Krísuvík volcano starts to inflate at fast rate

There is currently no shortage of volcano news coming from Iceland at this moment. The newest volcano to make the news is the Krísuvík volcano. Small area of Krísuvík volcano have been inflating during the last few months with following micro-earthquakes swarms in the area where the inflation takes place. This process started last year (2009). But then the inflation was 30mm (3 centimeters). But last winter a process of deflation started and lasted until early spring this year (2010). But then it started to inflate again. I am assuming that the current levels of inflation is something similar to the inflation that was seen in the year 2009. The area in question is south-west of Kleifarvatn lake.

The inflation is currently taking place on the depth of 3 to 4 km according to geological scientists. This intrusion of magma is also having effects on geothermal features present in the area. But that makes new hot springs and makes current hot springs more active and warmer, it also changes them and often dramatically. It might also create new hot spring areas where no hot springs where before. This inflation process has been followed by a swarms of micro-earthquakes in the area where the inflation is taking place.

According to the news the Icelandic Met Office has alerted the Icelandic Civil Protection Authorities about the changes in this volcano. Two new GPS stations have also been installed in the area to monitor the inflation that is currently taking place. At current time scientists are not expecting a eruption in the area any time soon. But as history has shown that can change without warning and quickly. The authorities and IMO have increased there surveillance in the area due to this inflation. If a eruption takes place the type is going to be a Hawaiian type of eruption, unless a fissure opens up under water or in the ocean. Last eruption that took place in Krísuvík volcano was in the year 1340.

Icelandic news, in Icelandic. Please use Google Translate (at your own risk)

Grannt fylgst með landrisi við Krýsuvík (Ví
Telja eldgos ekki í uppsiglingu en ástæða að vakta svæðið vel (Víkurfréttir)

Channel 2 news video (flash) about this activity. In Icelandic.

Updated at 23:52 UTC on the 30th of November 2010. News video added and name error fixed.

221 Replies to “Krísuvík volcano starts to inflate at fast rate”

  1. Carl – if you read the link provided, it examines an anomalous cessation/ stalling of the Loop Current, a primary feed of the gulf stream, set against all data collected prior to May 2010 and going back quite some years. The link it makes to the oil spill is a bit of a stretch (IMHO) and could be more coincidence than causation. However, I do not know if the disruption is still ongoing. However, only the brave would say that this would have no effect on the Gulf stream on the available data – the honest answer is that no-one knows, as this phenomenon has not been observed previously. Time will tell.

    However, back to volcanoes in Iceland – if we are in for a long hard winter it may do much to rebuild glacial ice caps, which could be interesting to monitor as it may test (in the year/s ahead) the theories assicuated with weight of glacial ice to suppression of volcanic inflation and conversely, ice melt as a trigger for increased activity – especially if a ‘warm’ summer next year leads to high levels of ice melt. Interesting one to watch perhaps?

    1. I’d not believe it. The guy compared one set of late-summer data with data earlier from the same summer, and no comparisons at all to any other summers! I’ve been doing hard science for over a decade before turning into private sector, and I’d dare not to say anything like that based on one summer’s data only…

    2. Jack@Finland stomped the quality of your paper allready so I am not going to do that. And again, there has been no cessation, read my long post about it and remember that this is my line of specialisation…

      No it will do pretty much nothing for the icecaps.
      At best it will be a staus quo year for them. The icecaps and glaciers are either remnants of the iceage or the “little iceage”. During the iceage and little iceage the temperatures was much lower than now. And also the icelandic and greenlandic weather is warmer than normal sofar for this winter. It is just scandinavia and UK and other parts of northern europe that has had sofar colder than average. But even we have a warmer climate than during the iceage and little iceage.

      A hint since you are interested in these things, you must always look at long trends when dealing with weather, currents and climate. Otherwise one just gets overly exited about things.

  2. think about what a eddy in the north atlantic would do to the heat flow going to northern europe. i am NOT saying the gulf stream would stop quickly or any thing like that but if it develops eddies the energy required for a comfortable climate in northern europe may not get there. Britain and points north would get much colder this would also effect the jet stream. will any thing come of this i have no idea we are playing with a basically chaotic system that reacts fast when the elements that hold it stable go away
    what caused the mini ice age?

