Iceland: Plumbing the Plume

Image borrowed from the University of Iceland.

In the last decade, science has been under increasing attacks and have lost in status among the general population. Where famous scientists a century ago could rake in some serious dosh by going on lecture tours explaining their findings, today’s scientists are increasingly unknown and scorned by the general population.

Instead, we see the rise of pseudo-sciences ridiculing evidence and holding “feelings” in high esteem while screaming the words “fake news” at the top of their lungs.

A few decades this was just a movement on the fringes of society, but about a decade ago this started to happen inside science too. Some scientists started to take advantage of the peer-review system to push papers based on false data, or that are just nonsensical.

A few days ago, two of these “scientists” died due to a lack of vaccination against Covid-19. I am obviously talking about the twins, Igor and Grichka Bogdanov. Igor got himself a Ph.D. in Physics and Grichka one in applied mathematics.

Based on this and a few published papers they got their professorial robes. The only problem was that it turned out that their entire list of publications including what they did for their Ph.Ds., was entirely without a shred of substance or meaning. It was all a huge joke on science.

In this case, it was probably an art project of sorts, we are after all talking about a couple of real characters, complete with record-breaking amounts of facial silicone and potentially being the partial fathers of Bitcoin and Ethereum (the Ethereum part is canon, the Bitcoin part is at least very likely).

So, what on Earth does this have to do with geosciences? Sadly, the same thing is going on in the geosciences with bogus papers proliferating to bolster careers that should be non-existent. But where the Bogdanov’s lied about the moment right after Big Bang, the geoscientists are congregating around something that should not even be contentious, mantleplumes.


The Definition of a Mantleplume

“A mantleplume is caused by upwelling of hot ductile material from deep within the mantle conveying this hot material to, or near, the surface of Earths crust.”

This is the modern definition that is atomic in so much that it covers the essentials of all known mantleplumes.


The Origin of the Plume

Kistufell has the distinction of being Iceland’s least photogenic volcano, and also being Iceland’s least photographed volcano. This is as far as I know the only image.

At first, the mantleplume was a hypothetical solution to explain the existence of volcanism in Hawaii. This Hawaiian origin greatly influenced the theory building at the beginning, somewhat to the detriment of our understanding of mantleplumes.

The original definition, and the list of prerequisite evidence for being a mantleplume, is something that has rightfully been attacked by scientists in the field. This has in turn forced into place refinements of the theory.

If we look at the original list of required evidence, we find the following:

  1. There will be a linear chain of progressively older volcanic features as the crust moves above the mantleplume.
  2. The amount of primordial He3 should be anomalously high compared to He4 in collected volcanic gases.

The idea behind 2 is that He3 can’t form on Earth and is of stellar origin, whereas radioisotope decay can form He4. All helium is leached out of the atmosphere, so an anomalously high He3 count can only come from ancient deep trapped Helium from the time of the formation of Earth.

There was much rejoicing in the geosciences, finally, we could say something about the innards of our planet. Much lip-banjo was played by volcanologists.

The problem was that Nature was about to wreak havoc on this original definition of what a mantleplume was.


The anomalous Mantleplumes

Nature enjoys throwing spanners into science at the most inopportune times it seems. After finding the Hawaiian plume, and a couple of others (Albert did a fine job on one of those in the previous article), more and more very odd plumelike things started to crop up.

So many of those odd plumelike things cropped up that it started to look like it was the Hawaiian type of plume that was the anomaly, and not the other way around.

The likes of the African plume(s), The Azore plume, The Canary plume, The Icelandic plume, and so on seemed to be nature peeing mightily on the original plume theory. None of those fulfilled the first prerequisite of having a nice volcanic track, and to make things even worse, volcanoes that are decidedly not of plume origin showed up with anomalous He3/He4 content.

It was time to go back to the drawing board. And this time the entire barrage of the theory of science was deployed.


A Plume of good science

Here we must pause and debate what is good science for a moment. First, there must be a hypothesis.

Let us reformulate the definition into a hypothesis. Are there cases of upwellings of hot ductile material from deep within the mantle conveying this hot material to, or near, the surface of Earths crust?

To move this from a hypothesis we need to follow a few rigorous steps to get it elevated into a proper scientific theory.

The first step is, can you derive predictions from the hypothesis? In this case, there were 3 predictions accepted (later there was more). He4/He3-anomaly (not conclusive, but pointing towards the hypothesis having merit).

The second one was that there should be zones in the mantle related to the proposed plume that evidenced areas where the speed of sound changed due to increased heat, if so this should be possible to measure with instruments.

And the third was that there should be inclusions of materials that can only form in higher temperatures and at higher pressures than what is possible at normal magma-formation depths. This is if you think about it the deal-breaker. No such inclusions and it is not a plume.

The second step is, can the hypothesis be easily falsified? The requirement is even more stringent, as you formulate your hypothesis you must stipulate ways that the theory can be falsified (sticking your neck out). It is also obviously free for any scientist to ad things that are falsifiable within the theory, and then try to falsify it. We find that our formative plume-theory is eminently possible to falsify at this point.

And the third step, all experiments and data collection should be possible to repeat by other scientists in the field. It turned out that this was possible to do at numerous instances and plumes.


Plume Problems

Even though we by now have a well-established theory of plumes it turns out that we have something of a headache on our hands. Our proposed solutions caused far more questions than they answered.

How does a plume form? Sounds simple enough, but we do not have the foggiest idea, even though some interesting hypotheses have been brought forth. In fact, we only know parts of how a single plume formed, and that particular plume is the definition of anomalous.

Are the number of plumes increasing, or decreasing, over geological timespans?

Are plumes nicely shaped conveyor like things, or are they messy vortex-like spinning constructs?

To a layperson, this sounds like a mess best avoided, but in science, this is akin to a Gold-rush from all of those majestic questions that are open to solving. This is a moment where strapping Ph.D.-students across the globe crack their knuckles to create lifelong careers borne aloft on the rise of The Plume.

Now, before I start to play lip-banjo out of scientific joy we need to tackle to elephant in the room. The most anomalous plume of them all must be conquered. And it is honker of a problem that could easily derail Plumology.


The Icelandic Plume

Some days I feel that the entire reason for the existence of Iceland is nature’s way of taking a dump on all that we know about volcanology and geology. Whereas most of the rest of the planet is neatly ordered and understandable, and mainly only lacking enough instrumentation, Iceland is a chaotic maelstrom.

Iceland is quite like a psychotic kid running around giggling maniacally as it kicks you in the gonads for the sheer heck of it.

The problem is that no single theory can explain what is going on in Iceland. You must fully understand ALL of the scientific theories that are relevant for the place and then use ALL of them at the same time to model an understanding of what is happening there at a given point of location and time.

Sadly, not even the most picture-perfect and tested theory of mantleplumes will explain more than parts of Iceland’s very existence.

And to pile insult upon gonadal pain, the Icelandic Plume is setting records in being the most anomalous, making even the African Superplume look like a normal garden variety rose. If there is one plume that could topple the scientific plume-carriage, it is the adorable lump named Iceland.

First of all, it is the youngest of all known mantleplumes, being between 14.4 and 17 million years old. We know this from geochemical data from the oldest volcanic rocks in Iceland that is evidencing plume-origin factors like deep-inclusions and He3/He4 anomalies.

It is the most location stable mantleplume on Earth, neither the crust nor the plumehead itself is moving about to any great extent.

We also know that it is growing in intensity and depth over time. We know this since we can track both eruptive volumes related to the Mantleplume, and also the depth that the deep-inclusions form at.

This means that we can say that the Icelandic Mantleplume was born under what would become Iceland and that is not in any way form or shape came wandering from someplace else.

In other words, the Icelandic Plume is in fact a rather psychotic gonad kicking child of a plume, we also know that it originated from the top and is overtime burrowing downwards.

This obviously means that we have one class of plumes that is confirmed to have a top-down origin and that we perhaps have a bottoms-up category to be proven to exist. In other words, we can make the prediction that if Hawaii is of the top-down origin category we will find a curve of depth-created inclusions leaning shallower the further away we sample down the track from current Hawaii.

Easily falsifiable obviously, if they turn out to be ultra-deep from the starting point, we have a case for a second bottoms up variety of plume. Just a thought as I am writing.

So, let us look for evidence of an Icelandic plume. One after all has to try to find evidence for a scientific theory.


He3/He4 Anomaly Problems

He3/He4 anomaly data is problematic for Iceland. The first problem is that since the plume is not as deep as let us say Hawaii, we have less pronounced He3/He4 anomalies. But the really irritating gonadal giggle-kick is that Iceland is eminently producing non-plume related He3/He4 anomalies. Let me explain with a recent example.

Fagradalsfjall had a deep origin not related to any known plume activity. Instead, it was caused by crustal rifting sucking up mantle material, and as the eruption went on the erupted material came from ever deeper origin showing constantly increasing amounts of primordial He3.

First of all, this makes He3/He4 anomalies fairly useless as an investigative tool in regards to the Icelandic plume.

Secondly, it is perhaps giving an inkling towards how the Icelandic Plume started. Perhaps it was a Fagradalsfjall like “origin-eruption” that was larger, and that started to burrow down deeper and deeper until we got a downwards self-propagating mantleplume. This is just me thinking loudly as I write, not even a hypothesis at this moment in time.

Anyway, let us chalk up the He3/He4 anomaly studies as being muddy, but that the requirement is fulfilled. Since it is not giving the clarity we need on the subject, let us just state that there is such an anomaly and move on.


Seismic Tomography of the mantle under Iceland

We find that the Icelandic Mantleplume is evident at depths below 670 kilometres, and maybe even deeper. We also find scant evidence in the tomography for the Hawaiian mantleplume, at least a deep origin is not evidenced.

By tracking the wavefronts caused by large earthquakes we can make detailed (well, sort of detailed) maps of the interior of the planet. What we can track is how what is down there alters the speed of sound of the wavefronts of the P- and S-Waves. This alteration is predominantly caused by variations in temperature.

Warmer temperatures will cause the speed of the wavefront to slow down, and cold areas (sunken plates for instance) will cause increases in speed.

And as we can see there is a warm temperature anomaly under Iceland consistent with a mantleplume.

Now, there is a problem here that most people do not understand. A tomographic image in and of itself is only showing that there is a tubelike form that is hotter than the surrounding mantle, but it does not de facto prove that the heat is caused by hot ductile material being conducted upwards.

Let us pause here. This last problem is real, and it is something that I am surprised that plume-denialists have not dug into. After all, it could derail plumes completely. On the other hand, they never discuss seismic tomography, to begin with for some reason.

The reason is that then the onus would be upon them to come up with a workable hypothesis that is falsifiable, producing testable predictions that are also falsifiable and possible to repeat, to explain how the heat-tubes in the mantle are formed.

Let us just state for now that we have indeed found the predicted “heat-tube” and move onwards to a more inclusive ground.


Deep Magma Inclusions

Beautiful Chrome Spinel. Depending on the crystal shape it has many interesting uses.

In February of 2002, the angels of science sang as Kresten Breddam published the seminal paper Kistufell: Primitive Melt from the Iceland Mantle Plume, in Journal of Petrology. It is not hyperbole to state that it is one of the 3 most important papers published in regards to Icelandic volcanology and the single most important one in regards to mantleplumes anywhere.

My only criticism of the paper is that it is insanely dense and requires you to have above average knowledge on a scientific degree level in geochemistry, to be able to understand it. Words like highly technical do not even begin to cover it.

So, most of you will have to take my word on it being very rigorous and a showcase of good science. I will now try to explain what is so special.

The premise is quite simple. What inclusions can we find in the lava that has erupted out of Kistufell, a volcano that is suspected to be located above the centre of the plumehead itself? What depths are those inclusions formed at? And what inclusions are missing from greater depth than those found? The last one gives depth constraints for the plume.

The first part to note is that the paper finds evidence of subducted oceanic gabbro. This is interesting as such, but it is not the same thing as a sunken continent under Iceland, instead, it is the original oceanic Icelandic crust in and of itself that has been pushed down and morphed into sub-crustal gabbro. This formed as oodles of magma pushed down the oceanic crust it erupted on top of.

I think that we should invent a new term for this process since it is not classical subduction in the common sense of the word. Interestingly enough, this is also the case over in Hawaii.

The paper goes through in detail the gabbro part and the underplating material for those who are interested in those things (I am for one), but it also notes how rare those xenocrysts are from the deep crustal parts.

Let us now discuss the melt depth of the magma, it occurred just below the crust at circa 45 kilometres depth. This high depth/melt figure is most likely explained by the high temperature of 1270 at the point of melting.

This is interesting in a theoretical sense; it means that if the crust became even thicker it would effectively hinder any melt from occurring under Kistufell. Interesting, but it has nothing to do with our discussion as such. This is evidenced by the chrome-spinel formation depths.

Lavas from Kistufell shows that the plume derived magmas are like this: “The isotopic heterogeneity within the Iceland mantle plume may thus be viewed as a result of mixing between plume material rising from a layer of subducted slabs (which have partly maintained their geochemical integrity and heterogeneity) and lower-mantle material (FOZO) entrained in the initial stages of plume formation.” (Kresten Breddam, 2002, linked below)

The sentence above might be the most explosive sentence in contemporary volcanology. It is like someone had chucked the Tsar Bomba into the classical mantleplume model for Iceland. I will try to explain it by quoting myself… Massively.

“Kistufell is situated straight on top of the Icelandic mantleplume core. The petrochemical analysis gives at hand that a large part of the magma comes from the 670-kilometre discontinuity… …and is consistent with a formative mantleplume in the lower mantle.

Now, what on earth is the 670-kilometre discontinuity? Well, the material above that has the spinel crystal structure and below you have perovskite structure. In short, if your basic magma has spinels in it you have magma from above the discontinuity. If you have a marked lack of spinels the magma formed deeper than the discontinuity.

And the Kistufell magma is poor in chromium spinels, and the few that are seems to have come from xenoliths from the magma conduits rather than from the basic basalt (ol-tholeiite). Also, the high amount of Sr points towards a deep source.

Now over to garnets, they form at about 35 to 45 kilometres depth, and the Kistufell lava is very poor in garnets, so it is safe to assume that the magma has formed below that. This differentiates the Kistufell (and other mantleplume volcanoes) from other Icelandic volcanoes far away from the plume core.”

Is there any evidence that the mantleplume is indeed formative? Yes, there is. The amount of spinels increases with the age of the lavas tested in Iceland. Or, in other words, the older magmas came from an increasingly shallow depth as we progress backwards in time.

As such the mantleplume is not more than 14.4 million years old, at least in a way that we define as a mantleplume. That puts quite a spanner in the Alpha Ridge Theory, or any other theory stating that the Icelandic Plume has meandered over from somewhere else.



The mantleplume theory itself is not problematic, what is problematic is the lack of understanding of mantleplume formations. It is also surprisingly lacking in the ordering of types of mantleplumes because there seems to be more than one subtype that follows the basic definition of being a mantleplume.

We have up above defined the Icelandic Mantleplume as the most anomalous plume, and we have put it to the test against the definition and the prerequisites of being defined as a plume.

We find that it fulfils the prerequisite of having a high He3/He4-anomaly. We found that this is a must, but that it is not defining in and of itself. A lack thereof would though be constituting falsification of the mantleplume theory.

We also found that it had a seismic tomographic heat-tube structure. As discussed above this is a must, but not a definite for being a mantleplume. We do find though that the tomography suggests a much deeper origin (2500km) than what is evidenced by the inclusions, this is though trivial since Breddams work is not as such excluding a deeper origin, it just states a minimum depth origin.

We also find problems in the seismic tomography data in regards to Hawaii being a true mantleplume. Interestingly enough, no plume denialist has ever denied that Hawaii is a mantleplume, and still, it is the most likely spot to not be a real mantleplume. I mean, at least one of them should be able to read a seismic tomography plot, no?

Do note, I am not stating that Hawaii is not a mantleplume. I am though stating that it seems to lack the second component needed to be counted as such. Anyhoos, back to Iceland.

When looking at inclusions in the Kistufell samples we find evidence of an origin deeper than 670 kilometres. We find that this means that there is indeed material moving up from depth that is constrained into a tubelike conduit or vortex.

Incidentally, even though it was outside of the scope of this discussion, we find that the mantleplume under Iceland is young (14.4 million years) and that it formed at the surface and is burrowing downwards. We do though acknowledge that there are seismic tomography indications that it may be older and may have deep origins. More studies are indeed needed.

Carl Rehnberg


Sources (among many, but I am limiting myself to the three most relevant)

Kistufell: Primitive Melt from the Iceland Mantle Plume | Journal of Petrology | Oxford Academic (

Mapping out the conduit of the Iceland mantle plume with helium isotopes – ScienceDirect

Mantle plume tomography – ScienceDirect





660 thoughts on “Iceland: Plumbing the Plume

  1. So, I guess that most who are not French or Physicists do not know who the Bogdanov Twins are.
    Let us just say that they are colourful members of a branch of European royalty, science fiction actors, and all around real characters.
    Both of them recently died within days from each other from Covid-19, both unvaccinated.

    They basically turned their public lives over into an art project, so their “joke/fake” scientific careers I tend to chalk up as another piece of that art project, benefit of the doubt and so on.

    Interestingly enough The Bogdanov Affair was the beginning of the end of String-theory. To clarify, it was String-theory that they made a joke out of.

    Their work on preemptive prognostications in blockchains is though masterful, and could easily have been published as a series of groundbreaking papers, but they chose not to. Probably since they more or less proved that blockchains are not safe and are prognosticable.

    For being extremely public their private lives are though shrouded in quite a bit of mystery.

    They are also a part of a meme-conspiracy theory. The theory is that the Brothers secretively was multi-billionaires and ruled the world as leaders of the NWO (presumably). The billionaire part was probably true in the form of a shart-load of Bitcoins that they owned together with another shartload of Ethereum, the NWO part was obviously not true.


    Here is a higher resolution of Hawaiis Plume
    The mantle plume body is huge, But the surface hotspot thats the main melting zone, only affects an 300 km wide arera around Big Island and the main hotspot focus is probaly very narrow. The Hawaii Plume push up the seafloor for more than a 1000 kilometers around Hawaii in whats called ”Hawaiian Swell” a similar litosphere swell can be found in the seafloor crust around Iceland

    This is a great read as VC article, thanks Carl
    Im writing on my own VC post

    • Ding!
      Thank you for reading the entire article, and finding my little Hawaiian trap. 🙂
      (Pun intended)

      The plume cut-off is though still there, but deeper down. But, it is going through the all important 670km discontinuity, so the Hawaiian plume is safe. (For now). 😉

      • The colorful tomograph for Hawaii that was posted in the article doesn’t resemble the ones on Jesper’s link. And, why is that again?

  3. “Their work on preemptive prognostications in blockchains is though masterful, …” – Do you have any URL/link for this material?

