The most erect of volcanoes?

Mauna Loa in 1984, not the tallest volcano, photograph taken by R.W. Decker. Wikimedia Commons.

Have you ever wondered about which is the tallest active volcano on the planet? It sounds like a fairly straightforward question. But, as with all simple questions it quickly turns into a quagmire of definitions.

The first of the definitions starts out in linguistics, and that is what is the definition of “active”. It turns out that there are several active definitions of the word “active”.

The most straightforward is if the volcano has been historically active. This definition is very white male Christian-centric. More or less it requires that a male catholic priest must have witnessed the eruption and to hell with oral traditions or pesky indigenous people’s descriptions.

The other one is the more scientific one. Has the volcano showed signs of being active, like earthquake swarms, inflation, or any other measurable sign of being active? This basic part is then widened with such things as eruptions seen by volcanologists or are there active hydrothermal vents.

In this article I will use the latter description.

Then we end up with the obvious part, tallest measured from where? And this is where it almost become impossible to name the tallest volcano.

About here we are ready to go, we just have to state that we are talking about terran volcanoes, otherwise Albert will hit me over the head with a volcano on an exo-planet.

 

The crusty question about crust

Ojos del Salado, photograph by Janne Corax, used under Wikimedia Commons.

First, we need to discuss the influence of the crust that the volcano is sitting on. Because it will cause a big difference on how the volcano will behave as it grows, and how tall it can become, and what type of tall it will be.

A thick tectonic plate will be able to carry a very tall edifice without the crust sinking downwards a lot. Therefore, most tall edifices are situated on a thick tectonic plate that has oceanic crust subducting beneath it.

If on the other hand a big volcano is situated on oceanic crust the mass will bend the crust downwards.

 

Highest elevation above sea level

Lluillaco coloured by the sunset. Photograph by Lion Hirth, from Wikimedia Commons.

I bet this is how most people would decide the matter. It is pretty straightforward, all you have to do is stick a GPS at the top of any volcano that meets the criteria for being active and you will end up with a winner.

So, without further expounding say hello to Nevado Ojos de Salado, the tallest active volcano on the planet, at 6 893 metres above sea level it is a honking whale of a volcano. It is located on the Argentine/Chile boarder, so it belongs to both countries.

It is situated on the Central Volcanic Belt of the Andes on the Cordillera Claudio Gay.

Nevado Ojos de Salado last erupted about 1 300 years ago, and it has an active fumarolic field. There are signs that it might have erupted at a later date than this. There is even an unsubstantiated possible eruption in 1993.

If you instead wish for an active volcano that has been seen erupting by a catholic priest, you end up with Lluillallaco at 6 793 metres as the tallest volcano counted from sea level.

 

Prominence

Pico de Orizaba, photograph by David Tuggy. Taken from Wikimedia Commons.

Prominence is a technical term for mountains. Simplified it means the uninterrupted height difference of the mountain. You measure the difference from the highest valley floor between the top and the ocean.

If you are into mountaineering this is important because this will be the largest possible height to climb from bottom to the top.

Most people state that it is Kilimanjaro that is the most prominent volcanic edifice. But there are a lot of questions about its state as an active volcano among those who study it. So, while they are dunking each other in symposiums and papers we are safer to go with a volcano that is without a shadow of a doubt active by invoking the dual rule of catholic priests and scientific consensus (probably the only example of scientists not arguing while at the same time agreeing with catholic priests on a scientific question).

This time we end up with Mexico as the home for the heavy weight champion. Say hello to the 4 992-metre prominence of the 5 653-metre-tall volcano of Pico de Orizaba.

It is situated on the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt and it has been observed erupting on many occasions, last in 1846.

 

The watery option

Anatahan 2003 eruption, photograph by NOAA, Public Domain.

Due to geopolitical reasons the United States came up with an ingenious way of getting the tallest active volcano on the planet. They measure such things from the deepest point on the ocean floor to the top, disregarding such piddly things as prominence and sea level. Instead they go for the brute force approach.

And in this case, it is gravity creating the brute force. The massive volcano of Mauna Loa and its siblings are creating enough gravity to produce a stupendous deep oceanic valley around the Island of Hawaii.

The prominence is piddly, just 2 158 metres, and the height from the ocean level is comparatively not much to write home about at 4 169 metres. It is 37 meters lower than its dormant Neighbour of Mauna Kea, but that is likely to change after a few eruptions adding height to Mauna Loa.

The height from the ocean floor is given at 9 000 metres. A height that will not be challenged soon unless Mauna Kea rumbles back into an active state.

Now, there is just one tinsy winsy problem with this. It is utter bullhork, even by its own definition.

Now over to the tallest active volcano by this definition.

And it is a true whopper at 11 874 metres of uninterrupted rise from the bottom of the Ocean. The volcano is quite piddly at 790 metres above ocean level, but who cares when you count all the way down to the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench.

So, please let me introduce you to the abandoned highly active volcanic island of Anatahan belonging to the Mariana Islands Chain. Technically the island belongs to the US, so the record stays firmly with them.

The last known eruption was in 2007-2008, so there is no doubt about its volcanic status. I guess the comment field will explode now with people trying to save the Hawaiian glory.

 

Bottom bending part II

Grimsvötn instead of Bardarbunga due to lack of good pictures of that volcano. Photograph by Roger McLassus, taken from Wikimedia Commons.

The crafty Americans must have felt that there was a need for another way to prove that their Hawaiian volcano is the top dawg. They went even further with the bending of the crust concept and went for the measurement from the bottom of the deepest eruptive layer to the top of the edifice. This gave them a 17km high volcano.

So let us quickly discuss Iceland. The area around Grimsvötn and Bardarbunga is 45km deep, the oceanic crust is 5km at this spot. So, from the deepest eruptive spot to the top of Bardarbunga it is 40km.

This means that the crust has been pushed down 40km by the volcanoes on top of the area. Now someone will scream that I used the word plural, but the same goes for Hawaii.

 

The centrist view

Chimborazo complete with a picturesque lama animal. Photograph by David Torres Costales. Wikimedia Commons.

Now, there is a final option in the chase of the tallest volcano on the planet. And that is to measure from the centre of the planet itself. I much prefer this way since we are after all talking about the tallest volcano ‘on the planet’.

Most people do not ponder that the planet is not a perfect sphere. It is shaped more like a tangerine, squashed at the poles. It is therefore correct to say that you are travelling down if you are travelling towards the north on the northern hemisphere.

So, which active volcano peak is the longest distance from the centre of the planet? Before I answer that one, we need to acknowledge how tall the spot is. It is not only the tallest active volcano, it is the tallest mountain on the face of the planet, however you count.

It outpaces Anatahan, Mauna Kea and Mount Everest.

Without further ramblings on my part, say hello to the unexpected winner of Chimborazo in Ecuador. It is situated on the Cordillera Occidental in the Andes. The last eruption was 150BC, but it has fumarolic activity and has suffered from historic intrusions.

How tall is it? Well, it is 2 163 metres taller than Mount Everest.

 

Conclusion

The tallest hotspot volcano on the planet, Ol Doinyo Lengai. Photograph by Cessna 206. Wikimedia Commons.

There is actually another and far better way to measure how tall a volcano is and I would like to propose that one. For natural reasons I could not find out which volcano would fit the record bill, but that volcano would be the winner from a volcanic standpoint.

It would be to measure the volcanic system height. For a couple of Icelandic volcanoes, it would put them at 45km. And many subduction volcanoes would come up towards 180km, measured from the Benioff zone.

Because in the end a volcanic edifice is just the boring top end of what is interesting. It is in the bowels things are interesting, so why not measure the height of the bowel system to give the true measure of how tall it is?

If we count it this way, we come up with two probable winners. In the subduction class the likely winner is the Altiplano-Puna Volcanic Center, and in the hotspot class we end up with Ol Doinyo Lengai. And to be quite honest, APVC is not a single volcano.

So without further ramblings, I hereby crown Ol Doinyo Lengai as the tallest volcano on the planet.

CARL REHNBERG

197 thoughts on “The most erect of volcanoes?

  1. I hereby freely admit that I wrote this slightly tongue in cheek to begin with.
    But as I plowed on things started to take odd twists and turns, and even to me the final answer was totally unexpected, but science and logic once more prevailed and astounded me.

    This was in many ways the most fun article to write in a very long time.

    I am aware that some will not agree with me that Ol Doinyo Lengai is the tallest volcano on the planet, but I find that this definition is the most logical.

  2. I was going to try guessing the method you might pick – I went for the volcano with the lowest change in altitude from the vent to the stratosphere (modal value over the last 10 years) 🙂

    • That was a good one that I did not even think about. 🙂

      I guess that Albert will go with the volcano with the shortest line to the sun.

  3. It seems that I forgot to write how tall Ol Doinyo Lengai is. The craton thickness is 200 to 250km, with volcanic conduits running from the bottom to the top.
    https://istina.msu.ru/download/…/1gM7pz:9PEEZRGdfTXETmG5PDf-jQh2NhY/

  4. There are many ways how one can measure
    Here you measures from the partial melting zone to the eruptive vent. Yes Lengai indeed haves a ”long” magma system! But as edifice volcanic pile Lengai is rather small

    But I still says Hawaii when it comes to edifice height
    Mauna Loas true height is still 17 km as all sources on internet and USGS says.
    When me and turtlebirdman push foreward with Hawaii
    We means the collossal volumes of these hawaiian edifices. From seafloor to top its 9000 meters tall
    Then with Hawaiis near constant eruptions it have piled up constantly higher and higher
    The original seafloor under Mauna Loa been pushed down 8 km that means the giant shield volcano have grown 4+4+4+4 km tall through the 300 000 years,
    not sink below the waves.
    All sources on internet, all USGS data says Mauna Loas true height is 17 100 meters tall
    The volume of Mauna Loas edifice is around 75 000 to 100 000km3 in an arera 200 km across.

