The Current Volcanic State of Affairs

Stunning photograph of two fisherman on Taal Lake inside Taal Crater inside Bulkang Taal. Photograph taken by Michael Angelo Luna, Wikimedia Commons.

I am taking this opportunity to look at 5 volcanoes that at least I find interesting. I am doing this out of the perspective of the life-curve of an eruption. I find this perspective to be interesting, and I think that it is something that would be both entertaining and informative for our dear readers.

I have noticed that there are a few misconceptions constantly going around about volcanic eruptions that I would like to clear up, and these five volcanoes gives an ample opportunity to do so. Each of these volcanoes gives an opportunity each to clear up one of these misconceptions.

There is though a general point I would like to make. For most volcanoes it is possible to, with a fair degree of accuracy, forecast an upcoming eruption. Mind you, I am not talking about predicting an eruption. Predictions are made in teacups filled with fish-entrails, or by hysteric YouTubers filled with the Dutch Incense.

A forecast is made upon verifiable data, scientific theory-building, historic data of previous eruptions, modelling of data, and so on. It is in other words the volcanic equivalent of weather forecasts and is nowadays done with a fair degree of accuracy. For those who are familiar with my writing, they know that this is something that I love to do for volcanoes I know well, and with a fair degree of accuracy.

The reason behind my interest is that back in 2010 when I said that it was possible the dogma was that it was not possible. So, I got a fair bit of slack for me stating that it was possible. The interesting part was that Professor Páll Einarsson had already stumped the world with his insanely accurate forecast of the 2000 eruption of Hekla where he missed the time of the eruption with a single minute.

What I have been interested in lately is the possibility of forecasting the end of an eruption. To my surprise I found that I got even more slack for that assertion then I got back in 2010.

So, there will be a bit about forecasting in this article, it will though not be a complete article about it. I will get around to doing that one of these days, I hope.

Just a few final words about my interest in eruption forecasting. Well, if you plan to build billions worth of geothermal plants it is incredibly wise to know where and when a future eruption will occur. Simple as that, and admittedly a tad of professional pride also.

Now, time for me to stop being an incredible windbag and get into the volcanoes at hand.


Death of Fagradalsfjall

How we remember Fagradalsfjall. Image captured from the live feed.

As an eruption begin it heralds the end of itself. Well, at least for normal and sensible volcanoes that are not Stromboli.

I like to look at eruptions like the profile of a volcano. At the left side you have the intruding magma and the steady increase of earthquakes, onset of degassing, inflation evident on GPS-stations, possibly a few phreatic blasts, and so on. I used to find this part of the eruptive curve to be the most interesting.

At the peak you have the onset of the eruption. After that you look at how much magma is incoming, and how much is moving out, normally there is a deficit in the incoming magma versus the outgoing magma.

If there is a net deficit of incoming magma you will see deflation on the GPS-station, and if this is the case the earthquakes are associated with shrinkage of the magma reservoir, and not a sign of new magma arriving. Many people make the mistake of believing that renewed earthquake activity is a sign of magma arrival and believe that the eruption will continue for a long time, or even increase.

If incoming magma was the case for the earthquakes, it would quickly show up on the GPS-station(s). If it does not and deflation continues the earthquakes are the sad gong-blows of the impending end of the eruption.

During the first 30 something days of the eruption at Fagradalsfjall the GPS-signal kept surprisingly stable and did not show any deflation. The roughly 10 cubic meters per second that was incoming from the mantle was ejected at the top of the vent(s).

Station just south of Fagradalsfjall, it is the one showing best what is happening at the previously erupting vents. Image from Icelandic Met Office.

This led to a forecast from the Icelandic authorities that the eruption would last for years. I did not have any large opinion against this assumption of a steady state eruption more than that it might be a bit premature to state that. But, at that point the forecast was underpinned by available data.

In all honesty, at that point I agreed with them. I might argue with other volcanologists, but I never argue with data. Data always win those arguments.

Later as the rate of the eruption increased the data started to show a slow deflationary trend. This perked my interest, and I followed this slow decline for a while. To my surprise the “years of eruption”-meme took on a life of its own, despite what the data was evidencing.

And since I get an almost perverse joy out of being an iconoclast against the powers that be when I find that they are disregarding the available data, I sat down and went through oodles of data and made a forecast based on what was evident from the data at hand.

I published this forecast over on our Facebook group during the summer. In it I stated that the eruption would end within 90 days, with the most likely time for cessation would be at the end of the time period.

This exploded out over the internet and took on a life of its own. Even Páll declared that I was ejecting lactose out of my nostrils, well he used different words, but the sentiment was there. I just reiterated the facts, stated that he would owe me a beer soon, and sat down to follow the data as it came into being before our eyes.

So, what will happen at Fagradalsfjall in the future? It seems like a good question, after all there are still a lot of earthquakes there.


The possible future of Fagradalsfjall

Snowdusted Keilir in the distance. Photograph by Soffía Snaeland, Wikimedia Commons.

Caveat: Currently the data available is unclear and any changes are minor, so this is based on less data than I would like to have at hand.

The question here is if there will be a new eruption at a different location, if there will be a new eruption at the old vents, or if this was it for the foreseeable future.

This is a tricky question. Yes, the eruption has ended, we can all agree on that. But the data is not completely excluding the possibility for a new eruption in the future.

Often after an eruption the GPS-trajectories will after a while start to show a slow deflation-curve. This is in turn caused by cooling of the residual magma. In this case so far, the trajectories are remarkably steady, or even showing that a very small inflation is occurring.

Here it is good to remember that what set off the eruption was magma pooling below Reykjanes, that in turn set off pent up tectonic strain. First the magma caused a fault to break open under Thorbjörn, but the pent-up strain was not great enough to form a dyke all the way up to a surface vent.

As the strain there was spent the magma instead released the pent-up strain at Fagradalsfjall, and a rapidly dilating dyke formed as magma rushed into the voids created by the earthquake activity. The magma entered from below just south of Keilir and travelled laterally over to Fagradalsfjall where it erupted.

By now that strain is well and truly spent, and a new rifting fissure eruption there is about 800 years away, which seems to be the time needed for that much strain to accumulate.

The station that is showing Keilir best. Image from Icelandic Met Office.

The strain is fully released at the site of the eruption, but there might be a bit of strain remaining over at Keilir.

That just leaves magmatic influx as a potential driver for a new eruption. And there seems to a be a small amount of that occurring. There is though far less magma entering into the system, and the system had a magma deficit as the eruption stopped.

So, a new eruption is right now a bit away if it will happen (unless inflation picks up again). Right now, the data is hanging in the balance. Over at Keilir there are earthquakes slowly moving upwards, this might indicate a formative new conduit there.

Over at the original vents the earthquakes more seems to substantiate conduits failing as magma is withdrawn. The GPS trajectories is simultaneously indicating minor dyke dilation just SSW of Keilir, and at the same there is slow compression of the dyke over at Fagradalsfjall itself.

Currently I see a very low probability of a new eruption near the previous vents, and a low but existing risk of a new eruption 1km SSW of Keilir.

Most likely though the next eruption from this volcanic system will be at least 800 years into the future.

Regardless, I am going to Iceland late spring or early summer to collect my beer from Páll, and it would be nice if there was a volcanic bonfire there to celebrate the occasion. It is though unlikely that the bonfire will be from this volcano.


The Dying of La Palma

Image of the ash covered cemetary of La Palma. Photograph borrowed from Daily Sabah under fair usage.

The Canaries and La Palma is thankfully less complicated since there are no pesky effects of the Mid Atlantic Rift to contend with. Here it is a simple case of magma going up into the island, forming a new dyke, and then erupting.

And as the lava rushes out it is happily deflating spelling out the upcoming end of the eruption. The eruption has come with some unexpected turns and twists that are well worth mentioning.

First surprising thing is the size of the eruption. If this had been in Iceland it would have been a small eruption and would most likely have ended up as a footnote eruption. But, for an eruption at La Palma it is quite sizeable, in fact it is by now the largest eruption there witnessed by humans. Turns out that size is relative after all, at least if the receiving end is comparatively small.

It is a part of the human psyche to have a good thing last for a very long time, and it is also a part of the human psyche to have our good things ever getting “better” and larger. This is especially true for volcano afficionados, both for laymen and professionals. Deep down in our grubby little hearts we wish for our favourite eruption to increase over time until the point of Greenland flying towards the moon. Yes, I am indeed implying a fair bit of addiction here, I have dubbed us “volcanoholics” for a good reason.

Problem is just that nature seems to disagree with our wishes. I am equally affected, so this is not me pointing any fingers. But I am well aware that what the data tells, is what will happen.

The amazingly colourful impending death of an eruption. Image from IGN.

I am mentioning this since many people tend to misinterpret the data at hand, or disregard at least parts of the data, in the hope of a bigger upcoming volcanic fix. Instead, remember that as one eruption wanes, nature is busy preparing the next eruption some place else. Then the fun begins anew and fresh, something that I find pleasing.

