Bárðarbunga volcano daily update 30-September-2014

This information is going to change quickly if anything happens in Bárðarbunga volcano.

Current status in Bárðarbunga volcano at 21:49 UTC

  • There is no signs of the eruption in Holuhraun is about to end. Currently there are only one or two craters erupting.
  • The lava field is now around 47 square kilometre wide. It grows in wideness at the moment, it is not getting any longer since the magma has not the energy to go any future than it already has.
  • Earthquake activity continues to happen under the dyke and the eruption crater. So there is clearly high pressure in the dyke and not it is possible that the eruption that is now taking place is not large enough for the all the magma that is down in the dyke.
  • Largest earthquake today had the magnitude of 4,8 and took place at 19:24 UTC. Second largest earthquake took place at 14:53 UTC and had the magnitude of 4,7.
  • The lava that has now erupted in Holuhraun is two times larger than all of lava erupted in Kröflueldar eruptions that took place between 1974 – 1984.
  • Bárðarbunga volcano caldera has now dropped some 30 meters according to Magnus Tumi Guðmundsson geologists at University of Iceland. There is a plan to fly over Bárðarbunga volcano by end of this week, when maintain of the air plain that is being used for this is done.
  • Icelandic Met Office has confirmed that it is just lava flowing into Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacier river. This is not a new fissure at that location this time around.
  • Rifting in Bárðarbunga volcano area is about what Iceland moves in about 150 year period. This is happening all at once and it does not appear to be over.
  • Bad weather has prevented scientists  from being in the area most of the week. The weather is not expect to improve until 2-October-2014, since new storm is expected tomorrow.

One month ago at Holuhraun

This is the news one month ago (almost to the day) about what is happening back then.

An eruption possible in Holuhraun lava (28-August-2014. Rúv.is)
Fissure eruption in Holuhraun lava field (29-August-2014. Rúv.is)
Holuhraun eruption lasted 3-4 hours (29-August-2014. Rúv.is)

Tomorrow (1-October-2014) it is exactly one month since this happened.

Fresh eruption north of Bardarbunga -video (31-August-2014. Rúv.is)
Fresh eruption: 60 m high lava fountains (31-August-2014. Rúv.is)

How strong wind affects earthquake recoding

Here is a image from my geophone of how strong wind in north Atlantic ocean and Greenland sea affects my geophone recording and other seismometers in Iceland.


Here is how you read this image. First is the earthquake, the P wave is first, second is S wave, along with other wave forms that happen in earthquake. The wave patterns that is all over this earthquake recording is ocean wave from winds. Both the ocean waves that happen at the coast, but also the ocean waves at deep ocean far from Iceland coast line. The spike at 21:07:21 – 21:07:41 is a electric noise. The noise at 21:08:41 – 21:09:21 is an animal or some other type of noise source. This image is released under Creative Commons Licence. Please see CC Licence page for more details.

Article updated at 21:51 UTC.

Bárðarbunga daily update on 29-September-2014

I am sorry for this late update. I did spend several hours trying to figure out a problem that does not appear to be on my end regarding my IPv6 tunnel connection. I hope this problem is solved by my tunnel provider (Hurricane Electric) soon. Now back to Bárðarbunga volcano.

Overview of the activity of 29-September-2014

  • Largest earthquake today had the magnitude of 5,5 and the depth of 5,6 km. Second largest earthquake had the magnitude of 4,9 and depth of 3,1 km. Other earthquakes where smaller. The largest earthquake was felt in Akureyri and surrounding area.
  • Due to bad weather it was close to impossible to make any observations about the eruption according to the news. Scientists where unable to go to there area today far as I know.
  • The eruption in Holuhraun continues as it has been doing for almost a month now.
  • 29-September-2014 means there is now one month since the first eruption in Holuhraun started and finished within few hours. The first eruption started and ended on 29-August-2014 and it erupted in craters that had last erupted in the year 1797.
  • Due to bad weather fewer earthquakes where recorded. Only earthquakes that did go above the wind noise where seen on the SIL network and my geophones.
  • The lava-field in Holuhraun is now larger than 44 square kilometres in size.
  • Bárðarbunga caldera continues to drop at same rate since that process started on 16-August-2014.
  • Nothing else to report far as I know

Images of the eruption

Here are few images of the eruption. Due to copyright I only link to them from this website.