    • I will return to Mauna Loa in a later article discussing the volume.
      Here I went looking for the height of the volcano in question.
      Do note that the USGS definition that gives 17km height yield 40km height for Bardarbunga. But I will admit freely that the definition is just a paper construct without any merit.

      • But I like the consequence of it if one take it one step further and measure the volcano from bottom of the feeder tube to the top of the edifice. Because that way take into consideration all of what is a volcano.

      • Carl here we are talking about edifice size/ height versus magma system lenght
        Not how tall the magma chamber system conduits are
        Lengai haves the longest magma system down to the partial melting zone
        There you correct its strange how its managed to pierce that near cratonic enviroment.

        But Hawaii is the tallest and largest edifices on Earth all other edifices are grains of sand in comparsion

      • Actually, it did not come up as a contender on any definition of being the tallest when I checked it. I will return on the volume issue at a later date since this was not what this article was about.
        The two different USGS definitions give other volcanoes than the one they state. That is the problem with definitions, they can give really surprising results.

        • Carl why does lengai erupt carbonatites?
          where does all co2 come from?

          • That is the one million dollar question Jesper.
            Nobody as far as I know have come up with an answer that is quite good.

            My guess is that it all starts as very deep mantle material driven by the mantleplume. It then goes into the bottom of the craton like a torch.
            On its way it picks up very interesting xenoliths from the period when the continents first formed. So far we are talking about some sort of basalt.

            After that the basalt probably is hitting a massive deep layer of carbonatitic calcites formed during a phase when the craton was submerged a very long time ago.
            This will then melt a carbonatite slurry that is lighter than the basalt, and that in turn erupts.

            Problem is that this model does not explain fully why so many xenoliths are coming up to the surface…

            It is one of the mysteries of volcanology to be solved some day. 🙂

          • That makes alot of sense carl!
            Also notice that Lengai usualý have made the Nyiragongo lavas in its life
            Ol Donyo Lengais most common rocks are Nephelinites

        • Also another question why do Nyiragongo do these extremely sillica poor alkaline sillicate magmas.. its almost like iron slag

          Is it beacuse partial melting is very deep and of low degrees in the mantle?

          • You are really on a roll here Jesper with firing off million dollar questions without a good answer to be had yet.

            I have no clue to be honest.

            But, there is an interesting point to be made. This volcano has a pretty long intestine, so what is coming up is fairly well fractionated. And with that I mean that the silicates has been concentrated compared to the magma at depth. Just imagine how low the original silicate content must be in the raw magma. The mind boggles.

            The only thing I can come up with is that the magma must be of extremely deep origin where the mantle is heavily fractionated to begin with. Basically what is coming up must be deep mantle dregs that was on the way down to join with the iron core, and that a blob of it must have been carried up by the African superplume.

          • Nyiragongo is amazing carl!
            The sillica content is just 34% and 1370 C been estimated for 2002 upper vents.
            This makes this lava extremely madely fluid almost like pancake soup
            Its white hot when its liquid and extremely fluid

            1977 and 2002 produced flows just a centimeter thick to milimeters near the vents at the steep upper slopes.
            pahoehoe was just a centimeter thick near 2002 goma vents
            In 1977 it was so runny that pepole and elephants where covered by thin blue glassy shells of lava.. and banna leaves covered in a thin glassy layer

          • temperature and silica content are related. As magma cools, silica content increases as the non-silica components form crystals and drop down. So the question becomes, is the temperature in itself sufficient to answer your question? I don’t know, but would suggest that it is mainly this and the speed at which the magma rises through the crust – fast enough not to pick up crustal melt. That speed is due to buoyancy (driven by volatiles?) and how open the conduit is.

        • Kilauea and Nyiragongo haves today the most fluid sillicate based lavas.
          Both displays extremely low viscosity
          Halemaumau lake and Nyiragongos lake have some of the lowest viscosities ever recorded for sillicate based magmas.
          Kilauea contains more sillica… but Kilauea is so hot that the sillica polymers breaks down making halemaumau just as liquid as Congo is

        • Another question Carl
          who is the most fluid sillicate melt Nyiragongo or Kilauea?
          I say both are around same viscosity
          Both displays extremely low visocsity

          I cannot see any difrrence between Kilauea and Nyiragongo in videos
          Nyiragongos steep slopes are behind the runny lava legend right

  5. I was convinced you’d sneak in a certain specially named Icelandic candidate when reading the headline.

  6. Anatahan last erupted in 2008- the 2003 eruption was the first documented and was actually fairly strong at 0.05km^3. Oh by the way, Bezymianny did a 50,000ft plume again.

  7. Thank you Carl I loves this artice and many ways to measure

    But When it comes to edifice pile size and height Hawaii winns
    All other volcanic edifices are indeed pretty much grains of sand compared to Hawaii when it comes to edfice size. The depth of the magma conduits down to partial melting zone in Hawaii is around 60 to 100 km.
    The crust and litopshere under South Hawaii Islands Big island around and up to Maui may be completely molten at great depth. Thats the partial melting pool as the decompressing mantle plume head rise upwards.
    Temperatures are 1550 C. All this feeds Kilauea, Mauna Loa, Hualalai and Loihi
    Kilauea alone haves a supply of 0,2km3 every year or sligthly more. Mauna Loa little lower than 0,1 km3 every year I woud think as Kilauea grabs the hotspot and Hualali and Mauna Kea, Loihi much much lower.

    The total volume of Big island of Hawaii is around 350 000km3 ! all this in less than
    700 000 years the magma production is immense.
    I dont know any other place where there are massive + 100 000km3 edifices or any other 10 000km3 edifices either

    • As I wrote above Jesper, I will return on the volume thing at a later stage.
      This article was about the tallest volcano.

        • But do not worry, it will still leave Mauna Loa as the largest active volcano by volume. But there are a few oddities in how the volume has been calculated that is long overdue to be addressed.
          I think you will like it.

      • I attempted to summit Mauna Loa this christmas
        But,….. it was impossible It was hard to walk in that thin air….
        I became tired and dizzy and lack of strenght in the body
        You may feel awake up on Mauna Loa but you have no strenght in the muscles
        Too little oxygen
        It became fun anyway
        But ultimately too thin air… headed home to kilauea hotel instead
        Up at Mauna Kea summit the skies turned pale indigo and it that dizzyness again
        NEVER climb mountains or volcanoes without being perpared
        This tips is for peaks over 3,5km tall

        • I could not agree more.
          It takes a lot of preparation to climb them. And it obviously become even worse if it is a steep stratovolcano that you are climbing that is 4km high. Then you need serious preparations to succeed.

  8. That is an interesting article but I have to disagree with Anatahan as the highest volcano in terms of base to summit vertical distance. Anatahan is 650 km away from Challengers Deep. The adjacent portion of the trench to Anatahan is just ~8000 m deep, and it is not a continuous slope either, there is a submarine ridge rising in between. The maximum height would be 4400 m that it rises from the back-arc.

    You are probably right howeven in that the tallest volcanic mountain from its base probably lies next to a trench. The tallest volcano of Hawaii would be Mauna Kea which rises 9800 m from the adjacent hawaiian moat, or at least that is the measurement I get (it is usually cited that the ocean floor next to it is 6000 m deep but I get 5600). Likely there is a subduction volcano that can beat it.

    • The not going all the way in one go also goes for Mauna Loa. Anatahan was more meant as a volcano type, obviously I did not have the time to check each volcano close to the Marianas. But one of them would be the tallest from that definition.
      So, if Mauna Loa is counted the same way we can stick to Anatahan for the time being until a ph.d. student comes around with lots of time to check.

      As I said, it is a bit of tongue in cheek, but it is the principles that needed to come forth here.

  9. If measuring from root to top, you should probably specify that only liquid parts count. Otherwise Hawaii goes a long way down the mantle. It raises the question what the record would be among non-active volcanoes. My guess would be the kimberlite eruptions – tiny, but going down to the keel of the craton where the diamonds are. A top the size of a dandelion but roots going down 3% of the radius of the Earth.

    And a comment on arguing with priests: I recommend the Jesuits for a scientific discussion. They run astronomical observatories and are respected scientists. I know a few of them and they are top-notch. There are also religious groups with a strong anti-science point of view (across different religions) but they are not main stream.

    • Most people do not know it, but the catholic church is as you say quite strict on the science part, and many good scientists have come out of that particular church.
      And the aforementioned catholic priests that wrote about eruptions tend to be a good source for information.
      It was not a critique of the priests themselves, it was a critique of our westernocentricism when picking sources for volcanoes.

      My favourite catholic research is one of the first big data attempts that they did upon Lourdes and people going on pilgrimage to get saved medically by a miracle. The result made the catholic church issue stern warnings against pilgrimages while being sick, since it was highly counterproductive. In the same study they also disproved miracles at Lourdes. Good study, good science, good on them.
      This is referenced in Science as a candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan.

      • Much more problems with church and science com when you go into LIFE SCIENCE! Most practising christians and muslims run into problems there trapped with their ancient books. Would be fantastic if jesuit scientists found away out of that!!!

        • You are probably thinking about something specific, but not knowing what it is makes it hard to respond. Life sciences covers a huge area.

          • That is not so much about life sciences (which in spite of its name does not deal with origin of life). In my experience, the majority of religious people have no problem with evolution, including both catholic and main-stream protestant groups. Neither have I had problems with people who do believe in a 6000-year old world. There was always enough that we had in common. After all, it gives reason to take good care of the place!

