No eruption starting in Hamarinn volcano

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There seems to be a minor eruption starting in Hamarinn volcano (might be part of Bárðarbunga volcano). Given the current tremor signature on Skrokkalda SIL station.


The start of a harmonic tremor spike on Skrokkalda SIL station. Most likley from Hamarinn volcano. Copyright of this picture belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

For the moment I do not know if this is going to remain a small eruption or might evolve to larger eruption. That is going to come clear in next several hours. But for the moment this is starting and glacier flood is to be expected in several hours. There is no danger to humans or humans structures I think.

Update 1: Darn! False alarm!

This is how the tremor plot did look after one update.


The tremor spike just changed into regular earthquake so to speak. So this is nothing but false alarm. It happens. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Met Office.

Blog post updated at 09:59 UTC on 27. September 2011.

This entry was posted in Glacier flood, Hamarinn, Harmonic tremors, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, Volcano. Bookmark the permalink.

80 Responses to No eruption starting in Hamarinn volcano

  1. Patrick says:

    Eruption without EQs? How is that possible?

  2. Mr. Moho says:

    The signal seems really to be limited to Skrokkalda station. So, small at the moment.

  3. You might have to wait until next update to see the tremor signal on other nearby SIL stations.

  4. Patrick says:

    2-4 Hz droped down to the bottom at Skrokkalda.

  5. This was an false alarm in regards to a possible eruption. But this might have been a harmonic tremor spike. But it hard to be sure on that.

    I am sorry for this mistake that I made here.

  6. Daniel_swe says:

    Looks like there was only that spike and the tremors are starting to go back to background levels. Or am I reading the chart wrong?

  7. suzie says:

    Good morning all

    Jon please never feel the need to apologise to us – your work is amazing and we are all very grateful for the time and effort you put in!

    The link below has not been updated for nearly a week now! Carl said it required manual input. Can we assume that this information is no longer available to us? Or is it likely to be some form of equipment failure?

    http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/myr/myr_str.html#img

  8. Lasse_Fin says:

    Referring to Jon’s post few days ago: El Hierro looks quite active: 16 eq’s over 2 and last one 3,5 today.
    Interesting thing is, that these are 14-15 km deep. Does it mean something to you with more knowledge?

    Is there something major happening?

    http://www.geo.ign.es/ign/layoutIn/sismoListadoTerremotos.do?zona=1&cantidad_dias=10#

    • Jack @ Finland says:

      Not yet, but soon (in a few weeks to months).

    • Lurking says:

      To my untrained eye, it seems as if most of the quakes until recently have been layering in vertical sheets along a rough line north of the island up into El Golfo bay. The recent increasing depth quakes have trended from that location around the east of the cluster and the previous cinder cones in what looks like a semi-horizontal sheet dipping to the east and them moving southward.

      The vertical sheets are likely dike formation, semi-the horizontal sheet that dips to the east and south is likely following the strata of previous (millions of years old) deposits.

      If it keeps swelling and the infill can make it to the surface, then there will be an eruption. Until then, dunno.

      It will go when it’s ready, and not a moment sooner.

  9. Luisport says:

    @eruptionsblog Situation worsens at El Hierro. 3,5 event widely felt, 5 events over 2,5 in the last 2 hours. #Volcano http://pic.twitter.com/Z8cfRtzU

    • Patrick says:

      Correct me if i’m wrong, but the vulcanos’ name is El Golfo but the island is named el Hierro – is this correct?

      • Patrick says:

        Let me correct myself: El Golfo is the name of the valley not of the mountain.

        • suzie says:

          Below is GVP explanation of El Hierro vs El Golfo!

          The triangular island of Hierro is the SW-most and least studied of the Canary Islands. The massive Hierro shield volcano is truncated by a large NW-facing escarpment formed as a result of gravitational collapse of El Golfo volcano about 130,000 years ago. The steep-sided 1500-m-high scarp towers above a low lava platform bordering 12-km-wide El Golfo Bay, and three other large submarine landslide deposits occur to the SW and SE. Three prominent rifts oriented NW, NE, and south at 120 degree angles form prominent topographic ridges. The subaerial portion of the volcano consists of flat-lying Quaternary basaltic and trachybasaltic lava flows and tuffs capped by numerous young cinder cones and lava flows. Holocene cones and flows are found both on the outer flanks and in the El Golfo depression. Hierro contains the greatest concentration of young vents in the Canary Islands. Uncertainty surrounds the report of an historical eruption in 1793.

        • Pieter says:

          El Golfo is the name of the volcanic structure of which only remnants are left, El Hierro is the name of the volcanic system and the island.

    • As long the earthquakes are on the same depth, there is nothing to worry about (unless the earthquakes gets really strong and start to break stuff). When the earthquakes start to go upwards then there is an good reason to worry. As that means that the magma is on the move up to the surface. It might stop on the way however.