    1. Gina said “we are playing with a basically chaotic system that reacts fast when the elements that hold it stable go away what caused the mini ice age?”

      To a large extent, the Universe is “chaotic”. Some think that the mini ice age was caused by an asteroid hitting the earth (in Russia somewhere) but it remains an unproven theory.

      here’s a link:
      A giant meteorite that broke in two as it crashed off Australia, could have been responsible for a mini-ice age that engulfed Britain in 535AD.

      The claim was made by marine geophysicist Dallas Abbott at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union last month.

      Read more:

  3. @Gina, Julian and David and all else who believe in stopping the Gulf stream and eddy-things and all else, please read this:

    My line of specialisation is not volcanology, it is actually fluid dynamics and wave-propagation. And as such I feel that I need to clearify things for you guys and girls.

    What is a stream? It is a not clearly defined “river” moving at a different speed and sometimes direction, than what the surrounding water is moving. But remember that all oceanic water is moving, some more some less.

    The gulf stream, even though it is a large and powerfull stream that excerts 1.4 petawatts per second, that is 100 times the world power consumption, is just a part of the current conveyor-belt of the world.
    Almost all currents, known and unknown are just parts of an enormous converyor-belt that moves around the planet. When the gulf stream comes to the frigid arctic water the same amount of water that came there sinks down both as a part of the thermohaline system, and through shear cooling-effect. That water has to go somewhere, and instead it forms a southbound deep-water current that runs all the way down the atlantic untill it goes around the horn of africa, there it warms again as it goes north-east and surfraces and so it continues to heat-up, and cool down. There is also other thermohaline systems around the world, up at alaska and down at antarctica for instance.

    What does now that have to do with anything? Well, remember that I said all water is moving? Not only the streams and currents? In fact the average oceanic water speed is about 1 knots. And it moves in all sorts of interconnected ways since no water can go anywhere without going somewhere else afterwards (if not we would have all of the water in one place after a while).

    Enter “friendly floaties”. In 1992 oceanography had an unexpected break-through when a freight-ship in the pacific ocean lost a freight-container filled with yellow rubber bathing ducks (and if that isn’t irony…). Those ducks was travelling on the currents and streams and for years they came to shore across the globe. When all of those floaties landing sites where pictured together our current-maps became much more clearer. So now we can for real say that all major and most of the minor currents are one and the same.
    My point here is that the actual energy of the oceanic water migration is really as large as the entire input of energy on the planet for more than a year.
    Now I want you to remember how hard it is to push a car by hand and then stopping it. Heavy? Now imagine the power of all the water of the planet moving with about 1 knots speed (1 knot =1,852 kilometres an hour or roughly 1,1 miles an hour) and how you try to stop that. Feel free to imagine that you have ultra-turbines in your tool-belt, it wont still make a difference.
    Nothing on this planet can stop and start all that energy in motion in a time-frame that we humans can understand. We are talking about more power through movement than all other forces on the planet except perhaps plate-tectonics. So simple (well comparatively) physics gives that it is an impossibility for the current conveyor-belt to stop, or even slow down noticably.
    The current conveyor belt has been picking up speed and energy for a very long time. The current we now as the gulf stream is about 15000 years old, but it existed before that, it just changed it’s course when the ice-age waned. The current conveyor-belt was there when the Pangea supercontinent was around and even earlier.
    In the long run (thousands to millions of years the currents will move it’s trajectories, but they wont disapear.
    That is why the gulf stream stopping thing is a hoax, or at a friendly interpretation, a huge misunderstanding.

    Eddies: An eddy is simple a twirl, or a spin in the current caused by an obstacle. Think about what you see if you spin the fluid in your coffee or tea with a spoon at the same time as you drop in milk. That is an eddy. Or you can look at the picture in the link below. An eddy contains all the energy that the current would have done if it travelled in a straight trajectory. Eddies are common in all of the currents of the world. They do not in any way have anything to do with the bogus slowing of the gulf stream. The normal eddies in the carribean sea could have had a very small effect on the oil spills trajectory granted, but that is all.

