Iceland Going For Trifecta As "Gateway To Hell" Volcano Prepares To Blow

Tyler Durden's picture

Last year's Eyjafjoell and the recent Grimsvotn eruptions will have been a walk in the pyroclastic park if, as AFP reports, the most feared of all Iceland volcanoes, Hekla, is indeed about to blow. "Experts say one of Iceland's most feared volcanoes looks ready to erupt, with measurements indicating magma movement, raising fears of a new ash cloud halting flights over Europe. The Iceland Civil Protection Authority says it is closely monitoring the situation. "The movements around Hekla have been unusual in the last two to three days," University of Iceland geophysicist Pall Einarsson said." Hekla's eruption would certainly have far more dire consequences on European airspace than Grimsvotn, which merely succeeded in getting Obama to vacate Ireland sooner than expected: "The volcano, dubbed by Icelanders in the Middle Ages as the "Gateway to Hell," is one of Iceland's most active, having erupted some 20 times over the past millennium, most recently on February 26, 2000. Over the past 50 years, Hekla has gone off about once a decade." And so Europe, once again caught in the maelstrom of a sovereign debt crunch, will be sensitive to headline risk, as the last thing the continent which is now doing all it can to ostracize rating agencies, as if its insolvency is their fault, is a continent-wide grounding of all flights.


The news of a possible imminent eruption comes just over a month after this year's violent eruption at the Grimsvoetn volcano, in the south-east of the country.

That eruption subsided after less than a week, having spit out far more ash than Eyjafjoell, but due to more favourable winds for Europe caused far less air traffic disruption.

Mr Gudmundsson says the volcano tends to "produce both ash and lava within the first seconds of an eruption".

He says lava eruptions are far less disruptive to air travel.

"If the next eruption is of the same character [as the previous ones] it is unlikely that it will have any effects on flights in Europe," he said.

"But of course this depends on the size of the eruption, which is something that is impossible to predict."

Both of Iceland's latest eruptions provided warning signs several hours before, but Hekla is known for having a very short fuse.

"Hekla never gives you much of a warning," Mr Einarsson said.

He says in 2000, it began rumbling an hour-and-a-half before the outbreak of magma, which "was actually an unusually long warning".

"In 1970 we only got 25 minutes notice," he said.

After Iceland's last two eruptions, geologists have warned that the country's volcanoes appeared to have entered a more active phase and that more eruptions could be expected, with Hekla believed to be first in line.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
qussl3's picture

This is getting ridiculous.

No one can catch a break.

metastar's picture

The shut down of airspace could be no worse than when Obama visits town!

Thomas's picture

I was trapped in Europe for a week for the first volcano a couple years ago. The sense of urgency to get home was the fear that Hekla would soon follow.

On an unrelated note, here is a really cool video of a savant who learned Icelandic in one week...

Solid's picture

That was an incredible video.
I wonder if he's allowed in casinos?

Transformer's picture

"This is getting ridiculous.

No one can catch a break."


It's global warming.  We are paying for our sins.



Urban Redneck's picture

And if we get a big bang and a mini ice age - the climate change will still be blamed on all the (idled) factories - anything to continue the plundering of middle and lower class public tax dollars for boodoggle businesses backed by poltically connected deep pockets, academics who can't educate much less produce anything of worth, and corrupt policians seeking their own reelection and expaned authority for the States they control.

Dental Floss Tycoon's picture


My favorite.

The elites are using H.A.R.P to punish Iceland for stiffing the banks.

stewie's picture

He'll be working for Goldman Sachs soon...

Incubus's picture

The earth's probably got a few billion more years of life in it before the sun just burns everything away: maybe that's enough time for some other species to evolve to an "intelligent" level capable of building civilizations:  maybe they'll be better than us, but we've definitely squandered our brief period of time "at the top."

bigdumbnugly's picture

yes, i've read that the chimpanzees are demonstrating solidarity and will be running their candidate in 2012.

it's doubtful their main platform of reducing tariffs on banana imports will win them any seats this go-round however.

but they might beat out the green party anyway.

trav7777's picture

their candidate has won for the past 3 elections running...

malikai's picture

That can't be right. The chimpanzees lost the last 10 elections to the puppetmasters. Unless you're implying the puppetmasters are themselves chimpanzees..

Gully Foyle's picture


"but we've definitely squandered our brief period of time "at the top.""

Blah, blah, blahitty, blah.

I tend to agree with David Brin that we are now living in a Golden age.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Hekla: Cloak

In the shape of an overturned boat.

Active every decade....or so.

"Hekla is presumed to have erupted 20 times in historical times. The largest eruption was in 1104. In the twentieth century Hekla erupted four times, in 1947, 1970, 1980, and 1991. Hekla erupted last in February 2000."

Old Norse hekla = 'cloak' (referring to the cloak of mist that hides its summit)

So the cloak to the underworld is about to blow.

I'd say that is multi-contexutally significant, grounding flights aside.


snowball777's picture

Is it me, or is their volcano a great leading indicator for US recessions? ;)

knavechild's picture

Mother nature will seal our fate, as we continue clutching our silver eagles, shouting "the banksters will never take us alive!"

mick_richfield's picture

@ Incubus

maybe that's enough time for some other species to evolve to an "intelligent" level capable of building civilizations

Yes, several billion years is enough time for many such species to arise. 

But do not concern yourself.  My Masters are confident that they can control any such threat in the same way that upstart species have always been controlled.  With central banks or, failing that, large asteroids.



Mae Kadoodie's picture

What the Heckla is going on? 

snowball777's picture

Alright comedian, don't make me Hekla you.

Mae Kadoodie's picture

So a Priest and a Rabbi go into an Icelandic volcano bar...