            For some reason, global warming has been a more difficult issue, but this is not a religious but a political issue. The fact that it correlates so well with political persuasion shows that the problem is not really about the science, but about what actions to take.

        • Please to note that very little in the old testament and virtually nothing in the new is quoted as “the word of god”. The old testament is the history of the Jews and is offered as ‘guidance’ for christians. Even genesis is not quoted as the word of god. Its thus pretty all capable of evaluation and differing views.

          This is completely unlike the Koran, which is in its entirety perfect and all the direct word of god.

          The latter causes problems as its tricky to make comment.

          So theologically (particularly for catholics) the “ancient books” do not define the word of god.

    • And for a specific VC connection, Bernard R Hubbard SJ, Jesuit priest/geologist in Alaska. First report on Aniakchak 1931 eruption, and the probable first ascent of Shishaldin

  10. Hawaiian volcanoes can easly reach higher above the sea than they do today.
    Hawaiis constant and colossal long term eruptive rates does build good way faster than crustal subsidencse.
    Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa was taller before. Mauna Loa was 100 s of meters higher before the Mokuʻāweoweo caldera formed and Mauna Kea likley was much taller before it became less active and it sinked beacuse of lack of eruptions.
    The old Mau Nui Island thats long gone may have been 6 km tall or higher above sealevel. When it was over the hotspot and on its absoutle peak that was around 1,2 ma years ago. https://activityauthority.com/maui-nui-defined/ here is a good imaginary map how that once grand island woud have looked like.
    The enromous height is based on Hawaiis constant eruptive rates thats good outpaces the sinking.
    The very largest and tallest volcanic edifices on Earth.
    As single volcanic edifices Hawaii is the largest and very tallest and likley can reach really good way taller than current tallest peaks in Hawaii.
    These mammoth shield volcanoes are becomming larger and larger as the Hawaiian Hotspot is currently undergoing a boost in magma supply.
    These shield volcanoes have started growing to 100 000km3 and over, The distance between the Hawaii volcanoes have become shorter. The greater modern eruptive masses of the hawaii hotspot have made more close spaced volcanoes, and many of them overlap, building enromous structures as Hawaiʻi current island and old Maui Nui thats now sinked below the sea and fragmented due to erosion.
    Hawaiis near constant eruptions it have piled the piles up constantly higher and higher.. and higher.
    Maui Nui was once a giant shield volcano complex with volcano sizes that where probably even larger and much higher than Mauna Loa knowing just how enornously long Haleakala old sunken rift zone is and the rates of subdisdence. Hawaiis volcanoes are giants…mammoths in both volume and height.
    The Acient Maui Nui was a glaciated monster towering over the ocean and may have been as tall as 20 km from the pressed down seafloor base. If there was a very dominant volcano on Mau Nui as its almost soure to be that volcano thats over hotspot, it was likley larger than Mauna Loa is today and good bit higher above sealevel. Knowing how deep the pacific ocean is and Maui Nuis size.. its largest volcano coud have been larger than Mauna Loa. Maui Nui was huge

    Kilauea today already haves an absoultley enromous rift zone thats almost 200 kilometers long
    These are strong signs that Kilauea is the next mammoth giant in height to grow.
    Kilauea is already a monster and just started her main shield building phase very recently

    • You are making some assumptions here. We don’t know whether Mana Loa was taller before the collapse, as we don’t know how much inflation there has been. Mauna Kea has not provided us with any data on its past height: stating that it was likely much taller is your opinion, not accepted fact.

      There is a physical limit to how high a mountain can get before the rock at the bottom gives up. It is around 10 km.

  11. Well, writing as an Ussian, I did note the dig, however tongue-in-cheek it was, about our genitalia-measuring propensities and obsessions. Yeah, we’re ‘crafty’ and should be thanked for that on its face, but let me assure you that this ‘Murican doesn’t care about “WEER NUMBAH ONE!!!111!!!”. Just thought you’d want to know 🙂

    • I come from a part of Sweden that is about as obsessed on “largest” as Texans.

      That being said, it was not really a dig on people of the US persuasion. It was more a dig on definitions getting in the way of rationality in regards of science.

      • Such as calling a major US tournament the ‘world series’ but refusing Japan when it requested to take part – apparently it is not part of the ‘world’. Every nation does it. My bugbear is ‘Miss Universe’ which rather overstates the participation.

          • Mods, just responded with a WordPress account I forgot I had, and didn’t know was still active. I’ve mostly commented before as Phil R. Hope this doesn’t get me in trouble. 🙂

    • To be honest this continual defending of Hawaii as the biggest and bestest is getting boring. To be honest its not actually that important. At this point I no longer care.

      • I have been a daily reader here since bardabunga 2014. Daily, until recently that is. I find the recent banter over completely irrelevant topics to be grating. I didn’t even notice I’d stopped reading until I read your post, farmeroz.

        If I had a tinfoil hat, I’d say the russians are trying to create division in the community. I know its not … I’m just pointing out that this ‘who is ‘better” stuff is childish and is pushing at least this reader away.

        Keep up the science. Drop the high school need to make everything a contest. /opinion /soapbox

        • This article was a tongue in cheque answer to the bestest thing. The entire aim was to point out that it is pointless.
          And also, almost always wrong.

          • Carl, your article was splendid. Well rounded and looked at from many angles, my comment in no way referred to you. I will admit to being prone to a little banter from time to time but I hope its never too boring.

          • Oh, this was just me explaining that I was a tad tired too of the “my edifice is larger than yours”. Ie, that I agreed with you. 🙂

          • Great article Carl, but I don’t think it worked! (See below). I know exactly where ‘farmeroz’ and Pat are coming from – and I agree with them, enough is enough!

      • Cannot speak for anyone else but, for me, it comes down to the math (scale) that makes Hawaii my main interest.

        1. Big island isis ov 200,000 km3 of mass (does not include amount lost to ocean entries).
        2. Built over past ~1, 000,000 years (at the most).
        3. That’s an average of over .2 km3 / year for a million years (an overall pace not remotely witnessed by modern science).
        4. Hawaii tends to achieve that overall average pace very unevenly with potential for much bigger chunks.
        5. Overdue to continue the more aggressive pace of most of the past million years.

        Just my opinion.

  12. Nice, reminds me of this video I have watched.

    minutephysics
    Published on Nov 25, 2013

  13. Quite some deep activity at Askja yesterday.

    Credits IMO.
    Sunday
    17.03.2019 22:57:34 65.107 -16.605 21.3 km 0.6 99.0 7.7 km N of Dreki
    Sunday
    17.03.2019 22:04:04 65.099 -16.616 18.2 km 0.6 99.0 6.8 km N of Dreki
    Sunday
    17.03.2019 22:01:36 65.095 -16.612 21.3 km 0.7 99.0 6.3 km N of Dreki
    Sunday
    17.03.2019 21:56:16 65.095 -16.613 21.7 km 1.2 99.0 6.3 km N of Dreki
    Sunday
    17.03.2019 21:42:28 65.086 -16.628 18.3 km 0.8 99.0 5.5 km NNW of Dreki
    Sunday
    17.03.2019 21:39:37 65.095 -16.630 20.8 km 0.7 99.0 6.4 km N of Dreki
    Sunday
    17.03.2019 20:14:29 65.100 -16.615 18.7 km 0.9 99.0 6.9 km N of Dreki
    Sunday
    17.03.2019 20:13:38 65.099 -16.612 19.3 km 0.9 99.0 6.7 km N of Dreki
    Sunday
    17.03.2019 18:44:33 65.094 -16.630 22.6 km 0.8 99.0 6.3 km N of Dreki
    Sunday
    17.03.2019 04:20:49 65.094 -16.663 15.6 km 0.5 99.0 6.8 km NNW of Dreki
    Sunday
    17.03.2019 03:34:26 65.097 -16.617 20.8 km 1.1 99.0 6.6 km N of Dreki
    Sunday
    17.03.2019 02:38:50 65.102 -16.618 20.5 km 1.2 99.0 7.1 km N of Dreki
    Sunday
    17.03.2019 02:32:26 65.110 -16.602 18.2 km 0.6 99.0 7.9 km N of Dreki

    • Which may, or may not, become part of a soon to be arriving post, that I obviously deny all knowledge about.

      • I have been watching the area as well for a few months now, it reminds me a bit of how Öræfajökull woke up in the past months, but of course not as advanced and a bit slower maybe. Looking forward to the article!

        I enjoyed the current post as well, thanks Carl!

  14. Carl, Albert a question
    Who is the most fluid sillica based lava?
    Kilauea or Nyiragongo?
    Who is the most fluid natural sillicate lava Hawaii or Congo.
    Both Hawaii and Congo haves the most fluid sillica based melts on earth.

    I knows that both are extremely fluid, both have displays extremely low viscosity.
    Nyiragongo flowed like flash flood in 1977 and Kilauea flowed like flash floods in 1970 s too down the pit walls in ERZ zone Hawaii.
    The viscosity of Nyiragongos Nephelinites and Kilaueas hot Thoelite Basalts are both extremely low.
    Its hard to say who is the most fluid?

    I have looked at videos of Halemaumau lava lake and Nyiragongo lava lake and I cannot see any diffrence in fluidty at all.. both are very fluid.
    Nyiragongos steep slopes gives lava speed, but Hawaiis pit walls and palis also makes it go madely quickly.
    Halemaumau is one of the most fluid basaltic lavas I ever seen, that lake resembled a huge pot of liquid aluminum in daylight and so did Nyiragongo in many videos.
    Both volcanoes have displayed similar temperatures at hottest

    Diffrences

    Nyiragongo is a madely sillica poor hot Nephelinite formed deep down in the mantle under low degrees of partial melting and under high pressure. The sillica content is 35% and around 1300 C
    The low sillica content and high temperature makes it very fluid

    Kilauea is a very hot Thoelite Basalt formed by very veyr high degrees of partial melting under the crust from a decompressing plume head. Sillica content is 49 to 50% and around 1300 C when really hot.
    The heat breaks down the sillica polymers making it very fluid.

