New dike intrusion into Katla volcano caldera

A new dike intrusion has started in Katla volcano caldera. So far only few earthquakes have taken place. But the largest one so far is ML2.8 in size with the depth of 0.8 km (800 meters). It appears clearly on my geophone at Hekla volcano. But it seems that new area in the Katla volcano caldera has been increasing activity during past few weeks. Based on the number of earthquakes that are currently taking place there.

The earthquake as I did record it on my Heklubyggð geophone. This are all the directions on the gephone. This picture is released under Creative Commons licence.

The North-South component of the geophone shows the nature of this earthquake clearly. This picture is released under Creative Commons licence.

The vertical component of the geophone did also show the nature of this earthquake clearly. This picture is released under Creative Commons licence.

The area inside Katla volcano caldera that is responsible for the current earthquake activity. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Met Office.

The earthquakes in Katla volcano now are created by magma intrusion into the rock layers. There is not a lot of about tectonic earthquakes in Katla volcano today. But they cannot be completely ruled out. But the signature of those earthquakes is different then by earthquakes created by magma movements.

Note: I have been recording earthquakes since the year 2006. I have learned a lot during that time.

841 Replies to “New dike intrusion into Katla volcano caldera”

  1. @Carl le Strange. The weather in the UK has been unbelievably split this year. The north and west of the uk has been pretty much water logged for months with unbelievable amounts falling in just a day sometimes. From the East Midlands heading South and East has been dry creating the worst droughts in years, not necessarily because of the temperature but the fact that the rainfall has not been getting past the middle of England. Our weather in 2011 has been nothing short of weird 😉

    1. Wait a minute, you are from the Brittish isles… That explains it.
      For the rest of the world, when they say dry, they mean that for a few brief seconds the rain stopped.
      I live in London about every other week. There has not been an inkling of sunshine, nor a rainless day there since july. It is like going into a soulnumbing watery version of hell. I have not had a dry sock in England for about a year.

      1. Trust me, every time I go there it rains… I wish I had never nicked the house as part of my severance payment. Except that since I need to go there it is actually cheaper then renting a hotell-room a week at a time.

      2. Yeah well, here is started to rain in mid April and hasn’t stopped yet. Would you believe this summer even Irish people were complaining about the weird weather – something that was usually reserved for us foreigners…

      3. But to be honest, my World renowned Excentric neighbour (no, he is not that famous, but he is that excentric) the Umptenth Earl of Harpoon-on-Stoke, was harping for an hour during the week about the un-englishness of the weather, inter-spersed with stories about the battle of Culloden.
        Actually I think he is a bit famous. He is after all the only Gentleman in the United Kingdom who is wearing Gandalfs clothing in pink and purple, and I have at least once seen him eating on tv. He was rather miffed about the heat, lack of rain, and the general unenglishness of things. It was raining the entire hour he explained this while we stood outside the house…

      4. Gandalfs clothing in pink and purple? Seriously? Wow, you sure do move in interesting circles, hehe.

      5. Complete with white beard and moustach. Did I tell you about the purple pointed hat with silver embroideries.
        The only reason he talks to lowly me is that we are the only ones who are not corporations that owns a house on the street.
        On the other side of me we have the unpronouncable embassy where they swimparties on the roof and smoke the bushes.

      6. Who knows, I think Tolkien used him as a template of something…

        Nah, one of the few things I am really very much against is smoking bushes together with people in a pool.
        To be quite honest, I do not talk to the very few neighbours I have. Most often the place gets quite desserted when the offices in the horribly over-prized place closes. But, there are some nice pubs around. Nag’s Head and The Grenadier is just around the corner so there are at least some niceties to have.

    1. Cool, one more country for the list and also Portugal (thanks Woomf!).

      Updated list:
      Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, UK, Ireland, Slovenia, Germany, Brazil, USA, Spain, Canada, Portugal


      1. Don’t forget the occasional ‘out-of-world’-ers… though Jon does not normally let them participate 🙂

        But you sure may add Österreich…

  2. Actually, to bring the discussion back to El Hierro for the moment, Enrique at AVCAN is of the opinion that most likely a submarine vent has opened in the north. This he bases on two things: the appearance of longer and longer Buddhas (“thick high value tremor areas”/spikes/wisneqs) on the tremor signal and the fact that in the last 12 hours there were only 6 earthquakes.
    There’s some discussion at AVCAN fb about it, but noone there has seen anything yet to confirm this hypothesis.
    Also another thing is that there they are all still waiting for the next big (4.6 or more) earthquake, as, if there has been no change in the pattern, they are now in the expected window of time and the earthquake is expected until about 1-3am this morning. Unless the tremor has changed the seismicity pattern…
    So basically, it’s all just wait and see…

    1. We knew it opened up about a week ago Ursula. That was because there were two distinct plumes of the green stuff. One heading SW from El Golfo, one heading West/Southwest and then SW from Restinga.

      The depth for a confirmation is likely beyond the ships capability and everyone would have to wear self contained breathing to be able to sit over the top of the vent in El Golfo. Then there is the danger of a gas eruption which would cause the boat to sink as all the buoyancy would be removed. It would just roll over and go under.

  3. For any geology experts here a question. Can hardened lava be green? The reason I ask is that many years ago on a holiday on the West Coast of Scotland i picked up an interesting rock on the beach. It was a pink granite with what appeared to be a greenish ropy lava binding it together. I would love to know if it could really be lava or not.

      1. Many thanks for that quick answer carl, it was a very dark green though and O have only ever seen light green olivine, can it occur as a dark form. Sorry for the questions but this is a very beautiful (to me) rock and I would love to classify it.

      2. Sorry, answered it for myself by googling for it as I should have done in the first place.

      3. Light green, high magnesium content, low ferritic value, high melting point. Dark green, mid magnesium content, high ferritic value, mid melting point.
        Might be one of the very few times I dare talk about rocks…
        Olivine and ores in general that is.

    1. Do you know where you picked it up? There are lots of nice pink granites north of Lochinver up to Cape Wrath

      1. I also know a very fine outcrop of green ignimbrite in the Berufjörður region (East Iceland).

      2. Sadly I really cannot remember at all. It could well have been up that way as my bother and I camped for two weeks, going up the East Coast, across the top then down the West Coast. A wonderful and unforgetable holiday and the best scenery I have ever seen. I know it is a matter of opinion but to me the North west coast of Scotland was more spectacular than even the Norwegian Fjords. Perhaps it being more accesible was a good factor too. Scotland is a wonderful place to find minerals and semi-precious stones. Never managed to find any gold or freshwater pearls though as some girls I was at school up there with did.

