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. Looks like Apollo 11 lunar module is still orbiting the moon.. and still probaly pressurized
    Its orbit have not decayed yet

  2. I mentioned this today shortly. The Harrat Rahat lava field in Saudi Arabia almost swallowed the holy city of Medina in 1256 AD. It is amazing to see the lava tentacles from space. Apparently parts of the city are already built on the lava field of that so far last eruption.

    There are also some older cones (from an eruption 641 AD) within today’s city limits. Source of this information and the right image:

  3. You would think the lava is flowing like crazy in the TV Canarias streams.
    However, I think it is only the strong hot air currents wobbling the picture, which is zoomed in just as strongly.
    I have been staring at the lava for 10 min, and it keeps coming back to looking the same. Unfortunately the air moves in the flow direction of the lava, that’s why the wobbling flows are easily confused with true lava motion. :/

    • The activity of volcano rised on last hours… @RTVCes

  4. With reference to two things mentioned on the previous page:

    1. Life is that which evolves. So, there’s something with an information storage, with a phenotype and behavior that are influenced by that information, and the ability to transmit that information in some way, through heredity or in other ways (F-plasmid, language), and the information storage is susceptible to mutations of some kind. Optional, but helpful, is if the information can be recombined with that of another instance as well, so that beneficial mutations that arise separately can become combined later on without one of them having to independently re-arise in the other one’s lineage.

    Other things, such as fire and crystals, that grow or even seem to reproduce, lack this capacity to evolve and “learn” from their environment. This is why they cannot develop the complexity we associate with life.

    2. Farmeroz wrote: “Trump was voted in legally by americans[sic]. Its their right, whilst we can deplore much of who he is and what he stands for he is not remotely as bad as most developing world ‘leaders’, many of who[sic] strip their country bare and impoverish their populations.” In fairness to Trump, his failure to do so was not for lack of trying.

    • Regarding #2: With you all the way, but moving on now. He’s a former TV personality who thrives on attention. I have better things to do with my time than give it to him.

      For instance, here we are at VolcanoCafe.

  5. I know that the space – shuttle main engines operates at 3300 C and is cooled by the liquid cryogenic fuel itself

    Do anyone here know the combustion chamber temperatures of the Saturn V Rocket engines?
    They used Liquid Kerosene and Liquid Oxygen
    Von Braun with the Rocketdyne F-1 of the first heavy stage.

    Rocket Engines are the most insane machines that man have ever built. They are working at extreme temperatures and pressures, and without cooling and souch they woud vaporize being as hot as some stars. Woud not be good to stand below the Saturn V engines when its lit 😂 Saturn V is in my opinion the most spectacular machine that mankind ever built.
    Must have been very loud for the apollo astronauts during launch

    I know that this is a volcano forum
    But I will Ask my engineer question
    Saturn V combustion chamber temperature?
    Internet gives little answers

    • Rocketdyne F-1 of the first heavy stage where so powerful that I think the sound waves woud kill you If you where close enough .. during Launch

      But now back to Volcano Stuff

      • Thank you! Hotter than some Red Dwarf Stars then!
        Insane Machinery this stuff is

        Standing below the exhaust woud turn any unlucky person into plasma

        The dump alot of water during rocket lauches as well as Ice .. to muffle the soundwaves

    • But the Space Shuttles Main Engines Are the cleanest engines, burning Liquid Oxygen with Liquid Hydrogen
      That forms water vapour, basicaly superhot steam that comes out the exahust. A nearly invisible flame from them. Vulcain 5 engines also use them

    • I think you might be interested in Starship then, which fully stacked is bigger than Saturn V and also is 100% real unlike most other concepts. There is an ambitious schedule for an orbital flight before next year 🙂

      F1 engine is though likely to be the biggest liquid fuel engine ever built, it is better to have more smaller engines, hence why Starship booster has over 30, but what was done is done now, with all the glory it deserves. Still, solid rocket boosters have the F1 beat, those made for the SLS are going to be as powerful as Saturn V each and there are two of them on top of the center core that is itself a monster… though solid boosters dont have the specific impulse to reach orbit.

      • Yes been following starship for years: This is going to be insane If Elon Musk acually gets his toys working. Yes 35 Raptor Engines in the super heavy stage. Will be fun to see it go through the atmosphere. The lower stage is also Re – usable. As well as starship itself.

        Reentry for Starship will be Impressive as Hell .. Big meteor that comes in leaving a plasma trail: They are tiling it now with insulation. Starship will be an improved space shuttle.

        If Musk manages to get it working They are going To head to the moon pretty soon. I been waiting for a New lunar landning for a very long time.

        Still Space is killer leathal..
        You go unconcious in seconds If you are exposed to that vaccum. And If a minute is passed by without Re – pressurization
        Then you cannot be recovered at all.

        Starship haves To be 100% operational To be astronaut safe, with all the gears and fuel backups needed it can return to Earth

        • Would say SpaceX has more than proven their tech works, the hard bit is proving the full claimed capability, there will likely be many expended starships before reusability is standard. Falcon 9 was exactly this too though, first 4 years was expendable, then failed landings up to 2017, the pay off is now every launch is a reused booster pretty much, which has cut cost a huge amount, and has proved reused spacecraft as human rated. Starship will be easier relatively because it isnt from scratch, but it is much bigger too. I think personally the first orbital starship will burn spectacularly on reentry, might not even get to orbit at all, but it will be one hell of a show and not a significant delay as more ships and boosters already exist 🙂

          Nuclear rocket tech can allow aliens an escape from a high G planet, but actually discovering that stuff might be easier said than done. 2 earths might be barely escapable but impractical with chemical rockets.

