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 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.

Donation

Please remember to support my work with donations. Google Adsense remains limited on my website and I don’t know when it might get back to normal. Thanks for the support. 🙂

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.

Harmonic tremor pulse during the night until morning in Fagradalsfjall volcano (9-March-2021)

This is a short article on the activity in Fagradalsfjall volcano. This situation is developing quickly and it is impossible to know what happens next.

During the night of 9-March-2021 from 05:20 UTC until around 07:00 UTC an harmonic tremor pulse was detected by Icelandic Met Office. This shows that the magma is still expanding into the Earth crust below Fagradalsfjall mountain and according to Icelandic Met Office it looks like the dyke is expanding in south direction but it is going to take a day or two to confirm that with GPS data.

Earthquake activity in the volcano Fagradalsfjall. Dots on a generated map my a program called Skjálfta-Lísa shows the most recent earthquake activity from midnight until 16:18
Earthquake activity in Fagradalsfjall volcano. This shows the possible location of the south end of the magma dyke. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There have been fewer stronger earthquakes in last few days. While the there are fewer strong earthquakes the amount of earthquakes has not really dropped in any number, most earthquakes are small in magnitude and only few reach magnitude above Mw3,0. This quiet period is not expected to last for any amount of time while magma continues to be injected into the crust of Fagradalsfjall volcano. There continues to be a high risk for earthquake with magnitude Mw6,0 to Mw6,5 along with risk of Mw6,5 earthquake in Brennisteinsfjöll volcano. Currently no magma movement is being detected in Reykjanes volcano, Krýsuvík volcano or Brennisteinsfjöll volcano.

New dyke intrusion in Katla volcano

Yesterday (01-May-2015) a minor dyke intrusion took place in Katla volcano. This dyke had depth down to 26,9 km and up to 18,5 km. This is the second dyke intrusion in this are in short space of time. Largest earthquake in the following earthquake swarm had the magnitude of 2,0.

150501_1820
Dyke intrusion in Katla volcano (dense cluster of earthquakes). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

While this doesn’t signal imminent eruption in Katla volcano this activity does have me concerned due to past experience with activity in Katla volcano. This might die out, but there is no way to know for sure. All that can be done is to wait and see what happens next in Katla volcano.

Notice on Grímsfjall volcano

There has been a slight increase in earthquakes in Grímsfjall volcano. This suggest that the volcano is about to be ready for its next eruption. Earlier eruptions took place 2011, 2004, 1998 … etc. It is impossible to know when or how big next eruption in Grímsfjall volcano is going to be.

No lava flow visible in Holuhraun main crater

Today (27-February-2015) there was no visible lava flow from the main crater in Holuhraun. The eruption is not officially over, this however seems to be the end of this eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano. It appears that gas emission continue from the crater and Holuhraun at the moment, it can be expected those are going to end in next few weeks to months.

New video of the crater in Holuhraun can be found here.

Ekki glóð í gígnum í Holuhrauni – Myndband (Rúv.is, video)

It is not known what happens next in Bárðarbunga volcano or when it is going to happen. All that can be done is to wait and see.

Bárðarbunga volcano update for 06-February-2015

This update is going to be slightly shorter than usual because I am sick (I got flu at the moment).

  • Over the past two weeks there has been considerable drop in the lava lake.
  • Lavafall was seen on new images (in the one of the lava rivers) in Holuhraun yesterday (05-February-2015).
  • Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano continues to drop.  It continues to be classified as considerable.
  • GPS data show that the area around Bárðarbunga volcano continues to subside towards the volcano.
  • The eruption in Holuhraun might end in 5 – 12 months, there is also a chance it might go on for years at low level. There is no way to know for sure.
  • Sulfur dioxide pollution continues to be a problem in Iceland. Depending on wind direction. Current release of Sulfur dioxide from the eruption in Holuhraun is from 30.000 tons/day and up to 80.000 tons/day.

 

150206_1740
Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano for the last 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquake in the past 48 hours was a magnitude 4,9 earthquake in north-east Bárðarbunga volcano. It has now been one month since magnitude 5,0 or larger earthquake took place in Bárðarbunga volcano.

