Current status on Bárðarbunga volcano at 19:30 UTC

This information is going to get outdated quickly.

Current status on Bárðarbunga volcano

  • There are now two lava lakes (at least) in the fissure that has been erupting in Holuhraun. The eruption has not yet stopped, but it is less powerful but the flow of magma from the craters has not slowed down based on latest observations.
  • Bárðarbunga caldera is getting lower by 80 cm/day according to GPS measurements and other measurements that have been made. Total drop in the caldera so far is 21 meter. Cracks have started to form in the glacier that fills the caldera. Normally there are no cracks in that glacier. Most of the cracks are in the central caldera.
  • More magma is flowing into the dyke than out of it. Eruption has not yet increased yet, this also increases the risk of new eruptions along the dyke.
  • The central crater in the eruption continues to erupt, other craters have mostly stopped erupting and several of them are just emitting gas now.
  • Largest earthquake since midnight was a magnitude 4,7 at 09:32 UTC.
  • The lava field continues to flow into Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacier river. It is slowly blocking it, some explosions might take place, but due to the thickness of the lava that does not seem to happen often.
  • SO2 pollution is a big problem now in parts of East Iceland. The pollution goes depending on wind, so for the moment it is East Iceland that is having this issue.
  • GPS data shows that inflation continues in the dyke. This is because more magma is flowing into it than erupting from as I did mention above.

Icelandic Government preparing for major eruption

It seems that Icelandic government has started to prepare for major eruption in Iceland. This is evident when they put up a banner like this on Rúv website.

Rúv radio blackout alert banner due to an eruption at the bottom of this image. Screen-shot of Rú website.

When the national radio of Iceland sets up a image like that. I take it as they know that things are bad in Bárðarbunga volcano. Same way as I know it. The website in question that the banner connects to can be found here, it has English text.

Updates 12-September-2014

  • The amount of SO2 in Reyðarfirði has now around 4000 µg/m³ (at 22:45 UTC). People in that village and nearby area advised to stay indoors and don’t go outside.
  • The largest crater in Holuhraun is now getting close to being 70 meters high.

Updates 13-September-2014

  • Largest earthquake since midnight was a magnitude 4,9 earthquake at 07:58 UTC. At that same time the caldera dropped 25 cm according to news on Rúv.
  • GPS stations show fast movements around Bárðarbunga  volcano. This means the current activity is far from over, even there has been a minor drop in activity at the moment.
  • Instability in Bárðarbunga volcano continues to increase.
  • There appears to be a fast inflation in Grímsfjall volcano. It is unclear why this is happening, but it might be due to influence from Bárðarbunga volcano. The sudden inflation in Grímsfjall volcano appears clearly on GPS measurement that are being done on top of the volcano. This might not lead to an eruption, since Grímsfjall volcano can take a lot of magma into its system. The eruption that took place in 2011 was the largest one in at least 140 years. Turns out this was just snow on the GPS antenna. So this is false alarm when it comes to Grímsfjall volcano.
  • Dangerous levels of SO2 are problem in eastern Iceland and where the wind blows it. Gas at the eruption site is also huge risk to anyone working in close proximity to the eruption site. It is also blocking the view to the eruption at Míla cams, along with dust storm that appears to be taking place now due to wind.
  • The eruption at Holuhraun is about the same as yesterday (12-September-2014).
  • The eruption is now confined mostly to the main crater in the fissure. Other craters have stopped erupting currently. That might change without warning.

Updates 14-September-2014

  • The eruption in Holuhraun seems to be ending. During the day the power of the eruption has dropped. The largest central crater is still erupting, but at a lot less power than yesterday and on 12-September-2014. Eruption has stopped in smaller craters in the eruption fissure.
  • The lava has stopped moving forward into Jökulsá á Fjöllum. It no longer has the energy to progress into the glacier river. New fields of lava are forming closer to the crater that continues to erupt.
  • Largest earthquake today (when this is written) is a magnitude 5,3 earthquake that took place at 14:06 UTC. Second largest earthquake today was a magnitude 4,0 earthquake that took place at 06:54 UTC.
  • The caldera continues to drop. Since this activity has continued to total drop is now 23 meters according to latest measurements (from yesterday). Most drop is taking place in north-east part of the caldera. More information can be found here, text is in Icelandic.
  • Harmonic tremor suggest that the pressure is increasing in Bárðarbunga volcano again. There is also high chance of small eruptions taking place under the glacier.
  • There is no rapid inflation taking place in Grímsfjall volcano. GPS signal got distorted by snow or ice on the GPS antenna.

