The ballad of Ballareldar: twister in the snow

Volcanoes are nature at its most impressive – and most damaging. The fire and the lava are a deadly alluring combination. Once the flow gets going, it is unstoppable. It may be deflectable: people are currently trying hard to save their road by building a wall. We were wondering, will the wall work? It would be the first time that people have managed to change a lava flow by 180 degrees. We are doubtfully cheering them on.

Tornadoes too are nature at its most impressive – and most damaging. They come in many different forms and sizes, from small dust devils to the massively destructive ones in tornado alley. No wall will help there. And the damage can last: in the city of Utrecht, the cathedral is some distance away from its tower. In 1674, it was hit by a tornado which destroyed the church but left the tower standing. The church was rebuild, but an open square was left between church and tower, a lasting reminder of the power of nature. And not even Iceland is immune. In August 2018, a farm in South Iceland was damaged by a tornado. This was deemed so unusual that it made international news.

A combination of a volcano and a tornado must but the ultimate scare, one step above even sharknado. What are the chances of that happening?

It turns out, that depends on what you mean with tornado. A combination of a volcano and a true tornado is rare. But if you think ‘spout’ or ‘devil’ then the chance is rather high. Luckily they tend to hit where lava has gone before, with nothing left worth damaging apart from an occasional careless tourist.

On Thursday, the still camera covering the Geldingadalir eruption caught an amazing view – amazing, that is, for Iceland in spring. First there was the snow, proving to the world that Iceland never really left the ice age. It is waiting in the wings, and here ragnarok is always just around the corner. But this snow shower had more. It was only seen on one frame, a 1-second snap every 10 minutes. A beautiful spout showed, left of the cone that just at that moment wasn’t spouting anything. The image showed the funnel, the sharp thin edges and the horizontal striping that delineate the rotating winds. Towards the bottom it became fuzzy, clearly showing that it touched the ground and was picking debris – dust, presumably.

Once this was found, the twister was quickly located on other webcams. The still was taken at 11:50am, just as a heavy shower moved in. The Meradalir webcam was in snow, but this was only on its hill. The closer langihryggurNV webcam was in the clear, and showed no snow at the tornado itself. It had formed just after the storm passed through. If you like the full frames, click on these pictures.

The tornado was also seen in the life webcams. This is shown in the video extract below. The tornado forms on the left, over the lava field. Initially it is hard to see. It quickly rotated up the side of the hill, and now it became clear, forming a funnel of cloud. Once it reached halfway up the hill, it fragmented and disappeared. The still frame had, by pure accident, caught it at its best.

How did this form? Why was it in a snowstorm? And why did it end so suddenly?

Before addressing these questions, what are tornadoes anyway? Think hurricane – but with the action packed into one funnel. They are amazingly easy to make: all it needs is some upward movement of air, and something that gives it a bit of spin. And just let it go. We have a tornado chamber at work. It is about 2 meters tall, and creates a vortex of air inside. Add a bit of oil vapour, and you see a beautiful tornado. I lend it once to a science show for primary school children. The teacher was talking about different kinds of clouds while behind her the chamber was being powered up. After a minute or so the tornado-in-a-box suddenly appeared and all the children went wide-eyed.

A tornado forms within a thunderstorm. The storm can contain a rotating vortex, powered by the different winds around it. This is especially if the storm is fast moving. The downdraft around the thunderstorm can take this vortex below the cloud base. Now we have a funnel cloud. If the funnel cloud touches the ground (most don’t) it is called a tornado. Let mayhem begin.

A devil develops differently. They start on the ground, as a bit of excessively warm air begins to rise. The rising bubble can pick up rotation from variations of the wind, either with height or on the ground. A devil starts on the ground and moves up, while a tornado begins in the storm and comes down.

But there is a grey zone: a devil may connect to a cloud above, and it that case it is both a devil and a tornado. This only happens if it touches the cloud base and that is rare: if that happens it probably used both the updraft and the downdraft, a true mix. I’ll leave it up to you whether to call this tornado devil or a devil of a tornado. Strictly speaking, if the devil does not get its spin from the cloud but from the wind lower down it is not a tornado, but this is hard to tell from the ground! So in practice, if it connects ground and cloud it is called a tornado even when strictly speaking it isn’t.