So, what is the data telling us? Simple, the larger than average eruption at La Palma will end soon. There is clear deflation visible, the northern end is rebounding upwards again after having been pushed down by the initial inflation, the dyke is narrowing. Death is nigh to the delight of the residents of La Palma.

Another unusual thing is that this eruption have been unusually explosive for being a basalt eruption. We have all seen the pictures of houses totally enveloped in ash and lapilli. There is still an ongoing discussion about what has brought this about.

Some state that it is due to large amounts of volcanic gas. Yes, there has been quite a bit of gas, but less than what comes out during an Icelandic eruption. Others have put forth that there is a high content of water in the magma, either from deep down or from aquifers in the conduits. I have so far not seen any data substantiating this.

The third option is that the eruption is partially drawing on remobilized magma from older dykes, that in turn is containing volatiles like water and volcanic gases. This idea would imply that there would a part of the lava that is more evolved than the basalt from depth.

Until we have data from samples taken, we will not know with any certainty what is going on, but if I was pinched, I would favour the volcanic dregs out of dyke’s theory. After all, that is happening quite often at other basalt volcanoes when they are unusually explosive.

So, the big question. When will the fun end? It is already showing signs of sputtering, so I would say anything from today and 90 days forward. Currently I favour a shorter option judging by the data from the GPS-stations. A few days to a few weeks are most likely.


Return to Sleep

It is hard to grasp the size of Askja. Photograph by Wolfgang Beyer, Wikimedia Commons.

A while ago the collective eyebrows of every volcanologist moved in the direction of Venus as we followed the onset of rapid inflation at Askja. The reason for this is that new eruption cycles of Askja comes about 150-230 years apart and can be quite a handful.

Askja unlike the previous volcanoes is one of those big ones that can wake up and do a number of different styles of eruptions, some styles come with a definite flair for the dramatic.

Since the last ice age, it has done everything from small eruptions that are best described as cute and cuddly, via multi-cubic kilometre rifting fissure eruption, and large caldera-forming VEI-5 eruptions.

What we do know is that the first eruption of a new cycle tends to be bigger than the following eruptions. This is due to the initial one being driven by fresh and hot magma arriving up from the mantleplume, and the subsequent ones are driven by leftovers from the big show.

There is also quite a bit of old evolved magma in a fairly sizeable magma reservoir, and if that is remobilized by the hot magma this can cause a powerful explosive eruption. This last happened in 1875 when hot basalt remobilized rhyolite in a way that is not conducive to the life expectancy of volcano tourists.

Unlike during the runup to Fagradalsfjall I started to pack my things, about 200kg worth of equipment, but as I sat down and waited for the signs that would indicate that an eruption was a week away or so, things became boring as the uplift started to tail off.

OLAC-station at Askja. Image by the Icelandic Met Office.

Wondering what had happened I took a deeper look at the GPS-trajectories and discovered that we all had been fooled a bit. Yes, the trajectory at the Ólafsgígar GPS (OLAC) had been substantial with 12mm south, 20mm west and a whopping 160 millimetres upwards in 2.5 months, there was not much happening at other nearby stations.

Yes, the other stations showed a bit of movement, but not nearly as much as at OLAC. This means that the intrusion was localized and small for such a large volcano.

There was also the problem that the rate of inflation rather unceremoniously declined and reverted into deflation. So, for the time being there will be no pictures of a swearing Carl carrying 200 kg of equipment up the side of a volcano.

In the end I know that this was the first sign of the beginning of an eruptive cycle at Askja, there will be more intrusions, more inflation events, and one of those will be the real deal. We also known that we are nearing the peak of the mantleplume cycle, and that will set off Askja in the end. So, I am keeping the gear at the ready. I give it a decade or so at most.


The snails trace of Grimsvötn

The Cumulative Seismic Moment Chart. Icelandic Met Office.

If you wish for something large in Iceland Grimsvötn is by far the best bet currently. Hekla seems to be sleepy right now, and Katla seems to be saving its energy for something a tad larger down the line.

All the way since the larger than average 2011 eruption Grimsvötn has had a slow but steady increase in average numbers of monthly earthquakes and also the average size of the earthquakes as they occur.

The open waters of Grimsvötn. Photograph borrowed from Morgunbladid.

The eruption of Holuhraun in 2014 slowed down the proceedings a bit due to decrease of external pressure from Bardarbunga, but from 2017 and onwards the increase has been slow and steady.

The same goes for the GPS-trajectory, it is showing slow and steady inflation and dilation of the magma reservoir as magma is entering at a steady pace from down below. There is also an increase in thermal energy output into the lake, so much so that it is showing open water during the summer near the last eruptive went over at the caldera wall.

By now both me and Albert have technically lost the bet on who could best forecast the upcoming eruption, but since Albert had a later date than me, I will still buy him a right nice pint when I can nail him to the chair in a pub again.

Even though it is moving along nicely towards the upcoming eruption it is starting to feel like it is doing so at a snail’s pace. But there is a clear snail’s trace left in the data, so I am happy to wait a little longer. Currently I would say April, but that could be wrong once again.


The Swansong of an Island

The phreatic detonation in the boiling lake at Crater Island in Taal Lake in Taal Caldera inside Bulkang Taal. Image from Phivolcs.

This part is something that I have hoped that I would never have to write, and I hope with all of my heart that I am wrong in this case.

The 234 square kilometre caldera of Bulkang Taal (Taal=Pure or True) would to most people not look like a volcano at all, instead it looks like a beautiful and peaceful lake with an island in the middle. If you look at the island you will find another lake, and that lake would definitely give things away since it is merrily boiling all the time.

Nobody who is reading this will have missed that Bulkang Taal, The True Volcano, have been active since 2020. The local authorities have at least twice raised the alert level to 3 on a 5-degree scale, and with good reasons.

There have been minor phreatic blasts in the lake as water have come into contact with fresh intruding magma, the gas flow has increased at times to levels where the capital of Manilla was inundated with hazardous vog, there have been widespread and substantial uplift and caldera extension.

And there have been numerous earthquake swarms, both of volcanic type earthquakes, and tectonic rock breaking types.

What is giving me reasons to be less than happy here is that the activity has been going on since March of 2019 and since then the activity and the data at hand has slowly increased in severity.

For a lack of better words, it has been like seeing a giant slowly wake up, put on the clothes, having coffee, and then going out in the garden starting to build up a mountain of gunpowder. The longer it is building up that metaphorical mountain of gunpowder, the worse it could be when the fuse is finally lit.

Long runups like this is generally not a good thing around volcanoes of this size and type. If it erupts fairly fast after onset the eruption will most often be manageable, but years of building to an eruption? Rarely a good sign.

Currently I would not be surprised if the eruption when it finally occurs will be in the range of the eruptions during the 18th century, or even as big as the 1754 eruption. As such they would be a disaster for the area in and around Bulkang Taal.

What could we expect from such an eruption? At least 1 meter of ash covering the downwind shores of Lake Taal and quite a bit of disruption to the economy of the Philippines.

A more unlikely scenario, but that is well within the capacity of Bulkang Taal, is a larger eruption. It is here prudent to remember that the entirety of the scenic lake has been created by a number of eruptions ranging from VEI-6 to VEI-7. The sad part is that the longer the runup-phase last, the greater the risk increases of something like this happening.

Currently the risk of something horrendous happening is perhaps 1 percent, but even that is an uncomfortable number indeed.

I do not like being restless volcano calderas like The Pure Volcano. Not at all.



507 thoughts on “The Current Volcanic State of Affairs

    • I wonder if the DI events were what killed off the previous eruption. The current eruption had been very healthy up until this DI, which is the first big one since the onset and seems to have temporarily stopped the flow. If the volcano starts doing more DI events perhaps this will end up clogging the conduit with solid magma.

      • Was a big effect for such a small signal. It stands out but the whole DI was only 4 microradians or so, smaller than many earlier in the year that did nothing to the last eruption. It looks like the eruption also briefly surged before dropping out exactly mirroring the signal, now has returned to normal again.

        Looks like the system has reached a complete equilibrium and is very sensitive to small signals. The vent still being open and active in this state is good news regarding potential longevity 🙂


    A 750 kilometers deep Earthquake
    Probaly is a cold subduction slab.

    The mantle is 3000 kilometers deep, so at core boundary I guess the subducted plates cannot be telled apart anymore as they becomes superheated.

    At core boundary temperatures are probaly around 4200 degrees C and 6100 C in the inner core centre

  2. Interestingly as La Palma is slowing down Faf is moving up… when La Palma was rising… faf slowed down. Correlation perhaps? Could we be talking about major rifting event of mid-atlantic ridge?

