Geothermal Risk Part 1: Muddy Business

Fly Geyser.

I am writing this the day before the already failed COP26 meeting in Glasgow. Failed in the respect that neither the leaders of China, nor Russia, will partake. Failed also in the respect that the leaders of Japan, Australia and Brazil are travelling there hellbent on stopping or slowing down any progress. Failed in the respect that the other leaders lack the testicular fortitude of making the decisions needed to save our planet.

Greta was correct when she referred to the COP26 as “a meeting of bla, bla, bla, bla”. We all know that there will be a depressing agreement coming out that contains even more of too little and too late, and that most countries won’t even stick to that.

It would be easy to be disheartened here, but there is hope. First of all, people are now in general onboard of the changes that are needed, both in regards of technology, and how we live.

The other and more surprising good thing, is that where the politicians saw Greta as just a cute little girl, she hit tremendously hard in many board rooms. The boards of large companies consist of non-to-cuddly types that are intelligent and highly risk-adverse.

In an increasing number of cases, they have been intelligent enough to correctly identify the climate change as a risk to their profit margins. And they also recognized that having an angry Greta showing up with millions of followers consisting of the future customers of their products, saying no to what they are doing, would rapidly hurt their wallets. Also, in some cases even their own children stopped talking to them.

When companies like Swedish Steel, mining-juggernaut LKAB, Mercedes, Volvo, Vargas Group, and so on start to pour untold billions in your favourite currency to become CO2-neutral, it will have a rapid and very noticeable difference.

What did they do? Well, their billions solved how to make better and cheaper batteries for cars and grid storage. And they solved how to get rid of the 7 percent of the global CO2 emissions that comes out of the steel industry.

As such, those companies have done more for the environment than all of the worlds’ testicularly challenged politicians put together, at least measured in CO2-net balance. There you have the Greta-effect put into practice.

I am ranting, you tend to do that when you believe in things. Let us return to the subject at hand shall we?


Risks of geothermal energy

H2 Green Steel Works built by Vargas Group in Northern Sweden, one of the two massive Hydrogen-reduction steel plants being built there. For size reference, note the massive iron ore trains in the image. Image was honestly stolen from the company.

Caveat of this two-part odyssey into geothermal risks: I am here writing from the perspective of geothermal energy extracted from, or adjacent from, a magma reservoir. Most of it should though be the same for any type of geothermal energy extraction.

As and when you are building a big power plant the local population will generally be worried about how it will affect their daily lives. I understand that completely, I would be worried and want to know things about a huge plant blooming up next to my house. Especially if I did not understand the technology used.

This is becoming more and more important since we live in the time of “expert YouTubers” making clickbait videos filled with false information, scaring the living daylights out of people.

Caveat: There are wonderful experts and informed non-experts out there making insightful, correct, and informative videos, but those tend to get lower ratings than the clickbait on YouTube.

So, you can either fight fire with fire via making your own videos, talk to influential science YouTubers, write articles, use social media, etcetera. Or, you can do something that the clickbait producers can not and will not do.

That is to quite simply walk down the neighbourhood and invite the locals to come over for a coffee to ask their questions. Local meetings are wonderful if handled correctly.

If you just start talking honestly about risks, and what you are doing to mitigate them, people will feel good and ask their questions. This is about your neighbours being heard and stating their opinions about what will impact their lives, take them seriously.

They deserve to know about the risks, but they also deserve to give input on operations in regards of their quality of life. And they also deserve to be part of the esthetical side of things like how the plant will look, and if there will be a garden. Gardens are very important, and a well-cut hedge will hide away things that are not beautiful in a nice manner.

If you fail at this you will have a lot of locals against you, they will in turn influence the local politicians and those will in their turn contact the permitting agencies, and you are sitting there without your sought-after permit.

If done correctly you will end up with local support, and probably a plant that is looking way better, and holding that expensive permit that you needed.

Now it is finally time for the risks associated with a geothermal plant. The risks are roughly presented in the order of when you build and start your plant.


Drill mud

A nice and sturdy example of a mud pit. Photograph stolen from the company Schlumberger.

Caveat: I am not a drilling engineer. Even though I have read extensively about the subject, there might be errors in this text. I hope that any honest mistake will be corrected in the comments below by the expert on the subject that is reading this (Greetings in the direction of Scotland).

Bet you did not see mud coming up? Drill mud, or drilling liquids, are the most common source of problems in the drilling part when you construct a geothermal plant, or during any drilling into the ground for that matter. If used in an unsafe manner it will cause harm to fish and wildlife (if it comes out into nearby streams), and it may make the soil surrounding the drill-pad toxic and impact the water-table.

Before we go into how to mitigate the risks, I need to explain what drill mud is, and why it must be used when drilling.

When you drill a geothermal well you need to keep the drill-head cool, cool down the bedrock you are drilling into, stabilize the borehole, prevent water ingress and remove the rock-waste that the drilling is producing.

Drill mud typically comes in 3 different flavours. The first one is water-based, it contains water, bentonite clay (E558 when food grade), barite (barium ore, barium is commonly used at hospital for enemas, so mostly harmless), lignosulfonate (food preservative), table-salt, and a few other kitchen chemicals.

So, what is that horrible lignosulfonate? It is the fibrous residue from papermills, it does not taste particularly good, but it is not toxic.

The risk associated with water-based drill mud comes from unsafe storage pits allowing the drill mud to flow out into local streams, and enough silt and clay will suffocate the fish in the stream. Great care must be taken when you build the storage pit so that no leakage is possible. This is also good business policy, drill mud is expensive and typically stands for 10 percent of the cost of drilling a borehole, so if the containment bursts your cost will be several percent higher.

The drawback with water-based drill mud is that it is not stable at higher temperatures. It is therefore normally used at shallow to medium depths where the rock is not too hot. It is mandated to be used in most places during the shallow parts of well-drilling due to it being comparatively environmentally friendly if handled and stored correctly.

Now, let us talk about synthetic drill mud. Synthetic sounds toxic, doesn’t it? Well, not really in this case. The synthetic part in the name comes from the use of non-mineral oil. In other words, it is drill mud containing either plant-based oil or biodiesel.

Otherwise, it mostly contains the same things that the water-based drill mud does, the biggest change is that it also contains emulsifiers to bind the water and the oil together in a suspension. If you just remove the barite and switch out the lignosulfonate to corn-starch you have liquid margarine.

You still must build a very sturdy containment and storage pit, otherwise the fishes might not be happy with you. It is also important to have a sturdy fence so that animals do not drown in your giant tube of industrial margarine.

Synthetic drill mud can withstand higher temperatures and is often mandated to be used at intermediate depths for environmental reasons.

Now it is time for the bad boy. As you get down to more extreme temperatures and pressures the synthetic drill mud will start to degrade at an alarming rate and you risk that your drilling venture will seize up.

It is now time to sadly start using oil-based drill mud. Typically, it contains mineral diesel, and the lignosulfonate is now being changed into fly-ash. This is something that you wish to limit the use of, and use at depth, and only when it is a must to use.

It must be used and stored in a safe manner. There is a lot of work going on to push up the temperature range of synthetic drill mud to further limit the use of oil-based drill mud. Sadly, we are for now stuck with it for uses in the last stretch of geothermal borehole drilling.

If you build your drill mud storage pit in reinforced concrete and in an interesting shape, you will not only get a safe containment. You will also after a thorough cleaning get a garden pool that you can stick fish and plants in together with a fountain.

Drill mud comes with a set of professionals like mud engineers, mud-loggers and compliance engineers. They will work hard to limit the risks, and to make certain that as little drill mud as possible is used and lost during drilling, after all they want to save money and avoid that the company is fined for environmental infractions.


Gas, gunk and heavy metal

A nice drill-tower. Image borrowed from the nice people over at Mannvit.

Volcanoes and volcano-related geothermal fields are natures industrial accidents. If you leave them to their own devices they will emit poisonous gases, heavy metals, and all sorts of interesting toxic minerals and chemicals.

This might sound counter-intuitive to the layperson, but if you think another step further you will see that volcanic activity and geothermal waters are busy constructing what we later will mine for metals.

During drilling the drill mud will contain gases that used to be trapped in the rock at depth like SO2, CO2, fluorine, etcetera. It will though most often not contain methane or ethane. It could though contain hydrogen and hydrogen sulphide.

Since the gases are toxic, obnoxious and in some cases could catch fire, the mud-loggers will take samples constantly for the mud engineers to test. The compliance engineers will in turn make certain that set limits will not be exceeded to safeguard the workers’ health and the environment.

Sadly, it is not possible at this stage to capture the gases that are released, but the release will be small compared to what the volcano is releasing anyway. This is an area where new technology will be needed.

The drill mud itself will drag up silicates and sulphur-compounds that often contain heavy metals, this needs to be removed from the drill mud during operations, and the waste must be stored safely and properly.

The third problem is natural geothermal water. It can be a hotbed for heavy metals and other unsavoury chemical compounds. During normal operations this water is cleaned and reused, but when drilling it is basically left in the drill mud and reused.

The gas is the big problem here. It will impact the lives of the local residents. Obviously, you will measure the levels of released gas diligently, but it will stink. Let us be honest, volcanoes are incredibly stinky.

If you have residents next door to the plant, you will have to limit drilling hours and avoid weekends. People tend to be accepting during the day, but at night and on the weekends, they are far less accepting. After all, who would like their garden salad, baked potato, steak, and beer accompanied by gentle wafts of rotten eggs?

On top of that, a drill rig is incredibly noisy, and who would wish that at night and during the weekends?

So, what to do as you are getting close to your target? After all, it is now to hot to stop the drill since it would seize up. One thing you could do is to buy up the properties around you, but you will find that a fairly large set of people are fond of their houses and gardens and flat out refuses to sell them to you for demolishment.

Let us be economical here, a seized drill will be insanely expensive, especially if you need to start all over again. 30 million Euro expensive, plus costs for delays and the risk of having to write off the entire venture.

Multiply that by several boreholes and it is well worth to open the wallet a bit. First you buy up a few houses, you can after all use them for housing staff, and when you are done, and the plant is operational you can sell them (at least if you build a good-looking plant and plant a nice garden around it).

So, what to do with those who do not wish to move? Well, pay them recompensation and when you need to go 24/7, send them on an all-inclusive cruise to the Caribbean, or if they need to stay and work, put them up at an all-inclusive 5-star hotel.

Comparatively this is pocket money in relation to the risks of having to scrap the entire project. Trust me, nobody will hate you as they sip on an Aviation cocktail in the Caribbean Ocean seated at their balcony cabin at sunset.



In the next instalment I will get into earthquakes, more gases, and the risks involved with drilling into a magma-reservoir. I promise to gently shake things up a bit.


761 thoughts on “Geothermal Risk Part 1: Muddy Business

  1. As an Australian citizen I agree with that first part, one of the most wealthy countries not just finantially but also in resources, and yet we import oil and sell our resources oversees to then not bother using it… I dont actually know what goes through their heads, a lot of fossil fuel lobby money I assume…


    Not much in the way of volcanism or geothermal here, but I think the sun has got us covered for renewables, if someone can take that scary step of building up the infrastructure.

    • As to people deludedly thinking renewables are about to solve everything, here are some actual irritating facts. The UK is blessed with wind!
      UK total energy usage 1660 TWh/year needs
      200 french sized (big) nuclear plants or
      47% of the entire UK under windfarms or
      16% of the entire UK under PV cells
      This really isn’t going to happen. Even worse is that Wind and PV need huge storage to achieve this, wind for 60 days, PV for 6 months due to variability of supply.
      Welcome to global warming.
      Nissan leaf has a 40kWh battery (which I believe weighs just under 1/2T, cost ~£3000). So for 1TWh you need 25 million leaf batteries. If we use 1660TWh/year that’s 140TWh/month you will need 3500 million leaf batteries weighing 1800 million tons for a months bacup.
      North sea windfarms produce 3kWh/sq m in blocks with 10% spacing (to prevent windbreaks). So the 1660TWh needs 55,000 sq km of farms spread over 550,000 sq km. This is most of the North Sea, and will be a tad costly.

      • Let us now stick to facts should we?

        Solar and wind farms would ideally stand for 33 percent of the energy needed during peak consumption. Another 33 percent will have to be supplied from smart-griding and grid-storage, and the final third would need to be supplied by hydropower, geothermal power, and so forth.
        How it will be done for each country exactly will differ, there will not be a one size fits all.

        Using the numbers from a 10 year old leaf is not that helpful in a time when electric cars are hitting 500 effective kilometres in increasing numbers. This has mostly been achieved by increased efficiency, better batteries, lower weight, and better built cars.

        Using the correct electricity number per year for England we start with 34.4GW/h per hour worked, or a annual sum of 302TW/h. The figure is from 2014.
        To supply the UK with ALL the electricity needed we would need 34 400 wind turbines. Quite doable.

        • In the higher latitudes solar is less useful because the generation capacity is terrible (look at the UK figs). This is a pity because its very efficient as long as you do not need storage. The leaf battery was the latest long range version, to be honest its chemistry and limited by ions moving and batteries rapidly get to 99% of effective theoretical efficiency vary fast and become mature technology. The leaf is as efficient as the latest tesla, just smaller capacity. The UK has no other large scale power sources, other than nuclear.
          Quoting some number of wind turbines is deceitful. The output is area-limited (as I have said). I just noticed I have made an error.
          At 3 kWh/m^2 or 3 GWh/sq km. 300TW needs an area of 10,000sq km of windfarms spread over 100,000 sq km JUST FOR ELECTRICAL GENERATION, and really needs 30 days storage or 25GWh of batteries (650,000 car batteries) even allowing that you are not supposed to deep discharge them too often.
          Thanks for pointing out that at 16650TWh, electricity is in fact only 1/5 of UK energy consumption, making things even worse.

        • PS I am talking carbon neutral. That is ALL energy from nuclear/renewables.
          Just electric is sticking plaster and will do little.
          PPS Note global warming as been going on since well before the industrial age, returning to pre-industrial levels may not reverse it.

          • Irpsit, you need to be very careful using quoted figures for wind turbine output. The figure quoted is max peak power (watts not kWh, above which it must be turned off to prevent electrical damage) and NOT average production. People argue about what % is actually achievable as an average (maybe 1/3 or much less) but bigger turbines need wider spacing so it all comes back to area and extractable energy for that location.
            Covering all our west facing coasts in turbines would be more efficient and the energy/m^ much higher than the north sea, however climate change is currently less of a worry than scenery degradation. This may change as the lights go out.

        • Unfortunately, we cannot power the UK using 100% renewables.

          Carl, I am afraid that farmeroz is actually correct in his conclusions (and his conclusions are quite depressive ones). I would have pretty sure preferred your 34.400 wind turbines, but I did the maths, and I reached a completely different figure – a much higher one.

          A simple Wikipedia search tells me a 287 TW/h for 2020 for the UK (just for electricity) and a figure of 1651 TW/h for 2019, for total energy use (which includes electricity, transportation, heating…). We will actually need to generate all heating and most transportation from renewables, so let’s consider total energy use.

          If we consider a wind turbine has up to 7MW/h, we would need 235 million wind turbines for total energy use. We have roughly 10.000 wind turbines. We would have to build

          It seems impossible to reach that level of wind turbine coverage, at the current rate, using the current technology.

          Building 200 nuclear power stations is feasible, but still it would take time, and it is a less enjoyable option.

          I don’t think I did a mistake calculating these numbers, but please feel free to investigate.

          • It looks like I did a major mistake. I noticed it quickly after posting my comment.

            A 7MW wind turbine actually generates that amount of electricity in an hour (not a year!). So such a turbine would generate (assuming at 25% capacity) around 15 GW/h per year.

            Based in this figure, we would then need 110.000 wind turbines. That is about 10x times of the current amount of existing wind turbines in the UK. This figure is challenging but still doable and technologically feasible.

            The UK could indeed go carbon-neutral, only based in wind power, if we do a mammoth effort.

            The Hornsea wind farm (offshore the UK) is the world largest, and has a capacity for 1200 MW. That would generate about 2600 GW/h per year. We would need about 635 such windfarms to generate the total of UK annual power. This seems a lot to me.

          • By 2030, the UK aims to deliver 40GW of offshore wind power. That will be about 85 TWh of output per year. That’s an estimated extra 5600 wind turbines. Perhaps an ambitious plan? No, not really.

