Update on Bárðarbunga volcano and eruption at 19:23 UTC

This is a short update on current status in Bárðarbunga volcano and the eruption. This information is going to get outdated quickly.

Current status in Bárðarbunga volcano

  • Earthquake activity remains reactively high at the moment. Strongest earthquakes today had the magnitude of 4,9, 5,0 and 5,3. Other earthquakes have been smaller.
  • Dyke activity remains high and eruption remains high. See more details below.
  • Risk of eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano caldera remains high.
  • There is nothing suggesting that current events are about to end.

Current status of the eruption in Holuhrauni lava field

  • Eruption dropped this morning, but after 12:00 UTC it increased again. There does not seem to be any change the dyke that is feeding the eruption.
  • Sulphur (SO2) is being released into the atmosphere, according to measurements that is around 20,000 tonnes/day. Good map can be found here, the news in Icelandic.
  • According to the news, this eruption is about 5 times larger than the eruption in Fimmvörðuhálsi in Eyjafjallajökli. One geologist told in the news that this eruption had erupted everything that Fimmvörðuháls eruption did in it’s time around 12:00 today (If my memory is correct on this).
  • The lava field continues to grow. I am not sure about exact size at the moment.
  • Pressure in the dyke appears to be high. This might result in more fissure eruption and there is a high risk that some of them might open up under the glacier. More is going to be known tomorrow if the dyke pressure is changing.
  • Northern part of the fissure is more active than the south part. Part of the fissure has  closed and is not erupting any more. That might change without warning if the eruption gains more strength.
  • This eruption is might continue to for weeks or even moths.

If there is any sudden change I am going to post information soon as I can.

News bits

Close-up view of fresh Icelandic lava (Rúv.is)
Gosið ennþá nokkuð kröftugt – loftmyndir (air video, Rúv.is)


New crater opened up suddenly. It is far north on this image (to the right).

The new crater soon after it started erupting. Screen-shot of Míla web camera. Copyright of this image belongs to Míla.

  • The lava field is getting close to Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacier river. Once that happens steam explosions are going to start and local ash clouds are going to be created. They won’t have any effect on anything but the local area. Once the lava field gets into the glacier river it is also going to show higher conductivity on instruments that are monitoring the glacier river downstream. Due the volcanic material getting into the glacier river.
  • There is a risk of fissure opening up under the glacier without warning. Both close and at more distance from current eruption site.

Article updated at 03:39 UTC on 02-September-2014.
Article updated at 22:27 UTC on 02-September-2014.