      3. I totally agree Newby. West Scotland is beautiful. I remember many years ago being shown how to pan for gold in the river Teign , Devon. The rocks in the garden are highly assorted… all glacial deposits :). Most originates in the Lake District. None the less it makes for interesting finds :)The actual bedrock is Millstone Grit, good for fossils 🙂

      4. It surely is beautiful part of UK – I’ve lived there on the West Coast for nearly three years – Kyle of Lochalsh area, until I’ve moved to slightly friendlier climates of Oxfordshire 😉

  4. Can you get into IGN’s tremor plot? I can’t. Comes just this: “”No existe información para ese dia” (no information concerning this day).

      1. Eh, you missed his rawings earlier today?
        He said that there was no other tremoring, no risk of a new eruption, and that he and the Pevolca was the only ones anyone should listen to, and not mind the horrible volcanic blog… Priceless…

      2. Mmmm…maybe he is bipolar…Seriusly, he is being very, very diplomatic. Perhaps too much “diplomatic”.

      3. They tried, but it didn’t come out as they would have liked, because of this excellent teamwork by Sissel, una Canaria and Ursula – thank you all – and of course, Carl, for the political interpretation. 🙂

    1. Since IGN was saying they were getting overloaded I’ve been using the Avcan pages.
      Then click on seismogramas and select CHIE for Hierro, enter date … and can also enter hour

  5. Not only from Norway, but from Moere og Romsdal in Norway which I am! A descendant (at least I think so) from the brave people which populated Iceland 1000 years ago… Hmmm I’m not so brave, as the true lurking manners which in characteristic is quite typical for me … 😉 BTW a great blog!

  6. Ok, time for bed now, thanks everyone for yet antoher great discussion! Let’s see if Bob’s younger brother awakens by the morning (and if he does, hopefully far in the sea with no peril to herrenos…).
    Góða nótt, god natt, buenas noches & sleep well!

    1. I also go counting sheep etc. now ….

      Good night to you all and esp. to the people on El Hierro a very quiet night!

  7. I have no idea what it means but wheras the seismic spectra for all the islands show a progressive increase in higher frequencies today something special is happening on those for Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. From the middle of the day the very low frequency monotone that has been present on and off for a couple of weeks has progressively split nicely into the base frequency and a second harmonic. The only thing I can think is that some large change has occured in the deep system that has been generating this oscillation. Maybe a change in the dimensions of the conduit or the shape of an aperture.

      1. I think this particular noise comes from a single source it has just changed its voice a little and developed second harmonic distortion. The same distortion that people like in old guitar amps.

  8. Why do you say that, Carl? I understand why he could say that things about PEVOLCA and bla , bla, bla…but he has his own reasons.

      1. In this article Nemesio Pérez is not mentioned.
        And Pevolca denies the possibility of two tremors, which is totally absurd because they admitted yesterday.
        So, please, explain me the question couse at this moment I feel a little…stupid (and a know that I´m very inteligent girl).

      2. Perhaps you confused the names. It was Carmen López, del Pevolca, and not Nemesio Pérez.

      3. The expression means that when people get old, live is getting hard, and hard…with every year. You know, less hair, less atracctive, less musccles, less memory, less…everything.. Oh, my God! The same like me!

      4. Ah, I wondered about that. I heard an expression like that once in another country when I accidentaly said something really bad. A second after hearing “May the years never forget you” (or something like that) a person tried to plant a knife in my liver…
        That is how I learned the hard way that my language skills are not as good as I thought they where. And that I could run faster then a police car.

      5. What kinds of weird and rares things happens to you… in what kind of neighborhood do you live?

      6. I was visiting a country with a flair for violent behaviour when insulted. All places are not safe little northern europe.
        There are places where a life is not worth that much, and sometimes you have to go there to do business.
        But in all fairness the same happened in Barcelona when I entered a bar and greeted a gentleman with the phrase “Ola muchacho, tu es un cabroncito grande…” But he had already given me the finger before I said it soo… Had to dodge the Guardia Civil the rest of the night… And then we have the island of Sao Miguel (Azores) that we raided from the ocean, and then looted for beer and beautifull women.
        Oh my good, I am a viking after all. 🙂

        Memories of a misspent youth…

      7. Don´t be sad. You always have the island of Sao Miguel …and your friend of Barcelona.

      8. I actually have quite a few friends in Barcelona, but of the kind that you eat a nice dinner with before attending a concert, or an evening out on the city.
        When I get old in a 100 years I think I will move there and go clubbing untill I die.

      9. Well. then if you have time, maybe you can come and visit me at the residence, and we can walk with me and my wheelchair and my bottle of oxygen, while we take two gin tonic.

      10. I don´t know Barcelona too much. I have only been there for twenty o more days, and five years ago. But what I see I liked.

      11. If you are be able to come from Barcelona with 100 years old and a gin tonic in your hand to Madrid , I’ll give you my bottle of oxygen.

      12. By then I will probably have discovered how to walk and drink at the same time.
        I think I will though opt for a rocket-chair instead of a wheel-chair by then.

  9. two quakes in the Puerto Rico area. Moderate duration… No tsunami. Both greater than 4.0

    1. Yes. It was taken in the north from the helicopter, but I don´t know the name of the place exactly. And you can see the rocks falling down the wall with a lot of dust.

      1. It was a landslide, perhaps because it was raining all night, or for the helicopter vibrations. I don´t know.

      2. Well, that´s what my brother tolds me…he is the pilot. And he was really scared, couse the rocks almost will fall on top his head.

      3. So he will not come that close to the rocks anymore, I hope! Be careful!
        We were wondering if there were steam or gases coming out of the rock but he probably saw it well enough to know it was dust.
        Some of us see steam almost everywhere, also on Icelandic webcams….

      4. I took more than an hour posting up and down and I do not know what questions I’m answering !

  10. Tipp-Ex is still around, I’m looking at it now, but the thinners are not (unfortunately). I miss tally rolls. What’s a smartboard, is it like an overhead projector and acetate? I don’t think I’m old…..I didn’t think I was old…errm

    1. A smartboard is a 120 inch multimodal touchscreen, we have one for doing quickdrawings in realtime in AutoCAD among other things. Also perfect to write things on as a whiteboard, and then save it as it is.
      Mixture of a over-sized wallmounted computer touchscreen and whiteboard.
      There is also a cheaper version that is only a whiteboard, but on which you can save that what is written. The real version requires a supercomputer, the simpler version does not. Big difference between them, same name.