            The UK already produces about 40% of the 287 TWh of annual electricity use, from renewables (wind., nuclear…). That offshore plan would push that value up to 70%.

            But electricity is about 1/5th of total energy use. The rest is heating, transportation, etc, all powered by fossil fuels (coal, oil, gas…). We still have the largest fraction of the 1651 TWh for annual energy use, that comes from fossil fuels, and needs to be replaced by renewables. How?

          • Farmeroz,

            The announced power of a windmill is not the peak power but the power at optimal load. It can go higher.

            Windmill output is reasonably reliable and stable, huge energy storage is not required. Those mega offshore turbines rarely stop due no wind.
            Add the effect of grid coupling at European scale and going carbon neutral is feasible.

          • Gwen:
            Not what the specs I have seen say.
            Also turbines turn even if they only extract 5% of their max energy production so visually not any use.
            Older (and possibly current) generators are synchronous and go at (crudely) mains frequency (divided by gearing poles etc) which is why they turn in lockstep. More modern ones may power inverters for a dc cable.

      • The current LEAF has a 40 kWh battery which weighs 300 kg. I believe (but am not certain) that this includes the mounting. They have larger batteries as well. In fact the batteries have remained the same size while increasing the energy content. The cost of 3000 pounds seems correct, excluding installation. Once electric cars take off, those costs should drop a lot

        • I guess they are still using the small battery on some markets, here they are 62kWh sized.
          I am still stating that it is a decade old car that is going out of fashion.

          • 10 years ago the Leaf battery was 24 kWh. Yes, the most recent one is 62 and I saw a mention of a 80 kWh one

        • The battery pack also has more than just the active cells, there is cooling plumbing and fluid, and the support. That is why Tesla is going to make structural batteries, engineered to take a lot of this away, which will be a bigger reduction in weight than any increase in energy density is likely to do. I expect once that is dont it will become common for batteries to be made that way, which is good as it will be cheaper too all things equal.

          I think as of the start of this year Tesla batteries also hit $100 kWh, and by now could be closer to 90. that $100 was the point where a tesla would be cost competitive in manufacturing with an ICE vehicle, so now it is both cheaper to buy and operate a tesla than any other car. In reality the cars are still expensive but perhaps that is because we compare wrong. Teslas have performance that is equivalent to or better than hypercars going for millions, at just a fraction of the price, the worlds fastest road legal vehicle is a tesla vehicle, and it costs not even 1/5 of a million, next to the multiple millions of the runners up. A Tesla built not for performance but for economy, a small car for city use as example, that will be a real game changer if the price ratio can hold, indeed that such car is in the works too. Not to mention it delocalises charging. The electric grid will be upgraded for all of this too, it will cost a fortune but we should know by now that is hardly a deterant, just a scary number, simply redirect all the money used to subsidise petroleum prices and it should be simple 🙂

          • Batteries have a rather finite life. I did look (last week, actually) at installing a 10kWh solar unit with battery backup of 10kWh as I use most electricity at night, and washing machines etc need to run despite cloud.
            The cost of the batteries alone, replace at 50% loss of capacity was 40p/kWh averaged over their life. It didn’t much matter if you bought 20kWh worth and discharged to 50%, or 10kWh and discharged to 90% the cost was pretty much the same.
            So having your car as disposable as your battery is not a great idea.
            Small, city cars, lax speed 30mph and max range 30 miles should be the ONLY cars allowed in cities. Given how empty mp0st london buses are, make the entire city driverless outside 00.01am and 04.30am with the driverless cars as taxis (shared, with surveillance) and city problems solved.
            Maybe the tube will be less carammed as it was last tuesday!

          • Battery degradation is largely studied only in Li-Ion, some other (less energy dense) chemistries are much more robust. It is worth noting on average an electric car will last much longer than an ICE car before reaching end of service, you might be familiar with the million mile battery, LiFePO4 cells are already at that level but less energy per weight than the nickel based cells.

            Should also note most if not all cells made now are based on nickel or iron chemistry, the cobalt ones are not really made anymore, the small amount used today is to stabilise the nickel batteries and is being actively phased out for a few reasons.

        • Yes, you are right. I had considerable difficulty finding the weight but have found a definitive site. 300kg for the 40kWh one. Hmm, I wonder what the infinitely perfect cell could do. Letsse the reaction is C6Li -> 6C + (Li+) + (e-) with the Li- moving to the cathode to form a complex, typically CoO2 but the chemistry of this seems a bit vague but one ion and one electron (Co going ox state 3 to 4). Ignoring the extra Li in the cathode
          Add the masses 6C. 1Li, 1Co 2O per electron = 6×12 + 7 + 59 +2×16 = 170
          So 170gm would deliver 6×10^23 electrons and there are 6×10^18 electrons in a Cb so that’s 10^5Cb. 3.8V that’s 0.4MJ/170gm or 0.1kWh for 170g or 1.7kg/kWh or 0.6kWh/Kg
          Astonishing! Oh, but we will need water for the electrolyte and support structures but lets say we can get to ~30% active (15% is more likely), that’s still 0.2kWh/kg. 25GWh would then only be ~100,000T and a 100kWh car battery would weigh some 500kg.
          I can see why people are considering some large liquid-based batteries, where the elecrolyte is stored in big tanks and pumped over the electrodes.

          • I looked up the specs: in 2018 the Leaf battery was said to produce 0.22 kWh/kg.

          • so a 300kg battery should be 66kWh (not 40).
            Like so much in this field the base numbers are often misleading. \for example its not a good idea to fully discharge batteries if you want a long life so often using more than 50% is avoided.

      • Meanwhile in the real world, how much lithium is required to be dug out of the ground and refined to build said batteries?

        What’s the damage to the environment required to accomplish current demand as opposed to projected?

        Where’s most of the lithium found and the sticky geopolitical complications associated with that aspect?

    • “Be nice!” is a rule.
      This one will be enforced.
      So, from now on keep it civil as you discuss.

      • I’m usually nice enough. Therefore I don’t like to be told by whoever to be nice whatever that might be. I tend to be nasty instead. So, I refrain from writing further comment to this oiece. Besides, I believe that most people on VC are nice enough,

        /Please read up on the rule about discussing moderation in any other form than a direct email.
        You are warned. Admin

    • The sun contains alot of energy
      I wonder what a 1000 kilometer wide very focused frensel lens woud do to a city If it was in orbit around Earth ..

      Doomsday ray is not enough to describe it .. 🙂

      The human eye lens also haves an INSANE focus ability and its the main reason why you should not stare at the sun

      • On the ground you woud perhaps get a focused plasma sphere a kilometers wide perhaps .. destroying everything it toutches

        Whole lakes woud be able to be boiled and forests bursts into flames

        • Chromatic aberration on something with a focal length of a couple of thousand kilometres could make for some interesting collateral entertainments.

        • Yes focus it on the pyramids and They are soure to vaporize ..

          My improved lens is 3000 km wide and somehow its keept from collapsing

          Hell on Earth as it focus its lens burning point on Vatnajökull Glacier

          Im so bad … 😈

      • Well there has been a fusion engine in the middle of it for a few billion years, it would be expected to be nice and hot now 🙂

        I think such a lense would not be possible to make, would break up and collapse under gravity, but yes it would be apocalyptic.

      • Chad another fun tought experiment

        Imagine a cube a kilometers wide of the suns core: If it was placed on Earths surface ( it woud instantly decompress in a Chicxlulub sized explosion)

        But If it coud be keept stable
        Woud it vaporize its way down to the Earths core?
        Souch an insanely dense and hot plasma is mindblowing stuff, I gets even dizzy thinking how extreme the solar core is.

        Its so dense that it woud appear to be a solid.. and you woud be able to walk on that gas too I think. 12 times denser than lead.

        1000 kilometers away woud be safe zone around that cube. It woud be an ideal mining thing. But it pretty much vaporizes everything it toutches.

        Luckly nature wont allow souch a tought experiment

        • Why not really ask such a question here? 😀
          That page is legendary, everything strange and unlikely thought is scientifically analyzed from all possible and impossible perspectives, and then the math is done for the different problems.
          Very interesting thoughts there!

      • Even a half meter sized cube woud be a massive problem If it coud keept stable on Earth

        Burning vaporizing everything for Miles around
        At 15 million degrees C its so hot that our eyes woud not regrister anything more than white error

        But they all decompression in explosions If removed from the solar core

    • Would the ground-shading produced by ‘mildly elevated’ Oz solar farms significantly benefit the land beneath the panels ??

    • Shouldn’t there be some potential in the Newer Volcanics Province in the south-east and in the relatively recent volcanism in Queensland?

      • Wait, how on earth did my reply wind up down here?
        I thought I was replying to Chad’s comment about Aussie geothermal above?

      • It is a good question that is so good that I do not have a good answer, the reason for this is that I am not familiar with that volcanism.
        In general one can though say that the larger the volcano (and magma-reservoir) is, the longer time will it be able to sustain geothermal energy, or the longer time after the volcano dying can it produce geothermal energy.
        Sorry that I could not answer your question without first doing some serious study.

        • Well, they’re all volcanic fields with a long history of infrequent eruptions well into the holocene and overall not all that well studied.

          Was more in response to Chad about maybe not ruling out the possibility of there being any geothermal potential in Down Under considering there is actually a bit of volcanism..

          • Amazing, I had completely missed this volcanic field, so I spent the morning reading up.
            There should definitely be enough residual heat since the last eruptions 7000 years ago. Question is more how much there is, and if it would accessible.

            That would take years to get to know since the area seems to be completely unmonitored and there will not be any detailed geophysical data available to pinpoint the amount of available magma.

  2. Ha!
    Won’t happen in the UK.
    Go to a village meeting proposing anything that even sounds bad. Say a nice low density high status housing estate, and nobody will be listening for the shouting of abuse. Imagine what happens when an incinerator (totally smell-free and eco)/gravel pit/extended sewage works (to stop stormwater polluting rivers) is brought up.
    Apoplexy for tens of miles all round, large funds to ‘stop the xxx’ lawyers hired and public inquiries demanded.
    So you go elsewhere and let the UK quietly sink. Really why bother?
    That’s my experience, anyway, and I was a lone voice on a Parish Council for decades.
    No point explaining or discussing, they won’t listen, don’t want to listen, and wouldn’t believe you anyway.

    • Wrong actually, there was no complaints to the geothermal plant in current construction in the UK.

      And obviously you will not get everyone on board. But, if you can limit the numbers you will win your case.
      And for England it would be a free vacation at a Butlins Resort.

      Jokes aside, the method above works. It works really well. You obviously need testicular fortitude to do it, but I have a big hairy bronzed set of them, so I actually enjoy doing things like this.

      • I agree on the method, I have been suggesting it for years. I think it happens in france where anyone compulsorily bought out gets 150% of the value (rightly, its in the public good) and part parcels cannot be bought separately, if requested the entire estate must be bought at a premium. People further away are similarly generously compensated. They have no trouble in France with big engineering problems, in the UK multiple decade-long enquiries can cost many times the value of the road/whatever.
        I have tried various versions of testicular fortitude over the years, basically people are easily whipped into a frenzy (see current ‘demonstrations’) when serious discussions as to a viable solution disappear into political remonstrations and misinformation.

      • i laugh at the vision of Carl swaying from side to side allowing the passage of such and consider the effect

        • Dear Mots!
          I do think you lost me on this one. I am now very curious about what would pass me, and how it would make me sway.

          • I do know Mots quite well, let us say that she is a friend of the familly. 🙂

  3. At least you recognise the stupidity of COP and the misery its going to bring to us all in the hope of some magical climate nirvana.

    • Either we achieve “magical climate nirvana” or we all die.
      My gripe is that the politicians will do to little to achieve the magical climate nirvana.
      Very simple.

      • Well, unless we go into thermal runaway (not impossible) some of us will survive, probably one or two billion.
        Life will be hard and the middle ages will look like nirvana.
        AND sadly that is where we will actually end up. By the time most of the world realises there is a really serious problem, it will be 5 to 10 years too late.
        Saling ‘I told you so’ will not help, anyway I’ll be dead.

        • I agree with you about this, but I am to stubborn to not try to do my part.
          If I have converted a single percent of coal into geothermal when I die I will die a very happy man.
          All it would take really is 50 ideas, companies, or people, removing 1 percent each, and we would be able to make it. After that it would only be a question of scaling.

          • Carl,
            I gave up expecting people to suss reality 30 years ago.
            I now arrive at the equivalent of ‘I told you so’ but without any emotion/joy.
            Realising (as my supersmart daughter points out) I affect nothing.

          • This is so. Many changes to society are needed, and nobody talks about them. Packaging cannot easily be reduced in the modern day, but the impact can be dramatically reduced by re-usable standardised containers for ALL goods. Tough if you want a distinctive bottle shape, the planet comes first. Nobody has suggested such a thing, but it would require a simple law to enforce it.
            I have wittered on about high efficiency, cheap low-carbon-cost housing manufacture for decades, that’s before you count the carbon cost of labour. Nobody is interested.
            We could restrict car size and speed and engine size and dramatically reduce transportation costs, but no we go on about teslas with supercar performance and think we are being green.
            etc etc ad nauseam, and nothing is ever done.
            Its why I really don’t much care, global warming is coming because its being used as a political weapon, not as a problem to be mitigated, and nobody actually has the will.

  4. I think you are really steryotyping the boomer attitude here, I can see your point but it is really drowned by the attitude. Im not going to say anything else on this because I dont want to get banned but if you want anyone to listen to you dont blame them for the problem they were born into and had no control over or input in creating. It is not the younger generations like my own that have created the backbone of the world we live, and even to this day they are not the ones who get to decide how it works, which I think is blatantly criminal, and the reason for my comment, our leaders do not represent us.
    I admittedly do find Gretta to be a bit annoying but she is a perfect personification of the attitude of anger and fear most of the younger generation have about this subject and the older generations, something that I will get banned for if I was to summarize it here…

    • well this ended up somewhere else, best to be removed I think now…

      If this breaks the be nice rule I appologise. It is not intended as personal to anyone

      • A bit strong, perhaps: many boomers do accept the need for change and the truth that we need to pass on a habitable planet to the next generation. As for Australia, I think the big change in attitude worldwide came when your prime minister seemed happy to let the nation burn in order to keep the fossil fuel lobby happy. The world got the message. There is a big cost to fossil fuels.

        • This was a reply to a comment above that got deleted, which is why it looks out of place now.

          I can say with absolute confidence that here in Australia our government is widely regarded as a joke, more so than even the rest of the world realises… Our elected leaders are nothing more than puppets, willing to put the health of the nation behind them for a few extra dollars, unless of course it involves provoking a world superpower we were formerly on friendly terms with, then it is done without hesitation…

          • When the coal mining project’s mega-port declined to have a longer pier but instead opted for a short pier plus frequent channel dredging that would routinely spew sediment across THE Great Barrier Reef, a *lot* of people gasped, “WTF are they’re thinking ??”

            But the perps will have cashed their stock options, taken their ‘Golden Parachutes’ and expect to be well away before mid-century prosecutors can seize them and their pension funds for ‘Crimes Against Humanity’…

            They should remember that, a life-time along, the Germans are prosecuting a ‘Death Camp’ *typist*…

    • I do not in any way blame the boomers, I am almost one myself.
      Many boomers are today doing great work to solve the problem, like the board members of the companies I listed.
      Problem is not what has been done previously, that is done and there is nothing to do about it, what we do about it from now on is the important thing, boomers, younglings, gen-X eighties club-kids like myself, whatever age-group we come from.

      • More a jab at the leaders, not the genral population. I find most people of that generation are much like my own, and like you 🙂

        I guess it is a perfect example of corruption and reluctance to lose power. I guess we are primates after all…

        • I suspect that some of the “leaders” are trusting that their power and wealth will insulate them from the worst of climate change. That may be true, up to the point where society breaks down, after which it will be pitchfork time.

        • The leaders so what the electorate want.
          the electorate are sadly ignorant of the totality.
          You may be.

