Iceland in Washington. A musing on the Yellowstone hot spot

Columbia flood basalt. Copyright Marli Miller,, educational, non-commercial usage

Greetings. This article has a long history of not being written. It originated a few years ago when the 2018 lower Puna eruption was on going. Before I start, let me vent. IN MY OPINION, there is no such thing as a “Supervolcano”. That term was popularised by the BBC for their disaster movie of the same name, released in 2005. Oddly, Wikipedia nails it. “It is based on the speculated and potential eruption of the volcanic Yellowstone Caldera” (bold added). As far as entertainment value, it’s passable (sort of)… as volcano disaster movies go, it beats ‘Dante’s Peak’ where a pickup truck crashing into a cave can save you from a pyroclastic flow!  (Not to mention Cris Pratt and the dinosaurs outpacing one in a Jurassic World movie) -> not his fault, he just does the acting.

The term ‘supervolcano’ doesn’t even have a definition that can be tested. Amazingly, it was first used for the Three Sisters! At one time in the early 1900’s it was proposed that the Three Sisters were one volcano. This was proven wrong in the mid-1900’s, and in a discussion of this proof, the term ‘super’volcano was first used – to describe something that did not exist! Like ‘Big Bang’, it was a term coined to sound silly.

Later (much later) the word ‘supereruption’ became in use for VEI-8 eruptions, and after that a ‘supervolcano’ was one capable of a ‘supereruption’. That is not helpful either. To know it is capable it should have done one. But a supereruption obliterates the original volcano and leaves a very large hole in the ground – a caldera. Are the myriad large calderas of Hokkaido supervolcanoes?  How about the collection of large calderas on Rabul?  The three calderas of the Los Frailes volcanic complex in southern Spain?   See who argue that ‘supereruption’ is definable, but ‘supervolcano’ is not. That comes from YVO, so they should know!

A more accurate term is “Large Caldera Eruption”. With that term, all an eruption has to do is be in the upper half of caldera forming eruptions. A good reference would be the table of data compiled by Dr Peter L Ward that documents pretty near every major eruption for the past few million years. Find the size of the listed calderas, and the upper half of the size would be the large calderas. Spoiler alert, there are a lot more than you would expect. A clue for the doom mongers…. Yellowstone is not currently erupting, nor does it seem to be in a run up phase to do so. Tondano, a large caldera system in Indonesia, has frequent eruptions yet the doom mongers never seem to notice.

To quote Carl le Strange from a previous incarnation of VolcanoCafe:

Some volcanoes just can’t catch a break. Imagine for a little while that you are a bona-fidé supervolcano. You are the largest of your type on the planet, you are highly active, and by gosh you have shown what you are capable of. In a perfect world your 20 by 30 km caldera explosion should have put the world into awe, and the 1,000 cubic kilometer of DRE you ejected in the form of pumacious tuff covers an entire sub-continent. Yep, you really did reach the small highly exclusive club of VEI-8 volcanoes. You smirk at your little sibling Monte Somma’s antics with Vesuvius. Your Vesuvius-style event left a 3.5 by 5 km God honest caldera on its own. To top it off you have a huge underground reservoir of liquid acid that would seriously alter the planets weather if you felt like discharging it. You are also perfectly located to have a maximum kill ratio. So, you wake up and stretch your arms and start a double eruption from two different sub-volcanoes just to celebrate the new day. You have your largest eruption in recorded history. Then you look around to see the fearful faces of the residents as they offer up motorcycles in your name, you expect volcanologists doing somersaults as they play lip banjo, and literally thousands of blog pages glorifying your power and shear awesomeness. What do you find? Yawning people and a cockerel trying to wake up a pig sty. You find that for being an erupting supervolcano you are a massive PR failure. One single small earthquake at Yellowstone outperforms you in publicity.” (September 27, 2012).

And yes, as large calderas go, Tondano is MASSIVE. But that is not why I’m writing this.

Source: USGS. The extent of the Columbia River Basalt group.

I have long had an interest in the Columbia flood basalts. This is a young flood basalt which covers Washington, Oregon and bits of Idaho and Nevada – making it a ‘small’ flood basalt. It erupted 16 million years ago, over a period of about 1 million years. The oldest part is at Steens mountain, at the southern end of the Columbia flood basalt. This is also near the start of the hot spot trail that left seven volcanic fields with large calderas, starting at McDermitt (16.5 million years ago) and stretching all over Idaho before ending (?) at Yellowstone (2 million years ago). Where did the hot spot come from? The trail prior to 16 million years has not just gone cold, it isn’t there. And how did a flood basalt morph into an explosive large caldera trail?

My original thinking was that the magma upwelling behind the detaching Farallon Plate after it’s full subduction had caused it. There is a high probability that that was wrong. My current thinking, based on several videos by Nick Zenter (the chalk board guy at Central Washington University), is that the Yellowstone hot spot used to be the nexus of an island, not dissimilar to Iceland, that subducted/accreted and eventually tracked to it’s current location. Whether it was part of an island chain or a ribbon continent depends on what paper you read. Accreted terrane is accreted terrane. Through petrological analysis of the accreted complexes it is evident that several sequences have been plastered onto the North American craton. Zircon analysis show that some sources originated from the west as well as the east.

While watching some of Zentner’s videos, I learned of an isotropic characteristic that tells whether a magma erupted through an accretionary complex, or through a craton. Essentially, the Strontium 0.706 line denotes the boundary of the North American Craton. This is the line where the 87Sr/86Sr ratio changes from below to above this value: the higher values are found where there is continental crust. (It is the green line in the plot, derived from multiple sources, principally USGS data.)  It is in effect where North America ends and the accreted terranes begin. Notice that the Large Caldera events did not begin until the hotspot had passed under the North American craton, with all of it’s continental sticky silica.  Steens Mountain, linked to the Columbia Flood basalts, is on the other side.

(There is disagreement whether this line is the edge of the North American craton or of continental crust in general. But that is not the main point. It shows where there is mainly oceanic crust or mainly continental crust regardless of their precise origin.)

Something interesting happens when you look at the 4.5 km geothermal potential;

Take a look near Redding California.  South of there is the Mendicino National forest.  Coincidentally, near there is the Mendicino triple junction, the northern end of the San Andreas strike-slip fault.  What else is at or near Mendicino?  (From a quick Google search) “The Geysers is the world’s largest geothermal field, containing a complex of 18 geothermal power plants, drawing steam from more than 350 wells.”  Strangely enough, that bar of elevated geothermal potential seems to point at the well known track of the Yellowstone hot spot.  From my previous plotting frenzy during the lower Puna eruption, I estimated the Yellowstone hotspot as being located just off the coast of California/Oregon area about 30 million years ago.  This fits with other work I have seen by actual geologists.  I attempted to recreate that plot for this article, but failed spectacularly.  I didn’t have time to back out the relative plate motions since then.  (Either way, my calculations were off by an easy 1% in distance alone and my bearing calculations were horrendous.)

