“Gateway To Hell” Under Extreme Pressure – Eruption Expected Soon, Writes Der Spiegel

The eruption of Grímsvötn on May 20, 2011 has produced a cloud of volcanic ash that shot up over 50,000 ft and has drifted over parts of Europe closing a number of major airports and creating air traffic havoc.

Now the online Der Spiegel reports today that another volcano, Hekla, is on the verge of exploding as well. Satellite altimetry measurements show that the mountain has swollen – more than it did right before it exploded the last time in 2000. Der Spiegel writes what scientists have found:

On the Hekla volcano they have discovered a 20 km wide swelling. Magma has risen up under the ground and is pushing the ground up, reports a group around Benedikt Ofeigsson of the University of Iceland in Reykjavik in the magazine ‘Journal of Geophysical Research. An eruption soon is ‘very likely,’ confirms vulcanologist Birger-Gottfried Lühr of the PotsdamGeosciences Research Centre.”

Hekla is right now under extreme pressure.

Is Hekla next? ‘If it keeps its rhythm of the last decades, then it is now due,’ says Lühr.

Instruments on the mountain show that Hekla has swollen up more than it’s last eruptions in 2000 and 1991.”

According to Wikipedia, during the Middle Ages, Icelanders called the volcano the “Gateway to Hell.” In January 2010 there were reports of patches near to the summit not covered with snow. Hekla had massive eruptions in 5050 BC, 3900 BC, 2310 BC and 950 BC, which threw about 7.3 km of volcanic rock into the atmosphere, placing its Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) at 5. This would have cooled temperatures in the northern parts of the globe for a few years afterwards.

After being dormant for 250 years, Hekla erupted again in 1104 AD with os VEI of 5. Hekla has also erupted every 10 years since 1970. Some eruptions had a VEI of 3, which sent ash 15 km into the atmosphere. If the scientists today are right, it could be a disruptive year for European air travellers.

11 responses to ““Gateway To Hell” Under Extreme Pressure – Eruption Expected Soon, Writes Der Spiegel”

  1. ArndB

    # “Hekla had massive eruptions in ……This would have cooled temperatures in the northern parts of the globe for a few years afterwards”.#

    Don’t bother, we will keep us warm with sun and wind energy.

  2. Iceland's Hekla "Gateway to Hell" Volcano could be next

    […] […]

  3. biggreenlie

    This can’t be good news for Solar Pirates!

  4. R. de Haan

    If you want up to date data about Hekla you go the the Iceland Meteorological office and watch the real time GPS/tremor/quake measurements, not the an artical in Der Spiegel.


    There is no indication that Katla is going to blow any time soon.

    1. Ed Caryl

      Look at the tremor here:
      This is the closest seismometer just to the NW of Heckla. The big spikes are from the erupting volcano in the distance. Ignore those. Tremor is up under Heckla.

  5. R. de Haan

    Another reliable source for whatever volcanic or quake activity is going on in Iceland: http://www.jonfr.com/volcano/

  6. Beano

    Folow Ron de Haan’s advice.
    Before commenting on anything Volcanic it’s better to go to sites he has pointed out or to Erik Klementi’s The Eruptions Blog.
    At the Erik’s blog, geologists and vulcanologist’s make comments and give advice and technical info in language that everyone can understand.
    Particularly given the relationship between geological activity and climate, and solar influence and geologic activity.

  7. R. de Haan

    Ed, you can take any station at this moment in time and they all show fluctuating tremor signals.

    If there is really something worthwhile going on at Hekla the icelandic Meteorological Office will be the first to hit the alarm button.

    Their first priority is to warn people, nit to burry the information.

    Really, a scientific report about Hekla from 2010 and an article from Der Spiegel is no ground for alarmism.

    Just relax and keep cool.

  8. R. de Haan

    There is still significant tremor activity at Grimsvötn

  9. R. de Haan

    Just for the record, the map in the Der Spiegel article is projecting Hekla in a wrong geographic position.

    @ Pierre: please check your link ” Volcanic Explosivity Index” in your article

    As for the power of a VEI 5 eruption, this is not really a dramatic event.
    Start worrying if a VEI 6 takes place.

  10. ArndB

    # R. de Haan 26. Mai 2011 at 07:20
    __Really, a scientific report about Hekla from 2010 and an article from Der Spiegel is no ground for alarmism.
    __Just relax and keep cool.#

    There is no reason to ‘keep cool’. If there is only a 50:50 percent risk for a major volcanic eruption within the next 10 years, we should be preparing now for such an event. It would come presumably much cheaper as the planning of the AGW goes; see: Edenhofer’s Plan For Sustainable Wealth Destruction – Wants $12 Trillion For A Few Tenths Of A Degree Of Cooling, By P Gosselin on 14. Mai 2011.
    The threat of global cooling (GC) is much more serious as global warming, and preparing for global cooling means to plan for having enough reliable energy resources, e.g. 80% from nuclear power plants. Discussing the timing of Hekla- , VEI 5-, or VEI6 eruption (etc) is quite useless, as nobody will be able to say anything definite, but discussing the need for a minimum of preparation for the eventually inevitable ‘GC’ event, is more urgent and appropriate as the mentioned “Edenhofer’s Plan”.

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