Taal Alert level raised to 3 after phreatomagmatic unrest

For those who have been keeping an eye on any events at Taal in the Philippines, the current unrest won’t come as a surprise. Over the past few months the volcano has become progressively more restless and after the huge emission of SO2 on the 28th, there were several phreatomagmatic events on Thursday, July 1st. The alarm level has been elevated to 3 as of the same day, and forced evacuations of villages within the 7 km zone have begun.

On Twitter people tell they felt earthquakes that lasted a minute or more. At 3:16 PM a short phreatomagmatic eruption happened, and during the day there were 4 more small bursts (the total count for Thursday is 5). After that the volcano went back to a semi-sleeping state. But this might change any minute or in a few weeks.

The Crown within the Lake- Taal Erupting, 14 January 2020

The Crown within the Lake – Taal Eruption, 14 January 2020 by Michael Angelo Luna Creative Commons.

After Taal erupted in January 2020, it was clear that this was not the end of the activity yet. We expected this eruption would lead to more frequent activity on Taal Island over the next years to decades. For the rest of 2020 the volcano stayed mostly quiet, while the world was focusing on battling a virus outbreak. But earlier this year things slowly changed and Taal woke up from her light sleep. There have been episodes with volcanic earthquakes and low-frequency events for many months now, a clear indication that magma is on the move beneath the Taal edifice. Steam-laden plumes grew increasingly higher, from a few meters to a kilometer or more in the past few weeks. Since 9:05 AM on 08 April 2021, the start of background tremor was added to the list, and this has persisted until now. There were steam and muddy emissions from fumarolic vents, and the amounts of emitted SO2 have gradually gone up.

Taal SO2 emissions June 2021

Taal sulphur dioxide emissions, June 2021. On June 2-3 no measurements took place due to bad weather.  Image courtesy: Jøhñ

On June 10, Taal released 9,911 tonnes of sulfur dioxide. That day it rained and people on Twitter mentioned that they saw their vegetable gardens, trees and grass turn brown before their eyes. On the 28th of June, the emissions averaged an insane 14,326 tonnes of sulfur dioxide (SO2), the highest daily amount ever measured on Taal. In the days after, resp. 8,982 tonnes/day on 29 June 2021 and 6,685 tonnes/day on June 30 were measured. Steam plumes went up to 2500 meter on these days.

But yesterday, suddenly a dark phreatomagmatic plume rose up that was a kilometre tall. Phivolcs warned of a magmatic intrusion at the main crater of Taal and that more of these events should be expected in the next hours and days. The plume went back to steamy after the phreatomagmatic events and reached 3000 m. Again, a huge amount of sulfur dioxide (SO2) was measured that averaged 13,287 tonnes/day, which created a heavy blanket of vog around Lake Taal. People around the lake were told to be ready to evacuate.

The 14 tons sulphur dioxide cloud seen from space by Sentinel -5P/TROPOMI on June 29, 2021.

The 14,326 tonnes of sulfur dioxide of the 29th of June is an enormous amount, and cannot be understood differently than that there is a large amount of fresh magma rising up. It resulted in a thick layer of vog that stretched out over large parts of Luzon, including the metropole of Manilla. To give a comparison, Pinatubo emitted a SO2 cloud of over 13,000 tonnes on June 10, 1991, just 5 days prior to the climactic eruption that would shoot ash 34 km (21 miles) straight up into the sky – in spite of a raging typhoon that ravaged the islands at the same time. The action at Pinatubo had started on April 2 with a series of phreatic explosions. The first magmatic eruptions took place on June 3. Prior to the big boom, Pinatubo erupted several times.

Because in 1991 the Philippine government needed to convince the people living around the volcano to evacuate, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology collaborated with USGS to create a plan to get everybody out in an orderly way.  Thankfully it worked – and many thousands of lives were saved. The currently used five stages of volcanic alert that Phivolcs and the Philippine government use, were defined in the run-up to the Pinatubo eruption, and have been used ever since for all of the Philippine volcanoes. The Alert level for Taal was raised to level 3 on July 1, 2021, meaning that magmatic unrest had been detected at the main crater.


But comparing Pinatubo with Taal is, of course, comparing apples with durians. Taal is a different kind of volcano. Taal lays on top of a graben, has a large hydrothermal reservoir beneath its edifice and is completely surrounded by water. Therefore  degassing happens on a much larger scale once magma is on the move and comes close to the surface in Taal, where it interacts with water. And once that happens, the white, steam driven plumes soon changed to dark columns, a clear sign that the style has changed to phreatomagmatic where ash becomes a component in play.

White steam plume

White steam plume seen in Taal’s crater on May 22, 2021

The first one of the series of phreatomagmatic eruptions that happened on July 1, was shared by Phivolcs. Besides a lot of steam and ash, there was a small pyroclastic flow.

Meanwhile, the first evacuations are underway. The Philippine Civil Defense and rescue organizations have started to evacuate Laurel and Agoncilo, villages on the west side of Lake Taal where about 15,000 people live. They are first in line for events like ash-fall, shock waves, earthquakes, a base surge and even tsunamis that can be generated by a violent eruption, a volcanic earthquake or even rock fall. Taal can throw out some serious boulders that are hot and can land well away from the main crater on the shores of the lake.

In 2020 these villages were also the first to be evacuated. More villages followed later as the danger zone was widened. The authorities did a very good job again. Eventually there were only 39 casualties, mainly people who refused to leave the area.

Places around Taal where not to be during an eruption

The best advise for any eruption, is usually, not be there! Unless it is of course Fagradalsfjall, which is pretty safe because it only erupts lava flows. Lava flows is about the only trick in the Volcanic Manual that Taal doesn’t do so well. Taal’s eruptive style is mainly ash and tephra. Any rare lava fountains would not directly endanger villages because they stay on the island. But Taal is quite well capable of all the other tricks in the book, as we know from the witness accounts of previous eruptions. So let’s have a look at some of them and why they are particularly dangerous for anyone living near Lake Taal. We are here looking at a worst case, i.e. the largest kind of eruption we have seen in historical time. This is what we know it can do – not necessarily what it will do.

Base Surge

Base Surge Danger Zone

These are the areas most in danger if a base surge would happen. The projection is based on the events that took place during the eruption in 1754. Image courtesy: Phivolcs.

A base surge is somewhat similar to a pyroclastic flow, but has less rock fragments and more super heated gas in it. Base flows are typically generated by the interaction of hot magma and water that gets super heated and expands dramatically in size when transformed into gas. This creates a shock wave. Because that shock wave travels over water and has very little resistance, it moves incredibly fast and has enough momentum to rise up over the edges of the lake and even the crater walls, except perhaps Tagaytay Ridge in the north which is the high ridge on which Tagaytay City is located.  Base surges are considered the most dangerous possible volcanic side-effects of a Taal eruption: they are simply too hot and too fast to escape.

Volcanic Tsunami and Flooding

These are the areas around Lake Taal that are most in danger for a tsunami caused by a violent eruption or volcanic earthquake. Image courtesy: Phivolcs.