Gengu á rauðglóandi hrauni í tæpa viku (People walking on red glowing lava for a week) – Vísir.is (Icelandic)

Winter arrives at Holuhraun (Rúv.is)

There are many pictures of the eruption on University of Iceland Twitter feed.

Friday update on Bárðarbunga volcano 26-September-2014

This is the Friday 26-September-2014 update on Bárðarbunga volcano. This information is going to get outdated quickly.

Current status in Bárðarbunga volcano at 20:31 UTC

  • Largest earthquake today had the magnitude 5,2, it happened at 16:49 UTC. Second largest earthquake today took place at 18:54 UTC and had the magnitude of 4,3. There have so far been fewer larger earthquakes today than in last days.
  • The caldera dropped 30cm in the magnitude 5,2 earthquake. The caldera continues to drop around 50cm/day according to GPS measurements. Total caldera drop is now around 29 meters.
  • Smaller earthquakes have been taking place in Bárðarbunga volcano. This means the drop is continuing during those earthquakes.
  • Magma continues to flow into Bárðarbunga volcano around the same rate as before. This can be seen on GPS data on nearby GPS monitoring stations. For GPS information please check University of Iceland GPS information page here.
  • Bad sandstorm was in Holuhraun today. It was so bad that it was only possible to see 50 – 100 meters in front of people according to Rúv news earlier today.
  • The eruption in Holuhraun continues in the same manner today as yesterday. The lava field is now larger than 40 square kilometres. What the exact size is I don’t know since it is not known today due to weather.
  • Earthquake activity continues under the dyke and that suggests the pressure is increasing in it.
  • Currently there is no eruption under the glacier. If it was it would be visible on SIL stations around Vatnajökull glacier.
  • Nothing more has happened in Bárðarbunga volcano today far as I know. That might change without warning.
  • Storms are expected to take place in Iceland all weekend. There is going to be around three or four storms taking place this weekend with strong winds up to 20m/s and it can go up to 40m/s in wind gusts. This is going to effect SIL stations and my geophones as the storms pass over parts of Iceland.

Current status Saturday 27-September-2014 at 20:30 UTC

  • No major change has taken place today in the eruption in Holuhraun. There is also no sign that is ending. Most of the eruption takes place in one crater at the moment. New fissures might open up without warning in the area where the dyke is located.
  • Bárðarbunga caldera continues to drop around 50cm/day.
  • Largest earthquake today so far is a magnitude 5,2 that took place at 19:31 UTC. Second largest earthquake today was at 02:00 and had the magnitude of 5,0.
  • Due to snowstorm there is almost no visibility to the eruption area in Holuhraun. For the people in the field the visibility today was reported to be 50 to 100 meters.
  • There has been a lot of smaller earthquakes taking place in Bárðarbunga volcano. Some of those earthquakes are taking place due to caldera subsiding. Some of those earthquakes are taking place because the magma inside Bárðarbunga volcano is looking for a new pathway up the surface. It either has not found it or does not have the pressure yet to go up the crust yet.
  • There is less activity today in the dyke. There is however worrying earthquake activity in the dyke at the start of Dyngjujökull glacier. It might mean that magma is trying to get up to the surface. There already have been eruptions under the glacier in this area without any earthquake activity before they started. All of those eruptions lasted for a short period of time.
  • Nothing else is to report so far today (27-September-2014).

