What did happen in Hamarinn volcano yesterday

I really did think that a eruption was about to start in Hamarinn volcano yesterday. As the signal that I was seeing was not far from what I did see on 12 July, 2011 when a eruption did take place for sure in Hamarinn volcano.

Here is the tremor signal from 12 July early in the morning.

The harmonic tremor signal on 12 July, 2011 at 07:49 UTC. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Met Office.

Here is the signal on the 27 September, 2011.

The harmonic tremor signal on 27 September, 2011 at 09:34 UTC. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Met Office.

The tremor signal in July was stronger, but it looks almost the same way as the signal yesterday (27 September, 2011) did. So I think I know what did happen yesterday (27 September, 2011) in Hamarinn volcano. There might have been a minor dike intrusion into Hamarinn volcano. There where no earthquakes as it might have been going up resistance free pathway. But it is hard to know that for sure at the moment. Later events might however make what happened yesterday more clear what did happen on 27 September, 2011.

Note: I am looking for data on El Hierro volcano. As I am going to make a special blog post about it soon. I am looking for everything that I can get my hands on and might be useful to me.

Note 2: I have updated this blog post here and added the most recent eruptions in Iceland. Blog post: A short history of volcano eruptions in Iceland

Blog post updated at 12:59 UTC on 28 September, 2011.

64 Replies to “What did happen in Hamarinn volcano yesterday”

    1. If I read it correct it will be a eruption with low ash emission, mostly lava fountains and lava flows. However, when the magma comes into contact with water (eruption close to the coastline or on the bottom of the sea) there will be a lot more ash..

  1. Hi Jon, some links for you for El Hierro if you dont have them already

    You can monitor the earthquakes here, refresh to update, it updates sometimes once an hour and sometimes a couple of times per hour. You can click on the individual hour lines to get a detailed 60 min view. Just change the date in the URL each day :


    This link is for accumilated energy release, it updates every day I think :


    This link shows the depths of the earthquakes over time, I think it updates every 30 mins, refresh to update :


  2. Showing two quakes both at 90% accuracy. Second quake was outside of caldera. As this is one second after the 2.6 quake is this a ghost?

    28.09.2011 13:16:35 63.676 -19.306 0.4 km 1.7 90.01 4.9 km NW of Goðabunga
    28.09.2011 13:16:34 63.609 -19.147 1.1 km 2.6 90.04 4.0 km NW of Hábunga

    1. It says nothing about if there will be an eruption or not… The quakes are still occuring at a large depth..

  3. Is there someone working on something around where your Hekla helicorder is, Jon? So much noice there during the day, and silent during the night 😛

      1. It is the same, it is the wind. Human noise makes special pattern that looks different. As this is not far from the coastline (~40 km I think). The change in temperature during the day creates a local wind during the day.

        This stops during the night. This is common in costal areas in Iceland.

  4. Note: I am looking for data on El Hierro volcano. As I am going to make a special blog post about it soon. I am looking for everything that I can get my hands on and might be useful to me.

    Dunno if you have it, but you can derive quite a bit about El Hierro’s architecture from this:

    Gravitational spreading controls rift zones and flank instability on El Hierro, Canary Islands



    The effects of flank collapses on volcano plumbing systems


    1. And a… well, not OT, but more of an in depth rummaging around and speculation. Mainly aimed at Carl and Jack.

      This is a fabricated plot of the possible temperature gradient under El Hierro.

      The quakes are predominantly around 11 km down, and have been trending downward while apparently (to me) following a planar movement south along existing strata. The quakes are also becoming somewhat wider in the vertical spread.

      Poking around the net for data, I came up with a hydrocarbon generation analysis that used 42°C/km as a temperature gradient starting point. This gradient was chosen based on borehole measurements for a site located about 300 km southwest of El Hierro. The paper specifically stated that it was higher that usual due to the proximity of the volcanic islands.

      In a previous PowerPoint slide discussing geothermal energy in Iceland, one of the graphics showed the SISZ to have a gradient in the range of 75°C to 100°C/km in the area north of Katla over to the triple junction near Hengill.

      In my opinion, El Hierro’s actual gradient will be somewhere between these two values.

      So.. here ya go. Ruminate at your leisure.


      (yeah, it’s a bit of a cross post, but I wanted to make sure Jack and Carl could get an eyeball on the plot)

    1. The article is mostly about the evacuation, and I don’t think those comments with yellowstone and end of the world in it is serious.

    2. 53 people has been evacuated from Frontera in the north. No sudden big eruption is expected. The increased intensency is causing fear for a eruption.

