmatic eruption at Tongariro will probably be quite a big event as a result, and not so safe to be around…

  13. Are there any signs of increased emissions of SO2 or other volcanic gases out of Sao Jorge yet? What about harmonic tremors?

    • Think what happened at Fagradalsfjall, literally nothing of evidence to where the eruption would happen or even if it would happen, until it happened. SO2 increase is an indicator for volcanoes which are already open systems (be it open vents or major hydrothermal system) and slowly rising magma. Kilauea in 2008 is the type example usually given as SO2 was elevated for a long time before the vent appeared. But then Kilauea in all of its other summit eruptions (including its ongoing one) gave no perceptible warning at all before lava erupted, the magma moves too fast to degas in time, hence why these eruptions begin with strong fountaining.
      Sao Jorge has not got open vents or a hydrothermal system so chances are the eruption will occur pretty suddenly, just like on La Palma last year and probably very much the same way. Most likely some time in the next month there will be a bang and a plume of ash, followed by a lava fountain. Maybe that will be it and it dies a few hours later, or it gets to be a months long event with lots of vents. Or maybe it lasts years like Lanzarote or Pu’u O’o did and surprises all of us.

      • Stratovolcanoes are weird and unpredictable when it comes to precursory activity, they may throw tremor, earthquakes and gas, emissions months in advance of an eruption, but can also erupt all of a sudden with barely any precursor. Stratovolcanoes like Ruapehu have long lived conduits from which they erupt repeatedly making vents in the same crater again and again. So the conduit is mostly there already, just needs to get some rubble out of the way, or deform away the mountain, maybe it’s simply a matter of building up pressure to get things moving.

        Shield volcanoes are somewhat more predictable in that they have to create a sheet intrusion before erupting in order to establish a conduit, so while this sheet intrusion grows it will make a lot of earthquakes and deformation. The way sheet intrusions make earthquakes varies though, dikes only make seismicity along their base, while sills are aseismic but will often trigger earthquakes in nearby seismogenic structures like caldera ring faults. The problem is when a shield volcano has a shallow large magma chamber, like Kilauea, which has a 2 km deep magma chamber, the sheet intrusion is supplied rapidly by the chamber and the path to the surface is short. That’s why Kilauea summit eruptions only give about an hour of warning, the last two were sudden and unexpected. Tarawera is a good example too. Other volcanoes that lack major storage take longer to grow their sheet intrusions to the surface, like Fagradalsfjall.

        So what’s important I think is that there are many types of volcanoes, and each has different ways of transporting magma to the surface and making precursor activity. One model can’t work for all of them, instead it is important to know your volcano and how it will behave before erupting. Personally I think I more or less can handle shield volcanoes, but stratovolcanoes still elude me, I don’t understand what Ruapehu is doing now for example.

        • There are a lot of ways stratovolcanoes behave too. Some blow spectacularly almost every time that they erupt, like Kelud, or Pinatubo. Others dedicate themselves to overflowing from their summit and making lava flows with occasional explosions like Bagana or Colima. Some do little more than occasional phreatic explosions, White Island. And lastly there are those that have persistent lava lakes/ponds and just keep burping out gas and some tephra, like Masaya or Yasur. These behaviors can’t be fully attributed to magma compositions, because stratovolcanoes of the same composition can behave in wildly different ways.

          • I tend to think of stratovolcanoes as the same thing as scoria cones except their eruption lasts for much longer. The SEC crater on Etna began erupting in the late 70s, and formed a cone which got to be quite big by 2000. From 2011 onward there has been another cone forming next to it, and now they have basically merged. It looks small because Etna is a massive volcano but the SEC is basically a stratovolcano in its own right.

            One can also look at Cerro Negro, which began as a fissure in 1850 and has since erupted many times. It looks like a scoria cone but it has stayed persistently active, it will one day become a mountain and we will call it a stratovolcano.

            Pu’u O’o in the 80s was also a small stratovolcano, formed of tephra but also solid lava when the fountain fell back directly on the cone. Its internal layering is some of the best example of the layers of different strata that give stratovolcanoes their name.