    The compedition may be a stall? both are same
    But Nyira should be in theory more fluid due to lower sillica

    • Nyiragongo is more fluid but I think if kilauea or mauna loa had steep sides like that its lava would flow even faster because of the way higher sustained eruption rates the hawaiian volcanoes have. Mauna loa 1950 was not much slower than nyiragongos 1977 flows when it became channelised, despite mauna loa being 4 times less steep than nyiragongo. The lava speed from the 1959 eruption flowing down the steep slopes of kilauea iki is also very impressive, fast enough to even cause motion blur which is actually very hard to do on those old cameras.

      There are as you say the videos of kilaueas lava flowing from mauna ulu into pit craters like a massive waterfall, but what is even more impressive to me is the 500 meter tall glowing incandescent lava rapid that formed when one of the larger mauna ulu flows went south and cascaded over the hilina pali, that flow also reached the ocean briefly. No videos exist but there is one black and white photo. I think it speaks for itself…

      • And changes to Aa lava beacuse of stress and shearing and high eruptive rates when to comes down the pali

        Large fast moving fluid smooth mauna Loa and kilauea open channelized systems in princp always feeds large Aa lava fronts at their tips

        Hawaiian lavas are one of the hottest and most fast moving in the world
        Worlds hottest basaltic lavas are they

      • Yup Nyiragongo should have lower viscosity with same temperature and much lower sillica content

      • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVBEFHwzEWQ
        Good 4K video of Nyiragongos lava lake Here
        Once again the worlds largest lava lake after halemaumau drained.
        A true fire sea! the current lake formed in 2002-2003.
        The lava lake is pipe down to the partial melting region
        Look at all the crustal plates in the lake and the bubbling everywhere….
        This is where in local legend missbehaving persons souls go to when they die.
        In 2007 a chinese lady fell to her death into the caldera.. when photographing and she stumbled. Its a fall of 350 meters to terrace 1 or tier once as goma volcanologists calls it.
        Nyiragongos lava lake always haves small crustal plates and loots of small bubbling everywhere that coud be beacuse of very low viscosity or just fast convection in the magma column

      • Halemaumau was extremely fluid too… worlds hottest and most fluid basaltic lavas
        this USGS video shows the extreme fluidity of Kilaueas summit lava lake
        watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNoJv5Vkumk 11:00 – 11:11
        Haleamumau was extremely fluid too with an incredibely low viscosity

      • In the video there, the haleamumau is so very fluid that it reminds me of molten alumimum in daylight.. very very very low viscosity

  15. As the current farthest point from the center of the earth, it seems like the best answer to me, is Chimborazo.

    However, the Special Lifetime Achievement Award, in the category of volcanic summit farthest form the center of the Earth must go to

    ……envelope please……

    Kilimanjaro!

    At its maximum before it went dormant, it could easily have been as much as 500 meters or more taller than it is currently.

  16. http://www.brentstirton.com/travel-1/1o7oa4f2f0l5v221suf3ri26h6yms9

    Brent Stirton took this amazing photo!
    In the African jungle night. Now both Nyiragongo and Nyiramuragira haves active lava lakes.
    The photo looks like something out from a Indiana Jones story.
    Two fiery giants breathes their glow in the African equatorial night. The volcanoes are legendary deep Inside the Congo. This is the Albertie Rift and the African Superplume working togther. Nyiragongo and Nyiramuragira are Africas most active volcanoes and resosible for more than 40% of all africas recent eruptions. This photo is one of the most beautyful volcano panoramas I can find. Nyiramuragira and Nyiragongo both produces extremely hot and sillica poor lavas that comes from great depths.
    Very very beautyful photo for soure scenic

    • Very nice photo but it would not look like this in person i believe… this is a long time exposure (note the star trails) which increases the light. Over time observations change. 😉 Best!motsfo

  17. Nyiragongo 1977 was crazy
    The volcanos steep flank ruptured and the extremely fluid Nephelinite melt came rushing out at over 100 km an hour. The lava was so fluid that it covered the ground in glassy shells and veneers.
    Over 100 persons and ane elephant herd killed and covered by glassy shells.
    The viscosity was so low it leaved some thicker leaves in place covered by glassy coatings.
    The eruption temperature for 2002 and 1977 upper vents estimated to be 1370 C thats 2498 degrees Fahrenheit. The viscosity for upper vents have been calculated to be the lowest viscosity for any natural sillicate lavas so far. At such a speed that it did not set fire to the trees and even left some thicker leaves in place covered with a thin glassy layer. Flows at upper vents were at places only milimeters thick.
    The lava hazards at Nyiragongo is quite unique for that volcano.. steep slopes and very low viscosity.
    Nyiragongo was likley more sillica rich before explaing its steep slopes, before it vent ultrabasic.
    The sillica content at Nyiragongo is around 35% and thats even lower than Komatites that have 42% and high iron oxides.
    Nyiragongos 35% sillica 1370 C Nephelinites are classifyed as Ultrabasic and Ultra sillica Understaurated

  18. In regards of the eternal Kilaeuaing going on.
    I know that for many this is a bit irritating since it is not erupting, and it is not likely to do that for quite some time.
    This happens every time a large volcano erupts, for the following year people have a tendency to have a problem to let go of the eruption and volcano in question.
    After Holuhraun people actually got angry with me when I stated that the volcano would not erupt for a few years. For us who has a bit of training and are used to volcanoes it tend to be the other way around, we want new attractions instead of what we have already gone through.
    This is a bit off-putting to some, but it is a natural psychological tendency.

    We at Volcanocafé work hard at keeping the discussions free, so obviously we will not ban topics from the comment thread.

    On a personal note, I do though agree with some commentators that it would be good if certain friends of all things Hawaiian took the upcoming year of no eruptions at Hawaii as an opportunity to study and learn about volcanoes on other parts of the planet.

    I would be happy to supple a list of other volcanoes to be interested of that probably are more fruitful at the moment.

  19. Of course there are other intresting volcanoes too Carl
    her are some to watch

    Grimsvötn: Inflating and refilling

    Nyiramuragira: Lava lake overflows and filling up its caldera pit
    Possible pahoehoe tube feed flow field on the flanks IF this continoues
    Depending on effusion rates… but its well below Puu Oo levels for now

    Reventador: rapidly doing cone building by effusive blocky andesite lava flows, the volcano grows bigger and bigger though effusive activity.

    Masaya: lava lake is still there and volcano is back in shape

    Ol Donyo Lengai: carbonatite actvity continues to fill up the 2008 s crater

    Erta Ale: flank eruption continues to feedf that pahoehoe lava flow field this have soon been going on for 3 years.

    Popocatepetl: doing heavy degassing and likley a pancake dome extrusion in the crater.
    watch webcams when it gets dark.

    Sabancaya: looks restless with heavy steaming and maybe lava dome – blocky flow acvitivity to come or a vulcanian eruption

    • Iwo Jima is also at the top of my list.

      Plus anything in Kamchatka or Alaska.

      Farther south, Deception Island is an anomaly and Erebus is pretty active too.

      • Erebus is a very unsual volcano for soure
        The only lava lake with rather high viscosity and phonolite compostion

        • What about deep focus earthquakes? Possibly quasi relelated to volcanic activity…..not theoretically possible

      • Deception Island *is* an anomaly of sorts, but rather interesting. Either it’s the last gasp of what was once a line of subduction-generated volcanism all along the Antarctic Peninsula. Or there’s some strange backarc rifting going on.

        A fun fact – Deception Island had a Tambora-sized eruption about 3,980 years ago. This one probably formed the present-day caldera. Because it’s so far south (63°S), its climate effects probably would’ve been mostly in the S Hemisphere.

        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181126105503.htm

  20. Speaking of the Kilauea thing we are supposed to give up. I have noticed that the tilt at the summit and ERZ have kind of come together after the 5. quake. Could the quake have opened up a better connection between the two?

    • Both tiltmeters UWE and POO seem to indicate inflation but I think they were already doing that before the recent sequence of DI events started, now that they have recovered from the last DI event (a sharp drop at UWE) they more or less coincide but it will probably not last long. The quake of the south flank should have opened the rift a little but I would say it was probably too small to deal any significant impact on the system.

  21. Im very curious on your next VC article Carl
    very intresting that one will be

  22. Mount Erebus is a volcano I wants to visit..
    Thats the only volcano in the world .. that haves a high viscosity lava lake about 100 times stiffer than Hawaiis lavas. That alkaline evolved phonolite lava lake is the strangest stuff I can ever imagine in my head.
    That lava lake behaves completely diffrent from the more fluid basalt lakes.
    Erebus is proof that even more viscous magmas can have lava lakes under correct conditions.
    Petrologicaly that volcano is intresting too.. with similar compostions as Kilimanjaro.
    Erebus is anorthoclase tephritic phonolite and phonolite with huge crystals
    Erebus magma rocks seems sometimes to have green light grey tone .. or even dark green – grey.
    Alkaline Continetal Rift volcanoes in the west antartic rift system.