Update Sunday 28-September-2014 at 17:17 UTC

  • Largest earthquake today took place at 12:34 UTC. Other earthquakes have been smaller today.
  • Bárðarbunga caldera has dropped 7,4 meter since 12-September-2014 according to GPS measurements in the centre of the caldera. That GPS data can be found here.
  • The lava field is now 44,5 square kilometres wide. It is now larger than Mývatn (around 40 square kilometres wide) for comparison.
  • Harmonic tremor suggest that pressure is increasing in the Bárðarbungu volcano magma chamber. It drops once the magma finds way out, then it starts building up again.
  • No other information have been released today. Other activity is the same as for the past few days.

Storm notice!

Three bad storms are expected in Iceland in next few days. In parts of Iceland wind is expected to go up to 50m/s in wind gusts. This is going to effect all earthquake recording and monitoring of Bárðarbunga volcano.

Next update

Next update is going to be on Monday 28-September-2014. I wish everyone a good weekend.

Article updated at 20:31 UTC on 27-September-2014
Article updated at 17:17 UTC on 28-September-2014

Bárðarbunga daily update 25-September-2014

This is the current status of Bárðarbunga volcano at 21:42 UTC. This information might go outdated quickly.

  • Eruption continues in Holuhraun and shows no signs of stopping. The lava field is now larger than 40 square km. I don’t have the exact number for today.
  • Subsidence continues in Bárðarbunga volcano caldera. Please note that the glacier on top of the caldera moves down along with it. Cracks in the glacier have been created due the earthquake activity that is taking place. There has not been any eruption so far in the caldera. That might change one day without warning.
  • Largest earthquake today took place at 05:00 UTC and had the magnitude of 5,2. Second largest earthquake today had the magnitude of 5,0 and took place at 16:35 UTC. Other earthquakes have been smaller.
  • Earthquake activity continues to increase in the dyke. Suggesting that pressure is increasing in the dyke at fast phase. This means there is high risk of new eruptions both under the glacier and outside it.
  • Weather is going to be bad in Iceland for the next day or so, observations are going to be difficult due that.
  • Bárðarbunga volcano continues to drop around 50cm/day.
  • No other reports are for today at present time.

Earthquake activity along the dyke

The earthquake activity along the dyke continues, as can be clearly seen on this image here from Icelandic Met Office. It is moving south suggesting that current eruption in Holuhraun is not big enough for the inflow of magma that is taking place from depth. This also means some pressure built up inside the magma chamber and that might lead to eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano or in its caldera. Such eruption would happen without warning.

Earthquake activity moving along the dyke towards Bárðarbunga volcano as pressure increases. There is also considerable earthquake activity under the Holuhraun eruption. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

If anything major happens I am going to post update soon as I can.

Bárðarbunga daily update 24-September-2014

This information is going to get outdated quickly.

Current status in Bárðarbunga volcano at 21:47 UTC

  • Eruption in Holuhraun continues at the same phase as yesterday. There is however just one or two crater erupting at the moment. New crater might open without warning if anything changes.
  • The lava field is now around 40 square km in size. It is now second largest lava field in Iceland at the moment. Largest lava field did come from Hekla volcano in 1947 in 13 month long eruption. It is expected if anything changes that Holuhraun lava field is going to reach 80 square km size in about two weeks (or one and a half) time.
  • Largest earthquake since midnight had the magnitude 5,2. Other earthquakes today have been smaller in magnitude.
  • Bárðarbunga caldera continues to subside around 50cm/day. Total subside is now around 27 meters.
  • The lava field is going over a path that has been used by geologist to get to the eruption. The path in question is called Gæsavatnaleið. At last check that lava field had around 200 meters until it was going to go over the road and close it permanently.
  • Earthquake activity is increasing in the dyke. This suggest that pressure is increasing inside the dyke. This also means there is high risk of an eruption in new location in the dyke, inducing under the glacier with everything that follows it (glacier flood, volcano ash and so on).
  • If eruption happens under the glacier the harmonic tremor is going to jump up and glacier flood is going to be visible soon after that. Depending on where the water is flowing under the glacier.
  • No major change has taken place today.