Volcanic tsunamis on Lake Taal can be generated in several ways. A volcanic earthquake may set it off, large ejecta that fall in the lake, when a chip of the crater wall that surrounds the lake breaks off, and of course if a violent eruption starts. Again, the villages close to the lake are most in danger, and the area to the south west that lays lower and has a sedimental character and may flood. On the image above you see that even an opening to the sea may be created. This is where the former Taa-lan River was located, broad enough for sailing ships to enter Lake Taal. During the 1754 eruption it was blocked by eruptive materials. A new small river river would form later, Pansit River, which still exists. After 1754 the water level in Lake Taal became higher and the lake went from a salt water basin to freshwater. A strong enough tsunami might open up a broader channel once more.

In 1754, Father Buencuchillo wrote down his eye-witness account. It was re-published in 1912 in The National Geographic Magazine, Vol. XXIII, Nº 4: “At 7 in the evening of November 28 occurred a new paroxysm, during which the volcano vomited forth such masses of fire and ejecta that in my opinion all the material ejected during so many months, if taken together, would not equal the quantity which issued at the time. The columns of fire and smoke ascended higher than ever before, increasing every moment in volume and setting fire to the whole island, there being not the smallest portion of the latter ‘ which was not covered by the smoke and the glowing rocks and ashes. All this was accompanied by terrific lightning and thunder above and violent shocks of earthquakes underneath. The cloud of ejecta, carried on by the wind, extended itself toward west and south, with the result that we saw already some stones fall close to our shore. I therefore shouted to all those who were still in the town to take to flight, and we all ran off in a hurry; otherwise we would have been engulfed on the spot, as the waves of the angry lake began already to flood the houses nearest to the beach.”

Ejecta and Huge Boulders

Area where hot boulders and heavy ejecta may fall during an eruption. Image courtesy: Phivolcs

Again, the villages closest to the volcano, like Agoncilo and Laurel are in the front seat for another threat: falling stones and ‘huge boulders’. Most of these will fall on the island and into the lake, but it cannot be ruled out that large chunks of rock will fall on villages close to the lake. Again, it is best to be further inland when a large volcanic explosion takes place.

Volcanic boulder 1911 eruption

One of the huge boulders from the 1911 eruption of Taal. Source: The National Geographic Magazine, Vol. XXIII Nº4, 1912.

Taal eruptions usually come with a large earthquakes. Other dangers for low lying areas around the lake are subsidence and a complete reshaping of the coast line. In 1749, a lower lying area, known as Tierra Destruída, sank into the lake after 2 huge volcanic quakes happened. “During these terrible convulsions of the earth fissures opened in the ground amid horrifying roars, said fissures extending from the northern and north-eastern beach of the lake as far as the neighborhood of the town of Calamba. Here, as well as elsewhere, the whole shore of Lake Bombon has been disturbed” [NG, Vol. XXIII, Nº 4, 1912].

And that brings us to another danger: fissures. During the 2020 eruption we saw pictures of fissures appearing in the villages outside the lake. No need to say that these can destroy houses, roads, and break gas and electricity lines. They also happened in earlier eruptions.

Fissures Taal eruption 1911

Large fissures sprung up in the ground during the 1911 Taal eruption. The church in the background was the only building that survived mostly intact.

Other dangers are ash fall, lahars, and of course the noxious gases that are emitted by erupting volcanoes. Sulphur dioxide can burn your lungs, eyes and skin, and when it mixes with rain in the atmosphere, it becomes sulphurous acid, H2SO3, also known as acid rain, which kills plants and is not drinkable.

As before, we can only advise anyone near Taal to follow the advice of Phivolc and to evacuate when told to do so.The Philippine authorities have done great jobs with the evacuation of Pinatubo and Taal in 2020. Phivolcs does a great job monitoring the events and although we cannot see what the measurements of Taal show, we can trust them to take the right decisions when it comes to evacuations. If Taal were to erupt, it is best to follow their and Lurking’s advice: do not be there!

The National Geographic Magazine, Vol. XXIII Nº4, 1912

Rappler has a live blog with the latest Taal updates: https://www.rappler.com/nation/updates-taal-volcano-unrest-eruption-2021

Some live videos of Taal:

On Youtube:

Volcanoverse (various volcanoes in one): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeoRx59dZkc

Marlon Abuyo TV (Phillipine, Marlon does drone overflies too): https://youtu.be/bVQINH0qtcU

Meditation & Relaxation (livestreams from Tagaytay; check for the latest): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiHhbYyc3OygMA5n6f_b7-Q

Kaetami (Livestream from Lipa): https://youtu.be/zPX54q2nIRE

MADAM RUTSA: https://youtu.be/SN5GDUc64vQ

GMA News (Philippino news station that has a great playlist with all the latest news; they also have livestreams on Taal set up during the day): https://youtu.be/H_W7JlzmRq0

On Facebook:

CCTV Solutions: https://fb.watch/6vyZ4bxchV/

LASAC: https://fb.watch/6vyTgotBBi/


Volcanoes in the Mist

331 thoughts on “Taal Alert level raised to 3 after phreatomagmatic unrest

  1. A sterling and vivid article! Thank you!
    Tallis has been warning us about this volcano for some time. Your article does her proud!

  2. I know Taal is the one to be watched, but the lava bath is just too pleasant to let go off.

    Thanks for all the up to date info.

  3. Great post- well you got that off your chest! Taal is a scary son of a beast! It punches above it’s relative small size.
    Good to see that the authorities in Philippines take Taal seriously.
    Back in Iceland ‘our volcano’ is doing my head in.

  4. Seems like the splattering and fountaining is more intense tonight.

    • Outflow still growing. The vent looks like a big cauldron. Rivers towards all the valleys.

  5. Another quick Mars helicopter update.

    Perseverance just passed Ingenuity at relatively close distance so I’m guessing the navcam timing issue fixes were uploaded.

    In my dreams they also uploaded the (imaginary) very low level firmware updates to allow Ingenuity to talk directly to Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.


    #MarsHelicopter’s 9th flight, expected no earlier than #FourthOfJuly, is set to push it to its limits. http://go.nasa.gov/3jL9Ciu

    The team is aiming for Ingenuity to:
    Travel ~2,041 ft (625 meters)
    Hit a speed of 5 m/s
    Fly for ~167 seconds
    Take color images of the trip

    • https://mars.nasa.gov/technology/helicopter/status/313/were-going-big-for-flight-9/

      Nevertheless, even though the final destination is centered in a good 164-foot-radius (50-meter-radius) patch of clear ground, it is possible that we will end up landing on a more treacherous, higher-relief surface than the relatively benign, sandy patches we have been able to pick so far. And it will stretch the capabilities of the helicopter’s telecom system, which was designed for line-of-sight communication over distances of a few hundred meters. All of this amounts to a significantly elevated risk, and it is safe to say that it will be the most nerve-wracking flight since Flight 1.

      So why are we willing to take that risk? First, we believe Ingenuity is ready for the challenge, based on the resilience and robustness demonstrated in our flights so far. Second, this high-risk, high-reward attempt fits perfectly within the goals of our current operational demonstration phase. A successful flight would be a powerful demonstration of the capability that an aerial vehicle (and only an aerial vehicle) can bring to bear in the context of Mars exploration – traveling quickly across otherwise untraversable terrain while scouting for interesting science targets. A successful Flight 9 will also provide the rover science team with close-up images of the Séítah terrain that they will otherwise be unable to acquire.