After watching a series of Nick Zentner’s videos, I have come to the conclusion that the Yellowstone hot spot, at one time was the forming mechanism of an island not unlike Iceland.  Zentner relates three possible ideas of what collided with the North American craton. They range from an island chain, to a super terrane, somewhat continental in nature.  Continents can be quite diminutive.  New Zealand is a good example.  “Zealandia” is a proposed submerged continent with only New Zealand itself still above water.  Palawan Island in the Philippines is a crustal shard that detached from Asia quite some time ago. Mindoro Island being the eastern end that is currently smashing into the Philippines near the mobile belt.  (See my “Sleeper Fish” article on VC from years ago).  Other things that come up in  Zentner’s videos is that multiple subduction zones and terranes have accumulated, building Washington State and Oregon much like an encrustation of bugs on a windshield… complete with carbonate platforms from ex reef system when the islands were bopping around out in the south pacific.  The “Baja BC” idea stems from palaeomagnetic evidence that shows many of Washington State and Oregon’s plutons and rock structures originated as much as 3000 miles south of their current latitude.  (Hence the “Baja” part of the term)

My contention is that SOMETHING… sort of a cross between Iceland and the Philippines, impacted the North American craton.  I say Philippines because it currently has both eastward and westward subduction occurring on either side and serves as a good example of you can have both forms of subduction on an island chain.  Siletzia, or the previous terranes, (Insular etc.) existed as a hotspot driven island/continent at the focus of at least one spreading center with other crustal boundaries attached.  The long departed Kula plate was likely the northern plate of that spreading center.  What other hot spot sits in a spreading center?  Iceland.

My apologies for harping on the Philippine example.  I have been a bit obsessed by the battle of Samar Island, the location of probably the stupidest tactical blunder I have ever heard of.  {Not really Admiral Kurita’s fault, he was inundated by the details of conflicting information from the fog of war.  He made his decisions based on mission guidelines handed down to him by bureaucrats and what he had at hand for intelligence… plus what he could see for himself}

It turns out that similar ideas to mine had already been proposed. Siletzia accreted on western America around 50 million years ago. It still forms the west side, extending underneath part of the Cascades. After accreting, the terrane rotated by 75 degrees. It has made things rather complicated. Siletzia is a flood basalt, older than the Columbia basalt and also much larger. It is dated to 50-55 million years ago. The suggestion has been made that it was formed at the Kula-Fallaron spreading ridge and that the Yellowstone hot spot was at the right place at the right time. This was the original Iceland (or at least a subtropical version), which 8 million years later was plastered onto America. See Wells et al 2014.

From Wells et al., 2014: accretion of Siletiza and Yakutat (Y). YHS indicates the possible locations of the Yellowstone hot spot

The Columbia flood basalt still needs an explanation. One suggestion (Wells) is that the hot spot was reactivated by slab rollback, and melted through the Siletzia basalt. But the main point made here is that shortly after, the Yellowstone hot spot entered the area of the old continental plate and that this started the sequence of large caldera eruptions.

Getting away from that, in Idaho, north of the Yellowstone HS track, is a mining district that produces ample silver and gold from the mineralization of emplaced plutons.  These are likely the result of the YHP pushing magma up that never actually erupted.  The mineralization following a process similar to the Los Frailes caldera systems of southern Spain  (not quite as stupendous as Yellowstone, but large calderas unto themselves.)  A USGS article on the topic.

How all of this relates to the formation of the Rocky Mountains and the formation of the Basin and Range province I’ll leave up to Mr Zentner’s videos.  My advice is to load up on coffee and clear your schedule for an afternoon or so.  They are fascinating.

One final item.  The Philippines is claimed by Wikipedia to encompass around 120,000 sq miles of land.  Washington State – 66,544 sq miles,  Oregon – 95,997 sq miles.   So whatever actually collided (or was run over by North America) was just a bit larger than the Philippines, possibly even twice that size since much of it is splattered across British Columbia and up into Alaska.  Something else to consider.   Some theropods were enormous.  The first ACTUAL dinosaur bone found in Washington state was on an island near Vancouver.  In my book, that goes a long way in calling the colliding land mass a small continent… unless dinosaurs similar to T-Rex were adept open ocean swimmers.

If you wish to study this further, I recommend  Nick Zentner’s collection of references on Baja BC.

For his videos: Eocene A to Z is quite informative.

By the way, when it comes to the idea that Yellowstone is over due… in my opinion that is “bovine excrement.”  Look at the time periods of the known Yellowstone originated large caldera events, you get a “due” date period of about 3.54 to 2.97 million years at the 90% confidence interval.  At best you will get yet ANOTHER caldera infill event as the caldera floor gets paved over.  If you don’t have a good lid on the pot, you are not going to get over pressurization.  Maar style eruptions?  Yes, that is possible.   West Thumb is one such feature in Yellowstone lake.  And as you know, volcanoes tend to erupt in a similar manner as they have previously done.   Years ago, I tracked one collection of seismic events NE through Yellowstone lake up towards “Fishing Bridge.”  I believe underwater surveys found pillow lavas down there some time before that.  For those that don’t know, the “moon-bat” community was frantic that we were all going to die.  I know because I was reading many of their discussion forums.

I have been advised to write a closing statement.  This is difficult to do.  I have the unfortunate characteristic of not being able to shut up once I have made my point.  The best that I can do is to tell you that there is a huge amount of stuff that is far more entertaining than what you find on the TV.  You just have to dig around on the internet to find the relevant papers.   Some of what I did not address is the La Garita caldera in Colorado.  My initial feel is that it was formed due to decompression melt from the crinkling of the North American craton as the various terranes accreted.  Additionally, how did the Meteor hotspot get on the other side of the Atlantic spreading center?  It has been implicated at reactivating the Reelfoot Rift, a precambrian weakness that was in competition at becoming the Atlantic Basin when it opened up about 200 myr ago.  Back during the Atlantic Basin’s early life is when the Canary Islands began forming.  They sit on top of phyllite.   Metamorphed basin sediment.  (The white part of the “floaters” from La Restinga pumice).

In short, if you have a question about geophysical processes.  The data is out there, all you have to do is go find it.  If we can’t answer it here, someone has probably already written a paper on the topic.

Many thanks to Albert for kicking me in the arse to get up and actually write this article that I have had rolling around in the back of my head for years.    Additionally, he helped smooth out some of my disjointed thoughts on the matter.