  14. Some time ago there was a M3.8 on sea near Velas coast. It was at 12Km deep and was felt on several islands.

    • Image is today’s activity that is always being updated, to show yesterday’s 3.8 quake you need to link to the archived one

  15. Ruapehu currently undergoing strong tremor.
    Has a bit of history this unpredictable colossus. December 24, 1953 a lahar unleashed from its summit weakened a railway bridge and an express train finished the job and plunged into the river killing 151.

    • Here’s the drum plot and the SSAM/RSAM charts at the time I posted this:

      GNS haven’t published anything about lake temperature since noting a 1 deg rise a couple of days ago and raising the aviation alert level a notch. There’s a strong correlation between lake temperature and past eruptions, but I guess there’s always exceptions. It wasn’t very hot a couple of days ago (32 deg).

      • If the magma rises fast it might not have time to heat the lake in advance. If anyone remembers that Kilauea had a water lake in 2020, it didnt change temperature at all until lava already erupted and flowed into it. I dont know if that counts though because that lake was also the hottest lake on the planet and near boiling.

        Still, the lake might just be lagging, tremor indicates something is moving and even if that is not magma it is something hot. Could be pretty dangerous as I think the lake is quite high at last measurement, which is when the biggest lahar risk occurs.

  16. Lava keeps flowing into the Halema’uma’u crater.. forming a tube from the vent that spills into the summit caldera rootless lava lake

      • Will be erupting yes, but far from static. In 10 years it will look very different.

      • Probaly will drain itself into the rift soon .. and it will repeat draining and filling

        Or we simply gets a big summit lava shield

        Indeed looks like Puu Oo s magma chamber stoorage is alive and feed .. had the current magma supply gone to the ERZ .. woud Puu Oo erupted? Puu Oo inflated after 2018 as well When magma was finding its way up

        Althrough looks like Puu Oo will just be another chain of craters pit .. the other large pits there never repeated their activity after their formation

        But Puu Oo magma chamber coud erupt again just not at Puu Oo proper .. probaly woud have Done that if the current supply did not go to Halema’uma’u

        • The other pits are not exactly vents, they are collapsed magma chambers. Pu’u O’o is a collapsed conduit. Kanenuiohamo is the closest comparable structure, next to Makaopuhi crater and it has had many subsequent eruptions though not exactly from its original vent. Question is what fissure swarm it belongs on, it is directly on the same swarm as Mauna Ulu but then its large size suggests it is a part of the Makaopuhi Napau complex like Pu’u O’o.

          Thing that does work towards Pu’u O’o erupting again is its deep crater, will act like the other pits and draw nearby dikes to it. But shields would form nearby at a different location probably between it and Napau, or maybe further east and a bit smaller.

        • Yes I know they are collapsed rift chambers

          Althrough coud Puu Oo Re – erupt ?

          • It could but I dont think it is particularly likely vs a vent opening anywhere else in the general area. Pu’u Huluhulu was a small shield that formed on the same bit of rift as Mauna Ulu, but was not reactivated in that eruption even though a fissure in 1973 went right through it.

            Actually given these shields are tall above the surroundings it might make it less likely for eruptions to happen near them after they stop. There has been but a couple of eruptions near Mauna Ulu since 1974 where the decade prior saw an average of more than 1 per year. If the ERZ becomes active again in the near future eruptions might get very localized to the area around Napau, in between Pu’u O’o and Kanenuiohamo. Maybe also east of Pu’u O’o.

  17. “The quake was about 10 times larger than the previous largest-so-far quake, a magnitude 3.3 event at 6.41 pm on 19 March.
    While the numbers of quakes has been lower in the past few days, it should be taken into account that last night’s quake accounts for approximately the same seismic energy as all quakes during the past 7 days combined. This is because magnitude is a logarithmic scale: one magnitude 4 earthquake is approx. equivalent to 30 quakes of magnitude 3, or 1,000 magnitude 2 events.”