    I took this screenshot on Nov 3rd… I know this quite normal in Iceland but the distribution of the quakes intrigued me a little. On fracture zones rather than the plates per se…

    Link removed on request

      • Some comment or legend is needed to explain the graphics. For example what is “d” graded on a continuous scale? Why is the red line significant even though it deviates from the blue line seemingly due to only a single data point? Is this deviation really justified?

    • I don’t believe so. If this were the case activity would possibly start in the Azores or further south around Gough. The Canaries are far from the MAR in an older Atlantic ocean and might in reality either have a close connection to the African shelf and also the Atlas or (which I don’t believe) be the products of an underlying mante plume.

      Iceland is often active, the Canaries every now and then. It’s a different story, I’d say.

      • This is a good map. Most of the magmatic activity submarine. Canaries far away:

      • The Canaries is indeed a plume, there is goodly amount of evidence for that. 😉

          • Because I am 99 percent of all volcanologists are right.
            Some argue about semantics, and how to classify different plumes, but do not argue the plumes themselves. And then there is one who denies them regardless of overwhelming evidence of their existance.

          • At least she got that festively lit saloon reminding of the ballroom in Overlook Hotel down to some energy saving by turning around 4950 of the 5000 lightbulbs out.
            This leaves some room for the complicated things, which means faults.

            @ Peter Bray: Here’s another festively lit saloon, I think Nisyros might be included:

          • Problem is still that she is wrong.
            I do suggest you fact check her. You will loose your faith faster than if I presented an endless amount of tomographic images of every single plume she says does not exist.

            I failed, I could not hold myself, but at least I kept to referencing the two classics… Mea culpa! 😉

          • So, schools in session.

            I suggest you start with the paper below, but before you start reading.

            Take a look at the image. Remember that image while reading the paper.

            She has to date not been able to explain why there are structures in the mantle, that we know from xenoliths in lava to be many hundreds of kilometres deep. We know that because they are bringing xenoliths up from that depth, thusly proving that they act as conveyors of very deep mantle material.

            Stating that plumes does not exist is like stating that the two theories of Relativity are wrong. That is how high the pile of supporting facts have grown by now.

            I can pile supporting evidence for days nonstop. Paper, after paper, after paper.

            Here’s the first paper, it’s a classic. Below is the image.

          • Now, let us get into those pesky Xenoliths, or lack thereof more to the point.
            This is a more laymans article that I wrote based on two academic papers.

            The first one of those is also a classic in the field. It is though extremely hard to understand for a layman, that is why I have written no less than two articles explaining the paper.
            I do though suggest that you read the paper after reading the article.
            The second paper is intriguing, but not all that important compared to the first as a proof for mantle plumes.

            Obviously she does not have any alternative theory whatsoever to answer the problem for her theory served up in the laboratory analysis made in the first paper. She will have to answer the problems that comes out of that paper before her theory is even remotely valid.


          • I’ve seen the Berkeley paper, Carl. No problem with their examples.
            “the seismic velocity has been translated into temperature using estimates of the velocity-temperature derivative”
            It’s a translation though. It might not be right for some other areas.
            In order to know precisely and get an image without a translation you have to pack the globe into a tube and then do a Cat-Scan or MRI. 🙂 That’s not possible.
            And I think when she turned out that festive illumination she started a useful debate and did geology and science a big favour. Nothing better for science than open questions and debate. Gives some motors (brains) the option of another gear.
            And Richard Owen should have said: Is it possible that Darwin is right? There’s always the chance that the opponents are right, or that the truth is somewhere in the middle.

          • But even a CT Scan has to be translated first and doesn’t always tell the precise truth, and there can be two possibilities or more.
            Example: I once did a CT-Scan with contrast for a woman who had severe headaches. It showed a round structure near the Sella turcica which had eagerly taken up the contrast liquid. Now that can be two things: 1. A meningeoma that slowly grew there and 2. An aneurysm of the inner carotide artery. The first has time, the second not at all. So, the patient needed a MRI asap. It was the second. From the CT you couldn’t tell. The patient needed an urgent operation.

      • Hawaii is the best proof of hotspot and mantle plume

        An arera in the Silent Middle of an oceanic plate, haves a totaly insane magma production and as well erupting the worlds hottest lava.

        Hawaii nails the coffin
        Plumes and Hotspots exist

        • Carl Rhenberg

          Hawaii litteraly throws out the plume deniers

          A fantastic example of a Hotspot / Melting top of a Mantle Plume

          Its so Intense too and almost No volcanism at all otherwise around Hawaii

          • I just wish that Hawaii had not been the first plume discovered.
            It has made for quite an argument that Mantle plumes that are not leaving linear tracks behind them should be called something else.

            I find that argument quite silly, I am happy to accept that there are 3 different flavours of quarks, cough, plumes.

          • There are deep plumes, shallow plumes and horizontal plumes ..

          • There’s another track though: From the Réunion hotspot. But I will thoroughly study what you linked further up tomorrow.

        • No opinion about CAMP which should have originated in a shallow ocean?

          I’m certain there are plumes, just the number is debated.

          But I have serious doubts that Pangaea looked the way it is depicted, and this is because of the shelves. I think Pangaea had shallow oceans. And that’s were the spreading ridges have started. Possibly helped by plumes.
          And that’s why CAMP traces are tholeiitic.

          • There may have been a few shallow lakes in there, that is far from impossible. But, at the same time we do know that the innards where insanely dry from the remnant rock layers. But that is another discussion.

            In regards of the CAMP, it would be easy to test and see if it was caused by one or several plumes, or if it is created by a single or several hotspots. Or a combination of plume(s) and hotspot(s) by using geochemistry and look for spinels, garnets, other xenoliths, isotopes, chemichal content, etcetera. All plumes and hotspots are different depending on depth of origin etcetera.
            I have though not delved into that, I have enough currently to do with live volcanoes. But someone is bound to have done that massive legwork.

          • CAMP was formed just before Pangea broke up there was perhaps not even a rift Valley When CAMP happened

            No shallow seas

          • Shallow oceans are rare in supercontinents, they are a trait of dispersed continents like now. The reason we dont actually see a lot of shallow seas today is because of the ice ages but if you melt Antarctica it does end up looking quite a lot like the late Cretaceous map, lots of the Earth is less than 60 meters above sea level as it turns out.

            Pangea probably had few shallow seas, only along the west coast of North America and perhaps the southern Tethys. Nothing at all liek the vast seas of the Cretaceous.

            I think there was also a glacial cycle on Pangea too, in the mid Permian.

          • Tholeiitic basalts also happen from continental volcanoes. Most flood basalts are tholeiitic, including Afar and Columbia River Basalt which were located in continental areas. Nowadays most basalt erupted from Yellowstone and the Snake River Plain is also tholeiite basalt if I recall right.

        • I wondered what might be the worlds hottest lava erupted (erupting), and just how hot it might be.
          You’re saying Hawaii, any other suggestions? If I’m right I’ve heard of FAF erupting at 1240 °C.
          Just how hot then is Hawaii if it’s hotter? Must be truly a blindingly bright view then 😮

          • Hawaiis magma source is as hot as 1650 C But it cools on the way up.

            The temperatures of Hawaii depends on How fast the magmas rise

            Kilauea Iki Had 1300 C lava temperatures

          • Fagradalshraun might have been the hottest lava we have got confirmation of, but Kilauea is probably the volcano that has the hottest lava consistently. Crystals in 2018 had compositions indicative of beign formed in magma at 1350 C and yet was still relatively degassed, so sitting within range of the surface. The lava lake before 2018 was stable over 1200 C.

            Nyiragongo has also got a spot on this list, apaprently erupting at 1300 C, but based on the colour of the lava I doubt it. 1200 C is bright yellow almost white incandescence, not dull orange.

            I have also seen the boninite lava erupted at West Mata volcano quoted as the hottest, but never with an actual given temperature.

          • Is Hawaii hotter? I don’t know about that. It is on the hot side of things yes, obviously hotter than silicic volcanoes, perhaps hotter than alkalic volcanoes too. In terms of chemistry it is exactly the same as any other tholeiitic basalt. If it was really hotter I expect it would have more magnesium, less silica, more nickel, more chromium, or similar, but in reality the lava coming out of Hawaii is nearly identical in chemistry to that of Iceland or to that of any Mid-Ocean Ridge in the world. So I doubt it is really hotter, it must be about the same.

            According to HVO: “the eruption temperature of Kīlauea lava is about 1,170 degrees Celsius”. The lava erupted from fissure 8 in 2018 was at 1145°C, a bit cooled from travelling along the rift and mixing with old magma.

          • Vents on the upper ERZ have erupted lava at about 1200 C a few times, the summit seems to be more variable but similar. Overlook lake was definitely over 1200 C at times. Kilauea Iki was very variable, but episode 4 of the eruption was extremely hot, even described as blinding white in colour, and it was the only episode which was not dominated by high fountains and came from a new vent location. Most of the eruptions in that sequence were recycled lake lava but evidently this one was not.

