The End of the World

Beerenberg Volcano, Jan Mayen.
Photograph tacken by Gernot Hecker, used under Wikimedia Commons.

”A Hall she saw standing
far from the sun,
on Dead Body Shore.
With the doors facing North,
Venom drops,
In through the roof vent.
For the walls are woven
Of Serpents spines.”
Völuspá, Níðhöggr First Stanza.


I come from the North, and in our traditions and old religious motifs, we have always known that the end of the world comes from the North. Turns out that science is indeed proving that we were right the entire time.

The difference is just that it is not our world that is ending, it is the world of the future New Pangea that is ending up in the far North, and that the end has already begun quite some time ago.

The Mid Atlantic Rift, erroneously named as it will turn out, is a planet-scale scar running all the way from frozen Antarctica, up to the equally frozen Arctic reaches.

So, let us at least mentally stand on the Northern Shores of the grandest expression of the Mid Atlantic Rift, Iceland, and let us look towards the North. Isn’t that the tail of Níðhöggr that we see out there? Isn’t it the End of the World as we thought it would be that we see out there?

It is time to spread our scaled wings and start our journey to the North, and beyond.

Up, up, and Away

The regional faults on the northern Mid Atlantic Rift. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

First, it is time to take stock of where we start, Iceland is built by the interaction of a mantleplume and the spreading of the Mid Atlantic Rift. It is being uplifted by the mantleplume by about 54 metres, and it is spreading at a rate of 2.8 centimetres per year.

The total uplift of Iceland is 3 000 metres, here I am talking about the uplift created by the negative gravitation anomaly caused by the lower density material in the Icelandic mantleplume. Or in other words, the “lumpiness” of Earth in Iceland, as evidenced by measurments from the GOCE satellite.

As such it is the greatest known driver of tectonic change on the planet, besides the combined force of the Mid Atlantic Rift. But as a point source, it is the strongest force on Earth.

As we pass the Tjörnes Fracture Zone we come to the Kolbeinsey Ridge that runs North and to the West of the Jan Mayen micro-continent until it meets the Jan Mayen Fracture Zone and diverts to the East.

Jan Mayen itself is a miniature of Iceland, with a WNW/ESE-trending part of the Mid Atlantic Ridge intersecting and spreading it, and a remnant of an old and most likely dying mantleplume, that may be the old Alpha Ridge-plume. Most of the micro-continent is moving eastwards away from Iceland, but the Nort western tip is welded to Greenland.

Here is where we leave our beloved Mid Atlantic Rift Behind, it has served us well, but we need to get to know the amorous northern sister/extension now.

There is just one thing we need to discuss first. As we have travelled North the speed of the spreading have been slowing down as we jumped between the different parts as we travelled. As we leave Jan Mayen the speed has dropped to just below 2 centimetres per year.

The Arctic Mid Oceanic Ridge

The lovely insanity that is our 3 Poles.
Image from Wikimedia Commons.

As we enter AMOR proper we encounter the Mohns Ridge that is moving Northeast towards Bear Island. Like all of the other parts, this is a volcanic oceanic spreading ridge, but otherwise, it is not the most intriguing of our features. As it nears Bear Island and more solid crust it then diverts towards the North again.

Here is where I need to talk about East/West and North/South. We are now entering an area of the globe where maps go haywire, directions are no longer well suited to our usual spatial grid pairings, and unless you have a globe, or use Google Earth, things will become tricky to describe using North, East, South and West, all of it sort of breaks down into a general North.

This problem spills over to compasses going bonkers from here on, and even the GPS system is letting us down due to lack of coverage. Trigonometry is from now on the best tool.

Just to describe how weird it is, there will soon be a part that has the heading of Nort-South-North. You get my point. I just wanted to give fair warning that I might sound like a babbling buffoon soon when giving directions, so I will as far as I can point to where it starts and towards a point it is heading.

Ah, the Great North, it is a wonder in confusion. We even have three North poles, the actual magnetic North Pole called the Geomagnetic Pole that is used for navigation (at Ellesmere Island), the North Magnetic Pole (Just South of the Geographical North Pole towards Russia), and the map Geographical North Pole.

Normally in the more southerly parts, this does not matter much, but here in the North, it is the heart of the problem. Especially since the magnetic North is galumphing about at a decent clip from the North Magnetic Pole.

In other words, the further towards the map North you go, the more your compass will point Westward (if you are in the Atlantic) since it is located at Ellesmere Island, until it starts to point due South as you near the Geographic North Pole.

Do you see my point now? It is a headache. Let us now continue our travelling. As we near Bear Island we encounter the first of our 3 main shows.

The Gakkel Ridge

Cleaving the world for funzies. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

The Gakkel Ridge goes from just West of Bear Island in an almost straight line towards Siberia passing near the Geographic North Pole before turning due South (well in some sense of the word).

It is the only spread centre that has been deduced theoretically from the plate-tectonic theory by Yakov Yakovlevich Gakkel, prior to actual discovery in 1950, as such it is the final proof of the plate-tectonic theory.

If you started at Iceland you will have the deep Amundsen Basin on the righthand side and the shallower and smaller Nansen Basin on the left.

The Gakkel Ridge is divided into 3 parts, The Western Volcanic Zone is the first one we encounter, it has volcanism indicating an unusually cold crust, a He3/He4 anomaly akin to what is expected at a mantleplume, but it erupts Mid Oceanic Rift Basalt.

It is spreading at 1.5cm at the beginning, and at the end (from our direction of travel) it is spreading at just above 1cm per year. It is erupting unusually much for such a slow spread, and the Ridge is filled with active black smokers ejecting ten times as much volatiles as is found at other oceanic spread-centres, creating thick mats of microbial life.

After that we run into the Sparsely Magmatic Zone where the spread rate hits 1 centimetre per year, eruptions here occur, but they are far more uncommon.

Then we run into the Eastern Volcanic Zone, and as we go south (well sort of) towards Siberia the spread rate increases from 1cm back up to 1.45cm. But here it is time to take a pause before re-joining the EVZ once more and ponder the effects of the spread for the lands of the Canadians and Americans.

The Travelling Gringos

The odd movements of the US… Image from Timofeev et ál.

In plate-tectonics, all things are not equal. In Iceland, the East-West rate of spreading is 2.8cm per year, but it is far from equally distributed.

The reason for this is that the bulkier Eurasian plate is harder to push, and it is also being pushed at the Southern end by India, Indonesia and increasingly Australia. This leads the Eastern and Northern parts into being almost immobile.

On the other hand, the North American continent is not as heavy, nor is it in any great degree hampered by other continents slamming into it at the other end.

This means that the North American Continent is shunted Westwards by Iceland together with Greenland at a clip of about 2cm per year. It is here easy to assume that this will lead to the North American continent hitting the back door of the Eurasian continent.

Those who believe this forgot that pesky Gakkel Ridge, it may be slow, but it is if nothing else every bit as steady as the Mid Atlantic Rift. It is on average shunting the North American continent 1cm due South. The Western and Southern movements are greatest at the top.

In other words, North America is slowly pivoting against Central America, and will if this trajectory continues do a 180-degree twist and hit South America in some distant future. This is though not likely to continue in a longer geological time scale, but it is enough to hinder the North American Plate from joining the behind of Eurasia.

It seems that the much-hyped future New Pangea is in trouble. Time to go back to where I digressed.

The Dragon’s Lair

The 100 by 40 kilometre Gakkel Caldera.

As we move towards the Laptev Sea and Siberia the Eastern Volcanic Zone will become increasingly explosive.

It is here that we rekindle our connection with Níðhöggr since here is where its lair is. It is a volcano so exquisitely rare that it is not a black swan, it is a full-blown dragon roaring in anger.

At the end of the EVZ towards the Laptev Sea, we find the Gakkel Caldera, the only known oceanic spreading ridge VEI-8 caldera known. And befitting of Níðhöggr it is a behemoth 100 kilometres long and 40 kilometres wide.

As it erupted 1.09 million years ago it ejected 3,000 cubic kilometres of material. At the time of the eruption, it resided about 2 kilometres below the surface of the ocean, today the caldera floor is a staggering 4.8 kilometres below the surface.

When it was found in 2016 one might think it would have been big news, but since the bulk of the data and reports are in Russian it kind of lingered in obscurity, I do though recommend reading the link below from the only English paper about it by Alexey Piskarev and Maria Elkina.

More research here is adamant, this is an almost unknown type of volcanism, and we desperately need to find out if this was a one-off fluke, or if there is a risk that the same might happen at other parts of the Gakkel Ridge. If nothing else, Hunga Tonga was a stark reminder that we need to study oceanic calderas better, especially if they point towards volcanism of this scale being possible.

I for one would sleep better knowing that a Hunga Tonga that is 1,000 times larger is not around the corner in my relative neck of the woods.

Crack what now?

Surely, here the party is over? After all, there is supposedly nothing beyond the Gakkel Ridge? Well, it is time to try out some vodka-infused volcanism. Let us crack Russia apart, after all, it is only fair after kicking North America into South America.

So, let us pour some of that exquisite Russian Vodka and serve up some blinis as a snack as we head into the Laptev Sea.

At the margin of the Arctic Basin and the Laptev Sea, the Gakkel Ridge become the Laptev Rift. It is still spreading at the rate of 1.5cm per year, but something here is missing from the equation, it is once more sparsely populated with volcanoes, and we do not know why.

But rest assured, there are some extinct volcanic islands to comfort us with, or at least extinct as far as we know.

As the Laptev Rift enters Northern Russia less is known, this is the great hinterland of Siberia, and it is surprisingly unknown and understudied. What little we know is that the spread rate here is 1.5 centimetres and that there seemingly is no volcanism to be had for a distance.

But as we continue, we find a more volcanic part of the rift system once more in the form of the Moma-Zoryansk Rift that is running all the way from the De Long Islands down through 2/3rd of Russia. It is a younger rift than the Gakkel Ridge, so it may represent how far the Mid Atlantic Rift has progressed up until now.

On the East side of the rift, we have the Chersky Range which is a compressional faulted uplift mountain range caused by the interaction between the Eurasian Plate and the North American Plate. This has caused a tug of war between extension and compression.

The volcanoes caused by the rifting are once more He3/He4 anomalous indicating a mantleplume origin, and the erupted materials of the volcanoes of the Holocene Balagan-Tas, Viliga River Dyke Complex, Majak Dome and the Holocene Uraga-Khaya volcano, that ranges from Hawaiite to Rhyolite.

At the southern end of the Moma-Zoryansk Rift the rate of spreading drops back to 1cm per year and then dwindles to a standstill.


It is here time to leave what is now and look into the future of New Pangea from the perspective of the still extending Mid Atlantic Rift.

First, we probably should rename it into the World Rift, after all as a substantial part of the MAR is decidedly not Atlantic. We must also consider that the further along we go from Iceland, the younger the rift becomes.

This points towards it still expanding and rifting towards the south on the other side of the planet. At the same time, it is battling itself there as the North American Plate being affected by the MAR directly here is meeting itself as an opposing force.

Over time and as the rift propagates south and the North American Plate is pushing further south the propagating rift will continue down on southwards, neatly cleaving away Fareast Russia from Central Russia. The question is more if North America will drag it along, or if it will become a separate continent, the Arkhangelskiy Continent.

So, New Pangea is utterly dead as an idea at this point. Instead, we will get Panamerica, Antarctica, Arkhangelskiy, Afroeurasia, Afrodivorcia, and if only Baikal get a move on, we will get Indasia and an ever-diminishing Russia.

My conclusion is a bit speculative, we can’t prognosticate the movements of the continents more than a few million years into the future, after that the uncertainties grow too large. That being said, we can though conclude that the current models are flawed since the modelling did not include the Gakkel Ridge and beyond.

In the end, if Vladimir Putin knew about geotectonics, he would be appalled and cry in his borstj if he knew that his Russian Empire is well and truly doomed in the future.

I would here like to say something. It has taken me since 2016 to write this article. Part of this is me understanding what is happening, and it has also taken finding and reading dozens of papers in all sorts of languages. I have for obvious reasons kept the list of references short and in English. It was though as fun to prepare and write as it was arduous.

I will leave you with the conclusion from the finale of the Völuspá and our friend Níðhöggr:

“Darkness comes there
dragon flying,
down from, below
The bodies of men
on her wings she bears,
Niðhöggr to get,
now she will land.”

Völuspá, final stanza



Further Reading:


Giant caldera in the Arctic Ocean: Evidence of the catastrophic eruptive event | Scientific Reports (

Evidence of recent volcanic activity on the ultraslow-spreading Gakkel ridge | Nature

Polarforsch1998_8.pdf (

Recent geodynamics and evolution of the Moma rift, Northeast Asia. – NASA/ADS (

345 thoughts on “The End of the World

  1. Sooner or later we will set sail due North and end up in Lubbock, Texas.

    • Great article, Carl!
      There is a theme to the text where you suggest that continental motions result from “pushing” effects of spreading ridges many thousands of miles away…. Is this really possible?
      I would think that convection currents in the mantle are the main source of ” continental propulsion” and spreading centers like the MAR are just where the crust is tearing apart with magma filling in the gap(s)?

      • I favour a model of push-pull. Neither explain the force needed, but together they do.
        This is though a bit of a heretic view. 🙂

        This is especially poignant where there are plumes helping out since they create uplifted areas that will “slide down” on the sides.

      • I should add that since this article was about spreading rifts, the push part got over-emphasized.
        I will tell the other side of the coin at another date.

  2. Thanks for this, Carl. i’ve spent hours mulling over the Arctic basin(may i call it that?) looking at all the under water wonders found on maps. 🙂

  3. You’ve mentioned previously about a subduction zone potentially starting in a few millions years off the coast of Norway. I’ve just been looking at the European Cenozoic rift system and there is an old suture running from the coast of Norway (Viking Graben) right through the centre of the North Sea (another graben structure, oil heavy) and which eventually links up with the Lower Rhine Graben.

    Now as we know from the Duren earthquake in 1756, the Lower Rhine is still tectonically active, at least at the bottom end. It’s neighbour the Upper Rhine is a lot more tectonically active and of course volcanically active as well.

