The shaking ground of Campi Flegrei

Solfatara. The earthquake swarms are focussed between here and Pozzuoli harbour in the distance

I loved Naples. It is a lively Mediterranean city where there is always something going on. The people are amazing. I was told (a long time ago) by someone whose wife was from there that they were visiting the city, and his wife went somewhere and had told him in no uncertain terms to stay with the car. Which he did, but not at the car -stretching legs, walking a bit, always within sight of the car. When he came back, sure enough, the car had been robbed – unseen by the watching wanderer. You have to admire them. When I was there I was told which particular street to avoid if I valued my life, and had no problems – perhaps because I did not bring a car! The city is sandwiched between two volcanoes: Vesuvius, an excellent tourist introduction to what a volcano should look like, and Campi Flegrei, looking nothing like that. As Hendrik pointed out to us many years ago, the danger is in the hidden one, in typical Neapolitan fashion looking for an opportunity to erupt unseen while in full sight, like that unknown Neapolitan robbing the car.

The most recent eruption in Campi Flegrei started off-shore before migrating to land. It produced a nice new mount on the coast, did a lot of damage to the nearby area, wiped out an old harbour and caused half the population of Naples to flee towards it to have a good look – while it was still erupting. This all happened in 1538, and is described in a recent post. This was the first eruption (as far as we know) in 3000 years, was relatively small and was preceded by months (or years or even decades) of earthquake swarms. There had been plenty of warning. The first recorded earthquake swarm was in 1470-1472. After that, there was inflation, just a few meters (!) at first but eventually reaching 14 meters. There were a few more earthquake swarms, but they accelerated about 18 months before the eruption and became damaging in the months before the eruption.

After 1538, very little happened. There were major earthquake swarms in 1582 and 1594, but that did not lead to eruptions. Nothing significant was reported for centuries afterwards.

Of course, there were other problems. The area suffers from uplift and deflation -bradyseism- of up to 12 meters – the old roman town is now that far below sea level. One of the Roman towns in the area was at Pozzuoli, in the heart of Campi Flegrei. The unstable leveling was possibly one reason why it didn’t age well. A new city was build further down the coast, away from the unstable ground. This was called ‘New City’ of NeaPolis, which became known as Naples. (Actually it was ‘new’ compared to a hill side settlement much closer to modern Naples, but it is a nice story.)

The instability came back to Pozzuoli in 1950, after centuries of rest, when there was 70cm of uplift over two years. And in 1969 locals again began to notice uplift on the shoreline, affecting bridges and wharfs. Measurements confirmed that between 1968 and 1970, there had been almost a meter of uplift. There were minor earthquake swarms in 1970/71, too small to be felt. Things quickly calmed down again. (There was a suggestion that some of the earthquakes that were detected later in the 1970’s were actually from fishing with explosives!) But in 1982, uplift resumed and in May 1983, earthquake activity restarted in earnest with a M3.4 event. Over the next two years, there were multiple swarms with events reaching M4.0. Uplift over this period reached 3 meters. People were evacuated. But again, things calmed down and by 1990, measurements showed some deflation. Obviously there was no problem. Never mind that this was first time since the 1538 eruption that there had been such uplift and earthquake swarms – Naples deals with the present, not the past, and whatever happened a decade before can not be important.

But it did not last. Subsidence came to an end in 2005, and over the 20 years since, activity has increased – slowly enough for people not to readily notice, but the INGV (Osservatorio Vesuviano, with a notable naming focus on only one of the volcanoes under its remit) was on the case. They have installed many monitoring stations and produce regular bulletins. Over the past few years, casual observers have also been able to notice the changes. Solfatara is more active. Earthquakes are becoming more frequent. The sea is falling.

Let’s first look at the region. The map below shows the Naples area with Vesuvius, Pompei (of course) and other famous locations. The red oval shows the (very) rough outline of the overlapping calderas of Campi Flegrei.

The next map zooms in on this caldera. It shows the location of the volcanic features (old eruptions) of this region, all of which happened after the last major explosion a very long time ago. The 1538 eruption, Monte Nuovo, is number 9 on the map.

The must-have map of volcanic features of Campi Flegrei. Click on image for full resolution. Monte Nuovo is number 9. The current seismicity is centred around number 25. Solfatara is number 23, just above it.

Earthquake swarms

The earthquake activity after 2005 was initially minor, and shallow at 2 km depth or less. From 2012 it became more intense and since 2020 it has really taken off. The plot below comes from the monthly bulletins of the INGV and includes events up to April 2024 (so not this month’s swarms). It shows the rapid increase in number, and also the large increase in energy since 2023. The depth of the earthquakes remained initially around 2 km but more recently has also occurred at a depth of 4km. Much of this bradyseism, by the way, will be due to the sloshing around of underground heated water/steam. The hydrothermal system extends to 2-3 km below the surface and sees the effect of extra heat.

The swarm in October 2023 saw a M4.2 event, possibly (?) the largest Campi Flegrei earthquake for centuries. May 2024 saw this surpassed with an M4.4. (It was advertised as the ‘largest since 40 years’ but the largest one 40 years ago was ‘only’ an 4.0)

Earthquakes are mainly from three locations. One is an apparent fault in the middle of the bay, slightly curved. The second is the Starza fault along the coast, stretching from Pozzuoli eastwards. More recently, the earthquakes have been along only part of this fault, at the eastern end near Solfatara. Note that earthquakes in swarms can be hard to localize precisely.

High quality volcanic-tectonic earthquakes for the period 2005–2019. The size of the epicentres are shown as a function of the magnitude according to the legend on the bottom right.

What is the significance of the depth of the earthquakes? The events at 2 km occur at a calcium-rich cap layer. This is a thin rock cap later that separates the sedimentary layer below from the volcanic deposits (pyroclastics) above. Gasses and fluids rising from below get stuck against this cap: this hydrothermal stress bends the cap elastically and this causes the earthquakes. 2 km is about the depth where water can become steam, so it is likely that this earthquake zone is due to water vapour collecting below (and breaking through) this cap.

The sedimentary layer goes down to about 3km. Below this is the bedrock, affected by the heat from below, with another cap-rock separating the two. Since 2020, more of the earthquakes have been taking place around this deeper cap or even the bedrock below it. This may be mainly caused by CO2 degassing of magma. Magma intrusions have tended to stay within the bedrock and solidify there. The liquid magma is deeper down, at 7 to 8 km. (There is also a much deeper magma reservoir.) If magma is rising in significant quantities, it is likely that we will see earthquakes to this larger depth of 7-8 km, which we do not do at present. It is however possible that some magma did rise to 3 to 4 km in recent episodes: it has been proposed that the pressure increase was caused by the emplacement of new sills in 1950, 1970 and 1980. However, there was no proof that magma has collected at this depth – but see below.


The current activity is comparable to the events of 1983 and 1984, but with a much longer build-up to the activity. Since 2016 there has been uplift of around 1 meter at Pozzuoli (1.2 meters since 2005). The figure below shows uplift since 2021, accounting for half the total since 2016. It is focussed right at the coast, close to Solfatara. (It is interesting that the strong increase in activity in 2020 happened when inflation had recovered the highest surface level reached in 1984, although this may be just a coincidence.)