      • Correct, we ALL HAVE TO CHANGE.
        Anyone care to offer odds?
        (1) Do we have 20 standard re-usable container types that all manufacturers can use (for example)?
        Denmark had it for beer bottles years ago, why not for ALL containers?
        PS PEt and polycarb are actually reusable as anyone who reuses water bottles knows, they are also recyclable.
        (2) Do we have standard Li-I car battery formats so they can be mass produced, recycles and reused? We have them for lead (too many) but they are destroyed after use and not recycled.
        3) Guaranteed 20 year life for all products in the base price. Could be done.
        Go through and remove waste, there should be nothing in your dustbin that is not reusable.

    • Well, I think my post was deleted rather than edited (if it was mine, I forget what I wrote).
      Its just a fact that to stop global warming we ALL have to stop consuming.
      The fossil fuel companies are NOT to blame, they supply (hopefully) what we demand.
      However its very much easier to blame someone else than actually accept a significant cut in your standard of living, because that’s what is needed.
      Which is why no politician comes out and says so.
      He would lose the next election.
      So we will carry on much the same as we are and blame everyone else for not cutting emissions.
      Which is why it will not be fixed.

    • Maggi Thatcher (british prime minister) was on about global warming in the 70’s.
      I thought she was totally wrong, but on doing the sums the result was inevitable, albeit about 10 years later because nobody predicted chinas growth then. All out for nuclear, solve the problem, easy.
      We were all young and in the same position young people are today.
      We stopped nuclear power, to my disgust as I could see no alternative, as I progressed older ALL generations refused to take note.
      They young today are the same as the young in my day, great at demonstrations, dismal at solutions.
      Its easy to say THEY should do something and much less popular to say WE should do something.
      So ultimately youth, middle aged and the old are behaving today as they have for the last 50 years, we are all to blame. At least I have a living standard close to that in the 1950’s and very low consumption, although I could live like a king if I chose. Just seems pointless, I get more pleasure out of being abstemious than splurging (more of a challenge), although the occasional splurge is enjoyed.

      • If one lives simple, the occasional splurge tastes ever the better. At least that is what I have found.

        Even though I in general do not agree with Margaret Thatcher’s political legacy, she is in my top 3 list of people that have served the environment and climate best.
        Her diligent and hard work on baning a slew of chemicals probably saved our sorry arses. Not least the ban on freons.
        With her skillset as a chemist she knew very well what she was doing in that department, and she had both the office and a giant hairy bronzed set, very much unlike todays political leaders.
        I would definitely not be surprised if evidence somehow turned up that she killed off UK coal production as a step to try to hinder green gas emissions.

        As Greta often says herself: “I do not have the solutions, I am a child, but what I am saying is that you should listen to what the science is telling us.” She is correct, it is not up to her, it is up to people like me to do the heavy lifting until her generation is ready to continue doing the heavy lifting.

        • No, she killed off (part) of the UK coal because it killed too many and produced expensive coal.
          Now we have tube drivers on £55k/annum who never touch anything because its all automated.
          Unions at their worst, they could be so much better.

          • The problem is that if you remove a major part of the local economy, you need something to replace it. That part of the restructuring was ignored.

          • Albert:
            It varied. If its a welsh hillside with nothing then you move to where work is, like everyone else in the world has to (eg see Cwmbran) if near cities then re-industrialise (see Corby). Its not as if we have no social security and jobs elsewhere have not been plentiful since then.

          • If you take the heart out of a community, there has to be a plan to put something back. Asking people to move just makes everyone end up in the London area. (In fact the rules adopted by the UK treasury makes it harder for the government to invest outside of London, as the payback is supposed to be less. At least that is now recognized as a problem.) It happens in the US as well. If you build cars that are 20 years out of data, it is not a surprise if car manufacturing slumps. Detroit could see it coming, but there was no planning as to what to do next.

            About your point about luxury cars: I do agree with you, with as caveat that we have (and need) a 6-seater. We can make a lot of efficiency savings. Cars have become almost twice as efficient in the past 20 years, but that was because the EU put its foot down. Without the political pressure, the manufacturers would not have done that.

          • albert.
            It makes no sense trying to set up a complete economic infrastructure at the top of an isolated welsh valley with a hundred houses and nothing but sheep. It will fail for so many reasons, and it should. It was only there when coal was expensive and life cheap and now it is no more. The population must move to more economically sustainable locations, just as it moved there for economic reasons. Before coal there might have been a couple of small sheep farms, and that’s what will be there again.
            That’s reality.

          • There were many industrial areas relying on coal mining. You are giving an extreme example that ignores the real problems of those towns and cities. From a report to UK parliament ” … the characteristics of coalfield communities in a downward spiral: increases in long term sickness, early retirement, increased net out migration, increased net out commuting and localisation of the adjustment problems leading to pockets of deprivation being concentrated in particular areas. These issues are coupled with low education attainments, low income levels, a low entrepreneurial culture, rising crime rates, declining housing conditions, low accessibility and problems associated with insularity.” There was no future in those mines. But if you take away people’s livelihoods, you have to provide alternatives.

          • I grew up in South Yorkshire, on the outskirts of Doncaster, surrounded by mining villages. The entire economy relied on the coal industry. When the miners lost their jobs, everyone lost their jobs, there was just no income. There was NOTHING to replace that industry and provide incomes for everyone in the area. The unemployment rates went through the roof; on top of which unemployed people were effectively punished through the punitive rules of unemployment benefit, for not being able to find jobs that simply weren’t there.
            This is not a story about a few Welsh villages. It destroyed the economies of entire regions, and ruined the lives of a generation. Doncaster was the only non-inner city to be classed as deprived in Europe.
            Thatcher closed the mining industry because it was cheaper to import, with no responsibility for the actual mining. She and her government cared nothing for the lives of the people who’s industry she closed. Nothing has changed.

          • So nell, is everyone still unemployed?
            Tons of work in the south and midlands and has been for decades.
            Or perhaps you would prefer to work down the mines?
            Lots of jobs went in london in my youth as manufacturing moved to the north, nobody cared and everyone just found another job. The thatcher depression was pretty hard on everybody, its to be said, but working conditions and available spare cash is now totally different and better than when everyone worked in the mines or in shipbuilding or countless other dirty poorly paid jobs. Preserving what should not be preserved isn’t a great idea.
            If I had been an investor in the 1960’s/70’s would I have invested in union-ridden north? Not a hope, and I think that legacy still exists. Its taken the car industry many decades to shake the unions off, and luckily it still manages to exist as a rump of what it was and culd have been.

          • The first problem has been government investment. Or rather, the absence of it. The north desperately needs an east-west rail link connecting Liverpool to Hull and Newcastle. There are enough cities to compete but they lack connections to each other. The plans never go anywhere, blocked by the treasury. We can’t even get our railways electrified. London has had a fast rail link to Paris since 1994. That is almost 30 years, and still no high speeds trains to the north. HS2 will connect Leeds to Manchester via Birmingham!! (The timetable for HS2 north of Birmingham has now been removed from the government web sites.) Our area gets half the funding per school pupil that London gets. There is real discrimination against poor areas. I know there are many poor areas and this problem does not only affect the coal towns. But it is very real.

            (One rail line near to me still operates with semaphores!!)

          • Albert, I did suggest this a decade ago, that east-west link. Seemed a really good thing to do to generate activity.
            You have a nice motorway the M62, which does this and its not even very busy.
            I will admit to being astonished how little traffic goes between the major cities this motorway connects.
            As a consequence I was obliged to conclude that a rail service would not be economic.
            Why this is so I do not know.
            I do not know anything about the politics of the north, but I presume they are being as business-friendly as they possibly can be to attract activity to their area.

        • Carl: “If one lives simple, the occasional splurge tastes ever the better. At least that is what I have found.”
          Of sooooo much better!
          Better to be modest than rich-looking.

          • That sounds very British to me. British understatement makes it quite hard to see what a person owns. The language though is often a clue.

      • @Farmeroz, I cannot answer how things are now where I grew up. I have not lived there for decades. I moved south, precisely because there is more work and more money here, better quality living, better access to medicine if you are ill and significantly longer lifespan. I was young and smart and I had that opportunity. It was not then, nor is it now, a viable option for many people. Financial constraints abound, particularly if you’ve just lost your (low wage) job. People couldn’t ‘just get another job’ as you say people in London did, because the work just wasn’t there. Besides, as was stated elsewhere in these comments, its home, and people are reluctant to leave their homes and places where their families have lived and worked for generations.
        Regardless of the divisiveness of unions, there should have been investment into new work, instead of leaving everyone to fend for themselves. The north is still suffering from this legacy, as you point out, but its not unions that are the problem if employers don’t treat people like human beings.
        I’m not saying things shouldn’t have changed, but what was done was heartless and cruel.

        • Why do northern employers not treat people like human beings when (since you went south) southern ones do?
          So many people have to move home for so many reasons, Its actually quite normal to do this and has been ever since serfs were liberated.
          It was tough (I said so), not least because something that should have started after the war (shift from expensive dangerous coal to oil) and happened over a 20 year period (as happened in london) happened over a 5 year period. Its what happens when you think you can fight reality.
          Its only in recent years that its become (for better or worse) expected that government will solve everyone’s problems with money.
          Will not end well.

          • I think this policy of non-intervention ended with the Irish Famines.

          • So you think that most of the population of South Yorkshire should have moved south? I don’t think that would have been good for anyone. I respect your point, but I think we shall have to agree to disagree 🙂

    • Greta represents those leaders who don*t represent you, very simple. They found a useful idiot, an innocent child at the time.

  5. I give you Carl – a true believer of the Catastrophic AGW hypothesis – Even James Lovelock is drawing back from the dire predictions.

    • I am not a doom and gloomer.

      I am a doer. We have a problem to solve, we can solve it, we know how to solve it, and we need to break some luddite eggs to do it.

      My ire is really with those who know better, but do nothing.

      Malinformed people, or people afraid of change, are after all a minority in this day and age. They will become forgotten by history in the greater scheme of things.

      • I’m more into nuclear energy: the largest amount of CO2 free energy for the least amount of fuel (energy density). I know there is a lot of fearmongering going around about safety and nuclear waste, but if we have a cold hard look at the facts, then nuclear turns out to be the safest of all energy forms. France was able to decarbonise successfully in the eighties by building a fleet of nuclear reactors, just to be energy independent. Fourty years later, other countries are still struggling with wind turbines and solar panels that only produce energy when the weather is favorable. Those intermittent sources are not the solution, at least not the only solution, also because they need a lot of surface area. I like geothermal where this is possible (like Iceland) but in other countries it’s much more problematic.

        • Not enough time. Starting now it would be min 50 years before significant capacity would be available in nuclear. We missed the boat in the 80’s.

          • There is one very simple solution……. Stop having children, with all this gloom and doom talk who wants to subject children to the end of the work anyway.

            Just is case…..that was sarcasm

    • This is a science (and culture and volcano viewing) blog. The science of global heating is long established. The first paper doing the calculation was in 1895(!), The numbers have not changed significantly since, and for good reason as the science is not hard. The global temperatures follow the predictions very well. If you think otherwise, perhaps you could explain which one of the laws of thermodynamics you think does not apply?

      • Some years ago I came across a website where a sizeable number of academics were listed as being affiliated in some way or other. The website predicted human extinction by the year 2020. This insight was based on a fit of an exponential curve to a short data series. There was also talk about positive feedbacks to make it more plausible.

        How extinct do you feel? I am sorry I cannot give you a link since it was not worth my while to keep it and by now the prediction is likely scrubbed or maybe updated to 2022.

        The current state of science is dismal. Scientists need funding and will therefore produce the results expected from their funding sources which are either commercial interests or politicians.

        Just look at this very blog here. Censorship abounds, but of course not only here. In a scientific discussion you need to know and understand the arguments of your opponents because they may have a point. But now the idea of scientific discussion is to make opposing arguments disappear.

        Science in a climate of censorship is fake science and fits neatly into our fake civilization.

        • We welcome discussion of the science. But the ‘opponents’ of global warming no longer come with arguments. The data is speaking loud and clear and we are past the age of denial. The discussion is now about how to manage global warming.

          If you are interested in how to define pseudoscience, we have published on that:

          • How to manage global warming?
            Completely correct, but as far as I can tell everyone is in denial ‘assuming’ it will be fixed. Somehow, else would be unimaginable.
            Nobody seems to be planning for what will be only too imaginable.

          • Generally I agree with you.
            But, I am not the type of person who ever give up.
            Yes, we might not get all the way in the end. But, every single little step will make the disaster smaller, every little step will make more children survive, every little step will make fewer people starve or suffer.
            I like small steps. I just wish more people would do their small steps.
            And, there is also history that teaches us many humbling things. It took just 3 decades to transform the world during the industrial revolution. I do not think we are such meowling kittens that we can’t do that again.
            After all, what we are trying to do is not that much harder than it was to create the London sewage system, the train-lines, or build a ridiculously large boat 50 years ahead of it’s time, that in the end instead was used to pull the Atlantic cable.
            And yes, I do hope that the stovepipe would come back into fashion so I could saunter around in it like Isambard Kingdom Brunel. 🙂

          • Carl,
            in general we agree.
            Not rocket science, just the evidence before us.
            But someone has to argue it out so others see.
            AND you are a hard nut, so worthy.
            Yes, but I know I have zero influence, here or elsewhere where I comment.
            The world is full of ignorance and misinformation.
            Just here is a small bubble of reality,
            signifying (sadly) nothing (on the global scale).
            But one lives in hope for granddaughters ………
            Mathematics, physics and chemistry are all, but so few understand all of these…..

        • This is right. The same was to be seen in medicine, i.e. C19. Opposing arguments weren’t welcome. So people start to shut up to keep their jobs, and then the train only knows one direction.

        • Hicks: Did you have an argument? One with actual figures to check? I have not seen it. Was it censored?
          I’m surprised…

  6. Whats the geothermal potential of
    Nyiragongo and Nyiramuragira arera?

    Im soure it must be very very high, knowing how active the region is.

    They are only in need of Geothermal electricity
    But they use the methane gas from Kivu lake for that: althrough geothermal is cleaner

    • Carl Rehnberg what about drilling into Nyiramuragira? One of the worlds most active volcanoes, almost close to Kilaūea in activity. Im soure its pretty hot with souch high activity levels. Is it possible to do electricity without geothermal steam?

      Ps Nyiragongo got back its lava lake

      • I’m reasonably sure the main problem with geothermal exploitation in Africa comes from lack of funding and/or corruption

      • The energy potential is there, but I would not build one there due to the current political instability.
        I would though happily build one in Tanzania or Kenya.
        The business model is definitely there for doing it, the economies are booming (well, at least pre-2020) and the electricity prices are sadly very high giving a plant there a short ROI.

        I met the former President of Tanzania. We discussed the possibility of building a geothermal plant, he was very much in favour of it since he clearly saw what it could do for his country.

        • Carl Kenya already has a geothermal plant situated on the Rift Valley. Apparently there are plans to triple its output to drive development in the region. Was watching it on a documentary last night .

    • I read recently that the gas extraction project in Lake Monoun has since degassed the lake to such a point that it has prevented the potential of limnic eruption. Lake Nyos has also been degassed for the past 32 years. Unfortunately Lake Kivu is far too large.

  7. Sadly (word carefully chosen to stay civil), a number of “these people up there” already made their minds, and believe that their wealth will allow them to live in small communities of gentlemen, in a technological bubble strategically placed in the best latitude, letting them survive while the rest of the world goes Mad Max.

    When you spend your entire lifetime brain power in financial tricks and negotiation, there is little left for science, let alone humanity. Delusion is a nasty species trait.

    • Once you have managed to make a whole lot of bucks in the region of several billion you become fearful. You are utterly afraid to die and leave all your neatly acquired bucks alone and the world without your unbelievable computer-enhanced intelligence. So, they buy farmland in the middle of North America, apartments all over the world, and then, one day they will die, and will see that the last shirt has no single pocket. They are so extremly afraid, those people up there that you have to feel pity for them. The contrary and caricature of former kings who rode first row and sometimes to death. Weirdo’s, talking about climate and organizing excursions into space for some friends.

      • I have no idea what it would be like to have billions, do you?
        Are you happier flaunting your billions than living quietly somewhere rather nondescript?
        Perhaps ask the first billionaires, the roman caesars?
        How did things work out for the, I forget?

