This article is short. The eruption is mostly stable at the writing of this article but the situation can change quickly without warning.
The eruption has changed in last few hours. It seems to be in only one crater that is slowly forming. The eruption has stopped at the north most end of the eruption fissure. At the writing of this article.
The dyke now extends 1 km under Keilir mountain in the direction of north-east. This might be a new dyke intrusion and not connected to the dyke that started the current eruption. This might result in a second eruption soon, but its too early to know for sure at the writing of this article.
The eruption started large fires in the moss and other plants in this area around Litli-Hrútur. This has resulted in massive toxic smoke in this area.
There’s a high risk of the volcano gas from the eruption, along with the toxic smoke from all the plants and moss burning.
Interestingly, while earthquake activity has dropped it has not stopped. Why that has happened is a bit of a mystery, it might be connected to the possible new dyke that has formed under Keilir mountain.
Yesterday (10. July 2023) the longest the fissure extent was at 1500 meters or 1,5 km. Since then it has gone down to one erupting crater that seems to be 50 meters to 100 meters long.
It is impossible to know how long this eruption is going to last. Since dyke intrusions are poor magma containers this eruption might be a short one if there isn’t a constant supply of fresh magma from the deep mantle. Its too early to know if that is the case here. I have also noticed that once the eruption ends in any area, that area is not going to erupt again. When the eruption ends, it ends forever and that makes this a single eruption activity or crater rows. This area might be Monogenetic volcanic field (Wikipedia).
Since this type of eruptions are mostly uneventful and just continue. I plan on only posting updates when there are some news or changes to the eruption happen.
Update at 17:41 UTC
ISOR is reporting that their station called FAF (Fagradalsfjall) has to be moved because the lava is flowing directly at it. They are going to find a new location for this station. This report can be seen here on Facebook in Icelandic.
This is a short update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain. It is still classified as Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano eruption. That might change in the future.
There is no sign of the eruption is about to stop.
Most of the week the lava was flowing in lava tubes that where invisible from the surface. Today (Friday 18-June-2021) that changed and lava is now again overflowing over the crater.
The crater remains unstable and collapses from the inside walls are frequents, or used to be. It is possible that for now the amount of lava in the crater is holding the walls up.
Nátthagi is now flooded with lava and the lava is on its way out of Nátthagi in next few hours to days. There won’t be any attempt made to stop the lava reaching the road or the ocean.
Geldingadalir valley is now full of lava and has overflowed a little. Lava might flow into Nátthagakriki in next few days, but small dirt walls where pushed up to try and delay that from happening. It is unclear if that worked. But for now the lava has not flowed into that direction.
Currently there are no other news about this eruption. Next update should be on 25-June.
During the last few days there has been high conductivity in glacier rivers coming from Mýrdalsjökull glacier (Katla volcano). Due to how cold it is the glacier rivers are not getting any melt water or water from clear streams and that is making the hydrothermal water stronger than normal. Current conductivity is 567µS/cm in Múlakvísl in Mýrdalssandur sand area (not sure where the sensor is located). Some gas has also been detected and that gas is toxic and enough amount to result in breathing problems. Measured amount of H2S was 1ppm and this gas is toxic.
Some minor earthquake activity has been in Katla volcano during the last two days. That earthquake activity might be due to the emptying of the cauldrons in Mýrdalsjökull glacier. The magnitudes in this earthquake activity is minor and all below 2,0 at the moment.
Earthquake activity in Katla volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
It is difficult to know if this means anything other than cauldrons in the glacier emptying them self in nearby glacier rivers.
Yesterday (16-June-2015) a small glacier flood started in Skaftárkatlar cauldrons in Vatnajökull glacier. The glacier flood can go up to 900m³/sec at its largest. The main risk from this glacier flood are the gases released into the air once the glacier water gets into the river, it is the advised that people stay away from the glacier rivers called Skaftá, it is also advised that people stay away from the edges of the glaciers named Skaftárjökull glacier, Tungárjökuls and Síðujökuls. It is unclear how big this glacier flood is going to be and from what cauldron is emptying, there is a good chance the cauldron that is emptying is the western one, since the eastern one empted last year and does not hold a lot of water at the moment.
Following this type of glacier flood a peak of harmonic tremor is detected from the cauldron that is emptying, it is thought that this is due to the hydrothermal vents (hot springs) that power those cauldrons start to boil when the pressure is released. There is a small chance eruption taking place in this area due to glacier flood when the pressure of the water is released, this is a chance, but it remains a small one.
Today (11-May-2015) a glacier flood started from Grísmfjall volcano caldera. This is not a dangerous glacier flood due to its small size. There is however a danger from sulphur gases and other gases that dissolve when the pressure is dropped on the water. If people get too close to the Gígukvísl glacier river where the flood comes from Vatnajökull glacier they risk a damage to there eyes and lungs due to burning effects from the gases in the air.
Increased harmonic tremor from Grímsfjall volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
There is now a increased harmonic tremor from Grímsfjall volcano. It is not clear why that is, it is either the glacier flood or hydrothermal vents boiling at the bottom of the lake due to the sudden pressure release on them. There is nothing suggesting that an eruption is going to follow this glacier flood from Grímsfjall volcano. Last glacier flood took place in 2014.
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.
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.
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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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.
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.
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