A ML3.7 (automatic size est.) earthquake happens on Reykjanes, close to town called Grindavík

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A earthquake that had the automatic size of ML3.7 did happen at 22:14 UTC on the Reykjanes. This earthquake was only 2.6 km away from a town in called Grindavík. The earthquake was felt well in town according to reports that I got over Facebook.

The ML3.7 (automatic size) earthquake location. Copyright of this picture belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

So far no aftershocks have happened where the main earthquake took place. But that might change at any time.

290 comments on this post.
  1. Carl le Strange:

    That was fast to get it up so soon Jón!
    Nice work, and even nicer catch!

    You know, it was prophetic your comment that it was very calm and you where getting a pause. :)

  2. Jón Frímann:

    No aftershocks so far. So I am going to resume my break until they start to happen.

  3. Christina:

    Ey, is there any volcano there? And has there been more activity this year than previous years?

  4. Chris:

    There has been other quakes which was felt yesterday. See here: http://www.icelandreview.com/icelandreview/daily_news//Minor_Earthquakes_Hit_Southwest_Iceland_0_381137.news.aspx

  5. Carl le Strange:

    Yes there is no less then two, or one depending on how you count them.
    You have the Reykjaness volcanic System that spans from the tip out downwards. Had a bunch of subsurface aquatic eruptions during the years and produced islands now and then. The other (or the same depending on source) is the Svartsengi volcanic system that strectches over parts of the Reykjaness Peninsula from it gets out of water up towards Krisuvik volcano.
    It erupted wildly between 1179 and 1240 with both large lavafields being produced as large tephra production. So almost 800 years of dormancy.

  6. Cathy:

    As a relative “newb” to volcanism and tectonics (with regards to geological time-scales, if nothing else!) is activity in South West Iceland on the increase, or just about normal?

    I ask because last year’s eruption got me interested in volcanoes, but I think there was a swarm of quakes going on somewhere in the south west earlier this year, which was when I started following this blog.

    There also seems to be more reporting about Icelandic volcanoes in the media here in the UK, but I would guess that is to be expected as potential doom sells very well!

  7. Seattleite:

    The closest named ‘volcano’ would be Krýsuvík as far as I know. But the whole Reykjanes peninsula is a fissure zone, which is part of the mid-Atlantic ridge.

  8. Carl le Strange:

    First of all, disregard the media in the UK for obvious reasons… ;)

    Yes there has been a marked increase in the area.
    From 2009 and onwards there has been repeated quake-swarms in the Reykjanesshryggur volcanic system around Geurfuglasker, it might erupt soon, and it is an area with active volcanos.
    Then you have Krisuvik with numerous quake-swarms and GPS uplift and water coming and going in Lake Kleifarvatn.
    Then you have Hengill (brute of a volcano) that has had its root filled with magma and some small quake activity, but not likely to go in the next few years.
    Svartsengi Volcanic system has been dormant for a long time, untill it had two quakes today.

  9. Carl le Strange:

    You have the Svartsengi volcanic system, with a bunch of small shield volcanos, crater rows and fissure-vents. The most famous of the fissure-vents is named Svartsengi which the name is derived from. Some though bunch Svartsengi together with Reykjanesshryggur and call it the Reykjaness volcanic system, Some devide it into two volcanic systems.
    This is the same as when Krysuvik started quakeing, no one had heard of it before :)

  10. Cathy:

    A healthy disregard for the UK media is a good plan for any topic, not just volcanoes! ;)

    I’ll look into the names that you mention more tomorrow, but I think that it was a swarm at Krisuvik that brought me here (somehow!). Thank you for your response – so many volcanoes to learn about and so little time. And that’s just in Iceland, never mind the rest of the world…

  11. Jón Frímann:

    The volcano in this area is called Reykjanes and it last erupted in the year 1926 (confirmed). But there might have been a eruption there in the year 1966 and in the year 1970.

    See more here: http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/volcano.cfm?vnum=1701-02=

  12. Carl le Strange:

    Iceland only have 93 active volcanos, or some such…
    And when you look away another one pokes it nose up unanounced and unvanted.
    The joke goes, “there is no volcano here”, “no, not untill yesterday”.

  13. Carl le Strange:

    But those are the ones that are subsurface out at Reykjanesshryggur, the last on land was in 1240.
    There is a paper somewhere that I have that divides it into two separate volcanic systems since the lavas are different in chemical composition, and the distance between the two centers of activity.

  14. Jón Frímann:

    Yes, There are two other volcanoes out to sea from Reykjanes Ridge. But they are unnamed besides the islands that they have created in a eruptions in the year ~1000.

    But I think that GVP is referring to the volcano that is both below and above sea levels in this area.

  15. vaktin:

    why are no aftershocks???

  16. Carl le Strange:

    Problem is that they have have Geirfugladrengur and Nyey and all the others out at Reykjaneshryggur too in it. So I would say that they have baked it together.
    I think this is a case of GVP being a bit confused, and I can understand them, many things are very unknown about these volcanic systems.
    In one place they talk about Reykjanesshryggur, next sentence Reykjaness Volcanic system (the one at the tip) and then they bake it together with the Svartsengi.
    If I remember the article correct the Reykjaness Volcanic System had mainly tephraitic eruptions, and Svartsengi produced lavafields through fissure vents.
    But I can’t for my life find the article now. One of the moments I wish I had edeitic memory (photographic memory).

  17. Carl le Strange:

    Will probably come sooner or later, but this might also be a part of a quake-swarm. There has technically been quakes at the spot for a few days, so this might be a signal that there could me more mid-sized quakes.

  18. vaktin:

    so this might be a pre-shock to something bigger?

  19. Jón Frímann:

    An ML2.8 aftershock has happened.

  20. Tyler Mannison:

    Looks like the aftershocks are now taking place

  21. watchman:

    yebb. finally. lets hope its the rest of them. must not be comfortable to try to sleep in this shaking… :)

  22. Tyler Mannison:

    3.2 17 Aug 01:34:24 90.0 6.2km SW of Krýsuvík

  23. Eric:

    It and the follow up ones (eg. 3.2 @ 6.2 km SW of Krýsuvík) look to me like tectonic responses to the magma injection under Krýsuvík, which we’ve been seeing last few months.

    Does anyone know if there are inflation data for Krýsuvík volcano?

  24. Renato Rio:

    17.08.2011 01:35:17 63.537 -23.673 1.1 km 3.1 64.72 8.4 km NE of Eldeyjarboði
    17.08.2011 01:34:24 63.854 -22.168 1.1 km 3.2 90.04 6.2 km SW of Krýsuvík
    17.08.2011 01:34:23 63.887 -22.293 1.1 km 3.3 43.98 1.9 km SSW of Fagradalsfjall
    17.08.2011 01:34:23 63.850 -22.386 5.7 km 3.3 90.05 3.0 km ENE of Grindavík

  25. Birgit:

    Is this the inflation data for Krýsuvík volcano?


  26. Daniel_swe:

    Not to be “that” guy but technically can these be called aftershocks? If the origin is magmatic it is just an EQ swarm isnt it? And the large M3.7 set it off.

    Aftershocks would be present if the quake was tectonic in origin right?

    Just thinking out loud.. ;)

  27. Henk Weijerstrass:

    I stayed on the beautiful camping in Grindavik for a few days (half july). I had planned to stay there a few days to visit Krysuvik and Kleifarvatn. But, because the weather was so beautiful (sun and no wind) I decided to visit Krysuvik on my way to Grindavik and visit Kleifarvatn a few days later, which I did. The boiling mudpots and beautiful colors of the ground left quite an impression with me.

    Something else:
    A few day ago I read a blogpost – by Irpsit if I remember well – about Kerlingarfjöll.
    I’ve been there too the 14th and 15th of july and had superb weather! Made a lot of photo’s there and a few short films. For me it is the most beautiful geothermal area of Iceland with a lot of walking/hiking possibilities.
    So, if any of you wants to get some really beautiful pictures, just send me an email Emailaddress: henk...@hotmail.com

    Henk Weijerstrass
    Zwaag, Holland

  28. Jack @ Finland:

    Looking at Jon’s helicorder data it seems to my eyes, that both P- and S-waves can be detected clearly, i.e. the quakes were indeed tectonic. Jon, please confirm or correct me.

  29. Carl le Strange:

    Being that guy I think it is the question about the “hen and egg” again :)
    We are after all taking about one of the weakest spots on the planet. These quakes are heavy enough for them with time to become magmatic, even if they might not have been in the beginning.
    We have magmatic upwelling ongoing at (minimum) Krysuvik, and a heave afterchock has allready happened there.
    If this continues for a while it will turn into a quake-swarm, and at these magnitudes there will most likely be soomething coming up somewhere. Or lake Kleifarvatn flushes the toilett again.
    This is not good I think.

  30. Carl le Strange:

    Yes it is.

  31. Carl le Strange:

    While I am at it, I love how Jóns Helicorder shows clearly how large the difference is between a 3,7 and a 3,3.
    Most people have a problem understanding how enormous the difference is between a lets say 2 and a 3. Look very carefully at Jóns Helicorder and I think you will understand. Now think about the normal piddly quakes at Katla that are below 1. I think now you will understand what it will take to open up that volcano. Here you are seeing the quakes that are needed, and still it would need a lot of them.

    Jón, I think you should add this picture from your Helicorder to your former blogg post. I think it would help people to understand much clearer the energy level increases in the magnitude scale.

  32. Daniel_swe:

    And on the topic of scales just to add some perspective.

    Each step in the richterscale represents a very large increase in energy. At lower magnitudes this is not as much as on the higher.

    A few examples. The difference between a Mb1.0 and a Mb2.0.
    Mb1.0 = ~500g of TNT
    Mb2.0 = ~15kg of TNT

    Each step in the richterscale is about 10 fold correct?
    With that in mind imagine that a Mb1.0 EQ released 100 (energyunit).
    Mb1.0 100
    Mb2.0 1 000
    Mb3.0 10 000
    Mb4.0 100 000
    Mb5.0 1 000 000
    Mb6.0 10 000 000
    Mb7.0 100 000 000
    Mb8.0 1 000 000 000
    Mb9.0 10 000 000 000

    I know these figures are not scientifical per se but gives some perspective between magnitudes. The difference between a Mb1.5 and a Mb3.7 doesnt look like much but the difference in energy released is quite astonishing.

    This is of course if I am correct in what I am saying but I dont think Im too far off track. ;)

  33. Daniel_swe:

    It is a very educational screen of the helicorders. Could any of you who know more confirm that these are the P and S waves?


  34. Carl le Strange:

    Haha, modesty in the morning? To little coffee, not good for us small swedees!

    You are absolutly correct, you even got the offset correct for the low-level quakes. Below 1 the scale just becomes ridiculously energy-deprived.
    A 0.1M should be 10 of your energy units, but they are close to 1 instead.
    Richter-scale is bad at week piddly quakes. But on the other hand it was never designed for those ones.

  35. Carl le Strange:

    If I have understood it correctly, yes.
    Sofar they seem to be purely tectonic, but since this is a fragile spot I do not think they will be for long if it continues.

