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.

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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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.

Earthquake activity South-West of Keilir mountain

During the night 4-April-2021 at 02:04 UTC an earthquake with magnitude Mw3,0 at 5,7 km depth took place 1,5 km south-west of Keilir mountain. This earthquake was felt in Reykjavík area and outside of it. Based on the earthquake location it looks like it is located in the dyke or close to it. This is part of the Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano.

Few dots on Reykjanes peninsula that shows the earthquake activity during the last 48 hours
Earthquake activity on Reykjanes peninsula. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Along the magma dyke there seems to be forming focused points of earthquake activity. Currently I am seeing two location. The first location is around the eruption in Geldingadalir valley (former) and the second location that seems to be forming is just south of Keilir mountain. It has been my experience during the eruptions over the last few years that this type of earthquake activity might suggests that new location where eruptions might take place based on this earthquake activity. It is impossible to know if anything is going to happen. There is no change in GPS data since the eruption started. The GPS data can be viewed here.

Update on the eruption in Geldingadalir valley (former) on 2-April-2021

This is a short update of the activity in the eruption in Geldingadalir valley (former, as the valley has now filled up with lava or close to being filled with lava). The eruption is taking place in Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system. The eruption has been stable  all week. On Sunday 28-March-2021 other side of the craters that had built up collapsed into the lava stream that has formed below the erupting craters. Both craters are now about equal erupting size.

  • The lava that is now erupting is primitive Tholeiitic magma  based on the chemical analyse from University of Iceland. That report can be found here (pdf).
  • Both  craters are unstable and often suffer a collapse and rock slides and that often changes their look suddenly and drastically in a moment.
  • Icelanders continue to act like idiots in front of the web cameras that show the eruption online (I think all of them). The Rúv web camera is a large structure there that is easy to avoid (with solar panels and everything).
  • Lava boiling is a common occurrence that often breaks up through the newly formed crust in the new lava field. This happens without warning and often reshapes the lava field in a instance.
  • Spatter activity in the eruption craters often drops but the flow of lava seems to be stable based on the web cameras and observation reported in the news by volcano scientists according to the latest news I was able to find.
  • It is unclear when lava is going to start flowing out of Geldingadalir valley (former). It might start to happen this weekend or by next week.
  • Based on what I am observing on the web cameras at the writing of this article. A collapse might happen in the erupting crater on the right side on the screen (I don’t know what is north and south on the web camera). When that or if that happens is impossible to know, but the whole structure that I am seeing doesn’t look that stable when I write this article.
  • At the writing of this article a large collapse took place in the erupting crater on the left side on the camera. Resulting in block of the erupting vent and resulting in a lot of spatter activity as a result as it clears it self of the rock that fell into it.

Currently there are no signs of this eruption about to end. This eruption might go on for a long time. Next update about the eruption in Geldingadalir valley (former) should be on 9-April-2021 unless something major happens in the eruption.

Update 14:12 UTC on 3-April-2021

Two craters erupting. On the left side of the screen the crater there is showing splatter pattern while the one of the right side of the screen shows less spatter activity but small lava fall from the main eruption crater.
The eruption craters at 13:56 UTC on 3-April-2021. Copyright of this image belongs to Rúv. From Rúv YouTube stream of the eruption.

There is now in the northern crater (right side on screen?) a small lava fall. Its not big but it is few meters high. There are variations in spatter activity and the whole crater structure remains unstable. There are many collapses and changes now over one day.

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Cloudflare

I have now added Cloudflare to this website. That should prevent any problem with using it when a large spike in traffic happens as was the case when the eruption in Geldingadalir valley first started.

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Article updated at 14:12 UTC on 3-April-2021

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.

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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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.