Geolurking, July 2023

999 thoughts on “Iceland in Washington. A musing on the Yellowstone hot spot

  1. Magma is still coming to Fagradalsfjall. Some of that ends up at the current volcano where we can see it erupting the rest is filling many existing open gaps in the fractured terrain. This means that earthquakes are not fully indicative as to where the magma goes. Perhaps the vent is really narrowing or perhaps we are just waiting for more earthquakes to show us where the pressure went?

  2. At around 11:20 a lot of people on the path at the Driffelshraun camera. A police car drives in from the far side and herds them all back. 10 minutes later the place is deserted. At 11:45 a big truck drives in and goes the way the people were send back. The truck seems to be bringing sand – I guess the path is in danger of being overrun somewhere out of view? The eruption is deserted now.

    • From today’s ‘VISIR”: 31/7/2023″ According to counters, 1,989 people walked Meradalsleið yesterday and 1,322 older hiking trails in the area.”.

  3. There is an interesting swarm going on under Tenerife, in the Canary Islands. Deep earthquakes are taking place under the Teno Massif of Tenerife. The earthquakes are most of them around 45-46 km deep, deeper than other Canary Islands seismic swarms as far as I know, deeper than both Pahala earthquakes and tremors, and about the same depth as Mauna Loa deep LP’s, or in other words really, really deep. Teno is one of the three volcanoes of Tenerife, there’s the active central shield (Teide-Cañadas), and two flanking volcanoes, Teno and Anaga, which are supposed to be extinct. On July 5-6 there were 8 catalogued earthquakes M 1.5-1.8. Then it was quiet until July 23-24 when there were 11 earthquakes of M 1.5-2.2. These small flurries of earthquakes are almost certainly volcanic in origin, which is remarkable given Teno has been dead for some millions of years.

    • At that depth is it realistic to assign to any particular volcano? It is in the mantle, so under the island, probably magma that is slowly on the way to Teide.

      But this is still very interesting, at La Palma there were swarms a bit like this from deep intrusions happening within a decade of the eruption, so this could be an early warning of an eruption soon.

      • Yes, it could eventually go to Teide, nonetheless the swarm being directly under the summit of Teno could potentially be related to the plumbing of this dead volcano.

        There is a lot of activity under Tenerife, El Hierro, and La Palma, almost every month, it shows that under the surface the volcanoes are lively and working. This doesn’t mean an eruption will happen soon, just that there is still vigorous action when there seems none, intrusive action.

    • If we use the Hawaiian Hotspot lifecycle model, I’d classify Tenerife as more or less on “Rejuvenated stage”, while La Palma and El Hierro are on Hawaii’s “Post-shield” (Haleakala, Hualalai) stage. Unlike on Hawaii the “Rejuvenated stage” on the Canaries is larger. It makes few, but big eruptions. The “post-shield volcanoes” do more frequent, but smaller eruptions. But the volcanic pause between post-shield and Rejuvenated stage is similar on Canary hotspot. La Gomera is now in this dormant phase.

      If Tenerife therefore behaves like Hawaii’s rejuvenated volcanoes, it may have short warning time from first indicators to the eruption.

      • In terms of eruption style, La Palma and El Hierro do loosely resemble the post-shield stage of Hawaii, particularly they resemble Haleakala, this is understandable since chemically their lavas are the same basanites-tephrites. There some differences though, Haleakala has a near-perfect rift zone, with a concentration of vents along it, and near absence outside, La Palma and El Hierro rifts are more diffuse, in fact el Hierro is nearly radial in vent distribution. No 2 volcanoes are ther same so diferences are understandable. Mauna Kea is different because every recent lava flow of this volcano is evolved, viscous of intermediate composition, whilst Haleakala, Hualalai, El Hierro, and La Palma, are mostly mafic lavas of high fluidity.

        Tenerife is different to any Hawaiian volcano. Because Tenerife is a silicic caldera volcano and a mafic shield at the same time. Eruptions of Tenerife include felsic lava flows of very high viscosity, explosive ignimbrite eruptions of phonolite related to caldera collapses of Cañadas Caldera, long-lived effusion phases of intermediate-felsic composition from the central vent area of Pico Viejo-Teide, and short-lived, small fissure eruptions of basanitic lavas from its rift zones (in fact more short-lived and intense than El Hierro and La Palma). It has been a very productive volcano too. In the ~0-800 AD period it did many major eruptions, including a ~ 2km3 long lasting effusion phase of phonolites from the flank of west Teide volcano, a less well studied complex of silicic flows and domes on the east flank that probably amounted to well over 1 km3 over during this timeframe, including an additional VEI-4 eruption, and then a phase of long-lasting effusion from the summit of El Teide (Lavas Negras) than produced nearly 1 km3. Since then there have been several mafic eruptions, but activity has overall decreased.

        The rejuvenated activity of the Canary Islands is best represented by Lanzarote, who goes dormant for tens of thousands of years to then produce massive long-lived eruptions of up to a few cubic kilometres. And also has a very unstable chemistry rapidly shifting between basanites and tholeiites. It resembles the massive Hawaiian volcanic field of Kauai-Niihau-Kaula, a complex of numerous monogenetic shield volcanoes that completely cover a vast area of seafloor erupted in the last 2-3 million years which have a very variable chemistry between foidites and tholeiites.

        • How does Tenerife create the silicic/felsic magma? Explosive Phonolite is known from East Eifel’s famous eruption (Laacher See) and Vesuvius 79. Does it also has an influence by the African-European subduction zone?

          • In the Canary Islands phonolite evolves from basanite through fractional crystallization. It has a shallow magma chamber about 2 km deep under El Teide where the phonolite seemingly accumulates. La Palma and El Hierro don’t have such shallow magma chambers so they erupt basanites from the mantle. Basanites are kind of ultramafic magmas, with much higher magnesium and lower silica than basalts, so they might not be buoyant in oceanic crust like basalts are, that is probably why basanites seem to pond near the MOHO at La Palma and El Hierro, as well as probably Tenerife.

          • I don’t think there is a clear answer to that yet. The most often quoted explanation is that it has to do with the melting degree, how much percent of the mantle rock melt, less is said to make more alkaline magmas. That explanation has never made much sense though from a chemistry standpoint, the most primitive alkaline magmas that are the starting point of alkaline magmas differentiation trends (alkali basalts, basanites, melilitites, kimberlites…) tend to have increasingly high concentrations of those elements that crystallize first from the magma (nickel, magnesium, chromium, calcium and such) as their alkalinity increases.

            But generally all intraplate volcanoes are alkaline in composition, and erupt mainly alkali basalts, basanites, or their evolved counterparts. Locations like Hawaii, Galapagos, or Yellowstone are the exception.

