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,…

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…

Lava rocks!

What’s in a name. Would lava by any other name smell as sweet? Perhaps that is not the right question: lava is many things, but sweet-smelling it is not. It smells like a rose bush that was doused in some evil sulphurous pesticide and then put on fire. This rose also constantly explodes with a…

Kilauea – Slump or Slide?

As I have perused the internet in the last few days I have noticed that the “gargantuan landslide causing a mega-tsunami” meme is in full swing again, now in relation to Kilauea. Therefore, I think it is time to write a more laidback article about what is happening in that regard with Kilauea. But before…

Kilauea: If wishes were horses!

We humans may wish for many things, but gravity is a horse we can’t wish away. And this horse drives what is happening at Kilauea. So far, the new stage of the old Kilauea eruption that started about one week ago has given us a very small subsidence caldera, a large earthquake, drained two lava…

Bárðarbunga… A restless giant

I got the honour and privilege to be the author of the first blog post of 2018. So let me take this opportunity to wish all our readers, visitors and the managing team a very happy and healthy new year.   The Bardarbunga eruption in 2014 was impressive in many ways. It was a rifting event,…

Europe’s tallest volcano: Mount Elbrus

How can you hide a volcano? Apparently, making it the highest mountain on the continent is a good start. Mount Elbrus is both Europe’s tallest mountain and Europe’s highest working volcano. The first fact is commonly recognized, and can be readily found on-line and off-line, but the second fact is harder to locate. While Mont…

Iceland seismicity – monthly review (July 2017 edition)

Ever since I began plotting earthquake data for Iceland and generally for the world (where data is available), I was planning to do a monthly review of the seismicity in Iceland, so we can keep track of it on a monthly basis. Of course, if there is any stronger activity or something unusual happens, usually…