        • I do because we can see what happens: They tell other people to go down while going up in space just for fun. I do also because I knew people who flew into New York to go to the hairdresser’s. I do also because I regularly go by the Côte d’Azur on the way to Provence, and I see those gigantic boats there. Yes. They really don’t care. They have their islands and do not want to see the problems, and when they can make money with population growth and medicine they invest into Pharma. And I win every bet with you when I bet that they have already their own bets set up for growing wheat prices next year.
          And if you want to see them quite clearly you just watch 2012 by Roland Emmerich again. They want to be alone with robots to do the work and without those f……. porblems that poor people cause all the time. They are Caesars. Primo inter pares. Politicians are their most advanced slaves.

  8. PS La Palma is getting a bit angry, smoky and noisy, listening to it in the background.

  9. As noted in several threads, the issue of power storage during times of excess power generation is a key to the financial obligations required for continued “greening”.
    While batteries are the low hanging fruit for power storage, what about storing energy via manufacturing hydrogen?
    Hydrogen is portable, capable of directly creating power via fuel cells and replacing fossil-fuels as a combustion/heating source, produces nothing but water as an effluent, plus there is near-zero waste in it’s manufacture (assuming a plasma or an optical source is used to crack water instead of using expensive/toxic electrolytes for electrolysis).
    Here in California, our renewable power generation has reached a point where in certain times in WInter with clear skies and low demand, that there is an excess of power on the grid. In 2020, California was forced to sell off it’s excess power to Arizona and Nevada at fire-sale prices. (all that PV power has to go somewhere).
    Too bad all that excess power couldn’t have stored for use in Summer instead of being wasted in-situ?

    • Hydrogen in practice has many problems. It has a very low energy density per litre, its a small molecule that easily leaks, it has a bad effect on many metals and is very hard and expensive to store (liquid or pressure). I did once work out it would take more that the energy in the hydrogen to liquefy it. Better would be to go a stage further and convert to methane or propane (from CO2).
      The problem (as my battery example above) is you need vast tonnages of chemicals for any reasonable storage, that’s why the reverse (burning fossil fuels) produces vast amounts of energy from equally vast tons of fuel. Storage in old oil wells etc is probably going to result in significant loss of (any) product.
      Once you accept that storage will probably result in a 50% loss of energy (at least) then big pumped storage schemes can be considered, To be honest I think the simple lead-acid battery is probably as good as any. The initial cost is moderately high, but if they were made so on return to the factory the top was unscrewed, the acid tipped off for recycling, the lead refabricated and the lead sulphate split back into sulphuric acid and lead and the whole thing re-assembled for (say) 20% of the purchase price then its a viable home stored answer. (cost then would be circa 10p/kWh stored) which you would combine with a HIGHLY variable electricity pricing depending on current availability.

      • Coal (or town) gas in the UK used to be about 50% hydrogen (the rest mainly methane and carbon monoxide) and that worked well enough enough for piped gas domestic use.

      • Hydrogen is as you say almost impossible to store longterm, and it has nasty habits of destroying metal containers.
        There is though a simple solution that should have been though about decades ago. And that is converting the H2 into ammonia. Relatively easy to store, takes far less energy to compact.
        Clearly the way to go, and something that we are looking at producing when the plants are idling.
        It would if nothing else solve the conundrum of how to get airplanes to fly on hydrogen.

        Problem with hydrogen is the cost of production. There is one technology that could lower the cost of production with 25 percent, but that is still in the test stages.

        For grid storage the cheapest and best solution is liquid metal batteries. Cheap, durable, and does not use any “unobtainium” to produce. Best part, they are installing them as we speak.

        • I could not force myself through the adverts.
          Are we talking NaS batteries?
          Whilst accepting there may be better alternatives/equivalents the concept is, for me, really excellent.
          All the advantages of separate electrolytes, with the energy density of fossil fuels.

          • The liquid metal battery is comprised of a liquid calcium alloy anode, a molten salt electrolyte and a cathode comprised of solid particles of antimony.

          • I would not eat the antimony.
            But, not more toxic than any other battery, lead is poisonous, so is cobolt.

          • Well sodium-sulphur degrades rapidly into relatively safe products.
            Hmm, I think sulphur-calcium would also work although their densities are more similar.
            Things can be dangerous, but without long-term threat (eg sodium).

          • I don’t like ammonia, its very toxic and a serious eco-hazard.
            Hence I prefer H2 to hydrocarbons.

          • Ammonia is relatively safe, and is good sight more energy efficient than whacking together a hydrocarbon.

          • I take it that Carl has never worked with anhydrous ammonia then.
            The point about using synthetic hydrocarbons (should be no less energy efficient when done as a mature technology than ammonia, although I’m nit sure the chemical route you intend to use) is that we have all the equipment to use it where its hard to beat. Powering trucks for example and even boosting heating when heat pumps are ineffective on very cold days.

        • You know Carl – one of the reasons I like your discussions is you inject an air of reality over the discussion, e.g. the possibly more than insurmountable hurdles over “hydrogen” technology.

          One of the frustrating things I find about the energy debate is the lack of reality about real world solutions that will help us transition to a better energy mix if this is possible.

          (btw – I’m not an out and out climate sceptic, tho at times I do troll a bit).
          My original degree is electrical (power) engineering and although I shifted career into software engineering, still have a very strong interest in it the bulk generation of reliable energy.

      • Your arguments are sound….but Hydrogen in current practice is not hydrogen of the future.
        Hydrogen is easy to make, which encourages more point of use generation facilities.
        Existing hydrogen infrastructure in many industrial applications have successfully dealt with the storage issues…as witness the widespread use in the semiconductor industry for the last 50+ years (one of many examples)….so I think the 50% storage loss is way over estimated. And I would expect further advancements in storage technology could reduce ambient loss to near zero.
        Private enterprise, most notably Toyota, has already invested billions in building a hydrogen-based infrastructure in southern California, so the money boys are also eyeing hydrogen as a viable energy alternative that in the long run is going to make them oodles of profit.
        The low energy density is a negative as you mentioned, but then again what are you going to do when the storage batteries get drained?
        The point is, there isn’t any single panacea that going to alleviate our energy demands as a species unless all available options (including hydro-thermal) are exploited to their maximum potential.

        • As I said, convert the hydrogen to hydrocarbons and the entire infrastructure, including storage and power plants, is already free and to hand.
          7H2 + 3CO2 -> C3H8 + 3H2O

          After propane usual methods for longer hydrocarbons although a catalyst to do it in one would soon be developed.

    • “…in certain times in Winter with clear skies and low demand, that there is an excess of power on the grid”
      But what about the other times, in summer with a scorching sun and high demand?

      This reminds me of the fact that California also tumbles from periods gigantic bursting dams to periods of extreme drought only a few years later despite the fact that this phenomenon is tied to the well known ENSO and thus predictable.

      Maybe you should alter your approach?

      • Not sure if you have a point to make.
        The whole purpose of hydrogen storage is to generate power during periods of high demand.
        As a northern California native, and avid student of both meteorology and climatology, we indeed are seeing increasing number of extreme events and long-period (years/decades) of drought intermixed with intense (but short lived) patterns of enhanced precip. But it is a total misnomer to tie California’s climate change to ENSO, as the teleconnections that used to arise from SSTA’s aren’t materializing.
        Instead, it is conditions in the Arctic/Polar Vortex and the sub-polar/east Asian jet that is driving our climate. A good example is the Super El NIno of 2015-16′ which became the strongest on record…yet precipitation here in California was significantly below normal…especially in “normally” wet Southern California.
        However, when SSTA’s slackened back towards La Nina conditions in 2016-17′, we had one/the of the wettest years on record…which lead to the near collapse of Oroville Dam.
        Now, here here we are in 2021, and we are hoping to recover from the worst 2-year drought (one La Nada year plus one La Nina year) on record…with vegetation and wildfire fuel reaching unprecedented dryness, as well reservoirs dropping to such low levels (like Oroville) that have had to shut down their turbines due to lack of water.
        All of this highlights that here in California the climate cannot be predicted nor planned for.

    • I know the country is far far larger than ours, but does each state have it’s own ‘national grid’ rather than a centralised one for the country? There are masses of geothermal energy to exploit in the US but I imagine far less on the eastern seaboard.

      • The grids of the different states are mostly interlinked. The exception is Texas which decided it wanted to be separate. So when its grid went down during the winter, they could not get help. One of the recommendations after that disaster was to link up. (The most embarrassing recommendation was that someone should have realized that if you cut power to the gas production sites, two days later you have no gas and no power.)

        • I am astonished they do not have their own power plant. The ICI works in north UK was reputed;y powered by a power station using the ‘waste’ heat from making ammonia. Pretty well every UK dairy farmer has a backup generator (for welfare reasons as well) and the big distillery I worked at also had backup for the whole site).

    • In the state of Missouri, excess electric power is used to pump water up to a lake on a low mountain. During periods of high electric consumption the water is released through hydro-electric generators. I don’t know how well it works in practice, but in theory it’s a clever idea.

  10. A reorganization of our (western) civilization into a carbon neutral state in a decade is not possible by peaceful and democratic means. Our whole economic system is predicated on economic growth. In particular the constant borrowing from the future cannot be justified otherwise. This is totally fundamental.

    If you turn down the energy input, growth will falter and take the whole economic system with it.
    The afflicted region will fall terminally behind other players with far reaching implications (including but not limited to a lack of means to weather any future climate calamities).

    In addition the population will not stomach the drastic decline in living standards which this implies. People do not even want to take cold showers. They expect to have air conditioning in their cars, big screen TVs, all manner of recreational implements as well as not having to work too hard. They do not have the faintest idea of what a carbon neutral future looks like.

    • Figures thank you very much.
      You need to substantiate your disjointed statements.

      • US national debt:
        Doubling time: <= 10 years
        7% annual growth compounded continuously.
        To keep this in balance the economy must grow at 7% annually.
        If it does not we must write down your savings account, your pension and your salary by a device called inflation.

        Electricity production by source (world wide):
        Note that this is for electricity generation only.
        Add on the energy requirement for transportation (which you want to be electric also).
        Wind and solar are currently totally negligible and geothermal is microscopic.
        How are you going to replace coal and natural gas?
        Hydro power is maxed out in many places (e.g Europe, US). Dam building is or water flow diversion is becoming a casus belli (Egypt/Ethiopia, China/India).
        You can’t build nuclear power plants quickly enough to replace coal and natural gas in 10 years.
        Carbon neutrality would cut down available energy by 50%. It’s a nice dream but the economic consequences make this infeasible.

    • Actually a a personal scale not on growth but on accumulation.

    • The financial world will have to bite the bullet at some point… We cannot continue to base our economy on eternal “growth”. Humanity needs to base its global economy on whole eco system wellbeing, from the smallest and to humanity, to giraffes and elephants. It won’t happen overnight, but we need to really start the transition asap, until we sort out and repair the damage done by our ancestors to this beautiful planet, we are just whistling in the wind.
      To farmeroz, did you know that Scotland is the only part of the UK which gets charged for putting any energy on the grid, which is a scandal , considering Scotland is nearly at 100% renewables for electricity, so clean energy. An independent Scotland would not constrained by England ‘s right wing lunatic ideology any more, and help lead the world to a better future for our children and grandchildren and future generations. The sooner Scotland is free the better for this beautiful planet.

      • ” Scotland is nearly at 100% renewables for electricity, so clean energy”

        Does that mean that electricity prices are not going through the roof there as they are in the rest of the UK?

        “England ‘s right wing lunatic ideology”

        I don’t know how you attach an ideology to a country. Is it soaked in the soil, or is it in the people’s DNA? In case you’ve not noticed, the government of the UK hasn’t been very “English” for the last 40 years.

        • Hugh, so you admit that Scotland is the only part of current UK, that has to pay to put any energy on to the grid, as you didn’t rebut my point…
          The English population is caught in the Fptp trap. A minority of the population keep voting in favour of far right ideology, why is that I wonder, Scotland has not voted Tory since 1955… Why should a party that has no democratic mandate, in Scotland, have power over Scotland and it’s people. Even the current lot in power, and has been for the last 11 years, let a motion on the floor of the HOC, that admitted that Scotland ‘s people have the sovereignty and the claim of right, to pass in law.
          The English wanted brexit, Scotland voted by over 62% to remain in the EU, why should Scotland suffer for a decision that Scotland ‘s people did not vote for.

          Edited because of offensive language. This is a warning. We welcome debate, and can live with disagreements but it should remain respectful. -admin

      • Karen: As an english person I can only say hear hear……
        Off you go. [Note to dragons, being nice, agreeing in fact]
        Growth is not as important as per capita growth, and to be honest a high living standard of the 1950’s (+moderns social/medical) is not hard to achieve.

        • farmeroz, I agree, the whole world could have a good living standard, if it wasn’t for greed. I just believe that to make that a reality, the billionaires, and multi millionaires etc need to level down in order to lift the poor out of poverty, there should both be an income floor as well as a ceiling. That way no one person gets too much power, any excess profits should be reinvested in the people and creating better jobs, invest in new technology etc. Only by working together can humanity face down and defeat the challenges we face. Humanity can achieve so much, if we can rid ourselves of hate, prejudice, better education, critical thinking etc, can humanity stop from making itself extinct…

          • Its genuinely not as simple. We need people who get stuff done and grow three ears of corn where only two grew before. Some of these billionaires maybe just inherited (although its hard for that to last more than one generation) money. As far as I know most countries have some sort of inheritance tax, so society benefits, and in any case in general much of the returns go to the country ion question (usually). So BMW owns the mini factory, but out of each mini most of the value is wages/land/rates/etc stay in the UK, the 10% of profit may go abroad but that’s a price worth paying (given the UK manufacturers crashed).
            For many [eople/countries/societies the idea that some people can make three ears grow instead of two is anathema, but its how business actually works (or fails).

  11. Hi Carl,

    Say the ‘side-effects’ of leakage and gas/toxins could be contained, and say a geothermal plant was to be built in, I don’t know, the Lake District?

    Given that it’s a protected national park, how much area of land would likely be affected by the plant itself, and how much power do you think a sizeable plant could garner from such a location, in terms of town/city-usage?

    • Hello Andy!

      The side-effects are temporary if we are talking about the emissions, and they are comparatively minute.
      Remember that as soon as you online the plant the steam (and gases) would be trapped in a closed loop.
      The problem is more that it will stink for a while.

      We go for high density magma-field energy extraction, the business case is there for those. Not so much for the Lake District or other parts of the UK (unless the government would subsidise the construction).

      A geothermal plant would not be larger than a similar sized coal-plant, or nuclear plant. Drill deep enough and you could theoretically build a plant that is producing 600MW/h per working hour, or more.

      We will do it differently, but I can’t say what we will do until we have worked out the permiting and land acquisition, but it will indeed affect the UK if we can pull it off.

      • Horses for courses. Uk had jack sh*t geothermal but superb wild..Other places the reverse.
        We need new volcanoes or geodeformation for geothermal.

      • Ah I see, there is residual heat under the UK (especially Ireland, Scotland, the west coast/Cornwall) but not on a scale that would solve energy demand compared to more active geothermal areas?

        I hope we see more ground source heat pumps in the UK, though if it is made mandatory in the future it will have to be funded. There is talk of fining homeowners if they do not replace gas boilers in the coming years! Most people can barely afford their current gas and electric bills monthly.

        I don’t have a problem with taking a few square miles of land for geothermal usage, provided it doesn’t affect the local environment beyond that. It’s clear that if we were to go with wind-energy then it would take up far too much space and be less cost-viable. Tidal energy is an option but the proposed Pentland project will likely cost billions.

        • Those I know with ground source (ie under their large gardens) find they work well until the last 1/3 of winter by which time the volume has become chilled (using heat pumps of course). The problem is (do the sums) you need massive amounts of thermal capacity. What does work is using flowing water, rivers or subterranean flows, and if that is geothermally hot (like switzerland) you are in the money.
          Its not for no reason that the people I know with these schemes had also got ample supplies of money, now somewhat depleted …
          If it doesn’t pay for people, it doesn’t pay for govt.
          The answer is insulation, although by now all cavity homes in the UK should be insulated, and keep your house cooler in winter (say 19C) on computer controlled individual thermostats (see lightwaveRF). External insulation for solid walls costs about £100/m^2. Would work if people clubbed together for terraces, totally prohibited in many areas because houses/areas are listed or under conservation rules.

