Status update on Askja and Bárðarbunga at 18:35 UTC

This information is going to get outdated quickly.

For the media (news) please note! I am not a professional geologist. I got all the same knowledge as they do, but I am not a professional geologist. For professional view on what is going on please contact Icelandic Met Office or University of Iceland, Geology department.

Askja volcano

This is the current information that I got on Askja volcano.

  • Dyke from Bárðarbungu volcano continues into Askja volcano. It has slowed down according to reports from yesterday. I have not seen any reports on its process today.
  • Earthquake activity is increasing in Askja volcano. This is due to effects from the dyke.
  • Askja continues to be on Yellow alert status.

Bárðarbunga volcano

This are current informations that I got on Bárðarbunga volcano.

  • The eruption is over for now. It only lasted 3 – 4 hours.
  • This eruption was only lava. No or almost no volcano ash was put into the atmosphere. Some water vapour was seen (the white clouds) after the eruption ended.
  • The eruption took place in a fissure that last erupted in the year 1797. That eruption created Holuhraun lava field. This eruption took place in a crater row.
  • The eruption fissure was 900 meters long according to news in Iceland today.
  • Earthquake activity dropped while the eruption took place. It has increased again. I did see on my geophones an earthquake swarm as the eruption reached its peak.
  • This is the first time I see an eruption in a older crater row. This might be normal for this area of Iceland.
  • Future eruptions can happen at any time while current activity continues in Bárðarbunga volcano.
  • Largest earthquakes today was a magnitude 5,2 earthquake, second largest earthquake today was a magnitude 4,8 and third largest earthquake today was a magnitude 4,1.
  • Earthquake activity continues to be high, with over 900 earthquakes recorded so far today (according to my earthquake counter).
  • Harmonic tremor is on same level as it has been on since 16-August-2014.

Analyse of the eruption

The eruption started around 00:02 UTC, when it was first visible on Míla web cameras. I was notified of this by a person watching the cameras over Facebook around 00:30 UTC. According to Rúv news and other news sources the eruption peaked at 01:20 UTC. It was over around 04:00 UTC. The volume this eruption placed on the surface was minor, it had no impact on the magma that is in the dyke. Future eruptions on this fissure cannot be ruled out. As stated above last eruption took place on this same fissure in the year 1797.

This is the second confirmed eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano since this started. With the first one being on 23-August-2014. When a similar minor eruption took place. That eruption was under glacier (up to 600 meters of it) and was not observed for that reason. This new period of activity in Bárðarbunga volcano is possibly going to last for years, if only based on the volcano eruption history as it is documented on Global Volcanism Program website. I am at least preparing to write about Bárðarbunga for a long time now.

I am going to write notification about new eruptions soon as I become aware of them. The weather forecast for the next few days is not good. So visibility is going to be limited in the area close to Bárðarbunga.

Images of the new lava and mixture of old and new craters can be found here.

Article updated at 18:43 UTC.
Article updated at 18:51 UTC.
Article updated at 19:10 UTC.
Article updated at 15:14 UTC on 30-August-2014.

110 Replies to “Status update on Askja and Bárðarbunga at 18:35 UTC”

  1. They’ve updated the likely events scenarios, now bardarbunga eruption is one of the most likely events.

    1. It does look a bit like steam, but that is the area where there was a lot of dust blowing about earlier this week. On the non panning cam, the area where most of the steam/dust is, a 4×4 drove up from that area earlier today. I wouldn’t expect them to do that if it was a dodgy or dangerous looking area.
      Seems to be very windy, so I reckon dust. But hey! I’m in Leith, Scotland looking at a webcam, so I could be very wrong. 😉

  2. Would dust not swirl more and move , to me it looks like steam rising up in one place.

  3. It looks just like the dust that caught everyone out in the week.

    There hasn’t been any surface quakes to suggest the fissure has opened up again either.

  4. Do we have another build up tremor charts at dyn and askja seem to be rising but earthquake activity is very low magma movement with hardly any obstruction then????

  5. From tremor charts we have seeh a slow but constant activity growth.
    Areas for potential eruptions r determined.
    We must expect a continuously small but growing activity here and there.
    Dike looks will give not results immediatelly, but long fisures will be happening here &there too in the area.
    Results of the happenings may change according the place erupting flow. Ice, water, air, lava and earth will be combining several cocktails.

    Enjoy also Papua N Guinea one.

    1. Not to reply to myself but I can’t edit, as you saw I noted the time when I saved the image, that’s EDT which corresponds to 4:51pm UTC

    2. It’s still think it’s dust! Possibly a 4*4 has driven down to check things out / take samples and it’s the trail they have left behind them.

    1. That happens when there is strong sun that melts the glacier during the day. It is a common and expected in Iceland when it comes to glacier rivers.

    2. These rivers always have more water during the day when the sun shines on the ice.

  6. Inspired by Unmentionables helpful coments , I had brainwave to recommend an author whose works would by HIGHLY relevant to the very smart folk all frequenting here , and I request you write this down ( thats right, with pen and paper 🙂 Nassim Nicholas Taleb . And the two books are ‘Black Swan’ and ‘ Antifragile’ . He is considered to be one of the most important and influentual authors ever. Thanks :).

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