Askja volcano placed on uncertain level and yellow alert for flight

Because if Askja volcano quick inflation, that is now currently at 7 cm, Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management has declared uncertain level and yellow alert for flight.

Green triangles shows most of the volcanoes in Iceland as green. Only Askja and Grímsfjall are yellow. Krýsuvík volcano is orange in colour.
Current status of volcanoes in Iceland as of 9-September-2021. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Inflation is quick in Askja volcano and is now at 7 cm. When or if that is going to result in an eruption is impossible to know. Current Askja volcano is what remains of a mountain that blew up in an large eruption in the year 1875 century. Most eruptions are just lava flows, unless they happen to start in a water, then explosive activity happens while water remains.

Askja volcano started inflating in August 2021

Icelandic Met Office published the news today that Askja volcano has started to inflate.  This inflation started in August 2021 and has been measured at 5 cm a month. The inflation is happening just outside the Askja lake in area known as Ólafsgígar (Ólaf craters).

Inflation map of Askja volcano. Triangle in the centre of Askja volcano caldera show the location of the inflation in red to blue colour.
Inflation in Askja volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

It is impossible to know if this is going to result in any eruption. This inflation however seems to have resulted in earthquake activity in Askja volcano. Most of the earthquakes so far have been minor in magnitude.

Inflation map of Askja volcano. It show displacements in north - south and east - west directions and up displacement of 5 cm
Inflation in Askja volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Icelandic Met Office announcement

Land rís við Öskju (Icelandic)

Uplift signal detected in Askja volcano

Icelandic News

Grannt fylgst með landrisi við Öskju (Rúv.is)

Landris við Öskju í fyrsta sinn í áratugi (mbl.is)

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Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 15-May-2021

This is a short update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain. This eruption is part of the volcano system Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system.

The eruption continues as before but increase in lava output has been detected and is now 70% more according to latest news from Icelandic Met Office and Earth science of University of Iceland. Compared to the start of the eruption on 19-March-2021.

  • The eruption continues in one main crater. It erupts in lava fountain style at the writing of this article. With highest lava fountains reaching the height of 400 to 500 meters. The lava fountains can be seen from Reykjavík and other nearby area.
  • The lava field is about to reach Nátthagi valley and there is now an attempt to stop that from happening. Because of nearby road and fibre optic cable that runs through that area. It is my estimate that attempts to stop the lava flow are going to fail when the lava flow starts going back to Nátthagi valley.
  • The main crater is now 50 to 90 meters high. But his height is always changing because of continued collapse from it inside it and outside it. The process of collapse is slowly growing the crater volume and size.
  • The magma seems to be coming from even deeper part of the mantle compared to with start of the eruption. Based on lava changes in the chemical makeup.
  • There are no signs of the eruption about to be ending soon.

It is difficult to know for sure what happens next in the eruption. Opening up of new craters outside of current line of craters is something that might happen. With the eruption growing in size it is difficult to know for sure what is going to happen next in Fagradalsfjall mountain.

Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 30-April-2021

This is a short update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 30-April-2021.

There has not been any major changes since last update. This are the noticeable changes since last update in the eruption in Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system.

  • Just one crater is now erupting. All other craters have stopped erupting but for now some of them might contain lava lake for now that might be creating a flow in lava tubes under the surface in the lava field. This process might not be visible on the surface.
  • A lot of activity now is in form of high lava arcs (correct word?) are now being formed in the one crater because of increased gas content of the lava.
  • Lava fields are slowly filling up all nearby valleys that it is flowing into. This is a slow process and is going to take months.
  • There are no signs the eruption is about to end.

No other updates have been reported so far. Rúv has installed a new web camera to give better view of the eruption. That camera can be found on YouTube Rúv channel.

Vacation

I am going on a small vacation between 5th May and 10th May. That means next update about the eruption is going to be on 14th May. I don’t know if I can go to the eruption yet as that depends on the weather and the weather is always unstable in Iceland.

Strong earthquake in Reykjanes volcano 5 km north of Grindavík town

Yesterday (20-April-2021) at 23:05 UTC an earthquake with magnitude Mw4,1 took place and was felt over a wide area and in Reykjavík. At 21:20 UTC and earthquake with magnitude of Mw3,1 took place and at 23:29 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw3,2 took place. Earthquake activity has continued today with smaller earthquakes and several earthquakes with magnitude above Mw2,0.

Green star on the Reykjanes peninsula not far from Grindavík town
Earthquake activity in Reykjanes volcano not far from Grindavík town.

This earthquake took place in the volcano Reykjanes based on location on the map. The map is slight unclear on the location of the Reykjanes volcano and what volcano is exactly there but this is based on best possible assumption that I can do. More earthquake activity in this area or close to it is a high possibility.

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Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 19-April-2021

This is a short update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain that is part of Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system.