Warm air rises and cool air descends. This is a crucial part of the formation of tornadoes and devils. But the rising and falling is not automatic. To get a column of rising air, you need a fast change of temperature with height. Rising air cools – by about about 1C per 100 meters (less for humid air). The air only continues rising if the temperature of the surrounding air drops with height at least that fast. This works best if either the ground is very warm, or the upper air is very cold (or both). The temperature gradient can be very large near the ground when the ground is heated by the sun, but may be be much less a few meters up. So the devil may grow only to a few meters. At other times the temperature continues to drop fast with height and the air is called unstable: now the column continues to rise. The rising column can pick up rotation if the winds change with altitude, and becomes a funnel cloud reaching for the clouds above. The same can happen with the descending air coming from the cloud above and taking its rotation with it. The direction is different but the physics is the same.

The speed of rotation of tornadoes is enormous. Devils are a bit less vigorous. There is a lot of meteorology in here, but the principle is easy to understand. is something is rotating and it suddenly becomes smaller, the speed of rotation increases. The standard experiment is a victim siting on one those rotating office chairs, holding out their arms and given some spin. Now the victim pulls in the arms – and the chair spins up enough to make the person seasick. Dancers use this: in a pirouette, if you pull in your arms you go faster. It is called ‘conservation of angular momentum’ and it is a basic law of physics. As incoming wind is focussed on a small devil, the rotation it brings speeds up in the same way. In a devil, the wind may come in from 100 meters or so, and is focussed on something a meter across. The rotation increases by this factor of 100, so even an insignificant rotating movement of 10 centimeter per second can become a strong wind of 10 meters per second. In clouds, the circulation is faster. It also extends further: the circulation may measure kilometers across. So the amplification is higher and it gives much stronger winds. Tornadoes really are scary. Even Icelanders would not flock to watch a tornado. Tornado chasers are like rock climbers: admired, followed, but best not copied.

Water spouts form (the clue is in the name) over water. They can develop when the water is warm but the upper air cold, something that is most common in late summer. These are conditions that give rise to thunderstorms, and so water spouts may be true tornados: starting from the storm above and coming down to the water, connecting cloud and surface. Water spouts can also form from the water up, in which case they are water devils. True tornadoes are not that common over water: most water spouts come from rising convection and get their rotation from wind, not the storm above. Tornado may be strong enough to suck up water (and a few fish or frogs), but water spouts don’t normally do this. Forget about shark-infested tornadoes: this is one of the many things sharknado got wrong. However, a water spout can move over land and drop some of its animal load there. The song ‘raindrops keep falling on my head’ would not be the same if the rain included an occasional fish.

On land you may get dust devils forming above heated ground. They are land spouts, and they do not normally become tornadoes. The reason is that clouds stop the ground from heating, so dust devils do not easily form underneath thunderstorms. But they can grow large: on Mars they can become kilometers tall. And they can be dangerous. I know of one person who died when the driver of the car decided to drive through one.

But any ground heat will do. Forest fires are well known for forming ‘firenadoes’. The air over the fire rises, and the forest fire pulls in colder air from all around. This incoming air brings with it a bit of rotation, and the vortex, filled with burning fragments of the forest, rises up. It is not a tornado, though. They should be called fire devils.

Source: wikipedia

Volcanoes also do it. Volcanic eruptions are much smaller than forest fires and their devils may not be as impressive. But air above a hot lava field will rise and if the wind over the lava field brings some rotation with it, it will form a rising vortex. It may even be strong enough to even pull up lava fragments from below. Again, they are not tornadoes as all their energy and rotation comes from below. These volcanadoes are really lava devils.

There have been several reports of such lava devils on the fields of Geldingadalir. They were most common on the hottest part of the lava. Here is nice video of one that tries to make its way to the centre of eruption. The air above the cone is rising, and this pulls in the air around it. The lava devil moves with this flow towards the cone, and probably picks up rotation from it as well.

The vortex can also form around the edges of the lava field, fed by the heat. The air flow can take it off the lava field and up the slopes of the hill (warm air, after all, rises). Now it becomes a real dust devil. There was one visible on Thursday, shortly after the tornado. In true Icelandic fashion it decided to take a good look at the local camera and show off for the world while obliterating the view of the lava fountain behind it.

As an aside, what makes a tornado or devil visible? In the videos you can see that they can sometimes move invisibly. There are two main possibilities. The low air pressure inside the vortex, combined with humid air, leads to condensation. The funnel cloud really is a funnel cloud: it forms a cloud. The other way to become visible is by what it picks up from the ground. This can be dust, or it can be larger debris. Sometimes dust devils have no dust, and become invisible. I once was sailing in a narrow canal, when a dust-less dust devil came of the fields, unnoticed and invisible. The boat suddenly was flat on the water. In a forest fire, the fire is what makes the fire devil visible. And above lava, tephra does the trick. In the video above, the lava devil becomes visible when it hits open lava but is difficult to see otherwise.

