The curious case about seemingly endless energy

The most powerful geothermal well so far, the Icelandic Deep Drilling Project. Photograph borrowed from the Mannvit engineering company.

How’s that for a humdinger of a clickbait headline?

As clickbaity as it might seem, it is still true, but I freely admit that it comes with a couple of hippopotamus sized caveats.

Firstly, I should probably state that this article is about geology, geophysics and tectonic plates, and not as such about volcanoes, I do though hope that you my beloved reader will accept this little digression of mine.

Secondly, I should point out that I am a geophysicist working with volcanoes for a day job, specifically in regards of geothermal energy. For the last decade and a half, I have written dry reports to governments about the wonders of drilling large holes into volcanoes to extract energy.

It will probably not surprise anyone that governments enjoy dry reports, but not so much coughing up the money to build modern geothermal plants.


The background

Geothermal Power Plant at Krafla Volcano in Iceland, the beautiful picture is borrowed from Wikimedia and was taken by Ásgeir Eggertsson.

Normal bog-standard geothermal energy comes in three distinct flavours of extraction, the most common is when a household drill a shallow borehole in their garden to extract heat out of the ground. This is quite common in the northern part of the world, well at least in Sweden.

The next one is drilling into a geothermal field to extract hot water or steam for space heating and electricity production. Depending on the size of the field and your ambition you can extract anything from a few kilowatts to a few hundred megawatts.

This is done by using drilling techniques developed at the end of the 19th century during the initial oil-boom in the United States. In other words, a shallow hole, straight down to shallow or intermediate depth.

So far, the available extracted energy is depressingly limited.

The third version is far more exciting, and that is to drill into, or next to, a magma reservoir in an active volcano. This has already been done by the Icelandic Deep Drilling Project, and there is at least one large scale power-plant being in the permitting stage using this technique (caveat is here applied, I am involved in that one).

If you look at the drilling side, we are now well into the state-of-the-art techniques developed by the oil and gas industry during the last 100 years or so.

This form of geothermal energy will transform volcano rich countries and has the potential of solving roughly ten percent of the worlds current electricity needs in a sustainable and renewable way. Problem is that it is just not enough.

To meet the Paris Agreement, we need to replace all electricity produced by coal, gas, and oil-powered plants. And that is a whopping 61 percent to replace.

To compound the problem, if we all are good little ecological people and go electric when driving, then we need a further 36 percent more electricity than what is currently produced in the world.

On top of that the worlds electricity consumption is increasing with 5 percent per year as the developing world is catching up to the industrialized part of the world.

The ten percent that classical, and not so classical, geothermal energy can produce is now at best a partial solution of the problem.

Even with all the current hydropower electricity in the world, and a monster-sized expansion of wind and solar-power, it is not enough. Grid-storage and smart-grids are also only partial solutions to the problem.

Even with all these good and nice solutions we do not reach the target, we already notice this as rising electricity prices across Europe and the United States, and those prices will skyrocket in the next couple of decades.

Now some will jump up out of their chairs and scream “NUCLEAR!” But before you do that, please explain first how we will pay the 13 trillion (and counting) dollar bill that we have already accrued to clean up the mess that it has already produced. You can’t? Well, I sure as heck can’t either, so sit down and we will continue with geothermal energy which is what this article is all about.


The fourth way

This drillbit is all that remains from the record-breaking Bertha Rogers Hole. The drill-bit is to date the deepest drillbit fished out of a hole. I borrowed this picture from the East Texas Oil Museum.

In 1974 the Lone Star Production Company drilled the 1-27 Bertha Rogers Hole in Washita County, Oklahoma. At 9 583 meters depth they had not found any hydrocarbons, instead they hit molten sulphur that solidified around the drill-bit and the drill-pipe twisted off.

This borehole, and not Operation Mohole, set off a “drilling into the crust cold-war race”. Enter the Soviet Union and their Kol’skaya sverkhglubokaya skvazhina SG-3, more commonly known as the Kola Superdeep Borehole.

At 12 262 metres depth the (by now) Russians ran out of money, and the project was permanently shut down in 1994.

In 1987 Germany got into the drilling-race and the German Continental Drilling Program succeeded with a 9101-meter-deep hole into the ground.

As with all other cold war projects it was a game of brinkmanship, with just a thin wail of science draped on top to make it seem less ridiculous, at no point was geothermal energy a part of the equation.

There was thought heaps of data collected, and in that data, we find a couple of nice nuggets of golden information. In fact, they solved our electricity crisis without even realising it, or even caring about any future use of the collected information.


Crustal geothermal energy

Drill-tower from the Kola Superdeep Hole. Picture taken by Andre Belozeroff, and is borrowed from WikiMedia Commons.

For geothermal energy to work you need a surprisingly small temperature differential if you are just planning to warm up your house via a heat-exchanger.

If you wish to produce electricity more heat is definitely better. The gold standard is the temperature for dry steam found at a minimum of 275 Celsius at a pressure of 59.6 Bar. If the temperature is lower the steam will contain water-droplets that will damage the turbine-blades, and instead one must use either steam-cleaners or heat-converters and a lower-temperature superheated steam agent like ammonia. For any itinerant engineers, I know that I simplified this a lot, you guys aren’t the target audience in this context.

Bertha Rogers was drilled by oil-well roughneck’s working on a budget, so they did not write down long-winded reports about their findings, the just wanted black stuff to squirt out of the ground. Regardless, we still get a couple of nuggets out of them.

The first of those nuggets is that the absolute minimum temperature in the borehole at 9 583 metres was 115.2 Celsius, it was probably higher than that, but we only know that the sulphur was molten. They never wrote down the actual temperature to my utter dismay.

The second nugget is that they proved that even with the simpler technology of the 1970s it was feasible to drill that deep on a budget that would be reasonable if you are intending to drill many holes at the same place.

The budgeting issue will become important as a comparison to the next two boreholes.

The Kola Superdeep Borehole had no budget, instead the Soviet Union poured money into it, developing new methods of drilling, new record-breaking drill-rigs, and the cost in the end helped to ruin them (together with the arms race, mismanagement, the space race, and so on).

The Soviet Union never stated the cost for drilling the hole, but it was to all points and purposes mind-boggling.

Another thing to remember here is that the intent of drilling into the dense and cold Baltic Shield was to not get heat-problems while drilling. For geothermal purposes this was a nightmare place to drill into.

We did though get loads of geologic knowledge for the money, for instance the believed transition point at 7km from granite to basalt turned out to not be true, instead it was found to be metamorphic granite causing an inversion.

We also learned that the rock beyond this point was thoroughly fractured and permeated with water causing the rock to behave in a plastic fashion. We also learned about microscopic plankton fossils at the depth of 6km.

But the important part in regards of geothermal energy is that the temperature gradient was different than expected. It was expected that the coldest piece of crust known to mankind would be 100 Celsius at 12 kilometres depth, instead the readily available deep water was 180 Celsius.

At those pressure that temperature equates to 5MW of extractable energy. As a single 12km deep hole that is obviously not economically feasible even on the stingiest oil-drilling budget, but it is extremely interesting none the less, since it is a worst-case scenario.


The Hole of Germany

Drilltower at the Hole of Germany at the easy to pronounce Windischeneschenbach. Photography borrowed from Wikimedia Commons, taken by JW Pilsak.

If we now move onwards to the Hole of Germany, officially known as the German Continental Deep Drilling Program at Windischeschenbach, we find the same fractured plastic geology permeated by hot water. Here we do know the cost, an eye-watering amount of 270 million Euro in 1987 value.

There they also tried to push in additional water into the rock, and it was found that it was possible to inject large quantities of water without losing well-integrity.

Before drilling the Germans constructed a drill-bit able to survive temperatures up to 300 Celsius, a temperature that was expected at depths of 10 to 14km. Instead, they found that temperature to be exceeded at 9.1km depth.

In geothermal terms they produced a well able to produce sustainably produce 12MW of electricity. That is borderline feasible on the famously stingy oil-drilling budget for a single well.


A thought experiment

Let us now formulate a hypothetic story. One morning Vladimir Putin wakes up after having nightmares about global warming. Covered in cold sweat from his nightmare he decides to solve this problem once and for all with geothermal energy.

He then picks up the phone and orders Gazprom to drill a geothermal well for every single square kilometre of Russia. For good measure he explains that if they do not comply, he will Putinate all of them. Happily having solved the problem he goes back to a restful sleep filled with far nicer dreams about the upcoming Russian Electricity-dominated world.

As ludicrous as this idea might seem we should do the math of this insanity to see if it would solve the problem, let us not bother about pesky economics at this stage though.

Let us here assume that Russia is as uniformly cold underground as the Baltic shield is on the Kola Peninsula.

First of all, Russia is big, 17.13 million square kilometres big. At 5MW per square kilometre this equates to 85 650 000MW, or 85 650GW, or 85.65TW. The combined production of electricity in the world is currently roughly 28TW.

Dang, did our hypothetical Putin just save the world with ample margin to spare? Yes and no, and at the same time.

You would obviously need 85 million 5MW power-plants, and the grid-infrastructure to connect all of them. The cost for all of that would be so high that no feasible electricity price would ever merit that, not even if governments subsidized this loony idea.


Making a more feasible case

Let us now try to make economically viable case of Kola-holes. After all, the hypothetical people at Gazprom are the best in the world at drilling oil and gas-wells on a budget, and they learned heaps of stuff from the original Kola-hole.

First, they would use multi-pad drilling. This is when you drill several boreholes tightly together from the same derrick-pad. They would probably spud up to 8 boreholes without the extremely costly dismantling, moving, and then rebuilding the derrick for each hole.

These boreholes would then be made to drift outwards at an angle from each other to increase the uptake area of energy. A single hole would be 30-40 million Euro, with the multi-pad system we are now down to 20-25 million Euro per borehole.

Our hypothetical skilled Russians would now pull out the mother of all neat drilling-tricks. They would use each of the 8 boreholes as a parent-borehole down to 8km depth, from there they would split drill 3 side-holes from the parent-borehole, giving 4 extraction-wells per each of the eight surface boreholes on the pad. The deft Russians have now 32 wells on hand giving 20MW per parent-borehole, while at the same time having saved 24 kilometres of drilling for the same effect. By now each well is well below 15 million Euro.

Here economy of scale kicks in as they build a 160MW power-plant requiring a single grid-link instead of 32.

Even at this point it would require an extreme price per kWh for it to be feasible, or that a government would subsidize the project, but it is not impossibly far out if the alternative is all of us dying from the effects of global warming.

But the salient point here is that the Kola Superdeep Borehole was drilled at the worst possible place, at all other spots on earth you would either need to drill less deep, get more heat, or both improvements at the same time.

Even if we would cherry pick places with drilling depths of “only” 7km with the ability of producing supercritical fluid out of water (373 Celsius at 220 Bars), we would still have enough places to extract from to be economically viable at a cost of less than 10 Eurocent per kWh. Obviously the hotter and shorter the better.

And, if we run out of suitable continental crust, we can nick yet another trick from the rulebook written by oil-industry and go out into the much thinner oceanic crust.


Fringe benefits

Under this rusted steel plate lies one of the most important things on the planet, the Kola Superdeep Borehole. The birthplace of seemingly free and endless energy.
To me it is a very beautiful thing, but I guess not to that many others.
Photograph from Wikimedia Commons, taken by Rakot13.

There is yet another nugget hidden in the remnants of our three example boreholes. As they drilled the deeper parts of the boreholes, they noticed curious bubbling in the drill mud used as it was pushed up. At the Kola site they noted that it was so strong that it behaved like it was boiling.

At both the Kola site and at the Hole of Germany they duly tested the bubbly stuff and found that it was hydrogen that was bubbling up. At the site for the Bertha Rogers Hole, they just noted that the bubbly stuff burned, but was not useful methane, it is though quite likely to have been hydrogen since it did indeed burn.