    • Asked after I just stated that there are no papers on it published? 🙂

      So, is what I just wrote a part of the art-project? Or is it relevant?
      Welcome to the world of Metatruth.

      (And yes, there is a point to my shenanigans, that may, or may not, be revealed in the fulness of time.)

      • Yes, I started to smell such memetic art in making, after a few unfruitful Google-searches… BTW, “prognostication”, is that a portmanteau of “prognostic(s)” and “procrastination”? And then we should consider the “haasuil”, and their distribution in the boreal forests.

  4. “My only criticism of the paper is that it is insanely dense and requires you to have above average knowledge on a scientific degree level in geochemistry, to be able to understand it. Words like highly technical do not even begin to cover it.

    So, most of you will have to take my word”.

    Right, Carl. Dense is polite. It’s unreadable for people who come from other fields. It’s even more unreadble that Foulger’s “Plumes vs. Plates” which is a book and bone dry. It’s like old chewing gum. Both are, the paper by Kresten and the book by Gillian.

    • This is my entire point of bringing up the Bogdanov Twins.

      There is no way for a layman today to discern who has valid arguments, and who shows actual proof of what they are writing.
      In yon olden days scientists could explain themselves what they had writen by going on lecture tours. Nowadays though even the few who try are drowned out in a jabbering field of “equalism” where Youtubers hunt for ever more clickbaity things to scream.

      It is left to a few who have the prerequisite heavy degrees in the field to try to explain what is, and what is not, and that is also becoming increasingly hard in a world where “every opinion is equal” is the new mantra.

      As the Bogdanovs proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, you can make a career out of publishing in low-grade papers with dodgy peer-review, because most people do not understand the difference between Nature or Journal of Petrology (in this case, it is the goto-paper for geochemistry if you are serious).
      Instead you can self-publicize your “work” by paying a fee, and just get spell-checking as “peer-review”.

      For a layperson it is impossible to discern the grade of quality in a scientific paper, or even understand if it has merit.
      Normaly this is not a huge problem, bad papers in bad journals get burried in the sands of miniscule obscurity, and the good science floats to the top with time, and science ploddingly move forwards on its quest to find what is real, or not.

      But, what happens if there is a truly bad actor working in bad faith?

      In the case of the Bogdanovs it was work done that was of no notoriarity and without any content whatsoever, it would quickly have drowned in normal circumstances. But, alas, they where famous (of sorts). So, their shenanigans was caught and called out by other physicists. Most of whom acknowledged that is was indeed a joke (perhaps).

      But what happens when a Professor in the field starts to work in bad faith? What happens when that Professor starts to disregard proof, scientific theory, and who is not following the “rules of science”?
      Well, quickly that professor would become a joke in the community of peers, but for the Layperson the words of the Professor could be taken as being canon.

      The Bogdanovs lied or shenaniganed (up to everyones interpretation) from the perspective of being nobodies in the scientific community, or underdogs if you wish.
      But, the Professor does it from the viewpoint of the pinnacle of what should be the source of good science.

      One I can take in the spirit of being a joke, the other makes me mad as hell.

      • I agree. That’s why I do not have an opinion about plumes. I just follow the papers about the diverse local situations and understand the points although at times – like with Gillian’s book – I have to invest a few hours for several pages.
        What I see doing this in fields that interest me is the complexity of things, and one of the most important sentences is: “Is not fully understood.” This is no miracle with Plate Tectonics and also Wilson’s Plume Hypothesis being meagre 60 years old. So, nobody should go along and believe he knows more than geologists or geophysicists.
        You piece is very sober, congratulations, perfect style.

        I also got another book which is about the Canary Islands by Troll and Carracedo who, I think, have made a huge mistake in that book concerning alignment, so I prefer the sober publications of van den Boogarde concerning that region. The 3He/4He ration is low there, btw. (Courtillot 2003).

        • It is what is making me sad.
          I can see you infront of me investing your hard earned hours in life being was being mispeant.

          In part it may be my fault.
          It would help many of our very interested, and highly curious readers, if we put together a sort of basic curriculum for those who are interested in the field that I love so much. A Reader if you wish, that is sort of easy to read, and that would give you and the others tools on how to read more hard to digest papers.
          Hm, me needs to ponderificate on this. 🙂

          • Well, that’s difficult with me having been a well-trained university specialist, so used to lots of caveats, used to things suddenly changing because of new evidence.
            So I am the different reader, the reader who does not need a complete concept, but ideas, and the best thing this blog has achieved is that also a reader like me is content with it and learns some and likes the style and is, above all, fascinated by the many different aspects like also history.
            And I certainly have seen many fascinating things here and invitations to go deeper into a subject.
            I might not have gotten into Wrangellia without Albert i.e. But what also fascinates me is debate. And this debate is as interesting as Darwin & Huxley vs. Dr. Owen back then.

          • Problem is that tidbits of information without the greater picture involved is a great way to be led astray.

            Thing is to at least know enough to know what is not known, etcetera.

          • Thank you for this reply 🙂 im a 62 year old grand mother who have read everything i can get a grab on for the last 20 years. i love geology and find it absolutly facinating. My husband finaly agreed to take me to Iceland. dint get there in time for the eruption, but a crossing fingers for a new one soon.LOve reading about all the new findings <3 <3 <3

      • I have a definition for “Equalism”…

        “My ignorance is just as valid as your knowledge”.

        Perhaps it explains why the one who shouts loudest is the one who is believed.

      • In my ‘older’ days it was *who* made the peer group for a journal that offered validity.
        Perhaps scientists rely too much on e-mail these days, and less on the colloquiums.

  5. My only comment to Carl’s paper is that, as occurs to him whilst writing even, the truthy will prove reality. That is to say to succeed in explaining something take all things at face value and; do not seek to select data that ‘proves your case’ and ignore or denigrate the data that does not.
    Carl appears to have avoided this but sadly its now almost usual practice from many scientists at all levels. The reason is likely that too many scientists do science as a career, and funding and kudos is very valuable and more important than the truth. Sadly self promoters tend to get the most funding, the most kudos and are least likely to be challenged, not least because that can (and do) ruin careers by poor (read manipulative) peer reviewing.
    A recent review found that in the biological sciences 60+% of results were NOT reproduceable (!!!!!).

    • Great comment and true.
      Then there is another problem. I read an interview yesterday in one of the leading German papers with a CEO of a big health insurance. What he said was rather shocking. He stated that hospitals charge for services that weren’t done on a patient, and it be known practise mostly advised by counsellors. That goes up to 50 percent which is outrageous. Then there is a law which forbids insurances to check more than 5% of the bills. We are paying for that practise, we, the insurance clients.
      I had precisely that impression when I saw my late husband’s final hosiptal bills.

      So capitalism has long become corrupt. And this concerns every single field, every science and also the flow of free opinion.

      • That seems a German problem. We also had a badly overcharged hospital bill in Germany, a long time ago, including charges for things where clearly the same thing had been charged to multiple patients. The insurance company spotted that. I have not seen that in the UK, or in Hong Kong. The US of course has its own problems with hospital charging, but it is combined with some of the best health care in the world, for those who can afford it.

        As for medical studies, yes, there is pressure to get positive results out, and where pharmaceutical companies involved, that is a minefield. Nationalism also plays a role, as seen in the battle between the vaccines. But by and large science is self-correcting. Overinterpretation is quickly weeded out. Incomplete data is filled in by other studies which show discrepancies. Incorrect data takes longer:fraud is rare but extremely damaging where it occurs. The same for facebook pushing pseudoscience: medical decisions based on that can kill. Science is slow and takes it time before it considers a result as settled. Medical professionals though work in life and death situations and often have to make decisions based on incomplete data. Their patients can’t wait for the science to settle.

        • Albert is correct.
          Science in the long term is auto-corrective.
          Science is in no way perfect, but it is the best mechanism of understanding that humanity has come up with over the last 3000 years. If any other human endeavour was done to the same high standard existence as we know it would be a good sight better.

          Science is done by an incredible amount of people who toils away in obscurity making the world a better place. Yes, a majority of the scientists are not the best in the field. But, bad actors are really rare.
          In the end as Albert says, the bad science is weeded out by good science.

          • Yes. But basically I became aware of the fact that capitalism needs a reform looking for ways to get corruption down. Making honesty a high mental achievement, a sort of honorable charactre trait.
            I believe the problem might basically be the stock-market and also that things only have a weight when they are profitable.

        • I always got the impression that the Netherlands have a decent health system True?
          Another thing. My son, my daughter and I had very tiny symptoms from Omicron, a nice stroll compared with our other common colds and influenza in the past. We were all vaxxed and boostered with Johnson and AZ. My son’s girl friend is on BioNtech as her parents, big believers of what the German papers push forward was ill for a few days, more symptoms. Just to think about. In fact, with my experience and things I keep hearing from others I would say that AZ and J&J are better. In German papers you read the opposite as BioNtech is German.

          • Missing: as her parents want that (plus have invested in the stock).

          • Another explanation that is more likely is that at the moment of infection her immuno-defence system was in worse shape. Small things can do large differences from day to day. For instance, let us say that she had slept badly for a couple of nights compared to you, eaten less well, the list just goes on. 🙂

            There is though a bit of data suggesting that it is better to take a different vaccine as a booster, so that might also be the case.

          • Yeah, right, Carl, again. Bodies are different. But I assure you she has better sex as she has my son. And that should be the best vaccination ever. So, be nice to Carmen, and you will walk through this like an angel. 🙂 🙂 🙂
            Carmina burana.

          • Well, then I am toast since I do not have any sex due to Corona. 🙁

            Sadly we are involuntarily separated since neither of us can travel due to border closures etcetera.
            Let me be clear here, we are not in any way separated, but we can’t physically get together due to The Age of Pestilence.

          • It will be over soon, Carl. Omicron seems to be the new common cold. I am a bit curious here. She has a doctoral degree. What field is she in? She looks quite nice. Say hi from an unknown reader.

          • She is an MD with a degree in Hospital Management, she was further specializing in geriatrics, but The Age of Pestilence diverted her into treating Covid patients.

            She is the love of my life. The star that guides me through our troubled times. I do my best to be her support since she is going through quite an ordeal due to The Age of Pestilence…

          • Thank you. “Love in The Age of Cholera”.
            Garcia Marquez might have written a book about the time if he were still alive.

          • I had pfizer, partner had AZ: sad to say, both he and several of my online friends had long lasting reactions (including one who was hospitalised), wheras I (and many others anecdotally) had two days of aches and good sleep. AZ seems to be seriously flawed and whilst ‘needs must’ in the middle of a pandemic where the consequences of getting the wild virus are far worse, with more time (or a world more economically supportive and less pressurised to ‘get back to work, peasants’) it would probably have remained on the shelf. The pfizer tech seems to be more precise and focussed.
            As for Omicron, there’s still this: initial viral load is *important*. We don’t know (because the experiments are ethically difficult) exactly how much or little virally loaded droplets it takes to become infected, and how much makes a difference to the severity of the illness. But if you inhale a million droplets, and someone else inhales a hundred, you’re more likely to get hammered that the latter. THAT is the scary part: the worry that going forwards, we’ll always have to avoid high-viral-load situations like crowds or nightclubs or churches fill of singing choirs.

    • This is why I love Krestens papers.

      Anyone (well if you are in the field and have access to a suitable laboratory) can redo his experimental work.
      I could do it if I really wanted for instance, but since I can follow his steps and understand them it would be me squandering my time on Earth a bit.

      I hate (strong word, I know) bad science since it is just a big waste of the miniscule resources aloted to science. Do I have a solution to the problem?
      Not really. And this breaks my heart.

  6. A direct astenosphere plume eruption in Iceland and Hawaii woud erupt at perhaps as hot as 1650 C and flow like water, looking like liquid iron flowing out. There maybe even komatites deep down in Hawaii thats too sense to rise to the surface and remains in the astenosphere melting zone. What comes up is Thoelitic Basalt

    But that probaly never happens in nature, because magmas cools on their way up and cools alot in established magma systems. Thats why the eruption temperatures in Iceland and Hawaii often hover at around 1170 C with well over 1200 C for Halema’uma’u and Iceland deep eruptions like Kistufell and Fagradalshraun. The rising magmas cools in already well established magma stoorage systems.

    Kistufell was like Iki 1280 C I think. But even that is below Icelands Plume main temperatures that are well above 1500 C. Iceland haves a thick oceanic crust that the magma haves to go through before erupting. Getting a pure plume fresh melt is difficult in established magma systems.

    Only pure mantle eruptions are monogentic volcanic fields that comes directly from mantle and not from established magma stoorage eruptions, But they are not always plume feed either

    • Iceland haves a 50 km think oceanic crust near the Hotspot centre, that makes a direct plume eruption very difficult ..

      In Hawaii is difficult too, as it cools in established magma systems, just like Iceland, still these two are the worlds hottest lavas at current

      • I guess there could be contention here but I think Kistufell would have been a monogenetic eruption from the deep mantle maybe just before deglaciation, when the supply was increasing but there was not so much in the way to prevent the really hot deep stuff from erupting. I think to call it its own entire central volcano is giving a bit too much credit, it is the deep source that is the key, the eruption was probably pretty bog standard for that area visually.

        I really would have doubts an eruption of that temperature could happen there today, Holuhraun was 1180 C and most eruptions are probably not as hot as that in Iceland.
        Reykjanes might actually be the hottest erupting lava, it is not plume basalt but the plume clearly does effect the magma generation rate, and probably the temperature. Couple that with the general lack of shallow storage for any of the volcanoes. Krafla might be similar, it is a bot more plume derived but still an outer fringe. Theistareykjarbunga in the Holocene has erupted as lava shields, indicating similar very fluid lava with no crustal residence time.

      • Think Iceland also has old continental crust under it, too.

      • Theistareykjarbunga and Trölladyngja where hot fluid eruptions that rose quickly up. Trölladyngja was probaly superhot perhaps hotter than Fagradalshraun. But not even these erupts at plume mantle temperatures in Iceland thats probaly over 1500 C at Vatnajökull

        1250 C seems to be the Max eruption temperatures in Iceland, as it cools on the way up and more important spends time underground

    • No No continetal crust beneath Iceland, its a mafic Igenous LIP made of thick oceanic crust. Iceland is not in anyway a continent, its crust is too heavy and too dense. Iceland is same type of crust like the Hawaii ”lip” mafic basalt lava flows and Intrusive gabbro. One of Icelands sides woud be easly subducted If a trench was nearby. Iceland is an oceanic basalt lava plateau

      • That’s not completely right. “The geochemistry of Icelandic lavas is consistent with a source partly made up of recycled, fusible subducted slab material of Caledonian age. these slabs might be late-subducted Iapetus slabs trapped in the Caledonian suture. Such a source in iself would yield larger melt volumes than common mantle peridodite at the same temperature.” Foulger and Anderson, 2005.
        The situation in Icelandic is extremely complex. Adding to the complexity is the fact that there was the “Thulean Volcanic Line” first which was NW-trending (62-59 Ma). After a hiatus of estimated 2-5 million years the direction changed to NE and is running roughly parallel to the 400 Ma old Caledonian Suture.
        The situation is complex as older structures are involved. Much more complex than Big Island. Basically it cannot be compared with the latter, but rather with Afar and the Azores.

        • Except that Foulger did not back that up with any laboratory analysis, nor with any other evidence.

          But, Breddam is your friend here Denali. He does point out, and shows evidence, of there being crustal material at depth under Iceland in the form of deep crustal material from subducted slab remnants of crustal material at 670km depth.

          Also, debating what Icelands crust is as per definition is quite moot. It fulfills the definition of being both continental crust and oceanic crust at the same time. I would go so far as yo state that it is transitional from oceanic to continental and be done with it.
          With this I mean that what we are seeing is how continental crust was born to begin with. 🙂

          • Right, Carl. That’s why she uses the word “might”. 😉
            She has one point though: She says that Iceland is not thick enough, it should be around four km high. And when we look at Hawai’i this gives us a few thoughts.
            One thing is sure though. Iceland and Hawai’i are very different. And Yellowstone is different again.
            Iceland and the Azores, maybe also Galapagos, might be similar. Agreed or not?

          • Iceland is 47km thick at the thickest spot… there are several continental plate parts that are thinner. Composition is more important.

          • I should have said high and subareal. Hawai’i is ten km high, and according to the USGS which Jesper stated, impressed by greatness, even 17 km thick going into the ocean floor.
            You took a break. For tomorrow: Wouldn’t a plume (which I myself as a laywoman do not doubt, just watch the discussion) cause more problems and more mass than that inconspicuous Kistufjell? I mean thinking of this Hippopotamus of volcanism, Big Island, reminding me of Jabba the Hut?

        • Is this the back-trail that seems to extend diagonally across Greenland, across Arctic Ocean to Siberia ??

          And, while departing Southern Greenland Eastwards, may have flipped Atlantic rifting at local triple junction ?? Leaving eg Labrador Sea as an aulacogen ??

          Recently, geo-speaking, seems to have met the Caledonian Suture and exploited that weakness. Are there other cases where an ancient Suture seems to have ‘captured’ a peripatetic ‘hot-spot’ ?? Suture likely to have ‘interesting’ mix of materials, confounding easy interpretation. Prior ‘re-working’ would certainly skew volatiles’ isotopes…

          Probably spurious correlation rather than causation, but back-trail seems to emerge from under the Permian ‘Siberian Traps’. Mind you, that out-pouring was so vast, it could mask a multitude of ‘Easter Eggs’…

          Sorry for spew of thoughts: Not drunk but, yes, a tad giggly. Have just put replacement hinges onto last of kitchen’s water-damaged units, can tick another mill-stone, uh, mile-stone off to-do list…

          • Yes. From the Appalachian mountains in North America, as far as I know.
            I’ve read an interesting story today about the SS Politician (crazy name) that run on ground in the middle of the Hebrides and contained 22.000 bottles of whiskey. They must have had a feast there.

      • The lava pile that is Iceland is still NOT a continent, most of Iceland is just a few million years old. Do not confuse oceanic lava plateaus with Ancient continents

        Iceland is complex, But just a Hotspot+Ridge oceanic basalt plateau

        • Yes but before the Atlantic split open with the Mid Atlantic ridge there was a continent. It’s not impossible that some of that crust got left behind where Iceland now is. Later Mafic lavas then covered it.

    • Most Iceland eruptions are quite cool at around 1140 C or even lower, magma spends times undeground and cooling and cools on the way up.
      Kistufell was 1270 C in some papers If I remebers correct. Still way below Icelands Plume temperatures

      There is a old lava flow near Makaopuhi Crater at Kilaueas upper ERZ that may have erupted at over 1400 C according to geochemical studies, perhaps came very deeply and rose very quickly. At that temperatures it woud flow almost like liquid Iron. But even that is not the plume temperature in Hawaii

      • Where is the source of lava that hot? I knew that eruptions in the upper ERZ were hot but 1400 C… I presume it is an exposure in the side of the crater.

