Rift valley has formed south of the eruption in Holuhraun lava field

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This information is going to get outdated quickly. This is current events in Báðarbunga volcano.

  • Rift valley has formed south of the eruption. Part of this rift valley is not under the glacier. Most of this rift valley is under the glacier, were the glacier is thin the glacier has formed a cauldron that is around 1 km wide and several meters deep. There is a risk of eruption in the newly formed rift valley.
  • Harmonic tremor suggest that an glacier flood is under way from Bárðarbunga volcano. What is happening is unclear at the moment. Scientists and press people have been told to evacuate the area due to this risk.
  • More magma is going into the dyke then is erupting from it. This has increased the pressure inside the dyke.
  • Largest earthquake since midnight had the magnitude 5,5.

Updates

  • There has not been any sign of an eruption under the glacier yet. One idea for this increase in harmonic tremor is that ground water got into contact with the magma at 1 to 2 km depth.
  • There is a high risk of eruption taking place under the glacier in the area of Dyngjujökull glacier, that glacier is south of current eruption and can be seen on the Míla web cameras.
  • There is a lot of cracks in the ground south of the eruption, in some places the ground has dropped some meters down.

Updates on 4-September-2014

  • Largest earthquakes since midnight (04-September-2014) had the magnitude of 4,8 and 4,4.
  • The eruption is now creating  120 to 130 meters tall lava fountains at the moment. No other change has been reported.

News in both Icelandic and English

Mikið af sprungum í jörðinni (Rúv.is, Icelandic, Video, Image)
Hraun­breiðan 9,1 fer­kíló­metri (mbl.is, Icelandic, Pictures)

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Article updated at 00:27 UTC on 04-September-2014.
Article updated at 11:58 UTC on 04-September-2014.
Article updated at 14:01 UTC on 04-September-2014.

314 Replies to “Rift valley has formed south of the eruption in Holuhraun lava field”

    1. Will keep an eye on this for a bit quite a bit more EQ activity and NE of askja frequent and shallow

  1. Bit confused…. Tremor is not the same as harmonic? On vedur.is is noted that tremor has stopped, but here everybody talks about the harmonic going through the roof. When you read Vedur you think: things are stabilising. When you read here you think: something big is about to happen….

    1. Maybe because of the time, we are posting what we see as we see it. Vedur.is may be posted many hours earlier.

    2. I asked that myself and the public a while ago.
      Difference between tremor and hormonic tremor…
      But people seem to be not knowing that either. <:)

      So let's ask again! 🙂

  2. Jon, Why do I get this feeling that you are being tested on your blog? Are you in the process of continuing you education? Or is it a matter that a few posters might think they have more knowledge than you? If that’s the case, they can cut to the chase, and answer their own questions.

    1. Educated Guesses and debate openly, we might all be proved wrong yet! No one is testing or second guessing anyone truth is no one knows for sure what is going to happen.

    2. It’s friendly debate in here. Even the top experts at the IMO with the best information don’t know what is going to happen. Jon has quite good insight on matters to do with Iceland, but contributions from others also brings sometimes unknown information forward too.

      1. LOL, no Irish Roots, My wifes family are Geordie and we live in Robin Hoods County, Nottingham, UK, just a mixed up fella!

      2. Not Ponteland or worse still Darras Hall perchance, Jay? Or are you talking Wallsend, Byker or shields lol

        My part of the world once too 🙂

  3. Meanwhile slightly increased activity at Katla. Nothing unusual so far but I do hope this is not a sign Katla will join in a the plate boundaries move apart. I doubt in though, but this is event uncharted ground, because there were no records when it happened last. It should be too far away, but…..

    1. As already mentioned there was a small swarm there earlier today but stopped very quickly, not looked since.

      1. Indeed can see another 3, does anyone have a map of the faultline I thought over Vatnajökull is split is that system on the same fault.

  4. Just out of curiosity, does anyone know where the Mila webcam for Katla is located and in what direction it is pointing?

  5. Most of the comments are over my head and I end up googling , rifts, valley rifts, grabon etc, but jon and Thor explain what’s happening in a way I understand. This site is very informative. I also googled iceland and the people, one in every 10 has written a book. Plus iceland is beautiful.