During the current inflation period, there has also been a slow change in the gas emissions at Solfatara. The fraction of CO2 over H2O has been steadily increasing, and there is also a bit more CO. This indicates that the gas emissions are coming from a reservoir that is getting a bit hotter, from 215C before 2005 to around 245C at present. There was a spike to 265C in 2020 – one wonders whether the reservoir caught covid. The temperature at which the gas reaches the surface has increased only a little, though. But the site is now considered too dangerous for tourists and it has been closed since 2019.


Seismic mapping has recently shown (a paper to be published in July – see references) that underneath Solfatara, the depth at which water becomes steam has grown shallower since 1984. This can be explained by an increasing temperature of the water, and provides independent evidence for this change.

Location of the reservoirs “A’, B’ and ‘C’. Locations are quite approximate, read off from

The same seismic mapping has also shown that there are two somewhat shallow reservoirs within the caldera. One (‘A’ on the map) is located underneath the bay at some 2.5 km depth, and the other (‘B’) under land at some 3.5 km depth near Solfatara. After 1984, the reservoir underneath the bay appears to have cooled, while the one near Solfatara has grown hotter: there has been a change in the pathway used for the heating. Neither reservoir appears to contain significant amounts of magma, though. Think hot water.

As always in volcanic regions, areas without earthquake are possible carriers of magma. The recent mapping has shown such a zone at a depth of 5 km not far from the shore line, which has risen to 4.5 km depth since 2019: this is zone ‘C’ on the map. Interestingly, this zone did not exist in 1984. A possible interpretation is that perhaps 15 years ago a bit of magma migrated up and formed this new sill. This may be what has been driving the sharp increase in seismic activity since 2019.

Current events

In the last few days, there has been a strong, though fairly brief, earthquake swarm. The swarm followed a minor swarm four days earlier and two swarms in April. The current series started just before 6pm (UTC) on May 20 and culminated in the evening with a strongest reported event at M4.4 – the precise value may be subject to change. More than 150 quakes were measured. After midnight the swarm calmed down, although some events were still continuing and around 4pm (UTC) on the 21st, they picked up again a bit with a minor burst. From a report in a local news site:

The seismic swarm that has been underway in the Campi Flegrei since yesterday ‘has slowed down its pace, but it is not over yet’, volcanologist Mauro Di Vito, director of the Vesuvian Observatory of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, told ANSA.

There are no signals that allow us to say whether and for how long the swarm will continue nor whether this seismic swarm will be followed by others, but ‘given the deformation of the ground that is affecting the area it is clear that we also expect other events’, he said.

‘In the meantime, we are working to collect new elements: ‘we are making measurements of all possible parameters’ and we are implementing the monitoring network in areas that have been less neglected so far.’

All phenomena linked to the condition of the magma are also monitored: ‘gas analyzes are highlighting an increase in temperatures and pressurisation of the upper hydrothermal system, with values ​​of the gas emitted equal to 4,500 tonnes of CO2 per day emitted by the sulphate system in locality Pisciarelli’. Similar measures have been extended in the gulf.

In the Vesuvian Observatory, meanwhile, researchers and technicians have been working for 24 hours now: ‘the staffing pace is becoming intense, there is great pressure and we would need more staff’. Many INGV researchers spontaneously went to help the workers in the Monitoring Room, where earthquakes continued to be recorded during the night with a frequency of 10 or 20 seconds.

The director of the Vesuvian Observatory Mauro Di Vito in the monitoring room of the INGV in Naples. Photo by Luigi Avantaggiato. Source:

Locations of earthquakes in the May 20 swarm, between Pozzuoli and Solfatara. Source


What will happen next? That is impossible to predict. INGV is reporting that no change is being seen in the inflation rate. That already suggests this is just part of the longer term activity. There is no sign of imminent changes.

Models of the number of earthquakes suggest that we are in a regime where strain is increasing. That may resolve itself in a rupture, which can be gentle (an opening forms in the crust which lets gasses escape, as may have happened in 1984) or instantaneous, i.e. where a fault gives way in a larger earthquake. The fault is not particularly long and therefore such an event would not be that strong, perhaps M5, but a shallow earthquake of such size in a densely populated area could still be damaging.

There is no indication of an impending eruption. But of course, this caldera has history. If we get a series of earthquake swarms which are propagating in depth and location, then a dike may well be forming. Otherwise, if a fracture grows in the crust, then the hydrothermal system may find its way more easily to the surface. As the activity is close to Solfatara, the likely escape path is there. In that case, phreatic explosions may occur. It seems best that Solfatara remains closed to tourists.

Should Pozzuoli be evacuated again? That is not for us to decide! But it is a difficult one. It can only be done once. If an evacuation is ordered and nothing happens, many people will not leave next time. To evacuate half a million people may take three days. In 1538, combined with modern instrumentation, this would have given plenty of time. So it may be best not to fire off the evacuation order until INGV can see the white in the eyes of a forming dike. In that case the biggest risk is phreatic explosions which can occur without warning.

But at the moment, it is time mainly to call for calm (also for the earthquakes) and get on with life. It is what Naples does best.

Albert, May 2024

Further reading,175%20cm%20in%201982–84.

470 thoughts on “The shaking ground of Campi Flegrei


    Great view of the fissure as it was slowing down, but before the area around the cone restarted.

    I do think there is probably an embryonic conduit forming towards the cone area, it has focussed to the same spot twice now and even restarted after dying which is not a typical behavior of a fissure like this. The dominant vent next to the April cone has already made a cone of its own and seems to be quite a powerful fountain, much more ‘explosive’ than the curtain of fire was, nearly strombolian but also very liquid.

    It would be nice to see back towards Grindavik from the main cam, the lava river is flowing the same path that lead to the plunge pool that the ash erupted from and possibly flowed out of the crack near the berm.

  2. I am not sure how far the lava came last night, but it seems to me that without the defensive dike, Grindavik would have been overrun.

    • I came to the same conclusion.

      Although as these eruptions continue it will be overrun eventually. All it takes is another January eruption.

  3. Hopefully this link works…


    • half the link was missing, retry


      • Sorry! Even with the missing part of the link, it does not work. Can you put whatever you are trying to share on another site?

      • The second attempt was identical to the first one. You’re just getting the query string (the part after the question mark that provides parameters to the host). You also need to include whatever is between the http and the question mark – usually a hostname and possibly a path.

  4. For those who missed the start of the eruption, I’ve made a video of the first 40 minutes at 8x the speed, followed by some other images at regular speed.

    Great work with all the coverage by all of you

  5. In case anyone is wondering, the lava flood that went around Grindavik made it at least to the Nesvegur and there is even a mention of it reaching the ocean on the west side of Grindavik near the golf course area, although the only map I have seen doesnt show that. There also seems to have been massive flooding of lava between Sundhnjukagigar and possibly going all the way to the base of Fagradalsfjall. The furthest lava flow west of Grindavik is 6 km from the cinder cone erupting now, which was the largest source of that lava. So it flowed 6 km in about 1-2 hours on flat ground…

    It is concerning that the eruption at time of writing is not actually that weak either, it is a far cry from the start but after the first 3 eruptions it was nearly dead by this far in, and even last eruption was pretty passive after the first day. There is a fast flowing lava river going down past Hagafell now.

    • I think this is the kind of eruption which formed the older hrauns in the region.

      • Probably, although volumetrically there is still a lot of difference. There might still be another 10 of these eruptions or even bigger still. Maybe not a singular eruption of over 0.1 km3 but I doubt this is the grand finale or even close, it might well even be only the start of the main event, unfortunately.