    2. I’ve learnt my something new for today then! Thanks, now I can go bed and sleep! Nite Nite all.

    3. Jenny! You’re not using Tipp-ex for typos on your screen I hope? It can slow your compter down a lot… 😀

      1. Oh I did make an account but do not yet know how to use it.
        Will be looking at the nice surprise in the morning – hope I understand… Sov godt og drøm koselig!

      1. Hola, sabes donde fue exactamente donde la foto del desprendimiento desde el helicóptero?
        _-do you know where it was precisely where the picture od the roch fall from the helicopter was taken

      2. Exactamente, no. Sólo se que fué en el norte de la isla. Y, por cierto, las rocas cayeron por un desprendimiento y lo que ves es polvo y no gases.

      3. El norte es como la mitad de la isla… :S esta zona es grande… Me pregunto si es por el tremor harmonico o por un terremoto…
        The north comprises like haldf of the Island… that zone is large. I was wondering did the rocks come down due tio harmonic tremor or because of earthquakes?

        Surprisingly the damage by the 4.6 seems not very big in terms of rocks falling and lanslides…

      4. Good question.
        I would very much want to know if it is due to internal mountain strain.
        As far as I know there is not borehole strainmeters anywhere.
        That would have been one of the first things I would have installed, a network of volumetric strainmeters gives out a hell of a lot of hints of what is going on inside the mountain.

    1. Yes, I had one of those moments where I just have to invent a word…
      I blame a mispent youth of studying a master in literature, a mother who was a Swedish and a father that was the editor in chief of a newspaper. I grew up in a pile of books and language.
      In the yearbook I am mentioned as the most likely to become a nobel-price laureate in the school. The guess was in literature, I think I would have had a better chance at it there, than in physics (Unless for some unfathomable reason the Higgs Boson is proven to be non-existant.)

      1. Which university Carl?
        (I grew up on Pippi Longstocking – I thought all Swedish fathers were pirates)

  11. My eyes are falling on the keyboard, I think it’s bedtime. And Bob is still quiet.

    1. Que tienes una noche tranquila!! Ta mañanín!!!

      may you have a quiet night! Till tomorrow!

  12. Carl, how would you interprete the effect of this kind of tremor that runs into the 10-12 herz on rocks, soil – the island? Are these Bobbettes singing?

    1. That is larger and larger amounts of magma going up, with the Buddha (harmonic tremor spike) running in red up to ten and yellow up through the roof, being rapid infusion of magma into a fissure. Problem is that we do not have a clue where it is running.
      And let me go on record saying that I never anticipated that the magmatic flow would increase this much. Whatever it is that is running down there is of the size of tens of Bobs.
      I think this is El Golfo volcano awakening again. And that would be the end of the island if an eruption there lasted for some time. There is no way to keap the population there as a large central volcano erupts. And judging from the volume of sub-crustal magma this is going to be going for years.
      Only two questions that are left really is if Bob will have time to go above the surface before El Golfo erupts, and where in El Golfo the eruption will happen. It could be very far out, and that would save the Island, or it could be on the beach, and that would be good night.
      Sorry Armas, but this is not good for your Island.

      1. Yes, but these kind of tremor spikes (Buddhas): what is their effect on rockfall and such?

      2. Depend on the actual ground vibration. Remember that we do not have any scale for the plots.
        If it is vibrating enough it would vibrate loose rocks no problem.

  13. Err… GAH??

    12.11.2011 08:44:07 63.651 -19.106 1.1 km 3.1 90.01 7.2 km E of Goðabunga
    12.11.2011 08:44:21 63.658 -19.093 0.1 km 3.0 99.0 8.0 km ENE of Goðabunga

    1. BTW… currently working on converting some eruptive area if Katla over to a format that I can use in the requested 4D plot.

      It ain’t ready yet… but it’s coming along.

      1. There is no rush Lurking. Take your time.
        Just make sure it’s on Jon’s desk by 9.00 Monday morning 🙂

      2. Hekla is sure up for some action, are we seeing the a possible location for the coming eruption in the caldera now? It seems to me the EQs are staying close together. Looking forward to see this plotted soon, Lurking 😉

        Is the depth decreasing too?

        (Follower from Sweden, more of a lurker than a contributer maybe, but I am checking in daily)

  14. I’m with Parvaneh. This once-high quality blog is rapidly becoming useless with all the twittering which should be on Twitter. I’ve had to change phones already because my last one couldn’t handle the volume of *useful* commentary. Now my new one is choking on the hundreds of tweets.

    Jon – I’ve given you money before, I would give some more if this were a subscription only blog, to stop all this rubbish I have to wade through and pay for in airtime. Thanks, John.

      1. I guess Lurking that would be a wrong interpretation of Jonn B’s comment. Pretty sure he meant others…

      2. No, seriously, I crap out about 3 hours of work collating data and verifying info for a plot and some 2 bit grouch come in here slinging his piece of shit attitude around.

        F’ him and his G’D. phone. Let him get the data his self.

        I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is not my blog and I don’t make the rules here. Jon can run it as he sees fit. But the plots I post are mine. If some smelly cheese bag doesn’t’ like it, fine, I’ll move the F’ on. I don’t need this shit.

      3. Drat!

        I should have saved the link to my favourites.

        I learn more from your plots, presenting up-to-date information in an instant, than I can glean from all the raw data, since my maths is very limited. Your hard work is my short-cut to understanding.

        Thank you Lurking, very much.

      4. My issue isn’t with you.

        I have a real-hard on for elitist snobs. (yes, I really do mean that)

        The plots that I generate are not special… at least in my way of thinking. But you are gonna be hard pressed to find them anywhere else. Thats why I started making them.

        The last thing I need is for some self aggrandizing f’tard to start bitching at people because of his inconvenience. OMG! I’m special and this inane conversation is hogging my bandwidth is screwing up my airtime!!

        Hint for you there numbnuts… it’s the Internet.