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Bárðarbunga volcano update for 30-January-2015

Since last update nothing major has changed in Holuhraun. There have been some changes in Bárðarbunga volcano it self and I am going to cover that later in this article. The magma flow from the craters in Holuhraun remains high at the moment, with latest flow measurements saying that flow of lava is now 100m³/sec. There seems to be uncertain or maybe changes in the flow of lava out of the crater. The volume is now ~1,4 km³. The lava-field has been getting thicker over the past weeks and closest to the craters it is now around 40 meters thick. New estimate of when the eruption might end are now 4 to 15 months.

150130_2050
Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano for the last 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Earthquake activity remains high, but it continues to drop at steady rate between weeks. Earthquake activity now also drops between peaks in activity. I still don’t know if a small eruption took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. Nothing has yet been confirmed and it might remain unconfirmed for a long time. I am also seeing small spikes in the harmonic tremor data due to hydrothermal activity in Bárðarbunga volcano (far as I can tell).

If anything major happens I am going to post update about it soon as I can.

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Bárðarbunga volcano update 27-January-2015

Nothing major is to report from last update on Holuhraun eruption. It continues at the same phase as before. It has been slowly diminishing over the past few weeks and continues to do so. There are complex reasons for this, but one thing is clear. This eruption is going to end one day. The size of the lava is unclear that the moment. It volume is now around 1,4 km³ according to the news. Cauldrons in the glacier, on top of the Bárðarbunga volcano caldera rim have been getting deeper over the past few weeks. This means that the hydrothermal activity in those areas is increasing and presence of magma at shallow depth. This also suggests that amount of magma at that shallow depth is increasing. If it is going to erupt is unclear at the moment, there are however currently higher chance that it is going to do so, rather than not.

150127_2035
Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano for the past 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There has been less earthquake activity taking place for the past 48 hours then during same days last week. There are peaks and lows in the earthquake activity, there might be a lot of earthquakes taking place one day, other days there appears to be a low in earthquake activity. What is also playing in as a factor here is the fact that bad weather has been taking place in Iceland for the past few days.

Last week scientists have been doing studies into the gas content of the eruption to see what is contains. SO² continues to be a problem in Iceland, depending on wind direction.

Icelandic news


Til marks um hve hættulegt svæðið er
(Ruv.is, Icelandic)
Rannsaka gas við Holuhraun (Ruv.is, Icelandic, video)

Holuhraun Eruption Gases Studied (Iceland Review)

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Article updated at 22:53 UTC.
Article updated at 22:55 UTC.

Bárðarbunga volcano update for 23-January-2015

Current activity in Bárðarbunga volcano remains the same. The eruption in Holuhraun continues, at bit slower rate now than it was some ten days ago according to latest news. This is not surprising, since last eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano that was like this only lasted for around 8 months. That formed the craters named Tröllagígar (more information at the end of this article). Flow of lava out of the crater is now estimated to be around 60m³/sec. It was also noted in the news that cauldrons in the glacier on top of Bárðarbunga volcano have been getting deeper in past few weeks, this means the area and the volcano it self is getting hotter. This means that magma has risen up along the caldera rim and warmed up the crust. This is important since magma cannot warm up the crust like this unless it is shallow, less depth then 2 km and in some areas less then 1 km. One reason why Holuhraun eruption might be coming to a end is that the magma has found a new and easier path up to the surface. The magma appears to be deep sourced and that is a problem, since it is harder to impossible to monitor and speculate on deep magma chamber. Since shallower magma chambers can often be monitored by earthquake activity, there is no such thing for magma chambers on more depth then 20 km in the crust.

dyn.svd.23.01.2015.at.18.43.utc
Harmonic tremor in the past few days from the eruption in Holuhraun. Drops in harmonic tremor are sign of drop in the eruption. The eruption is now fluctuating (in my view) that at times stroke activity (the little that is) is possibly stopping at times. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

150123_2010
Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano for the past 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Earthquake activity remains around the same in Bárðarbunga volcano for the past 48 hours. There has not been a magnitude 5,0 or larger earthquake in the past 15 days according to latest news. Earthquake activity remains high in Bárðarbunga volcano. This earthquake activity has however been dropping since August-2014 when it was peaking around 12.000 earthquakes a week (around 3000 earthquakes a day).

