Update on Askja and Bárðarbunga volcanoes at 17:49 UTC

This information is going to get outdated quickly.

This is the weekend edition of my regular updates on activity in Bárðarbunga and Askja volcano. They are shorter and might not contain all the information on what is going on.

Current status on Askja volcano

  • Askja continues to be on Yellow alert.
  • Dyke does not seems to have any progress moving into Askja volcano system. Reason why that is are unknown.
  • Earthquake activity appears to have dropped in Askja for the past 24 hour period.

Current status on Bárðarbunga volcano

  • Largest earthquake for the past 24 hours is a magnitude 5,4 earthquake that took place at 07:03 UTC. It took place in south-west part of Bárðarbunga volcano. It did appear clearly on my geophones and they can be viewed here.
  • Eruption has been confirmed to have taken place on 23-August-2014. That eruption did not manage to break the trough the glacier since it is 400 to 600 meters thick were the eruption took place.
  • Most earthquake activity is taking place on 15 km long line in the Dyke, starting at the location were the eruption took place and goes some 15 km south from that location. Dyke does not seems to be moving north at the moment.
  • Eruption is now considered more likely in Bárðarbunga volcano it self than before.
  • Last large eruption that took place in Bárðarbunga volcano was in 1717. According to Global Volcanism Program that eruption was an VEI 3 eruption.
  • Eruption can happen in slopes of Bárðarbunga volcano, also in its caldera. The glacier in the caldera is up to 800 meters thick (+- 100 meters).
  • Earthquake activity is stable, with over 1000 to 2000 earthquakes recorded daily so far.

GPS data

Icelandic Met Office has released GPS data and it can be viewed here.

Storm warning

There is going to be a storm in Iceland on Sunday. This means fewer earthquakes are going to be detected due the wind noise.

News bits in English

Eruption at Bardarbunga now more likely (Rúv.is)
Fresh ice cracks in Bárðarbunga? (mbl.is)

Updates during the weekend

I am going to post updates during the weekends. I do however need to take a little break since I’ve been working and writing about Bárðarbunga for the past two weeks. So updates on weekends are going to be shorter and less detailed than on working days (Monday – Fridays). If eruption happens I am going to post information about that eruption soon as I become aware of it and details soon as possible.

Article updated at 17:52 UTC.
Article updated at 18:10 UTC.
Article updated at 19:01 UTC. I corrected information about the dyke earthquake location.

206 Replies to “Update on Askja and Bárðarbunga volcanoes at 17:49 UTC”

  1. using that experimental viewer from the 3dBulge people, it seems as though there is some interesting multi depth quakes occurring very near HerduBreid and/or the ridge just to the south of it … Possibly a place to keep an eye on ?

  2. According to someone who commented on ‘volcano cafe’ the lights were scientists from IMO installing additional sensors!

  3. It has been confirmed on Rúv that the light seen earlier tonight was just car traffic. They were installing new seismometers and checking some data.

      1. Projected forward it looks like it will have local effects for about 36 hours. The projected surface winds in 21 hours time from now looks like this:


        However, at the same time the upper level winds at 34,000 ft will blow into northern Russia, ash would miss Europe completely for that period.


  4. Forgive me for pisting this twice but last time i came in at close of thread. I had brainwave to recommend an author whose works would by HIGHLY relevant to the very smart folk all frequenting here , and I request you write this down ( thats right, with pen and paper 🙂 Nassim Nicholas Taleb . And the two books are ‘Black Swan’ and ‘ Antifragile’ . He is considered to be one of the most important and influentual authors ever. Thanks :).

  5. I’m still hoping any ash producing eruption, if there is one, will wait until after next Friday. Need to travel….

    What’s a good link to Check harmonic data?

  6. Looks like the basalt dosen’t resemble the “howardites/eucrites” from Vesta meteorite samples at all.

    No carbon or nanodiamonds either, and higher silica than any other un-differntiated meteorite that i recall seeing either.

    I wonder if the “vesicle” in the photomicrograph is actually a CAI, a calciumAluminum Intrusion, thought to be from the primordial , pre-solar cloud in our solar system



  7. I am on camera one on the Mila site. Am I seeing an eruption on the far right of the screen? Watching from the US

  8. Fantastic morning!!!!!!
    Activity going up in the same fissure!!!!!

    U can follow it at YouTube Burre01 user channel..

  9. Initial geochem and petrographic analysis is in on fissure eruption:

    (hat-tip to ‘Junior’ over at VC)

    In plain English it’s primarily a fresh gassy basaltic glass with some minor reworked wall rock xenocryst inclusions entrained in it.

    So it is the chilled glass component + volatiles which are the primary melt that has erupted. The crystals are hitch-hikers. If this were not so the ground mass would not be vitreous glassy undifferentiated melt

    So this is a fresh undifferentiated basaltic magma from a deep source that has not been in the crust long at all. It is consistent with a sub crustal source.

  10. This may be a dumb question but could the dust storms have been triggered by small earthquakes causing the ground to move and stir the dust up . It just seems funny the dust storms seem always to be in the area of the new activity.

