Earthquake swarm in Öræfajökull volcano sparks interest

The earthquake swarm in Öræfajökull volcano three weeks ago has sparked interest among volcanologist and geologists in Iceland. As the last earthquake swarm in Öræfajökull volcano was only the third earthquake swarm to take place in the last 20 years. But this was a subject of a news from Stöð 2 (Channel 2) this evening.

While a eruption is not expected any time soon from Öræfajökull volcano. It is clear that Öræfajökull volcano has started the long (?) path to a eruption (question mark, as we all know sometimes volcanoes just skip the long waiting part and go strait to the eruption phase as a surprise to everyone).

News about this from Stöð 2 (Channel 2).

Skjálftahrina í toppgíg Öræfajökuls (Ví, Icelandic, Video in Icelandic, News drama)

265 Replies to “Earthquake swarm in Öræfajökull volcano sparks interest”

  1. Can someone explain to me in a somewhat easy way, whats happening with the major swarms?

    And why the heck is a car standing in front of the beautiful view on Katla cam?

    1. The swarms are according to news and Jon manmade. It happens when they pump cold water down in the ground. This has to do with the geothermal powerplant in the area I think.

      Hopes are that they are installing a FLIR camera like they had during the Eyjafjalla eruption. 🙂

  2. I am sorry for lack of posts about the earthquake swarm in Hengill volcano. But I am currently busy fixing my computer at this moment. That work is going to be finished later tonight if everything goes smoothly.

      1. Well, Hamarinn volcano is cooking something too. But that only appears on Skrokkalda SIL station for some reason. This was in Grímsfjall volcano clearly, as it did not show up on other nearby SIL stations.

  3. Hope the computer fixing goes well…

    I know there have been more dramatic things going on (just a bit), but I’ve been keeping an eye on that SIL up by Snaefell. Tremors are still getting noisier, and now there are a couple of little blips that might (just) be harmonics. Anyone care to have a squint and tell me to stop worrying about it?

      1. This pattern only began a few weeks ago, just as a similar pattern at askja stopped (which had begun only when Grimsvotn erupted); prior to that the tremor graphs looked much like any other. If it were noise from a dam, surely it would be a regular/consistent event that was clearly visible from time to time? I dont know if hydrothermal monitoring goes on in the area but have wondered if this correlates with increased hydrothermal activity?

      2. Thanks for that – I didn’t realise there was a dam there. However, it is as Jules says – a month ago, there was very little noise and really nothing happening at all. If it is from the dam, then it should peak with heavy rainfall periods, I guess? In that case, we’ll soon be able to see. My impression though is that this is building steadily and slowly, through the interval when a couple of big storms have gone over. It also seems largely unaffected by wind. But… not a single earthquake. So I guess we just wait and see… as usual. 😉

  4. The hard disk that I am replacing has been in constant use since I did buy it in the year 2006 (in august I think). The dvd drive that failed is from the year 2008. So this is well used hardware that I am replacing now.

  5. I am sorry if this post is a bit un-specific, quite simply I do not want to risk having a law-suit showed so far up my wazoo that I will speak in lacto-andian the rest of my life.
    At my former position at an un-disclosed large energy producer I had the pleasure of over-seeing 2 different projects that was called something close to “The Deep Drilling Initiative”.
    The general idea was to drill deep into active volcanos (read down to hollows in or around the magma-reservoirs) to inject water. That water would then become super-critical and burst out another pipe into steam-turbines. The principle was that doing that would give a lot more energy than a normal hydrothermal powerplant.
    One of these projects was on an north-atlantic island that beginns with an I, and the second one was on the african continent.
    Coincidentally we closed down one (the african), and with-drew from the north-atlantic I one after having what we called dubbed “runners”. Ie, we had quake-swarms, bad quake-swarms.
    The north-atlantic one ebbed out pretty much emediatly after shutting the pumping down, the african one continued to quake for days, and had other not so nice signs that even got into the press in a very confusing way.
    Since we didn’t like the idea of being responsible for a potential disaster we told everyone that we where out and why, and we also posted a warning to everyone else working on similar projects.
    The un-named african country said thank you, remove all your equipment, fill the holes with concrete and go to hell stating the reason that they had half a million residents living close to the volcano in question. Quite reasonably so.
    The north atlantic country told us to just go to hell.