At no site there was any excitement about the hydrogen, no particular follow-up research was done, and to this day we do not know what processes at such great depth produces hydrogen. After all, it was not the holy oil that was discovered, so why would they be interested?

Several decades later it is easy to scream out of frustration at the wasted opportunity for research into one of todays most promising energy sources.

Saving the planet is filled with these small little oversights.



No single solution will ever be able to solve our looming energy crisis. Instead, the solution is to be found in many different solutions, that if combined efficiently solves the problem.

In reality the answer is simple and complex at the same time. We need smart grids, grid-storage, solar-power, wind-power, hydropower and geothermal-power.

Of the options above, geothermal power is the best partner to wind and solar in roughly half of the world, and often in parts of the world struggling with getting enough electricity as it is. It is a technology that has the potential to change the world economy in the same way that oil did back in the day, but without destroying the planet while at it.



672 thoughts on “The curious case about seemingly endless energy

        • I think was yesterday. I go to search the video, meanwhile, other video with show that new vent. By IGME.

          • The video of IGME has yesterday date, and show that vent.

    • This is weird. I can’t scroll to the beginning of that Twitter thread! Somehow I’m always somewhere in the middle.

  1. La palma, a member of “Guardia Civil” (Civil Guard gendarmerie) trapped by a convection wing on La Laguna when take air samples.

  2. At 18:44 pm CET it is interesting to see the venting From south to north I see the gray-brown smoke from the southmost vent #1, then black smoke from vent #2, then some brown smoke to the east apparently emitted near vent #3 which is gray-white smoke and vent #4 is down below it emitting gray-white smoke.

    I am curious as to what is the source of gray-white smoke at the very bottom middle of the picture hidden by a foreground hill.

  3. Carl, as to that debate among GF and others I must say the most important thing in science is that there is debate at all. Science is work in progress, should be at least and is never finished.
    I regret very much that there was too little debate concerning Covid and politicians and big money (Pfizer, GAVI etc.) decided which way to take. I think this might not be the end of the story.

    • There has been plenty debate, and debate that has not your preferred outcome is also legitimate.

      The main actual problem is that science has evolved to a leven that the mayority can’t understand anymore.
      Explications from scientists start to become as strange and far fetched as flat earth and snake oil.

      • Was tempted to create an account just so I could “like” your post, Gwen.

      • No there has NOT been enough debate.

        There have certainly been nutty conspiracy theories aplenty, but there has also been the squashing and censoring of legitimate discussion because it didn’t fit The Science, ie the narrative that those with political power wanted to put forth.

        For example: do we know whether ivermectin actually works or not? NO! Why? Proper, randomised, double-blind, controlled trials have NOT been held. It may work, or it may not. At the moment we simply don’t know. Why have these proper trials not been held? Orange man bad has a lot to do with it. Trump said some good things about it, and therefore it must be the devil incarnate.

        Then there’s an example from the UK. Evidence is building that accidental intravenous injection may be behind a good proportion of the nasty side effects of both mRNA and adenovirus vector vaccines. Namely the unusual blood clots and the myocarditis. What needs to be done to eliminate this as a possibly? ASPIRATE BEFORE INJECTING! That one, simple thing eliminates even the possibility of this occurring. It takes half a second more to do it properly and yet there is a complete refusal to even contemplate this might be occurring. There is a complete refusal to switch to the correct technique to ensure intramuscular injection occurs without even the risk of accidental intravenous injection.

        Another example from the UK is the complete refusal to update the signs and symptoms of the disease. They still have new, persistent cough, anosmia and a fever as the signs of COVID. Yet months of evidence from the ZOE study app with hundreds of thousands of people recording their symptoms and then getting tested shows that those signs and symptoms are nowhere near as prevalent now, especially amongst those who are double-vaccinated.

        The Science has indeed become a religion. There is no debate. There is the declaring of those who don’t adhere to orthodoxy as heretics. This is absolutely dreadful for our health and for the future of scientific enquiry.

        So don’t claim that scientific debate has been plentiful and vigorous and sound. It most certainly hasn’t. Oh and by the way I have a science degree and I understand the relevant microbiology and epidemiology more than well enough to have an informed opinion about things. I am therefore very much qualified to comment on this both from a general perspective and regarding the actual science itself.

        • do we know whether ivermectin actually works or not? NO! Why? Proper, randomised, double-blind, controlled trials have NOT been held. It may work, or it may not. At the moment we simply don’t know. Why have these proper trials not been held?

          Why have proper, randomized, double-blind, controlled trials not been held to see whether aspirin cures COVID? Or Preparation H? Or Zoloft?

          We can’t do a study like that for every single preexisting pharmaceutical for humans, let alone also every veterinary pharmaceutical on the market. So we need a good reason to do so, such as a scientific basis for thinking it might be effective. “Because some deranged lunatic suggested it” is emphatically not a good enough reason, and there’s no scientific reason for thinking that a dewormer would be of any use against a virus, which is a very different sort of organism from a worm.

          Furthermore, a study did get done on ivermectin, purely because it had become so popular among wingnuts. Here:

          Lopez-Medina et al, conclude ivermectin is ineffective for COVID 19

          There, satisfied? (The answer will tell us whether you are being genuine here, or just have a political ax to grind.)

  4. Denaliwatch,

    You fought the good fight. when “science” is elevated to the level of religious belief and “scientists” become the new priests and prophets, the possibility of any honest and constructive debate is truly and sadly over.

    • If this is about vaccines, the science is pretty clear. Double vaccination protects for 60-70% against illness and for 80-90% against serious illness. Pfizer is a bit higher than astrazeneca but both are good. Side effects exist but are so rare that in no other vaccine would they have been noticed. The clamour against astrazeneca is mainly political – pfizer makes a lot of money from the vaccine, astrazeneca is offered at cost price. But an improvement on the vaccines is needed, one to avoid the rare allergic response, and the other to maintain effectiveness against the new varieties. It is now clear that effectiveness of the vaccines declines with time, and a booster after 9-12 months seems advisable. Science uncertainties exist on long covid, the cause of the loss of taste and smell, and various other aftereffects such as blood clots which seem to be caused by the virus. And we don’t know to what degree covid will become endemic.

      • Pretty much agree with everything you say Albert, however T-cell (‘memory’ cell) immunity seems robust (obviously B-cell antibodies will decline) with these vaccines. Seeing as the vaccines target resistance to the spike protein, response to variants (with the same vector of infection eg respiratory system) is expected to be limited, eg the vaccines will be effective. Booster jabs versus jabs for the unvaccinated might be a debate.

      • Albert,

        Somewhat about the vaccines, but applies to much of today’s politicized science.

        Full disclosure, I’m not a tin-foil hat anti-vax conspiracy theorist. I’m fully vaccinated as is the rest of my family. My wife actually had COVID before she got vaccinated, and went through the loss of the smell and taste stuff, but got it back. Technically, I was exposed because I live with her, but was fortunate enough not to catch it.

        We have a lot more knowledge of COVID and it;s affects, along with adverse affects from the vaccines, better understanding of immunity for people already infected, etc. The anti-sceince can be seen in the authoritarian vaccine mandates for all, with no exceptions for those prviously infected, people who have legitimate concerns about adverse affects, and especially the mandating of vaccines for young children, where better data is suggesting that they are the least at risk from the virus, and for them at least the vaccines may pose a greater risk than the infection.

        Also, no matter what the powers that be say, no one yet knows what the potential intermediate of long-term affects of the mRNA vaccines are.

      • Comments to this sentence: “The clamour against astrazeneca is mainly political ”

        “After the J&J vaccine’s emergency use authorization and approximately 7 million doses administered, reports emerged of serious thrombotic events with low platelets occurring in a small number of people shortly after receiving the vaccine. The syndrome is now called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), with a clinical presentation similar to that reported with the AstraZeneca adenovirus vector vaccine. As of September 29, 47 cases had been confirmed among the more than 14.9 million J&J vaccine recipients.”
        “The current hypothesis is that both the J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines trigger a thrombotic syndrome similar to heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT).”
        “The incidence varied by age and sex, with the highest risk among women ages 30–39”.

        • Its also even more common in those that catch C19. The syndrome is not confined to the vaccine, it exists when infected by the virus.
          This sort of auto-immune response is to be expected, happens in natural infections too.

        • The incidence of these thrombotic events is similar to the incidence of thrombosis caused by contraceptiva. The age is also the same. So, they are overlapping which means that the thromboses might not be caused by AZ.

          • Unfortunately that’s wrong. The clots caused by the contraceptive pill and the clots caused by the adenovirus vector vaccines are of different types. The thrombosis with thrombocytopenia is definitely caused by the vaccines.

            However many of the attacks against the AstraZeneca vaccine ARE political. Macron is particularly guilty of this. He flat out lied about it. Beyond that there is a strong line of evidence that a lot of both the thrombosis with thrombocytopenia and the myocarditis from the mRNA vaccines might be down to accidental intravenous injection of the vaccines. As I mention above another political disgrace is the utter unwillingness to switch to correct intramuscular injection technique and aspirate before injection. That completely eliminates even the possibility of such accidental intravenous injection.

            Also farmeroz is quite correct that in the vast majority of age groups both myocarditis and thrombosis with thrombocytopenia are far more common with the infection itself than as side effects of the vaccines. This is primarily a vascular disease, NOT a respiratory disease. It certainly does have strong respiratory signs and symptoms, but the ARDS it causes is far more akin to that caused by altitude sickness embolism than to say that caused by flu.

      • Covids are endemic, and probably have been for hundreds of millions of years. They routinely jump species, many viruses do. There are four covids in the common cold compex and its almost certain that previous infection from these have given a natural immunity (better: elevated resistance) to that 50% of the population that catches C19 asymptomatically.
        All that we knew in early 2020.
        C19 kills about 1%, frankly not a world problem, most are infirm in one way or another.
        NEW High infectious dose to people without excellent immunity can kill. This is true of other viruses too.
        C19/variants will join the common cold complex, known in early 2020.
        C19 vaccines are fantastically efficacious (for a vaccine) and safe. Nothing is perfectly safe.
        C19 is a bog standard covid infection rather different to the covids in circulation previously.
        Not rocket science.
        Easy to understand.

        • I’d like to add to this that there is research about the pandemia of 1889 as the possible origin of CoV-OC 43, which today and since a long time ago causes common colds. Not proved yet, but strong possibility.

        • True: if it becomes endemic we will develop some natural immunity through childhood exposure. Us non-children will have to rely on vaccines for some time, and they have performed spectacularly. There are some new aspects to covid-19 compared to other corona virusses. This is the third such virus in twenty years, and all three had high death rates; covid-19 was the first which also had high transmission. It suggests that a new group of virusses has slowly evolved to be able to make the jump to humans. With so many humans on the planet, we are a big opportunity. We now see the first of these actually make the jump. More will follow: they may or may not be worse, but it is clear that this is a new group of virusses for us people, because we respond so badly to it. Get ready. There are now some reports that covid is causing brain damage in some people. No bog-standard corona virus does that.

          • Of course not. We will catch it asymptomatically from time to time.
            That’s why I go in trains and travel by tube in London (with mask).
            And really Albert, you speak from ignorance, covids are about, four in the common cold complex and not remotely new. As you of all people should know is when science looks for things it finds them, nobody has looked for loss of smell and taste, nor brain damage due viral infections (particularly) before, doesn’t mean they were any worse than with c19. My brother in law had a bad cold in the 1980’s and loss his sense of smell, and hasn’t got it back yet, so it isn’t unheard of.
            Really stop hyping a rather ordinary virus.