      Flight 9 is expected to occur no earlier than late the night of Sunday, July 4, with data coming down in the following days. Stay tuned to see how Ingenuity handles its biggest challenge yet.

      And yes I’m watching Taal. Never forgetting Iceland.

    • I was going to say the same, but my Groigle Chrome Browser inserted itself into deep freeze and froze. Useless %^&(X browser. Can’t the techies at Gurgle come up with something better than this? Even Mosaic was better.

  6. Clearly, Taal is the scary one we all should be afraid of. If it’ll have a major eruption the consequences will be tragic, that much is certain. Let’s hope that the people near the volcano follow the recommendations of Phivolc and evacuate as advised.

    Fagradalsfjall is the pretty one with all the webcams and sensors we are allowed to access remotely. It is a great spectacle, and it looks like it only endangers a local road, a small farm on the coast, and an optic fibre cable. The local police and emergency personnel keep the visitors and tourists safe. Hence, I feel no shame or guilt of gawking at the spectacle and keeping the webcam running in background at work, at home, etc.

    Now, watching a Taal eruption would not be fun as the consequences can easily reach horrible proportions….

    • Pinatubo might not be the best comparison, it was dacite where Taal is basalt, but all the water around makes it unpredictable. I would think if eruptions happen in the crater on Volcano island it will evaporate the lake and become strombolian, but there is so much water around even that is not certain. 1962 eruption began as a strombolian eruption entirely on land but still became phreatomagmatic anyway and very fast too, before later filling in the bay with lava.

      Taal looks to be of similar magma characteristics to Pacaya and Fuego, or Etna when it is less active. Sticky basalt, but still fluid enough to behave as a liquid, hence the long dike in last years eruption. As we know from Hectors articles though water completely nullifies those limitations, Taal to me doesnt look like a volcano that can do a VEI 7 volume eruption, its caldera looks like it is mostly a gigantic maar crater rather than a collapse.

      • Thanks for posting the photo, Alberta.

        There’s nothing like the perspective from space to show so clearly how insignificant all this which thrills me really is.

      • Yesterday I hiked around the volcano, It was 24,4 km. The most difficult parts were the gravel slopes north of Meradalir and the ascent of the northern flank of Storihrutur.

        • I am surprised it was as long as 24k that when the last official stats had that lava area at under 4km2.

          Did you include your walk from your campsite in Grindavik and back in your 24k?

    • The guy does know where to go to keep us interested.
      However earth dams need infill as the cube of the height (to be done properly) so it does get hard to make them really large. They would probably need to set up an adjacent quarry if they really want to keep lava out if the eruption continues for a long time.
      But doable and as Gutn Tog says, cheaper than losing the road.

  7. Chapter 10 of Dr. T.A.Jaggar’s book ‘Volcanoes Declare War’ is titled ”Taal and Mayon are killers’. He goes on into a detailed discussion of the 1911 eruption of Taal.

  8. When I was like 5 (over 60 years ago) my 7 year old sister and I commented on the mugs trying to get camera time on news reports. That was before mobile video so it was mostly 16 mm film that would be broadcast via a contraption at the news station. As you can imagine, there were much fewer opportunities to get on camera in those days. Now days it seems like you have to make an effort to stay unrecorded and unbroadcast. Anyway, my sister and I heard my mom call them “camera hogs” and we thought she said “camera haws.” It stuck. When I see someone mugging for the volcano cams or shoving their hands up in the frame, like they’re certain everyone would rather see them than the volcano that viewers specifically clicked on, all I can think is,

    Camera Haws. They never change.

  9. Panorama camera is showing that the big flow is about to reach the slopes of natthagi, let’s see how far this one goes, previous flows have kind of fizzled out on the slopes.. also been constant flows down meradalir all the time the Pano games has been up, meradalir is swallowing up a lot of lava!

    • Fizzles out because the vent stops, I think if it kept going longer there would be no stopping it. Question is how high does it have to rise to overflow the wall, and will it break through into the existing lava in Natthagi or will it have to flow over a second time.

      Meradalir is fed by a deep set tube now, its filling and overflow is inevitable as long as the eruption keeps going. Lava from that will reach the sea eventually, no matter what side of the peninsula it goes, question really is if the surface flows in Natthagi will get there first.

  10. The lava is spilling down into Natthagi again, so fast. I do wonder if the other tube is still active too, that flowed out of the south end of Geldingadalir, there is persistent fume there.

    The lava channel is also beginning to form a tube too, even at such a high effusion rate. It makes you wonder how fast the tube to North Meradalur is, it is likely not this fast but there has not been a direct look into a skylight as I recall so its all a mystery. I expect though if the cone fails or a vent opens outside and all the lava flows into Meradalir it will overflow within days, likely it already would have twice over if the majority of the lava wasnt erupting as surface flows in the other direction.

  11. Curious about the current prognosis for geldingadalir-getting ready to cease, or moving towards a new eruptive state?

    • Now that’s the $64K question. I guess there are as many opinions as people speculating.

  12. This flow is looking serious, the other flows went into Natthagi as a single stream while this one is a braided river covering most of the upper flow field. The speed in the channels is probably the highest I have seen it too, jumping up the edges and flowing with a bright incandescence even on flat ground. I would guess the effusion rate is at least several tens of m3/s. I expect if this vent stays active for a long time it will gradually build more of a shallow storage, like a small magma chamber, and that will alow longer pauses between episodes, and larger volume episodes in turn with biugger flows and fountains.

    Experience says this flow wont last for that long, probably it will stop in a few hours, but that is a few hours of this flow rate right into Natthagi, where all the other flows failed before even reaching the stagnant lake down there. Maybe the drained channel of the other flows helped guide this flow further, but whatever reason really if this keeps up the new wall doesnt stand a chance.

    • Heartened to see your saying the same thing I posted about earlier.
      Yes, I agree there is likely a shallow magma chamber developing. Before, the eruptions seemed to have been fed directly from the dyke, but now there’s an expanding void thats acting as a “buffer” zone, and able to store several pulses of new magma moving up the dyke before releasing it in prolonged flows.

  13. Fastly approaching the cutoff for 1 month v. 6 month guess on duration

  14. Well this episode has been going for over 12 hours now, that is a long time. It has also been flowing right into Natthagi for over 4 hours and the flow is not advancing over the crust, it must be going into the lava already there, so expect the surface near the webcam to begin rising soon.

    Will look pretty spectacular flowing down the cliffs near the road just before it reaches the ocean, flowing so fast.

  15. I forget which commenter it was who lamented the loss of the grassy topsoil in Natthagi,but they had a point.

    a) topsoil isn’t abundant in Iceland, I’m sure farmers or landscapers could have used it

    b) every ton of topsoil removed is space to be filled by lava – it all helps

    The current Ruv camera is Natthagi from Litlihals i.e. the Natthagi exit wall. Seems pointless unless the exit wall is imminently threatened which I doubt. I’d like to see that wall from the other side – Gutn Tog’s video (linked above) shows plenty of room yet.

    The Route A wall seems to have stood up very well judging by the amount of lava pouring down that way into Natthagi early this morning. I presume it’s still there but I’d like to see pictures, which are usually from Ruv.