    At the un-named company we had our division of “hide CO2 in the ground-people” that was drooling after our drill-holes. They also wanted to carbonate the water before sending it down. We never did that for 2 reasons.
    1. since we used a open-loop it would just have come gushing back out via the turbine.
    2. Carbonated water explodes violently when getting heated. If you do not believe me, put a beer-can in the fire and run.

    Based on this I think I know what happened. They injected the carbonated cold water into a nice deep drill-hole, then they got a double whamy since that hole either was drilled into the dyke, or close enough to a downward trending fissure into the dyke, and then the entire shit went super-critical. So first you get highly excited CO2 releasing explosively at the same time as the water goes into steam, and then super-critical steam state.
    So what do I mean with super-critical? Well, think steam-explosion blasting the rock around it. All those quakes are steam-explosions. The really bad thing is that it went so deep, same thing that happened to us.
    The judgement we did was that if we would have continued pumping down pure water, we would sooner or later had blasted a tunnel down to the reservoir, and pressurized it…
    Sometimes an idea is splendid on paper, but is really bad in reallity.

    1. @ Carl
      I assume you’re talking about dry steam at those temperatures – very nasty stuff!!

    2. I am reading the tensions due to this drilling project in this way. I am expecting a earthquake swarm north of this current injection site of water if they continue this projects. But from what I can gather in the news. That is exactly what they are going to do.

      I am expecting earthquakes up to Mb5.5 soon if they continue this water pumping at current rater. But that is going to happen north of current minor earthquake swarm. There is a lot of energy down there that has been building up for a long time now. It only needs a trigger to break the rock it has been building up, and given the reaction last night. I would say that the trigger point is close to breaking down in the nearby area.

      This does not go far south from what I can tell. But it goes north, way north from estimated calculations and observed data.

      1. That would be in the line of what happened the last time around. But that was at a place on the north-atlantic un-named country with less preasure built up.

        By the way, last may Helisheidarvirkjun had a small runner after pumping down water at higher then normal preasure, that should have thought them something… 🙂

        Here is a good song for it!

      2. Given the proximity to Reykjavik, you would have thought there would be more caution? But perhaps that is part of the problem – greater non-oil based energy demand at a time of financial hardship.

      3. Not for Iceland – they produce 100% of their electric energy from re-newable sources, 80% water, 20% geothermal, if I remember the numbers correctly.

      4. It would be interesting to find out who is sponsoring this research. whoever it is probably not icelandic based and whoever is probably doing so in a roundabout way. please note i do not support mad conspiracy theories i am just never surprised at what comes to light years after an event.
        (i seem to have lost the capital letters on my keyboard… pc has come out in sympathy with jon’s or it was the cocoa i spilled on it last night!)

  6. I think they are using carbonated water willfully as a fracking agent to widen a chamber, and at the same time trying to inject the CO2 into deap bed-rock, AND at the same time get energy.
    Insane version since it quite simply do not work as intended. In this case the CO2 will just come up, the fracking will sooner or later crack open a fracture down into the dyke.

    We where close to opening up a volcano with one burst of water that did NOT contain CO2. Coincidentaly the plots Lurking presented above is looking exactly as a fracture running into a dyke. It is going deep, from the looks of it I think they actually went straight into the magma-dyke running up into Hengill.

    I think Jón is 100 percent corect. If they continue the quakes will migrate to the north causing heavier quakes due to the well-known pent-up energy in the triple-junction under Hengill. I do also think that Jóns estimates of a +5 quake is quite possible, this out of the data for this swarm and knowledge of Hengill.
    What one should also remember is that Hengill has had a inflation period recently. This combined makes me very worried that they could quite possibly crack open the fissure down into a filled magma-reservoir. Remember that we have had quite a lot of quakes in and around the area of Thingvalla lake recently.
    I would not pump down more water, I would take this warning and go home.

