49 comments on “Axial Seamount Erupts

  1. That swarm at Bardabunga looks quite impressive on 3dBulge – they’re all in one spot, and in a short time-frame. Still fairly deep though.


  2. Matt, I was meaning the pile of yellow spots East of Bardabunga crater and in line with the dyke. Those red spots at Askja have appeared more recently! Check out 3dBulge but alter the time frame slider back to 24 hours…these happened last night – 24 ‘quakes in 20 mins.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There has been a felt earthquake in Michigan reports on EMSC by residents say its the strongest one ever felt and houses were shaking .

    ..After growing up in California, being in earthquakes, I knew it was an earthquake immediately. It was not surface movement as made by a truck going by, or even how thunder will shake. This was a deep bedding constant shake. I was so taken back, that after experiencing it for what seemed like 15 seconds, I jumped off the sofa. The entire house shook, not the full sways I felt in California, but intense constant movement..

    Magnitude mb 4.0
    Region MICHIGAN
    Date time 2015-05-02 16:23:07.0 UTC
    Location 42.21 N ; 85.43 W
    Depth 6 km



    • Thanks for this too! Very interesting also the ground deformation map after the EQ and the damage map in the articles further down that page.

      The area around Kathmandu has moved about 1 m up, while further south the ground has sunken the same amound lower.


  4. Interesting two quakes in Mississippi now both at shallow depths and one person reported his whole house was shaking.

    Magnitude mb 3.0
    Date time 2015-05-03 01:08:35.0 UTC
    Location 32.57 N ; 90.11 W
    Depth 5 km

    Magnitude mb 3.2
    Date time 2015-05-03 00:39:23.5 UTC
    Location 32.57 N ; 90.08 W
    Depth 5 km



          • Yes, this area quakes all the time. I take it you’re new to watching quakes in the US? There are dozens of small quakes across the US every day, and that’s not counting the frequent small quakes that occur along the west coast every day. The continent is not a monolithic piece of rock. It has fractures, faults, and failed rifts all over it. These include the Reelfoot rift, the New Madrid Fault zone, the Woodstock fault near Charleston, the Saint Lawrence rift system, and the Midcontinent rift system… and that’s just in the east! Additionally, you have earthquakes from isostatic rebound after the melting of the glaciers from the ice age.
            Anything under 4.0 is insignificant, unless a whole bunch are occurring in the same spot. Even then, in some more seismically active areas of the US, it’s not a big deal.


      • That Nevada quake is pretty close to the Aurora-Bodie volcanic field. There was a pretty active swarm there a year or so ago, I suspect this is a continuation of that episode. At the time USGS stated it was purely tectonic in origin, no reason to suspect it’s anything other than that no.


    • This one was probably caused by fracking, or injection wells for disposal of waste drilling fluid.


        • Volcanic fields all have magma doing things… Sometimes flowing into the crust, sometimes cooling and shrinking, etc. There are lots of earthquakes in volcanic systems, particularly around 4-5km in depth. Exactly why so many occur at this depth is uncertain. Water reaches something called the critical point at around 4-5km depth, which may have something to do with it.


        • Hi Janet

          there are also some “standard depths” for a lot of quakes typically 5 or 10 km depth. The quakes are not deemed interesting enough (because as Matt said before there are quakes all the time) so these are just processed automatically. If some scientists find a particular event interesting or relevant, then you’ll see much precise and diverse depths. There are also a lot of smallish or not so smallish quakes induced by fracking, gas injection (here was a large swarm last year in Spain or gas exploitation like in the Nederlands, you can have a look at


          you’ll see there are plenty of very small quakes. Of course some will say there was once a volcano there (around the carboniferous era I think), but it’s long extinct….