  10. Jón Frímann says:

    Power is out where i live. So new blog post about this incident has to wait.

  11. Luisport says:

    Actualidad Volcánica de Canarias (AVCAN)
    En el gráfico de profundidades de los sismos respecto a los últimos 10 dias se puede ver algo que ayer llegando la medianoche, la zona de actividad tuvo un pico hacia arriba hasta los 7km, con una banda de actividad perfectamente visible. Hoy en cambio, el sistema focaliza su actvidad entre los 12 y los 16 km y que los más fuertes están abajo.

    http://www.avcan.org/sismica/graficas/G315.jpg?t=1317121921
    http://www.avcan.org

  12. Power is back. But I am still offline as the main internet connection is not yet back up and my main computer is still down due to power supply problems (it is old and not working so good).

  13. Jack @ Finland says:
  14. I am going to post a new blog post about this when my main computers are back online.

  15. There seems to be something going on in Hamarinn volcano. But what I am not sure of. I don’t think what the SIL station is showing is just wind.

  16. clickpix says:

    are the “White” Smoke normal clouds or any activity??
    http://live.mila.is/eyjafjallajokull-fra-thorolfsfelli/

    • Philip says:

      Actually, that looks like steam to me.

    • Chris says:

      What do you mean? This white thing which is formed like a mushroom (kind of) in the middle of the image? Thats the Gígjökull glacier. Otherwise I just see very bad weather.

      • Philip says:

        I can assure you that it wasn’t the glacier or the shaking of the cam that made me see what I did. I’ve been watching that cam a lot during the Eyjafjallajökull eruption.

        Now when I look it’s just a mess so let’s wait with the verdict til the weather gets better.

    • All I see is bad weather.

      • Irpsit says:

        Yes, it’s bad weather. But once in a while Eyjafjallajokull steams a bit, and sometimes quite a bit. But that is happening more and more rare as time goes by. To be sure about steaming, you can travel to the bottom of the volcano and see if any steam is coming out from the crater when the rest of the sky is fully clear. Last time I saw this was about 3 months ago. Haven’t see it since then.

  17. clickpix says:

    i looks like steam due the shaking of the cam….but it also “only” the glacier, you could be right….

  18. Christina says:

    In the middle of the picture there, Jon….

  19. clickpix says:

    not the view is better….i think thats snow/ice….no steam.
    sorry…a few minutes ago it look like steam

    • Merlin says:

      I can see why you thought it looked like steam, coming from a central point, but no, I think it is ice.

      • Irpsit says:

        And if it’s steaming it’s normal, and not an indicative of any activity!

        You will see it steaming when the cold, calm and clear weather comes in Iceland during winter. Unless the temperature there has already decreased a lot.

  20. Andy Scollick says:

    El Hierro cumulative energy chart now showing significant increase today (27th):
    http://www.02.ign.es/ign/resources/volcanologia/energia_HIERRO.jpg

    …also higher proportion of >2.0 mag seismic events than yesterday:
    http://www.02.ign.es/ign/resources/volcanologia/histograma_HIERRO_2011.jpg

  21. JulesP says:

    Tremor plts at Grimsfjall and Godabunga are looking interesting – as are a few others… but less so. IMO does not show high winds anywhere… so something may be up somewhere. I look forward to your post Jon

    • Renato Rio says:

      Jules:
      If you look at Jón’s helicorder, you will see that winds have picked up a lot.
      With the winds come the sea waves, and then tremors rise.

    • Irpsit says:

      Weather is bad here. Lots and lots of rain, and some wind. So I guess it is probably windy at the sea.

  22. Patrick says:

    5.1 2011/09/27 12:08:22 34.413 23.677 19.1 CRETE, GREECE

  23. luisport says:

    Actualidad Volcánica de Canarias (AVCAN)
    El meneo recien sentido y su huella 1099578 27/09/2011 14:38:48 27.5938 -17.9858 11 Sentido 3.6 mbLg S FRONTERA.IHI
    http://www.01.ign.es/ign/resources/volcanologia/CHIE/imagenes_sismica/HORA/CHIE_2011-09-27_14-15.jpg
    http://www.01.ign.es
    .

  24. alan c says:

    Everything around Myrdalsjokull seems to be on the way up, all bad weather?

    http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/Katla/
    and

    http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/Katla/god_trem.gif

  25. luisport says:

    Actualidad Volcánica de Canarias (AVCAN)
    ‎1099600 27/09/2011 15:44:14 27.6782 -18.0783 17 Sentido 3.8 mbLg SW FRONTERA.IHI (Enrique)

  26. stoneyard says:

    Hraun SIL (hrn) is back online, anyone have a clue vhy kri station is still way above scale?