    Visiting Erebus rim coud be dangerous as that stiff lava lake sometimes explodes with gas slug slow.
    I seen enromous phonolite spatter bombs thrown on the rim in old photographs etc… scary
    Despite being souch a cold cruel place, I wants to visit Erebus

  23. “Make no mistake, though: The recent event offshore from Mayotte, which is still ongoing, is colossal.
    According to the data from the onshore GPS stations, as well as the seismic signals—including the weird November 11 event—the rumbling is definitely being generated by volcanic activity of some sort. The way the ground on Mayotte is moving implies that the seafloor off its eastern shoreline is sinking at a rate of around 0.4 inches per month. At the same time, Mayotte itself is shifting eastward at a rate of 6.3 inches per month. Both indicate something huge underground is on the move, causing some serious deflation.
    The nature of these tremors suggest that the magmatic source is centered at a depth of 16 miles beneath the seafloor. In the first six months of the sequence alone, at least 0.24 cubic miles of magma has shifted around.”

    Article here

    https://gizmodo.com/mysterious-planetwide-rumble-may-have-come-from-the-lar-1833327445

    • Thank you for reminding me about that one.
      It will be interesting to see what it will look like when and if it start to erupt. It could obviously remain as an intrusion, but at the given volumes it is quite likely to erupt in the end.

    • I would be a bit careful about what I would be saying about the activity.
      Let me start with that the movement is slightly less than 1.5cm per month, and not 6.3 inches per month.
      It is also important to remember the general lack of data due to lack of instrumentation. For instance the November rumble was picked up by a station at Kilimanjaro.
      One fairly remote GPS and an even more remote Seismo is not much to go on.
      And dead fish is just circumstantial, the ocean is filled with dead fish, for many reasons.

      I am not saying that there is no eruption, but the evidence is circumstantial at best. And there are a couple of other solutions at hand that is also plausible.
      1. That there is an ongoing intrusion not located at the spot given. One GPS-does not readily give a location. This is actually concurrent with that the movement started prior to the supposed start of eruption. The GPS motion started in May and the eruption supposedly started in November, problem here is that GPS trajectories most often change and go into reverse as an eruption has started.
      2. That the event is tectonic, there is a known spread center between Mayotte and Africa and that could have become activated and what we are seeing are the result of tectonic movement.

      Now over to the rumble. I do not in any way associate that with volcanic activity per se. When I looked at the data I can only see a highly mono-chromatic signal due to filtering through a rift zone, it is completely impossible to see if the signal is volcanic or tectonic in origin since all relevant data is filtered out.

      Now, I do think this in the end is volcanic in nature, but I do not see any sign that an eruption started after the inflation began since there is no tell-tale trajectory change.

      And a final pointer, if an eruption started, the supposed initial eruption rate would by now have fallen off, so it would not be the amount of 2km. Also, as far as I know nobody has stated a figure that is in any way reliable.

      And what I find the most odd with the idea that an eruption has started, is that the volcano has inflated 0.24km3 while erupting 2km3. That is something that hos not been seen during a single monitored eruption in instrumented times.
      Take bardy as a pointer, it deflated almost 1:1 and the same goes for Kilauea. Here we get a positive reservoir volume instead of a negative. I guess you can see why I am rather unconvinced.

      • But here is my main reason, so far I have found not a single side-sweep sonar scan of the place.
        Admittedly France could have for the first time have skipped to do the basic research, but I doubt it.
        But, even if they have, at least a single curious captain of a ship would have taken a glance at the depth to see if it had changed, but not a single one has reported changes. And sea captains tend to be curious buggers with a lot of time on their hands during nights, and that is a highly busy sea lane.
        They especially tend to be aggressively curious about things like changes in depth soundings in sea lanes. After all, their lives may rest on finding out and reporting it. And the 2km3 figure would have done some mucho landscaping on the ocean floor, like a brand new bank poking up from the ocean floor.

        • “They especially tend to be aggressively curious about things like changes in depth soundings in sea lanes”. Well if that was the case then I bet there would be much more submarine eruptions reported. If I recall correctly most eruptions are usually signaled by pumice rafts rising to the surface not a ship captain locating a new hill risen from the abyssal plains.

          • Abyssal plains is one thing, the middle of the Mocambique Channel something completely different.

            And there are a couple of interesting passages in the original paper. It talks more about an intrusion into an intracrustal sedimental layer. And that would give a teleseism on the GPS signal.

            Problem is that they are not talking about an eruption, they seem to instead be talking about an intrusion of 0.24km3 at a suspected depth of 16km, which makes sense.

            I want to see evidence of an eruption, and to be honest I can’t see any eruption. And so could not the french either.

          • “what is high but plausible for a volcanic eruption, 1.3 km3
            issued on the date of this note. The place where is the magma emitted is not known. Part of the magma can be emitted at a level
            volcanic building in formation (there are old ones visible in the bathymetry) or a crack eruptive that can be from a few hundred meters to a few kilometers. Part of the magma can also be captured shallow in the crust in the form of veins vertical (dykes) or horizontal (sills). There are no volcanic gas lift observations but this is not surprising because the ocean floor is more than 3.5 km away in the area concerned. Complementary measures on land and at sea are necessary to confirm or to refute this hypothesis of volcanic eruption and to specify its extent and unfolding.”

            What I get after reading it would be that the french support the eruption hypothesis though they throw other alternatives and say, of course, that it will need confirmation.

          • I think they are lost in translation.

            Because there are no evidence of it, and the evidence in the form of GPS data does not support an open eruption. Also, the data given does not make sense visavi the ratio between eruption and intrusion ratios. See the part of positive figures.

            A dyke intrusion gives one GPS trajectory, and eruption inverts it.
            This is most likely a dyke intrusion giving a distal effect (teleseism).
            The upwards motion above the dyke/sill system is creating a through at the station. This is evidenced by the rapidly increased east movement.

          • Well some parts of paper clearly state they seriously consider the eruption option, here the french refer to phase 3 (July):

            “During this phase the seismicity drops a lot and the flow goes up to 124 m3/s. We may have entered the eruption phase proper with effusion of lava on the ocean floor and circulation of magma in the dyke.”

            I still don’t see why the model they propose of deep magma body deflation with intrusion that shifts to eruption in July would not work. It is yes based on some assuptions but I don’t see much problems with it and it also solves the matter of the dead fish.

      • Actually, the French pretty much deny that there is an ongoing eruption yet if one reads the article quoted by Ian F.
        “But as there is currently no direct evidence of an eruption having taken place, “there is a significant probability that no lava reached the surface.””

        • Ah the bugbear of quoting a paper to support your case only to find someone like Carl who actually reads said paper and finding its saying the exact opposite. I’ve seen it so many times, it was particularly rife during the BSE saga.

          • Well, I don’t think you have read the whole discussion but for exmple Carl was not quoting my paper there, that is from a different source though the scientist appears to have involved in the publication and this is the whole text which I think really sounds different when included the first part:

            “Pierre Briole, a geophysicist at France’s Ecole Normale Supérieure and one of the authors of the pre-print, told Gizmodo that the indirect evidence means that he’s “pretty sure it’s an eruption.” But as there is currently no direct evidence of an eruption having taken place, “there is a significant probability that no lava reached the surface.”

      • I never meant my comment to say that the activity was confirmed and that the exact volume of 2 km³ had been erupted, just as an scenario. I said it was most likely an eruption because it seems that way, the deformation seems to be due to deflation of a deep magma source, recently local people started reporting dead fish in the sea, the reports don’t include a posibility of eruption so the locals don’t seem to be aware of that posibility and just report something out of ordinary, they also reported the “gas odor” coincidentally in the same area as the earthquakes coincidentally also deep sea fish species… As to the area of the posible eruption there is a volcanic field down there that a bathymetry study revealed (I will try to find the link now). The eruption scenario has a lot backing it up but I am aware that until confirmation (if someone ever bothers to investigate it) other scenarios will remain posible.

        And the 2 km³ value was based on the data given by the paper, the authors themshelves expected a volume of posibly 3 km³ would the eruption go for 1 year. The deflation does certainly do not seem to be slowing down to me, I do know that eruptive rates are usually higher during the eruption onset but I also know that there can be exceptions to it. Again 2 km³ was a very rough number just to try to give a plausible volume for the eruption starting in July scenario. I also btw used a slightly lower rate in my estimate (100 m³/s) than the one given in the paper in case the rate had changed (assuming there was not a large difference).

        “it deflated almost 1:1 and the same goes for Kilauea” I don’t agree about that, before the eruption only small local inflation at Pu’u’o’o took place. This could be an eruption sourced at 30 km, there would be no shallow magma body in this case, I don’t think the typical model will apply here and it may have been building up for centuries or more, who knows.

      • There is a more recent publication on the events than (Briole,2018) it also adds more information, methods explained, and thankfully in English! https://eartharxiv.org/d46xj/download?format=pdf

        My take on it is still the same I think an eruption fits best the observations, a large one and similar to “rejuvenation” activity in other hotspot chains of the world, eg Canary Islands (Lanzarote), Hawaii (North Arch VF, Honolulu Volcanic Series).

  24. Thats just a transform fault swarms
    These things are very common in that place of Iceland.
    Almost certainly nothing eruptive
    But eruptions will happen there sooner or later

    • And in keeping with Florida weirdness. .. the news reports that a thief attempted a robbery.but was dissuaded when the pending victim produced a machette. He then tried to hijack a car but the lady pulled a knife, so he fled.

  25. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=adg5S6Esa_8
    The lava lake in Nyiragongo is now overflowing.
    This is because of an increase in the pressure in the magma system. This video posted recently.
    The caldera is slowly filling up with lava lake overflows building the lake higher and higher.

    • One can only hope that the cone itself does not fracture – that stuff is heavy, and Nyiragongo’s outer cone is a steep-sided composite/stratovolcano whose structural strength is uncertain to say the least

  26. https://www.instagram.com/p/BvHMN7QnxPy/
    Latest news from Nyiragongo!
    Nyiragongos lava lake is overflowing like crazy into the caldera floor. This is because of an increase in the pressure in the magma system. This video posted right now. The caldera is slowly filling up with lava lake overflows building the lake higher and higher.

