The mystery of The Mysterious Island

Caldera floor of Tambora Caldera.

If there ever was a patron saint of Volcanocafé it would be the author Jules Verne. When he was not inventing cadres of literary genres, he was quite obsessed with volcanoes.

Map of Lincoln Island.

When he was not writing he spent his time reading about volcanoes (and other things scientific). And quite often he combined his interests of volcanoes and writing in books such as ‘A Journey to the Centre of the Earth’, ‘The Golden Volcano’ and ‘The Mysterious Island’ (to just name a few).

Earlier this week Albert and I was debating which Island was the inspiration for the volcano in The Mysterious Island where Captain Nemo met his end.

Both of us pointed with the hand imperiously, declaring it to be Graham Island (Albert) and Isola di Ferdinandea (me). It is in fact the same Island, and to increase the naming confusion, Jules Verne being of an utterly French persuasion would have called it Isle de Julia.

After thusly having imperiously doled out the volcanic lard about the issue something started to nag in the back of my head. So, I reread the book and the plot thickened, because Ferdinandea is not a really good candidate when you compare to the book.

As in any good mystery novel the protagonist must venture forth and study the minutia to get to greips with things. In the end I concluded that the cunning wily Vernian fox had used a number of disappearing volcanic Islands as his inspiration.


Isola di Ferdinandea

HMS Melville guarding the freshly stolen island of Ferdinandea.

Jules Verne mentioned the volcano in no less than two books (‘Captain Antifer’ and ‘The Survivors of the Chancellor’), it is though not mentioned in The Mysterious Island. There is in fact not a single scrap of evidence that he used Ferdinandea as a spatially translocated inspiration for the lair of Captain Nemo.

The ephemeral Island of Ferdinandea is a vent of the larger volcano Empedocles that was first witnessed to erupt in 10AD by the Romans. Empedocles in turn is a part of the Campi Flegrei del Mar de Sicilia (if that is not the grandest volcanic name in history I do not know).

The watery Campi Flegrei in turn is on a volcanic line stretching from mainland Italy via Sicily over Ferdinandea, onwards across Pantelleria, all the way into the Libyan volcanic line where it connects to some African volcanic Shenanigans.

Now and then throughout history Empedocles have sprouted Islands, in 1831 it created Ferdinandea and a conflict broke out between The King of the Two Sicilies (math was not his strength), France, Spain and England.

The question though became moot as the Island withered away by the onslaught of the waves. If Jules Verne was not aware of an Island appearing and disappearing four times in history, he would have become aware of it as it reappeared a fifth time in 1863, this time the island was so minute that it disappeared within just a few days, and nobody got around to dunk down a flag on top of it.

The problem is that the final destruction of the fictitious Lincoln Island (The Mysterious Island) was a real humdinger, basically it exploded like Krakatau out of the water, instead the poor hapless Ferdinandea produced a surtseyan eruption and then just went silent and withered away.

No, not a good fit at all. So, we must venture forth and find something with a more explosive potential, and preferably pirates since The Mysterious Island indeed contained pirates. Who does not love a good volcanic pirate-story?


Dom Joao de Castro

Gas venting at Dom de Joao de Castro Bank. Picture is honestly stolen from Dive in the Azores due to being criminally perfect for this article.

Between São Miguel and Terceira, we find the Dom Joao de Castro Bank (another grand volcanic name). The reason that Verne would be familiar with this volcano is that it in the spring of 1718 sank two ships of the French Corsair Henry Tourin. An ending to a pirate worthy of Jack Sparrow if there ever was one.

As the eruption progressed, it on the 31st of December 1720 created a circular Island 1.5 kilometres across and reaching an impressive height of 250 metres. But as the ocean is a cruel mistress it in only two years withered away the Island into a bank 13 metres below the surface.

Today it is still active with fumarolic fields and it also has a parasitic cone that contains a fresh solidified lava lake fractured into a polygonal pattern, so it apparently erupted at some time after 1720, since it is not covered in tephra from the 1718-1720 eruption.

It is quite possible that Jules Verne grabbed the idea of the pirates from Dom Joao de Castro, but the eruption itself does not fit. We need something with a bit more of a wrecking-ball ending. Time to go back to the Club Med of Volcanoes.


Kolombo Bank

Pori Beachon Santorini, one of the beaches that was destroyed by the 1650 eruption of Kolombo Bank.

6.5 kilometres Northeast of the Thera Caldera we find a far more deadly volcano lurking under the sunny waters of the Mediterranean.

In July of 1650 the volcano roared into life (truly roared, it was heard quite far), it rapidly built an island out of white tephra (white is a bad thing around volcanoes). As the Island blasted away into a 1-kilometre wide crater it caused pyroclastic flows and tsunamis to inundate the coast of Santorini, killing 70 people and destroying quite a few houses and boats on the beach.

We do not know if Verne knew about this eruption, but it is at least likely. And it fit the bill of being explosive as it disappeared. Problem is just that parts of Lincoln Island in the book survived, and Kolombo did not.

Also, in the book the Island was not a new shiny ash pile, it was quite old and verdant with a gently bopping volcano that in the end tore itself out. Question is if there is such a volcano that could have housed a cave large enough to house the Nautilus inside it, and that Verne would have known quite well?


Tomboro on Sumbawa

En route to Tomboro caldera with some catabatic winds creating a cloud cap inside the caldera.

In early 1815 Tomboro was a handsome looking 4300 metres high volcano situated on the island of Sumbawa. At seven o’clock in the morning on the 6th of April 1815 the Island was devastated as Tomboro produced a pyroclastic base-surge as it suffered from an explosive caldera formation leaving a 6 by 7-kilometre caldera 700 metres deep.

Basically 2200 metres of the mountain was blown out in under a minute if you count from the bottom of the caldera to the pre-eruption height. From a human standpoint the vibrant Island and its culture was gone, even though a few survived the event and the ensuing mass starvation.

From a more geologic standpoint both the Island and the volcano survived. The volcano is in fact slowly rebuilding itself, as I was there galumphing about on the caldera floor, I found several fresh-looking lava flows, fumaroles and small vents. Thankfully it will take millennia for Tomboro to build up again to a state where it is able to produce larger eruptions.

1816 was the Year without a summer, a year any of the French persuasion would vividly know and remember for historical reasons. So, we can safely put Tomboro as a possible source of volcanic mayhem in Verne’s mind. Problem is just that the eruption did not destroy most of the Islands physical shape like it was at Lincoln Island. Onwards and Forwards into the next Caldera!


Santorini (Thera)

Nice view of the caldera at Santorini, stolen from Vingresor.

We know from the notes of Verne himself that he was quite aware of the Island of Santorini’s volcanic history. Without going into the eruption, we here have a volcanic eruption that sufficiently altered an Island to fit the bill.

Problem is just survivability. The protagonists in The Mysterious Island did indeed survive (at least in a Game of Thrones fashion) the eruption.

And here we have the problem in all its glory. An eruption large enough to destroy most of an Island would either kill you outright or be on an Island to large to be sufficiently destroyed.



Lincoln Island

It seems that instead the crafty genius Patron Saint of all things Volcanic, Jules Verne, did what need to be done for the sake of the plot. He brazenly invented a volcanic Island from scratch that would fit the bill of the book. Obviously, he picked parts and details of a few eruptions that he knew well, and thusly he ended up with inventing Krakatau.

Krakatau is the closest fit that we know about in the volcanic history when compared to the description of Lincoln Island. I would though not put a large wager upon the survivability of even literature heroes to survive the blast.


The Verne Conclusion

The mind of Jules Verne was inundated in Democracy, Science and the Future. He was also the founding father of Science-Fiction as a genre. He often ventured out in Space and the Future.

So, let us judge things from this angle instead and we will come to a rather stunning conclusion.

Let us begin with the master scientist and inventor of Captain Nobody, sorry I meant Nemo, and his gallant submarine Nautilus.

To this day Nautilus is beyond our technological ability to build since it had a top speed of 93 kilometres an hour. We know that it was propelled by electricity and we know how it had batteries that refuelled themselves through a technology that is both well described and that at least partially would work if anyone bothered with working out the kinks.

But the main engine is left in the vagaries of the wind. It is said in The Mysterious Island to have been a knowledge best kept to the future and far to powerful for the Countries of that era to hold and that Captain Nemo wanted to make sure that it would not fall into the wrong hands.

Nautilus itself was 70 metres long, weighed 1500 tons submerged, and was quite able to stay below for long periods and at the same time able to circumnavigate the globe at breakneck speed and that the hull was incredibly strong.

The closest anyone has ever come to producing a submarine fitting that description is the nuclear Project 705-Lira (Alfa-class in the western nomenclature). At 81.4 metres, 3200 tons submerged and 76 kilometres an hour it is the closest we have with a similar power to weight ratio. Nautilus is though a bit better than the Russian titanium-hulled monstrosity.

Now that we have a nuclear Nautilus, we can take a single step further and introduce nuclear torpedoes.

Now that we have a nuclear Nautilus with nuclear torpedoes and a quite dead Captain Nemo, it is simple to think that he would have created a deadmans-switch to make sure his secrets would go away for ever.

In the book the volcano is erupting, but otherwise it seems to be benign, and Captain Nemo accurately predicts that it will soon explode. Easiest way to do that is if you know that a nuclear bomb will go off near this gentle old volcano.

This is my preferred answer to the mystery. It is An answer, as usual there is no Definite answer. Life is good.



319 thoughts on “The mystery of The Mysterious Island

  1. Due to me being off on an expedition from Friday this week and two weeks forward it will be a slight hiatus in the conclusion of the Greíp story.

  2. Ferdinandea is actually the only Island non-situ that has been awarded by the UN to a country. It now soundly belongs to Italy.

    • Isn’t that Graham Island? I thought that belonged to the UK?

  3. Regarding the submarine, the speed is not impossible but is very impractical for something that big. However about the power source I do have something that might be of interest. If you made voltaic cells (common technology before 1880s) using aluminium instead of zinc, and that were activated by seawater instead of dilute sulfuric acid you could actually make a long range non nuclear submarine even with 19th century technology though it would have cost a literal fortune. A similar battery was designed a few years ago for independently active submersibles but never became commercial because the company went bankrupt.

    On the island and its characteristics, it also looks like its location was inspired by hawaii, as well as the size of the island which I think it says is 185 miles long… I think if this thing did blow up the whole world would have trouble surviving it, let alone someone on the island while this happened. Either that or it says the island is 18.5 miles long in which case that is much more realistic though the outcome is the same if you are on it when things go pear shaped.

  4. Fun! There is one other option: the mysterious volcano of 1809. It was big, so the size of the island fits, and it has never been found which was kind of the point of Verne. All we need to do is find it!

    • I’d hazard a theory that the eruption of 1809 most likely occurred in the SW Pacific somewhere between Tonga/northern Kermadec arc and the Bismarck Archipelago in PNG. There were next to no Europeans in that part of the world at that time, even in northern Australia. The East African Rift also cannot be ruled out, either.

    • Problem here is that I think it quite unlikely that Verne knew about the 1809 eruption, and I bet that if he had known he would have woven it into one of his stories.
      The 1809 is an unknown even for us, and to be honest we know more about volcanoes than Verne (not diminishing his knowledge, he knew a heck of a lot for his time).

  5. And since it is that time of the year…
    Finland handed our asses to us this time in the final of the World Championships. After that Finland handed Russia their arses, and will tomorrow face either the Czech Republic or Canada.
    Now, why did I say that the match between us and Finns was the Final? Well, when we meet it is always the Final regardless, the rest is just fill matches to sell airtime. Cue protesting Canadians 🙂

  6. Hello, I’m from Italy. Does Someone knowk something about the Tambora’s shape before 1815? Who speaks of two peaks, as Stothers (The Great Tambora Eruption in 1815 and its afthermath, chapther “Chronology of Eruption”), and who speaks of a stratovolcano with a single giant cone soaring up to 4,000 and 4,300 meters above sea level.
    Some experts infer that it might be that the Sumbawa’s inhabitants didn’t know the volcanic nature of Tambora before the 1815 eruption, but in this case, in my opinion, the shape of Tambora wasn’t conical: in fact anyone would recognize a volcano from any mountain because the major part of Volcanoes are stratovolcanoes with a conical shape, and it’s so alse in the common opinion.
    Seeking in the Memoir of Sir Thomas Raffles, instead, I found this about the eruption: “About seven p.m. on the 10th April, three distinct columns of flame burst forth near the top of the Tomboro mountain (all of them apparently within the verge of the crater)….”. In this case not only the rajah of Sanggar speaks of one crater (one single cone), but also of three distinct eruptive columns from it, so this unique crater must have been wide enough for the ascent of three different eruptive columns

    • I will try to answer a few of your questions.
      Tambora at the time of the first eruption 1812 was quite weather worn, but it is stated as having a single cone with one crater.
      Most stratovolcanoes are not shaped as nice cones, especially old and large stratovolcanoes. They tend to be bent out of shape by parasitic vents, dome-building, dome-extrusions, and being partially torn and collapsed. And what remains of the volcano tells the story of a volcano much like this.

      As I mentioned above there was an eruption in 1812, so by the time the big one came around the locals knew well that it was a volcano.
      An eruption of this magnitude would damage the mountain quite a bit, and often you get vents opening outside of the crater due to over-pressure. Normally these parasitic vents are close by on fractures emanating from the over-pressured crater vent.

      I would also like to point out that the Indonesians back then was quite able to pick out volcanoes regardless of how they looked, and how long it was since they erupted the last time.

      I hope I could answer you a little bit at least.

      • I will also give a personal observation here.
        Post caldera volcanoes often tend to behave as they did prior to, or during the eruption, in their post-caldera stage.

        With that I mean that often the new vent will end up smack bang on top of where the old vent was. For instance, Vesuvius is directly on top of where the old vent of Monte Somma used to be. Over at Aniakshak the current main vent is roughly where the old vent is, same goes for Tomboro. There is only one active vent there (in the lake where you see the upwelling of boiling water in the picture at the top).
        Multi-vented calderas probably had several vents prior to the eruption, as per example we can take Grimsvötn that has 3 calderas and at least 3 post-caldera vents.

        The reason for this is that the deeper feeding system will remain intact, even after a very large caldera event.
        Krakatau for instance erupted through the active vents, but as Albert told in his 3-part article last week, the magma reservoir was not directly under the vents, but instead out under the sea. So, and the volcano vent caldera, the new vent came up under where the magma reservoir and its feeder system used to be. And side-feeding a volcano was probably what did it Krakatau in since it takes more energy to do that. Katmai is a wonderful example of how bad an idea side-feeding is.

        I will stop rambling now.

