Small eruption took place in Katla volcano in July 2011

According to the news on Rúv this evening it is now a opinion at Icelandic Met Office that a small eruption did take place in Katla volcano during the days 8 and 9 July 2011. This eruption was however larger then the eruption in Fimmvörðuháls in Eyjafjallajökull volcano last year (2010). But this is based on tremor data from around Katla volcano during this summer. But this is what Einar Kjartansson geologist at Iceland Met Office says in the news at Rúv this evening. Even if this small eruption did take place in Katla volcano it does not seems to have eased the pressure inside Katla volcano, so a large eruption in Katla volcano is still a possibility in the close future. Note: GVP has updated Katla volcano eruption status to the year 2011!

This conclusion was reached by checking out the cauldron that formed during this event. But they show a sign that they had a sudden melt taking place. But that melt can only happen of lava got into contact with the ice and fast melted it. This is also the reason why there was a 5 meters flood in Múlakvísl glacier river that did destroy the bride over it. But it is also a fact that the harmonic tremor in Katla volcano during this period was the same as that did happen during the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull volcano. The only difference was that it it was stronger from Katla volcano then in Eyjafjallajökull volcano it seems (at least from what I can see from the data). Even if it lasted for a shorter time then in Eyjafjallajökull volcano.


The tremor on Slysaalda SIL station on 9 July 2011 at 00:36 UTC. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Met Office.


Alftagrof SIL station on 9 July 2011 at 00:36 UTC. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Met Office.


The area that was active and had a eruption on 8 and 9 July 2011. Copyright of this picture belongs to Iceland Met Office.

Even with this small eruption it is clear that Katla volcano is not done with its eruptions. Since the large one is not yet over. When that happens is a good question and nobody has a answer too at the moment.

Note: This is also what did happen in Hamarinn volcano the week after. But I also think that volcano did have a minor eruption in July 2011. As the signatures are the same from what I can gather. So that makes three eruptions in Iceland for the year 2011 if confirmed later on.

Icelandic News with this. Use Google translate with care on it. Since it does not understand.

Allt bendir til Kötlugoss (Rúv.is, Icelandic, Picture)
Segir Kötlu hafa gosið í sumar (DV.is, Icelandic, Picture)
Lítið eldgos í Kötlu í sumar (mbl.is, Icelandic)

Iceland government to increase monitoring and research into Iceland volcanoes

Iceland government did approve today to increase funding for research into Iceland volcanoes. But this is also part of a plan for a risk assessment for volcanoes in Iceland. But it is expected that this research is going to take 15 to 20 years. Funding has already been increased to Icelandic Met Office by grands from ICAO (among other I think, but I do not have it confirmed). But this is a direct response to the fact that Eyjafjallajökull volcano and Grímsfjall volcano have erupted in short time span (11 months apart).

But the Icelandic government is expecting a eruption in Grímsfjall volcano every two to seven years. But it is also expecting eruptions in Bárðarbunga volcano following this increased activity in Grímsfjall volcano. But eruption period often follow in Bárðarbunga volcano when activity increases in Grímsfjall volcano.

First step of this research is going to take three years to finish. But the news does not say what they are going to cover in this research. This risk assessment is done by the standards of U.N and WMO.

Icelandic News about this.

Hefja vinnu við hættumat fyrir eldgos – tekur 15 til 20 ár í heildina (Vísir.is, Icelandic)

The importance of good science in geology (and other fields too)

I am not going to make this a long blog post.

I know that many of you find that I have been unfair when it comes to deal with certain ideas about geology and how it works. The truth however is that this was a lot more then just a idea, or a hypothesis. The claim was that “evidence” had been found for the claim to support. But from what I did see, no evidence where provided in support of the claim. To to be fair, it was sad that this idea might be wrong and wrong it was in my opinion.

This is what I call bad science. It is something that is not going to work and is never going to. The scientific method (wiki) is well established way of proofing claims and ideas.

For instance, all that I do in terms of geology and other fields of science fall all under this process. If I fail it is a important step, because it at least gave me a result to work with. When doing science, it is important to life with the fact not everything that is done is going to work up, or even get that far before it fails so spectacular that they did notice in the next lab over.

I do not dismiss everything that I read. But I am going to dismiss it if no evidence is provided with the claim in question. I my self is working on few ideas, that I have at least started from start up around 40 to 50 times on times. Just because it failed my test and did not fit the data that was observed.

This is how progress is made. With hard work and good scientific method. What is not progress is Pseudoscience (wiki) that in fact return nothing in the short and long term. I have for too long seen this happens on the internet and I am not going to let this happen to any of my blogs that deal with science topics (including this one here. It is a slow, slow blog).

Ideas are good and all that. Just tell the world if you have any data or not when you put your idea forward.

I also want to point out this two articles here. They are not science in them self. But they might explains one or two things about why I am strict on this matter and with the comments. But I want to keep this blog clean and good for all my readers.

5 Ways to Stop Trolls From Killing the Internet (Cracked.com)
Internet Argument Techniques (Cracked.com)

Thanks for the understanding.

Few right and wrong things about geology in Iceland, part 1

I have seen many speculations on how geology works in Iceland. Some of it is good and based on observation and factual basic. Other however is nothing but speculation and far from anything based on factual evidence on how geology works in Iceland.