    I suppose what I was wondering is, given that rifts tend to follow old zones of weakness, could we see the combined effect of the Alpine orogeny cracking the Eurasian plate at one side and Iceland cracking the Scandian shield at the other to create a new rift through the North Sea and continental europe?
    Also – will we see future volcanics further northward along the Lower Rhine Graben? There are extinct volcanoes in the Netherlands and the North Sea dating back from the Jurassic.

    Great article by the way, not something many have considered. It really is a ‘World’ rift.

    • I do not think that it is fruitful to connect all those old Grabens. Yes, the Rhineland is still active, but that is not connected to the others.
      Then you have the new ones west of Norway, but those are not connected further south in this day and age.

      So, I would nix the cracking of the alps.

      • Fair enough, wasn’t sure how far northward the cracking extended or if it was still ongoing. The rifting between Norway and Sweden isn’t connected?

        • Nope, and that may end when the subduction starts west of Norway.

      • I think though that Andy has a point with looking at Grabens.

        • My article on Nisyros will end with a look into graben structures, and how and why they tend to accommodate the largest calderas. It could well be a separate article.

          This is the article that I said would be ready for christmas but truth be told I hadn’t looked at it for a couple of months until last night. Should have a bit more free time now so it will be done soon – promise!

        • Grabens are important, you often find them near subduction (trenches), and near plumes. And often they can cause their own volcanism in the form of decompression melt.

  4. Another question – there are some 150-200 identified tectonic regions now, microplates etc. and as we know sometimes these bond like the cratons of Africa, but is it true that Earth is becoming more like an eggshell and in the future there will be more tectonic plates than ever? There are so many tectonic scars, areas of weakness from a couple of billion years of plate tectonics.

    Or is the opposite true, as the planet cools down will we see less fuel to crack the crust?

    • I would say the opposite, the glue will just be stronger, and in the deep future all tectonic movement will end.

      • Maybe true, but too pessimistic for my taste. I love Plate Tectonics, it’s life.

        • Ponder the Rio Grande rift then. Purportedly it will continue propagating north and eat part of the Rockies. Make a small right hand turn and it would drive right into the very ancient Mid Continental Rift in the middle of North America. (Lake Superior sits right in the middle of it)

          In the far distant future, things could get quite weird for the North American craton.

    • Earth contains plenty of internal heat so tectonics maybe able to continue for perhaps 2 , 5 billion years more.

      Then after tectonics slows down there is still plenty of heat left inside. Earth will become like Venus when it ends its tectonic life. Volcanism will occur over mantle plumes after Earth cease its tectonics, building giant volcanoes like Mars. Without tectonics to slowly release the leftover heat .. the Earth may boil over in a venusian style flood basalt global resurfacing every 600 million years

      But by then in 2,5 billion years, Earth will become very uninhabitable anyway because the sun will be 25% brigther than it is today .. CO2 from volcanoes will constantly accumlate on an Earth too hot for rain and weathering, transforming the future dying Earth into an hellhouse With all the global world carbonates and carbon stores baked out from the crust .. as CO2 in the atmosphere

      Later the ageing sun becomes
      5000 times brigther than it is today .. and the dead Earth will vaporize as a large sillicate comet .. Earth will become like a little chocolate ball thrown in a boiling kettle

      • Your timeframe is to longscale.
        If I remember correctly plate tectonics have another 250-500 million years, and the sun if I am correct will go to poop in 1 billion years, or at least poop us.

        • You’re both right.

          The sun is about half way through a 10 billion year main sequence life time, so we have around 5 billion years until the sun goes Red Giant and perhaps swallows the Earth. Mercury and Venus being swallowed are certain, Earth is borderline according to the models.

          However, even while remaining on the main sequence, the sun is brightening at about 10% per billion years. So Carl’s “billion until we go poop” is about right for Earth’s habitability.

          Current modelling has us already perilously close to the inner edge of the habitable zone. The inevitable 10% brightening of the sun over the next billion years pushes us over, into wet greenhouse, boiling oceans, and thence the full Venusian disaster.

          Complex life goes well before that. Maybe 500 million years if we’re lucky,

          • If we survive the next 100 years we will most likely be able to achieve a higher Kardashev-state and move Earth if we wish.
            Already at our puny Kardashev number we could construct a shield to remove 10 percent of the incoming light. (it would be hellishly expensive though, and would most likely have unforeseen sideeffects).

          • It’s good; Carl. It’s a high achievement, physicists can be proud of themselves. You are taking an optimistic approach, and side with it.
            A cheaper thing though would be to finally start with demographics and try to downsize in numbers. And education. Basically many people just live, procreate, work for their bread and then die. Homo sapiens can do better.
            Btw, just a side note: I read in the FAZ that journalists are getting more and more problems in China, also during the Olympics.
            Headline: Open hostility towards western media
            translated by ggl:

          • I agree fully.

            On downsizing, we will be downsized regardless.
            I have calculated that humanity will be down to 1 billion year 2100 from assorted things we have caused ourselves.
            Question is if we downsize in an ordered fashion or not with a minimum of horror, that is up to us.

            I am simultaneously optimistic and pessimistic. It will be interesting to watch what happens, and see what comes afterwards.

    • I wonder if they just find more and more. Plate Tectonics is not that old. We have the same question in Medicine: Is there more cancer, or is there only more cancer being discovered whereas up to the first WW people just died early?

  5. Great piece Carl!

    Afrodivorcia, is that the Somali plate and the east side divorced from the rest of Africa?

  6. This is beautiful, Carl, especially also the poems.
    On the Eastern side I agree with it.

    On the Western side I have a different idea. The MAR spreading rate is faster in the South. So I imagine North- and South-America and on the other side Europe and Africa opening up like a fan. Now west of South-America we have the East Pacific Rise which is further away from the continent in the South. It happens to be the fastest spreading ridge. In the North of South America we have a definite obstacle, the volcanic Caribbean Plateau.
    So I imagine that South America will move a little bit to the East or stay put or even turn a little.
    North-America cannot join South-America because of the Caribbean Plateau and is already firmly connected with Asia as the American (north) Plate is far under Siberia which means that this is already one single continent with what geologists call a shallow sea between them (even if we drowned there).

    So what happens to the middle? Middle-America? Would you (and Carmen) follow the United States or South-America? Wild guess: The United States as man began to split Middle America in two parts with the Panama Canal. It is very shallow, but water as a force should never be underestimated. But better we ask also Albert.

    In any case, the American Plate in the North and the Asian Plate have been forming one single continent for a while and the coming mountain range of the Aleutian subduction zone will reinforce it. 50 Ma from now or 100 Ma? This I can’t tell. But no way it comes apart there for some time. And California will be firmly sitting close to Wrangellia and reinforce the North. It is comfortably and very slowly moving north (home, as Albert said in the Wrangellia-Trilogy).

    What about Japan? Is moving away towards Hawai’i. Too many enemies, and Japan was always longing for Hawai’i which caused some trouble ;-).

    • To be added: You can clearly see, Carl, that North- and South-America won’t join, as neither the Gulf of Mexico nor the Gulf of Yucatan have a subduction zone. Plates move towards subduction zones, and the Pacific Ocean is shrinking.

    • The Panama Canal is only a joke, of course. The Spreading ridge comes in between Mexico and California. Still complicated.

  7. The Arctic ocean is still a bit of a mystery. It is very old but not doing much. There are various old ridges of past spreading centres which have died. The Gakkel ridge seems still in the process of forming. The reason spreading here is so slow is that there are no subduction zones in the world which pull either Eurasia or America southward. So nothing that pulls on this ocean. However, the Canadian basin is deep and seems not far off where it may begin to subduct. It was left behind when Alaska pulled away from Canada (the old fault line is still nicely visible). Once that begins, it may start pulling on the Arctic oceanic plate – and the fun can begin. In Russia, the fault follows an old line of weakness. That is indeed a plausible place to break up a continent. I wrote a little (very little) about it in (although that is really about another mountain range)

    • I wonder if there is also another reason for the slow spreading up north. Basically there is a nearly complete ring of continental crust around the North Pole with two openings, but only one with oceanic crust.
      If I were a spreading ridge I would much prefer to sit between those relatively tiny tails of South America and Africa down south or in the Indian or the Pacific Ocean. I would have much more room to work. That tiny office up there seems a bit tight.

  8. There is some suggestion we currently undergoing a geomagnetic reversal, given how much the Earth’s magnetic field has weakened over the last 2000 years, especially that last 20, at a seemingly every increasing rate.

    You are right about the theological angle.

    • I don’t think that magnetic reversals have a lot two do with Plate Tectonics. They have a totally different time scale. There are an assumed 183 reversals in the past 83 Ma. The plates never changed direction with them.

    • I do not think that was Peters angle.
      Yes, there are quite a few signs that we are about to enter a new chron. How fast? Anyones guess I guess.

      • How fast is anyone’s guess. Some of my research that explores the links geomagnetic links between the sun, the solar system and the earth; the does seem to be at least some form correlation between seismic and solar activity – explanations to the extent of which, do vary.

        One of those explanations is geomagnetism; even though some may think that earth’s magnetic field and tectonics are unrelated; I think they are. When the next reversal happens, will it be accompanied by major volcanic and seismic activity? Personally I think that may be the case.

        On the theological angle. I coming round to a hypothesis that what is often referred to as the end times, (forgetting that there is a new age which starts with the 2nd coming of Christ) is actually the end of a geological epoch, however they are defined, and the start of new one. Especially given the 6th seal “Cosmic Disturbances”. (Rev 6).

        Perhaps (this is just a theory), that the Great Flood of Noah in the early parts Genesis, was the end of a previous geological epoch, the end of the last ice age. Without death, there is no rebirth.

        I will stop there, before I go headlong into a full sermon lasting 7 weeks…

  9. Would like to input my thoughts on this, I might be only a tad above 2 decades old but I used to spend a lot of my teenage years thinking about exactly this subject, future supercontinent formation.

    Basically, there is a supercontinent cycle, around 500 million years a piece, give or take 100 million. We are actually smack in the middle, in general the continents are going to converge. The Gakkel ridge is not that likely to fully connect up to the Baikal rift, which also seems to be driven by processes other than magma too, probably India far to the south. It is not unheard of for even very derived rifts to fail, Labrador sea is one, the Red Sea I suspect will become another. The Superior rift tried to split North America twice, way back in the Proterozoic and again as Pangea broke up, the first time was a major flood basalt, it still failed.

    Today there are about 3 really powerful plumes, maybe 4 or 5, that could fracture a continent. Those are of course Hawaii, Iceland and Galapagos. Hawaii and Galapagos thpugh are sat in the Pacific where they do not contribute anything at all to the movement of the continents. Iceland does, as you highlight, but it is also seemingly adding to the continental landmass than fracturing it, the crust is basaltic but continental thickness, I dont think it would subduct easily, as we can see from the Otong Java plateau failing to subduct now. The breaking up of Africa completely also seems unlikely, only the East Africa section, which can be drawn towards Indonesia, but overall Africa will be in compression as it collides with Europe. Same for most of Asia as North America approaches in the north. The fact there are failed ridges in the Arctic seems to show Gakkel has not got a bright future, the Arctic is a bit of a tectonic purgatory.

    Biggest uncertainty of the next cycle is if Antarctica will be drawn north, or indeed if it will stay in one piece, the west side might rift off and join the others. But in general the dominant driver of the next cycle is subduction in the Pacific which is now past the point of no return. Even if Hawaii breaks the plate and a new rift forms it is too late. By default this will pull every continent together.

    • Agreed. I got to the 500 year cycle as well and keep thinking that we already have a sort of Neo-Gondwana of the North with huge continental masses, that they will break up at some point in the future and then move back South and possibly collide in the middle again like 250 Ma.
      Then you tackle failed rifts. This would mean the opposite of Carl’s idea. If the Gakkel rift failed the North Pole would become continental like Antarctica. The first parts that split of and travel back to the South Pole might be East Africa and East Asia.
      Antarctica I believe will rather stay in place as it has a spreading ridge.

      I wonder whether you have any idea concerning the Igneous Province Caribbean with a former island arc in the West (Middle America) and a second island arc in the East (Antilles). This is nearly unique as a feature. But there seems to be a repitition down south with a submarine mountain chain between Chile and Antarctica and an island arc in the East with Mount Michael and other volcanoes.

    • I think that the dominant driver is subduction. In the next 100 million years several new subduction zones will form. The Atlantic ocean will have some, probably especially on the east side. With two subduction zone pulling Asia in opposite direction, Asia is very likely to split. That may be on the extension of the Gakkel ridge or a parallel fault to it. There is also an old east-west weakness but that won’t come into play unless subduction develops in the Indian Ocean or north of Siberia. Mantle plumes rarely break up continents. Hot spots can develop as extension basins form, a first step in break up. They don’t always grow but if they don’t, it is not unusual for a parallel rift to develop.

      • This reminds me of what I think about the Canaries: Future subduction zone. Old oceanic crust by now.
        Concerning Asia I cannot see a subduction zone in the middle of Europe. You might be thinking of the Eastern part of Iceland though which would first be an island arc of Norway’s.
        The middle of the western coast of North-America is very special not having any subduction, but instead the East Pacific Rise petering out in a transform fault, the San Andreas. The American West is very complex. I learned most about it, so far, from your trilogy and then Blakey and his historical maps. And it is still difficult.

        • If subduction zones always form where the oceanic crust is oldest then:

          North of the Antarctic plate will start to subduct, this is already happening at the Shetland plate and could tear the plate along the WAR, a zone of weakness where the plates once bonded
          the East coast of North America – possibly the Puerto Rico trench will expand northwards, or the buckling action of Iceland will do it
          the West coast of Africa/Mediterranean – in fact this is possibly already happening, subduction could occur further south also as crust near Namibia/Angola is very old
          Canada Basin – as already mentioned
          Carribbean plate – already surrounded by subduction zones, sea will be swallowed
          the East coast of India
          the West coast of Norway

          Probably some more I’ve missed.

          • I think what you are missing here, Andy, is the boundary of the Antarctic Plate. 95% of Antarctica has a divergent plate boundary, that’s to say spreading ridges. So, no subduction (convergent plate boundary) will take place there for the time being).
            The South Sandwich- and South Shetland islands are on microplates and have indeed subduction of oceanic crust.