  27. The Nyiragongo lava lake is now filling up the caldera floor, building the floor higher and higher around itself.
    Perching itself.
    The magma column is growing taller by this.
    Its been doing this since 2003 when the lake first formed. Now in 2019 its filling up.
    The magmatic hydrostatic pressure in the lava lake puts stresses on the cones walls around it.. increasing the chance for an intrusion and flank eruption.
    Even worse happens when there is a rifting event in Albertine Rift and drains Nyiragongo like 1977 and 2002

    Nyiragongo haves completely filled up before
    to crater rim by lava lake overflows long ago.
    Thats proof by all lava flows that flowed down the upper cones steep walls long ago.
    How much it will fill we dont know yet.
    In 1995 before 2002 s draining the caldera was quite filled up by pahoehoe
    Nyiragongo caldera have never filled up competely and flowed down flanks in recorded history so far.

  28. https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/observatories/hvo/multimedia_uploads/multimediaFile-2662.mp4

    Yes this is about hawaii, but a while ago there was discussion about puu oo possibly collapsing again from the local signals. It appears this is not really the case, only internal collapses have been happening this past year and the april 30 2018 crater is still the same outer dimensions though now less deep.

    Overall I dont think I can add any further discussions about kilauea until it actually does something, and nor do I really want to either, they would just end up being repeats of older ideas. I will maintain my earlier prediction that summit inflation will resume in roughly mid August of 2019, an eruption will likely happen within 6 months of whenever that inflation starts, and that larger eruptiins will start happening again after about 4 years. But I think very little will actually happen in hawaii until then, maybe some more felt earthquakes, like the one a few days ago. The next big eruption in hawaii will probably be from mauna loa maybe in 0-3 years time but like 1984 it will be a one off eruption that is fed by slow feed and the accumulation of magma since 2002 and nothing afterwards will happen there for decades. kilauea will probably need at least 2 years to do something on a large scale again too, similar to 1955 not being followed by an eruption until 3.5 years later over the new year of 1959-1960. Loihi might erupt too, but really its not going to be very much to look at. The chance of either hualalai or haleakala erupting in the next 4 years is smaller than the chance of donald trump being reelected next year so hawaii is probably going to be fairly quiet for a while, and with that soo will I.

    After bardarbunga erupted and made holuhraun many people including myself expected more and after some years it was obvious this wasnt going to happen and it was just annoying with every tiny quake being scrutinised for relevance and that could happen again here with hawaii, as Carl put it earlier very well and has emphasised in the past. While kilauea will recover from last year far FAR faster than bardarbunga will from holuhraun, 4 years is still a very long time to be saying it will erupt next year… If you want to see lava actually doing things right now it looks like nyiragongo is a better place to keep track of, it is the only bona fide lava lake left on earth at the moment and it is very active now as jespers videos show.

    • In large parts I agree with you, but I think that the timeframe will be slower.
      August 2019 for resuming of inflative pattern is quite plausible. But, due to the size of the eruption it will most likely take longer time before we see any new eruptive behaviour. Judging from previous similar eruptions at both Hawaii and at other places I would say a minimum of two years.

      And yup, Nyirangongo is quite more fertile for now. 🙂

      • Bardarbunga is not a very productive volcano
        Kilauea haves a very much larger magma inflow.
        Holhuraun handicapped Bardarbunag for a long time

        Bardarbunga is an infrequent erupter.
        Most of the lava production from Bardarbunga is Thjorsahraun, Trölladyngja and 1400 s and Holhuraun thats around 50km3 of lava from Bardarbunga in entire holocene
        plus maybe 12 km3 of intra caldera eruptions in holocene.
        Bardarbungas cone seems to not have grown much since end of the ice age.

        Compare this to the many many 100 s of km3 that Kilauea have done in Holocene
        Maybe 1000 km3 or more Kilauea have done. But many many 100 s of km3 is it.

        • Apples and oranges, and I like them both. In fact I am not adverse to a banana or plum either, and the occasional explosion is the cherry on the top.

          The magma supply of Iceland is several times larger than that of Hawaii. But Iceland spreads it out over a much larger area, with more individual volcanoes, and also uses most of the magma underground to accommodate the spreading rift. (Saying that, Hawaii too uses quite a bit below ground to make up for the southwards slumping.) Bardarbunga is impressive for what it does. It showed us how dikes divert magma and how calderas collapse, while providing fun and not threatening people (apart from horrendous air quality). It deserves an accolade.

        • Your figures are not correct Jesper.
          But, I am tired of arguing the point.

        • Jesper kilauea has only been in true posession of the hotspot since about 1500 years ago, in the early holocene kilauea and mauna loa were pretty equally sharing it and the supply rates would have been variable for both volcanoes.

          The numbers you use are mine, i came up with them while researching. Yes in theory since 1500 years ago the hotspot has supplied a bit more than 300 km3 of magma to kilauea with a rate of 0.2 km3/year, and while this is likely correct I originally neglected a few important things. About a third of this magma is in the deep rift and wont erupt or at least not easily, and even more importantly probably another third at least of kilaueas lava is washed out to sea and doesnt exist on the island anymore.

          • FUN Turtlebirdman here are some photos of the 2002 eruption of Nyiragongo taken from the upper flanks
            http://mhalb.pagesperso-orange.fr/kivu/eg/eg_4h_eruption_photo.htm
            Here are photos of recently cooled 2002 Nyiragongo lava flows

            This shows the extreme fluidity of this Nephelintic melt
            And how fast it vent on the steep upepr slopes.
            Its was so fast and fluid it coated the ground in thin glassy shells
            Click to enlarge the photos. the lava was extremely fluid
            The viscosity is so low it flowed like a flash flood

    • When I watch lava lakes specialy Nyiragongo or when I watched Halemaumau lava lake for 11 years
      I watch an induvidual crust skinn plate on the lake.. and watches how long it survives before being swallowed back into the molten interior.
      These lava lake skinn tectonics are constantly changing and reforming
      Its very much like the skinn on brown sauce.
      Convection currents in the lakes breaks it up into plates with many spreading zones and subduction along the lakes edges
      The skinns on these lakes specialy the most active ones are milimeters thick…
      yet rock is souch a good insulator that the black crust may only be 200 C

  29. Carl, Albert here are some photos of the 2002 eruption of Nyiragongo taken from the upper flanks
    http://mhalb.pagesperso-orange.fr/kivu/eg/eg_4h_eruption_photo.htm
    Here are photos of recently cooled 2002 Nyiragongo lava flows

    This shows the extreme fluidity of this Nephelintic melt
    And how fast it vent on the steep upepr slopes.
    Its was so fast and fluid it coated the ground in thin glassy shells
    Click to enlarge the photos. the lava was extremely fluid
    The viscosity is so low it flowed like a flash flood

    • Carl is there any chance of Iceland producing Nephelinite?
      Or is the partial melting under Iceland simply too high for strongly alkaline rocks?
      Snafellsness Penninsula haves alkaline rocks but not very sillica undersaturated

      • Nephelinite needs either a very hot source, or very deep origin.
        The Icelandic plume is not hot enough, and the origin is not deep enough.

        Over to the alkalinity, the plume derived magma is not alkaline, but the further away you go the more alkaline it becomes. Or if it is produced by partial melting. The spots to find alkaline lavas are on a line from Hekla via Eyjafjallajökull down through the Vestmannaeyjar, at Snaefellsness Peninsula and over at Thingmuli central volcano.

        I hope this cleared things up a bit Jesper.

        • Yup it does thank you

          But remeber Nephelinite is a product of extremely low degrees of partial melting

        • Nephelinite is the product of the very lowest level of partial melting of mantle rocks deep down.
          Its superalkaline and super – sillica undersaturated.
          Nephelinites are usualy never made in any large ammounts.

          Its very supprising Nyiragongo lava lake activity and specialy 100km3 submarine Hawaii Ohau Nephelinite flood lavas on the seafloor.
          Usualy Nephelinites are only formed in very small ammounts

  30. Turtlebirdman/Carl The most powerful hotspot is NOT Hawaii or Iceland….
    Its the African Superplume as Carl says.
    here is a good video about the african superplume: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jpbArY2L78

    African Superplume is the most powerful mantle plume at moment.
    All other plumes are grains of sand in comparsion even if Hawaiis is quite big.
    African Superplume is much less visible than Iceland or Hawaii beacuse its dealing with a huge thick continent. The African Superplumes focus point is under the Tanzanian Craton and haves a difficult time to penerate there.
    Only in the orogenic, younger and thinner seams between the Cratons in Africa it have managed to get through Thats is in Erta Ale and Nyiragongo and its beginning to get through in the Great Rift.
    All geological and geochemical data and seismic data and gas analysis points to a large single mantle plume under East Africa.
    Nyiragongo and Erta Ale and Lengai are places where this mantle plume is getting through the thick continetal crust. The Superplume is resposible for the doomeing of east Africa and formation of the Great Rift.
    Its dealing with a thick ancient continent and is far less powerful than the pangea breakup superplumes.

    Nyiragongo and Nyiramuragira is feeding from the western part of the superplumes head, where the magma gets through in a thin orogenic seams between Tanzania and Congo cratons and that have started to Rift forming the Albertine rift and Malawi rift.

    Potential for Flood Basalts are these huge mantle plumes
    I wonder if this mantle pluem is powerful enough to form a new ocean

  31. Just fun stuff.

    Wait a minute! All those of you discussing mantle plumes. They cannot possibly exist under this model!
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimdobson/2019/03/16/flat-earth-supporters-now-plan-an-antarctica-expedition-to-the-edge-of-the-world/#7631e6955916

    Obviously having lived in Iceland, I am a true believer in mantle plumes. Even though I was always impressed by its coincidence (or not) with the MAR. But it seems that mantle plumes can trigger the formation of oceanic and continental rifts.