  5. Sakurajima is on a roll today, an explosion about every hour or so. The total number is over 480 this year now. And, I wonder what this could be – a permanent hot spot on the (outside?) of the crater rim? I have watched it for half an hour now, the brightness is fluctuating somewhat but otherwise it stays there unchanged:

    I just wanted to doublecheck before posting but a new explosion shrouded everything over.
    http://volcams.malinpebbles.com/pubweb/Japan2.htm Live cam No. 9


  6. A large earthquake PNG.

    Magnitude Mw 7.4
    Date time 2015-05-05 01:44:08.7 UTC
    Location 5.89 S ; 151.90 E
    Depth 40 km

    Followed by a 5.8 10 minutes later.

    Magnitude M 5.8
    Date time 2015-05-05 01:53:59.5 UTC
    Location 5.29 S ; 152.04 E
    Depth 10 km



    • Yes, this must have caused damage too, and the awful lot of strong aftershocks! And they had an M 7 only on May 1st.


  7. Does anyone know the composition of axial seamount lava?, is it the same basalt that juan de fuca produces?


    • Found this on the internet hope it helps.

      ..The differences in composition between the Axial seamount lavas and the Juan de Fuca Ridge lavas are attributed to melting processes rather than to any fundamental differences in their mantle source compositions. The higher magma production rates, higher Sr, and lower silica saturation in the seamount lavas relative to the ridge lavas are thought to be a consequence of melt initiation at greater depths. The melting column producing the seamount lavas is thought to be initiated in the stability field of spinel peridotite, whereas the ridge lavas are produced from a melting column initiated at shallower levels, possibly within or close to the stability field of plagioclase peridotite. Implicit in this interpretation is the conclusion that the Juan de Fuca Ridge lavas, and by analogy most MORB, are generated at shallow mantle levels, mostly within the stability field of plagioclase peridotite. This interpretation also requires that for the upwelling mantle to intersect the solidus at different depths, the mantle supplying Axial seamount must be hotter than the rest of the Juan de Fuca Ridge.



  8. I have checked on the Azores EQ swarm on the link Janet provided, and they had an update on it:
    Seismic activity WNW of Faial (Update 04 May 2015)
    CIVISA reports that since 19 April has been recorded increased seismic activity in the region between 37 and 46 km WNW of Faial, the highest a 4.7 ML. Since May 1 that seismic activity has become persistent with some brief episodes of increased hourly frequency of events, showing no significant changes. During the day, up to 19:00, were recorded 61 events. The number of events recorded since the beginning of seismic activity is about 421.
    Under the geological point of view, the area is located near the extreme north-western border of plates between the Eurasian plate and the African plate (Nubia), in the transition zone to the region dominated by the plate boundary defined by the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The CIVISA continues to monitor the developments.

    Not that I want to scaremonger, but why would they not take volcanic activity into consideration? I mean, 421 in 2 weeks is quite a lot and all the islands are volcanic. On the other hand… the quaking area is a stretch some 700 km long, this perhaps speaks clearly for a fault releaving stress.

    This is the map from today, and below it a broader view with North America on the west.



  9. The PNG area is still taking a pounding from earthquakes .

    Some have stated on the internet whilst earthquakes are normal in this area the pounding PNG is taking from earthquakes at the moment is abnormal.


    • Hi Janet, it is certainly true that the people living in PNG are abnormally harrassed by the constant shaking. If I were them (the source you cited), I would not use the terms normal – abnormal for geological events, though. We are looking only at a teeny weeny milli second of Earth’s life, and earthquake-wise, we can compare only with what we have experienced/measured a few tens or at best hundreds of years ago. How would we know what’s normal for an area, how many EQs happened there before recorded history? Maybe this time is absolutely un-normal with so few EQs? We don’t know. We just have to take things as they come and try to understand why they come. Perhaps some time in the future we may be able to even predict them.


      • that shows the power of stastistics. There are a lot more events since a few weeks, but it is not at all linked. Albeit I have read of a greek publication talking about some tides’s influence. I have not read it. But Greece is one of the most active places, at least on Europe for quakes. So “We wonder, yess we wonder”.


  10. Calbuco a few minutes ago:

    The reports from Sermageomin have not changed over the last days: volcano still in unstable condition, seismicity fluctuating, further eruptions possible, all restrictions and lahar warnings still in place.


Your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s