      • There will be subduction in the Atlantic eventually but I think it would not be enough to reverse the direction, nor break up Asia before North Ameruca can merge with it. It seems here there is an idea of cascading destructive interference, with rifts fragmenting the continents further, but in practice there seems to be very few rifts that successfully form into oceans, and continents are hard to break up.

  10. Chris Burkard whose photographs Hopper and I referred to on Tallis’ post has some warm words on his Instagram site for Haraldur Diego who, sadly, came down with his Cessna and three other people in Lake Thinkvallatan on Iceland a few days ago.

  11. The idea of North America moving WSW might have originated from purely looking at the Snake River Plain. Instead the assumed mantle plume is thought to have been sitting first under Oregon and Washington State. It would have then caused the Columbia River Basalt which is largest in the North:
    “Graben formation may have begun as early as 17 Ma in response to tumescence above the Yellowstone plume head as it raised the crust of eastern Oregon and Washington…”



    This would basically indicate a movement of the American Plate WNW instead, following the direction of the Pacific Plate which makes a lot more sense as the motor (subduction) seems to be in the corner between Kamtschatka and the Aleutian Island Arc.
    Besides the North American Plate is also rotating clockwise.

    • It should be noted that eruptions have occurred in the Snake River Plain ever further to both to the west and east in chronological order. Basin & Range extension and the rotation of the Colorado plateau explain this better than North American westward drift. Personally I don’t buy the Colombia basalt linkage, the magmas are differentially sourced

      • It is a very difficult area, lots of shear zones.
        Basically the movement SWS doesn’t make the slightest sense as SWS we have the East Pacific Rise, a divergent plate boundary. NWN we have a precise map of the movement of the Pacific plate, indicated neatly by the Hawai’i-Emeror Chain. And huge subduction zones.
        In between both we possibly have a terrain like Wrangellia.

        • Found this very interesting, Yellowstone is probably a bit of a hybrid like Iceland where plume and plate mechanics are involved.

          Note the giant radial dyke swarms – these are usually big evidence in the arrival of a plume head – think Mackenzie and the CAMP. Also would explain why imaging of the ‘plume’ under Yellowstone did not find anything deep

          • Also here: Stating that the area moves WSW. If they go on like that they have to explain where America will break apart, in Wash State or in Canada or in Alasaka, as you cannot have it all. You cannot have America (the plate) move into Siberia and at the same time have it move a little bit south. This reminds me of the story in the Bible of the two women who pull on one child.

      • The alignment is more and more put into question as a sign for a mantle plume. The Louisville Chain adds up, but not completely, same goes for the Emperor Chain and the chain east of Galápagos.
        One day there might be another explanation, and the alignment reasoning might fall like Caesar. Then we might sit with a few single plumes, and I wouldn’t be surprized if one were Iceland. In the end these things will more rely on petrochemistry and tomography.
        Another very interesting question is certainly whether the Pacific Ocean will create a new plate like Panthalassa has done before.

        • When the alignment does not match up, then someone has probably mistaken, or does not understand, how the tectonic trajectory was back then.

          In other words, we do know that Mantleplumes often leaves tracks, and we know that plate tectonics is correct, but we can make mistakes when matching them due to lack of historical data…

          Snake Rivers horseshoe shape is though easy to understand, the Ibirth of the Icelandic mantleplume happened to it. The dates match up ever so nicely there. 😉

          • That horseshoe is an interesting conundrum. The calderas left by the hot spot form a straight line. The snake river partly follows that but down river it goes off in a totally different direction. The cause is, me thinks, the Columbia flood basalt which came out at some distance from hot spot. The river followed the rifts that fed the basalt. Those rifts are oriented not along the hot spot track but along the nnw-sse line of weakness in the western US: magma rifted that direction, away from the source

          • The tectonic plate direction switched at the time from moving eastwards, to a westward direction. The only thing that happened of note back then was the birth of the Icelandic plume, changing the direction from 2cm East to 2cm west.

    • The map in the article is from actual GPS-stations and not the Snake River…

      That being said, the Snake River Plain is attached to the US and moves with the US, so it should be moving in the same way as all other GPS-station. 😉

      Ontop of that, the US is subducting what it is meeting, and there is nothing out there to stop the subduction (that takes continental crust), so it can actually continue to happily pivot around central america together with a large part of mexico and Canada.
      Canada will most likely loose a few islands to the North, and the US might loose Alaska and the islands to the west.

      • There is no tectonic movement on South America and Antarctica.
        This means that those will for the foreseeably future remain where they are.

      • Not agreed as North America is not the motor. The motor sits opposite on the other side of the Pacific Ocean as the Pacific Plate is moving WNW. The American Plate has to follow which produces subduction of the Eastern Oceanic Plates like Juan de Fuca.
        Albert keeps saying rightly that subduction is the motor, and subduction forces are best seen by the direction which oceanic plates take. The Pacific Ocean is the clearest example of this. Everything seems crystal clear in the Pacific Ocean, it is like a book. If we take the Pacific Ocean tentatively as a fix point, the Atlantic Ocean just had to open up, no other choice. And that might also be the reason for the Baikal Rift and also for Japan becoming separated from the Asian continent in the first place.

        America is firmly connected in the NW and has created two or three mountain ranges there like India has done in the past:

        • And still North America moves WSW, so connected it is not… 😉

          • Nothing in America has ever moved south with the exception of Ernest Hemingway 😉
            North America has come up from the equator to the position where it is now and is now moving west.
            We’ll leave the N and S out of this for a moment. But it would break apart if it moves under Siberia and south at the same time. The terranes have come in from the southwestern Pacific and then moved north.
            Nothing is moving south at all. Everything is moving north or not moving at all. Africa, India, probably Madagascar, first of all of them Baltica and Siberia, Europe. Australia and New Zealand moved ENE.
            I think there is not a single continent at the moment with a south drift. This might turn around one day in the far future.
            So if the north of North America moves WNW while pushing the Siberian mountain chains up and the south of North America moves WSW where do you want to break the continent apart?

      • Islands to the west?
        That could mean either the Aleautions or California…which should be an island after cleaving off the NA plate by then.

  12. There is a worlds away diffrence in morphology between hyperfast and hyperslow mid ocean ridges in morphology and style of activity and magma chamber structure and style of lava flow activity

    Hyperslow Ocean Ridges like Gakkel and some segments of indian ridge can spread at just a few milimeters every year. Souch slow ridges haves low melt production and haves very wide and deep axial valleys because of lack of frequent lava infillings. Hyperslow and slow ridges haves infrequent eruptions, and magma chambers are few and not continous along the ridge. Eruptions are slow and tends to build isolated mounds of pillow lava, and many tens of thousands of years can pass between eruptions at any induvidual location at the slowest spreaders

    Ultrafast Spreading Ridges are very difftent in morphology and activity. They can spread as fast as almost 20 centimeters every year, and haves a massive thermal radiation, they competely lacks rift valleys, and frequent lava flows builds a gentle swell. Souch ridges are very hydrothermaly active, and magma supply is high. Magma decompression melting occurs all along the spreading segments and long shallow magma melt lenses occurs all along the axis for 100 s of kilometers.
    Eruptions at ultrafast spreading ridges occurs as massive fissure eruptions with huge rates similar to large Mauna Loa eruptions. Lava flow outputs are so fast .. that pillow lavas does not form even. The fastest spreading ridges erupts Sheet Lava flows ..that flows like they do on land, with submarine lava channels and sheet flows. At the fastest spreading ridges eruptions are very common and segments always erupts somewhere every year

    • Jesper, did you do this research on your own? If so, wow. Otherwise, please cite your source. It looks like the middle section of the graphics are reversed.

    • No Middle section graphics is Correct

      Slow spreading haves deep valleys and slow pillow lava flows .. they are not very active

      Fast spreaders haves fast sheet type lava flows and underwater lava channels, and eruptions happens along huge Fissures.. basicaly submarine Mauna Loa fissure style
      Fast spreaders does not have rift valleys because magma production is so high

      • Compliments too.
        Bill realized that on the left hand side you have (from top to bottom) Fast-slow-fast spreading ridge and on the right hand side Slow-fast-slow. Maybe in the middle the fast should go to the left side and vice versa.

    • Carl question

      Since Iceland is on a slow spreading ridge thats massively boosted by a mantle plume in local production

      What woud happen If the Iceland Plume emerged under an Ultrafast spreading ridge? 18 cm a year.
      Woud that mean more volcanic eruptions or less ? Or woud even more lava get lost to passive rifting?

      • Good question Jesper.
        There should be more but smaller eruptions most likely.

    • The fast eruptions on Superfast Spreading ridges are so fast and high in output that they forms turbulent lava rivers rather than pillow lava

      Here is souch an extremely fast moving turbulent submarine sheet flow, flowed so fast underwater that it did not cool very much and the crust remained thin and flexible and coud be spunned around. Equal To huge fissure eruptions on land

      Its the slower submarine lava flows that forms pillow lava

  13. What was the tech IT site called that also had some volcano content? Volcano content was on a sub URL, IIRC.
    Thank you.

    • This is about volcanoes. Down here a picture of the highest mountain of both America, Mount Aconcagua, 6.961 metres, one of the seven summits of the seven continents. Aconcagua was an active stratovolcano from the late Cretacious to the early Paleocene and was created, like all the volcanoes in the area, by the subduction of the Nazca Plate.

      • Aconcagua is NOT a volcano. It has never been a volcano. It may be made up of igneous material but that is a very different thing to being a volcano.

        • You are both right and wrong at the same time.

          Aconcagua was a stratovolcano up until 8 million years ago, then it tipped to the side due to faulting and become a regular alpine type sideways volcano mountain. Quite interesting as such.

          But it is absolutely not a volcano today in any form or way.

  14. A truly fascinating post Carl. I love that you are able to explain scintific theories in a way that more non-scientific members on here are able to understand. I have also always been fascinated by the movement of tectonic plates and often think of the subduction zones in particular as being one massive recycling plant. How boring this earth would be if everything was static and non-changing.

    To me living in England and on the coast I have also always had a massive interest in the way the ocean currents change the landscape with cliffs eroding. Even the chalk cliffs of the South coast are constantly changing from erosion with even the molluscs adding their own effort by feeding on the algea growing on the chalk and thereby contributing their own miniscule efforts to the ongoing erosion. Then the depostion of material causing new land. Truly this earth is a wonder of design.

  15. Bering Street, average depth 50 metres, underneath: American shelf:

  16. Very interresting read Carl. The development on theories have sped up quite a bit since 3D-mapping became available.

    On your map of the (North) pole positions I have a recent magnetic pole location of apx. 82 deg. 41’6 min. N and 119 deg. 44’3 min E. Yes, I know. It is from a YT-channel I will not even mention, but I only check in once a month for the data. Which actually aligns with NASA-data – retrospect – because NASA seems to have “stalled” when it comes to both putting out the data (age-wise) and model-wise. Does anybody have any input on recent available confirmed data on magnetic pole location?

    Comparing to your map the most recent data (yes, I know…) places the location apx. 800 km. E-SE of the geographic pole location. On its way to Russia – heading for the Laptevocean) at a speed of 5.25 miles a month… Complete bogus? Or very slow data out of NASA and others?

    NASA model and track: (Choose arctic, latest observed is 2007…?) Model has not been revised in years from what I can tell from earlier check-ins.

    There are several theories on what is “going on”, and many scientists belives (based on studies) that this is a part of a natural occouring magnetic-wobble. The evidence against (partly) is that the magnetic pole has been moving faster in the last decades at the same time as the magnetic field-strenght is weakening. 5 % in the last decade, as compared to 10% from 1800-2010. Seen by some scientists as a precursor to something like the Laschamp event some 42.000 yrs ago. Interresting, but by all means, not remotely close to meaning “this will happen”.

    Nothing esp. pleasant for todays modern society if it were to happen, but again. I have not found a good source with recent data that confirms the YT-seen findings. A magnetic wobble would loose speed a the end, right? So. What is this? Speculations? Conspiracytheory? (another end-is-near-Maya2012-Chemtrail-takeyourpick-guy?) Real research with actual data (from an otherwise bad source)? ??

    These things fascinate me. So as the subject slightly came up,I am curious here. And, no. Will not promote “source” here. 😉

    • There are two ways to define the magnetic pole, as Carl mentioned in the post. One is the axis of the overall magnetic field. That is fairly stable, and is at 81 degrees north and 73 degrees west or so. The other way is where the magnetic field is perpendicular to the Earth’s surface. That is currently at 86 degrees north or so and 150 degrees east, and is moving at something like 40 km per year towards Russia. It is affected by two areas of stronger current in the Earth’s core, one under Canada and one under Siberia. This pole moves because the relative strength of these two changes over time. The latest model is from 2020. It is not from NASA but from NOAO

    • I am in the a chron-shift will happen in the relative near time camp, years up to hundreds of years away.
      Difference is that I am not even remotely worried about it, it will not even produce a crapload of problems.

      To be honest, I am always stunned about what insignificant things people worry about. 🙂

      • Since magnetic reversals happen rather often (ingeoevolutionary terms) the world will get over it relatively easily.
        Which is not to say that there may not be some rather profound effects.
        Many organisms use the earth’s magnetic field for key operations, and more are found all the time. Reversal is likely to adversely affect them in the short term until selection corrects the problem for whatever pole ends up dominant after the disorganised phase.
        For example many arctic and antarctic sea organisms use the direction of the magnetic field to define which way is up in the darkness of the deep. Every evening the sink to the safety of the dark deep, and every evening rise to feed. Getting this the wrong way round might be deleterious for their wellbeing.
        As we know birds literally see magnetic fields using a quantum-based detector (which is neat but not unexpected).

        • I think the birds and fishes will be fine, they have after all survived a rather large number of chron-shifts before.
          There may though be a few wayward swans arriving in Antarctica, and Jespers penguin army will be swiming towards Iceland all on their own with Jesper riding a Jetski at the front. 🙂

          • Indeed so. I suspect the mortality will be low in most cases, but we do not know. Lose95% of a population of birds which then can breed back, its surprising how fast they can be back to normal, particularly those that have many chicks.
            The microbiosphere would only need a faction of a percent of reverse mutants to fix the problem within a year.
            Mind you most think that there will be a period of chaotic behaviour with even multiple poles before it restabilises.

          • The migrating birds have survived large climate changes. What we see today are the descendants of the birds that accidentally end up in the wrong place which had become the right place.