        • Oh, thank you so much, very speed to answer!
          When you say in the second comment that the post-caldera Volcanoes tend to behave as they did prior to the Big One that produces caldera, do you refer to new Tambora after the first destruction more than 43.000 years ago?
          However, about the Tambora shape, I found this:
          “It is reported to have originally had two summits, and there were several parasitic cones on the east and northeast slopes. What is unusual is that studies indicate that in its first phase of activity Tambora was a shield volcano, not unlike those of Iceland or Hawaii. Later, a bedded cone was built up on top of this, possibly the result of a change in the composition of the magma.”
          Who states that Tambora had two peaks”

          • There are still several remnant parasitic cones on the volcano left after the eruption. You can even see a fairly large one on the areal picture up above.
            I do not know of anyone stating that it had two peaks. I have only heard about one crater prior to the eruption. There might though have been a parasitic cone high up mistaken for another central vent.

            I would not know if the archean Tomboro was behaving in the same way, it is by now something completely lost to us.

            The only thing I can answer to is that the pre-caldera volcano had only a single feeder system indicating a single main crater, and that any other vents would have been in the form of parasitic cones, as evidenced by the singular vent on the bottom of the caldera.

            It is actually not that unusual that strato-volcanoes start out as shield volcanoes, and that as they mature and the magma evolves turn into shield volcanoes. Öraefajökull in Iceland is one such example.

  7. I have long thought that the Rajah of Sanggar (?or Sumbawa) qualifies for my list of volcanology’s Great Unsung Heroes’ His description of the main paroxysm is full of telling detail – the impression I get is of an educated man, by the standards of his time and culture, attempting to describe a volcanic catastrophe far outside anything in his experience. An 18th Century version of Pliny The Younger, in fact

    • I quite agree, I have always been curious about his level of education. It was most likely quite good for the time.

  8. Ahh yes. The Alpha. The tractor trailer rig of submarines. From what I understand. They addressed the noise issue with a follow on design.

    • Yup, noisy as heck, but still unsurpassed in speed.
      It was designed to do one thing, and one thing only, and that was to go as quick as possible from point A to point B to attack surface ships. Quite an intriguing idea that did not catch on, it was the torpedo-boat of submarines.
      Classical Russian thinking outside of the box. As everyone else went for “slow and silent”, they went for the “scary fast and let us make it noisy to scare people even further” approach.

      On a different, but related tack, I am looking forward to tour the A26 when it is ready. That will be one crazy silent sub.
      And the follow up subs, the A26VL-Class is a real cup-cake since it will be even quieter and being a true oceanic long-range class with nuclear capable missile ports as a long range deterrent. Best part is that it is a shared cost with the Dutch since they have ordered 5 of them without the nuclear option.
      If we produce the five proposed ones in our longterm defence plan it would definitely tip the scale in our favour against the Russians on the submarine front.
      A bit of Swedish thinking outside of the box, combining a hunter/boomer in a stealth package.

  9. I’ve always had a problem keeping a mental note of where the various “T” named heavy hitters are at. I just came to the realization that Tambora is a veritable neighbor of Agung in Bali.

    The issue with that is that neighboring volcanoes tend to have very similar geologic settings.

    • Well, I think that Iceland would disagree a bit on that. Or, at least that Vatnafjöll would vividly protest and state that it is quite a peaceful volcano compared to Hekla. Also, Pacaya and Fuego are quite different from each other.

        • Absolutely. Volcanic silence since Holuhraun. Bit of shaking but nothing stirred. And Hekla is doing nothing beyond the 0.1mag level (as it did today), about the quaking you can get from an overweight tourist climbing it. I am waiting for Agung.

          • I am waiting for Whaakari. Lots of juicy whackas there since Thursday.

        • Well, peaceful in such a manner that it drowns everything in large layers of flowing basalt, whereas Hekla is far more explosive. I meant it as a pointer in regards of huge differences in eruptive style.
          Heck though knows what it would do if it erupted again, given the long repose time. It is also far more seismic than Hekla with many large earthquakes on its merit.

          • I know im treading on thin ice going into this topic 🙂 but I do have to ask, is it at all plausible that whatever caused hekla to do smaller and more frequent eruptions after 1104 also caused vatnafjoll to do the same? In that case the basalt flank vents of hekla that have happened at least 4 times and probably a lot more since 1104 could actually be eruptions of vatnafjoll and not hekla. All the basaltic vents attributed to hekla are on the southeast side too, which would make sense if this was the case.

            Actually was the 1970 north flank vent a generic alkali basalt vent or a lateral vent of hekla itself? Never been able to find that info anywhere not even on GVP. If yes it does throw a spanner in some of the above…

          • I can’t answer this. But I do know that Hekla is too young to have a particular pattern. ‘Smaller eruptions after 1104’ should not be read as a change in behaviour. It is quite unpredictable, and may now wait a century or blow tomorrow (neither of which fit recent ‘patterns’). It is also still growing, and doing so quite fast. Tat will change the stress field around it, and presumably this could be affecting nearby volcanoes. It is unlikely another volcano could erupt on Hekla’s flank (that would take a serious pressure mismatch) but along a rift it could perhaps get close, on occasion.

          • Ding! 4 out of 5 eruption points awarded.

            Problem is that Professor Erik Sturkell is not believing in things like publishing all his research data at the usual places (instead hiding it as private notes on his private homepage that is only retrievable via the Wayback-machine). Nor does he believe in answering his phone, and does not have an email. Physical mail also gets the ignore button pushed.
            That being said, he is the living genius on all things Hekla.

            You are correct that those flank-eruption probably are from Vatnafjöll, and we know they are not from Heklas magmatic system.

            In regards of the 1970 eruption, it was an unusually low explosive eruption for being Hekla, but the magma was Hekla and it happened on the Heklugjá (the strato-fissure of Hekla).
            Why it was so unexplosive is a good question, the most likely answer is that the magma was depleted after the large 1947-1948 eruption, and that it later reinvigorated.

            I should point out that the term “strato-fissure” is of my invention, but it is a pretty good description of Hekla since it looks like a strato-volcano and behaves like one, and it is a fissure. I needed a way to describe a class of volcanoes that consists of only 1 volcano, and that one fit the bill in my view. Your mileage may vary.

          • To further expound on the subject.

            Sturkell has pretty much has his hand in every single good paper on Hekla in the last 15 years. It was from those that I divined that he was operating on a theory that these eruptions where not from Hekla, and that he never mentioned them.
            So, I tried to ask him about it and never got an answer.
            Instead I got them from another professor in Icelandic Volcanology who happened to have copies of his notes on the petrology of Hekla lavas, which in turn has formed the basis of all of his research (but that he never explicitly wrote about in a paper, a bit of cheating somehow 🙂 ).

            I wrote an article about it a few years ago, that was based directly on those notes of Sturkell. The evidence in the notes is pretty damning.

          • Very interesting.

            I did make this that I think might be a plausible explaination of why hekla is so weird and had strange magma composition. it is literally right in the midst of a bunch of basalt vents so it is really hard to imagine it not being related in some way. Alberts article he says it doesnt have a sufficient heat source directly under it.

            If you look at the vents plotted on google earth you can see how close they are too, yellow is vents that are part of hekla and blue are basalt vents within the holocene lava field of that area that are probably all from vatnafjoll source. It is probable that there are many more basalt vents in the area that are between hekla and vatnafjoll, things similar to the 1913 eruption, which are now buried.
            Not strictly related to magma origin, but given that hekla last erupted about 20 years ago, it is likely an eruption will happen in this ares some time in the next few years, probably equal chance a basalt vent or proper hekla eruption. since 1767 there has been an eruption in the general area about on average every 20-30 years.

          • I hate to disagree with Albert, but on this he was wrong.

            I would also like to suggest that you look at the seismic plots that is based on real life data done by Andrej Flis instead of coming up with your own. That way you will not drift away from the true Hekla mysteries 🙂

          • Based on the lack of mixing/overturning in Hekla magma chamber. Gives a very neat progression in composition over a series of eruptions, until the next magma renewal cycle. Doesn’t really work so well if you keep heating it from below.

            Are you proposing Hekla as the mysterious island? Perhaps all Verne’s volcanoes were really Hekla?

          • I would very much like to see these plots. I think I saw one a while ago and it actually does look a bit like my drawing though.
            Also if there is indeed a heat source under hekla that makes it much more simple to separate it as it could be assumed the places where it overlaps with vatnafjoll are more shallow. Not so much to explain where the magma comes from…

          • Obviously he would have known about Hekla, but in Iceland he was more infatuated with Snaefell for some reason.

          • Hekla doesn’t look much, so he liked the more photogenic volcano, perhaps.

            The presence of magma and a feeder is not in doubt for Hekla. But the chamber is simmering rather than boiling, in my opinion.

    • In between Bali with Batur (which has done a VEI7) and Agung, and Sumbawa with Tambora, there is a volcano called Rinjani aka Samalas on Lombok.

      There have been a lot of earthquakes around Lombok this year.

  10. Thank you so much, Carl, for helping me to satisfy my curiosity on this interesting point with many details. You’re handsome like Volcanoes!

  11. The fictional island of Lincoln Island’s coordinates (34′ 54″ S, 150′ 30″ W) places it 1,900 km nearly directly south of Mo’orea in French Polynesia, and just slightly further south in latitude than Cape Reinga, the northernmost point in New Zealand’s North Island.

    Now of course, no such island exists at this location in the South Pacific. But this far south, such an island would probably have a similar climate to that of Cape Reinga, but probably with some more trees. No coconut palms – too far south for that! Such an island would also have to have been generated by a hot spot plume in order to have formed there. But no such plume exists right there, although the South Pacific has a lot of hot spots.

    • Remember that these are not your usual coordinates, the French back then used Paris as the centre point and not Greenwich. They also used a different set of degrees. 700 degrees to a full circle if I remember correctly.
      Mental note, do not use French naval charts from that era while sailing.

      • I remember quite a long time back at least a year ago there was a decent discussion of a caldera that was discovered on google earth just north of tonga. The name of the volcano i cant remember but I do remember that despite it being about 2 km deep in the middle it could have once been an island. Verne definitely wouldnt have known of this but it is interesting to look at how many submarine calderas could have been islands before and maybe this was the source of the 1809 eruption. Also regarding this is, the subduction zone here would be the most likely place for this being that it is tropical and seems quite fond of calderas on account of the lack of islands and that its only continental extension in new zealand is a cluster of supervolcanoes…

        • There are many calderas in the Tonga-Kermadec arc that are less than 1 km deep and up to 10 km across, potential candidates for the 1809 mistery volcano. That caldera you mention must be Niuatahi, 15 km across and with the rim about 1.5 km deep, it is at the northern end of the Lau Basin, the back-arc of Tonga, it must have been emerged in the past and the surrounding sea floor is made of dacite. The coincidence of the Tonga Arc, the spreading Lau Basin and the Samoan Hotspot in a small area makes for an interesting geologic setting, a shame that most volcanism there is submarine so it probably goes unnoticed.

          • Yes that is it, quite a nice caldera too.
            Assuming the contours on google earth are even slightly accurate it is about 35 degree slope of the remaining parts of the volcano. A triangle (or cone) that is 10 km wide and with 35 degree slopes would be 3500 meters high, which would definitely make this an island and quite a tall one at that. However because most volcanoes are way steeper underwater than on land the island would actually be bigger in area but most probably way less high. For hawaii the underwater slopes are usually about 45 degrees in the upper km of water. Using this number means if there was an island there once it was probably not all that much smaller in area than the caldera is now, and maybe a few hundred meters high, it probably looked a bit like the two islands near it to the south.
            A cylinder that is 10 km wide and 2 km tall (caldera width and depth of ocean there) has a volume of 157 km3, its not a perfect analogue but at the very least if there was ever an island at that location then it was a massive eruption that destroyed it and very likely a VEI 7. Even if the depth of the ocean blocked a lot of it there was probably quite a massive subaerial eruption too and it is tropical which makes an induced climate change a more likely possibility. It is not likely but this is a possible contender for the 1809 signal. If any ash from the 1809 ice layer has ever been found that would help a lot.

    • I sort of agree with this, but on occasion it has cost a company a sale when I notice someone else has it cheaper.

      My most recent event was trying to find a battery charger that was out of stock but their competitor across the street had in stock. Typically I avoid the competitor out of brand loyalty, but they had what was after so they got the sale.

      (I even waited a week to give them a chance to re-stock)

      • Mine was due to rather decent equipment that tends to be as rugged as claimed.

        • Plus the staff will generally leave you alone and let you look around until you have a question. I hate being pestered.

  12. M8 earthquake reported from Peru. Amazon side of the Andes, so not densely populated

      • It is a surprising quake. In Peru you get the large subduction earthquakes at the coast, 10 km or so deep, and there are some strong but very deep quakes (600 km!) near the border with Brazil. The plot show large quakes (M7.2+) since 1900. It shows a few quakes along a line east of the Andes, M7.2-7.5, which are about 100 km deep and occur perhaps once every 10-20 years. This quake is part of that sequence, but MUCH larger. Looking at the map, it may have ruptured several hundred kilometers to the south where there was a gap in the quakes. I guess it is a subduction-related quake, rather than Andes-related.

        • Further north in the USA there are a number of flood basalts east of the sierra nevada, which I presume originate from the eastern edge of the plunging plate. These have had to penetrate some crust. I believe the andes are younger, but could a similar mechanism be operating and something similar may occur in a few million/10’s of years?

          • Farallon plate (N. America) is nearly entirely (or maybe entirely) subducted, whereas the Nazca plate still has a ways to go.

            I wonder if this earthquake was on the deep end of the subducting plate or maybe in the middle.

        • Damage reports coming in now.

          Moisés Chumpitaz
          ‏ @MoisesChumpitaz

          Alcalde de Lagunas – Yurimagua declara en @RPPNoticias que están atendiendo a los 2 heridos con linternas, no tienen luz, daños materiales. #terremoto

          UCI Noticias
          ‏ @ucinoticias_pe

          ✅ #Sismo | Vía que une Yurimaguas con Tarapoto se encuentra bloqueada en varios tramos. #Temblor duró poco mas de 3 minutos y medio 🇵🇪

          • Yurimaguas is over 50 km from the epicentre. Unless that was given in the wrong place.

          • I think it is about the nearest population centre.

            There are many felt reports on EMSC but the current nearest is 500km away – perhaps wide-spread communication problems?

        • Witness location : Bogota, D.C. (Colombia) (1156 km N from epicenter)

          Muy duro, lo suficiente para que se saltaran alarmas y se cayeran algunos libros de una biblioteca (vivimos en piso 12)

          Automatic Translation:
          Very hard, enough for alarms to be skipped and some books to fall from a library (we live on the 12th floor)

        • USGS PAGER

          Estimated Fatalities

          Yellow alert for shaking-related fatalities. Some casualties are possible.

          Estimated Economic Losses

          Orange alert for economic losses. Significant damage is likely and the disaster is potentially widespread. Estimated economic losses are less than 1% of GDP of Peru. Past events with this alert level have required a regional or national level response.