  36. Amandus:

    That’s seems to be not >exactly< right, a 0.0M should be 10 of the energy units, a 0.1 is approximatly 12.6 energy units, and a -1.0M is 1 energy unit. The formula seems to be E.U.=10^(1+value(M)), isn't it? ;)
    I just read this blog for some days now, and i like it, especially Jon's moderation of the blog, and also Carl's explanations (chapeau!), to say that.

  37. propensity:


  38. Daniel_swe:

    This is a bit OT but has to do with volcanism in Iceland.

    The area where the infamous Skaftar fires occured in the late 1700´s is obviously volcanically active. Now we never see any quakes in this area. No magmatic nor tectonic quakes.

    Why is that? I would believe that this area should be quite active from time to time.

    Is it due to a “rubbery” (in lack of a better word) litosphere? Is it really a aseismic area (find that hard to believe).

    I have been thinking since the eruption of Laki was one of the largest ones and on top of it all there is a tectonic ingredient to the area as well since the MAR actually runs right through this place.

  39. Jack @ Finland:

    One thing is sure: Magma production during the Laki eruption was so big, that coolig of the new rock must have taken years or even more. That could have affected the properties of new base rock created, i.e. rock being “softer” or allowing more movement without breaking (and causing quakes).

  40. Jack @ Finland:

    Do you have an error there?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moment_magnitude claims that the energy output goes up 32-fold for each one-unit step (e.g. from M1 to M2) in M- or Richter scales, and 1000-fold for each two-steps (e.g. from M1 to M3).

  41. Jón Arnar:

    The GPS station at Móhálsadalur http://strokkur.raunvis.hi.is/~sigrun/MOHAstutt.png seems to have moved a bit as a result of the quakes (or well the quakes were ofcourse caused by the movement …) – not as much as it did when we had that 4+ quake last year, which again can clearly be seen at the graph.

  42. N N:

    Is it possible that the Laki (etc) magma would have “welded” the regional rock into a solid lump which would not allow for small movements? The MAR movement would either take place elsewhere where rock is more fractured or it would be taken up in elastic stress until the lump cracks with a large bang?

  43. Daniel_swe:

    Yes well as I said. I might not be exaclty correct but the point was (excluding the exact mathematical formula) that the difference between two seemingly small earthquakes is actually quite large.

    We see alot of Mb1.0, Mb2.0 and occassionally a few Mb3.0+. Seeing it like this and we all have the large quakes in the back of our heads (japan, chile and so on) they seem small. But when you look at it closer the energy released is tremendous and the difference between the smaller Mb1.0´s and the recent Mb3.7 is many times larger than one might first think.


  44. Carl le Strange:

    Technically yes, but it is pretty hard to get the head around it.
    And to be even more precis, 1 to 2 is 32 and 1 to 3 is 1024 since 32×32=1024.
    But to just add a zero between the steps give a “good enough” table that is understandable. Thing is that I have noticed that people tend to think it is just a doubling in energy between the steps.

  45. Daniel_swe:

    Well most of the magma was deposited on the surface as a giant lava field (12 cu km if i remember correctly). The residual magma which would have “welded” the fissure is simply not enough I think. One of the reasons there was such a large lava flow was the size of the fissure. Over 20km with fissure vents.

    And on top of that I dont believe a small (in perspective) welding like the Laki fissure would be nearly enough to stop the movement of the MAR. Not even locally since the southern and northern split would tear that weld.

    My guess at least. ;)

  46. Carl le Strange:

    Crust becomes more ductile the hotter it is. On the surface this area is pretty cool, but not that far down the temperature goes up, and the deeper and hotter it gets, the more energy it takes for the rock to break. Think about a rubberband here, in room-temperature it just stretches when pulled, when frozen it snaps.
    There are more reasons for it to be quiet too.
    The area is surrounded by fractures, new and old, then you have the fissures themselves and so on. Every fracture tends to work like a thermohaline or saline does in oceanic water. Or for that matter a common mirror. It diffuses and reflects away the wavefronts when they hit the fracture, how much depends on several factors.
    So basically you have an area that works like a sound-proof room, the hot ductile material works like the dampening and the fractures like the walls that reflect the sound.
    In the end pretty much nothing get out of there noisewise.

    There is also no equipment inside the area listening, and this is a big oversight from the IMOin my opinion. Correctly placed inside “the zone of deadly quiet” a SIL-station could hear what is going on. There really should be one there because we are talking about perhaps the most potentially dangerous place in the entire Iceland. But I am not a volcanologist… Just a retired expert on listening devices…

    So, the answer is that it is aseismic in a way, but it should be rich in tremoring. But as with any rubberband, when stretched enough it breaks, and here the break is an eldgja or Laki event.

  47. Jón Frímann:

    For those how where asking about the P and S waves. Yes, they can be seen on the webicorders. Both on Hekla and Hvammstangi webicorders.

  48. Carl le Strange:

    If it was welded it would just break within years. No the time it takes for it to become cool enough to be hard and brittle is pretty long.
    It has instead become rubberbanderized (gummibandiserad) or what the heck one should call it.
    Ductile is the scientific word for it. And as a ductile area it stretches equally well as the rest of the fracture zone (GPS proves that), but it just stretches and stretches like a a rubberband untill it goes “snapp” and it rips open like nasty velcro and out pours cubic-kilometres of lava.

  49. Carl le Strange:

    I think it might be a good idea if you explained what those are a bit and how those ones in this case says it was tectonic and not magmatic, and how a magmatic quake might look like. I know you have done so before, but there are some newcomers I have noticed.
    Hope you are feeling better today.

  50. Mr. Moho:

    The earthquake energy goes up around 32-fold for each unit, but the shaking (that you can see in seismometers, for example) grows up 10-fold.

  51. Daniel_swe:

    Regaring the rubberbanderized area NE of myrdalsjökull. There is a good paper written about the basics of Icelandic geology. I recommend people to read it. Couldnt find a link but search on google for “Pall_Plate boundaries, rifts and transforms in Iceland.pdf”

    Based on that paper the spread vector for the area in question is 22.4 mm/year in a 100 degree direction. Laki had an eruption in 1783 which ended in 1784. Now that was 227 years ago. 22.4 mm/year would mean that the area has spread an approx 5 metres (around 16 feet).

    Wonder how much strain the “rubber band” can stretch before snapping.

  52. Chris:

    Hi guys,
    I know this is not volcano related, but there is a nice image of Iceland over at NASA: http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/individual.php?db_date=2011-08-15

  53. Carl le Strange:

    On the search of lost and forgotten icelandic Volcanos I found Breiddalur and the even rarer Thingmuli central volcanos. I started looking for eastern volcanos after Esjufjöll moved a bit.

  54. Tyler Mannison:

    A couple of small quakes just took place on the edge of the Torfajokull caldera.

  55. Carl le Strange:

    Between 5 and 7,5 metres if you recalculate it from the lava-flooding episodes that have happened there. We have just entered the period when it is starting to get dangerous.

  56. Carl le Strange:

    I of course did that recalc as an offset “time between eruptions & movement”.

  57. Carl le Strange:

    Very low quality, extremely weak. Probably just one quake and a shadow.
    Another of those 3 squarecentimetre rock that breaks style of quake.

    To put it into perspective.
    Tonights quake at Grindavik had 32768 times as much energy in it.
    The Japanese quake had 1 099 511 627 776 times as much energy in it.

  58. Jack @ Finland:

    Where does this “limit” of 5,0-7,5 meters arise?

  59. Tyler Mannison:

    Ah, okay.

  60. Jack @ Finland:

    Off-topic, but geology…

    Check this resource, I found it very good for explaining the basics.


  61. Renato Rio:

    What a great job you are doing at this blog!
    Anytime I have a question, it immediately appears discussed in depth.
    Hope Jón may soon get better from the cold, but I would also like to thank Carl, Daniel, Chris, Jack, Irpsit, Pieter and all the “other lurkers” for the excellent debate.
    It’s a pleasure just to enjoy lurking from behind!

  62. Jack @ Finland:

    This is for those who like extremes… ;o)

    Check the link above, chapter 22 on mantle plumes. On page 636 there is a schematic picture of the icelandic mantle plume. Gives a feeling about the forces that created this volcanically very lively island!

  63. Jón Frímann:

    Yes. I am getting better from my cold. It is all quiet at the moment in Iceland when it comes to earthquakes and volcanoes.

  64. Jen:

    Well, I can only agree. I read this blog several times a day. Seems like I know you all a bit ;-) And nobody knows I am reading this ;-) So, thanks!! For this great blog!!

  65. Jack @ Finland:

    Correct. Daniel mentioned energy only, hence my question.

  66. Morten:

    Something is inflating like crazy at vatnajökull:


    Weirdly the recent inflation doesn’t seem to be accompanied by continual tremors or earthquakes.

  67. Daniel_swe:

    Well inflation doesnt nescessary have to be accompanied by tremors. And if it is the chances are that the noise from the slow movement (compared to instant movements) simply drowns in the background noise and other events.

  68. Sander:

    I have a question. I noticed some times already that the IMO reviews only the smaller earthquakes in a swarm and not the larger ones. Also with this quake swarm at Grindavik they reviewed all the quakes but not the ones larger then 3.. Is it more difficult to review a larger quakes or not?


  69. Jack @ Finland:

    The automatic system usually gets the large ones “right”.

  70. Daniel_swe:

    Good question. Looking forward to a good answer from someone also. ;)

    Maybe they dont need to check the larger ones since they already know it happened and where. I mean the signature of the EQ is probably easier to see.

  71. Jack @ Finland:

    This is scary… SKRO is 25 km from Hamarinn and 40 km from Bardarbunga.

    If it is really Hamarinn inflating, the rise corresponds to a magma inflow of at least 0,04 km^3/week. Or if it is Bardarbunga, it means 0,1 km^3/week!

  72. Daniel_swe:

    That would indeed be scary. That huge amount of magma wouldnt stay contained for long.

  73. Tyler Mannison:

    Could it be a glitch in the instrument?

  74. Pieter:

    This is real. It is Hamarinn inflating.

  75. Tyler Mannison:


  76. Jack @ Finland:

    My revised estimate gives 0,16 km^3 of total accumulated magma. Hamarinn may already be capable for a VEI3 …

  77. Jack @ Finland:

    Or, it may still be Bardarbunga, although it is also seen at Hamarinn. In that case it amounts to 0,9 km^3…

  78. Jón Frímann:

    The Hamarinn volcano appears to have been influenced by the large Grímsfjall volcano eruption this spring. But I am going to write a blog post about it soon.

    In what way I am not sure yet. But I would not be surprised if there was a larger eruption there soon. Rather then the small events so far.

  79. Patrick:

    Now is this inflation something to worry about on a short term? Speaking of Days?

  80. Jack @ Finland:

    Likely before Christmas, as the inflation is so rapid it cannot simply last for a very long time.

  81. Jack @ Finland:

    Typically only a minor part of the accumulated magma erupts. Atypically, if a major part erupts, it likely leads to a caldera forming event.

  82. Rick:

    Found this on my travels,




    In September 2010, an earthquake swarm occurred near Bárðarbunga, with over 30 earthquakes recorded on 26 September, the largest quakes measuring 3.5 and 3.7 on the Richter scale. Is this the area where the inflation is taking place now, also see the link below.


