Askja for Beginners

I love large caldera volcanoes. The first reason is that they are always very beautiful, especially if they have lakes in them. The second reason is that most of them are of a class of volcanoes that leave their pointier cousins far behind. Size matters after all. At one end of the beauty spectrum, you…

The Current Volcanic State of Affairs

I am taking this opportunity to look at 5 volcanoes that at least I find interesting. I am doing this out of the perspective of the life-curve of an eruption. I find this perspective to be interesting, and I think that it is something that would be both entertaining and informative for our dear readers.…

Askja, 1875

Background Askja is a lesser known major Icelandic volcano. The north volcanic zone (NVZ) where it is located is not as touristy as the east (Bardarbunga, Grimsvotn), the south (Katla) or the southwest (Fagradalsfjall) volcanic zones of Iceland, but it should not be ignored. The Krafla rift eruption here lasted (intermittently) for nine years, from…

On the importance of Deep Quacks

Back in early 2011 I was sitting down for a late light evening read of “Lower-crustal earthquakes caused by magma movement beneath Askja volcano on the north Icelandic rift” by Soosalu et al. As I read angels started to sing a glorious hymn as I had an epiphany and my view on how volcanoes operate…

Signs and Portents of Iceland

Icelandic volcanoes are all about long term projections. They do not do things in the short run, before any eruptions you will see either several intrusive episodes like at Eyjafjallajökull, or you will see signs of steadily mounting pressure prior to an eruption. For some Icelandic volcanoes these two processes goes on for decades, or…

100 years of Icelandic volcanism

  Statistics and volcanism does not exactly go hand in hand, especially since it tends to end up with idiots claiming that volcanoes are “overdue”. A volcano is never overdue, they may shift patterns of their eruptions, go into extended periods of dormancy, or pretty much do anything that they jolly well pleases. It is…