      Hope this short translation helps :O)

      1. There are some very stupid comments on that site, don’t take them seriously. Bortkastet tid! (waist of time
        Here the news from Spain is treated like a little fill event, according to them people who have evacuated due to possible landslides is not an imminent eruption

    3. Ahm they have seen the “doom and gloom” videos of El Hierro.
      Even Yellowstone is not so large “Yellowstone”…
      It is no point to try to educate them.
      Must go to bed now…

    4. Oh, the end of mankind could come soon in geol0gical time (no reason to stay awake at night…), but even the biggest supervolcano will only contribute to the evolution and shaping of earth and not lead to it’s end.
      End time freaks often have very interesting inputs and thoughts, especially about the results of our vulnerable society facing natural hazards, but don’t eat up all that they serve… 🙂
      El Hierro is not Yellowstone. Want interesting potential rarely spoken about? -> Campi Flegrei; but here too, no need to lose any calm, just interesting to think and learn about these potentials…

      1. You know… now that C/2010 X1 (Elenin) has likely broken up, the Doomistas have given up on it.

        I wonder if they ever read Lucifer’s Hammer by Niven and Pournelle.

        In that story a doomsday comet, destined for impact, makes a swing around the Sun, breaks up and hits the Earth with a shotgun blast of fragments instead of one big whump.

    5. There are some very stupid comments on that site, don’t take them seriously. Bortkastet tid! (waist of time).

      1. Haha, yes, and I invented it! Try it out, it makes travelling comfortable…
        Afraid I’m affected by Guggle translator. Meant waste of time, of course.

  5. Thank you Jon, Lurking and gandalfi for all the off topic detail on El Hierro. Its potential is quite great for something unexpected, whether eruption or slip, and in any direction, if the Muenn article tells us anything. Most recent was a 3.5 in the sea, south of the island.

  6. Stronger EQ swarm…
    1100299 29/09/2011 04:56:25 27.6303 -18.0066 12 3.2 mbLg S FRONTERA.IHI
    1100292 29/09/2011 04:43:08 27.6723 -18.0599 16 3.5 mbLg SW FRONTERA.IHI
    1100283 29/09/2011 04:21:46 27.6743 -18.0701 16 3.0 mbLg SW FRONTERA.IHI
    1100302 29/09/2011 04:14:05 27.6795 -18.0617 15 2.5 mbLg SW FRONTERA.IHI

  7. Jon, why not to install a geophone in the “dead zone” rather than Reykjanes. That zone is so often ignored, and yet site of some of the largest eruptions in Icelandic history. A geophone there would be very interesting because you could detect tremors at a place with no official IMO stations (only Skrokkalda, but that is north of Veidivotn). A geophone at Katla is of course a very good idea, especially because often earthquakes are not correctly measured.

    My idea would be for installing a geophone a bit south of Veidivotn, so that it could pick eventual vibrations from Eldgjá, Laki, and also Veidivotn, Hamarinn and Loki. Another good place for a geophone would be north of Vatnajokull, at the edge of the glacier, the area is ice-free in summer time, because the only station in that area is at Grimsfjall, and in my opinion, there is a need for detectors close to Bardarbunga and also Kverfjoll.

    1. Those stations need electricity. If no mains line is available, you’ll need a large solar power panel, which increases costs pretty quickly.

      1. Suitable cases are available for reasonable cost, and the internet connection can be based on 3G networks. But the lack of mains line is the most pricey shortcoming the area has.

    2. Jack is right, but I agree that it would have been a good idea for the very reasons you state Irpsit.
      With a bit of luck and somewhere in the future there will be a marked increase in equipment in the region, all that I can say for now.

    1. Friday
      30.09.2011 11:42:52 64.632 -21.462 4.6 km 5.3 40.72 23.5 km ENE of Borgarnes
      Samtals skjálftar: 1
      There is a large spike off the scale here
      Magnitude not yet verified but it is a big spike.
      However nothing is showing on other SIL graphs as yet so I suspect it is not a “normal” quake possibly some man made surface noise?.
      I await to see what the Icelandic folk make of this.

      1. It’s blowing a severe gale from the South West in Iceland at present so my guess is that it could have been a violent gust of wind.

      2. UTI has removed this “earthquake” from it’s front page so I guess it’s a false alarm

  8. 1101023 30/09/2011 11:46:40 27.5327 -18.2859 33 2.4 mbLg ATLÁNTICO-CANARIAS This one is very deep… it’s strange!

  9. I know you have already some links from the IGN, but this one is for all resources they have about El Hierro: http://www.ign.es/ign/resources/volcanologia/HIERRO.html

    There is also a page for some emergency groups with some news about it:

    This is also the most frequently updated page i’ve found with news about the volcano:

    Every link above is in spanish, but you can find also some good english information about all this issue, a very good report on this link:


    Hope this could be useful.
    Greetings from Canary Islands!

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