          • To be blunt (taking the Denaliwatch line), many of those terrace houses would be better knocked down and rebuild. The quality of the housing stock in the UK is very poor, and you just keep fixing more problems. Mind you, this should be done only when UK building companies become responsible for their buildings. The cladding scandal shows that at the moment they are not.

          • reply to Albert (below)
            Yes, many are listed or in conservation areas which is a problem.
            We need a standard build set of houses, timber frame, pressed steel roof, excellent insulation pvc windows and pvc cladding. I’m told a 3 -bed can be built for under £50k as against over £150k conventionally.

          • Albert, you make me smile. For many years we lived in an 1884 semi-detached cottage in southern England. Built for quarry workers. It was a seriously shoddy piece of work.

            One of the earliest cavity wall Victorian cottages, the inner brick wall consisted of a shambolic pile of broken bricks and dried sand for cement. The plaster was the only thing holding it together. This inner cavity wall bowed out, separating joists and causing all sorts of issues until we had it pinned together. The bay window nearly fell out, too. Dry rot was also a very expensive problem.

            There’s an image of the Victorian house being the peak of quality housebuilding. One only needs to read Dickens and experience a cottage like ours to know otherwise.

            I was glad to see the back of it.

          • Agreed Albert, most new builds have cardboard walls and inadequate storage. The building quality (unless it’s an expensive new estate) is in general shoddy. I live in an ex-council semi and things don’t fit flush, the heating is difficult to control and there are a few pipes/cables sticking out where they shouldn’t.

          • Andy.
            I am amazed, for decades council house building specs (controlled) were much higher than the typical private housebuilder (uncontrolled by and large).
            I am non-council housing and I have pipes all, over the place, where I can see them.
            As to sorting your heating, invest in lightwaveRF devices, better than a thermostatic rad!

    • 1) Which is more important, global warming or a small part of a local eco-area?
      2) Is the local area returnable at the end.?
      I think you can answer the questions yourself.
      PS The area involved is tiny compared to the entire ecosystem.
      PPS They are already trying to cover it in trees, destroying a rare ecosystem and replacing it with common forest. For this they claim eco-points, go figure.
      I am not speaking to you alone, but these questions are easily answered by anyone with quite modest knowledge should they care to bother. Few have or do.
      I LOVE the lakes. Wainright has taken me all over many times, mostly in impenetrable fog and rain, without him I would be dead. Its one of the walking wonders of the world, and so unappreciated worldwide. Human scale scenery that is grand in all weathers.

  12. Whats the geothermal possibilties at Etna?
    Etna haves a very robust supply and lots of heat in that area. I think they even haves a geothermal field

  13. Palma seems to have changed, no vents spouting, only lava stream.

    • Always impressive, thanks for posting!
      As to the volcano, I thought he had come to age and had stopped the infantile banging around. Obviously not^^

  14. The MBL Closeup stream in Iceland has switched to a north view to show auroras. A nice one appears around 22:30 GMT on Oct 30.

  15. In order to put some euphemism into this I dare say that would be better if it were man-made. If it were earth-made or made by the sun or solar system, nothing could be done at all. So the real danger is that global warming is what a planet looks like at the end phase of a glaciation.
    In this case you can only hope for a change into a new glaciation, but a new glaciation initiated i.e. by two big enough eruptions would be far worse.

    The second euphemism is that it is better now than 500 years ago as there are definitely more solutions nowadays. In the middle ages people just died, nobody would have cared, and we certainly, most of us, wouldn’t exist.

    After reading with the specialists here about all the pitfalls of every single form of energy the best idea of all would be to make it crystal clear to everybody from South America to Indonesia including fun places like Niger that one child every ten years could be a chance that that child survives.
    As long as there is no honesty about this and no pressure on religious people there is not the slightest chance to get some of this settled.
    And I would say that war is one of the greatest polluters.

    • Concerning the “boomers” I want to state that I didn’t choose to be born, neither did my mother. She was a well-trained person and would have loved to build up more professional knowledge before I showed up, nothing at the time like preservatives or contraceptiva.

      We, the “boomers” who didn’t choose about our birth had few children though, every western country including Russia has an average between 1 and 1,5, leading in this is the catholic country Italy. It’s definitely not our fault when things are getting rough. And we are also not the ones who send their second or third son to some engineer training in Hamburg to then take down 3000 people wth four airplanes. And we could have a wonderful CO2-balance sheet if we left them in their countries to finally solve their problems without us.
      That’s not nice, Carl, but basically that’s the truth.
      A few words about the pharmaceutical industry thriving from overpopulation are superfluous as truism.

    • War, maybe, there will be mass starvation.
      With nitrogen fertiliser prices doubled, world production of staple grains WILL plummet in 2022, not to mention eco-green policies and some intractable weeds. Note if the world is starving, those with money eat, those without starve and two globally poor harvests will put us right there.
      2020 UK grains report

      The total utilised agricultural area (UAA) in the UK has decreased by 1.5% to just
      under 17.3 million hectares. The area of total crops and permanent grassland have
      also seen decreases, whereas uncropped arable land has seen a 61% increase.

      Wheat production in the UK decreased by 40%, from 16.2 million tonnes in 2019 to
      9.7 million tonnes in 2020. [PS this drop is EPIC]
      Total barley production increased by 0.9%, from 8.0 million tonnes in 2019 to 8.1
      million tonnes in 2020.
      The final oilseed rape harvest has shown a decrease of 41% to just over 1.0 million
      tonnes in 2020. This was caused by a decrease of 28% in the planted area and a
      decrease in yield of 17%, to 2.7 tonnes. This is below the five year average of 3.5 tonnes per
      hectare. [More palm oil will now be produced]

      • Everything you mentioned is another reason to make it clear to some folks that one child every ten years would have enough to eat, maybe also enough energy to use, certainly get more attention and thrive better in the important elementary education, fare much better altogether, if lucky also get more love.
        To get that started in our countries child support would have to be limited to one child/ten years. Births would plummet. So, here we have the first big obstacle: Politicians. Politicians like to give tax money away to be reelected. And this doesn’t make sense any more.

        • Do not blame politicians per se.
          We vote them in, and WE determine the policies that get them voted in.
          WE MUST TAKE THE BLAME, unpalatable, eh?
          The fact is that any politician putting the facts clearly, the costs clearly and the personal costs clearly, would fail to be elected to anything by a massive margin.
          Which is why activists avoid doing exact6ly the same for the same reason.
          Which is why global warming will happen.

        • Denaliwatch – the trouble with that is that it’s a parallel to what’s happening in the world economy, where Western nations are bewailing their CO2 sins while China is burning 54% of the word’s coal and plans to add new coal fired power – in order to produce wind turbines and solar panels which they will sell to the West.

          Europeans and North Americans (and Chinese/Japanese) have stabilised their population over the last 50 years, practically no one else has. The UK population would be 10-15 million less without immigration – less crowded, no pressure to build new housing. Furthermore the very peoples who have stabilised or reduced their population are the peoples responsible for the scientific advances which have enabled, say, Africa to go from 300 million to 1.3 billion in 70 years (during which the European population stayed pretty much the same).

          You’re killing the geese who lay the golden eggs!

          • I work with people from all over the world. I do not see any difference in science ability between them, and I see no reason to call ‘us’ westerners the golden eggs. There are some nations which are currently anti-science. Brazil and Mexico are examples (Florida can be now be added to the list). But I still know brilliant people there, who could do so much more with more support. As for birth rates, these have plummeted in far more places than you give credit for. Half of all countries in the world now have fertility rates below 2. That includes many South American and Asian nations. Even Iran and Saudi Arabia are in that list. The main problems are now in Africa and almost all of the expected population growth in the world is there. We know how to change it: education of the women. Give women an education and a career, and they will do the job without any need to legally enforce birth control.

            I am far more hopeful than others on this blog. The problem is massive but even 30 years ago we had no idea that population growth was solvable. We can do the same with our energy. No single solution works, but put everything together (including nuclear and geothermal!) and we can manage. All we need is the will. We will get 2-2.5C of global warming and sea level rise of around 1 meter, so we need to plan for that. We need to manage food supply. A big easy gain is to have fewer cattle. (The biomass of our cattle is about the same as that of people.)

          • Albert, world population control has been easily and cheaply possible for 50 years.
            Yet scarily
            2020 8B
            2010 7B
            2000 6B
            1986 5B
            1974 4B
            1960 3B
            1927 2B
            1804 1B
            1600 500M
            1100 300M
            500BC 100M
            1000BC 50M

          • Hugh Mann
            “no pressure to build new housing”

            Right. And this is the cradle of problems. We are supposed to take them in and then to build, and one of the biggest sinners is never named: The building industry with their concrete production, after what I have heard, one of the hugest CO2-emitters, if not the hugest of all.
            And therefore about half of Germany is annoyed, 20% of them vote for the AfD (rightwing) which adds up to ten percent, the rest give the liberals and the CDU a chance, but they don’t tackle the real problems either.
            The real problems are a soup bowl cooking over consisting of countries who do not adjust their population growth to their own resources and send the ones over who dare do the crossing. Just use the West like a bin although I would never say and want to stress that also that people be trash for us, but for them they might be. Trash. For them. They never take them back. They are mostly grossly misgoverned, and unfortunately, the UN go with that instead of showing them the door..

          • Albert – “I work with people from all over the world. I do not see any difference in science ability between them”

            I think that’s called something like “survivorship bias”. Any people you are likely to work with are likely to be at or around your intellectual level. Or you’d be unlikely to be working with them.

            I too have worked with people from all over the world, but I do not assume that because there are highly intelligent Nigerians and Ghanaians in London finance (and there are), therefore Nigeria and Ghana must be at the same scientific level as Europe.

    • Albert
      Of course you find people there on exactly the same level. You know were they read their sciences: Places like Oxford and Cambridge, LSE.
      But it doesn’t change their main problem: They do not care for their poor, most of them. They think that those are stupid and lost. I also bet that most of them give a s*** about people living on the most dangerous volcano in the world (one of them at least). If women were more educated there they would get that education without any problem with one child every ten years. They would have ample time to work and study. Instead, they are used and abused as a permanent kangaroo, always child-bearing. So population policy has to come first and with some willpower and force.

      And we can see something else: When they try, like in Nigeria, suddenly there pops up an org called BK (do not read books) and really – that’s unbelievable for us – abducts female pupils.

      This org wouldn’t have much staff if population policy had started with – yes – fines for the third or fourth child. China is in there. They might tackle the problem. Our democracies are not tolerant, but stupid, lazy, cowardish and negligent. And keen on making money on those poor. Our democracies all need a reform.

      • I have to disagree with you on one thing: my brilliant colleagues in the developing world never went to cambridge, oxford or LSE. (The fact that you list those three does indicate a common bias. Even in the UK you find marvellous scientists everywhere.) Neither did most of them study in the UK. We have passed that stage. I won’t comment on abuse of women as I have seen too much of that. And that was at UK universities. We work to stop it, to educate our students that they do not have to take it, and to show them they are as capable as the male students. But I still have the opinion that education is the way out. And I think you also support education programs?

        • Of course, I support education programs. I think, however, they are more accessible in Africa with less child bearing. And with abuse I didn’t think of sexual abuse. I think and also read from some African ladies some time ago, that they considered impregnation without a break for fifteen years as some sort of abuse. And for the body it certainly is. Some might die early of cervical cancer. The risk of cervical cancer goes up with every pregnancy.

  16. Just viewed La Palma webcam-its pure white-for I know am viewing a white cat in a snow storm.Anyway can hear ‘the noise,so it must be doing its work out!

    • Right now the camera is showing a lava flow, which seems to have cooled off.
      Anyways, It appears to me that currently it is extremely pulsating. Tremor confirms my suggestion.
      Moreover, the tremor doesn’t look as spiky as it was in earlier days.
      The noise too, it was so much louder last week.
      In my opinion it is running on reserve fuel right now and, in a few days, might be done altogether.

      • 10/31/2021_ 9:30 Lavic waterfall with spiral sink entrance La Palma eruption IGME-CSIC

  17. I’m crossing my fingers that another volcano will erupt somewhere today with great cam viewing and excellent graphs and information which will taper off the doom posts. Maybe even two volcanoes. 😂😂😂 I’m depressed at realising that I don’t have the wherewithal to purchase the guns and supplies I’ll need, plus an excellent source of drinking water, in order to survive the transition from now to post-apocalyptic Earth.

    • You will be an outsider and soon dealt with by the limited number of locals in the sufficiently isolated area who will survive if they can get past the first few years of lawlessness, and pillage, and starvation. So no need to bother, even if you did, you would still not survive.
      Which is why this has been the only place I have seen this issue carefully dissected and prognoses made on the actual reality.
      Yes, gloomy, isn’t it?
      On the bright side nuclear Armageddon doesn’t look likely any more so keep grinning!

    • If you’ve ever watched Ray Mears, anyone can survive with a 2L plastic bottle, a waterproof sheet and a knife! We are surrounded by seawater that can be boiled potable, food can be grown underground etc. etc.

      • And of course you need a film crew a medical team and several helikopters and or drones.
        But then you will cope. 😉

      • That’s easy, can do that no problem.
        The problem is the 20 hungry thugs that come in and steal it all, and maybe kill me too.
        If not them then the next bunch.

      • I feel we are not at a point we can feed the world on food grown indoors/under ground yet and it would take a real commitment to do so.Seawater is expensive to desalinate for small communities and we can’t do it for massive crop growing.My seed sales territory was the American Western states during the last drought. I spent time looking into methods of drought mitigation. The Israelis are way ahead on this technology as are others.We all need to spend what ever it takes to find the answers or we will face wars over supplies.

        • You can’t grow food underground without copious electricity.Basically it 10x more productive outside (energy-wise) at the most optimistic.

  18. The longer I research the numbers, the more obvious it becomes that renewables such as solar and wind cannot power our society in our transition to become carbon neutral.

    To start with the UK as an example: it has an annual 1651 TWh of total energy consumption (electricity, transportation, heating). We would need around 110.000 wind turbines to give that power, if each turbine is a 7MW one and working at 25% capacity. We currently have about 10.000 wind turbines, so that requires building 10x more. The Hornsea offshore wind farm is the world largest (in the North Sea), and has a current capacity for 1200 MW. That would generate about 2600 GW/h per year. We would need about 635 such windfarms to generate the total of UK annual power. This seems a lot to me. Unless I did a mistake, and in that case, please feel free to correct me.

    – – – –

    After calculating the numbers, it seems shocking that we would need around 10% of UK land area, to cover with solar and wind, in order to replace oil and coal and go 100% carbon neutral.,Solar%20%2D%202.1%25%20of%20the%20UK's%20land%20area.,Is%20this%20plausible%3F&text=Onshore%20wind%20%E2%80%93%2012.5%25%20of%20the,of%20course%2C%20with%20conventional%20farming.

    Converting to wind/solar seems to require a lot of land, aren’t we going to destroy a significant amount of biodiversity in order to go carbon neutral?

    It seems that nuclear can generate far more power in a much smaller amount of land. It is much more reliable and energy-dense. We could even convert all our nukes into nuclear fuel.

    As an environmental, and despite being skeptical of nuclear, I am slowly converting myself to nuclear.

    • As of this moment, the electricity in the UK is 57% renewable and 69% carbon-neutral. It is a windy day.. We are now in a situation where we burn less gas for electricity in winter than in summer. The reason is that the UK has relatively few solar plants and a lot of wind, and winters are windier. You will now point out that we need to cover the non-electric part as well. Correct. Cars going electric need power. (They do have the advantage that they provide their own batteries, so it helps the storage problem.) Heating is the big one. Heat pumps reduce the electrical power needed by a factor of 3 (on average, not at all times). The sudden push for purely electrical boilers for heating is ridiculous. Insulation is important but one wonders why UK houses are built without it! Hydrogen may well have a role to play. It is not highly efficient but has some advantages (as long as it is ‘green’).

      • UK houses have required insulation to be passed under building control for many decades (1980’s?). The level has increased but big grants for retrofitting loft and cavity insulation have been available during that period.
        Car electric storage not much use except summer windy clear days, maybe. For mainly wind we need 30 days storage.
        Heat pump kits are high output (and efficient) in warm weather and low output (and inefficient) in cold weather, a serious inherent problem.
        Currently we are burning gas to make electricity which is much less efficient for heating and even cars by the time all the energy conversions have been done. It will be a long while before all our electric is non-fossil for 90% of the consumption, sadly.