        I think what has happened is that now there really is nowhere underground left to go, the only way left is to go right up and out. All of the eruptions have been basically in the same place save maybe a few 10s of meters offset, and the length of the fissures has been only somewhat minimally variable. Unless a new rift opens somewhere else then we will just keep getting eruptions like this until the magma supply stops which might take years realistically.

        There is also one concerning sign too. North of Sundhnjukagigar out on the plains of Thrainsskjoldur are the many grabens of former rifting events, ones that clearly went way further. Grabens need a rift to be active to the surface, even if the magma doesnt reach it, so intrusions of tens of km long must have happened. That didnt happen in November, that dike went 10 km either side of the origin, and eruptions began immediately the next time the rift was intruded. That is very unusual and to be honest I think it means we could well be vastly underestimating how much lava will eventually erupt before this ends. Those intrusions take huge volume, huge volume that now will erupt instead unless something breaks elsewhere. If the full volume eventually gets to over 1 km3 I wont be completely shocked although that would take a few years at this rate.

        • Well, the initial dike was several times as big as anything that followed in terms of drop… That would make a quite aggressive eruption. But yeah, 1km^3 might be close to what last cycle did. If there is indeed some extra plume magma available this time, could be more.

          • I think the November dike probably drew from the several years of intrusions in the years prior, going back at least to 2020 and maybe further. The actual inflation before the intrusion back then was about the same as before this eruption. So I dont know if the volume of the November dike is technically relevant. Even if it is the number I have seen in a bit over 0.1 km3 which is not a lot more than the volume of lava erupted already, and if we get the full typical volume there is way more.

            So either we end up with a 1 km3 lava field or at some point rifting resumes, either north of Sundhnjukagigaroð or maybe at Eldvorp or nearby. But I dont think that will happen. One naturally has to wonder if the prior rifting at Fagradalsfjall might have stopped the November dike extending north more. In general all of the new eruptions have been centered further south than old Sundhnjukagigar…

    • For anyone who hasn’t used the above link before. I would suggest pressing the Keyra button at the bottom. You then get a full impression of how quickly the lava flowed!

      • If translation is on, that button is adequately labelled “Drive” 🙂

        • Ah, just my problem then. 🙂 I used to try to animate it by scrolling down the list but it was hard to do that. I am showing my age by not being very tech savvy for sure. As for how to put translate mode on, well I wouldn’t have a clue!

          The little I know about computers is self taught by trial and error. Mostly error.

    • Is it me or was the lava much more fluid this time around, the original flow was aa, with a much rougher surface. This one looks like pahoehoe and much more glossy. This site makes it easy to compare.

  6. Giggle translated

    A Stag broke into a US Navy radio station

    A pole broke in the mast of the US Navy’s radio station yesterday when lava flowed to the defenses that had been installed around the station.

    Víðir Reynisson, director of civil protection, says that the mast should be able to withstand such a thing.

    “Even if it goes to another stage,” he adds.

    For clarification, defenses had been made around the pillars, as well as a defensive fence had been installed at the station. Víðir says that lava flowed on these defenses yesterday but did not go over them.

    • Though I’m not 100% sure of the Icelandic meaning, “stag” in Swedish means a supporting structure, like a line or a pole, so I’m guessing the text refers to one of the lines supporting the tower.

      • Likely a cable. You could see similar at the support for the electricity that burned down because it was in the middle of the lava stream. Due to the heat the cables lost their tension and just swayed around. Not surprising that the heat alone could led to a cable failure or a connection point snapping.

  7. The sinkhole has lava flowing into it again and has started emitting brown tephra. Nothing explosive yet.

  8. Why!? — There is another new highres lava map on IMO. They know that people get addicted to these maps, but still publish it (out of selfishness?)


  9. Fast-forward 200 years.

    Grindavik is still standing unscathed despite uninterrupted frequent eruptions. The berms have been continuously and judiciously raised year over year. They continue to protect the town of lava flows and lava flows with only minor alterations to the landscape.

    On a related note, the Grindavik administration received record corporate tax income thanks to its flourishing skiing resorts after the opening of its first cable car to the peak of Mt Hagafell, now 1,234 meters above sea level.

    • Funny you should mention that…with the constant diking, I’m reminded of New Orleans. The US Army Corps of Engineers has a mandate that the city will exist in its current state no matter what combination of river floods or hurricanes, expense be damned. This also means that the Mississippi River will not be allowed to shift over to the Atchafalaya, no matter what Ma Nature has in mind.

      We’ll see…

  10. Wow there is some crazy fast lava on Isak’s stream, looks like a raging river of red paint 🙂 very smooth and kind of slightly viscous looking.

    Same stream also showed how the active vent is in relation to the cone from the last eruption, its not in the same spot exactly but is right next to it, and the cones are merged as a single hill now just with two craters. I would suspect by the end of the Sundhnjukur fires this hill could well be a considerable height and could well be semi-permanently active between the main eruptions. Although I think the first breakouts will always be fissures due to the intensity.

    One can hope Grindavik is still there in a decade to name their new mountain. I know the Icelanders dont usually name the cones more specifically but this I think might be a sensible exception…

  11. The old (April-May) cone is active again, at a low level. The MBL Husafell cam shows the activity, in moments when the fountains from the new cone directly in front of it aren’t blocking the view.

    • In Isak’s livestream yesterday you could see that there is a vent located in the rim, right between the two cones. The central part of the old cone appeared inactive.

      • During the original Fagra I eruption, but before it focussed on the main cone, one of the extinct cones briefly reactivated later on. It emitted little or nothing but showed some lava inside. I don’t know whether that lava came from below or had entered the cone from the outside through a crack in the rim.

        This eruption falls in the ‘fast and furious’ category, high on adrenaline but weak on endurance. The rift opened very quickly and almost in the same place as the previous rifts. Also very few earthquakes, and those were weak. I imagine that the magma used the pre-existing conduit and sill at shallow depths, so no rock cracking there, and cracked the surface next to the previous rift where the rock had already been weakened. The high initial eruption rate indicates quite a high pressure, either from degassing or because the rift that formed half a year ago is now mostly filled and is locking again.

        My speculation is that this will turn out to be the peak of the eruptions, and the next ones will maybe be even faster but grow less voluminous. They will be at the same location (no rift migration) but that is of course to close to Grindavik for comfort. The progression also depends on whether the deep magma is replenished or not. The events are driven by magma rising up from a deep to a less deep reservoir, where the inflation comes from the second. The eruption rate seems much higher than a reasonable supply rate to the deeper reservoir, so pressure drop in the deeper reservoir will eventually end this sequence. At Krafla, that took 5 years (1700’s) to a decade (1975-1984).

        • Why do you think this one is smaller? The initial burst covered a larger area than any previous eruption and afterword it is only the second one to keep going and is more aggressive in that regard than the last one.

          Also, we know decidedly larger bursts have happened in previous cycles and it makes sense that what we are seeing reflects that. A gradual repressurization resulting in more material building up each time.

          • “… it is only the second one to keep going and is more aggressive in that regard than the last one.”

            I’m not so sure about that. Here’s some footage from day 3 of the last eruption.


            The ongoing eruption does look more fluid, but I think the previous one was still erupting along a longer part of the fissure this far into the eruption.

          • I think the next one will tend to be smaller: this one may turn out to be the largest of the Grindavik sequence. Of course, predictions are there to be proven wrong. By the way, I think no one got the date for the May eruption correct but predicting any eruption within a few weeks still deserves a honorable mention. Well done to everyone.

