Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 16-April-2021

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

There has not been any major change since last update. In this week four new craters started erupting and I write an article about that earlier in this week for more details.

  • It was reported today (16-April-2021) that lava has now started to flow outside of Geldingadalir and to the east. This lava is now flowing over a walking path that people used to get close to the eruption. Getting close to the eruption might not be possible any more. There is also a chance that lava is going to is going to flow to the south of the craters more than it already has done.
  • Swarm of small earthquakes took place north-east in Fagradalsfjall mountain early morning around 06:00 UTC. Largest of those earthquakes had a magnitude of Mw2,8.
  • There is no sign of the eruption ending.
  • There continues to be a high risk of new vents opening up and start erupting without warning.

There are no more reports this week outside of what I did write about what was happening earlier in the week. If anything major happens I am going to post an update soon as possible.

Stronger harmonic tremor reported in Fagradalsfjall mountain eruption

Yesterday (15-April-2021) it was reported (late) that harmonic tremor seems to have been increasing in the eruption since midnight. This normally happens if new craters have opened up. The weather is really bad at the eruption site currently so viewing the eruption with any web camera is difficult if not impossible. Rúv web cameras failed last night because of the weather that has been seeing wind peaks up to 41 meter/second with heavy rain. Current weather forecast is that the weather is not going to start improving until late today (Friday 16-April-2021). The increased tremor might be weather but weather is in general easy to filter out and doesn’t affect the lower bands (0.5 – 1Hz) that much as it does higher bands (2 – 4hz). What is happening won’t be clear until the weather starts getting better.

Information about the volcano Krýsuvík.

News and web cameras that might work

Órói auk­ist en aðstæður óljós­ar (mbl.is, Icelandic)
Gosið í Geld­inga­döl­um í beinni (web camera, mbl.is) – The fog cover sometimes breaks a little on this web camera.

Currently total of eight craters are erupting in Fagradalsfjall mountain

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

Yesterday (13-April-2021) the following thing happened around 09:00 UTC.

  • Four new crater started erupting. This did not reduce the lava output of the other craters that are erupting.
  • This means that now are total of eight craters erupting in the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain. The area is slowly being buried by fresh lava as the eruption goes on.
  • On Sunday 18-April-2021 it is going to be 1 month (30 days*) since the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain started. *This is a calendar thing, but using a website to calculate this correctly then this is the correct day using 30 day month calendar.
  • There continues to be high risk of new eruption fissures opening up without warning. Both north and south of the crater 1.
  • Gas output from the eruption has more than doubled in last few days. This is starting to create problem if wind blow the gas over populated areas.

I don’t have any more updates as is. If anything more happens I’ll update soon as I can. Since there is a risk of this eruption is going to last for a real long time, up to several years I might change my update schedule from what it is now. I’ll figure that out as the eruption continues.

News of the new craters

Drónamyndir: Fjórir nýir gígar (Rúv.is, video, map of the new craters)

Update 18:24 UTC

Morgunblaðið has released new video of the eruption craters.

Flögrað yfir nýju gíg­un­um (mbl.is)

Article updated at 18:25 UTC.

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 Fagradalsfjall mountain on 6-April-2021 (2nd update)

This is a short update and second update for 6-April-2021 for Fagradalsfjall mountain that is part of Krýsuvík-Trölladyngju volcano system.

  • During the night a new fissure was discovered between the new eruption and the old eruption. The fissure is about 150 meters long and there is hot air coming up from it.
  • There are reports of a new fissure north of the new eruption and land has been sinking down at that location. No other changes have been reported at the writing of this article.
  • The lava going down into Meradalir valley slows down once it is there because it cools down quickly once it is there. There is a lava river going down in the Meradalir valley and that lava is moving quickly.
  • It is now estimated that this is a start of a long volcano activity period on Reykjanes peninsula that is going to last for centuries with breaks of 10 to 20 years between active periods of 30 to 50 years.

The situation is currently changes often during the day and the night and the risk of a new eruptions starting without any warning is now extremely high.

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Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall (including Geldingadalir valley) on 6-April-2021

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

There has been a slight increase in micro-earthquake activity along the dyke after the new fissures opened up in Fagradalsfjall mountain. Most of them are interestingly forced on a area close to Keilir mountain.

Earthquake activity on the Reykjanes peninsula many earthquakes form a direct line with the magma dyke that formed in February and March. Few red dots close to Keilir mountain
The earthquake activity on the Reykjanes peninsula. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
  • It has been reported that lava flow from the new and old eruption site is now more than what was most at the old eruption site (Geldingadalir valley). It is now estimated to be total 10m3/second.
  • Craters are building up at the new eruption site. That might change the lava flow long term and there is a risk that it is going to flow towards Geldingadalir valley when that change in lava flow happens.
  • There is a high risk of new fissures opening up both north and south of Geldingadalir valley (1st eruption) and north of Fagradalsfjall mountain eruption (2nd eruption).
  • Lava is now flowing into Meradalir valley. That valley is far larger then Geldingadalir valley and won’t be filled up easily. There seems to be more water in this valley and that might result in lava explosions if the lava gets that far down into the valley.

