Back to Denmark in the summer of the year 2012 (off-topic blog post)

This is a off-topic post. So feel free with off-topics thing in the comments.

One of the aspect about writing about volcanoes is that it depends on how you feel in the place that you write in. But for me as a writer that is a important aspect of my writing. I love writing about volcanoes and earthquakes, the monitoring data among other other things all related to volcanoes and earthquakes. But that is also important for me to live in the correct place so I can make my best work. This is not just about writing about volcanoes, but this is also important for my other book work that I am planning to write in the future.

The thing is however that place for me is not Iceland and never has been. It is a collection of many social factors I am not going to go into here in details, but the biggest reason is that in Icelandic culture writer are not appreciated as they should be on the public scene (and some types of work are not even put forward unless you got right connection). But I find that living in Iceland affects my work and even starts a writing block with me. For that reason it is important for me to do my work elsewhere then in Iceland. From what I gather my writing appears to work well in Denmark. It might also do so in other Europe countries. But so far my feeling for Denmark is good and for the moment I am going to stick with it.

For that reason I am moving back to Denmark in the year 2012. The exact date is not yet clear. But I have decided that I am hopefully going to move in June. At the moment that might change. But I find this to be a good target, as then I have been one year from Denmark since I did move first time around to Denmark in February in the year 2011 and back to Iceland in June.

I am plan moving to a town named Ringsted in Denmark. It is closer to Copenhagen then Sønderborg where I used to live. But trip with a train is about 35 min, rather then 3 hours and around 30 mins from Sønderborg. Around the time that I move. I plan to have for all the costs that I need to pay. Thanks to a computer work that I got. I should already have been covered the transport cost already (I have not yet been paid, so this is in the remains to be seen stage). The only thing that remains is the deposit for the apartment plus one expensive month without rental benefits in Denmark (since I am low income).

Status update to my blogs

In light of all this. I have decided that I am going to upgrade the status of my blogs to work, rather then just plain hobby. It is going into to effect from this blog post here in part. But it is going to full effect from 1. January 2012. How this is going to develop is a process that I am going work on all the time that I am going to write. But the average work on a blog post that I write here is about 1 hour and 35 min. But longer blog post can take up to 8 hours to write from start to finish.

This change suggests that I am going to have some income from this. That would be welcomed. But for the moment I do not have a lot of income from this work. Most of the income is from donations and advertisements on this web site. For the moment, that is not enough for the whole month. But with the social welfare it helps. But that also has its drawbacks for the long term. As income lowers my social welfare if it goes above certain amount. Now, that is all good with me if that income would be constant. For the moment, that is not the case. So how this is going to turn out is a good question. But I hope for the best when the time comes. For the moment however, my income from this is low and I expect it is going to remain so for the months ahead.

As for my plan on paying back my debt with the bank. It is going rather good. But it is going to go better next month, as I am only going to school this autumn. So I am hoping to be debt free before the new year comes. But if that happens remains to be seen.

On-topic snapshot

It is all quiet in Iceland. While that remains. I am writing this blog post to use the quiet time for something useful.

Thanks everyone for the support! 🙂

This entry was posted in Donations, Off-topic, Quiet, Support, Website. Bookmark the permalink.

86 Responses to Back to Denmark in the summer of the year 2012 (off-topic blog post)

  1. Diana Barnes says:

    Jon. I fully understand your situation. Writing is hard work and very time consuming. The income too is haphazard.
    Just out of interest, are there any small simple books for tourists that describes the geology and Volcanoes on sale? Simple, small paperbacks with pictures and diagrams that none scientific tourists can understand and take on their tour of the Golden Circle then take home as a souvenir? If not then try putting one together and see if you can sell the idea to the Icelandic Tourism or coach tour companies & people or even see if someone would be willing to publish it for you. I did some small guide books years ago for The countryside Ranger service near us. I didn’t make a fortune but every little helps.
    I am sure I speak for many others here when I say we are wishing you every success in your future plans.

    • Diana, I am planning short of a book “series” about Iceland. How to travel, geology etc. in Iceland and about Iceland. But that work is not yet far ahead at the moment.

      But those books should be out sometimes after I move to Denmark, at the earliest sometimes in the year 2012. Before I move to Denmark. As it does not take that long to write a book about the basic facts in terms of geology in Iceland. Specially if the book is only 30 to 40 pages long (good travel book size).

      • Diana Barnes says:

        Good! I can buy them when I manage to get enough money and my body is stable enough to fly for my dream holiday in Iceland! I do not fancy going there on a boat. The seas can be very Rough between UK and Iceland and I had enough of rough sea travel on an unstabilised banana boat during the tail end of a hurricane in the West Indies!!