But let’s go back to our original tornado. Can we understand what happened?

It started just like the lava dust devil of the previous video. It formed on the lava field, moved to the side and up the hill. But the conditions were unusual. The upper air was very cold and a snow shower was rolling in. There was even a bit of rotation in the cloud: this is visible in one of Virtual’s beautiful time lapses. If you look at, towards the end around 11:40 you can see rotation in the cloud. The snow brought the cold with it, setting up a very large temperature gradient. The rising lava devil, aided by the very cold air above, met the downdraft from the cloud and took off. The rising bubble of low pressure in the cold air caused condensation and formed a cloud, which made it visible at heights where the dust could not reach. It went high enough (150 meters, perhaps) to touch the base of the cloud. And so it became a tornado. This is actually pretty rare for volcanic vortices. On the images you can distinguish both the funnel cloud above and the dust devil below.

But it did not last. The wind took the vortex up the slope of the hill, away from the lava. It lost its source of hot air on the ground. The updraft lost power as the temperature gradient was now much less steep than before. It quickly lost the connection with the downdraft from the cloud above, it survived for a few seconds more after its downgrade to a dust devil, but then disintegrated. But by then it had already become immortalized by the webcam.

The tornado (let’s call it that, even though this name is disputable) happened on the tail end of a snow storm. Snow tornadoes (really, snow devils) are known, but they are very rare. They have been seen mainly during snow storms over warm(ish) water. Wikipedia claims that only 6 snow devils have been photographed, all in Canada. I am not aware of any having been seen during a volcanic eruption. However, do correct me on this!

So this was a very unusual development in what was otherwise a fairly common event. Lava devils do not normally become tornadoes. They don’t normally form during a snow storm. This was, as seems typical for this eruption, exceptional.

The current eruption may be exceptional, it is also a small one. You would expect that anything this adorable toddler volcano can do, grown-up volcanoes can do better. And indeed, larger eruptions can have larger lava devils. There were some very impressive examples seen during the 2014 Holuhraun eruption. Here is one which was caught on infrared camera. It reached a kilometer high. There was a bit of cloud on the infrared camera, but not the kind that would have given any downdraft. And so this was a superb lava devil, but not a tornado. And though it had fire, it lacked snow. But it was a very good try.

And Hawai’i can do it too. How do you feel about a volcanic water spout? Sounds scary? One was seen in Hawai’i in 2008, formed in the cloud of steam where lava entered the ocean. It does connect to a cloud but this is the steam cloud of the lava ocean entry itself, so it does not qualify as a tornado. Our Gedlingadalir tornado remains unique.

Photo is by Stephen & Donna O’Meara

Eruptions are both scary and beautiful. And it is not just the lava. It is also the atmosphere.

What are your stories of volcanic weather phenomena? Please us the comment box to share your knowledge and experience!

Albert, May 2021

And for a bit of volcanic atmosphere, I can strongly recommend the Meradalir camera.

741 thoughts on “The ballad of Ballareldar: twister in the snow

  1. This video I took in 2018 of lavafalls in Nyiragongo shows how fluid the lava is

    • Beautyful called firehose lava flows
      Last seen in Hawaii 2017

  2. Langahrygg camera has just zoomed in on a steamming area in Natthagi, nowhere near the lava flow

  3. 1. The initial cascade @ Nátthagi reminded me of that Fournaise eruption a year ago or so where the flow fragmented going over a cliff and the lava landed in a grove of bushes, the way that went up it looked like cresote or pine.

    2. I had no knowledge how lichen or peat burns. Pretty impressive, but short lived. If that cascade had happened in Leilani–methane city!

  4. I see Nyiragongo has started an eruption as of around 2 hours ago , seems like a flank eruption . Some spectacular photographs on twitter.

  5. the lava lake of Nyiragongo is likley gone now
    drained into the flank Intrusion

    Looooooooooosssssssst!!! Looooooost
    Myyyy preeeeeeeeccuuuuuiiious is loooost😞

    • That was the volcano I’ve been holding out to see. I’ll cry if the lake is gone. 🙁

    • Wow The lava flows Big Aa flows now
      Because of high Nyiragongo eruption rates. Looks like the fountains already died.. then eruption will be over soon
      Lava lake is drained ..