      • Exactly.. looking foreward To invade Iceland with my pengiun army colonize it and throw out their goverment, and install Myself as supreme leader, cannot wait to served coffee in my New cabinet in Reykjavik by huge fat waddling emperor pengiun servants 🙂

        Big Island of Hawaii is another favorite place of mine that I wants to snatch from the US.. they are not going to have it. Im sending 8 trillion emperor pengiuns there .. after I dealt with taking over Iceland

        Lots of Penguins in Antartica
        Me: I want them armed and ready to March within two weeks!!!

        my generals:
        – But my lord they are too many! They cannot all be armed in time.. we dont have the materials!

        I guess we will have to invade the Swedish LKAB mines too to get our resources, I also haves a pengiun mine team here in Antartica they are looking for rich deposits in the ground under the Icesheet.

        In all countries I invades I will install regional pengiun general governors.. Sweden will become ”General Goverment Sweden” that will be runned by a few of my pengiun officials .. keeping controll over the Swedes.. feathers and fat will become your New masters soon 🙂

        Where my addiction to pengiuns comes from..
        I haves No Idea 😂 well well Im mad 😆

        • I think polar bears would soon become addicted to penguins, too.

        • One word for Carl

          General Goverment Skåne .. 🐧 🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧

          Generalgouvernement Schonen 🙂

          Waddling Fat and Feathers Will be your new masters soon Carl

          • Adim Edit this name my gmail is visible

            [Done as requested – admin]

        • Ummm misstakenly wrote my gmail again

          VC adims fix this!

          I blame the humans on it!!!

          All for the Penguins and Antartica 🐧 Im their leaders

        • Jesper, beware of your perspective penguin minions. Or, at least, equip yourself with a peg for your nose. (anyone who’s been in a penguin colony area will get this – they tend to be on the, ah, aromatic side, and not in a good way).

          As for using penguins for taking over Hawaii, you might want to consider using Galapagos penguins for that – they are the only warm-weather-acclimatized penguins. 🙂

      • I am in the camp that says something that hasn’t happened for 1,000,000 years is unlikely to happen next week. The magnetic field varies in strength. The south atlantic anomaly is a good example. But the current field, even after the decline, is about average for this entire chron. It has come down from an above-average strength. And in any case, I can’t think of a single species that went extinct because of a field reversal.

        • Speaking of anomalies what do you make of the gravity anomaly under Sri Lanka, lowest on Earth? Is it likely subduction would start there – the crust is quite old?

          • Not even thunk about it before you mentioned it.

            Poke me during the weekend and I will look into it.

      • Well s-me worry about the Gakkel-ridge, others about “pole-shift”. The subjects fascinate me, but worried? No.

        Research however, point to the extintion of Neandertals during Laschamps. This was in the media a lot in 2020 after a series of studies and peer-reviewed papers. Exerpt from the 2021 peer-reviewed Oxford-paper published in sciencemag in the last link (Cooper et al);

        “However, the markedly
        increased levels of solar and cosmic radiation
        reaching Earth’s atmosphere because of the
        weakened geomagnetic field are likely to
        have increased atmospheric ionization and
        decreased stratospheric ozone levels, potentially generating regional climatic impacts,
        particularly in lower latitudes (7–9). In this
        regard, it is notable that many environmental
        records around the Pacific Basin appear to
        detail a major (and often sustained) change
        in behavior ~40 to 42 ka, including local glacial maxima in Australasia and the Andes
        (7, 10), long-term shifts in atmospheric circulation patterns (11, 12), and continent-wide
        aridification and megafaunal extinction in
        Australia (4,13–16). The same period in North
        America saw the rapid, pronounced expansion of the Laurentide Ice Sheet (LIS) from a
        local minimum close to 42 ka (17–19). Many of
        these records document a long-term phase
        shift into a glacial state that persisted until
        the transition into the Holocene (~11.6 ka), in
        direct contrast to the Atlantic Basin records of
        millennial-scale abrupt and extreme changes
        associated with stadial-interstadial events.”

        To say what actually happened is very difficult, but many recent peer-reviewed papers point to massive effects. Just running the numbers on the estimated shrinkage of the magnetosphere due to the depleted geomagnetic field strength (reduction) ~28% of todays at the reversal and ~6,3% at Adams event points to satellites being no bueno at those levels. In part due to the magnetosphere outer boundry being at 3-5 Earth r (instead of 10-15 today) and cosmic rays at unpresedented levels up there at least. During Adams event coinciding with a GSM. Even the stratospheric boundy was quite a bit lower (colder atm shrinks), increasing the possibility of more volcanic eruptions than outside the event. Another tidbit is that delta C14 was found to have topped out at 782 ppm in the period leading up to Laschamps. See excerpt;

        “By modeling 14C-production rates from our
        kauri D14C record, it is possible to precisely
        align to the ice core time scale by using 10Be
        records (21). Across this period, we infer that
        the Greenland ice core 2005 (GICC05) time
        scale is 265 years younger than the Hulu Cave
        time scale (95.4% range: 160 to 310 years)
        (Fig. 1 and fig. S15), which is considerably
        more precise than previous comparisons (21).
        Notably, the steep rise in D14C commences at
        42.35 ka, with a peak value of 782 per mil (‰)
        occurring at 41.8 ka, 300 years before the
        full Laschamps reversal. This is the highest
        atmospheric 14C concentration yet reported
        of the pre-anthropogenic radiocarbon time
        scale (22, 23, 25) (see supplementary materials). The peak D14C value reported here
        occurs during the most weakened phase of
        the geomagnetic field (5) and is associated
        with a prominent GSM recorded by 10Be flux”

        Still nothing to worry about. Just more informed on a possible scenario for somehing like this. On a geological timescale we might or might not be closing in on.

        Having lost both my parents five months apart in 2021, there is worry. Seeing them sick, waiting, hoping, loosing that hope. That is worrisome. But this? No. What will be will be. Whenever it wants to.

        • At the same time the other “homos” flourished, so I do not put much stock into the correlation between Neanderthals and Lashamp.

          And technically the Neanderthal never left, they where just few, and boinked themselves into oblivion with Cro Magnons.
          Cro Magnon girl meets muscular Neanderthal boy, sad Cro Magnon boy goes into the forrest to cry over his broken heart and is comforted by a muscular Neanderthal girl who carries him to her cave… and little mix children sprouted forth…
          I call it extinction by boink.

      • Neanderthal extinction is very complex and haves many causes

        Neanderthals had for the first higher calorie demand than Homo Sapiens, so they needed to eat a little more, that coud be fatal If prey stocks where low and in competiton with other homonids

        Neandethals where also specialist hunters, hunting mostly larger fauna that became increasingly scarce in Europe at the end of the pleistocene.

        Neandethals where also not long distance pursuit hunters like the slender Homo Sapiens, they instead stalked their prey and got into close combat with thrust spears.

        During cold glacial episodes in Europe they hunted mostly larger slower prey and fished rivers. Europe lacked trees during the glacials and was a difficult place to ambush hunt in the open landscapes. They likley follwed large animals for days over the tundra landscapes .. while H Sapiens runned them down

        During warm Interglacial episodes the neandethals thrives more ( specialy during Eemian ) when they coud ambush hunt using the Dense forest cover, they hunted red deer alot .. during souch warmer conditions

        Neandethals while being just as intelligent as Homo Sapiens.. Probaly never developed H sapiens refined hunting tools .. because of their very small populations and lack of innovation. Neandethals through their 500 000 years range .. remained small to very very small as a effective population .. and lived in scattered communities and inbreeding with eachother was common.

        Their Demise was .. being outbreed and flushed away by breeding Into ”extinction” with Homo Sapiens .. Neandethals vanished very quickly when Homo Sapiens arrived and they breed togther and got fertile offspring. Europeans today carry Neanderthal DNA as proof

        It was a very tough world that the Neanderthals lived in, Europe during the glacials must have been a nightmare To live in .. cold and dry and harsh

        • Neandethals where indeed very small as population.. much smaller than other apex predators in Europe

          Souch a small population is unstable and faces many risks, But ultimately they dissapeared into the Homo Sapiens genes when they interbreed

          So they never really vent extinct just shared their genes with H Sapiens and dissapeared into the H Sapiens genes

          • They didn’t interbreed much. The gene flow corresponds to something like 1 pairing every 75 generations, or once in 1500-2000 years! Given that the interaction occured over something like 20,000 years, there may have been only 10 or so interbeeding events. And of several Neanderthal groupings, only one has contributed to out genes. Also, there is only evidence for interbreeding between female sapiens and male neanderthals, and not for the other way around. Why is not known – suggestions range from infertility of that mix, rejection of the infants, to those mixes growing up as neanderthals and going extinct with them.

          • I don’t know, Albert whether it is possible to make any analogy here: When the male donkey and the female horse are bred, you get the very sturdy mule. When the female donkey and the male horse are bred comes the smaller hinny. This is explained with the horses womb being bigger. So that might have played a role. I read that interbreading of male H.sapiens and female Neanderthals led to spontaneous abortions or stillbirth, and I also read that Neanderthaliensis was very small.

            The mule and the hinny aren’t fertile, but this has a completely different reason: 63 Chromosomes.

        • The other possibility:
          “Researchers re-examined bones from southern Spain that were used in earlier studies with new radiocarbon dating techniques. They discovered that the Neanderthal bones were more than 50,000 years old. Humans aren’t believed to have settled in the area until 42,000 years ago, meaning that it may be unlikely that they lived together and interbred.

          If humans and Neanderthals didn’t interbreed, the similar genomes of humans and Neanderthals could be the result of both groups having a common African ancestor.”

        • Interbreeding with Homo Sapens been proven by genetic coding of Neandethal DNA and modern humans

          • Basically I do not know whether you can prove interbreeding with the genome. It would mean that we also fooled around with the common fly. We share even more than enough genes with Drosophila melanogaster, the one day fly.
            A common genome means mostly a common ancestor. And Neanderthaliensis is also assumed to have come from Africa, but earlier.

            But okay, they raped the enemy’s women as usual. The saxons have done it, possibly the Vikings after enough met, the Russians, the British/Americans with the Indians, , maybe vice versa, and so on.

            War and rapeage, war and rapeage
            Is like a Horse and Carriage.
            After Sinatra, Love and Marriage – slightly outdated 😉

          • Among the blind the one-eyed is king, Jesper.

            We are all blind, nice academics and hobby-volcanologists.

            I think Tallis might see it this way. Possibly long time – no sea Geo-Lurking, Henrik maybe.

        • Here the researcher says that they indeed met, that Neanderthalensis were skilled fighters and that the guerilla war took some 100.000 years. This would mean that they raped the enemy’s women on both sides. And that’s were the “interbreeding” comes from.
          It is a very nasty human (male) habit to rape the vulnerable on the enemy’s side. That was the reason American and Allied soldiers were respected after WWII while Russians raped nearly everyone who had legs to spread in East Prussia and were never liked.
          “War leaves a subtler mark in the form of territorial boundaries. The best evidence that Neanderthals not only fought but excelled at war, is that they met us and weren’t immediately overrun. Instead, for around 100,000 years, Neanderthals resisted”
          Article by Nicholas R. Longrich, Senior Lecturer in Evolutionary Biology and Paleontology, University of Bath

          • I think it was dogs.
            H Sap and canis canis were an unbeatable symbiosis and effective commensal.
            Even today a human with a trained aggressive dog is feared by even an armed (sword) person. Imagine a pack of gracile humans but accompanied by their pack of half-tamed wolves. A sensible neanderthal tribe would just quit the area.
            PS The taming of dogs keeps getting put back further in time as the decades go on, I think dow we are back to 40,000 years.

  17. Carl, I am disappointed. I thought you read my article and was inspired to write a piece concerning the death of this wretched world but you gave me an article concerning the flaws of Neo-Pangaea. What will take for you to embrace in your hatred and anger? To lose faith in the worms and pigs that think that they represent something resembling intelligent life? When will you realize that the best thing that could happen to society is a massive disaster that would purge the world of it’s filth? Join me in misanthropy,

    • Tallis, no! Stop calling for the extinction of the human species, at least for now! I’ve got a hiking pass for a geological formation called “The Wave” in a couple of weeks! So, no extinction-level-events until I have my hike, which I’ve been waiting for for weeks.

      I’ve also got an 11 year old bottle of single-malt scotch that really, really needs to be 12 years old to be properly enjoyed. Priorities, man!

        • I would love to see that, Farmeroz, but the difference between the sights of Jordan and places like The Wave, Grand Canyon, Sedona, are the latter are under the heading of “local attractions” for me; they are in the same part of Arizona that I am. Jordan, on the other hand, is very distant indeed. (The Wave is actually in Arizona, though the trailhead is in Utah). I’m getting to go because the road to it is 4-wheel-drive only (Especially this time of year), and some out-of-state friends of mine don’t have a capable vehicle. They got to handle the permit lottery and such, I supply the transportation.

          If there’s bad weather, we can’t reschedule, so fingers crossed. Short of a major storm it should be okay, though – it’s down at 5200 feet (about 1600 meters) so the climate is pretty moderate in that area.

          • Well, if I and a retired old fart friend managed to drive round your area seeing death valley, zion, bryce, capitol, arches (at campsite), mesa verde, grand canyon, monument V & meteor, hoover dam then a sprightly young thing like you can manage a week in the near east, go whilst its still safe and possible!
            Much the sane applies to doing a nile cruise (the only package tour worth doing).
            PS Couldn’t quite get sedona into time available.
            The world is closing down, see it whilst you can.
            Oddly the Grand Canyon and Petra great but not amazing. Taj is amazing.

          • Farmeroz is giving a very wise advise here.

            Go travel while it is still possible.
            In a short timeframe we will be back to travelling on ocean liners again (if even that).

          • Add Glacier, Montana, Farmeroz. I would also like to see Yosemite and Lake Tahoe (“Poor Fredo”) and can dearly recommend New England in Octobre.

          • Yes, NZ is pretty good. I did October from Atlanta, smokey mountains, Myrtle, Charleston savannah, down to daytona and across to tampa and back. Crystal clear blue skies, chilly mornings warm days and Disneyworld was totally empty. Yes, pretty good,and americans I met (of all colours) were much friendlier than the standoffish brits IMHO.

