Glacier quakes in Vatnajökull glacier following a lot of rain

The quiet time in Iceland continues with few to no earthquakes. Besides the strong Mw6.2 earthquake in Jan Mayen Island (Belongs to Norway, regional to Iceland geological area in my personal view) there is nothing happening.

On the night of 25th of January there where ice-quakes in Vatnajökull glacier. This appears to have happened due to heavy rain in that area from the 21st of January. But that can make the glacier move suddenly and that makes the ice-quakes. Icelandic Met Office has some pictures of this activity.

Picture is from Icelandic Met Office web site. Copyright belongs to them.

Ice-quakes in this plot appear as spikes. As can be seen a lot of ice-quakes took place in Vatnajökull glacier during the heavy rain.

Picture is from Icelandic Met Office web site. Copyright belongs to them.

A high detail of the ice-quakes. As can be seen, the ice-quakes look different then normal earthquakes. This is because ice is not as dense then rock and is under less pressure, and therefor breaks in a different way.

242 Replies to “Glacier quakes in Vatnajökull glacier following a lot of rain”

  1. Try to repost here. Last thread wouldnt let me post. However it is a reply to Carl´s take on the Kiruna quake.

    “Thanks carl for clearing that up. As I wrote in my post all quakes can be seen along the coastline as is shown on the link i posted (think you need to “drill down” on the website abit as it seems to be JAVA based). But also here Carl confirmed it or atleast cleared up why all tectonics occur along the eastern coastline.

    Just one question..Do the blasting at Kiruna mine actually release the energy needed for the instruments to record a mag4.0 event? Counting joules that is an awesome amount..

    Are they mining with nuclear weapons???”

    1. Reposting here to…

      No, the Kiruna mine can “only” get up to a 3,0 and that is with the added energy of the rock blocking up and falling 1km down into the hole.

      The mining blasts that reach up to 4,0 are done in the open pit of Aitik mine. There they drill the largest explosive holes on the planet, hundreds of them, each filled with tonnes of ANFO, then they blast.
      Once again, the movie with the worlds largest ever mining blast, click on “Blasting at Aitik”:

  2. Ok wrong emailadress…Mixed the private with my work address… Not a good combo so thats why it didnt get posted. 🙂 However here is my reply to Carl from the previous thread. 🙂

    “Thanks carl for clearing that up. As I wrote in my post all quakes can be seen along the coastline as is shown on the link i posted (think you need to “drill down” on the website abit as it seems to be JAVA based). But also here Carl confirmed it or atleast cleared up why all tectonics occur along the eastern coastline.

    Just one question..Do the blasting at Kiruna mine actually release the energy needed for the instruments to record a mag4.0 event? Counting joules that is an awesome amount..

    Are they mining with nuclear weapons???”

    1. Of course thay are not using nuclear weapons..I was ironic but still…

      Are they REALLY using nuclear weapons in the mining industry in northern sweden? If so there would be no need to plan the move of the city just increase the payload and Kiruna will land on “Sergels torg” in stockholm. However that would probably require some physics when it comes to trajectory and so on..

    2. It means that it just got stuck in the waiting area or did just go to the spam box, where I normally check for messages that should not be there on regular basic.

      Your comments are now free.

    1. 2 flurries! An eruptions seems inevitable in the (near future)
      What’s the link to the GPS data of krysuvik?


      1. Found the link already! inflation is also proceeding at quite a fast rate.. or isn’t it?


      2. Easy on, these swarm have been going on all year and could result in nothing at all. Ground deformation indicates a magmatic intrusion into a resevoir (?) at about 4-5km below the surface. In order to see an eruption it needs much more. This might be the initial stage of the volcano re-awakening, but it might also be a small cough in it’s sleep.

      3. Yeah I know, didn’t mean to say that there will be an eruption in 2 weeks or so.. I know it can take years and that even nothing could happen. Would like to see some fireworks th0ugh 😛


      4. Yep that’s for sure, however the volcanic system is on a rather bad location since it is only about 30km from Keflavik airport, and 25km from Reykjavik itself, it’s even closer to Blue Lagoon. I’m very interested to see how this area will develop over time.

      5. The only thinng intresting with this small quake-swarm at Krisuvik is that it is unusually deep. So it might be new magma coming up, or it is the start of a deflation phase. Remember that Krisuvik has had a previous inflation before it deflated, then inflated again (the previous inflation).
        Krisuvik is definitly doing something, but it will take time for it to get up to speed. I would guess it will take at least 8-10 years before it is ready to go.

      6. Sorry, but volcanos normally requires a lot of time and coffee to wake up properly.
        A few though just needs a couple of beers before they puke. Like Katla and Grimsvötn.
        Then you have Hekla that only needs to hear the noise of a beer opening to go aarsgespuiten.