        • 2 Earth masses is hardly more gravity than ours. 1,2 G ?

          Is it barely escapable?

      • These Giants Rockets also show just how strong Earths gravity is, and how lucky we are to end up on a planet light enough where space travel is acually possible.

        My 3 Earth mass Super Earth yeilds 1,3 Earth Gravity
        Is space – flight possible there?

        On 10 Earth mass Super Earths and 2X Earths gravity
        Space – Flight may not be possible at all for aliens?
        They are stuck in their planets gravity well

      • SLS yes sounds like a real monster these boosters 🙂
        Althrough not at all as Re – Usable as Musks toys.
        SLS are just a space shuttle without the orbiter: will still be an insane machine. The inner orange core will burn up, while the boosters are reusable

        It appears that solid boosters are more poweful than liquid rockets

        Liquid Methane + Liquid Oxygen is also a promising fuel

        • SLS boosters wont be reused actually, and reuse on the shuttle was never economic it was more a case of politics. The boosters will be made of aluminium to cut weight. SLSwill never fly commercially, it will launch Artemis 1, Europa Clipper, maybe Artemis 2 and 3, but most of the Artemis program will be co-operative with private launchers. But certainly we will see at least one fly, despite costing more than literally using money as the fuel, it will be a sight to behold, maybe a final salute to the old space age where Starship will bring in the new.

          Methane was chosen because you can make it on Mars, and because liquid methane contains more hydrogen by volume than liquid H2, and is also liquid at similar temperature to oxygen. Also burns very clean, no polymerization issue like with RP-1, and it isnt toxic either. Its also very cheap.

        • SLS looks like a Shuttle stack without the shuttle, but appearances are deceiving.

          The SRB (The two solid rocket boosters) are different; the shuttle ones were 4 segment, these are 5 segment, and unlike the shuttle SRBs there is no recovery hardware – they are 100% expendable, just like the rest of SLS (Including the 4 RS-25E engines on the core stage). The core stage itself is a radical redesign of the Shuttle external tank, due to having different load paths such as needing to carry the payload mass up top, and having the thrust structure at the bottom end). The only actual Shuttle hardware will be the refurbished RS-25D main engines, which are shuttle program leftovers, and will be used on the first 4 launches. After that, SLS will have to use the RS-25E (A redesigned version of the shuttle main engine), because there are only 16 RS-25D engines in existence.

          Solid rockets have a lower ISP (specific impulse) than liquid fuel, but they are denser, so work well for boosters.

          Liquid methane + Liquid oxygen is indeed promising; it’s lower ISP than liquid hydrogen – LOx, but, liquid methane is far denser than hydrogen, so you have a smaller fuel tank, which saves mass. Another possible improvement with liquid methane + Lox is propellant densification; basically making it colder than normal cryogenic propellant, which means you can fit a bit more in the tanks. (the first rocket to use this was the Falcon 9, though that’s Kerosene-Lox). Propellant densification requires an engine built for it. Then, a further gain (long considered a holy grail of rocket engine design) is full-flow staged combustion engines; no wasted fuel used for the turbopumps, instead everything goes through the combustion chamber. This is very efficient, and has never been done before. The engine is called Raptor, and it’s what SpaceX created for its Starship launch system (and it’s flown – all the hop tests and decent-and-landing tests in Boca Chica, Texas, used it). Starship, BTW, may attempt a full stack orbital launch this month (though like any test program, delays are more likely than not). That will be quite a sight; it’s far larger than either SLS or Saturn 5.

          • Raptor is indeed a beast of an engine, I think its confirmed there is an in-development variant that will be the most powerful liquid fuel engine for its size ever made, highest thrust to weight ratio. These will be the outer ring of engines on the superheavy booster, with a few current generation raptors in the middle for stearing, having a gimbal system.

            It is all childs play next to the nuclear saltwater rocket though. If anyone is a fan of Scott Manley you will know what this is 🙂

          • @ Chad;

            I’ll go look up nuclear salt water rocket – I’ve not heard of that, sounds interesting! Thanks!

            SpaceX is pushing for 350 bar chamber pressure on Raptor (maybe not until Raptor 2.0) and if they get it, that’ll massively improve thrust-to-weight. It’ll be hard to beat the SpaceX Merlin 1D for thrust to weight though (Kerlox is a lot less demanding than Methlox). My wild guess is they’ll need to make some metallurgical advances to pull this off, something akin to what the Russians do on the RD-180 (the engine used on the Atlas 5).

            I was rather skeptical of SpaceX early on; I’ve seen many startups with grand plans that never come to much (I call it vaporware). However, what they’ve done sure proved me wrong. They developed the Merlin engine and Raptor,
            and did it in vastly less time (and an order of magnitude less cost) than the redesign of the RS-25D shuttle main engine for SLS (after the first 4 launches). Restarting production on the RS-25D was estimated to result in a per-engine cost of around 90 million, so they reengineered it (due to no longer needing it to be reusable) to make it easier to build. Result? Estimated per engine cost of 132 million – and it’s still unknown whether they’ll hit the ISP target (if not, the RS-25E will have a slightly lower ISP than the original RS-25D Shuttle engines.

            And, to link this to volcanoes in case a Dragon sees my comment (I know I’m crunchy and taste good with ketchup), a Raptor thrust chamber at 300 bar has to withstand temperatures of over 3000C (requiring advanced metallurgy plus regenerative cooling), and that kind of tech might, I think, have application for drilling into actual magma (such as for research and geothermal). And Elon Musk did create a tunneling company (which requires a lot of drilling tech) called The Boring Company. 🙂

      • From to 2 to 6 Earth masses Im soure chemical rockets works, also souch planets coud be superhabitable!