          • Brain damage, Albert, hard to prove, I’d say. First, there are many people nowadays who seem to have psychological problems, then the outright nuts – I mean people who shoot around in Sheffield or on London bridges or on Christmas fares, in Kongsberg (he is a convert to …..) or, for that matter, to not forget the other side, on Utoya.
            Then there is a big group who suffers from arteriosclerosis and get a stroke. And then some of them happen to have Covid. And some acquire it in the hospitals just like that lovely hospital germ of the family of i.e. Staphylococcus aureaus.
            As there are not enough autopsies done, the brain damage can be pure phantasy, but media would love it as it generates fear.
            I had a friend who became very depressive after losing his taste (many ya). It happened when a Doctor was a bit rough to his nose when he had epistaxis. I only had one single test done: Throat of course. Up in the nose there is a very thin plate, and that’s a very thin door to the brain.

          • I didn’t put it in my list of established science as this is an on-going discussion. There was a recent article in Nature recently summarizing the state of knowledge on brain damage from covid-19. It reports cases of damage to blood flow in the brain and of inflammation, related to the neurological symptoms some people have after the disease. It can happen in people who were not seriously ill with it but not common: the prevalence was reported as around 0.1% in general covid-19 cases (a bit lower than in MERS where it was 0.2%) but as high as 50% in people who had been in intensive care.

            FarmerOz: to give my personal opinion, equating covid-19 with the general class of corona virusses is like calling a pitbull just a dog.

          • Thank you, Albert, interesting answer.
            I just don’t agree with the pitbull. The pitbull can be a normal very friendly dog. It’s the human being who turns him into a monster. It’s education.
            I think this virus is to be put somewhere between “normal” Cov and SARS.
            SARS and MERS were different. They didn’t spread that fast. The faster a virus spreads that’s to say the more contagious it is, the more it tends to being harmless. It doesn’t make sense for a virus to kill everybody. It needs hosts.
            Ebola spreads at a slow rate and is much more dangerous.

          • Some types of dogs are forbidden in the UK. They should do the same with some types of virusses.

            The relation you see between infectiousness and severity is an end state. Virusses that kill fast have difficulty spreading, but if there is a longer phase before where the person is already infectious, that doesn’t apply. The Justinian plague and black death come to mind. Over time, a variant of the virus that spreads better will win out, almost independent whether it eventually kills its carriers. But to evolve, the virus needs a large population and that comes about by not making its hosts ill too quickly. So version of the virus to live longer with the host are more likely to evolve further, hopefully in the right direction. But that takes a long time, decades or centuries. And where a less dangerous version can evolve, you may also get more dangerous ones – and suddenly you have the Spanish flu. One reason to keep a high level of immunity, through multiple vaccinations, is to keep virus numbers down to where mutations that escape the vaccines become less likely. Having had covid, by the way, does not give perfect or ever-lasting immunity. It is not a good reason to refuse the vaccines.

          • Albert C19 is just another bog standard coronavirus, so similar to the common cold ones they provide very useful resistance.
            Sufficiently different to cause significant sickness in those susceptible who are deficient or ill in other ways (for the most part). Sufficiently different that a heavy dose can result in death before a good immune response is mounted.
            But now/soon, we will all have been exposed to wild infection and if lucky get an infection with mild or no symptoms.
            Measles is the same, if you just have the jab you are still susceptible and good protection relies on meeting the wild virus when you still have good immunity (T-cell). That’s why travellers in the 80’s from the UK were getting measles on their world tour, no previous exposure.
            Which is why vaccine deniers do us all a favour by keeping the wild viruses circulating at low level in society and boosting all our immune responses, even though we feel nothing.

          • Why is a post timestamped 14:49 sorted above one with the same parent, at the same nesting level, that is timestamped 12:49 on the same date here?

            Doing that prevents just looking at the timestamps of posts with no replies or lower siblings, and those directly above posts that are new, to find all new posts when catching up; it becomes necessary to examine every post’s timestamp to find the new ones. And that’s when no posts’ timestamps are lying.

            Sometimes it looks like there is a deliberate effort being made to make it as difficult and time consuming as possible to catch up on new posts here. I doubt that is actually the case; but it is clear that a degree of sloppiness with sort order and time stamps that would not usually be much of a problem when traffic levels are low becomes untenable when traffic levels are very high.

            Therefore I must ask that everyone here adhere by the following guidelines during periods of high traffic (> 30ish comments/day):

            1. Do not backdate posts. The timestamp is to be the time when the post first becomes visible to the general public. This is the number one rule, because without it the only way for someone not to miss YOUR comment, for which YOU wanted an audience, is to skim every single one of 500+ comments every time they catch up to see which seem new vs. which seem familiar. In practice, no one will be willing to do this during such high-traffic periods and they will rely on the timestamps to be honest in sorting out what’s new vs. already seen. Which means if you backdate one of your comments to before someone’s previous catch-up, they will not read it and you lose audience. Which you don’t want. Don’t backdate your comments.

            2. Almost as important: do not do whatever-it-is that will result in your comment being out of chronological order with its direct siblings in the comment tree. It should appear below every pre-existing comment with the same parent that you’re replying to.

            3. Try to include something in the way of substantive English prose in your comment. It is hard for someone to remember whether a bare Twitter link with only alphanumeric gobbledegook in the URL is new or not, versus a phrase. Say something about whatever’s at the link, for (at least) any link that doesn’t have meaningful English in the URL itself.

            4. Absolutely no posting on an earlier comment page than the most recent one. If you want to reply to something on an older page, make a new comment at the very bottom of the current page and use blockquotes to cite the older comment. It is bad enough having to note the comment count, note the time, author, and some content of the bottommost comment, reload, note the comment count again again, subtract to get the number of new comments, then count down from there while scrolling up from the bottom until encountering the previously-bottommost comment, with the remaining number being the number of new comments that are threaded higher up; then avoiding forgetting this number while scrolling up further, finding, and reading all of these comments until the count-down hits zero. If the top of the page is hit and the number is still not zero, it is then necessary to load the previous page of comments to hunt down the rest; and if new comments got posted in the interim, which happens all too often, resulting in the comment count mismatching between the two open tabs, then the whole task has to be started over again from scratch. Does all of the preceding sound an awful lot like “work” to you? Do you think anyone who isn’t being paid to keep up with the comments here will be willing to do all of that? If your answers are “yes” and “no”, respectively, then know that posting on page X when there’s already a newer page Y is likely to result in an audience size of zero. So if you want anyone at all to read your masterpiece comment, then for the love of Christ put it on the most current comment page.

            Thank you.

          • Nothing deliberate about the misordering. We had to delete a comment which had slipped through the spam filter, and this can sometimes cause problems with numbering and ordering. It is a system issue, not under our control.

      • It is not about vaccines, Albert, and I’m vaccinated myself. If I had to touch vaccines I would strongly object the vaccination of children, unless sick with cancer or mucoviscidosis as healthy children don’t get very sick and build up robust immunity without vaccination.
        On the other hand it’s become obvious that the very elderly die anyway as they are not able any more to build up an immunity, without or with vaccination.
        No, it is about politicians taking the lead in this and silencing MD’s who have another opinion in different points. It should have been a medical debate and not a political one.
        The other thing we see now seems to be the effect of permanent mask wearing. We get infections by other viruses now, like RSV (Respiratory Sync. Virus) as masks reduce the capability to build up an immunity which happens with the contact with other people’s germs. So, we’ll see.
        Summary, and I’ll stick to that: Science needs strong debate among people who know the matter. The debate by normal folks about disease, Microbiology and Pharmacology is outright ridiculous.

        • Yes, we are evolved to handle infections and our ecosystem is balanced by the interaction of diseases and ourselves. Generally we are immune to diseases we have seen in the past and only the first infection is serious/fatal. Given improved hygiene (polio) and perhaps closer contacts we do need vaccines to do what the disease did in the past, albeit often with bad consequences which vaccines avoid.
          However its been clear from C19 that we absolutely require an environment where we are routinely infected with viruses to maintain our resistance to modified strains and variants.
          Personally my opinion (backed by significant evidence) that the epidemic of auto-immune/allergic problems we have is due to insufficient exposure to bacteria on a daily basis. People who work closely with animals (and their excreta) never seem to be ill in my experience. One old friend worked in a sewage works (and the manual end) for 50 years without a single day off ill.

          • What an enjoyable seemingly technical pile of absolute nonsense.
            The mind of the antivaxxer has not limits it seems.

      • Agree completely. Whatever intervention/treatment you do to a population, there will be individuals that get more or less severe side effects. The problem is to decide when the benefits are large enough to justify side effects. In the case of Covid19 vaccination, the benefits are overhelming and bad side effects very rare. And yes, there are a lot of economical interests and politics regarding what vaccine to use

        • 🙁 that is a real catastrofic…… if that reach to La Laguna or other neighborhoods, can be very dangerous.

        • Doesnt much look like the a’a flows we’ve seen elsewhere in this eruption – there’s a noticeable lack of rubble on top

        • Looks to me like a video from the earlier Icelandic Fagradalir eruption lava flows, Luis.

          • This is the acount of Vicedirector Científico of Instituto Geológico y Minero de España. He says some collegues in volcano area sent to him… do you think he post fake material?

          • I suppose not, Luis. Cheer up – I’m not having a go at you. There has been a lot of fakery around, so I tend to be suspicious. And I don’t use Twitter so I’m not used to its format.

  5. We have a pretty good tremor on going on at Pahala. Started around 21:30. Only two quakes in the area are relatively shallow.

    2021-10-20 21:29:40 2.1 30.1
    2021-10-20 21:05:01 2.1 34.3

    • The 21:29:40 earthquake matches with the strongest spike in tremor. The location is similar to typical Pahala tremor although it is unusually shallow, only 30 km. Pahala tremors tend to happen at 40 km depth.

      • We have not seen this in a while. Maybe the 6.2 created some opportunities?

  6. A slightly tangential question. You own a plot of land on La Palma, say a hectare. Your plot is now totally submerged under 10 meters of lava. Assuming the eruption stops, eventually the lava will cool and the surface will develop soil. Do you still own that plot of land but now 10 meters higher? I see no reason why not, but then I have zero knowledge of the appropriate laws regarding such a situation. Is there something on the books that gives the government the right to purchase your plot from you? Just a wild musing watching lava bulldoze to the sea.

    • Well this is very anecdotal but my partner and I were in the Canary Islands a week ago and were told that the government will own the land and compensate the residents. This seems to be in the form of apartments in the north of the island but I stand to be corrected.

      • To be honest that would be just, a sort of communal insurance policy.
        Provided there is planning regulations to minimise risk.

      • In the North? They will fight against this decision. The North is very different, windy and cold. You wouldn’t be able to attract many tourists there, neither would bananas grow.
        La Palma is two worlds, one around Taburiente, one South and in the centre. Also Tenerife is two worlds.

  7. I noticed that there is some small earthquakes activity that keeps reapering in a similar spot south east of a Turkish volcano called Süphan Dağ, about 41km/25mi away from the main peak but closer to some maar craters that are 25km/15mi.

    I know it’s not on the fault line itself, so I guess it’s where the crust is melting due to subduction. But does anyone know much about this volcano in terms of it’s past eruptions?

  8. After seeing the WWII ship wrecks exposed by the rising land on Iwo Jima recently on this forum, I decided to take a look at the volcano and found an interesting article on its uplift.

    Titled “Long-term geodetic measurements of large scale deformation at Iwo-jima caldera, Japan”, the article reveals fairly hefty uplift but also an interesting deformation in one spot. See the abstract at “…98U/abstract”.

    Volcano Discovery also has a comment that “A shoreline landed upon by Captain Cook’s surveying crew in 1779 is now 40 m above sea level.” They mention that the island has been uplifting the last 700 years and the article here establishes that the deformation is most likely caused by magma migrating in sill formation.

    All this makes me wonder if we are getting a huge emplacement of magma ready to go in a caldera explosion? The rapid uplift of this volcano, yet only mild phreatic activity hides the huge volume of magma underneath primed to go.

