Earthquakes under the Eyjafjallajökull and Katla volcanoes: 3rd-16th May 2010

17 05 2010

Over two hundred small earthquakes occurred under the Eyjafjallajökull volcano during the first half of May 2010 according to the Iceland Mat Office. These have come in a series of swarms. Katla seems to have been shaken by only two or three small quakes in the same period. The Eyjafjallajökull quakes have all been relatively small - between Ml 0-3.0 when measured on the local version of the Richter scale. The Katla earthquakes seem to indicate nothing other than normal seismic activity, for now. Although the above graphic is not strictly scientific because the data are preliminary and of variable quality, it shows that the locations of the earthquakes clearly define the main magma conduit rising from over 30km depth to the surface. Earthquake specialists will only assign exact locations to the earthquakes after they have carefully examined all the data and account for the effect of complex geology on the travel times of the seismic waves. This careful analysis has not yet been published. For now these earthquakes indicate that magma is probably moving at great depth along one main vertical feed system, and unless there is some blockage of that pathway, will continue to refresh the magma chamber. The preliminary earthquake data used in this picture were published from 3rd-16th May 2010 on the website of the Iceland Meteorological Office.

Under the microscope – ash of Eyjafjallajökull volcano – VII

24 04 2010
glass volcano volcanic ash Eyjafjallajökull Iceland eruption

Green glass shard that fell as volcanic ash on Sweden 15th-16th April from the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. Scale is 25 microns. This particle was removed from a larger, 1mm ash particle and viewed with a Zeiss microscope without using crossed polarizers, like in the last post. The colour in this photo is entirely due to the presence of iron and other metals in the glass.

Ash of Eyjafjallajökull VI

24 04 2010
ash Eyjafjallajökull volcano Iceland mineral

Mineral ash from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano. This crystalline shard of mineral dust fell on Sweden on 15th-16th April 2010 as seen through a Zeiss polarizing microscope. The colour is due to birefringence typical of crystals rather than glass. This particle was removed from a larger ash particle about 1mm in size. The same particle was "glued" together with much smaller particles and was accompanied by particles of glass. A dense cloud of 1mm particles each made of shards like this can do serious damage to a jet engine. The graduated scale shown is 50 microns.

Skógafoss – waterfalls Iceland II

20 04 2010

waterfall Iceland Eyjafjöll Eyjafjallajökull volcano volcanic eruption ash

Skógafoss I

16 04 2010
Skógafoss Iceland waterfall volcano

Skógafoss - waterfall in Iceland celebrated for its shear stupendousness. Imagine what it is like with extra flow from volcanic glacial meltwaters. Above the falls is the pass called Fimmvörðuháls where the original March eruption occurred between the two glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull. The April eruption choking down commercial jet flight lanes with ash is from a fissure in the south rim of the central caldera about 8 km west of the March site, directly under the Eyjafjallajökull glacier. Mýrdalsjökulglacier to the east sits on top of Katla volcano - a more threatening and powerful beast, but quiet for now.....

Seljalandsfoss – waterfall Iceland

16 04 2010

Seljalandsfoss waterfall Iceland. Draining off the western edge of the slopes leading to the Eyjafjallajökull glacier, site of Iceland's current volcanic eruption.

Mýrdalsjökull glacier and the Katla volcano, Iceland

16 04 2010
Mýrdalsjökull glacier and Katla volcano, Iceland

Mýrdalsjökull glacier and Katla volcano, Iceland. Katla is a volcano next to the currently erupting Eyjafjallajokull volcano a few kilometers away. Some are concerned that Katla volcano may erupt next.

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