          • @ Carl, @ Farmeroz,

            Seriously, what’s going on? The world is closing down? Travel will be limited to ocean liners? If y’all mean the Great Pestilence (Sars-COV-2) I’d think that ocean liners would be the worst alternative; I’ve spent a lot of time on cruise ships over the years (My preferred way to cross the Atlantic) and love them though I do, they are floating petri dishes when it comes to communicable diseases. I’ve been aboard when there’s “sick ship syndrome” due to norovirus, it wasn’t fun.

            Farmeroz, I hope you got to see the Grand Canyon from other than the rims; I’ve both hiked it (From the river at Phantom Ranch to South Rim and done a river trip (only part way on the latter) and seeing it that way is far, far better than just the rims. My favorite of the places you listed is Zion, as the hike up The Narrows is spectacular (just make sure you have an extra set of shoes for the water parts); I go to Zion a lot. I’ve traveled internationally a lot in my life, and utterly love it. (I also advise getting an international driver’s licence, saves a lot of hassle in some places, especially for people like me who loathe public transportation and thus almost always get a car). You’re in Australia, aren’t you? If so, you too have absolutely extraordinary places in your area. I’ve only been to Oz once, and absolutely loved it. And yes, when I can, I’ll take your advice regarding Jordan (though I want to see Petra too while in the area; I’m fascinated by their aqueduct system).

            @ Denaliwatch; I can absolutely join in your recommendation of Glacier National Park; Going To The Sun Road is IMHO the second most spectacular drive I’ve ever done (the first place being Glacier Parkway from Jasper to Banff in Canada). Yellowstone is superb, BUT, watch when you go; unless you go offseason, it can be crowded in places. Off-season is both cheaper and better. (though beware the park and hotel closing dates). I’d also suggest a few nearby attractions that people often haven’t heard off; Chief Joseph Highway and Bear Tooth Highway up near Cook, Montana (NE entrance to Yellowstone) and Thermopolis, Wyoming, home to a large active terrace and hot spring.

          • CJ, no I am limey. Sadly I had less than two weeks so hiking up the Zion narrows was not on and as it was the first park we went to I was astonished how many people were there (hundreds) so we left sooner than we intended. Arches was best, fewer people, great scenery and lots of longish routes. Again the long trek (I forget the name) was packed with people which rather defeated the wilderness concept so somewhat disappointed we went elsewhere.
            The world is closing down because so many places that were pretty crime free and tourist-friendly are now rather hazardous unless you are in a group. Many countries are also european-unfriendly for political reasons, not least so many despotic regimes where there is no effective fair rule of law.
            The huge increase in populations have far outstretched economic growth leading to massive levels of poverty and deprivation in many places, which will be accentuated by rising food and energy costs.
            The world is not as happy as it was in the 1960’s.

          • I was not referencing Covid, aka. The Pestilence, in regards of the upcoming lack of flying.
            Ocean Liners are though not worse than living a normal active life and going to work in regards of petri-dishing. There is ample statistics around that, if worried just avoid the all you can eat buffet. Those are always petri-dishes, both onland and at sea.

            First of all, there is no current technology that is hydrocarbon free for airplanes.
            Secondly, as civilization continues to slowly break down it will become to technically challenging to build aircraft, and ships are easier to build.

            Anyhoos, it was a tad of a joke, at least for now.

          • Farmeroz, sorry for mislocating you; I took the “oz” to mean Australia.

            I’ve visited the UK more than any other country, as I have family there, mainly in Staffordshire and Devon.

            I’ve been to a few awful (to put it as charitably as I can) places around the world. I’ve seen some of what you’re referring to, and I do see your point. There are definitely some places I’d not wish to return to. Maybe that’s what Carl meant by traveling by ocean liner – guided tours. I’ve done guided tours (such as guided shore excursions) on occasion, but in the main they aren’t my thing – I prefer getting out and about on my own. I also don’t like crowded places or cities even without the crime, so I choose my destinations with more care these days. That’s a huge part of why I always do my land tours by car, such as in Europe. I can see more of the hard-to-get-to places that I love, and as for accommodations, staying at, say, an Agritourisimo in Tuscany gets you on average far nicer accommodations, and cheaper than you’d find near a train station, and a lot less urban too. So, having a car literally pays for itself (actually, I usually come out well ahead on the deal), plus gets me to the places I want to go.

            I’m into 4-wheeling, and visit Utah a lot. For places like Zion and Arches, I make sure to go offseason. With a good 4X4, there are a massive number of places to go in Utah where crowding is no issue at all, anytime, because you’re miles and miles from pavement, and the scenery is still as good as in the national parks. I’ve done 4×4 trips in the back country many times, and not seen so much as another person or vehicle for a week.

            Still, even in my lifetime I’ve seen the effects of rising populations, with all the crime, poverty, misery and disease that causes. It’s nowhere near as bad here as many other places, but that doesn’t mean it’s not getting worse over time.

            Sorry you didn’t get to go on the hike through The Narrows into the Zion back country. I most recently did it in November. Aside from two friends I had with me, we were alone once we entered The Narrows. (For those unfamiliar, you have to hike for a ways upstream in the Virgin River because of the vertical canyon walls, and in November, it’s close to freezing).

          • CJ, I am definitely not talking about Cruise Ships and guided tours. Let us just say that those are not for me, especially the guided tours and the short port calls.

            I am talking about Ocean Liners, ie. ships that go on a scheduled route back and forth between destinations. I mean as a substitute to airliners.

            Currently there is only one such, the Cunard Queen Mary 2, it does scheduled trips from Europe to New York for about 7 months per year.
            Weirdly enough that uses less CO2 than flying (business class), costs less, and is a damn site more comfy. And to be honest I have kind of lost my will to fly, so if I can at least partially remove a few flights I am happy.

            I guess that by now Farmeroz is sucking in air to call me out on hypocrisy on travelling. 😉
            I do not travel on vacations. I only do essential business flights, I do need to inspect things on the ground, and some things just can’t be Zoomed, and my business is truly global in every sense of the word.
            I also have my family in another continent.

            Ships can be run sustainably, airplanes can’t. The hydrogensexuals can dream about running them on hydrogen, but it is just not possible at anything even remotely priceworthy or safe.
            So, I dream about the return of ever so comfy and luxurious Ocean Liners hauling my arse around in a sustainable way.

          • I just love it, Carl. Let’s raise the Titanic and the Lusitania, let’s get the beautiful Ile de France back and the Andrea Doria. You are right.
            I realized that cruises go around on the oceans, and then the passengers take short trips into countries. I studied them all. You see next to nothing. They come back and have had a glance. And I personally believe that the Penguins should be left alone.
            I would completely agree if they don’t resurrect the race for the blue ribbon and go safely or a day later or not at all (Lusitania).
            I love flying though. Few things are more exciting than being a little nervous, then hearing that beautiful motor sound, then decide to relax and fall back into the seat and enjoy the acceleration and the miracle of getting off the ground. And the film with Jimmy Stewart about Charles Lindbergh (Viking ancestors) is great. Be fair to flying. What an achievement. St. Exupéry has loved it. It inspired him to the most beautiful literature.

          • I do not mind flying as such.
            But prior to The Pestilence parking my arse for two years I had 150 travel days per year, with transits that amounted to around 100 flights per year.

            Now lunch 🙂

    • Go one up. I tend to understnd you a little. Sarcasm is the only weapon for some things. Are we nice? Basically not. Some have become nice, but not enough, and only in good times.

  18. Great article, Carl!

    To be honest, your teaser comment last week was the first I’d heard of speculation that a new Pangaea might form. I don’t know enough on this issue to have anything worthwhile to say, but I found the subject fascinating, and your argument convincing. So, thank you very much for this article, and your time invested in it since you began it in 2016.

    I was especially intrigued by the Gakkel Caldera, as I’d not heard of it before. So, I did a quick search hoping for more info, and found something; the image that comes up first for this term.
    Volcanoes are indeed ewesome. 🙂

    • That will probably annoy an inordinate amount of Russians.

      All across Russia they are celebrating Supervolcano Day, now that they can finally compete with the Imperialist Supervolcano known as Yellowstone.

      And when they fervently go to oogle images of their new hot giant arsed caldera, they get our glorious Sheepishness.
      Ewesome indeed!

      (The only paper about the Gakkel Caldera in English is linked at the end of the article…)

      • I did look at that report, and I hope there’s more research done. I’m guessing that pretty much has to be a collapse caldera, due to the 2km depth at the time.

        As for annoyed Russians, they just need to learn that volcanoes are ewesome. 🙂

        Carl, I was wondering if you had any ideas on why the blast wave from Hunga Nomore was so much stronger than Tsar Bomba at equivalent distances? A factor of four is a lot (.5-.7 millibars in New Zealand for Tsar Bomba, 2 millibars in Austria for Hunga Tonga). I know a fraction of Tsar Bomba’s yield went out as radiation (Hunga Nomore wasn’t emitting a whole lot of 11MeV neutrons, etc) but Tsar Bomba was an airburst, Hunga Tonga a groundburst, so it surprised me that Hunga Tonga was that high an amplitude compared to Tsar Bomba.

        • There are a couple of possibilities. The Tsar was an airburst, and some of the energy will have escaped into the stratosphere. That is made easier because it was at high latitude where the stratosphere is lower. The Tsar was a nuclear bomb where the energy came from heat, whereas H.T. was a phase transition explosion where the energy came from expansion. That is, it started directly as a pressure wave without energy losses, whereas for the Tsar the pressure was a side effect: much of the energy came out as heat. The total energy may have bene similar, but the Tsar wasted much of it by radiating away heat.

          • Good point, never thought of that.
            Fair few neutrons too, I wouldn;t wonder.

          • Thanks Albert!

            I hadn’t thought of the thinner atmosphere at high latitudes. That makes sense, as does Tsar Bomba being at about 13000 feet AGL, reportedly.

            Hunga Tonga both fascinates and worries me. What worries me most is there doesn’t seem to be any kind of evidence of the power of the blast that’d persist in the geologic record, and if so, we don’t really know how common such massive blasts are. Perhaps we’ve just been lucky since Krakatoa, and had a below-mean incidence. I certainly hope I’m wrong on that one.

  19. Carl, while everything seems to be moving North from Antarctica, the Scotia plate definitely isn’t. There is the subduction trench in front of the South Sandwich Is. I have visited the islands when working as an Ice Pilot on a South African ice breaker. I have a piece of lava from Southern Thule, very heavy but filled with gas bubbles. Why does the Scotia Plate not conform to the rest.

    • Thank you for that information, I was not aware of this.
      So, now we have 4 plates remaining in situ, the fourth being the Kerguelen continent.

      • No.
        Well, when you go to the map you can see very well what’s going on.
        It is a bathymetric map.
        The landmass in the Amerasiabasin is impressive and the marriage is already made in the submarine realm. One border is Alaska/Siberia, the other border is the Lomonossow Ridge. The landmass, imho, will grow, being reinforced by volcanism due to the Aleutian subduction zone, the Amerasiabasin will disappear, the Lomonossow ridge will be subareal.

        Both continents have a slight rotation towards their meeting point between Alaska and Siberia, America clockwise, Eurasia counter-clockwise.

        So, the Gakkel Spreading Zone is opening up the Eastern half to form a new ocean up there. It is therefore more or less a saviour or, more soberly seen, a balancing factor. It does what the Atlantic Ocean has done all the time from south to north, opening up new water basins while the Pacific Ocean is shrinking. It helps to not only think E-W-N-S, but put the rotation into the model. The rotation is important as otherwise the two continents couldn’t have met up there in the first place.

        • The rotation of Earth is not causing any plate tectonic movement since it is not adding any force into the equation.

          Only acceleration or retardation would add any force, right now the plates are in free fall as such.

          • It is not the rotation of Earth, of course. The rotation of plates is meant. Plates also rotate. And these two plates rotated and still do towards their meeting point. Earth’ rotation has nothing to do with it. You must think I’m stupid.

          • Thank you for clarifying this point. Yet I will tell you The human brain is like an igneous province. People might have excelled in fields, have even done plinian eruptions in school and the uni, and then they go on with else, and those cones go dormant. Which doesn’t mean though that they are extinct.
            I can see this in discussions with one of my children about biochemistry. The offspring is better.
            The human brain is very good in combining knowledge and emotion and abstraction and ideas. In one field the computer is better: Memory.
            If I went to the garage and dug out my old biochemistry book, the child would suddenly get a better discussion partner and still be better, because things change in science.

            So, nobody should be underestimated. Synapses start working when we tackle the things.

          • I was not being snippy Denali, I just did not understand what rotation you talked about. 🙂

            Lost in translation and all that, as far as I know neither of us are first language english speakers.

          • And btw, I implanted a mistake in a logical idea:
            “The North American Plate, for example, rotates counter-clockwise; the Eurasian Plate rotates clockwise.”
            Looked it up as it seemed more logical.
            Should also create second thoughts about the Snake River Plain+yst and shear zones.

          • As to the YST Plume I will give you some more reasoning, just in case you want to consider the not too unlogical point.
            I assume that the American plate moves west with a North tilt, and I think it is established that it rotates counter-clockwise. Let me propose that the plume was first further north then under the largest part of the Columbia Flood River Basalt. The Snake River Volcanoes can possibly be explained with plate rotation and stress.

            In the oceans, we see neet volcanoes aligned. On continents however we see plume traces like the Deccan Traps or CAMP. Another example: If Cameroon still hosts a plume, the trace must be on the continent as the African plate is moving NNW. And in fact – no matter if the plume is still extant – there are traces and also small flood basalts between Cameroon and the interior of Africa. The timing fits more or less.

          • The only one who has done any research in regards of Mt Fako is pretty much Me, Myself & I et al.
            This is largely the problem with Africa, very little research is being done. And what is done is mainly done by people who is doing it on their spare time while being paid to do other research.

  20. Looks like Kilauea is in true lava lake mode now, the episodic behavior has stopped, now the lake is flowing continuously. Not sure what the total rate of filling is but there is a sustained lava rapid where the lava enters the lake now. The cone also collapsed, it might turn into a deep convecting conduit in the near future.

    SO2 seems to be high too, the lava in the lake is very gas rich. Usually that is a sign of high effusion rate, this isnt going to stop any time soon.

