The eruption in Holuhraun ended yesterday (27-Februar-2015) it seems. Current status of Bárðarbunga volcano is now yellow. While the eruption is over the area continues to be closed for public due to danger of new eruptions in the area, both outside the glacier and inside it. It is unclear what is going to happen next in Bárðarbunga volcano. There is also a considerable gas emission from Holuhraun crater at the moment and that gas is toxic.
Current earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano and for the past 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
What happens next is not known. There is a high risk of new eruption taking place under the glacier. I don’t know if subsidence of the caldera is going on at the moment or has stopped. It might take days, weeks or months until inflation starts again in Bárðarbunga volcano. This is a rifting event and that means this is far from over. For the moment however it is going to be a little break (at least, it can be hope) in the activity in Holuhraun or Bárðarbunga volcano. The lava and the crater continue to be extremely hot (~800C) and are going to remain hot for many years (5 years?).
Since the eruption in Holuhraun is over I won’t post any update next Wednesday. Next update is going to be when something happens.
Icelandic Met Office information website
The eruption has come to an end (Icelandic Met Office)
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Article updated at 16:59 UTC.
Today (27-February-2015) there was no visible lava flow from the main crater in Holuhraun. The eruption is not officially over, this however seems to be the end of this eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano. It appears that gas emission continue from the crater and Holuhraun at the moment, it can be expected those are going to end in next few weeks to months.
New video of the crater in Holuhraun can be found here.
Ekki glóð í gígnum í Holuhrauni – Myndband (Rúv.is, video)
It is not known what happens next in Bárðarbunga volcano or when it is going to happen. All that can be done is to wait and see.
There hasn’t been a lot of new information about the eruption in Holuhraun this week. Earthquake activity continues in Bárðarbunga volcano as before, but at slower rate and earthquake with magnitude 3,0 and larger have almost stopped at the moment.
Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano for the past 48 hours, no earthquake above magnitude 3,0 has been recorded for the past few days. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Earthquake activity continues in Bárðarbunga volcano, but at far lower level than just few weeks ago. Subsidence has slowed down considerably at the moment. It has not stopped. There are earthquakes along the dyke from Bárðarbunga volcano, suggesting that pressure might be increasing in it. That in it self might not lead to a new eruption.
The eruption in Holuhraun continues, but at low level. The only remaining vent that is now open is building a new crater inside the big crater that has now stopped erupting. The eruption might continue at this low level for many more months. Current status of the eruption is not known due to extremely bad weather in Iceland at the moment. The eruption is not over, it is however really small at the moment.
Due to bad weather I am expecting that my geophones might go offline due to loss of power or other connection problems that might happen due to this bad weather. Information about the storm can be found here. This is not a weather to travel outside. If you are in Iceland, stay where you are and don’t travel until the weather has passed over Iceland.
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Article updated at 16:35 UTC.
During last night (21-February-2015) a magnitude 3,3 earthquake took place in Katla volcano. This was a shallow earthquake and took place close to the area that had minor eruption in July-1999.
Earthquake activity in Katla volcano during the past 48 hours. Green star is the location of the magnitude 3,3 earthquake. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Second swarm of earthquake also started today in the east part of the caldera in Katla volcano. This is not far from the location the had a minor eruption in July-2011. Most of the earthquakes that took place at that location where deep, with the deepest earthquake having the depth of 19,9 km. At this depth earthquakes happened due to magma pressure changes. There is a chance this was a minor dyke intrusion at depth in Katla volcano magma chamber, no harmonic tremor was detected following this earthquake activity. At this moment there is nothing suggesting that anything is about to happen in Katla volcano at current time.
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There has not been major change in Holuhraun eruption since last week. The eruption continues at low phase at the moment far as I know. Bad weather has prevented scientists monitoring the eruption in the past few days. There continues to be considerable activity in Bárðarbunga volcano, the volcano continues to deflate.
Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano for the past 48 hours. Green star is a magnitude 4,1 earthquake that took place at 14:18 UTC on 18-February-2015. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
New vents might open up along the dyke once current vent closes up in Holuhraun. There seems to be several weak points forming along the dyke, based on current earthquake activity (cluster of earthquake activity). There is also a risk this might happen before the eruption in Holuhraun ends. If the pressure inside the dyke is enough to start an eruption in new location before that.
The long term view of Bárðarbunga volcano
When the eruption in Holuhraun ends it is not going to mean the end of activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. Current activity is just a start of activity that is going to last for several years. According to Ármann Höskuldsson volcanologist in a interview at Rúv News yesterday. While it is not known for how long the rift episode that has now started in Bárðarbunga volcano is going to last. It is clear that this is at minimum of 5 years, common time for rift zone activity is up to ten years. There is a chance it is going to last longer than that. When it comes to Bárðarbunga volcano how long such activity is not known. There are also going to be breaks, with no activity at all between eruptions. Activity in Bárðarbunga volcano won’t be declared over until it is once again stable. Eruption activity in Bárðarbunga volcano might not end until the year 2026 at the longest.
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At 18:59 UTC today (13-February-2015) a magnitude 7,1 earthquake (USGS) took place deep south of the Reykjanes Ridge. EMSC is reporting this earthquake having the magnitude of 6,8 (link). This earthquake was 1401 km south of Reykjavík, Iceland.
Location of the magnitude 7,1 earthquake. Copyright of this image belongs to EMSC.