  6. Hi shelbar. Couldnt agree more. I go on a well used weather forum. Anything I dont understand and ask they all totally ignore! This ones so informative and rvetyones comments are teaching me so much……I just wish I could stay off a little while to occasionally sleep! 🙂 thanks everyone

    1. Which update have only read one.

      Conclusions of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Icelandic Civil Protection:

      The intensity of the ongoing eruption in Holuhraun is not declining. Lava is flowing toward ENE and it has been elongated considerably since yesterday. Since this morning, a preliminary estimate of lava field extension is about 10.8 km2.
      Seismic activity is still detected in the northern part of the dyke intrusion, along the eruption site and extending south below Dyngjujökull. Event rates are lower than in recent days, 180 earthquakes have been detected since midnight until noon. Four events larger than M4 have been detected in Bárðarbunga caldera. The largest one (M4.8) occurred last night at 03:09.
      The low frequency tremor seen yesterday disappeared last night but started again this morning, however minor compared to yesterday. The source of the tremor is not certain however possible explanation could be magma-water interaction although this interpretation has currently not been confirmed by other observations.
      There are no signs of a subglacial eruption under Dyngjujökull. No obvious changes such as increased water flow or cauldrons on the glacier surface were observed from scientists on board TF-SIF yesterday. Water meters in Jökulsá á Fjöllum do not show any unusual changes in discharge and electric conductivity.
      The GPS time series indicate slower rate of deformation in the last 24 hours. The current deformation pattern north of Vatnajökull still suggests volume increase in the dyke. No significant signs of deformation are observed around Bárðarbunga.
      There have been no observations of ash-fall away from the eruption site. Ash production is negligible.
      Sulphur dioxide emission continues. Low-wind speed condition is present in the area at the moment. Based on radar images the eruption cloud from today (composed of steam and volcanic gases) has not drifted far away and is mostly concentrated around the eruption site. Stations measuring SO2 further away from the eruption site are showing concentration below health and safety thresholds. Since this morning, the cloud reaches 6 km of altitude. The volcanic cloud will drift towards south in the coming hours due to wind rotation.
      Four scenarios are likely:
      o The migration of magma could stop, resulting in a gradual reduction in seismic activity and no further eruptions.

      o The dike could reach the Earth’s surface causing another eruption, possibly on a new fissure. Lava flow and (or) explosive activity cannot be excluded.

      o The intrusion reaches the surface and another eruption occurs where either the fissure is partly or entirely beneath Dyngjujökull. This would most likely produce a flood in Jökulsá á Fjöllum and perhaps explosive, ash-producing activity.

      o An eruption in Bárðarbunga. The eruption could cause an outburst flood and possibly an explosive, ash-producing activity. In the event of a subglacial eruption, it is most likely that flooding would affect Jökulsá á Fjöllum. However it is not possible to exclude the following flood paths: Skjálfandafljót, Kaldakvísl, Skaftá and Grímsvötn.

      Other scenarios cannot be excluded.

      From the Icelandic Met Office:

      The Aviation Colour Code for Bárðarbunga remains at ‘orange’ and the code for Askja at ‘yellow’.

      1. That’s the one, is it still on their website? Cause when I go there it doesn’t show up….I’ve even cleaned out my history, cookies, and cache to see if that was the problem, but it still doesn’t show up.

      2. Yes, that is the one…is it still there? Cause when I go to their site, I can’t see it anymore. I have cleared my browser history, cookies, and cache to see if that was part of the problem, but it still isn’t showing up for me.

  7. It was posted….here it is, but it’s not there anymore.
    Updated information

    4th September 2014 12:08 – from the Scientific Advisory Board

    Scientists from the Icelandic Met Office and the Institute of Earth Sciences and representatives of the Civil Protection in Iceland attend the meetings of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Icelandic Civil Protection.

    Conclusions of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Icelandic Civil Protection:

    The intensity of the ongoing eruption in Holuhraun is not declining. Lava is flowing toward ENE and it has been elongated considerably since yesterday. Since this morning, a preliminary estimate of lava field extension is about 10.8 km2.
    Seismic activity is still detected in the northern part of the dyke intrusion, along the eruption site and extending south below Dyngjujökull. Event rates are lower than in recent days, 180 earthquakes have been detected since midnight until noon. Four events larger than M4 have been detected in Bárðarbunga caldera. The largest one (M4.8) occurred last night at 03:09.
    The low frequency tremor seen yesterday disappeared last night but started again this morning, however minor compared to yesterday. The source of the tremor is not certain however possible explanation could be magma-water interaction although this interpretation has currently not been confirmed by other observations.
    There are no signs of a subglacial eruption under Dyngjujökull. No obvious changes such as increased water flow or cauldrons on the glacier surface were observed from scientists on board TF-SIF yesterday. Water meters in Jökulsá á Fjöllum do not show any unusual changes in discharge and electric conductivity.

