Ring dyke formation on Taal?

Lately Taal volcano has been showing unsettling signs of a possible imminent eruption, including high sulphur dioxide emissions, small steam-driven explosions, tremor, and somewhat surprisingly, deflation. I think that this is no conventional magma intrusion but rather a very rare type.

First of all I should briefly review what happened in 2020.

 

The events of 2020

Taal is a volcano located in Luzon, the largest of the Philippine Islands. It is also located within the Macolod Corridor, an area of tectonic extension that runs in a NE-SW direction. As such Taal is able to send dykes to the northeast, towards Laguna de Bay, which may have happened in 1749, and also to the southwest towards Balayan Bay, which happened in 1911, and in 2020.

Taal volcano forms an small island in the middle of a lake with a 2 kilometre wide caldera known as the Main Crater in the centre. It is however within a large caldera 20 kilometres across, and an even larger complex of dykes extending across the Macolod Corridor. From Wikimedia, Mike Gonzalez.

After several years of slow deflation, the volcano started to inflate in early 2019 leading to the eruption a year later. On January 12, 2020, the volcano snapped, columns of ash and fire fountains erupted from a fissure extending from the Main Crater to the northern slopes of the Volcano Island. A volume of 0.03 km3 of tephra was erupted.

Taal in eruption, 2020. From Wikimedia, by etrhamjr.

The main event was the dyke intrusion however. After the eruption, a large dyke started propagating southwestwardly, which cracked open the ground and produced numerous earthquakes. A later publication, that I will link at the end of the article, estimates that 0.53 km3 of magma were drained away from the storage of the volcano during the intrusion.

Volcanoes do not simply erupt, they also intrude a lot of magma underground, to make dykes, sills, layered intrusions, batholiths. They are the creators of new ocean crust. Therefore there are enormous magmatic structures that are invisible to the eye, hidden deep underground. The mountain is just the tip of the iceberg so to speak. This is exactly what happened in 2020. The enormous dyke will probably solidify into rock, accommodating some of the extension that takes place in the Macolod Corridor.

 

The aftermath

The amount of deflation that took place in 2020 was very large, 0.53 km3. It would take a long time to replenish this volume. For example in 2019 Taal inflated with an estimated 0.045 km3 of magma. At such a rate it would take 12 years to refill the deflation of 2020, and considering that the inflation of 2019 represents a surge far above the long term supply, then it would take much longer probably.

Taal after the 2020 eruption, from NASA.

It seems highly unlikely that Taal could refill and reach overpressure so soon, so that the explanation for the current unrest may lie elsewhere.

The current unrest extends all the way back to the 2020 events really. The volcano has been steaming ever since. The crater lake inside the 2-kilometre wide Main Crater has been continuously acidificating, probably due to the sulphur dioxide emissions.

The situation started to escalate rapidly in March 2021 with sulphur dioxide emissions that went over 1000 tonnes/day. Tremor, long period earthquakes, steaming, and recently steam explosions, are signs that something is wrong under the volcano and escalating. Sulphur dioxide emissions reached 22,628 tonnes/day on July 4 which is extraordinarily high for a non-erupting volcano.

PHIVOLCS also reports something quite unusual:

“Based on ground deformation parameters from electronic tilt, continuous GPS and InSAR monitoring, Taal Volcano Island has begun deflating in April 2021 while the Taal region continues to undergo very slow extension since 2020.”

I wish there was more information regarding the deformation, cause I find this statement quite enigmatic. It doesn’t fit well with the more conventional forms of intrusion. Typical dykes can produce inflation around the intrusion, and deflation around the magma chamber feeding it. However dykes also produce a lot of volcano-tectonic earthquakes and cracks, and I don’t see any clear signs of this happening right now. A sill usually produces one elliptical area of inflation which doesn’t fit either. And also typical dykes or sills require overpressure which is unlikely to have been reached so soon after the 2020 draining.

One possibility is that magma is melting its way upwards making a pipe shaped conduit, a plug, like lava lakes or domes, but I don’t see much reason for any deflation to take place in such a situation though.

There is one rare type of intrusion that could perhaps fit the current situation better than the others, a ring dyke.

 

Ring dykes

This is a variety of magma intrusion that takes place along the edge of a caldera in a ring-like shape. There are two varieties.

When the roof of magma chamber is pushed up the dykes can intrude with an inward dip. The volcanoes of Galapagos do this a lot. They commonly erupt from ring fissures just outside the edge of a caldera. They dip inward towards the magma chamber under the caldera.

Schematic drawing I’ve made of ring dyke intrusions around an uplifting or collapsing block.

However the roof of the magma chamber can also drop down, and sometimes collapse like a piston, here a dyke can form that is vertical or outward dipping. This a much rarer situation. The best known example is the Loch Bà ring dyke, in Scotland. “The finest ring dyke known to science”.

Scotland has several ancient volcanoes that date back to the initial opening of the North Atlantic 60 million years ago. These volcanoes have been eroded down to their ancient magma chambers thus showing a section the interior of the otherwise invisible and unknown internal structure of volcanoes. One of these is the volcano of Mull Island which contains the Loch Bà ring dyke. It is a truly massive intrusion that is up to 400 meters thick! And much thicker ring dykes, over 1 km, are known elsewhere.  A normal dyke is only 1-4 meters thick or so. The Loch Bà intrusion extends almost all round the 8 kilometre diameter caldera, and formed when it collapsed down by several hundred meters.

The interior of a volcano, of the Mull volcano. A central magma chamber consists of granite and layered gabbros. A cone sheet surrounds the magma chamber, made of concentric dykes/sills which dip towards the centre. There are also radiating dykes, not shown, and the Loch Ba ring dyke around the central magma chamber. From the British Geologic Survey, image found here.

Why could this be happening at Taal? The 2020 draining could have made the roof of the magma chamber under the Main Crater unstable, thus providing a trigger for the formation of a ring dyke. The Main Crater itself may have collapsed in earlier historic times, in 1754, when it is briefly stated in one of the reports that the volcano suffered a tremendous erosion in its elevation, although without more information this statement is rather ambiguous. In 1911 the Main Crater also deepened and the Crater Lake formed, however the volume lost can be easily explained by excavation during the enormous steam explosion that took place back then.

A ring dyke could explain the contradictory signs, that the Volcano Island is deflating but at the same time magma intruding. It could also explain the extremely high sulphur dioxide emissions of up to 22,600 tonnes/day, because ring dyke intrusions are often enormous.

