Update on the activity in Hagafell on 17. January 2024 at 00:03 UTC

I am sorry that I am late on this. I’ve been working on my new server computer and its taken longer then expected.

The eruption has ended and it only lasted about 41 hours. The lava did burn down three houses and cause damage to road, cold water lines, hot water lines and electric lines into Grindavík town. A new rift valley formed east of the rift valley that formed on 10. November 2023. This has resulted in that Grindavík town is now an extreme danger area because of cracks in the ground that are up to 40 meters deep until a ground water level is reached. GPS data is a mess because all this been moving the crust up and down, depending if the area is either east or west of the rift valleys that have formed. It takes few days to see how fast the inflation is now in this area. The magma that erupted now did come from a sill that is located in Skipastígahrauni and Eldvörpum area to the west of the eruption site. It doesn’t seems like the sill close to Svartsengi erupted this time, since no deflation was detected there during this eruption.

The maximum amount of time until next eruption is around 30 days, with error of eight days at maximum. This might be shorter, because it seems that inflation speed is increasing. There’s lot of uncertainty in this because how the crust is now around Grindavík town.

Image showing the rift valley, along with how much it has risen or lowered in the area around Grindavík town. Along with fault lines and cracks that have formed.
Map of the rift valleys that have formed in the activity on 10. November 2023 and 14. January 2024. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

The eruptions are moving south along this area and that’s bad news, because that places the next eruption in middle of Grindavík town, once it happens in around 30 days. As is, the town of Grindavík can’t be lived in because of dangers from the faults and cracks in the ground. There has also been a major damage to infrastructure inside Grindavík already and added to the already damaged houses, roads and more.

Update on Sundhnúkagíga activity for 2. January 2024

This update is going to be short. Information here might go outdated quickly and without warning. This article is written at 20:51 UTC on 2. January 2024.

Inflation in Svartsengi volcano has reached its maximum according to GPS stations compared to 18. December 2023. This inflation is not even among the GPS stations on top of Svartsengi volcano. Why that is unclear, but most likely reason is that the sills that are in Svartsengi volcano are not evenly filled this time around. Why that is I don’t know, something must have changed in the internal flow of this volcano when it comes to the sills.

It is difficult to know when next eruption happens, at the writing of this article I am looking at around seven day window at the moment. That an eruption should happen around 9. January 2024. It might happen sooner or it might happen later. It is difficult to know for sure. Where eruption is going to happen is impossible to know. It is expected that an eruption might happen again close to the last eruption took place or at the same location.

If anything happens. I’ll post update soon as possible. Next update for Sundhnúkagíga is going to be when something happens.


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Update on Sundhnúkagígar on 22. December 2023 at 20:49 UTC

This is a short update and information here might go outdated quickly and without warning. This update is written on 22. December 2023 at 20:50 UTC.

Inflation has resumed in Svartsengi volcano. It also seems that inflation started again just before the eruption ended in Sundhnúkagaígar. At the writing of this article, the inflation is only around 5mm to 8mm a day. That is fast, by any standard, but still lower than before the eruption when inflation was around 10mm a day. There seems to be a slowdown of inflation before an eruption happens and a new dyke creations. Not all dyke that are going to happen are going to end in a eruption, maybe, since the magma has only limited space to expand into in the rift valley, because of the dyke that was created on 10. November 2023.

Red dots along the rift valley and orange dots from the earlier earthquakes today.
Earthquake activity along the rift valley today. This is a lot of earthquake activity. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Earthquake activity along the rift valley increased quickly as the eruption that started on 18. December 2023 started to slow down. That means the magma in Svartsengi volcano is trying to find a way out and erupt all at once, or close to that in my personal view. The 4,1 km long fissure that erupted last time doesn’t seems to have been a enough for the pressure that is in the volcano at the writing of this article. That is interesting but might also be a clue that things are about to get really dangerous in this area. I also don’t know if this is going to happen, because clues are one thing and reality is a different thing.

If anything happens. I am going to write an article soon as I can.

Update on Sundhnúkagígar activity on 21. December 2023 at 18:47 UTC

This is a short article, written on 21. December 2023 at 18:47 UTC. Information here might go outdated quickly and without warning.

The eruption that started on 18. December 2023 at 22:17 UTC is over, best I can see. This was large eruption, but a short one. Total lava flow covered an area of 3,7 km2 (square kilometre). Most of the eruption happened in the first 24 – 48 hours of the eruption. There are early indicators that inflation has resumed in Svartsengi volcano, if it inflates at the same rate as before this eruption it is only going to take 8 to 10 days until next eruption. This is a big question since there’s a lot of magma in Svartsengi volcano and that magma can move towards the surface, even if the inflation doesn’t happen and can result in a larger eruption. If that happens is a wait and see situation.