  19. Has there been a recent Copernicus plot of the lava flows in La Palma?

  20. Looks like the eruption on Kilauea has reached a stable configuration, the lake is staying pretty much the same size. There must be a drain below the surface too, the visible vent has a high output which seems much more than the actual rate the lake is rising.

    • Is the lake not rising anymore?

      Yes the output looks like to be around 60 cubic meters a second now perhaps much higher

      • That is what I mean, the vent is powerful but the lake is rising slowly, there must be a drain somewhere that is not enough to offset the vent but close to it. I would have guessed something closer to 10 m3/s as the flow from the vent though, not 60, so perhaps one of the older vents on the bottom of the lake reversed and has a backflow of about 6 m3/s. There is possibility of deep magma surge but deformation around the summit would show that and it currently doesnt, so the total lack of tilting is a shallow thing.

        In Mick Kalbers video the pond of lava in the spatter cone is about 20 meters wide so the outflow channel is about 8 meters wide and probably a meter deep, and flowing a few meters/second, so maybe 24-30 m3/s effusion rate at the vent. That might be the best guess, evidently it is draining back somewhere to only reach 3.5 m3/s average. It is a lot like at Nyiragongo where there was an episodic vent with high output but most of that just flowed back into the lake for net nothing.

      • Last night I dreamt of an angry Cthulhu rising from the lava lake At halemaumau
        The lovecraftian horror started to walk towards Hilo Leaving hot lava tracks behind

        Everybody gangsta until The land squids .. starts flying ..
        : D

      • Looks like Cthulhu have thrown out Pele too 🙂

        He will be a much nastier master of this volcano

        Soon everything in Hawaii will evolve into lovecraftian horrors .. : D

        If there is a New Puu Oo I will name it ” Cthulhu Vent”because of the far reaching abilities of pahoehoe like octopus arms

      • You may be right Chad. The sulphur dioxide output reported by HVO is at least 3600 tonnes per day for October 28, which seems to be a lot. SO2 output from some of the previous days is reported as being around 3000 tonnes per day.

        The degassing seems perhaps too high. The rate at which the lake is filling up is similar to the rate at which lava was erupting from the rift eruption of Pu’u’o’o. But Pu’u’o’o was only 1000-2000 tonnes per day. The currently higher values are more akin to when Kilauea developed a convecting lava lake in 2008. So maybe there is circulation occurring, magma going up through the west vent and then going back to the magma chamber somewhere under the lake.

        • We know there were fissures under the lake early on too and that one managed to stay open for nearly a week erupting lava as evidence by the fountains in the lake itself. A week is long enough I think it would have evolved beyond a crack. I cant imagine a situation where the vent can close when it is submerged, it cant just crust over and the stagnant lake lava seems still to be very fluid just gas poor so should drain down, pushing less dense gassy magma out.

          Sounds though like this is going to be sticking around a long time which is good 🙂

    The last 48 hours have been intense in the #eruptive activity of the La Palma volcano. This has been indicated by María José Blanco, spokesperson for the #Pevolca Scientific Committee.
    Lava production increases and Pevolca recommends not leaving the house.
    The Aemet registered 16 volcanic rays between 09:48 and 22:23 yesterday, and shock waves associated with the most energetic explosions of the volcano.

  22. Little OT: “Cumbre Vieja 2021: The challenge of urban eruptions in the XXI century”, by David Calvo, on Spanish with subtitles (on some languajes).

    • la palma PEVOLCA update:
      Seismicity is beginning to trend downward. Most earthquakes now occur at intermediate depths, with intensity VI earthquakes being possible.

      The volcano’s sulfur dioxide emission rate continues to decline for the fifth consecutive day, although it remains at high levels. However, carbon dioxide is trending upward.

      It does not reduce the emission of lava, which continues to be produced in large volume and very fluid, feeding the pouring areas.

      The ash cloud that has covered the Aridane Valley, Tijarafe and Puntagorda is due to a degassing process of the volcano.

      In these municipalities, it is recommended to use the FFP2 mask outside and avoid practicing outdoor sports, especially people with weak immune systems.

      Copernicus satellites point to 2,708 buildings destroyed by the volcano.

      279.8 hectares of agricultural farms have been affected by the eruption. More than half are banana trees, and the rest are vineyards and avocado trees.

      The deformation continues to show a stable pattern at the stations closest to the volcano.

      463 evacuated people housed in tourist centers on La Palma. 393 are in the Princess hotel and 70 in the Valle de Aridane hotel. 43 dependent people are in social health centers on the island.

      • That’s a lot of people evacuated to hotels together. A worrying Covid risk, and does make one wonder if the increased tourism is impacting on temporary housing.

        • Other 5 earthquake on la palma, waiting review.
          es2021vjbxs 31/10/2021 17:52:51 17:52:51 28.5752 -17.8170 38 5.0 mbLg IV SW VILLA DE MAZO.ILP

  23. Concerning energy we need a mix, and geothermal should be included.
    We don’t have enough electricity for electric cars for everyone, so the newer Diesels should continue to run, plus maybe hydrogen-powered cars. When they went against the Diesel in my country with the silly accusation that it causes pulmonary problems, and when they started setting up their devices to measure the exhaust on roads going uphill and also near traffic lights I realized that the whole discussion had entered a stage of brain damage.

    I think that Carl is right to promote geothermal energy. I also think that Carl is wrong going against nuclear, and that the Dual Fluid Reactor has to be in place. And I believe that we shouldn’t listen to extremists like ER and also not too much to young pupils without any scientific background. We should never allow to be governed by children.

    And btw, some houses in England would need less heating if the owners were allowed to take a row of oaks in the south of their house down. Some things just don’t make sense. Many things.

    • My jaw dropped when I read that you think the universally accepted problems with diesel are ‘silly accusations’. Where on earth did you get that one from?
      I live on a busy main road in London, and battle asthma that is so directly linked to particularate and NO emissions I can tell when the levels are high or low before looking at the app/ web site that currently monitors them – and it always matches. This is a site run by Imperial College, and the monitoring is regarded as world standard.
      The micro particles from diesel were always an issue, and the recommendations to ‘go diesel’ baffling to me even back in the 80s. It’s now considered a health disaster. Having had many frightening episodes with asthma (despite being ‘mildly’ affected) my blood goes cold when I see how hard it is for kids around here who are pretty much only alive because of their inhalers.
      As for the ‘row of oaks’ …seems rather specific. And also technically incorrect. I’m currently doing a lot of shade planting for homeowners – they’re not so worried about heating their houses as the expense of keeping them cool in summer. Having a deciduous tree southward is not going to make your house cooler in the winter. If your ‘houses in England’ are THAT cold once the leaves are out, they have an issue with the way they’re built, and no amount of tree clearance is going to change that.
      To add another personal anecdote: I’m typing away here in a somewhat badly built 10 year old modern block wearing a tshirt, and no heating on. It’s made of breeze blocks with insulation inbetween and we don’t need heating here until it’s actually snowing. Our lights, fridge and cooking heat the whole place, great in winter, terrible in summer, but you get the idea. Why throw money down the drain away into the pockets of increasingly larcenous energy companies when you can plug the hole in the bucket? Now THAT doesn’t make sense.

      • Warning for breaking the “Be Nice!” rule…

        Another comment of yours was removed below.
        Seriously, we do have both a dungeon and an Airlock.
        Be advised!

        • My apologies if you mean me – I thought I was very careful to attack the idea, not the post or poster, who I would rather pass on accurate info to than put down or annoy. And now I can’t remember what my second post said, and am worried it was a bit late at night and not done with diligence. If I came across as too heated, it is because it’s a subject that hits close to home – part of my (and my neighbours) daily experience.

          • Not important. I don’t remember either.
            But two things: The new Diesels are not trucks. And secondly: All diseases, esp. tumours, but also Covid and also Asthma are very complex with many factors causing them including genetics, and I treated several non-smokers wth Small Cell Carcinoma (deadly) and Adenocarcinoma (treatable) of the bronchi (lung cancer). Smokers, but not all of them, acquire the Squamous Cell Carcinoma. That be it. It is only a small window into the complexity of disease.
            If you tend to go on with the topic, take to the bar please. I tend to finish this as being to complicated, not as complicated as astro-physics and black matter, but far too complicated for politization. It’s science. Small steps.

      • I was talking of a mix, not of a Diesel in London. Mix where it makes sense.

        Edited. Children have died in London from car pollution.

        • Remember when this site discussed volcanos? I think a “no politics” rule would be a good idea, and certainly the kind of random abuse being handed out here (in lieu of debate) does no credit to its authors.

        • No, its been implicated in shortening life.
          Nobody is killed by air pollution, but it may shorten life. By how much is arguable, and certainly by those who lived through the london smogs. Equally as air pollution has plummeted, asthma has increased. There is a similar problem with all immune-related diseases.
          Someone posted this and I for one cannot find a flaw in the figures.
          Note that smoking statistics are about the most rock-solid that exist.
          Having given up on anyone coming up with any scientific evidence I went looking myself.

          The result is astonishing, it would appear that living 90 years in London air pollution will reduce your life by one microlife, equivalent to the reduction caused by watching TV for two hours. If anyone spots a significant mistake in these figures, I would be delighted to be corrected:

          Sciencedirect paper “pii/S2468227618300450” gives one cigarette as delivering 7 to 23mg of PM2.5, lets say 15mg on average. Here I use m for milli and u for micro. That’s 15,000ug per cigarette. Lets assume the same percentage gets absorbed whether from polluted air or a cigarette, which will be somewhere near right. London ave air is somewhere below 14ug/m^3 and the average person inhales 11m^3 per day so that’s about 150ug/day.

          So to obtain a cigarettes worth of PM2.5 takes 100 days. So living in London has a particulate intake of about four cigarettes a year. Now we know that the main problem with cigarettes by far is the carcinogenic tar so small particulates (only about 6% of the total particulates) is unlikely to be responsible for even 10% of the mortality. So a cigarettes worth of death will be more than 1000 days of PM2.5 particulate intake or say 3 years so in a 90 year life would be a total of 30 cigarettes.

          Keeping it simple the statistics broadly say that a smoker dies ten years (3650 days) before a non smoker and typically that on 20 cigarettes a day. Assuming they smoke for 30 years that’s 220,000 cigarettes and if we have that in a straight line, each cigarette results in 0.017 days reduced life or about 25min/cigarette. So this means the 30 cigarettes per lifetime equates to something in the order of 12 hours shorter lifetime.

          This is conveniently so close to one microlife (see wiki/Microlife) it amazing. It is about the reduction in lifetime as watching TV for two hours. There is a list on the wiki website, worth a look, believe me.

          • Thanks. That little girl who died had a very severe and rare form of asthma. It sounded like Mucoviscidosis. One thing though is sure, When you have that South Circular is a very difficult neighbourhood.
            Another thing. I was in Devon many times. Going to Dover you need between 7 and 8 hours on country roads in the South. Going by London on Saturday afternoon or no later than Sunday morning you need six.
            It’s also a road and planning problem. It would be much better for London if there were a highway in the South connecting all ports.
            Or what do you think?
            Same with airports.

          • It’s not the PM 2.5 and PM10 particles that are killing people so much as the Nitrogen Dioxide. NO2 instantly inflames the lining of your lungs, and at least half comes from transport. Diesel based transport turned out to be much bigger emitters ‘than expected’ (whatever that means) but what it all adds up to is that we have had very serious pollution episodes in London and the South East, with corresponding spikes in hospitalisation. There’s also ozone, which gets complex as it travels further and interacts with other pollutants and with vegetation and sunlight. It’s also a lung irritant. But NO2 is the biggy.

            As soon as you have inflamed lungs, you have inefficent lungs that grow bacteria in the clogged, squeezed-shut airways; you can’t get oxygen into your body; but also, you generate a whole load of inflammation in your body. This is why asthma isn’t the only result of NO2 – heart disease and dementia have also been strongly statistically linked to high Nitrogen Dioxide exposure areas, for instance, which makes sense as it’s known there’s an inflammation component in the causes of both.

            As for smoking… I lost my mum, my aunt, my uncle and my grandfather to variations on a theme of lung cancer, COPD and smoking related vascular disease, and many more friends. I’m not very good at maths, I defer to others who are for analysis, so can’t really examine the ‘microlife’ thing mentioned (will google and see if I can get my head around it). I can only say from personal experience that the life shortening appeared to be considerable – say, between a half and a quarter of expected lifespan, for my relatives – and the quality of life was diminished beforehand during an average of 15 years per person.
            In an attempt to get this a bit more on-topic, the air quality situation in La Palma worries me a lot. Is there a VC post that looks at the health impacts of volcanic gas/ ash?

  24. Gas emissions are up at Vulcano, and Taal is still restless.

  25. Surprised that nobody is mentioning the Geysers geo-thermal power facility here in northern California.
    It is the largest such complex in the world, comprising 18 power plants and 350 wells which (as of 2019) was supplying a whopping >20% of all renewable energy in the state 24/7, 365 days a year. The facility is tapping into heat associated with the Clear Lake Volcanic FIeld and has an excellent record of environmental compatibility…except for the earthquakes that are generated by the injection of wastewater into the wells for steam production. This small area is perhaps the most seismically active region on the planet, often generating a dozen or more earthquakes a day during heightened activity. Fortunately, all but a handful are too small to be felt, with only a few felt earthquakes a month exceeding M3.
    Anyway, I have a suspicion that Carl will have something to say in the next installment about the demonstrated efficacy of a geo-thermal facility(s) both from economic and environmental perspectives.
    Of all the states, California has led the way in implementing some of the toughest environmental standards…not only in this country, but the world…so from that perspective, geo-thermal energy has a good track record.

    • It is a very nice geothermal field, and it is the worlds currently largest output geothermal field.
      It is though not the worlds largest geothermal power facility since the produced 1590MWh per working hour comes out of 18 separate power plants. 🙂

      Anyway, it is very nice.

      Just for reference, one of the plants we are planning will have two blocks of 600MWh per each block. That is a world record by 3 times. I hope to be able to talk more about that one, and the other plants, in a year or so.

      • Looking forward to seeing the update! Hopefully I’ll remember to remind you (you still owe us a write up on rapid magmatic rejuvenation, as I recall)?
        BTW, have you ever visited/inspected The Geysers in your travels?
        It is absolutely jaw dropping to see the power plants/main control facility up close. Plus, a winery tour after-hours is must.
        Back in the day when I was doing my plasma research, I got a chance to do a “back door” tour.
        Was amazing to see the myriad of controls and the amount of peripheral equipment needed to keep the facilities operating at peak efficiency.
        Lot’s of good jobs, too.

        • I have done that, but just for a brief tour.

          Most of the plants are fairly old, modern ones tend to be more easily controlled and have far fewer employees.

    • My mood can be easily saved by something relevant. So this saved my mood last night. I must admit that I had never heard about Clear Lake Volcanic Field and the geothermal plant. So, thanks.

    • The second largest geothermal plant in the US is in Southern California (Salton Sea). GM has invested in the lithium production as byproduct from the brine.

  26. 5.0 mbLg SW VILLA DE MAZO.ILP
    2021/10/31 17:52:51IV-V

  27. Former Canadian Ambassador, James George, details the series of events in his book, The Little Green Book on Awakening. In 1981, Adam Trombly filed an international patent application (WO/1982/002126) for his and Joseph Kahn’s co-invention of the “Closed Path Homopolar Machine”, a zero-point energy device. In 1983, Trombly was issued a gag order by the U.S. government to stop development of the “Closed Path Homopolar Machine.” Then sometime before 1989, Trombly’s gag order was dropped and he developed another zero-point energy device with David Farnsworth, called the Piezo Ringing Resonance Generator. In June of 1989, Trombly was scheduled to demonstrate a small version of his Piezo Ringing Resonance Generator at the UN in New York, but at the last minute he was forced to do it at a church down the street.