          • This eruption erupted over 20 million m3 of lava in the first few hours of the curtain of fire stage, say 6 hours. Thats getting to rates of 1000 m3/s on average, except being realistic the majority of that probably erupted in the first 3 hours. The eruption rate today also seems very high still, the fissure segment is not as long but both cones are tall and the fountains are sustained and not spattering. Lava flows after day 1 were rarely visible away from the vent ladt eruption while now there are large areas still covered in active lava and even fast flowing channels. The eruption seems to me to be a lot higher than the 10-15 m3/s it was making the April cone, probably something more like 50 m3/s.

            I do wonder if it is partly decompression like was the cause of the rapid recovery after November. Only this time all of that is going right out of the vents instead.

            I think it will be another longer eruption though maybe not 2 months, and that the next eruption will be similarly strong and focus to the same area if not even the same spot, perhaps ultimately creating a semi-polygenetic cone like Pu’u O’o. I also think next eruption will probably reach the ocean, this one would have easily if the berm wasnt there.

  12. And so ends another day in the lava fields of Mordoradalur.

  13. Interesting there are now two singular vents of similar power, and both in similar locations to the longer lived vents after the last eruption.

    Its unclear but it looks like both fountains are sustained at tens of meters, the northern one maybe even 100. There is also some lava in the April crater too though it isnt overflowing. The south vent is probably drowned by its surrounding lava pond as the outflow is voluminous and very fast.

    • There is still some low level activity in the northern part of the fissure (way north). You could see it in Isak’s stream yesterday and also, before the weather got worse, it was visible in the wide angle view from Thorbjörn. It’s probably shutting down though (if it hasn’t already).

    • Sadly it looks to me most likely that at some point the rift will extend beyond the berm into Grindavic. Not now but before this eruption cycle has ended. Admittedly its possibly got a decade or two to go.

    • Entire Grindavik will soon be surronded by steep cliffs if this goes on and they continue to raise the barriers…
      …but I guess that it will not be able to stand a second eruption like this last one.

  14. There’s been a small swarm of shallow earthquakes inside the Halema’uma’u Crater of Kilauea. Unlike the connectors, Halema’uma’u is very aseismic and often does not make quakes until shortly before erupting. So I think a summit eruption may happen soon, maybe it’s days away or a few weeks, but I doubt much more than that.

  15. Its also been a topic of discussion before but this eruption has definitely erupted the same very hot stuff as was erupted in 2021, it seems the sill complex has been flushed out of any magma that was sitting there from the past few years. All of the new eruption is pahoehoe except far from the vents and the lava rivers on the Hagafell livestream have banks made of smooth shiny lava. The composition is probably identical to the other lava erupted here so far but is probably hotter and maybe a little less crystaline.

    It also needs to be said but the instrument data isnt showing the hard drop off that the curtain of fire/dike stage shows, it is in stage 2 of the eruption where only isolated vents exist, yet the effusion rate is still very high in a total value. It does remind me of the Krafla eruptions where a number of the later fissure eruptions stayed strong for days after the curtain of fire stage. The final 1984 eruption lasted for 2 weeks at high rate at a central vent. Seems the same thing is happening now, the cone formed in April is probably going to grow very substantially at this rate, might well end up being over 100 meters tall in the end.

    • Yes thats right, grey and shiney and very fluid looks alot like Kilaueas fissures. The two vents ongoing now resmebles strongly some of the smaller fluid pre fissure 8 fissures during leilani that had spatter cones in perched pools sending waves over a thin flexible crust. Isaks drone yesterday had very nice views over lava fountains in the current cone complex sending fluid waves over a thin pahoehoe crust. the lava is also very hot with some features inside these dense lava fountains being almost yellow in his livestream, so I too think its the deep 2021 stuff that have emerged, there where nice standing waves too with the intial lava flood. Apparently there where some tens millions of cubic meters or older lava in Svartsengi that took 4 eruptions to be flushed out. The reykjanes fires is first time in my lifetime that Iceland haves superfluid lavas… due to the magma is fresher than the more crystaline magma that resides in the central volcanoes

      • Reykjanes is one of the hottest parts of Iceland, and where the lava is most magnesian. I had long been under the impression it was the ‘boring’ part of Iceland that is just the MAR lifted up on the flanks of the hotspot but that is a big misconception. Based on the MgO content of the lava most of the central volcanoes are intraplate transitional alkaline volcanoes. Katla was already categorized as such but Grimsvotn and Askja are too in fact none have more than 5% MgO, and that includes massive eruptions like Laki and Eldgja. In Hawaii the volcanoes are considered to be alkaline at this point yet this is never the case for the Icelandic volcanoes, they are all ‘tholeiitic unless in South Iceland or the flanking zones’ when clearly this is not so simple. Bardarbunga is the plume center without a doubt, with 7-8% MgO lavas and a much higher long term output than either Grimsvotn or Katla, as evident by the numerous fissures in the Veidivotn area.
        But Reykjanes, it has erupted lava that is over 10% MgO at times, like in 2021. The normal value is around 6-7% like now but that is due to olivine settling out in the sills, and I do wonder if maybe that has a time limit and the new stuff has come up too fast, the primitive melt is highly magnesian and very hot. Reykjanes lava is actually a lot hotter than most of Vatnajokull, with exception to Bardarbunga again. Both these locations have erupted lava over 1200 C, which is not the case for Grimsvotn or Katla.

        • As far as I remember, the shield volcanoes in Iceland are all highly magnesian, not too different from Kilauea’s most magnesian glasses. The calderas have less magnesian, more evolved magma due to the melt being stored in very large shallow chambers. It varies a little between calderas, with Katla for example being extremely evolved, as evolved as basalt can get, and similar in chemistry to the stuff that came out during the early part of the 2018 eruption of Kilauea. In the Galapagos is more or less the same,, the lava is always evolved basalt, due to Galapagos volcanoes having large shallow magma chambers.

          Hawaii is generally more magnesian than the calderas of Iceland and Galapagos because the volcanoes have small magma chambers relative to their productivity. Kilauea, as always, is extremely complicated, however, and depending on the location within the edifice can produce highly evolved or primitive basalts.

      • Yes Vatnajökull and central plateau haves very thick oceanic crust so most magma takes some time to reach the surface and in Iceland it gets trapped by the rifting too, sits in the crust and loses most of its mgo content, they are low in alkaline elements in Vatnajökull as the parent magma is strongly thoelitic low potassic, but yes low magneisum content due to crustal residence times. Reykjanes is only a 10 kilometers thick crust so there is a diffirence how far the magma haves to go to the surface. In vatnajökull its 50 kilometers thick basicaly halfway into space. Its asthonishingly thick really, oceanic crust thats as thick as a continental one under a mountain range almost! with oceanic crust this thick one can imagine that it woud be a good place for ryolitic diffrentiation, and specialy if it keeps getting thicker due to underplating. Without the ridge spreading making conduits, volcanism woud be very hard in souch a thick crusted enviroment, but litosphere depth is also important. Bardarbungas higher mgo must be due to a well formed conduit and higher supply, Hawaii is extraodinary its haves a crazy supply yet relativly low mgo similar to Bardarbunga ( unless its deep summit magmas like Iki ) so you haves some incredibely large magma chambers at Kilauea to allow a moderate mgo for souch high supply, and supply is high enough there to flush the system before mgo drops even more, I remeber some USGS papers talking about a enormous deep chamber that sits well below everything else, Ikis high mgo is quite cool.