  2. Seattleite says:

    I have a question that’s sort of on topic for this post. I’m actually looking at applying for a job in Iceland. The problem is the position requires that applicants currently be authorized to work in Iceland. Since I’m not from the EEA, it looks impossible to get a permit to work ? Looking at the UTL site (Immigration) then work permits are only applied for by employers, and require a signed work contract already.

    • Chris says:

      Thats correct, as far as I know the situation. Do you already have an employer (or a potential)?

      • Seattleite says:

        Not yet. Right now I am just looking at job openings to see what is available in various markets. But for the open positions in Iceland which would interest me, to even apply they require work authorization to be in place beforehand. But if I can’t apply for work authorization without a job offer, then I can’t apply for the jobs that require work authorization.

      • And what kind of work are you looking for..?

      • Seattleite says:

        Technical project management, essentially. My history in business analysis, software development, database architecture. But I have a very diverse skillset and could work in a related or non-technical field. I won’t go into much personal detail here though.

      • There is still some market for that kind of skills here. I know there are some companies looking for experienced people in that field with the right education.
        Click on my name link, and write to the company domain name and and put info before the (at) sign.
        I just hope that you do not freeze easily.

    • The job market in Iceland is frozen for most people. You might get a job in the high end sectors (Universities etc..). But other then that I think everything is frozen job wise.

      • Seattleite says:

        Interesting, is this just a general state of things, or has the government initiated some policy to this effect? How long do you think the freeze might last?

      • Chris says:

        There are actually not much jobs at the moment. Unless you have a qualification, that is looked for, this might make it hard.

      • It is just frozen because of the recession in Iceland. Not because of the government.

      • Diana Barnes says:

        It is the same in the UK. No jobs in the lower end of the job’s market. However we are not very strict when it comes to immigration and jobs.

  3. stoneyard says:

    What’s going on with nyl and rne sils? Weather?

  4. Cap Bondo says:

    Jon,
    Hope you get the support you need to continue your contributions to the world’s geologic knowledge-base. Seems to me that someone, somewhere is going to make (or avoid losing it) a whole lot of money by better planing/preparing for Icelandic geologic activity . In my book, some of that money needs to be filtered down to the data-sources like yourself, but then everyone knows that “trickle down” economics is a sham, anyway.
    Hang in there, I’m sure you’ll make out O.K. given the importance of your many contributions to the public, media and experts alike.
    Secondly, and this may be a bit of a stretch but if any group may have a suggestion, this group would have it:
    Does anyone know where I can obtain a quantified estimate of the total amount of ice in the various glaciers and ice sheets over Iceland, and especailly if there are any long-term data sources to compare to?
    Just had an interesting conversation with a good scientist-friend (which was prompted by the unusual clusterring (time-wise) of scattered quakes across the main continental US) which do not routinely see such high magintude temblors, let alone all happening within such a short period of time.
    He asked about continental earthquakes in the US/Canada being caused (at least postulated) by a “rebound” effect of the NA crust after the last glacial retreat and whether there was still an effect nearly 12,000 yrs. later. While this theory has long been a popular one, this got me to thinking about the possible effects from the several recent thinning and thickening episodes in recent decades of Iceland’s ice sheets/glaciers? And if there has been an overall thinning of Iceland’s total ice, wouldn’t crustal rebound allow for possibilities for increased volcanic and tectonic activity?
    Thanks if anyone has a suggestion.

  5. gina says:

    There is another question i have not seen talked about.
    Thermal expansion it is a big deal in rail lines as they have to deal with long lines of steel rail in a environment that over a year might change from -20 to +100 f causing all sorts of engineering accommodations in slight curves ect. so if the earths crust warmed by even 1 degree f how much expansion will that produce and where will it be accommodated.

    • Lurking says:

      I concur with Seattleite (below)

      If you want the linear formula it looks like this: ∆L=(α*∆T)*L

      *change in length equals (coefficient x temp change) time the original length… or something along those lines.

      It actually gets a bit complicated beyond that since stuff expands in 3 dimensions and the rock will exert pressures along those directions, and feel stress from those directions. This will change the stress-strain relationships and head off down a realm of math that can make your head spin. (though it’s quite basic… until you start thinking about it)

      Another thing to think about, is the existing thermal gradient. (temp goes up as you go deeper) and how that affects things.

      Once you get up to the higher temperatures, the rock becomes more ductile, or more easily deformed (think plastic or clay).