    Google maps shows a recent satellite survey of the area, see'31.3%22N+141%C2%B017'30.0%22E/@24.7741163,141.2816573,7496m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m14!1m7!3m6!1s0x60ec20bd85e79d1d:0xee0bf18f78f4f09b!2sIwo+Jima!3b1!8m2!3d24.7875734!4d141.3155653!3m5!1s0x0:0x0!7e2!8m2!3d24.775373!4d141.2916775

    The sunken ships are at 24.775373N , 141.291678E on this map, which is the west side of the in about the middle. Carefully examining this satellite map shows the recent uplift along the sea shores, as evidence by the gray band of beach sand exposed by the uplift, all around the island.

    I would consider Iwo Jima as the volcano to watch, for possibly being the next caldera forming eruption, after looking at the 40 meter+ uplift and its duration of over 700 years.

      • BillG, thank you for pointing me to that thought provoking article.

    • It is the one I’d be watching. I don’t think there is anywhere else on earth that has had as much uplift in less time. Maybe more in the Altiplano-Puna (don’t remember the volcano name it is centred on) but believe Iwo is more localized as far as is known since most is undersea. Ah I found it.. Uturuncu. Google is your friend! Probably could have found it in the NDVP also since I know it has been discussed.

      • I’ll read both, of course. Concerning debate I would like to mention that VC is debate. VC created an alternative decade program which makes sense esp. if we think of El Teide and the desastres that unfolded on Lanzarote and unfold on La Palma.
        Then I was really struck by lightning that Carl goes so strongly against GF as he himself doubted the Cameroon plume here on VC.
        VC is very lively debate, Thank you for that and all the great pieces.

      • Thanks Albert, very interesting article. I tend to agree with you that Iota is perhaps not sitting in the middle of a 10 km caldera, but rather sea water erosion has done its work to try to trim the island to just under the water line. If pebbles are found on the top of the island clearly that process of inflation lifted them up before nothing but coral beach sand remained.

        I also agree that magma inflation is causing this rapid rise and sooner or later there is going to be a large eruption.

        • Have read number 1 as well- Didn’t know whether to laugh (gorgeous phantasy) or to be dead-serious (rather), but anyway, certainly the mystery number 1. Or number 2 after Kuwae. Interesting place for the marine. Sort of protective.

  9. Well this is very anecdotal but my partner and I were in the Canary Islands a week ago and were told that the government will own the land and compensate the residents. This seems to be in the form of apartments in the north of the island but I stand to be corrected.

    • Dragons…if you could remove this, it was a reply to YBNormal above, somehow posted twice, apologies

  10. For Iwo Jima, I decided to estimate the volume of inflation since its eruption in ~700 BC. This is very rough math. Assuming the last eruption left the floor 200 meters below sea level, Motoyama has risen 360 meters (or a little more because it would have been eroded by waves when it first surfaced) and at the edges, the increase was maybe 80 meters. That seems a reasonable ratio based on modern inflation rates between Motoyama and Suribachiyama. Looking at the maps in the Volcanocafe articles, it looks like sand extends to about 50 meters in elevation on Suribachiyama, so it has been lifted at least close to that amount since it stopped erupting. That is on the edge of the caldera. The whole rim is likely going up, since it seems likely Kangoki-iwa island was a reef in Captain Cook’s time.

    So, assuming an increase of 80 meters over the whole caldera and a dome on top of that, it suggests a total volume of inflation of 17km^3. The inflation rate post-1779 would suggest inflation started just over 2000 years ago, probably within a few hundred years of the big eruption. Since Suribachiyama on the rim has seen significant inflation, it is likely that the area outside the rim is also being pushed up and out by the pressure of accumulating magma. If so, the volume could be even larger.

    However, not sure I agree that an eruption is necessarily imminent. With my numbers, it would take 3,000 years and perhaps 30 km^3 of additional magma before Iwo Jima would completely fill the caldera. Only 30% or so of the caldera is covered by the island and as little as 5% of past inflation is above sea level. I think the roof will break before then, but it has been inflating for 2,000 years, so relatively low risk it will fail in the next few hundred years.

  11. La palma, IGME taking temperatures and samples. La laguna zone, 980º C, Max temperature La laguna north front, 1150º C, on colada front Nº 8 on La Laguna, 1004º C. A salple with 1140º C

  12. La palma. Finaly was real, IGME and UME on San Antonio zone, taking samples and temperature, emision zone North East, pahoehoe lava at 1150º C.

    • At first, I thought “that is bitter, official sources (IGME) posting fakes from Hawaii”. I thought so due to the lake-looking lava part, which I didn’t know from La Palma.
      Then camera glimpsed at the volcano and I knew it was not fake.
      Quite impressive, more so that you couldn’t really see something like that from the normal live stream angles.
      Keep posting, Angel 🙂

    • Looks like the lava is getting even more fluid. There wont be any stuff like there was from Kilauea during Pu’u O’o, even in Hawaii when the eruption is faster the lava will look just like this, it is the high eruption rate and fountaining that is causing the lava to be relatively more viscous and quickly turn to a’a, it is erupting as pahoehoe already and probably has been for a while now. The other day there was a few times the lowest vent went full geyser mode and flooded the cone with lava that looked almost like olive oil in viscosity.

      My guess is the lava in 1949 was able to form the fluid shapes because it erupted with no fountaining and at a lower rate.

  13. Besides, Albert,
    I would never dare to become an anti-vaxxer as I am of the opinion that my knowledge of chemistry faded. For the same reason I would never dare to discuss lava here with say Chad or Jesper, but I read them.
    To get back to the subjects of VC: Yesterday I read about one of the most fascinating magmatic provinces, the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP). To be goggled with the full name to not get publicity for camping equipment.
    It was large, in the middle of Pangaea and at least co-responsable for the split-up. The rests are found in the Atlas mountains, New England (which invites me to think that Martha’s Vineyard’s rocks might belong to them as they are red), in Spain, France and Brazil.
    This province might be the culprit for the Triassic-Jurassic extinction event.

    All the rocks are made out of tholeiitic basalts, according to Wikipedia found in subaerial flows and intrusive bodies.

    • Living in Virginia, I’m not that familiar with the geology of Martha’s Vineyard, but there is a whole series of Triassic age sedimentary rift basins all along the east coast of N.A., from at least as far south as South Carolina up through New England and into maritime Canada. These basins formed during the early phases of the rifting of N.A. from Africa and the opening of the proto-Atlantic ocean, and they typically contain characteristic red sedimentary material as well as intrusive basaltic sills and dikes.

    • Actually, Martha’s Vineyard (along with Long Island) are the result of much more recent geological processes; MV and LI are terminal moraines formed by the Laurentide ice sheet during the last glacial maximum, approximately 18,000 ya (give or take a couple thousand).

      • Sure. But they came from somewhere, let’s say the ocean floor:
        “The clay cliffs, such as the ones found in Aquinnah were created by the pressure or weight of the glacier. The clays were under the sea bed, but were forced upward.”

        My comprehension of these things lept forward like a leopard when I tried to find knowledge of the Grand Canyon, a glacial product. I said to myself: Must be a lot older and only got the clue when I looked for the Colorado Plateau instead. The CP is between 1,5 and 2 billion y old, was constructed near the equator on the ocean floor, did a bit of travelling and was later pushed up to where it is now.

        This doesn’t mean though that MV is a remnant from CAMP. And also the Colorado Plateau is red. Red doesn’t mean anything. Petrochemistry is the clue here. And anyway it says clay. So it’s different.
        It might interest you that we have a similar structure on the other side of the Atlantic:
        It was also deposited at the end of a glaciation.

        • Thanks for the link, that was pretty interesting. Like I said, I’m not that familiar with the geology of Martha’s Vineyard. My background, such as it is, is more in Appalachian geology, and mostly in Virginia.

  14. I think some people might be interested in this article about the connection of chicken farms getting closer to (wild) forests:

    A chicken farm attracts foxes here, in China probaby Pangolins. At night the bat can drop some feces there, and the animals get sick first. The fact that nobody has found a transmitting animal has no significance. It might long have been dead, ended up on a market and eaten up.

    Strong point for my forest obsession, btw. Save the forests.

      • Yes. This is a typical example of regulators not understanding what they are doing. Animal poo is either incinerated (a criminal waste) or spread on the land.
        If you spread it in summer on slopes onto grassland in high rainfall areas you will get runoff (unless injected).
        eg Wales.
        If you spread it on arable fields (usually flat, usually low rainfall areas) you do not. This is particularly so if its immediately ploughed in ready to be planted into a crop. However the powers that be have made this illegal after august. Sadly august is harvest time (so you can’t spread), and in any case the labour for spreading is getting harvest in. So now it has to go on in spring, but most people only have 7 months storage.
        Lots of panic about nitrates, although the problem is phosphates (mostly from sewage works we now know) and in any case leaching in arable soils is very low anyway (a few exceptions).
        Not to worry, about 25% of the UK (and EU) arable land is going into grass, so expect much higher food prices in the future.

        • There was spreading going on near here today. Smell from my childhood.. What are the rules regarding that?

          • Its controlled by the environment agency.
            Done properly there should be moderate short term smell.
            It is, after all, the smell of bacterial activity!

          • I don’t mind the smell. I grew up in a town in a farming region.

    • “The fact that nobody has found a transmitting animal has no significance. “

      Occam’s Razor says there was no transmitting animal, which is why they haven’t found one.

    • Pangolins eat ants. Chickens and ants are not correlated.
      Most decent chicken farms (industrial) in the EU (where its hard to use antibiotics and long withdrawal periods cause huge losses to producers) the plants are a zero-disease zone with staff prevented from owning chickens and clean-room style exit and entry for good is practised (this applies to some pig farms also).

      Yup, birds, bats, insects whatever can poo on your food, and birds poo in the water they swim in, poo is everywhere and always has been, amazingly we have evolved to handle it.

      • Okay. Replace pangolins with cats. They prepare and eat cats. And cats feed on mice. And rodents are everywhere.

  15. Don’t know if you have seen, but Manam in Papa New Guinea has gone up. Ashcloud up to 50000ft.

    • According to smithsonian website it’s been in a near constant state of eruption for 7 years equating to a VEI4, and some of the islanders who were evacuated in the early 2000s have since returned. Nowhere to escape on that circular island!

  16. Looks like the eruption of Kilauea has settled at an eruption rate of about 5 m3/s, similar to the eruption of Pu’u’o’o. It has reached an steady state where it erupts lava at the same rate as it is supplied into the volcano. There are no signs that the eruption is becoming episodic, at least for now.

    Deflation-inflation events are again happening at the summit although they are very small. The previous eruption that started December 2020 also had at first many small tiny DI events separated by a few very large DI events

    • On the GPS graph the contraction of the caldera has bottomed out at about the value it had 3 months ago. The eruption has a volume reported as of 21 million m3 a week ago so maybe rounded to 25 million m3 by now. That gives a possible total rate of 0.1 km3 a year. It is more than this though because there was also an intrusion in that time period that was about half the amount of deformation of the eruption, and also south flank spreading too. Adding the intrusion bumps it up to maybe 35-40 million m3 in the relevant time, or 0.12 km3 a year, south flank is going to add more but how much is hard to tell.

      5 m3/s is going to be around 0.16 km3 a year rate, I did read somewhere that the magma flux at Kilauea has been observed to go up (sometimes significantly) during eruptions that last a long time and is lower between eruptions, though not as a total rule. It is basically because there is an open hole there is nothing stopping more magma flowing in except gravity, no pressure build up. Pressure increases the eruption power but also the amount of work to put new magma into the system, as always.

      As a side note at the observed rate now the whole 2018 caldera can fill in only 6 years. Not putting bets the eruption will last that long but it wouldnt be surprising.