    • FAF is increased in level due to a storm.

      I fail to see what the Reykjanes Ridge would have to do with La Palma?
      They are not in any way connected, neither through the MAR or otherwise.

      • That is what I was wondering, I thought they may have been directly connected. Also whether a major rifting event in the MAR is the cause of Reykjanes reactivating, May it have had effects, beyond Iceland? La Palma is miles a way from the MAR and the boundary between the Africa and European plates. Could a major rifting event have caused a build-up of pressure elsewhere, La Palma, that is seemingly unconnected?

        When Fagradalsfjall went up, the plate boundary to the SW of Nisyros, lit up and has quietened down since the end* of the eruption. Likewise, in the Alboran sea.

        Could that be related to the EQs in the South Sandwich Islands? American plates and the Eurasian/Africa plates pulling away from each other whilst the Eurasian plate subducts under the African; creating a massive build-up of pressure as the plate is squeezed?

        Is my hypothesis complete BS?

        • Totally unrelated. What we call rifting affects the upper 5-10 km of the plate, over a length of typically up to 100 km. Further down the movement is smooth and constant, while further away the segments build up their own stress. Transform faults can transfer stress over 100 km, but see Turkey in how long that takes: it has taken a century to transfer stress from east to west in the country. Local events have local origins.

        • Think about it maybe by turning it around: When the Lisbon Earthquake happened in 1755 there was an eruption of Katla, VEI 1. And when the Messina Erthquake took place in 1908 there was a small eruption of Grimsvötn.

          Then google other things: beginning of WWI, beginning of WWII, whatever, you mostly find some eruption on Iceland.

          Which means it’s accidental. The only very constant and regular thing in the world seems to be volcanism in Iceland.

          • Well, there is also the other constant: Storms in Iceland 🙂

          • Interestingly, it was Grimsvotn that triggered the French (more than usual). 🙂

  3. It seems that lava is reaching the sea again according to the La Palma webcams.

  4. The lava has reach the sea (on the beach) by the south flank of the original fajana. Other arm move over and the north side of the original fajana. The lava has more fluid and has fill the zones not reach before. Have more final show incoming.

    The TVE camera in the Tazacorte port.

  5. Jesper,

    while I was reading a few things here and there it occurred to me that CAMP is recognized mostly by tholeiitic basalts. You can find a map like this one when you go read about CAMP:

    But tholeiitic basalts are supposed to be of oceanic origin. ???
    I suggest this map instead:

    What’s your opinion?

  6. PHIVOLCS reported 111 earthquakes around Taal.
    I have just had a look on Volcano Discovery and there is the square root of diddly-squat. No data on size or depth… I mean seriously what these demons playing at?

    • Volcano Discovery is not an official site for data.
      Only chance we have to get any data is if the earthquakes are large enough to be shown on USGS or EMSC.

      And no, I do not understand why Phivolcs is not giving out data either…

      • Just had a look on USGS and EMSC. EMSC just shows above a 4, I assume that it is similar for the USGS.

        Volcanoes are probably nature’s deadliest and most powerful weapon, why would people not be warned? Unless the intention is not what we assume – not a pretty thought. Dark thoughts away.

        If we take the PHIVOLCs at their word, and say there has been ≥111 quakes at ≤M3.9 (how many have been revised down?). What can you glean from that? In conjunction with 1500m plume?

        • I have no reason at all to doubt the figures they are giving out and I see no reason to suspect foul play.

          What irks me is that we can’t locate the earthquakes and see what is down there.
          A bit of modelling and we would be able to see the magma reservoir, rifts and faults, magma propagation… the works.
          As you know we often do it for various volcanoes to gleen out as much knowledge as possible.

  7. Question for Carl, I did ask earlier but it was lost on the last page. There is this suspected plume cycle in Iceland that is going into a peak some time soon. There is also the suspected rifting cycle, at least one of them anyway, there seems to be a few, I assume it is the one centered on Vatnajokull. You say this is the first time in a while they both coincide.

    When was the last time that happened and what happened regarding volcanism when it did?

    • I am to tired to do the math backwards today (had a quite hard day at work).

      I am talking about the rift cycle that is governing the large rifting eruptions out of Grimsvötn, Thordharhyrna, Katla and Bardarbunga. We often call that area for the Dead Zone since it is aseismic. Sorry that I was unclear.

    • If we are lucky We coud get a large Gjalp style eruption in Vatnajökull thats perhaps ascossiated with Grimsvötn

  8. Spectacular *LAVA CASCADE* at *La PALMA* Coast, Nov. 9th, 2021

  9. Carl

    I’m restarting the plume debate here, Carl – it’s getting too long up there. Very good piece:

    Now this might be wrong:
    “It puts the last nail in the coffin of the wandering plume theory”.
    Reasoning: It is the plates that are wandering, not the plumes. You put us 50 or 100 million years in the future, and we might see Hawai’i reloaded. Kistufell has wandered. If it is on the Eastern side it has wandered towards Norway, on the other side towards Greenland (I won’t look this up right now, not important). It might be an inconspicuous looking mountain, due to erosion. Then there will be one next to it, and where the plume sits there is an Icelandic Kilauea.
    You are saying that the plume must be young. Exactly. That’s why there is no trace yet. The trace is to be made in the future. And Iceland is special as there might be two traces, one to the East, the other one to the West, contrary to the Emperor Chain which is not sitting on a spreading ridge.
    Hawai’i’s, Kerguelen’s and Réunion’s plumes are older, so they left traces, i.e. in India or Australia. But they are still sitting in the same place or at least in the neighbourhood.

    The South Atlantic spreading is faster. So we have Tristan da Cunha already sitting east of its suspected plume:
    “Tristan da Cunha is assumed to be the youngest subaerial expression of the Walvis Ridge hot spot. Based on new hydroacoustic data, we propose that the most recent hot spot volcanic activity occurs west of the island.”

    I have not the slightest doubt that there is probably a plume under Iceland.
    The Canaries though and Cameroon might be a different story. I will certainly read something about Atlantis/Lost City Geothermal Vent too being on nearly the same latitude. The region seems to be quite different altogether.

    The rest I’ll read tomorrow.

    • A couple of good points here where I have not explained things well and deserve an answer.

      Sadly I am completely beat today, so I will to explain the immobility thing and what I meant specifically with it in regards to Iceland.

      I will also try to answer the other questions and comments as best I can. I do recommend that you read my article(s) on Cameroon since I worked with Mt Fako.

    • Canaries do show age progression in the right direction. The only thing that is strange is the volcanoes don’t die after leaving the plume, and the most productive long term at the moment (Tenerife) is not the newest. So it is a plume but also something else too.

      • takes a different view of the Canary Islands. If the dating proves to be accurate, theories will have to be scrapped. I did notice when El Hierro was erupting that GPS measurements on all the islands showed that they were simultaneously floating on a pool of magma, and the islands would move up or down in opposition to El Hierro, it was pretty remarkable seeing this considering the distance each island had from each other.

        • That’s Paul van den Bogaard. He’s very good:
          “An age progression from the SW to the NE is conditio sine qua
          non for a fixed-plume origin of the CISP, given that the African
          plate moves to the NE1,4,28. The new 40Ar/39Ar ages show that seamounts do not grow systematically older from the southwest
          (Tropic, 119 Ma) to the northeast (Essaouira, 68 Ma) (Fig. 1).
          Canarian seamounts are ‘‘old’’ in the southwestern, ‘‘old and young’’ in the central and ‘‘intermediate’’ in the northeastern province (Fig. 4). Even if the African plate had moved in reverse, this would not constitute an appropriate age progression. The temporal and spatial distribution of Canary seamounts is irreconcilable with single fixed-plume models.”

          From your link. Great maps and graphs in there.

    • I personally do not buy into the idea of mantle plumes. They are not necessary to explain hotspots tracks or flood basalts. Hotspot tracks could happen when a tectonic plate moves over a magma chamber or conduit located beneath the lithosphere. or when it moves over a region of concentrated melt that which could be due to various reasons, like containing more water.

      Flood basalts are just tremendously powerful volcanic systems. All major volcanoes in Venus and Mars are flood basalt type, and they erupt repeatedly from the same locations. Some Martian volcanoes have been active for over 4 billion years undergoing repeated episodes of flood basalt volcanism, a mantle plume head wouldn’t strike repeatedly the same exact spot, and the plume itself is unlikely to remain active and stationary for so long. Mantle plumes do not do well with the volcanism of Mars, almost all of which has been concentrated in a small area of the planet, Tharsis, since the beginning of the planet’s existence.

      Any chemical or tomography arguments in favour of mantle plumes are highly ambiguous. The mantle is full of hot blobs, and the surface of the Earth is full of volcanoes, obviously some of them are going to end up on top of the hot blobs. If your volcano is not located over one of those blobs then you can always come up with the idea that the material comes up from a nearby location. Like that theory that the plume feeding Iceland’s volcanism rose up under Greenland and then curved away towards Iceland.

