Possible end of the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain (2-July-2021)

At the writing of this article the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain has possibly ended (please note that Icelandic Met Office has not officially called the end of this eruption). This is part of Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system.

Around 03:43 UTC on 2-July-2021 the crater started erupting a cloud of volcano ash. What was unclear until earlier today was that the eruption had ended in the crater. The reason for the ash cloud was the the crater was collapsing in on it self and sealing up.

Cloud of volcano ash from the crater at around 03:43 UTC.
The volcano ash cloud as it appeared on Rúv web camera during the night. Copyright of this image belongs to Rúv ohf.

The harmonic tremor has also dropped at the same time as there is no lava flowing from the crater.

Harmonic tremor on SIL station Fagradalsfjall. The lines are showing up and down pattern and in last few hours the lines drop down to background noise. Few spikes have appeared in the last few hours but unclear what they mean.
The harmonic tremor noise on SIL station Fagradalsfjall mountain. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

What happens next is unclear. It is unlikely that eruption is going to start in the crater that stopped erupting. Normally they almost never erupt again. Magma is going to find it self a new path to erupt once a pressure has build up again in the deep crust. Once the pressure is enough it is highly possible that new earthquake swarm is going to start before an new eruption happens on the Reykjanes peninsula. How long this is going to take is impossible to know for sure.

This is the last article about Fagradalsfjall until an earthquake or a new eruption starts in Fagradalsfjalli mountain.

How Bárðarbunga volcano collapsed

There is a good article about how Bárðarbunga volcano collapsed during it’s six month long eruption in Holuhraun. The most recent data (the work on Bárðarbunga volcano is far from over even there is no eruption taking place currently) show that Bárðarbunga volcano did in fact collapse. This collapse was not marked by a big explosion, but rather slow subsidence of Bárðarbunga volcano over a large area. Holuhraun eruption is the largest eruption in Iceland for the past 230 years, both in magma and size of the eruption.

More details can be found here.

Iceland’s Bárðarbunga-Holuhraun: a remarkable volcanic eruption (blogs.egu.eu)

Risk of landslide forces the closure of popular viewing place in Skagafjörður

Due to risk of landslide a viewing area in northern Skagafjörður has been closed. Tip of a cliff in the area is about to break off at any time and without warning and there appears to be considerable area getting ready to go forward into the coast line below. Please see attached news for pictures.

Útsýnisstað lokað vegna öryggisástæðna (Vísir.is, Pictures)
Hættulegar sprungur í Ketubjörgum (Skagafjörður.is, images)
Lokuðu vinsælum útsýnisstað í Skagafirði (Rúv.is, Images)

Bárðarbunga volcano update Monday 10-November-2014

No major change took place in the eruption in Holuhraun during the weekend. The lava field is now around 70 square kilometres wide and it keeps growing each day. I don’t know the total volume so far, since that depends on the thickness of the lava. Last calculations that I know of estimated it to be around 1,0 km³, it is save to assume that volume is now greater since the last estimate that I know of is at least one month old by now.

The earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquake this weekend had the magnitude of 5,2. Other earthquakes where smaller, but many magnitude 3,0 and larger earthquakes did happen as usual in Bárðarbunga volcano. The crust in Bárðarbunga volcano is now heavily fractured, this allows heat from the volcano easier way to the surface. This also means new hot springs are going to open up and older ones are going get more active. There is no major change in Bárðarbunga volcano eruption at the moment, as has been the case for most part of past two months.

Article on what is happening in Bárðarbunga volcano

I am working on a article (in my head at the moment) on what is happening inside Bárðarbunga volcano. It is not ready yet, I do hope to have it ready tomorrow if I can process all the data for the article, in order to properly figure out my self what is going on in Bárðarbunga volcano.

My geophone network

I run a geophone network of just two geophones in Iceland at the moment. Once I get an apartment the total number of working geophones is going to be three. I have decided that once I move from Iceland to Azores Islands[1] it is not going to be workable to keep the network running due the technical problems doing so. I am not going to stop recording earthquakes, I am just going to do so in Azores Islands. At the moment I also have four year backlog of earthquakes that I have to properly add time and location data to. That is a lot of earthquakes over this period, since large events have happened and Bárðarbunga alone added up to 2000 earthquakes to my earthquake database in August and now I add around 10 – 20 earthquakes from Bárðarbunga volcano each day (this is just average). The geophone network as it now stands is going to be running for the next 5 – 10 years while I live in Iceland, after that I am going to relocate it to Flores Island when I move there[2]. At the moment I don’t know for sure when that is going to happen, all I know now is that it is going to happen.