    • The video of the eruption at Mt Nyiragongo gives you perspective. There, a major eruption and a lot of lives are at stake. The outcome will be devastating to a lot of people.

      In Iceland only a glass fibre cable and the coastal road are in danger right now (and that’s a good thing!). Makes for guilt free lava watching on the Icelandic video streams and a bit of appreciation that things are so harmless there…

  6. Reading reports on twitter that the nyiragongo lava has reached goma airport. That’s bad news as the airport is very near the eastern outskirts of Goma – the lava isnt just heading eastwards as previously suggested. Apparently the area of Monigi further to the north of goma is already under the lava. The poor people, i hope they can evacuate.

    • Even runny basalt can send ash to 45,000 feet? What collapsed?

      Also there were two quite large earthquakes in China last night/yesterday.

        • It is surprising that this volcano ejects ash that high. But it could be convective. There are always thunderstorms above these mountains

    • The Langihryggur RUV camera switched to look seawards, and I could spot a car on the road in the distance. Great view, good location for a webcam; just need to put another one to have both views simltaneously.

    And yet another amazing video from Gutn Tog, his attention to detail and quick eye for the microfeatures of the lava’s geography is so satisfying and yet poses even more intriguing questions. It’s like melting dark brown muscovado sugar, soft and squishy, cushiony yet fragile as splintering glass. I could not be a volcanologist in the field, the temptation to thrust my hand in would be sorely tempting…

    • Lava flows feed by high eruption rates even with very fluid lavas becomes Aa lavas anyway

      Is the eruption still going strong ?

    • Endless loop of “Something went wrong. Try reloading.”

      OT: this site is very slow to load lately. It seems that each VC page load triggers multiple megabytes of transfers from the host and none of the page will render until much of that has been downloaded. For a page consisting largely of text with a few image and video embeds here and there, that is ludicrous. And it seems to be new behavior. A week or so ago I don’t remember this happening. The text of VC pages loaded quickly, although sometimes the numerous embeds in the comments took a while to all finish loading.

  8. The lava field is showing signs of tentatively unzipping and gushing to Natthagi gorge and gushing into that valley full bore around 01:20 am. I noticed white glimmers of cracking lava near the active cone and also a slow but definite temperature rise in the lava gushing over the eastern embankment which is probably worn down by lava flow now. Two orange dots also appeared in the lava field, about 1/2 between the active cone and the active lava flow into the Natthagi valley.

    Time will tell.

    • Smoking now started at 01:28 am near the exit point of the perched lava field… wonder what this portends?

      • lave field is unzipping at this east end, a large segment (20 meters or so) suddenly rips off exposing yellow hot lava underneath, in parallel tears. I see people over near the gushing lava falls, but one latern (person) looks like he’s in a bad spot, and could be carried suddenly down the lava falls, should the bank break.

        • careful watching leads me to believe that the small flashes of light are not lanterns but rather peat moss fires, ignited by the intense infra-red coming from the flow.

    • gusher widening now at end of eastern exit, starting 02:01:55 am and it is a bit ominous to see the white-yellow hot lava field growing in size.

    • Hope no one is still out on that piece of land looking at the east channel, it’s about to become an island.

      • Generally not many people on site at 4:30 in the morning so there should not be a risk of anyone stranded

  9. Hm, activity in that corner has died down.

    Somebody on the Tokolosh channel claims the smoker in the lava channel on the Langihryggur cam is a new vent.
    “Our smoker is a new vent! There’s a persistent bright patch below it in the lava channel on the Mer timelapse. It’s bubbling up into the lava, and that’s why it can’t fountain or cone build! ”

    Mer timelapse:

    It certainly looks completely stationary. Any other explanations?

  10. No sign of a slow down unless this is just the release of lava from the lake below the crust.
    This early this morning.

    • and this ….. It makes for addictive and fascinating watching.

  11. Nyiragongo flowing into Goma airport
    Looks like eruption is still going.. fast moving Aa flows… Despite its incredibely low sillicate content the lava cooled and turned into pasty rubble a distance from the fissure vents.

  12. Looks like unlike 2002 or 1977 this flank eruption was not a rift, if it opened on the east flank. That means there is potential for a lot more lava to actually erupt instead, it is further from Goma but that seems not to matter. if the vent is actually on the east flank flowing initially towards the Rwanda border, and lava has now reached Goma airport this flow is WAY bigger than 2002. I would not be surprised if it is over 100 million m3 in volume which is putting it up in the big leagues, erupting that in ~6 hours is an eruption rate of 4500 m3/s, something comparable to Mauna Loa in 1950, or Laki…

    It is fortunate people remember the last time, and that the flow is moving slowly now being on a flat area.