      • Hector, just taking the other side for sake of discussion, how does one explain the Yellowstone crater track in Idaho?

        • The North American Plate moving over a residual magma anomaly created in the mantle by the very powerful volcano that produced the Columbia River Basalts. Yellowstone and the Columbia River Basalts are also related to the Sierra Madre Occidental silicic large igneous province that occurred 30 Ma ago and that rifted that part of North America, the basin and range province.

        • Bit late to the boat on this but the snake river plain is a large rift valley and it sits right at the junction of the craton below which is potentially rotating, the basin and range area.
          There are other anomalies, a potential slab gap where a fracture zone overlay the farallon plate as it was subducting, an older radial fracture of the plate, an also there’s a lack of evidence for a deep hot plume like in Iceland.

          I think this is a different type of hotspot, not sourced from the mantle but created by the circumstances above. There are strong arguments for that being the case.

      • The Canary Islands and their submarine islands north and south of them are very neatly aligned parallel to the African shelf. I have never seen such a neatly aligned plume.
        The Canary Islands instead strongly remind me of the American coast in the West – there are also terranes though, Wrangellia in the North and Guerrero in the South. We are talking 160 Ma, Jurassic. Then in the million years to come we see them more or less, according to the water level. On the biggest one there is the Sevier orogeny. Then 90-100 Ma they are one thing, Laramidia with an ocean on the left and an ocean on the right.
        When the submarine islands near the Canaries appear subaerial far in the future it will be even more similar.
        If they happen to become one structure once and a new ocean also opens up in their east it would only be a Déjà-vu of the older ocean between Morocco (fossils of Mososaurs) and Africa which is now the Atlas.
        The American West and all of America was sitting further South back then. Might be the same latitude.
        Plume theory makes no sense here. And, contrary to Iceland, this is old.

      • The other thing that doesn’t make sense in Plate Tectonics is Pangaea how it is shown. When you have two castles on two mountains next to each other you cannot make a terraced castle of them because of the mountains.
        Call the castles Africa and South America or Europe and North America and the mountains shelves. But it’s always depicted like a puzzle, like two-dimensional. It has three dimensions though, one is not visible (only for Alvin and alike).
        But that’s another barrel.
        Although I consider it outright stupid to already talk of the next Pangaea which is done sometimes instead of a structure like Gondwana in the Paleozoic, this time around the North Pole. Albert called that coming home in his trilogy about Wrangellia. And it is already connected in the very North between Siberia and Alaska.
        But still, it’s another chapter.

      • Isnt that a bit of a contradiction Hector? Fundamentally all that is for certain about so called mantle plumes is that a conduit or blob of some sort exists connecting the usually intraplate volcanism to a source in the mantle with pretty much most of the how’s and why’s being conjecture?

        • That’s true. Mantle plumes however refer to convection in the mantle. That something in the mantle could be something else though, a wetspot (a place with a high water content), or some type of magmatic architecture, some conduit or magma chamber.

          For example is that magma could build up inside thicker continental lithosphere and then intrude laterally under oceanic lithosphere, where it ends up being under the plate and continues feeding volcanism from a fixed position in the mantle, self sustaining itself. Most hotspots that can be traced to their origin seem to have come from the edges of continents and initiated their tracks when transitioned into oceanic areas, say Tristan da Cunha from the coast of Africa, Reunion from the coast of India, Galapagos from Central America? Continental hotspot tracks are also rare, Yellowstone is possibly the only active continental volcanism with an obvious track. So that’s one idea.

          • When I look at the western side of North America, the whole basin and range province really looks like a bow shock behind Yellowstone, the ranges being waves. It is almost as though the continent is being utterly torn apart behind the plume, far from burying it into oblivion.

          • Yellowstone has had remarkable little effect on the basins. They are extension regions with thin crust, with some volcanism. But they behave independently from the yellowstone track

      • Hector belives in Megaintrusions, a new intresting conspect from himself

        Althrough I still firmly belives in the plume models, as it whats Earths mantle should do according to physical laws

      • Btw, Hectór, thanks for reading about my doubts and giving me an explanation for the tholeiitic basalts. The name is supposed to come from Tholey, Germany, but I don’t know why. I didn’t know the place before. population 12.500. The Dollberg nearby and Loreley, Dorley, is supposed to be the same name origin, meaning “outstanding=dor” “cliffs=ley”. Tholey is located on the highest mountain in Saarland (Schaumberg), a staggering 568,2 m hill. The name is Celtic. Tholey is about 120 km (air) from the Rhine (Graben).

        • Thats true
          And its one of the Basalts produced by the most melting in the mantle

          • Check this, might interest you. Pretty much opposite the Canaries on the other side of the MAR, albeit closer to it, containing a geothermal field which was discovered serendipitously in 2000 during a research cruise.
            The massif is not of the usual black basalt, but of peridodite:

          • Mantle rock Thats been exposed to Earths surface without melting!

            Thats happens in the Gakkel Ridge too

            Very very slow Spreading centers

          • And also parts of the southwest Indian Ridge (SWIR), this one between two triple junctions.

      • I think we need a post on plumes. Some culling of plumes may be required

        • I wouldn’t say “no” for certain, so much appreciated 😀
          Looking forward to it =)

        • I think there are really only a few places that really have signature of a deep origin. Namely Hawaii, Iceland and Galapagos, all have got pretty much the same magma and in large volumes, and Hawaii really is not where a volcano should be but it is there anyway. They also all have deep helium signatures. Plumes should exist really with how the mantle is going to behave, I guess the hypothesis is that they are not necessarily crucial to intraplate volcanism even at more productive locations.

          Then again, Hawaii is in the middle of a major plate that is the biggest single piece of crust on the planet, perhaps it is a slightly less extreme version of the insulation effect supercontinents have, magma from all over the Pacific being channeled to this one spot somehow. That doenst explain Iceland though which is rather the opposite situation tectonically but with the same magma.

        • I do though so desperately want to see Kilauea part 3, I have many theories of my own that I want to share (way more than I already have trust me 🙂 ) but I want to wait on that.

          I think it is not a stretch of the imagination to say Hawaii is to me what Iceland is to Carl, regarding volcanism at least. I just dont have the time to deeply ponder about it the way Hector does, I am stuck in academic purgatory 🙁

        • I look forward to “La plume de ma tante”; that classic French plume that all UK school children of a certain age will recall.

        • Plumes vs plates (cracks) if possible, plumes :-(: Carl, Tectonics :-): Albert.
          Smilies: Just kidding.

  10. Taal has produced plenty of tremor and has emissions over the last couple days, now that the hydro-thermal system is re-pressurizing it’s only a matter of time before Taal erupts. With the nature of the current unrest I think it’s very likely that we’ll see a large eruption. We have no earthquake maps, no deformation maps or graphs, or live monitoring. I looked at the reports from the other volcano and they have similar issues.
    The inflation is a result of the shallow chamber re-pressurizing and now that another large explosive eruption seems almost guaranteed, this isn’t some type of normal unrest. The shallow chamber lost 0.6 cubic km last eruption, that’s enough to produce a VEI 5 eruption. That’s the climax of most unrest but for Taal currently that looks like the prelude. That’s not normal. It’s very likely that this unrest stems from a strong connection with deeper reservoir, which has access to over 500 km3 of magma and could easily supply a VEI 6. If anyone has the resources, can they show the recent insar data for the south Laguna region?

    • I think somebody read my articles! 😀 Could I patent my hypothesis?

      • I think they beat you to publication. Look at the date.
        So no, you don’t get the credit.

        • I brought up the Idea of a more unpredictable eruption in my Phantom Caldera article, so I still win.

  11. Taal webcam (exact YouTube URL changes but the owner of the channel puts up new live streams often.
    This is citizen science (local living on Tagaytay ridge, who has a nice camera).

    • *Opening that youtube link expecting some steam above landscape looking like Taal vincinity…*
      *Seeing just black*
      “Aaa I get it, earth is not flat :)”
      Well of course it’s deep in the night there, forgot about that for the blink of a second 🙂

      • (Could be on the other side of the flat earth disc though)
        SCNR :D, I’ll cut it.

  12. La palma, Images at 9.00 am (local) from the patrol boat in which the new lava delta in formation on the (extinted) beach of Los Guirres is observed

    Pics about the new fajana

    • La palma 112 drone flyby. Panoramic of lava flow to the Los Guirres Beach

      • One hopes that some of the megatons of ash will wash into the sea and in time produce some (black) sandy beaches.
        These are fine but a bit hot underfoot in the sun.

        • This ash is likely valuable as a cement additive or even replacement.
          I am wondering what it would take to make use of the lava too. I.e. divert some of the flow into a processing facility where it is poured into forms to make beams and (very) large bricks (reinforced with rebar).

