Update on activity in Bárðarbunga at 18:13 UTC

This is a update on the activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. This information might get outdated quickly as things change.

Earthquake activity continues in Bárðarbunga volcano with no signs of stopping. Since midnight the total earthquake count for Iceland has now reached 578 (at 18:14 UTC) this number gets outdated quickly due the continuous earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. The total amount of earthquakes recorded yesterday was around 480 for the whole day, so it seems that earthquake activity has increased today from what it was yesterday. It is possible to see the largest earthquakes on my geophone website here. I want to note that my geophones are both more then 100 km away from Bárðarbunga volcano, so only the largest earthquakes appear on my geophones.

The earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. It has now moved into two groups of activity. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

The earthquakes are forming an line south-south-east in Bárðarbungu volcano. I don’t know why that is, but this might be a feature of the SIL network, rather then actual alignment of the earthquakes. There also chance that the earthquakes really are aligning them self into a line like this.

Earthquake activity continues to be dense. A minor drop in activity was seen around 12:00 UTC, but it increased again around 13:00 UTC. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There has been little drop in activity, besides the drop in activity seen around 12:00 UTC, that drop in activity however only lasted for about one hour, maybe less. There has overall not been much change in activity during the past 24 hours. I don’t know if that is going to change, but for the moment there are no signs of the activity slowing down.

Harmonic tremor at Dyngjuhálsi SIL station. It moves up and down with the earthquake activity. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Harmonic tremor at Vonaskarð SIL station. It shows the changes in activity as other SIL stations around Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There are interesting theories on why the harmonic tremor is as it is. Currently there is nothing to suggest that an large eruption has taken place, there is a chance that a small eruption started all this, but I expect by now that it is over if it took place. It has not been confirmed. There is also a chance that earthquake activity is so high in Bárðarbunga volcano that it is registering as continuous harmonic tremor. It does not happen often, but it can happen. There is also chance that the harmonic tremor is due to boiling of hydrothermal systems in Bárðarbunga volcano, or something other related to magma under heavy pressure. Whatever the reason for this tremor, it’s there and an eruption does not seems to be the reason behind it.

Visual observations have now been made of Bárðarbunga volcano and nothing has been seen on the surface of the glacier. Scientists are also installing new monitoring hardware and a web-camera on Bárðarbunga volcano in order to get proper visual observations of the volcano when something happens. I don’t expect the web-camera to be a public at the moment.

Short update on Bárðarbunga volcano at 02:12 UTC

This is a short update on Bárðarbunga volcano activity.

Earthquake activity continues in Bárðarbunga volcano and shows no signs of slowing down. Two swarms have appeared in Bárðarbunga volcano system. One is at location called Kistufell, while the second one is at the south-east part of the Bárðarbunga volcano. Increase in earthquake activity in south-east part of Bárðarbunga volcano seems to increase harmonic tremor. I am not sure why that is. As of now (when this is written) no eruption has been confirmed in Bárðarbunga volcano, the volcano is under glacier so confirmation is difficult at best.

Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. The two groups of earthquake swarms are visible on this map. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Earthquake activity has been dense as can be seen here. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Harmonic tremor remains high on the Dyngjuháls SIL station. Why that is not clear at the moment. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Harmonic tremor remains high at Vonarskarð SIL station. It has dropped little during the day, but it remains constant at current time. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

So far no major eruption has started in Bárðarbunga volcano. That might change without warning as this activity continues. There is a risk of large earthquakes taking place before such eruption. Since the crust in this part of Iceland is thick (up to 40 km thick) and last eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano took place in the year 1794. The eruption in the year 1910 took place in a volcano named Hamarinn and is south-west of Bárðarbunga volcano. Fissure eruptions are also a feature that Bárðarbunga volcano has, if this activity is going to result in such eruption is something that is impossible to know at current time.

Current status changes fast. I post new information on this activity as needed and as things get more clearer on what is happening.