    For those interested in supercritical fluids:

    1. Well, this is one of those very rare events in this field – where we wont have to wait too long to see if you are correct and to what degree. No disrespect intended, but this is one time where I hope you are both wrong on outcomes if this project continues.

      1. The downside if nothing further happens is they continue with this project and we are just kicking the problem ‘down the line’. If what Jon & Carl predict happens then it may stop this dead in its tracks (I like the unintended train analogy)

      2. The downside of that is that if a major event happened it would put research and development of this ‘principle’ for safely storing CO2. I think its a good idea in principle, its just where they picked to try it out is not so good. I am sure there must test oil wells that drill through basalt, or exhausted wells where they have to pump water in to stabilise and pressurise the well that may be more suited and less likely to wake up a sleeping giant.

      3. Sorry – I meant ‘it would put research and development of this principle for storing CO2 back decades.’ More haste less speed!

      4. @JulesP ” its just where they picked to try it out is not so good” – agree with you and your post lower replying to Mafl about using other more suitable sites that are less likely to erupt on the locals.

      5. Here is a wacky idea of mine: The basalt idea has been tested for generation of limestone when reacted with carbonated water in the laboratory – so we know it works.

        In a volcanic island like Iceland, perhaps they could mine basalt rock from non-active areas using excess hydrothermal energy for the process, pulverise the rock, and then react it with the carbonated water. At the end of the process, they would have created a limescale slurry oil companies to could to ‘infill’ the areas left behind by oil extraction. Same end, different means. The arguments against may be cost of process, but this could be offset by carbon taxes, and if there is excess renewable energy production in Iceland it would be a good use for it if it is too expensive to export.

    2. Given the area of interest (both the pumped area and the area Jon talked about), what are the strongest known quakes, and when they happened?

    3. So you didn’t miss the oh so surprising hole in Almannagjá (Þingvellir) this summer ?

    1. Reading this article, the theory sounds good – just why try and do this right in the middle of a major fault zone and over an active (if dormant) volcanic system? Surely an oceanic oil well that had been exhausted would have been better if they are looking for places where bore holes already exist?

  7. @ Carl/Jon
    Any sites where good details of drilling/injection techniques & borehole logging for Hengill site – cheat Hengill I can spell -please?!

  8. The insurance must cost a lot for this drilling and water injection. The thought of location:- near capital city, must be worrying. If a damaging seismic event happens from this, premiums will go straight up, a long way. If anybody gets hurt…
    Is there not safer places to drill in Iceland?

    1. There is no insurance company on the planet willing to insure something like this. Believe me. That is why only really large companies untill now have had fun with things like this. They can cover it themselves.
      I think they should just give it up.

      1. It does, believe me I know…
        A power company normally holds about 10 to 20 percent of its annual income in funds for bigger accidents. For some companies it is much higher than that. I know of one un-named company holding close to 50B€ in funds to cover if a hydroelectric or nuclear plant has a critical failure. So they are in a way already insured for it.

        The thing that annoys me here is that it is Örkjuveita Reykjavikur that is the head company, so if an accident happen it will be them that has to pay, not the big contributors to the project.
        And believe me, ÖR cannot in any way pay that much in damages.
        Nota bene, the internal re-assurance cost was deemed to high contra the risk versus gain when we shut down the operations of the un-named company.

      2. They cannot since they already got an emergency loan from the city of Reykjavikto prevent them from going bankrupt. Their financial situation is pretty tense.

      3. So they try to make miracles and save the company by pumping like “hell was loose”?

  9. Hellisheidi sounds a bit of a crazy project. I assume the scientists on the project will think twice before continuing.

  10. Is it another of those tricks of light and shade, or am I seeing what appears to be water running across the valley in both Katla cams?

  11. If anyone wants to help me cover the repairing cost of my hardware they can do so with donations. Such help is much appreciated, as this type of issue cut into my savings that I am trying to maintain and might delay my plan on moving back to Denmark.

