Bárðarbunga volcano update for 29-December-2014

I’m sorry for this late update. I went on to do other things, they took longer then I expected.

The eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano continues as before. Due to the holiday season and bad weather it has been difficult to monitor the eruption in exact details. What I do know is that the lava field is now close or larger than 83 km² in size. The earthquake activity remains, there are however fewer earthquakes taking place now than week ago and that is not all down to bad weather or off-line SIL stations. The drop in earthquake activity appears to be real. If it is going to increase again remains to be seen.

The earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano for the last 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

GPS data suggest that no change has taken place and there is ongoing drift in the crust next to Bárðarbunga volcano. Ice on the GPS antenna has been a big problem in last few days and that might not change while winter lasts in Iceland (depending on weather). The eruption is ongoing, there are however larger fluctuation taking place (that is what appears to be happening), sometimes the eruption appears to drop so much that it is not visible, just before it increases again. This would in line what was reported in November, the question is that change increasing or not. At the moment I am not sure on this detail, but I am waiting reports on this to be published (that might take a while).

I don’t think there are any more news on Bárðarbunga volcano at the moment. Next update is going to be on 2-January-2015.

51 Replies to “Bárðarbunga volcano update for 29-December-2014”

  1. Really strong activity this morning , is that new activity left of the main eruption looks like bright flares.

    In front of the webcam looks like 4 small flares aswell ?

    1. You mean cam2?
      Left of Baugur we see the lava river and in front (down on the edge) the rim of the lava field. The rim is visible now because they changed the angle of the camera yesterday.

  2. Tuesday at 0:11:11/5.3/depth 4.1/99%/2.0 NE of Bardarbunga.
    Henk Weijerstrass

    1. It’s still more than the average cubic meter per second which flows through the Thames I read somewhere.

      1. @Inge and highly OT, yes, you’re correct, it’s the river which flows through the city, I knew there was something wrong…

  3. Please note that due to heavy traffic my hosting provider has suspended my account. It has not yet effected this website, but it is going to do so soon. I am working on a solution for this problem.

  4. Looking at the drumplots it looks as though quite a large quake (4.0+) happened between 20:45 and 21:00. On today’s performance with verification we may have to wait quite a long time to find out!

  5. I have ordered a dedicated server to deal with this issue that comes from heavy traffic to my websites. The dedicated server is going to cost me $135 a month. I am expecting heavy traffic in next few weeks to months due to the eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano.

    I am sorry for the problems this has created, this was unexpected.

      1. Thanks for this. I have bookmarked this website. The deals look good, but for the moment I cannot transfer between service providers (lack of time and bandwidth on my end).

        Once I am ready to move my hosting to Europe I will look at this website again too see what they have to offer.

    1. Thanks for posting the image, access to the webcams from outside of Iceland seems to be limited these days.

  6. I think it is fairly safe to say that the Holuhraun eruption will gradually subside to nothing, but my question is this:

    How much will the world’s weather be affected by the SO2 emissions? I am going to assume that a significant effect will be observed in early spring and summer 2015, and we will have lower than normal temperatures.

    I am sticking my neck out here, but I believe the biggest effect will be the SO2 emissions on the world’s weather in the Northern hemisphere causing a noticeable cooling.


    1. You have to remember the ratio of co2 to so2 emissions is around 2:1

      That could cause weather swings but I wouldn’t jump to second guess the outcome. The emmisions have been low altitude and we don’t have a model for that.

    2. I would say the Baugur vent is active with around the same intensity since two months. We have a constant large lava flow, the elongated crater did not change in shape, still 400 m long and 30-50 m wide. Very constant eruption. Now the lava streams are divided to the north-east to east and north to nort-west, as you can see on mila cam 2. This might go on for a long time. I think, the eruption never slowed down, there was only obscured visibility caused by malfunction of the cam and additionally gas/vapour coming towards the cam. The question is how to interpret the very strong seismic activity of Bardarbunga volcano. To look at it from a mathematical/geometrical point, we have shearing and rifting in northeast southwest direcrion, and the round structure of Bardarbunga is affected by that shearing in two places, north and south rim, which makes sense if you look at it from geometry point of view. BB is being turned slowly, but clockwise or anti-clockwise? The GPS data should tell. This shearing movement leads to subsidence. The decreasing earthquake intensity and decreasing subsidence might point to a slow diminishing of the tectonic activity. Does the Baugur effusuon rate correspond exactly to that? Looking forward to constructive comments.