    Pleased that Astrograph got a spectacular show, would have been sad if it had all shut down just as he arrived.

    We (and Iceland) are lucky that the very worst this volcano is likely to do is damage a road, a summer house, some data cables and the drinking stone, and that it’s relatively safe for hundreds of thousands to visit and marvel at.

    Taal is a different kettle of fish.

    • I think that explains the near universal love and affection for this eruption. No collateral damage (thus far), easily accessible, tourist friendly. As you say, any volcano with potential to harm thousands prompts much more ambivalence.

    • Frankly the amount and quality of topsoil compared to the total in iceland is utterly totally and completely insignificant. Not worth the energy cost of moving what is probably 70% rock anyway.

    • I think that original comment was me. Of course farmeroz is right that this is minuscule compared to the overall in Iceland, but that particular area does not have much, and people in the newly built parts of Grindavik are putting significant effort in to ship in material and prop up their lots to have nice flat garden areas.
      So I was still a bit surprised they did not use it; the sedimental areas in the flat pans ere probably also useful. However, based on the discussion about building walls not being permited by red tape for a while, that would certainly also have hindered big trucks rocking up and just digging up soil and carryin it away… At least I am glad they are seriously protecting those vulnerable landscapes.

  16. One crater lava lake but two feed tubes in the previous big flows (prior to 12 hr shutdown) and seemingly still two tubes now.

    But visir camera shows a lot of steam/smoke on the right (east) side of the crater, and in the lava field to the immediate right of the crater. What’s causing all that? Potential new vent?

    • I notice that was active during the shut down.But had been wondering-more pronounce now! Myself I thought was just seeping gas and smoke from a crack that formed -perhaps atop of feeding lava tube-but what would I know!v

    • While I initially suggested a new vent, when the daylight hit the area, I could see it was located a distance from the cone, and then I knew it had to be degassing from the lava flowing in the lava tubes. Apparently there is a web or network of lava tubes in this direction and the S02 and other gases are finding their way out.

      It has been somewhat interesting to see episodes of heavy smoke exhalation from this lava release, a few days ago, there was little but today it is smog city.

    • Japan’s Rainy season.
      Is cold mud, albeit stuffed with rocks & debris, so higher density…
      IIRC, area had ~300 mm rain in one go, so most of season’s usual already, with more in-bound….

      • Sorry, I was unclear. I knew it was an avalanche, just commented a lahar would be worse.

    • I somehow knew it would be contributed to Climate Change. From Austria, Switzerland and Italy we know mud- and mountain slides, at Tschirgant, Tyrol, 3000 years ago with a staggering 240 million cubicmeters of rock falling into the valley of the Inn.

    • Excellent selection, many thanks.
      Not in the slightest bit jealous,

    • Fantastic. Thank you Astrograph.

      After gazing at the side-by-side bubbling in the cauldron, this phase of the eruption should be called “Twin Perks”.

    • Awesome.

      Thanks for sharing your trip with us, Astrograph!

    • Excellent and Well Done! i’m surprised by the ‘backside’ of the volcano(where the lave doesn’t come out) and how steep it is and the cone doesn’t look strong enough to hold that massive amout of lava.

    • Spectacular! Thank you so much. I think nos 92 and 93 are similarviews to the original webcam that looked over Geldingadalir and the row of stones that was the ?grave – it’s changed so incredibly I’m not entirely sure! Thank you again, super photos

      • Yes I tried to get as close to the original position as possible comparing the view to the first of my timelapse videos from March. I am not sure about image numbers as I am travelling only with my phone and my image managing capabilities right now are limited.

        Currently I am sitting on top of Laungirhykur enjoying the view.

        I the last half hour I think the stream into Nathagi increased again, at the point where the lava came out of the tube, continuing into Maradalir there is a huge gas plume, therefore I think that a lot of Lava is going there.

    • Awesome pics-impress how much your saw ,you got around. Many thanks for posting them too.

    • Oh, just great. First liquid rock from the depths of the Earth, and now rock from space.



  17. A family or a group of friends, all in matching bright yellow puffy jackets, has spent the last 10 minutes in front of the MBL.IS Natthagi camera photographing each other. Group shots. Individual shots. Clowning in front of their cell phones. There’s a volcano erupting over the hill? So what. Take my picture.

    I think it’s fantastic. Who could these people be? Where could they be from? Who would go to the trouble and expense to buy matching jackets? Yellow jackets. Jackets so bright they’ll never wear them again. Are they a tour group? These people do not look familiar, except, they mug for their cameras and each other like we all have.

    I sip coffee at my quiet kitchen table and try to imagine their story.

    • A tour group.

      Used to see the same every day down here in Sydney, before Covid stopped most of the tourism. That’s one thing I don’t miss…

      • Most of the folks in front of the cameras are so “in the moment”, so excited to be there with their friends or family, radiating happiness, I don’t begrudge their documenting the experience.

        Fagradalsfjall is Studio 54 for the outdoors set. The plane ticket to Reykjavík equals the bouncer’s red velvet rope. At any moment Bianca might ride in on a white horse.

        • Anyone remember that Russian oligarchess who paid someone to land a helicopter at Holuhraun so she could get the obligatory selfies?

        • Life’s a beach. Now its a volcano that doesn’t ‘hurt’. This lot would have flocked to Martinique in 1902 to watch Pele and been in St. Pierre on that frightful day, or in Batavia on August 27, 1883, or camping out on Spirit Lake as some were. Nor has the White Island catastrophe made a difference.

  18. PHIVOLCS just released a notice of high SO2 emissions once more today.

    14996 t/d.

    • These are impressive amounts… It makes you wonder how much fresh magma is available and arriving there and how close it is to the surface. I’d love to see a projection of the progressive growth of the magma chamber…

      • This is a very great piece about Taal and understandable as well esp. for people who know less about volcanoes (learners) like me and have read Carl’s and Albert’s pieces about Taal before that are linked above.
        It might help those people living there to follow the government that Taal is in the official Volcano Decade Program. Maybe Mayon should be there as well.

        When I read your comparison with volcanoes specialized on lava streams I was thinking of Nyiragongo. So, it’s always different. Slow flow and fast flow make a difference.
        It is a bit tiresome to look for other readers’ comments about the current topic between all the comments about Iceland esp. cameras. I wonder sometimes whether VC should install a separate Iceland section for a better focus on the author’s subject.

      • CNN would have a hard time getting the general location of the Normandy landings correct…..just sayin’.


  19. Thank you for the excellent Taal update.

    Taal is certainly a ‘Count The Ways’ to ‘Be Not There’…

    One unsettling possibility that’s not been mentioned. There’s ample ground water for, um, *enthusiastic* phreato-magmatic activity. But, if Taal does a full-on ‘Plinian’, emptying much magma mush, is that near enough to surface for a full or partial caldera collapse ? A broad fissure admitting much lake-water would surely trigger a humongous convulsion…

    Tangential: With the ‘heat-dome’ currently zapping US / Canadian West Coast, how is this affecting the Cascade cones ? IIRC, a lot of their higher slopes are bound by permafrost, which will be suffering. Upside, there seems scant underlying activity so, other than a few uppity fumaroles, just gotta beware lahars when the weather turns…

      • You are correct, in that the temps in those areas right near the coast (where east/offshore) winds weren’t blowing, stayed very close to normal due to the daily fog that San Francisco (and most of the West Coast in Summer) is so famous for. Go inland about 10-20 miles though, and the heat turns Venus-like. That the east winds extended all the way to the coast up in Oregon/Wash and BC is what made this last heat wave so exceptional in both magnitude and scope.