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Please, no more religious porn jokes. Think of the zealots for crying out loud. They have feelings too you know. :)

Breaker's picture

"This is getting ridiculous. No one can catch a break."

I don't think this is a fair statement. Jaime Gorelick, Franklin Raines, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd and a host of others were the architects of the subprime realestate crash and most of our economic problems today. I would say that the huge bonuses for the sorta-private sector folks at Fannie and Freddie, The flat out huge bonuses for GS et al, The huge campaign contributions Barney and chris extorted from the Goldman's the Fannies and the Freddies, and the fact that none of these people are incarcerated or under threat of incarceration qualifies as a one-of-a-kind break ranking among all-time great breaks people have caught.

williambanzai7's picture

Think of all those Troika Meetings on Face Skype.

Gully Foyle's picture

Artist(Band):Jimmy Buffett

Now I don't know
I don't know
I don't know where I'm a gonna go
When the volcano blow

Well let me hear ya now
I don't know
I don't know
I don't know where I'm a gonna go
When the volcano blow

Ground she's movin' under me
Got ya tidal waves out on the sea
Sulphur smoke up in the sky
Pretty soon we learn to fly

Hey I don't know
I don't know
I don't know where I'm a gonna go
When the volcano blow

Now my girl quickly said to me
Man, you'd better watch your feet
That lava comes out soft and hot
You better lova me now or lova me not

See I don't know
I don't know
I don't know where I'm a gonna go
When the volcano blow

"Hey Mr. Utley."

No time to count what I'm worth
Hey I just left the planet earth
But a' where I go I hope there's rum
Not to worry, more soon come

I don't know
I don't know
I don't know where I'm a gonna go
When the volcano blow

But I don't want to land in New York City
Don't want to land in Mexico (no no no)
Don't want to land in the Three Mile Island
Don't want to see my skin aglow (no no no)

Don't want to land in Commanche Sky park
Or in Nashville, Tennessee (no no no)
Don't want to land in no San Juan airport
Or the Yukon Territory (no no no)

Don't want to land in no San Diego
Don't want to land in no Buzzard's Bay(no no no)
Don't want to land on no ayutollah
I got nothin a more to say

I don't know
I don't know
I don't know where I'm a gonna go
When the volcano blow

GeneMarchbanks's picture

Burn baby Burn. I hope it halts all the flights in/out of Europe and the ash covers all of Europe so that visibility is nil. Then, we get all this bailout nonsense straightened out, people vs banksters.

Skies clear... Europe emerges sqeeky clean

Gully Foyle's picture


"Burn baby Burn."

Disco Inferno, right Stu?

knavechild's picture

It's 5:13am, and instead of coffee, I'm reaching for the tequila.

Ray1968's picture

Good... all that ash will send us into a volcanic winter. I was getting too hot anyway.

Gully Foyle's picture



"Good... all that ash will send us into a volcanic winter."

Fimbulvetr is the harsh winter that precedes the end of the world and puts an end to all life on Earth. Fimbulwinter is three successive winters where snow comes in from all directions, without any intervening summer. During this time, there will be innumerable wars and brothers will kill brothers.[1]

The event is described primarily in the Poetic Edda. In the poem Vafþrúðnismál, Odin poses the question to Vafþrúðnir as to who of mankind will survive the Fimbulwinter. Vafþrúðnir responds that Líf and Lífþrasir will survive and that they will live in the forest of Hoddmímis holt.

This mythology might be related to the extreme weather events of 535–536 which resulted in a notable drop in temperature across northern Europe. There have also been several popular ideas about whether or not this particular piece of mythology has a connection to the climate change that occurred in the Nordic countries at the end of the Nordic Bronze Age dating from about 650 BC. Before this climate change, the Nordic countries were considerably warmer.[2]In Denmark, Norway, Sweden and other Nordic countries, the term fimbulvinter is still used to refer to an unusually cold and harsh winter.[3]

From Old Norse 'awful, great winter'. The prefix "fimbul" means "the great/big" so the correct interpretation of the word is "the great winter".

( In a related note I now have a Fimbul Cock)

Ray1968's picture

I guess it is better to have a Fimbul Cock than a thimble cock!!

fredquimby's picture

Most interesting. (not the cock bit)

Thank you.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

wait volcano eruptionsare good for cooling the global warming of man..LOL so every thing is going to be really europe could use a few months of cold black , plane empty, skies to bring it's economy back to health.

The Axe's picture

I was next to Hekla once when the motherfucker blew,,,and the guide said no worries it always flows out towards the ocean... Of course I was still shitting my pants from the earthquakes that preceded the eruption...

Robslob's picture

God must hate us...the only country that tells Bankers to Fuck Off and they have Volcano problems?

You can just hear those bankers now..."Iceland...told ya so!"

qussl3's picture

It would take the people who have the balls to live on a bunch of freaking volcanos to tell the bankers to FUCK OFF.

Gully Foyle's picture


"It would take the people who have the balls to live on a bunch of freaking volcanos to tell the bankers to FUCK OFF."

So Hawaii is the next domino to fall? Then what parts of Washington state?

qussl3's picture

Too damn cold to surf in Iceland.

Gully Foyle's picture


Willard: Are you crazy, Goddammit? Don't you think its a little risky for some R&R?
Kilgore: If I say its safe to surf this beach, Captain, then its safe to surf this beach! I mean, I'm not afraid to surf this place, I'll surf this whole fucking place!

pods's picture

Charlie don't surf!



snowball777's picture

You're seeing it all wrong, man; God is using Iceland to register his opinion on the EZ bailout plan...the bond vigilante of bond vigilantes.

HelluvaEngineer's picture

Queue the locust swarms, ready to attack NFLX headquarters.