        Yes central Iceland is thick crusted.. super thickined oceanic plutonic crust, while in Grindavik astenosphere starts at 15 kilometers depth i think, so there is a crust depth gap between these too

        • Vatnajökull crust thickness is deeper than the distance that Alan Eustace skydived so very deep indeed….

        • In doing research for that comment I found a source that said Kilaueas parent melt is 17% MgO, which fractionates within the volcano above the mantle. I will need to find it later, but I think it was actually a USGS study… This is the actual liquid too not a picrite that is just a normal basalt with solid crystals suspended.

          Im not certain of the exact cut off point but this high MgO in the melt with 50% SiO2 might be genuinely ultramafic, and at that depth the magma is probably 1500 C or more, no wonder the Pahala sills have formed so quickly all of the magma in a huge area of mush just collected in maybe only a few years. The existence of this magma is I think inferred by the amount of olivine cumulate within the rift zones in addition to the magma MgO still remaining.

          • Thanks so thats the orginal Hawaii magma in the hotspot melt lens itself? before it rises into Kilauea and Mauna Loa, perhaps Iceland looks similar deep deep deep down in chemistry.. very intresting

          • It was specifically talking about Kilauea, not any of the others, so at least to me that means the magma is above the mantle at this point. Most likely Mauna Loa is the same possibly even more magnesian, as Mauna Loa has slightly more magnesian magmas on average. I am somewhat skeptical of Iceland being this hot, the heat there is strong and the total is probably higher than Hawaii but it isnt concentrated the same way. Its like a propane blowtorch compared to an oxyhydrogen cutting torch, the big blowtorch makes more heat total but the HHO torch is a lot more intense and is much hotter, one of them is 1900 C and the other is around 3500 C…

            The area of mantle that generates most of the Hawaiian magma is 20 km wide, smaller than the distance between Grimsvotn and Bardarbunga. That area generates 0.2+ km3 of magma yearly or about the same as all of Iceland combined. Except Iceland generates magma over about two orders of magnitude larger area and with a huge variability over time per location

      • Icelandic monogenetic shields are indeed highly magnesian, because they sourced from deep magma that comes up without evolving away much of their original magnesium content, I still think the thickness of the crust in central Iceland may explain why you does not get stuff as magnesian as some of the very highest high mgo Kilauea basalts

        Wow wait ” not too different from Kilauea’s most magnesian glasses. ” so Icelandic deep magmas are as magnesian as some of Kilaueas higher mgo basalts?

        • I mean the glasses (the molten part) because it’s difficult to know if a picrite represents the true composition or just magma with olivine build-up. The most primitive glasses I have seen in GEOROC data (from Kilauea) are Keanakakoi tephra glasses that reach nearly 10 wt% MgO.

          As a curiosity, Iceland has some of the lavas with the lowest K2O, Na2O, and TiO2 on the planet. They are a very small portion of Iceland magmas. They include three tiny Reykjanes shields that are possibly from just before the Holocene, one is next to Grindavik, called Vatn-something I think. They are also very magnesian picrites, but the lowest MgO lavas from these shields are still around 10 wt% MgO, and probably represent the original composition. These lavas can also be found in some places of the Thestareykir volcanic field.

    • Yes Hawaiian is a real monster of volcanic productivity the strongest on Earth per square meter of energy flowing up from mantle I think, we have LIP sized induvidual volcanic edifices there too! which is unique on Earth and makes Hawaii my favorite volcanoes as well, but I have many others too that I like. The plume thermal uplift in Hawaii covers a round swell more than 1000 km wide … so wow supprising how small the main partial melting melt focus is, but I already knew it kind of was an almost like a welding flame, while Iceland is more of a spread out fire. Yes a very intense and focused magma source in Hawaii.. alot of insane crazy ammounts action in a small area.. and nothing around it

  16. The April-May cone has grown huge, and the one in front of it (from Husafell’s POV) has largely (though not fully) shut down. But the most active vents are now two of the vents north of that area, the northern of which has built a comparably big cone and the southern of which is still so enormously active it’s in a sea of liquid lava that won’t let it build much of a spatter rampart yet — just a low ridge to its left at the edge of that sea.

    • Thank you Mr. Isak Finnbogason for confirming what I originally asked. There IS a large fissure that opened up.
      Thanks for the link, Steve.

    • The spattercones of the 2 northerly vents are pretty big to.
      I am guessing there are around the same size as the old crater already!

      I hope the weather improves soon. I would like to see an aerial survay to estimate the new flow-rate and the extend of the flows.

  17. Watching Isaks stream the reason the lava in the Hagafell live looks so quiet is because the cone breached to the north and is flowing northwest towards Svartsengi though fairly slowly. So no lava is flowing towards Grindavik at all now.

    Still the output is very high for 3rd day, standing waves in the lava channel and both vents are still going strong. The cone must be freestanding at least 40-50 meters tall now and maybe even pushing 100 above the old terrain. Hard to believe only 3 months ago that was a mossy plain…

  18. And it seems now as I say that but the lava pond in front of the cone on the Hagafell stream is still active and has just overflowed again… Both vents look about equal in strength, just one of them reoccupied the cone from April so has been able to make the cone much taller. It actually could be close to 100 meters tall now which is huge for a pyroclastic cone in Iceland.

    I know it is more custom to name the whole lava field in Iceland not the vents specifically, but this is going to be a major landmark in future and a big part of history for Grindavik. So I would not be surprised if the taller cones do get a specific names like was the case for fissure 8 in Hawaii.

    • : ) The whole Iceland haves that dark mystical moody almost goth ”dark fantasy atmosphere” so I use Tolkien landmark names as suggestion.. I name the vent complex Dol Guldur, my previous vents Morgoth cone at Fagradalshraun 2021 are sadely buried

      • Its not unlikely the cones get a lot bigger still too. Two different eruptions yet they both center on the same spot. The north cone this time is a lot stronger than it was in March where it dued after 3 days but still. I wouldnt be too surprised to get repeated eruptions at both until the sequence ends. The south cone will probably become something a bit like early Pu’u O’o though maybe not quite that big.

    • The activity now and in March-April sits on the likely temporary “Central Volcano” of the Fires. From this central location future dikes may go to elsewhere, but driven by the “control center”.

      Is Svartsengi a miniature version of the classical Icelandic volcanoes with their long fissure systems? F.e. Bardarbunga is 190km long and 25km broad. If we apply this on smaller size of Svartsengi, all things are smaller, also the temporary “central volcano”.

    • The less complex the easier it is to bring something back to life. Ask anyone who had to restore a car. Oldtimers are almost trivial whereas anything built in this century is nearly impossible due to all the microchips involved.

      I do hope they know what they are doing. One doesn’t simply bring back life after 100 millions of years. There are reasonable worries that thawing permafrost may bring about new (old) diseases, even a revival of the spanish flu is possible. I’d expect scientists to treat such ressurections with utmost caution, clean rooms, full body armor, AK47s and what not.

      • Would be nice if you could get a car that is just a basic EV. No computers except the power controller, no engine to break or need maintenence. Would be lightweight so even a 300 kg 80 kwh battery would be pretty insignificant. Rwd so no need for stearing in the drive wheels and better handling with the low center of gravity (opposite of an ICE car).