          • I didn’t know that Tenerife has such a very complex volcanism. Can we compare the volcanic behaviour of Phonolite with Rhyolite or Dacite magma? If we look at Pompeii’s eruption 79 the Phonolite eruption occured very suddenly, maybe more than Rhyolite (Chaiten) or Dacite (Pinatubo, St. Helens) volcanoes would do it.

          • Not sure I’m helping to answer your question but phonolite has the same SiO2 weight percentage as basaltic andesite or andesite but I don’t know how alkalinity affects viscosity and therefore eruptive behaviour.

          • Phonolite, trachyte, and rhyolite are all the most evolved magmas of their respective alkalinity, so you will see some common patterns between them I think. The most obvious to me is that they are the typical magmas of caldera systems with shallow magma chambers, so they are prone to large, explosive caldera-forming eruptions. But phonolite can be more fluid I think, at least the phonolites of Mount Erebus look more like andesite than rhyolite.

            Vesuvius is potassium-rich, sodium-poor phonolite, in fact probably the most potassium-rich magmas in the world right now together with Colli Albani. Tenerife, on the other hand, is sodium-rich phonolite. I don’t know how that will affect eruptive behaviour.

        • Evolved from Basanites, Phonolite is the more sillic offspring , and still are quite Sio2 poor compared to subalkaline ryolites

  4. A long time since the last flight of Ingenuity on Mars with the helicopter out of communication with Perseverance for much of the time since the last flight on April 26th but now seems to have been spotted at its expected Flight 53 landing site after presumably successfully completing that mission in the last few days,

    Stuart Atkinson @mars_stu

    …meanwhile, on Mars, weary from its latest flight, a robot helicopter stands silently on cinnamon sands, beneath a peach-hued sky crossed by two bone-splinter moons… Ingenuity Image from @NASAPersevere
    Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/S Atkinson

  5. Long story short. Made it to Iceland today and started the hike but had to turn back almost right away when I noticed my wallet was missing. It turned out I had left it in a parking lot in Reykjavik and a nice Icelandic couple found it and returned it to me when they saw me looking for it. Just happened to cross paths as they were on their way to take it to the police station. So grateful for good people in this world. Now it is late and we are too exhausted to start the hike all over again. Hoping that the eruption still has at least another day left in it!

  6. Dan, So happy to hear you got your wallet back. Looking at the North webcam it definitely looks like the level of lava is way lower, so do your best to get there tomorrow if you are able to.

    • HT’s moisture spike (GHG) in the stratosphere is enhancing the inversion above the tropopause.
      This is causing a global, general bias towards subsidence in the troposphere where our weather occurs. With high pressure dominating the middle latitudes, a large swath of the northern hemisphere is seeing lower than normal surface winds. With no winds to cause upwelling in the ocean and minimized mixing of the air to transport equatorial heat to towards the poles, the planet has lost it’s ability to cool itself. So, it’s not so much direct heating of the moisture from Hunga Tonga, but rather the GHG effect is enhancing high pressure, which is the real reason for the heating.

  7. Is the camera down or did the eruption end? It’s been blank dark grey for the past few hours, as one would expect at night if there’s a bit of moonlight but no incandescent lava anymore. 🙁

    • That’s dense fog or low clouds. We also saw it during the 2021 and 2022 eruptions.

      The tremor graph is still up. Hence the eruption is still ongoing, we just can’t see it until the weather clears…

      • Very little wind at the moment, according to weather reports. The cloud may disperse a bit later today when the wind picks up again. Here is for hoping!

        • Caught a brief glimpse through a hole in the fog a few minutes ago, and yes, can confirm that the eruption is still going.

  8. The ODDF gps readings hint that our eruption is not finished yet. There is still some eastward movement going on. See and drop down to the ODDF readings, paying attention to the East panel. I reduced the page to 67% in order to get two panels in the width of my browser window.

    • Thank-you for the link! I just have checked Askja. There is a linear positive trend:

      • KASC sits on the north of Öskjuvatn. OLAC on the western shore of the caldera lake notices a westward and southward movement. This looks like there could be an intrusion somewhere between the stations in the center of the caldera. Holohraun was close to Askja, maybe this changed the volcanic behaviour in the region for a while?

        • Yes, there is an ongoing intrusion there. It’s been going for a while and you probably don’t need to involve the Holuhraun eruption to explain it. It’s a volcano doing its thing. Here’s an interferogram from the period Sept 22 – July 23:

          This is what an inflating sill looks like.

          • Hmm, that date format looks a bit confusing. That should be from Sept 1, 2022 to July 10, 2023.

          • Yes, it looks impressive. Maybe Askja is going to enter a more active period.
            I searched for the eruption history of Askja, but there is a lack of reports about eruptions before 1875.
            Here is an article on Springer:
            It searched for postglacial eruptions. They identified 175 individual eruptive units, but assume that that’s only the minimum number of postglacial eruptions. F.e. they couldn’t count small lava fields covered by younger flows and they didn’t take into account very small eruptions of <0.001 km³

          • The Catalogue of Icelandic Volcanoes ( states at least 200 eruptions in the last 7000 years. It’s probably from the same study, just presenting the results a bit differently. Worth to note is that all of the exposed lava flows are younger than 7000 years, meaning that the older eruptive history is all buried under lava.

          • We have a few posts on Askja


            It has had many eruptions, seven just in the 20th century. But they come in series with each one showing a sequence of separate eruptions. Very much like Fagra where we now have three eruptions which clearly belong to the same event. It can go big if needed. I would guess the current event is related to the rifting of 2014 which extended just about to Askja. It made it easer for magma to trickle up.

          • Askja has been quite active in the past 1000 years.

            Although, as you know, its historical record only really dates back to 1875, I expect other eruptions might have been seen but not identified. Really, only Reykjanes, Katla and Hekla actually have the full 870-present historical timeline, the rest of Iceland is basically an unknown until the past century, with exceptions for some really catastrophic events like Laki and Oraefajokull.

            It is worth noting that all of the eruptions from Bardarbunga before Holuhraun were technically unobserved, as crazy as that sounds, the area is just so remote the only observations were ash or a distant glow on the horizon.

          • The Askja Fires during the 1920s showed that Askja can do small eruptions that may be hidden by later layers of lava or Tephra. I’m thinking about lava flows of the period 1700 to 1875 that may be buried by the climactic eruption 1875-1876. How active was Askja during the centuries before 1875?
            Askja has the disadvantage to lie in the hinterland of Iceland, where historically humans didn’t care much about small eruptions and maybe didn’t notice some eruptions.

  9. Calling in on our Reykjanes eruption and it looks quite subdued now. I assume the gas content is becoming exhausted. Are we likely to see this tailing off? Or are we up for more activity in different styles / fissures?