    1. No Janet. Iceland gets lots of dust storms and high winds all of the time. Neither of which can cause Earthquakes. The wind will show on the highly sensitive helicorders, but not move the ground. Everywhere else in the World gets gales / hurricanes / typhoons without the ground ripping open beneath them :p

      1. Misread your original message – thought you’d asked if the dust storms can cause the quakes.

        Same applies though, dust storms happen in Iceland all the time as the dust on the ground is very dry and the winds high because there is so much open land. Not connected with quakes at all.

      2. I meant to ask if small earthquakes (movements in the ground) can cause the dust storms (not the other way round dust/wind causing the earthquakes) .

  11. What are the odds that if this fissure stays open long enough that it can relieve some pressure in the dyke (honestly I don’t know much regarding the type of material and gases present)

  12. Just woke up early on a Sunday morning and as any normal person would do in the current situation headed straight for


    The first thing I noticed was the line of earthquakes, so straight onto this website, and now I’m fully informed.

    Just as well we have the Internet to keep us informed!!


    ps Captcha can be a laugh, to post this “nanagit oceanus”

  13. Pretty cool, been online at start of both.

    Steam clouds rising higher than dust, we may get some fountains out of this one.

    Will expect the heading north of Askja to start moving again soon also.

  14. Looks like some black mixed in with the steam and dust on the webcam now, dust obscuring visibility of the glowing lava at the moment. Definitely did see some about 15mins ago!

    1. Ex-Hurricane Cristobal is passing through Iceland today. Winds may reach 60-70 MPH and lots of rain expected there, so our views may be somewhat restricted later.

  15. Unless i am totally confused VC is talking about a second eruption that was visible on Cam2 which they are showing as a picture of clearly visible ‘fires’

    How come in 2014 we cannot see a freeking picture via the cams? Surely to God they can get somebody to provide the latest still if it over loads???

  16. Dear jon. I have a lot of respect for your work.

    Why does you no separate fund for special supplementary project strongly drone. among others, with night vision, thermal camera ect. installed. I think you can then this. very close during the eruption filming. The images can also be interesting for very knower tists to me but also attracts worldwide attention. ect.
    This is your total budget perfectly greater for your work

  17. I was totally confused! People saw the cam showing yesterdays pictures………

      1. It is erupting, if you watch long enough you will see it through all the dust. This amount of dust was not around at the last eruption so it can’t be a repeat showing.

  18. I was watching around 07:00 this morning and there was lots of orange fire and white steam to see looked like a new eruption.

  19. Looking at the plot of quakes E and NE of Askja there’s a new dike/fissure response to the NNE propagating stress field. The displacement is still smallish within the area, on KIDC and SAUD CGPS stations, but are still moving apart steadily and Saud has accelerated east.

    Displacement is now about double what it was when I first observed it around 4 days ago. But only about ~20% of the distension seen in the south between DYNC and GSIG.

    1. The other significant changes;

      HFAS had been moving NNE, then NE, then E briefly, but now is almost stationary.

      VONC continues SW and is showing horizontal and vertical pulses.

      GFUM likes north better now, and vertical osculations continue.

      DYNC has displaced 300 mm predominately West with slight south component.

      GSIG is harder to determine due to its measurement hiatus, but seems to be due SE at a similar rate as DYNC, with a similar rate.

      The total measured displacement is around 60 cm between DYNC and GSIG at this point.

  20. Seem to be getting “server not found” constantly now with the Míla webcams. 🙁

    1. Try again …i look at it few minutes ago…but nothing to see because of clouds…
      Tried the you tube stream?

      1. Funny you should say that just tried again and they seem to be back up but nothing but cloud lol!

  21. If you go to the utube live stream you can rewind the timeline to show 2h30 minutes ago and just imagine it is live…..Worked for me!

    1. The thing is over loaded though and he cannot allow more in without crashing. He might have added me after i began chatting to him about the feeds for the cam

      1. Ok thanks! But strange it is not visible at this moment on the overview page..

  22. Is there anything new about the current eruption? Is it still ongoing, or has it calm down? Hard to see anything because of the weather.

  23. Yes I see you posting about this eruption.

    I woke Sunday morning and brot up Bardarbunga cam 2 and cam is shaking like crazy!
    Cam 1 is not jumping around and the clouds dont appear to be moving
    Jon said it would be stormy weather today, so wind or quakes?

    Eruptions, vedur website
    Fissure eruption in Holuhraun (north of Vatnajökull).
    A strong gale (more than 20 m/s) is expected in most parts with strong gusts near mountains. Heavy rain is also expected in the southeast and a risk of mudslides there.
    Bard = RED: Eruption is imminent or in progress – significant emission of ash into atmosphere likely.
    Askja = YELLOW: Volcano is exhibiting signs of elevated unrest a

    I still have to do those 2 annoying spam thingys to post. *sigh

  24. Just read a great article, not technical at all but explains a lot lessthan3Ley.worldpress.com

  25. Eruption is in progress! Mila webcam shows lavaflows/lavafountains. The sight is bad but red/orange regions can be seen…

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