    But back to the flat earth theory, it’s seem that their dome is always cracking all the time. I wonder how they fit tectonic drift into their theory!

    Anyways, I had a friend that once traveled all the way to the south pole, so I am pretty aware of the crazy bs of the flat earth theory. Maybe they do not know about lunar eclipses. (I believe that this is not more than a publicity stunt)

    Back to reality, today I realize something fascinating: that we only see usually 1% of the Milky Way galaxy, within about 2000 light years. That most of the spiral arms are out of reach of our visual observation. it’s fascinating to realize that, like a big big city, we are only seeing the houses and people (stars, nebulas, clusters) in our vicinity. This makes just realize the sheer size that usually a galaxy has!!!

    It’s also comforting to realize this scale, especially when I am concerned about something as tiny as UK politics.

    • Very tiny.

      I expect it is often the other way around: the formation of rifts can form mantle plumes. Or rather, hot spots which are interpreted as mantle plumes. Mantle plumes don’t normally cause a rift to form although it can happen (e.g. Afar did, Columbia didn’t, even though they were comparable in strength).

  32. Surprisingly good documentary on the UK’s Channel 5 at the moment, called ‘Mega Volcano: Draining The Pacific’ – Lots of decent science and coverage of Cascadia and New Zealand quakes.

    • “Mega” volcano? So, they use a superlative with a clearly defined meaning and still manage to screw it up? How is any volcano a million?

      A million what? Volcanoes? Since when is volcano a unit of measurement? Taal is touted by some tour guides as the worlds smallest volcano (3.1 km² crater), but in reality the whole freaking lake it is in is the actual volcano. (284 km² caldera)

      … so, taking the title at face value, does a “Megavolocano” have a caldera of 284,000,000 km²?

      I think that is pushing it a bit… even 3,100,000 km² is beyond the pale. That’s almost twice the size of Alaska.


      “When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don’t mean utterly, but kill most of them–then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are far apart.”

      ― Mark Twain

      • Tilapia farming is popular in the lake… whenever they have a massive fish die off, geologists get quite curious as to why.

        The last time Taal had a significant event, it caused tsunamis within the lake it self. This caused several villages to relocate to “safer” ground.

        Additionally, Taal lake used to be an inlet until ash-fall from one of the eruptions closed off the lake from the open ocean and the lake levels rose, flooding some older towns.

        “Safer” as in perceived to be safer. Whenever you have something the actual size of Taal getting festive, you don’t want to be around… period.

        Don’t be there” applies.

      • Oh gawd yes, that title – That’s what the TV listing called it, but the actual title of the doc series is ‘Draining The Ocean’! No Mega volcanoes in it, but a bunch of fairly well edited decent articles about newish discoveries around New Zealand and Japan, with interviews and footage of actual research in progress. Don’t let the title put you off, I’m glad I watched it.

        • yes I skipped it thinking it was going to be a sharknado type film – and then caught the last few minutes and wished I had watched it

  33. Dear Jesper!
    Do you think you could work on putting all comments about a particular subject in the same comment thread instead of spreading them in many places? It will make the comment flow much easier.
    Thanks in advance!

    • There are several threads about Nyiragongo and nephelinite above.
      Our point was that it is better to do follow up comments in them.
      /Itinerant Admin

  34. This is a general comment on lava lakes (and associated phenomena).

    What astonishes me that despite the liquid system comprising probably tens of (hundreds of?) cubic km of liquid, only teeny amounts overflow. It shows the amazing stability of these systems with fluctuations typically of <thousandths of the total volume.

    Few natural systems have such little natural variability.

    Carl and Albert will now say that's due to the quasi-geologic timescales compared to humanlike timescales.

    Hmm, maybe that's it?

    OK, I'm back to my hole in the ground ….

    • Well… you did answer your own question. Be careful in that hole BTW, if it’s an old magma tube you don’t wanna be down there if it reactivates.

      • Also, there is often volcanic gases down in the tubes.

        FarmerOz, another explanation would be that it is this lack of variability that make the lakes possible, and since that lack of variability is uncommon you get very few lava lakes compared to the number of volcanoes.
        A variable volcano will just erupt, and then go back to bed.

        • Actually that is a good point. Only a tiny number are precariously and probably temporarily at the delicate balance point that produces a fleeting (on volcanolifetimeterms) period of stability giving a lava lake. Mostly they just do nothing or blow up or drain out.

          A good lava lake is such a spectacle that we wouldn’t want it to be too commonplace.

      • After all, we are talking about 3 to 5 active lava lakes in the world out of thousands of volcanoes. I think the actual number is 4 today.

        • Out of all the lava lakes in the past few years I would have only consider nyiragongo and kilaueas lava lakes to be true lava lakes, all the others are more like ponds, erta ale is sort of in between. Kilaueas lava lakes have all gone now so there is only one big lake left, and based on the overflowing recently and what that ultimately meant for kilauea it might too soon meet its demise.

          • We may need a definition here. Some call a lake a pond if sunlight can reach the bottom. That would mean there is no such thing as a lava pond. But lava can pond so that must be wrong. In the US, Maine has a definition that if a pond is larger than 200 by 200 meters, it is a ‘great pond’ which doesn’t help at all but we could say that a ‘great pond’ (‘my pond is the biggest’) is a lake.

            Now when does a lava lake become a sea? The Moon has them: the Mares are frozen lava seas.

          • Verbing nouns can be wonderfully confusing! 🙂

            Mods, side question. I’ve recently found an old wordpress account that I forgot I had. the name is “unakite,” which is the state rock of Virginia. If I post using that, will there be any problems (my background is geology, and I kinda would like to start using it again). 🙂

          • I am happy to call all of them lakes, size is not everything after all. I will do them in north to south order.
            1. Erta Ale
            2. Nyiragonga
            3. Nyamuragira
            4. Erebus

            The others seem to be lost for now.

          • Albert, thankfully lava oceans are a tad uncommon.
            I could go with the Deccan Ocean, the Siberian Ocean, and the Alpha RIdge Ocean, but that would be it. And all of those 3 did rather stupendous things to organic life as we know it.

          • I think in Hawaii the term lava pond is used for secondary or rootless lava lakes that form when still fresh molten lava fills a pit crater, caldera or when it ponds and perches in flat terrain. But even with this definition it still has a few problems, the lava pond will frequently raise and cover the vent feeding the pond and then are we left with a rootless or proper lake?

          • That sounds more like a lava cenote. You can also have lava rivers and streams, but not lava brook or creek (why? Is lava biased against the first row of the alphabet? I demand an inquiry), and I would really like a lava lagoon. There is also lava rain (luckily rare) and lava hail (more common) but lava snow sounds a bit like a contradiction in terms.

            We managed to drain the lava swamp.

          • Its more the size that kilauea and nyiragongo get to, overlook crater on may 10 was 400 meters deep empty and that was the last time it was observed with lava. That is about 12 million m3 of lava in that lake at any one time, and nyiragongos lake is probably even deeper so even more lava. All the other lava lakes are way smaller, erta ale is about 100 meters wide and not even as deep, the others are like the small lava pond in puu oo last april and no-one was calling that a lake. Last time there was 3 actual lava lakes was 2011 when puu oo also had a large lava body inside it and just like nyiragongo in 1977 it failed catastrophically in a lava flood.

            Biggest lava lake in on earth in recorded history is probably kilauea in 1840 at about 2 km wide and probably at least 100 meters deep before it drained out the east rift. Maybe also nyiragongo in 1977 probably being over 1 km before the drain.

          • There was a lava lake that big in 1840? I didn’t know. I do have read that there were 5 lava lakes in 1838 of which the southern one was the biggest and was called Hau’mau’mau which later evolved to Halema’uma’u if I remember right, and it is the first mention I know to that name though it is likely that it had been around long before that.

          • I dont know exactly where i heard it, but the pictures of kilauea after 1840 describe it as having a ledge of recent lava and a deeper part with active lava. 1840 was a big event with intrusion along most of the rift and at considerable depth within the deep rift but it was still not even close to last year in volume even including that its intrusion was all at once (it takes about 0.2 km3 to intrude that far so 1840 was about 0.5 km3 total which is about half of the total of 2018 and more of 2018 erupted, 1924 was probably barely 0.2 km3, which is why it didnt erupt) but a crater that big from a collapse is a lot wider than the 2018 caldera so it is likely in part a drained lake basin combined with subsidence. Eruptions restarted soon after 1840 too and in the same places so it was probably not nearly as big of a collapse.

            Descriptions of kilauea in 1840 also describe the caldera just before the rift eruption as ‘in a state of extreme turmoil’.

          • Turtle, the greatest description of what you are talking about was done by Mark Twain, and I think you are describing exactly that he wrote about.

          • Mark Twain visited Kilauea later in 1866, Turtle talks about the lava lake that formed in the southwestern part of the caldera in the year following the collapse of 1832 and was destroyed by the collapse of 1840.

        • At the moment: Nyiragongo, Erta Ale, Erebus, Masaya. (Ambrym also stopped completely). I bet there are times when absolutely no lava lakes are present. Even almost permanently-active volcanoes go on hiatus.

          • Nyamuragira too. Unlike the others Erebus seems to always have a lava lake or is it just my ignorance on that volcano?

          • As far as we know there has been a lava lake at Erebus for as long as humans has been to Antarctica. Problem is just that people rarely go to look, so it may have disappeared from time to time, but everytime anyone has looked it has happily bubbled forth.