        I, for one, would not support a subscription site with FREE LABOR and data juggling. I would charge through the eye tooth for that. And most likely, at my NORMAL rates. Personalty, I don’t think my plots are worth that. But I can damn sure bring your server back from the dead or at least get your data out before it explodes in a puff of smoke.

        No, wait, with a person like that I would just watch it die and then ask him “you did make a back up right? Oh.. {shrug}”

        I also do not like data being locked up behind paywalls and subscription services. Those companies are not worth the crap that they are made out of…. just like Oscar the grouch (above).

        Meanwhile, here is the plot.

      5. @Lurking:
        Thank you for the plot.
        I entirely follow your take on Katla, and the patterning is really odd. It almost seem that there are quite a lot of points of interest, and that there seems to be separate feeders for most of them. I don’t have a clue to how and why though. I guess that Katla has become so large that it has started to evolve into a complete volcanic field in itself. That is as good as I can explain my thoughts on it.
        Secondly, I think I can actually see the feeder of Godabunga, it is a bit ephemereal, but if I am correct it runs at a slight angel down at the western end of the Godabunga quake-field, and that the “feeder” is alse slanting ever so slightly away from Katla. I think it ends straight under Fimmvörduhals, but I am not sure.
        So, best guess seems to be that it is either a part of Eyjafjallajökull or a system of its, and not a part of Katla at all (even though it is very close in distance).
        Another opportunity which have occured to me. It might be that the duality of Eyjafjallajökull and Katla is not there at all. When those double eruptions happen it is actually Eyja and Godabunga co-erupting within a year. So it could be that the Fimmvörduhals was Godabunga erupting, and that released mechanical pressure on Eyjafjallajökull so it opened up. And the others that have been attributed to Katla have been Godabunga having fissure eruptions.
        But this is guesswork based on scarce data.
        So… Plot of this year and last could give better data that could be more conclusice… 🙂

        I think I am a large part of Parvanehs comment, and the ranting of the thread creator.
        There is a simple solution to the problem if Jón agrees to it.
        We do like to socialize, and I do not see a problem with that, hell knows that I like to do it. But I can also understand that it gets a bit owerwhelming if one only could afford a phone to surf on.
        Some forums have a weekly café-thread where the crowd can chit-chat happily. I think the problem would sort itself if Jón posted a short little posting that is about pretty much anything and named it the thread the “Icelandic volcano café I” or anythin that he sees fitting. Perhaps themed with a humorous fact about iceland or something. Or just an image or whatever. Then we could be jolly and frollicksom in that thread. We are adults so I do not think there would be a problem after that.
        Then we get the volcanos in one place (we will though still mix the volcanos happily) and the chit-chat would be in the other thread.
        Simple solution.

      6. My original comment, which you can find here
        was not aimed at you.
        It is true that you post a lot, but from what I have read from you, you are usually on topic and provide useful information.

        My comment was aimed at those comments that convey purely private information and usually lead to lots of replies. It’s getting harder and harder to find the comments that actually are on the subject.
        While I can understand the urge to socialise in this community, I think these kind of conversations are better suited for social networks than they are for blog comments.
        But this is just my personal impression and opinion that I gave in reply to a previous comment from someone else.

    1. Flame removed. Please do not flame other people.

      Comment edit by Jón Frímann on 15 November, 2011.

      1. Well, he made a valid point. He lets you know that not everyone appreciates that kind of communication going on repeatedly. That doesn’t make him antisocial, it’s just a different point of view, which you don’t agree with.

  15. Well, the plot is ready. Those of you who know where to go, it’s there. Not gonna link it since I wouldn’t want to waste anybodies precious air time.

    1. Not sulk because of the comment. When I have time I follow the social chatter, if not, I’ll skip that part. But I can always be sure that if something important happens, everybody is back to this seriously. And I love your plots. And most of all I was glad that there are those from which one can read nothing…(first thinking i understand nothing).
      Please link it because i do not know where to find it. I’m so sorry …
      Going out for some time, but thank you in advance.

    2. Different people, different needs. I for myself appreciate your plots, have been for more than a year, and have been spending time looking at them and even showing them off to others. They are much appreciated.

      My skills at finding your latest plot are pretty lame. I tried to follow previous links to find the current one, but other than nice pictures of El Hierro and others misdirected searches, it’s still a quest for the holy grail. Hopefully, I will end up finding the gold mine.

      For the record, I think that your skills at plotting are quite impressive.

    3. Not sulking, I’m just pissed the F off. I think elitist snobs of that ilk should be keel hauled… not figuratively, LITERALLY. Complete with barnacles.

      And yes, I know his comments were not directed at me but I can not stand that type of person.


      Here’s the plot.

    4. The plot is excellent. I can’t help thinking that the Godabunga cryptodome is a solid mass that is reacting to the heat and activity of Katlas plumbing and movement. I think it is stress fracturing as it has set solid. Your chart gives a slight hint at separate plumbing, maybe that plumbing is in part a water system.
      Do domes ever get extruded in Iceland?

      1. Water plumbing? Not that deep.

        And the Godabunga Cryptodome is still hot from when it was emplaced… along that hinted at path.

      2. I see. I was trying to work out why the dead object is still shaking, if its not water however hot it may be, either magma dyking at Katla or just stress then that keeps this dome jittering slightly, I had no idea it was still quite hot I thought it had set solid and cooled… The quaking at least shows where it is in relation to everything else on your plot, if it was still we would not see it in relation to everything else, I suppose that is a good thing.

      3. Godabunga is not cooling off. It is not “set”. It is still highly active. The last major injection was in the mid nineties. The cumulative seismic plot during one year back then was even higher that the entire Eyjafjallajökull eruption.
        So, there is in all likelihood a whoppingly big blob of fresh magma under there.

    5. Excellent plot as per, Lurking. Bookmarked you on day 1. Don’t let some mardy knob with a nasty attitude ruin your sunday, he matters not. I like to read the banter on here as much as the sciencey stuff, as it’s been said before- Jon has built a community here and I think it’s wonderful.