The current situation may also be mirroring the events of 1749-1754. A large dyke intrusion, towards the northeast from Taal, took place in 1749, with fissure eruptions inside the larger caldera, and with the formation of cracks and grabens all the way to Laguna de Bay. It was followed by some years of strong steaming until the major eruption of 1754, which lasted 7 months and had multiple episodes of eruption of varying intensity and style.

The two eruptions of 1749 and 1754 seem somehow related, one possible explanation is that the drainage during the initial event led to the roof of the magma chamber starting to subside, which over time evolved into ring dyke intrusion and the major eruption of 1754.

It does seem worthy of consideration that this is happening right now. Confirmation that such an intrusion is taking place would be if an arcuate fissure opens up along the sides of the Main Crater, or if caldera collapse takes place, particularly if collapse events are detected, earthquakes in which the roof of the chamber suddenly drops.

I should note that if any caldera collapse takes place it will be related to the Main Crater which is a 2 km wide structure, a very small caldera. The larger 20-12 kilometre caldera seems to be inactive, the magma chamber that once existed underneath may have been destroyed during the collapse, and it is unclear whether it exists anymore or not, and I would guess it no longer does.  However even the smallest caldera is capable of terrible destruction. Caldera collapses bring out the worst face of a volcano.

If a ring dyke intrusion is taking place it may not necessarily lead to a major eruption, intrusions do not always lead to eruptions and the same thing perhaps applies to ring dykes, although not much is known about their behaviour.

Fire and water eruptions

When I did my Big Basalt Blasts series of articles, ring dykes may have been the missing piece in the theory that I was trying to put together. Some of the eruptions that I covered show signs of being related to the ring structures of the caldera, in particular the eruptions of Mijakeyima in 2000, Askja 1875, and Kilauea in 1790, which erupted, and/or degassed intensely, along ring fractures.

A ring dyke can explain the high sulphur dioxide emissions of Mijakeyima that lasted a few years and at their peak reached up to 50,000 tonnes/day. The massive size of the intrusion could also provide enormous amounts of heat to the hydrothermal system and trigger giant steam explosions. The ring dyke itself might drive magmatic eruptions, particularly when the roof of the chamber collapses and pushes magma up the dyke, nucleates gas bubbles, makes the magma fizzy, light, and explosive.

The basaltic explosive eruptions of Kilauea and Masaya, that I talked about in the Big Basalt Blasts series, often have such sharp contrasts between hydromagmatic and magmatic styles. Deposits are often made of alternating layers of greyish mud, and black scoria/pumice. The 1754 eruption of Taal was also this way. If Taal does go for a major eruption it is possible that we will see such hydromagmatic-magmatic episodicity show up.

 

Conclusion

The current unrest of Taal is somewhat unusual in that it combines deflation with extremely high SO2 emissions. One possibility is that a ring dyke intrusion is taking place together with subsidence of the roof above the central magma chamber of Taal

Even if such an intrusion is taking place it would be hard to known whether the situation will gradually calm down with nothing serious happening, or whether it will progress into a major explosive eruption like that of 1754.

PHIVOLCS is already reporting damage to crops and throat irritation due to the high SO2 emissions which are creating acid rain and volcanic fog. The situation is already becoming quite problematic. If Taal does go into a major eruption there will also be the major hazards of pyroclastic flows (base surges), which are like a breath of hell, that tears down trees and houses and kills almost every living being unfortunate enough to be found on their path, and there may also be tsunamis on the lake, volcanic bombs, and copious showers of pumice, ash, and mud.

Volcanoes are not friendly neighbours, and much less Taal.

 

Taal devastation, 1911 eruption. The National geographic magazine. 1912.

 

Various links

The 2020 Eruption and Large Lateral Dike Emplacement at Taal Volcano, Philippines: Insights From Satellite Radar Data:

https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2021GL092803

Some of Taal’s eruption history, particularly 1749, 1754 and 1911:

https://archive.org/details/eruptionoftaalvo00philrich/mode/2up

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/277950292_Nuevas_fuentes_para_el_estudio_de_la_erupcion_del_volcan_de_Taal_en_1754

Big Basalt Blasts series I:

 

 

288 thoughts on “Ring dyke formation on Taal?

  1. “Volcanoes are not friendly neighbours, and much less Taal.”

    Very definite yes on this one – as others have commented, the eruption in Iceland at the moment is very benign compared to some of these.

  2. Great and plausible theory, quite well explained, thank you very much. The links I’ll check tomorrow.

  3. Fascinating, Héctor. Well deducted and reasoned and extremely likely by your account.
    I drove across Mull back in the 1980s, blissfully unaware it had a volcanic past! But that was before the Internet, let alone VC.
    Thank you!

  4. It would make a lot of sense these basaltic volcanoes would form these ring dikes, the magma would easily flow into the faults, and at least some erupt from them frequently (Kilauea, Galapagos). The 2020 eruption at Taal also was quite to the side of the crater, not the middle, so might have been another example to some extent.

    I would not be surprised if the magma system underneath Kilaueas south caldera, the Keanakakoi magma body, is a partial ring dike possibly formed back in 1500 and which has been kept hot since. Also the calderas of Grimsvotn and Bardarbunga.

    • I do think Kilauea has underwent a few ring dyke intrusions during the last 1000 years, accompanying caldera collapses, last time in 1790. The solidification and degassing of the 1790 ring dyke created the sulphur banks that once existed along some locations around the caldera. However it seems this degassing no longer takes place and I would assume the intrusion has frozen.

      • I do wonder if maybe some of the massive fountain eruptions in the 1790-1840 period were from this ring dike, the eruptions were after all from the ring fault and also from the parts of the fault where the rifts connect to the caldera. Kilauea has not got a crazy hydrothermal system like a lot of other basaltic volcanoes (possibly it is just too hot?) so the degassing of the magma could tend to be a bit more exiting, not to mention the dike could also be fed drom depth at such locations.

        It is also possible the golden and eastern pumice etc were formed as the ring dike forst formed too, in 1790 but after the Keoua/footprints ash eruptions, in which case it really brings the magnitude of that event into light, a massive blast followed by weeks or months of paroxysmal fountains.

        • The Golden and Eastern Pumice issued from what shortly after became the southern sulphur banks. So they may be related a the ring dike.

          Plus, under normal conditions Kilauea cannot possibly pull off eruptions as powerful as those of the Keanakākoʻi Tephra, not even water, the eruption of 2020 showed that some water in the crater doesn’t make much of a difference. The lava is as fluid as it gets, gas poor and its usual dyke intrusions very thin.

          A collapse we already know brings about a whole different face of Kilauea, with the vulcanian explosive eruptions that accompanied the collapses in 1924 and 2018. Adding a ring dyke to the mix would make eruptions much more violent.