          Estimated Population Exposure to Earthquake Shaking

          MMI Shaking Population
          VI Strong 727 k
          VII Very Strong 591 k
          VIII Severe 159 k

          • Terrible. But lucky it is such a unpopulated area. The Oklahoma tornado today may have been worse.

          • True. But Kansas and Oklahoma are the stomping grounds of the larger class of Tornadoes. Many are attuned to the warnings and know what they can do.

  13. very deep, Thanks, God. my daughter got me up it’s 2am here…. she didn’t want me to ‘miss’ it…. 😉 hopefully too deep and too remote to do much damage. Best!motsfo

    • and of course on the Alaskan vol seismometers too… informative to see.

  14. Since Black Swans have become quite common in the last decade I have started to use the phrase Pink Elephants instead for those incredibly rare instances that are defined as a Black Swan Event.
    Once more nature has chucked a spanner into things, there are now pink elephants happily galumphing about in South Africa.
    First we got black synth swans of the eighties, now we have pastel coloured elephants straight out of the “make me colour blind”-eighties. Soon earthquakes will start to play Ultravox.

    • Black Swans are like London Buses. Once you get one, they start coming along in bunches of six. More seriously, perhaps as human understanding of geological (an meteorological) events increases and monitoring / reporting also increases, what would once be considered a Black Swan is now more like an off-coloured white swan.

      However, without doubt there are still ultra-black stealth swans out there awaiting to be experienced. And to add to human learning.

      • Well, that does fall into the realm of the second criteria of Talebs Swan definition. In order to be an actual Swan, the effects of the event have to be utterly profound.

      • Ultra-stealth black swan: “we had no idea that was a volcano”.

        GL Edit: That’s probably exactly how it will play out.

        • Hah! No one expects the Spanish inquisition!

          Nor did you expect me to post here. I lurk a lot using the RSS feed. Often too lazy to log in.

          Nor was a power surge expected that caused be to loose what I had typed here regarding swans that are not white.

          There are other interesting birds. One was in the paper today

          I think I have written on these rare swans here before. I do note care for the way the term is used. Black swans have been around for 400 years or so, just ask Shakespeare.

          The lost text related to the use as a mathematically impossible way to beat the market odds. This is not new as one of the first uses of the modern computer were based on an unpublished paper by Von Neumann on the theory of games, weather forecasting and market trends.

          This is non linear mathematics, so it is hard to say if such things are mathematically impossible. We can compute odds. We can predict our survival needs. As a group we are rather good as seeming to predict the unpredictable. Some make a rather good living doing so.

          A stopped clock is right twice a day. This makes it more precise and accurate than a clock that gains or looses time. Yet we can predict the rates at which the error occurs in the clock that is running.

          Verne could not predict that his nephew would attempt to assassinate him as a way of gaining fame. I did some reading in the original french as I was interested how the translations changed things. Verne never came here, Yet the top end of San Francisco bay is an obstacle for Fogg to surmount to get around the world using railway time tables.

          When we look back at some fictional speculation we project what we know. I have mentioned before that I see the Mayacama ridge line outside the upstairs window. The other popular writer Robert Louis Stevenson, saw this same view and fictionalized it as Treasure island. Making spyglass hill and the other two peaks clearly volcanic. This is also where Jack London lived. I know the three peaks as Veeder, Hood mountain, and Mt St Helena. (where the wine comes from, not the one much further to the north in another state.) They really do look like the outline of a ship on the Horizon.

          Since we are also dealing with fictional islands, there is also the one belonging to Dr Moreau. Which is contemporary to Verne, Stevenson, And London. I suspect they read each other works since ideas of intellectual property were different then. (just ask H. Rider Haggard.)

          Most of what most know of these books are the Hollywood films. Which not surprisingly put Krakatu about 24,900 Miles East of Java. Like the stopped clock however, it is probably better to put it one mile west. Still either way is where it is.

          • BTW, I appreciate the care with which you treat the Swan phenomena. Talev himself detests the hyped up use of the term by the yammering twits on the news. (Mainly the alleged financial news dolts). I think he pointed this out in the follow-on book “Antifragile” where he argues that better systems are those designed to benefit from chaos and change.

        • And that brings up item 3 in Taleb’s definition. The swan is explained away after the event.

          With our 2019 view of the volcanic past. It’s natural to do so, but it is still doing an after the fact analysis.

          • Item 3 is probably the most interesting. The power is controlling the aftermath and using it for gain.

            Somewhere I have an issue of Scentific American from the 1990s when this was called chaos theory. (as good of name as any.) The argument was that adding noise into a system helps with the predictability.

            The example was natural neural networks. Shrimp and lobster tails as I recall. This article also used the shaken pea in an egg carton example. (the egg carton can only be veiwed on edge in two dimentions.) You can only tell which slot, the pea is in if it is shaken and the pea jumps from one slot to the other. If the pea takes twice as long as it does from side to side there is probably a row of slots behind the first.

            The other place adding noise in prediction is astrology. Why there is a column in the paper. This extra nonsense actually does help us screen the inputs and produce a more rational understanding of the day’s events. There is evidence that many decisions of those in power do use it. I am old enough to recall Regan’s ignaguration and Nancy’s reason for doing so.

            Astrology is a good way for explaining away the past. Note how the charts are interpreted after the fact. We never know if pregognitian is before or after as we can only evaluate the results after.

            One of the precursors to Quantum theory was by a guy named J.W. Dunne called an “experiment in time.” This was a theory from the 1890s .This model of time as a flowing river had influence on Einstien and others. Verne, Wells etc. The river currents move at different speeds when viewed from the river bank.

            Dunne’s experiments use a dream diary, which is evaluated after the fact. This experiment is usually done with college students. A BBC presenter called Preistly did this as part of a BBC program having audience members send in the sleep diary. There is a call out to this in the film _somewhere in time_ based on the novel “bid time return” by Richard Matheson. (Best known for Twilight zone and Star trek.) This strongly influences pop culture understanding of time, and has only been around for 100 years or so.

            There are many other examples. Nostradamus really did not exist before WWII. (it did but was not what it became.) Some of this is self fufulling prophesy. Much of the WWII propaganda involved dropping leaflets showing their side was the side. While they do not admit it governments (or the individuals that make them.) do still employ astollogers (Just to see what the other side might do.)

            While there is no rationality behind it, that newspaper colum can sort of direct one to go left or the right for the given day. Some say this is the illusion of free will. Mostly however, we look after the fact to see how accurate the entertainer was.

            To the victor go the spoils. If any of the high profile volcanoes do pop off there will be plenty of folk who “predictied it.” and had their theory proven. This then feeds back into the next set of predictors and compared against the Baysien error term for correction.

            If nothing else it makes pretty pictures.

          • Forecasting volcanoes is though a pretty bad example, you should have gone for earthquakes. Forecasting volcanoes has a percentage rate above weather forecasting by now.
            With the obvious exception of high frequency erupters like Fuego for instance. All we can do with those is forecast waxes and wanes.
            The best part is that we do not need to use astrology to do volcanic forecasting.

          • All astrology does is add a noise component (which can be filtered out.)

            A number of blogs back it said the tensile strength of the rock is the main factor of when things are going to pop. Probably a difficult quantity to measure or estimate. Not sure I agree with Earthquakes though. There are a lot more data points to be had with a higher frequency of occurrence.

          • Currently the data points does not help one iota with earthquakes, the total sum of accurately forecasted earthquakes are the grand total of two, out of every earthquake in history.
            And that took IMO to wheedle those two out, and they had the advantage of forecasting duplet quakes.

            Volcanic eruptions are at about 80 percent accurate forecasts, and not a single big eruption has been missed in the last decade. 20 years ago it was seen as impossible, now it is mundane. 🙂

    • Mmmm, pink elephants – now I’m thirsty.
      (A pink elephant is the symbol of “Delirium Tremens” – a particularly wonderful Belgian beer.

  15. As a reply to Turtle and Carl about Hekla: here is the seismic profile. There appears to be a deeper source of magma just to NE of Hekla. That is also supported by the gravity anomalies. The yellow lines on the right side show the area of the cross-section.

    And some of my artistic interpretation:

    • Thank you Andrej!
      I asked Andrej to put in some real life data into the debate so that Turtlebirdman could better see what we are talking about when debating Hekla.
      There is not only the deep feeder system that Andrej marked out, there is also a wedge shaped function that is holding the magma.

      Anyway, what we are seeing is a permanent fed open bottom system that is working a refining column in an oil refinery, where the heat increases the rate of separation between light carbohydrates and heavy bunker oil (you get the analogy).

      Life in the back channel is interesting, half of all articles comes into life out of Andrejs plotting of weird places in Iceland. It removes a heck of a lot of guess work and wild searches of papers about everything. Instead we can just go to what nature is telling us, and interpret it directly.

    • Looks like the magma comes from the vague direction of veidivotn, maybe that is where the partly tholeiite composition originates. It is also directly under the north part of the fissure swarm so maybe most of those basalt vents really are from hekla and not vatnafjoll, the 1913 eruption might have been a bit like holuhraun in invading a fissure swarm of an adjacent volcano except it was much smaller.

      Maybe those vents are from just before 1104 and hekla was not so centralised so not all magma went to where the central volcano now stands. The most recent big eruption on vatnafjoll was on its northeast side near the 1913 vents too from what sources I have seen that show flow ages.

  16. And the Finns tied up the bag and did it in truly Finnish style as they slaughtered the Canadians.
    Iron will, madness shining in the eyes, and working so hard that a couple of their players fainted in the booth. And always working as a team. Damn impressive sportsmanship.

    • For those of you who do not know that much about our stoic brothers to the East.
      A real Finn has only two facial expressions. One is used for everything from funerals to wedding nights. The other is saved for winning the world championships (and for when winning a war against Russia).
      Do not ever get into a fight with a Finn. Seriously. Ask Stalin about it, or any Russian.

      • I’m married to a Finn. What can I say, I pick my fights carefully. I’m really impressed with this Finnish team and their fighting spirit. It was an entertaining game and they really deserved to win. As for myself, I’m left with a hearing impairment on my left ear. Finns winning the world championship get about as noisy as an erupting volcano…

      • and never get into a fight with a Russian…. or babysit for one either without experience. 😉

        i have both. ( Russian grandchildren and experience. )

      • Well. Both of Russias “successful” invasions cost them a casualty ratio on the order of 4.5 to 1.

      • I lived in Finland for two years, and I can say for certain that this is accurate! Very stoic, the term they use is “sisu” to explain this stoicism. You can see why they did so well against the Soviet Union in the Winter War.

        • Finns and Japanese have several things in common.
          Have long wondered if they are distant cousins.

  17. OT?( kinda) why are there no aftershocks on the 8 in Peru. ??? curious. Best!motsfo

    • Yes, that is funny. I don’t know. It looks what moved really did so as a single block without leaving lots of stressed fractures behind. Under Peru, the oceanic plate subducts ‘flat’, it stays fairly shallow for some distance. But further south is dives deep much more quickly. Perhaps that stress got resolved, and the quake was in the subducted plate rather than in the continental crust above.

      • I too have noticed the often-dearth of aftershocks following mid to deep focus subduction-related earthquakes….while curiously virtually any shallow (<15km deep) strike-slip or shallow oblique events (like Loma Prieta) over mid-4's (and here in California maybe 3's) will almost always generate aftershock sequences….oftentimes rather vigorous.
        The Peru quake though, being from a "normal" fault slip, is a bit unusual since most powerful subduction quakes are deep thrust ("reverse")….such as Tohoku.
        IMHO, there are two possible factors to consider:
        1. The inherent brittleness of the crust adjacent to the fault, thus it's ability to either bend or break under stress transfer (tensile strength)….which kind'a dovetails with the slope of the fault plane (as you noted).
        2. The direction(s) of stress transfer from the initial shock:. If stress is transferred into the mantle, or in the case of a surface rupture into open space, stress (and stored energy) will be relieved….. however if stress is transferred laterally (as from a strike-slip movement) or vertically upwards from a deeper focus "thrust" event, then a significant portion of the initial energy release remains in the nearby crust as "stored" energy that eventually relieves itself in the form of aftershocks.
        Therefore, (again IMHO), the Peru earthquake, (which occurred from normal faulting) dissipated almost all of it's energy downward, thus leaving the surrounding crust away from the immediate fracture zone intact and aftershock-free.

  18. so just had a 5.7 near Augustine volcano at 67 kilometers down. bit of a shaker here but kinda un-nearving. Best!motsfo

    • It works.

      But can’t see it on the UK seismograms; guess the LP waves haven’t got here yet.

      • i didn’t think about it going that far… that would be something! It lasted a loooong time… was wondering when it would stop… i like these less and less…. Best!motsfo

        • Sometimes earthquakes of that magnitude show, but I guess it depends on how the original fault moved, which plates are involved and what is between the quake and us.

        • not that big but i seem to be in a quake shake line and it shakes here longer and stronger than other places. Doors and windows rattled for more than a minute. And that will not be a aftershock from the 7.1 but i’m thinking more of a settling of the bigger one south of Kodiak… anyway; thought it might have some future impact on Augustine…. Augustine’s sides are pretty steep and any landslide hitting the water might impact Homer’s spit with a localized tsunami. Not good for the locals… sorry to bend the talk kind of away from volcanoes but You guys are the smartest i know and You might be interested. Best!motsfo

          • Seem to recall reading that Augustine’s last flank collapse in 1883 generated a damaging tsunami, although the effects were mitigated slightly because it coincided with low tide

  19. This is not about islands but I was reading some stuff on erta ale and its recent activity, apparently its long lived flank vent is slowing down and the summit lake is rising again, which is very similar to what happened on kilauea last year, so we might see some lava action in ethiopia soon. It is not likely to be enormous though as erta ale lacks the hydrostatic pressure to do a big gravity drain eruption, but if a big magma surge happens then that is a moot point. It actually has quite a large rift zone that goes right up and past , so a big curtain-of-fire fissure eruption is possible, though none has happened recently.

    I also roughly traced out the edge of erta ale dreived pahoehoe flows, the whole shield covers about 780 km2, and is about 640 meters high from its base, a cone with these dimensions has a volume of 165 km3, if it has been supplied with magma pretty constantly at 0.1 km3/year it could be only about 1500 years old. It is likely rather older than that given it has not been constantly overflowing but I would very much doubt if it is anything older than 10,000 years, very probably the youngest large basalt volcano on earth today

    Actually about that first bit, if the sea rises by 15 meters it will overflow into the danakil depression and make the erta ale range an island 🙂

      • Or just one hefty earthquake. People forget that it is going that way. We just do not know if it will crack in a few hours, or in a thousand years.