      If you want to get deeper into it, this link can keep you occupied for a while.

      http://crack.seismo.unr.edu/ftp/pub/louie/class/plate/deformation.html

      Approximate coefficients:
      Granite, Rhyolite 8.50E-06
      Basalt, Gabbro Diabase 5.40E-06
      Andesite, Diorite 7.00E-06

      —–

      For Carl and Jack

      Some info on the SISZ and southern Iceland, including data on what was going on in the 2000 time frame.

      Geodetic GPS measurements in south Iceland: Strain accumulation and partitioning in a propagating ridge system

      LaFemina et al

      Received 7 February 2005; revised 20 May 2005; accepted 1 August 2005; published 18 November 2005.

      http://www3.geosc.psu.edu/people/faculty/personalpages/plafemina/lafeminaetal_jgr_05.pdf

      • Lurking says:

        BTW, that LaFemina paper provides some pretty strong evidence for the existence of the Hreppar block/microplate.

      • Jack @ Finland says:

        Interesting paper! They seem to give a GPS-based confirmation for the existence of the Hreppar microplate. The errors are small enough to say, it’s very likely there.

        However, I found their evaluation of the WVZ and EVZ much more interesting. They state, that WVZ is a dying active zone, and Hengill may be the last major activity centre there, feeding the whole zone via lateral injection of magma. At EVZ they state the Veidivötn-Bardarbunga fissure zone to be the one with largest probability for next major fissure eruption (over 1 km3 of eruption products). This is due to largest accumulation of strain within the EVZ.

        I’d say this is not yet the complete picture. Although they state being able to remove effects due to SISZ quakes and Hekla’s most recent eruption, they did not account for Katla, Bardarbunga, and perhaps also Grimsvötn. These volcanoes did not have any major inflation periods and/or eruptions during the period of measurements.

        Hence I’d say, that they might have an effect to the overall picture. If I could decide, I’d redo the research after Katla’s next proper eruption. Based on the caldera size, Katla is not any “little sister”, she’s the “fat old lady” with a voice! The picture might change a bit due to Katla, as there are vague first symptomns available, that the next eruption might have fissures involved…

  6. Seattleite says:

    Well, as a gross simplification, the linear expansion coefficient for various rock types are in the range of 6*10^-6 to 12*10^-6 per degree C. This is to say that 1km of rock would increase linearly by 6-12mm per degree C if otherwise not constrained.

  7. Morten says:

    Jon, just out of curiosity what do you intend to do in Denmark? Except for writing of course.

    While our unemployment is rather low (~4%) there are not that many new non-specialized jobs to be had except perhaps at places like the post office, supermarkets etc. While such jobs can of course be decent enough have you thought about studying, a lot of Icelanders study down here, is that an option? I believe all Danish education is free for EU/Nordic citizens and that iIf you lige and work here for 2 years you would become entitled to SU when taken an education (some ~5500 DKK every month)

    • I intend to write books and blog posts in Denmark. That is a full time job in it self. So I do not need to get a job elsewhere if I do this correctly. In few years time my income should be good enough so that I do not have to depend on social welfare from Icelandic state as I do now.

      Writing books takes a long time. So there is not any time for anything else. My experience has been in that direction for the past few months. While having a job there is no time to write the books in want to write. So when I move to Denmark, writing books is going to be my job. So I really don’t have to look for a job in Denmark to start with.

      • Morten Andersen says:

        Sounds good, I just wanted to mention the option of free paid education. But my experience is also that writing consumes all of your energy leaving little for other work.

        I really admire your attempt to become a full time writer, I really wish I could also do that but I guess I love my steady paycheck too much (it is quite necessary when you have a family to support). Good luck with it, I sincerely hope you succeed. One last question why Ringsted?

      • The town of Ringsted is in good distance from Copenhagen where my friend lives (35 min away). But the rent there is also something that I can pay without a lot of problems.

  8. criseh says:

    Hi Jon!
    In my opinion stay stick to blog-sphere/net…Its a kind of foreign country and the best part is that allow you to actually live wherever you geographically want 😀
    The ultimate no mans land!
    As exercise let’s think that you may wanna go and stay to Tahiti 😀 ! Google-it for low cost countries!! Anyhow English is pretty wwspoken!

  9. propensity says:

    My limited experience of the Danish is that ALL the girls are very beautiful. Sighhh

  10. irpsit says:

    Yes, I agree with the authors. I think the next major fissure eruption in Iceland will be in Bardarbunga within the next decades (because of the predicted peak of maximum volcanic activity related to the hot spot, sometime early this century).

    I think the most likely spot will be the Veidivotn site. And we have seen activity in Hamarinn recently. This is all part of the same system, unless you think Veidivotn is part of Torfajokull and not Bardarbunga. It is just a question whether the magma is going to run laterally southwest along the Bardarbunga fissure, from Hamarinn to Veidivotn.

