Deep earthquakes in Fagradalsfjall mountain

Today (21-July-2021) few deep earthquakes took place in Fagradalsfjall mountain that is part of Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system.

This earthquake activity was not big and the largest magnitude recorded was a magnitude of Mw0,8. Most depth that appeared had a depth of 13,4km.

Earthquake activity in Fagradalsfjalli mountain shown by a red dot, orange dots and few blue dots on Reykjanes peninsula.
The earthquake activity in Fagradalsfjall mountain on Reykjanes peninsula. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

It is difficult to know what this means. What is possibly happening is that more magma is pushing up in the magma feeding that now exist where the eruption has been happening. If that is happening, it can result in new craters or fissure opening up and start erupting. At the writing of this article this earthquake activity seems to be ongoing, but at slow rate and small earthquakes only so far.

Fog continues to block view to the crater and Fagradalsfjall mountain. But harmonic tremor data shows that the Fagradalsfjall mountain eruption is currently not erupting.

Changes in the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain

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

From 22-June to 29-June the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain changed. It started to from being stable output of magma to intermittence magma output. That phase lasted from 22-June to 29-June until around 19:30 when activity started to increase again. The magma output seems to have more than doubled based on what I am seeing on the web cameras (when not blinded by fog).

It is unclear but there might have a new crater opened up just south of the main crater. Right next to him and that location is making confirmation on this difficult. There has been splatter activity seen from that location. It is also possible that this crater has already shut down in the latest changes. I don’t know yet.

Some lava fountain activity has been seen on web cameras in the last hour. As the lava activity continues to increase. The flow of lava seems to be increasing from before and is now flowing out on all sides of the crater. That did not happen before. Activity seems to drop to almost nothing between lava flows. If this is permanent or just temporary phase of the eruption I don’t know. This might take weeks to change into stable lava flow again.

It has also been reported in the news that most of the lava flow happens underground and goes directly into the lava field where it collects into lava ponds before it goes into Meradalir, Geldingadalir (already full of lava) or Nátthagi valleys.

Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 28-May-2021

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

  • There have not been any major changes since last update. Minor changes seems to be happening but at the writing of this article, those changes have remained small.
  • Large lava fountain activity has stopped in later part of this week. There is still some lava fountain activity going on but it is minor based on what I’ve seen on the web cameras.
  • Lava is now flowing into Nátthagi. It is expected to reach Suðurstandarvegur road in 20 to 60 days depending on the lava flow into Nátthagi.
  • The western barrier for the lava has stopped the lava flow into Nátthagi at the writing of this article. Bad weather today (28-May-2021) has prevented any observation of the current situation in the eruption area. Its fog and heavy rain in this location currently.
  • Lava reservoir have formed in the lava field. They fill up slowly and then empty them self quickly into the lava field both on surface and with lava tubes that have formed in the lava field. This allows the lava field to expand quickly and without warning into new areas.
  • The lava field is slowly building upwards from the height it has been in recent weeks. Results of this is that soon the walking path to the viewing area on the ridge might soon be blocked by lava going over the area at its lowest points. This might only take few weeks to happen but that depends on how quickly the lava field builds up.

Other then this there has not been a lot of change in the eruption. This phase of the eruption might go on for months. There are clues that this is the first step in the building of a shield volcano or maybe a stratovolcano. What happens is a wait and see on this eruption.

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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.

Picture gallery of the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain

Here is a picture gallery of the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain. The area has changed a lot since I was there on Saturday 8th May. This is my first attempt at picture gallery on this website so it might not work perfectly this time.

Collection of pictures from my walk to the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain and the way back.

The eruption has changed a lot since I was there on Saturday 8th of May. The main crater is far larger than appears on camera. The camera view makes it difficult to see how big the main crater really is. When I was there the main crater was about 50 meters high and the eruption was stable after changes during the morning. At the time I left around 15:20 the eruption was changing back to its former lava fountain pattern. I was at the road by around 16:30 (more or less) the eruption had almost changed back. The lava field has created its own weather with strong wind and whirl winds that appear without any warning. There has been a lot of moss fire because of lava spatter from the crater lava fountain that can go up to 600 meter distance when it erupts largest lava fountains that can reach up to 400 to 500 meters. Part of the area shown on the images is already under lava from recent days. I took videos and they can be found on my YouTube channel here. The main crater changes a lot every day as the lava reforms it. Collapses in the main crater are also frequent and happen every day, what is different is the scale of the collapse when they happen. Some collapses are large while some are smaller.

What might be happening in Fagradalsfjall mountain is that a new volcano might be forming. At least that is my current view but that might change as more data and time passes and more is learned about the eruption and what is happening.

Article updated at 22:09 UTC.

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.

Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjalli mountain on 23-April-2021

This is a short update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 23-April-2021 for the last week. Information is provided with best effort. The volcano that is erupting is Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system.

No major changes have been seen this week in the eruption. Here are the highlights.

  • According to last chemical analyse of the lava. The magma that is coming up is getting more primitive and from deeper part of the mantle. This increased the chance that the eruption is going to go on for months to years. Details can be found here on Twitter or here on Facebook.
  • Thickness of the lava is in most places just 16 meters. In Geldingadalur valley the thickness is at most 50 meters and getting thicker as the eruption continues and the valley slowly fills up. The lava doesn’t flow far and so it piles up next to the erupting craters.
  • At the writing of this article it seems that crater 1 is slowing down or shutting down. There seems to be some activity but it is low and mostly just gas is blowing out.
  • Craters continue to collapse as the eruption goes on. This happens at random and results in flood of lava happening.
  • The most active area now is the craters that opened on 7th of April and other time after that.

Other than this the eruption continues to be stable and the flow of lava is around 5m2/second according to last report I did read in the news.

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.