        1400 C is hot enough the lava would be a total liquid, it would be as fluid as hot oil, maybe only slightly less than water. If I was to guess this eruption probably didnt exactly come from Kilauea, it would have been a direct eruption out of its deep plumbing underneath its basal magma chamber, out of a magma body in the deep rift, and which erupted entirely on its own.

    • At Reykjanes the crust is very thin and the magma can rise to the surface without getting stuck in shallow magma chambers, so it rises quite Fresh from the moho. Thats where you get the fresh mantle melts directly from the mantle

      In Vatnajökull You haves huge established central volcanoes with shallow magma chambers and wast stoorage zones, and there the magma gets stuck and cools off. Its in the central volcanoes you finds Ryholite.
      The central volcanoes in Iceland can produce evolved melts. But Grimsvötn and Bardarbunga are too active and too high supply for having ryholites

          • They come and go, something to do with yet another layer of logging in – it seems as complex a situation as what’s under Iceland and after getting mine to appear a few times… I’ve given up 😀

  7. Many thanks for the article, very interesting and quite understandable even for a layman such as myself.
    You did not overly dwell on it, but the implication that the plume appears to have started at (near?) the surface and burrowed down though is somewhat startling. Is there any hypothetical mechanism for this?

    • I left that part out since it would have been a bit too speculative and outside of the scope of this little article.
      I would though love to do a more speculative article later on about how that top-down start of the Icelandic plume might have come about.

  8. So, bar being a detectable structure in tomography, what else do we know for certain?

    • Think some of the lavas near the plume head are indicative of a plume source. Don’t have a reference with me at the moment so will have to look it up.

    • Caeric, you have the answers to your question up above in the actual article I just spent weeks on and you didn’t read carefully.. 😉

      • Well, I meant more with each and every one seemingly being a different beast entirely so how much do we know that any of them have in common. It kinda sounded like we were practically back at square one.

        • But yes, I got the gist of it, 1 being visible in tomography , 2 he3/4 and 3 inclusion of minerals that require mantle pressure and heat to form.

  9. The tremor graph at Fagra looks strange. Anyone ever seen it looks like that before? I’m beginning to think an eruption might fail. Or at least be a damp squib.

  10. The Icelandic Plume has some fingers stretching under Norway and Scotland, hence the uplift of these areas. See “The five fingered giant ‘spider plume’ in the Earth’s mantle under Iceland so big it keeps the Scottish Highlands above water” and “Strange mantle plume under Iceland helps keep Scotland afloat”.

    Could these fingers cause volcanoes to form in Scotland and Norway?

    • That is a bit contentious.
      It has also been theorised that the fingers can be caused by proto-subduction.
      And if you look at more finegrained data you find that there are clear disconnects between Iceland and the two fingers.

      I am gonna grab a fabulous plot by Andrej Flis to show what I mean.

      • Even though the connection is interrupted, the elevated crust, rockall etc. implies anomalous volcanic activity during the separation of norway and greenland i.e. before the Iceland plume is said to have got going, this is why I’ve always felt Iceland was contentious as a deep plume – the MAR rift and the chicken/egg scenario. As a shallow plume created by lithospheric control and a slab graveyard – sure. If the plume is burrowing downward, it may well fully connect with the lower mantle at some point, if it doesn’t already.

        • There is definitely parts that are remnants of the breakup, and there are other volcanic or proto-volcanic features out there.
          But, alas, that is a debate for another day. 🙂

          For those interested in googling.
          I did once write an article about the upcoming Norwegian VEI-8 eruptions.

          • A Norwegian Toba would certainly be something.
            I had no idea that Iceland would have that affect on the nearby crust – though I suppose Hawaii does something similar. Always figured subduction zones were created in conjunction with the worldwide rift system.
            Just goes to show what an active planet we live on. You probably couldn’t pick anywhere safer than northern Europe for natural disasters, and yet in a few million years there could well be active volcanics and some serious earthquakes.

          • I am expecting a bigger one in Northern Sweden.
            There is a rift opening there that produces small earthquakes on a daily basis. It is part of the breakup of the Baltic Shield.

            When it really rips it will be “interesting times”.

          • Now Carl – that is not that ‘dodgy’ Swedish supervolcanic caldera you mentioned a few years back?!

            Thanks for a great article!

          • Nope, and it was Henrik who invented the Lake Dellen supervolcano.

          • I remember that article 🙂

            Out of curiosity, and because it was never answered, how advanced is that rift? Is it millions of years off or is it actually getting very close, and could erupt soon kind of thing?

            Would think too that first eruptions will be mafic, it will take a very long time to melt the granite. Early eruptions at Taupo were mafic and then became bimodal silicic, same for Toba, and Yellowstone. Behind every silicic magma chamber is an even bigger mafic one, trapped in the depths by its higher density.

        • Sooo in the far far future Northen Sweden will be invaded by ”murder flood basalts” ?

          the infamous
          Leif GW wont be happy because he Will loose his loved hunting grounds
          : D .. No more wild boar or moose.. all burned by the lava

      • That map show just the seafloor depth and land elevation

      • I’ve read by now the two links from DM and the science paper. I think it is a little far fetched and may ask: What keeps the Appalachians afloat? The Appalachians and parts of Greenland, Scotland, Ireland and Norway are the remants of a gigantic mountain chain, the Caledonian mountain chain. What we see today is still mountain, but eroded and 80-90% lower. Why the heck should it sink? Mountains go on under water, they have a submarine part.
        Short read.

        • Aside from that, where does the idea come from? Do people think that there is something sunk in between the different countries? In between is the Atlantic Ocean which tore the parts of the Caledonian mountain chain apart by opening up, kindly assisted by the North Atlantic Igneous Province around 60 Ma, remnants Fingal’s Cave and The Giant Causeway.
          The Caledonian Mountain Chain, which is significantly eroded is important to help reassemble Pangaea. There is nothing miraculous about it.
          Besides, as Carl pointed out here it would be a lot more interesting to do some research on Jan Mayen:

          • Quote, “Aside from that, where does the idea come from? Do people think that there is something sunk in between the different countries?”


  11. Back in the past, scientists were held in extremely high regard, bringing achievements and developments that the populace would’ve never imagined. A great deal of people looked at scientists as an incorruptible and pure force that was working for the the greater good for the nation or mankind. However, a slew of scandals has slowly destroyed the reputation of scientists. Whole masses of scientists have been bribed, lobbied, or have shown other dishonest and scandalous behaviors. Instead of blaming the individuals or groups responsible, people tend to go for the majority which isn’t at fault.
    Science or God won’t change people, a garbage person that claims that they adhere to faith or science will still just be garbage person and will do garbage things. It’s not Science or God’s fault that people are so corruptible

    • Tobacco. Tobacco. Tobacco. Leaded petrol. Acid rain + coal-spew. Opioids. AGW. CO2 PPM rising.,..

      Ozone-eating CFCs I *must* mention because the denials were up-ended by ‘citizen science’ that prompted NASA to go back and look at old data. Like the ‘Explorer 1’ Geiger that over-loaded and gave ‘zero activity’ in what we know know as the ‘Van Allen Belts’, Antarctic’s Ozone hole was so anomalous that satellite data had been auto-filtered as ‘spurious’. Oops…
      Kudos to the British Antarctic Survey guys, and Forrest Mims who devised a real-neat electronic UV detector…

      • from IGY (1957) we used a Dobson Ozone Spectrophotometer at Halley (previously Halley Bay). Although only a small point, it should be noted (as Tom Scott got it wrong in a YouTube video from a few months ago). From memory, I’m not sure in the mid 70s there was much satellite monitoring, although I remember doing a sequence of measurements in October 1985 as a calibration of instrumentation on the Nimbus 7 satellite so there must have been ‘some’ satellite measurements.

    • i blame it, or at least a lot of it, on government funding.

    • This is spot on, but we also have an intractable epidemic of people overrating their intelligence, or more precisely, overrating the importance of their own opinion.

      We used to look to those smarter than us for guidance and hold them in reverence, now we think our casual thoughts on a topic carry equal weight as someone who spent a lifetime researching that topic.

      We think that having the right to an opinion means we get to pick and choose what the truth is. It doesn’t help that charlatans compound the issue by putting a lot of bad information out there under the guise of expertise, but somewhere along the way people stopped wanting to learn the truth and started to settle for the truth that makes them feel better or the truth that aligns with only their preconceived opinions.

      Something is fundamentally broken.

    • Sadly this is so, largely because they are great self-publicists on the way up and thus particularly visible when they fall. Also many that ‘control’ various disciplines tend (for obvious reasons) to go with the politically correct slant on results.

    • It is a neat paper.

      But, it has some problems attached with their backwards modeling.
      They do not explain the disconnect between Iceland and Greenland, and they do not model out the existing remnantal Alpha Ridge, nor Greenland Hotspot, that are not connected currently to the Icelandic Plume.

      Just to be clear here, this paper is a wonderful way to explain why there is so much left to do in “plumology”.
      Plumes exist, but our understanding of them and their origin is quite lacking still as I mentioned in the article.

      • Of course there is no reason to assume all plumes are perfect pure examples, indeed one might well expect it may take two independent structures/situations coinciding to produce the most vigorous examples. In fact I would expect that to be the usual situation so pick any two out of the list.

  12. Science is based upon mathematics. When I saw what was happening with the common core math content, I contacted other mathematicians, and we began to organize opposition to the “new” material. We recognized it for what it was, poor teaching at the best, negligent and certainly not worthy of sharing with anybody.

    Then I got a call from a colleague “Randall, the NSF said that if we continue they will yank funding on some of the math projects”

    So much for science and so much for mathematics


    • I said it above, but I think it is appropriate to repeat here for emphasis:

      i blame it, or at least a lot of it, on government funding.

      • Without government funding we would have no science at all.
        Private funding is almost only driving product development, or technology development.

        • Yes, as often the obstruction to logically solving a problem is due to political views thinking they are able to over rule the laws of the universe.
          Its why I really don’t stress over global warming, its going to happen because its being fought be eco-politics and not a ruthless production of an actual viable plan.
          Which will probably fail because 80% of the world is run by independent and self-seeking dictators who do not give a toss.

        • The covid vaccines were developed with government funding. It would not have happened without. It is not just blue sky research that depends on governments, but also products that are needed but not in demand. Examples are wifi, touch screens, CCDs, even the internet – all developed by government research organizations. Imagine if the internet was developed, patented and owned by facebook.

  13. Now it is time for me to relax and watch a 2 hour documentary about French sluice-gates.
    (Or something similar, might be a two hour documentary about a mine in Arizona instead)

    Have a nice evening everyone!

      • Oh, I will pop in now and then to answer questions.

        I just watched an amazing documentary where they flew a drone through a mine.

        Now it is time for the sluice gates.

  14. Very interesting article, Carl, most of it way over my head but I enjoyed trying to understand it!

    I couldn’t tell if the comment about the photo of Kistufell being the only one was serious or not, but just in case it was, there are lots of pics on Instagram under the #kistufell hashtag. Apologies if I was being dim.

    • Kistufell was also the source for the Holuhraun Intrusion, then that very happy intrusion almost fanaticaly jumped into the Bardarbunga volcano and penetrated its magma chamber causing the chamber to burst .. its like a magma snake that addictively slinks its way down Into a fox nest 🙂

    • Problem is that those are of the peak of Mt Esjan named Kistufell, or taken at Kistufell showing another volcano… 🙁
      I have searched and searched. Might be one or two out there, but I did not find them.

    • I doubt it. The intrusion eased off to have a quick cigarette in the local smoking shelter. Once it has had a breather, it will be game on again. It’s not so much an intrusion, as rifting with magma taking advantage. So it may be the entire MAR taking a breather.
      It will be back. And soon.

    • Aviation code is yellow. The earthquake swarm is over. But the magma that generated it is still there, presumably wanting a way out at some point in the not too distant future. There is still some upward deformation in the region.

      • Mind you there is that aseismic zone in the Icelandic crust ….

    • This intrusion took place after 3 months of no eruption, so maybe give it a few more, or maybe even less. Also the more times magma goes through the hotter and more open the path becomes, this first eruption might have been an early show.
      Liek Krafla but realy slow basically. Krafla of course was quite tiny at first but the eruptions in the later years were much more impressive. Once the rift fills then that is where we start seeing really voluminous eruptions, in this case maybe a massive lava geyser, like 1980s Pu’u O’o, just erupting for years on end,, can be called Hraunbrunnurnukur 🙂

      If other systems start erupting I think whatever thye did last cycle will be what we see this time. Krysuvik will do lava floods, Brennisteinsfjoll will do wandering eruptions. Fagradalsfjall seems to be much more compact than the others, no long rift.


  15. Ok my geological friends, I have a geological/theological hypothesis for this semester in my degree in theology. I am not going divulge it just yet.

    In terms of geological epochs, how are they defined? What defined the move to the Holocene? How are decisions made over historical epochs? What are the characteristics? Magnetic Reversals? Major Eruptions? Mass Extinctions?

    Any good papers, with varying hypothesises, would be great.

    • Theological?
      I thought there was only one age then?
      The Adamevonian.

      Back to being serious. It is typological nightmare.
      I think we should just revert to Chron-count and chuck the rest, they are mostly arbitrary and based on which empire was in power at what time.
      We could though leave in Holocene since it is post-glacial, and also have the anthropocene that we live in now. Easy peacy and even I can remember it even after drinking all the church wine I have stolen. 😉

      • Holocene is only different because of stuff we did to the environment. If left alone it would be just another interglacial. It also isnt the end of glaciation, that will only end when Antarctica can heat up, and that will only end at the earliest when a land bridge can form to South America again, at the earliest. Probably our current activities will be an anomalous and geologically brief excursion, maybe lasting a few millennia, with a rapid shift back, that is assuming we dont have total control of the planet by then…

        Usually geologic periods are separated by significant changes in geology worldwide, or more recently they are defined at sudden changes in types of fossils. They also get shorter over time because we know more about recent stuff, millions of years looks less if it is further away. I think people forget that a fossil of a Stegosaurus in the late Cretaceous would be older than a late Cretaceous fossil is to us now. Maybe in the absence of our evolution the Cenozoic would be expected to last at least another 100 million years before another major fauna change.

      • Exactly, holocene is diffrent because the global mammal Megafauna is gone, hunted to extinction by Ice Age humans. And today much of the worlds fauna is under threat by agicultural expansion that steals land. Today most of the worlds biodiversity is dissapearing. Wild nature does not exist anymore in most of Europe and Americas and hardly Africa either. Most of the worlds land today is farmlands

        The Rat and the Rabbit are the Only large vertebrates that thrives today in the global human expansion.
        In the future they will evolve grow in size and fill the niches left by the other extinct large mammals
        Basicaly Rat – wolves, Rabbit – Deer .. Rat – tigers
        Just like Dougal Dixon predicted in his book ”After Man”

        • I would add a substantial number of other mammals to that list, and birds too. Reptiles seem to be very variable, but a few seem to be taking this in their stride – crocodiles where not hunted, large snakes, monitor lizards. In general though small animals that are comfortable around us will be quite fine, so logn as they dont get too comfortable so as to go extinct if we disappear (rats actually might fit into this category, mind you)

          Extinction levels seem to depend very much on local human population, as well as degree of competition inposed. The world wont just be a land of giant rats and rabbits, After Man was brilliant but theres probably quite a lot of things that would be done different in a modern interpretation.

        • I get your point, but “(t)he Rat and the Rabbit are the Only large vertebrates that thrives today… ” is a bit alarmist. For instance, in this part of the world deer have been incredibly successful intregrating themselves into the landscape reworked by man. Every winter the county hires hunters to cull them, otherwise deer will mow the forest understory to the ground, as well as devouring everything you plant in your yard. I do see a rabbit occasionally, about as often as I spot a fox or a coyote, predators of rabbits. Coyotes and foxes have recolonized most North American cities.

          You’ll only see rats when you ride the subway.

          • I used to be big into this sort of speculative evolution stuff around 7 years ago or so 🙂

            Let me just say, regarding After Man. Rodents are poorly adapted to turn into predators. Carnivores evolving out of herbivores isnt unknown, it happened with the Thylacoleonidae in Australia, it might also have happened in the early evolution of whales. There are also some also claim it happened with ourselves but that is debated. Whatever the case this really only happens in total absense of existing carnivores. Thing is there is this thing called a cat, which is found nearly everywhere… that actually is a point to make, carnivorans are not extinct in After Man, just somehow displaced. In a way the book is both very inventive yet also extremely conservative, animals 50 million years ago looked pretty weird even if slightly familiar.

            Maybe second, birds cant become dominant megafauna on continents. That isnt to say big birds cant compete with mammals, because they can, quite successfully. But birds are weight limited, around 450 kg, and this is because one of the deep ancestral traits of theropods is an inability to pronate their arms, making quadrupedal movement impossible and with it huge size. Losing their tail also has been a big hit, forcing an awkward position to balance correctly, Cretaceous theropods could at least reach elephant sized. So the biggest animals in the environment will be mammals, or possibly lizards. The other thing that archosaurs in general cant do is give live birth, something to do with the structure of their eggs and having hard shells in birds. So no penguin whales. It might also be a stretch to imagine all marine mammals of today going extinct too. Still, say they do, next best contender would probably be otters, followed by sea snakes, assuming that role isnt just reoccupied by existing groups. Large flightless seabirds in the fossil record get to about 100 kg with no real exceptions, despite at least 4 separate excursions, the most of any vertebrate group.

            I also recall that it isnt technically possible for hypercarnivorous primates to exist either because they would get scurvy, so maybe no lion-cheetah-monkeys either.

          • Chad.
            Hyper carnivorous primates are with us, see inuit.
            Luckily many marine mammals have large amounts of vitamin C in their bodies. I believe whale blubber is particularly good.

          • I have to disagree with Chad regards rodents being ill equipped to become carni, and birds to megafauna. It’s already happened several times over with birds, soon as they become flightless: the ‘Terror Birds’ of the Americas were carnivorous megafauna and there were giant herbivour birds on Madagascar, New Zealand etc. And mice have become carnivorous on islands within a century, increasing in size in the process – the Gough Island and Marion Island mice eat albatross chicks alive, and do so systematically (head and neck first, causing enough injuries to kill) . This has evolved very quickly in recent decades after a long period of co-existence, twice over (possibly linked to warmer winters).
            With the right pressures, and rapid generational turnover, evolution jerks forward at high speed. Humans have created extraordinary niches and opportunities everywhere; I’m absolutely fascinated by the critters that are changing to fit in right before our eyes – the water dragons of Australian parks (already a sub species, larger than ones in the bush), the foxes of London (already tamer, paler, smaller brained and shorter-snouted), the dog eating leopards of Asian cities.