        • The lowest spot on the edge where the first overflow will happen is actually not the rift itself it is a valley on the side at about right angles to the rift. No probably no sudden big movements there. The other spot is 35 meters above sea level but on the rift next to an older volcano, this bit could do something. However by the time that is likely to happen the sea probably would have got that high anyway… Sea will probably rise about 2 meters by the end of this century, but maybe 5 more by 2200, and probably pretty exponential from that, so flooding in a few hundred years. Or maybe in a decade or so if ethiopia becomes a rich country and wants to make the place at least a bit less extreme, just dig a big ditch and it takes care of itself. it would be interesting if there was an eruption like the one now ongoing at the time of flooding, having an existing lava flow overrun by water while still active is not something that I think we have records for.

          • Eventually this will become a sea arm, but that should still be quite a while away. The dead sea rift is in a similar situation, far below sea level, although not in as vulnerable location. But with geological shifts seeming imminent, you have to ask yourself the question ‘why now?’ Changes that take hundreds of thousands of years are very unlikely to happen right now. Therefore, it is likely that current situation of the rift being dry land below sea level is more stable than it seems.

            Sea level rise of 2 meters by the end of the century is not excluded but a low probability event. The likely rise is 70-80 cm. 5 meters by 2200 is certainly possible but on the high side. And after that, the rise should not be exponential – the next stable sea level, for current CO2, may be around 7+-2 meters above current (my estimate, not official – based on the previous interglacial), so with your numbers we would be approaching that. If both Greenland and west Antarctica melt, you can expect another 5 meters but that should take longer. One hopes.

            Flooding the rift deliberately is risky. It is hot there, and you would add humidity. You could push levels above those where humans can survive. Kuwait on occasion already comes close to that.

          • Pardon the profanity… but Kuwait is best described at “B@#$$ Hot”

            I ought to know, I’m from central Mississippi and used to spend hours tossing bales of hay for my uncle during the summer.

            It’s not my genre, but Hank Williams Jr. caught it perfectly in the opening lines of his song Country State of Mind.

            “That Hot old Summer Sun,
            make you beg for your next breath.
            So you best be on a creek bank laid in the shade…”

            How do you deal with it? Stay as hydrated as you can and try to avoid direct exposure. Heat exhaustion is no joke. If you are out there in it, and you notice you aren’t sweating as much, get your self some shelter and get some water into you. One thing I liked was a placard that I saw in the restroom at a State Forestry site. It had an indication of your likely state based on your urine appearance. If you notice that it’s starting to get darker than usual, you are loosing fluid levels and slipping towards a heat stress incident. (potentially stroke) You want to stay as far away from any sort of stroke as you can. During Heat Stroke, your body starts doing strange things on it’s own to try and shed the heat… such as shutting down parts of your body…. like peripherals. Since your head is a peripheral… you could get into dire straits quite fast. So quickly that you can’t even help yourself. If you think you are tough and can handle it, don’t fool yourself. If you are not well acclimated and know how your body responds, you could very well kill yourself and not even realize you are doing it. DON’T RISK IT.

            And don’t just take my word on it. I stopped being a first responder years (decades) ago. I’m probably out of the loop with what little training I remember. Use Google to look up the symptoms and remedies so that you don’t wind up needing an ambulance. Once a stroke state sets in, you are time limited and have lost most of the easy fixes.
            Yeah, your project or job may almost be finished, but is it worth your life to tough it out and try to finish it now? There is absolutely nothing wrong with tomorrow. Go take a break, cool off and ponder what you need to do. It helps you contemplate your work and plan out your game-plan. SAFELY.

            Note. Sports and Energy Drinks USUALLY have about twice the sugar that your body actually needs for re-hydration and reinvigoration. (if not more). Why is that important? Because in order to hydrolyze sugar you use up water.

            Sucrose + Water (and a catalyst) = Glucose + Fructose

            That’s also why lemonade tastes so sweet. The citric acid acts as a catalyst and assists in breaking apart sucrose molecules. (a handy bit of info if you are trying to make it easier for yeast to go to work when fermenting. It eliminates a step so that the yeast doesn’t have to deal with. You get a quicker and faster ferment when there is sucrose in your mash by adding a drop of lemon juice.)
            {Amylase performs a similar function on starches, but its actually an enzyme. Part of malting is to get the barley to start to germinate so that the natural enzymes are released to break down the starches into sugars}

            (No, I don’t make whiskey, but there are enough aficionados here to call foul on me if I am wrong. And I welcome that if it’s valid. It’s been a couple of years since I studied it.)

            Note: If you are in the US an want to make a hard apple cider without processing the apples to get the juice, Mott’s brand Apple juice is suitable for fermentation since it’s additives and preservatives are low enough that it won’t kill off your yeast. I’ve successfully used both methods. Processing the apples can be a pain in the arse so you eliminate a lot of the labor using Motts. I got lucky with my batch and racked it into 16 oz bottles with just enough yeast still working to make a nice carbonated drink after capping. Just be aware that is you rack it out too early and the yeast spends too much time sealed in the bottle, it can exceed the hoop strength of the bottle and do a mini Hekla impersonation. I used 16 oz beer bottles from a local brew supply shop and a capping tool. Yes, you will have a bit of sediment in the bottom of the bottle after it sits up for a while. That’s the old yeast. If you clarify your brew with bentonite before racking, you won’t get a fizzy product, but it will be prettier. The bentonite step is best reserved for clarifying summer wines. (Muscadine, Sloe etc…)
            (My Peach wine tasted horrible. Never again for me. But, my blueberries are putting on this year. “yay!”. If I ever get my arse back to Mississippi I know of a nice Muscadine I want a piece of for transplanting.)

            … and, my apologies for going wildly off topic. Side note: “Apple Jack” is illegal to make in the US, just in case you are wondering. (Freezing and melting off hard apple cider into a more concentrated alcohol drink) Carl can tell you more about that since it is a fairly common practice in his neck of the woods. (No freezer needed. Just cold weather)

          • Funnily enough for a Swede I have a huge problem with cold, not so much with heat.

            It all started back in my army days when I had the great pleasure of partaking in a military exercise at the exact time the Swedish cold record was set.
            I spent 5 days dug into a pile of snow with the rest of the squad. 13 men hugging each other for dear life in -53,6C.
            I have been freezing from that moment on. If it is below 25C I shiver with cold and I do not feel heat unless a bit above 30C.

            Warm weather also helps with my constant pain from the injuries I accrued. Especially since I flat out refuse any painkillers (well, unless I have a headache, then I take them).

            I spent the rest of my army days abroad. Preferably by walking through deserts. It was a pretty sweet gig getting paid to walk through the Sahara from one end to the other to test gear and learn desert survival tactics.

            Basically surviving in scorching heat boils down to salt. Water not so much. Salty food or salt tablets is a given, otherwise you will die and 2.5 liters of water will sustain you as soon as your body has acclimatized. During the day? Drink hot tea instead of water, that lowers the body temperature, and wear fully covering airy clothes, preferably a dishdash (the breeze around your manly parts is heaven-sent in the desert). Those nomads know their shit.
            The Swedish army did though not adopt the dishdash, even in my suggest desert camo.

            I still love the high deserts, and would be quite happy to spend the rest of my life in one. For me it is a warm and nice paradise. Your mileage may vary. 🙂

          • I am very exactly the opposite of you Carl 🙂

            I hate any temperature over 25 C and quite often go to stand in the freezer at my work which is -18.

            If I go to hawaii this may be a problem… 🙁

            About CO2 the last interglacial level has already long been passed, the last time there was 400 ppm was in the pliocene about 3 million years ago. Sea level was very variable then which contributed to a marine mass extinction (why megalodon is extinct among other animals) but at points it was 20 meters higher than now or even higher. At the rate things are going now we will reach 500 ppm by 2050.

          • 20 meter will require major melt in Antarctic and Greenland. That takes time. After the ice age when temperatures rose rapidly, sea levels went up by about 1 meter per century. There may have been faster periods but this seems to have been both average and typical.

            I have lived in deserts and that wasn’t too bad. My location today has reasonable temperatures (around 30C) but 95% humidity and no wind at all. Anything you do means dripping with sweat. Tomorrow’s location is hopefully a bit easier on the body.

          • Carl and and my american friends makes Sweden look like a frozen nightmare
            Whole Sweden is DEAD boring geologicaly ( as boring as universe s final heat death )

            Sweden is not a warm country
            But its not the frozen nightmare that many outside Europe thinks
            Sweden is warmed alot by the Gulf Stream. The coasts like Malmö and Gothenburg are quite warm temperate ( you can grow grapes at latitude 56 )

            While same latitude in America polar bears walks at London latitudes

          • No polar bears in Sweden …
            Even if Sweden and England are well inside Polar Bear latitudes in America.

            The most sourthen polar bear was in James Bay in Canada
            Almost at latitude 49
            The Canadian Winter High pressure makes Canada much much colder than Europe

            The Gulf Stream melts the icebergs
            And prevents the polar bears and waleruses to reach Norway coasts

          • A climate that will suit you well Turtlebirdman is the small volcanic Islands of Azores…
            In winter its 15 C to 18 C
            In summer its 22 to 25 C
            Extremely mild and comfortable
            Oceanic Subtropical climate

            But its also a tiny pipesqueak compared to the immense Hawaiian Hotspot ( worlds strongest oceanic hotspot )

            Azores is a small weak hotspot under leaky faults in the Azores triple junction ( one of the weakest hotspots )

          • Jesper!
            Please tell me more about the polar bear.
            I think people in Sweden should use my guava-tephra facials to avoid icey-dicey bears!

          • Sea went up way faster than 1 meter a century in the early holocene!

            18000 years ago the sea was 130 meters lower than now, when the last ice age ended 12000 years ago it was still basically the same value. If it was going at 1 meter a century it would take 110-120 centuries to get to a sea level of what we have today, which sounds good. Problem with that is that the sea level was only 10 meters lower than today even by 8000 years ago… 3000 years to rise 120 meters is 25 meters a century, high end estimate certainly but even the lowest plausible answer taking twice as long to melt is going at about 12 meters a century. These events were not exactly flash floods but a person living at that time would have seen a very marked change, especially those in the north sea and southeast asia and northern australia, where that sort of rate of rise would have rapidly flooded large areas within a single lifetime and reached modern dimensions in a few centuries or so. Seeing the ocean run up hundreds or even thousands of km inland over your lifetime is a whole different level of change we have never experienced since then even in our modern rapidly advancing world.

          • By 12,000 yr it was already halfway up to modern levels. (It had to be as the ice had already withdrawn a lot)

            And 3000 years for 120 meters is not 25 m/century but 2.5. Correcting that further for half already having occurred gives something around 1 m/century. There were fast phases but that was typical.

        • No polar bears in Sweden
          The warm Gulf Stream keeps them away

          Despite we are well inside polar bear latitudes americawise

          • The southernmost extent of polar bears in Canada is in Akimiski Island in James Bay at roughly 52°N.

            There is extensive farmland and one major city with a population of over a million farther north than that in Western Canada. I should know – I live up there.

            And today will be way too warm for any polar bears, as it’s expected to go up to 30°C today. At least, it’s pretty dry. with the humidity at only 17%.

  20. Indeed Erta Ale flank eruption continues with pahoehoe spreading over the salt deserts supplyed from flank vent and a 14 km long lava tube. Erta Ale haves rather prolific magma supply as you say
    Its magma input can easly compensate for slow output and you gets a looong lived bleed.
    VolcanoDiscovery thermal sateite shows a strong thermal signal of the active flow field.
    The Afar Plume is around 1500 C in the partial melting region so its fairly powerful.
    Erta Ale erupts a Thoelite Basalt signs of high degrees of partial melting its around 1170 C to 1190 C
    But its nothing compared to Hawaii or African Superplume or Iceland.
    Erta Ale may evolve into a rather large continetal shield rift volcano if the current rate of supplys in the long term.

    • Erta Ales Peles Hairs are grey
      Holhurauns Peles Hairs where blonde white
      Kilaueas Halemaumau Peles Hairs are brilliant golden tanny
      Masayas Peles Hairs are dark grey
      Ambryms Peles hairs are white

      Diffrent compostions of the quickly cooled basalt glass

      • Well if Germany can have Vulkanbrau from Laachersee, I guess the Ethiopians are entitled to Erta Ale

        (giant-arsed groan from a passing itinerant Dragon)

      • Most warm and nice places have a plethora of diseases and parasites that can kill you.
        Next week I will try out a place with diphtheria and cholera.
        At least there is not season for my old favourite, Ebola.
        Life is good.

          • I think that Yemen would be the point where even my level of crazy ran out. No, quite a bit nicer.

          • “Glad to hear, Carl, that You will not be going to Yemen.” Best! motsfo

        • One thing our News turds never mention when griping about our Red Tide issue, is that a couple of years ago, Miami-Dade sewage treatment was fined upwards of almost a million dollars for releasing untreated waste by the EPA. Most of the complainers tried to blame “Big Sugar” who is also subject to that same regulatory body.

          Karenia brevis is native to Gulf Coast coastal waters and is always just waiting for an influx of nutrients in order to have a bloom. I was worried winter before last since we had three rail cars of Phosphoric Acid derail and spill up near McDavid. Evidently the hazmat crews knew what they were doing, no red tide bloom in Escambia bay, though I was suspect of some rusty discolored water that was reported down near Gulf Breeze later that year. Turned out to be mud. Even so, I avoided anything in the “filter feeder” line of the food chain caught locally that year. (No really biggie, I’m not a fan of oysters anyway. Breaded and deep fried? Not a prob. Raw? Nope. That alleged function is just folklore anyway. In my opinion, more of a placebo than anything else. {And yes, I tried. But at that age it didn’t really matter.})

  21. >>Sneaky dragon trick.

    /Another Dragon checking for sneakily hidden Dragon text… >>

    None here, but it is wise of you to check. I’m not above entering text on a website using the background color for the font. Something only an Internet spider would generally be able to see and index. {Handy for embedding fake email addresses for them to scarf up and send ineffective spam to, such as the old account.}

    • GL Edit; Old sailor lore stated there were STDs that would get you if you so much as stepped off the brow in Mogadishu {not in Yemen}. (Pre-pirate time)

      Note: These last two posts were modified by me and left in place in order to preserve comment flow. If I had deleted them it would have messed up comment structuring.

  22. Just a thing I made that I would like to share:

    In on the 4th september 1999, mt etna had an eruption where the lava fountain at its maximum was 2 km high… This is what it would have looked like in height from stromboli, if you happened to be there at that time. This fountain is the highest ever observed in the modern world, 4 times higher than the kilauea iki fountain, and a full 500 meters taller than the izu oshima fountains in 1986 that are usually cited as the highest.
    Probably anything much above this becomes a plinian eruption.

    • That would’ve been quite a sight at night!

      I’m wondering if Kilauea would have been capable of producing equally tall lava fountains in the past and the future. The tallest historically recorded lava fountain in Kilauea was the one at Kilauea Iki in 1959, with a maximum height of over 1,900 feet (579 m) – not very tall compared to Etna’s!

