The Plume of Ballareldar?

To me the part of a volcano that is visibly erupting is the least exciting part. Perhaps a better way of stating it is, that it is only the effect of the cause. This is obviously not true to most people on the planet, so I think I owe everyone an explanation. And that explanation is especially important since we need to look deep into the volcano, to understand its future.   Like most people I can obviously spend hours looking at lava bombs being hurled, and lava slowly filling valleys. But, getting…

The Happy Dyke of Fagradalsfjall

Background The good part about volcanology is that nature will sooner or later test both your theories and your scientific models. In this case what was tested was the original model of the available pent up seismic strain in the currently active area of Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland. It turned out that the amount of…

Possible runup phase at Fagradalsfjall

The current swarm at Reykjanes Peninsula that has been going on since the M5.7 NW of Krysuvík on Wednesday at 10.05 declined over the last couple of days. Today it became reinvigorated with 10 earthquakes above M4. At the same time the earthquake swarm go reinvigorated signals was detected pointing towards movement of volcanic fluids…

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…