        Question Artemis Will return to the moon right? Im crazy in a New moon landning.
        They should land in the highlands, and bring back more anorthosithes that is the mush that floated on the ancient lunar magma ocean.

        Escaping from the moon is easy.. You needs a tiny engine for that .. and escaping from Ceres is even easier .. : ) and not talking about Mimas .. : )

        • VC adims wrote my gmail adress again
          Please hide it from view!

          At least Chad can contact me directly now 🤣

          Hide it .. wrote my gmail in wrong place

      • Escaping from 2 Earth Masses is possible right?
        Thats only 1,2 G. Althrough it woud make space travel more expensive. The planet itself maybe superhabitable.

        But imagine how easy it is to escape from the moon and not to mention mimas!
        You can can jump 100 s of meters on Mimas and walking woud be difficult. A hard shot golf ball woud fly for ethernity there almost

        Jupiter is almost 3G and There you can never get out 🙂 Once you dumped your velocity in the atmosphere

        The sun is even worse 27 G
        I think: You will be a steaming Pancake If you coud walk the solar photosphere.. crushed flat

        The worst gravity well that haves a surface is the Quark Star there too You will be a steaming pancake of hell and turned into strange matter 🙂

      • @ Chad;

        My favorite part of the development history of the F1 was the combustion instability problem (thrust oscillations that tended to make the engine explode). They figured out how to configure the injector plate to alleviate it, but it’s how they tested it that I love; they put a bomb in it on the test stand. They’d figured out that an explosion would induce instability, so they detonated a small bomb (roughly hand-grenade equivalent) inside the nozzle, with the F-1 running at full throttle. It worked; they got instability, but it self-damped. I’d love to meet the engineer who came up with the idea of detonating a bomb in a running rocked engine. 🙂

    • Also interesting: Pulse Detonation Engines, of which I suggest you could fly supersonic (in theory) using off the shelf fuel and air if you can achieve deflagration to detonation transition (DDT).
      So a supersonic pulse engine, yet without the usual suspects “H2” or “pure oxygen”.

      Disclaimer: I think everything done in this area has purely been experimental, so no production level here (yet).

      • The ultimate chemical rocket engine for efficiency is a rotating detonation engine. It is a continuous detonation wave moving around a cylinder. In theory it is 25% more efficient for the same propellant.

  6. La palma Tv Canaria Drone Flyby on south sector near the volcano.

    • at 15:17 in the above video, that seems like Cogote Mountain in the Involcan tweet below.

    • What to do now?
      1) Herbs and grasses able to survive on ash need to be sown in abundance, probably seeds spread by air.
      2) If its like Lanzarote, very low rainfall but lots of dew these may be hard to find.
      3) Luckily there may be seed sources (perhaps harvestable by hand or small mechanisation) on both La Palma and other Canary islands. They may be seeding as we speak, but not in a few months time.
      Trying to physically dispose of tons of ash, probably into the sea (maybe in time) has consequences. I am aware that ash may be slow to degrade.

      • It is not like Lanzarote. Instead it is strongly influenced by the western position in the Atlantic and has much more rain. Lanzarote and Fuerteventura, also Gran Canaria are dry and sunny, one of the reasons they have more tourism. La Palma is like a wind-breaker in the west and has more agriculture.
        Nobody who knows them well visits La Palma between November end end of February, on the three eastern islands you can swim in winter.

          • The precipitation amounts differ significantly on the Canary Islands, as Denaliwatch pointed out.

            Source: “The climate of the canary islands …” by Bechtel (2016)

          • Quin,
            the whole coastal belt where the people live and the lava is is seriously low rainfall (see your own map). The bananas etc will be fed from saved winter runoff, hence the myriad of circular water silos for each tiny plot of farmland.
            The costs of doing this outside the farmed areas would be prohibitive, and even the farmed areas my not be productive enough under a layer of ash until the ash layer has broken down somewhat.

          • Yes, Quin, nice map. That’s why Gran Canaria’s and Tenerife’s largest beaches and most hotels are in the South and South-West, whereas Fuerteventura has a beach in the East running from North to South along the islands.
            I staid on La Palma (also called Isla Bonita, not Madonna’s one though) many times, also in december. No swimming in december, ocean generally cold, beaches steep. Next to no palm trees, almond trees instead. GC: Palm trees. Hi, Jesper 😉

          • @farmeroz: Yes. Your estimation ~200mm/yr wasn’t that off I guess. So the banana plantations are located in the least wet area because of the mean temperature (which depends on altitude). I have no idea of farming, but I guess that also the very local effects of the sea might in some way favor the banana’s growth…


          The most famous structures of La Palma are the minas galerias (water tunnels) which carry the water from sources in the mountains to cities, villages and farms (mainly banana plantations). La Palma receives almost all of its water supply due to the mar de nubes (sea of clouds), stratocumulus cloud at 1200–1600 m altitude, carried on the prevailing wind which blows from the north-east Trade Winds. The water condenses on the long needles of the trees and other vegetation, it then either drips onto the ground or runs down the trunk etc., into the ground. Eventually it collects inside the rock-strata, and is then drained via the galerias into aqueducts and pipes for distribution. The galerias have been cut into the rocks over centuries. To visit the galerias a permit is required. It is possible to walk alongside many of the aqueducts, a popular activity for tourists (similar to the levadas ofMadeira). The tour to the Marcos y Corderos waterfall and springs is also popular.

          There is an extensive network of irrigation canals in the valley of Los Llanos de Aridane. These canals carry water from the mountains throughout the valley and allow for the cultivation of bananas, avocados, flowers, and other plants. Each farmer gets a scheduled “turn” to fill an irrigation tank with water 24 hours of the day. If a farmer’s turn is at 2 AM he will wake up and make sure to fill his tank when possible so as to have sufficient water for his farm. These round tanks typically gather moss and lily pads upon which frogs make their habitat.