News bits 12-September-2014

Stærsti gígurinn í Holuhrauni að ná 70 metra hæð og fer stækkandi (Ví, video, Icelandic)

News bits 13-September-2014

“Like breathing from the exhaust pipe” (Rú
Botn Bárðarbunguöskju seig um 25 sm (Rú, Icelandic)


This is shorter updated today due to there has not been a lot of change since yesterday and it is Friday.

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Article updated at 19:35 UTC on 12-September-2014.
Article updated at 22:56 UTC on 12-September-2014.
Article updated at 14:54 UTC on 13-September-2014.
Article updated at 22:33 UTC on 13-September-2014.
Article updated at 02:53 UTC on 14-September-2014.
Article updated at 18:17 UTC on 14-September-2014.
Article updated at 18:28 UTC on 14-September-2014.

227 Replies to “Current status on Bárðarbunga volcano at 19:30 UTC”

  1. if Bárðarbunga’s icecover is dropping down , it’s a good sign, because there is not big pressure from melting waters, but if this icecover is going up, then you have a bottle which bulb and what is inside will go up


  2. The caldera collapse may yet tun out to be non explosive as in other shield volcanoes, and as the rumbling was just ice on the gps station we can probably breath a sigh of relief , but we do need to watch carefully and hope that this doesn’t turn into a biggie.
    How chemically similar is the current lava to Þjórsá Lava, the biggest lava flow from barabunga? have a read here for the mechanics.

  3. Why are we seeing such an increase in the number of volcano’s erupting all over the world? There have been rumblings all over. Active and formerly quite volcano’s are starting to stir.

    What are the scientific explanations?

  4. Hello, Nkr. I read a scientific explanation for the volcanic activity increase globally on WeatherUnderground. One of their scientists had pulled an article which said that the substrata to all the volcanoes on earth are in a phase which occurs about every 200-300 years, where the undercrust lava becomes extremely restless, and swings around the planet in flows uneven and unpredictable, activating volcanoes. It pointed out that should Bardarbunga have a big eruption it could easily help calm that through releasing some pressure caused by the excessive lava flows undercrust, and planetary volcanic unrest should subside because of it. This would be good news for people concerned about Yellowstone’s super-super-volcano, the largest and most dangerous on earth, which has been showing very early signs of awakening. And also good news for the restless volcanoes in the Mediterranean and Far East areas. So perhaps there is a silver lining after all to a Bardarbunga eruption, even if it turns out to have some tragedy in it.

  5. I would take that Weather Underground info with a grain of salt. They’re expertise is in the realm of short-term Wx forecasting.

  6. my father is a geophysicist (retired), he has developed a model which includes fem (finite element method), continuum mechanics (stress analysis, tensor equations (like einsteins equations)), propability calculation, and made a model for fun from iceland, there is over 100 volcans, from which some haven’t erupted for thousends of years, and he calculated that if some big volcano will erupt and if there are volcanoes which are propably going to erupt, this first eruption would igniter the system, iceland is like tree, volcanoes are like roots, we don’t know how the root system is connected? or do scientist in iceland know that, i understood what my father explained me one sunday morning with his computer, i know more from plasma physics than from geophysics,

    but physics is physics


  7. Jon i know you don’t believe my explanations, but what i said will come to truth, and you will have money for your fine work to explain people from science, now volcanoes, later maybe from more

    ta na

    i go now

    and my father told me that volcanoes from triangle will erupt and then at least 2 big one after that, and wind will carry ashes to uk, hollande ,france and germany, because icelanders once prayed their god, and he did not helped

    he helps now


    interpreter of my father

    and don’t publish
    what son of man said

  8. if caldera dropped 45 cm september 15 and more september 14 and earthquakes go to bandargunga

    it means that what i saiyed earlier that only way for bardargunga is to go up, and i think calderas drop is tomorrow 20 cm and then 0 and then increasing and you have new year soon

    Jon you are the best telling people who doesn’t know anything about subject, what is happening, you are a good teacher


  9. are there volcanoes between hekla and katla or from katla to see?
    krafla will erupt but there is something else

  10. Can one of you just pop quickly up to the caldera, dry off the GPS antenna and erect a wind break so we can see what is really going on.

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