  18. Slight shallowing trend in depth of earthquakes at Ruapehu, most of the earthquakes are concentrated north west of the summit, which just happens to be where one of the small magma chambers feeding Ruapehu resides.
    It might not erupt, the water temperature has been higher in the past, but certainly signs that it’s building towards an eruption. https://www.geonet.org.nz/volcano/monitoring/ruapehu

  19. Worth keeping an eye on magnetic storming/Aurora as we’ve got a couple of CMEs on the way. Additionally we just had an X1.3 flare which may have sent a larger CME in our direction.


    AR 2975 finally gives us a strong solar flare. An X1.3 event just peaked at 17:37 UTC (Mar 30). A type II radio emission with an estimated velocity of 1424 km/s was detected. Because AR 2975 is still in a decent Earth facing position, a coronal mass ejection (CME) will likely be directed our way. More to follow.


    Space Weather Message Code: SUMX01
    Serial Number: 120
    Issue Time: 2022 Mar 30 1824 UTC

    SUMMARY: X-ray Event exceeded X1
    Begin Time: 2022 Mar 30 1721 UTC
    Maximum Time: 2022 Mar 30 1737 UTC
    End Time: 2022 Mar 30 1746 UTC
    X-ray Class: X1.3
    Location: N16W41
    NOAA Scale: R3 – Strong

    NOAA Space Weather Scale descriptions can be found at

    Potential Impacts: Area of impact consists of large portions of the sunlit side of Earth, strongest at the sub-solar point.
    Radio – Wide area blackout of HF (high frequency) radio communication for about an hour.

    Space Weather Message Code: WATA50
    Serial Number: 67
    Issue Time: 2022 Mar 29 1710 UTC

    WATCH: Geomagnetic Storm Category G3 Predicted

    Highest Storm Level Predicted by Day:
    Mar 30: G1 (Minor) Mar 31: G3 (Strong) Apr 01: G2 (Moderate)


    NOAA Space Weather Scale descriptions can be found at

    Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 50 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
    Induced Currents – Power system voltage irregularities possible, false alarms may be triggered on some protection devices.
    Spacecraft – Systems may experience surface charging; increased drag on low Earth-orbit satellites and orientation problems may occur.
    Navigation – Intermittent satellite navigation (GPS) problems, including loss-of-lock and increased range error may occur.
    Radio – HF (high frequency) radio may be intermittent.
    Aurora – Aurora may be seen as low as Pennsylvania to Iowa to Oregon.

    • Solar cycle 25 is almost exceeding expectations. In the chart below the red line is the projection from the Solar Cycle Prediction Panel representing NOAA, NASA and the International Space Environmental Services (ISES). https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/products/solar-cycle-progression
      You can adjust the chart to display or hide assorted “error bars” – in the chart I posted the maximum error for a stronger and faster arriving cycle (+10 sunspot count peaking 6 months earlier than average projection) is spot on – so far.

      I’ll refrain from guessing about another “Carrington event” or the impact of this solar cycle on the chance of Musk leaving for Mars any time soon But some people’s theories about another little ice age that may (or probably may not) have been contributed to by even lower sunspot numbers than cycle 24, at this stage it looks like they may have to keep guessing for another few decades.

      • Given the way the last couple of years have gone I’m not yet ruling out that the Sun is trolling us and activity will drop back. However, also given the last few years, a sudden Carrington event probably wouldn’t really even be a unexpected black swan as we seem to be in a lake full of them right now 🙂

      • My understanding was that solar irradiance is ultimately a minor constituent of our overall climate system, given the variability at the low end of activity in terms of % is very tiny in overall impact.

        More or less, the LIA was a confluence of forcings, not derived mainly or solely by the low sunspot activity throughout the period.

        Certainly wouldn’t make us any hotter, but would a supposed “Grand Minimum” even offset 20th century warming?