    • Kilaūea haves an insane magma supply now .. so its not strange
      There not been any huge deflation dips either the recent week. Is this the Pahala sourge of magma thats arriving?

      Kilauea is an insane beast of a volcano, thats for soure

      • I think if there was a big surge of deep magma there would be obvious ground deformation, wide inflation that is not mirrored in the tilt. But then the recent deep LP quake swarm might have been the clearing of a conduit from that depth to the surface, so there could be unobstructed flow of magma, and no ground deformation.

        If that is the case we wont see a lava flood or fast eruption, but this will probably turn into a shield, the sort of thing we all wished Fagradalshraun would become. The lava lake crust seems to be getting very thick, it is rising as a single unit still but increasingly rising from direct overflows more than inflation. Maybe in a years time the lake will be more like a shallow magma chamber with multiple effusive vents on top, like Pu’u O’o sometimes looked except bigger.

        Maybe if the vent confines enough and pressure can build better we might see fountaining. Observatory shield final eruptions, probably within a month of its demise, was a series of high effusion lava floods, the last from Cone Peak sending lava 14 km away, was not only a slow pahoehoe shield. Mauna Ulu was the same near its end.

  21. Volcanocafe is a fantastic platform ..
    Its here where the real geological and volcanological discussions can take place ..

    Im competely done with facebook groups and sharing stuff: it gives nothing really. Thats why
    I have deleted almost all of my social post content from crapbook.

    Im still working on my post for Volcanocafe Blog: about Nyiragongo and its peculiarities.
    I have been with VC for so long now, that its time for my own post

    • I have never had FB, Jesper. When it appeared my children were small. School invited a polceman who was specialized in child-p. Whoever draw the right conclusions from the evening knew that some companies’ morals were low. None of us used FB. It was hard to get the kids into abstinence as “everybody” used it. One of our standard sentences was: You don’t want to be everybody.
      Later I was just stunned how they cut into free speech, but allowed videos of beheadings. Money and morals is two things.

      • Denaliwatch, you are not alone regarding Facebook. I’ve never had it, for a ton of reasons, including what you mention.

        I’m also fond of pointing out that on such platforms, you aren’t the customer, you’re the product.

        • I’m writing this here as the other thread is getting sort of long. Thank you for your nice advice concerning the National Parks. I designed a nice tour (without Grand Canyon), and then came Covid.

    • I will still have my Account.. just not going to bother with the cyber – community so so much, I have tired

      I know How FB works now .. so better for me to just be quiet as a mouse on FB

      • You are very much loved and appreciated on VC which is important in bleak old North Sweden.
        One question: When you look at a map of Big Island you can see a row of submarines volcanoes in the west, north-west of Loih’i. They are arranged in an oval form. The middle looks like a caldera because of the shape. Do you know whether there is any research about that sumarine region at all? The shape can also be accidental, besides there are huge amounts of sediment around Big Island.

    • Can’t wait for it Jesper. You’re a wealth of interesting knowledge and ideas.

    Can’t get the pdf for it because I either have to log in or buy it (either I am not gonna do) but according to this, the hypothetical Younger Dryas impact caused a massive firestorm that later lengthened the Ice Age…
    Never read the paper yet, but it just caught my eye on the news and thought this would be interesting.
    Complete bullish or something?

  23. Regarding that tech IT site with some volcano stories that I asked about, earlier: Found it:

    I knew I had seen that page when not yet interested in volcanoes, and I had found it a funny coincidence being mentioned on VC, in relation to some volcanic articles.
    I don’t know any other tech site mentioning a volcano, other than maybe The Verge when the Tonga cable broke.

    @Denaliwatch: Yes, my question was bordering absolute OT, but even if I had thought about posting it at the VC bar, I likely wouldn’t have obeyed since none appears to be there these days… (citation needed)

  24. Interesting news, Carl.

    I was not aware of the Faecesbook shenanigans. Some people get way too big for their boots and pride nearly always precedes a catastrophic fall. It would appear Zuckerberg has lost view of the fact he relies on people subscribing to his platform. To be honest, I never liked the guy or his impossible-to-understand software platform anyway. I shall watch with interest.

    Volcanoes are much easier to get along with!

  25. Sudden swarm at Borgarfjall (just north of the coastal road). Actually not that deep and quite strong. An artefact? A joke by IMO? Supernatural reasons?

    • Probably just residual seismic release after the eruption.
      Very little seismic release compared to what the area can do when things are moving.

      In other words, the corpse is twitching slightly. 🙂

    • No, numbers are station codes. I have to look for the right map and article. Was indeed hard to find, hope I saved it.

    • I am well aware of the paper since I signed off on the cost for the seismic deployment.
      We used the data to look for the possibility to build a geothermal plant there, and gave the data away to a reserch team.
      In the end the company I used to work for decided to not build anything (as per usual).
      It was though very nice to climb an assorted amount of volcanoes in Cameroon.
      Mt Fako is obviously one of the most aweinspiring volcanoes on the planet.

  26. Art. Emi Koussi Volcano (left) and Aorounga Impact Crater, Chad, Africa:

    wikimedia commons

    • Nice. Does anyone know what caused what appears to be concentric arcs on the right side of the picture? I’m guessing they are related to Emi Koussi and the other volcanos behind it, but that is just a guess. Wind erosion of lava?

      • Probably Arounga impact crater. If not, Albert will correct it, I’m sure.

  27. There was a new swarm at Fargradalsfjall today . I just mention it

  28. This is where VolcanoCafe gets surreal for me. I (as User:Gilgamesh) wrote Wikipedia’s article for Gakkel Ridge Caldera, based on an article I found at Nature. But I can no longer remember…where I first heard of this caldera, that I stumbled onto that Nature article in the first place. Was it in some random geology Google search? Or did I first hear about it in an earlier post at VolcanoCafe?

    • I can answer your question.
      I found the article in nature when it came out, but never wrote about it until now.
      But, last week as I wrote this article I found the Wiki entry. 🙂

      So, it is shared surreality of coincidence.

    • It probably was here, as Andy wrote about it in a comment on 19 jan, and linked to the Nature paper. (He had mentioned it earlier as well, one or two years ago.) Carl though seems to have come to independently.

      • Blimey, we are really surrealing now 🙂

        To make it truly surreal, one of the authors is a VC member over at FB.

        • So I probably did hear about Gakkel Ridge Caldera here first. Quite an interesting find. I regret not writing the Wikipedia article to be more detailed, but I focused on writing a stub and making sure it had at least one reliable reference, though Wikipedia usually frowns on one-reference-only articles.

          So did I read correctly that the caldera was under 2km of water when it erupted, but is under 4.8km of water now, 1.1m years later? The caldera also looks surprisingly caldera-shaped for such a structure directly on a spreading center. Are that and the subsidence related? Like, the plates pulling apart but not generating as much new crust in their wake, so existing crust sinks instead?

          I also wonder if the caldera is still a potentially active volcano. 1.1m years is a long time for a volcano, but supervolcanoes tend to have longer lifespans and longer intervals between VEI-8 eruptions, don’t they?

          • It seems like the spread center jumper around the caldera after the eruption, I do not know why, I have never heard of anything similar happening at another large caldera volcano.
            But then I have never heard of a Oceanic Spreading Ridge VEI-8 volcano either before.

            Since the spread center has moved outside it should be dead as a doorknob. I think the risk is more that there could be a similar monster building up nearby.

            Some large calderas are almost monogenetic and have only one big eruption, others have varying degrees of repose time between the big ones, it all depends on the rate of influx.
            Just as an example, the turnaround time for the supervolcanoes of the Altiplano-Puna Volcanic Complex is 2 to 2.2 million years with one or more of them going off per cycle.

          • In one of the papers that I linked up there, there is an extremely wise passage about the Arctic Ocean: Full of ice, hard to do research, lots of sediment, not enough knowledge. This allows some speculation. Who knows whether it is a caldera. Maybe it is an impact site. to the difficulty of doing research for the named reasons I would like to add a bit of submarine traffic.

  29. Hey there. The fad tremor has hit 5000 and still climbing. Not a lot of earthquake noise other than a tiny swarm this afternoon. Do we think the magma is trying to surface again?

  30. Hey there. The fad tremor has hit 5000 and still climbing. Not a lot of earthquake noise other than a tiny swarm this afternoon. Do we think the magma is trying to surface again?

    Sorry repeat post as accidently posted it as a reply on an earlier comment

  31. A fairly wide ranging thread prompts me to enquire of the new Himalaya. With the Australian plate bulldozing all before it to the north, rumour has it that the islands and archipelagos which abound in those parts will one day rise to great heights. Uplift in some areas is quite rapid, given evidence of old shorelines now well above sea level.

    • I expect that Indonesia will put a stop to it before Hymalesia develops. Australia is a very large boat with 18 million climate refugees. Indonesia will send it back.

      • Which is a good thing, otherwise the rest of the planets residents would become “Australian Wild Life Refugees” on Antarctica.

        • They already have our two most dangerous terrestrial animals, crocs and elapid snakes. So its already too late 🙂

          We havent got a big game hunting apex predator yet though, we ourselves held that niche for many millennia until the early 19th century. Need something to hunt all the new megafauna introduced, some tigers would do nicely. I think our feral cats are trying their best, failing that we get megalania V2.0, or both if we are lucky 🙂

          • I am not worried about Australian animals. They may be poisonous to the extreme, they are no very hardy. I don’t think they would last ten minutes on the African savannah. I remember when I was out running in the outback, and a group of kangaroos overtook me, running away as fast as they could from whatever I was running away from. Plants is a different matter. Any Australian plant is capable of taking over the world. I think their animals are so vicious because they have to defend themselves against the plants.

          • You are forgetting all those snakes, spiders and other horrendous thingamabobs. They are quite hardy.

            And then you have the deathmurderbirdmatron named Casual, and they say that dinosaurs are extinct… brrrr…

          • I took one imported toad to show us how fragile even the most horrendous australian thingamabobs are

          • The best cat is a flat cat.

            I see, that people can now identify as cats. They had best take care in these parts as cat specific pellets are being air dropped in the outback
            to limit the ravages of puss.

          • Depends on the animal Albert. Quite some native animals are proving very resilient, kangaroos are the best example I think, I woudl expect they woudl actually thrive in a post-isolation world where they can migrate into Asia, theu dont seem to be affected by the recent introduction of large ungulates into their environment at all. same for the emu, they will not be goign extinct at the hands of any introduced competition, or really anything short of us nuking the place really, as im sure you all know about the Emu War…

            It is mostly smaller native animals that are really under threat, they are the vast majority so it is indeed very significant as a percentage, but it is very much a myth that all endemic Australian wildflife is at the end of the line.

            Something that is rather frightening about Australian Elapidae is that their venom attacks the nervous system of most mammals in suc ha way that it is inpossible for a real resistance to be evolved naturally. This occurred only once, in their common ancestor. That common ancestor was also the ancestor of sea snakes, in fact some calssifications include all the Australian terrestrial elapids as part of the Hydrophiinae subfamily alongside sea snakes. It is also very widely reported that Australian snakes are very agressive, though depending on who you ask it seems no one can actually agree on which species is the agressive one, either eastern brown or tiger snake.

      • Okay. You wouldn’t exclude the development of a spreading ridge?

    • Some of the islands right north of Australia are actually sedimentary fold mountains and not volcanic, the mountain range has already begun to form. It will be very interesting for a while, orogenic belt but with a number of very deep ocean basins within, possibly even landlocked, which could dee the water level receed by a huge amount even drying completely to leave dry land as deep as the abyssal plain, like the Mediterranean in the Pliocene but even deeper. Probably also quite some residual volcanism for along time, or even active subduction in parts. Might be a bit of a combination between the Himalayas and the Andes, so maybe quite the supervolcano factory.

      One could also consider Papua to be a much more advanced part of this process already well underway since the mid Cenozoic, the front edge of the continent. Mt Lamington is also on main island Papua so actually there are historic volcanoes on every continent after all.

      • Australia in relation to the mountain chain up north is different from the Andes. It is more similar to India, and it is very probable that India had its own island arc in front before pushing in. The Andes have no continent in the West, but an oceanic plate instead. And a spreading ridge.
        With the mountains you are probably right. There will first be a closer active margin all around China and an orogeny. The question is what the Baikal Rift will do. Will the Baikal Rift obliterate or open up.?
        I certainly don’t like the talk about Pangaea as Pangaea was a collision in the middle and must have been a very ugly habitat. What we see being build up is a new Laurasia with basically India and Australia being added, transferred from south to north.
        Japan is travelling east, but might change direction. New Zealand is a continent, split up into two parts. The southern part is sitting on the Pacific Plate, very interesting situation. This means basically that the southern part of Zealandia might travel east and stay close to Antarctica.
        When everything is travelling south again, we won’t exist any more. But for whoever exists I just hope they don’t all take the same highway like before. It must have been like on M 25 around 6 pm. There is no alternative to M25 though.

    • Not bad. The old transpangaean mountain range had a width of 1000 km. It was in the middle though. This future structure – imho – will be a new Laurasia though. The mountain range is not centred in the middle.
      I am not buying into a new Pangaea. It is a different structure too. Tethys was horizontal. Today next to everything is vertical, best seen in the spreading ridges. Nice highways. Nice job, Earth. I am giving it an element of amelioration, it is too logical to be accidental.

  32. Denaliwatch

    You say the bigger ones appear every 30-50 mya. While I do think there’s some possibility that the YD impact hypothesis might turn out to be correct, how to define “bigger”. If there was a asteroid impact or multiple asteroid impact or comet impact, i don’t think it is going to be the same size as the Chixculub impact or even one tenth of it, and secondly… Chixculub impact had a lot more time to erode evidence than the YD impact. The only thing that could erode our evidence is that it wasn’t really one impact, but seems to an impact that could have broken apart already with some evidence in the icecap layer of Greenland perhaps.

    Even Popigai/Chesapake Bay Impact seems to have been a lot larger.

    If we consider that we should be lucky because we just had the YD impact. Consider this. How lucky would you think you would have been in 537AD? Oh we just got a major volcanic eruption, a few years later… Bang, second one. While it is possible the VEI of these eruptions might have less than one would assume (because one eruption could have been effusive), or because we don’t know the nature of those eruptions fully, it is a scientific error to think in timescales, especially for something like asteroid impacts.