    There is a change that a fissure eruption happens north of Kverfjoll, and east of Askja. We have seen inflation and earthquakes there. But this region usually does not produce large fissure eruptions. It could be even related to the northeast side of Bardarbunga fissure region, starting from Kistufell and extending into the eastern side of Askja. The other likely spots for fissure eruptions this century could be over the flank of Prestahnukur (south of Langjokull) or Krisuvík, due the earthquake swarms there. But this whole area has been dormant for centuries, so this would be difficult to know.

  11. Pyter says:

    We are currently in the lee of Stromboli island waiting for the weather to improve so we can resume our diving operations. Last night we were treated to some spectacular strombolian eruptions on the nearby volcano.Our plan will be to dive on a small seamount south of Strombolian once the conditions are okay. – http://www.nautiluslive.org/live/channel-1

    • Diana Barnes says:

      Oh! Thank you so much for this alert. I love diving with Nautilus. At present there is a problem with ship and live video connection, but I will be there ASAP! I got my flippers and mask all ready by my PC!

      • Diana Barnes says:

        I am feeling sad and very jealous of my husband who is right now on his way to the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. I watch their web cams and would so love to go….. Sigh

  12. Morten Andersen says:

    Makes sense

  13. Morten Andersen says:

    That should have been a short reply to Jons’ Ringsted explanation…. guess failing the captcha thrice causes the post to become an ordinary reply….

  14. Sam says:

    Tuesday 20.09.2011 14:52:01 65.160 -16.309 10.6 km 1.2 31.64 2.4 km SE of Herðubreið

  15. For those how are wondering about donations. They help me run this web site and my self during the month. But even if I have income from the social welfare, I am using almost all of it to pay down my debt so I can move to Denmark next year.

    This is no easy task as they say. But so far it has been working to extent. But the money that I have on my Danish account is getting smaller as donations and ads income has been small on it for the past few weeks. But I also use some of my own money transferred into that account so I can pay my bills on time that I have (including the cost of this web hosting).

  16. Slightly too topic to be on an off-topic post… But here goes.

    As have been noticed the water-level decrease have been reported to be 5mm daily at Lake Kleifarvatn (Krysuvik). And the combined drop is about 2 – 2,5 meters.
    That would give a time of water-disapearance being between 400 and 500 days.

    We know that the last time Lake Kleifarvatn diminished it was due to cracks opening up under the lake after a powerfull earthquake. After a while the cracks closed up and the lake refilled.
    Now back to todays diminishing episode. I then went back and checked the period in question (400-500 days ago) for any even slightly largish quakes and found nothing. Yes, a few rather moderate quake-swarms, but nothing really out of the ordinary.
    I then checked against Sigrúns GPS-plot for Krysuvik and found that it coincided well with the change in GPS-patterning, ie, when the 70mm up in 16 months started. For those who do not want to do the math, there is roughly 480 days to 16 months.

    Then I checked the Significant Seismic Events list and found something of an oddity. Namely the 2 large quakes of the large late-february quake-swarm.
    3.2 km NNA af Krysuvik (ID 20110227080) Feb 27 2011 17:27:36 GMT 4.2
    4.0 km NA af Krysuvik (ID 20110227050) Feb 27 2011 09:05:59 GMT 4.0

    So an alternate explanation might be that the early diminishing might have been lowered water intake due to winter and ice. And that all of the actual diminishing due to seismic activity has been from February 27 and onwards, that would than not be to otherwordly. If we then hypothetize that the level was a meter lower than annual average, we would then get a diminishing of 7 mm daily. Close enough actually to observed data.

    One of these two versions are probably correct, or both in some grades.

    Regardless, two episodes of uplift caused by either magmatic intrusion or gases (I have a problem with gasses, but that is another gum-ball), hydrographic changes on a large scale, frequent episodes of quake-swarming and mid to large-sized earthquakes (for the region) is worth of notice. If we then take into account episodes of harmonic tremoring we have quite a few (most actually) of the signs of an up-coming eruption.
    What would have been nice would of course be a bouguer anomaly map to see if there is any gravitetic anomalies there, and of course an inSAR image over time to analyze. The bouguer is really good if the hypothetical magma is heavier than the surrounding crust, but, anyhow it would say if the uplift is caused by magma or gas. This since gas is lighter then the crust (obviously). So a bouguer would give a definite answer if there is magmatic uplift, even if it it does not show up as a gravitetic anomaly.
    There would also be nice to see if there had been changes in conductivity in the Lake Kleifarvatn. I would suspect that the conductivity has increased.
    If we have an anomaly or can debunk the “bean-stew theory of flatulent bubbles in Krysuvik” via a bouguer map, inSARimagery changes, and conductivity changes, then all we need would be increase in gas-emission (and this is just a perhaps, nobody knows if that increases for this particular volcano before an eruption) to have all known signs for an upcoming eruption.
    Actually, even without the bouguer, inSAR and conductivity I think we can say that there is a likelyhood of anybody close to Krysuvik will be living in interesting times in a while.