Videos from the eruption areas show a lot of degaussing in the eruption fissure. This is interesting and I am not sure why that is. There’s a chance a lot of magma is in the dyke that is just releasing gas into the air without having the energy to erupt. There’s a small chance that a new eruption might happen in the same location. If that happens is impossible to know.

Red dots and yellow dots in the rift zone valley where the eruption just ended. Time on image is 21. Des. 2023 at 19:15 UTC.
Earthquake activity along the rift valley. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake activity is interesting, it started yesterday (20. December 2023). This follows the same pattern as the earthquake activity before the start of the eruption on 18. December. If that is what is happening remains a wait and see situation for now.

This is the last update unless something happens in this area. Based on current information, that is what is going to happen, the question is just when.

Update on the eruption in Sundhnúkagígar on 19. December 2023 at 21:46 UTC

This is a short update and information here might go outdated quickly. This article is written on 19. December 2023 at 21:46 UTC.

I am trying to collect and read all the information I can find. I don’t have access to everything my self, so I am depended on news and reports from Icelandic Met Office and others on what is happening in this eruptions. This is not unusual and has always been like this.

  • The eruption is now in 2 to 4 vents. I am little unclear at the writing of this article now many are erupting.
  • The new dyke seems to go into the dyke from 10. November. This can result in reactivation of the dyke from 10. November and result in an eruption along it, all 15 km at random location.
  • Current flow seems be around 50m3/sec at the writing of this article. I’ve been hearing that highest flow yesterday (18. December) was around 800m3/sec, but that number is for me unconfirmed. It dropped to 100 – 500m3/sec soon after the eruption started.
  • Early GPS data from today seems to suggest that Svartsengi volcano has lowered about 50mm since the start of the eruption. I am waiting for new GPS data on Icelandic Met Office website. That data hopefully shows up tomorrow (20. December).

There’s a lot of uncertain things that can happen with this eruption at the moment. Since there’s a lot of lava in Svartsengi volcano that has not erupted so far. New inflow of lava from the deep mantle is also a possibility and those can happen without warning as the pressure drops in Svartsengi volcano sill (or magma chamber).

I’ll post next update tomorrow (20. December 2023) or sooner if anything happens.

Eruption started close to Hagafell mountain (Update for Grindavík on 18. December 2023 at 23:17 UTC)

This is a short update. Information here is going to get outdated quickly.

An earthquake swarm started at 21:05 UTC in the dyke area that formed on 10. November 2023. This earthquake swarm is ongoing and seems to be connected to when the eruption fissure expands south towards Grindavík town. The eruption started at 22:17 UTC. There’s a lot of dangerous gas pollution from this eruption. Do not get close to this eruption. This is not a small tourist friendly eruption.

A lot of red dots showing the earthquake activity in the dyke and Svartsengi just before the eruption.
The earthquake activity in the dyke. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

I’ll post new article when I know more in next few hours.

Update for Grindavík on 8. December 2023

This is a short article about the situation in Grindavík. Information here might go outdated quickly without warning.

Sorry for the late update. I was updating my computer and its been more of a problem than I expected. Since I build my own computers, rather than buying already assembled computer.

Overview of the situation in Grindavík

Inflow into the dyke seems to have stopped one to two days ago. This means that it has started to cool down, since no inflow of fresh magma means it starts to form into rock. This is going to take years and in some areas decades cool all the way through. This also means that the rift valley is no longer moving as much as it was doing and in some areas has stopped completely. There is a crust instability in and around Grindavík town because of the rift valley, but this instability is now lower compared to first few days after 10. November. This might continue for years, even after all eruption activity stops few hundred years into the future.

Inflation has now reached almost the same level as 10. November, with only 50mm to go until the same level is reached. This inflation seems to be creating cracks in the ground around Svartsengi power plant. But the news was not clear on exact area of the formation of those cracks in the ground. Svartsengi, Grindavík and the area around the dyke continues to be a danger zone as defined by Icelandic Met Office.

This image shows the four danger zones around Grindavík. With zone 1 being in Svartsengi, Zone two to be north of Grindavík and zone three to be south east of Svartsengi and north of Grindavík. Zone four is Grindavík. Zone three is the most dangerous one.
The danger zones in Grindavík. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

The original image can be found here on Icelandic Met Office website.