          It seems like a horrible waste to let all this material go unused.

    2021/11/10 13:23:45III-IV

    • La palma, earthquake activity raising from 8:00 local. (only 3+).
      3.3 mbLg NE FUENCALIENTE DE LA PALMA.IL 2021/11/10 13:25:54 33 +info
      4.4 mbLg SW VILLA DE MAZO.ILP 2021/11/10 13:23:46 III-IV 37 +info
      3.9 mbLg NE FUENCALIENTE DE LA PALMA.IL 2021/11/10 13:18:50 III 14 +info
      3.6 mbLg NE FUENCALIENTE DE LA PALMA.IL 2021/11/10 11:58:48 33 +info
      3.5 mbLg NE FUENCALIENTE DE LA PALMA.IL 2021/11/10 11:51:23 10 +info
      3.6 mbLg N FUENCALIENTE DE LA PALMA.ILP 2021/11/10 11:47:23 34 +info
      3.4 mbLg SW VILLA DE MAZO.ILP 2021/11/10 11:19:04 33 +info
      3.1 mbLg NE FUENCALIENTE DE LA PALMA.IL 2021/11/10 11:11:56 32 +info
      4.8 mbLg SW VILLA DE MAZO.ILP 2021/11/10 11:10:07 IV 34 +info
      3.5 mbLg SW VILLA DE MAZO.ILP 2021/11/10 11:05:19 III-IV 33 +info
      3.2 mbLg NE FUENCALIENTE DE LA PALMA.IL 2021/11/10 11:03:45 33 +info
      3.4 mbLg NE FUENCALIENTE DE LA PALMA.IL 2021/11/10 10:56:07 11+info
      3.1 mbLg NE FUENCALIENTE DE LA PALMA.IL 2021/11/10 10:52:03 28 +info
      3.8 mbLg SW VILLA DE MAZO.ILP 2021/11/10 10:49:55 34 +info
      3.4 mbLg NE FUENCALIENTE DE LA PALMA.IL 2021/11/10 10:49:18 31+info
      3.0 mbLg SW VILLA DE MAZO.ILP 2021/11/10 10:46:55 32 +info
      3.1 mbLg SW VILLA DE MAZO.ILP 2021/11/10 10:39:24 36 +info
      3.3 mbLg NE FUENCALIENTE DE LA PALMA.IL 2021/11/10 10:36:58 32 +info
      3.1 mbLg SW VILLA DE MAZO.ILP 2021/11/10 10:28:37 35 +info
      3.0 mbLg N FUENCALIENTE DE LA PALMA.ILP 2021/11/10 10:26:45 34 +info
      3.8 mbLg NE FUENCALIENTE DE LA PALMA.IL 2021/11/10 10:18:58 III 10 +info
      3.3 mbLg NW FUENCALIENTE DE LA PALMA.IL 2021/11/10 10:10:22 31 +info
      3.3 mbLg SW VILLA DE MAZO.ILP 2021/11/10 10:07:39 35 +info
      3.5 mbLg SW VILLA DE MAZO.ILP 2021/11/10 09:55:45 33 +info
      3.4 mbLg SW VILLA DE MAZO.ILP 2021/11/10 09:44:02 36 +info
      3.1 mbLg SW VILLA DE MAZO.ILP 2021/11/10 09:26:43 33 +info
      2.7 mbLg SE VILLA DE MAZO.ILP 2021/11/10 08:55:36 31+info
      3.1 mbLg NE FUENCALIENTE DE LA PALMA.IL 2021/11/10 08:54:24 10 +info
      3.5 mbLg NE FUENCALIENTE DE LA PALMA.IL 2021/11/10 08:19:29 III 11 +info
      3.4 mbLg NE FUENCALIENTE DE LA PALMA.IL 2021/11/10 08:18:22 II-III 11 +info

      Tremors maitain spikes.

      And earthquakes continue raising.

      LP03 GPS get some data as a new spike has incoming

  14. I regards of plumes, I will against my better judgement write an article about plumes to clear up all of the misconceptions about them, and also continue to educate and reference factual papers to clear up quite a bit of misconceptions that seems to meander about.

    There will though be two articles in between.

    • Come think about it, this will probably turn into a quite hefty and long series judging from the comments up above…

      • No. I read about a debate crack vs. plume in Stanford, Norman Sleep and collegue vs GF and collegue. No. It has to be debated with an open mind. And I believe you have to be nice 😉 I don’t mean me, you are very nice to me, I mean sombody else.

    • If you do please dwell on how we know something about the chemical composition of the mantle 600+ kilometers down. This must all be theoretical since we have no way to examine anything directly from that depth.

      • I will dwell on that, and it is actually quite a bit less theoretical than people in general think.
        It is though a very good question that deserves a lengthy answer, that is why it will be a series of articles.

    • Im working on my Nyiragongo Article
      Every VC post is your own little thesis 🙂

      • Hawaii is just as fluid as Nyiragongo.. No diffrence
        2008 – 2018 lava lake in Halema’uma’u looked like one Big pit of molten aluminium

  15. Scandinavia in winter shroud: the northen parts are 3000 Miles north above the Canada border! Making Scandinavia the worlds most Northen populated region. Scandinavian countries are amazing with acessible education, healthcare and so on. But they are small countries and feels very bland sometimes. Now now living in Northen Sweden and its tough as Hell.. really frozen nightmare.

    In Northen Sweden winter usualy begins in October in the lowlands, But can come in september on the high mountains. From November to May Arctic sweden is a winter wasteland. Winters can be very changeable here, depends how the Gulf Stream is moving.
    But most of Scandinavia specialy the Northen part is generaly well frozen in winter.

    Althrough Canada and Russia is much much much colder in winter than Scandinavia is.

    Lapland Northen Sweden is also very very very boring, No beautyful landscapes,No active volcanoes. Just snowy forest tundra. Flat plain that stretch from here all way To china.

    I hopes to move to Iceland one day… where nature is more exciting.

    • Yes living at Northen Sweden at moment: brutal as Hell

      • The cold is wholesome. Check out Wim Hof. I have seen a video of a fragile Swedish lady fully immersing herself in water with ice cover. I have the utmost of admiration for this since cold showers is all I can do.

        Edited. Be nice -admin

        • Practice.
          Also a certain level of pain enjoyment.
          As a sea cadet in the UK, I had to learn to swim in water at low temperature, or torture as I considered it.
          If only someone had explained that the ability to handle water at very low temperature is learned, and if I ever fell in in the north sea it would save my life, I would have been more appreciative.
          As a child swimming in march in the north sea was fine.
          Today anything less than 25C ,,,,

          • The ocean off California is cold due to the Alaska current, even in Southern California. Typical summer temperature ranges from 15 to 22 C in the south (Santa Monica, for example).

            Winter ocean temperature in Northern California can be 7-8C, definitely need a wetsuit.

            How many European tourists get a surprise when they try to go swimming each year?

  16. Fantastic Article: Earth in its natural state
    If humans never evolved, all the continents woud have giant Mammal Megafauna.
    From Europe to America, it woud be like Tanzania on Earths landmasses. The Pleistocene Megafauna was an amazing sight!

    • Makes me sad. I had a film about the Dodo offered too. They are investigating on the origin of the gunpowder of one Dodo shot. Humans can maybe split in four groups today: The poor who need money or food, the second group who kill animals for fun (becoming smaller), the third who believe in magics like hornpowder and the fourth who is into protection. The fourth will hopefully become larger.

      So, they possibly killed the Mammouth. That was for warmth and food as it was in glacial times. They didn’t know how to chase and also preserve. I read that their bones have been found on the bottom of the Channel. That was before the first Brexit when the connection came down with the melting ice.

      • Deep subduction slab thats still cold. Remeber that even that depth is shallow in the mantle, thats as deep as 3000 kilometers

      • Takes time for these slabs to heat up, as they sinks into the mantle. But the slabs already is pretty hot only their surface layers thats been exposed to the ocean floor are cooled. I wonder How much Earths oceans cools the litosphere,

        But then You haves sedimentation too on the seafloor, so the water is rarely in contact with the real Igenous seafloor more than in Young spreading ridges

  17. This whole thing has to be taken with a great deal of humour:

    “The purported Jan Mayen hotspot remains missing-in-action. Most likely it never existed, but instead it is an imprint of activity of the Iceland hotspot a long time ago. But this is a volcano which guards its secrets well. It may still surprise us.” Albert

    “If we return to the question if there is a mantleplume under Jan Mayen I will have to state that I do believe there is one and that it is stationary in or near the island. It would after all neatly explain that Jan Mayen is inflated above the baseline in the same manner as Iceland. But in his article Albert neatly pointed out that there is no known evidence of it existing and that is correct since nobody even bothered to look for it.” Carl

    Jan Mayen: I don’t know. Canaries: No hotspot.