    The GPS time series indicate slower rate of deformation in the last 24 hours. The current deformation pattern north of Vatnajökull still suggests volume increase in the dyke. No significant signs of deformation are observed around Bárðarbunga.

    There have been no observations of ash-fall away from the eruption site. Ash production is negligible.

    Sulphur dioxide emission continues. Low-wind speed condition is present in the area at the moment. Based on radar images the eruption cloud from today (composed of steam and volcanic gases) has not drifted far away and is mostly concentrated around the eruption site. Stations measuring SO2 further away from the eruption site are showing concentration below health and safety thresholds. Since this morning, the cloud reaches 6 km of altitude. The volcanic cloud will drift towards south in the coming hours due to wind rotation.

    Four scenarios are likely:

    1.The migration of magma could stop, resulting in a gradual reduction in seismic activity and no further eruptions.
    2.The dike could reach the Earth’s surface causing another eruption, possibly on a new fissure. Lava flow and (or) explosive activity cannot be excluded.
    3.The intrusion reaches the surface and another eruption occurs where either the fissure is partly or entirely beneath Dyngjujökull. This would most likely produce a flood in Jökulsá á Fjöllum and perhaps explosive, ash-producing activity.
    4.An eruption in Bárðarbunga. The eruption could cause an outburst flood and possibly an explosive, ash-producing activity. In the event of a subglacial eruption, it is most likely that flooding would affect Jökulsá á Fjöllum. However it is not possible to exclude the following flood paths: Skjálfandafljót, Kaldakvísl, Skaftá and Grímsvötn.
    Other scenarios cannot be excluded.

    From the Icelandic Met Office:

    The Aviation Colour Code for Bárðarbunga remains at ‘orange’ and the code for Askja at ‘yellow’.

    1. Yes….but I’m not seeing the update from 12:08. Maybe it’s just my computer acting up. I had copied and pasted it and posted to FB, I also posted it above when I saw it wasn’t there anymore.

      1. For what it is worth, it is back on IMO page, different time stamp, but word for word as the 12:08. Don’t know why they took it down, but who am I to know these things…lol

      2. On the 12.20 update, there is a typo in the date marking it as 2013. This might be causing some problems 1621for some people?

  8. Good, so it isn’t just me. The one I posted just above WAS there. I don’t know why they took it down. That is the only site I go to for the update.

  9. Nice fountain back there in the haze. Just think if we had a Laki type fountain going. It would be well up into the clouds. I think they got to be 1-1.5 km high. Could be seen for almost 200 miles away. That would be impressive.

  10. if I could do that I would have my eye on many lotteries and races,retire and become an amateur geologist.

    1. I believe that is just the same smoke and steam from the rain over the fissure area and maybe a bit of steam from the river.

      1. Was thinking clouds at first…and maybe it is….but, let me ask this, would clouds roll and stream upwards from the exact same spot for an hour? But, I will grant, it could be really very strange clouds.

  11. Could see it better from Cam2….but, it us now so steamy and smokey you have a hard time seeing it….but you can see it from both cameras

    1. I did see it, much smoke above the fissure (before the fog came back), but the rest are clouds and now it’s raining …

  12. The only thing you can see at the moment on the Barda webcams is a faint orange glow on the base of the clouds from the eruption (cam1).

  13. re earthquakes, calm before the storm. Who knows? does anyone? I don’t think so! nature really does put humans in their place.

  14. Y’all look at Bardarbunga cam 2….center screen. Granted, it could be a cloud….but watch it for a few minutes….it just keeps streaming straight up into the air from that spot. It is not the original fissure, that is down and to the left. It has been like this for nearly 30 minutes or so. Not arguing, just trying to understand. Thanks 🙂

      1. I don’t know…when if first started happening, you could see the fissure and it’s cloud down and to the right….this was just a bit higher and to the left, closer to the glacier. Was thinking maybe steam?

      2. I think it is steam above the fissure, perhaps the air is moist…we have to wait…seems the view is going better…especially when night falls…

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