        For us in the heat belt of the Northern Sacramento Valley, the nighttime recovery temp is a major indicator of weather as well as air quality. Cool nights indicate some southerly breezes (from the SF Delta region) is bringing oceanic air in through the Golden Gate then getting pulled north through the Valley.
        But that assumes good air quality…which can be iffy fer sure in Summer.
        For instance, all the smoke from last year’s fires formed an atmospheric blanket that held nighttime temps up sometimes 15-20F above usual.

        • Do you have an explanation for the phenomenon occurring also on the East Coast albeit with a few degrees less? I have rarely seen that before.

  20. On the north side of the crater I ran into a team of geologists (lead by Christopher Hamilton) and he told me that the area was special, as it was not touched by other forces since the end of glaciation.

    I felt bad walking across ancient mosses and lichen, passing many beautiful flowers and the occasional bird.

    I wonder what the flocks of birds that flew into Nathagi late at night think of the spectacle.

    I also found it interesting that you can feel the heat of the lava while standing atop Langyrhykur.

    When the lava went over the edge of southern Meradalir it was going very fast. There was something furiosly burning or steaming on o edge of the flow, making angry noises.

    On the other side some moss burns developed.

    • Don’t get too hung up about walking over the ancient mosses and lichens. The Icelanders think nothing about bulldozing anything to build an experimental dam.

    • I loved the photo of periglacial ground. It’s something I have been actively looking for in all the videos. I think I’ve only seen one more example, of stripes, on a slope in one of Gutn Tog’s videos.
      This is one reason why I think there’s been some soil loss due to ancient overgrazing, and why the farming gradually ceased to be a viable living.

      • No, that land is pretty well untouched other than losing the trees. There are no deep steep ravines required to remove significant soil. It basically never had much anyway, and still doesn’t. The glaciers would have bulldozed most of it into the sea. There was never a high population in iceland and the trouble with overgrazing is you end up with starving livestock and none of you survive the next winter.
        As an old friend of mine who farms in Welsh uplands says “the hill soon tells you how many stock you can have”.
        The patterns of rocks, in lines, hexes and circles are formed by freezing soils moving the rocks around. It used to be quite common on my veg patch in central england during hard winters with many freeze-thaw cycles. Nobody could work out what caused it but about 10 years ago the mechanism was proven.

        • “that land is pretty well untouched other than losing the trees” is an oxymoron, no?

          • Well, I have no idea if there ever were trees there, but if there was they aren’t there now. Doesn’t mean the soil went with them, people tend to leave the roots behind.
            There are places were removing trees results in heavy erosion. Typically steep tropical areas where rainfall is very high, the soils and subsoils are relatively fine textured and slopes high. Iceland (round here) isn’t one of these.
            Go to tropical highlands most places and you will often see significant erosion even with forests and its not hard to imagine how bad it would be if the forests were removed.

          • I believe Iceland was pretty well forested when the Vikings arrived, at least where they settled, in coastal areas away from the high lava deserts.

            All chopped for houses and shipbuilding.

          • I said soil loss, not catastrophic erosion into gullies.
            Overgrazing disrupts the anchoring effect of roots, allowing the wind to blow away small particles of soil from the surface, and the precipitation to leach particles from the surface horizons into the subsoil, a process which affects all clayey soils produced by the breakdown of lavas.
            There’s several books written about soil loss and erosion in Iceland and the pre-colonial vegetation environment.
            Here’s a good paper: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0341816212001257
            And a map showing the area suffered considerable erosion: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Soil-erosion-in-Iceland-Of-the-total-area-of-Iceland-of-103-000-km-2-little-or-no_fig1_226256906
            There’s no way any animal could be sustained on the current vegetation levels that l have seen looking at the landscapes; much of the slopes and hills are covered with scattered stones, and the regolith bulldozed by the lava looks characteristic of water translocation to me. Freeze thaw action would exacerbate the loss of humus and carbon-rich soil elements, returning the surface to a condition reminiscent of periglaciation, but without the characteristic patterns.
            I don’t want to risk the Dungeons by posting another link, but there’s another great paper detailing minutely the degradation of soils at a heathland site called Haukadalsheiði.

          • Reply to stars die,
            please look at the map you quoted, the area we are looking at is in the ‘little or no erosion’ category. Furthermore, reading the paper ‘erosion’, ‘land degradation’ and ‘deforestation’ seem to be used almost synonymously when they are very different things. Its mostly concerned with carbon capture.
            The paper is pretty typical of too many that sex up the negatives to get more quotes and references in order to promote grant prospects, a common habit I deplore.
            That much of iceland had forests is not in doubt, nor that they were used for fuel and construction to the point of elimination. However reforestation is being done in iceland very easily and indeed concern is that the conifers have been too successful and they are trying to promote what were the native species 2000/3000 years ago (birch etc).
            On the latter point I would caution them to realise that what was ‘native’ and ‘perfectly suited’ to the icelandic environment 3-4000 years ago, probably is not today. Many temperate trees in europe are failing mostly (from the evidence we have) due to environmental changes. For example that insects can get in two generations and defoliate in late summer eventually killing trees, or severe winter frost that killed disease carrying bark beetles no longer controls their spread etc.
            As to these valleys, just look at the absence or erosion gullies and lack of soil mobilisation. The sandy bottom of the ephemeral lake is clearly rather thin and contains little by comparison to the area drained.
            There is a lot of quasi-scientific eco-political twaddle bandied about which almost all is a smokescreen to what actually needs to be done. The universe cares not a jot for our political leanings.

        • When I was in Iceland for the first time in 1992 we saw polygonal shapes dozens of meters across and my travel partner, then a geophysics student explained the peri glacial origin to me. I also took images of much smaller polygons on Thursday, not sure if I have uploaded them already.

          • You did, hence my comment.
            What astonished me (though thinking about it, it shouldn’t) was the same mechanism worked in a UK garden.

          • My garden is sited on a former nursery. I get a great crop of mixed brick and gravel every year. The soil is a clayey alluvial loam, over sandstone geology (Upper Tunbridge Wells Sandstone, great for acid heathland plants). It’s a hungry soil, I make my own compost and it just disappears within a year. It grows great garlic, beans and peas, cucurbits and the berry fruit is to die for.