  17. OT: the dogs trapped on the lava flows has been rescue. Some sites talk some hunters enter the sunday and rescue them. Gendarmerie drones has detect human foots on the zone, the rescue drone team has embrased and angry and a Banner has appears on the zone:

    That video has appears on internet…. with the mussic of “A team”. xD

  18. At the moment no continuous lava flow is visible at the north flank of the crater. Looks like the effusive vent got extremely weak.
    M. Siebold ( suggested however that this is due to the lava flowing invisibly in volcanic tubes.
    Do you believe him, or is the eruption coming to a close finally?

    If there is still substantial amounts of lava flowing however, how could it create volcanic tubes (Tubo Volcanico) at such a difficult and steep location, being A’a lava at that? Because I thought A’a couldn’t do such?

    • I think the lava production is much the same–we’ll get a better read when it gets dark. The lave vent is still fuming, as well as the channel that’s developed over the past week.

      As for lava tubes, that’s a question I have as well. I thought I saw some steam rising from the original lava delta when the TV networks decided to show it for 30 seconds this morning. if that’s the case, I think at least part of that flow field has tubes. The slope is important, but the more important metric in the development of tubes is a constant, low-to-moderate volume. The sector collapses made the western flow field very hummocky which caused a lot of velocity variance. At the end of the tube, the surface lava could be either a’a or pahoehoe–but I haven’t seen any definitive pahoehoe yet.

      • I watched just now and I saw a large pahoehoe field being sampled by a geologist. probably that huge lava plain that was shown last night.

    • Over the last few days almost the entire lava flow has changed to a lava tube just below the vent (you can see a few skylight on this webcam Videos from INGE suggest the the effusion rate remains stable and hasn’t degreased much or at all.

    • Only yesterday morning the eruption seemed thin and gassy from the top two vents, no ash, smoke or steam.

      Now it looks as strong as ever. But still no second lava fall to the sea?

    • Would expect Kilauea and Holuhraun to be a lot bigger, both eruptions were about 10x the volume and more SO2 per volume (presumably). This is though definitely not insignificant, it is way bigger than anything anyone was expecting here that is for sure.

  19. Im totaly addicted to IO and its spectacular high temperature sillicate volcanism ..

    Albert is it 2024 When Juno will flyby IO?
    Is it possible to put Juno in orbit around IO?
    Juno is better shielded against Jupiters radiation than say Galileo was.

    I cannot wait to get More Photos of the lava flows of IO and what have happened on IO in the last 20 years. 600X20 km3 = 12000 km3 of basaltic and komatite lava is what IO have produced in the last 20 years.

    But Only the planned IO Volcano Observer will be able to give us the real show ..

    • Being in an astronaut tourist group .. on IO s dark side. Watching the bigger than niagara sized lava rivers fiery falls and glowing ribbons flowing over a pitch dark landscape. Space – suit clad figures look at it .. bathed in the hot glow of the lava.

      Huge standing lava waves and lava currents .. yet all silent in the vaccum, its flowing very fast for soure

      Above is the enormous jupiter ( 40 times bigger than the Moon is in our sky ) lit Half by the sun .. with its glowing crimson plasma tourus and thunderstorms flashes on Jupiters nightside.

      IO s sky too is alive by yellow sulfur sodium Northen lights that coils itself like an uneasy snake over the enraged lava landscape. But the astronauts are focused on the raging lava rivers

      The spacesuits have their own northen ligths that glow around the persons. The future equipment that shields against Jupiters Radiation

      Thats What lava hike on IO is like and it exist in our solar system

      What a sight What a sight!

      But to see that you needs a super – suit

    • They should put Juno in orbit around IO .. But perhaps That woud burn too much fuel

      IO is a must see for me.. wants it all the time

      • Though I think putting a probe in orbit around Io would be very worthwhile, putting Juno in orbit around Io isn’t possible.

        The reason is delta/v. Juno is in a highly elliptical orbit for a reason; it would take a massive amount of delta/v to circularize its orbit at the altitude of the Galilean moons. That would have required far more fuel, and thus massively increased the mass of the probe. Juno thus didn’t have the reserve delta/v to accomplish this upon arrival at the Jovian system, so it does not have it now.

        Juno also does not have sufficient radiation hardening to operate permanently in a high radiation environment (hence why its orbit is polar – to avoid the main radiation belts). It also has issues with its propulsion system; a planned burn to reduce its orbital period to 14 days from 56 was scrubbed due to valve issues (I forget which valves).

        And BTW, it’s not one, but two, Io flybys that are planned for 2024. 🙂

  20. We have the technique of seismic tomography and no shortage of earthquakes in La Palma. Should we by now be able to follow the underground movement of lava? The interesting question would be if lava is moving toward the zones of water rich rock.

    • Using audio to text and and then google translate, a very rough English translation

      Regarding the volcano in large, in the afternoon and keeping the constants of the day has remained as I say crossing the town of the lagoon. And it (lava) does it very slowly. The Colada is moving slowly but inexorably, and it is moving towards a crossroads where we still don’t know if (what path) it will take. Northeast, northwest or southeast. Regarding the queue to number seven heading one, He (the lava flow) keeps his distance towards the coast. From this morning between one hundred and ten and one hundred and twenty meters above this one. At the moment there are no planned new performances or songs (no new breakouts of lava) that were performed there in the late evening. They were left ?? All the needs of the ??
      You are in emergency. Who?

      • This translation is an accurate rendering of the current intellectual state of our society.

  21. 4.4 mbLg SW VILLA DE MAZO.ILP
    2021/10/21 22:54:03

  22. Kilaueas eruption now looking a lot like Bob back in March, spatter cone a few tens of meters tall and pulsing but persistent fountain. I wonder if this lava is more gas rich than the stuff erupting before 2018, same eruption rate but there were rarely any fountains at Pu’u O’o after 1986, even before the summit vent opened.

    It also looks like the cone is getting taller faster than the lake, the vent was originally buried but has since escaped the lake again but also confined itself within a pond of its own within the spatter cone. When this happened in iceland the eruption eventually became episodic, and actually did so very fast after only 2 weeks. Might take longer here but for all of us missing the Iceland eruption this is pretty much the same but even more accessible.

    It is forever a mystery to me though why there isnt a constant livestream of the area, if one can be set up on a windy hill in Iceland it can surely be set up in a semi-inhabited area where a million tourists go every year anyway… Might be national park rules I guess.

    • Might take longer here but for all of us missing the Iceland eruption this is pretty much the same but even more accessible.

      Oh, really? “Even more accessible”? Then you won’t have any trouble linking to some nice YouTube livestreams of the vent and any active flow fronts …

      • More accessible meaning that you dont need to hike 5 km to get there and hope for the best with the weather, you can basically drive there really and any walking is over established trails, the best viewing spot is at Keanakakoi for which has always been a popular place, 90% of the path is a disused road that I expect will probably become a used road again in the near future. Fagradalsfjall is accessible for sure but it would be incorrect to say it is easy to get to, it certainly isnt just a 15 minute light walk.

        I can actually link a livestream but I know you wont accept it. I want a livestream of Kilauea too, and I expect so do HVO, there is obviously some obstacle somewhere preventing it, which is probably something at a rather high level if HVO are not allowed to do so.


    Very good article as well (and open). It has very interesting things in it, but maybe just as with other ice records, overanalyzing maybe isn’t the best idea.

    It seems that large eventful volcanic activity is around the same now as it was during the Major Ice Age, with an increase in large eventful volcanic activity during deglaciation at the end of the Ice Age, likely due to isostacy-tectonic reasons, which was as to be expected. In the last 2500 years, there is a noticeable lack of very large volcanic events compared to other millennia.

    “When it comes to sulfur emission strengths of eruptions and accumulated sulfate deposition, however, the last 2000 years appear under-represented in very large eruptions as compared to long periods of the last glacial period (Table 2).”

    I didn’t know of NAAZ II (North Atlantic Ash Zone II), which happened around 55.000 years ago (very likely) in Iceland, although the ice core signal is stronger probably due to proximity.

    Around 45.500 years ago (45.5ka) there was a large volcanic event (or at least detected in ice core signals) that happened somewhere in the NH.

    Number three on the list of large eruptions occurred at 38.13 ka b2k; 100 years after the onset of GI-8 and 11
    years before the occurrence of the Faroe Marine Ash Zone III (FMAZ III) tephra in Greenland (Davies et al.,
    2012). The eruption is detected in all ice cores (but there is a data gap for the WDC sulfur in this interval), and
    with very similar Greenland and Antarctic sulfate depositions this is most likely a low-latitude eruption with an
    estimated average climate forcing of -82.8 W m-2
    , about 4 times that of Tambora (1815 AD)

    -> I’m not sure if this is the FMAZ III (which different papers attribute to Grimsvotn or multiple events in a short time at Grimsvotn).

    Number 4 is the well known Taupo explosion of 25.000 years ago. Number 7 could also be Taupo given this:

    Number 7 on the list of the largest eruptions occurred at 46.68 ka b2k in GI-12 and is the only eruption in this
    585 study apart from the 25.46 ka b2k Taupo, Oruanui, eruption that has a clear southern hemispheric origin. The
    Antarctic sulfate deposition of the eruption is approximately twice that in Greenland (Fig. 6) and the eruption
    has an estimated climatic forcing of -63.2 W m-2 or about 0.8 times that of Oruanui

    And the fact that there is a Taupo eruption dated around 50ka.

    Right after the onset of GS-9 at 39.92 ka b2k there is another pair of large eruptions separated by some 46 years.
    Those are ranking respectively number 15 (39,915 a b2k; -44.8 W m-2
    ) and number 38 (39,869 a b2k; -30.3 Wm-2 590 ) of the large eruptions listed in Table 1. Both eruptions have bipolar sulfate distributions suggesting a NH
    eruption. Because of their magnitude and their stratigraphic setting right at the onset of GS-9 these volcanic
    events are both possible candidates for the Italian Y-5 Campanian Ignimbrite eruption. There is no tephra
    evidence for this suggestion in the ice cores, but tephra from this eruption has been identified in the Black Sea in
    very similar stratigraphic setting and the eruption is independently dated by Ar/Ar to 39.9 ± 0.1 ka b2k (Giaccio
    595 et al., 2017). Since these events (Glacial Stadial + 2 volcanic eruptions) could have had a significant impact on Neanderthal populations (and vulnerability), this seems interesting to note too (although human/neanderthal interactions: both from a sociological but also in terms of diseases, similar to our interaction with native American / meso-American civilization 500 years ago played a larger role in their demise and extinction).

    And the onset of Younger Dryas is also quite interesting. In the late GI-1 right before the onset of GS-1 / Younger Dryas there is a quadruple of bipolar eruptions
    covering a period of 110 years (Svensson et al., 2020). The oldest (13,028 a b2k; -44.1 W m-2
    ) and the youngest
    (12,917 a b2k; -40.2 W m-2
    ) of those eruptions are number 17 and 19 on the list of large eruptions. Both
    eruptions are likely to have occurred in the NH at above 40°N. The 12,917 b2k eruption has been suggested as a
    600 candidate for the Laacher See eruption (LSE) that occurred in the East Eifel region in present-day Germany
    (Brauer et al., 1999; Baldini et al., 2018), but no tephra has been identified in the ice cores from this eruption. A
    recent publication, however, suggested that the LSE was around 130 years older (Reinig, et al., 2021) and is
    synchronous instead (within age uncertainty) with the oldest event of this quadruple of bipolar eruptions, but
    also with some minor sulfate signals.
    605 The Vedde Ash layer (number 36) originates from a significant euption from Katla, Iceland with widespread
    tephra deposition in Greenland (Mortensen et al., 2005; Gronvold et al., 1995) and the North Atlantic region in
    the middle of GS-1 / Younger Dryas at 12.17 ka (Lane et al., 2012). Surprisingly, this Icelandic eruption not
    only deposited large amounts of sulfate in Greenland but also a much smaller amount in Antarctica, where it is
    identified in the WDC and EDML sulfate profiles suggesting that it had a large stratospheric injection. The
    volcanic forcing is estimated to about -30.9 W m-2 610 taken with the reservation that some of the sulfate could have made it to Greenland through the troposphere.