    Could it be that this area rise that quick?Everytime Grimsvotn goes up, Its waking up the rest of the family?. My guess that Katla is next in is out the window.
    I read if either of these volcanco goes, the local dams and hyro plants could have everything changed on them?

  83. Rick:

    This list of VE 0’S on for the area is long and allot have happen in the last 20 years, nearly 1 every two years. So strange for me that it has not gone up already.


  84. Daniel_swe:

    Well Katla doesnt have any connection with the volcanoes beneath vatnajökul icecap. And Grimsvötns connection to Bardarbunga central volcano is still a theory and as far as i know have never been taken as fact. If it were so even then I would be inclined to believe that Bardarbunga affects Grimsvötn and not the other way around.

  85. Irpsit:

    Eruptions in that ice-free area occurred in the following years:
    870 (Vatnaoldur, Bardarbunga)
    934 (Eldgjá, Katla) 64 years of interval
    1290 (Bardarbunga) 364 years interval
    1350 (Bardabunga) 60 years interval
    1477 (Veidivotn, Bardarbunga, and Torfajokull) 127 years interval
    1717 (Bardarbunga) 240 years interval
    1783 (Laki, Grimsvotn) 66 years interval
    1862 (Trollagigar, Bardarbunga) 79 years interval

    2011, so far 149 years interval

    Eruptions seem to be quite irregular there, and some are small, other huge. They also happen in different fissures from different volcanoes. I think sooner or later there is going to be another great fissure there, but it is difficult to know when.

  86. Pieter:

    @Hamarinn discussion.
    Even more ‘scary’.

    Located at Jokulheimar. Coordinates Approx:
    64°17’3.83″N , 18°14’46.85″W

    Yes, part of the huge Veidivotn fissure system S-W of Hamarinn.

  87. Pieter:

    And before any mistakes happen with reading the graph. The scale is different than normal plots. This GPS stations has gone up at least 4 meters (!) since 1998 and probably more before that.

  88. Pieter:

    Woops, 40 cm! :D Sorry!

  89. Jack @ Finland:

    That means on average 143 years with a standard deviation of 116 years. Most probable range is thus 30-260 years between eruptions. It may be we will never personally see another large fissure eruption in Iceland…

  90. Jack @ Finland:

    And, 143 years gives 3,2 meters on average.

  91. Jack @ Finland:

    Do we have a candidate here for the next major fissure eruption in Iceland?

  92. sorter:

    wooo, thanks for that link, even when some tables are out of date (e.g. world population or energy use EDS24), most of the content is beyond timescales of humans (for now).

    EDS_24 p30
    The history of Easter Island shows the effects of overuse of natural resources
    and disregard for the limitations of a natural environment.

    Sorry to play the “depressive” mind again (sometimes i cant hold back).
    But its time… 4 years for a fb fraud but not 1 year for inside trading or the other free running politicians (murders, NATO).
    I dont get how you can be fine with our situation, we are paying their 10th car or 3rd house while all 5-10s dies a child from hunger or 10.000 each day loose their eye-light, because of not enough Vitamin A. We could fed 12 Bn people with the space to grow but nah we have to fill our 200PS cars, with “food”. (ahhh shit world).

  93. alan c:

    Haven’t seen the article yet, but according to BBC digital tv text page 154 (?UK only?)
    the journal Geology has an article stating “another ash cloud soon “unlikely”, and UK unlikely to see another gigantic ash cloud (ref Eyja march 2010) in this lifetime, ash clouds as those of 2010 only occur on average every 56 years”.
    Yeah, yeah no-ones told our Icelandic ladies!!!

  94. wurzeldave:

    @ Pieter: that link looks interesting, UP has gone from -180(ish) to 200mm. As you say around 40 cm. What does this mean for the volcano to the leyman? (like me).

  95. Daniel_swe:

    Well it means that magma is building below. There is an inflow from somewhere which makes the ground bulge upwards. Often both North and East components show a trend aswell although smaller.

    What it specifically means for the volcano is pretty much that if it continues it will break open causing an eruption of some sort.

    But many things can still happen.

    Magma can find other paths as the pressure increases which can result in a deflating or stall the inflation for some time.
    The inflow could slow down causing the inflation to stall or progress slower.

    So I think its too early to tell what will happen. Its a wait and see game as usual. Keep an eye on GPS, tremors, EQ´s and so on.. ;)

  96. wurzeldave:

    Thanks much Daniel.

  97. Carl le Strange:

    And thank you for your comments, insights and really good questions.
    And of course warming all of us from Sweden in the middle of the winter with thoughts of Rio and women (and men for those who prefere them)… :)

  98. Carl le Strange:

    It could be a case of what I termed “Hyper-inflation” (I forgot the technical term for the ground-deformation) that some volcanoes have during the last weeks or months before an eruption.
    Classical example if I remember correctly was Mt Saint Helens.

  99. Henrik:

    If we assume the instrument is working as intended the next question is over how large an area? Then, is there any other process, geological or meterological, that may explain such an uplift? If it turns out to be over a large area and there is no explanation other than magmatic intrusion, then I’ll get excited. Very!

  100. Henrik:

    Love that kind of reasoning:

    “The average life span for men in Sweden is 78 years. This means that you’re guaranteed not to die before your 78th birthday and unlikely to live a day longer”.

    Pschuiit! Only fools use statistics in the manner of that article.

  101. Diana Barnes:

    @Jack. Thank you so very much for that link. It has explained Hot spots and plumes and answered so many questions I have had since I first started studying Geology over 50 years ago!. What huge strides have been made in the understanding of the Earth’s “engine” since then.
    I now have a deeper appreciation and understanding of the complexities of assessing volcanic activity in Iceland.
    It has also enhanced my understanding of the inter-relationship of plant and animal evolution, climatic changes and plate tectonics.
    I wonder if humans will be as successful a species as others who managed to adapt to these changes for millions of years!

  102. Christina:

    On how long time has this rise been going on? Days? Weeks? Years? Cause 40cm seems like a lot if its only short time..

  103. Carl le Strange:

    I have a couple of comments.

    HAMA & HAFS are probably more for the Grimsvötn eruption, it even stoped in its track after that one.

    I also have a comment on Skrokkalda and the other GPS-stations. It seems like some sexual-trend here to ONLY look at the UP-factor. The other two are sometimes even more interesting.
    Take for instansce SKRO. First of all, there has been no change in movement speed and pattern for the east/west and the north/south component. Ie, it isn’t being pushed in a new direction by a swelling body of magma changing the topography of a volcano. Compare this with the movement pattern for Austmannsbunga in Katla.
    The movement from day to day in AUST is larger than for months at SKRO, and much more irregular.

    Secondly, and this is VERY VERY interesting. SKRO placed in between two faultlines, on running up by Langjökull and one through Vatnajökull. So it should be moving slowly to the east. And it is… Okay, I have invented the wheel, I know. But my point is, the inflation should deform the mountain so that the east movement stops or reverses. Simple mechanics.

    I am as you notice not convinced about some imminent eruption or superinflation. The rapid lift at HAMA is probably Grimsfjöll eruption, remember that we noticed a heck of alot of odd things in January that pointed to a connection between Hamarinn and Grimsfjöll, and Hamarinn and Bardarbunga.
    The JOKL is rapid, but over a long time, and remember that this part is uplifting constantly. But the POINT is that the uplift stopped dead in its track when Grimsfjöll erupted.

    Yes Hamarinn is showing signs and portents, but it does so very often, and it is normally related to activity in Grimsfjöll or Bardarbunga. But remember that it is quite some time since Bardarbunga was active, which is naturall if there is a connection between these 3 volcanos. Grimsvötn is relieving preassure so often that Bardarbunga cannot erupt.
    And that perhaps explains why Bardarbunga stopped erupting (at least visibly) and why Grimsvötn is erupting like clock-work. It really seems logical that a conduit opened up between Grimsvötn and Hamarinn, and Bardarbunga is connected to Hamarinn through a dyke, then Grimsvötn is pretty much keapt open semi-permanently since it is getting the magma from two massive volcanic systems. Remember that with a open conduit system the pressure required for an eruption would need to be much higher than in Grimsvötn, so it can not erupt.

    I am rambling now, I do not think Hamarinn is the real culprit, we are looking at old figures, and the last few days are just localized movement where the station is. Same as we are seeing at pretty much all GPS-stations when they run away and then just schlurps back after a few days.

  104. Carl le Strange:

    I forgot…

    All hail he who should be hailed.
    The connection was in my eyes proven by Lurking during the run-up to the Grimsvötn eruption. He made insanely accurate quake maps spanning years that in my eyes proved that
    A) There is a connection from Bardarbunga to Hamarinn.
    B) There is a connection between Hamarinn and Grimsvötn.

    With the tremendous amount of data HE (not I) deduced this and proved it with his imagery.

    A logical conclusion of the Lurking-theory is that what we probably are seeing at SKRO when it has those harmonic tremor spikes, and swelling episodes is Bardarbunga erupting sideways into Hamarinns magma-chamber, which is then mixed up there, and then it is pushed on towards Grimsvötn.
    It is the most logical conclusion, fits the data, and follows the images of the conduits.

    Talking about which, what happened to Lurking?

  105. Carl le Strange:

    Haha, well…
    I should probably shut up and put on my fools hat and celebrate my exactly measured remaining lifespan.
    Thing is that the statistics are correct, it is just that people miss the inferred words “on average” and “statistically”.
    I actually liked the article. For being a british article it was fairly un-alarmistic, and actually used correct numbers and facts.
    According to swedish statistics I have exactly 1,78 cildren and eat 3,7 sandwiches for breakfast. I also take a dump in the 1,4 toiletts I have. I am also divorced 0,6 times from my 1,3 wifes.
    Swedes = anal? No way..! :)

  106. Pieter:

    If this station:
    Is anyhow influenced by Grimsvötn it would have been visible by significant deflation in 2004 and this year. And about the other directions, they do all confirm the Hamarinn theory. If indeed Hamarinn would be inflating, a station located N-W of Hamarinn would move N-W faster. All stations located N-W of Hamarinn ARE actually moving N-W:

    -Hamarinn itself

    This goes, as you said, AGAINST the natural S-W movement. In other words:

    -Something is moving these stations another direction they sould
    -This direction is exactly away from the volcano in the theory
    -We have had multiple glacial floods from several cauldrons the past year
    -We have seen increased seismicity in this specific region. (last year was highest since 1996)

    I’m not stating anything but that there has to be some anomaly down this area. What it is, I don’t know, but it’s there.

    Oh and about the connection with Grimsvötn? Sure, could be, could just as well be nothing. A nice line of earthquakes can mean anything. For all we know it could be stress created by an expanding volcano before an eruption (Grimsvötn) causing small fault lines to slip. I think it’s too soon to really draw conclusions on this matter because we have so little evidence. (no offense to Lurking! his plots are more then interesting)

  107. Pieter:

    Since 1998 the uplift has been 40cm. This means an average of about 3cm a year. Whatever happened before and for how long this has actually been going on, we can’t know because there are no records before 1998 at this station.
    We can speculate, did it start right after the latest subaerial eruption in 1910? Then the total uplift would be 340cm (highly highly unlikely ;) ), but let’s say it started in 1990. Then it would be a a nice and steady 64cm. We just don’t know!