Other things

I am sorry for this late update today. I got a hardware to watch Icelandic Television in Denmark over the internet (IPTV). But the video kept freezing and it took a while to figure that out. Turns out the problem is my current router, it just can’t handle the traffic. So I had to get a new router that did cost me 103,78€. The new router is going to solve this problem for good. The last router that I did buy did cost me 25€, I had to buy cheap router since I was broke at that time.

Article updated at 22:06 UTC. Corrected numbers about the lava field size.

Bárðarbunga daily update 23-September-2014

This information is going to get outdated quickly.

Current status in Bárðarbunga volcano at 23:03 UTC

  • Largest earthquake from midnight was a magnitude 5,2 that took place at 04:33 UTC. Second largest earthquake today took place at 13:44 UTC and had the magnitude of 4,5. Other earthquakes have been smaller.
  • Bárðarbunga caldera continues to subside at around 50cm/day.
  • No major change has been reported today regarding Holuhraun eruption. That might be due all the geologist being on a convention today in Bifröst University.
  • Harmonic tremor suggest that more magma is flowing into Bárðarbunga volcano system. Increasing the pressure in it. Interestingly this does not appear to have created any inflation in the caldera, at least not any long term inflation is taking place in the caldera. There is less magma erupting from Holuhraun at the moment than is flowing into Bárðarbunga volcano, this is based on current data. It is clear that in new magma is going somewhere, but where is a question with no answer at the moment.
  • GPS data has stopped acting strange. I am not sure why that happened or why GPS data was strange for few days.
  • Harmonic tremor signal at 22:40 suggest a minor eruption did start and stop under the glacier. This was one of minor eruption that have been taking place in Bárðarbunga volcano for the past month. I don’t expect to have broken the glacier. If there is any glacier flood from this minor eruption it is going to small, since I don’t expect large amount of glacier being melted in this minor eruption.
  • Earthquake activity is moving south along the dyke from Bárðarbunga. That is not good since it suggests that pressure has started to increase in the dyke. This means new eruptions might start without warning where the dyke is located.
  • Storm is expected in Iceland tomorrow, with wind up to 35m/s. So detection of earthquakes is going to be difficult while the storm passes over.

Other new items I have not come across today. If anything new happens, I am going to add it here or write a new article if it is big enough event.

Common questions about Bárðarbunga answered #1

This is my attempt to answer the most common questions about Bárðarbunga volcano. I don’t have time to cover all the questions, so this is just the most common questions that I have seen on this website. Along with few questions that people who are not into geology might want to know the answers too.

Bárðarbunga volcano common questions answered

Why is Bárðarbunga erupting?

This is part of the natural process in Iceland. Since Iceland is on a Mid-Atlantic ridge (MAR) [Mid-Atlantic Ridge]. The drift is 2,5cm/year, but it doesn’t happen evenly over the ridge and it happens in jumps. So over a period of 200 – 700 years nothing happens, until one day the process start and the ground starts opening up and eruption cycle starts that might last for years. That is what happened in Bárðarbunga on 16-August-2014. Day before (15-August-2015) there was nothing suggesting to anyone that an eruption was about to start.

Is the eruption dangerous?

Yes and No. It depends on what it does and what happens. Today it is not dangerous to anything when it comes to lava flows since nothing exists where the eruption is taking place. Since the eruption is taking place in a desert in Iceland, where nothing grows or lives. Most danger at the present time is the SO2 gas, CO and CO2 gas from the eruption. Mostly SO2 since it goes long distances with the wind and is in high density. It has already created problems for people in Iceland closest to the eruption, even if that is distance of 100 – 200 km.

What about eruption under the glacier?

There have already been five (or six) eruption under the glacier since this started on 16-August-2014. None of them were big and did not break up trough the glacier or create large glacier flood. The risk is that new eruption are going to take place under the glacier and are going to create problems due to glacier floods that happen soon after. It is expected that three bridges in north Iceland are going to get lost if an large glacier flood takes place. With large being more than 60,000m³ of water each second (or what they use to calculate that type of flood). In south Iceland there is risk to dams, electric infrastructure, roads, bridges and other things in the path of the glacier flood. Glacier floods are expected to go at least two ways from the glacier in the worst case.