          • Yes, was surprising how fast the water evaporated last year, it was gone completely by the time a clear picture was made, half an hour if that. Everyone including us was convinced of a major explosion hazard but it was as though the lake was not even there in the end.

            I do really wonder how deep the hydrothermal system there really is, maybe the water lake was only barely possible at all, maybe even it was only there because of excess groundwater as a result of the two major storms to hit Hawaii in the last 2 years, and the lake would have evaporated again given a few years more. I do recall that the overlook lava lake had the highest point source heat flux anywhere on Earth, even when Holuhraun was erupting full force…

      • Perhaps also there is an active ring dike in Halemaumau, there is after all the extensive sulfur deposits, and the main vent last December was within one of them.

  5. Thank you Hector, I am more inclined to Taal producing a larger VEI3+ eruption then not considering the constant escalation of unrest. What I am worried about is this dyke being larger then last

  6. I’m not sure if this is what you are saying but consider a conical plug, tapering down as it gets deeper, on a spherically inflating dome. As the surface area of the dome expands, but the plug does not, it must appear to drop. Its basically a circular graben. The consequences of a weakened interface above a pressurising volume are varied and possibly leads to failure, which may be significant.

    • It is called sombrero (or mexican hat) inflation. Yuo can see the effect nicely when magma gets closer to the surface and you get this central inflation surrounded by a ring of deflation

      • Indeed. However I am suggesting the reverse, central deflation (dropping) in a surrounding area of inflation. That’s what is reported for Taal I believe.

        • PHIVOLCS mentions deflation measured with GPS among other methods. If there was a central plug that was static then it would move neither up or down. Instead the deflation must mean a loss of pressure in the central magma chamber, or otherwise I don’t know how it could be explained successfully.

  7. Around 06:19 am and following, you can see fast moving surges down the channel, splashing lava onto the sides as it travels down the channel. This is like a debris flow in mountain areas. I believe that the surge is a blob of hotter more fluid lava that sort of skims along because of lower viscosity or friction and surges quickly to the Miradalir valley. Quite interesting to watch this effect and the sudden stopping at the end as the faster moving lava hits the sudden stop at the bottom

    • some also at 6:40 – 6:42 am, quite interesting to watch these pulses travel down the channel

      • Would that be the same camera, perhaps, just made available through different streaming platforms?
        The views from both look really similar, so if there are multiple cameras they must be installed immediately next to each other.

        From memory, I think both disappeared at the same time and both came back at the same time as well.

        • Or it could be two cameras with one power source, fixed by the same mechanic.

          StarsDie, thanks for calling attention to their resurrection. I’d given up on them.

    • At 10am (time-on-camera), there is lava (and some fire) right in front of the Meradalir camera. I am worried now..

      • I wouldn’t be worried, it is still a few meters to the camera, that will take a while. And there is not a lot of moss there, so a moss fire seems not very likely and/or will not be very fierce.

        It is just unfortunate that they do not have a pan/zoom profile like on the old Geldingadal cam, that visited a couple of locations other than the crater once or twice every hour. They could do the same here with some landmark points that are slowly getting covered / overflown, gives an idea of how long the current situation can last…

        • And as if by magic at 12:30 there was a 3 minute panning & zooming session on the livestream. It included a close up view of some kind of cylinder behind the equipment but the rest was good to see.

          • Nice! They are listening. Have you kept screenshots, for future comparison?

          • Wait, seriously? 🙂
            Was that after my comment or before? (never sure about the time zones displayed on the VC chat…)

            Yes, very nice. The rock formation has sunk considerably since last the last pan tw days ago.
            The cylinder is the steel post onto which the camera bubble is mounted.
            (It is probably U-Shaped near the top and bends back down, so the camera bubble is “hanging”)

            THe pan to he left demonstrates that the camera is positioned just north of the outflow point (where the path/tracks are on the aerial images). It also demonstrate the the “bulge” of the crust now is almost exactly at outflow height. Now it is only a question of how much it needs to bulge beyond that elevation before something can actually flow.

  8. I’m surprised the diggers haven’t been busy at the exits from Meradalir. It’s a big basin, they could hold the lava back for a long time I think, maybe until the eruption stops.

    • Well, I guess they could, but with Meradalir the dams would have to be quite a bit longer. There is the lowest point exit, but the next exit further to the south is just a few meters higher. So if they wanted to gain, say six meters, I think that would be a hundred meters worth of dams.

      But yes, that could win one or two weeks, which could be useful in not impossible case the eruption stops/relocates just one or two weeks after it has destroyed the road 🙂

      Maybe they do not care so much because at any rate it will take weeks or months for the lava to reach the road from that exit of Meradalir. Especially since the current structure of the lava field makes it unlikely that tubes will form anytime sone which could pipe the lava all the way to the exit with very small losses and very low gradient. The way it is right now the lava reaching that exit will have cooled significantly. Once such a thing happens a lot of new area can be covered quite quickly east of Meradalir though.

  9. So… Just wondering how much longer before the lava crosses the road?

    • I cannot find orbital details, that was a polar orbit though. Quite impressive to have achieved that.
      Ah achieved Jupiter orbit 2016 will be destroyed 21.

      • Yes, animated from actual images taken during the encounters. NASA likes to do it this way, I believe. JUNO would not have taken video. I did wonder whether the lightning had been added for effect but whom am I to question NASA

        • Oh, sorry Albert. I tend to be suspicious of some imagery from space. I have seen so many appalling “artist’s illustrations” it has lent me a hearty dose of cynicism.
          Having watched it again (and read the notes in more detail) of course, you are right.

          However, I still consider the lightning fake. The flashes are all identical and their onset and decay do not match the progress of the spaceship.

          However, I expect the lightning was present in the original images, and therefore embellishing it for the animation was an interpretation for the audience.

          • I think lightning could be a different colour on Jupiter too, because its atmosphere is mostly H2, not N2 and O2.

            I wonder how much lightning there is high up in the great red spot. That storm is basically the gas giant equivalent of a mantle plume, it is probably thousands of km deep so is probably very hot inside, easy 100 C possibly much more deep in the storm, but it goes over 100 km above the surrounding clouds and would be very cold surrounding it, and all the rotating air, must be insane amounts of lightning there.

            The Spot is definitely a place we will have to send something to fly around one day, some sort of glider that can fly indefinitely, get right up close. Such an iconic feature, and one that is both incredibly alien and yet also strangely familiar.

  10. After the cone grows quiet, [http://] hraun.vedur.is/ja/drumplot/drumplot/faf_highpass_2.0.png some type of interesting shaking has been going on. I noticed this at the end of the previous pulsing episode, but this time these shakes have become stronger, and I also noticed that some quakes appeared on the IMO quake page.