Several pre-earthquake took place, with magnitude 5,3 and 4,9 (automatic magnitude). Largest aftershock so far had the magnitude of 5,3 (automatic magnitude). Due to distance from land this earthquake was not felt and it did not create any damage. More earthquake activity should be expected in this area for next few days to weeks.
No mayor changes have been reported since my last update. Bárðarbunga volcano continues to subside at slow rate. The eruption in Holuhraun continues around the same rate as before. Sulfur dioxide pollution continues to be a problem. There are now also worries about the amount of sulfur dioxide that is bound into snow, since once spring arrives in Iceland (April – May) that snow is going to melt and flood the grasslands and rivers with sulfur dioxide pollution, when sulfur dioxide is combined with water it creates acid rain (that has also been a problem in Iceland).
Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano for the last 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Earthquake activity remains high in Bárðarbunga volcano, but there has not been a magnitude 5,0 earthquake since January-8 according to latest reports. Largest earthquake in past 48 hours had the magnitude of 4,7. I did notice today (10-Feburary-2015) several deep earthquake had taken place. This might suggest that magma is coming up from depth into Bárðarbunga volcano. It is difficult to know for sure what this means at the moment.
Correction of misunderstanding regarding Hreppar Microplate
Hreppar microplate has nothing to do with the eruption and rifting episode in Bárðarbunga volcano. Details on Hreppar microplate can be found here (page 18). Few more details can be found here (page 9).
New article schedule for Bárðarbunga volcano updates
With less activity in Bárðarbunga volcano I am lowering the amount of articles I am writing about it. Since it is hard to write about the same thing for five months. There won’t be any article on Friday (13-Feburary). Next update is going to be on Wednesday 18-Feburary. After that I am going to have weekly updates on Bárðarbunga volcano activity.
Donations: The PayPal button is going to return soon. Since I won’t be moving back to Denmark (as I hoped that I would do) I am moving it back to Iceland. It is going to take few days to finish that process. In the meantime it is possible to donate directly with bank transfer, information on how to do so can be found here. Other way to support my work is to shop from Amazon. I get a small percent of the sale price for each item sold.
This update is going to be slightly shorter than usual because I am sick (I got flu at the moment).
- Over the past two weeks there has been considerable drop in the lava lake.
- Lavafall was seen on new images (in the one of the lava rivers) in Holuhraun yesterday (05-February-2015).
- Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano continues to drop. It continues to be classified as considerable.
- GPS data show that the area around Bárðarbunga volcano continues to subside towards the volcano.
- The eruption in Holuhraun might end in 5 – 12 months, there is also a chance it might go on for years at low level. There is no way to know for sure.
- Sulfur dioxide pollution continues to be a problem in Iceland. Depending on wind direction. Current release of Sulfur dioxide from the eruption in Holuhraun is from 30.000 tons/day and up to 80.000 tons/day.
Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano for the last 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Largest earthquake in the past 48 hours was a magnitude 4,9 earthquake in north-east Bárðarbunga volcano. It has now been one month since magnitude 5,0 or larger earthquake took place in Bárðarbunga volcano.
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Since last update of activity in Bárðarbunga volcano there have not been major changes in Holuhraun eruption. The lava lake in the crater has lowered by several meters based on pictures from Holuhraun today. Large cliffs have formed where the lava river is, I don’t have exact depth for them, but it is around 30 – 40 meters according to my estimate (it might be wrong).
Bárðarbunga volcano earthquakes for the past 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Largest earthquake in the past 48 hours had the magnitude of 4,6. Other earthquake activity is as it has been for the past three to four weeks in terms of earthquake activity. What I have been observing in the past few days are harmonic tremor spikes, the largest one happened on 30-January-2015, after that smaller harmonic tremor spikes have been taking place. It is unclear at the moment why this is happening. This might be due to changes in hydrothermal areas under the glacier or magma is on the move inside the volcano.
Update 1: New webcamera close to the eruption. It can be viewed here.
Donations: I have currently removed the paypal buttons for a short time. The reason is that I have come to the conclusion that I cannot move back to Denmark (even if I want to). The reason is my social welfare that I am on in Iceland and the Icelandic Krona. I don’t trust the exchange rate of the Icelandic krona. The Danish tax is not a issue as such for me, but it does increase the pressure on my finances in general, so with everything adding up. I can’t afford living in Denmark even if I wanted to. I am going to be in north-west Iceland for the next few years, after that I am considering buying a house in north-east Iceland if I can collect at least 30% for the house (rest being a bank loan for the house).
While I am moving my Paypal account back to Iceland. People can donate directly with the bank transfer, information on what to do can be found here. People can also support my work by shopping with Amazon through the banners that I have here. Thanks for the support.
Article updated at 20:30 UTC.
Article updated at 20:36 UTC.
Article updated at 21:14 UTC.
During the night and today there has been a minor earthquake swarm activity on the Tjörnes Fracture Zone (TFZ). Largest earthquake in this swarm had the magnitude of 3,1, so far 59 earthquakes have happened.
The earthquake swarm in TFZ for the last 48 hours. Green star shows the location of the magnitude 3,1 earthquake. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
TFZ is highly active area of Iceland in terms of earthquake activity. It has now been a while since major earthquake swarm took place in TFZ. Earthquakes in TFZ can go up to Mw7,0*.
* This is just a historical note that I am making here.
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