          • Was actually talking about Phorusracid terror birds when I said “can compete with mammals successfully”. But giant herbivorous birds do seem to only occur on islands where mammals are absent. In a general sense I am talking continental ecosystems because islands are short lived usually.

            Point I was generally making about carnivorous rodents is that they probably couldnt evolve in a place which has got anything else present that is carnivorous. After Man has got a number of carnivorans still existing. Really its a bit of a stretch to think of a prey animal becoming a predator and then displacing its own predators directly.

      • The large Taiga Boreal forests regions in Russia and Canada still remains too, they have not been cleared because they are too cold for agicultural industry.

        This areras have become the very last refuge for wolves, bears, moose, and a few other megafaunal species

      • It is true that humans have evolved towards carnivory when pleistocene began, our ancestors where apes that where almost competely hebivorus. Like the small brain cased heavy jawed Early pre – homonids they ate mostly grass and nuts

        Homo Habililis began eating cadavers and bone marrow and began the brain expansion with later linages expanded on with hunting. Meat and specialy animal fat are excellent foods calorie dense.

        Homo Erecutus became almost competely carnivorous and the use of fire to cook hunted prey and plants made them even easier to digest, and more energy towards the brain.

        When fire and cooking food was established the brains began growing very fast indeed.

        Homo Neanderthalesis , neanderthals became almost hypercarnivores, with 75% of their diet being meat and fat, they became ”human lions” almost. Neandethals are mostly red deers and straight tusked elephants and sometimes other Megafauna. Neandethals accuired even larger brains than H Sapiens

        But its true that Humans are not 100% true carnivores in reality .. we are ommnivores and H Sapiens also haves an evolutionary relationship with plant – root starches

        • Modern Humans are omnivores that have evolved an dependance on calorie dense foods like meat, fat, nuts, fish, tubers, etc

          Our large brains are very very biologicaly expensive metabolicaly

          Most animals do well without extra brain tissue

    • 1. Perm/Triassic: Assemblage of Pangaea completed, mass extintion, marine life, giant ammonites dying out on bare and rarefied shelves. Imagine four islands and their shelves or beaches. Cut them out. Put them together, you see right away that there is less coast line. Doing it with four squares you can put in numbers. Same time: Siberian traps. So mass extintion found early on by Paleontologists.
      2. Triassic/Jurassic: CAMP (Central Atlantic Magmatic Province), break-up of Pangaea, smaller extinction than Perm which was 96%.
      3. Cretacious/Tertiary: Deccan Traps, India, then close to Africa, possibly between Réunion and Kerguelen. More continental break-up, rising sea-levels, plus meteorite impact.
      Common features: Climate change, massive volcanism by Large Igneous Provinces, sea level changes (minus 300 m estimated at the end of Perm), extinctions of varying degree, all neatly piled up in rocks. The most impressive is the formerly called KT-line, today: KPg line. A neat fossil find of Robert de Palma in Hell’s Creek (North Dakota) shows it perfectly. As you are intelligent enough to study Theology which is difficult you will find papers about that. I recommend – although a bit one-sided – to buy the New Yorker’s article “The Day the Dinosaurs died”. It is focussed on Chixculub. Gerta Keller, Princeton, is specialized on the Deccan traps, numerous papers. Consensus is more or less, that both contributed. In the article of the New Yorker you can see the strata in the rocks and the dark line in between.
      4. Holocene is – as far as I know – the phase of the Quaternary after the last big glaciation starting 11.700 years ago. Before was the Pleistocene. Both together Quaternary, separated by glaciation. England, France and The Nethelands were possibly connected. The idea is that the deglaciation broke tha land bridges between England and a) the Schelde area, b) Dover and Calais. There are fossil founds of Mammouth bones on the Channel floor.

      So, all interesting. I would focus on one of them and, to prepare it, walk through the Natural History Museum in South Kensington several times. Besides, try to talk to a Paleoontologist.

    • Besides, Carl has written a nice piece about the Dawn of Man, and that might be interesting for theology as theology today has to combine knowledge and science with the tale of Adam and Eve. Adam is derived from Adama which is clay, nicely fitting to the area. Some thought why they got up on their hind feet: Volcanic eruption? Ash one metre high for years to come? Necessity to grab some food? We will never know, just some ideas:

  16. I’m reminded of the (IMHO superb) Sokal hoax;

    Sokal committed this hoax to highlight the very issues being discussed here. My favorite quote:

    “In the second paragraph I declare without the slightest evidence or argument, that “physical ‘reality’ (note the
    scare quotes) is at bottom a social and linguistic construct.” Not our theories of physical reality, mind you, but
    the reality itself. Fair enough. Anyone who believes that the laws of physics are mere social conventions is invited
    to try transgressing those conventions from the windows of my apartment. I live on the twenty-first floor.”

    As for the rest of Carl’s wonderful article, I confess that some of it is beyond me (though I absolutely enjoyed reading it) . That said, this part stood out among the things I do not understand;
    “It is the most location stable mantleplume on Earth, neither the crust nor the plumehead itself is moving about to any great extent.”

    The crust isn’t moving? I thought the spreading of the MAR resulted in significant and constant crustal motion? Obviously I’m misunderstanding something here.

    • I think he means it is not on a single plate so the land itself is stable, unlike Hawaii which eventually will be dragged away. Probably also that the ridge near Iceland is slow. I think having the slow ridge is why iceland is so big actually, magma generation from the plume is about the same as Hawaii, but the slow plate means it can pile up, a bit of the Olympus Mons effect going on. Galapagos might be intermediate, it is on a boundary but a faster one, so it has got more time to build than Hawaii but less than Iceland.

      I guess we will have to see what comes out of Africa, will be a long time before there is an ocean there. But things might be getting interesting, Virunga is very young, seems to be the opening stage of something much bigger.

    • The way I view it, Iceland comprises parts of two plates moving in opposite directions. So, the crusts of these plates are moving; but Iceland as a whole remains, without significant motion, at the boundary between the plates.

    • Chad and Vito nailed what I meant.
      I was a bit unclear on this detail admittedly. 🙂

    • Chad, Vito G, and Carl, thanks for helping clear that up for me.

      And Carl, I think it was more a case of me not comprehending the dynamics than you being unclear. 🙂

  17. Hi folks happy new year, here is something that’s interesting and possibly worth debating.
    “Gravitational forces of the Sun and Moon impact behavior of all organisms — even humans”
    “The team notes that even though the gravitational effect of the Sun and Moon only have a fraction of the impact Earth’s gravity has on life, it’s still enough to cause changes to the oceans, rivers, lakes, and planet’s tectonic plates.”

    The planet’s tectonic plates being the elephant in the room of course, just wondering if there sources and facts are correct.

    • Today the sun and the moons gravity have only minior and speculative effects on Earths interior

      But when the moon was young, it was much much much much much closer to the Earths surface. The Hadean moon hovered just a few thousand kilometers above the Earths surface.
      The tidal effects must have been insane and the young moon enraged with lava filled the sky. The tidal effects on Earth must have been Insane, and likely helpt with Earths tectonic startup.

      But plate tectonics haves more To do with Earths own hot interior and its own mantle convection and souch, rather than tidal forces.

    • That paper gave a good laugh. For coastal creatures, a circadian rhythm that is synchronized with the tides makes sense. But that is not because the creatures sense the tidal force of sun and moon itself. The tidal force scales with the size of the object, so for these creature it is utterly unimportant (and unmeasurable). To confirm this, try to measure the tide in your pond. Instead the ocean water bulge gives a strong signal. They even claim an effect on the space station! That is in free fall.. But if they wanted to do a scientific experiment, they should repeat it at high latitudes where tides are small to non-existent.

      • Albert!

        “They even claim an effect on the space station! That is in free fall..”

        I think you should expound a bit on the importance of this one. I think it is blowing past many non-physicists without an explanation.

  18. Greetings from a so far silent reader!
    Indeed there are not many photos of this Kistufell and quite a few mountains on Iceland bear this name. I walked past the “real” Kistufell and also photographed it from various distant viewpoints. You find a collection of some photos on my website ( Please let me know if you want to use any for your very interesting articles.

    • Nice images!

      Is ‘Nur wo du zu Fuß warst, bist du auch wirklich gewesen.’ really from Goethe? (transl. ~ You have only really been where you have been on foot). Sounds too slogan-ish to me.

    • Nice photos. Particularly like the one with the tent & guy-wires, echoing the forms of the landscape and the presence of the wind.

    • Thank you!

      I love how our reader proves me wrong on things I want to be proven wrong about. I was dearly wishing for a comment like this, and boom! 🙂

      I would love to use them in future articles. 🙂

    • Nice pictures!

      Last picture… That’s no pot of gold. Sorry, but I can’t help myself. At the risk of breaking the be nice rule, let’s name that one Foulger’s office, since it’s obviously a place to crap on the Icelandic plume.

    • Yes the magma supply is incredible to Kilauea these days. Not strange these hawaiian volcanoes grow to souch gigantic sizes.

  19. Thinking of taking out a subscription. If you were going to subscribe to a volcano journal, which one would you choose and why?

    • Go with the Elsevier package, they have most of the serious ones.

    • Never ever pay for a scientific article or journal. Find the free version instead. If there isn’t one, ask the authors. If that doesn’t work, they think that the paper is not worth reading and you should follow their opinion. Profit margins at Elsevier and other scientific publishers are a staggering 40%, all paid for from research budgets. The last thing we want is to add free money to that.

      Your money is best spend on VC, in my opinion…

      • It’s a pity that the fees for pay-walled articles are so high for private researchers.

        • A trick is to go to a nearby University Library and use their subscriptions. I often do that.

        • Those fees are meant to stop you from buying it, so that you depend on library subscriptions. The publishers get their money from those subscriptions. If you do pay, the journal will just raise the fee until you stop. The contracts even forbid the libraries to disclose how much they pay.

          • Okay, long time lurker needed to register for that.

            Indeed, the scientific publishing system is a huge problem. In Germany (and other places), we are trying to change this, and force journals to publish everything as open access (for a fair flat fee). Basically all publishers agreed. Except Elsevier.
            Consequence: (a) Elsevier Journals are no longer available at most german research institutions. (b) Me and many other scientists from Germany boycott Elsevier.
            read up on “project deal”!

            I can only agree with Albert here. Scientists are generally happy if you are interested in their work. Send them a polite email, and they will usually sent you a so called “author copy”. Or search in arxiv, authors webpage, and researchgate.

            Thanks for your comment. First time commenters are put in quarantine by our demon, waiting for a dragon to approve. After this is done, further comments should appear without delay. -admin

  20. What does it take to change the world?
    It takes a lot.
    As I was up in Northern Sweden over Christmas I saw some of the ultra-large factories and other infrastructure that is being put in place.
    What is being built up in the frozen North will in the end solve 20 percent of the total CO2 footprint of humanity.
    To do that, the scale of what is being built is truly mindboggling, the same goes for the amount of money that is invested.

    Just to put it into scale. Currently the 5 largest industrial projects in human history is being built there, the 5 largest windmill parks are being built there, the worlds largest dredging project is being done… And obviously, the 3 biggest mines on Earth is being built to feed the factories.

    This is Stage 1 of Northvolt Battery Factory out of 4. It is already the worlds largest factory, and it will in the end be 4 times larger. H2 Green Steel will though be even bigger.

    The interesting part is that almost all of it started with a local person saying, this sucks we gotta do something. And the answers are truly mindboggling.

    What is happening in the far frozen North is like if you would roll up the Industrial Revolution and Klondyke into one big heaping ball. It is where the future is being made.

    • Excellent video Thank you.
      Indeed the Scandinavian/ Nordic countries tops the world in enviromentaly friendly technology and substainable economy. And as well as equal oppurtunities, and gender equality and economic equality. I highly appreciate cost free education and healthcare even if its not always acessible as a cure for the disabeld.
      In general the Nordic Countries are the worlds most happy. Nordic Countries Tops all the worlds rankings. Nordic Countries will with certainly be the worlds first fossil free countries, they are so far ahead others. Sweden and Iceland too maybe the first one with 100% green society

      But we are very far north indeed!
      Stockholm and Oslo in South Scandinavia are same latitude as Northen Canada. And Kiruna in Northen Sweden are same latitude as High Canadian Polar Arctic. Where it not for the Gulf Stream, it may not have been possible at all to live in Scandinavia. Most persons in Scandinavia lives in the Sourthen milder parts of parts of Norways coast where winters are not so severe. Gulf Stream makes it easier for soure

      And most Nordic/Scandinavian countries are also very bland and invard and the weather is depressing for most of the year. And the featureless fairly flat landscapes consists mostly of dark forests, the weather is indeed gloomy most of the year. As society is ”bland” too, that and other more complicated stuff, makes the Scandinavian countries having perhaps the worlds highest levels of depression and the worlds very highest suicide rates.

      I personaly finds Sweden and Finland being very boring and depressing countries indeed, No landscapes or active volcanoes here, and the general feel is as boring as North Korea. I have never enjoyed Sweden really, its boring, despite all the good stuff that you gets here.

      Iceland and perhaps Norway too
      is where Nordic / Scandinavian countries really shines, the landscapes and volcanoes are incredible, and the small town feel charming. Iceland is incredible in every single way, almost unreal. Iceland is so insanely awsome.
      I wants To move to Iceland, and looking for an education that coud be useful for Iceland.

      But to live in Nordic Countries one haves to tollerate very gloomy weather, despite its very mild here for latitude, South Sweden haves months of cloud cover and rain

      • “… and the weather is depressing for most of the year.”
        May I ask where do you live? That is, to which kind of climate you are comparing them?
        I agree that the winters in Southern Finland and Southern Sweden are increasingly snowless, and thus dark and gloomy, but for example, here in Northern Karelia (which btw, still has the remnants of a certain ancient mountain range, now in the form of low fjells made of quartzite), the weather is gloomy only rarely. Very few slushy rains in autumn, and then soon already in November we get lots of real snow which will stay. Of course it’s a bit dark this time of year, but now the days are getting longer fast, and already in March the sun often shines for 10 – 12 hours a day on clear white snow (also on lakes whose ice is covered by snow).
        And in Summer, I don’t consider it depressing at all to have sunlight almost around the clock. It’s the mosquitoes that are the biggest nuisance here in June – July, and yes, some people might consider that miserable.

        (And what comes to a lingering depression in the Nordic countries, I think the main culprit is the local Lutheran variant of protestant Christianity, which tried for centuries to make people realize how sinful they are and forced them to abandon their old ways).

      • I been moving around alot looking for schools that suit me, at current living in the Sourthen Parts, and Indeed very very very dark and gloomy without snow on the ground, and the endless apartment blocks and Streets are as depressing as sovjet or north korean housing.

        It is gloomy, it is dark and very humid too, almost fetid feel outside. Generaly cloudy and that hinders the daylight too as well.

        Winters in Norrland and Lapland are very much brigther with snow on the ground. Lapland where I lived alot before can be absoultely stunning in winter

        I wants to move permanently to Iceland, the insane Tolkien landscapes in Iceland keeps things very much less depressing than this, even if Iceland too can have a very dull feel too in winter and perhaps ”boring/bland ” as society. Still Iceland is incredible. Iceland does not have the concrete jungles either that the larger Nordic Countries have.

        But Belgium and the ”low countries” haves to be even more boring, they are just flat mud plains, they dont even have forest ..

      • Im an Ateist slash or Neutral on religion stuff and indeed the Nordic Countries are the most Ateist countries on Earth ”secular” where religion is often a own personal descission and a thing in a persons own private sphere, and religion If its there is keept inside familiys houses. Religion in the Public is pretty much dying out competely in Scandinavia.

        Nordic Countries are the worlds most knowledge based societies, almost competely made up on sicence based discoveries and meritocractic ideas

        But I doubt that its the religion that makes Nordic Countries so depressed..

        The development been remakable, just a few 100 years ago we was under the rule of Gustav Vasa that was probaly more religious than even the most religuis whabbbi follower of Ibin Saud in the Earliest 1900 s ..

        • Actually, I meant that the Lutheranism, when it was the dominant religion, greatly shaped the attitude of people, also after its heyday.

          Yes, Iceland certainly has interesting landscape (particularly for volcano fanatics), and Norway must be among the five most beautiful countries of the world. Unfortunately neither has much snow on the coast in the winter time, so quite dark there also then.

          I guess with “mud flats” you mean the Netherlands. Belgium at least has Ardennes, with some trees also there if I recall right. BTW, did you know that Meuse/Maas is one of the oldest rivers on Earth? At least so claims the Wikipedia:

          But I agree, dead flat landscapes are the most depressing, especially if packed with shoddy McMansions demolished every year by tornadoes. In Florida they have at least occasional sinkholes that provide additional disaster scenarios and topography.

          And most of the cities everywhere are mostly ugly or boring or both. This I have realized by watching various floods & other disaster videos, as the nature doesn’t try to select the most photogenic parts of any town for its shows, so the sample is more balanced than say in travel blogging videos. One can only hope that the next ice age (when it finally comes) will do its job, down to the latitude of London at least.

      • If Europe was on the Equator with same history,
        I guess it woud be very diffirent in history and feel. I haves No Idea what a tropical Scandinavia woud be like today with souch history and feel. But tropical places is less depressing. But very little of the global population lives on the Equator where the humidity and heat is so high. Africa haves cool Highlands and that makes the equator much more bearable there

    • The climate coud be the reason for the high levels of depression in Nordic Arera. Had Sweden been tropical in an alternative Earth but with same history, I guess the general mood and feel and levels of depression and suicides woud be much much diffirent than it is in real case

      The gloomy climate affects me too here.. almost No daylight at all now.

      Winters are not very cold here, thanks to oceanic moderation, But it is very very gloomy in winter here

    • Impressive! The Northvolt Battery Factory already covers a lot of acreage / hectareage.(?). I hope that they can find enough good, qualified staffers. The screenshot of the YouTube video reminds me of London’s Heathrow Airport, or Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport. Carl, can you (or anyone else) post the plans for the finished project?

      • I do not think that the final plans are published yet.
        I could pull the registered papers with the city, but that is a bit of a headache…

  21. The latest I’ve read is that solid state batteries are on the horizon and to be test bed in hybrid vehicles by 2025, the intent to make LI batteries obsolete. Perhaps these folks dhould re-examine their goals.

    • I talked to the CEO about it and it seems like they are ready to swap over, if the technology is solid.

      • Wow, Carl. I think the Vikings must have left you the map of Treasury Island. Might be a good choice.