    Afterwards Trombly gave a speech in Dag Hammarskjöld Auditorium at the United Nations in front of an international audience. A few days later, Trombly was scheduled to demonstrate the same device at the US Senate Banking and Finance Committee in Washington. Only Senator Carl Levin and a “handful” of staff were in attendance because the Senior Bush Administration called hundreds of Senators, Congressional Representatives and their staff members for an “off-the-cuff” discussion of the Clean Air Act at the exact same time as Trombly’s demonstration. Thus, the Bush administration successfully diverted attention away from the technology in an effort to censor Trombly.
    I think people should be informed about some things which have happened in regard to energy and this is one of them.

    • Don’t believe it. A patent does not mean a working device exists or that the patent is based on sound science. Involvement of members of the elite (CEOs, former secretaries of state) does not mean anything either, see e.g. Theranos or my favorite: Brilliant Light Power (based on the theory of the hydrino, a hydrogen atom where the electron transitioned below the ground state thereby releasing energy).

      From Wikipedia (
      “Among the investors are PacifiCorp, Conectiv, retired executives from Morgan Stanley and several BLP board members like Shelby Brewer who was the top nuclear official for the Reagan Administration and Chief Executive Officer of ABB-Combustion Engineering Nuclear Power and former board member Michael H. Jordan (1936 – 2010), who was Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo Worldwide Foods, Westinghouse Electric Corporation, CBS Corporation and Electronic Data Systems.”

      This company has been around for over 20 years without ever releasing the frequently announced product. It must be some sort of money laundering operation, there is no other explanation. Please behold the youtube demonstrations, they are hilarious.

      Quantum theory already has reliably established the ground state of the electron in the hydrogen atom. There is nothing below it.

      If a radically superior new source of energy were discovered it would be adopted since it confers a significant competitive advantage. All this stuff is in the realm of antigravity devices and classified government UFOs and such like.

      • One of the best bullshit detectors is if it is breaking the law of conservation of energy, or one of the other laws of thermodynamics.

        Second bullshit detector is if the name contains random scientific-sounding words stringed together. To date no such name has ended up being real (please prove me wrong).

        If it passes these tests I can listen in for five seconds.
        Neither of these examples does pass muster.

        I might be visionairy on the size and scale of the plants, but rest assured that they are cobbled together using proven reliable cheap (well nothing in a large power plant is cheap really) off the shelf-technology.
        We can’t solve our problems by hoping for vapourware or technological breakthroughs decades away.
        It may theoretically be possible to quantum-tunnel into a star for energy, or even use a black hole as a generator, but we are millennia away from being able to do that (at best).

        Nor can a duofuncular homoquark vibrator, that breaks all laws of physics, do it.

        • WOW!
          duofuncular homoquark vibrator, must do something to someone, surely?

        • I doubt it. It’s probably both on and off at the same time, depending on how you look at it.

        • Interestingly Noether’s theorem and general relativity combine to show energy is not conserved (and nor is momentum). This is because time (and space) are not invariants.
          However its fair to say that its not so much broken as respecified in a very particular way.
          When I first came across this it was a shivery paradigm shift moment, that are so rare.
          Sadly perpetual motion is still utterly prohibited …

          • Well, one could say that the increase in the rate of expansion of the Universe might be considered as a perpetual motion engine that is increasing it’s energy content.
            But, I am fairly certain that when we figure out what the heck is going on with that we will find that the solution is following all physical laws.

            (I think that as Albert reads this he is groaning a bit)

          • By definition the universe follows physical laws.
            Its not absolutely clear what is going on at astronomic scales, basically WE DO NOT KNOW. We can invent postulates (none of these are theories) that purport to ‘explain’ but there is no evidence of the cause, despite billions spent looking.
            Inflation: a postulate.
            Dark Energy: a postulate none seen
            Dark Matter: a postulate none seen
            Because a paradigm shift could (and I think will) show these to be as real as phlogiston.
            PS We CAN say that some energy in the universe is declining in absolute terms, the cosmic microwave background was once very energetic photons in the electronvolt range and is now very low energy, and mass is energy…

          • I would say that the inflation part is fairly well on it’s way to transitioning from being a postulate into being a theory. After all, we can see it happening, or at least we have good cause to believe that it is what we are seeing.

            Dark matter and dark energy might very well be modern phlogiston. But, unlike phlogiston this has a bit to much nifty math behind it to be easily whacked aside as being phlogiston.

            The interesting thing for me is that people are so convinced that the universe is cyclical that they need to invent the modern phlogiston.

            If we instead assume that the modern phlogiston does not exist, but that inflation is real, then we have the end of the cyclical theory of Big Crunch/Big Bang. Instead we have only inflation from a point source, and when we accept that we will have way fun figuring out where the heck an entire universe load of energy sprouted out from.

            Incidentally, if the universe would be cyclical the first law of thermodynamics forbids a state transition from cyclical to inflationary. Ahem, seems like everyone is forgetting this.

            (I do not envy Albert when he comes back finding us speculating in his garden patch, I do think he will grab our ears and spank us 🙂 )

            /Edit: The spanking will be delivered in the form of deep sighs, and a lengthy professorial lecture on why we are dimwhits in the field of astrophysics. I have a deep feeling that he will exact revenge upon me for digressing into his field of excellence by exacting pints… many pints… my poor wallet.

          • Inflation has no mechanism, its just a postulate whose results fit observations.
            There are many of these.
            What we are seeing is what physicists say they like, which is experimental results that do not fit with current theory, they then basically use current theory with phantom objects which fit current theory and claim they are ‘invisible’.
            What is needed is new theory, and when it comes it will be phlogiston all over again.

        • @farmeroz: gravitational lensing is a pretty good indication of unseen matter. The technique is already highly developed.

          • Nobody denies gravitational lensing. But the examples can be explained without bringing in dark matter. The papers I have seen have been a tad circumspect, along the lines of ‘a null result isn’t published’, but its a fairly arcane area. The really VAST elephant in the room is nul detection of anything on earth. Also they seem to be having problems with dark matter within our galaxy despite some big surveys. Well, they have data, lots, but nothing much published, which suggests its not giving the right answer.

  28. Coming away from UK north south politics and back to what I thought this site was about, yes….volcanos…..

    La Palma
    It looks like there are fewer quakes at depth the last few days while the shallower chamber continues. All the experts out there, do you think this is a sign that the shallow magma chamber has refilled and is now pulling less from depth, so pressure might start rebuilding or is it something else? If présure rebuilds could we get another / longer eruption.

    • Volcanologists suggest that the deep quakes are coming to an end first, then the shallow ones will follow.
      Meanwhile the SO2 (and CO2?) will go down, and the eruption will finish.

      I already asked the following once, but maybe I wasn’t clear:
      Why can you tie the eruption end to SO2 <= 100 t/day? Because SO2 is the main driver gas?

      Then what about steam? Isn't that a driver enough?

      • SO2 is emitted when magma comes up to the surface so that the rate of SO2 emission should roughly correlate with the rate of eruption. This is not always true, but in an average dyke fed eruption like the one in La Palma I think it should apply. If the SO2 goes down it might mean less material is being erupted, and that the eruption is waning and could end soon.

      • Water coming from the volcano cannot be measured I think. Because there is already a lot of water in the atmosphere.

      • Thank you Héctor for your explanation, and Carl for the confirmation.
        Very precious, you all keep VC up and thriving! 🙂

    • No expert.
      GPS on the island show a constant deflation. So my guess is the shallower chamber is not refilling.
      What happens at deeper level is not very clear, any way I haven’t read a decent explanation.
      The number of deep quakes per day were not very constant in the past weeks. We have seen some days more without or with few deep ones before. But todays M5 shows there is ongoing stress for sure! 🙂

      There was suggested that higher activity deep down lead to stronger surface activity. I didn’t find that very clear though. Hah, well, webcams are not always able to show all there is to see ofcourse.

      • My thoughts precisely, why volcanoes cannot behave more predictably when well instrumented is quite annoying…

      • The earthquake activity is by now not related to increase in stress, instead it is caused by decrease.
        As the magma goes out of the dyke(s) in the dykeswarm you will invevitably get a shift downwards and outwards of the flank of the island.
        This happened during previous eruptions.
        And no, I am not talking about a total flank collapse, just slow resettling.

          • As in moving out towards the sea.
            We saw the same during the last rift-eruption at Kilauea, but there it was one larger earthquake that took care of the business.

          • Was it really the same? At Kilauea it happened during the opening of the dike at a shallow depth corresponding to the basal detachment fault at the interface between old oceanic crust and overlying volcanic rock. At La Palma the quakes grow larger as the eruption progresses and they are deep. Very deep. Well below the Moho.

            I’m struggling to see why the movement should be outward when the dike drains. Wouldn’t outward movement correspond to a widening dike, like at Kilauea?

    • Here are the quakes of the last days. Colors are distributed according to the depth. Assuming constant accuracy of the depth estimate, the yellow quakes were slightly less deep today.

      • Given the clumping about 10k depth, any chance of having depth as a log scale?

      • Thanks everyone for the fab responses.

        So I take it the fewer deep quakes are most likely to be an early sign things could be slowing as there is no more inflation. Mostl likely, but the. Again anything could happen 😁🤨

        Your graphs are great Quinauberon. May I add a cheeky request to Farmeroz’s log scale. Is it possible to reverse the quake depth scale so the deeper ones are at the bottom? It always confuses me that graphs aren’t -depths when quakes are under the ground…

  29. Lava continues to flow into the Halema’uma’u inner pit from the wall vent.

    The rootless lava lake is now many 100 s of meters deep, and must be an enormous weight

    • Really an insane rootless lava lake..
      250 meters deep now since it started to fill in december

  30. Only when all the fish from the sea and plants from the land have gone

    .wíll man know he can’t eat money

    • For your amusement check out the bristlemouths (a species of fish dwelling in the twilight zone, 2 inches long, the most abundant vertebrates on earth numbering in the trillions or possibly quadrillions.

      They don’t look very nice but are the future of fish food.

      • Amazing info, thanks for this. But didn’t most commercial fish number in the trillions once?

        • Our misuse of fish stocks shows why fishing should be strictly controlled by the local government. The temptation to overfish is so great that fish will be overfished otherwise.
          An individual farmer owning his land will farm to maximise long term profit (assuming he knows how), whilst common land will be overused and depleted to the point of minimal production.
          Which is why I support greenpeace (for the first time) in putting net snags in fish spawning grounds.

          • Old Devil’s like us are truly becoming religious in this day and age.

            I am about as green as they come, but even I have had problems stomaching Greenpeace, but as you I also agree on the net snags. Without fish and oceans working properly we are well and truly horked.

          • Hugh,
            the tragedy of the commons is what happens when everybody can plunder a resource. Its how fishing is done today – anyone can fish. Its why when land was enclosed and owned by one person it paid to raise the fertility because you were not just benefiting others.
            Or were you agreeing with me?

          • Hmm, I’m a mix of green and not so green. I prefer maximising both as far as possible. This is why I hate the eco-regs that determine what farmers plant for silly eco-reasons. Have eco, arable worst, grazed livestock very good, and almost untouched even better. This simple concept seems beyond the ken of ecofreakology who basically want the worst of all.
            A shame.

          • I believe Canada has worked out some excellent and fair quota systems for fishing particular species, with science and commerce working together. They learned the hard way, I guess, with the collapse of the Grand Banks. There seems to be some protection for independant small/medium fishing boats/collectives from super-trawlers.
            The other ‘have your cake and eat it’ is the Marine Reserve cornucopia, where an undisturbed area allows fish to be fish ie generating vast numbers of fry that spill out to restock fished areas. And limits on seafloor disturbing ‘bulldozer’ trawling, for the same reason.

          • To Marine:
            yes, total fishing exclusion zones are probably one of the best ways to go. Its been enforced on some coral islands against the local’s wishes but within a decade the yield from the remaining areas rose hugely and now its become almost sacred, with the locals imposing it (and policing it) very effectively.

    • As long as you clean it first and it doesn’t contain zinc bob’s your uncle

    • Now they have just changed the camera view.
      You can see the fountain but it is still looking very dull and without any brilliance.

  31. Seriously…

    I am appalled about what I found upstairs in the comments.
    Next comment I find that is abusive will give a very rapid airlocking.

    Debating is one thing, but random insults and accusations is quite something else.

    We have basically one rule in here, that is “Be Nice!”. In the future, before pressing the post comment button, reread what you have written and ponder upon if it is nice.


  32. I’m a big fan of geothermal for electricity, but, I also like it for other uses as well. For example, using sites that are marginal (due to lower ground temps) to generate hot water for heating.

    I’m also far from convinced that we know where geothermal won’t work; current science regarding subsurface temperatures is incomplete. As an example of what I mean, there are quite a few hot springs and geothermal features worldwide that can’t be explained by the current models. To name just one;
    It’s also worth noting that a 40MW binary-cycle geothermal plant was operating in New Hampshire (which has no volcanic-linked geothermal resources, as far as I can tell) as far back as 70 years ago.

    Seems to me that there are potential geothermal areas besides volcanic formations. It might be worth investigating natural geothermal features in non-volcanic regions when looking for geothermal resources.

    What I like most about geothermal electric generation is that it can be used, in part, for surge generation capacity. (peak load vs. base load). This is ever more critical when unreliable sources such as wind and solar are used – those require creating backup surge generation (such as gas turbines) which somehow gets omitted from the cost figures for wind and solar. (and if you don’t do this, you create an unreliable grid, prone to blackouts when its cloudy or not windy) The alternative is storage capacity on a massive scale – which we don’t have the tech to do economically (and without massive environmental damage) at the moment.

    • Anything that heats rock will produce hot rocks.
      In the alps its probably giving them a good crushing and also lifting deep hot rocks up to surface levels.
      Add some water to move from deeper hotter towards the surface and its even better still.
      There, just one possible alternative mechanism not igneous-based.

    • I agree, hot water or heating purposes is important, especially up here in the cold north. And there is a heck of a lot more hot water or low-grade flash-steam down there than there are high grade dry steam or supercritical fluid sources.

      Obviously we will need to search more for suitable locations, we do not know nearly enough about where to find it. But, we do know how to look for it.

      Now over to New Hampshire, we do know where the heat comes from. There is a lordy pile of magma at depth under New England, most likely caused by pre-subduction due to pressure from Iceland. It is the same thing under southern Norway.

      The surgeability of Geothermal power is one of its advantages, it is not as good as Hydropower in this regard, but it is definitely better than coal or nuclear power.

      In regards of searching outside of magmatic fields (aka. volcanoes), yes we will have to do that. But, for us as a company it is far more efficient to go straight into the volcanoes that we have identified since the net margin is so much higher. Kind of, let us go for the low hanging fruit to begin with. 🙂
      Remember that the plants we will be building have capital costs averaging between 1 and 2.5 billion Euro per plant. And with amortisation and interest payments we need to be very very sure that they will be profitable.
      In other words, if a government would open the wallet and help us out we would be happy to do it, but without support we will not do experimental stuff. With currently 4 plants (and counting) in the works we can’t do anything to much out of the box. We are depending on being able to drive the plants faster, harder, deeper, hotter and cheaper than ever done before, and that is impossible on an experimental platform.

      In regards of grid storage for peak energy demand management. There is definitely batteries in testing that can do this cheaper, safer, and without whacking the planet. I especially like Ambris Liquid Metal batteries, at least the test implementations seems to hold up to the hype. (The homepage does though suck lard though a garden hose).

      • Liquid metal batteries are definitely the thing we should use for majority storage, cell level energy density doesnt really matter for stationary application but energy density of the anode does, and alkali metals have very high energy density and also are very cheap even found as relative pure compounds in nature. Also building an Ambri battery to be physically the size and shape of a conventional building (as in tall and compact) would actually improve performance, heat is better conserved and physical distances travelled are lower so less resistance. Li-ion battery storage like that from Tesla have a role, it has got very high power output which is desirable in some situations, but the batteries were designed for cars, not sitting around for 20 years getting charged and discharged daily. Use here should be as a power buff, not the bulk storage.

        Perhaps the best implement for Li-ion storage would actually be for electric car charging stations. These stations are already incredibly powerful machines, in some cases able to charge a few hundred km of range in minutes (charge rate is exponential, the last bit is much slower than the first half). The proposed Tesla megachargers are so called for being made to charge at megawatt rates, Li-ion is the only option here unless you have a spare nuclear reactor 🙂

      • From what you have told us the power output is comparable to a nuclear plant (in favorable circumstances). But it likely is faster and cheaper to build and of course has much less risk associated with it.