    For comparison:
    Grimsvötn had inflated about 35cm before the 2011 eruption. This of course was right on top of the volcano(=inflation source), and Jokulheimar probably is not on top of the inflation source. This means that the actual local inflation at the volcano itself could be even higher.

    Just jibbering a bit, don’t take it as a fact at all. This is just my interpretation of the data.

  108. Pieter:

    Wayho, another downfall of the strain at Burfell, but if I’ve understood you well last time Carl, this is probably not caused by Hekla as the other stations are also moving down.


  109. Carl le Strange:


    Normal movement, no movement to the west at SKRO

    It was more than that with the plots in question from Lurking. It was timing and a bit more.
    I am one of the hardest to convince about anything, I am a pain in the ass. But that mapping he did was accurate on a scale that you do not normally see with volcanos. He by far surpassed anything seen in the literature about Vatnajökull with them. And a set of picture perfect dykes are most likely a set of dykes. Either his data was flawed (IMOs official list of quakes), or it was correct.
    Another little piddly thing, anyone seen Bardarbunga erupt lately? At least IMO has no eruption on its list of eruptions… ;)
    I am going to say that as theories go it is more likely than any other I have seen for the area.
    Numbers never lie, you can over-interpret them (which we might have a bit), but in the end the numbers add up.

  110. Yet-another-lurker:

    Amazing connection – I too was wondering why there was still so much tremor / unrest seen at Grimsfjall station, yet eruption was over in just days (!?), maybe it just found sideways exit. I think Grimsvötn is fed only by itself.


    Another minor “abortion” of the Greater Hekla Region or do these “transient” (pressure waves) come down from Hamarinn area (or even the “Rubber” area).

    My comment re them recent sharp quakes in “south side” of Reykjanes rift is, can we expect them also in Hella area or Eyja / Katla areas as well. It seems to me there might come more of these.

  111. Carl le Strange:

    It is small compared to the others I have on file.
    I think this one is caused by Hengill directly. But notice that it started with a small up, before falling.
    Last two started with quakes around Hengill area. The first was a mid-sized and happened withing half a minute after a Hengill quake, the second happened just before the small swarm at Hengill.

    My guess is that the tension is high over at the Hengill Sprungur and that when there is release there it affects Hekla quite a lot.
    Remember that this is an area that can throw off 5+ quakes. If there was a large quake in that area it would probably make Hekla erupt.
    By the way, Hekla seems to have stopped its uplift, perhaps due to systemic maximum filling, the filling is though very large now at Burfell/Isakot. Equal or higher than the numbers for Skrokkalda.

    But, just to be clear, the current activity seems not to be caused by Hekla, it is more likely caused by Hengill, but affecting Hekla.

  112. Carl le Strange:

    Hekla is not on the rift zones. It is a stand-aloner…
    It is not affected by Hamarinn. This is caused by Hengill, there is a clear time-causal connection between Hengillarea-quakes and The current set of transients. There has been other transients caused by earthquakes at Hekla, they behave slightly different.
    But they are all sign of tremendous strain in the Hekla volcano. But as long as there is a causal chain from Hengill it should not set off an eruption, unless there is major Hengill quake, and I mean at least +3,5 minimum and most likely above 4.

  113. Pieter:

    The plots you have there are on a scale of 3 months. It’s obvious when looking at the larger plot, that in such a small period there won’t be any significant movement. And even looking at this scale, if things would be normal, wouldn’t the data suggest that it’s moving south-west as the faults do? No, their more or less stagnant, which would mean a force is holding them from moving that way.

    I’ve also seen those plots and they couldn’t convince me. You know that dikes are actually the same shape as fault planes, so with this data you can never ever distinguish those.

    I’m not expecting an eruption from Bardarbunga either, I’m not expecting anything at all because I’m not a volcanologist. But historical eruptions at the site of Jokulheimar have been present as this area is discribed as part of the Veidivötn fissure system. Now I don’t want to sound like a farty old doom-nOOb, but if I’d have to guess I’d say that I will witness an eruption in this area in my lifetime. And when I say eruption, do not neccesarily think of a giant eruption like the Veidivatnahraun or Thjorsarhraun, because small eruptions do also occur.

    Yep numbers add up, in this case to 40cm of inflation, and N-W movement. Interpret it as you want. :D

    (My tone might sound a bit harsh, sorry for that. ;) I neither have a clue in most cases, I just like spin my mind now and then. :) )

  114. Carl le Strange:

    About Hekla-transients.
    Even though of them can be really strong, they are just signs that the mountain is filled to the brim and under large tension since it is like a fully blown balloon.
    The last transient before this one was the largest so far, but still not as powerfull as the eruptions transient 2000.

    At the onset of an eruption you would either see a quake at Hekla around 2,5, or a more powerfull outside, this will almost emediatly be followed by very large transient and hard harmonic tremoring would start at the same time. Then there would be a few quakes around 2 as the fissure at the summit rips open. All of this would happen within an hour.
    So, transient, Hekla is showing she is ready. Quake, transient + tremoring, more quakes… Well, run like hell… Run at stage two if you are there… When the ripping quakes come it is too late.

  115. Jón Frímann:

    A new earthquake has just taken place. I think it was a ML2.4 – ML2.8 in size. Location not known for sure at the moment.

  116. Carl le Strange:

    Interesting causal oddity, look at the second transient here, it comes almost emediatly after a week quake north-west of Godabunga. You can see the arrival of the 0,7 quake on the plot.

  117. Pieter:

    Yep I’ve been wondering about that scenario too, a large earthquake (M5+?) in the SISZ, followed or preceeded by the eruption of Hekla. As happened in 2000. I’ve also check back the files a bit, and previous Hekla eruptions were accompanied by rather large earthquakes. The one in 1946-47 was preceeded by a M5.4 and a M4.0 beneath Hekla.
    And half a year before the 1913 eruption a M7.0 occured about 18km S-W of Hekla. Etc etc etc…
    There have been some pretty nasty earthquakes in Iceland actually!
    Take a look yourself:
    (Dutch site, speaks for itself)

  118. Pieter:

    Grindavik it is.

  119. Pieter:

    Nice guess by the way! How do you calculate these magnitudes?

  120. Carl le Strange:

    I have that list in english (thank god).
    Dutch is the hardest language I have ever tried to get my grips on, I just gave upp learning after the Rabobank cycling-term arsgespuiten… :)

    In 2000 it followed after yes, but the causal quake was a meesly 2,5 quake.

  121. Jón Frímann:

    The factor on the tremor plot on the internet is 10, if I know the distance of the earthquake I can calculate it using my own formula.

    But I no good with numbers, so I don’t use numbers like normally is done. I am also no good writing down formulas here at the moment.

  122. Carl le Strange:

    I think that Jón by feel the force without equipment… I guess you could “just” see how strong they are after a while if you know where they are. But if I remember correctly Jóns software gives an estimate-value of the quake.

  123. Pieter:

    You think so? You are from Sweden right? I had no problem making something out of Swedish when I visited Boras and Göteborg. I recognized many words either from Dutch, German or English!

    There has been a study about the relation between the 2000 earthquake and eruption, but I must admit I do not really remember what the outcomes were.
    But now that I’m thinking, the M6.1 in 2008 should have done the job by that time right? The pressure beneath Hekla had already exceeded the pre-2000 value.

  124. Pieter:

    Yeah I was wondering already how you could measure the size without knowing the distance of your helicorder. So you already guessed it was somewhere around Grindavík?

  125. Carl le Strange:

    I think my problem is that dutch is so like german and english (that I speak) that my poor head over-loads.
    I have heard that dutch-speakers have an easier time learning languages than others since all the sounds and many words are allready there. But the other way… phew… :)
    And yepp, statistics and coffee, can only be a swede :)

  126. Pieter:

    Well another theory goes that not a single person outside Holland speaks Dutch, so we’re kinda forced to speak something else! Also we do have great opportunities to learn languages at school. At high school I had (have) a compulsory 2 years of German and 3 years of French, 6 years of , and I also took 6 years of Latin and 2 years of ancient Greek. Especially Latin is really usefull for all the south-European languages with little effort I can read some Italian. Though I do prefer the nordic languages! The rythm and melody of both Swedish, Norwegian and Iceland is so cheerful!

  127. Pieter:

    add: 6 years of english.
    Forgot to mention that we also have the opportunity for many other languages such as Spanish or Italian.

  128. Carl le Strange:

    Regarding the SKRO-movement.
    We also found boguer-maps (or how it is spelt, I am tired now) that showed anomalies at the same places as the Lurking-plots. So there are more circumstancial evidence for it.
    Why I use the standard IMO GPS for SKRO is that something happened after the Grimsvötn eruption. It returned to the “normal” movement. Ie, before the eruption it was moving the other way, now it is not. Kind of indicative that SKRO is influenced like that.
    You should also remember that dyke-transverse movement of magma happens elsewhere too. Herdubreid-magma is moving towards Askja, and Hekla has an inferred dyke moving magma towards Isakot. Godabunga cryptodome is connected to Katla (probably) and might in turn be connected to Eyja (I do not actually believe this last part, it might be connected mechanically, but not magma-conduitic).
    Krafta and Askja are at a minimum connected mechanically, with a powerfull subsidation of magma from Askja during the Krafla-fires.
    So there is a set of volcanos connected in Iceland. So theorizing about a connection like we did now is not so unlikely. We also have the pesky Gjalp eruption that started with heavy quakes in Bardarbunga and then Gjalp went boom…

  129. Carl le Strange:

    Same here, I think the dutch antillees speak dutch… No one speaks swedish.
    Normally we have an easy time with other languages, it is just dutch that gives me a headache.
    7 years mandatory english in basic school (out of nine), then 3 years at secondary level school.
    3 years french, 4 years of living and studying in Germany, 2 years latin, 1 year italian, and two years of spannish. I am confused in so many languages… Oh, forgot Basque, and for romantic reasons 3 years of yiddich with a maydele, and a smattering of Khi’zwahili.
    After that I stopped making sense at all.

  130. Jón Frímann:

    The earthquake signal looked like it was from the Reykjanes. I was not sure on the location however.

  131. Eric:

    Thanks Birgit!

  132. Renato Rio:

    I need a beer!
    Keep doing the good work.
    I’ll try to draw Lurking back to where he belongs.

  133. Jón Frímann:


    I just lost a hard drive. Data loss, if I don’t get the data on that drive back is I think minimal. But I am down 250GB. I guess that I have to buy a new hard drive, even if I am trying to save some money at the moment.

    I am not yet sure at the moment what I did loose. I am still looking into it.

  134. Jack @ Finland:

    As Carl stated earlier, IMO is stupid if they do not follow more closely this area (all the fissures between Myrdahlsjökull and Vatnajökull). One reason for this is, that the fissure eruptions do not seem to give any warnings. According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laki the eruptions started with phreatomagmatic explosions. No earthquakes are mentioned. Or, does any other know more about this?