  • The crater that started erupting on 5-April-2021 has stopped erupting. I am unclear when it stopped erupting but that must have happened sometimes in last few days.
  • Smaller vents have opened up but none of them have been able to create any major eruption crater. Most of those have also stopped erupting and been buried by fresh lava from others craters when they stopped erupting.
  • Earthquake activity has been appearing along the dyke in last few hours. I am unclear what that means at the writing of this article.
  • New fissures with steam or hot air have been reported south of current eruption. I am unclear where they are located. There don’t appear to be any new fissures north of the crater that has stopped erupting at the writing of this article.
  • Crater 1 has now started to smoke a lot. While the second vent continues to erupt a smaller eruption. I am unclear on why one of the vent is smoking as it has been doing for the last few days.
  • The eruption is now 1 month old today. The eruption started on 19-March-2021.
  • Amount of lava being erupted has increased since the start of the eruption according to latest reports.

I don’t have any more reports today but that might change without warning. If that happens. I am going to write an article soon as I can.

Update on Fagradalsfjall mountain eruption on 9-April-2021

This is a short article about the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain that is part of Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system.

This week has been busy and please read the older articles about what happened earlier in this week.

  • Lava output is now 50% more according to University of Iceland measurements compared to start of the eruption (19-March-2021). Gas output is also more then in start of the eruption. It has resulted in problems depending on wind direction.
  • There is a high risk that an eruption might start south of Geldingadalir valley eruption. There is also a high risk that new eruption is going to start north of the 5-April-2021 eruption.
  • There is no change in inflation in the area. It has slowed down but remains the same.
  • There continues to be low level earthquake activity along the dyke from Keili to Fagradalsfjall mountain.

Any change that is going to happen without warning and might not happen without any earthquake or little earthquake activity.

Next update is going to be on 16-April-2021 unless something major happens. This eruption is always changing and this weekend and next week might get interesting. If anything happens I am going to write new article soon as possible.

Update at 22:43 UTC

Icelandic Met Office released this map and press release (in Icelandic only) about the risk new fissures can open up both north and south the the current craters that are erupting. This page is updated regularly so if you are looking at this later than 9 to 10 April 2021 you might have to look for this information.

Map showing marked area that goes little south and north of the current erupting fissures in Fagradalsfjall. That area has been marked as dangerous by Icelandic Met Office. The map also shows the lava fields in purple.
The new area that has a risk of new fissures opening up without warning. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

The map shows the area that is now at risk of new fissures opening up without warning.

Update 10-April-2021 at 15:20 UTC

Around 03:14 UTC on 10-April-2021 fissure number 4 did open up between fissure number 2 (5-April-2021) and fissure number 3. The eruption from this crater doesn’t seem to be large but it did happen under a new lava that had flowed over that same area few days before from fissure 2. In fissure/crater 1 the amount of erupting lava did drop a little just before the new eruption.

I am noticing that it seems new fissures are opening up more frequently then before. This seems to have changed after opening up of fissure 3.

Timeline of fissure openings so far.

1st fissure 19-March-2021
2nd fissure opened 5-April-2021
3rd fissure opened 7-April-2021
4th fissure opened 10-April-2021

Time period between new fissures opening up currently seems to be 3 to 4 days. I suspect that this is going to change soon and it is possible that new fissure that opens up might get larger as the eruption goes on. There seems to be phase in this eruption that is happening in Fagradalsfjall mountain. I am not perfectly sure what that phase is now since I’ve never seen this before and I don’t have any data on this type of eruption behaviour from other volcanoes outside of Iceland. That I know of.

Video of the eruption fissure 4 opening up.

Nátt­úr­an er óút­reikn­an­leg og ófyr­ir­sjá­an­leg (mbl.is)


Article updated at 22:48 UTC.

Article updated at 15:39 UTC on 10-April-2021.
Article updated at 15:54 UTC on 10-April-2021.

Update on Fagradalsfjall mountain eruption on 8-April-2021

This is a short update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain in Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system.

Last 24 hours have been busy in the eruption. Here are highlights of what has happened best to my knowledge.

  • New fissure opened up and started erupting between the Geldingadalir eruption, second day of Easter eruption and the new eruption fissure is between the two.
  • The lava fields have now merged and are now one large lava field from Geldingadalir down to Meradalir valleys.
  • The eruption continues at the same slow rate as before even with several new vents erupting.
  • Morgunblaðið lost their first web camera to the lava flow (news can be found here in Icelandic). Icelandic Met Office had hardware close to the new lava flow. I don’t know if that hardware was saved from the lava flow but it was planned attempt to do so before it was lost to the lava.
  • The fissures might merge at future point and start erupting at one large fissure eruption. It is impossible to know if that is going to happen or when that might happen.
  • There has not been any deflation detected in the GPS data after the eruption started. That GPS data can be viewed here.
  • New fissures have been detected north of the crater that started erupting on 5-April-2021. Those fissure might start erupting without warning.
  • There is a risk of the eruption also going south-west and opening up fissures there. That has not yet happened but the possibility remains as a high risk possibility.

The situation is difficult to predict and new fissures can open up without warning. If nothing major happens then next update is going to be Friday 9-April-2021 on the eruption.