    The current hardware failures (hard drive + dvd drive) did cost me around 777 DKK in total. I am yet to buy a new power supply in my computer, but that also needs to be replaced. But I hope that I can buy a new power supply for my main computer next month, when I have the money for it.

    For this month, I only had planned to buy a wan router for the local network that I am on. So this cost is now out of the budget that I am currently running. This creates minor budget issue that I have to correct somehow and I have to correct it soon.

    Thanks for the support. 🙂

    1. Jón, I am afraid that, at this very moment, I can’t contribute, going through similar hardware problems myself.
      But I’ll resume donations as soon as possible.
      Wish you luck!

  12. What we need now is another one of those 4.5 mag quakes down the Atlantic rift to the South, actually it is what we don’t need now. That activity at Hellishe… is subsiding, please let it. 🙄

  13. Like Jon and Carl, I also think this is crazy.

    I mean, they are trying to store carbonated water into deep drilling holes, in hopes of carbon reacting with rock making limestone. At best, this will work, and will make of Hengill a volcano full of limestone cavities which would be very unstable and ready to collapse. At worse, this extra gas would help magma reaching the surface in an eruption (which happens just outside of Reykjavík). Or triggering a major earthquake north of Hengill (where tension has accumulated).

    It seems that some guys are never very clever in choosing such a location for a project of storing carbon underground. I ask, why store carbon under a volcano? Is not there a better place to do it? And why next to a big city? They could do it, in a place like close to Askja, or next to Krakla. Or even in Reykjanes, further away from the city.

    Crazy guys! Like Jón said, some people never learn.

      1. Except the stupidity of another set of humans who believe they are smarter than the first set. How long before they try the idea out somewhere just north of Naples or just across the mountains from LA?

    1. What are the biproducts of the chemical reaction between basalt and carbonated water in hot, pressurised conditions? And is it wise to accumulate underground in unstable conditions?

      1. I think the principle is that the CO2 will react with calcium and magnesium oxides naturally present in basalt rock.

        CaO + CO2 → CaCO3

        MgO + CO2 → MgCO3

        Calcium and magnesium are found in nature typically as calcium and magnesium silicates (such as forsterite and serpentinite) and not as binary oxides. For forsterite and serpentine the reactions are:

        Mg2SiO4 + 2CO2 = 2MgCO3 + SiO2

        Mg3Si2O5(OH)4+ 3CO2 = 3MgCO3 + 2SiO2 + 2H2O

        So no adverse chemical byproducts per se: the trouble with this is that the reactions are ALL exothermic i.e generate heat.

        I would suggest that this is really not a good idea in a volcanic field or an active geothermal field, unless being used in an area that is very weakly geothermic and you wanted to enhance the level of geothermic power production at an existing station (enhance lifespan if the geothermal activity is diminishing).

      2. The other point you made is valid; heat any of these compounds enough and the reactions reverse ie you will get oxidation and CO2 release, so perhaps not good in ANY geothermal field, as like investments, energy levels can go up as well as down.

      3. It seems these boreholes offer promise, rare Earth metals(REM) are-$$$$$$$ Discovering REM concentration in magma, then copying(trying to) the magma at Hellishe, with gas/water/chemical soup injection.

        With no insurance. 😆 If it goes well:- Internet story of the year.
        If it goes wrong, as some think it may well :- Internet story of the year.

        Where I live.
        We have a saying ” Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeharrrrrrrrr”
        The saying translated for Google is Cowboy. Or rather what the cowboy says when he is being a cowboy. Cowboy used in this speaking sense means- Idiotic, un-professional and Gung-ho. (Not in any way meant to be disrespectful to proper American Cowboys or any others.)
        Iceland is part of Europe, perhaps one of you Icelanders could get a “European injunction” to stop this until it has been reviewed by Europe/Iceland in a professional manner? On what grounds? Just say, these guys aren’t insured against potential aeroplane ash damage from the Volcano they may accidentally make, directly or indirectly.” I have left out the fact it could effect the Icelandic capital, not to tempt fate.