      • Golden and eastern pumice eruptions (somewhere between 1800 and 1823)were likely over 1 km tall fountains, the tephra distribution is much larger than 1959 and apparently the eruptions lasted less than a week each. 1790 too if it was not phreatomagmatic. 1959 itself likely would have become a lot larger if the rift wasnt as active preceding it.

        Etna though does very huge fountains often because it has relatively viscous magma among basalt volcanoes while kilauea has fluid and also very hot (1200-1300 C) magma which is hot even relative to most other basalt volcanoes, which means you need enormous eruption rates to get a big fountain there. That is where getting fed 0.2 km3 of magma every year helps a lot 🙂 1959 at one point was erupting at twice the maximum rate of what fissure 8 was doing, though the average was somewhat less. This was entirely gas pressure too no gravity involved.
        What is not usually considered in the eruption size is that the 2 million m3 of tephra in 1959 was only about 4% of the total erupted volume of 70 million m3, so if the 6 and 8 million m3 volumes of the golden and eastern pumice (both between 1800 and 1823) follow similar ratios then that is about 0.25 km3 of lava each, all of that erupted in about 3 days to a week… 50 million m3 a day average eruption rate, 2 million m3 an hour, 550 m5/s, keep in mind that is just the average 🙂
        Would have been some enormous fountains in those eruptions.

        Big lava fountains in my opinion are much more impressive to look at pyroclastic eruptions. The latter just look like clouds of dust or smoke while a lava fountain is literally exactly what the name says. In a forest fire its the red and yellow flames that are the bit that gets your attention, not the looming grey smoke, its just built in our DNA I guess.

        • I forgot to add that the 2.2 million m3 per hour eruption rate maximum of kilauea iki 1959 was in fact during that record 600 meter tall fountain on december 17 of that year. The average eruption rate of the two older eruptions is already this high, and the deposite is the same material (reticulite, often called pumice though it isnt) so these eruptions were not phreatomagmatic like 1790 was. With these sorts of extreme rates the fountains were probably easily going at 500 meters high and given the variability of the 1959 fountain 1 km is not an unlikely height at times.
          Even higher lava fountains might have happened in the 1500s, reticulite mixed with charcoal is found under volcano village, 1959 tephra didnt set things on fire more than 1 km downwind or so, volcano is about 5 km from the caldera… These fountains probably dwarfed the 600 meter giant of 1959, rivaling those on etna.

          So in my very long answer typical of me, yes, kilauea can do etna level fountains, and it also does them most often during periods where its caldera is very deep and relatively new… We might be in for a show in the next few years.

          vesuvius did a 3 km tall fountain in 1779


          • Yup all these ash and reculite ( gold pumice ) around halemaumau is the result from very tall intra caldera or ring fault fountains or even true plinians . I been kind of having these words in my mind constantly.
            Indeed Kilauea coud be the worlds most gassy basaltic lava and the hottest too.
            Halemaumau lava lake had a daily sulfur output that was larger than all US coal power plants combined. And fissure 8 relased 50 000 tons of Sulfur every day. Even in her sleep Kilauea release around 100 tons of Sulfur everyday a sign just how massive the magma input is for this volcano its very gassy. It instantly takes down any others. As you say it makes sense despite the lavas are very fluid and release its gas
            When Kilauea been sleeping and magma pressure pent up ( we can get very very tall fountains indeed ). There are huge deposits of reculite pumice around halemaumau from earlier gas rich fountain events.
            With a 200 million cubic meters yearly supply its not strange at all if Kilauea does a Tarawera or Masaya or basaltic plinian or Grimsvötn 2011 Ice Free when a huge load of 1250 C to 1300 C gas rich basalt emerge from the mantle or from a growing magma chamber. These things happen after a major caldera drainage when the volcano been sleeping for a while when there is No lava lake to release gas pressure or when its having a sourge in magma supply.
            Or after the caldera been sleeping for a while and the gas and magma pressure been pent up. All this enormous ammounts of gas is signs of a very very very prolific magma source indeed… And indeed imagine when Kilauea pents up gas and magma pressure.

          • Turtles and Sandy!
            You two should try my rosehip night cream that I make with ground up gold pumice from Halema’uma’u.
            It would give you such a soft and tender skin.

      • Also that lava fountain on etna did happen at night 🙂

        • you don’t need to go back to 1999 to see such a huge lava fountain from Etna. Its 2015 paroxysms of the voragine crater reached almost 2km, total eruption column 7km+. I was watching those live via webcam, it was an awe inspiring sight.

          • Very nice video, the source of the 2 km fountain in 1999 was actually written in 2013 as a side not on the old eruptions blog, so it wouldnt have any idea of the same thing happening 2 years later. It is rather obscured by ash though, not as much glow as I expected. Probably this eruption blurs the line between a lava fountain and a plinian eruption. Some of the 1996-2000 etna eruptions were actually labeled as subplinian so this makes sense. I was born in the middle of all that, pretty good birthday fireworks 🙂

            Probably to get the massive glowing liquid fountain you need a more fluid or at least hotter magma, so for that hawaii is a better bet to actually see it, or iceland if you want to really go big or go home but dont mind a long wait. Even really huge fountains of hawaiian type dont seem to generate eruption columns because of the fluidity of the magma and its high temperature preventing it solidifying. Instead you just get a small flood basalt or an actually lake sized lava lake 🙂
            I would guess etnas magma is rather less hot than hawaii or iceland, somewhere around 1000-1100 C while fresh magma in iceland or hawaii is about 1200 C maybe even up to 1300 C which is above the total liquidus point of tholeiite basalt, something that Thomas Jagger (founder of HVO) called ‘pyromagma’.

          • Yes Turtle, 2015 was unusually explosive for Etna, and I concur that this is somewhere between lava fountaining and subplinian “Grey” eruption. There was one by daylight too, extremely violent. 2015 was very violent, as is almost every paroxysm of the voragine. Maybe it has something to do with the conduit there, it looks like it almost functions as a gun barrel. The high ash content of 2015 was caused by the extremely violent nature of the fountaining, fragmenting the lava mid air and turning it to ash. If you look closely, there is almost no ash in the fountain at crater rim height.

        • Hawaiis magmas are simply too hot and fluid for ash fragmentation
          They are clean fountains
          Iki generated large ammounts of spatter and peles hairs and tears but there was no ash column above the glowing part of the fountain.

          • Turtles and Jespry, I love that particular basalt!
            I press essential baby oils from it.
            The sulphur in it cures all diaper-rashes quickly!

          • /This comment thread is about Etna, not diaper-rashes and Hawaii.
            Ancient creaking Dragon

    • And the rest of the world blames it on volcanoes around Lake Turkana in combination with local climate changes.
      I think I will stick with the Turkana Boy on this, since he was sensible and tried to walk away from the eruptions.

    • Dunno, there must have been a lot of them, since they’re finding them in layers. I wonder if they can tell them apart?

    • Perhaps it’s a dictator playing golf backwards with a really weird club selection.

  23. I already know it, thanks to Kimi Raikkonen. He’d the same expression when he won and when he was out of race. Fortunately, Finn women can smile 😉

    • I love me some Kimi. His radio chatter with Alfa has been hilarious. I’m a Bottas fan. He has very much the same non-emotive face.

    • That is interesting! If it is really an eruption it is however probably from the neighbouring Alayta volcano or the Tat Ali Range which are more active. Two historical eruptions of Alayta in 1907 and 1915 were initially reported as coming from Afdera and later assigned to Alayta.

      • Its actually in a place that has never erupted in the holocene as far as I know.

        • Update: The report from VolcanoDiscovery (from Tom Pfeiffer, not me (I help him with updates in case any one doesn’t know)) shows that the apparent eruption is actually on the lower ESE flank of Erta Ale, near the other fissure eruption site (right of the red triangle).

          But then there’s that strong signal in the bottom-right corner of the image, which seems to be on the flank of Mallahle volcano (which is next to Nabro, the one with that major eruption in 2011).

          I’m wondering if that is just something else (e.g. fire) or is that volcano also erupting?

          • Oh, I missed that you already mentioned the area. Still, a bit of mystery/excitement!

          • Let’s rule out fires… There is nothing that can burn around those volcanoes… 🙂

          • I would say that the Afdera is indeed erupting judging from the location of the second heat signal.
            Even though Turtlebirdman is source correct, I should point out that the “has not erupted in the holocene” is quite a bit of horse-baloney.
            I know that the GVP states that, but the amount of research on almost every single volcano there is tantamount to null and void.

            You can probably drive a small LIP through the holes of our knowledge about those volcanoes. 🙂

            No criticism of the GVP as a source, their job is to go with the facts at hand. And if they do not have a source for eruptions, they tend to treat it as if there has been no eruption. The phrase “No known Holocene eruption” is there way of saying: “Some strapping young volcanology student should really go and look”.

            Only criticism I have is that they have not amended the list for Holuhraun I shifting it from Askja to Bárdarbunga, and not put in the confirmed intra-caldera eruption of Bárdarbunga 1996. But then I am Icelando-rectal I guess 🙂 Oh myy how I ramble 🙂

          • Not Afdera- that’s the new Erta Ale flank eruption (just above the lake across from Afdera)- the exact location wasn’t seen by the people who reported it initially.

            Good job I checked- this other possible eruption may actually be Asavyo not Mallahle- they are both in the same area and are on a local line with Nabro and all three seem to be mostly silicic- but GVP does mention basaltic lava flows at Asavyo and is believed to have erupted within the last 2,000 years…

          • Amendment (d’oh!):

            GVP mentions basaltic lava flows from both Mallahle and Asavyo, not just Asavyo as I said.

            Looking on Google Maps, the site of the signal is in the area where lava flows from both volcanoes overlap, so I’m not sure which it is. Both have calderas, and Asavyo’s is closer, but…. *shrugs shoulders*.

            That is definitely the situation this time (no more correcting myself at last!): Possible/probable eruption from either Asavyo or Mallahle.

          • If there was a new eruption near the existing flank vent that is quite the impressive prediction I made 🙂 (further up in the comments). Not a huge event but it shows instability and potential of new eruptions.

            The other heat source I would say is fire in any other situation but not here, it is a desert which shouldnt have enough plants to support a fire that big… Its also a straight line, which is also alligned with the local faults, and in a volcanic area though an old one. Only issue is lack of seismic activity but that could be due to its remoteness.

            As a side note, dubbi, to the north of this area, is like the afars version of hekla, a probably entirely holocene stratofissure volcano with extreme bimodal volcanism. Its also a real monster, quite seriously it dwarfs anything hekla has done in historical time… Dubbis last eruption was in 1861 and was a VEI 5 trachyte plinian eruption that by itself was africas largest historical eruption and disrupted trading through the red sea and killed over 100 people. Its precursor earthquake swarm was felt in yemen and it rained ash 300 km away. That is already a big deal and very large eruption by itself, but then it was followed immediately afterwards by an even bigger flood basalt almost 3 times the size of holuhraun and which lasted another 5 months…

          • It is a very active area fed by a very prolific plume.
            It has volcanoes amply able to cause a lot of mayhem and large eruptions. It is probably more surprising that there has not been a big one in historical times.
            Even the one Turtlebirdman mentioned is fairly piddly compared to what this area can do.

          • The heat signals are in very weird places though, both the possible new fissure ESE of Erta Ale and the heat signal between Asavyo and Mallahle are away from the fissure swarm areas, I would doubt any of those are volcanic signals. There is certainly nothing very big going on because there is no ash plume nor SO2 plume.

            The initial report from VolcanoDiscovery seems to indicate something happened around Afrera lake, the contact between the salt plain and the volcanic range indicated as the location of the reported explosion on May 27 could either refer to the contact with the lavas of Alayta or of Hayli Gubbi. Recent vents are spreaded over the plain of Afrera so it seems a more likely location.

          • The Erta Ale lava is flowing through a 14 km long lava tube and emerging out on the plains
            Thats why the breakouts is far from Erta Ales summit. This lava tube been feeding pahoehoe breakouts for soon 3 years
            Volcanodiscovery thermal satelites shows a strong thermal emission.
            The volume of the eruption may approach 0,3km3 soon when 2019 is finished.

            Erta Ale, just like Kilauea haves a rather prolific magma supply
            A supply thats large enough at base supply to compensate for slow eruptive bleeds
            Thats why these pahoehoe eruptions can last for many years,
            many decades, or even 100 s of years

          • Thing is its very atypical of an eruption in both cases but any of the alternatives is even less likely, theres nothing to burn there so it cant be a fire, and someome must be doing some serious burning off to have that be a viable option. Either its an eruption there or the signal is not located well and that eruption is somewhere else, though the area I circled is very far from erta ale if that is the case.

          • Well, damn, looks like I got carried away again! There most definitely is no eruption here. Next time I’ll remember to look at more than just a single image of a peculiar thermal anomaly before going into “excitement mode”!!

        • That is a teleseism.

          And always suspect IMO doing thingies 🙂

      • What the! .. are they doing up on Grimsvötn?
        Grimsvotn is a no mans place
        And the most horrible local climate in Europe

        No doubt this volcano was first stepped on late
        None wants to be in the wind and cold

        • Uhm, it is the monthly IMO fix things run to the equipment.

          Also, most people in Iceland uses the glacier to frolic around with Ski-Doos and stuff.

          • In Iceland, any weather is swim-trunk-weather…

            One thing I really appreciate about Iceland is the abundance of year-round open public swimming pools. I’m not talking about geothermal tourist traps, but the ordinary swimming pools that basically every little town has got. The entrance fee costs less than your lunch, the swimming pool is outdoors and there are always a couple of smaller hot tubs to warm up and relax in. If you get too hot, there is often one with cold water to cool down in.

          • I’ve even found a couple geothermal pools that people have built out in the middle of nowhere that are free to use.

          • Not to mention the need to drill through 500 metres of glacial ice before getting to the geothermal pool 🙂

    • And another swarm at Greip today. It’s probably getting grumpy because the conclusion of the Greip series is delayed.

        • Now that the latest swarm is checked…
          It is a marvel.
          Even more magma reaming the deep feeder root of Greíp, beautiful.

        • burble burble burble… crack, for now… Still waiting for that spike (around 10:43 UTC) to be detected/checked by IMO

          • That one is very small on other nearby drums. That usually means it’s small, shallow and local to the station where it shows up, in this case DJK. My guess is it’s too small to make it to the list.

          • It is detectable, but compared to those tremor/earthquake swarms at depth it is a fair but less interesting for the IMO, so it does not get the same attention as the others get.
            As you said, it is shallow, purely tectonic, and not a lot to write home about.

  24. A slightly different article related to volcanos

    “The largest city in North America, Mexico City, sits at the center of a high valley, 7,000 feet in the air, surrounded by volcanoes. Over a millennium and a half ago, a volcano called Xitle erupted. Molten lava poured into the valley and covered around 30 square miles in a bed of volcanic rock. Today, most of this lava field has been paved over with roads and buildings and parking lots, but there is still one area where the volcanic rock can be observed on the surface.”