      • That paper has always fascinated me.
        It makes for a broad claim, but the evidence is lacking for their claim.
        And there is quite a bit of evidence throwing a massive set of spanners in their claim.

        But, alas, that will be in either part 2 or part 3 of the plumey series where we bravely plumb the firey depths of plumehood.

    • We have great fun

      ‘The time has come,’ the Walrus said,
      ‘To talk of many things:
      Of spots — and plumes — and island trails —
      home of the magma kings —
      And why the ground is boiling hot —
      And whether pigs have wings.’

      • This group is wild.
        Its a bunch of nutters who all appreciate (by and large) other nutters.
        A rare thing.
        Even the ,lucid smart guys are, well, nu==.
        In the nicest possible way.

  18. La Palma quakes since Nov 1st: New pattern yesterday with many deep quakes. Grouping ionto colors is a bit arbitrary (according to both location and depth).

    • – The 1911 eruption of Taal Volcano killed 1,335 people
      – whereas the 1965 eruption killed 200
      – 2020: Only one death was directly attributed to the explosive eruption, the body of a person retrieved under a ~ 1.5 m-thick pyroclastic deposit on the west coast of Taal Volcano Island (TVI). Another man who failed to evacuate from the island is still missing.
      The base surges killed more than a thousand livestock in the southeast of Taal Volcano Island, and then traveled another ~ 600 m offshore. —

      Significant progress, isn’t it.
      A problem though might arise when it goes on and on and on degassing and people get used to it. So wondering who’s in the area right now and how they handle this.

      Interesting piece, Thank you.

  19. Taal is gassing right now (though you Europeans are probably asleep)

  20. I don’t know about Win Hof’s approach, but I do know one can rapidly acclimatise to intense cold. Living in the vast snowy arctic expanses of the north east of England ( 😀 ) I insisted on wearing only a t-shirt out in the winter. The first couple of days were torture. But after that I swiftly got used to it and it is surprising how comfortable one can feel.
    Did the same replacing a car radiator in -3 Celsius over three days. Again swiftly acclimatised.
    It’s certainly possible.

    • Sigh. This was supposed to be a comment for Absalom Hicks at 16:59 but I broke the comments. Sorry!

    • Somewhere there is a photo of me somewhere north of Cochrane, Ont digging a metre deep hole in the show while wearing only underwear. After a winter of -40, -5 is positively balmy. I have also seen Inuit kids playing in the snow scantily clad. However, I got tired of that and moved to the tropics.
      Humans are amazingly adaptable.

    • Ontario is almost as far South as the mediterranean .. Im many thousands of Kilometers north of chicago!

      But America haves a very very diffrent climate compared to Europe.
      America is very very continetal and dominanted by the Canadian Winter High Pressure in winter. That allows the canada freezing winter to go almost all way down to latitude 20 in Mexico.. during polar waves ..

      Europe is warmed by the Gulf Stream
      And Palm Trees grows in Scotland Thats as far north as polar bear canada! 🙂

      Very difftent for soure
      We are lucky with the Gulf Stream

    • I too reside in the beautiful north east Clive.
      As for wearing t-shirts in winter – it’s a bad habit but one never likes to drag a coat around the pubs (I’ve left a couple behind in my time).
      Also evidence shows subjecting your body to cold showers and cold weather and not using heating all the time during winter is healthy – it increases endorphins, circulation etc. and your body uses more fat reserves to warm itself up! At least that’s what I tell myself, heating bills have gone through the roof…

  21. Got another question for Carl, about the eruption in Veidivotn. Was it actually observed or just distal ash giving it away? Looking at how rifting episodes work it seems like it was not a fast eruption but a prolonged event that slowly migrated northeast over time. Holuhraun lasted 6 months, so being that Veidivotn was around 2-3x the volume a year seems very plausible even up to several years. First eruptions seem to have been violent but relatively low intensity and concurrent with the rhyolite at Torfajokull. Later was some more sizable eruptions maybe of VEI 4-5, probably at least 4 eruptions of that calibre that all were followed by lava erupting in the tuff cones. Eruptions after this were effusive fissure eruptions in a dry area and got weaker northeast. Of course that assumes the eruption actually progressed back to the origin, Skaftareldar did and so did Kilauea in 2018, but all guesswork here if that is actually a trend.

    I only ask because I have never been able to find any real data confirming the date of 1477 to a point, more it is an average of a time period surrounding that date. Seems historical time for this area is quite a different thing, really it seems for Bardarbunga only Holuhraun III is absolutely certain for time and location…

    • That was a really good set of questions.
      And with that I do not know if I can answer them that well.
      Yes, due to the remote location of the volcano and the situation in Iceland we do not know the exact date for the eruption, but 1477 was the year.

      The rest I will have to read up on somewhat, and go through my own field notes and a set of laboratory analysis that I have from a mining company.

    • Veidivotn lasted from autumn 1476 to April 1477, with peak emission in February. That is based on the ice cap record. Quite ashy because of the snow and ice. It was not observed: there is not a single written record. That is probably because it was mid winter in an area not used for farming.

      • So was about 6-9 months, a bit longer than Holuhraun. Faster than I thought then, the eruption in February probably was a VEI 5 single event. I imagine the whole thing playing out a bit like Kilaueas eruption in 2018, beginning small and really getting insane towards its end. Is the end near Torfajokull the younger end or where it started?

        Perhaps this is the perfect sort of eruption size in a way, not big enough to be a disaster but big enough to be really impressive. Well it is big enough to be not harmless, but probably more like Holuhraun than Skaftareldar.

        • The onset was extreme as the lava entered through two lakes.
          The onset was a VEI-6 event. The other large ash phase was due to a pit bog having a steam detonation through the lava layer…
          Icelandic volcanoes are good at doing weird stuff like that.

          It was definitely closer to Skaftareldar than Holuhraun.

      • Why was there no famine at this size? At least I didn’t find anything. On the contrary all the great seafarers began to set sail, funded by their nations.

        • It was not the ash of Skaftareldar that created the famine, it was the gases released.
          Both Skaftareldar and Veidivötn was VEI-6 at onset, but the big difference was the extra 10 cubic kilometres of extremely gas rich lava that Lakí effused.

          • Thank you. Thinking about it I also thought it might make a difference that Laki started in June whereas this one started in automn, and the harvest was in.

        • Laki is on Scale on some of the smaller Ionian eruptions.

          Many Ionian eruptions are oversized versions of Villaricca 2015 and Etna 2015

          You haves a week long eruption that may produce
          60 km3 in a lava fountain event!

          Very Impressive
          Souch erupyions leave Big dark ejecta spots on IO

          They sometimes companied with release over 50 km3 of lava in a fast flood

          Earth Only did souch eruptions during the last flood basalt ( that was a small one )
          17 million years ago.

          Pillan Patera 1997 did 56 km3 of effused Komatite lava in just a few weeks

          Luckly Earth is not that Tidaly Heated

  22. Another article in Nature, this one discussing risks of global catastrophe from mid-to-largish eruptions (VEI3-VEI6 specifically) around the world, one focus is impact on infrastructure, for example, underseas telecommunications cables in the Luzon strait. Also shipping, air traffic and whatnot.

    • I’m just reading the piece. I believe it starts on the wrong foot: “Within the volcanic risk literature, the typical focus of attention for global-scale catastrophes has been on large-scale eruptions with a volcanic explosivity index (VEI) of 7–8”.

      Most specialists on the field concentrate on VEI 5 and 6, knowing that 7 and 8 are extremely rare. The media love 7 and 8 scanarios, but no serious geologist or volcanologist would support this. We have a TV-film on TV about a VEI 7 of Campi Flegrei, it was seen by many people. It’s scaremongering.

    • Concerning Eyja many people believed that the closure of the air space, with the exception of Iceland, was exaggerated and typical European hysterics.

      What do people and specialists here think about it, I’m wondering?

      As far as I know Soufrière St. Vincent was a VEI 4 as well, and nothing was shut down.

      • Some people thought rightly that it wouldn’t be a good idea to fly over it though:
        Readers who haven’t seen this yet: Best story ever. Great captain:
        “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We have a small problem. All four engines have stopped. We are doing our damnedest to get them going again. I trust you are not in too much distress.”

      • Ash is very dangerous to airplane engines. At the time there was no good way to detect how much ash there was high up, so caution was needed. Nowadays we have better monitoring. There was one crash during the time but it is not attributed to volcanic ash.

        • OK. Thank you. Great piece you wrote about Eric Moody.

      • A note about ash detection. It is pretty difficult just from the material that ash is composed of. To radar frequencies.. ash is pretty much transparent. Advanced process and detection technology is required.

        Caveat. I’m a retired EW. I know a bit about SHF RF. Not an expert… but “I know a little”

        –Lynyrd Skynyrd

  23. According to the tremor it looks like the eruption has stopped.
    According to the Slideshow images, well…

    This time I argue with the data, even though a scientist isn’t supposed to do such. They seem to contradict two slideshow images shot around 6-7 AM, La Palma time.