  27. New blog post is up! :)

  28. Clickpix says:

    EQ Swarm on El Hierro
    1099624 27/09/2011 16:07:16 27.6640 -18.0683 18 2.4 mbLg SW FRONTERA.IHI [+]
    1099623 27/09/2011 16:06:54 27.6862 -18.1025 18 2.1 mbLg SW FRONTERA.IHI [+]
    1099622 27/09/2011 16:06:23 27.6637 -18.0737 17 2.1 mbLg SW FRONTERA.IHI [+]
    1099621 27/09/2011 16:05:30 27.6613 -18.0743 15 1.9 mbLg SW FRONTERA.IHI [+]
    1099619 27/09/2011 16:04:22 27.6271 -18.0605 11 2.6 mbLg SW FRONTERA.IHI [+]

  29. I think that the magma in El Hierro has found a outlet to go up to. But earthquakes have started to get shallower in the past few hours it seems. But most of them are still on 17 to 11 km depth.

    But the magma is clearly on the move there.

    • Irpsit says:

      Maybe between a couple of days to a couple of weeks, to a likely eruption in the El Hierro volcano. But that is my guess, and magma sometimes cools down and “decides” not to erupt. You can never be sure.

  30. alan c says:

    @ the “plotters” all
    found this whilst looking for something totally unrelated!

    http://bullard.esc.cam.ac.uk/~basin/pubs/027.pdf

    Any use anyone?

  31. KarenZ says:

    An easy mistake to make.

    Shows that the job of having to give warning of an imminent eruption can’t be easy, but best to be safe rather than sorry.

  32. Seattleite says:

    And now a new swarm at Hengill, certainly man-made from more pumping at the geothermal plant.

    • JulesP says:

      Its a bit late in the day isnt it to be pumping water at this time? It started at @ 6 pm ish there – but perhpas they have decided to do this overnight?

  33. Mizar says:

    Hi, I’m a lurker.
    One thing I observe is that most of Iceland’s volcanoes/geologic active areas seems to be triggered at the same time regarding the amount of earthquakes. Could this mean there is a common pressure chamber deep below which spread out to most of the active volcanic areas of Iceland? Any thoughts about this?

    • Irpsit says:

      There is a possible plume of magma underneath Iceland. But according to scientists this plume is only about 150km wide. So, it is centered close to Bardarbunga and Grimsvotn and in theory can affect Askja to the north, Oraefajokull to the south, and Katla, Eyjafjallajokull, the dead zone and Hekla to the west, at its edge. But it shouldn’t reach towards Reykjanes, unless magma could find a way there at big depths.

      I think this plume is what explain the enhanced volcanism in Iceland compared to the rest of the Atlantic ridge.

      And this plume has a postulated (not fully confirmed) cycle of increased volcanic activity about every 120-170 years. When this peak is reached, there are more eruptions in Iceland and stronger, especially under Vatnajokull. The next peak is somewhere within the next decades. But this is not fully understood.

      • Irpsit says:

        And, in my opinion, I think we are reaching that peak and seeing the increased volcanic activity (such as the last eruption of Grimsvotn)

        If this is true (and I might be wrong), there will be more strong eruptions under Vatnajokull, likely at Bardarbunga and Kverfjoll, and even possible at Oraefajokull.

        • Mizar says:

          Irpsit, thanks for a well formulated answer, and now I have far more insight on this.

          Have a good day and take care.

  34. Andy Scollick says:

    Giggle Trans, AVCAN 13 mins ago:
    “About 300 people living in several villages in the municipality of La Frontera, on the island of El Hierro, will be evacuated this evening at the risk of occurrence of landslides by seismic zone is recorded.

    The Canary Islands government has taken this decision to the expectations of the scientific teams that indicate that earthquakes are occurring on the island, more than 8,000 since July, will increase in intensity and frequency from this midnight, though the traffic light volcanic risk level is still yellow and not expect an imminent eruption.

    Civil Protection services have also decided, as a precaution, close to traffic tunnels Roquille, and suspend the activity in the schools of the municipality.”

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Actualidad-Volc%C3%A1nica-de-Canarias-AVCAN/163883668446

    The cumulative energy graph (http://www.01.ign.es/ign/resources/volcanologia/energia_HIERRO.jpg) has increased dramatically. Also 4 lots of 3.0+ mag in last two hours

    • Andy Scollick says:

      “The government evacuated 300 people tonight Border risk of landslides
      Press Release Tuesday, September 27, 2011 20:51

      Schools are closed in the municipality as a preventive measure

      El Cabildo de El Hierro decides to close the tunnel from Los Roquille 23 hours until further notice

      The Canary Islands government, given the risk of falls associated with volcanic seismic activity of El Hierro, and following the recommendations of scientists in the National Geographic Institute (IGN), which provides an increase in the intensity and frequency of seismic events from midnight will proceed to the preventive evacuation of some homes in the areas of Las Puntas, Sabin Risco Pie, Well of Health and Guinea, in the town of Frontera.