          • Dear stars die,
            You have a basic view of soil organic matter shared by the public and sadly also by many scientists who should know better.
            Soils are alive, they eat discarded plant matter (roots, dead leaves, dead animals etc). In nature given any ecosystem the soil organic matter is constant because new additions are balanced by rate of degradation.
            If a soil is dead (eg anaeobic bog) it will accumulate.
            So take the soil in a tropical rainforest, it has essentially zero organic matter and (usually) zero nutrients because the warm humid conditions promote a very rapid biodegradation of returned organic matter.
            Take a somewhat compacted heavily fertilised temperate dairy herd pasture. It will be producing about 20T drymatter/Ha (incl roots) most of which is returned and the top 200mm (mostly top 150) may reach 6% organic (5% more commonly). That’s basically because it takes that 5% of organic bioactivity to break down 20T DM/annum. In an arable no-till 3.5-4% is more usual (return is about 15T DM/Ha and if ploughed (which lets air in and increases soil microactivity) 2-2.5% is more common. Less in low productivity organic systems of course. Addition of heavy doses of manures has little effect in practice because even 20T/Ha of muck at 20% DM is only 4T DM.
            So basically your soils organic matter depends on how much organic material you can add to the soil (roots are about 50%) and low little you disturb the soil. If you want more organic matter then use lots of fertiliser, particularly nitrogen to increase production.

      • Funny….nothing in either shot even remotely looks like Nigeria – maybe the flow didn’t quite make it that far yet….?

        (ha ha)

      • Outstanding.
        I like the concept of Street View up to date Volcano stuff.
        We are spoiled.

        • We truly are spoiled with so much visual richness; almost a surfeit.

          The hole at the base of the cone on the nw side, that I’ve been watching for weeks, seems to be filling in.

    • Excellent – much thanks!

      Stars Die – in this first link, you can see the top end of that tube I referenced before.

      • The morphology of the exit from the crater has been work in progress evolving over time. Early on it was simply a spillway and trough which sluiced its way downward and around feeding the growing lava field. It has become, as most of these will, a true lava tube. This may eventually close all the way to the rim, the opening at which, in its own right, may seal. Then the effluent will be obliged to surge over the rim and continue the building of the shield. Just say’in.

      • Northerncanuk (just how north are you? I have relations near Parry Sound, Ontario) you’ll have to remind this bear of little brain about the tube reference…

        • Hi…yes, you had mentioned in the last topic about a tube feeding Meradlir.

          “Stars Die
          02/07/2021 at 23:34

          Huge amount of lava is heading into Lower Meradalir, but there’s no sign of surface flow near the vent; there must still be some fair-sized tubes underneath somewhere.”

          Of course, it is just an assumption that this feeds that valley, but it seems more than probable.

          (I was living in Yellowknife, but moved down in the fall to south central Alberta.)

    • Really need someone to go and map the lava tubes, like HVO used to do at Pu’u O’o. It would help with trying to figure out where the lava is going. I would presume it is going to Meradalir but its very much a maze and it could be going elsewhere too. I have been curious about the persistent degassing of the tubes in Natthagi, at both of the flows, and there was also a small degassing source up in Sydri Meradalur outside of the lava river, I think there are two low flow rate tubes going to Natthagi. And then all of this and yet the volcano was able to do a proper large scale surface flow, its getting big.

      It looks like that spattering skylight is a lava blowhole, that is very interesting, like air was getting trapped in the tube and then forced out, making a rootless cone.

      Very nice pictures 🙂

      • Ok….you got me. How do you map out the lava tubes? This sounds like it would be worthwhile to do….if the eruption would continue on for some time – help much in planning and mitigation of the lava’s movement!

        How did they do it in Hawaii?

        Would infra red work to pinpoint the tubes, rather than them getting lost in the “background clutter”? Or would that be best to use at a time that surface flow is at a minimum?

        • Now, they probably use infrared satellite imagery, but back in the Mauna Ulu days they measured the electrical resistance of the rock–molten rock differed from that of solid.

    • here is the complete list of 360° panoramas I (… my drones) took in Iceland:









      [Saved from the wine cellar where our guard dog Akismet likes to hide posts with more than 3 links in it /Lugh]

      • HEY DRAGONS… !!!!!!!!! These are beautiful…. Hey Dragons can You call attention to these so other people don’t miss them. They may be overlooked since they were posted in the way back machine??? They are wonderful.

      • You know Astrograph – we may not agree on the impact or way to deal with Climate change (and I’m not going to continue that discussion – this is after all a volcanology blog).

        But your 306 panoramas are awesome 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • That photo of Beastaek Island and that slide scarp was a show stopper. The contrast with the vegetation on Mixtvedg was stark. Thanks for sharing all.

          • uh, I am not really understanding what you try to tell me, can you please point out which Image you mean? I am not familiar with the name Beastaek Island.

          • Scrolling through the images cueing the arrow on the right hand side of the screen, the very last image in that lot should be self-explanatory.

          • aaaah, now I get it

            The crusty surface, and the soft, less dry interior of the specimen combined with a rather pleasant smell made for some interesting study!


            I didn’t think of the navigation pane.

          • Brought to mind the vestiges of the Krakatau edfices..1883 and prior.

  21. I have just seen an article in the daily express (a sensationalist UK “Newspaper”) about 445 earthquakes at Yellowstone. I hope to avoid the apocalyptic scare stories surrounding Yellowstone as it does get boring and I don’t like scaring people without an extremely good reason.

    I know nothing about volcanology compared to what you guys on here know. I have looked at the data and their does seem to be an ongoing swarm. Some quakes have hit 3.1.

    Is this just typical fear porn from the fake news mainstream media, or is there something in this? Wasn’t there a swarm back in the 70s that caused some concern, but came to nothing?


    • Earthquakes per USGS:

      Source: https://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes

      The area is seismically active. Don’t know whether or not the current swarm will lead to anything but the area is intensely monitored by USGS so keep an eye out for anything from them.

    • Oh dear, is it the Daily Excess “it’s gonna blow!!!” Yellowstone story back doing the rounds again? I won’t monetise the rag by reading the article.
      Latest USGS update: it’s the usual spring melt pause in the general subsidence of the crater. Movec along now. Nothing to see here (except geysers).

      • Wise man. I myself take care never to read papers or watch TV that might contain anything antithetical to my worldview 😉

        • This particular publication is a fount of over exaggerated sensationalist claptrap masquerading as journalism. They can go from predicting the imminent arrival of the next ice age to “we’re all going to burn in the fire furnaces of hell” within a week, and their gullible readership laps it up.
          So, no, I much prefer to read and watch media based on scientific fact, not hyperbole.

  22. Has Taal done anything since this article posted?

    I found a webcam on youtube but it went down by the end of the day, and there wasn’t a lot going on besides rain.

    Re focus on dangerous vs. pretty volcanoes:
    While you don’t have to feel guilty about watching pretty eruptions because nobody is harmed, attempting to understand the dangerous volcanoes helps save lives. Understanding them requires watching them.

    • The activity at Taal, all through out the year so far, has come in pulses. I am thinking that magma has just started to reach the surface, the size of the eruption will depend on how much magma has accumulated.

    • I added some webcams links and channels to the post. And a link to a local newspaper in English that published updates in a live blog.

  23. Am thinking that hole near the spill way is a ‘skylight’ window to escaping lava .

    • It is also where there was a dome fountain last week too, when the volcano surged. I think it was described as a new vent too but definitely a tube.

      I guess though if it becomes a shield and buried a tube to a depth of tens or even hundreds of meters it is hard to find a line between a tube and a vent. Mauna Ulu had a tube into Alae crater in 1970 but by 1972 and 1973 it was so deeply buried it was more like a shallow conduit, it even formed a fountaining spatter cone at one point that looked more like a vent than a rootless hornito and even erupted that way when the main crater was inactive I believe.

