Update on Askja and Bárðarbunga volcanoes at 22:21 UTC

This is a short update on Askja and Bárðarbunga volcanoes. This information is going to get outdated quickly. I am not going to use pictures from now on (in most cases), since the situation now is complex and is going to go more complex as this goes on.

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Askja volcano

  • The dyke from Bárðarbunga volcano continues its journey into Askja. It has not yet reached Askja magma chamber. When that is going to happen is unclear at the moment.
  • Activity has been picking up in Askja due to stress changed from the dyke.

 Bárðarbunga volcano

  • Dyke activity continues at similar rate as before. It is now moving about 1 – 2 km a day according to latest news. The dyke has reached Askja volcano main system, it has not reached Askja main magma chamber. Once that is breached earthquake activity along with harmonic tremor in Askja is going to trough the roof.
  • Eruption on 23-August-2014 has been confirmed. It only lasted for 1 – 2 hours before it died down. I think current ideas why it happened are wrong. From my perspective it happened due to magma pressure inside Bárðarbunga magma chamber reaching a high point (highest so far). This did mean that the dyke was not able to tap off the magma chamber at fast enough rate for a short while. Allowing magma to breach the crust at other locations. While this was a short event, this suggests that magma is coming into Bárðarbunga magma chamber at depth. So far the volume that is flowing in is low for the moment. I suspect that might change at any time and without any warning.
  • The reason why the ice cauldron did not appear sooner is that it took the water some time to dig its own path trough the glacier. Why it did go to Grímsvötn lake (Grímsfjall volcano) I do not knwo.
  • Earthquake activity remains high in the north end of the dyke. Earthquake activity is present in Bárðarbunga volcano (main volcano), but it is not constant at the moment. That might change without warning.
  • No dyke activity so far going south of Bárðarbunga volcano.
  • Cracks appearing in the crust suggest that the dyke depth is only about 2 km at most. This has also allowed for groundwater warning up in areas. This has been seen under areas were the glacier is thin. This is creating hot springs and hydrothermal areas along the dyke path.
  • Inflation so far is around 40 cm to the east and west. There is nothing to suggest it is going to slow down at the moment.
  • This might be a long eruption once it starts. How long I do not know. At most some years, as has happened in Bárðarbunga volcano in the past.
  • Today there has been minor “quiet” time in Bárðrabunga. Harmonic tremor has been stable and no cycle of up and down has taken place. In my view that might change in next hours. I am already seeing changes in the tremor plot that suggest this.

The situation is highly dynamic and is going to change rapidly at times. So this information is going to get outdated quickly for that reason. For wind, weather and earthquake information in Iceland please check Iceland Met Office website. My geophone website can be viewed here.

Article updated at 23:33 UTC.

14 Replies to “Update on Askja and Bárðarbunga volcanoes at 22:21 UTC”

  1. I have heard varying time frames for when the dyke reaches Askja caldera. Is the dyke slowing because it is getting further away from its source and does this speak to possible sources? Carl estimates for dyke to Askja was around 2-3 days if I recall and those days are up today and tomorrow I believe, but as the dyke rate of movement has slowed, this will take longer. Anyone care to guess when it might reach the caldera?

    Man, these CAPTCHA’s are looking worse than my doctors handwritting.

  2. Could shallower quakes be ground water and ice cap melt reacting with magma? What magnitude quakes would collapse of portion of glacier cause? Could water flow through underground rifts to grimsvotn?

  3. I don’t think registration is possible from a mobile device? No big deal though. Following events closely it’s enthralling! You really think eruption could last years?

    1. The current mobile package that I have doesn’t support it. That is all depended on devices. I have special mobile theme running now for mobile phones with small screens. I don’t know about large screen devices, since I don’t own one at the moment.

  4. Hey all Tim here I live in the Good old USA .lots of Rumors and such flying around about this is this a coming Super eruption cause that’s what the rumor mill is here. Jon what’syour view. Sorry about the punction I’m on my phone and its hard to type on it

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