    I’m not sure to what extent volcanism and volcanoes have played a role in the climate variability of the Ice Age (and also Younger Dryas), but it could be often part from a multicausal perspective which is the approach I often use in explaining such things.

    • Interesting, maybe that’s the only reason we have civilization right now.

    • I was reading an article that assumed the Younger Dryas was caused by an impactor over northern USA. The author’s assumption surprised me. I know of the theory and folks have pointed to a small crater discovered in Greenland. But the jury is very much out on the subject.

      Volcanic activity is far more likely. And my long-term assumption for the event is the collapse of ice dams over northern USA, flooding the North Atlantic with cold fresh water and decimating the newly re-established Gulf Stream. Some of the outflow carved the US’s Badlands. Perhaps the two went hand in hand to cool the northern hemisphere at that critical time?

      Interesting comment! Thanks Lakigigar.

      • That the Young Dryas was caused by an impact event is a possibility, not certain, but cannot be ruled out either. But I think i’ve read somewhere that YD-events are quite common at the end of a glacial, and I think that will be important to study, whether it was a very out-of-place event or something characteristic for deglaciation events.

        • Agree! A project I would have loved to have done. Sadly, lack of mathematics meant I never became a geologist or similar.

  24. 6:41 am and the 3rd cone is getting clogged and the previously small vent has now overflowed with lava and new lava channels are now being formed.. interesting to see what will happen next, will the lava pressure cut into the cone?

  25. “For Greenland, however, the number of volcanic eruptions is higher in cold
    periods”. This is a strange observation and tenor of the piece. The paper more or less states that there are more large volcanic eruptions in cold periods in case I understand it. It sets the cold period first. Large volcanic eruptions though always had to do with plate tectonics. The cold period/glaciation was the consequence.
    Sudden impacts like the collision of the Indian plate or the African plate caused volcanism under the Himalayas resp. the Auvergne area i.E.

    The abstract uses the word climate or climatic six times and starts with climate, volcanism being the variable.
    But volcanism is first and then climate response. Example. At the end of the Triassic it is supposed to have been warm, radiation of reptiles. With the break-up of Pangaea and probably massive volcanism in the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province, then in the centre of Pangaea, there was (must have been) a cold period as there was a partial extinction, the End Triassic Extinction. Massive volcanism, also Deccan traps, leeds to cold periods or even glaciations. Consequence: No food. Same consequence with large meteorites.

    The paper, if I understand it the right way, turns this around. First climate, then volcanism. Odd.

    • Thing about life back then in the Triassic is we dont actually know what most of it looked like. Reptile as we use today is pretty much the same as Squamata, which is lizards and snakes (of which snakes can technically be considered the most derived and specialised of many lineages of legless lizards). Crocodiles are not reptiles strictly, nor are they a relic of the Triassic, actually modern Crocodylidae only evolved in the Eocene, and Alligatoridae in the late Cretaceous, and many Mesozoic crocodiles were endothermic terrestrial animals. Triassic archosaurs were in all likelyhood endothermic, or at least had an endothermic metabolism like modern Varanidae lizards, endothermic megafaula tend to be very successful and radiate rapidly but fare poorly in mass extinctions. Also, while still a very controversial subject, feathers are throught to be ancestral to all of Archosauria so there is that to consider too.

      I am also of the opinion mass extinctions are a combination of things, not necessarily the same combinations but not only one cause. Life is extremely resilient, and a number of things implicated in extinctions also have comparable counterparts that didnt have such an effect. Not all flood basalts coincide with extinctions. Not all impacts do either. I think too there are probably more effects that life itself has to play in these extinctions than we usually factor in.

      • You are right, Chad. But in the end, I guess, there was always a breakdown in the food chain.
        And then, not to forget, thay all needed warmth for their eggs.

        • Birds give an example of how endothermic animals can still lay eggs, they use themselves. Or just bury them inside warm soil around volcanoes 🙂

          I guess it is somethign to consider the total diversity of animals lost in extinctions. Some might wipe out everything above a certain size but the smaller species of that lineage survive. P-T was quite a perfect example, lots of lineages actually survived, just as smaller forms of the original. Many of these also abruptly went extinct around 2 million years into the Triassic, like Lystrosaurus, like there were two extinctions with different causes. Far as I can tell nothing like this occurred in the early Paleocene except among the ammonites, which met their demise 62 million years ago, apparently K-Pg was a more total extinction and a clean slate than P-T. But K-Pg was not so bad in the ocean as P-T, a lot of sharks were fine, even at species level, and large crocodiles also survived. Mosasaurs and Plesiosaurs didnt survive but both were large vivaparous endothermic animals that also used the K strategy for reproduction, very similar in most ways to whales, maybe that is why they didnt make it where crocs did.

          • Mososaurs, I read, needed a lot of food on a permanent basis as they swam all the time. A crocodile can survive (like snakes who also made it) without food for a while and seems to be lying around most of the time. And if the film Croc.Dundee was correct (aside from the film I know next to nothing about crocs) they can save food. “He would put you in his food safe” ;-), hilarious.
            Mososaur lived in shallow waters, contrary to the shark.
            Massive radiation is probably associated. Then no sun, sour rain.
            So, extremely complex.
            And in a strange way fascinating.

          • Mosasaurs were lizards, but any similarity to lizards we are familiar with probably ends there. Early forms were pretty normal, very similar to todays giant water monitor, not surprising given they were closely related to Varanids and Helodermatids. Maybe there is a future scenario where we get another radiation of big sea goign lizards, sea snakes show it is quite easy, just there isnt a niche open for 10 meter shark dragon at present 🙂

            Derived mosasaurs though were lizards only in memory, they were much more similar to cetaceans than anything else. It extends to evolving full endothermy, a stiff body, lunate caudal fluke, and even organs in the same parts of the body as they occur in whales. I dont think any species ever evolved a dorsal fin or a blowhole but some were close, retaining hind flippers probably compensated for a dorsal fin.
            Mosasaurus itself was probably the most derived, and one of the last, it is found worldwide in the northern hemisphere so was likely a deepwater pelagic animal, much like an Orca, a perfect example of convergent evolution.
            I imagine them behaving a lot more like sharks than whales though, driven by vision and smell over hearing, and probably more prone to using their teeth to investigate their environment, likely quite a bit more dangerous than toothed whales tend to be.

          • There’s as usual an ongoing debate about the family of Mososaur, Chad. They first got the skin wrong. Today they imagine (or found fossilized) very small scales and by one group of scientists the beast is put in the vicinity of the python.

          • I read that skin fossils of mosasaurs found convergence to shark skin. Ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs I think just lost their scales entirely, so it is interesting mosasaurs repurposed theirs. There is a lack of really large apex predator sharks in the latest Cretaceous, after the extinction of Cretoxyrhina around 80 million years ago up to the early Cenozoic when Otodus appeared, it seems possible mosasaurs took up that niche more successfully than assumed.

            As for mosasaurs being related to living species, I think that is never going to be determined for sure. But certainly they are at least on some level related to snakes. All of them, varanids, snakes, mosasaurs, are all Platynotans, which seems to be pretty well established.
            But snakes in the Cretaceous are also a whole new can of worms, and things are still being resolved there too. That along with the numerous other lineages of legless lizards alive today it is not impossible the snakes we know now were not the first wave, and some Cretaceous snakes might be unrelated to modern ones and only convergent evolution.

      • Ammonoidea.. are amazing!
        They surivived since Early Devonian! .. Thats many
        100 s of millions of years of enduring .. but its an animal group and not a single species… either .. but very long lived as a distinct group.

        Most single animal species rarely makes it past 1 million years … the odds of Homo sapiens looks very bad

        • No. Look at Van Andel: The bell-shaped curve of success and failure. Put this in a search machine, you get chapter 19 and scroll down or up. The curves are before the part about the Permian extinction. Most curves span 30-50 my, some 10-20 and some more, one around 100 my.
          The more specialized a species is the higher the possibility of a slim curve.
          Man isn’t specialized which means made just for one food i.e. or having just one capacity. Man is an omnivore and can do different sorts of tasks.

          This capacity died in 2010:

          • You could deduct from this that decent scientists are Dutch and teach in England if you are up to two-men statistics 😉

            But what I wanted to add is that man-made extinctions are not included in those bell-shaped curves. Here you might be closer to a million.

        • I think sharks are more persistent. They are very diverse, it is not correct to say they are all morphologically conservative (especially if rays technically count as sharks) but it seems for some reason sharks are extremely persistent animals, especially for apex predators. Recently it has been established that megalodon belonged to the genus Otodus, which has extended that genus’ range from the early Paleocene all the way until the end of the Pliocene, and this was one of the dominant ocean predators of the whole Cenozoic, coexisting with and outlasting at least 3 waves of tetrapod marine predators. Megalodon itself lasted nearly 20 million years, which I think is the longest a single species apex predator has been on top.

          Just to say though, the genus Hexanchus first evolved for certain in the early Jurassic, and there is a plausible record even in the late Permian, they still exist today and are even one of the biggest extant sharks. Sixgill sharks are I think my favorite shark 🙂

    • Life is very resilant indeed
      And there are bacteria kilometers down in the crust too: making Earth Impossible to sterlize without melting the whole planet

      Not even a ceres sized Asteorid impact woud be able to sterilize the planet, Earth woud be covered by rock vapour hotter than the sun for a few years ..

      But the heat woud not conduct kilometers down before everything cools off. Late Heavy bombardment survival

      Life surivived huge late Hadean impacts in that way sheltering kilometers deep in Earths crust.
      These underground life will also be the last life on Earth.. surviving all way until the sun becomes a red giant

    • Still Central Atlantic Magmatic Province was an insane event ..

      Much much much bigger than Deccan Traps and even larger than Siberian Traps

      The eruptions happened during 5 short pulses I think, some lava flows where many thousands of kilometers long. CAMP raised greenhouse gases alot, Causing short lived but extreme global warming, that was a part of Triassic – Jurassic Exctinction.

      The sulfur from CAMP fissures must have been terrible. Many CAMP individual lava flows are many times bigger than Vatnajökull in volume.
      More flood basalts followed in Jurassic as the other landmasses split too

      • CAMP is an interesting subject. The split-up must have taken a long while though, thinking of the African rift.
        And Africa is smaller than Pangaea was, of course.

      • Technically the eruptions didnt really end there either, I think the north atlantic part has always been active ever since and there have been several attempts at rifting Europe and Greenland through the whole Mesozoic. 50 million years ago it had another go at flood basalts and finally successfully rifted, and now again with Iceland though not nearly so extreme as it was back then. I dont think that a single plume is responsible though, as in CAMP was not when Iceland plume appeared, it is a lot more complicated than at Hawaii where there is no doubt. There is though certainly a plume at Iceland today, I guess it is just finding out how old that is, it might be 50 million years old is my guess.

        • There’s a theory that there were numerous plumes under Pangaea and that they might have connected somehow.
          I was wondering whether one will find rests of CAMP under the Canaries on the very bottom one day. There is two km of sediment on the ocean floor between the Canary Islands. Same goes for Azores.

        • I also think it must be younger as the old plumes from Pangaea cannot exist any more. Last, but not least even plumes seem to have a death date.
          I just think, due to lacking alignment, Cameroon and the Canaries might not have any plumes.
          With Cameroon though a proper calculation with the travelling speed of the African plate and time could be helpful, thinking of Tibesti. I can’t do this, that’s to say find out whether Tibesti has been sitting where Cameroon is now and when exactly. But basically it seems to be too far north.
          Aside from Tibesti, Africa is difficult ( a) overgrown, b) for political reasons).
          As to the Azores there is a triple junction which offers enough material for explanation.

