Unconfirmed eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano

This information is going to get outdated quickly as more information is collected on this activity.

During all last week (Week 33) there has been a minor earthquake swarm in Bárðarbunga volcano. No other activity followed this minor earthquake activity during the week until last night (16-August-2014). During the night (around 02:20 UTC) a harmonic tremor started to appear on SIL stations around Bárðarbunga volcano. Following the appearance of the harmonic tremor earthquake activity started around 03:30 UTC. Largest earthquakes in this swarm have magnitude around 3,0 so far. Depth is around 5 to 10 km. During the night the earthquake swarm moved around in the volcano and is now more east then it first started. According to Rúv news the glacier around this part of Vatnajökull glacier is around 700 meters thick, so it going to take a major eruption to break the ice. This however also means that when a glacier flood starts in this area there is a high risk that is going to be large.

The largest earthquake that I did record during the night. This image is released under CC Licence. Please see CC Licence page for more details.

The earthquake swarm in Bárðarbunga volcano at 11:45 UTC. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

Harmonic tremor on Dyngjuháls SIL station. This SIL stations is closest to the area of activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

Harmonic tremor on Vonaskarð SIL station. This is one of the SIL station that is closest to the area of activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Meteorological Office.

Currently the activity in Bárðabunga volcano is not stable, it does fluctuate a little. Besides this minor fluctuation it seems stable. Based on harmonic tremor signal and its range this does not appear to be a large eruption so far. That might change without warning. I do however expect larger earthquakes before any major volcano eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano. What seems to have happened is that a dike intrusion got to the surface and started this eruption, even if it is just small one at current time.

I am going to post update soon as more information gets available. This situation is going to change quickly and without much warning.

3 Replies to “Unconfirmed eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano”

  1. Thanks for posting this Jon. I’ve been watching this and really value your insight into what’s going on.

  2. Hi Jon, I said it would be vatnajokull didn’t I? The EQ pattern seems to be migrating to the North. 700m of ice is going to take some melting and its starting to look possible although as you say magnitude has to increase before that will happen. I notice the IMO has raised the alert level for aviation and civil protection.

    I hope locals are out with their camera’s to capture anything for youtube!

    PS, I see what you meant about the harmonic tremor.

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