      Scratch him off the bbq invites list and enjoy the rest of your day 😀

  16. Good morning, folks.
    I’m feeling a bit “quakeastic” after going through all the fun twittering.
    My suggestion for those who don’t want to follow the OT discussions: go on reading the main thread and skip the “replies”.
    I myself like all the action provided by the OT. Volcano watching evolves in geological time, and it could be boring just to sit and wait till the next invaluable information comes up. Meanwhile people try to keep the blog “humanized” filling up the gaps in between earthquakes and strainmeters and eruptions.
    Buenos dias a todos.
    Diana, it’s coffee time, just before a Sunday extra rehearsal.
    Lurking, still have time for a plot or two. 🙂

    1. I guess I should make it easier for all the international readers:
      Bom dia para todos! Góður dagur til allra! Hyvää päivää kaikille! Good morning everyone! Guten Tag an alle! Goeie dag aan almal! Bon dia a tots! God dag til alle! Bonne journée à tous! Bos días a todos! Goede dag voor iedereen! Jó napot mindenkinek! Dea-lá do gach! Buon giorno a tutti! Добрый день всем! God dag till alla! גוט יום צו אַלע!
      (Giggle capabilities have been exhausted).

    2. Sadly that doesn’t work. Some people use comment to share and get more information what is going on. Off-topic discussions can shatter that information search.

      Minor off-topic discussions have never bothered me too much. But too much off-topic discussions drive people away fast. I won’t stop blogging. But less people are going to read this blog (that is bad for me and my work) and what I have to say if the comments are full of unreleased discussions.

  17. Hi all
    a big thank you for the information and links provided, that should keep me occupied for quite some time 🙂
    also has anyone managed to get on the El Hierro web cams today? i keep trying but no luck
    activity seems to have picked up again just now

  18. I agree with you so much, Renato.

    I have just enjoyed the light relief provided in the banter last night between Carl and Una. It gets pretty serious in here at times, and so much valuable information is presented that it works me pretty hard, trying to read and digest everything.

    This is a brilliant blog, Jon, and very much appreciated by very many people.

    1. Bom dia Alyson.
      Are you really from Portugal? Just learned that from yesterday’s “twittering!. 🙂

      1. Hi Renato

        I think there is an Alison who posts here sometimes who may be the person he knows in Portugal. For me the quartz veined mountains of North Wales are the deep sleeping volcanoes nearest to home.

      2. Somehow, I knew it couldn’t be you.
        So, “Dydd da i bawb!”
        (Giggle to be blamed!) 🙂

      3. Fortunately for us, in very deep sleep. Cant think of any other volcano with a steam railway up it.

    1. Yes, the geophones should pick it up.. if the source is shallow enough, and on the correct side of the island…. and the geophones are actually plugged in.

      Based on my own analysis, done on my own time and independently of any outside collaboration, specifically to support the conversation of the regular participants in the discussions…

      I think the burst source is north of the island and very deep. The arrival times do show some bursts as being further south… probably in the Restinga area. But quite a few of them have simultaneous or near simultaneous arrivals at EHIG and EGOM. that means that what ever the source is, is equidistant from those two stations. An equidistant bearing cut lands right under Frontera.

      Yeah, there is room for slop… the images have about a 5 second (time) resolution when you get down to the pixel level. That could throw it off by about 3 kilometers or so. (rough guess on the error.)

      1. Depending how deep these bursts are, we may not see a sediment laced water plume, any plume could be swept away by deeper currents. Just like the North Atlantic ridging…

    2. I also don’t think they are explosions… in the explosion sense.

      (Again with the flippin reference I can’t cite) I have read somewhere that CO2 exsolution rates (where it comes out of solution in magma) really ramp up at about 25 km. (Again, I can’t find the reference and have spent the whole @#$ evening working on plots).

      My gut feel, is that these bursts are large gas exsolution events in the magma path. It could be CO2, it could be SO2, H2S, or even more likely… H2O.

      H2O is important. It drives the curves that determine how well the other gases stay in solution. H2O is a pretty important player. It steers solubility, lowers melting points (the solidus point) and governs where and how big the mush zone is. (the area of partial melts where fractionization goes on… you know, where the crystals segregate the different constituents of the magma)

      And no… I do not know what the H2O content of mantle drived magma is here. It’s supposed to be pretty low, but I’m not a geologist and cant say for sure.

      Oh yeah… I am a not a geologist. This is just the opinion of an amateur and could be very incorrect.

  19. Totally missing my point. Valuable comments are valuable. Inane chatter is not. Subscription means like 1 or two euros one-off to validate the email address for posting. That would save Jon the hassle of spamming too. Sorry if it came across as elitist, this is just about maintaining the quality that Lurking, Carl and others are so good at providing.

    1. Wheat with the chaff.

      People come here to read and discuss. If they want to mention Poodles of the Serengetti who are you to tell them no? What gives you the right? As long as the discussion orbits volcanoes it doesn’t bother me.

      Again, not my blog and Jon may have a different view.

      Start a subscription site and I am out of here.

    2. Hi John

      It is you who are missing the point. We learn from each other in a community of like-minded people from around the world. If you enjoy being in the community, then feel welcome. If you want to decide who is welcome according to your rating statuses, and who isn’t, then I am happy it is not your decision.

      1. Personally, I can’t wait to see what Carl has to say… After all, he did dare to strike up a conversation at 2 o’clock in the morning, the swine! 🙂

      2. I am a horrible person, I do not deny that 🙂

        I still think a weekly café-thread would solve the problem off the phone-alone-surfers and the rest who do not wish to see me when i get “bubbly”.

    3. I completely agree with you. Except for the subscription part. That wouldn’t keep people from commenting off-topic or having private conversations, only moderation would achieve that. But that’s up to the owner of the site to do or not to do.

      Personally, I’ll just stop reading comments at all at some point and just read the actual article, because I am not going to sift through 700 comments just to find the few dozens that actually are on topic.

      1. Well, I understand people have different opinions/wishes and if the chat is really a problem and you want a volcanic blog with lots of information and few comments, perhaps this one is more suited for you (very little discussion, but lots of great info and prompt information whenever something happens)?

  20. I posted what IGN/PEVOLCA were saying yesterday, so its only fair that I post what AVCAN are saying today. And they do so without trying to discredit anyone, which I like.

    Note 319 AVCAN – earthquake activity – VOLCANIC – island of HIERRO – 13 November 2011-11: 30 pm peninsular – seismic activity continues moderada-alta with moderate Seismicity in the Navy in the Gulf area and two signals of volcanic tremor, both in the North of the island as an important signal in the area of la Restinga remained stable with explosions, increased amplitude and instability at about 9: 40 pm. The magnitude of earthquakes between 2.7 and 1.4. New earthquakes 15. Depths between 17 and 23 km (and one to 17 km). 44 The day before yesterday. Yesterday 24. Today will be 11. In total van 11508 earthquakes located in El Hierro by IGN from 9: 00 pm of the day 19 July 2011 (Henry).