    • I’m waiting to see what the “Hm” is about. Albert is one of those interesting people who know a hell of a lot more about it than the average layperson.

      • To put it mildly.

        (Making fresh popcorn and sitting down to see the full Technicolor version of “hm”)

        • Yes! Yeah! i’m in for the explanation and popcorn… Best!motsfo

          • Since this is Alberts day job in the academic salt mines, I suspect that he is typing up a paper about it first.
            So, we might be in for a bit of waiting until that one is published, and he then get around to explain the “hm” to us.


          • Ominous “hm” reverberating across all of VC…

            (going down into my command bunker with the popcorn to hide)

      • Thats why I posted it here. I do not enough in this subject to evaluate that paper. Hoped to get some initiated comments here🤔

        • You will receive that answer when Albert is finished with “hm”. 🙂

        • Been busy today, but here is an expansion of the ‘hm’. They claim that the solar cycle is tied to a tidal force, namely every 11.07 whenever Jupiter, earth and venus line up. That is not an exact resonance: Jupiter-earth is a bit less than 10.9 yr and jupiter-venus is 11.09 years but let’s forget about that. It also has a near-zero effect on the sun, but let’s forget about that as well. And let’s also not mention that it only affects one side of the sun.

          They say that the length of the solar cycle, which varies from cycle to cycle, always goes back to the time of this resonance. That is based on data on solar maxima and minimum going back more than 2500 years. We only have good data since about 1700: before that the data were obtained from patchy records of aurora and are pretty uncertain. Interesting, they find that since 1700 the solar cycle has been in a ‘random walk’ meaning no relation between cycle length, but if they go back further this sequence appears. I looked at where these dates came from. It is a paper from 1955, and it quickly showed that to make their cycle they had to make some assumptions. One of these was that they assumed 9 maxima in 100 years. Indeed, that is a cycle length of 11.11 years, very close to what they found. So they really only discovered this assumption used in creating the data series, and not anything real.

          So in my opinion this paper is badly flawed. In the only part of the time line where they have independent data they find the opposite to what they eventually conclude.


          • Wouldn’t it have been better if they had switched to a cosmogonist isotope? The more recent history could have shown a lock to the variation of the isotope record, which could probably be viewed even further back.

            GL Edit: Released from the dungeon. In the future, don’t screw up your email address.

          • Thank you for the expanded “hm”.

            It was worth the wait to read the weedwhack I knew was coming. It was about as epic as expected. 🙂

            @Lurking: Thou shalt not hose thine adress. 🙂

          • Thanks Albert! So We can forget about tidal effects as a forcing for solar cycles. The enigma remains!!

  25. And in another incredible coincidence, 2 days after talking about it, etna has started erupting again 🙂

    Its not a 2 km tall lava fountain though, rather a small effusive fissure near the bottom of the southeast crater complex, which is where a lot of vents have been in the last few years. It is also near where a short fissure eruption happened in december last year, and looks similar too except this is already quite a bit bigger.

    Etna has been pretty quiet since 2015, at least by its standards, before that it was erupting basically all the time every few weeks but not so much now.

    • Boris Behncke features an image.

      Boris (or one of his cohorts) went to the trouble of risking getting whacked with a rock (ejecta) to get the photo, so I am not going to lift the picture off his twitter feed. It’s a good view.

      • There are a lot more videos here too:

        I also found a paper that shows the eruption last year over christmas was a failed eccentric eruption, that is it was like 2001 but the dike stalled, the flank eruption that actually did happen was a shallow second dike that drained out magma that was in the upper vents anyway. Thing with this is that there was a similar event in the same area in 1989, and in 1991 there was a big lava flow from the same area that got effected then. Etna is probably one of those volcanoes that has a sufficiently high magma supply that a large dike can erupt anyway even if it was not initially successful, analogous to kilauea failing to erupt in 1924 but erupting in that area anyway 31 years later in 1955. Timescale is probably quite a bit less than decades for etna but that deep intrusion last year is probably still viable and could erupt anyway, or make it easier for another deep event to reach a more distal location from the summit.

        • It will be very interesting the next time a big flank eruption happens, like 1669. That eruption was like etnas leilani event, summit collapse abd a big lava eruption that lasted for months and erupted about 0.5 km3 of lava from what I have read. It was probably a relatively more fluid sort of lava than what erupts at the summit, and way higher eruption rates too probably so the flow and lava channel probably would have been very fast moving. It would have been pretty incredible to be that guy who painted it from a hill above cantania.

          Today etna again has a big active summit crater complex that has been doing large eruptions in recent years, the 1669 crater has long been filled in abd overflowed since the 1950s and there has been no low altitude eccentric flank eruptions since 1669 and only one lateral eruption at low altitude in 1928. But there have been lots of big eccentric eruptions on its upper south rift zone like 2001 and 2002, and earlier in the 19th century, and some other failed eccentric eruptions too in the same area last december and in 1989, and lots of shallow lateral eruptions too through that time including right now, so it is probably building up to something big in the nearish future. Maybe large compound cones will sequentially build to the south along the rift before eventually something breaks somewhere and a new summit collapse happens.

      • Boris is a nice dude who will not hit us over the head if we steal his pictures as long as we mention him.
        If it comes to that, I can also bribe him with a bit of cheese the next time I go to Etna.

        • All the more reason to just point at his feed. Besides, I don’t want to play the “cease and desist” games. I hate lawyers and the EU has been mucking up the waters of the Internet like a hungry catfish.

          • Oh, in the case of Boris he would never cease and desist us.
            In fact it might just instead drag him back from his Lurking status into writing comments again.

            (Hello Boris)

          • Maybe so. But the country he works in has a lot of rent seeking lawyers. Many who are quite adept at circumventing common sence and twisting logic just to file a case.

            They make Michael Avenatti look impeccable.

          • Boris is not coming from Hoboken, New Jersey. At least as far as I know.

    • And for those who do not know who Boris Behncke is, this is Boris doing Borising stuff at INGV Osservatorio Etneo…
      (Boris on the right)

      • Thats some awsome colours there!
        It depends alot on the screen
        But sadley this video is very poor in colour camera lost all saturation : (
        Some bubbles are quite yellow but most of the action is very washed out hardly any colour.
        The lava channel looks downright dull.
        The video have colour but not very saturated

  26. Agung put on a daytime performance this time. You don’t see the incandescent lava bombs in the videos, but you see dust clouds down the slopes of the volcano as they hit the ground, plus you get a good view of a nice mushroom cloud.

    Eruption starts one minute in. At three minutes in, the camera zooms out to get a good view of the mushroom cloud. The duration of this eruption was approximately 8 minutes, which is longer than previous ones.

    • And a nice time lapse video. Watch the clouds for the shockwave.

  27. Since yesterday was a banking holiday and tomorrow is weekend schools are closed today.
    That means that many have brought their kids to work.
    Right now I am running half a factory on child labour. The blessed sound of not so idle child fingers are reverberating as they learn the pleasures of hard labour. Payment due in the form of Ice cream for lunch.

  28. Double posting much Jesper?
    Once is amply enough.
    Do not do it again.

    Creaking ancient dragon plodding by

  29. In regards of Greíp…

    I have my own little system for grading likelihood of a volcano erupting that is both looking at risk and timeframe. It is graded from 0 to 5. A good and sensible scale with six steps.

    0 = will not erupt in the next decade. Hello Hofsjökull and Tindfajallajökull as examples.
    1 = Unlikely to erupt in the next decade (Greíp prior to the eruption of Holuhraun II, Vatnafjöll is also a good example)
    2 = Able to erupt in a decade (Greip as it continued activity after Holuhraun II with more deep earthquakes)
    3 = A volcano that is actively working towards erupting in a decade
    4 = A volcano that is actively showing signs of a possible eruption within a year (Kilauea when I told Jesper that there would be no lava lake left when he went there for his vacation, I told him that half a year prior to the lakes emptying out. Me exact words was that the lava toilet would flush before he went. Jesper did not believe me until it happened. Anyhoos, Jesper is my witness)
    5 = A volcano likely to erupt within a few days to a few weeks (Bardarbunga was at this level when I said it would erupt)

    Why now am I pointing this out?

    Old readers will by now go to the store to fill up on popcorn and Red Bull…
    The reason is in the end that currently Greíp is hovering at a solid 3 since it is having magma pulses at depth going up to 10km. Both the recurrence rate and the strength has gone up significantly in the last couple of weeks.
    We are still not seeing any real swarms above 10km, but at the going rate they are not far away. When that happens we are at a 4, and if it hammers onwards to 3km, then we have a five.

    I will not say that it will erupt, and when, because nobody who is even remotely sane will predict a volcano that is gunning for its first eruption, since nobody has ever recorded the birth of a new central volcano.
    So I will just sum it up like this. There is an increased risk for an eruption. You can interpret that as you wish.

    If (when) it erupts it will go either of two ways. The first option is that it hammers all the way straight up and we get something looking like Gjálp, but at a smaller scale. Or, it will punch out into a fissure, if that happens it is most likely that it will burst out through LD2 running towards Holuhraun. (third option would be that it goes along the northern extension of the Grimsvötn Fissure swarm, or even erupt explosively).

    • What is the likelihood that it is refilling the chamber under the BB plug and will continue to do so for many years to come?

      • Nill. There is no refilling going on at Bárdarbunga, the inflation period stopped a while ago.

        • Carl, do you think it remotely possible that Greíp represents another form of inflation or recharge of the Bárdarbunga system? In other words, that a connection exists, or may form, between the deep activity at Greip, and the shallower Bárdarbunga system, and magma will migrate into Bárdarbunga rather than forming a new central volcano at Greip?

      • The inflation trajectory started to slow October 2018 and fully stopped in January 2019.

        • I thought I had written an entire article on GPS-movements in Vatnajökull.
          But to recap, the only volcano currently inflating is situated where you would find the Greip root.

          • Yes you did, an amazingly complicated however logical one 🙂

            Your arguement in pinning down the focus of the Kverkfjöll inflation is difficult to poke holes in for sure.

            What would rule out the possibility of the BB plug becoming “locked” and will at some point shift again in the coming months?

          • Here is my pinprick of an idea

            When looking at below 10km and above 10km since January 2018 the only “feed” seems to come from Greip and most upper movement is in the area of the BB plug.

            If there was inflation caused by Greip would it not show up in resulting quakes or would this be mostly silent?

          • I am going to try to answer your questions without having to invoke the health and safety warning attached to Volcanocafé, ie., that you might get a look into my brain… 🙂

            Kverkfjöll is not inflating as such, it is still happily deflating. If it was inflating it would fairly noisy.
            It just looks as it is inflating due to the general area uplifting due to the deep intrusion at Greíp lifting the entire area upwards.

            Bardy is on another piece of real estate that will be in turn pushed downwards as the sliver of plate between Grimsvötn Fissure Swarm and Bárdarbunga Fissure swarm tilts by being uplifted at Greíp and lowered at Bardy.

            Grimsvötn is just too messy by far to give any reliable data in short term, it is only reliable for itself, and only over a significant portion of time. The rest is just to filled with noise caused by the various chamber inflating and deflating as they dance around doing the Electric Magma Boogie.

            Now, as most have discovered Bárdarbunga is nowadays a silent beast in regards of earthquakes (well, relatively, it is still a noisy bugger).
            This is due to the plug having achieved equilibrium between gravity and upwards push of the magma.
            Unless a new intrusive cycle starts it will hang there, or just barely move upwards at the pre-eruptive rate of about 2.5cm per year.
            I have tried to explain that this would happen for five years now, but the friends of Bardy was a bit to vocal on it insta-prepping for a new volcano for this to really stick.
            All I can say, right now nothing is going on there. But give it some time (pick your favourite number) and it could very well be doing something interesting again. But for now? Nope. Look for deep earthquakes is my tip of the day.

            Now over to Greíp and why it is “silent”.
            First of all, it is very noisy. Just not in the version that most people recognise prior to an eruption. I will explain.
            As magma pushes up via the plume it will start to exert pressure on the crust above. This will give a broad picture of deep earthquakes, like in 2012-2013. That deep magma pressuring upwards will sooner or later find weak spots, as it did in 2013 and early 2014 as we started to see deep earthquakes at Bárdarbunga, Greíp, Kistufell and Trölladyngja. As the easiest two paths emerged the magma started to go up Kistufell and Bárdarbunga filling their reservoirs. In the end something popped.

            After the eruption a lot of magma went into Bárdarbunga to refill it. But, at the same time the tension/strain in the dyke and general area of Bárdarbunga was spent, and the caldera floor is to thick, so it can’t erupt for now.

            Instead the sneaky magma found more fertile ground, a proto-central-volcano. So, it started to go up Greíp again. First just a little bit here and there. But as time went on and the deep feeder expanded through melt and pressure things got more and more noisy at depth.

            The earthquakes at depth are small and shaped differently than the shallow earthquakes since the crust is really hot and ductile. It is more like ripping paper than cracking would with an ax.

            By now we have one or two daily tremor/earthquake episodes, today classifies even as a swarm, and it is ranging between 22 to 10km. And this has built up the strain enough to cause a few shallow stress related earthquakes with a purely tectonic signal.

            Currently it seems like the 10km is the boundary, above that we should soon see tectonic earthquake swarms start with a tectonic signal, that over time will become more volcanic in nature. How long that would take is hard to know since we have never seen it happen. I do though suspect that it would be incredibly noisy on a Bárdarbunga scale of things.

            And, if it all hits the 3km marker, then it is time to grab the popcorn because then volatiles will start to release from the magma and that increases the rate of ascension of the buoyant magma, this is the point of no return.

          • Thanks Carl,

            That seemed more like an article than a reply, hope this is not an attempt to avoid concluding the series 😉

          • Nah, I am saving the brainhurty stuff for the upcoming articles… 😉

        • Carl, the Kista GPS does that particular move every year, isn’t it just something seasonal? Usually the upwards movement returns in June. Your article about GPS-movements had one very important point: with so many volcanoes competing about pushing and pulling the GPS:es, it is hard to know who is causing what.