    • It is definitely running out of gas, in spite of the bubbling. This is also clear from the fact that the level in the lake is lower. The level is in hydrostatic equilibrium with the lava flowing out into the shield.It is higher than the outflowing lava because the density inside the come is lower. That density is lowered by the gas content. After degassing, the lava sinks a bit and flows out. The lower lava level now indicates the density is a bit higher and thus the gas content lower.

      It can go two ways. The lava lake can sink below the outlet level with a sudden end of the outflow, or a crust can build up which stops the degassing, causing a phase of quietness interrupted by explosions. Last year we saw case 1, in 2021 we saw case 2! At that point it is also possible a new vent opens up elsewhere but i doubt that that will happen now (so it may well do..).

      • Checking for quakes the past 8 hours shows several right underneath Keilir and one near the vent and several to the east of Keilir, so I think it is a possibility that case 1 will occur followed by a new vent. Perhaps case 2 might happen instead, but we might have a new vent occur.

  10. In my opinion it is also the volcanic edifice that has grown considerably eclipsing part of the lava lake.
    Most of the lava flows now flow in tunnels under the lava complex.

  11. Just an FYI, HVO is now marking quakes with less than 1 mag. Might be some tremor showing, and a bunch of really small quakes on RIMD. There is some rain in the area.


    • I havent been able to find any exact correlation, but usually HVO seems to display these small quakes when they are more focussed on the activity, that is to say they dont completely consider this to be background although the update doesnt always say the same. I guess it is best to describe it as above background but not enough to change the alert.

      In my experience this is usually about 1-2 months at most before an intrusion, if said intrusion happens within the caldera it is almost certain to erupt at this point. If it does go down the rift it is much less certain but in that scenario a rifting event has just started, and just like is happening now at Fagradasfjall it is very likely to result in a voluminous long lived eruption, or potentially another massive fissure eruption if it is far down at low elevation. 1955 and 1960 were fast eruptions, 1961-1969 was a stage 1 rift, it probably would have become a huge eruption, but then Mauna Ulu was formed as a large continuous eruption further uprift, and that was killed off eventually by the 1975 quake and a lot of space created deep in the rift much further east. Eventually Pu’u O’o was created over this ‘void’ and very close to the rifting of the 1960s.

      So yeah, basically Kilauea is goign to do that again, probably startign within a few years. it could be on either rift zone, but I am expecting large areas of the volcano to be buried by new lava in the next 50 years, probably at least as much as has been buried in the recent past. It is easy to forget basically all of the obvious lava on Kilauea today is less than 70 years old, it has not even reached retirement age yet 🙂 , in another couple decades anything could happen really.

  12. It appears that a section of the S/SE cone wall has been displaced further into the crater….is that an illusion, or did it actually move inwards? Seen on both the RUV and MBL cameras “noticeably” at 1412.

    Seems out-of-place to me….might just need more coffee, maybe glasses as well? 🙂

      • Could be….took a look, but not sure – will need to go reference Isak’s last flight(s) and see what I can. (just checked with the second MBL camera to get a different reference point, and found that it is now a zoomed-in duplicate to the ‘Live 2’ camera – looks like it’s a rather big overhang. Missed those Samsung cameras shooting up close – they are *great*)

        Also appears to be a long crack on the SW/W overhang(?) that might go and give way.

        I think it was here (the Cafe) that I had read that there could be a connection between lots of overhangs/cone rim material in the ‘bottom’ of the crater, combined with less force from below which could then lead to a choking off of lava? Was that a plausible hypothesis or had I misunderstood what was written?

        • The crater’s lava pool seems kinda shallow at the S end – a piece of overhang fell at 1858:20 (MBL(2) ), and it just sits there, not bobbing around. It does get beat up pretty good and quick, though.

          I wonder if that goes towards B.Bound’s comment @ 19:08? A possible splitting of the ‘Northern’ lava geysers and the ‘Southern’ one? Would be interesting for sure!

  13. It seems to be building a smaller cone inside the existing cone.

    • A Cone Within A Cone….sounds rather Edgar Allen Poe(ish).


      • A good chunk of that inside cone part broke off at 1941:04 – both MBL cameras show it pretty well.

    • Looks like you nailed it – dunno how long it’ll last…but you called it!

    • But will the 2023 flows take the first exit to the left, though? If the leading edge of the 2022 flow at that point isn’t too high…?

      • If the eruption keeps going just a bit longer, it might be able to flow through that gap and exit Meradalir. Comparing the new maps with the one from July 23rd shows how much progress the lava flow made:

        Also, the new lava depth appears to be thickest right next to the edge of the old flows and that hill (couldn’t find the name for it).

        • I believe it’s going to end soon, maybe with a last stage of strombolian activity and stopping lava flows. Then we again have 11 months to wait for the next eruption. Since 2021 the eruptions have wandered towards the north. If this trend continues, the path of future eruptions will go towards the Northern Coast Road between Reykjavik and the Airport.
          Do we see the beginning of a longterm shield eruption with dozens of episodes? If this is the case, it’s an interesting question, where the peak of the shield will find its position. There have to happen many eruptions with lava layers.

          • Probably more of a wandering eruption than a shield, will make a line of cones and lava ponds rather than a symmetrical lava field. If the 2022 and 2023 eruptions happened close to or from the 2021 cone then a wide shield would be much more likely but each intrusion has erupted in a different place, so seems that the vents are all monogenetic or at least dont present an easier path than just breaking out anywhere else along the dike.

            But it will probably get to 1-2 km3, so far we are only maybe 18% of that, still a long way and many years or decades to go 🙂

          • Mauna Loa usually chooses different locations of new eruptions. The beginning is usually at the summit, but later it moves to a monogenetic vent with a very unique lava flow direction. Even the summit eruptions often choose different sites, due to the big size of the summit caldera. Thousands of those eruptions finally have built the shield volcano.

            A shield volcano can grow by many lava flows from multiple monogenetic vents like Fagradalfjall has begun to output since 2021. There may in future appear an area where most eruptions repeatedly occur and build some kind of a peak. As we’ve seen recently that the lava of 2023 flowed over lava from 2021 in Meradalir, in future we may get more of this on certain areas.

          • Mauna Loa is a different sort of volcano, it is a polygenetic caldera volcano. So is Kilauea, and all of the Galapagos calderas. Bardarbunga is also a caldera. These volcanoes are also shield volcanoes by shape because they all have very fluid lava that erupts from the caldera rim and flows long distances. In Hawaii the volcanoes are so huge the caldera appears small and the volcanoes spread, with preferred axis of spreading becoming the rift zones.