          • The last time think there were no lava lakes was maybe in the 1930s, kilauea was dormant after 1934, and nyamuragira just drained its 10 year long standing lava lake in 1927, and I dont know about nyiragongo but likely it didnt have one at that point because it is never mentioned. Erta ale might have had something but it was only well observed after the 60s so it is hard to tell. Ambrym seems to have been rather more intermittent before the 1950s where it had a few but big eruptions and outside its caldera but no lava lakes.

            Interesting that africas rift seems to like making lava lakes and so does hawaii that isnt a rift at all, but not iceland which is like hawaii and east africa combined. Iceland only does lava lakes when shields form and those arent that common and are also not exactly the sane as a static lava lake like nyiragongo because they overflowed all the time sometimes very heavily to make long flows. Grimsvotn even though it is covered in ice seems exactly like the sort of place to support a puu oo type long shield eruption with long lived open conduits like bardarbunga or northeast of reykjavik but instead it just blasts every few years and stops. Erta ale and grimsvotn are in very similar settings yet are very different, and hawaii and grimsvotn are in very different settings and look very different but behave similar, and yet also in hawaii you get both massive fast eruptions like grimsvotn and slow shields like erta ale and sometimes even both in one eruption like last year… Lots of interesting things that seem simple until they arent…

          • Erta Ale is very different even from its neighbours which range from felsic mini-stratovolcanoes to fissure rows with a liking for high rate short-lived effusive eruptions.

            As Albert points out volcanoes with lava lakes tend to have shallow magma chambers, for example in Kilauea lava lakes usually form above the 1 km deep Halema’uma’u magma chamber and not above the 3 km deep chamber in the southern caldera area, in the past (19th century) the shallow magma body on Halema’uma’u seemed to extend into the northern caldera where small lava lakes formed too and it was frequent to have multiple lava lakes.

        • Lava Lakes are amazing Albert/ Carl!
          Im lava lake fanatic.. and watched halemaumau lake for 11 years everyday
          And in 2015 I got to see my loved lake 🙂 there are few features like this in the world.
          Exposed tops of magma systems

          Nyiragongo and Kilauea often haves the largest lava lakes.
          And Erebus is the only high viscosity phonolite lava lake
          There are many types of lava lake pehomena like: lake crust tectonics, bubbling and waves and degassing and upwelling.

          Ther are many types of lava lake surfaces too and thermal emissions depending how active the lava lakes surface is.

          Calm lakes are Like Halemaumau,Nyiragongo, Erta Ale, and Puu Oo ponds
          60 meters to 300 meters wide
          ( but specialy very large lava lakes with lots of exposed surface to the air )
          The bubbling is minior and the lake is covered by large plates of silvery crust
          that means they are often very refelctive in sunlight.
          Souch large placid lakes haves a low thermal emission from space since they are covered by lake skinn. These large placed lakes haves Lava Lake Tectonics as the lava lakes skinn gets broken up and floats on the convective currents in the lava under. Its a convection that takes place.
          halemaumau was feed by the feed by the conduit.. spills into the lake.. but it haves to recirculate otherwise the lava lake spills over constantly
          At the northen edge the lava sinked and returned to the magma chamber.
          The magma column circulates constantly.
          Halemaumau displayed lava Lkae Tectonics with crustal spreading zones, subduction zones and “hotspot” bubbling points in the middle of the lakes
          and violent bubbling at lava lake edge where the lava sinks down into the conduit column. Haleamumau had a very typical pattern of crust tectonics, just as Nyiragongo haves today.. this makes it easy to identify these lakes on photographs.
          The gas content in Halemaumau and Nyiragongo was/ is very high
          Halemaumau was almost a lava foam under the crust and violenly bubbled when distubed by wall collpase or rockfall.
          Nyiragongo displays a sligthly more active surface with more crustal plates than halemaumau or Erta Ale did, likley beacuse of faster circulation.

          Smaller lava lakes Like Ambrym, Masaya and Villaricca
          10 meters to 80 meters wide
          Are often very very active distubed surface and little crust
          Large gas bubbles and dome fountains, this makes these lakes very very strong emitters of heat from space. Ambryms lakes never had skinn tectonics and current Masaya lava lake have not that either these small lava lakes are very distubed.
          benbow lava lake sometimes was just a large fountain that was going on for months. And Masaya was often a fast moving lava torrent seent hrough a window thats the lava lake. This is beacuse of extremely rapid convection crammed into a small area. Ambryms lake was contantly like this.

        • A really permanent circulating lava lake can only exist beacuse of many very special factors: You needs hot and fairly fluid lavas( very fluid is best ) that can allow that convection.
          A very constant magma supply where magma is feed all the time.
          The volcano also needs hot and completely open conduits, where magma can convect and rise and fall at the same time.
          The lava heat supply must exactly match the cooling at the lakes surface ( crust formation )
          Otherwise the lake freeze over. Only a very few volcanoes are equiped with these amazing specs.
          Lava Lakes are rare… very very very rare!

        • Erebus lava lake is unique!
          Its the only lava lake with a rather high viscosity, Erebus phonolitic lava lake is the only one with high viscosity.

          All the others are much more fluid

        • Erebus is the only high viscosity lava lake for now
          Erebusian phonolites are 100 times more viscous than lavas in halemaumau for example

    • Not time scales. It is because continental rock is so light. It doesn’t weigh much (ok – the correct way to say it is that it has low density). Magma rises while it is buoyant, but there is a depth where it reaches equilibrium, 5-10 km down. That is where magma chambers form. Add more magma and the magma doesn’t overflow – the crust rises. It is like adding more water below an iceberg: the water doesn’t overflow the ice, the ice rises instead. The crust floats on the magma. Lava lakes form from shallower, smaller magma chambers where the crust is resistant to the pressure from below as it it is anchored to the adjacent crust. Make a hole in the crust (a conduit) and now the lava will overflow the crust. But make the magma chamber too large and instead of overflowing, it will push up the crust over a larger area.

      This does not always work: think of flood basalt. But in most cases, the lava lake is tied to a smallish magma chamber.

      I am aware of plans to use this in some spectacular geo-engineering. Perhaps for a later post.

  35. Note from the Admins!

    Phil R above asked a question if he could start using another account to post with, and we have had questions about that previously.
    For us that is fine and we will obviously not take any action or curtail any changes to anyone’s account that they do themselves.
    Only time we take umbrage is if someone who has been banned resurfaces with a new account. Then we remove the new account.

    Upon rare instances our automated security system takes umbrage against such activities, and we have to help the person out of the Dungeons. But, to my knowledge that has always involved several accounts posting from many devices on the same IP tricking the system to believing that it is dealing with a bot-farm.
    If that happens we always help people out.
    After all, we want people to comment upon what we write.

    I hope this clears things up.

    • Any question in regards of moderation will be taken up privately with the Admins and Moderators by using the email list up towards the right.
      It is not to be discussed publicly. Especially if it is involving other groups, and other people.

      Please be advised.

      /Itinerant Admin

    • Carl,

      Thanks to the reply and info. I saw Albert’s response earlier but did not respond at the time.

      Part of the problem has been since I found my old account, sometimes when I respond it tries to force me to use the WordPress account. It didn’t this time. I won’t keep raising the issue and will stick with this one. But if “unakite” pops up once in a while, I’m not trying to be tricky. 🙂

  36. Im looking for the coarse grained plutonic version of Nephelinite called Ijolite
    Is there any Ijolite near Stockholm??
    Finland haves lots of Ijolites in local areras

  37. Grimsvotn is definitely (IMO) in the run-up phase. It looks to me that the quiet phase the last two years was resolved in the larger quakes, and since that time activity has increased. Comparing to the two previous eruptions (a bit of a small sample to go on) suggests 1-3 years before an eruption. Saying it is in the run-up and putting a time frame on an eruption are entirely different things. You can confident of the first and much less so about the second.

    Why the quiet phase? The bigger events that terminated it suggests that pressure continued to build up – something prevented it from being released. Something had gotten stuck inside. I have had meals like that.

    • These are the most recent swarms at Grimsvötn last week and some days before
      That made this increase in the track/plot.
      Its nothing that instantly says it will erupt.
      But IF the quakes gets more frequent that may be the case.
      Likely the upper magma body thats growing and stressing the bedrock around it
      Grimsvötn haves a monsterious supply and its likley the case as you say

    • An event like 2004 or 1996 is very likley
      or a 1998 next time

  38. silly question but can anyone read this blog or do they have to belong?? it’s been so long i’ve forgotten…. Thanks from motsfo who gunned her car but did manage to get out of my melting drowning driveway… don’t know about tomorrow tho… ah spring…. when our multiple feet of snow decides to all go on the same few days…

    • It is readable for anyone: only commenters require registration, for obvious but regrettable reasons. Fully open blogs attract abuse, and we have (slowly) learned to respect differences among ourselves just as we appreciate differences among our volcanoes. It would be a pity to lose that again. Sometimes things do slip through but that is part of the learning process!

      Now I am trying to visualize what it means to ‘gun your car’. Was it a semi-automatic?

    • As Albert states, anyone can read anything in here, but to comment you need to be logged in.

      When gunning down a car trying to escape a flotatious driveway I recommend a semi-automatic shotgun and slugs. Cars are dangerous animals known to kill people if they are not taken care of in a permanent fashion. Remember to not miss the car. 😉

      • And after studiously avoiding politics, I can’t help put up this advance, and strictly confidential, information

        • If Brexit was a lava it would be phonolite.
          It comes calling back time and again.

          • why woud it be phonolite?
            Why not trachyte or tephrite?

            Brexit is superalkaline : D

          • Phonolites since it comes calling again and again like any nuisance does on a phone…

      • Please keep the comments in the appropriate section.

        /Galumphing Admin

      • Nope, this was not the spot. Look upwards for a Nyiragongo post to comment in.

        /Ever so slightly dancing Admin

Comments are closed.