        • What was the location of Pangaea during the CAMP? Could it have been over the african LLSVP, except without passive volcanism through rifts and with a pressure cooker of a lid through a conjoined landmass?

          Of course we don’t know how long the two antipodal LLSVP blobs have been in existence, they are suspected to be slab graveyards or something to do with the convection in the earth’s mantle, maybe even a leftover from a mass impact. We do know that plumes tend to spring up as offshoots of them though.

          • Oh okay, this paper implies that most LIPs and kimberlite eruptions over the past 300 myr have erupted over the margins of the LLSVPs:


            It is also true that at the boundaries of TUZO and JASON you get what is termed as ultra low velocity zones which also happens to be where a fair few of these plumes spring up, not just over the LLSVP but on the edge.

          • I would say that the centre of Pangaea was above the later Mid-Atlantic R.. Morocco was next to New England as the remnants of CAMP are esp. prominent in Morocco and New England, but also in Brazil.Next to Morrocco was Spain. The whole mass was connected to Antarctica and must have been further south considering the plate movements.
            Very interesting paper, thank you.

          • Excellent paper, gold, Andy, Here is how they imagine the latitude of Pangaea:
            “Pangea was straddling the equator in the Late Triassic , and the Central Atlantic Magmatic Province (CAMP) magmatic activity was located at equatorial–subtropical latitudes.”
            It’s below the headline
            “The Central Atlantic Magmatic Province”.

    • Indeed North Atlantic Igenous Province was another extreme flood basalting event .. as Chad mention

      NAIP was too much bigger than Siberian Traps, But perhaps with somewhat reduced intensity.

      NAIP still had insane eruptions! And around 11 million cubic kilometers of thoelitic basalt was produced in the latest Paleocene. Very intense volcanism, and massive flows. Faroe Islands haves some eroded remains.

      NAIP is is very likley resposible for the Paleocene Eocene Thermal maxium 55 million years ago, that is the hottest Earth ever been since emergence of land animals.
      But perhaps not resposible for keeping the Eocene Optimum until 47 Ma. Still NAIP raised the CO2 alot.

      During the PETM Earth transformed into a steamhouse world, competely covered in tropical rainforests, Equator became over 40 C avarge with extreme rainfall, avarge sea surfaces in lower latitudes warmed to almost 40 C. Arctic Sea surface temperatures reached 24 C during the PETM. With crocodiles and caimans swimming in Antartica oceans.. and giant snakes in Alaska.

      The mammals got smaller instantly after PETM as a way to reduce heat loss. Primates spread to both Europe and America during this time, jumping over the rainforests that covered Greenland. Siberia was a giant mangrove swamp back then, If I remeber correct…

      NAIP was intense and short lived
      And probaly behind the PETM
      But what keept the Eocene Optimum is more complicated

      • Not only in Faroe, also Ireland, Scotland, Greenland. But Jesper, imo you are making a mistake. Massive volcanism always caused massive cooling and a sparsity of food.
        Albert has explained that in many pieces, i.e. the trilogy about Greenland, and we know it from Krakatoa and Tambora. It wasn’t all flood basalt either, think of Iceland, it’s different kinds of volcanism.
        But the flood basalt is what you still see after an extremely long time. Nobody knew a whole lot about Pliny’s volcano until the archaeologists found Pompei and Ercolaneo. Nowadays they dig out villas near Amalfi destroyed by mud slides. There is one in Positano with a church on top.
        The dinosaurs were able to take warmth. That’s probably why they were tall and rodents small and underground.

      • No these huge flood basalts causes extreme warming raises CO2 .. levels

        The first phase of a major LIP event can cause cooling because of the huge sulfur injection

        But after a while the CO2 builds up in the atmosphere
        CAMP haves a short extreme Thermal cO2 spike liked to it

        • You seemingly did not read what I said. And I strongly assume that there wasn’t only lava, deducted from Iceland. Eyjafjallajökull was different from Fagradalsfjall. And secondly, that dinosaurs had no problem with warmth. In South America, Patagotitan’s fossilized eggs are found in old lava fields. They obviously used the warmth.
          Just like plants=food.

          • Warms of the springs btw. To be imagined like Yellowstone today. Brillant film about the chap by Attenborough.

          • Think about it. Warmest continents: Africa and South America. Biggest radiation of humans, insects and snakes (assumed as related to Mososaurs) Africa and South America. Largest radiation of Wild Forests (if not taken down): Equator. In the South, between the two continents, equal distance: Tristan da Cunha, volcanic, icy and poor of humans, fauna & flora.
            South of Tristan da Cunha: Antarctica, volcanic in the West. Iceland: Brrrrr. Mean the weather.
            So there is no logic in what you said, not for me. What about sources?

        • Dinosaurs had in general No problem with the greenhouse during the Meozoic …reptiles flourish during warm periods. But many dinosaurs where birdlike and warm blooded too

          But the flood basalts still stressed the enviroment.
          They cause extreme warmth hyperthermals as well as acid enviroments

          The CO2 output from CAMP was massive indeed but short lived geologicaly

          • Anyway, as Chad rightly said, all this is complex. Currents were different, Tethys ran parallel to the Equator, not from North to South like the Atlantic. Winds play an enormous role, nowadays the Jet Stream.

        • Tropics are the most diverse regions on Earth

          And its indeed where most If not all animal groups flurish the best

          The Tropical Rainforest Thats without any seasons maybe home to Almost all the worlds species in total

          Still extreme warming events probaly made the tropics extremely hot

          ”Cool Tropics Paradox” is not factual anymore as more geological edivice suggest much hotter tropics than today during greenhouse eras.

          Still Equatorial Rainforests flurished during the PETM with avarge temperatures going up to 40 C.

          Big Flood Basalts mess up Earths hydrological and oceanic systems with their extreme CO2 warmth. The sulfur maybe problematic too with acid in enviroment

          But most of the Meozoic Warmth haves to do with CO2 from very spreading ridges in the Young New oceans

      • What do we know about the peak flow rate of such events? They last millions of years and produce millions to tens of millions of km³ of lava. Simple averaging yields tens of km³ a year. This is not going to cause a mass extinction. There would have to be pulses several orders of magnitude more intense.

        • Many flood basalts are not acossiated with intense mass exctinctions

          Cretaceous had an oceanic flood basalt event that produced
          100 million cubic kilometers of basaltic lava in just 600 000 years!

          Yet it did not .. produce much an exctinction on land
          The oceans perhaps absorbed the CO2 and Sulfur

          Yet the smaller Siberan Traps are seemingly behind the great dying ..

      • Two comments up at 13.23 I linked a table from a paper linked by Andy that proves you partly right, not for the Ordovician though.

    • It is possible volcanism and climate in some way can be a positive feedback, that the one strengthens the other, but that volcanism can be climate driven can certainly be true I think, just like climate change can be volcanic driven. The type and geographical place of volcanism (or multiple volcanoes) and which gasses are released are also important in that regard, and might make certain things more complex.

      Just like how Laki seemed to affect the climate differently as the two Indonesian eruptions (Krakatoa and Tambora), in terms of monsoon disruption and also hurricane seasons.

      • That climate is influenced by volcanism I believe. Not the other way around though. That’s tectonics and plumes. And beware! There are enough efforts to make mankind alone responsable for Climate Change. At the end you are responsable for volcanism, beware. It would mean you pay for a volcanic eruption in Vanuatu where Kuwae once was. We are paying for desastre anyway and good so, but I do not want people to be talked into guilt and more guilt. That’s like the Catholic Church behaved before 1500, mankind the sinner. And not mankind in general: Only the slowly emerging good old commoner.

    • I recently read a science paper on eruptions at Santorini and they said something like 208 out of 211 eruptions occurred at low sea level, which in turn would be in colder climate. So the observation that there are large eruptions in cold periods may (actually most likely) be due to low sea water levels and less weight on the ocean volcanoes. I think there is a connection here. See

  26. Aside from that it is more or less established that after the Chicxulub impact there must have been a tsunami of the estimated height of 1000 m. Tsunamis in the past as cause of extinctions seem to be grossly understimated and would have done the first Chapter though.
    Read Henrik’s partly funny piece about VC’s Decade Volcano number 1.

    • Actually it was much less, maybe 10s of meters high, less than 100 anyway, the impact was in a shallow ocean so the tsunami would have been there but not exceptionally big, just not enough water displaced for a 1 km wave. It was a lot more extensive though because some of the old interior seaway was still there, and a lot more land was still very flat and low where the sea used to be.

      More interestingly the seismic waves would have made massive seiche waves in lakes all over North America, which might as well have been tsunamis really.

      If the impact was in the deep ocean though then certainly a colossal wave would be in the works, and that wave would have wiped out most of the Atlantic coast, and probably almost all of Europe. But maybe the extinction would have been less severe overall or maybe not even important, the molten impact ejecta is what does the damage, there is not much of that available in the ocean, and while a lot of water woudl be ejected I dont think this would stay around long enough to do lasting damage (but I am not basing this in any fact). At the speed of the impact really the difference of it landing in the deep ocean is a matter of minutes either way, it is extremely unlucky it hit where it did really, or lucky depending on who you ask.

      • ?? “But millions of years ago, a truly inconceivable set of waves—the tallest roughly 1,500 meters high—rammed through the Gulf of Mexico and spread throughout the ancient ocean, producing wave heights of several meters in distant waters, new simulations show.”

        Sth else might be underestimated: The dinosaurs are thought to have been in decline before the impact. From the end of the Perm (extinction of marine life) there are fossils of huge ammonites, more than a metre in diametre, and we know about the size of dinosaurs, plant-eaters as well as omnivores. If top-predators eat everything up they should have problems at some point. You only look at mankind, top predator getting into trouble. SEEMINGLY endless energy (and food).

        • I think the issue is that with large animals, there might just not be a lot of them at any time. There were never 8 billion dinosaurs alive. I think the assumption that predator animals killed prey animals too much is farfetched as prey also adapts (triceratops for example, some kind of modern hippo was able to defend itself when healthy).

          Wildlife is just quite vulnerable and that’s something to accept, it’s possible they were somewhat in decline already, or that the certain million years already had events which caused stress on them, making them vulnerable for such an impact. The Deccan Traps and associated climate change(s) could be what we are looking for for what caused the stress on wildlife at the time.

          Climate as a concept is very vulnerable. The Holocene turns out to have been unusually stable, although warmer climates seem to be more stable. But The Eemian (last interglacial before Holocene) seemed to be much more suspectible to climate change than our interglacial. And glacials are by definition very suspectible to change due to positive feedback mechanisms and vulnerability of ocean circulation.

          • F.Y.I. this isn’t in defence of climate scepticals, it’s an additional warning, like saying that man-made climate change is like opening the box of Pandora (even though at some point it will be inevitable).

            I see man-made climate change as something similar to events like The Great Oxydation Event (but this time with CO²) and instead of some archeaebacteria evolving into cyanobacteria, this time it’s us with our industrialization. That’s what I think we would see millions and billions of year in the future when someone does archeological or paleohistorical research on our planet.

            There are other examples like the “rise of plants on land” in the Devonian (which would have been able to capture more CO²), but initial setbacks (maybe self-inflicted by sea level changes) might have led to a very vulnerable climate back than (with sudden warmings and sudden cooling) with life being very dependant on the existence of shallow or inland seas and swamps.

          • as well as that climate change also impact monsoon rainfall, especially displacement of the monsoon band, as is also the case nowadays, with Sahara rainfall/Sahel rainfall (so WAM), Arab rainfall, Northwest Indian rainfall, and parts of China (Gobi), maybe also steppes in mainland Asia. Sharper cooling also causes changes in the Amazon, but a wettening of Sahel or Sahara also causes a drier climate in the Amazon due to Sahara dust being an important factor in Amazon rainforest rainfall.