      Maybe a similar situation will happen here with those upper skylights, they will become so deeply buried they might as well be considered sattelite vents.

      • Sorry, hot loss to your response. Is it a skylight now as we speak?

  24. Folks might be interested in this video from “Just Iceland”. He looks at Hengill and nearby systems.

    • This one too, in the same area 🙂


      Im not so sure its the biggest crater though, looks like there are some bigger ones near Kleifavatn, and also the north bay of Kleifavatn itself looks like a pretty big crater. Must have been a rift through the lake once that made a lot of maar craters, its a lot like Tarawera in 1886 really that place, would be bad if Krysuvik erupts in that rift now.

      I do have a question for Carl, does Hengill have a caldera? it doesnt look like it to me, no obvious ring faults, but the middle of it is a depression, just maybe it is an ancient small caldera that is glacially eroded?. Supposedly the magma is shallow there, so a caldera is possible unlike the other Reykjanes volcanoes.
      Maybe Hengil is a more mature example of what the other Reykjanes volcanoes are evolving towards still, it does look like there is a bit more of a construction of an edifice the further east you go along the peninsula. Just my observation 🙂

  25. Taal live cam, with no guarantee it will be there tomorrow

      • Webcam, seems to be run by a private citizen not a volcano observatory.

        But nothing is guaranteed.

    • Joking apart, watching the web cam there were two jolts to the camera that may have been earthquakes?

      • No. Just the camera wobbling. But I was bemused to see two people walk past carrying Lee Enfield .303 rifles! Quite a distinctive gun.
        Volcano shooting – new sport.

        • They still work as well as they ever did and are very accurate,

          • Indeed. I still remember the mistake I made of putting the stock to my collar bone! 🙂

        • Well, Trump asked whether it was possible to nuke a hurricane, so why not? It would be just as effective (as would peeing on it).

        • Guy with a rifle is still there. Guarding the camera setup? Seems likely.

    • Is this looking across a slice of Lake Taal toward the island? Or, where? I’m having difficulty mapping this in my mind.

      Thank you.

      • It is from the lakeshore towards the island, but I don’t know which side of the lake the camera is on.
        Maybe the northwestern side? There are people who live along the cliff (nice views).

        I noticed the jolt on the cam too and thought the same thing, it doesn’t seem to be wind. Someone might have bumped it though.

  26. Chad you are a lover of Hawaiian volcanoes. Did you see the article in Hawaii volcanic blog? On Canadian volcanoes-2/7/21.Has a pic of a cinder cone -fissue 22 from the 2018 eruption. I think ,almost certain they got it wrong big time.A splater vent was formed, but not a beautiful perfect shaped cinder cone.

    • No that actually is fissure 22 🙂

      It isnt really well documented but in July it reactivated, apparently some of the andesite from fissure 17 got incorporated into that part of the dike, and so the resumed eruption was much more strombolian than the early curtain of fire back in May. This was all of course within the kipuka created by the fissure 8 flow, so no one could get to it.
      There is a very similar set of cones at the Kamakaia hills on the southwest rift. Until 2018 they were the only example of magma of not-basalt composition on Kilauea, basaltic andesite. Would have been very similar to fissure 17, maybe a bit more fluid, definitely a lot more strombolian. There are a few pointy looking cones other than fissure 17 down in Puna too, maybe Hector knows more about that but I suspect if there was andesite erupted in the same general area it is not the first time eruptions like that have happened. Probably strombolian eruptions at Kilauea are common, just not historically well represented until recently.

      I also wonder how many of the ‘central volcanoes’ in Iceland are satellites, evidently a magma chamber does not have to be fed vertically, and the only definition of a central volcano is to have evolved rocks and/or a caldera. A few examples immediately I can think of are Vatnafjoll and Heidarspodar, the latter seems to be a pocket of rhyolite on the rift of Krafla as it has only erupted twice and both times of large volume (flood basalt scale) yet no sign of collapse or obvious magma source. Vatnafjoll seems to just be a extensional area between Hekla and Torfajokull, where some magma can leak out. The one exposure of silicic magma at Vatnafjoll really just looks like a detached part of the massive exposure at Torfajokull, where glacial erosion removed some rock inbetween. Carl no doubt knows more about that though it just my observation 🙂

      • Hey just a quick reply. Yes, I was wrong! I did search pics of fissure 22,but only shown splatter formation. Had no idea of this type -cinder cone at Kilauea. It kind of looks out of place to what Kilauea news one see over the years! Again thanks. Also many people, even in Canada are probably not aware of very recent volcanic activity in their own country.

  27. Speaking of volcanoes (volcanos?), and Mordor, etc… Did anyone see the eye of Sauron open up in the Gulf of Mexico? It almost looks like a volcano in a strange way.


    The Dragons might eat this post as I haven’t made a comment in a very long time. Fingers crossed!

    [Akismet, our guard dog, wanted to eat it. Dragons to the rescue! /Lugh]

    • Cheers for that! That’s the best map to date, even the position of all the fissure vents!

    • Something that I cannot remember seeing mentioned is how much of the valleys are due to glaciation and how much due to extension? Can anyone comment?
      The valleys all look very glacial in character, although elsewhere its suggested a fault through the middle has laterally shifted them.
      If the valleys are mostly glacial then it does rather look as if the area has had a large domelike eruption in the far distant past, glacially eroded and then routinely resurfaced over millennia.

      • Thought it was mostly subglacial fissure volcanics there before this event. Fagradalsfjall, itself, is a tuya with a later lava cap. If it had not been for the ice-cap, Fagradalsfjall would have been a shield. Melting of the ice-cap would have eroded the lavas, especially any loose stuff, shaping the landscape a bit more.

        Herðubreið, another tuya, was built over a period of time which included warm inter-glacials with no ice cap, in addition to the ice cap. Fagradalsfjall may have gone through a similar process.

        • Ah ha! I’ve been wondering about the plateau-like structure of Fagradalsfjall. Thank you for the new word (tuya).

        • OK, so the valleys we see are indeed classic U glacier valleys cutting through the archais tuya (modified by faults). In which case the eruption here is less unexpected than we first thought. Obviously its unlikely to be a large, not least because it would flow into the sea before becoming large now the icecap is no more.

  28. Looks like the volcano is asleep again, day long episodes of fast lava effusion and then day long episodes of sleep.

    The longer the sleep the bigger the flows get with this style of activity. Will be very interesting if the gaps get to be closer to a week rather than a few hours, that is a lot of lava to catch up, a single vent might not be enough.
    I wonder if the bigger eruptions at Brennisteinsfjoll and in Thingvellir were like that, Husfellsbruni looks a lot like the a’a lava field that formed around Pu’u O’o in the 1980s, much more that than it does resemble a shield. Most of the lavas in those areas look to be a’a actually, there are pahoehoe flows and tubes but we can see right now that you can get both sorts of activity at the same time if the eruption is not regular in output, a flow that is initially tube fed might increase and then you get faster flows too.

