Smallest of eruptions so far (Bárðarbunga update at 20:43 UTC)

This is a short update and this information might go outdated quickly.

It appears that the eruption that took place in Bárðarbunga volcano was a minor one. It also looks like that the eruption was so small that it didn’t even make dent in the glacier on top of it, but the glacier in this area is around 400 meters thick. Such minor eruptions are not common in Iceland, but they do happen once in a while.

Earthquake activity today (23-August-2014) in Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquake today had the magnitude of 4,5 (EMSC information here) – 4,7 (USGS). Other earthquakes that have taken place today have been smallers, few earthquakes with magnitude above 3,0 also took place today.
The harmonic tremor that took place in Bárðarbunga volcano today. It makes a clear mark from the other magma movement that has been taking place during the past week. This is Dyngjuháls SIL station. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
This harmonic tremor was also visible on Kreppuhraun SIL stations. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
GPS data showing current inflation on Dyngjuhjáls. More plots can be found here. Copyright of this image belongs to University of Iceland.

Current GPS data show that inflation to the north has stopped, while inflation to the west has increased and up to 2 to 3 cm a day based on newest GPS data. This means that more magma is flowing into the dyke on 5 to 10 km depth. The dyke continues to extent, but now it is moving more north rather then north-east as before.

The eruption that took place today was a minor one. I am not even sure it lasted a whole hour, but since it was under a 400 meter thick glacier that is only guess work on my end based on tremor data that I have. This might however not be the last eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano, far from it. Short eruptions like this one might happen on regular basis now in Bárðarbunga volcano and not all of them are going to take place under glacier in my view.

110 Replies to “Smallest of eruptions so far (Bárðarbunga update at 20:43 UTC)”

  1. Tight knot of larger quakes at 12 km depth, then a big gap up to 8 km.

    What’s the bet that gap gets absolutely monkey hammered very soon?

  2. Jon,

    Your website is an invaluable resource. I really appreciate the work you put into this. I don’t have any great funds but I sent a small donation via the Donate button.

    Thanks again

  3. John, thanks for your great site !
    There are now continuous M3 eq’s, is that common before a normal eruption?

  4. Amateur viewpoint but there appears to be some ice bergs in the river on Bardarbunga 2 webcam. If there are then could this be a result of the activity – warmed water?

  5. Totally unrelated but I was just woken up by a 6.0 wuake in San Francisco. And now its beginning to show up on my seismometer back home in Oslo half the globe away. Im flying home todsy so Bárđarbunga better behave!

  6. Just on Facebook
    The Icelandic Meteorological Office has relea­sed a statement reg­ar­ding today’s acti­vities surround­ing Bárðarbunga and Dyngju­jök­ull. Af­ter having obser­ved the area from air, they now state that th­ere are no obvi­ous signs of volcanic activity…

    1. If it’s on the Start-Page, the remark is from yesterday…
      If not: could you give a link please?

  7. DYN tremor dropping, recent quakes falling in size.

    Looks to me like it extended the dyke swarm north again.

    If so it was very quick.

      1. It did peak at around the moon/sun alignment, new moon and true alignment Monday –
        Might be wrong, but it has been quite ‘coincidental’.
        I just think that the earths magma has to be subject to the same influences as the seas. In addition to the other factors we all know about.

      2. “So, what can we take away from all this?

        The Moon plays a very small role in increasing seismicity and volcanic activity on Earth – potentially increasing activity ~1% during full/new moons.
        The change in the gravitational pull from the Moon during apogee and perigee is small.
        Beyond this, there is no statistically-sound evidence that geologic disasters can be predicted based on lunar alignments or distance (or any other astronomical phenomena).
        The keys to understanding how to predict earthquakes or eruptions (if at all possible) lie within the Earth, not deep in space.
        From Chris Rowan: “The moon does not magically load up plate boundary faults or fill magma chambers … The most the moon can do is slightly alter the timing of an earthquake or eruption that was on the verge of happening anyway.
        From here:

      3. I did say along with all the other factors we know about. The slight timing is co-incidental and is reflected in the results. Pure coincidence or slight alteration I don’t know, but I am passing on what I see as is every other contributor in here. Only by ruling out the possibilities are we left with the facts.

    1. 11.k km 99% qual

      I did say absolutely monkey hammered … still, a bit bigger than I thought

  8. Hi all been a while 🙂

    Got to go with mafl/chris rowan on this, that said ” the most dangerous things in life , are those we know for sure that just aint so! “

  9. Hi to all!
    John Scots for me sea and magma are under same gravitational forces but: is it the same result when applying those forces to water or to butter? No-> it affects, but different, according f.ex to density nature,…

    I believe it affects as small value.

    Magnetism/ material behavior, might affect more..

    Greetings to all! Thanks John Friman for te blog!!!

    1. Mantle plumes and interconnected magma conduits are also theory. Does not mean they are not possible or are not happening right now. Speculation is the basis for theory, results should be borne with an open mind. I did not say the moon alone was responsible, I did say along with all the other factors we already know about.

  10. Intresting dubble peak in tremor. The buisness of predicting vulcanos is so crude and unexact that we can speculate. If they dont find a way to “look inside” it will probably be as bad in the future also. Dont missunderstand me. Island probably have the best of the best, but the level of technologu is just not enough.

  11. Seems to be an increase in quake activity in the fissure closer to the surface more recently.

  12. Mag Depth Time
    4.1 11.6 km 12:19:22
    3.7 5.8 km 11:57:17
    4.3 12.4 km 11:40:20
    3.8 14.3 km 11:36:40

    In fissure.

  13. Jon, your Donate button won’t let me send other than euros I want to sent £20 GBP. I know you can use them. I will either send you £20 GBP on Tuesday when I am at work (bank holiday here on Monday) or euros if you can tell me what the equivalent is. Diffiult with only an iPad, PC at work.

  14. I realise records were not so good then, but is there any historic indication that bardabunga earthquaked around the time of historic Asjja eruptions?

  15. Hi,

    great site! Especially in times like these. Just a suggestion: make a bitcoin-account for donations, costs nothing and it will make donations easier for some. Cheers!

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