      • Might interest you:
        Concerning irrigation, La Palma should be somewhere in between Costa Rica (no irrigation necessary) and Peru:
        They can’t sell the bananas right now, it says in the article and will lose the whole harvest as ashes stick to the dew and then peels. Inside, it says, they are fine, but the EU won’t buy them with these marks:

      • Might interest you as well as you seem to be a farmer (my honest respect, the most important profession of all): When I was there, a period that ended though 20 years ago, the bananas were totally out of competition as they were half the size of a well sized Chiquita and sort of flourish, very compact.

        I was wondering then why they didn’t try else besides the bananas not even becoming wealthy with them. like fig trees or more almonds.

        Contrast to Mauritius: When Mauritius left the Commonwealth they realized that the sugar business which was then their one and only business wouldn’t be competitive enough, so they decided to go to one third tourism, one third textile (many immigrants from India) and one third sugarcane, and that worked out fine. Including products:
        Pretty good.

        • Well I was in Lanzarote in late 70’s. The bananas were very small, but fantastic flavours (did they have seeds in?). If they resist the serious and uncontrollable banana disease that’s decimating them worldwide then they will be worth megabucks in a few years.
          As to rum Mauritius rum is second only to Belizian.

      • Canaries is at latitude 28
        That should give them a very pleasant oceanic subtropical climate at sealevel. Around 17 to 27 C as I knows. Canaries is often sold as a winter destination, But perhaps sumner is better.

        Hawaiis Big Island is at latitude 18 to 19 and its so hot at sealevel even in december, we had +32 C in the shadow when my family was there. Hawaii is often described as a nice climate, but its generaly too hot to visit in summer, with going up to around 35 C in Coastal lowlands. But the sea is very pleasant to swim in when its that warm outside.

        There is 12 climate zones on the Big Island .. but lowlands are always hot and terrible in my opinion. Deep Tropics will become humid steambath If the climate gets warmer

        • The eastern Canaries perfect in winter. The western Canaries more from March to October.
          Hawai’i obviously subtropical? Moist? An acquaintance who was there said I shouldn’t go as I abhor moist warm climate. Caribbean about the same.
          Mauritius, Seychelles, Réunion: Nice and warm, dry.
          Interesting: Madeira. Never to warm. Beautiful island.

        • Hawaii is fully deep tropical at sealevel
          Around 32 C all year around in the shadow.

          Hawaii is much hotter than the Canaries

    2021/11/04 23:05:29III-IV

  8. INVOLCAN states “Eruption from the Refugio del Pilar, at 13:00 canarian time”. This is a 3rd different location, we have Tajogaite, Montana Cogote, and now Refugio del Pilar?
    Can someone verify we have 3 different points erupting now? Or did someone just decide to use different words for the same location?

    • Randall, “from” means “as seen from”. It describes the viewing point. From where somebody shot the videos. The place where the video is taken from. They do not mean the location of the vents.

  9. seems a bit odd, using 15 cm lift and 1/3 the area of the whole island of 708 km^2 we derive 0.0354 km^3 upward movement in the upper part of the island. Is this a lot? Not to mention that the other 2/3 went down too.

    • Randall, seems to me that you missed my previous answer to the same picture.

      You are missunderstanding what you are seeing completely. There is no inflation going on.

      As the inflation part of the pre-eruption occured the red part was pushed down more than 15 centimeters by the uplifting side of the island.
      Now that the eruptive side of the island is deflating the pushed down upper part is rebounding.
      Simple as that.

      And no, there is no new vent. There is a difference semantically between AT and FROM as both Denaliwatch and Quinauberon (who have in common that their nome de guerres are hard to type) have pointed out all over the place.

      Please, try to check if someone have answered you previously instead of restating the same thing 🙂

      • Thank Carl for your reply. I need to be more careful in writing a post which tries to ask a question.

        I have been watching the inSAR graphics for a few weeks now and they (to me) appear inconsistent in what they are reporting as the continuiity seems disrupted from picture to picture, of the segment I posted previously and to which you responded.

        When INVOLCAN posted they used the word “AT” to apparently mean location of the camera, whereas I interpreted it to mean eruption AT that location, apparently this is the misunderstanding.

        And I missed my goal of trying to point out the illogic by assuming the inflation because of the large volume of material involved which I calculated as 0.0354 km^3 material. I was simply trying to get people to think, but this completely backfired on me and you responded.

        Thanks for the reply.

  10. The Super Heavy Rocket stage to Musks Starship is under construction

    • Interesting design language. The stronger feminism becomes the larger and more numerous those rockets become. The unconscious is now cooperating with top-notch engineering.

      • Hahahaha good point

        And Im not going into that thing: it does not have reentry capsule with parachutes… instead the whole thing reenters and slows iteself by retro – rockets quite scary

    • Jesper, those are actually segments (not even full length – just the thrust section plus tankage) of the upper stage, not the superheavy booster. The block on the top of the one of the left is a “mass simulator”, basically two huge rolls of stainless steel in a cube, They were doing hop tests with those, and needed to add mass to simulate the forward section, Here’s an article with some pictures of the full stack on the pad.

      I can’t wait to see the full stack fly. 🙂

      • That is INSANE..
        finaly They are acually getting somewhere with Elons toys.

        I finds this so cool: and yes humans should become a multiplanetary species. Its the only way to prevent our Near term risk of exctinction.