    • Solid state batteries are the same chemistry as Li-ion, just the electrolyte is a ceramic not a flammable liquid, so there will be much less risk of dangerous short circuit. Would not surprise me if solid states are in the works by Tesla too although at present their focus is the 4680 calls revealed last year. Main draw card of solid electrolyte is that it would allow using actual lithium metal in the battery instead of graphite with lithium atoms intercalated. But I have also seen research that the majority of the dead weight is because the cathode can only store around 1/3 of the lithium that the same volume of anode can so really the problem is there if anything. Big improvements in energy density would come from finding a way to store more lithium in the cathode, not adding more lithium to the anode. In theory rechargable lithium air batteries would be ideal, because there is no cathode at all, but then the battery also is dependant on external oxygen, which is obviously not good when you also want to send lots of them to Mars, not pointing at anyone 🙂

      Thing is Li-ion is dirt cheap now, solid states will have some catching up to do because they are not widely available right now, which means the swap isnt going to be immediate. I also think both will be in high demand for years to come, the idea of competition between the two is going to be something to consider next decade, not this one.

      • Li-I is not at all dirt cheap when the cost per kwh is considered, let alone the replacement cost at end of life for real life batteries.
        Ballpark 64kWh leaf battery costs circa £14,000 or £220/kwh.
        Looking at what data is about, if the battery was charged (eg PV) and discharged each day to 50%(ie 32kWh/day) it would likely be at half capacity after about 6 years or 70MWh which you may say was £7k’s worth of life or 10p/kWh. This is MUCH better than lead-acid. I’m not sure the data figures from cars would actually work that well but its a ballpark figure.

        • Recomendations for charging is to keep the car between 20% and 80%, going outside this only for longer trips. Yes it shortens range but then most people also dont fully fill the gas tank unless thye want to drive a long way either, it is literally the same thing, just a bunch of scare tactics from those with less than vested interests in the transition. battery degradation is very minor within that range too, a few percent in a decade, and that is in 10 year old cars, newer ones will be much better, probably so good that it will be at least a decade before there is even a need to recycle them commercially at scale.

          Batteries are also sold in the vehicle for a profit, the cost of manufacture is something like $85/kwh for Tesla now if not less, batteries are seriously nowhere near as expensive as they were a few years ago. Primary cost for batteries is the nickel, followed by cobalt though that is being phased out. Everything else is pretty well almost freely available by comparison.

          • To be honest the cost of manufacture rarely has a huge effect on shop price and there is massive investment in R&D and manufacturing plant that does need to be paid back, so I am happy that an £80 cost item sells at £200, which would be a rather common x2.5 multiplier. Probably I should include 20% VAT.
            Currently you cannot get remotely close to the leaf battery pricing for Li-I backup battery supplies.
            Anyone who thinks batteries will last forever is almost certainly over optimistic.
            I could not even find real life trial results for cyclic charge-discharge of a car battery even 80-20-80, which is actually astonishing.

          • My understanding is that the car batteries are overpowered, so that they still function happily with 50% reduction in efficiency (or 50% dead cells). In fact, aren’t the domestic battery systems based on reused car batteries where the battery outlived the car?


            I would recommend this channel for stuff about batteries, if you dont mind long in-depth dives 🙂

            Batteries wont last forever but they will easily last longer than an ICE drivetrain before needing any kind of service. I just bought a new car, corolla hybrid, the battery has a 10 year warranty where everything else is 5 years or 50k km, in an electric car the battery is much bigger so each cell is getting proportionally used less too. These things are really durable if you know how to properly use them.

          • I probably shouldn’t, but I’ll weigh in on this thread (though not before donning a flame-proof suit). 🙂

            Electric cars? That’s a big “no!” for me, at least based on the limited selection I’ve seen so far (and if there’s one out there that I’m wrong about, I’d be delighted to hear about it). If electric is the way to go, they could at least make a few acceptable models, otherwise people like me won’t buy them. (same with conventional and hybrid new cars – this rant isn’t directed just at electric).

            One huge issue I have with both electric and conventional new cars is the “connected” garbage. I do not want it, and will not have it, so I sure as heck don’t want to have to rip the dashboard out of a new car on day 1 of ownership to get rid of it. I also don’t want one of those awful “shark fin” things right smack dab in the middle of by roof cargo area (because it’d massively be in the way) so that’d have to be ripped out too. Second is the implementation of tire pressure sensors on many models; they do not have an accessible pressure readout (some have aps, which are worse than useless when not in a cellular coverage area, or to people like me who don’t have smartphones). I can’t get by with idiot-light pressure systems, because I vary the tire pressure based on what I’m doing (for example, well under half normal if offroading in sand or mud, above normal if I’m hauling a heavy load, etc). After-market TPS are often fine (I installed them on all my vehicles) but the new-car factory-original ones I’ve seen so far are all garbage.

            I’m looking to replace a sedan and two big SUVs with a sedan and 2 SUVs – I don’t require the new SUV’s to be big, but they have to be fully offroad capable, so high clearance, 4X4 with low-range gearing, and able to take big offroad tires. (Yes, I actually use the offroad capability, and use it a lot, including getting to and from by house in winter – I live in a mountainous rural area where heavy snow and other road hazards, including fallen trees, happen). My current vehicles all have well over 100k miles on the clock, and are all old enough to vote – and two of them are old enough to drink in the US (21), And, as you might guess, they’re all poor on mileage, so, yep, gas hogs.

            And, worse still, not one new sedan I looked at (Not even Tesla, which are expensive, so I was shocked that they’d cheap out in this way) had a full size spare. In some cases they were so bad that the donut spare they had had a warning not to exceed 50 miles. Tesla, even the 100k$ model S, was too cheap to even supply a spare at all, let alone a full sized one (and has no wheel well, so I can’t just buy a spare). I call that pathetic, especially for a car that has tire requirements that preclude taking it to a lot of small tire shops (so if you’re far from a city or town, you’re really out of luck).

            Built in GPS nav? No thanks! In some cases it won’t even work in areas without cellular coverage (GPS does not require an uplink, so there’s no excuse for this), and you’re locked in to the hardware. I prefer portable units, which I can replace as needed. Also, I do a lot of hiking and like to take the GPS along, and I’m of the opinion that a smartphone-sized portable is a lot easier to carry in my pocket than the car would be. Same with touch screens (ugh!); I like real buttons, because those I don’t have to look at to use (For some odd reason, I prefer to keep my eyes on the road while driving).

            And as for the new internal combustion (including for hybrid) engines, ugh; they lacked dipsticks, and worse yet, some lacked the ability to add one. (to name just one reason why this is unacceptable vs. a sensor, a sensor won’t allow you to check the quality of your oil or fluids, or check it for contamination).

            So, at the moment, it looks like I probably have two options; buy newer but similar vehicles (plain old big internal-combustion engines) to my current ones used, or rebuild instead of replace my SUVs and sedan. I’d prefer something new and efficient, but, the bright side here is I’ll save a ton of money with either of these two options, more than enough to pay for the extra gas, plus take a long-drive vacation or three besides. If there’s a new vehicle that’d fit, I’d be delighted to have a look, though so far, I’ve not found one (Anyone know of any in the US market, or legal to import here?).

            And my advice to anyone car-shopping (new or used); Read the manual before you buy it, so you have a better idea what you’re actually getting. Also, read the purchase agreement and see what, exactly, you’re agreeing to (such as all the spying that a connected car will do to you, to name just one issue).

            Also, regarding all cars but especially battery powered cars, check the parasitic draw: the power used while the car is parked. A lot of “connected” cars are awful for this; they have high parasitic draw (anything over 25 milliamps is a recipe for trouble, under 10 is ideal, 0 best of all), and even their gas powered versions can kill the battery in under a month if they aren’t run. With an electric car, it’s worse; many (if not all?) can deplete (and thus wreck) the very expensive battery pack and “brick” the car if it’s parked for a few weeks (especially if low on charge when parked, such as you might do if parking at an airport for a month).

          • The fire proof suit is probably not necessary as you raise arguable points. If you live in an area where off-road is needed, electric may not be for you, even if just for reasons of refuelling in the wilderness! (And if you can afford to park at an airport for a month, you do not live in the UK.) Electric cars need some careful thinking about how to run them, but I think that is not a major problem. If you leave an old-type ‘explosion’ car unused for a long time, you’d probably disconnect the battery too. Connected cars are a necessity in the future when some fraction of cars will be self driving, but I am also very cautious with any ‘smart’ things in the house. Some people love it, some don’t – it really should be a choice where you can opt out. ‘Smart’ cars are designed for normal driving, and if you are not a ‘normal’ user, the settings are likely of little use. That does not depend on electric versus fossil fuel, though. I would personally wait a few years before buying an electric car, but I have no doubt that electric is the way to go for the large majority of cars. If we were to design a car from scratch (by a modern Carl Benz), we would not end up with what we have. We are driving dinosaurs, good at their time but eventually a dead end.

          • CJ
            very interesting and useful, good thoughts, thanks.

          • Dear CJ!
            Novel approach of bashing all types of cars! 🙂
            That gave me a chuckle.

            Generally you had good points all around.

            Personally I do not mind the connectivity part, it has more uses compared to how much it bugs me. Same goes for the GPS part.

            For the rest… A friend of mine tried out a Rivian a while ago. Rugged pickup, at least less connected crapola, and you could chuck in a handsfree GPS. Otherwise it comes with a real spare tyre, built in tyre pump, real pressure gage… and offroading is off the charts.

            In regards of the 0.25Ah draw figure… It is a bit weird of a way to count for such massive batteries, it is more common for normal car batteries, and would absolutely be devastating for those over time. But, we are talking about 3W continuous draw, that is not even noticable on such a large battery.
            I was bored one day and measured my car when it was “turned off”. It pulled 25Wh continuous, and while I was at it I checked the Merc, it pulled the same, and the SAAB came in at 10Wh.
            In other words, it turned out that the Jaguar was pretty damn frugal in comparisson since it has such a complex and large electrical system.
            You probably know this, but for the rest… Exploding engine cars have really bad electric systems, most often you have an awful bleed due to the chasy being used as ground and/or neutral. There’s creep currents going everywhere. On an electric car you can’t do this for obvious reasons, so the electricity system has grounds and neutral wires.

          • @ Albert,

            Thanks! And you’re right, one of my issues with electric cars is indeed infrastructure; it’s hard to find gas stations (which are often a hundred miles or more apart) , let alone charging stations, in remote areas.

            My take on ‘smart’ or ‘connected’ anything is, if it does not absolutely need to be connected to the Internet, don’t connect it to the Internet – be it a car, a nuclear power plant control system, voting machines, thermostats, etc – and especially if it being hacked can cause deaths.

            On the flip side, if someone wants a connected car or gadget, IMHO that’s their choice to make. Where I have issues is when they don’t get the choice.

            I’m also of the opinion that the car companies insist on “connected’ cars for a reason, hence why the don’t offer the option of not having it. Even if you supposedly opt out, they still spy on you even though they assure they are not,, as GM, to name just one, got caught doing via their “Onstar” system.

            I’m curious as to why you believe connected cars will be needful for self-drive? I may well be parsing your words wrong, but do you mean all cars, not just self-driving? I can’t see a good reason why even self-driving cars would require full time connectivity, because IMHO the last thing we need is cars that suddenly become instantly non-self-driving when connectivity is interrupted or delayed (cellular outages, dropouts, high delay due to bandwidth overuse, etc etc). If they do not have the necessary on-board processing power to self-drive independently, they are exceedingly inherently unsafe. Also, no mater what the requirements, not everything on the road will be connected. For example, a few months ago a large (3 foot diameter) tree fell off the mountainside and onto the road just in front of me (a few seconds later and me and my SUV would have been decidedly 2-dimensional). I’m fairly certain it wasn’t an Internet-connected tree (Plus it was in a cellular dead zone), so any real self-drive system requires the ability to see and react to real world, not just electronic, input. I think self-drive would be absolutely awesome for some people (such as those who can’t currently drive due to medical issues, etc) and it’d be very nice in some cases for even those who can drive, but I worry a lot about implementation, such as connectivity creating massive risks. So, when it comes to control systems that can kill people, I’m not in favor of them being connected to the Internet unless they actually have to be.

            I agree about cars being dinosaurs, though the current trend is making them even worse, not better.

            @ Carl,
            Yep, my rant was at different types of cars, though not all cars; I wasn’t including older, less complex cars. (Though in fairness, some models of those are every bit as awful as current new cars, just in different ways) 🙂

            You raise a very good point on parasitic draw; yes, it’s small, and thus less likely to impact a far larger source, such as an electric car’s battery pack, assuming it’s at least partially charged. However, the danger is disproportionate too; if the car kills a regular auto battery, it’s vastly easier and cheaper to replace it than replacing the battery pack on an electric car. And indeed, I do disconnect my batteries when the vehicle will be sitting for a while (my sedan is disconnected now, due to it being winter here). I installed bayonet switches so I can do this exceedingly easily. However, how hard is it to disconnect the battery pack on an electric car? I couldn’t get a straight answer the one time I asked at a dealership directly (even from the service manager) so I do not know (though I’d like to).

            I’d never heard of Rivian until you mentioned it. I looked it up – fascinating! Looks to be a very capable 4X4 (the 3 foot wade depth particularly impressed me). 14 inches isn’t enough ground clearance for me (not on a vehicle with a long wheelbase, like that one), though perhaps it could be raised a few inches. I’d be quite interested in one of these, assuming I could get it without the connected stuff, and also if infrastructure improves (right now, charging stations are nowhere near as available as gas stations in the USA’s rural regions, where even gas stations are often a hundred miles or more between). Still, I’d consider a Rivan, if I could either get it without the connected stuff, or it wasn’t too hard to remove, and was acceptable in other ways. On the flip side, *if* Motortrend’s review is anywhere near accurate, it has no physical controls, and even adjusting the air vents is hidden beneath touch-screen menus. That’s not something I want to deal with while driving (If texting while driving is a bad idea, dealing with a touch screen is worse), so that’d be a deal-killer for me on any vehicle. And, something else I noticed that made me very suspicious on Rivian’s website; the specs (on the RT1, I didn’t look further) failed to mention vehicle weight. I just looked into that, and now I see why they are trying to hide it, it’s over 7000 pounds! No wonder they were trying to hide it; that’s incredibly heavy, and a massive detriment for many conditions. (Sand and mud, to name just two found very often offroad).

          • This is probably going to be a question with an already pre-determined answer, but maybe you would be well off getting a Cybertruck 🙂

            Looks are possibly an aquired taste, but as far as specs go it is goign to be very hard to beat, thye even had to delay its production to make sure it will live up to its reputation. It is probably going to be years before they can catch up on existing orders now though.

            It might well change by the time of full production but supposedly it will have 27 inch clearence at full height, though adjustable and usually lower. This thing is a real beast, I keep thinking of it more like a light armoured tank than a car.

            As for cars without touch screens or connected services, maybe that is the one last field a company could operate in. It is at least the one area Tesla wont touch. Might not be a big market though, most people will probably be indifferent about self driving when it becomes common and cheaper than owning their own vehicle in most cases. Full self driving, the sort Tesla is pursuing, it also not the same as geomapped driving, which is what most references t oself driving are. Tesla full self driving will be basically the same as a person driving, it will be reactive to the environment and also able to operate in places with human drivers, which will be difficult or dangerous for pre-programmed service.

          • @CJ

            You just hit the nail on the current largest problem with EVs. That neither dealers, nor service tecnicians know what what the heck they are doing or talking about.
            In the case of disconnecting the battery. There is a master-switch for this that you just turn manually, it is a massive circuit breaker. It is installed as far as I know in all EVs. If not it would be a deadly hazard to service them. You can’t safely disconnect the battery even due to the risk for severe arcing, without first discharging the battery fully.

            Discharging an EV battery fully will not kill the battery. That is a myth. It will though degrade the battery over time. But, in a cars lifetime you would probably only ever do that 0-5 times… So, not a problem really. There is though the problem that the blasted batteries self-charges after a full discharge, so after just a few hours they will become dangerous again if you are servicing the battery pack. Any fiddling inside the battery pack is best left to a serious specialist, and requires specialist equipment.

            Normally this is not a problem, the only part that needs servicing are tyres and brakes, and any car-shmuck can do that. The manufacturers can service and electronic doodaa. Faults on the drive train are rare on EVs, almost non-existent, but if they happen you need to know a high voltage engineer…

            The weight on an EV is definitely a problem. Mostly in regards of tyre wear.

          • Depending on if you live in the US or not the cybertruck may be an option.
            For CJ it is definitely not an option since it has the usual Tesla shortcomings of every single function being in a sub-menu…
            It also requires constant connectivity to even run a single meter.

            If you do not live in the US you will not even be able to get one since they are banned for being not road-worthy.

          • This is becoming a long thread! Obviously there was a need for discussion. Regarding connected cars, I am not talking about being connected to an outside evil power. (Tried to find the free version of bitdefender the other day. microsoft store gave as only result a package from a company I had never heard of, which apparently has bought or licensed the bitdefender antivirus engine. Company is Chinese, and is located on a campus with connections to the PLA. I just mention it). The connection that self driving cars need is with the other nearby cars, a kind of motorway bluetooth. The cars spend a lot of effort measuring where other cars are, what they are doing, etc, but can’t see beyond the car in front. Much better if the other cars can just tell it how fast they are going, what the car in front is doing, whether they will be changing lane, that it tries to merge in to the motorway and could you please make some space, and that a tree has just fallen on the road ahead. Truck drivers already talk to each other to warn of problems. Self-driving cars will need something like that. Not all cars will be or need to be connected but all self driving cars (i.e. capable of autonomous unassisted driving) should be

          • @Albert
            I quite agree, problem is just that different car makers do not talk to each other, and would want to license out their various existing systems.
            Many manufacturers have those systems already for their route planning, and increaingly for the self-driving functions.

            That is how your GPS knows that there is a constipation on the road ahead, some poor sood in, let us say a Merc, is stuck up there. His car sends out info on this, and it is then relayed to all other Mercs coming up behind.

            Obviously these things should be implemented, but I do think it would need to involve a government stomping on the car makers.

        • Farmeroz, welcome to the future.

          Your data is ancient.
          A 75-82kWh battery pack for a Tesla Model Y costs 137USD per kWh…
          So, between 10 000 and 12 000 USD.
          Please, in the future use current figures and not five year old figures for a car that nobody has…

          There is a curious real world case of a Swedish dude who used a Tesla Model S (early bird user) as a cab in Stockholm. After 1 million kilometres he reached 50 percent charging capacity.
          That was obviously with the older battery type, the new one would probably get 60 percent after that monster of a load-cycle.

          It is also good to remember that the amount of REE used is today half compared to only 5 years ago…

          • You would expect the price for the battery to come down quite quickly. The old Leaf is now outdated but the new version is popular, and as far as I know up to date. I don’t know the cost of the original battery (perhaps a well guarded secret) but the cost of fitting a replacement is around what Farmeroz stated. It can be a bit cheaper if you go for a used battery as replacement. That includes the cost of the mechanical work. Tesla has a more powerful battery but that car is much more expensive to begin with. In most cases the battery will outlive the car though.