    Anyone hazard a guess as to what is happening?

    • I believe these small spikes are the impact sounds of all the lost drones 🙂

  11. Albert, since you asked: yes, I kept a screenshot. Here is the comparison July 19 vs. 21. The red line is for scale (approximately 2 meters at the rock formation)

    And yes, indeed, they did the pan/zoom 30 minutes after my post. Probably a coincidence of course. If not – thanks, kind stranger, great work, keep it up 🙂

    July 21:
    https://i.imgur.com/mV5LZkV.jpeg

    July 19:

    Here is the imgur link:
    https://imgur.com/a/A6Rsr8B

  12. Taal is still very active. Here is the latest from Phivolcs:
    https://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/index.php/volcano-hazard/volcano-bulletin2/taal-volcano/12508-taal-volcano-bulletin-22-july-2021-8-00-am

    I have a question for those with better ability to interpret seismic data:

    what is the difference, in terms of volcanic activity, between low-frequency volcanic earthquakes and volcanic tremor events?

    I get that they look different on a seismograph, but what does it mean, for this particular volcano?

    • Phivolcs isn’t really being forthcoming with any information aside from numbers and basic observations, so it could mean a variety of things. Both good and bad, more interesting to me is the deformation, which I have no data from the last 4 months. Which sucks.

  13. Why did the lava cross the road?
    Ans: Because it’s downhill

    Why didn’t the lava cross the road?
    Ans: It was frozen

    Why did the lava cross the valley?
    Ans: To get to the other slide.

    What do you call lava crossing the road?
    Ans: A hot foot.

    • And the obvious one:
      Why did the lava cross the road?
      It was trying to catch the chicken.

  14. Hi Hector,
    Regarding this statement in your very fine article:

    “And also typical dykes or sills require overpressure which is unlikely to have been reached so soon after the 2020 draining.”

    Are we sure the magma supply is insufficient for rapid repressurization?

    The gassing reminds me of a balloon with a pin-hole prick.

    • I don’t think that there currently exists any volcano in the world capable of replenishing 0.5 km3 of magma in such a short notice. There is no magma supply that high.

      The type of volcanoes that Taal belongs to, those that employ forceful dyke and sill intrusions to erupt, like those of Galapagos, usually require to fully recover from the previous draining before doing another intrusion/eruption. As such Taal wouldn’t be expected to undergo intrusion so soon after the enormous draining it underwent in 2020, it would normally take one or more decades to do so.

      But of course there are ways of cheating this rule. Kilauea erupted so soon after its 2018 eruption because the caldera collapse had readily re-pressurized the system from much of the volume lost, and because the floor at the summit was considerably lower than before 2018, so that less pressure was required to open up that place. Another way is simply melting or eroding in some way a conduit through the rock, something that stratovolcanoes seem to love doing. But Taal instead may have used the loss of pressure of the magma chamber, after the 2020 lateral intrusion, to inject magma into the fractured boundary between the subsiding roof of the magma chamber and the surrounding rock.

  15. On the MBL closeup camera the bubbling lava ended at 09:12:40 on 2021-07-21. It seemed to go quiet until 2021-07-22 at 01:34, when a light pink glow appeared in the fog. Then, at 01:48:45, all hell broke out (if you use your imagination), and this continued until at least 02:25:00.

    • Until at least 06:30 on 2021-07-22 there has been constant action visible on MBL closeup when not obscured by fog, but both MBL Meradalir cameras are unavailable. Activity is also visible on the Visir camera through breaks in the fog.

  16. I’ve been able to research more about the climate as well as volcanic eruptions. Throughout the last 2500 years, there is a lot of data about volcanic eruptions (although sometimes the culprit isn’t found yet) as well as about the climate. But around the end of the Bronze Age epoch or the Bronze Age itself, both climate records are quite sparse and even more sparse are the volcanic eruptions record. There are few volcanic eruptions records at the time.

    Around 450BC or 425BC there must have been a huge volcanic eruption. It’s almost certain yet i can’t find anything about it on the internet to the extent that it bothers me a lot. It probably – based on SO² emissions – must have been the largest eruption or the eruption with the largest impact in the latest 2500 years, and there is evidence (slight) though of cooling and aridification. Around 2600 years ago, there is a marked decline in rainfall almost everywhere as well as a lot of cooling. Both China’s desert expanded, as well as slightly more aridity in South America. It’s possible that “little ice ages” are periodic, and since the climate before 2600 years ago was warmer than the climate before the last little ice age, that little ice age was probably less bad than our little ice age, although recovery from it took a lot longer [we might’ve ended the last little ice age with higher human emissions].

    There are little known massive volcanic eruptions between 1000BC and 0AD, and a lot of action should’ve taken place if you think about logically, even before 1000BC.

    Even when Santorini erupted around 1500BC or 1600BC (exact date is unknown, there is evidence of a large eruption, but it points more towards Mount Aniakchak instead of Santorini, and could be dated around 1627BC IIRC). It’s less sure when Santorini erupted… it might’ve even be less impactful than we should think [or it’s impact or eruption itself could be overestimated?]. Aniakchak definitely seems more powerful than what Santorini did.

    Around 1150BC there was also a wordwide decline (or at least NH decline) of civilization with “droughts”, “egypt getting wrecked by so-called sea-faring people”, and numbers of empires crumbling or disappearing. I also believe a volcanic eruption could be the culprit here, but again little evidence to point towards a volcano or whether a volcano was the culprit. I’ve seen some suggest Hekla was responsible for this, but I doubt it.

    • Yes, several of these probably involved volcanoes. We wrote a bit about Assyria’s fall which had a climate aspect (I think this was in the post about the hanging gardens of Babylon) (which weren’t in Babylon). But it is very hard to identify the responsible volcanoes! Remember that we still haven’t found the culprit of the 1809 eruption even though it was probably a high VEI 6, and affected the climate. But we will. Quite a few of the world-changing northern hemisphere eruptions may have been in the Aleutians.

    • So 16 million m^3 added since last update. Flow from depth was estimated by Carl a while back at 5-10 m^3/s, and now it is 7.5 m^3/s. I wonder if it will stabilize at that rate, which would suggest the dyke-level buildup is depleted.

    • Well, I guess the comment I wrote on July 19th about the King Air buzzing the Volcano but being too low to be doing something useful was misplaced after all – they were doing the radar profiling for that most recent data point.