        If you take the engine, transmission, exhaust system and fuel tank out of a 1998 toyota corolla that is around 200+ kg, easy to forget that an engine is a heavy object. Replace that with a 70 kwh battery and a 100 kw rear axle and the battery will output at only 1.3 C max and usually far less, so no need for strong cooling, yet the thing is still going on 90 kw/ton which is closer to a performance car than economy. The thing might only gain 200 kg yet is twice the power, much more torquey and is basically 0 moving parts, and you get a 1200 kg EV with a not useless battery capacity… And the only thing that actually might need maintenence is the wiper fluid and tires…

        Only thing really is cost of batteries and a suitable motor but that is declining

        This is extremely tangential to the forum norm of course but seriously wtf why is this not a thing… A model 3 is relatively light for an EV and a new car in general but still weighs 500 kg more than above with a 10% smaller battery and despite that reliably goes at least 400 km and probably more than 600 in slow city driving. To be honest if you were really annoying on the road with it I can see such a converted vehicle getting over 800 km which is actually further than the vast majority of fuel vehicles and also further than 100% of bladders will last too 🙂

        • Ok so I did some maths. 1998 corolla(1995-2000 model) has a 100 kg engine, unclear if that us just the metal or all the fluids too. A 50L tank which weighs probably about the same full. Transmussion is unclear weight but probably 50 kg too. Exhaust is likely quite negligible so 10 kg rough guess. About 200 kg. The particular car I had was 1050 kg without load, so say 850 without the moving parts.

          You can get an 88 kw 120v motor on EVwest for around 10,000 AUD, voltage is not so high to be extremely dangerous though current us very high for full power so is limiting. You can get a used tesla motor for 15,000 on their site which is much stronger but needs close to 400 V and maybe is more than necessary for a daily driver that light 🙂
          Anyway you can get 300 ah LFP cells requiring 38 for 120 V, giving 36 kwh and weighing 200 kg. Double that and 76 cells 600 ah 72 kwh 400 kg. Although I dont know if you can physically fit that many cells safely within the enging bay, they would be 130×70 cm dimensions with 4 rows of cells.

          Anyway thise cells can be found cheapish on Alibaba for around 8000-10,000 AUD total for the 76, though buying that many is usually a lot less per cell than just 1. So realistically it is 15- 20k AUD for the materials. Would be probably anouther 5k for a shop to do it. Still, there are only two new cars that cost 20k in Australia now, and a new Corolla is 30k, and now you have a sporty little car that is basically immortal 🙂

          I guess you could also put a generator on it to increase the range on the highway but 1998 corollas can drive at 110 km/hr with like 15 kw on flat ground so a 76 kwh battery can probably get it at least 500 km on the highway anyway.

          Im also surprised no one has made an EV with multiple motors on the drive axle to mimic a transmission. One with high power and torquey acceleration and another with low torque low power maybe direct drive. Induction motors can freespin without generating a load. Tesla has different drive ratios front and rear and VW group has a 2 speed transmission on the rear wheels but nothing like my idea, not sure why. You could even manually shift between the motors on mine, if you wanted to, so a legit manual (at least sports automatic) EV but without the stalling or drivetrain losses with a gearbox.

          Again this is Volcanocafe not Carcafe or EVcafe but like seriously if I can think of this someone at Tesla or VW or even Toyota definitely has too but nothing 🙁 apparently everone just wants 100k SUVs and pickup trucks now. And most of the carbon footprint of any vehicle initially is the frame manufacturing which is entirely gone in a conversion because it was done years ago. So its absolutely the greenest option of everything. Might even be greener than riding a bike lol, and a lot safer.

          • Chad, if you scroll to the top of this page and look to your right, you’ll see a volcano driving a car, so my guess is cars are as okay as… sheep? :-).

            Speaking as someone who has rebuilt cars, I’d be a bit wary adding 300 KG net to the front end. My personal inclination would be to put some of the battery pack in the engine compartment, and some in the trunk, split so that the center of mass remains roughly the same as original, plus leaving some of both places available as storage.

            I fully agree with you regarding a simple EV; the complexity of modern cars (all the electronic junk, from “connected” to computerized everything) is a huge part of why I rebuilt my four 12 to 21 year old vehicles, instead of replacing them. The range and weight issue with EVs ruled those out (I do a lot of cross-country driving, and the idea of taking half an hour or more to “fill the tank” is not okay with me) as did the lack of charging facilities in my area, and the electronic-everything “connected” ICE cars, most not even having a spare tire bay (same as the EVs) ruled those out as well.

            And, with EVs, weight is a huge problem for 4X4s; the extra weight is a massive problem offroad. (You’ve got the same tread area carrying close on twice the weight.)

            So, I rebuilt all four of my ICE (1 sedan, 3 4x4s) vehicles. Even if I’d paid to have it done, I’d have still saved a lot of money compared to new vehicles, and this way, I’ve got reliable vehicles that I actually like.


          • You might be able to buy used electric car batteries quite cheaply. They are often written off after an accident while in fact they are still fine.

          • One thing with a conversion like that is there isnt proprietary software so charging the batteries with a range extender isnt really an obstacle. That sort of vehicle is called an EREV and it is different to a plug in hybrid.

            In the case of the car I was using, a 1998 corolla, the car is originally FWD so putting a drive axle on the rear will move the weigh distribution anyway. 300 kg of batteries adds 150 kg extra to the front but the motor might weigh 50+ kg so the overall difference is not much. Some conversions do distribute the batteries but I feel that introduces inefficiency, at full draw the batteries are doing 1000 amps which is under 2 C for the full pack but would be 4 C for a split pack along with 2m of cables that go past the passengers… FWD cars are naturally front heavy anyway so maybe putting everything in the boot and turning the front into storage is better…

            EVs are actually way better offroad too its frustrating how many times I have seen a claim to the contrary. Its obvious really there is instant and very controllable torque and low center of gravity. Also regarding weight the difference is negligible, small EVs are heavier than a comparable ICE car but theres actually basically no EVs on the market that weigh more than 2.5 tons and plenty of personal ICE vehicles over 2 tons nowdays. Maybe the best example is that the cybertruck is actually lighter than a ford f series or silverado with similar rating… Anyway that aside an EREV would be ideal for this, and there was a concept vehicle called the Ferring Pioneer that supposedly had a 7000 km driving range. Basically a diesel electric suzuki jimny with a battery large enough that the engine never needs to rev 🙂

            The LFP cells I found can charge at 1C too, so full charge is about an hour. In practice though I think batteries can safely charge way faster than the C rating when in the middle of the charge. Hybrid cars charge and discharge at 50-100 C from a battery rated at 5C and last years doing that constantly. Maybe an EREV that automatically charges at 30% SOC and turns off at 70% SOC would give the maximum efficiency, if perhaps not the maximim EV range.

            The conversion efficiency of an EREV is the same as a direct drive too. Any electric conversion losses are more than compensated by the EV direct drive and running the engine at constant RPM. Why there are no commercial EREV trucks is baffling to me, its a diesel electric train with wheels…

          • I guess too, if you want a simple car connected to the internet you can just mount an ipad on the dash with a bluetooth speaker and maybe even a Starlink somewhere.

        • Chad, what you say about EV’s being better offroad is true only in a narrow case; it assumes a hard surface, and that gravity isn’t a factor.

          On surfaces such as dry sand, ice, snow, slickrock, and mud, especially going uphill, gravity plays a huge role. I’ve managed to get stuck offroad a couple of times, both times due to bogging in sand, and in both cases it was an uphill grade with deep, dry, loose sand, and that’s with low range 4×4, locking differentials, the works.