Is it possible to predict when next eruption happens?

No. It is not. We at best get a warning with earthquakes some hour at best before it. But as this eruption has shown, that is not always the case along the dyke.

How long is the dyke?

From start to end the dyke is around 45 km long, most of it is under a glacier. It is also creating rift valley above it. That rift valley is going to be filled with new magma as the time goes on. That might not happen in this eruption cycle.

How long is this going to last?

We don’t know for sure. At that shortest some months, at the longest for the next decade or so.

Is this eruption going to create an ash cloud?

Yes, it might. Eruption under the glacier is going to create ash cloud. How big and how high it is going to be depends on the energy of the eruption and where it goes depends on the wind.

Is it going to create a flight chaos as happened with Eyjafjallajökull in 2010?

No, that is unlikely to happen. While disruptions should be expected once an eruption starts under the glacier that appears to be powerful enough to break trough the glacier. The volcano ash from Bárðarbunga volcano is going to be different, since the magma is basalt, it is going to explode on contact with water, creating volcano. No lava is not going to be erupting while water gets into the erupting craters. This also means that the volcano ash that forms is larger and heavier as result. That means it doesn’t stay as long up in the air and does not go long distances.

What is happening to the caldera?

The caldera in Bárðarbunga volcano is collapsing. The older caldera is collapsing into a new caldera. This process seems to be independent of the rifting that is now taking place in the north zone of the Eastern Volcanic Zone (EVZ) in Iceland. For image of the rift zones in Iceland click here. Science paper on the rift zones can be found here.

The caldera is collapsing because a weakness has formed in the magma chamber. This process started some time ago, since I don’t think it is a new one. But the end process seems to be taking place now. The caldera is going to stay up for as long there is magma holding it up. It is not possible to know when the caldera is going to collapse. All we know is that it is going to take place. When and how is not something we know and that might be a problem.

Is it possible to go there?

No, it is not possible to go there. The area is closed for public traffic and for a good reason. The lava is full of dangerous gases that can kill in few moments. Wind can change and bring those gases to people without warning. What is possible is to rent an air plane to fly over the area, that is expensive and not everyone can afford it. When the eruption ends the area is going to be opened up, then it is going to be possible to check out the lava field, if anything is going to be visible after the glacier floods that might take place in this area if an major eruption takes place under the glacier.

What is a fissure eruption?

Fissure eruption is an eruption that happens along a rift in the crust. Often there is a dyke feeding it, as is the case with current Bárðarbunga volcano eruption. The dyke from Bárðarbunga volcano is 45 km long and eruptions can happen along it all the way up the main volcano. After a while, the fissure eruption often ends with just one or two crater erupting. This is now taking place in Holuhraun eruption. That is also increasing the risk of new fissures opening up without warning, both close to the current eruption site and along the 45 km long dyke.

What type of magma is erupting?

Bárðarbunga volcano is erupting magma called Basalt. That means it flows easily and is not explosive. This type of magma only gets explosive when it comes into contact with glacier or water (lakes, oceans, rivers and ground water). More informations about what types of magma that exist can be found in the link below.

Types of magma
Hawaiian eruption

Short answers about the website

How many people run this website?

It’s just me. One person.

Does it take long to work on it?

Yes. I work on it for up to 10 hours a day this past month due to the eruption in Bárðarbunga. I am always checking for new data and checking what the news says for new information. I can take me up to 6 hours to write a long article, since there is eruption taking place now and information change quickly I try to write everything that I need to write down in about one hour. This article for example has taken me around three hours to write since I started writing it (with some dinner breaks).

Why do updates take so long to appear?