  29. All quiet on the tremor front at faf (down where it was during the empty crater of 2 days ago), also all quiet on the lava front. Late last night there was fountaining with lava seemingly at a lower level in the crater (no visible outflow), now all seems quiescent.

    I wonder how the lava volume/day during this flood/quiet/flood/quiet phase compares with the usual volume over the last 3 months?

    • Btw where there was smoke to the right of the crater last night there was also lava. Presumably tubes surfacing, or could they be new sources? Picture from 00.20 Iceland time.

      • I am almost sure they are tube skylights. I used to suggest 2nd vent, but when the daylight hit the lava field, I could much more clearly and realized they were related to the lava tubes.

      • From what I have seen yesterday it is just holes in the crust of lava, there were many such areas spread out across Southern Meradalir.

  30. What about this view of Taal crater? Does it say anything to anyone?


    Looks like the lake is heating up towards a boil which suggests a lot of magma near the surface. Or is is and the effect is just from steam / vapour from the lake?

    • This lake looks exactly like the small crater lake at Anak Krakatau. I used to go over and monitor what I could and that lake steamed like that, and had even small phraeto-magmatic explosions. Some foolish photographers even got on the beach to take videos, a very dangerous thing to do. FInally one night Krakatau blew up and ejected enough new lave to remove the lake.

      I believe you are right, the heating of the water does indicate hot magma rising and close to the surface.

  31. Looks like the recent inflationary episode at Kilauea has ended, the caldera extension has flatlined. There looks to be inflation of the deep south caldera magma body though, the ‘egg’ structure Hector talked about in part 1. It seems the connection to depth is constant up to this point but magma feed is intermitent to the sources beyond this.

    Vertical movement at AHUP, CRIM and OUTL has reached equal to the point which triggered the eruption last year and has not levelled off like the extension, or the vertical movement on the ERZ, so if the hypothesis presented by Hector about a magmatic episode in November pans out it is very likely we will see an eruption.

    • There has been a sequence of DI events lasting more than 2 weeks now, many of the deflation-inflation events have commenced before the previous one had ended. This may have kept the supply blocked. If the interpretation of DIs consisting of dense material going down the conduit of the volcano is right, then there have been avalanches of rock, or olivine cumulates pouring down the central conduit of Kilauea frequently for more than two weeks now… If the DI events let go for some days then I expect inflation will resume and the volcano get all the magma it hasn’t been getting due to the interference of the dense material pouring down.

      • There are multiple magma chambers active in the last few weeks, I wonder if the signal is because of these all doing separate DI events overlapping?

  32. Taal Volcano’s sulfur dioxide (SO2) has surged to a new high on Sunday, July 4, at 22,628 tonnes, exceeding the previous high of 14,699 tonnes on Saturday, July 3.

    The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said the current SO2 parameters indicate an ongoing magmatic extrusion at the Taal Volcano’s main crater that may lead to explosions.

    Since 12 a.m., July 4, Phivolcs also detected a total of 26 “strong and very shallow low-frequency” volcanic earthquakes associated with magmatic degassing beneath the eastern sector of the volcano island.

    Some of these earthquakes were accompanied by rumbling and weakly felt by fish cage caretakers off the northeastern shorelines of the Taal Volcano Island.

    “These observation parameters may indicate that an eruption similar to the July 1, 2021 event may occur anytime soon,” Phivolcs warned.


    • Must be fairly slow rate of extrusion, that level of SO2 is a lot for a non-erupting volcano but not for one actively erupting. Might be a phase of cone construction in the crater, before 1911 it was shallower and not a lake. I guess we will have to wait until night, to see the glow, it will probably be quite strombolian in nature if there is lava visible.

    • Dear God, they must be mad to leave the alert level at 3. Half again the numbers that were wowing everybody yesterday. Very shallow quakes and HT. Sure looks like immediate run-up. It really ought to be 4 now, as it seems it could blow up at literally any time. And why weren’t those fish cage caretakers evacuated?!

      • Hopefully they get everyone out before the fireworks go off.

      • Because I think everyone here has got the wrong idea about Taal, its not a VEI 7 silicic caldera, its a basalt rift volcano with way too much water around. Still potential for massive explosions but its a very different runup to a silicic caldera like Pinatubo.

  33. I think I didn’t refresh the live cam – 7.36 was the given time! Darn!

      • this couple was transported to the top of Storhrutur by means of a helicopter, by what I have seen I would suggest that they were doing an engagement photo shooting.

    • I’m sure others would agree with me that we are very grateful for the photos and videos received already!
      I’m glad you had a good visit there. Have a good rest!

    • I cannot begin to express how wonderful all these are. The geology, geomorphology, vulcanology; above the usual standard.
      What really pulls me in are the human observational studies. You’ve captured some essence of comfort, rightness, of primeval reaction to these natural phenomena, in the way that you’ve observed the people around you. Bravo.

      • THank you very much!

        Yesterday after arriving home, unpacking the wet tent, my body crashed, I fell asleep everything I did, right now, before going to work I am transferring images and videos from the Nikon to the Computer. I have lots’s of things to do this week, so it might take a while for the video to be finished.

        I have experienced some wonderful things in my life, but this weekend will rank among the best experiences ever.



        • A marvelous experience and it was a privilege to be allowed to see over your shoulders.

        • Thank you for the photos and links, glad you had a good trip. I was worried for you when it all stopped!

  34. Does Taal still have a significant hydrothermal reservoir below the main island, or was this disturbed during the 2020 eruption? Agree that these earthquake swarms have been magma intruding below volcano island via the dike from the southwest (this is where the chamber is inferred to be). It must be fairly close to the surface if the lake within an island within a lake is at boiling point.

    Looking at the maps between 2014/2021 the central island has grown, the vegetation has died off and the innie lake has decreased in size – all quite significantly. In fact the central island is now only a mile away from the west shore.

  35. Looks like faf is waking up again. Expect lava within the hour.

    • You will see the lake cooking soon, but reaching overflow point is still a couple of hours away or so, my best guess. The cone is repeating a pattern now on the FAF high-pass seismo, but seems to be lessening on gas pressure, as it goes through each laborious cycle. This time we saw just steady state emissions, no pulsing at all, while previous episodes saw pulsing, then steady, then pulsing repetition. I predict this time we will ramp up to another slow steady state emission of lava from the lake, it will be interesting if the tube with the skylight becomes active again.
      I hope that I am wrong, and we see pulsing. (smile) but I really expect it to be steady this time.

    • I’ll go with two-three hours, before midnight at any rate. Tremor graph rising fast, but still only half way back to “normal”.

      It’s as good as the football, this volcano-watching lark. And there’s no football tonight.

      • And Natthagi is looking a bit “distended” today compared to the flat look a few days ago, so last few days seem to have filled up the lake below, one more large serving of lava and it will probably start to crack up and move/resurface once again.. It is quite fascinating seeing these patterns of filling up the reservoirs then expanding on multiple scales, the volcano itself, the lava flows etc..

      • 21:39 pm and I see lava approaching the lava lake shore. Definitely about ready to recharge the lava tubes again.

    • 21:39 pm, I am seeing lava cooking and almost up to the brim. Looks like 3 hours, a bit more than I guessed 2 – 3 hours.

Comments are closed.