          • Actually that was a 2021 article on the new 64kwh leaf battery (swapping out a 24kwh one). Its the only actual prices I could find. Same ballpark as the leaf (not unexpectedly), tax alone would make them near identical.
            Can you show me the url where new tesla car batteries can be bought?
            Model S introduced in 2012 ten years is 100k km/annum, 300km/day average 365. He must be the highest earning taxi driver in stockholm.
            Alternatively a url with actual figures would be nice, as I cannot find any.
            Look, I’m not saying tesla et al are wrong, just that there is no independent published data I can find, which makes any claims just that, claims.
            Its the scientist in me, just likes to see actuall experimental results.
            Considering the hype, its odd how well concealed actual evidence is.

          • Albert
            Why do you expect the price of batteries to always come down?
            OK, when profit margins are massive (perhaps to pay for r&d etc) there is plenty to play with, but at the end of the day its a chemical reaction limited to basic electrochemistry and, like lead-acid batteries, there is a basal cost, often quite big because 1 kwh is actually a lot of electrons and a lot of moles.
            Yes of course a car can function quite well on a battery down to 50% charge, it just has half the range. Less important for a hybrid of course.
            I am interested because I would like a home PV system, and although the PV is relatively cheap, the required battery cost is not. Mind you part of that is the car batteries are cheap compared to bespoke cells.

          • This is an IEA projection, that battery costs will fall 60% by 2050. It is based on economics of scale. The rate is a bit lower than has happened over the past 10 years. I think this is the cell price (the one Carl quotes) which is only part of the battery. The total cost may not fall at the same rate.

            Tests indicate that in the real world, capacity of electric vehicles falls by less than 10% over 8 years. It does depend on how you charge: ultrafast charging can reduce the life time. By the time the car is retired, you would expect the battery to still have 80% of its original capacity. But the battery can deliver more power than the car can handle, and I am not sure whether this number is for the usable power or for the total battery power. Also, the battery should be kept between 10% and 90% charge for longer life time. That is normally handled by software which makes the extremes forbidden: the battery will not charge beyond 90% and will not use the bottom 10%. The driver does not need to worry about this.

            I am interested what you decide on the PV system. A battery pack should make it much more efficient but at a cost. I recommend for calculating the real performance and cost per kWh.

          • Albert. 60% is a lot as Li-I is getting to be mature technology although magins can undoubtedly be cut as R&D is written off.
            To be honest I am ever so slightly sceptical that Li-I is so much better than all the older technologies where a 50% discharge cycle gets around 1000 recharges (or less) to reach 50% capacity reduction (its almost linear for most, that is a 20% cycle will give 2500 recharges to no net gain).
            A battery is really essential for a working PV, particularly as the sell-in cost (today) is about 3p/kWh and usually variable (ie when you have it spare its worthless).
            Its quite easy to do a bit of 3-D geometry (OK, quite a bit several stages) and work out the output expected from solar cells in any given situation, particularly as ground level insolation data is widely available from several sources which agree quite well.
            Extensive data is available for various types of lead-acid but essentially none for industrial Li-I, excluding advertising or promotional statements. This is a worry because all the producers of electric car batteries have a vested interest to lie/overoptimism/selective in what they hand out.
            So as yet I have little confidence in what figures are available and remain astonished that real-life data is not published.
            Equally I find those with electric cars of any type are very defensive and insist they have the best car ever, and quill quote absurd figures.

          • There are tests and numbers. Of course in the real world you need a 10-year old car to get the final number, so we are now getting data only on the first generation. The most recent papers see a strong effect of high-power charging. If you do this regularly, it ages the battery. One paper finds a 30% capacity loss after 100 cycles. But go for sedate charging and the battery seems to last very well. Heat has a negative effect. The bottom line though is that few cars have needed a battery replacement. It is something like 3% for 10 year old cars. But is that because high power charging is a recent thing? Or maybe the new batteries are in fact better able to deal with that?

          • Alber:
            Many solar cell suppliers quote unreasonably high values of annual output. They are all about 20% efficient (amazingly good really) so all you need is the array-sky 3D angle and knowledge of where the sun will be in 3-D (there is quite a simplish equation for this) and the average/max insolation for your area (this can be found monthly) and you are away.
            Winter production is dismal! Indeed I suspect setting the display for max output in dec/jan with a 2 to 3 day battery supply is where you should aim. It will be very much less efficient in summer, but who cares?

          • Albert
            The thing is that, as I understand it, all the cars are linked back to the manufacturers via the net, and dump all their data home regularly.
            So the manufacturers ought to have lots of good figures, and will undoubtedly have their own experimental testing/data to compare with. On this they seem to be keeping very quiet.
            I suspect the early all-electric cars were low mileage local traffic, taxis seem to be mostly hybrids (that may soon change), so the batteries were probably not as hard worked as a house supply might be..

          • Guys. I will drive my old Mercedes convertible Diesel as long as I can. I just love it. It is fast, beautiful, nearly 20 years old and uses 7,5 l of Diesel on an average. If I am not allowed any more, I will put it in my garden and make a nice picnic place of it by turning the front seats around. It won’t be sold for three cents or so.
            I will learn to drive a horse coach and think of what’s written in the Mercedes Museum in Stuttgart, Germany:
            The Future belongs to the horse, Emperor William the First or Second.
            Battery cars are not for me. I will wait for else. Battery cars, so far, are ugly, esp. the wheels. For me and many Germans cars are also aesthestic, powerful both beauties that we love whereas the French (stupid grey Renaults) love food very much and the British (Fords) love home and furniture. Us, the Germans and also the Italians just love cars. The Italians though are the best as they are into cars and food. And wine. And Grappa.
            We’ll see.
            I will stick to a powerful and aesthetic car that I can afford and buy used. Who the heck would buy a used battery, a used mobile phone or computer? So a sensible car (hybrid?) or a horse and a carriage.
            The wheels of those electric cars are just awful.

          • Hello, my name is Heck 😉

            I do share your love of Mercedes cars, especially now that they are Swedish and becoming sensibly electric.
            Anyhoos, since I am named Heck I might ad that I own 3 cars. A SAAB Sonett V4, a Mercedes Vito, and a Jaguar electric.

            Driving the SAAB is fun, but you just do not drive such a car that much, it is more like a jewel to behold.
            The Mercedes is boring and utilitarian, but it can pack a load on long trips, and it is rather comfy since it has been S-ified. I am getting rid of it since I no longer have any need for it.
            The Jaguar is nice, but it is getting a bit old, and I can sell it for what I bought it for. So it is also going…

            So, what will I do without a car?
            Well, it is time I get a sensible Swedish electric car. Thankfully there is such a one being built in Germany.
            I have had a long list of Mercedes cars over the years, including a 1973 one off with a race car engine in it (that I bought at a mindnubbingly low price back in the day).
            So, it is with quite a bit of knowledge I state that the best ever Mercedes was introduced this year, and that I am waiting to get my grubby hands on it. So, I am going full on Senor Heck with an EQS580…. The best car ever made and ever so comfy to drive.

          • On the note of electric cars being ‘not for me’, a lpt of them are literally exactly the same exterior as an existing ICE vehicle. It is also possible to retrofit an electric motor into any car, keeps all of its original transmission and feel just without fuel. Is it efficient? No, but then vintage vehicles nearly never are, they are obsolete tech that are maintained to be admired not used.

          • What I find interesting is that those who protest most against electric cars are those who want massive torque and acceleration.
            Ie, your typical V8 maniac 🙂

            This is exactöy what electric cars will always beat a gasoline car at by miles. The torque and acceleration is just hilarious, and often more than what someone can handle.

            For instance, I famously was conned into buying a Koenigsegg Agera RS, at the time the fastest production car on the planet. Unlike most people I actually drove it.
            Yes it still will beat an electric car at top speed. But honestly, how often do you drive 400km an hour?
            My point is that you can pick up a family car that is electric that would make hars browns out of the Koenigsegg from 0 – 100km an hour (Naught to 60 for the imperially challenged).

            So, to get the same street race fun for elderly that you get with a bog standard electric, you have to fork upp for a multi million dollar hypercar like the Koenigsegg.

            This will obviously change in a couple of years when electric cars become cheaper than the obsolete exploding engine cars. Something that has already happened among the more expensive cars.

            My soon to come EQS is cheaper than a Mercedes S-class that is similarly specked out. If I could even get an S-class that is even remotely as well appointed as the EQS that is.
            Okay, the EQS is not cheap, but compared to it’s exploding engine sibling it is a damn bargain for the amount of luxuary and fun it brings.

          • Just in passing I state that in my opinion anyone with a big powerful car of any persuasion should be eco-decried at the highest level. They are wasteful in requiring very much more raw materials and processing and inevitable (electric or not) will consume substantially more energy than a small car with modest performance.
            I am utterly astonished that anyone here would suggest buying, let alone driving, such a vehicle as it exemplifies the double standards of so many eco-warriors in the west that are in fact profligate overusers of energy themselves.
            I remind you that electric cars run on electricity that runs on gas, as currently few areas have unexportable surplusses of green electricity.

          • Such is the fly in the ointment. Absent an alternate generating source, electric power will continue to rely on petroleum. As such will the carbon footprint grow larger in direct proportion to the demand for power by operators of EV’s of all stripe? An anathema to EOC no doubt.

          • Every single kWh I use is green. 😉

            I would also like to point out a couple of things in regards of categorialism like the one stated from Farmeroz.
            I do not own a single car that does not have a very stated need and purpose, with one glaring exception.
            The Mercedes is a company car that we use when we go to fairs and conventions. It is a must to have such a car. The reason I am getting rid of it is that I do not any longer need it since I am moving onwards in life from one company to another. At the time I got it 5 years ago there was not an electric alternative.
            The Jaguar was when I got it the best alternative on the market in regards of what I needed for my daily driving. Today it does not any longer fit my needs. The small family that is buying it will get a very good car for their needs, and it will probably be used for a very long time since the build quality is superb.
            The SAAB, well gosh me darn… it is a used car that I use for concourse events. It is driven 250km per year.
            My new car? Well, it will be perfect for me and my needs, and it will be very green as such.

            In regards of the Koenigsegg. I take it that you have not met Christian von Koenigsegg, I swear he could sell gerbil-burgers to a vegan. It was a mistake, I sold my mistake and moved on in life.

            Here is the thing. If you have a brain you change in life, learn new things, get new and improved priorities, etcetera.
            In regards of being judgemental, let the one without sin throw the first stone.

          • Dear Carl,
            unless someone is so far from a grid that exporting energy is not possible then any extra energy someone consumes over and above modest needs could be exported and a little less coal (german) or gas (UK) would have been burned.
            Its hard for people to get their heads round the fact that every use of energy surplus to reasonable requirements is extra CO2 generated somewhere. So you have a PV array on your roof, doesn’t mean you should get a big powerful car (or whatever) and waste energy showing off because the really green thing would be to sell surplus to the grid and reduce global CO2 production.
            Global warming is a global problem and everyone needs to do all they can to minimise waste and reduce expectations. Flying is a no-no and certainly not in anything but cattle class.

          • Just saying, but a 100 kwh battery contains the same amount of energy as 3L of petrol, electric vehicles are so much more energy efficient it is not even fair to put them both in the same comparison…
            Basically you can either drive a few km on that petrol if you are clever with it, or get the worlds fastest car with all the accessories and drive it 500 km without any difficulty. Even if that is not your thing, the fact every successful EV can go over 300 km at a bare minimum on what is basically an emergency fill of petrol in equivalent energy…

            There is literally no excuse not to go electric other than supply being slower than demand so price cant fall yet.

            As for electricity generation, most renewable power actually already does produce extra, a huge excess in many cases. That is why storage is so big right now, and tackling that problem will significantly increase the amount of energy we have available.

          • Farmeroz!

            We do live in a heavily exporting country in regards of electricity, in fact we are number two in the world.

            There is a logical fallacy in your reasoning.
            An exploding engine car will always be less efficient, both emissionwise and in regards of energy lost, compared to charging an electricity vehicle on even the most ancient and dirty coal powered plant in history.

            And that is not even taking into account the losses incured as you link the electricity down from let us say Sweden to Germany…

            Yes, everyone should draw their needle to the stack, but that requires that you understand the bigger picture.

            As Chad stated, on my 3 liters of petrol equivalent I can both have fun and get 500km on a single charge of green electricity. Driving a stinky exploder engine will never be the prefered choise. 😉

          • Carl,
            I am disappointed that you fail to understand electricity generation by gas (worse coal) is very inefficient, a modern diesel is in the mid 40% to the wheels. Gas manages about 45%, coal about 35% at the generator, but transmission losses, charger losses, battery losses, power control losses and motor losses will lose you almost another 50%. Those 85-90%’s add up.
            When discussing this with Albert he pointed out that the H:C ratio of gas (4:1) compared to hydrocarbons (2:1) does mostly balance these out, however with the large lignite (1:1 really!) usage or german electricity plants means that globally, and certainly for europe which is electrically well connected, the use of electric cars is actually MORE polluting than diesel.
            I know, its ecopolitically incorrect to point this out and wealthy people who can afford electric cars so they can feel good about themselves do not take kindly to pointing this out.

          • Electric cars are as green as the electricity they use. Same for hydrogen cars: they need green hydrogen. It is very much possible. If the electricity you use comes from a gas plant, then you break about even compared to a fossil fuel car (if that ff car is reasonably efficient!) I believe that Carl generates his own electricity greenly, which would rightfully colour his vision.

          • Let us look at real figures here.

            The top efficiency of a diesel engine in heat conversion is 40 percent at OPTIMAL revolution.

            Now, a coal-plant is 33 to 48 percent efficient at optimal revolution.
            Initially your assumption sounds plausible. Except for…

            You only have the same average if you drive the most efficient diesel known to man at an equal speed of 117km/h on a flat surface.
            Whereas the coal plant will be going on peak efficiency the entire time.

            But, you missed my point here. It was not that coal is good, it is just that an exploding car engine is inherently even worse.

            Let me iterate, except for peak days all my electricity comes from my solar roof/battery pack. I charge my car with that. Or, I charge it at work where we use green energy only.

            Now, please once more explain why I need to get an exploding engine diesel to do the driving that I must do in my job, so that I can send my roof electricity to Germany, instead of driving an electric car.

  22. How hot is the Iceland Plume?
    Is it over 1500 degrees C? I haves No Idea
    Iceland is highly active, and very productive, and erupts Thoelitic and Picrite basalts that require very large ammounts of mantle melting.
    It haves to be very hot under Vatnajökull in the astenosphere, just not soure How hot, But Iceland is one of the worlds very most productive volcanic regions

  23. Just found out there was a significant earthquake swarm around 11 km deep underneath Kilauea caldera. This happened 3 days ago. The recent website changes have been taking come getting used to…

    For as long as I have been watching Kilauea I have never seen such a big swarm at this depth, only read about it in context of the precursor activity in 1959 before Kilauea Iki. I think we are about to get a real firework show soon, maybe all that magma from Pahala has finally showed up 🙂

    • The list of earthquakes on their new map seems to have lost the connection to the map. It tabulates earthquakes at Pahala even if you look at Kilauea. Sothe table says that everything is at 20 miles while the maps shows the Kilauea quakes are at 7 miles. Very confusing. Anyway, I am wondering whether it isn’t to do with the renewed inflation at Mauna Loa. Kilauea is sitting on older flows from Mauna Loa and at this depth it is certainly Mauna Loa lavas. There is no inflation at Kilauea.

      • I think also the Pahala quakes have always been lumped with Kilauea unless you zoomed in right on the caldera. Maybe now it generates a pre-defined area around each volcano that in this case lumps the Pahala quakes with Kilauea. This is maybe because they consider Pahala the deep source of Kilauea, though also say there is no eruption correlation which seems incorrect now.

  24. There actually is inflation at Kilauea, south caldera GPS stations show recent slight uplift, this was only a few days ago so will take time to confirm.

    Changes in deformation at Mauna Loa are much smaller than on Kilauea, it is getting drip fed by comparison. Magma system of Mauna Loa is at about the same elevation as Kilaueas summit, around 3 km deep, in a way the actual freestanding part of both volcanoes is about the same size.,

  25. Video from USGS HVO

    “Olivine—the green mineral found in Hawaiian lavas—and its chemistry can tell us a lot about how, when, and where magmas move inside volcanoes before they erupt. Join Hawaiian Volcano Observatory geologist Kendra J. Lynn as she explains what elements make up this special mineral, how we measure it, and how we “read” the olivine crystals to learn about magma histories. We’ll explore how olivine crystals from the Keanakāko‘i Tephra have helped us better understand Kīlauea’s explosive eruptive past.

    Volcano Awareness Month is spearheaded by the USGS–Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, in cooperation with Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency, and the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, and provides informative and engaging public programs about the science and hazards of Hawaiian volcanoes. Photo caption: (L) Green olivine crystals in lava from Mauna Loa’s 1868 eruption. (R) Microscope image of a single olivine crystal extracted from tephra at Kīlauea. This crystal is about 1 mm (less than 1/16 of an inch) tall (USGS photos).”


    • It did not erupt this year, needs to wait a few years more I guess

  26. To all your scientists out there, why do you think Latin is state of the art in life sciences (medicine, biology, chemistry, (?))?
    Is it since those are old disciplines as opposed to electrical engineering or computer science?
    Is there made efforts to anglicize the words?

    • Linguistically its neutral.
      On account of native latin speakers being rare.
      However many disciplines know enough to use it such that its global.
      Unlike german, french and english, who are all a tad parochial.

    • Because it is beautiful and we owe to the Romans. And maybe because we honour history. English should be Lingua Franca and is already, in fields like flying, but Latin is neutral and very good for classification (and basically easy to learn for that purpose).
      But I have to admit: I have my problems with dinosaur classification, extremely odd names sometimes. Shakespeare seems easier than dinosaurs.

    • Like writing “dick” instead of “penis” and [checks wiktionary] “clit” instead of … ? 🤔

  27. Igor and Grichka Bogdanoff Case Analysis | Dangers of a Lack of Insight, an analysis by Dr. Todd Grande:

    • I have an aversion to Talking-Head-With-Microphone YouTube videos. Why listen to someone regurgitate what you can read for yourself on Wikipedia?

      If viewed through the lens of performance art as Carl suggested, the twins had an outstanding career. They embodied X-ray Spex’ lyric — “I am a poseur, but I don’t care. I like to make people stare.”

  28. Hello, new here.
    I am curious (not relating to this subject) but is it possible for a volcano like Olympus Mons to form on Earth? I would have to imagine it would’ve needed a thick crust to support, a powerful hotspot (like Iceland or Hawaii) and importantly the plate has to be stationary and time (~10-40 million years).
    Also, if you are interested in reading more about hotspots:
    (my first comment and reply seemingly didn’t go though, maybe mistaken for spam hence why I am rewriting this again).

    • I found you hanging in the spam-bin.
      Problem should be fixed for any future comments.

      I will let Albert answer this one since he is the man for Mars.