  3. Hekla:
    There has for the last few days been unusual activity at the Hekla borehole tensor strainmeters. This measure the movement tension in the ground.

    Normally you can see quite a lot of movement on the Hella strainmeter, but very little movement on the other strainmeters.
    About five days the strainvalues started to go up over the board, and remember, these values are automatically corrected for barometric pressure (airpressure) due to shifts in the atmosphere, so one can rule out weather as a factor.
    But most of the action was at Hella, so I just put it on my “things to watch list”.

    Now there is considerable amount of rapid changes in all strainmeters. The brufell and the STO are showing values in the shifts ten times above normal.
    This is still ten times smaller than before the last eruption, but it is still quite high.
    So, keap a watch up, this might be a sign that Hekla is about to become more active.

    If the activity goes up further we might get an eruption soon.

    HEL, BUR, STO short-term actual movement corrected plot:

    All stations long term accumulated corrected plot:

      1. That is also an option, but it normally sniffs the beer before starting to aarsgespuit.

        Last time around, it had a 4something quake, the Burfell strainmeter went insane, and Ka-Bloey all over. The entire process took well less than an hour from quake to 11km of ash-pile. 🙂
        Before that, not a sign…

      2. Does it do that sort of strainmeter measurement behaviour every time it has an earthquake, or is it more unusual?

    1. Hekla moment shift:
      Hekla had a moment shift in the strainmeter.
      With that means that the Burfell had a negative momentum during a prolonged time at the same time as Hella and Storolfsfell had an equally long positive momentum.
      The reasoning behind this is that BUR is north of Hekla and HEL and STO is in the other direction. Any true rapid change in the mountain will therefore give oposite moment tensor readings, something that just happened.

      The action started at ca. 12.50 and ended 13.30, for those who missed it I have saved a pic of it, but don’t have picassa or some such, and I am toooooo lazy to get one.

      Still no true sign of an eruption coming, but something is going on.

      1. You are right, I’ve been watching the strain data for a few months now and it hasn’t been like this. With all of the previous small signs (snow-free patch early 2010, dry streams last fall, small earthquakes) I think the time could be ripe soon again after 11 years of dormancy.

      2. Don’t forget the disapearing water that we had in November when the streams dried up unexpectedly.

        Hekla is a funny and spectacular volcano. I just hope it she doesn’t decide to go to big when she starts her aarsgespuit.

      3. Yep I mentioned that. We should also not forget that this volcano is ‘overdue’. (if that is even possible because this implies we can predict volcanic eruptions pinpoint)

        Hekla indeed is unique in it’s class, I visited it last summer and it had a mysterious thing hanging around it, it just looks too peacefull to be true.

      4. That ah… transient for real?

        If so, that’s not the sort of thing you want to see on a volcano or fissure.

        That equates to a load shift. A load shift of massive proportions. It’s like wiggling the couch to get it to fit through the door.

        Nah… that’s not something real good.

      5. As far as I can understand that transient is real.
        And no, that is not good at all.

        For the rest in here. The transient thingamabit is decided by two factors. The first is the total amplitude, in this case 22nm/s. The second factor is duration. In this case the transient was not so transient, the duration was 40 minutes. So the power of the transient was 22 nanometres per newtonsecond times 2400 seconds. Ie, total shift is 52800 nanometres of combined pressure. And since that is local for just the boreholes we get quite stumping powers involved since it should be recalculated to an area-moment tensor spanning from Hella to Thorlfell… Brrr…

      6. @Pieter:
        I will try 🙂
        A transient is spiky wavelike shift in power. I can be a sound-wave like a drum for instance.
        Imagine that you hit the drum, the transient properly is the initial movement up and down of the skin. The harder you hit, the higher and lower it will go. The frequency will give the duration of the transient, ie a lower sound have a longer duration than a high-pitched one. That given we get that a low-frequency sound has a longer duration and accordingly more energy than the squeky sound 🙂
        And here we kind of loose the analogue in part.
        Because for it to be a total analogue the frequency of the sound would be impossibly low for it to last for 40 minutes. But this is a shift-load, ie. the earth tried to move away from the center-point of Hekla and that gives a long transient spanning the entire time-frame.

        The other part was just me saying, “shit that was powerfull” in a fancy way.

      7. For those curious about the weather.
        For Heklubyggd it is 8m/s second in average and the barometric pressure is steady at 972hPa.
        Ontop of that the strainmeters are autocorrected for barimetric pressure.

    2. Katla volcano can and did have some strange effects on Hellu before the events in the year 1999. The local people there did report small vibration just before the event in July 1999.