      I am a bit surprised that their measurement errors are supposed to be similar to the photogrammetry errors – with the type of radar profiling they are doing the number of points sampled is much lower compared to the photos. Which I guess is fine for big flat lava lakes, but I doubt it works so well on slopes and close to the crater…
      Of course, I also find it surprising that the photogrammetery from satellite (~50cm resolution in the raw imagery) is also estimated to be as precise as the data they collected with photogrammetry by aircraft (those 3D models that they upload are the ones done with aircraft photogrammetry). But then again I have no direct experience with this stuff…

      • 0.12 km3, it is not small anymore 🙂

        This is the 21st century equivalent of Paricutin, a new mountain being created right before our eyes. Maybe not so dramatic, probably not a lot of people even in Iceland knew where Geldingadalir was before 4 months ago, but still.

    • God Almighty. Talk about fools.
      I’m sure families and their children would be scarred for life if they saw these fools topple over a loose crust into molten lava. Not to mention the danger any rescue team would be put in.
      Perhaps the Icelandic police will be able to track baldy and his lady friend from the images and give them a good slapping.

    • Oh boy- a big mistake! Am certain someone will lose their life -crust breaks under them- a horrible death.This activity was bound to happen. Sure it’s a people friendly volcanic eruption-but there are limits to that.

    • Let us for a moment stop and think about what he would subject his audience to, should things go wrong.

      As a solid-looking flat plate of hardened lava crust fractures beneath his weight, his feet (let us say both) drop into a cauldron of ferociously red hot, glowing volcanic rubble, say around 400c. Not lava, just dry, hot rubble in the cooling lava field.

      His trainers and feet will be alight instantly, the plastic soles melting and canvas bursting into flames. In a mere fraction of a second his trousers catch fire, while the skin and flesh on his feet combust in glowing rocks. It takes seconds, perhaps a minute for his fancy nylon windcheater, backpack and clothes to succumb to the flames. And it doesn’t take much to imagine the rest.

      Meanwhile his lady friend watches him perish, and wonders if her next step will condemn her to the same fate.

      I hope that fool sees this comment and repents his stupidity.

      As a family eruption it has been a wonderful event. So everyone visiting it – stay off the lava.

    • That shiny flat surface of lava looks like a chilled lava lake surface, and all the sulphur coming from the ground around them, there is certainly some molten rock hiding beneath.

  17. More earthquakes at Kilauea now, the ERZ conduit from the summit almost down to Pu’u O’o is lit up by orange dots, quakes under 2 days old. Also ongoing inflation at every station in close proximity to this area which also seems to be accelerating in a few cases. All that needs to happen now is a swarm in a particular tight location and lava on the surface within the hour.

    August 1 2021, Halemaumau and Keanakakoi.

          • It is my prediction for the next eruption 🙂

            I think it is being pretty optimistic though, only 1 week away, but you never know especially with how suddenly eruptions start up at Kilaueas summit.

          • The East Rift conduit flaring up with earthquakes does show that the next eruption is approaching. The eruption will probably come as a surprise, as usual for summit eruptions. If days or months away it can’t be known with certainty.

            I would agree however that Halema’uma’u will see some fiery action before the year is over.

          • Will have to be watching the Halemaumau webcam at all times now, at any moment a curtain of fire could rift across the crater, the black crust becoming the worlds biggest lava lake again. Now too it is totally uncontested, Nyiragongo is gone, possibly for a while.

          • Based on IRIS earthquake browser the pattern of quakes and the number looks most like how it was in November of 2020, which as we know was immediately before things started getting serious. The GPS also in all relevant stations has exceeded the point that triggered 2020, so the effets of that eruption have now been recovered, maybe not surprising given the majority of that inflation was before it even ended.

  18. I found a documentary about the 1965 Taal eruption, complete with look-out-behind-you journalism.

    • It would seem that Taal might produce a significant eruption, I am thinking another pulse is on it’s way. More earthquakes have occurred at Taal yesterday with no reports on gas emissions in the last 3 days

  19. does anyone happen to have a nice timelapse of the Iceland vol starting from the beginning and ending recently… Son was visiting during the beginning and i’d like to show him how big it got eventually. He hasn’t been here since the start and just to show him what it’s doing now won’t really explain why i’m always watching the volcano when he calls. Not to be a bother but does anyone have a comparison that would work? Thanks for putting up with me…. (Albert hasn’t thrown me off) ( yet. )

    • https://youtu.be/UmPMphWw6FQ
      This came up as recommended for me (!) when I opened YouTube up after reading your comment.
      It really nails how much lava Meradadalir has accommodated so far.

      I’m sure there will be one for Geldingadalir and the nameless valley too, to round off most sides of the eruption.

      • It really does show the scale of the flows too. The base level effusion rate might be down from a month ago but the gaps in eruption mean the lava erupts faster when it is erupting, so larger flows. The last flow on that timelapse from a few days ago nearly went clear across the valley as an open a’a flow, probably the biggest flow of the eruption so far. It is pretty clear near the beginning that the scale of the flows was much less back then.

        It will be interesting to see how it flows beyond Meradalir, the effusion is episodic and high rate but the valley is full of lava so it could smooth it all out and lead to a slow pahoehoe flow anyway.

    • mots ..

      Not a timelapse but ..
      This is some high altitude drone footage shot Jul 11th 2021 ..
      It gives a 360 degree overview of the entire lava field in the first minute or so ..

  20. The build up to the next lava episode has started. Sadly completely hidden in the dense summer fog.

  21. Héctor, very informative and interesting article. Your a-picture-is-worth-a-thousand-words illustrations really help get the point across.

    And thanks for the new word: arcuate.

  22. A new Sentinel image which found a gap in the cloud cover. This was from July 21 (2 days ago), and I think shortly after the eruption paused.

    https://www.volcanocafe.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/2021-07-21-00_00_2021-07-21-23_59_Sentinel-2_L2A_True_color.jpeg

    The extent of the flow field is clear, at least away from the cloud. The Meradalir flow was still active, just after the cone suffered magma withdrawal. this shows the hot stuff

    https://www.volcanocafe.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/2021-07-21-00_00_2021-07-21-23_59_Sentinel-2_L2A_False_color.jpeg

    The lava first flow on top, but in Meradalir flows below the surface, to pop up again at the edges. The entire Meradalir valleys benefit. I am not sure where the exit is but assume it is towards the south. It is trying

  23. Taal has been lowered to Level 2, I’m sure they know best and have all the information on the volcano, but it’s a risky one. https://www.phivolcs.dost.gov.ph/index.php/volcano-hazard/volcano-bulletin2/taal-volcano/12520-taal-volcano-bulletin-23-july-2021-07-30-pm

    The explanation given confirms a dyke has been/is being filled in a southwesterly direction. The SO2 levels have decreased significantly which implies the risk of eruption might have passed on this occasion.