Currently there are no other new information that I can find. Next update should be on Friday 9th April 2021 unless something major happens.

New fissure opens up north-east of current eruption in Geldingadalir valley

This is a short article.

New fissure started to open up at around 11:37 UTC on 5-April-2021 when a magnitude Mw1,5 earthquake (most likely) took place in Fagradalsfjall mountain. The new fissure is expanding and but I am now estimating that the current length of the new fissure is 1,2 km based on Rúv News web camera view. The new fissure is north-east of the earlier eruption in Geldingadalir valley any.

Small eruption fissure that is forming north-east of earlier eruption
The new fissure opening up. Copyright of this image belongs to Rúv. From Rúv web camera.

I’ll post update about this later today when I know more.

Update at 16:29 UTC

The larger fissure is around 300 meters long according to reports. Part of it seems to be under its own lava flow based on what I am seeing on new videos of the fissure. The second fissure is about 10 to 30 meters long. There is also a one single eruption vent in the area just outside of the fissure areas. The lava flow is going into Meradalir below the new fissures. It might soon go into a what seems to be a lake or a dried up lake in that valley that is a lot larger and deeper than Geldingadalir valley that is now full of lava. The eruption in the original craters continues but at lot less energy levels than before. This might only be temporary change but it is impossible to know for sure what is going to happen.

Drone video of the new fissure from Morgunblaðið

Nýtt dróna­mynd­skeið af sprung­unni (mbl.is)

Next update is going to be again in few hours as this situation develops.

Pictures are from Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management.

Two eruption fissures erupting lava from a the ground and the lava is orange in colour. Lava river goes down hill and into a valley
The eruption from a helicopter as seen today. Picture is from Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management. Free to use.
River of lava flowing downhill into a valley called Meradalir
The lava river into Meradalir valley. Picture is from Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management. The pictures is free to use.

Article updated at 16:36 UTC.

Update on the eruption in Geldingadalir on 27-March-2021

This is a short update on the situation about the eruption on 27-March-2021. This eruption is now classified as to be happening in Krýsuvík volcano system.

  • The eruption seems to be slowly increasing. The small craters on the left (on the web camera) have now merged into one larger crater. It is possible that the two remaining craters might merge into one large crater.
  • The magma fro this eruption is coming from 17 – 20 km depth and that can result in a eruption that can last a long time.
  • Geldingadalir valley is now almost filled with lava. It is expected to overflow by Easter in about 6 days based on current eruption rate of the lava.
  • Lake of lava has formed in the Geldingadalir valley. Videos have been posted on Facebook and other social media showing how dangerous the lava field currently is. Do not walk on the fresh lava. It is going to take decades and possibly centuries to cool down to a safe level.
  • The lava at it thickest is estimated now to be 20 to 30 meters deep.
  • There are fluctuations in the eruptions. Sometimes its slightly more and sometimes slightly less based on observations with the web camera on Rúv.
  • It seems that a mountain is being built by this eruption. How that is going to progress is difficult to know for sure.

In general there has not been a lot of change in the eruption since it started a week ago (19-March-2021).  Next update is going to be hopefully on 2-April-2021 unless something major happens in this eruption.

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Long eruption is now expected in Fagradalsfjall in Geldingadalir valley (soon a former valley) based on lava chemical details

This is not a update on the eruption. There has not been any major change in the eruption at the writing of this article.

University of Iceland has released a report that can be read here (pdf) showing that the magma that is now erupting comes from the depth of 17 to 20 km. Crust at this location on the Reykjanes peninsula is around 17 km deep. A 3D map can be found here of the eruption. I think it is going to updated regularly by ÍSOR. The lava that is now erupting is part of Tholeiitic magma (Wikipedia). The lava is 1180C when it erupts from the ground.

What seems to be now happening is that a shield volcano is forming. It is a question if this is going to result in a formation of new magma chambers along the dyke where it formed. There is continued risk that new vents and fissures eruptions opens in this change can happen without warning. Based on earthquake activity it seems that the dyke continues to be active rather than having turned into rock by cooling.

The eruption is also high in the following gases, CO (Carbon monoxide), CO2 (Carbon dioxide), SO2 (Sulfur dioxide) and other dangerous gases.

It is now estimated that the Geldingadalir valley is going to overflow in 8 to 18 days and currently a lava pond is forming at this location. Once that happens the lava is going to flow into nearby valley (I can’t find the name of it). One of the valley the lava is in the end going to flow into Nátthagi valley if the eruption lasts long enough.