      I do not know if the strain data did show up anything unusual before it happened.

      But I also see a lot of system errors in the data. But the Hella strain data is interesting. But I am unsure what that means.

      1. This is a signal from a loss of connection I believe. Not actual event on the strain. This appears to happen due to how IMO handles the data from the strain sensors.

      2. Nah, the lost signals where not flat. The actual event was far from flat. This image is just not so good. I have one that was far better where you can see movement up and down during the event.

    1. Carl, would one generally expect the strain meter values to gradually approximate the values prior to the last eruption or can this thing just spike and blow in a matter or hour(s)? In other words, does the population nearby have just one hour’s notice to evacuate?

      1. I will have to watch this closely as my Mom is making a decision whether to take a trip to Germany in 3-4 weeks. I wish there were more signs that are predictive, but like you said, Hekla is like a alcoholic with 2 weeks of sobriety and someone opens a beer next to them while telling them they just lost their job.

      2. I wouldn’t worry, the chance that this eruption will disrupt air traffic is small. Hekla’s explosive eruption often are short (though violent) and less ashy then the recen Eyjafjallajökull eruption because it is not covered by a glacier and there wouldn’t be a magma-ice interaction when an eruption would occure.

      3. Yes, it would probably be a bit less ashy then Eyja was. But the big difference is/was prevailing winds at the time of eruption. Eyja got caught in a bit of odd weather. Normally it should have hit the nordic countries and continued into Russia… And that happened to Hekla in 2000.

      4. Hekla doesn’t give any regular warning such as earthquakes or ground deformation, second to none earthquakes happen in non-eruptive phases (untill approximately 1 hour before the onset of an eruption).

        The only clues we get are small phenomena’s scientists have related to the build-up to an eruption. The few phenoma’s I know of are these:

        -Snow free patches on the mountain, induced by rising temperatures beneath the mountain (as seen early 2010)
        -Dry streams around the mountain, source is disputed/unstudied (happened few months before the eruption in 2000 and 1755, and happened last November)
        -Unusual straindata (I’m not really familiar, but mr. Le Strange can certainly tell us more)

      5. I would like to point out that unusual straindata might not be a precursor. The strain at Burfell went down sharply right after the large initial quake at 2000. But that is the only known strainmeter data that we realiably can study, and what we have seen today is not the same. It is just very very odd…

      6. Just as Hofsjökull quake yesterday – not usual, not precisely located nor definite size (depends on where you look in IMO’s data), a odd incident.

      7. It can spike and go away to… 🙂

        The last eruption started with a 4,2 quake (if memory serves) and just a few seconds later the Burfell strainmeter drifted 150nm into negative. 10 minutes later a general warning was issued. 22 minutes later Hekla exploded with a 11km ash-pillar (at the highest it reached 16km). So the warning time might be really short, or even come after the eruption. This is Hekla after all, who if she was close to a city would be considered one of the most dangerous volcanos on the planet, if not the most dangerous.

        If hekla slowly went from the transients we have seen today to an eruption it would be first time for that to happen. Hekla doesn’t build up, it just blows.

        The transients might though be a pre-cursor to something up-coming. It might also not be anything. Or it can be Hekla turning around in her sleep.

  4. As far as I know, Hekla doesn’t give notice, but I am sure Carl will answer better than me. I don’t know how fast you have to run away when it erupts though.

  5. So I gather it tends to start it’s eruption explosively with loads of tephra then?

  6. Hm too bad Jon’s helicorder is down. I’d love to see if this transient was visible on the plots.

  7. That’s also a pretty good point. The quakes didn’t break ML 1.6 until just before it went… and from a UC Berkley web page:

    \The threshold at which people report feeling an earthquake is approximately magnitude 2 (under ideal conditions, ie, not moving and in the immediate vicinity of the epicenter).\

    So.. in order to feel these small quakes, you would have to be almost on top of them… so, make that \how far can you get in an hour\ to \where WERE you standing?\

  8. Actually, after crunching some numbers and comparing it with the 2000 eruption it was exactly the same, just 10 times smaller.
    It though lacked a quake swarm.

    I think that it might have been a pre-cursor after all.
    I made a script that will capture an image every half hour from now on of the strainmeter continous link so I can see what is happening while sleeping, working and so on.

      1. Yeah 🙁 Don’t we have any Icelandics here who can go and take a peak? 😀

        What’s also interesting to see is that before these major strainfluctuations there is a strain-silence. The line goes completely flat for some minutes.

      2. The one to keap track of is Burfell and normally that one doesn’t move at all…

        I guess it would be a bit out of ways for most icelanders to go and kick at the summer house where Jón has hidden the Helicorder.