    • Chad .. What woud it have been to be 100 meters from the openings of the vents? Coud I outrunn it? The Aa was insanely scary this night .. moving at slow walking speed on flat ground

      I hopes we gets to see these superfluid sheet pahoehoe close to eruption vents in comming Photos

      • No chance, the lava doesnt have to flow at 100 km/hr to be dangerous, 10 km/hr in any sort of forested uneven terrain is more than enough, and 10 km/hr is much more plausible, even probable.

        • Based on a very rough estimate on the location of the vent, the lava has flowed at least 14 km to reach the airport, to do that in a few hours and on flat ground…

          I dont know if the lava at Nyiragongo is more fluid than the hottest lava in Hawaii up at Halemaumau, really its kind of an arbitrary difference, but certainly the very short distance the lava has to travel underground here to erupt makes for much faster lava flows, as well as a massive gravitational potential of 2 km, probably no cooling underground at all.

      • I suspect that Crazy Frog is behind this Nyiragongo mess…

        I can see that little Blue jerk laugthing now .. ”The Annoying Thing” is more annoying than ever now

    • I went back to the Africa section here, mostly done by Albert and Carl, and found this: (great)
      in this:
      I would say this explains nearly everything in the area, from the Afar Triangle down to Mozambique passing Rungwe:

      I extended the animation to the West and gave it a few millions of years. The eruptions of Nyiragongo are part of a fascinating process. There will always be some hazard and it has to be accepted as volcanoes are fertile, so people live there and plant eaters before them:

      So I sure hope that Albert or Carl will dive into this again.

  13. crazy thought: about Iceland’s dams…… what if studies in the future come up with the idea that building the dams somehow encouraged the lava to flow out more volume toward the Valley and the ocean where as, if they hadn’t changed the pressure and left well enough alone more lava would have gone the other way…. just late night thinking i know. Lava is goes where it will according to gravity and flow rates.

    • Even crazier thought – it’s a Viking volcano, and the Vikings were, above all else, seafarers. Never mind slopes and barriers, it’s just finding the quickest way to the sea…

    • Crossed my mind too. It makes sense (to this lay-person at least) that building up a big pond of lava first, helps to establish a robust flow channel once it breaks out.

      I wonder if/how vulcanologists actually study things like this. They don’t get to conduct many experiments do they? 😉

    • The last 3 geysering eruptions look weak, the tossed lava barely making to cone height but much steam and smoke being made. Are we coming to a change up?

    • Yes, the Western Wall is close to failing. Doesn’t matter too much as the lava from the Eastern Wall has now found its way into the flow path below the Western Wall. Impressive though that the wall overflowed but did not collapse (yet). That means there is much less lava in the valley below than would otherwise be. But if the wall does collapse completely, you will suddenly get a very large surge going down.

      • Yes i was talking to a friend yesterday. He build dams. He think they wanted to avoid a total drain from lava field north of lava river. That would also weak the river shield and flow maybe get only that way. Better have only the overflow down valley. And hope for a stop or a more steady flow south. That if wall holding.

  14. Looks like this Nyiragongo eruption is already over .. lasting even shorter than 2002
    The summit lava lake is likley gone I guess

    Perhaps I dont realise the enormous ammounts of lava Thats been produced now

  15. Continuing with a view from Langihryggur (no crows this time)
    Yesterday 9h to 18h. The breach is in the beginning. 1sec = 1 minute.
    I thought naming the previous one (constructing the wall) The Wall, this one could be called Under Pressure.

    • Look at the sudden collapse of the wall at 1:20. How dangerous it actually was to walk on the dam the days before…

    • Thanks for that as that corrected some misconceptions about the lava field unzipping that I had from only viewing at night. What I thought was an unzipping was really a flow sheet of hot lava not a tear

    • Thanks for all your work on these videos ..
      This one is my new favorite ..

  16. I wonder what that big white square is, seen from the “dam cam”? (Otherwise known as the Langihryggur camera.)
    Perhaps it is a “keep out” sign?

    • Or a “Natthagi Valley Welcomes the Volcano” poster…. 🙂

    • It comes into view as the camera moves slightly at 10.03am. White screen for some sort of media broadcast recording?