            The Icelandic shield volcanoes can be very big, tens of km3, but they are nowhere near the same scale. As said above Bardarbunga is the Icelandic volcano that most resembles the Hawaiian volcanoes. But really, no volcano in Iceland is a fair comparison to Kilauea or Mauna Loa, Bardarbunga is still under 1000 km3 of material total, Mauna Loa and Kilauea both are at over 1000 km3 each in just the Holocene.

    • Do you remember the original injection volume? 80 million/m^3 ? The Univ of Iceland figures of 15.9 million/m^3 would indicate that we’re only looking at 1/5 of the volume released. What about the other 64 million m^3 of magma?

      • Not all of a dike can erupt, unless maybe if it was forced shut again somehow, but I am not aware of any case of that happening. If the magma supply remains high then after a while more magma can flow in than was originally intruded at the start but the dike is still there. That happened in 2021, but maybe not so much in 2022. It is possible for the supply to increase later on though, or if the feed is continuous that it can resume after pausing, that didnt happen in 2022 but whether an effusive eruption becomes episodic or not seems to be based of a lot of variables, so it is not at all impossible for this to happen now. I used to think it was based around whether a vent is drowned by a lava lake , like at Kilauea Iki in 1959, but the many supposedly similar recent eruptions of Kilauea failing to do this has shown otherwise. Forming a true open conduit is not easy, there seems to be one in the vicinity of Keilir but it is rather deep, the magma needs to create new dikes to break through the upper 5 km or so. Perhaps in a few years after presumably at least a few more eruptions and intrusions, the crust will be broken and hot enough to stay open, leading to a shield or a lava geyser. But it could also just as easily lead to massive magma accumulation around 5 km deep, feeding powerful short lived eruptions instead.

  14. Loss of comms with Voyager 2 – Maybe we won’t have to wait until mid-October.

    Earth to Voyager… 📡
    The Deep Space Network has picked up a carrier signal from @NASAVoyager 2 during its regular scan of the sky. A bit like hearing the spacecraft’s “heartbeat,” it confirms the spacecraft is still broadcasting, which engineers expected.

    I guess they are talking about an S Band signal as loss of comms with the primary downlink X Band antenna occurred when uplinked commands caused an estimated misspoint of 2 degrees – way outside the 0.5 degree beamwitdh. However the S band antenna has a beamwidth of 2.5 degrees I believe and since they have acquired S band carrier an uplink has been sent (via S band) to point back the High Gain Antenna back at earth. If Voyager 2 received it then X band data downlink should be back within a couple of days given round trip time. Voyager 2 has a dodgy S band receiver in any case so it may take multiple tries to get a command through.

    • It’s also possible that they were able to pick up the X band carrier but not pull any data out of it but that doesn’t seem likely unless the pointing error is much less than NASA’s estimated 2 degrees – which would be good!

      Maybe some clues watching later tonight.

      • A bit embarrassing for NASA. But good that there were plans for communication problems with a bi-annual reset of the pointing.

        • Difficult to find historical info but wouldn’t surprise me if the command loss timer actions are much longer now than they once were and not sure how good the star tracker is to perform a re-alignment but I suppose we will soon find out!

          • I don’t know why they do it in October but I think late October 2023 is when the Earth and Sun are furthest apart as seen from Voyager 2. The separation will be around 0.5 degree. The star tracker probably can’t use the Sun because it is too bright. Perhaps it can see the Earth, at about magnitude 10 from there, but probably not in the glare of the Sun.

          • The star tracker uses multiple stars but I believe they’ve said previously current performance is very degraded. At least during the primary mission Voyager 2 would not wait 3 months to try and find Earth if it wasn’t receiving commands (that actually happened due to receiver problems blamed on a dodgy capacitor). So I suspect the wait until mid October is due to much longer command loss timeout but I stand to be corrected!

  15. It is a pity that the scientists rule out a direct connection to the mantle. This means that the eruption will most probably end in a few days.

  16. The Iceland Meteorological Office (IMO) is keeping a very careful watch on earthquakes in the Geldringadalir – Mt Keilr area. For example we see a very recent quake at:

    TIME 15:04:25 2023-08-01
    MAGNITUDE 0.36 mlw
    DEPTH 5.049 km
    AREA: Suður­land – Reykja­nes­skagi – Svartsengi – Keilir
    331 STRIKE
    71 DIP
    161 SLIP/RAKE
    Seismic moment: 2.29e+10
    NEAREST Volc.system:: 4.2 km. NE from Fagradalsfjalli
    Town:: 11.4 km. SE from Vogum (1251 pop.)
    Seismometer:: Oddafell (5.7 km)
    GPS Station:: Fagradalsfjall (1.1 km)

    The 331 deg strike basically indicates movement from the SSE to the NNW direction. Can we interpret this as crustal material pushing westward on the east side of the fissure line because the dike is depleting of active magma in the top 3 km?

    The fact that these quakes are being carefully watched I think is related to the concern of the possiblity of a new fissure eruption.

    • So far the earthquakes are fortunately no threat for visitors.

  17. We made it to the eruption today! It was a bear of a hike but totally worth it. We were a bit naughty and did the “extended” trail A and climbed Litli-Hrutur, where there were probably about a hundred people at any one time with a constant stream entering and exiting the hilltop, so we were in good company. I managed to get some decent stills and drone video of the crater and several very nice “vulcanadoes”. I have more impressions I’m happy to share later after some rest, along with links to video when I get a chance to process them!

    • Really happy you made it Dan. The volcano looks invigorated today too. In the valley with the ‘vulcanadoes’ the lave is still inching it’s way forward too so all good today.
      I have been waiting for the message you made it to Litli Hrutur so thanks for letting us know.

      • You’re very welcome Alice, and yes, it totally made up for the emotional roller-coaster that was the day before! I was pleasantly surprised to see how active it was during my viewing time, and judging by its decline since then, we made it just in time to get a really good show.

  18. I feel a bit sad right now, it is 7:45 am Iceland time and the last fissure in the cone is struggling to keep going. Thick white smoke is pouring out on the north side and white smoke on the southend too. The lava keeps building up on the cone, making the pond smaller and smaller.

      • B. Bound nailed it yesterday with the comment about building another cone inside the first – what an interesting development!

        What that means for the flow of lava, dunno, but it still seems to be moving….still well fed underground I suppose!

        Wait and see how this progresses – having one vent doing the visual pushing might prolong the eruption?

  19. I remember someone mentioned a cone within the Cone is growing-with the perfect air quality as I write,yes can see it! Looks rather odd in ways…And yes it’s losing it’s puff!

    • On the MBL (A) camera, you can see some spurting from a southern vent – and that’s between the two cones – so there’s still lots of hope for an “entertaining” eruption. Of course, volcanoes will do what they want to, though, we’re just spectators…..