    • Jack @ Finland says:

      Does this magnetic map help?

      http://www.raunvis.hi.is/~geirf/seg/SVID.GIF

      • A magnetic map is usefull to discern the grade of magnetic ore content, it is sadly not that good for seeing magmatic shifts.
        In theory one could though see, if one compare old and new maps, if there has been an influx of magnetic magmas, ie high in iron, magnetite or other magnetic ores.

    • Fönix says:

      HS Orka, owned by Magma energy lists this area under research and new projects. It will be interesting to see what happens when they start drilling new bore holes and fracking the old ones.

      http://www.hsorka.is/english/HSProduction/HSProductionKrysuvik.aspx

    • Lurking says:

      Theres one in this document… but it’s pretty low res and covers all of Iceland

      Structure of the crust and uppermost mantle of Iceland
      from a combined seismic and gravity study

      http://www3.hi.is/~heidi/Data/Article-richard/Darbyshireetal00b.pdf

      • @all:
        A bouguer map contains the gravitetic anomalies in an area, ie. where there is higher or lower gravtitation than earth average (1G).
        To make a simple analyzis one needs only one map, and the time of the maps being made is not that important. It will give details of where there is higher or lower than average gravitation and will give you the possibility to see large structures like in the one Lurking linked to above covering Vatnajökull. One can there clearly see 3 structures of higher than average gravtitation, and together with the crust base maps see that these 3 structures (Bardarbunga, Grimsfjöll and Kverkfjöll) are volcanos.
        But to see if there has been shifts you need 2 maps. One that is a before map, in the case of Krysuvik it would have needed to be done before 2007, and one that is as up to date as possible.
        Then you can easily see if there has been new material injected into the system that is heavier than the before average, or see the gravity shift caused by heavier than air material lifting the ground up. And if you see either of the two you kind of know that we will live in interesting times.
        If on the other hand one sees no shift or even a decrease, then we know that Krysuvik volcano has eaten been stew and need to fart.

        Back to the magnetic maps of Iceland, notice that the magnetic ore content in the magmas and lavas are very large at Hengill, the Eldgja/Laki/Veidivötn dead zone (explains quite a lot of the effects of the dead zone, remind me to explain why some day) and Askja. This implies deeper than average magmas brought to the surface. Notice that the Vatnajökull main-line volcanos is not that heavily magnetic.

  17. Cap Bondo says:

    @ Cap Bondo, perhaps check for info on those questions with google searches?

    Here is one of several source documents I’ve been working from (as well as companion media report by Reuters in 2010) http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2011/03/14/volcanism-caused-by-global-warming/
    It references Tuffen’s paper on the same subject of correlating ice cover and volcanic activity as a first-order magnitude effect, which contains some of the same questions’ I’m asking.
    In particular, Tuffen acknowledged that one of the key uncertainties is the paucity of historical ice cover/thickness data to prove some of the main postulations, which is why I asked members of this blog if they knew of any local resources or data of Icleandic ice-cover that may be of help.
    While short term ice sheet-retreats leading to increased volcanic events may be explainable, in the longer term the relationship of global warming and volcanic activity is a tenuous one, since the two effects (if real) would be somewhat self-cancelling. i.e….lower ice cover increases volcanic activity, which in turn introduces increased air-borne contamination/ high altitude particulates which in turn lowers atmospheric temps. Now, does the lower temps mean more precip and more ice-retention time, or does the lower temps reduce precip and therefore the ice sheets do not recover at the same rate as they retreated? To complicate things, in the longer longer term, after high-altitude particulates have been purged, greenhouse effects from residual gasses (CO2, supluric acid and water vapor) may take over, and temps would begin to rise/recover. So which effect is the dominant effect and which is secondary effect? Only imperical data of the resulting quantity of actual ice-cover can tell us the truth.
    This complex question highlights our incomplete understanding of our climate and inter-dependancies to volcanic/tectonic activity.
    So far, the media focuses on Sea Surface Level changes as a direct result of simple ice-sheet meltoff, but the possible climatic influences from changes in volcanic activity (and associated financial impacts on a near-global scale) go largely under-documented/under-researched.
    Lastly, while we may never really know for sure, please consider this theoretical scenario which also addresses a recent question about whether Solar Activity (especially long term changes in sunspots) can cause changes in volcanic activity?
    Assuming Tuffen is correct and changes in ice-cover can alter volcanic and tectonic activity, and also assuming that changes in solar activity alters atmospheric conditions (and temp/precip patterns) here on Earth, then solar activity could in theory could be directly tied to changes in volcanic/tectonic activity through the intermediate effect of causing changes in ice-cover.