I like to check the data and the news for new information. Since it takes time for me to find and check that information I often cannot update until late in the evening. I update quickly as I can if a new eruption starts or if a large earthquake takes place.

How do you fund this?

With donations, Amazon Advertisements and out of my own pocket. I only have at current just social welfare from Iceland, it is small and so small that I can at times hardly pay my bills here in Denmark.

Is is possible to support your work?

Yes. Use the PayPal button. If you don’t want to use PayPal you can support me directly with a bank transfer. Information for that can be found here.

You have your own seismometers?

I don’t have seismometers as such. What I got is called geophone. It is not as sophisticated as seismometer, it gets the job done for me and that is good enough. I plan on one day to buy a Volksmeter, they are however expensive and cost $1995 for dual channel one. My geophone website can be found here. I have been running geophones in Iceland since 2006 when I started my first one in Hvammstangi, Iceland.

What software are you using?

For the moment I am using WinSDR and Winquake for my earthquake recordings. WinSDR comes with the geophone and so did WinQuake since I was buying the hardware. More details can be found here, both on hardware and software. I plan moving to FreeBSD solution once I have learned to program my own software for this. I am going to do so when I am in Iceland. I don’t expect to have anything else to do (besides monitoring eruptions taking place and writing few books and learning German, Portuguese and Spanish).

How long are you going to continue to run your geophone?

I don’t know. I know that I can do so forever. I have already closed down Eyrarbakki geophone station and Skeiðflöt geophone station since the people hosting them where unable to do so any longer. I always have one geophone with me where I live. So I am always going to have one running, along with possible long period seismometers that I might buy at later day.

Are you in Iceland?

No, at the moment I live in Denmark. I am going to move back to Iceland in December for a short period (I hope) since I can’t afford living in Denmark on my social welfare from Iceland. I don’t know for how long I am going to stay there. I don’t expect to last there due to culture issue that I am having, even if I am born in Iceland. I am considering moving to Flores, Azores Island [to Santa Cruz das Flores] next time (the Island is a volcano and on the mid-Atlantic ridge). Even if living there is in technical aspects of it out in the middle of nowhere. I just need to have the income to live there and at the moment I don’t have it. When that is going to happen is something I don’t know at the moment.

Can I use what you write here?

Yes, you can. The only requirement is that you provide link to the source material. Since this website is under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. This however does not apply to comments and images that I don’t own. More details can be found here on how to share this website properly and in accordance with the licence that I use for it.

Article updated at 20:41 UTC.
Article updated at 21:02 UTC.

Bárðarbunga volcano daily update 22-September-2014

This information is going to get outdated quickly.

Current status in Bárðarbunga volcano at 14:47 UTC

  • The largest earthquake so far is magnitude 4,8 in Bárðarbunga caldera. There is however continued activity in Bárðarbunga volcano caldera so this number is going to change as the day goes on.
  • The eruption in Holuhraun does not show any signs of ending any time soon. The lava field is now around 37 square km in size. It is growing in size every hour. There is no sign of less production of lava coming from the active craters in Holuhraun. The lava field is not getting longer, it is getting wider instead. Since the lava does not have energy to get any further then it already has.
  • There is continued risk of new eruptions in Holuhraun and south of it, including under the glacier.
  • According to Ármann Höskuldsson geologist at University of Iceland both Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption in 2010 (information here, Wikipedia) and Grímsfjall volcano eruption in 2011 (information here, Wikipedia) were smaller then current eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano and connected events.
  • It is expected that eruption is going to start in Bárðarbunga volcano caldera. When is not known.
  • Bárðarbunga volcano caldera continues to subside at the same rate as before, that rate is currently 50cm/day.
  • More magma is flowing into Bárðarbunga volcano from depth (more than 10 km deep source). It is clear that current eruption and earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano is going to continue for months at shortest. This might go on for years at the longest. With minor breaks as often happen in fissure eruptions.
  • On 1-October-2014 the eruption in Holuhraun has been ongoing for one month.