        • As Oruanui says, ‘probably not’. The solar irradiation varies rathe little, and what variation there is is mainly in the UV which does not get to the ground. The relation of the Maunder minimum with the LIA got rather weak when the LIA became a 500-year event rather than the 100 year assumed before. In my opinion, the LIA was the onset of the next ice age. The question isn’t what caused it but what stopped it

  20. Still working on my Nyiragongo Text
    Been slow with that the last 4 weeks .. due to questonable mental health and Im also so very tired as always because of my ASD

    Tomorrow Im going to try to write on it .. simply been doing other stuff the last weeks

    Now going to try to sleep and hope to dream dreams about mega flood basalts or huge impact events 🙂 or the merger of two red dwarf stars …. 🙂

    One of my strangest dreams was a pure H2O planet with the mass of a smaller Brown Dwarf a hot dense ball of super – ionic ices that woud be

    • Can’t wait!

      Take your time and work on it when inspired to do so.

    • BTW if you’re into video games at all, you should check out Elite Dangerous. It’s a spaceflight sim with a 1:1 recreation of the Milky Way (yes, every known star is represented and the rest are procedurally generated).

      Incredible audio / visual experience flying around all of these real world stars and nebulae.

    • There is no rush, if you take your time it will be better. It is looking like the next volcanic distraction is about to start on Sao Jorge soon, and Taal might do something later this year. I myself will be writing something about Kilauea after my trip which could take a while, so there is no pressure to have your article done quickly. Nyiragongo is not easy to find concrete information on either.

      • Not much to write about Nyiragongo either more than it is an ultrabasic pyroclastic lava fountain cone With dangerous lava lake drainouts

        But we will see If I can get a really good text with some answers questioned

        Kilauea is my favorite volcano as well been there many times

        Sao Jorge Maybe an entirely intrusive event.. Now you see How difficult it is for magma To reach the surface ground without an established pathway.

        At Etna and Kilaūea, Nyiragongo, Nyiramuragira Grimsvötn and Hekla and many others its easy because it haves a hot pathway

        But Sao Jorge is more like Reykjanes it haves To establish a pathway before it can erupt

        • Sao Jorge has not really got any magma storage within the edifice. So chances are this is pressure driven and will erupt, different situation to Kilauea, Iceland, Nyamuragira etc which are all erupting into areas of strong extension. Nowhere else for this to go really, west case is a submarine event but location of the swarm is entirely under land so chances are this will be an eruption on land too, and it will erupt for as long as there is extension. Whether that is 1 day or 1 year will be seen, but if La Palma is anything to go by these sorts of deep sourced islands are unpredictable on eruption size.

          As for Kilauea, its output doubled and has stayed at that rate.

      • Yes Kilaueas avarge output have increased and indeed Hawaii is an insane Hotspot
        I think Hawaii maybe about to birth a New Ontong Java Plateau If the current plume pulse goes spectacular

        Anything is possible in the geological future

        But Hawaii is already a very strong and established plume .. so already had a spectacular birth

        • I mean that this past week it has doubled from what it was at before, which was already comparable to the long term. Based on the deformation it might have slightly let off, but that signal also could be reflective of the vent getting more open so no pressure buildup underground. Either way at this rate RIP caldera…

          I think I have picked a very good time to go 🙂

        • Until it drains itself
          But current effusion rate seems higher than Puu Oo

          • Yes, probably is close to the maximum that can be sustained, which is probably slightly less than the hotspot rate. My quick calculations are a rate of filling at 0.16 km3 a year now, where before it was at a bit less than 0.1 km3/year since 2020. Lake drain out I think might depend more on elevation than volume so still a ways off yet, several years unless something crazy happens

      • Remember the earthquake swarm traces the bottom of the dike, the top could be anywhere between there and the surface. It is not right at the surface because a graben would probably form but it could be quite close still. If fluid movement is showing then it is maybe less than a few km.

        At this rate an eruption will probably break out this coming week.

        • is there any documentation/research on “earthquakes only at bottom of the dyke” ? I wouldn’t mind a good read on the subject 🙂

  21. A 3.6 earthquake in Agano, one of the craters of Campi Flegrei yesterday. Largest in the area in nearly 40 years.

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