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…

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,…

The Gentle Giant of Africa

Unless you are more interested in volcanoes than is technically healthy, it is likely that you have missed out a lot on the classic Monty Python skit ‘The twin peaks of Kilimanjaro’. Most people laugh at it since they believe that there is only one peak, but for us with an un-checked interest in volcanoes,…

Greip update (June 2019)

After a wonderful series on Krakatau by Albert, a mysterious island by Carl and a seismic “Intermezzo” by Lurking, I have decided to take things back to Iceland for a while. Most of us know Greip by now, and we are going to take another look at it, from a more seismic perspective with some…

Michio Kaku and the stale dough

Flat earthers believe that the earth is flat, but the rest of us have good reasons to think that we know that it is round. The difference is that they trust in their belief in something, and that we trust the scientific process and the data and theories that it yields. A flat earther stubbornly…

The air we breath: the sulfur smell of volcanoes

“The sun became dark and its darkness lasted for one and a half years… Each day it shone for about four hours and still this light was only a feeble shadow… the fruits did not ripen and the wine tasted like sour grapes.” Michael the Syrian, about a 6th century eruption It smells. Sulfur is…

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…

The goop and the mudcano

On Wednesday I was asked to look into the possibility that there had been an eruption on the West Coast of Sweden. It was one of those phone calls that are really confusing and making you wonder if it is you, or the rest of the Universe, that has gone utterly bonkers. Since it was…