      3. Carl, in comparing the strain values on 2/26/2000 with these today, you commented that this is “potentially so bad”. Can you briefly elaborate why?

        Also, If I am reading the article Lurking posted (, small quakes started before the strain meters showed indications of magma moving. In this case, we still don’t have any quakes and we have unusual pulsing and low strain values compared to 2/26/2000 that definately put this into an ‘anomalie’ category.

        I wonder what if any hypothesis are being formed yet by the local volcanologists.

      4. My comment is caused by this anomaly not having happened since 2000. That is why it might be potentially bad, since this might be a sign of an upcoming event. Let just say that if 2000 was a concert by U2, this was a small park concert.

        Yes, problem is just that it is hard to see any really small micro-quakes. That is why I wish for Jóns helicorder to be online.

        But, since there hasn’t been any quakes, there is no impending eruption right now.

        My take is that this is sofar an aborted eruption, where the mountain for a period of forty minutes contracted, but that the power was to small to open the conduit.

        The powerlevel was 10 – 20 times lower than in 2000.

        I would guess that the volcanologists at MET is keaping an eye out, and if a quake-swarm starts they will press the alarm. But they do that constantly for Hekla.
        If I have understood things correctly any quake at Hekla sounds a physical alarm at MET.

  9. could someone have just turned up the amplitude???
    You know, by mistake.
    There is that long flat run up the the spikes…
    Maybe they weren’t getting any readouts and just increased the dial.

    1. Not very likely that they would have done it on all of the strainmeters.
      And this has been going for a couple of days. But earlier today Burfell started to go wild. With this really bizarr 40 minute transient.
      I have actually started to think that Hekla had an abortion.

      1. my father believed in abortion…. that it should be retroactive untill the kid is 35…
        (not a lot of comfort growing up…;) )

  10. And what are You doing up so late roaming around, Yourself, Young man!
    (in my scratchy old lady voice)…. Yes, very sad….. but kids today… they are pretty hard to handle. OT well, back to volcanoes…. i’d love to see another Icelandic one go up. Lady E was sure lovely (until all the ash got me down and i baled)
    What webcam’s has Hekla got? i’ll go see if i can find any.

      1. Thanks…. i’m so slow; You had the answer before i could get my snowshoes off. 😉

      1. When you view the webcams at night (or dark time) you will make no mistake about what you are looking at if something burps, belches or pukes its guts out…would not be revealing much flaming detail during the day. Flaming detail, indeed. HAH!!

      2. Well the last view I got before sundown was a foggy and rainy Burfell, you couldn’t see anything of Hekla so I doubt an eruption would be seen.

      1. i was responding to this comment by You
        Carl le Strange on müsli says:
        January 31, 2011 at 19:18
        I have a tendency to agree when I see drunk kids roaming around late at night.

        which would imply that You were roaming around late at night too. (the drunk part i’ll leave up to You… 😉 )
        Best! and thanks for the ‘hamburger’ note.

      2. I go on some kind of weird americo-chinese time normally so my night is not entirelly a normal night…
        But I like to roam at nightclubs sometimes, and I do tend to like a drink or two on saturdays 😉

        I am childishly fond of word-puns!

  11. Well, if Hekla has been drinking beer, maybe its just at the ‘burping’ stage before it throws up and it just burped. RUN FOR THE HILLS !! 🙂

  12. Carl, even if it is an “interrupted eruption”you get the kudos for it.
    In the future, people will have new ways to look for signs of an impending eruption.
    So far, the signs are very few – water leaks, temperature rises… that doesn’t tell much. What you have been up to is something really palpable and I am sure it will lead to more accurate forecasts from now on.
    I’m logged in, ready for the big news!

    1. It might be a good sign. But, we will have to see if this little activity mounts to something in the end. If it erupts in the next few days, or if this new kind of behaviour continues for weeks, and then we have an eruption. Then I might have caught something. But, I think someone else would have caught it right after me.
      I think Pieter was just seconds after me. 😉

  13. As a listener/lurker, have a question on water flows. I see the new iceland web page up, with the red, orange, green and blue dots on map. Don’t have a clue if that provides any additional information related to volcanic awaking . No water, or disappearing water, or floods from glaciers–is that indicative of some sesmic activity? Or just storms?

    1. @JEC:
      I don’t know if I have quite understood your question , but, when some new volcanic activity, or jojüllhlaup (glacier flood) is underway, they usually place a special note or report.
      They come first in Icelandic and then they are translated in the English version (link above IMO’s webpage).
      If you browse the site you can get many additional information regarding magnitudes, tremor measurements and so forth.

    2. Increased / decreased water flow can be indicative for volcanic awakening.
      For Hekla it’s has been a little river by Keldur that is markedly less water (flow) in than normal up too a few months ahead of eruption.