          With 4 tires, you have only so much traction potential, and also only so much ability to resist sinking in sand or mud. Double the weight, and I don’t care how great a traction control system you’ve got, you’re not on par with a far lighter vehicle with a lesser trac control setup.

          it’s not just an ICE vs. EV issue, it’s weight, no matter the source. I’ll take a small, light 4×4 over a heavy one any day (Both times I got myself stuck were in big, heavy SUVs, and I later did the same road as the second one in my light old clunker, and had no problem in spite of lesser traction control).

          For proof of this, try driving on a beach with very loose sand. A heavy 4×4 with superb traction control won’t fare as well as a 50 year old Jeep, not even close, even with the same tires, because of the weight difference. Or, ask at any automotive shop that specializes in offroad modifications.


      Fun tought experiment, I woud have nothing against this if it was possible in reality, Scandinavia and Iceland being sunny all year around, but that woud end up flooding many coastal communities, with 1000 s of years of hard work being lost below the sea

  19. Interesting to see that the ground is still sinking after the onset of the current eruption:

    Looks like the current lava output still drains the accumulated magma through the active vents. It will be interesting so see when (if) the inflation resumes.

    • Seems like every eruption with this volcano, it shows us something to where we go,

      “That’s new.”

      Writes its own plot twists.

    • The initial drop was about the same as the other eruptions too,but coming down from ahigher point. Maybe from now on the eruptions will be wider apart and will have astage of fissure eruption then a longer phase of a few central vents that erupt at higher rate until the equilibrium with the deep supply, after which theeruption slowly stops while the recovery begins. First 3 eruptions were stage 1 only pretty much. Eruption 4 had stage 2 for a few days then a very long stage 3. It seems this time stage 2 is stronger and might last another week, stage 3 might also be long but it could also just stop too and become geyser-like the way 1980s Pu’u O’o was.

      I have seen one of the volcanologists predict an end in July or August, im not really sure why though, the inflation rate has been consistent and linear and I dont see the decline they talk about. It would be pretty strange to have the whole rift only last under a year too, when they lasted multiple years at least and often decades in the last cycle.

  20. Last two weeks I was on a Norway journey, so out of discussion here. But Iceland’s people has historical Viking roots there, and it was a good opportunity to see the still snow covered high Fjells during the end of May.

    As the March eruption this May eruption of Svartsengi again can be divided in two parts:
    I The spectacular first stage with fast development, huge steam cloud, record long erupting fissure, fast growing lava field.
    II The steady second stage with a longterm continuous behaviour on a single cone.

    Now there are still at least two active vents. This can be seen as a transitional “mixed” period between I and II.
    How long did the erupting fissure as a fissure survive this time? On May 31rd IMO wrote “The activity on the eruption fissure extends from the location of the crater that erupted for the longest part of the previous eruption and to the north of it.” This sounds like if then the fissure still was an active fissure (Curtain of Fire) in parts on third day.
    In March the fissure activity ended on second or third day (17th/18th March). On 18th March they noticed that “The eruption is focused at two locations”. It looks as if the fissure period was shorter than currently.

    Have you observed more differences between the First stage of March and May?

  21. Is all high amount of SO2 over Scandinavia from iceland? I look at Windy.

  22. Intense Kilauea swarm ongoing in the SWRZ connector. Might be an intrusion. Unfortunately, most stations are not updating, including the tiltmeters, so it’s hard to know what’s happening.

    • Looking at RIMD, the swarm is almost certainly a sill/dike intrusion, probably a very small one thus far. It’s hard to tell the scale when the Uwekahuna tiltmeter is not updating though. Combined with high summit inflation rates starting on June 1, it looks like Kilauea has emerged from the nap it took during the last half of May.

      • South caldera fault intrusion it seems, and south of the deep pit. Not my first pick of next eruption location but the intrusion has been going over an hour so theres adecent chance. If it breaks out at the base of the caldera wall though it could be quite a show.

        • I think it’s probably some very small leaks along the top of the deep rift. That said, this is exactly how the February dike intrusion started.

          • Yes I remember, and it was in the same place too. Either we get an intrusion proper today or the SWRZ connector gets another round of filling which will probably cause an intrusion soon enough anyway. We are already way past the late January values for deformation so really either is likely.

            Question is if we get an eruption this time. Two intrusions in the same place isnt uncommon to cause an eruption the second time.

    • About 42 earthquakes in the past 2 hours and in the same area where the February swarm started…

      • And what the tilt looks like a few minutes ago…

        Something is happening.

  23. I know it won’t happen, but it half looks like Iceland is trying to build its first stratovolcano!

    • There is snaefellsjokull already 🙂

      There are also a number of other volcanoes in the country that get classified as stratovolcanoes too although they are probably all incorrectly categorized in their current forms. Maybe were in their early days though.

      • What’s the deal with Snaefellsjokull? It’s odd to me that there’s extant volcanism tucked away on the end of Snaefellsness, so far away from the central heat source under Vatnajokull. Is that why activity there is so infrequent? When would you predict the next Snaefellsjokull eruption, and what should it look like?

        I have to say, Snaefellsjokull in person and the entire park around it is one of the most beautiful locations in the country. We spent four days on Snaefellsness and almost went back our trip last year, and I know it’s an area many people do in one full day. Snaefellsjokull is so dominating from the southern and southwestern coasts of Snaefellsness, it’s really one of the most spectacular sights in the country.

        Oraefajokull is insane in person also, but the area around Snaefellsjokull is far more picturesque with the enormous “wasteland” outwash planes around Oraefi dominating the area.

        • The volcanism is more alkaline so originates deeper down. Oraefajokull is the same sort of thing as I can find but on the other side, and it might have also been a stratovolcano once. Its quite active though, Snaefellsjokull is nearly entirely Holocene lava surface, and a number of quite large eruptions both felsic and mafic. And Ljosufjoll which erupted in 900 AD and is also apparently waking up presently, a few decades out maybe.

          Iceland as a whole has elevated mantle temperature, even going way out beyond to the edges of the Atlantic. Its strange that it isnt erupting a lot more really. Maybe Iceland will become a real LIP in future at some point and it hasnt started the big meltdown yet. Maybe in 10 million years.

      • Also Chad my wife and I went up onto Langjokull and did that “into the glacier” tour our first time in Iceland back in Nov 2017. I’m not one for touristy stuff like that, but it really was one of the coolest experiences of my life. We drove back out that way our last trip and drove a gravel road out from the back end of Husafell, I love the interior sections and how starkly cold they get in Nov (when we normally go). Nothing will top the Myvatn area when we went in Nov 2022, that was like exploring in a true polar climate.. spectacular.

  24. Looks like something is starting at Kilauea.

    • Seems that a real intrusion has begun south of the caldera, where one of the 1982 eruptions happened. Been going for 2 hours now so probably not an eruption in Halemaumau which would likely have started by now.

      If there is an eruption south of the caldera then it means Kilauea has enough pressure within the magma system to erupt over 1100 meters elevation, which is to say basically it is fully recovered from 2018 at least in the summit complex. There is still the deeper caldera but Kilauea isnt resurgent so it can basically be ignored, it will need to fill by eruption into it which will only increase pressure further with the floor being higher than most of the rift zones.