1: I am currently living in Denmark. I move next month to Iceland.
2: I plan up to ten years ahead so that I know what I need to do and know before I do it.

Bárðarbunga volcano update Friday 07-November-2014

Bad weather in Iceland has been making monitoring of Bárðarbunga volcano difficult at best. Information for that reason is a bit limited at the moment.

Earthquake activity continues in Bárðarbunga volcano as it has been doing for the past two months. Largest earthquake this morning had the magnitude of 5,4 and happened at 07:11 UTC. Other earthquakes have been smaller, due to bad weather in all of Iceland fewer earthquakes have been recorded today and yesterday (06-November-2014).

Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano for the past 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

GPS measurement are showing that subsidence in Bárðarbunga volcano continues at the same rate as before. The rate of subsidence is the same, the change however is that larger area of Bárðarbunga volcano has now started to drop, suggesting that current eruption in Holuhraun has started to drain magma from other dykes in Bárðarbunga volcano or sill in it. The details of this can be found here in latest report from Icelandic Met Office on current activity in Bárðarbunga volcano.

No change has taken place in Holuhraun, the eruption continues with same rate as before far as I know. Bad weather has blocked the web cameras and I don’t think there is anyone close the eruption site due the weather. Far as I know there is nothing else in the news about the activity in Bárðarbunga volcano.

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Bárðarbunga volcano update for Wednesday 05-November-2014

This is current status in Bárðarbunga volcano for Wednesday 05-November-2014.

There has not been any major change in the eruption in Holuhraun since Monday 03-November-2014. The eruption continues around the same phase as before. Earthquake activity continues to be strong as it has been for the past two months. With several magnitude 3 – 4,9 earthquakes happening every day, the amount of earthquakes is different between days.

Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano for the past 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

It continues to be extremely dangerous going to the eruption site as two police men found out yesterday. They hit a pocket of dangerous gases that had removed most of the oxygen in the area where they had located them self, at the edge of the lava field and where some two to three kilometres away from main erupting crater. They almost passed out due to lack of oxygen and they where using gas masks according to the news on Rúv about this insistent.

Drop of the caldera in Bárðarbunga volcano continues at the same rate as before, the most drop is now around 44 meters in the caldera. Cauldrons in the glacier above Bárðarbunga volcano continue to getting deeper, the depth has increased around 5 – 8 meters in the past 11 days according to recent measurements. The amount of melt according to calculations is around 2 cubic meters per second (m³/sec). This is equal to energy release for few hundreds megawatts according to University of Iceland. It is now difficult getting to the eruption site due to winter in the area, travel by car is now at minimum seven hours the other way in best conditions.

Other than this I don’t think there is anything else new about Bárðarbunga volcano eruption at the moment.

Icelandic News

Færð gerir vísindamönnum erfitt fyrir (Rúv.is)
Lögreglumenn urðu fyrir súrefnisskorti (Rúv.is)

Bárðarbunga volcano update Monday 3-November-2014

The eruption in Holuhraun continued last weekend as it has been doing for the past two months. No change happened. Due to bad weather this weekend it was difficult to monitor what was happening in Holuhraun. The eruption continues at full force from what I can see on Míla web cameras, when I was viewing it earlier today I noted that lava strokes where going up 20 – 50 meters high up. The main crater has build up around 90 meter high wall around the main eruption, blocking all view to it. I don’t know how stable this wall it, so collapses might happen in it at times without warning.

Earthquake activity for the past 48 hours in Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquake during the weekend had the magnitude of 5,4. Other earthquakes where smaller, but there was a lot of earthquakes that had magnitude larger than 3,0. This high volume of strong earthquakes continues in Bárðarbunga volcano, so far more than 61 earthquake have been larger then magnitude 5,0, more then 228 earthquakes with magnitude 4 – 5 have happened since this started and more than 434 earthquakes have happened in Bárðarbunga volcano since August. The amount of magma that has erupted in Holuhrauni lava field is now 1,0 km³ (or more). The new lava now covers 70 square kilometre area according to last measurements that I know of. The eruption in Holuhraun is still fourteen times smaller than Laki eruption that happened 1783 – 1784. Far as I know there is currently nothing more to report.

Icelandic News

Stærsta gos síðan í Skaftáreldum (Rúv.is, Icelandic)

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Article updated at 00:37 UTC on 04-November-2014.