      Explained a bit of what I think of water flow here,

      look for (or find) “December 18, 2010 at 15:58” :

  14. Seems like the strain went and had a hickup this morning aswell.

    Whooa!! It just took a deep dive from 0,5 to -12 or so when i was looking…Something is pushing. Will be interesting to see what will happen…

    1. These spikes are pretty regular. The green line (Hella) often has spikes. When looking for anomalies you should look at the red Burfell line.

      1. I think the flatlining is a sign of system-overload in the strainmeter.
        I do not think that it actually is flat. Sometimes the combined plot show a heck of a lot of movement when there is a flat.
        So the flat is probably an error in the system that resets after a little while.
        The spike was nice and showed exactly the thing you and me where trying to explain.

    1. This is probably caused by temperature fluctuations and rainfall. There were some extremely warm and cold periods last 2 months which resulted in a drain/small flood of the glaciers of Myrdallsjokull and Eyjafjallajökull which are connected to this river. Also there has been a lot of rainfall (instead of snow) during these warmer periods.

    2. Hella in itself is not interesting, but it is splendid as a reference point against Burfell.
      Hella on the other hand should be referenced against a strainmeter that covers Hengill. Most of the spikes on Hella are probably due to activity in that volcano, or one of the other 4 active volcanos in the other direction.
      After all, it is even possible that Krisuvik is responsible for the Hella spikes.

      So, in an ideal world there would be a strainmeter on the other side of Hengill (that had a small quake swarm a few days ago) and on the other side of Krisuvik.

      1. I think I should be even clearer. Hella is not a part of Hekla. It is a part of two semi-dead local volcanos (Hromundartindi and Grensdalur), and all activity there are from the Sprungur tectonic area and the Hengill volcano that covers Thingvallavatn lake and the surrounding areas (Hengill is the most powerfull volcano in the first half after the Ice-age).
        So properly Hella would equally well be seen as the station for Hengill…

    1. I think the Saurbaer tremor is induced by an upcoming storm. (See the other plots:

      The GPS data is interesting though, but I can’t recall anything about uplift as a precursor to an eruption at Hekla. I believe it doesn’t inflate significantly before an eruption. Do you have anything on that?

      1. I don’t agree with you on that, it might not be wind but waves, if you look at other stations near the south coast we can see the same pattern. These waves are probably caused by this upcoming storm. (it’s currently over the ocean south of Iceland: )

        I’m not that sure about the inflation yet. For now it’s just a very very minor uplift which can be seen at all GPS stations. If we look back on the graph we can see the same pattern, so it’s not that unusual. Magmatic intrusions are recognized by long-term inflation.
        For example: Grimsfjall often has drops in the short-term GPS-vertical graph (
        But over the long term the cumulative uplift of these rise and falls is positive: this is the real inflation.
        So for now it is a very very minor inflation which probably doesn’t mean anything.

        And incase of magmatic inflation we should see inflation at Haukdalur also, which isn’t the case.

      2. Grimsvötn is not the best comparison to Hekla.

        Actually the tremor is falling slightly on both stations.

        Remember that there seems to be two reservoirs under Hekla. One general that is an intrusive deep one, and one shallower under or between Burfell and Hekla. That is why you have the oposite motion of the strainmeters with Burfell having negative motion, and the rest having positive motion. So Haukadalur might not be the best sign.
        But it was just mentioned that the Isakot had a smaller uplift before an eruption, no numbers was attached.

        There was also some extemporisation that Hekla might have a very complex set of chambers, intrusive layers, tubinged reservoirs and so on. I guess that is why she can leak all over. But it seems like the last eruptions all was due to the Burfell reservoir, which was given as the explanation for the high frequency of eruptions during the last 50 years or so.

      3. A reservoir beneath Burfell? Are you sure? This mountain is located 12km northwest of Hekla, and the magma should take an immense twist to reach the mountain, especially when this chamber is shallow. Where did you get this info?

      4. That one I do not know, but it is probably a part of the feeder reservoir mechanism.
        But it seems like Hekla has a well developed set of reservoirs, and that is probably the cause of the sudeness of onset of eruptions.
        Because the more complex the reservoir, the more violent is the gas-release in an eruption and that would explain the high explosivity even though the water content is not that high. And also the high fluorinity.

  15. Hekla doesnt have the typical phreatic explosive eruptions correct?

    What if this unusual uplift is due to blockage over the past 11 years and when it goes it will be a more explosive initial phase in the eruption before it subdues?

    Or will we see a fissure event at a new location if the magma has found a new path?

    1. Hekla is heavilly phreatic with hard amounts of tephra down-fall.
      The lava of Hekla is though of a very particular and unique kind.