          My speculation about what’s going on with BB goes like this:
          [Speculation alert!!!] Assume that the ring fault can move in the opposite direction. Adding magma to the chamber means that the pressure will start to rise, but it only rises so much that the ring fault can not hold back the resulting force. The result is that the ring fault gives way in one of those larger quakes. After the quake, there is more room for the magma, so the pressure is once again reduced. The only actual increase in pressure is from gravity and the added height of the magma supporting the plug. If this is correct, then Bárdarbunga can not be expected to behave like a normal Mogi source. Instead of inflating like a balloon, it will accumulate a very large amount of magma before the increased pressure (from the weight) starts to show up as a Mogi source. This would be the exact reverse of the gravity driven eruption.[End speculation alert]

          • If it happens from December to June then isn’t it more likely to be something related to changes of the glacier. I don’t know much about the setting of Kista but I imagine it must be resting on rock, a glacier kipuka can’t remember how you called those in Iceland, quite sure there was a name. I assume Vatnajökull decreases a bit in volume in summer-early autumn, from June to December as it would seem in the GPS. Doing so the ground probably responds by swelling up, like a fast issostatic rebound, faster because here it is an equilibrium between the magma chamber an the ice above it. After winter it goes back down as it returns to a similar state regarding the glacier while the magma chamber has increased in volume since the last winter. Maybe the response of the ground is a bit lagged behind? Also, does this mean an eruption is more likely from june to december?

            (A lot of speculation here too)

          • Ok, so I rechecked the GPS-data and looked at the plot using the north american plate as a reference instead. That one includes data up to the current date and from that it is clear that what Carl is talking about is not the up-component, but north and east. Those two have indeed stopped dead in their tracks.

            I still believe that if refilling the magma chamber causes upwards movement of the plug, then the added pressure, from height and gravity, would be too small to show up as a significant signal in the GPS-data.

    • Hmmm? Wafff! 😒😖 wheeeere is my lake!
      The thief, the thief, the sneaky little thief! Where is it? Where diiid it drain⁉️… he stole it from us, our most beloved lava lake. Curse this act of spoool !
      I diiiiisliiiikes this act of spool/ flush. ! it’s ours it is, and we wants it back now!

      • Since I know Jesper quite well I felt that it was best to warn him that his lava lake tour was in grave danger, unless he could go earlier.
        I also told the HVO that it would flush, but they where not that interested in the end. So, I kept quiet on the offhand chance I was wrong, especially since it is not my volcano.

        I know, I am annoying.

        • Dont worry jesper if anything I havd said about kilauea holds true, at the very least there will be a new lake in the bottom of halemaumau within a year or two of now, maybe even in a few months.
          The other, far more impressive, option that will take way longer is a large scale fissure eruption on the ring fault, like 1959 or the much bigger fountains of the early 19th century, something like 0.3 km3 of lava in a few weeks sending a torrent of lava into the deep pit of halemaumau and filling it with a 200-300 meter deep lake in one go while also fountaining to 500 meters or more with big tephra fallout downwind or more lava flows, like wolf in 2015 except theres cameras all around it so it wont be missed. it will be a lot longer before that happens though, probably around 10-30 years if following 18th century activity, but then you get your actually lake sized lava lake and it is much better than the old one because it comes with its own fountain and is a source of spiky rock sponges and it also has no hole at the bottom so evil carl cant drain it… 🙂

          Because I talked about erta ale the other day and it erupted 3 days later, and then etna too and it also erupted 3 days later, logically now kilauea will erupt on monday 😀

          It best be that I do not talk about agung, it is getting scary… :I

          • If an eruption occurs in a ringfault we gets amazing superfluid real falls of lava crashing into the New halemaumau pit
            And volcano gets bombarded by reculite and and peles tears and lapilli. It will be like the filling of the pit crater below Mauna Ulu and Iki pit crater

            Just imagine the superfluid thoelite waves of lava that spread out from the 1959 fountain and waved over the Iki rootless lake
            These 1959 lava lake waves where amazing on old films!
            I have never seen any other basaltic lava that fluid and hot
            One of many reasons Kilauea is my favorite volcano

        • Carl .. Give us by the lava lake to the caldera floor 🙂

          Na na na na na na na
          Give us by the lava lake to the caldera floor!
          Na na na na na na na
          Give us by the lava lake to the caldera floor! !! Na na na na La la la na na…
          Give us by the lava lake to the caldera floor! !!
          Na na na na na na na Na nana na…
          Give us by the lava lake to halemaumaus floor!!!!
          Once there was a lake that danced constantly everyday … on the caldera floor …
          Na na na na na na na
          Give us by the lava lake to the caldera floor!
          Na na na na na na na
          Give us by the lava lake to the caldera floor! !! Na na na na La la la na na…
          Give us by the lava lake to the caldera floor! !!
          Na na na na na na na Na nana na…
          Give us by the lava lake to halemaumaus floor!!!!

        • I meant give us back this lake to the caldera floor!!
          LoL I miss that lava lake sorry for my entusiasm

          • Correct version

            Carl .. Give us back the lava lake to the caldera floor 🙂

            Na na na na na na na
            Give us back the lava lake to the caldera floor!
            Na na na na na na na
            Give us back the lava lake to the caldera floor! !! Na na na na La la la na na…
            Give us back the lava lake to the caldera floor! !!
            Na na na na na na na Na nana na…
            Give us back the lava lake to halemaumaus floor!!!!
            Once there was a lake that danced constantly everyday … on the caldera floor …
            Na na na na na na na
            Give us back the lava lake to the caldera floor!
            Na na na na na na na
            Give us back the lava lake to the caldera floor! !! Na na na na La la la na na…
            Give us back the lava lake to the caldera floor! !!
            Na na na na na na na Na nana na…
            Give us back the lava lake to halemaumaus floor!!!!
            La la la la La la la….
            Give us back the lava lake to the caldera floor!

            Nuff Jesper!
            Grumpy Morning Admin

          • Jesper, polite notice from a “reader with no blog authority”: you are just starting to get a little OTT again, ration your craziness! 😀

    • What about the volcano that formed in a farmer’s field in Mexico in the 1930’s?
      Just a cone? Cannot remember the name of it.

      • It is indeed just a cone on a monogenetic volcanic field, and as such it is neither new, or a central volcano. Nor is it the last such monogenetic cone to come up out of the ground.
        Since I am not awake yet (having morning coffee) I do not remember the name of the latest, but we can use Surtsey as an example of a newer cone than Paricutín.

        The newest one is an Island that coughed itself up in the Red Sea. Due to pirates nobody has gotten around to research it.

      • Once you get away from the low end of the scale, each increment is a power of 10. So at VEI 100, you are looking at about 1 x 10 95km³ of ejecta. I don’t know for sure, but it’s probably more in the range of a several million planets the size of Earth being ejected than a supernova. That’s a different class unto itself.
        (Earth is 1.08321×1012 km3… so 9.23 x 1087 Earths… ± a few Moons) And in retrospect, that’s a LARGE number of Jupiter masses as well. {6.98666 x 10 84} And honestly… a lot of Solar masses… so, I retract my admonition. It is in a stellar scale. You were correct when you look at the actual numbers. (It’s probably going to be a lot of UY Scutis also) In a nutshell, VEI-100 represents an awful lot of dirt. It’s larger than the volumetric sum of all our Solar System objects.

        *This is based off of volumes as listed in “Wiki-peek-at-ya”. Density was not concidered.

        Note, near the low end, the power of ten thing skips for a few of the VEI ratings.

        This is also an exercise of going back to look at my numbers and second guessing myself.

        • Dear Lurk,

          My congratulations on rounding to the appropriate level of accuracy to a hitherto remarkable level of “range of a several million planets the size of Earth ” and “It’s larger than the volumetric sum of all our Solar System objects.” with nary even a decimal point! As Mr Feynman would say ” truly handwavy”.

          Admittedly I did think you would flunk it initially with input data in the six significant figures…..

          A result others can only wonder at.

          • You and I both know the insignificance of my significant digits. I am relegated to using what my spreadsheet coughs up, and if the hairball is disgusting, it’s still just a hairball.

            Initially my comment was to address a strange exclamation, then I realized just how bizarre it was on the scales involved. “Handwavy” is intended to be dismissive of something. And by that point in the effort I had realized just how futile my effort was, so I tossed up my hands and wandered off.

        • VEI-100 is 1 x 10^104 m^3 (1 x 10^93 km^3) so VEI-96 would be 1 Googol m^3! The (one) discrepancy in the scale is between VEI-1 and VEI-2- VEI-2 is 100 times VEI-1, with VEI-0 being less than 1 x 10^4 m^3, so there is a missing step- if it didn’t have that gap that largest known eruption would be VEI-9.8- similar to the magnitude number of the largest possible earthquake.

          • I do opine against that.

            Depending on how you count we have had a VEI-plus8… Or a VEI-9, and I can even name it. Unless you guyses want to take a guess?

            I also know at least of two Mplus-9s, or M10s if you prefer. Also up for guesses.

            I’ll Ding the correct ‘uns

            Edited out a spelling error…

          • Nope… not entirely correct there MJF. I should probably expound there MJF, you are 3100km3 short on the largest separate listed eruption. And not even that is the one I am thinking about. Well, sort of perhaps, or not.

            There is something more oomphy out there ya’ll. Dings to be had!

            And I fixed the figures up there. I accidentally wrote VEI-10, instead of VEI-9.

            I should perhaps also state that I am in no way pulling the legs of anyone here. I am talking about events that should be well known by most of you. Hint, Yellerstone is decidedly not involved, neither in the earthquakes, nor the eruption.

          • Carl, are we talking about ‘traps’? Then I guess Deccan and Siberian must be 2 known good candidates. But I thought those were more like VEI0-3’s like hundreds of them in a span of maybe a thousand years.
            A VEI 9 or 10 in 1 go? Hmm, as far as i know Taupo, La Garita and Toba were 8’s…
            The real question here is: when are you getting on that plane?

          • You have a good 8 hours before I leave my house with train to the airport…

            @Albert: That small? No wonder I feel cramped all the time. 🙂

          • I thought the Universe felt a tad less cramped this morning 🙂

          • Eruptions outside of that are not interesting and do not count

  30. Long time reader I try:

    We estimate a total erupted ignimbrite magma volume of 31,000 km3 for the past 30 Ma, with
    2,400 km3 for Southern Peru, 2,700 km3 for Southernmost Peru, 8,400 km3 for the Altiplano,
    14,200 km3 for the Northern Puna and 3,100 km3 for the Southern Puna segments. Following
    the approach of de Silva and Gosnold (2007), we calculate a minimum plutonic equivalent of
    7,200 km3, 8,100 km3, 25,200 km3, 42,600 km3 and 9,300 km3 for the respective segments.

    /Released from the Dungeons where the Dragons eat spam…Itinerant Admin

    • Not a bad approach VCreader.
      Problem is just that the timespan for the Altiplano-Puna Volcanic Complex is too long to count as one big eruption. I do though admit that I like all things APVC.

      • OK, I’ve done some reading around using sources listed on Wikipedia and one from Googling the Parana-Etendeka traps.

        The one I thought was the largest- Wah Wah Springs- has been revised to 5,900km3.

        The Wikipedia source for the Sam Ignimbrite, Yemen only mentions an eruption of up to 5,000km3- so it would appear the 6,800 figure is wrong (even says there is an uncertainty and mentions a 5,500 figure).

        Now, on to the Parana-Etendeka:

        The 8,600 figure is actually a misinterpretation- there were two different eruptions from the Messum Volcanic Centre; Goboboseb and Springbok.
        The former was 2,300km3 and the latter was 6,300km3. The source says the combined volume is, obviously, 8,600km3.
        This was NOT a single eruption, just like how Yellowstone 2.1Ma is two events (2,150km3 and 300km3 giving a combined total of 2,450km3).

        As for the other enormous Parana-Etendeka explosive eruptions, it is still not confirmed/clear if they are one event or several, but the latter option seems more likely based on suggestions from the papers I read.

        Therefore, as far as I can see, the largest *confirmed* explosive eruption on Earth known to date is the 132Ma Springbok eruption, Messum Volcanic Centre, Parana-Etendeka traps with a volume of 6,300km3- which is VEI-8.8 and 5,500km3= VEI-8.75, so I’m still right with the magnitude, unless someone can give definitive, confirmed evidence of larger eruptions.

        I’m certain there have been larger eruptions, but there are none known for absolutely sure as of this writing (as if I have any authority to say that lol!).
        #ChangeMyMind 😀 😀

        • Ding!
          At least sort of. You got the right spot, it is indeed the Paraná-Etendeka LIP that I am talking about.
          The debate is mainly one about definitions. Unlike most other LIPs it contained as far as we know, depending on definitions, between 1 and 3 continuous eruptions spanning between a few centuries to a few millennia.
          In that timeframe it erupted a whopping 49 590km3 of ignimbrites and welded tuffs and 2.3 million cubic kilometres of lava.
          As you mentioned the explosive phases did not contain a single eruption above the 10 000 km3 range, but due to the continuous eruption state I am quite willing to state the case that it counted as a VEI-9 on that alone.

          Reason I started this discussion is that I am planning to write an article about it, and that I normally forget things unless someone is pestering me for the actual article.

          Because this is not the mystery that is really mind-boggling, it is something completely different. And the answer to that mystery in my view solves a long-standing scientific debate. And probably creates a lot of new ones.

          • I would suggest that, for the earth, it would be the clash of terra and theia would probably be about as big as it ever got.

      • Igneous province present in both Brazil and Namibia?

          • Yup If Hawaii plume gets buried under New Zeeland or Australia in the far future it will get crazy!
            Magma feed in Hawaii is 10 times larger than Reuinion and around 4 times larger than Galapagos.
            If buried under a thicker litosphere that woud mean major flood basalt

            Hawaii remains the hottest and largest and most bouyant oceanic plume head in the world for the moment.
            Its also the hotspot that loose the most heat to the ocean.
            Around 1% of all earths yearly mantle heat loss can be traced to the migthy hawaiian hotspot.
            There are many hotspots
            But Hawaii is very much the most intense and focused for the moment

        • It was formed when the south atlantic opened but was not there yet. Similar thing will probably happen in the east african rift valley in the future.

          I have one problem with the idea if the parana/etendeka traps being a fast LIP though, it didnt cause a mass extinction which it likely would have if it was of the dimensions you say, and it was in an area that is actively rifting. The latter effect would serve to remove a lot of the potential magma and hence be analogous to iceland. Deccan traps, and probably siberian traps, were not rifting continents, so basically after a certain point the rate of magma generation and rate of eruption would be basically 1/1, which is much more similar to hawaii, which is also not a rifting hotspot. Deccan traps was basically like an enormous version of puu oo in its system dynamics (and possibly in eruption style) meaning it was probably like a massive open conduit complex constantly leaking out lava from many vents for millennia at a relatively low rate (still well up in the 100s of m3/s though so its not slow pahoehoe flows) while the flood basalts in rift zones would have been more like the dead zone with fast and huge eruptions but most magma not reaching the surface and long hiatus between eruptive episodes. Columbia river basalt was like this too with very episodic volcanism though it only barely qualifies at flood basalt status.
          As said above less magma also means less climate impact. The whole idea of a non-rifting LIP is also why in the past I have theorised there will be another great dying event in about 50 million years if either zelandia or australia overrides the hawaii hotspot, trapping it under continental crust with analogy to the deccan traps but hawaii has 10 times the magma feed of reunion… :I

          Basically what im getting at is its a way bigger scale version of why hawaii erupts more lava than iceland overall but iceland has much bigger individual eruptions.