    • They mention inflation under the Pansipit River, which is where the January 2020 dyke intrusion took place, most likely the magma chamber of Taal is still leaking into the dyke, possibly aided by the its roof subsiding and squeezing magma into the intrusion along the river valley.

      Looks like an incipient, slowly progressing, collapse of the Main Crater to me, with a new intrusion along the ring fault causing all the earthquakes and gas emissions since March-April. As long as the inflation along Pansipit River Valley and the deflation of the Volcano Island continues there remains a risk that the situation will become more unstable, the ring intrusion grow and the caldera fault start rupturing. For now the volcano quietens down, however PHIVOLCS might find the unrest escalating again anytime soon and have to raise the alert level again. The one good thing is that there aren’t that many volcano-tectonic earthquakes happening, so presumably the ring fault is holding relatively well so far.

      • Would be concerning if a collapse happened now, the volcano might be depressurized but if there is a ring dike a caldera fault would intersect it, potentially open it to the surface, and lead to a sudden lava geyser. If it was dry this would be a lava fountain but Taal is not dry…

        It sounds like, from the descriptions, this scenario must have happened multiple times in 1754, violent fountaining as a caldera collapsed, magma forced up the ring fault. Violent fountaining and water, as well as a depressurized magma chamber and robust hydrothermal system, big danger. It is maybe fortunate the greater caldera is inactive, Manila is probably safe, but that says nothing of the many thousands much closer.

  24. Can’t seem to find much information on whether or not Batangas/Balayan bay is itself a drowned caldera. There is a dormant volcano on the peninsula (Payan). Just thinking it has a lot of volcano-tectonic tremor as well as seamounts. Could be the newest centre of the Macolod corridor – also the Bataan lineament intersects – cold be the perfect storm. The Smithsonian GVP implies it could be, but there is little tomographic imaging especially underwater.

    • Would be interesting, it could be a satellite of Taal too, or a place from which a big submarine eruption happened. Taal has ignimbrite deposits but given its current nature it is likely the caldera is mostly lateral drainage, like at Kilauea or Bardarbunga. It could be the last major collapse was associated with a massive submarine eruption, if the historical dikes have made it tens of km and only made a very small caldera then the outer caldera needs more than just an intrusion. Maybe the volume is not so much, Taal could have been (still is?) A pyroclastic shield with very low relief, so outer caldera only a few km3 drainage, but even still.

  25. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtuCXBwxM9M

    I stumbled across this video just now, I think calling the recent lava cascades in Iceland the fastest flows on camera could have been a hasty conclusion… By my estimate the lava fountains are at least 200 meters high, and the lava flow is moving just as fast as the fountains, it is leaping tens of meters into the air over channel obstructions.

    I am always take nback by how steep the Galapagos volcanoes are. Wolf is as steep as Mayon on its upper flanks, it is a stratovolcano with no tephra.

    As a side note, are the Isabella volcanoes all connected together? They are not obviously rift volcanoes on land but at least some of them seem to have submarine rifts, and they are also over a powerful plume. It would maybe also explain why activity is not equivalent over all of them, nearly all of the eruptions there in historical time and probably 90% of the lava has been erupted at Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul.

    • I suspect the volcanoes of Galapagos are indeed connected, but there is no way of truly knowing.

      • Would it not be possible to tell from magma composition, if one was more alkaline than another possibly? I did read that Wolf has magma composition more like that of the spreading ridge to the north, at least more so than the others. I would expect Sierra Negra and Cerro Azul (and Fernandina) to have total plume tholeiite, given the higher activity.

        Would be nice to get an idea of the magma generation rate of the Galapagos plume, it seems less than Hawaii but not much and is probably the second most powerful plume, at least on par with Iceland. Sierra Negra took only 25 years to recover from the 1 km3 flood lava eruption in 1980. If there was a Holuhraun scale submarine flank eruption at Fernandina in 1968 it took only about 15 years to recover given eruptions were happening frequently again by the late 70s, which is a supply rate within the same order of magnitude as Kilauea, at least in that time period. Too bad whenever eruptions do happen there are like 3 pictures and the news only talks about the typically greatly exaggerated danger to the wildlife.

        • Maybe the lead isotopic composition could shed some light on that matter. Hawaii volcanoes have differences in the ratio of lead isotopes, this is usually explained by the magma coming from various part of the mantle plume, but I have come to think an alternative explanation is mixing with stale pockets of nephelinite magmas deep in the lithosphere.

          Nephelinite is highly enriched in uranium and thorium which over time decay into the lead isotopes Pb-206, Pb-207 and Pb-208. Higher ratios of Pb206/Pb204, Pb207/Pb204, Pb208/Pb204, could be when more interaction has taken place with the stale pockets of nephelinite. For example volcanoes like Lanai or Koolau, could be volcanoes with no to very little interaction since they have the lowest such ratios in Hawaii and magma rises in a more straight path, Kilauea or Mauna Kea instead have very high ratios and could have interacted more with the nephelinite magmas, as the original tholeiite was carried laterally through the lithosphere and met with these pockets.

          Gapalagos also has such large contrasts in the lead isotopic ratios of the magmas. If the same thinking of magma mixing was applied then the source of magma could lie somewhere under Santa Cruz, and from there feed westwards to the other volcanoes, through sills or dykes at tens of kilometres deep. But who knows really.

          • If the volcanoes of the whole plateau are connected it could even be bigger than Hawaii, at least any of the single complexes. It is of course a lot older, several million years, and the plate is not as fast too so easier to keep up, but it is intriguing. I wonder if the greater plateau was ever all above sea level once, it does look like a sunken landmass of which only the western edge is able to keep up with subsidence.

            Maybe it isbt as big as Hawaii, none of the volcanoes is close to as tall as Mauna Loa, so not as much subsidence, but still, another mega-volcano on this planet.

      • There actually is aerial video of Mauna Loa in 1950 🙂 yes it is every bit as intense and extreme as the reputation holds, there is not an eruption of any sort anywhere on Earth in the 21st century that is of the same magnitude of effusion rate, it is firmly in the 5 digits, over 10,000 m3/s that first night. Only similar eruption of higher intensity was Tarawera, which crossed to plinian territory.

        We will have drones for Kilaueas impending eruption though, which I think is going to be big, a lot bigger than last December, whuch was not small by any means. Deformation values are all beyond what triggered the last eruption, and the conduit is lit up like a Christmas tree. HVO says the lack of quakes past the bend means no magma but the south flank is moving all the way as far east as Leilani, and past Mauna Ulu the conduit is parallel to spreading, the uppermost part is at an angle so cant freely expand, hence quakes. Still summit eruption in short term to fill the caldera but a decade from now it is going to be very interesting, not a good idea to get investment property in Puna…

        • The inflation is centred between the CRIM and the AHU stations. In an area without any earthquake activity.

