Rúv News and Earth Science at University of Iceland is reporting that the eruption in Fagradalsfjall at Litli-Hrútur might end in one or two weeks time. This is based on how much the lava flow from the crater is currently decreasing. This would also be mostly in line with the eruption in Meradalir valley in 2021, that lasted for two weeks. This eruption has been slightly longer than that eruption, since it has been slightly larger in volume of magma erupting.
This is a short update. Since there is not a lot of information about this.
The crater might collapse at any time without warning. Geologists that monitor the eruption have noticed that the crater has started to get larger and is now full of lava. This means it is going to collapse. What direction is not known. It is my view that it is going to collapse to the east because of least resistance in that direction.
When the crater collapses the lava is going to flow more than 100m/s in whatever direction it flows.
Tourists are in high danger close the crater because of this collapse risk.
Dyke intrusion has been detected east of Keilir mountain. Along with increased ground temperature, that means the magma is at shallow depth in the crust. This area might erupt soon in similar way as is now happening close to Litli-Hrútur.
This is all the information I have now and only thing that has changed in the eruption in the last 13 days.
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 because events are changing quickly.
Length of the eruption fissure is uncertain, reports are conflicting. The numbers I’ve seen are from 200 meters to 900 meters long. This also might be a case of growing fissure eruption.
Harmonic tremor on the SIL station Fagradalsfjall continues to grow. Suggesting that the eruption is increasing in power since it started. This sometimes happens in lava eruptions.
The lava is flowing to the south. It might reach Meradalir valley in about one week to three weeks. Some of the lava is flowing to the north, but a lot of less of it and is only expected to flow in the nearby area. There is no risk at current time for any damage to infrastructure or property.
There’s a risk of new fissures opening up in this area without warning.
This area is remote and difficult to go towards. Police has closed roads for the time being for safety reasons.
I’ll post new update soon as I have any new information or if anything changes. Experience has shown that this type of eruptions are rather uneventful for a longer time periods. I’ll adjust my updates in accordance with that.
Today (19-August-2022) there hasn’t been any lava flow seen from the crater in Merdalir valley in Fagradalsfjall mountain according to University of Iceland, Earth Science on Facebook. Few splashes of lava have been seen coming from the crater. This has also been observed on web cameras watching the eruption. Harmonic tremor has also dropped considerably since yesterday (18-August-2022) and continues to drop.
When the eruption ends exactly is unclear, but it might happen in the next few days.
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It has been reported in the news today (18-August-2022) at Rúv that more pulse activity has been seen. This results in lava being thrown up high in the air.
This is the same pattern as happened last year in the eruption in Geldingadalir valley. It took a while for that eruption to end and that might also be the case now.
Other than this, there have not been any other news of the eruption. There also has been interesting events out in the lava field, where the new lava is compressing the lava from 2021, resulting it being squeezed out at the edges. Since there is still flowing lava in the lava field from 2021 and that is going to be like that for many decades until this lava field cools through.
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This morning on (13-August-2022) at 06:30 to 08:00 UTC there was a sharp drop in harmonic tremor activity in the eruption in Meradalir valley. What happened is unclear, since no change has so far happened on the surface. From the looks of the harmonic tremor now, it seems that it is unstable currently.
New fissures might be about to open up, this can happen both north and south of current eruption. New fissures might also open up on either side of current eruption if that is a path that the magma can take. What happens is unclear and it is impossible to know when that might happen. Depending on the were next eruption happens, might mean a lot when it comes to possible lava paths and possible road damage if lava flows over a important road on Reykjanes peninsula.
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This is a short update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain in Merdalir valley. As expected there is not a lot of news in this eruption, since lava type of eruptions are normally not news heavy eruptions.
The amount of lava that is now erupting according to latest news is about 15m3/sec. This is higher than the eruption in Geldingadalir in 2021.
The lava seems to have filled up the valley the eruption started in. The floor seems to be about 10 to 30 meters high depending on location.
The crater has formed to some extend. The lava lake that remains there blocks the formation of a normal crater for now. This might change with time as the eruption continues.
Lava flow go both in south and north direction. The north lava flow goes into a smaller valley that was there. This is the long way out of the valley for now.
There is a risk that the lava flow is going to reach road 427 (Suðurstrandavegur) in few weeks time.
The risk of new eruption sites opening up remains high and that risk increases as the eruption goes on.
There is a swarm of small earthquakes that has been happening regularly since the start of the eruption in the dyke. It is unclear why that is happening.
I’ve been seeing what appears to be a lava fountain taking place in the eruption in the last few hours. This has not yet been confirmed, I have however observed this on the web cameras.
I think this is all. I hope the next update is going to be on Friday 19th August 2022 unless something major happens.
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Today (9-August-2022) at 11:43 UTC an earthquake with magnitude Mw3,0 took place in Kleifarvatn lake. At the writing of this article, no other larger earthquakes have taken place. Today there has been a swarm of small earthquakes in Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano and in Fagradalsfjall mountain. Some of this earthquake activity are just tectonic earthquakes, this applies mostly to earthquakes that are in Kleifarvatn lake and east of Grindavík town (might also be east of Grindavík, but I am not sure). This are because of the inflation from the dyke in Fagradalsfjalli mountain that reaches to Keilir mountain. The earthquake activity before current eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain in Meradalir valley also caused some major fault line movements over a large area. What that is going to result in when it comes to magma movements is unclear for now.
Over the last two days there has not been any visibility on web cameras of the eruption. I am hoping that the weather might clear up later today or tomorrow but that is just wait and see. There has also been heavy rain in there and I don’t recommend that anyone going there in this weather. The area is also closed and now fines can be imposed by the police on people attempting to go there when the area is closed. Kids under the age of 12 have also been forbidden to walk to the eruption. Since the distance is 7 km one day (in total 14 km) over difficult area.
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Today (7-August-2022) at 11:52 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw4,1 took place just west of Keifarvatn lake. This earthquake was felt in Reykjavík.
Earthquake activity is ongoing in this area. This might be tectonic earthquakes because of pressure changes that are now taking place because of the eruption in Meradalir valley. That is however unclear in my view.
At 10:52 UTC an earthquake with magnitude Mw3,0 took place west of Grindavík in the Reykjanes volcano. This might not be an earthquake related to pressure changes because of the eruption in Merdadalir valley. I am however not sure if that is the case. The Reykjanes volcano is going to erupt one day, since it goes out in the ocean, an ocean eruption and island formation is a possibly. An eruption on land is also an possibility. When and how an eruption happens in Reykjanes volcano is something that just has to wait and see.
The eruption in Meradalir valley
Newest reports is that a pulsing activity has started in the largest eruption fissure in Meradalir valley. This suggest to me that the old lava that is now erupting is almost all erupted. When that magma supply is gone a short break in the eruption might happen and then a new, larger eruption is going to start with the new magma that is on the way to the Fagradalsfjall mountain. When and if this happens like this is a big wait and see.
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