  21. News from Earthquake-Report:-

    Data Update 13/11 – 10:38 UTC :
    – Joke has arrived at the Naos viewpoint and reports that a new stain is forming approx. or on the location of the former jacuzzi. The new stain is brownish at the inside , green at the ourskirts and a layer of foam at the edge.
    – she also says that people currently in La Restinga are reporting a strong gas smell

    Is everybody else having webcam issues as I can’t get images for either?

    1. Webcams working fine, just needed to hit my pre-war issue lappytoppy with a spanner is all.

    2. You have to be lucky and very patient to get a picture as the bandwidth is pretty full I reckon.
      I’ve got both cams running but who the hork pointed the cam, which supposed to be on the eruption zone, to the harbour wall??? Grrr…
      There is not much where it’s pointing right now, just occasional tremor shaking the cam.

      1. Is it now compulsory to have a dalek in front of a volcano? 🙂
        Looks like the jacuzzi is working again – some bubbling on the surface is visible.

      2. I think the shaking is from the wind – check all the white-topped waves on the zoomed camera, it must be pretty windy there today.

      3. Looking at the webcam now, seems preditions are not correct, anyway considerable swell out there (could also be because of the ongoing eruption).

  22. Wow – just came on this morning to find a right stooshie going on. Lurking this blog would not be the same without your plots. Without the technical knowledge to intepret all the available data I would find it difficult to appreciate what’s going on at El Hierro or Katla – my thanks and appreciation. Listen, you will find miserable people wherever you go and it’s best to ignore them, eventually they will go away when the blog does not suit them. Likewise – if the blog becomes subscription-based I’ll be off too. I may not contribute too often but this blog has been at the centre of my spare time and I enjoy reading the banter – long may it continue whether about sheep, schooldays or barbecues in front of webcams !

    ‘Stop hittin me with those negative waves man !
    Film ?

    1. It’s a wasted trip baby. Nobody said nothing about locking horns with no Tigers 🙂

      I agree, this blog is my morning paper and my bedtime read.

      1. Inane chatter alert

        Hey look, you just keep them Tigers busy and we’ll take care of the rest.

      2. Ha ! you got it.
        First thing I think of, when faced with negativity – such a cool dude. I think we should have an inane chatter day. Seriously though, this is what makes it a community and some people would probably have second thoughts about posting if it was too formal and serious – and we would miss those little gems of information that will come from an unexpected source. The blog would also stagnate if subscription based, as no new bloggers would join. Eventually it would just die off through boredom. Keep blogging and chatting

      3. Also, since we have been chit-chatting since the inception of this site…
        I would like to say one thing. Even though (or thanks too) there is spats at chit-chat when there is nothing new, the blog has grown into one of the most visited independent “science” blogs on the planet. I mean, 1 million hits in one month to read Jóns blogposts, and comment on them, and I suspect read and produce chit-chat.

        My guess? It has become popular due to the open, friendly, rambling whimsical atmosphere in here. I think that most people like it here because it is like a volcanical living-room social club. I do think Jón would loose out like hell if he changed this aspect. If it becomes a real problem somewhere down the line into the future, well a café-thread is easy to produce really. But for now it is fine I think.

    2. Couln’t agree more. When something interesting is going on, everyone is on topic. When things are a bit quiet, there’s some great banter. Long may it continue. Don’t change a thing Jon. If people only want the science they can skip to it. I happily send donations, but if the blog became subscription only, I’d be off too. And Lurking and Carl – we need you, your science, your plots and your craic.

      1. I quite agree merlin and Carl, when there are long times with nothing happening is chit-chat such a bad thing to pass the time until something really interesting happens. Without it I sometimes used to wonder if my laptop had stopped updating. When there is something needing an expert comment it is nice to know the chit chat stops and the experts are willing to share that knowledge with the more untutored among us. I love things as they are, please don’t change. When you make a special cake that is very popular you don’t change the recipe. And thanks so much to everyone for sharing what they know, I now learn things every day.

  23. Looking at the webcam of El Hierro, a lot of shaking going on right now. The picture was stable before so I wonder if this is increased activity.

  24. I agree with Renato, I have been following this blog for over a year and deeply apreciate the scientific content but I think that it is only natural for us “humans” to express ourselves and especially when there is a lull in activity. I am sure that the age of each of us has something to do with the willingness to express ourselves and accept a bit of chitchat. I wish I had more time to contribute. Thanks everyone for being yourselves!
    – Lori

  25. Heirro webcams.

    Neither seem to be showing anything dramatic, although its possible there is stuff happening to the right of the zoomed one. The panorama doesn’t seem to show anything.

    If I post now, all will of course change….

  26. Pictures on both now – looks like a patch of white frothy water a little way out from the coast

  27. am seeing the foam and bubbles on the “rash cam” but it’s either tremors or wind that is causing a bit of sea sickness… hope its wind checked its 8 mph but if its tremor its time to flee

  28. Shakespeare (Or whoever wrote THOSE plays) Was a natural psychologist. Even in the darkest drama, when the emotions and concentration of the audience was at it’s height, he threw in a little humerous banter . This causes the audience to let out pent up tension in the form of laughter. Great film directors also value this tool for manipulating audiences.
    In a scientifically orientated blog such as this, Jon is very wise to allow the readers and contributors their moments of humour. In this way he keeps the attention of those people such as myself who, although having a scientific background, sometimes becomes overwhelmed with the more complex concepts and Mathematical reasoning.
    I do believe that people of a scientific bent should be allowed to have a sense of humour also if they want to.
    Besides, I am interested in the lives of other people who post on this Blog because…..I am nosey!!

    Now Back to seriousness and Lurking’s plot. ( I do hope Lurking comes back after a good sleep…he works so hard )
    Can anyone please explain Jon’s hot spot? There is a little green platform beneath it. What is that? Why are there quakes in that particular spot ?