  135. Diana Barnes:

    Good Morning all.
    I often feel so ashamed of the British education system, as the average Brit cannot even read and write English properly these days let alone another language.
    I had Two years of French and Latin in grammar school. No languages at all in primary schools. In the third year of grammar school I had to choose between Sciences, Languages or Arts. I think my Latin has been most useful as apart from the odd Holiday in France, I rarely use French. I did learn enough Spanish to get by on, simply by being in the country, the same with Welsh!
    My little Grandson is amazing, he can speak Norwegian, Swedish and English whilst poor Grandma struggles with Norwegian. It’s my memory that lets me down and getting my false teeth around some totally different phonetics :)
    Sadly Google translations are superior to my language abilities!!! (Hangs her head in shame). I so admire Icelanders and their Nordic neighbours for their excellent English.

    Poor Jon. First you are ill and now your Computer!
    At least all is quiet in Iceland right now. I do hope you get it fixed before Iceland becomes more busy.

  136. Jack @ Finland:

    Carl, you’re correct in the case the spreading of the american and eurasian paltes does not mask the west-east movement. Remember, those readings are relative to Reykjavik, not absolute readings.

  137. Jack @ Finland:

    In more detail: It could be that the relative movement between Reaykjavik and SKRO covers the absolute movement of SKRO perfectly. And you’d see nothing in this case, while Hamarinn would continue inflating happily…

  138. Jack @ Finland:

    What if the tension now actually prevents Hekla from erupting?

  139. Lurking:

    Well… dunno what I’m supposed to plot. So here is the Reykjanes over to past Hekla, all quakes, plan view, color coded for date (2011).


    As for Hekla, as mentioned earlier, you aren’t gonna get much warning. It’s just gonna pop and go when it’s good an ready.

    The relatively large quakes on the south side of the MAR? Beats me. They don’t seem related (directly). If they put out focal mechanisms we might be able to get an idea… but they don’t, at least not to the public.

  140. Carolyn Wilderspin:

    Hi I love the banter just wish i had years of insight like you guys. With all this movement and inflation is there a possibility or has there ever been an occasion where volcanos have erupted together? Now that would be interesting. Thanks for a wonderful blog.

  141. Carolyn Wilderspin:

    Hi I love the banter just wish i had years of insight like you guys. With all this movement and inflation is there a possibility or has there ever been an occasion where volcanos have erupted together? Now that would be interesting. Thanks 

  142. Boston Volcano Heads:

    Cathy, Yes it was probably the Krisuvik swarms back in March which brought you here.

    World press in good in that on the right hand, far down past the ads, there is a list of key words or “categories” which can be clicked on to bring up all posts tagged with that word. (Much better than “Big Think”, in my opinion, for searching.)

    If you click on Krisuvik, you will be brought to all posts tagged with Krisuvik … as in the following link …


    And you can then review the posts on the Krisuvik swarms as described by Jon, and commented on by others.

  143. Denise-Marie:

    I would like to second what Diana said about the impressive language abilities demonstrated on this website. I think that Europeans are light years ahead of Americans in terms of teaching and learning languages. Here it is considered acceptable to learn no foreign language at all, and I believe that the US is the only country in the world that actively promotes being monolingual. It is truly shameful.
    Like most Americans I didn’t even have the opportunity to learn another language until secondary school where I started with Latin, soon switched over to French, and eventually added on Spanish and a smattering of Italian. But I am woefully ignorant of any Germanic or Nordic language, although both of my grandmothers spoke German. I have traveled a bit in Scandinavia, where I would politely ask someone if they spoke English, and would always get the reply “of course”. Now I would love to learn a Nordic language (although I haven’t declined nouns in decades!) but don’t know which one to choose. I am fascinated by Icelandic, as it seems to be a beautiful nature based language, but it is spoken by so few people that it would perhaps be a poor time investment. And unfortunately I have yet to visit Iceland….
    I came to this blog with an interest in Iceland and its volcanoes, but I must confess that what gets me most excited is when you all start talking about what the various words mean, and their relation to other languages, etc. The posters here have my deepest respect for their mastery of English! This summer I obtained certification in ESL (to hopefully teach English in France some day), and that course work introduced me to complexities of the English language that I was totally unaware of, so now more than ever I can appreciate the sophistication of the level of English used by the posters here.
    Jón, Carl, Pieter, Daniel, Jack, Renato, Diana, all the Icelandic posters and everyone else, thank you so much for this intelligent and entertaining forum!

  144. Henrik:

    Pieter, those earthquake summaries are rather interesting as they show that 1) the really big quakes are confined to two graben areas, Selfoss and Tjörnes, and 2) Medium size quakes follow the MAR with two notable exceptions – “Krafla” and “Eldgjá/Veidivötn”.

  145. Henrik:

    PS. I just love stating the bleedin’ obvious… ;)

  146. Daniel_swe:

    The tide seems to have a very visible effect on the ALF SIL station. Comes twice a day (morning, evening). At least i think that is what causes the regular increase/decrease on the high frequency band.

    The earthquake like spikes every second hour? Still an enigma. ;)

  147. Henrik:

    I think you’ll find that the greatest stumbling block is that AmE only has 33 phonemes (unique sounds carrying linguistic information) whereas a Nordic language such as Swedish has at least 45, not counting dialectal variations. Furthermore, Swedish does not have some of the phonemes of Eng or Icelandic (such as the two “th”-s in “THis” or “thick”). The sum is that you’ll have to learn to recognise and reproduce as many language sounds as you already know…

    A second stumbling block is that inflection sometimes is used to carry meaning, such as “anden” with stress on both syllables means “the spirit” and “anden” with no particular stress “the duck”. Then there’s all the idiosyncracies such as the use of articles and how sometimes what you have learnt to recognise as the definite, singular can turn out to be indefinite, plural.

    Though I’m delighted that someone would actually be prepared to endure all that to lear a Scandinavian language, I’d advise you to think carefully before you actually do it! ;)

  148. Daniel_swe:

    Grindavik seems to be building up for something.


    Maybe it will just die down. Lets see what happens.

  149. Chris:

    There is an interesting report about an expedition to the Grímsvötn after the eruption over at the Volcano01010-blog. This is the first part, the following are always linked on the bottom: http://all-geo.org/volcan01010/2011/08/grimsvotn-1-crossing-glacier/

  150. watchman:

    @Jon, email me your contact info. I can donate spare hard drives to your project, and even help you with setting up a data-backup system to prevent loss like this even though you loose drives.

  151. Daniel_swe:

    It turned out to be nothing..

  152. Daniel_swe:

    That was a very nice lunchtime read. Thank you. :)

  153. Morten Andersen:

    Looks like the air went out of Skrokkalda, oh well, back to worrying about Hekla, Krysuvik and Katla then:


  154. Jack @ Finland:

    All this is true for Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and/or Icelandic. Finnish is totally different.

    The ones mentioned above are similar to central European languages, they use small words for designating tense, relation, etc. Finnish uses little endings which also can bend the main word. E.g. in German you have maybe 200 different possibilities with the small words before the main word, in Finnish you’ll have the same main word in over 200 different forms.

    Second major obstacle to foreigners in learning Finnish is double letters (vowels or consonants), which affect pronounciation. “Kato” means loss or failure, while “katto” means roof and “kaato” means fall or slaying. At least all Germans I’ve encountered and tested with those words, have heavy difficulties in hearing a difference between those three words.

    It may be due to this that we have a joka or saying here in Finland: “When all is said and done, and you go to heaven, only Finnish is spoken. Why? Because it takes forever to learn it!”

  155. Sam:

    Lovely view of Katla Today on the Webcam! :D

  156. Sam:

    I know, I know, it’s the lowest form of Wit… :)

  157. Sam:

    Thanks for that Chris, very interesting. :)

  158. Daniel_swe:

    Well actually that seems even more irregular than “just” the inflation. If the inflation was caused by intruding magma where did it go? And to be honest it will now be even more interesting to see in the next few days how the plot will tur out. It seems to have taken to a very rapid downtrend.

    And yes I know that no conclusions can be drawn from a single data point and that this migh be a computer error but still, deserves to be monitored. :)

  159. Diana Barnes:

    Thanks again for another excellent Plot. I wish I could find a decent program (free!) so I could have a play about with some plots ,when I have some spare time on a wet afternoon! Lurking I appreciate the time you put into this. Have you any advice on what are good programs to use Please.
    I see what Carl means about Hengill. I have found it difficult to imaginatively overlay Lurking’s plot on a relief map and to chase the co ordinates from the plot to map. Please tell me if I have got my co ordinates hopelessly wrong! (I am still learning where places and volcanoes are).
    To me it looks like the Grimsnes Area and all around Thingvallavatn lake are very active. These I take would be more tectonic than volcanic.
    I am interested in the North South line of quakes at roughly 64N 20 40 W. Where exactly is this please?Is there any surface indication of this activity?Is it following a paticular fault line?
    Is the dense cluster on the Reykjanes Peninsular centred around Krisuvik? Are these too mostly tectonic?
    I wait with interest to see how you Icelandic experts interpret Lurking’s Plot.

  160. Carl le Strange:

    If I didn’t have horrible stomach pain I would start to get ready to dance and sing “nä, nä nää-nää” by now :)
    If it really was up, the last few days could have been equipment, it went somewhere, in my eyes probably into Grimsvötn. That transfer was probably the harmonic tremor that Jón spotted.
    I guess it will continue to go down. SKRO was the only one going up after the eruption, and only the last few days.

  161. Sam:

    18.08.2011 11:47:22 65.019 -16.656 4.0 km 1.4 76.06 3.2 km SW of Dreki

    Your favourite Volcano Carl! :D

  162. Diana Barnes:

    @ Carl
    I hope you feel better soon.
    Maybe a nice anomaly somewhere will take your mind off your pain.

  163. Carl le Strange:

    I know, and I do my very best to remove that movement out of the equation. Obviosuly I do not do a proper recalculation of. I only detrend the GPS:es for Hekla, but that is done automatically by my computer. I am fairly lazy after all.
    I though wish that IMO did use one of the stations on each plate as a reference and then did recalculated movement maps like Sigrúns Austmannabunga-map. Because it would at many times be better to see local movement then Reykjavik-referensed movement.

  164. Carl le Strange:

    Then the transient would be inversed Jack.
    These transient (except the one last night) follow exactly the pattern from the eruption, so it is the mountain trying to open.
    But something is missing in the equation.
    My guess is that Hekla needs a larger quake nearby or in it for a degassing event happening. But here I am just speculating wildly.

  165. Diana Barnes:

    Can someone explain to me why the plots for all the strain measurements except Hel are smooth? Hel shows erratic movements so a “Spikey” line.


  166. Carl le Strange:

    What we should though admit Henrik is that we stink at teaching kids to do math, and we lag in hard sciences.
    Nowadays they can’t even do multiplication in their head. And no, they hardly even know how to use a calculator…
    Truth be known, we swedes are good at being bad at most languages, sometimes I think I am just confusing people in a multiple of languages.

  167. Carl le Strange:

    Hello again!
    Coffee is on the pot and beer in the fridge!