        Still colonizing Mars will be difficult until Mars is urbanized and the infrastructure is there

        Still Mars is more habitable than the Moon, There is Ice there, there is hydrocarbons, There is CO2 atmosphere that the astronauts can use for fuel and drinking water as well for fertilizing plants.
        Still the atmospheric pressure is so low that you needs pressurized habitats

      • Hats off to Musk. But that thing has exploded so many times I feel sorry for the folks living in the area. Seeing that massive stack is impressive. Seeing it blow up will be even more impressive.
        Good luck to them – they’ll really need it!

  11. Eruption at Kilauea now just under 30 million m3 volume, so far it is very similar to the eruption earlier in the year at the same time interval. Roughly 4 m3/s filling rate. SO2 flux is still high though, 3500 tons/day, which suggests the lake is circulating and that local effusion at the visible vent is a lot higher than the filling rate.

    Total fill for the lake is 70 million m3, in 6.5 months of eruption and 10.5 months total. Not all of the inflation this year was recovered by the start of the current eruption either, and the caldera is still very slowly expanding, so the supply rate is still going very high. South flank quakes show a lot of magma is draining into the ERZ too, that chapter is not over just on pause, when the summit drains things could be pretty scary.

    • USGS have still confirmed that the lava lake is slowly rising

      • Still rising but at a lower rate than the flow from the vent would lead you to expect, so some must be draining out of the lake too.

    • HVO said that the flow into the upper ERZ has slowed, based on ground deformation. The volume in the current eruption is reported as 19.5 million m3: your 30 million m3 may be a typo?

      • 19.5 million is an old number about 2 weeks old, now it is 28.5 million at most recent, which was a day ago I believe. So will be at 30 million in short order, a day or two.

        If the south flank is still moving but the pressure to get magma in the conduit is now lower because there is an open vent, that is probably why there is lesser signals on the ERZ, the magma flow cant keep up with the flank so the rift subsides, looking like deflation but it is not really. The magma is all going to Kilauea, but not erupting at 0.21 km3 a year, and none whatsoever is going to Mauna Loa. The rest is going into the ERZ, perhaps deeper down than where it can show signals.

        • Yes, the 19 million m3 is from Oct 15. That would give around 25 million m3 at the current time. As for ground deformation, HVO writes “Ground deformation measurements in the upper East Rift Zone area—between the summit and Puʻuʻōʻo—suggest that refilling of magma since late August, 2021 has slowed or decreased slightly.” Be cautious with your interpretation. There is no mention of south flank slip. You are using an average number over a long period which fluctuates by a factor of 2. Magma supply does not flow continuously either but is episodic. The current eruption rate could by itself account for the entire current magma supply. It is better to use the data and not to overinterpret into wishful thinking.

          • South flank movement is ongoing, as seen in GPS stations and the presence of ongoing quakes southward of the ERZ. HVO probably doesnt mention it because it is always there, pretty much. I dont recall them ever mentioning it before 2018 either, only from 2018 up to 2020 before the eruption that year.

            I cant remember where and will have to find it but I think I read somewhere that CO2 is currently not variable and very high at Kilauea, while nearly absent at Mauna Loa. That would indicate pretty much all the supply is going to Kilauea, not all erupting but going there nonetheless. I think the exceptional rates seen in the early 1800s were a result of high supply alongside a locked south flank, so all the magma went into the summit. Seems not to be the case now though.

    • The lava lake may be circulating? Does this mean deep circulation with the magma chamber (like a stemmed lava lake), or just circulation in the lake itself? Could this mean the lava lake is becoming stemmed, like the prior one? (I’m poorly versed in the terminology, so I may be getting this very wrong)

      As for the ERZ… drat. I was hoping for a SWRZ eruption, not ERZ. (I much prefer lava to flow where people aren’t).

      • Circulating as in lava erupts at the visible vent and drains down one of the other fissures back into the magma chamber. Its different to the overlook lake, it is not a cylinder into the magma chamber as such, but the visible west vent will likely evolve into that. The lava lake of the early 19th century up to 1868 seems to have been very similar but a lot bigger. It lasted 60 years and survived 3 draining events, and the primary inlet after 1868 turned into Halemaumau, so this current lake might be around for a long time.

        The west vent is also along the southwest rift where it joins the caldera, currently the lake is too low but it can drain that way, an eruption on either rift zone is well within play really, and most likely we will see many on both rifts before the grand finale. As for that, 2018 was just a starter, the real thing will be mostly offshore but if it begins on land you can say goodbye to most of lower Puna…

  12. Lunar Volcanic Features
    The moon was competely molten at start after condensing from the superhot theia ejecta.
    But the moon is a small body and cooled quickly after formation. Most of the lunar flood basalts and volcanic eruptions stopped around 3 billion years ago. Today the Moon is competely volcanicaly dead, There is not enough radiogenic heating in souch a small body that heats up the rocks as it does in the 100 times heavier Earth.

    Still the Moon is very volcanic in geology, most of the Moon rocks are Basalt. Or plutonic mafic rocks like anorthosithes. Lunar eruptions in the Early Archean involved highly fluid 1400 C titanium rich thoelitic kreep basalts that coud have been as fluid as motor oil.

    When was the very last lunar eruption?

    • So basically it was Tunguska’d?

      Side note have any of you looked into the Younger Dryas Impact hypothesis? Apparently it’s been somewhat of a raging debate between proponents and detractors, but more or less there have been findings suggestive of a large ~4km body breaking up in the atmosphere and then bombarding locations around north and South America, leading to the severe cold spell of the Younger Dryas in the early Holocene.

      Fascinating and scary stuff. Tunguska was a wake up call in the sense that if that happens again over a populated area, people are going to have a very bad day.