    Statistically everything will have an average but asteroid impacts are probably going to be “very random”, except for that there was more material out there in the earlier universe leading to more impact events. But aside of that – and assuming we wouldn’t have discovered them – it is possible to have a Chixculub impact TOMORROW, and after that another Chixculub impact at the end of the week. Totally possible (likely they would be linked if happening on such a short timescale, we would have discovered them by now and statistically are almost zero, even for a chixculub impact), but statistically 65 million years ago, the chances the dinosaurs would experience a chixculub impact a day later would also have been a zero, especially from the perspective of the life of a dinosaur.

    • And yet it happened.

      Long story short, unless proven otherwise, there’s no such thing as “overdue”, “it just happened” and so on. Weather/climate has no memory, so does our Earth or at least it is not conscious of it, only we can find out about the memory by research, and so does the solar system. If in 2022 the largest hurricane ever recorded takes place, it is entirely possible that later in the year there would be even a larger hurricane (people would look at climate chage), but the weather has no memory. It can have drivers that explain things. Magma chambers have to recharge as well and build up (although one can assume it has to be recharged while only a fraction is emptied and it could soon ready for another explosion).

      My point is, in general this is not a good kind of reasoning because nature doesn’t think in that way it can have drivers and cycles.and so on, but there’s no such thing as “we are good because it just happened”, or “DOOMSDAY will arrive in the other case”. That’s not how it works. Nature doesn’t think in a concept of time, we do.

      • It is basically all correct what you are saying. Yet there seem to be rules in the Cosmos. There is an undeniable logic in everything happening on earth (and up there) in the sense of production and recycling and plate movement. Even if we understood it completely we still wouldn’t know where an obstacle occurs, magma collects and a volcano erupts. We can only measure seismicity and get close to knowing it.
        That’s why we use statistics. And, of course, 2 plus 18 adds up to 20 like 10 plus 10. But NASA is helpful and can now look so far and also observe the asteroid belt that we know we won’t have a meteorite impact right now. So we have basically three columns, historical knowledge, measurements and stastitics, and one day they might be able to split bigger meteorites on time.

      • I think we are running into the age old philosophical question here; Is the Universe deterministic and mechanistic, or is it (at least partially) chaotic in nature?

        It is definitely mechanistic in regards of volcanoes, if we know enough about volcano X, enough known factors Y will make it possible to accurately forecast eruption Z.
        Problem is that the larger we make the system and the larger number of subsystems we include, the harder it seems to solve things in a deterministic fashion, and the more fruitful a probabilistic approach becomes.

        Question here is if it is our lacking capabilities that makes it probabilistic, or if it truly is probabilistic? Would it become deterministic with enough knowledge and computational power?

        Thankfully we know that if the Universe was a universal computer the size of the Universe it could not calculate itself computationally. Turns out the question is more to accurately calculate at what size of Universe subset it goes from deterministic to probabilistic.

        Previously it was believed that the boundary was at the Three-body Problem, but that has now been solved. So far nobody have solved (as far as I know) an n-Body Problem that is 4 or larger.

        Determinism also breaks down in Quantum Theory, but with the same basic questions as up above.

        Personally I lean towards the Universe and Quantum Theory being both Determistic and Probabilistic in nature, at the same time and in every possible Universe.

        • Considering only Earth it seems to be at least very logical. Maybe it is logical altogether, the whole Universum, then the Chaos theory would fall. Logics wouldn’t mean that there are no accidents which means that chaos can inhabit any logical system. Lets say that plate tectonics is as logical as few things, but when rocks collide there is an accident, mostly an earthquake or a volcanic eruption. Yet there are logics in the way things move.
          The same might apply for the Universe. We are not that stupid. But one thing is disturbing in every single field. I’ll say it in German:
          Die Wissenschaft, die ist und bleibt,
          was einer ab vom andern schreibt.
          Translation: Scientists copy a lot from each other. Scientists instead have to put everything into question all the time with their own capability of thinking and ask themselves: Can this be different? Are there more explanations? The copying without a thinking process makes it stupid. The habit of having to issue six papers a year is just as stupid because of time. Thinking needs time, and one thorough paper would be better than six. So, papers are often done by young people, PhD, and signed off. Young people have ideas, but a lack of experience and also haven’t read as much.
          So, it’s not bad, but it has barriers and obstacles. Look down your page what FB does to the British Medical Journal. You think those people there are qualified? I don’t think so. It’s politics. As soon as politics meddle with science, science becomes endangered. Do you think that there is any single politician in this world who could cook up the Penrose steps? He wouldn’t be a politician if he could.

          If it is logic from a to z is it deterministic? I cannot answer this.

          • In regards of FB, it is not humans doing the fact checking. It is computer algorithms. And that is the problem of FB.
            They have relied on algorithms to solve ever more complex and changes, and that has been done on an ever expanding system that in and of itself has changed.
            Basically they have lost control, and chaos is rapidly setting in with ever weirder results.
            I am not against FB as such, it has/had many benefits. But, over the last couple of years the “chaos-factor” has increased exponentially. And the mental faculties in the leadership seems to have deteriorated at the same time and to the same degree.

          • The BMJ situation is not algorithmic. It’s humans. It’s extremely arrogant humans who think that their politics make them better at doing science than trained scientists. It’s precisely the same phenomenon which sees jumped-up celebrities pontificating about subjects they know nothing about and thinking their screeds are valid.

            After all algorithms don’t write the extremely offensive tweets that have been made by the “fact checkers” about the BMJ. The “fact checkers” are arrogant, ignorant and in many cases demonstrably stupid. Unfortunately they have a huge amount of power and they are using it to censor. They also censor in a politically-biased manner.

            They are a living illustration of why freedom of speech is so important.

          • Thank you, David. They can ruin the world of wisdom. And I think this is terrible. And what you are saying about the hollow Hollywood puppets is mostly true as well.

          • I was not aware of any offensive twats from actual physical people. All I was aware of was the automated part.
            I do not use Twatter myself, so I sometimes miss things like this.

            Could you link to one?

          • I hapen to have a book by Jacques Burzon called: “From Dawn to Decadence”. It starts in 1500.
            Decadence is the right expression if we replace the church with other Gods called Silicon Valley, Hollywood, Zuckerberg or FB, people who tell us what to think about and what not. And concerning Trudeau he’s only a puppet. Besides he is like Louis XVI having everything inherited from his father, but no decent capabilities.
            We have everything to restart into dawn again. We hopefully have some Galilei. It cannot be that arrogance combined with algorithms tells people what they are allowed to think and do research on. It cannot be that scientists produce results and arrogance says: Throw it away, It doesn’t fit the narrative. That’s like doing a row of 50 experiments and throwing 10 out because they don’t fit. And it would get us into medieval times in the long run. Money would run out to do important things. Important things: Deviating a meteorite or even getting Earth further away from the sun one day. Nothing is unthinkable. But the human brain and its capabilities have to be free.


            That little exchange. They falsely accuse an author of a BMJ piece of having the article published on an anti-vax site.

            “Is @thackerpd
            really OK with being listed as an author on

            Or does he object to it?

            The answer will probably reveal a lot.”

            They then make it very clear that they didn’t even bother to check whether the reproduction was authorised (it wasn’t). The answer the author gave wasn’t the most polite, but when the “fact checkers” can’t even be bothered to do the most basic of research (let alone actually bother to even purport to do their “job” correctly) it’s perfectly understandable that the author was blunt, rude and very dismissive of them.

      • Let me give you an example: Statistics say that the Cascadia fault can become active from now on, but it can also happen in 300 years. So, statistics is good for some planning. If it happens in 200 or 300 years, the better. In between there is ample time to change some things. I don’t know whether they could take the highways back inland though (the bridges over Puget Sound would come down, is thought). What they can certainly do is building new schools and also care homes on safe ground further up. Hopefully, they have ample time to do that. But statitics is good for telling them that they have to change some things.
        The worst people can do was done in Managua. They reconstructed the city in exactly the same place. Sometimes I think politicians should be liable, but then we wouldn’t have any politicians any more.
        Against meteorites we only have research and progress in research. The only thing that can be done is splitting them up as nobody knows where they would come down. Chixculub came down in the worst place for the Dinosaurs and the best place for the mammal. Sometimes I think that Jupiter had had enough of the reptilian cannibals, but this is just a phantasy.

        • Splitting them is not the best option, you have basically just divided up a bullet into a shotgun shot, and that will release more energy than the single bullet would.

          Better to find them far out and nudge them into a better trajectory. A near miss is a good thing. We do have the technology to do this already, but researchers need more money for finding all of them in time.

        • The one thing all crises have in common is that they are perfectly predictable in hindsight

          • 😉

            I’ve read once that Kaiser Wilhelm II thought the British would side with Germany. France would have lost quickly, and the Second WW might not have happened.
            So, the British are the guilty guys. Just kidding.

          • I always blame the Norwegian Ski-team for exactly everything in life.
            Nobody, including Marit Björgen, has come up with a good counter argument against this.

          • That is so funny, Carl. I have to copy it and use the Austrian Ski Team instead.

    • The meteorite bombardment phases of the solar system probably gsoe in cycles as we orbit the galaxy , and as local gravitational changes and matter density varies during that changing orbit. It certainly wont be random.

  33. More rifting Icelandic goodness. With a freshly minted graben! What’s not to like?

    As tectonic plates pull apart, what drives the formation of rifts? (, 7 Feb)

    The new study was published in November 2021. It describes how a trench-like structure called a rift-graben opened in 2014 in Iceland near what is now known as the Holuhraun lava field, in a region that straddles the tectonic boundary between the North American and Eurasian plates. A graben forms when a chunk of land sags downward as the land on both sides of it moves away, creating a chasm called a rift.

    The team concluded that in this particular case, the slow drift of tectonic plates, and not pressure from a magma chamber along the rift, was the driver.

    The graben formed within a period of a few days, and then, “it just stayed like that, and it didn’t care about anything else that happened in the magmatic plumbing system,” Kolzenburg says. “The graben was remarkably stable even though lots of dynamic processes were happening underneath, such as pressure changes in the magmatic feeder system of the eruption.”

    It was fun at the time to watch on IMO’s earthquakes page the dike extend itself from Bárðarbunga to the exit site.

  34. I am probably one of the few that hasn’t a clue how Discord organises itself. It seems completely bizarre to me.
    I access a number of servers on it. But the structure, method of entries and the look of it is just…weird.

    • Discord is highly unlikely in our case, so no reason to panic. 🙂
      We will though make a few changes in here instead.

      What we may need is a replacement for Facebook and the crowd over there.

  35. A most excellent article, Dr. Carl. And, excellent reference links to the Nature articles about the Gakkel Ridge and the Gakkel Caldera.

    Along with being an amateur scientist, and a retired advertising salesperson and airline customer service agent, I am also a singer-songwriter. I have been playing around with the Voluspa, trying to come up with a tune for the text. So far, I haven’t come up with anything to fit the Voluspa’s unique rhythm and meter. I was hoping to come up with something catchy, something that the orchestra can play when you are accepting your Nobel Prize, or something that you can hum while you are writing your next article for Volcano Cafe. I can keep working on it, if you wish.

    Now, a word of encouragement to Jesper. I am looking forward to reading your article about Nyiragongo. To the city of Goma, DRC, that volcano is nature’s version of the neighborhood kid who visits your house daily and trashes it. Nyiragongo’s lava has chased Goma’s residents, buried their homes, killed fish in Lake Kivu, and the 2002 eruption flooded the Goma airport and shortened the usable length of the runway, contributing to several deadly plane crashes. (Then again, the local flyers’ usage of ancient Soviet-built Antonov turboprops hasn’t helped that!)

    • In defence of Goma, the land there is among the most fertile on the planet. Volcanoes taketh, and volcanoes giveth.
      It was though a tad surprising having the runway cut short… I was there just prior to the eruption, and just after. First time around I did not use the runway to land since I jumped in, but I left on a long nice runway. Next time we landed, and it was no sinecure. To get up we had to use the booster-rockets on the plane.
      It was interesting times.

  36. Carl

    if you go on with this I suggest to tackle the interesting question of the possibility of a spreading ridge opening up in the western Mediterranian.
    I read once that the Iberian Plate might have broken off the African Plate, but honestly, I don’t know if this is correct. If it is, it will tend to move away. North, of course. Then Queen Elizabeth I and the Armada would collide, can build up an invincible Navy together 😉

    • Concerning plumes I am glad I got into the discussion with you about certain persons as it made me think by myself. And I got to the following conclusions so far. Plumes leave traces on the Pacific, and the Pacific Plate is travelling nicely into one direction since around 40 Ma.
      On the continents though they might have created flood basalts.
      The India trace is different as India didn’t drag the plume along. Instead it opened up a spreading ridge and erupted there and left traces, of course, of its former host underneath.
      Iceland doesn’t need an alignment. The plume was sitting there and opened up the MAR, Ireland, Scotland, Norway and Greenland travelled in different directions. The plume became either extinct or dormant. One day Iceland popped up. So, that is very different from Hawai’i.
      So, I got to the conclusion, altogether, that it might be silly to expect the signs from the Pacific Ocean elsewhere. Even the magma composition might be different, but this wouldn’t be the case if it is a true and veritable mantle plume. So, this Breddam paper is in fact precious.

  37. Message from the Owner!

    In regards of Meta and the deteriorating mental state of Zuckerberg.

    As most of you know by now Meta (Facebook etcetera) tanked 50 percent in value last week.
    This has led the petulent child known as Mark Zucky Zuckerberg to challenge the European Data Privacy Protection Laws.
    He is threatening to pull out Facebook and Instagram from the EU, and from all EU-citizens, if the EU do not comply to his demands.
    And since the answer to this most cunning plan was “Sod off Baldrick!”, there is a risk that he will try to follow through on his threat.

    Since most of the Admins over at Facebook Volcanocafé are European that would create a huge problem in regards of moderation and administration there.

    Thankfully we are an international community, so to safeguard access for our readers outside of the EU we have appointed two Admins from the US; Jonet Greene and Spike Page.
    So, no need to worry if you are from outside of the Eureopan Union, well until the European Union fines them for all of the minute remaining worth of Meta Corporation.

    What will most probably happen is that the Board of Directors will fire Zucky, so we are just prepairing for a worst case scenario.