    I do have a wish… for a plot.
    A 3d of the area Hengill up to Hekla. And if possible for as long as you have data…
    I am as you probably understand trying to understand why a quake at Hengill gives a transient exactly like the 2000 eruption. It is baffling me no end that a relatively small quake so far away gives that much reaction.
    Yesterday a small quake (o,7) gave a non-eruption transient, but that quake was nort-west of Katla.
    Good to see you again!

  168. Carl le Strange:

    Regarding Hekla going pop, yes absolutly. We will get maximum and hours notice. I am just trying to collect data on something I think is the only small pre-warnings we get except from GPS-movements.
    My thinking is that the larger Hengill quakes could have something with it, remember that Hengill had a large quake “shortly” before 2000-eruption. The second is that I believe that the eruption style transient is a sign of tension-levels coming into “the zone”. But… It would still not say more than that the conditions is correct. At least untill after the next eruption when I can check my modell.
    As I wrote in another blog post, my modell has evolved far enough to work as a statistical modell for a prediction, so I guess we will now towards august nect year if I was wrong. Modell gave a date between december this year and may next year, and a bit of other stuff.

  169. Carl le Strange:

    I am not sure, but I think that is a different type of strainmeter, so it reacts a bit different, but the curve is on general trend with the others except Burfell. And it is the trend that is important.
    But it is looking odd :)

  170. Carl le Strange:

    I went to see my favourite female football-team yesterday and had a sausage…
    For those of the american handball persuasion; I was at a soccer game :)

    Askja is actually my fourth favourite volcano.
    I order them like this:
    Theistareykjarbunga is my personal favourite, and I have to admit that it is just because something as silly as my heartfelt wish to hear Amanpour at CNN trying to say the line “Here we see the eruption at Thurdle’eek’bung” or some such… :) I know, small things make me happy.

  171. Carl le Strange:

    Another large quake…
    This one looks a lot different than the ones at Grindavik.

  172. Carl le Strange:

    It looks much more bubbly than the clear P & S wave quakes that we saw earlier on Jóns helicorder.

  173. Carl le Strange:

    Ah well, perhaps somebody kicked the helicorder or something… Seems like IMO is not counting that one.

  174. Diana Barnes:

    Carl, I presume the sausage was the cause of your pain not your favourite football team!

    I Just came back and I too saw that quake and was surprised not to find it on IMO map.
    Jon has neighbours that slam car doors!

  175. Carl le Strange:

    Well, the game ended 2-2 so they lost the series lead… I think it is the combination of sausage and that ;)

    I guess that the Icelandic weekend started early and that was the dude that owns the cottage who opened the beer kegg.

  176. Jón Frímann:

    This is just my main computer. I am going to buy a new hard drive soon. I just need to figure out what I need.

    But I am thinking of going for 2Tb hard drive now.

    I want to have an special backup computer and use rsync to back up from it. But at the moment. That is not going to happen any time soon.

    Also, while I live in Iceland I have to pay custom duties of all that I get from other countries. But that is not going to be a issue after I move back to Denmark. So if you want to donate hardware, it is has to wait until I move back to Denmark.

  177. Jack @ Finland:

    If degassing is “the thing”, then some extra tension helps to prevent the onset of an eruption (everything else being equal), as higher internal pressure is needed for the magma to break free. That might actually explain, why Hekla has not yet erupted, although inflation is way higher than before the last eruption in 2000.

  178. Carl le Strange:

    Positive pressure would work as a counter-agent to eruptions. But we are have negative tension transients.
    Degassing is just a conjecture on my part.

    I have a different theory why it hasn’t erupted. Ductility of the rock. It has erupted a lot, and through that process the temperature of the rock is fairly ductile and can stretch more than cold rock. That also explains why it is so “tectonically dead”, since ductile hot rock is needing a heck of a lot of more energy to break compared to cold brittle rock.
    In a way that is bad, it would imply that Hekla over time can sustain larger and larger eruptions as long as the cycle of rapid eruption periodicity goes on.
    But, this is theories. Some of my theories will be tested if an eruption occurs as I think, others need totally different proofs.

  179. Lurking:

    I lurk, there for I don’t exist.

    “You heard that torpedo hit, and I was never here.”

    I will do the plot after work today. I will have to fold the most recent quakes into the archive set (1995 – 2010) and that’s a pretty large file.

    I haven’t really been anywhere, I didn’t think anomalies in the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics would be of much interest to followers of Icelandic quakes. (or odd periods where the HadCrut SST V3 quits looking like itself)

  180. Jón Frímann:

    Please note that I am always going to curse out load when a hard disk dies on me. The hard drive in question is not directly part of my earthquake and volcano watching. But it was part of my main desktop computer, where I do my volcano and earthquake watching.

    But it still bad that I lost this hard drive. Since now I have to buy a new one and that not so cheap to do so. I want 2TB hard disk, but they cost 14.950. ISK cheapest ($130.91, 91.10€, 678,65DKK current exchange rate). I am have to figure something out money wise on this issue. As I am trying to save some money now.

    But in any case, I am going to make up my mind next week. When the school has started and I have moved to a town called Sauðárkrókur.

  181. Carl le Strange:

    I think it is more that I have been gone for quite some time. Had one of those moments in life when one discovers that one has tried to do good, but it came out as bad things whatever one did. So I soul-searched myself and sat at quiet and odd places of the planet.

    I am though curious what a HadCrut SST V3 is and what it looks like when it has quit looking like itself.

    Thank you very much for the hard job of making the plot! :)

  182. Renato Rio:

    You don’t need to wait that long: I can send you a recorded message of me trying to say it. :)

  183. Carl le Strange:

    Haha, thank you, that brightened my day! :)
    Or, I just go to Rio, considering the weather today it might be a much better idea.
    It is ten degrees, raining and so cloudy that it is almost dark outside. And my neighbours are BBQ-ing. The world has as usuall gone mad.

  184. Jón Frímann:

    It seems that Icelandic Met Office has changed the scales on the tremor plots. Now it shows each day with hour markers. Rather then every other day with no hour markers.

  185. Renato Rio:

    You’re mostly welcome! Albeit we are in the middle of the winter, the max temperatures are above 30º C and the weather is gorgeous, crystal clear sea waters and pleasant cool (15°c) nights.
    But no time to enjoy it here… :)

  186. Carl le Strange:

    So they did, it is quite visible of one compares with the out of order SIL at Krisuvik. That one is still unchanged.
    I hope they fix Krisuvik soon.

  187. Carl le Strange:

    That’s life, when life is good, no time…

  188. Diana Barnes:

    I have found this series of data for the accumulative earthquakes and also strain measurements etc for the Myrdalsjokull area. These pages allow you to examine previous years data too.
    I compared last year’s data and the year before’s and the Myrdalsjokull numbers are steeply climbing similar to 2010 when Eyaf… erupted.
    Can anyone more expert than I am interpret this data please?
    To me it looks that it is showing pre eruptive behaviour? http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/myr/myr_num.html

  189. Christina:

    Diana, what does it mean? That Katla will erupt sometime this year?

  190. Carl le Strange:

    Very interesting indeed.
    I have always been a friend of cumulative seismic plots. They say more than anything else really (for seismic volcanos).
    For instance, it was apparantly in the mid nineties that Eyja got ready for her eruption.
    Otherwise it has almost all the time been Godabunga that has been the leader of seismic buildup. It is not climbing as steeply as before Eyja, the scale is different, and the months are a bit compressed since the year is not over.
    But it is interesting that Myrdalsjokulsaskja (I guess that is a weird name for Katla) is above Godabunga in action.
    We will see what happens there, but I would like to say that it is still a lot more action needed before she has had as much run-up as Eyja had. But, as we learnt from Grimsvötn, cumulative seismic trends can go up really really fast.
    It is still Godabunga that is scary. The amount of cumulative seismic buildup is vastly larger then Eyja and Askja combined during that time-span. If and if so, when, she goes off it will probably be the event of a lifetime. But, it might be hundreds of years away still. It is after all probably the birth of a new major volcano.
    The second one is not strain as in borehole strain. Is the cumulative amount of strain release from seismic events counted in erg.

    Well, we just got a bit of confirmation that Myrdalsjokulsaskja (Katla I assume) is on the run-up to something. When is the question still. :)

    But Godabunga… Phew… ;)

    Nice find Diana! I had never seen those figures. Please keap on looking for more like this!

  191. Tyler Mannison:

    What’s the story with Hamarinn? Is she still inflating?

  192. Carl le Strange:

    It sofar means that Myrdalsjokulsaskja (Probably means Katla) is having a restless year. Problem is that we do not know the amount of needed cumulative seismic event in the run-up to an eruption. My guess is that we need something in between the same as before Eyja eruption to ten times as much. And we are still about 1/5 to Eyja eruption. So, unless it picks up speed a lot Katla wont erupt this year, or even in a few years time. But I might be wrong.
    Godabunga though, there we have no information at all. Is that one ready for something? Here I toss my hands up in the air… :)

  193. Jón Frímann:

    This is accumulated earthquake energy in Katla volcano caldera and Goðabunga, plus few other volcanoes in this same area.

    The earthquake energy from Katla volcano caldera this year is a lot more then last year. To compare it with anything.

  194. Carl le Strange:

    The word Myrdalsjökulsaskja, is that Katla?

  195. Jón Frímann:

    Yes. But “Katla” is actually just a peak in the glacier. So the naming things is rather complex for foreigners to understand. But this is all the same system, regardless of names.

    Except the different volcanoes that are in this area and are on the plot also.

  196. Carl le Strange:

    I guessed it was something like Eyjafjallajökull actually being Gudnastein.

  197. Renato Rio:

    What are those small deep quakes under Vik?

  198. Diana Barnes:

    Hi Christina
    I have no idea Christina! We have no real evidence how these Volcanoes behave. We are all trying to see patterns and find any information to help. Every Volcano has it’s own way of doing things! This is what makes Iceland such a challenge for vulcanologists.
    I am certainly not the person to ask. I am just an interested person like yourself. I don’t think anyone can say when or where the next eruption will happen.

  199. Carl le Strange:

    That is the million zlobotnik question…
    Something is happening south of Katla, but as far as I know, nobody has a clue about what.
    Someone, I do not remember who conjectured a possibility of it meaning an upcoming flanking eruption towards Vik.
    I still think it is just movement from Katla causing fracturing of the crust to the sount since that area probably are the most brittle. North Katla we have the “dead zone”, I have no clue what is to the east, and to the west is Godabunga and that bops so much that it masks anything including 1400 nude zealots dancing zumba.
    Time will tell :)

  200. Diana Barnes:

    I see only one and so far it isn’t qualified Renato, but it is deep.

    One Nude Norseman I could cope with Carl. 1400 zealots would test even my powers of stern authority :)
    Maybe we should stay on topic LOL.

  201. Yet-another-lurker:

    Does it need so much, there are maybe 3 eruptions in Katla Caldera as a whole (Mýrdalsjökuls-Askja = Katla Caldera) against 1 in Eyjo – so almost there now, if 1/5th, right?

  202. Carl le Strange:

    It is the deep part I disagree with… :)
    There is 1 or 2 a week of them, all quiet and mild-mannered and about that deep.