      The number of people estimated to displace Valverde school residence and military headquarters in La Caleta Anatolian sources, will be approximately 300 people.

      Also, the Cabildo de El Hierro will close the tunnel from Los Roquille at 11 tonight until further notice

      As an additional measure, the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Security has moved to the Ministry of Education, Environment and Sustainability, the need to close schools in the municipality, if there were landslides affecting roads.

      The Canary Islands government wants to send a message of peace and remind people that we are in yellow light, as was established on 23 September, and are not expected an imminent eruption.

      The sequence of earthquakes may increase the frequency and intensity so that the citizens should also take into account the following recommendations:…”

      http://elhierrodigital.es/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3637%3Ael-gobierno-evacua-esta-noche-300-personas-de-frontera-por-riesgo-de-desprendimientos&catid=5&Itemid=43

  35. The magma is now on the way up in El Hierro. But the depth has now reached 10 km. But it depends on the rock and speed of the magma when it reaches the surface. But I am over 60% sure now that a eruption is going to start soon in El Hierro volcano.

    • Irpsit says:

      I agree. I think an eruption at El Hierro could start between tomorrow and end of the week. Let’s see whether the earthquakes will become more shallow.

    • Jack @ Finland says:

      A bunch of M2+ eqs at 10 km depth during the last few hours.

      • clickpix says:

        1099846 28/09/2011 05:00:59 27.6775 -18.0608 15 3.3 mbLg SW FRONTERA.IHI
        1099850 28/09/2011 04:14:58 27.6634 -18.0702 14 2.8 mbLg SW FRONTERA.IHI
        1099847 28/09/2011 04:07:14 27.6745 -18.0698 17 3.0 mbLg SW FRONTERA.IHI

  36. Irpsit says:

    A considerable earthquake swarm is happening at Hengill.

    If it was triggered by manmade activity, that was during the afternoon, because at this moment it is night. So, this shows how the drilling is triggering earthquakes at least hours ago.

    But biggest earthquakes are around 2.1

  37. jarin says:

    El Hierro The government evacuated 300 people tonight in Frontiera – risk of landslides.
    Due to activity El Hierro they decided to close the tunnel from Los Roquille until further notice.

  38. Patrick says:

    http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/oroi/skr.gif
    Looks like the same yesterday. But also wind is picking up.

  39. Jack @ Finland says:

    Erik has written a blog post, that is both amusing and very informative:

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/09/tambora-why-the-volcano-wont-kill-us-all-at-least-not-yet/

  40. Patrick says:

    And another +3 event:

    1099965 28/09/2011 09:47:39 27.6668 -18.0781 15 Sentido 3.3 mbLg SW FRONTERA.IHI

  41. luisport says:

    Actualidad Volcánica de Canarias (AVCAN)
    Epicentro promedio ponderando en función de la energía liberada de los eventos sísmicos ocurridos desde el día 20 al 28 de septiembre (exclusivamente). Se observa que tal “epicentro ponderado” se sitúa ahora en el mar, más al sur del Julán, con respecto a los anteriores “epicentros ponderados” presentados. Por otra parte se presentan los hipocentros respecto a un “El Hierro virtual” situado a 30 Km de altitud. (20-28 de septiembre)

  42. luisport says:

    Actualidad Volcánica de Canarias (AVCAN)
    En opinión, de Joan Martí, todo apunta a que el proceso se está acelerando, y por eso considera que los dos próximos días serán determinantes para saber si habrá erupción o no y de qué tipo.

    “La sismicidad es muy continuada pero se registra a una profundidad muy grande, entre 12 y 14 kilómetros de la superficie. A esa profundidad hay magma, roca fundida, pero que no asciende. En el momento que este magma subiera metros, habría que estar más pendiente”, añadió.

    Joan Martí también descartó que se produzca un gran terremoto o un tsunami si finalmente hay erupción volcánica, ya que “la sismicidad no está afectando al mar”.

    El hierro. “los dos próximos días serán críticos”, según el vulcanólogo joan martí – EcoDiario.es
    ecodiario.eleconomista.es
    MADRID, 28 (SERVIMEDIA)’Los dos próximos días serán críticos en El Hierro para saber que ocurrirá, si la situación de pequeños terremotos se prolonga durante meses o estos cesan’, según declaró hoy a Servimedia Joan Martí, profesor de investigación, especialista en vulcanología, del Consejo Superior…..

  43. Jack @ Finland says:

    @luisport: Could you provide translations to these, the blog uses english language.

  44. New blog post is up on what did happen in Hamarinn volcano yesterday! :)