The rifting event

When the eruption in Holuhraun ends, it is just going to mean that the Holuhraun eruption has ended. The rifting is going to continue for a long time after the eruption has ended. The models that I work with (in my head, I don’t got a supercomputer) suggest that it might migrate south along Bárðarbunga volcano fissure swarm. This is difficult to predict for sure, but there are data (cracks in the ground forming over the past few years) suggesting that a large area is going to rift. This rifting is going to start eruptions, both short and long along this area. Part of this eruption risk area is under thick glacier (Vatnajökull glacier). That is going to start glacier flood that area going to damage everything in there path.

What is also impossible to know for sure is how long this rifting is going to last. Past episodes suggest that active periods like this normally last from 5 – 10 years. Sometimes shorter and sometimes longer, depending on how long it has been since last rifting episode took place. Last rifting episode in this area might been ~100 years ago in part of the system. I don’t know this for sure, but this is what the data suggests.

Tröllagíar crater information

Veiðivötn (need.is)
Vatnajökull national Park (uef.fi, 39 page pdf document)
Old paper and chemical analyse of eruptions in 18th century in Bárðarbunga (or that area). (timarit.is, Icelandic, part in English)
Field trip to Veiðivötn – Heljargjá – Jökulheimar (earth.leeds.ac.uk, pdf file)

Icelandic News

Gosinu í Holuhrauni gæti lokið á næstu vikum (Vísir.is, Icelandic)
Dregið hefur úr virkni gossins á yfirborði (Vísir.is, Icelandic)
Mik­il virkni enn í Bárðarbungu (mbl.is, Icelandic)

Donations

I am currently waiting for PayPal to finish validating my new account in accordance with EU anti-money laundry rules. I don’t know how long this process is going to take. I hope it won’t be long. While that happens, I want to point out that it is possible to support my work by buying from Amazon (select your area before you shop) or by support my work directly by bank transfer. Information on donations with bank transfer can be found on “Donations” site. Thanks for the support. 🙂

Comments

Please keep comments on topic (minor off-topic is ok if you get bored, but I recommend youtube or some game if you get bored). Please do not flame. I want to point out that nobody has clear idea what is going in Bárðarbunga volcano. Often nobody knows for sure what is going on in Bárðarbunga volcano.

Article updated at 21:36 UTC.

Bárðarbunga volcano update for 20-January-2015

The eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano (Holuhraun). Not much change has been reported in past few days. Currently the northern side of the eruption crater has not collapsed so far, but based on web cameras it appears that the activity is increasing in the north part of the crater. The lava field is now around 85 km² in size. The amount of SO2 that comes up during the day is around 10.000 – 30.000 tons of it.

150120_2305
Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano for the last 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Earthquake activity has been increasing in Bárðarbunga volcano for the past 24 hours. There is now a considerable higher number of earthquakes with magnitude 3,0 and higher taking place. I don’t know why this is happening. Either something is changing in Bárðarbunga volcano or something in the crust is giving away. At the moment it is impossible to know for sure what is going on. It is also impossible to know when that might become clear what is going on.

Other Bárðarbunga volcano related

Landsnet the company that runs the electric grid in Iceland is now moving electric poles in few areas, in order to avoid damage to the electric grid due to a eruption under the glacier in Bárðarbunga volcano and the glacier flood that follows it. They are also performing changes close to dams in the path of possible glacier flood from Vatnajökull glacier. This is done in order to try and protect those structures much as possible from damage if an glacier flood happens.

Scientist working in the close proximity of the eruption in Holuhraun and that have been staying there for a long time have noticed that they suffer from chronic cough. Once they left the eruption area for Christmas break the cough stopped, since at that time they got out of the polluted area.

Icelandic news

Háspennusmastur fært vegna flóðahættu
(Rúv.is, Icelandic, video)
Vísindamenn með krónískan hósta vegna gasmengunar (Vísir.is, Icelandic)

Minor schedule update

I’ve moved the second update during the week to Friday. Since that allow more days to pass during the regular eruption phase in Holuhraun.

Moving PayPal to Denmark (again)

I am going to be moving PayPal to Denmark soon (2 – 4 days). I do this since there are problems with having PayPal in Iceland. Since I am going to be moving back to Denmark in few years anyway (Since I really integrating well into Danish society, even if I was not fully integrated when I moved back to Iceland due to my current money problems).

Article updated at 01:57 UTC on 21-January-2015
Article updated at 13:21 UTC on 21-January-2015