Update on the eruption in Geldingadalur on 22-March-2021

This is a short article about the eruption in Geldingadalur. The volcano that is erupting continues to be Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system. This might change at later date. This article is written on 22-March-2021 at 17:30 UTC.

  • The eruption is now mostly just in one crater. There is some activity in two other craters but it seems to be getting smaller as the eruption goes on.
  • This eruption is tiny and one of the smallest eruption observed in Iceland.
  • There is risk of new eruption opening up once this eruption ends or starts to get close to ending.
  • There is a fissure in the ground on the right side of the main crater (as seen on the web camera). A lot of volcanic gas comes from that fissure but no eruption has taken place so far.
  • There has not been any noticeable deflation according to GPS data from today (22-March-2021).
  • The main crater is now estimated to be 30 meters high but it is unstable and collapses often.
  • The lava is estimated going to fill Geldingadalur valley in 10 to 14 days if the eruption continues this long.
  • Earthquake activity has almost stopped on Reykjanes peninsula after the eruption started. Once the eruption stops earthquake activity might increase again.

 

The Geldingadalur valley seen from above with Google Earth. Small valley with small mountains on most sides.
This is a image from Google Earth and shows Geldingadalur valley that is now being filled slowly with lava. Copyright of this image belongs to Google Earth/Google and other companies that Google has made this image available with its Google Earth program.

The last eruption period on Reykjanes peninsula lasted from the ~700 to the year ~1400. It can be estimated that current eruption period that has now started on Reykjanes peninsula is going to last until the year ~2400 to the year ~2600. During this time shortest time between eruptions is 1 year but the longest time between eruptions might be up to 10 years. How this going to be exactly is a big question but this estimate of mine is based on the limited historical data that I have read somewhere (I no longer remember where that was).

News items with videos

Tower breaks again, lava gushes forth (Rúv.is)

Web cameras now with English text

Live feed from Iceland volcano (Rúv.is)
Live from Geldingadalir volcano, Iceland (YouTube)

Rúv has moved the stream to YouTube only.

Beint: Eld­gosið í Fagra­dals­fjalli (mbl.is, this camera is on the other side compared to the Rúv camera)

Update at 23:57 UTC

According to the evening news on Rúv the lava and magma that is now flowing into the valley of Geldingadalur is around 1200C and is a primitive magma of Tholeiitic magma series (Wikipedia). The source of this eruption is a magma chamber with the depths of 17 km to 20 km and the origins of the magma it self is far deeper into the hotspot below Iceland. This magma has a lot of CO and CO2 gases that are highly dangerous. There is also a lot of SO2 gas in the eruption and that is dangerous gas.

News in Icelandic about this

Hraunkvikan sýnir beintengingu við miðju möttulsins

Rate of updates

Since the eruption is now in stable activity I am going to limit update to if anything major happens. Next update about the eruption should be on Friday 26-March-2021. Other activity in Iceland is going to be reported as normal if anything happens.

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Please remember to support my work with donations. Google Adsense remains limited on my website and I don’t know when it might get back to normal. Thanks for the support. 🙂

Article updated at 18:32 UTC. New web camera added.
Article updated at 20:50 UTC. Web camera information updated.
Article updated at 23:57 UTC. Information added about the eruption.

Update on Geldingadalur in Fagradalsfjall mountain eruption on 21-March-2021

This information is going to get outdated quickly. This article covers Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano. This article is written on 21-March-2021 at at 00:40 UTC.

  • This eruption is tiny. The amount of magma erupted is now around 0.02km3 but this number might not be fully accurate since I’ve not seen any published number about of volume of lava erupted so far.
  • This is unconfirmed but it is possible that an new fissure opened up under the lava field next to the hill side (seen on the web camera, this is on the left side).
  • The current erupting fissure is now about 200 meters long and might be getting shorter.
  • Earthquake activity has almost stopped at the writing of this article.
  • This eruption might only last 1 to 3 days before it stops.
  • There is no sign of deflation in the GPS data at the writing of this article.

There are no other reports about this eruption at current time. This might change without warning.

Web cameras

Beint vefstreymi frá eldstöðvunum – Rúv.is – Live from the eruption.

Beint vefstreymi af eldgosinu – Vogastapi (Rúv.is) – Added 22-March-2021. View from a distance. Should show a red glow from the eruption if the weather isn’t too bad. – This web camera is no longer active!

Update at 15:28 UTC – One side of the main crater collapses

Here is a video of the main crater collapse on one side and give lava a new path for short period of time. At the writing of this update that path for the lava has closed down again.

Gígbarmurinn gefur sig og ný hraunrennslisæð myndast (Rúv.is)

Update at 21:21 UTC

Kvikustreymið braut sér nýja leið (Rúv.is) – This is a new video of the crater collapse that took place at 14:20 today (21-March-2021).

Article updated at 15:29 UTC. New information added.
Article updated at 21:21 UTC. New information added.
Article updated at 03:06 UTC on 22-March-2021. Web camera added.
em>Article updated at 16:34 UTC on 22-March-2021. Web camera has been removed by Rúv – comment added to that web camera.