          • That is the south caldera magma body, which is deeper and probably where the ERZ connects. Eruptions happen from shallower magma bodies but that would be the sort of thing that would get overpressurized in hours, 2020 happened when magma started overfilling the Halemaumau magma reservoir, but it could also do the exact same thing to the Keanakako’i, or Pauahi, or Mauna Ulu reservoirs, and trigger eruptions there in short notice. It is though most likely at Halemaumau, because the elevation is much lower.

          • But by small amounts only. OUTL, just west of CRIM, is pushed west, while PUHI, on the rift, is pushed east several times faster than CRIM and AHUP. That puts the centre of the east-west expansion somewhere near those two. The north-south movement is more complex. The whole area south of the caldera is moving south while north of the caldera is moving north. But the inflation seems more centred to the south and I wonder whether the caldera acts as a buttress forcing the inflating area to go south. But we don’t have a GPS from the caldera itself (obviously) so it is possible that the inflation is really centred on the southern caldera itself, west of CRIM

          • There is actually a GPS in the caldera but HVO hasnt put it to public access, unfortunately. But it is the one they use for their analysis.

            Probably at some point in the near future there will be a swarm of quakes, and likely an eruption will follow in short order. This pattern of deformation is pretty typical at Kilauea, I think.

  26. The fog has lifted enough to finally see the crater again. Lava splattering away!

  27. What if the increase in gas emissions and increasing unrest comes from depressurization of the lower, bigger chamber after the 0.5 km3 intruded away from the upper chamber? Degassing magma could explain the current unrest (in a combination with the ring fault undergoing a proper structural test as explained above).

    What if the removed 0.5 km3 “destabilised” the system and the refill rate ramped up now because there is less weight pushing down from above? If that´s the case, the dyke will be full at some point and, depending on how long this takes, we could have a major eruption in a few years already. This is quicker than what could be expected when just looking at the standard influx into the system.

    After all Taal is known for being able to knock off many biggies in a row without much restin between. After a series of eruptions over a decade or so there usually are inactive periods – also check out the NDVP article about Taal. It doesn´t necessarily take many years to refill what was lost.

    Hector – any idea what the trigger of such a “flare-up” could be? Maybe removing lots of weight at once could do the trick?

    • Taal has indeed produced series of eruptions in a row, like for example in 1965-77. Sometimes Taal has kept the same conduit semi-open and active, like in 1965-77, when it kept erupting from Mount Tabaro, or in the early 16th century, when it usually erupted from an islet on Lake Taal that was known as Polo Nuevo, later washed away by the waves.

      However note that most eruptions of Taal are very small, compared to the size of the dyke intrusion in 2020, which had been turned to ash then it would have been a low end VEI 5. Most eruptions of Taal are small VEI 2-3 events, so it is no wonder that they can come in quick succession. Some eruptions have also ejected much pre-existing rock, not fresh magma, like the 1911 eruption which was basically steam driven, or the 1965 eruption which blew open a sizable hole on one side of Volcano Island.

      The eruptions of 1749 and 1754 are a pair of very large events, a sizable dyke intrusion followed by a ~VEI-5 eruption. As I mentioned in the article, the 1754 event could be a consequence of the draining in 1749 destabilizing the roof of the magma chamber, leading to further ring fault intrusion.

  28. Katla and Covid….. Separated at birth, Lol’s
    In both cases people have wished such for the sake of Earth, etc..
    Katla and ilk, to keep us in check.
    Covid and ilk, to keep us in check.
    Us being human.
    Hope Katla and Covid go to sleep.
    As Mots says, Best.

  29. It looks like the major lava flow on the video is coming from the tube that was active back in June, instead of the new flows that took a more direct path. Maybe that break in the cone has healed up and now all of that side is leveled off, so now lava can flow back into the tubes again. Might mean in the near future the cone facing Geldingadalir will break, sending all the lava into there, and from there into Natthagi.

    • I think there has already been a bit of inflow into Natthagi: there has been some persistent smoke visible above the wall. Meradalir has received a lot of lava overnight. It would be interesting to see how much the field has risen but it seems we don’t have live camera at either Natthagi or Meradalir. Perhaps the Meradalir cameras have been lost to the lava fumes?

      • Checking the weather forecast, it looks like there is some better weather coming up. Perhaps we will get a new 3D model soon.

        • I feed the pigeons. I sometimes feed the sparrows too, it give me a sense of enormous wellbeing.

      • There was a video today bu GutnTog, who is back on location 🙂 the big flow I was talking about is still fed from the newer breakout, it is just that said breakout has really built up a lot, it is incredible how fast it is growing. Seems a new tube is being created into Meradalir, not a reoccupied older one.

  30. Point of information: Is it the practice on this website for continuing conversation on all matters to proceed in the comments section of the most recent post? e.g. ‘the ring dyke’. It would seem most logical for conversation on Taal to continue there, and conversation on Iceland continue elsewhere
    .

    • That was tried but it seems people dont care or listen. The VC Bar is really for stuff that is nothing on topic at all but because comments flow so fast anything there is lost. It does seem that a great majority of the lurking but registered users are all about Iceland though, much more than elsewhere, perhaps old regulars from Holuhraun. Hawaii never got attention at all until 2018, and Etna has put on its biggest firework show in decades to a silent crowd busy watching a baby volcano trying feebly to copy it… 🙂

      • We do volcanoes: we go with the flow.. It is correct that Iceland gets more attention from our readership than other places in the world. That has always been true, I believe, and I have been told that VC started from a discussion on Jon’s website. We do try to cover volcanoes worldwide, honest! We like it if initial discussions on a new post are on the topic of that post: it is appreciated by the post’ author. But we do not enforce that. We have had problems in the past with a few commenters who were a bit too keen to push their own interests. We are fine with that in principle (if they remain ‘nice’) but have had to pull the plug when it caused people with other interests to leave. That is all in the past. Most readers will check the current post, perhaps the bar, and occasionally previous posts. When a new post is up, it is best to comment there.

        • It’s diplomatic as usual, friendly Albert. It has an effect on me though. I got entirely tired of Iceland, cameras, camera positions and repetitive films. I’m really interested in all volcanoes and think the New Decade Volcano Program here is absolutely fascinating. There was Mayon in it.
          Taal is one of the big mysteries and in the official VDP. So Taal gets too little, Hector also gets too little, and the rest is all about the same unless you explain the tectonics underneath. So, well, ZZDoc is right. Maybe ZZDoc and also I want to learn more about Taal. LEARN, you know, just learn.
          I wouldn’t even mind if somebody wrote more about the Phil. and other volcanoes there. It’s tectonically fascinating. But then, suddenly, we are back at the MAR, and I stop reading.