        It sounds like “REM” is like Gold+…
        It has made this job the one to try, sadly.

  14. They should take into account that a major incident could affect the rest of Northern Europe in addition to Iceland, especially after Eyjafjallajokull. Even a very large company would find it hard to cover the fall out.

    Given that Hengill has not erupted for some time, there isn’t much documented history of it; prediction of the type and ferocity of an eruption should one be triggered would be difficult. But what earlier contributors have said, makes it worrying.

  15. Has all this ‘artificial’ activity had any effect on the proposed IDDP3 borehole at Reykjanes?
    One thing I hadn’t realised ’til recently , as that the Krafla driling met molten rhyolite at 7000ft
    Personally I still think geothermal power is safer and cleaner than the ‘other’ alternative, even at the risk of a short term and possibly violent blowout. It wouldn’t pollute, other than local inconveniencies (not the khasi type!) ie not ‘sterilising’ vast areas for ?long. Not even research sites for the ‘other’ are clean, so lets not have an arguement here!!!

    1. Er……………not all the gases from volcanoes are people-friendly or “clean”. Fluorine, SO2 and H2S for example.

    2. I think geothermal energy is great, and I don’t think many would argue with its use and development. What is less great is the idea of using geothermal plants / boreholes as CO2 waste disposal grounds, especially when on a triple junction and above a volcanic system.

      I think that developing basalt/ rock disposal areas is also a great idea, but also not on a triple junction above a volcanic system.

      1. Yes I agree. I am totally in favor of geothermal exploration, but not pumping carbonated water into deep drillholes in a volcano located in the tectonic rift, close to a big city. That is a very risky thing to do.

        I think they could try the experiment, but in a remote location. Not close to Reykjavik. There is basalt everywhere in Iceland.

  16. All seems really stupid doing this CO2 in a volcanic area, on a geological time scale it will pumped back into the atmosphere when they erupt anyway.

    The method of pumping into depleted oil/gas fields which have natural caps, and don’t leak is a far better idea.

  17. In the Rúv news tonight they did say that this is not over yet. They are also not yet to start to Co2 into the ground. But they are also going to pump sulfur into the rock soon.

    There is going to be more earthquake activity in this area. As they are adding more pumps and add more deep borehole in the area.

    So more mad made earthquake swarms to be expected in Hengill volcano.

    1. Exepct that there’ll be more data on it’s way for Lurking to analyse.

      But are they increasing monitoring of the volcanoes in the area – Hengill, Krysuivk, etc. to be on the safe-side? And have they analysed the impact of the work they have done to date?

      1. I would laugh out loud if Hengill would erupt, but the problem is that many people live close to the area, including me! This is so stupid.

  18. Just a thought but perhaps a small part of the thinking behind what they are doing near Hengill is that if they can get away with it near a triple junction, it can be done almost anywhere! But i don’t think that is the case.

  19. Lurking, its been awhile since we had a 4 on the Laguna Salada Fault near the border and it comes within weeks of a string of 4’s in the Gulf. Does the timing of this 4 on the LSF fit in with your stress wave theory?

    1. Not really a theory, just an idea.

      The problem with it is that it breaks down once you get into the jumbled blocks north of the Yuha-Wells fault… and slightly south.

      At that point whatever energy/stress is traversing up the Gulf of California dissipates into the different systems and block rotations.

      What was ordered motion, becomes chaos. Good luck tracking it after that.

      1. The Big Bend is creaking a little today with a 4.1 which I hope is not a prelude to bigger things to come anytime soon.

  20. The news article mentions two pumps. “One is to pump carbon dioxide and the hydrogen sulphide, mixed with a regression hydrogen down in the strata.”

    Hydrogen Sulphide is explosive gas…. Google lost regression hydrogen, what is this please?

    1. I agree with wurzeldave. They might be testing this method in a tripple junction and volcano so that they can show that if it works under Hengill, it could work safely anywhere.