      1. In the more classical view the slowing down of the subsidence should result in gradually less lava output. In your point of view and if the lava flow is more or less constant then there is not necessarily a direct relation between lava flow and subsidence so there could be at least some truthiness in your postulate. Especially given the manifest deep source (> 9km) of the molten rock.

        Awaiting ruthless review.

      2. The shallow depths of the caldera are reactivating,resulting in the development of a hydrothermal system?This does not mean necessarily an impending eruption,just that part of a system that has been relatively quiet for a long time is becoming more active.This process could go on for a long time?

  7. Well, actually there is a researchpaper that concludes that the Laki-event back in 1783 did not reach the troposphere. Suggesting it also was a mainly atmospheric event like Holohraun. I didn’t bookmark it, but it’s out there.

    When we take into consideration that there was no manmade SO2-pollution back then I actually expect we will see effects on the weather by late winter. From mid-february. The deteriationtime of SO2 in the atmosphere is expected to be 5-7 months. This means that all SO2 emitted until feb.-mar. will not have dissolved. As sulphur in water or as aerosols in the atmosphere. There seems to be many unknowns around this topic. BGS has funded a field-survey to find out more around how much is actually emitted from Holuhraun (19. dec.) and also to assert the wider effects.

    In this context it is interresting to note that during the heaviest years of So2-pollution in Europe (1965-75) we saw many places having a cooler period during these years. Especially 1971, 1973 and (some places) 1974 were colder than normal. I have checked all norwegian stations (incl. Svalbard and Jan Mayen) for this period, to some extent the UK, certainly the North-pole and also in Germany (especially 70/71).

    We know from other volcanic events that it has had an short-term effect on the climate because of SO2-emissions.

    I don’t want to paint a gloom picture, but I think the possibility should be one to be prepared for in the Northern Hemisphere. With effect on the weather for several years if the event keeps going. It is also known that this cooling coincides with sudden stratospheric warming (SSW). But mechanisms are still somewhat blurry.

    Interresting to read between the lines from Jon’s postings here that he expects a large rise in traffic over the next weeks. Are you expecting a development Jon?

    Best Wishes for the New Year for everyone from Norway!

    1. Anyway the weather plays crazy. One winter mild, one cold, one long one short, dry summer, wet summer, now warmest year since 130 years in middle Europe. I think you would not be able to tell, if the SO2 output of Baugur would have influence or not, also taking into account that other volcanoes are erupting and their emissions. This subject is similar like writing about global warming and climate change. Not worth to write too much ahout it. All theory with no certain proof, effect and outcome. For sure thats only my opinion, but I think the money for research spent for climate change should have been spent for more useful things, like cancer research or similar.

    1. Is it just me or does it appear subsidence increased since the gps went offline??
      The existing plot line was slowly leveling off, the new plot line seems lower then where it would been if the original had continued at that rate…

  8. I wish everyone a happy New year and for 2015 love, peace, harmony, money and success.

    1. Pardon me, this is the same link as above (“What is he doing? -> !!! :-)”), but that was not visible until now … so I thought last night, I had made a mistake and retried it. I don’t understand the behavior of WordPress sometimes.

      1. I thought for half a second you were pointing at me. 😀
        But you mean HIM out there! 😉

  9. If you imagine co2 and so2 molecules as tuning forks in shape with the prongs bent out a bit they resonate in the same way to absorb or emit infra red. The important thing here is not just absorption but also emission of IR. An increase 8n concentration of any of these gases in low irradiation conditions (winter) would lead to increased heat loss due to IR emission. Increased co2 would not necessarilly assist heating in winter. Water vapour is present in percent rather than parts per million and is by far the biggest IR absorber/emitter. Low altitude so2 tends to dry the lower atmosphere allowing cooling (desert air is very dry allowing cooling to sub zero at night from plus 50 in the day)

Comments are closed.