    If I may be allowed a twitter/personal comment…….Being a pensioner living in genteel poverty, if this was a subscription only site I probably would think twice about paying up. Not that it wouldn’t be worth the money, just that money is so tight I would have to see if I could add it to my weekly budget.
    I have a PC that is a dinosaur named Hal. and I love him. I also have a simple mobile phone because it is there in case I fall and need help. Besides I can’t cope with those all singing and dancing phones, the buttons are too small or my arthritic fingers will not work the screens properly… anyway I can’t afford them. Of course kids nowadays have to have the latest and the most expensive just to show that they are IMPORTANT and Cool.
    Sigh….one day they too will realise that being IMPORTANT is not important. It is what you have given to others that is important and a smile costs absolutely nothing.

    Rant and long educational lecture over. Sorry Jon. I hope you understand.

    1. @Diana, from my amateur understanding, the hotspot is that area just south of Katla’s caldera where there were many earthquakes in the last months. There’s a couple of them there just now too, if you check here: this:

      The “platform” forms, I think, because when the earthquakes are very shallow, they get assigned the same depth (is it 0.1km?) in the IMO dataset.
      Why are they in that geographic position (just outside caldera), well, that I can’t tell you, but I’m hoping that maybe Jon/Carl/Lurking or others can illuminate us. 🙂

      About the banter & subscriptions & platforms, etc. I personally enjoy this blog precisely because it’s friendly so that if you are not an expert, you can still say something and get a nice reply (which may lead to a bit of chat, but so what, that’s what makes this community cool). I used to follow Erik K’s blog, but never commented, because I was too intimidated to say something and be jumped upon for being too stupid. I also think that if Jon started a subscription, the blog would go the same way as the Eruptions went recently (although for another reason: Eruptions moved to a very user-unfriendly commenting system and instead of hundreds of comments that it used to get, they are now very few people posting there – I think the same would happen here). But, it’s Jon’s blog and so he can run it however he wants. I just want to say that the reason I like it here is accessibility, both in terms of feeling relaxed enough to ask my amateur questions and in terms of it being free.
      /ok, off my soap box now and time for some coffee.

      1. Ah Ha! Thank you Ursula, I had forgotten about the 1.1 depth.
        I am still wondering why that spot produces quakes. Possible fissure from the main Caldera?

      2. I am absolutely with Diana and Ursula
        I am interested in volcanoes, but things take time and i very much enjoyed the chit-chat in between waiting times. And Eruptions thats no longer possible , like it was in the Eyjafjallacrisis, just rember Haikus and much more, so i and many many others left that blog. Guess why this blog gets 900 comments while Eruptions gets 50 in the same time. I love the community here, it might not be all scientific often but it is friendly. I hope it stays just like it is.
        Lets all have fun while we enjoy our shared interest. Volcanoes.

  29. Okay okay I get the point and sorry for suggestions of subscriptions. This blog is THE definitive source if commentary on Icelandic and more recently Canarian volcanic activity. I check-in maybe a dozen or more times per day so I can read the latest that the mainstream media have ignored. Why? As a geology student and lecturer I give talks on this stuff to schoolkids on a voluntary basis. They love the talks I give and I love having access to such valuable information. There are standards that as a community we already have in place, such as not having links to godlike productions, apocalypse and doomer websites. That is good and maintains high standards. If El Hierro vents onshore, Krafla or Katla blows, this blog will be essential for people to analyse what’s really happening. So the question is not about what I want, but how do we as a community keep the blog as useful as possible?

    1. John,
      The fact that you are responding suggests that you are also sensitive to the feelings and thoughts of other commentators and feel a need to join teh banter. Diana’s comment above is bang on the point. The fact you admit that this is THE definitive source of commentary also suggests that it is just working well as it is. Why change it ? I’m sure your positive comments are most welcome too.

    2. I think that in a crisis all of us tend to keep comments to the facts in hand and their analysis. Readers seeing banter would/ should know that it means that there is nothing major underway. When something is up everyone is focussed on what is going on, so I think this is a self regulating issue, to a large degree. But I also think your reminder was perhaps timely, to remind us of who reads here and why.

      1. JulesP, you hit the nail there.
        If I logg on in the morning and only find links, quakes and technical stuff I know the shit has hit the fan. If I find banter only, well then I know I can go and get coffee and join, or just pack up the comp and go do some work.
        I would say that on eventfull days there are 90 percent serious comments, on eventless days it is the other way around. When there is only chatter I choose to partake, or not. Depending on my schedule. But if it is rocking somewhere I take part almost always, even if do not comment.
        It is easy really, you learn how to “read the mood” of this fantastic blog with all the amazing people in it, after a little while.

    3. As i said above:
      “But I can always be sure that if something important happens, everybody is back to this seriously.”

      Best example the break after hearing from the death of the young man in iceland…
      I think there was more than a minute of silence…

      Thats the other side of this blog.

    4. Great Stuff John. 🙂 I think the fact we have both been able to say our bit and accept each other’s points of view says more than a long post. It also shows the community spirit here and that there is no rancour if opinions differ. Keep teaching John. You will never know how much you change a child’s life path but believe me, as a retired professional in education you unkowingly will start the career of at least one professional Scientist. 🙂

  30. Hmmm…

    In reply to geolurking. As a crude first guesstimate CO2 becoming a gas will be related to the gas laws. Roughly when the density is approx that of solid/liquid CO2 then it will behave like a solid/liquid not like a gas. Needs checking (last did this 50 yrs ago) but:

    Round figs P1V1/T1 = P2V2/T2 Density air 1.28kg/m^3 so CO2 about 2.0kh/m^3.

    At 1 atm, and 300K. So for CO2 to have a density of about 3000kg/m^3, at a temp (say) of 1000K then V1=3000 and V2=1 (round figs)

    P2 = P1V1T2/(T1V2) or =1x3000x1000/(300×1) = 10,000 atmospheres.

    If rock density is (say) 3000kg/m^3 that’s about 3km down.

    Roughly (very roughly).

    E & OE.

    1. A complication compared with most volcanos is that the Canaries sit on a 2-5km thick layer of Jurassic sedimentaries. They comprise shales, clays, limestone etc. So we have a high water content down there. And an additional source of CO2 lacking in most volcanos. The top of the layer is at roughly 8km depth. But we do not know if any of the tremor comes from that deep.

      1. Good point Peter.
        Yes the water content of the sedimentaries do add water, but it does not change the physics of it.
        The flash-point between supercritical steam/gas release will not change due to this, but the amount of it will change drastically.
        I think you have hit the nail on why Bob is such a gassy little baby-volcano.