      But as far as I can tell the amount of Lava accumulated at Hekla is larger than at the last 2 eruptions.

      Looks like it will be at the same spot as the last, or a an opening of the entire central fissure. Hard to know, this is just pure speculation on my part.

  16. Hekla and inflation:

    I was dead wrong about it not inflating.
    After reading up.
    Hekla has 2 different kinds of uplift.
    The first is associated with a deep and wide accumulation i an associated large magma reservoir at least 20 km in size. That reservoir had reached the same levels as before the 2 last eruptions allready in 2005.
    Right before eruptions that reservoir seems to connect to a smaller reservoir higher up, and a brief phaze of uplift follows.

    I would say that Hekla is good to go now, and that we are just waiting for the final brief quake-swarm when the conduit opens up. When will it happen?
    Let me quote MET who said in 2005 that Hekla would erupt within 2 years.
    I looked at presentation for Hekla that I had, and according to that we have now had all the known precursors, except of course the quake-swarm.

    The inflation and the last days of anomalitic strainmeter measurments are of course connected.

    1. I am not so sure that it is the same.

      I have 2 reasons for this.
      1. This time it occurs at the same time as the strainmeter anomalies.
      2. Previous microlifts have been almost identical between Haukadalur and Isakot. Take a look, but now they differ, and that is a sign that previous microlifts where associated with the deeper intrusion reservoir, and are normal activity. The current (small) microuplift seems more local and might be a sign of inflation localy in Burfell area.

      1. That could be possible, but there is no hard evidence, for now I’ll take this as regular micro uplift.

      2. Indeed, sharing thoughts is the best way to get a nice perspective on unclear phenomena 🙂

      3. Science? Who said anything about science? It’s doooom I tell ya, doooooom!

        Well, at least that’s the media perspective on everything.


      4. As a response to Carl´s comment. Indeed a difference of opinion drives science forward and so does keeping an open mind. I have seen alot of ppl saying something like “No that cant happen, science tells us its impossible”. Now in my opinion that is dangerous thinking. the second we as humans think we know everything there is to know we are in trouble.

        I am certainly not a doom-mongerer or a tin-foil hat maniac. But when i read some of the responses to peoples fear regarding the CERN project I got abit scared. The scientific community (the majority anyway) said that exact thing. “Its no danger. the laws of physics prevents that” or something similar when people were concerned about the miniature black holes and things not considered.

        Now I fully support the project or atleast the thought behind it. But it is also a good example of humans playing with something we “think” we know all about.

        Bear in mind that just a few centuries ago the earth was flat and that was the truth!

        Done rambling..:)

      5. @Daniel:
        Well, those people have a tendency of forgetting the basic tenement of science, the collision between vallid scientific theories. And then the sooner or later disprovement of one or more theories.

        About CERN. Being one of the rarefied set of people who actually understand the principles behind the black microholes, or more correctly named Brian Greenes “supersymetrical elevendimensional calabi-yau room singularities” I feel secure in saying that it ain’t gonna happen anything.
        1. High-order stringtheory is not proven to be correct, in light of reasent lack of proof (from CERN, anyone seen a Higgs-boson lately?) the entire theory is about to be debunked.
        2. The only known way of a SSEDCYRS happening is if seven dimensional planes and 1 time and 3 gravitational planes exist, and only if a singularity has the ability to form a string that can vibrate after falling in on itself.
        3. Even if all those things do exist and are correct, a SSEDCYRS can only fall in on itself in quantum-space below the Quantum-treshold.
        4. According to Greenes theory this is contained within the Calabi-Yau room, and… It is happening all over, all the time. Even better, it is necessery for gravity to even exist in higher-order string-theory.
        5. The energy needed to form a SSEDCYRS is 13 orders of magnitude larger then CERN can produce…

        It is a classical example of a non-notable German scientist from a slightly different field trying to get into celebrity and funding through scare-mongering.
        If you really want to shit your pants on quantum-mechanics, then you should study the Wheelan interpretation of Feynman time-reversed electrons in “Quantum merchanics and path-integrals” (the misspelling is Feynmans, not mine). Also known as the “Fenman electron-bomb”, aka. “The universe buster”. And that is not likely either, but only due to pure logics. We still exist, therefore it is probably not possible.

        And sorry all, there is no way I could ever describe this simpler. But I recommend reading Brian Greenes fantastic popular-science book (should be mandatory in all schools) “A Beautifull Universe”. I wish I even could try to write a book like that… Sniffle!

  17. Found an article online. Test if you can read it.
    1992-2000 InSAR time series analysis at Hekla volcano, Iceland: Inflation periods and the 2000 eruption co-eruptive changes
    Ofegigsson, B. G.; Sigmundsson, F.; Hooper, A.; Sturkell, E. O.