    My problem is that they seem to always be nude Men… I see it as a personal affront that there are not more of… well, let’s leave that be.
    I am not complaining though, I got a couple of minutes worth of a happily waving Sigrún Hreinsdottir at Thorolfsfelli-cam during Eyjafjallajökull.
    If we ever stopped bantering during these volcanic lulls it would be sad thing :)

  203. Carl le Strange:

    Two for Eyja, and 3 for Katla since 1823 to be exact.
    One should though remember that Katla is wastly larger with a much larger magma-chamber, so it takes longer time to fill, and as such causes more quakes.
    So if we use your line of thinking we need a minimum of 2/3 of Eyja run up.
    Point is still that we need more activity, a lot of it.

    Nota bene, I do not count those unsubstantiated eruptions.

  204. Yet-another-lurker:

    Ok. I read somewhere Katla was divided into three areas (all three at same time when the Caldera formed ?) – so perhaps only needing 1/3rd of Eyja runu – and North-West area was possibly next …. From Lurking EQ plot earlier today, those South of Caldera, form line North to South (i.e. typical tetonic alignment) whilst there was barely viseble line NE-SW in middle of caldera (magmatic alignment). I did watch Eyjo buildup “Y” shaped but mostly E-West alignment (if viewed a la Birdseye on a map).

  205. Diana Barnes:

    I would offer to keep the balance for you Carl. However I suffer with the cold and the sight of me in my red winter thermals could not compare with Miss Katla in full glory.

  206. nick:

    I stayed in the Hostel at Vik and shot a music video at Skoga and up on Myrdalsjokul. I do hope there isn’t a lateral blast…I have fond memories of the place (very very very drunk).

  207. ian:

    Maybe the magma chamber is full or near full for katla… maybe its been slowly filling over the past decades and now all it needs is just a that little extra to cause it to burst.

  208. Carl le Strange:

    I think that logic falters, that would only make it even with Eyja in size, per piece.
    But the division is probably just that different parts of this massive volcano gets active at different times, it still does not make a big difference for run up.
    It would only be shorter if it was erupting at the same place as the last time. And it seems not to be doing that, if it ever erupts again.
    This time it seems to be in Austmannsbunga/caldera, so that would need a full build-up.
    Sorry, but pretty much nothing can make me believe that Katla needs less than Eyja as a run up. It in all likelyhood requires a lot more.
    From Dianas links I would say that we are a minimum of a year away, and than we still would need a lot of activity. More likely we are more than ten years away.
    I would even go so far that it is almost likelier that Godabunga will erupt before Katla, and by erupting relieving pressure enough for Katla to not erupt for a century or so.

    At a minimum I guess we will see Hekla, Grimsvötn and probably Askja (even if Krafla is a bit unrestive too) erupt before Katla at the rate she is going.
    But in 1 or 2 years time we will know more when we have more hard facts. I would keap my eyes on Austmannsbunga GPS movements north/south and east/west and Dianas wonderfully found plots of cumulative seismic moment.

    Sorry to be a party pooper, but Katla kind of is boring… Hehe!

  209. Carl le Strange:

    Not that much. It had a brief period of going up on the GPS around the time when Eyja got her first big glass of beer, and another small glass around now at Austmannsbunga. But you should remember that these kinds of volcanos are like drunkards in a bar. A small chinese women can drink very little (Eyja) before blowing chunks and a big 150 kilogram biker (Katla) drinks a hell of s lot before vomiting.
    And there are no real signs of a prolonged uplift (beer drinking).
    But get me right, Katla will most likely erupt, but it will take some time geologically speaking. Years at a minimum.

  210. Carl le Strange:

    Well, the combination would be enticing, things is just that if Lady Katla goes off before Lady Hekla I would be standing there bbq-ing my hat when you show up…
    But I guess everyone would be even happier if you where running around nude while I held a course of hat-cooking.

  211. Tyler Mannison:

    Guess not.

  212. Morten:

    Carl, if your theory that the inflation at Hamarinn was magma and that it moved to Grimsvötn today/yesterday is correct should Grimsvötn not have inflated, instead it looks like it deflated. Could the magma not have left for the central caldera of Bardarbunga instead or perhaps just subsided downwards again (probably just temporarily)?

    Completely off topic, is magma and lava two names for the same or is there a difference?

  213. Carl le Strange:

    Yes, I guess that it is quite possible.
    I would not be so sure that Grimsvötn has deflated, remember that GPS-readings can fluctuate a bit due to instrumentation. I kind of tend to distrust GPS-reading if they are not consistant over a bit of time (minimum a week).
    But I happily concede the point that it might have moved from Hamarinn to Bardarbunga.

    Magma = molten rock before ejected through eruption.
    Lava = Magma after being ejected (still molten, or solidifed).
    Or extending the drunkard analogy, Magma is beer and lava is beer leaving the upper bodily orifice at speed…

  214. Jón Arnar:

    This link has prob. been posted before – nice pictures of Mýrdalsjökull and it’s cauldrons http://earthice.hi.is/page/ies_katlamonitoring

  215. Christina:

    You gonna put out a new post soon? :P

  216. Jón Frímann:

    When something happens, or write about some volcano in Iceland. I am not sure yet when a new post comes out.

    I am enjoying the quiet time in Iceland for a moment.

  217. Christina:

    Ok, then Im not gonna sit up to wait for a new post, and Im gonna say good night to everyone :)

  218. Carl le Strange:

    Sleep tight!

    In all likelyhood there will be a new post up by tomorrow.
    Jón uttered the words that always make something happen “quiet time in Iceland”. Normally something happens then, the last time the Grindavik quakes started just a few minutes after. :)

  219. Morten:

    thanks for clearing that up :-)

    And to the original comment I guess we will just have to see, perhaps the magma just hasn’t arrived yet at Grimsvötn.

  220. AW:

    Hi guys. I was just watching the Katla-webcam, and saw this light in the clouds – moving across the screen. I took two screencaps, one in fullscreen and one regular.
    The little one is taken about 30 seconds after the large one.


    Why would an airplane fly there? A “portable science lab”(sorry, dont know any sofisticated terms)?

  221. Jón Frímann:

    This might have been a noctilucent cloud. There are no planes that make this type of light.


  222. RonF:

    Deja Vu’. Its always on a Friday just after Jon says its quiet time in Iceland that something starts to happen. Thats when Grims blew and Katla had that failed eruption. Both on Friday and adjacent to Jon’s declaration of Quiet Time.

    Jon, Quiet Time and Iceland are oxymorons :)

  223. Boston Volcano Heads:

    Excellent link! I have it fav’d in my browser now.

    YIKES! … the first “word” in my Captcha verification looks like a seismogram and not like anything English at all! Never saw such as that before. Is it some kind of omen or warning? :O ….


  224. Yet-another-lurker:

    Last Grims was Saturday (May 21st), but otherwise I agree. Then there has to be quet times too, lets hope so.

  225. birdseye:

    while we’re waiting around for something to happen…

  226. Jón Frímann:

    A earthquake did just take place. It is close to my geophone, given the signature that I am now getting on it is a decent sized earthquake.

    More information in a bit.

  227. Tyler Mannison:

    Might have been the 2.6 that just took place in the Katla caldera.

  228. Jón Frímann:

    It was that earthquake. This earthquake was extremely low period from what I can tell from my data.

  229. Renato Rio:

    19.08.2011 02:28:19 63.657 -19.120 1.1 km 2.6 90.1 6.7 km ENE of Goðabunga

  230. Jón Frímann:

    I am going to post a analyse of this earthquake tomorrow. But I am going to keep watch now until 04:00 UTC because of this earthquake.

    But so far, everything remains quiet in Katla volcano after this earthquake.

  231. Renato Rio:

    Lagu Hvolar is showing nicely!

  232. Seattleite:

    Low period… do you mean long period? The waveform could be long period from the data on your seismograph, but I am not an expert in this field.
    Long period usually means magma injection, which is not a good sign. (I am not a volcanologist! And these are just my opinions as an interested person.)

  233. Jón Frímann:

    Long period earthquakes are events that happens at more then 2000 km away from my geophone that I detect.

    They are normally called teleseismic events.

    Low period earthquakes are earthquakes that are related to magma movement in volcanoes.

    This earthquake does not mean that Katla volcano is about to erupt. Just that it had a earthquake.

  234. Seattleite:

    Jón I think we are meaning the same thing when you say low period and I say long period. But we just using different terms. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prediction_of_volcanic_activity#General_principles_of_volcano_seismology gives a description of what I mean to say by long-period. Here is another description from USGS

    “…long-period, or harmonic, earthquakes. These earthquakes involve the movement of a mixed gas and liquid magma through a network of cracks and fissures.

    Unlike the short-period earthquakes, they usually begin with gradual, or emergent, seismic wave arrivals with resonance, or driven oscillation.”

  235. Jack @ Finland:

    Another low-period (based on Jon’s helcorder) quake at Katla caldera.

    19.08.2011 05:06:50 63.649 -19.329 2.3 km 1.7 90.02 4.0 km WNW of Goðabunga

  236. Lurking:


    Well, you need some sort of spreadsheet program, and enough skill with it to wrangle data. (import and shoehorn it into something usable)

    If it can spit out a csv file, you can import those datapoints into DivaGIS. (thats the one I use for plots that are map like… you know, country outlines and such)

    DivaGIS is free.

    As for spreadsheets… MS Excel is what I use, but Open Office has a really nicely featured spreadsheet application, and Open Office is pretty free.

    Most of what I plot with is done with Dplot. It’s not free, but it has a less feature version called Dplot Jr. Not exactly sure what it’s capabilities are, but I see people asking for advice on it quite a bit and the developer answers their questions just a cheerfully as he does mine. (full version)

    If you want to get totally nuts and really beat on the data with full powered statistical tools, the R programing language is also free. It can make plots that will make some researchers swoon. The language is specifically geared towards statistical data work. I have a version and am still mulling over whether I want to try and learn a new language. I have some Perl and Php experience, (CGI stuff mostly) but it’s been a while… but not as long ago as when I was putzing around in 6808 / 6502 / x86 assembly languages.

    Don’t be put off on R though, from what I’ve seen of it it’s much more user friendly than any of the other stuff. It just requires a bit of knowledge about program flow and how statistics work. That way you know what you are trying to tell the program what to do.


    Note: there is also a link at DivaGIS for free shapefiles.




  237. Daniel_Swe:

    As I have come to understand the Word “Askja” is used for “Crater” or in this case “Caldera”. So the word actually makes sence “myrdalsjökull caldera”.

  238. Jack @ Finland:

    Both are shown nicely also in http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/hekla/borholu_thensla.html

  239. Diana Barnes:

    Good Morning All
    Just having a look at the Katla area inflation….. Stations SOHO and GOLA Going up!

    Also ISAK (Hekla area and the yellow ochre line)

    Both interesting and worth watching..