Bárðarbunga volcano update for Friday 31-October-2014

This is the update for Bárðarbunga volcano on Friday 31-October-2014.

Not much has changed since Wednesday (29-October-2014) update in Bárðarbunga volcano. Earthquake activity continues as it has been doing for the past two months. No major change has been taking place in according to GPS data. No major change has happened in eruption vents in Holuhraun, the lava field is now around 65 square kilometres in size.

Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano for the past 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Strongest earthquakes for the past 24 hours have the magnitude of 5,3 and 5,2. Other earthquakes have been smaller. There is no change in earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano and the caldera continues to drop around 40cm/day at the moment. Current SO2 output levels are around 20,000 to 40,000 tons/daily of SO2 from the eruption in Holuhraun. Bad weather has blocked proper earthquake detection and monitoring of the eruption in Holuhraun and of Bárðarbunga volcano. The weather is going to be extremely bad in Iceland for the next 6 – 10 hours. Other than this I don’t have any more news of Bárðarbunga volcano eruption.

Article updated 01-November-2014 at 00:30 UTC.

Bárðarbunga volcano update for Wednesday 29-October-2014

Today (29-October-2014) marks the two months since the second eruption in Holuhraun started. Currently the eruption is ongoing with no signs of stopping, it is erupting about the same power since Monday, the eruption power is less than it was when it started two months ago and that is normal. The lava field has now covers area of 64,6 square kilometres in size. This is now largest lava in Iceland since Laki eruption of 1783 – 1784.

Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano for the past 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Earthquake activity remains strong in Bárðarbunga volcano. There is one to two magnitude five or stronger earthquake every 20 – 35 hours at present time. The caldera continues to drop around 40cm/day, most of the drop happens without any earthquake activity at all. So far no major eruption has happened under the glacier, only minor eruptions have happened that have only lasted for few hours.

I also want to point out there is only basalt lava in this eruption. This magma is up to 1600C warm when it comes up from its deep source at +20km depth. If there was any other type of magma in this eruption it would have been detected by now in the current eruption in Holuhraun. Most of Iceland eruptions are basalt only eruption, since Iceland is both on hotspot and the mid-Atlantic ridge. There are other melts and types of eruptions, but such eruptions don’t happen as frequently as normal basalt eruptions. The reason for ash cloud eruptions in volcano like Grímsfjall is due the fact that there is a glacier on top of the volcano. Same rule applies to Katla volcano, it is all basalt most of the time, but since there is a lot of glacier on top of the volcano the eruptions that happen are explosive due to that fact.

I don’t think there is anything else new about the eruption and activity in Bárðarbunga volcano since Monday.

Bárðarbunga volcano update for 27-October-2014

During the weekend activity in Bárðarbunga volcano was in the same manner as it has been for the past two months. Largest earthquakes during the weekend had the magnitude of 5,2 and 5,3. Pollution was a big problem south of the eruption in Holuhraun and new record was set for SO2 pollution in populated areas in Iceland. The pollution levels did go up to 21.000 μg/m3 when they where the highest during the weekend. A emergency was declared for Höfn in Hornafirði when the worst pollution did go over the area. Currently there is a little bit less pollution, but air quality is poor in parts of south Iceland at the moment.

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

Largest earthquake on 27-October-2014 had the magnitude of 5,3 and happened in the south-east part of the caldera. Since it has been quiet in terms of earthquake activity. According to Icelandic Met Office this is normal and has happened before. Subsidence of the caldera happens without any earthquake activity most of the time. According to Icelandic Met Office and others (pdf file here), the caldera has now dropped some 40 meters. New cauldrons have been forming along the caldera rim and older ones (that I did not know about until today) have been getting deeper according to measurements from Friday (24-October-2014). The new and older cauldrons appear clearly on images that can be found here (text is in Icelandic). GPS data is showing minor inflation in the dyke that is currently erupting, suggesting that more magma is flowing into it then is erupting from it.

If any melt is happening in the caldera it is not appearing on the glacier yet. As for the water, it just goes down. Rock inside volcanoes leaks, a lot, so it is easy for the water to go into the crust. It doesn’t have to go anywhere else in small amounts that might be melting if the crust has warmed up enough to do so. Currently there are no evidence for that taking place, but with 850 meters of glacier on top of it is difficult to be sure. There are no other news about the eruption that I know of at the moment.

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