    In the long run the other daily news might be more bothersome of course as Alphabet/Google and Pricerunner/Klarna duke it out in the largest and most costly legal beef in history. If google looses (which is likely), we who write here might have to go back to library index-card searches.

    Anyway, whatever happens we will remain, and we are on a server structure fully controled by us.
    So, rest assured that the Volcanocafé Site is here to stay, now and in the future. And we will find new and innovative ways to interact with you, our beloved readers.


    (No, you are not going crazy, I have really written this 24 hours in the future to pin the post at the bottom)

    • You tell him Carl! Have you thought about setting up a discord server for VC?

    • He’s definitely a Terminator, or a Replicant, or something insidious. Bloke makes my skin crawl. He’s probably got some oddball reading this and filing it away byte by byte as I type, the same for everyone else.

      What will eventually happen is we will have a dual society, one of Facebook and CNN News and so forth and one that people go to to stay away from control freak privacy laws and news propaganda garbage. In fact this is already happening, I don’t get my ‘news’ from the tabloids or the TV anymore and I got rid of Facey Bee a couple of years back.

      It’s no wonder people turn to nutters like Joe Rogan, mix of loud opinion with the occasional truth and mostly conspiracy nonsense is now seen as preferable to Fox News and the Beeb.

      He can take them away from Europe, everyone will just end up going somewhere else.

      • Apologies, went on a bit of a rant.
        Move this to the bar if you like!

    • I don’t understand the linkage between VC and FB, but I am nevertheless grateful that you are taking proactive measures for North American members such as myself. In the short time I’ve been a member I’ve become quite fond of the quirky VC community. You have, quite literally, given me many insights into how this crazy world of ours works.

      Thank you.

        • Concerning a highly trained University Professor and an equally highly trained Geothermal Specialist with a full calendar would also add patience and – very unusual – an interest in what the readers think.

        • Oh, quirky is one of the highest compliments I can give someone. I’d much rather be around quirky people than the alternative. I’ve got more than a few quirks myself.

          I have felt most welcome here at VC, which is a testament to how friendly the folks are.

        • Qiurky sounds terrible in German: schrullig. I don’t think we are schrullig here. Lively. We have ideas, people are also observant. Carl predicted Fagra, Héctor predicted Cumbre Vieja. Lots of people add observance of seismicity. I’m more into history, also geological history. Chad knows huge amounts about Paleontology, Jesper about Petrochmistry, Craig about wheather and so on. It is a lively mixture. In Dutch it is eigenzinnig though. Eigenzinnig fits very well. Maybe the German translation is just plain stupid. German has eigensinnig too.

    • I keep away from things like facebook, but what’s that to do with VC?

      • As I understand, they discuss admin matters/measures in a private FB group chat.

      • There’s a VC group on Facebook, which does get a decent bit of traffic, with almost 4500 members. And this issue which has arisen may well affect that part of VC in the future.

      • We exist in 3 forms.
        1. Here
        2. Facebook Group that is highly active
        3. Twitter

        Each place have their own unique users, and some interact everywhere 🙂 And all 3 platforms are interconnected and sharing material.

        We might in the end have to do something to safeguard access for the Facebookians… Mastodon or Discord or something. We will see what happens.

        • I like discord because it means we can discuss the different eruptions going on in different channels without getting lost in all the other chat. It is probably one of the best platforms around.

          • Sounds like usenet as was. Well threaded but could get horribly tangled into megathreads.

    • I hope he goes through with it, i want to get rid of facebook.

      There are other ways where VC can continue, i would join a discord server. I don’t have FB tho and won’t join.

      • Same for me. Facebook is not an option but would happily contribute to Discord group. Also happy to volunteer time to support admin in Discord.

    • Apparently today FB or whatever it is called this hour has taken upon itself the responsibility of “fact checking” the British Medical Journal…….I kid you not.

      • They do this kind of stuff all the time. Idiots tell doctors what to believe. Belive, not research.

      • What I find interesting is that the Devteam at Meta have lost control of their own algorithms in their own code…
        It started to happen around the same time that MZ started to compete with Jarred Kushner about being the most plastic-skinned creepy-doll on the planet.

        In other FB-news.
        Longtime board-member and original financer Peter Thiel left the board of directors yesterday. The rats are leaving the ship. Nota Bene, Thiel is a downright anus, but that is my personal opinion.

        • Whatever Thiel is he might be the fall guy. There’s always a fall guy.

      • I guess Zuckerberg haves a whole staff of armed lifeguards following him .. and his home is undeground and as safe as a nuclear bunker .. not even Tsar Bomba woud kill him there inside

        He is one of the most liked and at same time one of the very most disliked persons in the world .. must be a tough life to be the FB boss

        • He is one-sided with a focal intelligence. Therefore he is lacking of basic understanding for humanity. He is about the opposite of Elon Musk. Elon is broad. Broad and bright. Elon, btw., supported the Canadian truckers, FB did the opposite.

          • Elon har lost it about as much as Zucky, supporting those truckers being another sign of it.
            And even calling them truckers is anathema, very few are real truckers, most of them are just there to cause chaos and mayhem. It is also good to note that the Union of truckers in Canada is opposed to it, they are instead hauling goods as never before.

            Elon also wants to get rid of all truckers, so using him as a good example is a tad much I think.

          • at least the truckers are not looting or burning. They appear to be conducting a peaceful protest, unlike other “protests” of late

          • The local Police seem to not agree upon this…

            Anyway, lunch…

          • Trudeau is the root cause of the current Canadian problems. His violation of basic human rights concerning medical consent is the trigger. This is a very unpleasant situation and treat it in the arrogant way that Trudeau has been and you really do risk civil war.

            How would the Trudeau government like deliveries to Ottawa cut off? That’s the way things are heading if they continue down the current path. If no truckers deliver anything to Ottawa then Trudeau ends up with a far bigger problem than he currently has. Even a significant percentage refusing to deliver to Ottawa will cause massive problems for that city.

            Then we have the attempted theft of millions by Gofundme. Another tone-deaf and immensely foolish thing to do.

            Musk has his problems. No doubt about that. His achievements for the good of humanity are vast in comparison to almost anyone else currently alive. He may not achieve what he said he would on the original timetable, but he does tend to actually achieve it. Compare him to Zuckerberg and the gulf is huge. Zuckerberg has a history of achievements to the detriment of humanity. He also holds far too much power for one person.

          • i am very worried about Musk’s starlink. It is a recipe for disaster. There is a thin line between being ambitious and being reckless.

          • I am leaving politics out of it, I just note that Trudeau is lawfully elected, and can be elected out if the Canadians themselves wishes to do so.

            I do though have opinions about Musk.
            Tesla has done a lot of good, I do agree about that, but I do not agree with the Union-crushing part of his business. My only opinion about the cars themselves is that I do not like the interface and the lack of a front facing spedometer.

            The part of his business that I take umbrage against is the launch business for it using wasteful technology developed 70 years ago.
            But, the worst thing he has ever done is his infernal internet-satellite business that will kill off space travel completely as the badly controlled satellites collide with other satellites and each other, this will create a cloud of small parts that in turn will impact more things and so on and on.
            It also completely destroys the night time view…

          • Elon might make mistakes. Yet he is a broad-minded person and has enough money and influence to not be smeared.
            Smear campaigns, also started on Twitter and FB, always have the same content:
            1. Something with abuse, a woman who keeps her little stained dress like Monica can be found. Or a woman in Sweden who has agreed to one penetration, but not two (Assange). This is ridiculous.
            2. Some far away ancestors who had something to do with colonialism and slavery, comfortable. In Nazi-Germany this thing was called “Sippenhaft” (liability of all the members of a family for the crimes of one member).
            3. Something with right-wing, absolutely stretchable.
            4. If nothing is found, ignored into obliviance.
            This can’t go on for mainly one reason: It is close to fascism.
            And it is a menace to 1.) Science, 2.) Free Speech, 3.) Arts, 4.) Freedom in general. It’s very serious. Believe me. I have studied 1933-1945 very well. Fascism has nothing to do with anti-Semitism, it is two different things.

          • “Or a woman in Sweden who has agreed to one penetration, but not two (Assange).”

            Pure and utter bullshit, the woman in question was one of my employees and I know very well what happened.
            Assange is a feckin’ rapist. End of that discussion.

          • I don’t know if Assange is a rapist or not. What I do know is that it is perfectly reasonsable to extradite him to face the charges. His behaviour certainly makes me think it’s more likely he’s guilty.

            Regarding Space X, I’m not sure what other technology you want him to use to launch things? Pray tell what else can send things into orbit than rockets? I do have serious reservations about Starlink for precisely the reasons that you highlight: potential for an orbital debris collision cascade failure and the fouling up of astronomical observations. On union-crushing there’s a balance to things as always of course. The problem with unions in the United States is that they have too often forgotten their primary mission: to represent the interests of their members to employers and thereby increase the bargaining power of those members. Far too many unions try and advance the political agendas of their leadership. Far too many unions try and advance policies that are not actually in the interests of their members and will actually result in harm to those members rather than benefits ($15 per hour “minimum wage” when it actually results in the real minimum wage of $0 for example).

            Trudeau is indeed lawfully elected. However the lawfully elected are not allowed to violate basic human rights. Biden has tried that as well multiple times and got slapped down for it by the US courts. The Canadian courts do not seem to have enough respect for basic human rights to be a realistic avenue of countering Trudeau unfortunately. Peaceful protest is now being tried. Trudeau said, “Freedom of expression, assembly and association are cornerstones of democracy, but Nazi symbolism, racist imagery and desecration of war memorials are not.” That’s an interesting quote for someone who has put on blackface multiple times isn’t it. That’s an interesting quote for someone who is interested in “freedom of expression” only until someone disagrees with him.

            Trudeau’s government is now trying to restrict peaceful protest, and there have been rumblings about sending the army in to deal with things. Now I know that would be assistance to the civil power and not martial law. However it would be an immensely foolish step to take. See if peaceful protest is squashed then much, much more unpleasant options come on to the table.

            Squashing peaceful protests is the sort of thing that leads to violent insurrections. Hence it being immensely stupid for Trudeau to follow the path he’s doing. He is taking the country down a path towards civil war. I wish I were exaggerating that, but I’m not. Let’s hope Trudeau backs down on this and doesn’t do something really stupid.

          • This discussion is better done in the bar, with a generously large pint of bitter. There are different opinions on these things. I felt sympathy with the truckers until one was interviewed and managed to lose my sympathy within one minute.

  38. Sorry for that, Carl. What the media say and what really happened is often two different stories. Bad example then. The world is small, in a way.
    The guy is certainly strange.

  39. Even though I am not really the owner or even an admin of Volcanocafe, can we, for the love of the sakes, take politics to the VC Bar because, holy, article comments are not there for this sort of mess. Like, great, we had some update that the European Facebookers are going to be shutdown and suggesting ideas to where to move the VC to, but this is the place of science and scientific debates as far as I heard, not anything outright political here. I read that is the reason why VC bar is made in the first place, to talk about random stuff, especially those of the political kind. I abd some people would be very appreciative.

    • Go up a little to Ryan. I put a paper there about the Popigai- and the Cheasepeake Impact, it might interest you.

    • To be honest A BIT of social argument/rhetoric is of interest tom those of us who are are may be \(a bit””) isolated need to keep up.

      • Thank you. If further interested start with Nils Melzer, Human Rights Chair at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.

  40. Wow, the Gakkel Ridge Caldera is quite a BEAST – and totally unusual for it to located deep under the sea in a spreading ridge! I’ve never heard of this thing until now.

    When it went up 1.1 Ma, it could’ve been like the recent eruption of Hunga Tonga – Hunga Ha’apai on steroids if it was shallow enough. However, this depends on how deep it was at the time of the eruption. If it was really deep, then probably more like a really big pumice raft probably hiding under the sea ice. It would’ve been on a trully massive scale, likely far bigger than the pumice raft from the 2012 eruption of Havre (Kermadec Arc). However, ash linked to the GRC has been found in samples over 1000 km away in other parts of the Arctic Ocean.

    If you look on Google Map in Satellite View mode, you can actually see the caldera. It’s a little over 415 km NW of Severnaya Zemlya (not to be confused with Novaya Zemlya).

    • A pumice raft larger in volume than the entire Vatnajökull Glacier!

      • Adim fix this again: wrote my gmail again! No Idea why that happens! I fill into the correct spaces.. or simply writing too fast

    • Given that the Gakkel eruption happened during the Pleistocene, did the massive, thick ice cap that would’ve occupied that location exert any influence on the blast? Could that’ve had any part in how/why a VEI8 eruption occurred along the MAR in the first place; the thick and heavy ice keeping a “lid” on thing and further increasing pressures under there until a catastrophic failure was reached?

      I’m so fascinated by this caldera and the mechanics of this particular eruption. It really does seem strange to have such an extreme event happen at the northern end of the MAR.

      If anyone has any speculative thoughts about how this might’ve played out, I’d love to hear them.

  41. Still working on my Nyiragongo article: will be quite a while .. yet before its even readable

    Also my pengiuns are planning to invade the UK. They will break into Alberts home .. emerging through the toilet as saboteurs.. 🙂 while Albert is deep asleep in another room

    • It is also possible for them to emerge out of Alberts kitchen water tap 🙂

      They are comming 🙂

  42. I wonder if Gakkel Caldera type eruptions might be more common than we realize (pretty safe bet since we weren’t aware VEI 8 Mid-Ocean ridge eruptions were a thing!). Mid-Ocean ridge volcanos are not given a lot of detailed investigation. Vei 8s in general are rare and spreading ridges will in the long run split a caldera in half. At a quick glance it just looks like a slightly deeper part of the Gakkel Ridge’s trough. If the halves were 100km apart would we have ever recognized that we were looking at a Caldera? It is comparatively recent and on a slow-spreading ridge, so it is obvious, but others might be waiting to be discovered by some enterprising future researcher.

    It sort of makes sense that mid-ocean ridges could produce extremely large eruptions for much the same reason that Toba happened, slow, steady extension allowing the creation of a giant magma chamber. If a section of the ridge has troubles erupting, magma could accumulate, and it would still be pulled apart by neighboring sections of the rift. 1.5 cm a year eventually can build a 40km wide chamber, roof fails, and a VEI 8.

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