  240. Denise-Marie:

    Now really Carl, Theistareykjarbunga is a very long word, but all of the individual sounds are pretty easy for an Anglophone to wrap their mouth around. It doesn’t have those daunting sounds that just pile up the consonants. I put Theistareykjarbunga into Google translate and hit listen a couple times to try it out — pas mal! On the other hand, Eyjafjallajökull was a whole different animal. It took me about four days of practice to be able to rattle it off. I used to watch the newscasts and laugh at the commentators. Most of them just gave up and called it “the Icelandic volcano” (as if there was only one!). Those those who persevered seemed to settle on something like ” Eyja-full-awful”, which was actually pretty funny because it sounded like “Eyja feels awful” — which she probably did!
    BTW – does Theistareykjarbunga mean something like “place of the smokey bulge?”

  241. Diana Barnes:

    Am I right in seeing that the Eyja eruption appears to have speeded up the inflation at SOHO and GOLA?

    Details of coordinates and also some photos of the location and GPS equipment for SOHO is here (Near Jon’s interesting Spot on the southern edge of the icecap)

    and for HVOL here
    I can’t seem to get info on GOLA.
    For all other GPS stations you can find them here

    Have fun :)

  242. Diana Barnes:

    Looking more closely at the location of SOLO it is approximately 12 km west of Vik and approx 10 KM south of the edge of the Myrdalsjokull ice cap.
    As I see it the land between The icecap and the coast west of Vik is rising slightly more rapidly than the area East of Vik at HVOL. HVOL is near where the Katla web cam is located I think.
    If anyone is more familiar with these locations please comment.

  243. Lurking:

    It’s gonna take a bit before I get the Hengill to Hekla plot together. There are about 267,000 quakes to rummage through.

  244. Jack @ Finland:



  245. Daniel_swe:

    I had a look and it seems it only goes to 2008 (plus a few months). Maybe I am looking at it wrong. :)

    Looking at this set of GPS readings the inflation is not quite so large.


  246. Daniel_swe:

    Thanks. A page I actually didnt have bookmarked. ;)

  247. Daniel_swe:

    What happened during the night?

    There seems to be a large consisten spike on mort tremor charts but there is no earthquake as far as I can see that would cause a teleseismic spike like this.

    Any thoughts?

  248. Daniel_swe:

    The strainmeter seems to show a clear upwards trend as well. Carl you thoughts about this one?


  249. Diana Barnes:

    Well that will keep you out of trouble for a few hours Lurking!
    Seriously. Many thanks for your time. It is greatly appreciated here.

  250. Diana Barnes:

    Be careful on this page Daniel. Many of the readings are older records up to and just after the Eyaj eruption during 2010. I think the last set of GPS readings are up to today’s date though
    I must admit it is confusing with so many sites and readings. I have to check the dates carefully on all sets of graphs.
    Different groups of observers also use slightly different types of measurement so it makes it difficult to compare inflation rates.

  251. Rick:

    There was a 6.5 quake near japan, maybe that?

  252. Diana Barnes:

    A large Quake somewhere else around the world?
    Not sure of time zones but it could be this one

    2011/08/19 05:36:33 37.673 141.716 43.6 NEAR THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN

  253. Daniel_swe:

    Going going up! Strain increasing…


  254. Chris:

    No, I don’t think so. The time scale on Jóns Helicorders fits very well to the two quakes here at Godabunga:
    Thursday 19.08.2011 05:06:50 63,649-19,329 2,3 km 1,7 90,02 4,0 km VNV of Goðabungu
    Thursday 19.08.2011 02:28:19 63,657-19,120 1,1 km 2,6 90,1 6,7 km ANA of Goðabungu

  255. Jack @ Finland:

    If Hekla were to erupt, HEL strain shoots down.

  256. Chris:

    I looked up Japans timezone: This is UTC+9, so the time you mentioned is UTC, which is identical to the icelandic time.

  257. Carl le Strange:

    I have heard three anglophones (by the way, are you from a french speaking country? I have only heard the word anglophone used there.) trying to pronounce with rather spectacular results. Thurdle’eek’bung was the closest I could write it as.
    Might be that you are just better at languages?

  258. Carl le Strange:

    And that answered that one.
    Not even a 2.6 at Godabunga makes a twitch at Hekla strain-meters. But a 0,7 at Hengill makes it go crazy.

    As I said before… I would not be surprised if it was Godabunga that erupted. It is well filled with steady and high lift. It has an ernormous cumulative seismic count, constant harmonic tremor and so on… If there had even been a small piddly crater, or old fissure everyone would be going ape-shit over it.

  259. Carl le Strange:

    ISAK is the dyke filling from Hekla. Interestingly enough Hekla seems to have stoped, probably due to systematic overfill.

  260. Carl le Strange:

    I am sorry for giving you that hell of a lot to do… I never imagined it was that much.
    But, it will hopefully give the final piece of the puzzle of the perhaps existing connection between the Hengill Sprungur and Hekla. I hope.

  261. Carl le Strange:

    The spike is caused by the Godabunga quake. No mysteries there.
    The going up in strainmeter was normal. As long as you have the same trend for all counters it is business as usual. If Burfell goes like hell down (100 000s or more units) and all the others go up, then you have a transient that is an abortion.
    You can see them clearly afterwards on the longterm plot.

    On the long term plot they show as a much lower number. Katla 2000 moved Burfell 400 negative and the rest a 100 positive during the first hour of the eruption.
    The mega transient 5 days ago was 250 negative on Burfell and 50 plus on the others. So slightly more than half way.

  262. Chris:

    I guess you mean Hekla 2000, right?

  263. Carl le Strange:

    Yeah, I have made mistakes a lot with that one… Like when I clicked a link and saw a murderous tremor spike in Vestmannaeyjar and thought here we go again… Then someone had posted a remake of tremoring from the days, but so that it looked exactly like today tremorpage… Sigh…
    Guess who shouted wolf… Sigh…

  264. Carl le Strange:

    Definitly a nice burpy quake from Godabunga, not so odd since it is full of beer ready to be made into projectile drunkard waste-products…
    Actually fun to see how close it looked to be ready to go on the tremoring. Even Hekla showed the tremoring it caused. And the pattern of the quake on Jóns Helicorder is so amazingly like the pattern of a wet burp…
    Scary actually.

  265. Carl le Strange:

    I’ll repost this from above…
    The going up in strainmeter is normal. As long as you have the same trend for all counters it is business as usual. If Burfell goes like hell down (100 000s or more units) and all the others go up, then you have a transient that is an abortion.
    You can see them clearly afterwards on the longterm plot (there is though none showing now).

    On the long term plot they show as a much lower number. Katla 2000 moved Burfell 400 negative on the longterm plost and the rest a 100 positive during the first hour of the eruption.
    The mega transient 5 days ago was 250 negative on Burfell and 50 plus on the others. So slightly more than half way.

  266. Carl le Strange:

    Jack, Burfell down like crazy and Hel up.

  267. Chris:

    Katla could at least wait for another week, since I have to go east by the end of next week. And come back.

  268. Carl le Strange:

    Here you can see it. Darkblue is Burfell, Hella is Paleblue.

  269. Carl le Strange:

    I think you are safe from Katla the next few years ;)

    I would be more worried about Hekla, even though I said it would wait untill between december and may before erupting.

    And Godabunga is a darkhorse. Definitly. Will be fun though to see if it is a new crater of Katla, or if it is an entirely new volcano. As far as I know, nobody knows for sure.
    I go with separate from Katla just out of spite :)

  270. Carl le Strange:

    If I am correct these two Hengill quakes wont affect Hekla into a transient since they are on the wrong side of the faultlines (sprungur) which will reflect away the energy. Had they been on the other side there would probably have been a transient (caveat, if I am correct that is).

  271. Jack @ Finland:

    My mistake, I stand corrected.

  272. Henrik:


    What we should though admit Henrik is that we stink at teaching kids to do math, and we lag in hard sciences.

    We are abysmal at teaching our children everything at school. By the time Swedish kids have spent nine years in school at the leaving-age of 16, they are 3-years behind in maths, 2-2½ in science, 1-2 in languages (except English) and social studies. This is because average-Joe must NEVER be made aware of the fact that he is average Joe. Brighter kids are bored to insensibility and the less endowed happily left behind, all in the name of “equality” – as in equally badly educated – so that average Joe can feel good about himself with a complete disregard for the consequences to the nation when people aren’t allowed to live up to their potential.

  273. Morten Andersen:

    I think that is a general problem in Scandinavia, it sure isn’t different in Denmark i can tell you. However, I once went to school in Canada (granted it was a long time ago) but there hard science seemed to be much more in focus and differentiated teaching central (where it is no no in Denmark).

  274. Sam:

    I may have just witnessed seismic activity on the Hekla Webcam. :)

  275. Sam:

    Probably not though knowing my knowledge of Volcanoes and Earthquakes… :(

  276. Jón Frímann:

    Thanks for that. I am not all knowing and sometimes get terms all mixed up.

  277. Lurking:

    Well, it’s preliminary. I managed to get it down to the 124,991 quakes. I still have an issue in getting them color coded by date due to the number of events. I will probably have to break that set down into groups manually and the layer them together.

    Meanwhile I have work to do (thank God the Federal government hasn’t killed off this part of the industry… yet).


  278. Daniel_swe:



    Awesome plotting Lurking. :D

  279. watchman:

    @daniel, the word “askja” is only used for caldera type crater in icelandic. we use the word “gígur” for a crater-type craters :)

  280. Denise-Marie:

    Good observations. I am a native speaker of American English, but I teach French and have cumulatively spent about five years of my life in France. I am perhaps “good” at learning romance languages, but it’s probably more a case of just putting in a lot of effort. My latest interest is taking Icelandic words apart to try to figure out what they mean, and how they might be pronounced. For the latter, Google’s “listen” feature is my ally. I think that many English speakers don’t even try to pronounce foreign words.. They just say some English sounds that have some of the same letters and end up sounding ridiculous. Ethnocentricity?

  281. Tyler Mannison:

    Appears that a swarm is taking place at or near Krisuvik.

  282. Daniel_swe:

    Yes a small swarm. Just by the lake as the other swarms has been. First swarm took place on the sothern tip of the lake if im not mistaken.

    Would be nice to see if this is magmatic or tectonic.

    And yes Carl…The hen or the egg.. ;)

  283. Daniel_swe:

    Ah ok. Well then i wasnt completely of target then. ;) Just a little bit. ;)

  284. Seattleite:

    I would guess the swarm along Reykjanes is just stress propagation along the rift zone, started from the larger quakes earlier near Grindavík.

  285. Jón Frímann:

    New blog post is up! :)

  286. Sissel:

    AW, very interesting!

    I really cannot imagine how a noctilucent cloud could be seen like that through the thick fog.

    Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noctilucent_cloud)
    says about these clouds:

    “They are normally too faint to be seen, and are visible only when illuminated by sunlight from below the horizon while the lower layers of the atmosphere are in the Earth’s shadow.”

    But if no airplane and no noctilucent cloud either, what was it then?

  287. Renato Rio:

    17:39:04 63.961 -20.004 8.1 km 0.4 90.01 15.0 km SE of Árnes

  288. Carl le Strange:

    Lurking, I am stumped.
    Stunned. Masterpiece.
    I will post a longer answer in the new thread!

  289. Jack @ Finland:

    That’s Aurora. Noctilucent clouds are never that bright.

  290. Sissel:

    It does not at look like aurora either, not at all. It does look like some kind of lamps shining through the fog.