      Does anyone knows if they have tested this method in Krafla? I have heard about the deep drilling project there, but I don’t know whether they have tried pumping carbonated water or hydrogen sulphite.

  21. Þriðjudagur
    13.09.2011 04:03:18 61,724 -28,015 5,2 km 4,3 42,01 291,1 km SV af Eldeyjarboða á Rneshr.
    That is the largest of the swarm today it is also the furthest away then we have
    13.09.2011 04:33:10 63,141 -21,807 1,1 km 3,0 40,35 63,4 km VSV af Surtsey
    and also
    13.09.2011 01:51:29 67,027 -28,991 5,9 km 3,7 37,53 261,2 km NV af Bjargtöngum

    The last one was well on the way to Greenland, the first way South down the Mid Atlantic Rift, I think. None of those are 99% but that is eye opening for a water injection, as yet without anything else added.

    I am thinking that if they do too much of that adding things, I may feel it here 😆 (nervous laugh)

  22. Some data about the drilling.

    They are drilling one project (deep drilling to increase geothermal energy output) in 3 sites: Reykjanes, Hengill and Krafla.The name of this project is Iceland Deep Drilling Project (IDDP).

    They hope to drill before they reach the magma, so that can have supercritical heated liquid water, at very high temperatures such as 350 ºC. They started with Krafla in 2008 and drilled down to 4.5 km.

    And now it seems they are drilling in Hengill but also experimenting with pumping carbonated water as part of another project (the Carbfix).

  23. Hope this project is not being undertaken to reduce net CO2 emissions. It seems a huge risk for minimal benefit (in terms of carbon reduction).

  24. Guess what, the site where they are pumping water in Hengill is exactly the place where I saw this new huge column of steam coming from the south part of Hengill, the steam column which surprised me a lot because it was so big (and I am used to Icelandic geothermal sites and hot springs).

    This new steam is located north of the geothermal plant that is located by the road. If you drive now by the N1 ring road, you will see a very big steam column coming from the top of the first ridge to the north. This is also the location of the earthquake swarms!

    1. I hope they are still in control, if a well burst it would be hard to shut off I guess.
      GPS ground deflation would be a clue?

  25. I am just pondering here. What exactly are they researching?
    Is it just to find a way of storing CO2 and H2S as waste from some industrial activity, or are they looking more at injecting these gases into rocks in a volcanically active site to study the growth of bacterial chemosynthesis. This could be another way to provide a solution to the storage of harmful waste.

    It seems an odd site to chose for research as Irpsit and others are saying. I think I am trying to reason out loud and thinking of all aspects.

    1. My opinion is that the CO2 and H2S is being added to form particulates in place when the water reacts with the hot rock.

      This would serve to prop open any cracks that are made and allow for sustained enhancement of the formation after it is backed off to normal operating pressure.

      Normal hydrofracking of shale formations do not have the thermal gradient to do this, and have to use some sort of additive in the mix in order to pull this off. (Be it a sand slurry or some other substance.)

  26. @ Carl Le Strange. Regarding your earlier comment of 13.09.2011, which stunning plot of Lurkings? He has done many stunning plots. Are you referring to the discussions on 3rd September? Thank you, KarenZ

    1. It could be ghost quakes. Something which we saw very clearly during the Grimsfjäll eruption. I’m not sure about the physics behind them, but it seems the sensors pick up false quakes on radients going out from the real quake’s position and past the sensors themselves.

      1. Maybe. But when that is said it was very impressive to look at the red rose slowly changing color around the centre of the swarm at hengill earlier today. And there is a definitive trend of quakes creeping nortward from the centre of the swarm.

  27. arg! I hate this when it happens. It turns out that my dvd drive is most likely not faulty at all. As it seems that there is some software at fault in my Gentoo Linux installation.

    But do not worry. The older dvd drive is going to the main earthquake monitoring computer. As that computer has had a bad dvd drive for the past 5 years or something like that. It reads some dvds and some cdroms.

      1. Thank you Singu, was thinking about that too. I shall go and check the hydrology records….. when have done my chores at home!!