      • “the scientists concluded the Tunguska object was probably stony (rather than icy), and measured between 164 and 262 feet in diameter (about 50 to 80 meters). It whipped through the atmosphere at 34,000 miles per hour (about 54,700km/h), and produced an amount of energy equivalent to the 1980 eruption of Mount Saint Helens.

        Those models, plus current data on the asteroid population, also enabled researchers to calculate how frequently such impact events are likely to occur. The good news is that this research (link in the piece) suggests mid-size rocky bodies like the one that likely caused the damage at Tunguska occur less frequently than previously thought—on the order of millennia, rather than centuries.”

      • We need a hypothesis before we can discuss. It is not yet at that level. There are various claims for impacts at the younger dryas but they propose wildly different locations, and in some extreme versions all locations simultaneously. A 4-km impactor should leave a 80-km crater. It should be blindingly obvious. It blindingly obviously isn’t.

        • This is far from an unbiassed assessment. It it a polemic rather than a review. It shows that the field is still quite undeveloped. Take the Greenland crater. It is dated to less than a couple of million years old. Why would it be associated with an event only about 10,000 years old? The chance of that becomes well below 1%. I am happy to see it added to a list of possibilities, but in order to make progress you need a hypothesis and a prediction. The first prediction with an impact is that the debris decreases away from the site. Proposing impacts everywhere just means your first prediction has failed. This case is far from water tight.

    • I find that difficult to believe, there are stories like this in every religion going back to neolithic polytheistic civilisations. It seems very ‘red sea parting’, and auspiciously there doesn’t appear to be an impact crater. A meteorite large enough to impact such a populated region but small enough to airburst, it would have to be larger than Tunguska which flattened 800 square miles of forest.

      • Better read it first:
        “Amid city-side devastation, the airburst demolished 12+ m of the 4-to-5-story palace complex and the massive 4-m-thick mudbrick rampart, while causing extreme disarticulation and skeletal fragmentation in nearby humans. An airburst-related influx of salt (~ 4 wt.%) produced hypersalinity, inhibited agriculture, and caused a ~ 300–600-year-long abandonment of ~ 120 regional settlements within a > 25-km radius. Tall el-Hammam may be the second oldest city/town destroyed by a cosmic airburst/impact, after Abu Hureyra, Syria, and possibly the earliest site with an oral tradition that was written down (Genesis). Tunguska-scale airbursts can devastate entire cities/regions and thus, pose a severe modern-day hazard.”

        16 years of science. Nothing for belief. Lots of evidence. Not for Sodom though, but it could be the “Sodom” of the book.

  13. Interior of the Moon: the partial melting astenosphere have sunken more than 1000 kilometers down in the moon. The whole moons mantle have become a rigid litosphere.
    The moon is a small body, It does not have the radioactive decay or the mass/size to retain heat from its hot formation. Pretty much all lunar volcanism ceased more than 3 billion years ago. The moons mantle cannot convect anymore it can only conduct heat

    Althrough in the start the moon was competely molten and formed in the disk of condensing vaporized rock around the hot earth after theia impact. Theia Impact must have been the sight of insanity

    • Certainly if you have antimatter. In this regard research the topic of Axions. There is an argument that holds that the missing antimatter in the universe is concentrated in axion quark nuggets (of nuclear density). These do not easily annihilate with matter (there is a substantial energy barrier which incoming matter particles have to surmount before annihilation can proceed). The theory holds that such nuggets are expected at the centers of asteroids. You would detect such if a gravel pile type asteroid spins more quickly than allowed by its apparent gravity inferred from its size (and would be expected to fly apart by centrifugal forces).
      Now if you can just find a quark nugget you would have a very large amount of antimatter (kg to tons) conveniently compressed into a very compact package self sealed against immediate annihilation.
      You would not use it to make a “rocket”. Only about 500kg of antimatter are needed for a faster than light Alcubierre drive. For this reason the asteroid belt is one of the more interesting parts of the solar system.

  14. Found this interesting:

    Been researching the relationship between grabens and silicic volcanism, seems to be many examples in the world of large silicic calderas popping up in and around graben/half-graben situations. In fact pretty much all of the largest we know of like Toba, Apolaki & Gakkel calderas are created in this setting, Mirror Lake graben in Yellowstone as well, plus the likes of Kikai and Kyushu, Amatitlan, Masaya, the Tongariro graben in the TVZ, Lazio/Rome area of Italy, Kos-Nisyros, Askja, and much of the African rift valley. I believe there is also the Tatio graben in the Altiplano-Puna region which is why mud volcanoes can also occur there.

    Grabens seem to be the perfect space to accomodate extension and stretching of the crust from sill intrusion.

  15. I note that a certain festive mood have beset VC and that it is time for a more volcanic article.

    As I look upwards I am amazed of the amount of differing topics that are being covered while you wait for something volcanic to discuss.

    I wish everyone a pleasent weekend!

    Tomorrow there will be a fairly explosive article as I kindly request to have a beer from Páll Einarsson.

    • About Grimsvötn?

      Im working on my own article about Nyiragongo overview of its magma and busting some myths about Nyiragongo .. just needs time to write

  16. The volcano is looking unusually calm today. Almost no ash, no explosive fountains, no effusive effects, just some steam.
    Just what is that volcano doing….I keep wondering every day.

    • After all telltale signs, this time it might well pose the end for good.
      What is the definition of the eruption is over, anyways? There must not be coming active lava (substantial ash amounts, or lava fountains, or lava flows) from the volcanic edifice?

