Böðvarshólar geophone station goes off-line on 28-May-2015

I am going to turn off the geophone station in Böðvarshólar on 28-May-2015. The only renaming geophone stations after this is going to be in Heklubyggð. I don’t know for how long I am going to keep it running. The Böðvarshólar geophone station has been recording earthquakes since 2012. It has however proved to be difficult to keep running remote geophone stations due to connection issues, hardware issues and so on. I have also been having a major problem with the 3G signal leaking into the recording and creating a problem (this was a huge problem this winter with all the snow). It was clear from the start that I would not be able to maintain a remote network forever. This was and always has been a temporary network. In the time I have been running this network. I have collected so much data that I am yet to properly work with it, install magnitudes, depths and locations in the data files. At the moment I got around of five years worth of unprocessed data. There is also a change taking place where this geophone is hosted. Changes that are outside of my control and I have nothing to do with them.

I won’t stop recording earthquakes, but since I won’t be living in Iceland I am only going to record earthquakes in Denmark and mostly long distant one [magnitude 6,0 and larger]. That is going to mean fewer earthquakes that I record each week and over the year (Denmark has few local earthquakes). The data is going to be easier to process at the same time due fewer recorded earthquakes that I have to handle. The only geophone station that I am going to continue to run for now is the one in Heklubyggð, how long it is going to remain on-line I do not know. That depends a lot on the person that owns the summerhouse where it is hosted. I hope everything understand why I have to turn my geophone network down in Iceland. Things are also changing for me personally and that change might not allow me to run this geophone network in the future. As I say above, I won’t stop recording earthquakes, I am just going to do with in a different way.

My geophones can be viewed here. Heklubyggð geophone doesn’t update at the moment due to failed WLAN transmitter (it is frozen). I am going to replace it soon with a new WLAN transmitter. The current WLAN transmitter is close to 10 years old (2007 or 2008) so it has started to fail due to old age and usage.

24 Replies to “Böðvarshólar geophone station goes off-line on 28-May-2015”

  1. Hi Jon,

    How would you install a earthquake detector in Denmark? What is the power consumption and what OS is needed?
    I might be able to house one en Denmark for you if there isn’t too much background noise where I live.

    Please reply via mail.


  2. I have enjoyed your blog and I will continue to contribute from time to time, but I think it is time for you to get more specific about your plans. You need to think carefully about why other people will be willing to support your work instead of the work of others. For example, I wonder about the tradeoff of collecting new raw data versus analyzing data collected by better-funded groups. In the US, where I live, a lot of data in many fields of science that has been collected by government-funded projects ends up, eventually, in the public domain. As you said, you already have a large amount of data that you don’t have the resources to analyze. I have very little idea how all this works even in the EU, much less in Iceland. I hope this is not taken as a criticism, as it is not meant to be. Perhaps you can get together with some young enthusiasts and crowdsource something with a more specific goal.

    1. I always have been specific about my plans, the thing about my plans is that they have not been going according to my plans. That has been creating a great mess for me.

      As for the geophone network. It is difficult to run it, in the case of Böðvarshólar geophone station I was having a signal leak issue from the 3G modem that I was using due to poor signal quality (due to landscape). I don’t plan on stopping recording earthquakes. I am just going to do so in Denmark and focus more on large earthquakes that happen in other parts of the world, those are earthquakes larger then magnitude 6,0 in Europe and magnitude 7,0 worldwide.

      It is easier to maintain the hardware when it is next to you rather then remote and in distant location. Since there is always something that fails, be that a Windows failure or hardware failure. This winter I also almost lost the hardware due to snow blowing in on it during a storm. I just managed to safe the hardware from massive damage that day.

      The only station that I am going to maintain in Iceland for now is in Heklubyggð. It is going to fixed tomorrow (Friday) I hope.

  3. I understand that you had plans, but circumstances changed. Unfortunately, that is how the world works. Now you have to change your plans and tell your possible donor community about that. I feel a bit funny about saying too much because I am not a geologist. Perhaps it is clear to everyone else, but I don’t necessarily know why a geophone is useful in itself, especially if the data from it has not been analyzed yet. I have great faith that it is, indeed, useful but I don’t know enough myself to evaluate that. I would presume that an individual geophone is most useful as an element of a network of geophones that could act as an interferometer. Geophones in Iceland and Denmark ought to be very useful in any such effort. Not only would a geophone in Denmark be able to pick up seismic activity in Iceland, but it would also help pinpoint where earthquakes from fracking, geothermal power installations, and carbon sequestration are happening in Europe. I know this isn’t as cool as dykes bringing hot magma from the depths of the earth, but this data could have substantial economic value and help you fund the nicer stuff.
    I don’t know if I should say much more, because I am not a geologist. Can’t some other people who benefited from Jon’s blog help out here?