            As trees and greenery often are dependant (esp. in early stages of evolution) on rainfall, this could help explain or partially indicate that the first steps on land by plants weren’t easy at all.

          • During the Carbinoferous, things probably found an equilibrium, as the rise of plants must have been somewhat complete (and enabled or already enabled some fish / proto-amphibians to make the leap on land, with insects and plants as food source). The sea level changes also probably made that leap possible, as an inland sea might have dried up, they would have been somewhat on land already, and as life in the seas might have been incredibly dangerous at some point, if smaller bodies of water might have caused an increase of competition, but that wouldn’t have happened in one day.

            As the supercontinent was about to be formed and more land mass would be equally distributed, things would have than started to change again, as all landmass was in one supercontinent, there must have been an extreme continental climate with massive storms on the coast but with rainfall that didn’t travel that far inland, very vulnerable monsoons and sudden changes from hyperarid to hyperwet. That probably also enabled amphibians to evolve into new animals like protomammals maybe and reptillians, forced to better handle the circumstances of the extreme climate.

            I have often wondered whether what a supercontinent would have had as impact for volcanism and seismicity. Was volcanism somewhat decreased in supercontinental phases (and maybe this was a driver for the later “traps” eruptions we’ve seen). Or are “trap” eruptions formed because a hotspot moves under a craton with rocks that a harder to penetrate, and thus supplies are very big when they finally manage to erupt? Magma supply could also be a lot higher since there are a lot of marine LIP’s.

        • Supercontinents acts as lid on the mantle preventing the heat to escape from the mantle. Thats why they always breakup in the end. Large Breakups are pretty much always preceeded by huge litosphere doming from mantle plumes and Big flood basalt events. CAMP and NAIP are the largest magmatic events on land since complex life emerged out of the ocean

        • Impact generated tsunamis:

          Highlights: only 1% of impact energy transferred to tsunami BUT a tsunami with 1 mega ton (TNT equivalent) of energy is like the 2011 Japan tsunami.

          Also: earth impact effects calculation:

          The Chicxulub impactor had on the order of 10^7 mega tons TNT kinetic energy.
          Fun fact: 500km from impact: heat radiaton: 277 times solar flux, duration: 30 minutes.
          You’ll get a nice tan for sure.

          • This is based on the following parameters: diameter 10km, speed 20km/sec,,
            density: 3 tons / m³ (dense rock), angle of entry: 60 degrees, target: water.

      • Didn’t it hit a petaton deposit of anhydrite (CaSO4), that would vertainly have had effects on the atmosphere.

        • Yes, that is what I was mainly refering to. It was very unlucky for the impact to be exactly where it was, a few thousand km before or after and it is in the ocean. At the speed such an asteroid moves this is a difference of minutes, minutes that decided everything.

          I guess though an impact like that in the ocean would release a lot of chlorine into the atmosphere, which could disrupt the ozone layer. It also could induce volcanism, the crater would probably punch right into the mantle for such an impact in the ocean with its thin crust. Probably oceans would see the mass extinction anyway but on land it would be different.

        • The asteroid was around 14 km wide and moving at well over 30 kilometers a second .. thats alot of kinetic energy

          Earths crust behaved like when you throws a huge rock in a pond..

          200 million tsar bombs at Once! Is the Chicxlulub Impact equal of, seafloor, mountains melt and vaporize at 20 000 C around 60 000 km3 of Earths crust was vaporized togther with the asteorid.
          It all was ejected and sent up into space as a tremedously hot bright plume.

          The real hell begins When the vaporized materials are sent on reentry trajectories: as it came into the atmosphere, the whole atmosphere was heated to an oven.

          North Americas forests was turned to ash competely by strong atmospheric ejecta heating.

          It woud look like trillions of meteors filling the skies all over the world.. the skies became yellow hot, Chicxlulub ejecta acting like a broiler oven, huge forests Fires …

          After that the Asteorid Winter starts

          • But still: the amphibians survived. How id they do it with all the acid rain?

          • They can hide in the soil or hide in lakes

            Hidden from the global firestorms

        • It woud be a tremedously bright event.. the impact flash and the initial ejecta plume. You woud go blind by looking at that .. Thermal radiation is terrible too, anything in cuba or Mexico coast ignite instantly

          The sea flowing over the 200 km wide and 7 km deep impact melt sheet must have been an Impressive sight too.

          Minutes after the impact.. the 100 s of meters deep sea began to sourge back into the terrible hot crater. Must have been some awsome steam explosions

          Perhaps the warm sea in the Chicxlulub Arera formed hypercanes?

          • On the other hand…..
            The paper is from 2021.
            Summary: Nobody knows precisely as
            “Although the dinosaur fossil record provides invaluable data for our understanding of macroevolutionary patterns and processes through time, it is biased and incomplete. Previous attempts to estimate dinosaur diversity dynamics were based on simple counts of the numbers of species in specific time intervals. However, the extent to which these raw data have been biased by preservation and sampling artefacts has long been debated.”
            By Condamine, Guinot, Benton and Currie

            Ongoing debate, not enough material.

    • As Denali says, not enough water possible to be displaced, but also a 1km wave, wouldn’t been able to travel extremely far inland, as the waves would also get smaller further away from the impact. Maybe most of Mexico at the time was submerged, but for Europe, this wouldn’t be an exceptional tsunami in that it was probably a very large wave yes, that indeed will have killed animals that live on the coast, but not one of apocalyptic senses. The Pacific probably wasn’t impacted all that much. The initial wave (there was a wave also that travelled with the shock wave, but that was a smaller one), but the initial wave also has a direction so certain areas would be only laterally impacted, but post-waves or afterwaves which would have been reasonably very high, possibly at times even higher than the initial wave would eliminate some of that.

      • Well, most fossils are found upriver (rivers back then) in the South of North America. Most of them close together like after typical flash floods. Talking primarily and also primarily interested in the situation of the American West in regard to that specific event.
        Europe was submerged in most parts, also most of China. The ocean level was much higher than today.
        In Africa that tsunami might not have had a large effect, maybe in the north.
        The South American plant eaters were mostly gone before.
        The impact was near Chicxulub. North of Chicxulub was an broad arm of the Tethys Ocean separating North and Latin America. So the water there should not be underestimated.

  27. Hypnotic calm drone flight over the effusive exit, stunning footage.

    • Is this the main channel? Or is it the ‘twin’ vent that opened up just to the northwest of the main cone complex?

      • Main channel, the twin vent is visible in the next video from IGME

        • I see, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
          I thought the northern vents had gone for good after erupting for say, 2 days. Now I see they’re still alive. 😮

          Should’ve known better, nothing dies quickly in this volcano.

  28. M. Siebold mentions that PEVOLCA are noticing a decrease in SO2. This is somehow supposed to be tied to a close of the eruption.
    Why is it that the eruption cannot be over if there is still too much SO2 that is outgassing?
    Is SO2 what drives the magma up? What relevance does water vapor have in that process? Water vapor was suggested here in VC to be at least a driver for explosivity (aka “driving magma up very quick” as I understand).

  29. Found this story of an eruption ok Kilauea in pre-contact times. The story of Pele and Kahawali, about an eruption in Puna. The age is not really specified but most of the places named have ages around 300-350 years ago, or in the first half of the 17th century. I think there is a summit eruption dated to around 1650 AD so this could well fit.

    I know Hector has read this 🙂 but it seems this was maybe Kilaueas biggest eruption in the last 500 years based on some of my research. It was probably also a major part of forming the current summit caldera, if 2018 was only able to make a pit inside the existing caldera obviously we need something a bit bigger…
    It is well known on here that Iceland has some really big rifting events but Kilauea can do these too, in the Kahawali eruption potentially the entire ERZ from up at Makaopuhi crater all the way offshore of Cape Kumukahi was rifted. The eruption in the story seems to be the easternmost fissure in the picture below, but the story states ‘Pele came down to watch’ which may reference other eruptions. Kapoho crater is probably older than this eruption but seems there was a second eruption within the original cone, and that second eruption fits the descriptions and time of the story.

    Based on the locations of vents some are too far north to directly erupt from the feeder at that location, so probably fed from a dike intruded from the ERZ feeder further uprift, the main eruption seems to have been when the feeder was able to get all the way, and drain out the summit, like a bigger version of 2018, and with most of the ERZ sliding south in what must have been a pretty powerful quake, likely at least as strong as the one in 2018.

    As a side note really I think Kahawali should have known better… Perhaps it is a story of karma as much a recollection of a destructive eruption.

    • Great legend, but what an egotistical man to leave his wife and children alone. Sometimes narratives are history when you can reconstruct a volcano’s path from them.

      • I would expect some of it is translation error too, and also summarization.

        The fact though that many of these eruption stories begin because of spite to Pele fully knowing who she is, from often times powerful people, does seem to be about sending a message about greed as much as it is a recollection of an event. Also that Pele is incredibly short tempered… It does have a certain parallel to the attitude people have today.

        I was hoping this would be on the next page though now no one will see this comment :I

      • Hawaiian society was highly hierarchical. The chiefs could basically do whatever they wanted with their subjects and people had to follow strictly their orders. Chiefs would beat up their subjects if they behaved wrong. And they were always warring with each other in order to gain more power. They were quite egotistical indeed.

        In a way Pele is a personification of how Hawaiians saw Kilauea, and a mirror of their society. Pele was a dreadful goddess that wouldn’t think twice about killing you, if you failed to follow her rules, did not give her the appropriate offerings, or disrespected her in the slightest way.

        On the other hand the story is interesting because it does narrate a true event. An eruption which took place in Hawaii. The location of the story matches with a massive eruption eruption that created Cape Kumukahi, the easternmost point of the island. I think now this eruption was possibly in the 16th century. Ellis mentions that it was during the reign of King Kealiikukii. There is no Hawaiian king with this name, but it probably refers to Keliʻiokaloa, the king who reigned in 1525-1545. The paleomagnetism recorded in the lavas of the Kahawali eruption are more or less in between the 15th century Aila’au flows and some 17th century Mauna Loa eruptions, so it is a possible date.

        It may have been the culmination of a period of strong activity of Kilauea that included the formation of the Observatory and Aila’au shields at the summit in the 15th century more or less, and then was followed by a series of East Rift eruptions, probably including Puu Huluhulu, Puu Kaliu and the Kahawali eruption. Also the explosive eruptions of the Keanakako’i Tephra at the summit may have been from caldera collapses linked to the major rift eruptions.

        • Sounds like Pu’u Kaliu was quite a lot like Ahu’aila’au (which is maybe not surprising given location), a normal eruption initially that got much bigger and took out some of the summit without destroying it entirely, perhaps setting a structure without actually creating a deep pit. There was some degree of fountaining on the ring fault so perhaps Kaliu was bigger than the 2018 collapse, taking a hit at the deeper magma reservoir though not too much. Then some time in the next 50 years the caldera fully collapsed, a major event involving total collapse, and that was associated with the eruption in the story. In between the eruptions the caldera floor could have been fragile and prone to collapse, and possibly also occasional explosions of built up pressure, and eruptions of lava too like we see now, a far cry from the slow flow of the preceding shields.

          Putting an arbitrary date of 1540 as per the above, that is about 250 years before the collapse in 1790. 1790 is in turn about 230 years ago. Pu’u Kaliu was maybe in the 1500s maybe 1510s, either way a few decades before the Kahawali eruption, Ahu’aila’au was I think very similar to Kaliu, and has just formed, a large volume partial collapse. I think it has set a timer, some point in the next 30 years Kilauea will see another collapse and much bigger than in 2018. Of course this is not new to anyone here 🙂

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