      • Yes, perhaps the intrusion is similar to the 1982 event that erupted in the South Caldera area. I’m not sure it will manage to erupt though. The ground might be too high for Kīlauea’s present pressure.

        • Its weird for sure, there is every sign of an intrusion but the actual scale is very small. I think a dike did start but instead of running away the pressure went down the ERZ connector. The tiltmeter at ESC has actually shown some immediate response this time and SDH also jumped so possibly both connectors are inflating.

          So I guess maybe an eruption at the summit really is just too hard now. And unlike before the actual ERZ might be connected again today which opens a lot of new possibilities. Its not implausible Kilauea doesnt have a 2024 eruption in that case while the ERZ fills up, though its very likely another Pu’u O’o starts eventually in that case.

          Or the south caldera swarm flares up in 3 hours and a curtain of fire opens from south of Keanakako’i to Pu’u Koa’e at sunrise… 🙂

          • The two M4 earthquake indicate larger movement. It may be trying to re-connect to the eastern rift zone. But it doesn’t look like it succeeded. Back to square one.

          • The mag 4s were both on the southern outer caldera fault. So probably more related to that block moving rather than the ERZ.

          • I dont know if any comment has ever aged so well and so poorly at the same time. 2 hours on the dot and we have an eruption… 🙂

  25. What an incredibly complicated deformation sequence in the Uwekahuna tiltmeter. Most of the time, the signal is deflation due to the intrusion draining Halema’uma’u, but there are also two large magnitude earthquakes showing as sudden jumps, and some three or so others showing as sudden falls. Now the tiltmeter might be showing gradual inflation. The amount of strong earthquakes is anomalously high in this intrusion. There’s even been an M4, some important faults are moving. I don’t recall this happening in the February intrusion.

    • Well, this is odd. Looksike the earthquakes are at the Koa’e fault zone and the upper East rift.

  26. I think an eruption started on Kilauea glow on webcams

  27. Wow and its erupting in an area nearly untouched historically. It might be a circumferential fissure. The eruption doesnt appear especially intense but theres basically no view of it. At this location lava will be gushing down into the Kau desert.

    It does seem though, that the eruption is basically where the late January intrusion started. So this is likely to be a recurring rift. Its unclear if the fissure itself actually follows the rift though, or if this is even technically a rift eruption at all.

  28. Ok no it is a powerful eruption, probably a several km long fissure. What a crazy week to get two curtains of fire in this sites two favorite places within 7 days.

  29. Now HVO comfimed there is an eruption going on.

    Kīlauea volcano is erupting. A new eruption began at approximately 12:30 a.m. HST on Monday, June 3, likely about a mile (1-2 km) south of Kīlauea caldera and north of the Koa’e fault system and Hilina Pali Road, within Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.

    Accordingly, the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) is raising the Volcano Alert Level for ground-based hazards from WATCH to WARNING and the Aviation Color Code from ORANGE to RED.

    Glow is visible in webcam imagery, indicating that lava is currently erupting from fissures. The most recent eruption in this region was during December 1974, which lasted only about 6 hours. At this time, it is not possible to say how long the eruption will last.

    HVO continues to closely monitor Kīlauea for signs of increasing or decreasing activity. Should volcanic activity change significantly, a new Volcanic Activity Notice will be issued.

  30. Not sure what is going exactly, the livestream glow is gone but maybe the camera moved too.

    I always used the RIMD seismometer but the 6 hours feed there isnt working. Maybe it got taken out. SDH has a nearby calibrated seismometer though and there is still strong harmonic tremor so magma is moving somewhere.


    • At the moment the only view is from the KPcam on Mauna Loa looking south. Hopefully it won’t end before we get pictures and video.

      • I think the other cam that saw it originally is suffering from cloud. Perhaps from the eruption. The fissure is indeed still going

      • The only comparable eruptions in this area all lasted less than a day so chances are this will be the same. They do mention December 1974. Only thing is that eruption was the start of a large intrusion, where it seems this one isnt for whatever reason. I guess having the January-February intrusion probably relieved the strain and filled in the area, so now it just went up, it is probably in the same place that one started where the caldera opens south into the Kau desert. But we need pictures for confirmation, I have a suspicion it could be rather longer, maybe even going south of Keanakako’i down to the 1974 fissures.

        I also suspect OUTL station is no longer with us…

        • The OLTD is still ongoing, the RIMD and KKO seismographs are no longer working…

          • HVO has some pictures of the glow up, one at 3:15 and at 3:30 with an obviohs decline. So the eruption actually could be over or is very weak now. But with barely any pressure relieved a revival or new fissure is not unlikely.

        • Yes, that’s what I’m wondering about. There seems to be no large intrusion into the SWRZ and it still managed to erupt. Why does Kilauea always do something different? The earthquakes and the fissures are offset by a large degree, this is no 1974 where a large seismogenic dike propagates along the rift zone. I guess it could be what you say that the February dike was still molten and that it just pushed up now. Also, it’s interesting how the Kokoolau area of the UERZ has produced a small crisis of its own.

          • Either that or a very shallow aseismic branch of magma propagated close to the surface from the swarming area.

          • Or the magma was already in place and the earthquakes broke the cap that kept it down

  31. There is also the pretty glaring fact that the tiltmeters have dropped by only about the same scale as a larger DI event. The fact this happened probably means the pressure is even higher than zi thought before. Even if this is over and doesnt resume another intrusion could easily start very fast at any time.

  32. There’s still a strong glow on the cam from Mauna Loa. So I doubt it’s over.

      • Agreed, although HVO seems to have avoided saying that in their update. Maybe they were just unsure of the actual location at that time though.

        I dont think this will be the only SWRZ eruption for the next 50 years though. To be honest I wouldnt be surprised if the fissure erupts again in a few days, the total drop on the summit tilt is much less and barely even goes back to the level of 1 week ago. So basically this relieved a week of pressure.

        • This is the last two days. Nearly little to no earthquakes at the area where the eruption is happening. I have a feeling the dike might be traveling down further in seismic silence.

      • The eruption began after last midnight. SWRZ webcam MITDcam shows the current state after sunrise. The 24 hours animated gif also shows the light of the eruption around 1 and 2 a.m.

        Big Island News has published the recent news:
        The eruption is “a mile south of Kīlauea caldera and north of the Koa’e fault system and Hilina Pali Road”

        • Curious. So it might’ve started there before expanding towards where the eruption currently is right now. Although we would still need pictures to confirm this, the seismographs indicate that, like Chad had said, a harmonic tremor, indicating magma is still on the move. The tilt at the UWE is still going down, but has slowed down.

          • The location of the eruption is indeed close to 12/1974. The eruption then was a single day eruption. Short but with relatively large lava area. 1974 the eruption was under pressure by Mauna Loa’s inflation leading to the 1975 eruption. This time Mauna Loa doesn’t influence Kilauea negatively. So it’s possible that we now get the eruption that 1974 was missed.

      • Heh.. I wonder if anyone was staying at that campsite last night?

  33. What is going on east of Herdubreid? All manner of deep to shallow earthquakes of late and then a big swarm of very shallow ones last 2 days. I want to say it’s tectonic but I definitely think there’s some magma kicking about over there.
    Also – some old-looking edifices on google maps.

    Lots of activity at Hengill & Prestahnukur too so I think there’s some microplate movement going on of late.
    Langjokull and Hofsjokull seem to be that bit more active.

    Hengill is going to erupt in the next decade, I’m certain of it.

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