    There will be a test next week on this lesson 🙂

  4. Carl le Strange on müsli
    thank you for the clarification I am not a end of the world nut no more than you are, just curious about things i have a little knowledge about and truly enjoy finding out more about things good reason to read here and at Eriks site

      1. @Carl: “My line of specialisation is not volcanology, it is actually fluid dynamics and wave-propagation. And as such I feel that I need to clearify things for you guys and girls.”

        Given your background, I really appreciate your taking the time to make these educational comments. Aside from the unscientific “doomsday theories”, no one really knows exactly when or how the world will end. You said it yourself in an earlier post, a “giant asteroid” could hit the Earth and that would end much life (as we know it) before our Sun has a chance to “die”.

  5. I am currently reviewing earthquake data on Icelandic Met Office web page to see when this actually started. As I now believe that this has a lot earlier starting point then scientists believe is the case now.

    So far I have noticed that the first earthquake swarm that I think is related to the magma movement had a starting week 28 in the year 1995. But this process was not in full power at that time, it was just starting up. But today the process is not far from allowing full eruption to take place in this area.

    1. I am looking forward to your findings. I have had a feeling in that direction, but have not your ability to try to prove it.
      I guess I will read about your findings in a nice juicy post when I return on wednesday.

      Have a nice weekend everyone, now off to Sicily in about two hours for some sailing 🙂

    2. For Eyjafjallajökull it took nearly the same time to wake up and erupt.
      Or is this just movement without a meaning?

  6. Looks like we may be at the start of another little swarm of quakes at Krísuvík. It’ll be interesting to see how many quakes this one will bring and if we’ll see a slow reduction in depth….

  7. re Gulf Stream.
    Try this search: AtlanticMOC Agassiz ice-core
    There is abundant evidence for past rapid slowing of the AMOC , eg:

    Now we dont today have a massive glacial lake outburst to trigger AMOC slowing. But we are running an experiment that is introducing a greater flux of freshwater onto the North Atlantic… whether that will slow the AMOC must be evaluated.

  8. Thanks, that is one fascinating pdf! Just in case anyone else is interested, it’s written in such a way for us non scientists to comprehend: “Freshwater Outburst from Lake Superior as a Trigger for the Cold Event 9300 Years Ago”. Nice maps and graphs too.

    1. I haven’t read the paper, but I am familiar with the idea. Even poked around at trying to reconstruct the coastline prior to the Younger Dryas so that I could get an idea of what the people who became Clovis culture had to deal with as they came over from Europe. Yeah, I said it. See, I’m a follower of the Solutrean –> Clovis theory. The artifacts and site locations fit that much better than they do a Bearing strait path.

      Anyway, I got distracted. Sorry.

      While poking around at the coast line idea, I noticed something.. phenomenal if you think about it. Generally, it’s accepted that sea levels were as much as 300 meters lower during the height of the last glacial max… I say that since technically, we are only in what can best be called the “Holocene Interstadial” period right now. Now as many of you know (I hope) is that cold water is denser and tends to drop down below warmer water. In meltwater situations, as it flows out to sea it can hug the bottom and make it’s own river bed like trench as it moves along. The Hudson and Monterey canyons are a good example. Couple this with a lower sea level, and large scale outflows like the one mentioned can leave a rather dramatic mark on the landscape… if you know where to look.

      This is the outflow channel north of the St Lawrence Seaway as it reaches the edge of the continental shelf.

      That line is 60 miles long. (96 km). At it’s middle, it is about 420 meters deep, and along the edges, about 56 to 100 meters. That means that from the lip edge to the bottom of this channel, it’s about 320 to 364 meters deep. Oh, did I mention that it’s 96 km wide?

      That… is a lot of water.

      1. @Lurking: Previous to your comment, I’d only read a little about about the Clovis/Bering Strait theory quite a few years ago. So I appreciate your “Solutrean –> Clovis distraction” because it’s interesting. However, there’s a DNA argument (haplogroup-independent migrations) against the theory which seems rather convincing at first glance. Although the “crossing of the Atlantic” theory is debatable, not sure that the DNA evidence is because I’m not a geneticist.

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