    In it they describe the shallow dike from Burfell to Hekla as the feeder for the current eruptive phaze. Be that as it may.

  18. Isakot GPS results from 2002 to 2008:

    All GPS stations in SW Iceland, from 1999 to 2010, also Isakot:

    Isakot is one of the fastest inflaters in direction UP for the last decade! I think Carl is overally right for Isakot, but I too have my doubts for the meaning of this one new datapoint. I’ll rethink my position on this issue after three similar successive datapoints or after Hekla’s eruption – whichever comes first.

  19. I’ve got a question:
    On the GPS map of Sigrún , there are 6 Hekla stations. Have no Relavanz?

  20. Guys:
    Keep doing the good job.
    Just tell me the date and time for doomsday.
    Meanwhile, bring some more Müsli!

  21. Eruptions blog is very slow, I think it is because there is a Big Think “life forum” going on and it is streaming at the top of the blog.

      1. That is a beautiful video. Thanks for the link!! Is there a live webcam site for this activity?

  22. i finally got in…
    i hate it when TPTB tell me what to do…
    i’m just a rebel….
    Anyway it’s more fun watching the boys go round here.
    And i have to admit; anytime anyone says …’Never or Always’ my eyebows go up.
    There just isn’t a never or always…. only ‘not yet’.

    1. Yessss! This is “our ” MotsFo!
      Put them back where they belong!
      Respectfully, Rio. 🙂

    2. Ofcourse you can’t speak of never and always. But we can’t discuss science by involving complete randomness, then there wouldn’t be any point at all discussing this. Science is based on things we perceive as the truth. Simply ignoring these facts and come up with random explanations is possible but these hypothesis’ are useless untill they are proven. (religion and superstitions are examples of this)

      Ladies and gentlemen, say goodbye to sciene, say hello to philosophy.

      1. @ Pieter – You said; “Science is based on things we perceive as the truth”

        This is the key sentence in my opinion.

        As human beeings we need to realize that we do not know all things that there is to know. The day we sit down and say “We can not learn any more” we are doomed to fail.
        We need to look at the data and question it, turn it around and come up with alternatives…As I wrote in a reply further up.

        For me it would be a personal defeat if I would some day say that I know everything I need to know. Because that would just be wrong…We as humans will always have things to learn. We do not know all there is to know in mathematics, physics, chemistry and so on..

        At least that is my take on the subject. 😉 Getting back to my WoW now.. 🙂

      2. Eh.. no matter.

        I just recently stopped playing the Battle Field series of games. Laying traps for twitch kiddies, while entertaining, gets old after a while. (See, there is more to combat than seeing who’s tank turret is bigger… even in a game)

  23. Ha, Motsfo, I found my speaker off button on the computer. Took a long time for me to understand what that sound was om ERuptions.

  24. i have the deepest respect for 14 year old gamers…
    And i don’t believe in randomness. i believe in patterns….. Everything has a pattern.
    And if we don’t see the pattern, it’s because we don’t know enough to recognize it. i certainly don’t know enough to discuss all of the readouts from the instruments but i enjoy listening to the boys discussing which information will uncover the pattern of behavior that the volcano will fulfill. A little like paddock talk before horse racing.
    And i wonder who will win.
    There is a romantic side of me that believes any volcano can do the unexpected.
    But i realize it’s only unexpected by our limited understanding. And i love the idea that mispelling is on the house. 😉


  25. @ Motsfo – Very good statement there. 🙂 “There is a romantic side of me that believes any volcano can do the unexpected.
    But i realize it’s only unexpected by our limited understanding.”

    Says it all really. 🙂

    Ill use that as a quote if you dont mind.

    1. I could go further on…
      Aren’t our lives romantically based on the unexpected?
      Or do we romantically believe we can expect something from our lives?
      What are we looking for when gazing at the unexpected?
      Trying to master the patterns, taking romantically for granted that patterns do exist?
      Or should we just proceed, romantically expecting, as seems to be our pattern?

  26. Ok sorry but i need to write this in swedish…use google translate to read my rant!!

    Idag publicerade aftonbladet sin andra artikel angående Yellowstone där man försökte “rädda sitt anseende” efter den dummaste artikeln på bra länge. De skrev att det var 50% chans att yellowstone skulle få ett utrbott inom 1-1000 år. urdumt!!

    Och nu när de försöker rädda allt har de intervjuat Reynir Bödvarsson vilken i min mening är en person man kan lita på. Men när det sker lär hela jorden gå under. Men i vanlig ordning så misstolkar journalister ALLT som sägs. Antingen det eller så vill de skrämma folk med flit!