    1. This website (Iceland Geology) is viewed far more then my webicorder website. I don’t know why that is. I do have a link to personal stations from around the world, that people run on there own. You can view them here.


      There is a lot of technical challenges involved in running a remote station. I have been running remote stations since 2008. Expanding that network, as it turns out is not possible in the long run for various reasons and technical problems. I am just a one person doing a lot of things with limited time in the day to do it.

      The geophone at Heklubyggð is going to continue be on-line for the next few years at least. That geophone station has been running since 2008 without any major technical issues. I continue to wait for eruption in Hekla volcano to see how it appears on my geophones.

      I don’t think they are going to do any pumping of water into the ground rock where I am going to be living in Denmark. There are plans to do so in North Denmark (Skagen peninsula area), I don’t think they have started yet. That might trigger earthquakes since the ground in this area is old, up to 300 – 500 million years old.

      I want to live in Denmark for the rest of my life and in Padborg. There are only so many things that I can do in a day. The thing is, as I have mentioned before there are difficulties running a remote station. A failed hard-drive is difficult to fix from 2.200 km away.

      What I can do, if people want to set-up there own geophone is to advice them on what to buy and how to work with the hardware. I might even write a article about if enough people are interested in reading such advice.

      As for my future plans. I plan on buying Volksmeter 2 channel sometimes in the future. When I do not know since this seismometer is really expensive, it costs $1995 for two channels (+GPS unit, power unit). You can read about it here for more information.


      I have no plans on stopping writing about earthquakes swarms in Iceland and volcano eruptions in Iceland. The only changes are on the raw data front due to changes that I don’t control my self. I do let the people know how read my website. That is why I put up this notification about me turning off the geophone in Böðvarshólar.

      1. One of the things I do not know is the effective range of a seismometer. Clearly, a station in Padborg will not be able to track shallow small quakes in Iceland or, say, the northern coastal area of Germany or France. However, deeper and larger quakes in the magma conduits under parts of Iceland or faults reactivated by pumped fluids in parts of Europe might give you a useful signal if you correlate your geophone signal with the signals from others. I did check your link, and noticed that the instrument you wanted was advertised as having especially good low-frequency response. Wouldn’t such a signal travel further?
        Could you set up a joint project with the Denmark school system? Could you set up a local club to sponsor, own, and maintain the seismometer? Perhaps such a club could serve as a testing and certification station for other informal seismometer stations. There are many possibilities for public science education here, and each is a possible funding source.
        In any case, good luck Jon.

    2. I think it is important to emphasize that Jon is kindly asking for donations because of his personal situation and not to maintain a network of geophones or other technical equipment.

      I also donated money in the past because I have the impression that it is for a good cause – but I don’t have any expectations.

      Crowd funding, subscription and such things is a different thing – but that’s not what he is doing.

  4. Hi Jon, I recall some months ago you were planning to move to Tenerife, is that no longer an option?

    1. I did consider that, but in the end I figured out that I want to live in Denmark and in Padborg. I really like it there. It is just the right size for me and I can do more things if I want to. I love living in a border area with Germany.

  5. Hi Jón

    The best of plans have to change when circumstances around us change. It is the nature of life that we have to be adaptable to life around us, and this need for adaptability is often more profound for those with few financial resources. You established that Padborg was the place for you to be very soon after you returned to Iceland and you have held firm to this. You are now being adaptable so that you achieve that goal in the shortest possible time, or so it seems to me. I commend your commitment and wish you very, very well with everything.

    1. Water is pumped down into the ground and it changes the pressure in the rock and creating earthquakes as a consequence. Man made earthquakes.

      1. They don’t do that at Krysuvik. It’s done at Hengill. So no. These are NOT man made quakes.

      2. Yes i can se now that they are on the same peninsula bur not realy close. 50 km (birds way).

    1. Quite short swarm, just few hours, it seems it’s not continuing, but it may be too early to say anything. That caused nice spike in Krisuvik tremor graph. I’m pretty sure that by just pumping water, it will NOT cause magnitude 4 quakes, something is happening in the volcano, but very slowly. It has been quite a while since Krisuvik last time erupted, I believe 14th century? It obviously isn’t dormant.

      1. This is not pumping water. The quakes have pure tectonic signatures, and besides, they are not even pumping water down here. They are doing that in Hengill.

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