          • We do our best. And of the last 10 posts, only one was about Iceland (although Greenland is rather close to Iceland, admittedly). It is hard to beat the information flow from a long-lived eruption near a nation’s capital though!

            Any particular volcano you would like to hear about?

          • Yeah, thanks, but I want to add that I did like Carl’s speculation before and then your explanation about the tectonics there.
            I might have another view point as I got attracted by Hawaii and the Pacific. And also the border of the Pacific is fascinating. One day the Philippines might be an active continental margin of South Asia and Indonesia as well. ?
            You can all write about any volcanic region in the world, they are all fascinating for me, even the Ontong Java Plateau or Kerguelen. That south-eastern corner of the Pacific seems to be pure chaos. New Zealand has a part under water it seems. But the American coast including West Antarctica is a geological wonder as well. I really loved the Wrangellia series.
            So, no special wish, just thinking that Fagradalsfjall if it continues might need its own section for a while.
            I saw the other day that China doesn’t seem to have a mantle plume. Amazing.

          • And not to forget Japan and its history of large tsunami.

        • It bothers me as well how in the comment section 95% is about Iceland. Makes reading the comments to find something about other volcanoes (like Taal) just not really interesting anymore, as the Iceland comments flood it all.

          • No really a frequent poster, but most of my recent entries were about that Icelandic volcano. Not a geologist or volcanologist by training, hence I can’t contribute to most topics due to my lack of knowledge. However, the vast online resources that the Icelandic sources make available allow the occasional ‘treasure hunt’ and unexpected finds or observations, which can be thrilling to the interested.

            Maybe the Dragons could establish topical pages for the Icelandic and Hawaiian volcanos, so that we can focus those discussions in there. The VC Bar is a bit too disorganized to really have a focused discussion and exchange. That way we won’t annoy the people who don’t want to hear about Iceland anymore and still can exchange observations and bit of chatter around those particular topics.

            The alternative is to effectively exclude one or the other clientele, which would be pity really…

          • I think Holger, you learn by reading, and there is more to it than Iceland. Basically nearly the whole world is volcanic, extinct, dormant or active, some visible, some on the ocean floor or possibly deep under the Himalayas. That’s what Prunelle (I think that’s late Henrik) wrote back then:

            “Why then start a new blog if there are already two outstanding blogs in their respective fields? Well, I think there is more to the story than the technical stuff. The effects of volcanoes and earthquakes are larger than that; they after all affect real human beings, often in tragic ways. So I think that a bit of sociological aspect should be added to the technical issues. They also affect biological systems, so expect some nice posts about biology in and around volcanoes.”
            https://www.volcanocafe.org/about/the-first-home/

            Then there is history too, like in Albert’s “The Basel earthquakes” or Greenland trilogy. There is a lot. And I have the impression that there are a few people around – I hope not you – who don’t even bother reading, but wait for somebody to start with F in I. That’s bitter für authors too who have put so much work in a piece.

            It is not important what we know, I’d say, but what we want to learn.

        • Your observations are well made. My issue was not with content, It was with chronological continuity. I’ve been finding it a bit of a search to locate the current flow of conversation. For some reason, my notifications of the current comments had dried up. Under the circumstances I will be obliged to chase down names and dates going forward. If it is to be with the most recent post or blog, I’ll feel confident to look there.

    • Of course you and others who comment similarly are right.
      BUT the problem is that most other volcanic systems don’t actually do much that is visible, and are also poorly reported by those that take an interest in them. Iceland is not only photogenic but continually variable, with excellent reporting, images and user visits.
      Chad has done quite a good job with Taal, and others with Hawaii, but at the end of the day the thickoes like me who are not following in detail basically rely on the enthusiasts for information. That means graphics and charts, 3-D rotatable views of earthquake incidences and so on.
      Trouble is in many cases the data is not available, but it should be for Hawaii so we can get a perspective that makes it more interesting.
      Otherwise I quite like a bit of brief ‘other’ chat, and between major events (which historically means most of the time) the backchat keeps people fro leaving, ‘cos there’s not much else.

      • I think Tallis abd Hector deserve the attention regarding Taal, I am more in the ‘others about Hawaii’ part 🙂

        It does strike me that we have had quite a string of major mafic volcanism in the last decade, first Tolbachik, then Holuhraun, Kilauea, Ambrym, and now Taal.
        Maybe not by number but two of these eruptions were both over 1 km3 and caldera collapse events, that has got to be quite extraordinary, to have them only 3 years apart.

        • Indeed recent volcanic activity has been considerable compared to when I first started following. However outside a few very well instrumented areas there is not a lot to say for decade after decade and even with the great papers (bit more than articles in the main) here once done there is little to add for the next ten years.
          ZZdoc (and others) moan, with some reason, but moaning doesn’t make me enthused. I am more interested in the detailed explanation and comments from those with an in depth knowledge and something new to say about Hawaii, Taal (and others).
          I am quite keen on etna, but chasing down that particular event 10 hours after it happened is tedious.
          Perhaps an article showing how to record video clips and show them here would help so that posters can include the view of what they are raving about?
          BUT ultimately volcanoes run on longer scales than blog attention.

          • Hardly a moan! Simply a desire to be able to easily pickup where matters were left off. Watching volcanoes for more than 70 years now, with a Master’s degree in Science Education to my pedigree and more, I’m hardly particular to what is offered here. It is all a matter of interest. Now that the way has been made clear and I’m receiving the emails, there are no issues.

  31. Sorry for posting another entry for the Icelandic eruption here.

    However, this youtube video of time lapses from July 10 – July 25 shows the flows into Meradalir and may be of interest to those who are not too annoyed by entries about that Icelandic eruption:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zAiNbT_rlc

    It clearly shows how much that eruption is on its way to form a proper shield, as was predicted by earlier posts and comments galore…

    • The time lapse videos and the graphics of the hills being slowly engulfed are far more informative and illustrative of the amount of new land which has emerged. They serve as an excellent controlled reference. I’ve pretty much deserted the ‘chat room club’ at Viðburðastofa Vestfjarða. Their initial effort was valuable but it’s pretty much degraded into a ‘click’ of regulars with a sprinkling of science interest. Carry on!!

  32. Regarding the discussion of changes to the blog, I’d like to say that, in my opinion, the dragons have done and outstanding job. I look forward to reading it every day, since before Holohruan. I’m with farmeroz, I like the mix of science and people. My dream is to some day contribute something more than a comment.

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