    • You first comment would have ended up in the ‘for approval’ queue in the waiting room (also known as the dungeon), waiting for someone to notice and release. If it were spam-listed, it will be lost I am afraid as the spam queue is as full as a Downing Street party. We empty it but never look at it. Now about Mars. There are two requirements to grow Olympus Mons. The eruptions need to continue at the same spot for some 100 million years (the period is a bit of a guess, really, but seems reasonable), and the mountain needs to be able to carry its weight. The first point requires a stable magma chamber, since otherwise you will get a series of adjacent volcanoes (think Hawai’i) rather than one huge one. You need a very stable crust. On Earth, the crust is too mobile, so you can only get huge volcanoes if the magma supply is high enough that it builds the thing before the crust has moved. That actually does happen. The closest thing we have on Earth to O.M. is Steen Mountain, impressive but not huge. It is the location of the magma supply for the Columbia flood basalt. But it did not erupt at the same location every year, and so formed a basalt plain but not a huge volcano. (In fact the dikes took the magma to the surface a long way away).

      The second difference is that our gravity is too strong. Rock can only carry so much weight before it becomes plasticky and begins to deform. On Earth, this is something like 8 kilometers of rock: anything more and it begins to sink again. You can only get marginally higher than Mount Everest. Volcanoes can’t quite reach that height because they erupt basalt which is denser than granite. Hawai’i got its 10 kilometers (above the sea floor) only because some of the weight is carried by the sea water: it floats a bit. Gravity in Mars is 3 times weaker, so mountains can grow 3 times as high. Indeed, Olympus Mons (22 km) is about 3 times as high as Mauna Loa would be in the absence of water.

      • I know that plates are mobile and that it could deform regular crust to the point of possibly no return. Hypothetically, however, what if the plate itself is stationary for a period of time where it doesn’t move by much, say a few tens of millions of years and that the volcano grew not on a seafloor but instead a seeming indestructible craton (I.e. the Canadian Shield) and that the output it is growing at is somewhat small in the beginning but as the hotspot locally melts the craton and makes it thinner, it grows at a rate similar to that of the Hawaiian islands. It would still deform the crust, yes, but less so than say it grew on oceanic crust.

        • My apologies Albert for my slight ignorance. I didn’t read the answer you gave me above and looked upon closer view, but still, I was thinking about the what ifs. What I am about to say is speculative, pretty much.
          A hotspot forms underneath this hypothetical nearly stationary continent (say, about less than a centimeter a year), at its most stable part of it – the craton (assuming it is similar to the Canadian Shield). It, in its few hundreds of thousands of years of its life, produces a flood basalt (somewhat moderate), hence after that is quietness. New volcanoes would show up to form a group of volcanoes similar to that of the Tibesti Mountains, each having their own magma chambers.
          Over time, however, as the crust locally thins in millions of years (100 kilometer wide melting spot), the number of volcanic centers would decrease to just one- a massive shield volcano with one large magma chamber, and, so at the same rate as a typical Hawaiian volcano grows, it grows larger in volume and activity. As it grew, it began to affect not only itself but its surroundings.
          Due to gravity and the brittleness of the crust, it begins to form a depression around the mountain, maybe even forming a few mountains of its own around the rim of such depression. Even the mountain (or if it is even a mountain, but rather a really high plateau) sank, causing it to have gentler slopes or a sort of massive gravity-caldera. Its activity, however, will keep its height in check (~6-10 kilometers high).
          Activity will be more frequent around the summit more than its flanks, but it might be possible that such fissure eruptions would be powerful due to the fact it is going through thick, cratonic crust outside of the thin area and once it reaches the surface, it’ll be big until it runs out of fuel. It is possible that such a volcano might form within 100 million years but it could already be massive by maybe less than 50 million years, with maybe a quarter to half of Olympus Mons’s volume. So, take all of this as a grain of salt because this is what I think would happen if a similar volcano grew in a earth-like environment.

      • Albert, does the Indian Sub Continent diving under the Himalayas not provide additional support to Everest, something like a deep keel of a large ship.

    • Hawaii haves a totaly insane magma production, its on a fast moving seafloor, yet the volcanoes grow to over 100 000 km3 the very short time they spend on the Hotspot. These are the Only volcanoes on Earth that grow to 260 km wide and 20 km deep, already quite marsian in size. There is an insane ammounts of melting under Hawaii

      Had Hawaii been on a very slow moving seafloor like in South Atlantic or Indian Ocean thats 10 times slower, then the Big Islands pile woud be 10 times bigger than it already is today!

      Hawaiis melt production probaly far far exceeds the Olympus Mons avarge

  29. A few comments to my VC friends:

    FarmerOz: I was shocked, (from your discussion on batteries) to find that the UK doesn’t have net metering. I haven’t paid an electrical bill for years. No batteries. (California) I understand there are some issues, but really..

    Jesper: Another reason to move to Iceland is NO MOSQUITOES. I don’t understand why, but it was wonderful when we visited. That sounds trivial, but if you love the out-of-doors it is a big deal.

    Denaliwatch: My GreatGrandfather had a trading post near where Sitting Bull was “put on the reservation.” They became friends. My Grandmother told stories about being the first red-head girl he saw. Our family had many of the artifacts that Sitting Bull “traded” but were lost in a tragic fire.

    Carl: Thanks for another superb article. I’m still telling friends about your universal geothermal ideas. Hope you keep up the advocating. The Salton Sea geothermal area is nearby, so I have been interested.

    I’m just finishing a great book, “The Dawn of Everything”. Anthropology. I’m surprised they don’t consider volcanoes more in the evolution of man. Especially considering research like this:

    • There are a lot of mosquitos in Iceland!! For example the large lake in the north is named Myvatn and translates Mosquito lake. At the right times it deserves its name!!

      Agree with you about VC! Best science blog all categories! Thanks for all fantastic posts and comments!!

      • Hahaha wanted to make that comment too =D
        I also once heard it should generally be hard during that bright, never completing summer dusk, not just at Myvatn.

    • Oh, I am still working with geothermal energy, and will probably do so until the day I shut my eyes permanently in the distant future.

      With a bit of luck I will get to test it out in the not so distant future, but more about that as things unfold.

    • Exciting. You have a great-grandfather who was friends with Sitting Bull, thanks for that nice detail, and Happy New Year to you.
      David Graeber might have left out volcanoes being an anthropologist, so he might not know enough about them?

  30. Quite a lot of earthquake activity occuring around Greece and Cyprus today.

    • 5.7 South of Milos.
    • 6.6 Near Cyprus.
    • Small swarm near Kolumbo.
    • Sizable swarm near the North Macedonia border.

    Also going back to Iceland there was a bit of a swarm near the Ok volcano in the north west of the country. Not sure what’s actually happening there.

  31. Carl,
    that car I told you about is my hobby and getting costly. It has issues sometimes. Every time I went to MB they tried to sell me a new car instead, and that’s what I did. But I bought a second car, a BMW. I hated them for not having any respect for the beauty they had once created, and I left them. And I have to communicate to you that BMW is the best German company. Contrary to MB they love their cars.
    Another advantage: BMW’s like Audis (and also Teslas) are driven by people who want to get somewhere fast, often younger to middle-aged people. Mercedes (not mine though) is an older people-comfy folks vehicle. Thank God they mostly leave the left lane when they see an Audi or BMW approaching.
    My secret dreams I won’t be able to afford unless I win in the lottery (which I do not play though). That would be certain Ferarri, Aston Martins and – why not the Tesla sports car or the Porsche Taican. Those are the exceptions from the ugliness, but very expensive.
    Cars generally are too expensive.

    • Could be a lot is due to overzealous safety concerns..?
      I can imagine testing through all wild scenarios and getting all the proofs and certificates for every single part might make things more expensive…
      But could well be just about money making. I don’t know cars and car business all that well.

      • Of course it is about money making. No question we needed the seat belt. Also the airbag was sensible. But I myself do not need a back camera for parking, a voice telling me I should get a cup of coffee or a car that decides whether it stops for a passenger. Most people can drive here because they have around 20 driving lessons.
        I know there are countries with less instruction. One should change that instead.

        • You have a higher regard for German drivers than I do. I remember one day driving to work (in Germany). It was a minor road connecting two villages, but crossing over a motorway with access to the motorway. When we got to the place where the exit from the motorway was, a flash in front of us following by crunching. A car had flown across our road, through the trees at the other side (German trees know to get out of the way when a German car approaches: it had missed them all) and ended up in a field 4 meters lower. Ran to the car and forced the door open. Driver was sitting there, dazed but unharmed. The airbag hadn’t even gone off. That was some car! Did smell alcohol (this was at 8 in the morning) and guessed the driver had fallen asleep or become road-hypnotized, and had followed the exit as if it were the fast lane. Any kind of assisted driving would have prevented disaster. I am all for it. And if you do not want to stop for a pedestrian, perhaps you should be careful with getting into a car!

          • There are idiots, right. But most people are sane drivers.

        • Yes, there are a few basic safety-relevant areas, where it is good that they be certified.
          But I think a lot of the internals wouldn’t need to be certified.
          I bet lots of the invisible things are costly too, because of various certificates etc.

          I would expect there to be cars around that are more basic though, without such crap?

          Wonder if there are any figures of the approximate cost share in a (basic) car?
          Never thought about it until now.

          • Apologies, by “crap” I mean’t the tons of digital assistants and features etc., not the safety systems =)

          • Read the comment of CJ further up (in the very long thread): He would rip a lot out of new cars right away.

          • Thanks, Denaliwatch!

            And @ Microwave; buyer beware! I’ve been seeking new vehicles without the electronic garbage, but so far, I haven’t found any in the US market (if anyone knows of any, please let me know!). Many of the new ‘features’ are quite the opposite of safety. Touch screens would be one; unlike physical controls, they can’t be operated without taking your eyes off the road.

            Some cars can have the infotainment/connected junk ripped out, but you’d need to check first. On some cars, it can kill everything from the radio to the climate control (defroster included). It seems to be dependent upon whether they use a single integrated module for the connectivity/infotainment, or use separate modules.

            As for costs (what the cost share of all the electronic junk is), that’s a very good question. It certainly makes the car far more expensive to own (costs per year) because the more complicated a car is, the more there is to fail, and the more expensive it is to repair. As an example, my SUV had its receiver for the remote (keyfob door lock/unlock) fail, so I had to buy a new receiver for $23. My mother’s car had the same failure, but it is more modern, and I had to replace the body control computer (which had all these systems integrated into it, unlike mine where it was a separate unit), which was a $800 part. Quite a difference.

          • I disagree, you will learn where your “usual suspect” buttons are rapidly, as with any other car.
            Just stay away from cars like Tesla that you have to sub-menu everything, and you will be fine.
            Newer electric cars have buttons in the usual places, for instance for heating, they are just touch buttons instead of click buttons.
            I guess it is just what one is used to. 🙂

    • If you haven’t ordered that car yet, Carl. give it a second thought. 20% of what you pay for that is going to the nation who is responsable for you not being able to see Carmen, 20 percent. If they had told the world in Dec. 2019 the latest that they were having a problem, things would look different. The way things developped it became the only nation with some visible economic growth.

    • Nah, I will stick to my car order.
      It is beautiful and it ticks all of my boxes, especially since it is from the only Swedish car maker remaining (not counting Koenigsegg).

      And if you are talking about China, they did the correct things actually. I am not a friend of China, but I prefer to blame them for what they do have really done.

          • I’m not even thinking about a lab escape as it is unimportant. Lab escapes happen all the time, I forgot the number, but it is high.
            More important is that it might have been around for a while without causing havoc. And that it seems to have been adapted to man in 2012 which means it doesn’t need an interim host.
            Important is only that it reemerged or emerged in Decembre 2019 and also, that 1 mio muslims are said to be in camps there, but nobody cares as it is nice to have 1.5 milliard potential customers plus cheap labor.

    • I appreciate that the knowledgeable types that read these pages may already know this.

      I was, back around 2010, advocating against tidal range developments in the Severn Estuary, UK. As a part of that I found myself on the blog of Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity here in the UK.

      Aside from the discussions regarding renewable energy generation, I noticed that he was also posting about his attempts to develop a high spec electric car… An out-and-out sports car. Now I must be honest, cars to me are nothing more than tools of transportation, but R+D is something I nearly always find interesting.

      I remember that he ran a post about various problems they were having, and some of them surprised me.
      Weight and size of the required batteries… I think (bearing in mind this was around 10 years ago) this is no surprise.
      Sound… A problem ? Apparently so. They had to make it louder, so that the hard of hearing knew there was traffic around. He said that the loudest noise was created by the tyres on the surface, which they initially thought was a good thing. But a couple of their staff had near misses, because they simply didn’t hear it coming.
      Acceleration…He explained that this too was a problem. He said that it’s very different to a normal petrol engine.If you (through use of the normal controls) instruct the car to pick up speed as quickly as possible, it will pretty much go straight to that speed, or at least, straight to the required number of rpm to produce that speed. So fast that they had to introduce measures to put a lid on it and make it step up by degrees, because apparently it just wasn’t fun…Too violent on the driver’s body.

      I don’t know what became of his prototype(s).

      Coming late to this party, but I’d still like to congratulate you on an excellent post, Carl.

      • Fun part, a little more than 10 years ago I worked with an electric car company. They also stated that there was need to induce noise for safety reasons.
        I said it was a load of bullhork. 10 years later and the entire discussion has died down and the cars are silent (mostly).

        2 years ago I was in China in a city that was electric car only, and when you remove the exploding engine noise you end up hearing electric cars really well.

        The most pathetic part is that many electric cars come with fake exploding engine noises inside of the car. It is ludicrous. The best part of an electric car is the silence in which you travel. Something that coincidentally has driven forward insulation and noise dampening since people really hear wind and street noises.

        • I’m deaf, and was quite badly injured on a zebra crossing in Dublin a few years ago following a collision with a cyclist. The ‘green man’ signal was in my favour, and had been for a few seconds before the cyclist came barreling along and collided with me.

          It makes no difference to me if electric cars make a noise or not – I wouldn’t hear them anyway.

          • Blind is the other thing. I happen to know a British lady with an excellent blind dog. They would hear the tyres I guess. I hope so.

          • But without such a dog blind people might be lost esp. when older with impaired hearing.

          • Sound is important. Its why cyclists behaving badly are so dangerous, particularly UK footpaths where cycling is prohibited (allowed on bridalways).
            There are a number of dangerous blind exits I have had to use in the past, and I always turned off the radio, passengers and opened the window to hear better. This has saved several brutal accidents.

        • As has been already mentioned, quiet cars are not the friend of the visually impaired (unless they live near a main road and never go out alone, of course). Guide dogs are not universally used, or readily available. Drivers should be compelled to sing loudly when approaching built-up areas.

          • Here is where the connected crapola really sings in new cars. At the speeds you drive at in built up areas all of the technological doodaas make it pretty much impossible to hit anything.

            A while ago a kid with a headset looking into his phone biked straight out of a hedge infront of the car as I came driving. The car stopped itself before I even figured out what the heck was happening. Stupid meatsack has slow reactions, car has a reaction time counted in thousands of a second.
            Had I been driving an older car the kid would have been badly injured or dead.

          • Nice one. Have you measured the reaction speed of the car? Different studies quite different numbers ranging from 0.1 to 1 seconds. It is faster than the driver but not dramatically: data acquisition and computing takes time. It is currently mainly meant to help inattentive drivers. But it is good to see it works in emergencies as well.

          • It is about 0.1 seconds according to the spec, and I think that pans out as a real figure.
            Much faster than this meatsack in the morning.

          • Carl, I’m curious; why does your driver-assist stuff require connectivity? With your .1 second reaction time, is it even possible for your car’s sensors to upload anything via cellular (incurring packet lag both ways), get the central servers to process the data, receive it, and act upon it in that timeframe? Given the inherent lags in networked comms, it seems to me it’s impossible that the car wasn’t acting autonomously (with all processing internal), rather than requiring connectivity.

            BTW, I’m very glad, both for the cyclist’s sake and your own, that the accident did not occur.

          • My current car mainly only has driver assist.
            It does not require connectivity for the collision part.

            The EQS does, and does not, require connectivity for the self-drive, but not for the safety-assist parts.

            Let me explain. Cars (and most other) have “GPS” and not GPS. Take you phone for instance, it does not in any way have GPS. Instead it uses cellular masts and triangulates it’s position.

            Cars also do this since it is both more accurate, and faster, than regular GPS. Some car systems have both satelite GPS and “GPS” for additional safety.
            Most add-on systems are “GPS” to for land based use. The better ones have both systems. Very few are GPS only, and those are a far cry from as exact in most instances.
            Naval systems use GPS only.

            As such the only connectivity is pings to the cell towers, and GPS signal in the case of the EQS.

            Where you have the true connectivity is in regards of road updates, and these are quite essential for self-drive for obvious reasons, it is bad if the road has been moved for instance, or the bridge has fallen down…
            Those are extreme examples, the normal update packages concern heavy traffic and traffic jams.

            For most new EVs self-drive will operate in a limited capacity (lane keaping) if you are not connected, but the full system with automatic lane changes and turning at intersections will be disabled.

            Basically, the car does 99.9 percent on its own without any data received, it only needs routing information.

            The big boon is the automatic software updates, those save you from a shitload of service station visits.

            As mentioned, I do like the technological doodaahs, so for me it is a nice thing. But, for you it would probably be a bother best fixed by removing the sim-card. No need to unbolt the entire dashboard. 😉

    • Ah, for me a car is a tool, like a pen or a hammer. I set a spec and buy a car. The car I have will be my last. It was bought when I ran a farm and needed off road and space for carrying stuff, so it was a subaru outback. At my current sub 1000 (500?) miles/year there is no ecological or financial point in selling it for a small electric car. Actually it goes quite fast although I never break any speed limits I find the massive acceleration onto motorways (or safe overtaking) quite useful.
      I have done skid and off-road training but sadly what I always have wanted to do is drive a car as fast as it can go, but convenient tracks are not close to me, and I would want some instruction.
      When I drove off road apparently passengers were terrified.
      My friends mostly bought very small diesels (or petrols with fuel injection = diesel to all intents and purposes).

      • Sounds like you have the perfect car for you, and that you have made the perfect choice for you.

        It may shock you, but for about 15 years I did not have a car, I only got one when I really needed one again. 🙂

        • You got three. Tell those green people, please, that you don’t drive them at the same time as you can’t clone yourself.

          • I would say that I have two.
            One is a company car.
            And one is almost never driven, and the other is electric.

            You are forgetting that I am one of the green people. 😉

          • You mean, in order to continue driving my cars, I just try to loin the right company? I realized you are close to the money generating green agenda, the doges of our times now. Sigh.