    Thanks again to all for any other inputs.

    • The sun spot cycle is way to short in frequency (11 years) to even remotly have large enough effect on glaciation for the glaciation to have any hypothetic effect on eruptive behaviour.
      That the removal of 3km of iceage glaciation could have an effect is possible, but that a bit more of snow that DOES not stay during summer, is just not happening.

      For your own sake, stop mixing atmospheric processes during iceage and interglacials and volcanos. There is no hidden truth out there to find.
      The post-glacial era had larger and more numerous eruptions on Iceland (fact), the removal of 3 billion tonnes per square metre caused enough depressuring to cause that increase. End of discussion, you are re-inventing the wheel.

      And stop the sun-spoting, you will only get skin-cancer 😉

      • and that should be 3 billion tonnes per square kilometre…
        Per sqaure-metre it was 3000 tonnes of ice that went away…

        What is important that it was only on Iceland we had that increase, the rest of the worlds volcanos seems to not have given a rats ass about deglaciation.

  18. alan c says:

    Is there any evidence on the ground of any isostatic post glacial adjustments around the coasts that is visible?

  19. I was just doing minor update to my earthquake web pages. If you see any bug, please email me with information about it so I can fix it.

    http://www.simnet.is/jonfr500/earthquake/

    Also, a ML1.5 earthquake can just be seen on the 19:59 line. It is marked by red signature.

  20. Fönix says:

    Scientists at the university of Leeds have been looking into the possible effects of a new Laki eruption.

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/09/laki-volcano-iceland-eruption-model/

  21. Cap Bondo says:

    Thanks Carl for your feedback. So to summarize, you are dismissing Tuffen’s paper as without merit?
    Perhaps I’m wrong here, but I think you’re reading a far too simplistic meaning to my question(s). Any weather/climate correlation to ice sheet quantity has to factor in ALL the other variables. It’s not just the 11 year solar cycle, rather possible longer term cycles, such as the Maunder minimum for example. And what about methane ice sublimation rates? What about upper air chemistry/dissociation rates of complex molecules which changes the amount (and type/spectrum) of solar radiation making to the ground. What about alteration of ocean currents…etc. etc. So, the real question remains which is: Does significant changes in ice cover correlate to increased volcanic activity? And if it does, what are the variables that contributes (and in what amount) to ice-sheet changes and what does this mean in terms of avoiding/preventing actions that may hasten/worsen a possible catastrophy (with Iceland forming a wonderful ongoing laboratroy experiment). These are the questions, and frankly, at this point in time there is no answer.
    Here in the US, inter-glacial crustal rebound is widely accepted ( which does not mean PROVED, just accepted) to explain the focal mechanism’s of particular quakes…and is only one possible factor we have yet to fully document. We are just now scratching the surface of our understanding of the sun and it’s internal convection mechanisms. For instance, using specialized radar we can now “see” solar disturbancesbefore they reach the surface in the form of sunspots.
    As I’ve said in the past, and will re-iterate, I am not advocating a simple cause-effect in lay-terms: rather an attempt to unravel a multi-factoral “experiment” (see Douglas Montgomery’s excellent book Design of Experiments) with many variables with different weights. Can a solar cycle by itself cause volcanic activites? Probably not, but hypothetically assuming the “balance” of our complex weather on earth is near a tripping point, then solar activity could be the trigger (similar to how a small foreshock can trigger a much larger quake). Lastly, I am also not advocating any specific theory or data, rather simply asking the question(s) and looking for data to either corroborate or refute a idea that franky we do not as yet have the technical accumen to answer.

    • Jack @ Finland says:

      According to a recent study, the Maraunder minimum (minimum of the solar output in the Middle Ages) did not cause the “little ice age” of the Middle Ages, as the Maraunder minimum was not strong enough to affect climate this far off the Sun. The “little ice age” was due to the natural (cyclic) changes in Earth’s climate.

      • Lurking says:

        And according to CERN’s recent CLOUD experiment, GCRs have a much greater effect on cloud formation than originally though.

        Provided there is ammonia present… at least in quantities that are far below the normal concentrations. (in other words, pretty much most of the time)

        Despite the hissy fit resignation of Remote Sensing’s Editor in Chief over the Spencer paper questioning the accuracy of the Earth’s energy influx estimations and the disagreement of model assumptions with satellite measurements, two other papers have come out that lend support to Spencer’s position.