  24. This one could be the Tall of the future.

    It has a pretty geological setting:

    • This is Mount Mazama in Oregon. It erupted last 7.700 years ago. The arrow on the map shows else. Mount Mazama with Crater Lake is situated in Western Oregon, half way between Sacramento, Cal. and Seattle, Wash. There’s a nice story about his history given to me and possibly from USGS:

      “The chief of the Below World fell in love with the daughter of a chief. She refused to go with him to the lower world (a decision supported by her family). This made the Chief of the Below World angry, so he swore revenge with a curse of fire.
      Raging and thundering, he rushed up through the opening and stood on top of his mountain. Red hot rocks as large as the hills hurtled through the skies. Burning ashes fell like rain. An ocean of flame devoured the forests. Fleeing quickly the people found refuge in the waters of Klamath Lake.

      Two medicine men journeyed to the mountain of the Chief of the Below World, and jumped into the fiery pit to drive the Chief of the Below World back to his home.

      For many years, rain fell in torrents and filled the great hole. The curse of fire was lifted and never again did the Chief of the Below World vome up from his home.”

      – So far at least. The chief of the Below World then married a wizard which is still there, sleeping.

      • You should give the climate more thought and try to get it more precisely. You always make it hot, in Pangaea with lower sea levels and in the Cretacious. There must have been differences. Pangaea i.e. is supposed to have been freezing cold in the North.

        • My comment 11.59 was for Jesper and can be scrapped here.

      • Painting by Paul Rockwood. This is one of my candidates for writing in the future, but I’d like to travel there first.

  25. This is How Earth looked like during the warmest part of Cretaceous Thermal Maximum
    Caused by CO2 volcanic degassing from Young very active spreading oceanic ridges. The sealevels also rose to their highest levels ever since complex life began during the Cennomanian – Turonian boundary, rised to more than 200 meters higher than today, hyperactive seafloor spreading pushed up the sealevels as well as the lack of Ice on the poles.
    Equatorial Sea Surface Temperatures reached 42 C perhaps during the hothouse

    • Yes, and you can see here that Morocco and the whole Northwest was separate coming in from the bay between New England and Florida.

      So it’s absolutely possible that Cameroon before was on St.Helena’s Hotspot and travelled NNE with the continent whereas South America Travelled West. Nice row of submarine islands on both sides.

      Further South Erendeka, Tristan da Cunha and Walvis Ridge.

      Is that a Blakey map?

    • The Cretaceous Warmth was caused mainly by very active tectonics, like volcanic cO2 outgassing from spreading ridges and subduction zones.

      Flood Basalts LIP s are very brief events, But can cause climate chaos witt their huge CO2 emissions, But they are behind a few abrupt extinctions

      Very long lived Greenhouse Earth
      Eras are Mainly caused by CO2 release from fast volcanic seafloor spreading. Supercontinent breakups are always followed by high sealevels and warm temperatures.

    • You should give the climate more thought and try to get it more precisely. You always make it hot, in Pangaea with lower sea levels and in the Cretacious. There must have been differences. Pangaea i.e. is supposed to have been freezing cold in the North.

      • During the Triassic Volcanic CO2 was much higher than today perhaps up to 2300 PPM in Late Triassic

        Thats why the poles where Ice – Free.

        Preindustrial years CO2 levels where only 200 PPM I think

        During Cretaceous and Eocene Hothouses poles became Subtropical! althrough been cooler and more temperate too During the Middle Jurassic.. But still much much warmer than today

    • HVO did a Volcano Watch article on Pavlov last week, it has got a magma chamber very deep down, and no shallow system except the conduit. Pavlov is known for erupting with very little warning too, and erupting quite powerfully when it does too, paroxysmal fountains as many basaltic stratovolcanoes do. Hekla is a lot different on the surface and it is not so mafic as Pavlov but deeper down it seems to be very similar, it has no shallow system, and more or less the recent eruptions at Hekla have all been paroxysmal violent fountains too, at least from 1970 onwards. I would expect it did have a shallow chamber before, when it had silicic eruptions perhaps the last time being in 1158, but now it has been flushed out with more mafic material and no longer has any shallow system.

      So probably not to expect a big bang, where the whole mountain is gone afterwards. Rather instead, think of La Palma, or Etna, but it is a 5 km curtain of fire of that magnitude. Probably going to be quite harmless overall but very impressive.

  26. La palma, tremor steady.

    Sismicity from midnight (local). (3.0+)
    3.5 mbLg NE FUENCALIENTE DE LA PALMA.IL 2021/11/11 10:45:03 13 +info
    3.4 mbLg SW VILLA DE MAZO.ILP 2021/11/11 04:54:27 35 +info
    3.0 mbLg SW VILLA DE MAZO.ILP 2021/11/11 04:06:09 33 +info
    3.0 mbLg W VILLA DE MAZO.ILP 2021/11/11 04:03:35 35 +info
    3.1 mbLg N FUENCALIENTE DE LA PALMA.ILP 2021/11/11 04:01:10 35 +info
    3.0 mbLg N FUENCALIENTE DE LA PALMA.ILP 2021/11/11 03:59:31 35 +info
    3.0 mbLg N FUENCALIENTE DE LA PALMA.ILP 2021/11/11 03:58:50 34 +info
    3.0 mbLg N FUENCALIENTE DE LA PALMA.ILP 2021/11/11 03:57:27 35 +info
    3.1 mbLg SW VILLA DE MAZO.ILP 2021/11/11 03:50:32 34 +info
    3.3 mbLg SW VILLA DE MAZO.ILP 2021/11/11 03:47:30 33 +info
    5.0 mbLg SW VILLA DE MAZO.ILP 2021/11/11 03:37:58 IV-V 36 +info
    3.4 mbLg SW VILLA DE MAZO.ILP 2021/11/11 03:05:43 14 +info
    3.4 mbLg SW VILLA DE MAZO.ILP 2021/11/11 03:05:43 III 14 +info

    Involcan, images of the lava delta from the @guardiacivil patrol boat at 12.00 (Canarian time)

  27. The Halema’uma’u Eruption continues
    Filling up the 2018 s drainout pit

  28. Big earthquake near Hekla just now. Initially a 5.0 (low certainty)

    • Thursday
      11.11.2021 13:21:40 63.912 -19.675 5.6 km 5.2 99.0 1.5 km WSW of Vatnafjöll

    • None knows When Hekla will erupt, ususaly historicaly not a very active volcano .. althrough must have been pretty active to grow its size in 7000 years. It coud erupt next year
      But coud go 100 years more..

      The longer Hekla goes without the more explosive snd evolved she will get. As the magma gets old and explosive

      She is infrequent enough To never produce pure basalt.

      The Big Medival Hekla eruptions have even involved Ryholite Thats a sign its been gotten stale for quite a while

      In 2000 she did basaltic andesite, during the frequent era 1970 to 2000

    • It’s about 5 km east of the M5.9 that happened in May 1987.

    • According to
      this #earthquake is similar to the one in 1987. It occurred in the eastern part of the fault line, where the seismic and volcanic belts meet. So far no signs of magma movements but likelihood of aftershocks.

  29. La Palma, arround 14:00 Local, has appears a new lava flow has appears.

  30. Chad,

    I would like to give you to think about every now and then concerning the “shallow” seas of Pangaea and today: This basically is a supercontinent imo. It is connected in the North between America and Siberia. In between there is the American shelf and therefore a shallow sea. It is like a long back stretching from the west (Europe) via Russia and Alaska to the east (Greenland).
    It is standing on two legs, South America and Africa. The Mediterranean and therefore also the Black Sea are shallow seas.
    Separate for the time being are only Antarctica, Australia, Japan and New Zealand plus islands.

    Most of it is on the northern half of the globe. As America was much further south in pangaean times most of it should have been on the southern half.
    When I look underneath the surface and include the shelves I get to the conclusion that this is already a supercontinent, albeit a lot more streched out in a horizontal position with sort of two legs and an appendix, India. Pangaea had an appendix as well being the peninsula of North China. And a separate landmass, South China.

    But alas, this might be wrong. I just think glueing together in the middle is a little simple, the maps are a bit primitive. Today, a dinosaur and his relatives in the water would easily be able to spread on nearly all continents with the exception of Australia, New Zealand and Antarctica.

    And mankind, if everybody came from the African rift did the same very early. Using probably primitive rafts up north.
    Well, and some of it seems to be preparing already to come off in the future, like East Africa and East Asia (maybe), depending on pull factors.

    • Pangea had No shallow seas on its middle. Althrough the edges of the supercontinent coud have indeed been epicontinental seas during the warm triassic.

      But really high sealevels are more a thing of just after a continetal breakup When Earth is rapidly producing new seafloor

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