Few right and wrong things about volcanism in Iceland

Volcano interaction Status: Limited truth to this

Volcano interaction is something of a debated among scientists. But what is not debated is the interaction between volcanoes that lies far apart. That interaction is none by it’s nature. So while I have been seeing discussion in the comments here that there is some connection between activity between Hengill volcano and Hekla volcano. This is untrue. There is no connection between those volcanoes and never has been. The reason is simple. The volcanoes are far apart. They don’t even share the same magma source. But that is evident by the lava that comes from this two volcanoes. But Hekla volcano has mixed types of eruption sometimes. But Hengill volcano only has Hawaii styles eruptions (if not hit by water) when it erupts, in style with other volcanoes on the Reykjanes ridge rift zone.

The only real life examples of volcano interaction are from Bárðarbunga volcano and Torfajökull volcano. The reason for this interaction is quite simple and logical one. Bárðarbunga fissure swarm cuts right trough Torfajökull volcano. When magma travels south-east in the fissure swarm (it last happened in the 15th century) it can hit the magma inside Torfajökull volcano. When this happens there is a big bang in Torfajökull volcano. As the magma in Torfajökull volcano seems to be colder and more Intermediate (andesitic) [link, Wikipedia] in nature. But in Bárðarbunga volcano the magma is Mafic (basaltic) in nature. When the two magmas mix, it ends with a bang and eruption in both volcanoes. But normally the process that starts this is because there is a ongoing eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano. So when Bárðarbunga volcano. I would worry about that rather then anything else.


See, no connection at all between Hekla and Hengill volcano. Copyright belongs too this picture owner. Owner unknown to me.

Iceland is going to have VEI-8 eruption. Status: Not likely.

All volcanoes can do a VEI-8. But the thing is that they are just not likely to do so. As the size of the eruption is directly connected to the inflow of magma it is getting. In the case of Icelandic volcanoes the inflow just seems to be few magnitude too small to make a VEI-8 eruption. The largest VEI eruption known in Iceland was a VEI-6 eruption that took place in Bárðarbunga volcano in the year 1477 (?).

As for VEI-8 eruption. I am not expecting that type of eruption any time soon in Iceland.

Iceland is one volcano. Status: False.

The simple answer is no. The long answer is. Iceland has many volcanoes, not just one. So the answer is no to this.

Geology in Iceland is well understood. Status: False

Geology in Iceland is understood. But far from being fully understood. As it happens geology science is just starting to now understand what complex progress are taking place in Iceland. A lot have been learned. But a lot more needs to be learned about how geology works in Iceland.

Volcano eruptions comes in active cycles. Status: True

This has been observed by actual data. But volcano activity happens in periods of 80 to 160 years. With a quiet period of 50 to 90 years. But numbers are approximation. During the quiet time there are fewer eruptions and they are smaller (hint: Large eruption can still happen however during the quiet period). Last quiet period started in around the year 1870 and did not end until the year 1983. But that year there was a eruption in Grímsfjall volcano. But then Grímsfjall volcano had not erupted since the year 1954, but that break was 29 years long for Grímsfjall volcano.

This graph here also shows this clearly. But this is volcanism in Iceland during the years 1875 and to the year 1993.


Copyright holder unknown. Copyright of this picture belongs to this owner.

It is impossible to know for sure when the high peak in the current cycle is going to be be. But most geologist are estimating that to be sometimes from the year 2020 and to 2080 or about that. So the years ahead is going to be quite busy in Iceland in the terms of volcano activity.

I am going to write more right and wrongs about Icelandic volcanoes soon. But for now this is good enough.

Sources and other things.

Volcano-tectonic Interaction in the Hengill Region, Iceland during 1993-1998 (pdf)
Volcano geodesy and magma dynamics in Iceland (ScienceDirect)
Interaction between Continental Lithosphere and the Iceland Plume—Sr-Nd-Pb Isotope Geochemistry of Tertiary Basalts, NE Greenland
Tomographic evidence for a narrow whole mantle plume below Iceland (ScienceDirect)
Pdf document on Hengill volcano crustal deformation.
Magma (Wikipedia)
Volcano geodesy and magma dynamics in Iceland (pdf)

New pictures of Eyjafjallajökull Gígujökull glacier lava field

Rúv News has just published new pictures of Eyjafjallajökull volcano. The pictures are from Fimmvörðuháls lava field and the lava field that is in Gígujökull glacier. But in that area a lava flow did take place during the eruption. That lava field has not been explored before. According to the news, a moss has already started to grow on the new lava on Fimmvörðuháls. The Gígjökull glacier has already started to cover the lava field that did melt it during the eruption of 2010 in Eyjafjallajökull volcano.


From Gígjökull glacier. Picture from Rúv News. Copyright holder of this picture is Rúv.

The news of this can be found here. This is in Icelandic.

News from Rúv.

Undraveröld í Gígjökli (Rúv.is, Icelandic, Picture, Video)

Extensive research into Eyjafjallajökull volcano ash cloud

According to news on Rúv. The British government is starting a major research into the ash cloud from Eyjafjallajökull volcano. The size of this research is big and the cost is around 3 million pound. The aim of this research is into how ash cloud behaves, how it spreads and to compare models to reality. This research might also aim to improve satellite detection of ash clouds. But it proved to be not quite reliable in the Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption that took place in the year 2010.

Icelandic news about this. I have not found any english news about this yet. Use Google translate like when you play the lottery. Hope for the best.

Viðamikil gosrannsókn (Rúv, Icelandic)

News in english about this. Thanks to Erik Klemetti how did point this out.

£530,000 to study Icelandic volcano (Press Release)
New Class of Ceramic Coatings Could Protect Jet Engines from Volcano Ash (Related press relase)

Post updated at 19:49 UTC on 22 April 2011.