      • “maybe” it’s a large visual warning for people around the area to get out in case of dam failure? No doubt they’d have air horns too, but anything that adds a bit for the general safety of those at the site helps. You can see it from the Slaga still camera.

        Would, of course, shift to red when necessary.

    • On the Langihryggur NW camera, there’s a white thing near the bulldozers that’s been there at least a day, is it that?

    • That might be a naked front end loader that’s broken down…?

  17. Does anyone have a link to the top right webcam that Tokolosh is showing right now? It says 2 Visir in top left, Bein Utsending Fagradalsfjall in top right of the screen. It’s like the old Ragnar closeup camera. I can’t find it in an internet search.

  18. I’m idly watching the “dam cam” from Langihryggur, and notice people walking up the gulley from Natthalgi to the dam. Then wandering around the earth dam itself.

    I’m not sure I would wish to tempt fate by walking up a potential lava spillway to a cheapo soil dam holding back a few million tons of molten rock…

    The authorities must be tearing their hair out.

  19. Just sitting here alternating between the MBL and the dam cam thinking…..

    Has anyone considered using multiple steel ‘targets’, dropped by helicopter, and tracked using radar? The steel would act as reflectors, and the radar plots could be used (studied) for lava movement – direction, speed. Relatively inexpensive (except for helicopter time).

    This “could” help with determining placement of berms below in the valley (berms placed alternatively to ‘persuade the lava flow to zig-zag and buy time to build alternative routes for road and fibre), and just plain old research.

    Or maybe I need another coffee….

    • Video: Lava from Nyiragongo invading eastern parts of Goma. Despite a very very low sillicate content.. the fast eruption rates still turns the lava into pasty moving Aa rubble. Nyiragongo sillica content is as low as 36% almost nothing compared to many other magmas. But temperatures are important too. Still the very very low sillicate content did not make it superfluid far from the vents
      Nyiragongo is result of hardly any partial melting at all .. so lavas coud also be quite cooler than Hawaii

      This eruption was causes by the insane pressure of a 3 km high magma column above sealevel .. the flank coud not hold the pressure anymore after 20 years of rising lava lake activity.

      Amazing it haves even a lava lake at all, melting rates in mantle are absoutley tiny small in these superalkaline magmatic melts

      • I remember seeing vid of the 2002 eruption, open-channel pahoehoe was draining into Lake Kivu. All depends on the gas, temp and viscosity!

    • No Nyiragongo VC article so far from you 😉 This is pretty much the rarest active sillicate volcano on the entire planet!

      Anyway enjoy the video!

    • It looks like that is where the lava is pooling, so it it just degassing there

    • It’s been suggested that this is where a lava tube starts, and therefore where the gas escapes most readily. How much truth is in this, or if it’s just speculation, I’ll leave to others more capable to decide.

  20. I wonder how much longer the western dam can hold? The tiny overspill from last nigh is there, frozen, with a tiny brother to its east. Since then nothing has happened in spite of the clear build-up of pressure from the lava behind the earth wall, Every so often the camera operator zooms in and the lava appears to be perched almost on top of the dam with its front end smoking: surely it cannot hold much longer?
    People have also been walking around below this dam today, including in the gulley: this does not seem a sensible thing to do when looking from the camera at a higher elevation.

    • There were people walking in the dip up from the valley earlier, exactly where the lava will flow (fast) when it breaks though or over flows

    • Wow, someone gave this video a thumbs down, what a tough audience to please…

      Genuine question, no criticism intended: do you cut the camera pans to the south, or does the method you use to capture the time-lapse not pick them up?

    • well i liked the video … and the one thumbs down ???? did You turn away a girl scout from the door and not buy her cookies???

  21. That earth dam kind of reminds me of the dreadful US movie “Killer Flood, the day the dam broke.”
    The tension is building. But no cameo parts by Icelandic people such as the earth mover drivers, the family of the bloke looking after the project, and the creaking of the structural failures…
    The tension is making my nose itch.

    • Awful, but that city is built in a bad place. We’ve mentioned this before on here – large lava lake uphill, history of violent eruptions, volcanic activity in Lake Kivu (and risk of lake overturn!) – the whole city could do with being moved 50-100 miles west.

    • There is also an ongoing quake swarm underneath Goma city, an unconfirmed M4.3 was reported today along with several aftershocks

      • There was earthquakes for 2 months after the 2002 eruption, sounds like it is following the same pattern

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