          • You know Carl, one day you will be as old as me or older – I guess you are about ten years my junior. Then, one day a new form of economic progress will be discovered, and you might be on the lower part of the seesaw, and you will think of us, esp. in case it becomes considerably colder.
            You know – probably – like me, that it is all about selling, all of it and making the stock market thrive. And there is not the slightest sense in putting the South Congo desastre on Russia. Sure, they probably caused it, but we, the West are in Africa to do – seemingly – good things. So, why didn’t we clean it up instead of preaching to them to no end and sending their corrupt state chiefs money to buy weapons instead of helping those people like Yunus tried once?
            The West is a hypocritical construction, lying to no end, but making it look like the knowledgable and highly moral system, better than everyone else. That’s not true. We are the same human shit system, just with a better disguise.
            One day I will die a cynical, and I started a romantic which I preserve with art and nature. A little.

          • Well, it is the last exploding engine company car we have, it is ending the lease, and we will not renew it. So, starting to work for me would be a bad bet for continuing to drive an exploding engine car.

            In regards of my age. I turned 50 in August, so it is up to you to ponder the age difference.

            Professionaly I have been driving technology change my entire life. So, geothermal energy in my case is just a continuation of that.

            Personally I have learned something during all of my travels. The world is filled with wonderful warm people. Then there is the idiots, and they are amazingly well spread out over the planet.
            Every year I become ever more romantic and people personey, I started out as a majestic full blown technocrat.
            I live for learning, any day I learn something I am a giddy kid in a toy store.
            The world is wonderful really.
            Yes, we have problems, even huge honking problems. But, I am certain that in the end we will get it right.

            I am looking forward to see both the good and the bad of the changes that are coming, hopefully I will be able to do watch and learn for centuries or millennia more, and if I ever get bored of Earth, I will if I succeed with living on, go out and explore the Universe.
            And, if I to my surprise do die, I will have lived a good life on the whole.

            My perspective on life is quite different, I know. 🙂

        • I don’t have a car. Had one proper lesson, never followed it up. Curiously, that one drive (with the elderly instructor saying ‘less gas… less gas..’ as I got into the swing of things) took me along the A27, to Arundel roundabout, passing the special, secret, intensely biodiverse wood I’d discovered a few years before – recently marked for destruction by a bypass upgrade. That lesson was almost 40 years ago.
          Car driving is alien to me. Even being a passenger is an exotic experience these days. But I get chauffeured around by buses and trains: as long as I remain within the confines of London, I’m free. Freer, maybe.

          • Yes, when I lived in london (about the first 20 years) we never had a car, and as you comment travelling within london (and most cities) is better done by public transport for cost and convenience. Mind you given how empty many buses are for much of the day, and tubes outside the central section, I’m not sure how green this actually is, but no matter.
            In rural areas life is impossible without a vehicle, the density of travellers is simply too low for public transport to function remotely efficiently. Taxi fares are quite frankly exorbitant. Roll on self driving cars ….

          • I too had been wondering about near-empty busses and trains. Obviously it is not efficient, but it is not as bad as I thought. For a bus and train the passengers add significantly to the weight, much more so than for a car. So fuel use changes with occupancy. There is a social reason to run busses even if not full.

    • This is fun…

      Do you know that an exploding engine car, either diesel or petrol, will use far more lithium compared to an electric car over a lifetime cycle.
      Most of the lithium is filtered out, but quite a bit will remain in your diesel/petrol.

      99 percent is though filtered out into a brine that is pumped back into the ground. Insanely wasteful.

      Who would’ve thunk…

      • I think you’d love my old Mercedes. If they don’t let me drive it here any more, I might ship it to Carmen in Guatemala instead of putting it in the garden. 😉 🙂

        • As log as we’re on it, some 40 years back I once owned an ’81 300D and an ’85 300CD Turbodiesel in that order and together for a time. What model are you praising? It was the 500SEC of that era which I never managed to pull the trigger on.

      • I mean I won’t sell it with that loss they offer. You know what? They are gangsters. You drive it from the yard and lose 20 percent right away, 50 after two years.

      • Brines from depth are not in the fuel.
        Li is diffusely available in brine (even seawater) worldwide, just not currently usable as a feedstock.
        Read the article.
        Your statement is akin to comparing nuclear emissions from fertiliser (potassium, huge, natural) with nuclear power stations.
        Statement true, but irrelevant.

        • Definitely not irrelevant.

          It is undeniable that during its lifecycle an exploding engine car will use more lithium compared to an electric car.

          But, my point was more towards the inefficience of not harvesting the lithium from the brines. At given values it is emminently mineable from the brine.
          The reason I brought it up is that it is often erroneously stated that Lithium is a commodity that we will run out of in the near future, and then it turns out that there has been so much lithium pumped up and then reinjected in the form of brine.

  32. Earthquakes are still continuing at Kilauea, now more variable depth going from 11 km deep up to the bottom of the magma chamber. 11 km is about right where Hector said the LP quakes are most concentrated at Kilauea, from magma flowing in. Really this is all the signal of an impending eruption of maybe quite impressive scale, except of course there is already an eruption going on.

    Might not be the best comparison today but in 1959 the events were as follows. 2 years of quakes at 50 km depth north if Kilauea up to mid 1959. August 1959 resumed inflation and quakes under the summit. September 1959 began microquakes of variable but constant low intensity, reaching 1000 a day by November, accelerating inflation. November 14, eruption begins. November 16, eruption intensifies greatly.

    Of course the main event of that sequence was at Kapoho. But now the caldera floor is still 200 meters below where it was in 1959 and it is also active not frozen, so should stay put at the summit just yet.

    • Swarms like this one are not unusual although the current one is a rather large one. It is a swarm of long-period earthquakes. These swarms can make impressive rhythmic patterns of seismic activity, drumbeat. About half of the located LP earthquakes at Kilauea since the start of 2019 have been produced during the current swarm so far, so it is a much bigger than the several other swarms we’ve had in the past few years. However it is far from being unprecedented. I’ve checked an LP swarm from October 2 1997, in the IRIS earthquake browser, which produced 82 earthquakes equal or greater than M 2. In comparison in this LP swarm not a single earthquake has reached Magnitude 2 within the 5-12 km depth range that I used in IRIS. So what we have now is basically insignificant compared to the swarm in October 1997 and many others that Kilauea has seen over the years.

      I have no idea what causes them. I doubt it is magma supply because the supply to Kilauea is relatively constant and LP swarms are not. If they do correspond to magma ascent then the supply gets buffered afterwards, somehow. Because the supply to Kilauea is more or less continuous but LP earthquake swarms happen in brief bursts of activity. For example, the LP activity Kilauea had in 1989 dwarfs completely any swarms that Kilauea has seen since. 1989 alone produced more than one third of all LP earthquakes recorded until 2018 at Kilauea. It is somewhat similar to Mauna Loa which has LP earthquakes at a depth of 45 kilometres directly under its summit. Almost all Mauna Loa LP earthquakes were produced during a single year, in 2004.

      The LP swarm under Mauna Loa did have effects on the volcanoes, or so it seems. The rapid inflation of Mauna Loa in 2004-2005 which I think is the most substantial episode of inflation it has had since its last eruption. And also the extremely rapid inflation and unusually high carbon dioxide emissions Kilauea had during 2004-2007, which were interpreted as a mantle surge:

      So the LP swarms under Mauna Loa possibly correspond to surges of magma that go into both volcanoes. Although we will have to wait for the next big LP swarm under Mauna Loa to confirm this. It would also confirm that Kilauea is a satellite volcano of Mauna Loa. But who knows when will that be as such a large swarm has so far happened only once in the known record.

      The LP swarms under Kilauea as far as I know do not precede greater inflation rates or anything unusual, although maybe it is my knowledge that is lacking. I can’t recall anything unusual that happened in 1989 and afterwards, although I shall take a look. .

    • Loihi was also active in the aftermath of the 2004 Mauna Loa LP swarm. It had its third largest seismic known episode in December 2005. Perhaps an eruption, or if not a dike or sill intrusion, no one knows.

      Loihi seriously needs better monitoring, there is basically no station installed to see what happens there. I know it’s problematic being underwater but surely they can come up with something. It is a very active volcano, much more dynamic than Mauna Loa in terms of how many intrusions/eruptions it experiences.

  33. Something more funny than medicine: I will get company for my dog in 2023, from a breeder I do know. I spent some time looking for a nice volcano to name her and found enough. Volcanoes have nice names.

      • 🙂
        It will be different. But lets wait and see whether the potential mother does fine next year.

    • Katla would be a fun name for a dog – although that might give it an identity crisis.

  34. Join the dog club! I retired (70%) last year and got a dog in august 3 month old Kromfohrlander. Clever and conveniently withouthunting instict so she can run free without anoying wild life. Now, after a lot of training she has started to speak!! Curious??? Google ”Hungerforwords”

    • It is more sad than you think. My dog might have a malignant tumour. Waiting for operations, lab results, cell type which is decisive here and decided right away that he has to survive for a while and needs company. The last one of this sort died aged six.
      I wonder why so many dogs have tumours – it is the saddest thing in the world. He has the sweetest eyes a dog of mine ever had. I would be devastated and need a second one on time to not waste a single thought about suicide, having to take care of one. Dog owners know the problem. Dogs, contrary to cats or Iguanas 😉 just don’t get old enough. Some races are more prone to tumours than others. The next one might get a health insurance, and that might help.
      When I had hit walls in Cornwall twice I started getting full insurance for rental cars. Nothing ever happened again.

      • 1) Breeder societies (at least the better ones) are generally trying to breed out genetic defects. Six is way too young for a dog to be dying, even 12 is young enough.
        2) General great tip for UK drivers. Use insurance4carhire. Miles cheaper than the car hire insurance. Wider coverage (insures windows, wing mirrors, tyres etc) and getting you to habitation. It also lasts for a long time (many months) I have used it numerous times and saved megabucks.

        • One thing you need to know though, Farmeroz: In humans, most tumours do not seem to be genetic. Cancer of the stomach for instance shows nothing hereditary, cancer of the mamma (breast cancer) does though.
          Stomach cancer is more frequent in Japan, possibly hot drinkes and baths. Cancer of the cervix was less frequent among nuns and Jewish women, so might have to do with hygiene. So I am wondering whether dogs are more sensitive to a list of things that Carl once mentioned, as sensitive as human sperm. Or on the other hand what they mix under the dog food. Or whether dogs get vaxxed to often. is wrong here.
          Hip malformation is inherited. And bred out.
          You pray for my dog.
          It might be a chronified atheroma. Pray.
          I met a beautiful guy in Devon once. His name is Leyland. He lives behind the Prince Hall Hotel near Two Bridges, Dartmoor. I met him because I went down as one of his sheep was lying there, motionless and possibly dead. He told me his whole story with the sheep. And then he said just wonderful. He said:
          “I wish I could come to the Dartmoor again, for the first time. The first time it takes your breath. Then you get used to it like to every other place.”

          • He’s in the papers somewhere. He cried when his most beloved sheep was taken down. Beautiful person.

          • If a breed typically dies at 6 years commonly of cancer, its likely genetic.
            When buying from that breed discrete enquiries as to how mum and grandmum are getting on is a little indication. My wife went into this sort of stuff in great detail when selecting dogs to breed with our labs, and it paid off although she was keen on temperment (which is quite heritable).
            I am sorry for your dog, its that they really look at you and expect you to fix them, and you cannot. Can be heartbreaking.

      • Dogs are well known to have many serious health issues caused by intensive inbreeding during the creation of their many shapes and sizes.

    • Yeah that’s what I commented on earlier above, the closest volcano is the Ok shield volcano. I think it’s gone on a few days now by the looks of it…

      Sunday, January 9, 2022 18:16 GMT (13 earthquakes)
      Monday, January 10, 2022 23:38 GMT (39 earthquakes)
      Tuesday, January 11, 2022 14:13 GMT (16 earthquakes)

  35. Ok folks, tell me I’m wrong in this but I declare Reykjanes clearly as failed.
    Today was the last bet it should erupt. However it did not.
    Where is the magma now, anyways? It was said to slowly and aseismically rise..?

    • Last heard of it was 1,500m below the surface; that was before the end of the swarm, so it may be closer to the surface.

    • I’m holding with my prior prediction; the eruption in Reykjanes will resume once a sufficiently high percentage of experts have pronounced it over.

      As supporting evidence, I offer recent behavior; just after new years, all signs and activity pointed to an eruption in the near future. Then, Chad posted his January 5th prediction, and voila, it was as if a switch had been thrown; the activity ceased. (therefor, the most plausible explanation is that the volcano is contrarian in nature, and read Chad’s post).


  36. What woud happen If the Hawaiian Plume was placed below Denmark? or better in South UK
    Woud take a few years for it to heat things up, But anyway intresting idea

  37. I should make a comment on the Hawaii plume. The plume will be less than 100 km wide at depth which is pretty small . This is hard to see in seismographical mapping. And this is especially difficult in the middle of the Pacific where there are very few places to put seismographs. I discussed this in the Galapagos post. The bottom line is that Hawaii could be the perfect plume from the core to the surface, and we would still not be able to see it. It is too early to organize a wake for the Hawai’ian plume: it may still live.

    • Hmmm the Big Island complex is almost 300 km wide seafloor base, 270 kilometers wide from Kilaueas puna ridges northenmost submarine point to Mahukonas west submarine point.

      The Hotspot main Melting zone is probaly 100 km wide, But You haves the Hawaiian swell thats over 1000 km wide, so the plume head is around 1000 km wide as it push up the seafloor

      • A plume spreads out when it hits the crust. You get a large, wide head. The head can be 2000 kilometers in size. See the White Christmas post. But below it is a narrow plume which forms a tube-like structure, perhaps 50 km wide and rising at something like 50 cm per year.

      • That’s a bit contradictary. You say here that the plume head pushes up the seafloor, in another post you quote the USGS and assume a big depression of the seafloor by Big Island or at least Mauna Loa. or you are meaning else.

        • Because It does both! 🙂
          The plume push up the ocean floor, But at the same time the Islands colossal weight forms a litosphere depression on the boulge of the plume

          • Jesper 🙂 . That’s not scientific. You cannot say that 2+2 is 4 and minus 4 at the same time. You (and the USGS) need evidence.

          • Denali, let me introduce you to this phrase.
            Every action has an equal and opposing reaction. It is a law of nature established by Newton. Physics is such a hoot.

            So, you can in this case have both 4 and -4 at the same time. It is also amply possible to get in mathematics, but that is something outside of volcanoes.

          • It can be confusing if not carefully explained. The islands do sink into the ground and there is a moat filled with sediment surrounding them which can be seen in the bathymetry. Outside this moat though there is a swell. If the swell does correspond to a plume I’m not so sure, it might be an effect of the lithosphere flexing under the islands which causes the ground to rise further away. The swell is most marked north of Oahu, far from the centre of volcanism that is Hawai’i island, and proposed location of the plume.

          • Very lucid, Héctor, thanks. Carl as well. One understandable right away, the other (Carl) needs to be believed.

        • it does both, the plume pushes up the seafloor called ”Hawaiian Swell” and the really really enormous shield volcanoes push down a small depression in the middle of the boulge.

    • I agree Albert, it is probably a data collection problem.
      I just wanted to point out the problem of Hawaii being the only plume that plume denialists accept. 🙂

      • Even on mantleplumes website (I know you hate it Carl!), which has arguments against every hotspot going, there is a section where they consider the likelihood of plume. It takes into account tomographic imaging, melt temperature differences etc. based on the definition of a plume. Though they appear to not know how to spell complete.

        There is a better paper/article I’ve read before, will try and find it. It’s a lot more comprehensive

        • One thing that I find interesting is that high likelihood plumes only show within the LLSVPs. Volcanic provinces with a clear age progression like Yellowstone, Tasmanid, Lord Howe, Juan de Fuca (Axial) or Galapagos that are not within the LLSVPs get low scores in that figure showing the plume probability. So what I’ve always wondered is whether tomography is actually seeing wider mantle anomalies related to the global pattern of the mantle and not really plume tails feeding into those locations. Cold under the ring of fire where subduction occurs, and hot away from the ring of fire where rifting is common. One should keep in mind that most hotspots originated during rifting so they are near the Mid-Ocean Ridges, or near ancient Mid Ocean Ridges. And almost every hotspot with a track is in oceanic crust, with the exception of Yellowstone.

          This place is great to watch various tomographic models:

          • With Yellowstone there is a special situation as 90 Ma there was an ocean there, the Western Interior Seaway aka Kansas Ocean. So in case the plume is old enough there was once oceanic crust.
            The same should go for Eiffel and also the South of France. There was oceanic crust in place there even longer.
            On the other hand it is an old subduction zone (Rockies).
            In the South of France the same with Tethys.

          • Though it was undoubtedly under water, was the Western Interior Seaway underlain by oceanic crust, or was it drowned continental crust? Or is that a false distinction?

          • WIS was flooded continent, most of it was probably only a few tens of meters deep, maybe few hundred at most where back arc spreading thinned the crust a little. There was definitely no ocean crust.

        • If the WIS was as nutrient poor as the rest of the cretaceous calcite seas was, then it woud be the most gorgeous crystal clear blue waters that you can ever imagine..

          Meozoic seas where warm and low in nutrients, as warm seas haves a warm thermocline that locks away nutrients

          Some are descriped as ”hyperoligotrophic” Hyper – low in nutrients. Souch seas are Typical of tropical deep seas like Hawaii today

      • Mantle plumes it was nature is suposed to do acually, its physical law

      • On the other hand it has the right criteria, the right helium ratio and a track. And it was introduced 60 years ago because there was no other explanation for volcanism in the middle of the Pacific.

        • They clearly lacked imagination if they couldn’t come up with more explanations though.

          • Oh, there was about ten different hypothesis around back then, unlike the mantle plume theory all of them was falsified.
            It was not lack of data that killed those hypothesis, it was nature itself that bumped them off since the data did not fit the modeling.

      • Jimp western interior seway was flooded Continetal land. Formed as tectonics pushed down the whole continent many 100 meters and the sea flooded the inland. Over much of USA woud have looked like middle of pacific ocean, the coasts fringed with rivers and huge expansed of calcite sand.

        WIS woud have been scary To swim in, full of predators, mosasaurs, giant carnivorous fish, ginzu sharks, other large sharks, fully marine crocodillians, plesioaurs, known as hells aquarium.

        It was a warm ocean and its interior woud have been clear and nutrient poor, with richer coastal areras with runoff, it lasted for a long time during the late Cretaceous

        • 66 million years ago when the asteorid hit the seaway was dying out as tectonics pushed up the land
          Reduced to an Amazonas looking swamp river system in the KT boundary, and at late Paleocene it was competely gone with tropical rainforest growing on what was Once seabed

        • Jesper, when I was a kid I assumed that the whole world was made of that calcite. The rock in all directions was limestone, which I much later learned was formed when the middle of North America was under water. Never found any fossils of those sharks or crocodillians you mention though, just lots of small limpet-like creatures.

  38. Shield building continues in Nyiramuragira, Nyiragongos larger sister volcano, filling up the 2021