        No, it doesn’t prove the Maunder minimum caused the LIA. But the minimum did not help any by occurring during what was most likely a more active volcanic period.

        A similar though smaller simultaneous occurrence happened during the Dalton minimum.

    • Jack @ Finland says:

      You asked: “Does significant changes in ice cover correlate to increased volcanic activity?”

      The answer is generally not. There are a few notable, but insignificant execptions to this. Katla is known to exhibit more shallow quakes during the latter half of a year, if compared to the first half of a year. This is attributed to the smaller (less weight) ice coverage during summer months.

      Also, Katla tends to erupt during the latter half of a year. However, this does NOT mean, changes in ice cover affect volcanism! Why? I’ll give you a hint: Katla will not erupt every summer. Got it? If not, I’ll “rewire”: Katla will erupt, when she’s ready for an eruption. During the summer time it is just a fraction of easier to break through the ice, as it is a fraction thinner than during the winter. So, the ice cover over Katla does have a fractional effect on when Katla’s eruption starts, but only after Katla is already ready to erupt.

      Just in case I’ll give you an analogy. You’re filling a bucket with tap water. If the bucket is not exactly in a horizontal position, it will overflow earlier, if compared to a bucker being horizontal.

      I’ll give you a second reason on why ice cover does not have any major effect on volcanism: Weight. Weight of a few km of solid baserock is a factor of 10-1000 more than the weight of a few hundred meters ice. And, the weight and strength of that rock does not stop a volcano from erupting, if he/she wants to do that. So, how on Earth a thin sheet of ice could do that?!

      Give me a break!

    • Lurking says:

      In support of Jack@Finlands explanation.

      (Note: I’m not the expert, I just plot stuff)

      Ice has a density of about 940 kg/m³, Granite, about 2700 kg/m³. (Basalt can go as high as 3010 kg/m³)

      I have seen reports that Katla’s ice is anywhere from 500 to 700 meters thick, (I might be wrong, but that’s what I remember)

      Where’s the magma chamber? Well, according to The crustal magma chamber of the Katla volcano in south Iceland revealed by 2-D seismic undershooting

      Gudmundsson1, Brandsdottir, Menke, Sigvaldason4

      Geophysical Journal International
      Volume 119, Issue 1, pages 277–296, October 1994
      DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-246X.1994.tb00928.x

      “…the model [of Katla] is interpreted in terms of a magma chamber containing extensively molten rock. the magma chamber is shallow, with a bottom at a depth of about 1.5km below sea-level (3.0 km below surface), and measures about 5 km across. the depth of the chamber is roughly at the level of buoyant equilibrium for basaltic melt in the crust.”

      (bold is mine)

      So, working through the confining pressure as derived from “VisualizingStress” Version 99.0.11 by Girty and Reish (San Diego State University), I get this.

      http://i56.tinypic.com/1rydfn.png

      The mass of the ice contributes about 10.5% of the confining pressure at the minimum depth of the magma chamber. A 50 meter ice loss would yield a reduction in confining pressure of about 0.46 MPa (66 psi), or a 0.54% change in pressures.

      Caveat: It’s late and my math might be off.

      • And then we go for the average summer de-icing of the glacier before global warming 0,5m (0,66psi) and the global warming number 1,5m (1,98psi).
        Has Katla erupted more since onset of global warming? No, actually she seems to have erupted less (but the data set is WAY to low to say that 🙂 )
        But the point is, the power of global warming effects on Katla is 1 to 6287, or in percent 0,00015… There is powers and order of magnitude of powers for you.

      • Lurking says:

        I am not making the GW claim. And.. yes, your probably right about where this is headed. Any time you fiddle around with ice mass numbers it can’t be far behind.

        After running the calculations and sitting back to digest it, my thoughts were about the effects the (slight) overburden stress drop may have on a pending eruption… one where the magma had already gotten close enough to the surface to make those notable divots in the ice cap… such as has shown up in Mýrdalsjökull recently.

        Think “globular warming” instead 😀

      • Beware of any area where you have globular activity and sheep… 🙂

    • You need to think in powers here, and orders of magnitude of power.
      Iceage glacials where vast in their pent up energy. In Scandinavia we still have areas bounding up a centimetre a year because of them and now and then we have up to 6M earthquakes due to that rebounding, and we are now more then 8000 years after final deglaciation.
      Then if we sum up all of the processes you are talking about we would still not even be at 1/100 of that power.
      And even that huge power of an iceage glaciation did only affect Iceland due to Iceland being affected by both the worlds largest point of division (MAR and the north altantic tripple junction) and the Icelandic hotspot. So it kind of took a “perfect storm” of 3 different very large scale natural effects to cause the post-glacial increase of volcanic activity in Iceland.
      Sorry, but I am dismissing anything that has not understood the amount of power needed to affect something this big.