    Reynir tonar ner risken för ett utbrott på alla sätt. Och sedan skriver journalisten i fråga följande:

    “Men när det sker lär hela jorden gå under. “

    Snacka om att inte ha koll på nåt. Det finns inte en chans att Bödvar sagt något liknande!!


    Sorry for my ranting..It was for a just cause. Hopefully Jon wont remove this post. If you want to know what it says use google translate. I think you will get my meaning. 😉

    1. Well, they can’t help it. Family trees with no branches equals a telephone pole. You can’t get much more inbred than that.

    2. Thanks Daniel, I have read the same stupid articles. That paper is getting worse and worse and the journalists (or whatever you should call them) they hire seem to deteriorate in journalistic skills from week to week.

    3. Dear Daniel:
      The only way not to get an aneurysm out of reading that snot-rag is to not read it.
      For those in here not of the swedish persuasion. Normally our papers are pretty decent, but we have 2 “snot-rags” that is world-class crap. For those of the american persuasion, think a National Lampoon that takes itself serious, but still printing articles about “carnivorous sheep eating people in New Zeeland”.
      Nah, the would write “Murder-sheeps attack UN!”

    4. Thanks, this line in particular was highly entertaining: ” They wrote that there was a 50% chance that Yellowstone would have a utrbott in the 1000-1000 year. urdumt!”

      I love the “urdumt!”, it’s like internet chat English “ur dumpt” or in proper English “you’re dumped!”.

      1. From the beginning it was “Urbota dum”, or in english “incurably stupid”. It was used as a term for those that was so stupid that they needed to be commited to care by court.
        But perhaps an amalgamation of Sigrúns interpetation would be best, “Brain-dumper”. 🙂

      2. Will someone quickly roll in the brain dumpster!?

        à la Henny Youngman, “Take my brain, please!”

  27. Meanwhile:
    02.02.2011 00:05:46 64.682 -17.361 1.4 km 3.1 90.06 9.2 km ENE of Bárðarbunga
    Qiet times are over!

    1. Saw that one too. Has anybody monitored the slight inflation around grimsfjall? somehow i also get a feeling that the tremor level is slightly higher than lately and slowly rising.

      here would be the oversight-page over the gps-, tremor-, cumultative seismic moment-data

      1. There is no slight inflation in Grimsfjall, it has been inflating ever since the end of the last eruption in 2004, so this is nothing new.

        This earthquake is located in Bardarbunga volcano and is probably tectonic or related to a dike intrusion. I’ll personally go with tectonic but that’s just pure logics.

        What’s more interesting is the ongoing strain anomalies in Hekla volcano. (For the record)

    2. The world seems to have caught a bad dose of the chinese curse…”may you always live in exciting times”. This is just a transition to a better world.

  28. I agree on this one – the google translation was only neccesary for half the way – i got your point

  29. I have noticed that the tremor pattern at has been shifting over time, and the last few days have seen another shift that appears to be intensifying.

    It does not appear to correlate tightly to storms (at least as I have observed over the last weeks, although there is bound to be some effect here) so what might be causing this pattern alteration? The blue 2-4hz line oscillation seems compressed and flatlining at two energy levels that it jumps between – but the other frequencies also appear to have become energetic in the last couple of days. What would cause this pattern? Increased tectonic stresses at this location? It isnt in the middle of a glacier, so ice tremors are out. Just wondering.

  30. The google translate didnt really do as i had expected it to do.

    however the most important sentence where the media totally crapped all over Reynir was “Men när det sker lär hela jorden gå under”..
    In english it reads “But when that happens it will be the end of the world”…

    I truly hope that Reynir read the article and contacted this so called newspaper..

    1. And now Hekla tries to convince us that it is a beating heart. About one pulsed double-transient (red moving inversely to the others) per hour.

      I wish that one of our Icelandic friends could say if there has been anything on the news about it…

      1. Nobody here breathing a word about Hekla 😉

        Didn’t order anything more, lets see what February brings

  31. Katla:
    Something happened with that last quake in Katlas south-boundary of the caldera.
    Slight increase in Godabunga, but more on Snaebyli and Lagu-Hvolar.
    “The Other Lurker”, did you order this one too? 😉

  32. There is a major storms going to pass over Iceland today and tomorrow. The second one is going to a stronger then (low pressure down to 951hPa according to the weather news) the storm that is passing over Iceland today.

  33. Another suspiously tornillo-like event (increasing the 0,5 – 1,0 Hz signal only) at Hekla. I wish I could see real data on it with time resolution of 1/10 of a second!

    1. It could be seen in Burfell strain measurements, too! At the same time the strain signal was “abnormal”.

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