      • They detect a slight deformation of the terrain near the cone of the volcano
        Carmen López, director of the IGN Geophysical Observatory, tells Efe that it is in no way comparable to the sudden deformation of 10 centimeters detected ten days ago


        E l National Geographic Institute (IGN) has been detected at the station closest to the eruptive centers of the volcano of La Palma one slight vertical deformation on the ground .

        Carmen López, director of the IGN Geophysical Observatory, tells Efe that it is in no way comparable to the sudden deformation of 10 centimeters detected ten days ago, and that the scientists interpreted then as a possible indication of an increase in the lava channel or the opening or closing of some point of emission.

        López speaks of a fluctuation that reflects that of the eruptive dynamics and indicates that it may perhaps be corrected in a future measurement.

        As with the rest of the parameters, the also spokesperson for the scientific committee of the Canary Islands Volcanic Emergency Plan (Pevolca) asks to analyze trends, rather than stay with daily variations, unless they are especially significant, and today is not the case, at your discretion.

        “One day it rises and another, it falls”, synthesizes Carmen López.

        In the stations furthest from the eruptive center, a slight deflation of the terrain is maintained, possibly related to deep seismicity, the IGN indicates in a statement.

        In it, he details that the amplitude of the volcanic tremor signal has low average levels, but with intensification pulses.

        The IGN counts 54 earthquakes located in the last 24 hours, of which seven have been felt by the population, one of which has a maximum intensity IV.

        The highest magnitude, 4.5, took place at 00:05 hours at a depth of 35 kilometers and was felt with intensity IV on the island of La Palma.

        Four tremors were located at depths around 30 kilometers, and the rest of the hypocenters were around 12 kilometers.

        The measurement carried out early this Friday places the height of the volcano’s ash cloud at 3,500 meters, with a south-southeast direction.

    • I believe it is still active. The wind has risen and is blowing the ash cloud to the south west.

    • Elemental sulfur deposits appear for the first time. A reaction with H2S to form sulfur, would imply that the magmatic component of the gas is lowering and increasing the emission of H2S. This fact does NOT imply an end to the eruption, but a clear change in its dynamics.

    • Sorry by the double post. About them, What changes on the volcano dynamic affect the depositon of layers of H2S on a volcano? More explosive activity incoming? more lava?

      • Lower temperature and the system becoming more mafic should give sulphur heavy lavas. Think it’s a sign the eruption is running out of steam and erupting more primitive lavas from the deeper chamber 30+km down.

        • Shouldn’t be the temperature higher for a deeper lava source?

          • Yeah you’re probably right, it just doesn’t have as much ooomph so it cools quicker. Sulphur has a low melting point

  17. Looks like Gastornis was a plant eater after all
    But: Omnivorius habits cannot be ruled out.
    But that beak does not have the specs of a true predator like Phorusrhacidae had they where true killer machines. Gastornis also dont have the sprinter legs or feet of a true hunter.

    Gastornis/ Diatryma had beaks that seems to been evolved for cracking large nuts and seeds as well as other plant matter. Gastornis lived in the Tropical Rainforests that covered the Earth during the PETM and they walked from Europe to America – Asia by land bridges.

    Drilling in their bones also shows plant isotopes as diet. Flight is a very energy demanding lifestyle and requires high calorie foods.

    But when Birds gives up flight and evolves into flight – less giants like Gastornis, They can feed on low calorie poor quality vegitation, like leaves and roots.

    Althrough Gastornis was a seed and nut cracker and fruit eater so quite good quality diet.

    He maybe was mostly hebivorus, but still a 2 meters tall monster chicken abomination, woud be a terrfying sight in the rainforest! I woud runn for my life Indeed ..

    • Very few birds are truly herbivorous, they are defined as such because eating meat is not essential for their survival but most will readily eat it if given the opportunity. I saw a video of a chicken eating a mouse once… It is probably an anatomical holdout, because the ancestral bird would have been a small Jurassic theropod that was likely more carnivorous. Mammals seem to have been experimenting with herbivory even back in the Triassic before true crown group mammals existed, so its a bit more basal.

      Gastornis also had relatives, Dromornithidae or ‘thunderbirds’ back in Australia. Similar in that once they were also considered carnivores but no longer. They even got the name of ‘demon ducks’ during the short interval between discovering their relationships and discovering their real diet…

    • We were in a park once with free running animals, seperated though from each other in larger areas with gates and fences. You were allowed to go in by car (which you can’t leave), but compensation was excluded. The lions looked peaceful. But all of a sudden we were attacked by an ostrich. He threw himself against the car. While preparing his second attack I could see his eyes. Not funny.
      We decided to very slowly drive on, and he gave up. He just hated the car. But concerning birds it starts getiing dangerous with swans.

      That beak up there is amazing.

        • You (and some others) might like this. Life. Has voices.
          The voices of the owls of North America:

          I wonder what kind of voices the dinosaurs had. There are some things you cannot find out.

          Mark Jinks, photographer from Alberta, the home of some of the biggest dinosaurs, has some beautiful pics of the aurora borealis in Canada, done between 2 am and 5 am local time there.

          And (sorry for the language): First snow (50cm):

          Fire and Ice.

      • I think they did. Australians had similar ones, “Gastornis also had relatives, Dromornithidae or ‘thunderbirds’ back in Australia” (Chad), so probably also New Zealand. They disappeared with the appearance of first Homo Stultus.

        In Mauritius they had a big bird called Dodo. The Dutch ate him up together with the giant turtle. They didn’t leave a single one for the French who came afterwards.

        • The dutch actually reported that the dodo wasn’t that great to eat. It was hunted and eaten but other meat was preferred. The demise of the dodo is attributed to rats.

          • Together with the giant turtle it was delicious though. (@Denali: Just kidding.)

