The Heimaey story

Heimaey is famous. It is the only place in Iceland known to have first been settled by non-Vikings: the first inhabitants were escaped Irish slaves, before 900 AD, who didn’t last long. Much later it suffered a devastating slave raid. And of course, it has an elephant. But all that history pales in comparison to…

The Hotness of Grimsvötn

As far as volcanoes go, we like to think of them as immutable giants that rarely if ever change. We like to see Grimsvötn as a glacier covered giant of a volcano, that almost always produce moderate ashy eruptions, that are relatively speaking short-lived. Yes, once upon a blue moon it will do something big,…

Nishinoshima – The Seminal Eruption

Nishinoshima is in many ways the perfect volcano, it is constantly doing firsts, and spectacular and unusual things. Normally volcanologists would gather nearby and play lip-banjo at its antics. But since it is far out into the ocean and is so inaccessible most miss this beauty of a beast. In November and December of 2013,…

Bagana: child volcano

It is hard being a child of a famous parent. It means living under a cloud of expectation. Society expects children to be like the parents. Parents expect children to become a better version of themselves. Parental pressure can be particularly strong on the oldest child. Younger children may have more freedom to do what…

Laki deconstructed III. Grimsvötn and Beyond

Lakí deconstructed – Grimsvötn and Beyond We now continue our Laki series, first published in 2013. If you haven’t read the previous Laki instalments, I suggest that you do so first. Prequel – Laki deconstructed: I. prequel Part 1 – Laki deconstructed II. Anatomy of an Eruption Grimsvötn Fissure System The Grimsvötn fissure system is…

Laki deconstructed II. Anatomy of an Eruption

We continue Carl’s story of Laki. I highly recommend anyone who has not read ‘Central volcanoes of Vatnajökull’ to do so carefully, otherwise you will most likely be lost fairly quickly, see it as the prequel to this multi-part article. Previous Lakí research Up until 1993 research into the Skaftár Fires was based upon a…

The little volcano that could

The little part here is highly metaphorical, or perhaps I should say challenged in regards of prominence. The volcano in question is once more Nishinoshima. Back in 2013 when it rumbled back to life it was all the rave, but nowadays I bet that even most volcano afficionados have missed the return of the ocean…

Þorbjörn’s Tormented Tribulations

As Þorbjörn rumbles on it seems ever likelier that it will erupt. So, to explain what is happening I decided to pull out all the stops and produce a more definitive article explaining the news and a possible future now that Albert has put things into context. So, without further ado, I would like to…

Volcanic alert at Þorbjörn Volcano

The Icelandic Met Office has released an Official Bulletin about the possibility for an upcoming eruption at Þorbjörn on the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland. Þorbjörn belongs to a class of volcanoes that I normally like to call Unknownabunga, one of all of those volcanic features in Iceland that pretty much nobody knows anything about, until…

Taal eruption update

In my previous article I wrote that Taal most likely would not continue to erupt for a long period of time, based on the previous history of the volcano. Obviously Taal decided to go for something not recorded in the historic annals. It is therefore time to take a deeper look at what is going…