  20. Map of the last month of quakes on Kilaues. Two things immediately apparent, the SWRZ connector is lit up all the way, and so is the north ring fault of the caldera. Recalling Hectors analysis and speculation that the last eruption intruded the ring fault and induced a slip there, this is exactly the area in question that is one of the first areas to respond to renewed pressure…

    If this holds up then the next eruption might well be a curtain of fire along the west ring fault. The start of the last eruption fpuntained over 200 meters even after going through the 400+ meters of degassed lava lake. The recent stuff from Kilauea seems to be very volatile rich compared to the lava in 2020 and the Pu’u O’o era. Would love to know if any new geochemical data is out, the last eruption in the second half had higher SO2 emissions than the 2018 lava lake despite being only a small vent.

    • Any chance that Big Island or Iceland with its high magma supply does something jesperian style soon ?

      Im tired of small piton like eruptions
      Give me at least an Ögmundahraun next time even If even that is too small 🙂

      • Kilaueas next eruption will be very intense, at least assuming it is in the caldera. Volumetrically not large (last eruption was 16 million m3) but the start is something that might be considered Jesperian 🙂

        If Torfajokull quaking the other day was a sign of straining crust in the area then something much more substantial could result. Hekla is a safe bet, but a fissure eruption between it and Torfajokull would probably be pretty big too. And if a longer rift opens then things get

      • Are the Siberian traps large enough for you?

        The planet will be inhabitable, but it would be a mighty scene dying to….


      Last year of quakes in cross section. The deep quakes are particularly noticeable, there is the dense blob on the left edge that is Pahala, but just to the right of that is another zone that sits basically centered deep under Kilaueas summit. Not to mention the intermediate depth quakes, which are rarely even there at all in significant numbers. The whole magma system is under pressure, Kilauea is for sure among the most active it has ever been right now.

    • Kilauea’s GPS stations BERY (close to Kilauea Iki) and UEWV has moved north, while PUHI (Crater Chain Road) and AHUP has moved south. Between them are stations which has moved up a lot: CRIM and OUTL
      Inflation must be somewhere on the southern Caldera Rim. Maybe the next eruption is going to happen there.

      • That is where the inflation since 2018 has happened, it isnt unique to now, but yes there is a possibility of the next eruption happening from the south caldera area.

        I have an idea that the pressure builds in stages, there isnt actually an open hole between Halemaumau and its magma chamber, which are what drained in 2018, and the much larger and somewhat deeper south caldera source, the latter is what is causing the signal now, and is what is involved in the wholesale collapse of the summit to create the broader caldera structure.

        The south caldera structure is also where the rift connectors seem to start, although Halemaumau also appeared to have a connection before 2018, it is unclear if it still does now though given how dead the ERZ connector has been since August 2021… The SWRZ connector is very clear, it seems to pressurize well in advance of the impending eruption, about a month before the ruption in June for example. Later the quakes become dominant more within the caldera, while the connector becomes more quiet, at this point there is likely a connection between the deeper system and Halemaumau. Somewhat independant of this there are quakes at Kaoiki, which are probably from faults beign pushed on by the pressure, although Mauna Loa probably does have an effect here too as this is apparently only a thing after its November 1983 quake.

        The thing is, there are already strong swarms of quakes following the north and west edge of the 2018 caldera, so either the connection has already been made, or the last intrusion ruptured a lot more of the caldera fault than just the bit within Halemaumau. Or both. The quakes are not yet at a continuous high background but the next eruption might well be before the end of the month. If it is a direct eruption from the major chamber then it will be a completely different beast to the stuff of recent decades, that chamber has fresh magma, even connected to an open vent for a decade until recently it is just too deep to degas. Halemaumau is degassed somewhat after 2018, part of why Ahu’aila’au didnt have any really tall fountains like 1955 or 1960. But a deep chamber eruption even a small one, that would be bypassing everything…

        I expect Hector has a much better model or understanding of the plumbing under Kilauea, certainly of the compositions of the magma and the gas content, so some of what I said is probably wrong 🙂 but I guess we will find out in due time.

        • There is now a very shallow magma chamber in Halemaumau which used to be a lava lake until the lid became too much. The eruptions have been going through this chamber. The inflation is so steep just before an eruption because this chamber of secrets is so shallow.

          • The typical shallow source east of Halema’uma’u is the one involved now. For past inflation periods, models put that source about 2-1.5 km deep. The last interferogram in the MOUNTS project page shows a ball of inflation in the center of the down-dropped block, which matches with the main locus of deformation since the 1960s or before, east of Halema’uma’u.

          • The earthquakes along the SWRZ connector are probably related to magma accumulation in either a horizontal conduit along the SWRZ or a perpetual deep dike body extending southwest from the summit, I prefer the second option.

            The downdropped block is where magma is the closest to the surface (the magmatic center of Kilauea, long period earthquakes happen 10 kilometres down beneath that same spot), and also where the ground is lower due to the 2018 collapse. So it’s expected for summit inflation to focus there, other deeper bodies are located around the caldera, extending into to the south and southwest, but they rarely seem to get involved, and they certainly have not inflated since 2018, with the exception of the very punctual sill intrusion of 2021.

          • Some volcanoes have several magma chambers, sometimes ruled by a “mother chamber” which feeds the smaller shallow chambers. Does Kilauea have such a deep “mother chamber” that would be able to feed both the shallow Halema’uma’u chamber and SWRZ dike/magma chamber?

            Historical SWRZ eruptions often began on the summit comparable to Mauna Loa’s eruptions and then migrated to SWRZ vents. This may indicate that there is a positive magmatic relation between the Summit and SWRZ, while the ERZ rather has a negative relation.

          • The biggest magma body of Kilauea would be the “deep rift”, it is usually considered to be a mush body, but I picture it more like a dike-shaped chamber extending under the entire rifts and summit of Kilauea. The south flank of Kilauea is continuously moving southeast and upwards, this is thought to be due to widening of the deep rift which presses against the flank. Because the flank rapidly loses elevation seaward, and contains a lot of low density hyaloclastite, it doesn’t push back much, so it eventually gives away during earthquakes and slow slip events. The deep rift is about 5 kilometres tall and 60 kilometres long, but its width is unclear (I personally speculate it might be only meters thick). It seems to fade sideways, with the most active portion being the UERZ, from the summit to Napau Crater, or so, that has the fastest deformation and most seismicity. Presumably magma travels outward through the deep rift and that is how you get sudden dike intrusions as far down as Kapoho (1960) that seem to at first erupt independently from the summit, until a few days later the summit finally reacts and starts deflating, I think the connectors are the top of the deep rift, the edge of the magma blade, where strain focuses and makes earthquakes about 2 km below the surface, along the rifts and as far down as the Puna Geothermal Venture.