This is not over and it is impossible to know when next sequence of events starts in Svartsengi and there is going to be little to no warning when it starts next. Icelandic Met Office has sad that at most there is going to be a two hour warning before an eruption starts, but it might even be shorter time. Making staying in Grindavík and nearby area all hours of the day a dangerous thing to do.

This is the last update until something happens in Grindavík.

Update on Grindavík for 4. December 2023

This is a short update and information here can go outdated quickly and without warning.

There has not a lot been happening in last few days. Here is a overview for the last few days.

  • Inflation continues in Svartsengi. Over the 90 day GPS data period. The inflation has reached the zero line. That means the inflation is now at the same level as it was before 25. October 2023. It still has about 100mm to go before it reaches 10. November levels and the sill broke and the magma dyke happened. But it is important that the GPS data from 2020 shows that Svartsengi lowered to 140mm below the January 2020 starting point with the GPS data.
  • The GPS data from January 2020 for Svartsengi show that total inflation in the area is around 230 to 250mm. This information can be viewed here (this is a none https link, so it might require an exception in Google Chrome or just use Mozilla Firefox). There’s a lot of GPS data on this site. Some of it show short term GPS data that are from last 12 hours daily update. Looking for the correct data image might take some time.
  • Inflation might need to reach 10. November levels before anything happens again. The dyke even on 10. November seems to have changed how things happen in Svartsengi so it is impossible to be sure what happens next.
  • While the magma collecting phase is ongoing. Things are going to be quiet with the earthquake activity in this area.
  • The rift valley, best I can see, continues to change and sink and rise. Resulting in ongoing damage to Grindavík town.
  • There’s less news about this at currently. That gives me less information on what is going on.

Next update should be by Friday 8. December, unless something happens.

Update on Grindavík for 28. November 2023

This is a short update for Grindavík and nearby area on 28. November 2023. This article is written at 23:22 UTC. This is a short update and information here can go outdated quickly and without warning.

Last few days have been quiet with little or few earthquakes. There have been earthquake swarm activity at times, suggesting that magma is trying to push at faster rate into the crust at Sundhnúkagígar and Sundhnúkar mountain. I don’t know what the current rate of magma inflow is.

Daily information

  • Magma continues to flow into the dyke. I don’t know how fast that rate is.
  • The dyke is wider than originally thought. This means it cools down more slowly. The dyke is widest around Sundhnúkar and Sundhnúkargígar area.
  • Eruption can start without warning in Sundhnúkar or Sundhnúkargígar and that area.
  • New cracks continue to form in Grindavík, along with sink holes and other issues that is creating.
  • Inflation at Svartsengi is around 10mm/day and up to 40mm/day. Currently, the inflation has slowed down to 10mm/day. This can change without warning.
  • Top of Keilir mountain has moved according to the news. I don’t know how much. But this is a displacement.
  • Rocks with the size of mobile homes have moved and rolled down from mountains.
  • Cracks are forming in a wide area around the dyke according to the news. Making it dangerous to travel in the area around Grindavík because of this new cracks in the ground.

The event in Grindavík and nearby area is not over. It is ongoing, this is just a quiet time period that is currently happening. This quiet time period is going to happen frequently in the Reykjanes volcano system. I don’t know why that is the case, this is the reality of what is going on.

Article updated at 23:56. I forgot to add few things.

Update on Grindavík 24. November 2023

This is a short update on the situation in Grindavík and nearby area on 24. November 2023. This article is written at 18:47 UTC.
Information in this article can go outdated without warning and quickly if something happens.

This activity has slowed down for now. This means I am going to be posting update less here, unless something changes and that can happen without warning.

Daily update

  • There is movements on cracks and new holes and cracks are opening up or appearing as the ground collapses and exposes the fissure.
  • Earthquake activity has reached a low point. This might be just for a short period of time.
  • The inflation in Svartsengi is today around 140 to 160mm from 10. November 2023. The inflation each day is around 30 to 40mm.
  • The area that is inflating in Svartsengi is larger now compared to the area that inflated before 10. November 2023. This has created a uncertainty in the GPS data as I understand the situation. The rift valley is also creating issues in the GPS data as parts of him continue to sink and are going to continue to sink and lower nearby area with it. How much that is difficult to know.
  • The event that happened on 10. November 2023 was the quickest event to happen in recorded history of Icelandic Met Office. According to their report and the news.

It is my view that the current low is just going to last for few more days, at most few weeks because of the ongoing inflation in Svartsengi. It is my view that it is going to take around 30 days until next dyke activity happens, that is around 10. December when that might happen. But the situation is changing quickly and impossible to know for sure how it develops in next few days to weeks.

If anything happens. I’ll post update soon as I can do so.