            Btw.: Gastornis was also painted by Zdanek Burian. I’m posting just a little thumbnail; after all VC is about volcanos.

          • Maybe. All seafarers have importet rats on islands, unfortunately.
            I thought you might take to defending the Dutch 🙂
            I adore the Oranje team.

          • I guess they have it all kamtchatkarized over and over. There is no volcano left on earth that hasn’t been discussed here. Except for Sousaki (the one I visited a few month ago and almost suffocated).

          • Quinauberon!
            You have visited an unknown volcano and almost suffocated and not written an article about it? I feel offended 🙂
            Pleeeeaaaaasssssseeeee???? 🙂

          • Ok, maybe one day, when I’m finished reading my geology book. And maybe I exaggerated a bit. On the other hand, we could have been at least hurt (we didn’t know that there are potentially harmful gases). Perhaps the story isn’t that interesting. Who wants to read about a geysir that isn’t a geysir? And it was just a normal walk through a nice (and very smelly) landscape after all — until my wife vanished.

            (For legal reasons: I’m offended too.)

          • Suffocated or not, I have never heard about that volcano.
            Can I sue the volcano? It offends me 🙂

            Please, we could do with a nice article about a volcano, a non-geyser geyser, missing wives… This has potential. Seriously, please!

          • Seriously? Well, if 1. we give us a very long time constraint, if 2. I can write in that German accent I can’t escape from (now is ze time on Sprockets vhen ve dance) and 3. inshallah then … is there a mailing system to communicate with word press?

          • O.k. Let’s say March (if Campi Fl. do not explode). And it will be very not interesting.

    • 53 million years ago during the warmest part of Eocene Optimum the world woud have been like an Alien Planet. Gastornis lived in a world perhaps 17 C warmer than today.
      Sea Surface Temperatures in the Arctic Ocean rised to 25 C in summer. And Equatorial Oceans got to 42 C in water surface temperatures.

      Land temperatures where 18 C in polar regions, more than 29 C in Mid latitudes and perhaps avarged 45 C
      in Equatorial Regions!

      The entire planet was covered in Tropical Rainforests, and lashed by savage tropical storms. Crocodilians swimmed in the Arctic Oceans and Primates lived in Greenland at polar latitudes even then. It woud be a very strange worlds for soure

      • Chad Australia 54 million years ago woud also be competely covered by Tropical Rainforests right?

        Deserts are acually features of the cold dry climates during an Ice – House era

        If the worlds gets warmer and the Ice – Sheets melts
        I guess the deserts will vanish too

        During the PETM Sahara was a tropical swamp with rainforests

        • There’s a rumour that the Sahara is getting greener and therefore more fertile.

        • Yes a warmer Earth means more evaporation from the oceans and more cloud formation and rainfall

          Warmer atmosphere can also store much more humidity

          Its natural to think Eocene as the rainforest planet.

          Sahara Only formed in the Late Pliocene I think with the cooling and drying

    • Thanks Randall.

      I still wonder what’s going on there, and what the future holds. If it’s still emitting SO2, in significant amounts, that makes me wonder if the system is still open.

      I also wonder about the quake swarms at Keilir. There seem (based on my rough hand calculations, which may be entirely wrong) two diverging centers for the clustering; one about 6.5 km down and setting a bit deeper with time, and an upper one that has gone from about 5.5km to about 4.5 km over the last few weeks.

      I’m also seeing swarms on neighboring rift systems, just like we did before the eruption (only far less now). It makes me wonder if the volcano is creating a magma chamber in that area near Keilir, and doing it in a rather sneaky way; very slowly, and rather quietly. I don’t know if this would explain the EQ pattern (diverging upper and lower swarm depths) though my guess is it might.

      My further (uneducated) guess is that we’d see an intensification of EQ activity before anything happens on the surface.

  18. Btw, while reading up about the region I got the impression that the only guy with a risk to collapse is Las Cañadas IV, also called El Teide, same height now as his predecessors, 7.500 meters, a little over half of this subareal.

  19. Green star M4. NE Bardabunga, Iceland. 1.3km down. Adjustmen of the plug?? Up or down?

    • (thx., just when I wanted to tell the Sousaki suffocation story)

  20. La palma LP03 GPS, show the raising detected yesterday.

    Yesterday IGME dron video show lava flows.

  21. In the twilight it looks very ashy now. I sure wouldn’t want to be down wind of it!

  22. Komatite eruptions resembles eruptions of liquid iron or liquid iron or slag…
    These prehistoric lava flows where white hot at 1600 C Glowing intensely and pouring like water. Flows where extremely thin and narrow and filled small spaces and formed small channel systems at low eruptive rates.And large and sheetlike floodlike when eruptive rates where high poured like a river in flood. A Komatite flow where completely white hot with a orange yellow glowing crust or scum floating on the quickly moving lava stream.. unlike anything we haves today. Komatite pahoehoe must have been much less than a centimeter thick and dark and almost steelish and very dense when its erupted at low eruptive rates.
    It woud be extremely bright.. perhaps bright enough To damage your eyes

    It woud be white hot and flow watery like liquid slag. It woud be extremely fluid and Pour like water and spray like jets. Very much like the Liquid slag dumps. The flows woud be just a centimeter thick or much less and form miniatyre pahoehoe and small lava channels. At 150 cubic meters a second it woud form a complex lava channel network. Unless eruptive rates are super high .. souch flows woud end up very small and thin

    Hawaii and Iceland are hot enough to potentialy haves Komatite resovairs down in the astenosphere, althrough it never comes up as it cools alot on the way up and is stoored in wast chambers .. and erupts as normal basalt Instead. Komatite is also very heavy ( Dense ) so it haves difficult to rise up in the crust.

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