        • The collapse 2018 was the largest since 1790, presumably bigger than 1924. It may have caused a significant change in the summit’s plumbing system and opened a new chapter in summit eruptions. We still don’t really know in which phase Kilauea has entered, because it still hasn’t actually shown the cards.

          There is indeed that possibility that we get a SWRZ phase, but that might be preceded by shortterm summit fissure eruptions. Since 2020 the eruptions have slowly shifted in their behaviour one after the other, and the next may shift a step forward towards SWRZ eruptions. The June eruption already showed a first tendency towrads the SWRZ with the cone on the SW end of the Caldera and the line of vents from there to northeast on a continuing line of SWRZ in Halema’uma’u.

        • The last two eruptive intrusions did fault a northwest ring fault of the caldera, as shown in interferograms, the earthquakes might be happening in that same fault.

  21. Our Reykjanes volcano appears to be trying to bury itself. If that lot fell in on it, would it blow through? Or rift elsewhere? Or just conk out?

    • Its throwing up some big blobs and judging on the drone feed, its pretty sticky stuff that sticks to the walls easily..
      If the eruption lasts long enough, it may completely roof itself over pretty soon and feed directly into the tubes. If it isn’t doing that already for a large part.

      Should the roof collapse. It probably wont choke the eruption, but debris may clog the lava tubes causing a overflow at the main vent.

    • It’s trying to keep itself alive, but has begun to dy slowly. Yesterday it already made lava bombs instead of lava flows, and today even the bomb eruptions become weaker. The end is near!

      • Bob and Flo did that in 2021 before the second fissure opened, if memory serves.

        • While Fagradalsfjall is going to do some Strombolian things, Stromboli has done a small lava flow:

  22. Judging from RSAM Shishaldin is very active now, might be ramping up to a paroxysm, but it’s raining and visibility is none

    • Mount Doom of Alaska really .. so perfect I guess built up very much like Villaricca and Pavlof by huge lava fountains and short lava flows, mafic stratovolcanoes are always the most perfect perhaps

      • New vent opening up at the back of the cone at 20:10.
        It seems the entire cone is still very active underground. With smaller vents opening and closing all over time.

    • 22:48 Iceland time (2023-Aug-2nd), robust bursts from the cone which I like to see. The cone doesn’t look like it is ready to give up yet.

      Question to the audience, this morning 7:45am I saw much white smoke from the north side and even yellow smoke vapors from the south side indicating much sulfur and sulfer compounds emitted. Can we conclude that a sulfur rich component was exhausted this morning since we’re back to normal behavior? And is this sulfur rich phase an indicator of what magma is being currently tapped?

  23. Any comments on this trace?

    I am assuming that it is showing the chaotic magma flow underground to the current fissure cone due to gas being released from solution as the magma nears the surface.

    • I have noticed that ODF tracing always looks quieter at night. Could it actually be some form of human intererence for instance traffic?

      • Right now (19:00 pm Iceland time 2023-Aug-3) the trace looks pretty rough for the full 24 hours. I don’t have a way to back up the ODF highpass trace, unfortunately to take a better look at day versus night readings.

  24. Isak Finnbogason is providing an invaluable service in using a drone to document the current eruption. See where we discover how the cone-within-a-cone has occurred and how the 2 southern fissure vents have been accomdated. This cone is very dynamic and changes constantly.

    I appreciate that a couple of people, Isak Finnbogason and Roman GutnTog have decide to keep the whole world informed as to what is happening. I appreciate their altruistic spirit.

  25. Apparently, the vent itself is getting more active. I might be starting to go through a similar phase as Ragnar, or it might be taking its last few breaths as there seems to be more gas than lava.

  26. Youtube has a historical video about Askja 1961. It shows well the “analogue” age of science and media coverage, when humans had time to work in depth with topics unlike our present unpatient age. It also shows how large/impressive an eruption of Askja can be. I wondered a bit about the block lava at around minute 1:30. Isn’t block lava unsual for basaltic lava? Did it happen due to cool magma?

    • Wow, thank you for sharing this! I wouldn’t have ever expected to see footage of Askja 1961; incredible!

    • Is/was Herðubreið a separate central volcano from Askja, or was it something like a long lived satellite vent sourced from Askja’s storage?

      I know Askja extends a great distance with its fissure swarm to the north, so it seems odd to me such a large pile of lava flows exists so close to the caldera but that it’s unrelated.

      • Herðubreið is a simple tuya, with a single vent that sourced all the material, so presumably is monogenetic, one eruption. It so steep because it erupted through 1 km of ice, the lava cap is the part that emerged above the ice.

        • Thank you Hector!

          So was this an eruption of Askja that broke the surface under the ice cap, forming a Tuya – or was this something completely separate; IE a large dike coming up from deep that happened to erupt near to Askja.

  27. I have been watching very carefully the Reykjanes – Norður camera since about 08:00 am and after about 1/2 hour noticed that fumeroling activity was occurring at the very north end of the original fissure emplacement. I noticed that about 5-6 times this area fumeroled briefly and so I fially decided to take a snapshot.

    It would be interesting to find out what is going on here.

    I also noticed that a very slight blue smoke was emanating also from this area, so I believe that it was outgassing too.

    • I think we saw that in season 1, episode 1 as well. When the Geldingadalir (remember that one?) cone went out, the neighbouring cone became a tiny bit active, even expelling a drop of lava. Then the eruption resumed further along but that was later. The white cloud is I think just water vapour. The hot air is cooling enough to let water condense. Whether that is because it is not as hot to begin or being expelled at higher pressure (small exit hole) and expanding, I don’t know. Dan got their just in time

  28. Tremor is dropping now. Unless a new fissure opens, this will be over in a day or three.

  29. It’s kind of sad watching it shut down ,it’s doing it in a dignify manner. The Icelandic live-cams have done a great job!My thanks to those who made it worked with great viewing!

    • From all that smoke it looks like it has built it’s own funeral pyre

  30. Marli Miller’s website gallery states “feel free to download any of these [images] for your personal use”. It does not say “feel free to download any of these images and host them separately on your own popular website” (cp. your blog’s SEMrush ranking of 857855 compared to Miller’s site with a ranking of 3729703).

    You could address the issue by linking to her actual site and also by displaying the original image located here, instead of serving it from your own WordPress uploads directory, which would direct traffic to her domain every time the image is requested on page load and give her an indication of how widely used it is. Elsewhere on her website it states “The content on this site is available to use with the request that you provide credit to Marli Miller and include a link to this site”.

    At least this blog post provides some links to actual sources it sites/lifts images from. A cited sources section would be nice, as I have commented here before, but the links are an improvement from the complete dearth of any citations in blog posts by some other contributors here…

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