Current status in Bárðarbunga volcano at 20:24 UTC

  • There has not been any major changes since earlier today. At 13:36 UTC a magnitude 4,7 earthquake took place. Other earthquakes so have been smaller.
  • There was (or is) a quiet period for the past few hours. This might be because more magma is flowing into the magma chamber of Bárðarbunga volcano. Increasing the pressure and at the same time creating fewer earthquakes. That might change at any time without warning.

Update at 23:13 UTC

  • The lava field at Holuhraun is now 0.5 km³. It is now the second largest lava field in Iceland during the past 150 years. Only Hekla lava field from 1947 is larger at the moment, it is 0.8 km³ in size. If the Holuhraun eruption continues as it has, it is going to get Hekla lava field size in about two weeks.

If anything new happens I am going to add that information here.

Article updated at 20:25 UTC on 22-September-2014.
Article updated at 23:13 UTC on 22-September-2014.

Friday update on Bárðarbunga volcano

This information is going to get outdated quickly. This is also a Friday update and that means I won’t write new articles during the weekend. I am just going update this one with latest information. New article is only going to be written on weekends if something major happens in current activity in Bárðarbunga volcano.

Current status of Bárðarbunga volcano at 23:43 UTC

  • Largest earthquake so far today has had the magnitude of 4,7 at 06:44 UTC. Other earthquakes have been smaller, but several magnitude 3,0 – 4,3 earthquakes have taken place today. More information can be found at Icelandic Met Office website here.
  • GPS data [University of Iceland GPS data can be found here) still makes no sense to me currently. I am hoping to figure that out in next few days what is going on there.
  • Landsnet that takes care of the electric grid in Iceland has started to move backup items for its power-lines in south and north Iceland. In the case they need to do a sudden repair to them if they take damage in glacier flood. This are 220kV power-lines and stations that are at risk from glacier flood due to eruption in Bárðarbunga. I don’t know about the dams them self if anything is being done to protect them.
  • The eruption in Holuhraun continues as it has been doing for the past few days. Now there is mostly one crater erupting.
  • Chemical mixture of the magma has changed. It is now coming from deep magma chamber at more than 10 km depth. This means the eruption is going to be long lasting.
  • Scientist expect to be at Holuhraun eruption until December at least.
  • South part of Bárðarbunga fissure system have not yet started to move. When that changes is impossible to know.

Map of earthquake activity for the past 48 hours

This is the earthquake activity from 20:20 UTC. It clearly shows the earthquake activity as it now is taking place. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Magnitude of the earthquakes taking place during the past 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Update Saturday 20-September-2014 at 13:16 UTC

  • Largest earthquake since midnight was an earthquake that took place at 01:10 UTC and had the magnitude of 5,1.
  • Eruption at Holuhraun continues same as before. The central crater is now high above the flat desert that is in this location. I don’t know how high it is now.
  • SO2 pollution have been noted over Iceland today. It has been seen in Reykjavík, Borgarnes, Akranes and other places. The amount of SO2 in this places is far below health risk levels according to the news.
  • Minor earthquake activity continues in the dyke and has extended slightly more south since yesterday.
  • GPS data continues to be confusing. GPS data from Icelandic Met Office can be found here. GPS data from University of Iceland can be found here.