        Currently the spent fuel rods residing at nuclear power plants (20-30 years worth) alone can take us down if not continuously tended to properly.

        • Batteries are much cheaper yes, we are already putting them up all over the place. The Ambri batteries are also at early stage, currently more expensive than Tesla storage but much cheaper than when Li-ion was equivalent, so will become very attractive with economy of scale.

          EV batteries also are unsuitable for the cars after degradation of 20% or more, but still function exactly as normal, so will be repurposed to storage. The million mile battery is actually where the battery will drive the car that far before degrading by 20%, these things are incredibly robust. Yes when the new format of structural batteries comes out the whole car is a write off but most ICE cars will never get close to this before similar so it is not an issue.

          Only really far down the line, when the storage batteries cant be reused, will the recycling business kick off. Ambri is not outside this loop either, using different liquid metals can be advantageous, recycled lithium will be dirt cheap compared to mining new stuff at that point.

          Personally I think there is potential in a sodium chlorine battery, like a downs cell run in reverse. Chlorine is a gas so not ideal but it is stationary so a massive heavily reinforced tank of it would be acceptible I think. Sodium melts at about 100 C so low temperature application too.

          • When I last looked it was degradation TO 20% of original capacity.
            Lead acid are rated to 50% of initial capacity.
            Reusing lead-acid should be rather cheap and trivial, reuse case (currently destroyed), remake lead, re-use acid and dissociate lead sulphate to acid+lead.
            The rather complex structure of Li-I is very much harder.
            Na-S and perhaps Ca-S are better choices. One floats on the other.
            Also very large recycling electrolyte using elements like Mo or Mn have been postulated, and are under test. Here the oxidised/reduced electrolytes are stored in massive tanks in aqueous solution and pumped over the electrodes.

          • I once saw a documentary where water batteries were discussed. Physics of it all is beyond me, seems like water and batteries are something that shouldn’t mix! But if it is possible then would that be pretty green as you would not need to mine minerals? The size of then has to be pretty big from memory, so no good for cars,but for buildings or grid storage, why not? I imagine you could get a lot on the land surrounding generating locations anywhere.

            Is my memory playing tricks? Are water batteries even a possibility?

          • Not in the usual sense, but if you crack water into hydrogen and oxygen through electrolysis, and then add an energy fuel cell running on hydrogen, well you sort of have a battery since it would reproduce the water needed for recharging as a byproduct.

    • In your link (very interesting) the old group of Asháninka is mentioned, as old as the Inka. The never-ending problems with energy:
      “The problem with the 2,000-megawatt Pakitzapango Dam is that it has a permanent location that is proposed to be located in the heart of Peru’s Ene valley and could displace as many as 10,000 Ashanínka. These encroaching problems have not only extremely changed the generational culture of the Ashanínka tribal societies, but has also changed landscape of what we call modern-day Peru.áninka

      Maybe geothermal would be better here?

      • Peru is definitely prime location for ridiculous amounts of geothermal energy.

    • There are towns in Nova Scotia who use the water from the old flooded coal mines for home heating. The water is warmed by the natural back ground heat of the rock at the bottom of the mine and natural rises to the top of the shaft. Free heating.


    Looks like Grimsvötn is about to erupt soon
    More magma have accumulated now below the caldera than in 2011. Looks like the Iceland Hotspot is undergoing a sourge in magma supply, the 2011 and 2014 events are all a part of this sourge.

    The next Grimsvötn eruption maybe longer lasting and at lower intensity than 2011
    I hopes for a caldera Surtsey Island next time in Grimsvötn

    • Grimsvötn may also just go to sleep for 50 years who knows

      But 2000 years ago Grimsvötn erupted as frequent as every 2 th year for a long time.

      What will happen now, I dont know

    • If there is a meltwater flood that drains the lake.. it will erupt because of depressurization like it did in 2004
      Now by 2021 There is large sulfur emissions, so perhaps pressure is very high in the volcano

    • I get the feel that next eruption event will be longer lasting and at lower intensity than 2011 with more magma avaible

    • Chad Whats your musings on Grimsvötns future .. I know that most of the magma thats feed into Grimsvötn never comes up to the surface, stolen by passive rifting.

      Since 2020 the volcano have developed a huge sulfur gas emission that was not there before. Is magma moving up to the surface in Grimsvötn now?

      • If it was going to erupt slowly I think it would already have done that, especially if the magma chamber is shallow enough to be set off by decompression when the lake drains. The SO2 might be mostly hydrothermal, maybe the ground was permafrost before so couldnt allow degassing but heating from below and also melting from above have allowed the heat of the volcano to the surface, and the shallow nature of the magma sees huge emissions. Maybe if this goes for a long time the eruptions actually could be slow but I dont think it will last that long, and the caldera seems to function as a trapdoor caldera not a vent like at Kilauea. Probably best bet for a lava lake is a shield somewhere, or a tuya forming just south of Grimsvotn and breaking the surface to make a lake there. Either way a deep eccentric eruption not an eruption at the central volcano.

      • Yes its probaly a trapdoor caldera: seems like to be an icey version of a Galapagos Caldera

    • Héctor Sacristán

      Whats your opinion on whats going on with Grimsvötn?

      The massive sulfur degassing started in 2020 and thats really Intresting.
      One of the largest sulfur gas emissions for any sleeping volcano the geologists noticed.

  34. Tremor plot of La Palma is looking a bit more “aggressive” than yesterday, it has more of that irregular spikes.

  35. Deep quake activity on LaPalma (daily summary), all quakes deeper than 25km since the start of data available from EMSC (2014). Sorry for the formatting, the blog software eliminates anything nicer (as far as I know):

    Date # Num_Quake # Avg_Depth # Avg_Magnitude # KiloTonsTNT
    2021-11-01 # 3 # 33.3 # 3.00 # 0.0949
    2021-10-31 # 5 # 37.0 # 3.30 # 1.2526
    2021-10-30 # 4 # 38.2 # 3.58 # 2.5073
    2021-10-29 # 2 # 36.5 # 2.95 # 0.0540
    2021-10-28 # 7 # 31.0 # 3.10 # 1.5883
    2021-10-27 # 10 # 33.0 # 3.42 # 24.2295
    2021-10-26 # 20 # 35.0 # 3.35 # 25.3716
    2021-10-25 # 7 # 31.7 # 3.03 # 0.3481
    2021-10-24 # 4 # 34.8 # 3.35 # 0.6274
    2021-10-23 # 14 # 36.3 # 3.45 # 14.6819
    2021-10-22 # 11 # 34.1 # 3.28 # 3.1748
    2021-10-21 # 3 # 33.7 # 3.87 # 5.4383
    2021-10-20 # 2 # 38.0 # 2.60 # 0.0168
    2021-10-19 # 8 # 34.6 # 3.49 # 9.2297
    2021-10-18 # 15 # 35.3 # 3.15 # 3.3116
    2021-10-17 # 26 # 35.3 # 3.12 # 7.3162
    2021-10-16 # 8 # 35.9 # 3.44 # 8.8535
    2021-10-15 # 21 # 34.7 # 3.14 # 7.8925
    2021-10-14 # 18 # 32.9 # 3.03 # 2.4539
    2021-10-13 # 6 # 33.0 # 3.32 # 4.4569
    2021-10-12 # 6 # 36.0 # 3.30 # 1.0740
    2021-10-11 # 3 # 34.0 # 3.00 # 0.1274
    2021-10-10 # 35 # 34.6 # 3.00 # 5.8266
    2021-10-09 # 21 # 33.9 # 3.07 # 2.3614
    2021-10-08 # 4 # 37.0 # 3.52 # 1.7636
    2021-10-07 # 6 # 35.8 # 3.37 # 3.5237
    2021-10-06 # 9 # 36.4 # 3.10 # 1.1330
    2021-10-05 # 8 # 35.5 # 3.33 # 1.4441
    2021-10-04 # 2 # 32.5 # 3.15 # 0.1078
    2021-10-02 # 4 # 34.5 # 2.90 # 0.0922
    2021-10-01 # 1 # 39.0 # 2.80 # 0.0158
    2021-09-19 # 1 # 25.0 # 2.70 # 0.0112
    2021-08-31 # 1 # 27.0 # 2.10 # 0.0014
    2021-06-27 # 1 # 31.0 # 1.80 # 0.0005
    2021-06-26 # 1 # 31.0 # 2.00 # 0.0010
    2021-06-25 # 6 # 33.0 # 2.00 # 0.0076
    2021-06-03 # 1 # 33.0 # 2.20 # 0.0020
    2021-03-11 # 1 # 36.0 # 1.80 # 0.0005
    2021-02-02 # 1 # 28.0 # 2.20 # 0.0020
    2021-01-31 # 3 # 27.3 # 1.87 # 0.0019
    2020-12-28 # 1 # 35.0 # 1.70 # 0.0004
    2020-12-26 # 2 # 42.5 # 2.30 # 0.0164
    2020-12-25 # 2 # 28.0 # 2.00 # 0.0021
    2020-12-24 # 30 # 29.5 # 1.97 # 0.0310
    2020-12-23 # 18 # 28.4 # 1.95 # 0.0180
    2020-11-21 # 2 # 33.5 # 2.10 # 0.0030
    2020-10-09 # 2 # 34.0 # 2.05 # 0.0024
    2020-08-02 # 2 # 25.0 # 2.00 # 0.0020
    2020-07-31 # 1 # 28.0 # 2.00 # 0.0010
    2020-07-30 # 2 # 26.0 # 2.25 # 0.0048
    2020-07-28 # 4 # 28.0 # 2.10 # 0.0058
    2020-07-25 # 6 # 29.2 # 2.18 # 0.0144
    2020-07-24 # 1 # 29.0 # 2.00 # 0.0010
    2014-02-10 # 1 # 40.0 # 3.50 # 0.1778

    I can filter the EMSC data arbitrarily and compute all sorts of things so let me know what you want to know.

    /Sneaky new Lurker-name spotted. 🙂

  36. Noticed just now that there are some deep quakes under Kilaueas summit. There are not actually many quakes around Kilauea at all since it began erupting but a lot of those which have are at or below 10 km, all within the boundary of its caldera, so pretty obviously magma related. Its not an impending disaster but seems at least something to watch, might be a firework show if a batch of gas rich magma shows up 🙂

    • The Rise of .. Cthulhu 🙂

      I hopes Halema’uma’u goes Tarawera soon

      • I don’t think that is possible. Perhaps in a couple of decades if the summit caldera collapses again and and it does so bigger than in 2018, and even then I’m not sure it could reach the scale of Tarawera.

      • Kilauea maybe too open for that too, with a large supply and open pathways.. still If a major summit magma body blows You gets Masaya in Kilauea

        If Kilauea clogged up then You will get a real hellflood

        Most of the supply that comes in Hawaii erupts

      • Was also more refering to the current vent suddenly fountaining again, maybe to great height. The caldera is so deep though it would take something a few hundred meters tall to actually look big, the lava lake is enormous, probably the biggest such lake we have seen in recent decades at Kilauea, probably over 70 million m3 total and in under a year too. 1959 was 61 million m3, and both 1952 and 1967-68 were about as big as todays lake but were active in total for longer.

        The fact it is not the full supply though means a lot must be going into the ERZ which is still spreading as evidence from the quakes on the south flank. There is deflation at Pu’u O’o so that area is currently not connected, but the more the flank moves south the more open it gets, while the lake at the summit gets higher, eventually it is going to all go east again, probably sooner than later too.

    • The event that created the Powers Caldera and other huge calderas at Kilaūea, are They massive Thjorsahraun style drainouts?

      Or are They insane ring fault caldera basaltic plinian fountain blowouts?

      • I think that calderas on Kilauea grow incrementally, each collapse a bit bigger than the last or is centerd on a different spot. Powers caldera didnt collapse again so must be the final tier, it would have been an eruption over 10 km3 out on the seafloor somewhere.

        Basaltic plinian eruptions would have played at any caldera that was collapsing into the deeper chamber. 2018 was a bigger than average collapse of only one chamber, Ahu’aila’au was not low enough elevation.
        If the 5 km3 pit seen in the early historical period was all made in 1790 that is an eruption of similar volume. Likely not of higher intensity, so would have been over a year of collapsing, and each time the volcano collapsed all the gas that came out of solution at the summit was violently erupted from the ring fault. The big bang that year was hydrothermal but the reticulite around the caldera was probably the same eruption just later on. Volume is not huge, VEI 3, but it is very powerful, the blowtorch fountains at La Palma are I think a good visual.

        The collapse in the 1500s seems to be an initial lava flood on land (Pu’u Kaliu) which did a lot of damage to the summit but didn’t go full caldera. Some decades later it completed the job with the eruption in the Kahawali story, which was mostly submarine but began on land. One can see parallels now, Pu’u Kaliu is right next to Ahu’aila’au, and the ERZ is still wide open and active just presently gravity doesnt favor that way. In a few decades it will be very interesting…

        Taal I think is going to do this in the shorter term…

  37. The aftermath of a different eruption: The floating logs of Spirit Lake, still floating more than 40 years after Mount St. Helens eruption:

    BTW: The University of Washington is looking to find other places with floating logs to compare those lakes with Spirit Lake: “We would love to learn of other lakes in the world with large numbers of floating logs for comparison to Spirit Lake.”

    • I don’t get it why they leave the logs in there and also why they don’t rebuild the older facilities – There were six camp sites on the lake.
      Not possible, not accessible any more? Water quality?
      Didn’t find anything about it.

      • Because the area is a study area on how land returns to normal (without help), so no meddling by log-jammin’ 😉

        The camp-sites got removed by the eruption, and they try to keep the area pristine for the studies, so no log-jammin’-campsites for pesky humans.

        • What about the First People? They would take care of it. Ample deer and new fishing-grounds.;-)

        • Some of us around here, esp. the older ones, have a real interest, sometimes close to an obsession, with the First people of North America. We had a writer at the end of the 19th! century read well into the eighties of the last century who wrote altogether around 70 books about the First people, the Rio dela Plata Area and the Middle East called Karl May. So we knew everything that he thought was right about Sioux, Apache, Comanche, Kiowa, Cheyenne, Shoshone and so on.
          I was so fascinated that I bought a flash light to continue at night, and then later, I did my exam in English about a real piece of history: “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”.
          There is also a new very good book by a Swiss author called Aram Mattioli: Mondi perduti/Verlorene Welten/Lost worlds, not translated into English, unfortunately.

  38. “If you have residents next door to the plant, you will have to limit drilling hours and avoid weekends. People tend to be accepting during the day, but at night and on the weekends, they are far less accepting. After all, who would like their garden salad, baked potato, steak, and beer accompanied by gentle wafts of rotten eggs?”

    Our local farmer here should read this. He just loves to spray his fields with liquid manure on Saturdays.

    You had a very good and very human thought here, Carl. You wrote that homeowners often love their homes. And that’s the truth, esp. in the UK.

    • Has there ever been found an explanation for the sudden end of FAF?
      To me it looks like there was a lack of driver gases.

    • I eat my words. 22:08 UTC pitch black once more.
      View has changed over to the erupted lava because the black was too boring.

      • Watch Afar TV feed 2 and plenty of lava. I think you can even hear the lava bombs landing tonight. They look quite big on the camera. As least I think it might be the lava bombs, the thuds seem to consistent with the video

        • Or someone is meddling with the sound / kicking the camera getting bored after 2 months watching 😀

  39. Oooh. La Palma 22.51 on Afar Feed 2, mini fountains suddenly started from mini vent at the front. First time I’ve seen actual fountain inn from the mini vent.

  40. Just been on Volcano Discovery and it looks as if Badarbunga is swarming… are Grimsvotn, Badarbunga and Askja linked?

  41. Bardabunga is very noisy. These small quakes are not a strong indication of anything. Askja is on the MAR fault, the other two have had fissures to the MAR in the past. But they don’t share magma chambers, so the eruption of one has very little to do with another. . Disclaimer: amatuer postulation.

    Short answer: no

  42. Is it possible, that the violence of the La Palma eruption is driven by the entrance of seawater to the magmatic system? In this case there must be high Cl-concentrations.

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