      About the little iceage, I have always said that someone should look for either a large volcanic eruption or a plausibly sized impact crater and you will have the explanation for that one…
      The sun does quite simply not shift in energy output enough to explain even the larger iceages… Unless someone has re-written the Fermi-equations of hydrogen fusion when nature looked away (substitute nature with God if you are religious).

  22. Ken.P says:

    Italian earthquake scientists in court for failing to predict earthquake.
    Seems ridiculous to me, I hope it’s laughed out of court.

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/Experts-on-trial-for-failing.6839846.jp

    • criseh says:

      Hi there!
      No I do not consider it ridiculous, but that’s maybe because I live in an eq prone area…
      Yes, unfortunately regarding the eq activity and its follow up fellow researchers it seems that in the late years they could estimate somehow if its something to come or not.
      In my opinion is a pity that they do not issue a kind of volcanic alert bulletins. So far exist people that do it but due to the fact that these guys come from outer science there followers are of 2 kind, extreme: or high believers and that means panic or the complete disbelievers that name them insane, mad or whatever…
      A simple “may happened” from an official side could be handle it with proper training much easier than a shout loud of boundary knowledge which by the way is not complete understood…

      • Chris says:

        It both doesn’t really make sense. You can neither predict volcanic eruption nor can you do this for earthquakes.
        Volcanoes at least give some signals (tremor etc.) which can be read if they are monitored closely. But no serious scientist will ever make a prediction like: “Volcano XY will erupt in two weeks”. And this is what makes this court proceedings in Italy highly doubtfull.

    • Diana Barnes says:

      Good morning Jon and all. @ KenP. This is seriously worrying especially as it is is happening in Italy. If this court case goes through and someone , ie scientists and town health and safety officials are found not to have given adequate warning, it will, IMHO, cause more deaths in the future. At the slightest increase in tremor Scientists will notify the Town Officials, they will, to cover their backs, instigate immediate emergency plans and the local population will get immune to numerous calls to take action.
      In the case of Naples the huge population will ignore the many “just in case” warnings about tremors under Vesuvius, hence needless deaths when she does erupt. Naples’ scientists and emergency planners already have enough problems there without having the fear of litigation looming over them.
      If this case goes through and those scientists are found guilty of negligence then it will cause huge problems for research into quake and eruption prediction and those scientists who are willing to dedicate their lives to make living with the natural world safer.
      What a Pity we cannot lay the blame for volcanic and seismic disasters at the feet of of the god Vulcan any more. It certainly would make life more simple!

  23. alan c says:

    @ Jon
    As a relatively late-comer to your spot, I realise there is a vast amount of information/knowledge ‘buried’ in past bloggings. Were you to wear your author-hat in the future, how about either an index of the blogs, or, and in my opinion better, publish them along with some of the lengthy -meant complimentary -contributions as from Lurking, Urpsit, Carl LS etc, with explanations as to, say, recognise the differences between magmatic and water events (I still can’t differentiate!) if those concerned were agreeable and relevant copyrights met – IMO etc.

    Another ‘cap’ could be to run occasional tailor-made geotrips so the likes of myself can see first hand localities and effects dealt with herein; some of the commercial trips seem a little ‘twee’ and touristy – I’d love to see the obsidian lavas.

    @ the Swedish contingent
    Does anyone know where I can get an authentic recipe for Jannsons Frestelse, had it in Vaxjo years ago at a friends place, my other half’s willing to make it, but can’t find a proper recipe!! Wasn’t particularly taken by Swedish licorice ice cream tho’, made me teeth black!!!!

  24. A earthquake swarm is just starting in Katla volcano. I am going to write a blog post about it few moments (I have to go to the post office before I do that). But this earthquake was seems to have been pre-seeded with a harmonic tremor spike.

    The largest earthquake is registerd about ML2.8 in size and is marked as read on my helicorder graph at Heklubyggð geophone.

    http://www.simnet.is/jonfr500/earthquake/tremoren.htm

  25. Renato Rio says:

    Just saw that!

  26. Sissel says:

    Katla seems to be waking up again.

  27. Mr. Moho says:

    I think the M2.8 earthquake will be downgraded soon.

  28. Jack @ Finland says:

    The combined plot is working again!

    http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/Katla/myr_allt.html

  29. Christina says:

    Hard to see behind the clouds, but has it always looked like that far behind the clouds?

  30. New blog post about Katla volcano events is up! 🙂

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