    1. It’s the wind, as the signal is already coming down.

      When checking these frequently, the figures end up being cached by your ISP. When checking them later, your ISP gives your the cached i.e. old figure, not the current one. Hence, when checking those, always recheck they are current (does the line end approx. now). If not, reload with hitting “Reload” with SHIFT-key down at the same time.

      1. Thanks Jack. I will be more careful. This is a good practice and a good habit to get into to avoid mistakes in future . 🙂

  28. What about with this one?
    2011-09-14 08:39:59,1 66,301 -16,742 5,5 1,6 90,01 13,0 km W of Kópasker
    2011-09-14 08:23:18,5 66,297 -16,740 4,9 1,0 67,55 12,9 km W of Kópasker
    2011-09-14 07:43:06,2 66,297 -16,743 3,3 1,7 90,01 13,0 km W of Kópasker

    Today are more than 5 Earthquakes and this tremor

    1. Míla has been doing maintenance work on some of the base stations on south Iceland in the last few days. Thats what a friend told me, who does this kind of work.

      1. Took some snapshots from the Katla webcam last days where some activity can be seen. You can see the “tower” which makes a shadow on the foreground on sunny days, a building, some cars and equipment.
        Also the mystical flood which sometimes appears on the cam is visible on some of the pictures. It must be a river on the right side of the camera view. Maybe someone who knows the area well can tell more about it.

      2. Tried to find the webcam / tower at Hafei on Google maps but could not. However, there is a river in the region and there are areas where water would run off if there had been rainfall in recent days (also routes that a real flood would take). There have been no reports of a flood for yesterday, so given that the weather yesterday did not look too good, suspect that the river was a bit fuller. It may have shown up more because of the light conditions.

      3. Thanks for the pics Sissel. Karen, I would love to be able to locate the webcam tower on Google Earth. Has anyone else been able to find it?

  29. Just checked conductivity levels at Mýrdalsjökull: Múlakvísl; V089 plot going haywire again, fault of some kind. It was on a downward trend however before the measurements literally lost the plot.

  30. I trust the chaotic plot for BUR corrected strain data is an artifact, Carl’s dept I believe.
    The sinusoidal plots in general, earth tides?

  31. @Lurking and Carl le Strange.

    Been searching the net for details on earthquake activity associated with the last Hekla eruption to see if I could find a reason for it not having a visible impact on the analyses Lurking has been doing. I can only find a reference to an earthquake swarm of small earthquakes (<3) which preceded the eruption; Wikipedia says that Hekla does not produce large earthquakes. All this despite the fact that a 6-7km fissure opened up. You will have more information available in Iceland on the number and size of earthquakes.

    1. Well… the biggest reason that you can’t find anything is that there isn’t really any data to sniff out.

      The closest activity was at the tip of the spungur region off to the west. Historically, that area has had quite a number of quakes and Hekla continued to remain silent. (as it’s doing now)

      As Carl has surmised, the area under Hekla is a hotter region, with a much more ductile foundation that doesn’t crack or pop very easily. (The Hengill end of the SISZ has a lot more quake activity, but it’s also has a triple junction, the most persistently noisy thing you will find in geology)

      When Hekla did go, it gave VERY little warning. From the first quake until there was stuff broaching the surface was about 61 minutes. The associated quakes didn’t climb above magnitude 1.2 (ML) until about 10 to 15 minutes before the eruption started.

      63.85°N to 64.15°N / -19.85° to 19.4°W

      1. “19.85°W to 19.4°W”

        I was switching that over to west notation and got distracted by, err… bratwurst and onions.

    2. If I’m looking at this right, the opening of the path to the surface was moving at about 15 kph and the magma followed along at about 5.9 kph. That is if everything started at 6 km depth.

  32. @Sissel
    The river on your Katlacam picture series clear on no.7 looks to be the braided channel of the Mulakvisl and runs to the east of the Hafell ridge

      1. This is very useful, the first time I see the name Háfell on a map. Suppose the webcam is situated on the top of the hill.

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