Update Sunday 21-September-2014 at 14:35 UTC

  • The eruption continues as before. There is no major change taking place in Holuhraun.
  • Largest earthquake since midnight is a magnitude 5,5 earthquake that took place at 10:51 UTC. Other earthquakes have been smaller. This is the second largest earthquake since activity started in Bárðarbunga volcano. With the largest earthquake so far taking place on 26-August-2014 having the magnitude of 5,7.
  • People have found going into the closed area and that is illegal. This is dangerous since there is high risk of new eruption taking place under the glacier south of current eruption. When that happens the glacier flood is going to coming down to the current erupting area within 30 to 60 minutes (1 hour). That is not enough time to send warning to all the people in the area. If you want to go to Holuhraun, rent a plane. Its the safest option at the moment. Don’t go by car! Small eruptions have been taking place under the glacier in past month. So we know they are happening, they have not been large at present time, but that is going to change without warning. There is also high risk of gas like SO2, CO, CO2 from the eruption.
  • Dead birds have been found close the lava field in recent days or weeks. I don’t know why this happens, but it is clear that deadly SO2 gas and other gases are killing the birds.
  • There is a storm in Vatnajökull glacier area today. As can be seen on Icelandic Met Office wind map here.
  • Eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano is expected to take place without warning. It has not yet happened, but the chance of an eruption taking place is higher than it won’t happen.
  • Bárðarbunga volcano caldera continues to subside. Latest drop was around 25 cm following the magnitude 5,5 earthquake.

I am going update this later today if there is reason to do so.

Article updated at 13:16 UTC on Saturday 20-September-2014.
Article updated at 14:38 UTC on Saturday 21-September-2014.
Article updated at 14:41 UTC on Saturday 21-September-2014.

Daily Bárðarbunga volcano update on 18-September-2014

This information is going to get outdated quickly.

Current status on Bárðarbunga volcano at 20:36 UTC

  • Largest earthquakes in Bárðarbunga yesterday (17-September-2014) was a magnitude 5,2. Largest earthquake today (18-September-2014) was a magnitude 5,3. Other earthquakes have been smaller.
  • Bárðarbunga volcano caldera continues to drop. When the magnitude 5,3 earthquake happened today at 14:21 UTC the caldera dropped 20 – 30 cm.
  • GPS data (more GPS data can be found here) suggest to me that the dyke at Vonarskarð might be getting ready to erupt or getting re-activated. It formed in the first two weeks when current activity started in Bárðarbunga volcano on 16-August-2014. It is already there, it however failed to start an eruption, but as I say, it might be getting ready to get active again. This has been followed by some minor earthquake activity. There is however a more complicated picture into this. The details can be found later in this article. [Please note that due to licensing issues I only link to the GPS data. This means that data on the link is going to get updated in next few hours and are going to look different from what I have written about them now.]
  • The eruption in Holuhraun continues as before. There has not been any view of the eruption for the past two days due to fog. So I don’t know for sure what is happening there.

Harmonic tremor data

I can see two things in the harmonic tremor data. The pressure is increasing in Bárðarbunga volcano system. I am also seeing pulses of harmonic tremor and that is not good. It means that magma has somewhere found a path to the surface, it just isn’t there yet, but it is working way up. It is impossible to know if this magma gets all the way up or not. Small eruptions are also not impossible, since there signature might simply be lost in the noise on the tremor plots that I am using from Icelandic Met Office.

Tremor in Dyngjuháls SIL station. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Tremor on Vonaskarð SIL station. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Harmonic tremor as it appears on Skrokkalda SIL station. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Harmonic tremor on Grímsfjall SIL station. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Current status on the cauldrons

According to the news that I have heard some of the cauldrons that are in Dyngjujökull (south of Holuhraun) are still getting deeper. This suggest that there is still a lot of warm under the glacier that is melting the glacier. No glacier flood has happened due this. I don’t know if any new cauldrons have formed in recent days. Most of the cauldrons are located above the dyke, few are located above Bárðarbunga volcan in its slopes.

Tungafellsjökull volcano

I am seeing in the GPS data that Tungafellsjökull volcano might be getting more magma inflow. Since it appears to be inflating. This has not been confirmed so far. Currently there is nothing to suggest that Tungafellsjökull volcano is going to erupt at this point in time. It might simply be responding to the all the noise that Bárðarbunga is making at the moment, along with stress changes in the crust. If it erupts, it would be first documented eruption in the past 8000 years at least (maybe longer).

Next update is going to be tomorrow or sooner if anything major happens. It is possible to watch my webicorders here. They are updated every 5 min.

Article updated at 21:05 UTC.
Article updated at 21:14 UTC.