      2. I wanted to know about radon gas. This is available as a marker, but it hitches a ride on another gas. I see where M. Perez (sorry, can’t remember his first name, but he’s the guy you were miffed with) did a paper on radon values on Tenerife, but did anyone ever do baseline values for El Hierro? Jon mentioned this gas at some point in the blog, but no one talks about it. This is more volatile than CO2, and I wanted to know how rapidly it dissipates, and whether they are monitoring for this.

      3. Besides, it would be uber interesting if they stopped the rock exports because of radioactivity. Nah, I know, just wondering about that authoritarian move and if they could have exported the entire island. Sorry, chitchat disguised as science…

  31. I love this blog and have followed it from day 1. Just wanted to say that for me the mix of brilliant scientific discussion and lighthearted banter is spot on. That’s all back to reading the interesting comments from the community.

  32. @Lurking,

    Having been glued to various blogs, forums and social media sites about El Hierro, believe me when I say there are many, many folks around the world who (generally silently) not only appreciate your data visualisation and presentation wizardry, but positively look forward to it and benefit from it: on the basis that it is their visual key to understanding an otherwise complex conceptual and alien “scientific” language. This is especially important to inhabitants of the Canary Islands right now, given the growing uncertainty and risk in the region. So, for their sakes (and there must be thousands of them), please don’t stop!

    I also note a tendency for certain institutions to adopt your methods of presenting data, and quietly add it to their websites as if they had come up with the idea 😉

    As for those apparently bad-mouthing the online community of volcano/science amateurs (and experts who lend their time now and then) even if offence was not intended, they should remember that science has an unwritten contract with society: we do science so that society can benefit, which is why society funds our efforts. “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you!” All scientists (including me) have a responsibility to the society within which we operate and to who we serve. That means both participating in social mechanisms, and removing the barriers to participation in science.

    Some quotes to aid reflection:

    “Snobbery is the pride of those who are not sure of their position”
    Berton Braley, poet

    “Ah, beware of snobbery; it is the unwelcome recognition of one’s own past failings!”
    Cary Grant, actor

    “Laughter would be bereaved if snobbery died”
    Peter Ustinov, actor, writer and dramatist

  33. Wow…. Now I want to read about Katla and this blog post about Katla has over 700 comments. My guess, about 10% is actualy about Katla. This blog was very professional until few months ago, now it just looks like a chatboard. Few individual talking and jokeing. It has become very hard to follow.

    I really hope this board will become all about eartquakes and volcanos, like it was. I visit this site many times a day but I dont have time to read thru few hundreds comments to fint 50 comment that is actually comment about the blog post.

    Thank you again for your great blog posts and comments Jon.

    1. A suggestion: For those who have difficulty scrolling and focusing in on Katla etc. There is always the possibility of using Ctrl+F on your browser to search the page for (and highlight) all mentions of “Katla” etc. That way, everyone can win! And this blog is, despite the snipe above, VERY professional. Well done Jon for an excellent job and for keeping it open to all.

    2. Thats what happens when a blog gets a 1 million hits a month. Maybe a fourm could be add, WordPress has a ton of them as add in’s. Yea, 1000 posts is a big heavy to focus on.

  34. Can you all please stay on topic. That is discussions about earthquakes and volcanoes. Please take your off-topic discussions elsewhere. This is not the place for them.


    1. @Jón.
      I actually don’t really understand this reaction, because it seemed to me that there were now a lot more positive than negative reactions to the special mix on this blog of scientific discussion and friendly banter, and just 2 of the people writing here against it.

      I mean, of course, it is your blog, but …

      1. While off-topic discussion is fun and all. It makes the blog post comments hard to read trough. There is a reason why it is called “off-topic comments”.

        I am going to provide a place for off-topic discussions in few days. Where people can off-topic until the fall a sleep on there computer keyboards. That why they do not have to read trough a lot of comment unrelated to the blog post here.

        I have gotten more then just two complaints about this off-topic comments here. So I regard this as a serious problem that has happened here.

      2. Jon, I think that’s a very wise decision to separate the social talk and hard-core info. Both are enjoyable / top rate, but don’t mix very well together imho.
        This will keep your blog top-notch info wise and further strengthen the community which has grown around it.

        I love both, but not necessarily intertwined. Thanx all for this great blog.

      3. Jon, I think that what you are suggesting makes good sense – hopefully this will keep everyone happy.

      4. Jón,

        Thank you for looking into the idea of a separate space to hold OT conversations but can I make a suggestion, please keep it handy to the main thread? For example, a chat box similar to the one that is on Erik’s blog would be a great idea.

        I’ve been following this blog for quite a long time now and I’ve watched it evolve into something quite special; it wouldn’t be the same without the valuable contributions of ALL readers and to be honest, a large proportion of your “meaningful” contributers also provide a large proportion of “meaningless” conversations … … … and I wouldn’t want to miss one sentence of either! 🙂

        I appreciate the fact that some may have a different view on how they want this blog to operate and that’s why its great that you are trying to accommodate everyone – after all, we all attribute value of varying degrees to an object based on our subjective experience. The off topic conversations have value to me although I can understand another may not attribute the same value I do.

        In one way or another we all contribute, whether we have posted a comment, made a donation to you or used your links to buy our xmas presents. This is your blog and you make the rules but please don’t lose what makes this blog so special!

        Thanks! 🙂

  35. Well, I don’t have the link, since i’m on phone, but check out the data for hekla. Something is either wrong with the data, or something, cause it seems like the only one showing up there is the blue line. Where did the other ones go?

    1. Noticed this too. Scale is too large for minor events to show correctly. There seems there was momentary increse raising the scale, but since results are “averaged” over the minutes on either side, this smooths out the spikes, but scales do not reset accodingly. The corrected stran plots are not updated so one is really lost in watching these. I have feeling something is brewing, but not shure if it is important.

    1. Interesting but undated, unlocated, photo of rockfall/small landslide (?) of El Hierro cliffs taken from onbaord Guardia Civil helicopter:

      Zek at thinks it’s northern cliffs of El Hierro. Espeleo thinks it’s Playa de El Verodal in the western part of El Hierro, near La Frontera in El Golfo vicinity (see

      Guardia Civil, INVOLCAN and Gobierno de Canarias must have a stack of photos. If anyone knows of a link to their photo repository?

      1. was discussed here before, but this larger version shows the dust/smoke clearly in a vertical line. To me (total geological amateur) this suggests it’s just dust from a rock fall…

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