  31. I think I found something!

    Not gonna tell a lot, but this events took place within a larger chapter, which was (indirectly) caused by something a certain German polar researcher discovered in 1911.

    As of today, the remnants of this larger chapter are maybe the best geological evidence of his discovery.

    (I would love to hear more about these areas, since I can’t really find that much about it. I would love to know why this events happened on this particular chapter, and not on other chapters? Article in the near future maybe :)?

  32. Carl, signing off.
    Onwards from the cold horror known as Sweden (pretty nice, the horror part is from the cold only), towards the far warmer United Arab Emirates and Burj al Arab hotel.

    • OT OO i can hardly wait for the usual photo of Carl traveling anywhere… does anyone think he just reposts the same picture?? Well as someone who goes nowhere (now) i enjoy anyone’s pictures of other places… back to topic. motsfo

      • Well, look around on the news sites. There is a pic of a Gator that invaded a lady’s kitchen in South Florida.

        • I only see a white swan, so must be somewhere quite common. Where you at?

          • White swans are incredibly rare where I live, so rare they only exist in zoos 🙂

          • There was actually a solitary black swan as well. An escapee or refugee, I expect. In fact the white one is also an introduction to the pond. Neither occurs in the wild there.

    • Sweden cold?
      You thinks + 38 C in the shadow is freezing
      You are very strange that thinks 70 C in the shadow is comfortable

  33. Getting ready to take two of the dogs to the vet.

    2019-06-01 11:16:22 2.4 42
    2019-06-01 09:50:18 2.5 40.2
    2019-06-01 09:48:26 2.1 37.5
    2019-06-01 09:37:28 2 4.2
    2019-06-01 09:21:41 1.8 4.8
    2019-06-01 08:44:58 2.4 -1.2
    2019-06-01 08:16:18 2.4 42.3
    2019-06-01 08:10:31 2.5 39.3
    2019-06-01 07:27:45 1.7 36.8
    2019-06-01 06:40:25 2.1 32.4
    2019-06-01 03:56:46 1.8 -2.9
    2019-06-01 03:08:01 2.1 -1.6
    2019-06-01 02:15:43 2.7 1


      • And the summit gps is continuing to inflate, and now the inflation is also beginning to be visible around the summit, for instance PHAT. I would not be surprised if the warning level is raised in the near future. Although nothing seems imminent – it is a slow build-up.

        • Hehe I was joking about it erupting in 2 days yesterday but this looks promising 🙂

          Apparently the alert system has to have some critical markers ticked off though before the colour is changed, but it is not a guarantee that all those will actually be met. To move to yellow probably will be easy as it just has to keep doing what it is doing now, but to move to orange the presumption is that there will be strong seismic activity and deformation preceding an eruption of significant size which is not necessarily a given especially now. Red is if there is ash, the colours are actually aviation warnings and red and orange are same eruption threat regarding the scenario (called ‘eruption imminent or in progress)
          Obviously kilauea is rare to see red, but red appears often in alaska.

          • It will happen soon ny shelled slow reptilian avian mix friend ….

            Kilauea is likley the basaltic volcano that haves the very highest rate of magma feed on the planet.
            A small lava lake may return to halemaumau already to the autumn.

            Hawaii is likley the strongest hotspot on the planet for now

        • Albert,
          You once made a reference to “twin” earthquakes. I am assuming that you are talking about 2 that occur close together and in the same area? If so what is the meaning of those type of events?


          • With so many quakes, there will always be a few close together. But sometimes you get several pairs with the same time spacing. There is no obvious case here. But if you look at the pair at 09:30, and assuming it is a real pair, the pair is 2 minutes apart. Assuming this is a fault slipping: in that case the wave will travel along the fault by perhaps a km/s. The steep edge of the island is about 60 km away and in 2 minutes the wave could travel 120 km/s. So it is conceivable that the wave could be reflected off the edge of island, coming back and triggering another slippage. But that is far-fetched. There is a higher chance of a second quake shortly after a first because of the altered stress field. That is probably what happens. The fault slips in two parts rather than a single event.

        • The alert is unlikely to be raised- the volcano is still greatly deflated. It is not just the rate of deformation to be considered: until most of last year’s volume loss is recovered I doubt HVO will be concerned- as they say, it did erupt 10 years of supply in 3 months; it won’t be a very quick turnaround. They did also mention high rates of deformation in the VAN that lowered the volcano to green, and that it is, for now, in an intrusive state. I know it is not the same, but when inflation resumed in 1950 after the almost complete dormancy of the 1940s, it took two years until the final buildup and the new eruption. Mauna Loa is by far the most likely to be raised next and HVO is apparently close to doing so. I don’t expect any eruptive activity in Hawaii this year.

          • It is not the same! 🙂

            The volcano is still greatly deflated but however also keep in mind that it doesn’t need to completely recover to have small eruptions. In 1924 the summit erupted 2 months after the caldera collapse of that year, so I would say that Kilauea is perfectly capable of erupting at the summit this year, not that it will, one never knows for sure with this one.

            Anyway I think Albert meant the warning level of Mauna Loa. And regarding the GPS PHAN, that is seasonal variation it usually shows increased uplift during the first half of the year.

          • Yes, it was about Mauna Loa, and the next warning level would be yellow. It has been inflating since 2015.

          • Mjf you are leaving out 1 important thing with that observation. In 1960 the deflation was smaller but it was all through deformation and stress within the rock. That means it really did have to recover all the way to erupt again, about 0.2 km3. That is about 1 year and it just so happens to have next erupted about a year later in february 1961 🙂
            Now I see this means it will take 5 years to erupt again now? No, last year was different, the majority of the collapse was physical through the caldera which did not happen in 1960, or in 1924 for that matter, and pushing up all that rubble is never going to happen it is much easier to just go through it and erupt, kilaueas caldera is not a solid plug like bardarbunga, its method of caldera filling is not to push up the floor and repeat but generally to just erupt into it and fill it that way.
            Total volume of last years eruption is being finalised by HVO but it is probably around 1 km3, but the volume of the caldera is 0.8 km3, so really despite the significant difference in the size of the eruptions the amount of recovery of deformation that needs to happen is 0.2 km3, which is the same as 1960 and 1 years supply. Eruption is very plausible in a few months sometime in august or september. It likely wont be much to look at though but an eruption nonetheless.
            Probably many small eruptions in halemaumau with some frequency until a more solid crust exists then some more pressure can build up and allow larger eruptions. After this eruptions might become bigger and faster high fountains that erupt a lot of lava at once like a mini flood basalt, or rift activity might resume, or both, but who knows yet.
            I am ignoring the south flank, yes it is moving but it evidently isnt moving faster than the magma is coming in, or there wouldnt be any inflation. At most it probably pushes an eruption up to december.

            Mauna loa I agree is more likely to do a big eruption before kilauea does another big eruption, but still doesnt look like anything is really at a point where it is considered imminent. 13 cm in 5 years is not small but kilauea got up to 33 cm before last year, and that was also while it was already erupting in two other places… 🙂

          • I also talked about this further up, but looking at the timescale of when larger eruptions could happen, something around 5 years up to 20 years down the road. The last collapse that was under the same conditions as last year was in about 1783, at the conclusion of the heiheiahulu eruption that started in about 1770 (dates are my own estimates). The southern rift that is labeled as the 1790 eruption is probably this event. The caldera collapse then was deeper than last year, reaching well below the water table and making a lake, which is why the 1790 eruption was a violent surtseyan and plinian eruption instead of a lava fountain. The first activity to leave any trace after this was that eruption in 1790, which is well known. That is about 7 years difference from tge caldera collapse. Then there were at least 12 otber eruptions big enougg to deposit significant fephra outsude the caldera, all probably after the 1794 vancouver expedition. The other 1790 flow on the LERZ postdates heiheiahulu and was basically treeless in 1840 so it probably erupted in the early 19th century following a similar situation to 1959/1960 after one of the large summit eruptions.

            My guess is that if rift activity resumes a new shield will eventually form between puu oo and highway 130, but not while there is suck a deep caldera. Before large scale rift activity there will probably be some large scale summit activity that fills the caldera, with this sort of activity it is likely the lava will remain molten between eruptions and basically make a massive static lava lake. This also means there might also be added southwest rift secondary eruptions caused by the pressure of the bottom of a 300 meter deep lava lake intruding passively and draining out like it did in 1823.
            The alternative is that the large summit eruptions might happen partly outside the caldera pit so it generates a massive rapidly moving lava flow down the flank, like wolf 2015, or a standard mauna loa eruption. This is unlikely but if it does happen it would be one hell of an eruption…

            Im speculating on all of this, and its not going to happen from the activity showing now, but personally I would consider all of the above to be much more likely than a dormancy period longer than 5 years. It is evident that the hotspot is still feeding kilauea much more than mauna loa, so its basically impossible for more than a year to pass without something happening.

            Im going to write an article on this, and actually finish it this time… 🙂

          • I don’t know how are you coming up with those dates, I already told you about this, Heiheiahulu was in ~1750 AD, it is the prehistoric eruption that has been best dated. When William Ellis was at Kaimu the natives told him the district had been destroyed by lava during the reign of king Alapai, who died in 1754, if you look at any old map more than half the district of Kaimu falls within the flow field of Heiheiahulu, so ~1750. 1790 is also is the approximate date a native gave to the effusive eruption in the LERZ (at least the southern flow).

            Also, the 300 m wide lake before the 1823 Keaiwa eruption, that was an assumption made by Ellis, who’s guess is as good as anyone’s, it didn’t drain out passively either since the hawaiians describe an earthquake that has been later estimated in magnitude 7, so it was a forcefull intrusion that strained the flank.

          • The wilkes expedition, which happened in the aftermath of the 1840 eruption, described the area around heiheiahulu is being pretty barren, not completely treeless but it was really obvious that it was a young volcanic vent, and even more so for the area they were standing on (most uprift part of 1790 north rift eruption). The 1955 flows in the same area are now in that same state, and those flows are 64 years old. It isnt exact but going off this it is probable that in 1840 heiheiahulu was about 60-70 years old, which is around 1770 to 1780. This also puts a minimum date on the 1790 lava that erupted north of heiheiahulu, as it clearly predates the shield, and by enough that a clear line is defined in the vegetation if you look close enough.

            It is also important to remember that heiheiahulu is not the only flow in that area with young morphology. We dont actually have very accurate dates of any eruption there before 1840 but what we know is that the area between napau crater and leilani estates was frequently active in the 18th century which means it is likely the flows describes as 1750 was not actually the heiheiahulu flows but just another eruption in that same general area before the shield existed, maybe an early stage of the eruption, or a completely different eruption. Rather than seeing it as a set date when the eruption happened, it really only means that there were no flows recently before about 1750 that anyone alive around that time had seen, nothing about how long after that date the eruptions in that area ended, which was most probably a significant time later than the date the first flows invaded the area, and back then no-one knew as much about volcanoes as we do now so probably never bothered to look closely. Oral history is also not always the most reliable source for exact dates.

            For 1823, a big quake like that would have moved the flank a lot like last year, and because there was so much high standing lava it probably just drained out laterally through the rift because it was recently active before and also a major fault line of big quakes that slide the south flank, the characteristics of the eruption as well as rapid revival of activity afterwards dont fit with a forceful intrusion of new magma or anything that is below the very shallow system. The same sort of thing happened in august 1969 when the lava lake formed in alae crater over the previous 7 months was deep enough to push into an existing fault in the east side of the crater and flow downrift underground, where some of it later erupted in the area just north of where pu’u o’o is now. Nothing to do with mauna ulu, and no deep source, only lava that was already erupted and flowed into the crater from mauna ulu or nearby vents.

          • (meant to say post-dates instead of pre-dates regarding flows near heiheiahulu)

          • I don’t know, I would consider oral history more reliable than vegetation, and Wilkes was exaggerated sometimes, he also said the Aila’au flows looked like they had just been emplaced, just been emplaced 4 centuries ago… It might not be the perfect evidence but the people of Kaimu were probably remembering the most recent damaging eruption in the area, the voluminous long lived eruption of Heiheiahulu fits that description better than any other, and if there is something they would remember accurately it would be who was ruling over them at that time.

            About the 1823 on the Seismic SWRZ of Kilauea, an eruption low in the rift and shortly preceded by an strong earthquake seems similar to 2018 and 1868 (Mauna Loa). In May 2018 the dike intruded between Pu’u’o’o and Leilani was shortly followed by a magnitude 6.9 earthquake from the flank, the earthquake had a feedback on the intrusion/eruption but the dike had to be intruded first and that was the culmination of pressure building up since at least 2010 (that at the summit, for the rift it is more complex), about 2 weeks after the quake the fresh lava reached the surface. In March 28, 1868, a dike intrusion started to propagate down the SWRZ of Mauna Loa after a Mokuaweoweo outbreak and accompained by many large earthquakes, by April 2 the dike had intruded the full lenght of Mauna Loa’s SWRZ with fumaroles venting out at Kahuku, then the magnitude 8 earthquake striked, the outbreak at Kahuku ocurred about 5 days later. 1868, 2018 and 1823 either collapsed or are inferred to have collapsed their respective volcano’s summit, the intrusion>earthquake>eruption rapid progression of 1868 and 2018 is probably similar to what happened in 1823, the hawaiians describe the earthquake as taking place shortly before the fissure opened at Keaiwa.

            Well, those are my summarized thoughts on 1823, if I go on I will end up writing a book on hawaiian rift eruptions and between you and me this discussion has already gotten a bit out of hand for an outdated post :).

          • Great!, with all the talk I got carried away and forgot to write down the main point, sometimes the summit may get passively drained and erupt purely through gravity, possibly Mauna Iki 1919-1920 (where it possibly seeped into preexisting cracks), but usually it requires pressurization of the system and forcefull intrusion, this probably happened in 1823 and may have been directly involved in triggering the earthquake.

    • One dog at 22.15. Dog two at 01.17. What was it that took the vet so long?
      And a cat at 23.43 I guess? 😸 😉

      • Probably had to stop for a good belly rub or to mark a tree.

        • We have 4 total, and an 8lb cat, that is a lot of rubbing. Dogs are 130lbs, 110llbs, 85lbs and 75. If I did my math correct it is around 400 lbs of critter. Today was the puppies (just over a year old) first yearly visit!

        • All I have is my “tooth monster” at 98 lb (Lab/Pit) and two little yapper rat dogs. The yappers serve the purpose of alerting and Tooth Monster is the muscle… but he’s more of a lick hazard.

    • And we’re off again

      M 2.5 – 6km SSW of Pahala, Hawaii

      Time: 2019-06-01 18:06:50 (UTC)
      Location: 19.156°N 155.512°W
      Depth: 40.7 km

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