Explosions are still taking place in Grímsvötn crater

While the activity has almost stopped in Grímsfjall volcano, but there are still explosions taking place in Grímsvötn lake where the eruption took place due to magma going up, explosions take place all over the fissure at random times. That makes travelling to this area really dangerous thing to do. Ash fall is still taking place in Grímsfjall volcano when explosions take place. But the ash fall is limited to the local area in Grímsfjall volcano. Because of this, the official word is that the eruption is not yet over. Even if it just an small eruption at the moment. So far there is no data that suggests that new magma is currently flowing into Grímsfjall volcano. This is according to news in Icelandic media.

An new caldera (correct word?) has formed in the glacier close to the eruption site. But that suggests that a lot of heat is below in the glacier and is creating strong melt where this taking place. This is according to news on Rúv. But they don’t say where this glacier melt is taking place. But it can be assumed that this formation is somewhere close to the current eruption site. But when I know more about this location. I am going to update this post when I can.

Harmonic tremors pulses are still being detected from Grímsfjall volcano up to 200 km away from the volcano. Why they are still taking place while there is no eruption taking place is unknown to me. It is important to notice that currently the harmonic tremor is slowly dropping for now. But it might increase again without any warning. For now there is no way to know what this tremor means for Grímsfjall volcano.

Automatic GPS data from Icelandic Met Office tells an interesting story. According to this data (it might not be 100% accurate due to nature of GPS) Grímsfjall volcano has moved close to 320mm to the west, close to 350mm to the north, it has also lowered down about 250mm. This is major movement in Grímfjall volcano. To compare it with something, Eyjafjallajökull volcano only inflated about 60mm before it did erupt. This is many times more deflation that took place in Grímsfjall volcano then in Eyjafjallajökull volcano for example.

Earthquakes are still taking place SE and SSE of Grímsfjall volcano. There is no volcano at this location. So I am assuming that this are tectonic earthquakes taking place due to stress changes in the crust around Grímsfjall volcano. All earthquakes so far have been small but with the depth from 15 and up to 5 km.

Extra: According to new news (while I was writing this blog post). The Civil Emergency Authority in Iceland has lowered the alert level from danger level to alert level. News about that can be read here (Icelandic, mbl.is)

Icelandic News about this. Google Translate in an maze. It might work or maybe not.

Enn sprengivirkni í Grímsvötnum (Rúv.is, Icelandic)
Jarðeðlisfræðingur: Orðum ofaukið að gosinu sé lokið (Vísir.is, Icelandic)

The eruption in Grímsvötn / Grímsfjall volcano most likely not over

Here is a interesting paradox. While the eruption it self has currently stopped in Grímsfjall volcano. The tremor chart around Grímsfjall volcano is still acting like there is a eruption ongoing. I do not know why this is like this. But because of that I don’t think that geologist that monitor Grímsvötn eruption in Iceland are not ready to call off this eruption at current time. At least that is what the news did say at 12:20 UTC on Rúv.

They are also issuing warning to people not going to close to the volcano. As explosions due happen and they can throw up rocks that weight up to 1 ton. If anyone gets hit by that rock, that person does not have to worry about what happens next. The save distance for viewing the crater is estimated to be 2 km or more.

I have no idea what happens next. But I am guessing that this eruption might resume soon and without an any warning at all.

The tremor plot at 15:00 UTC. Pictures are from Icelandic Met Office.

This pattern of tremor is interesting. I am yet unsure what it means. But my guess is that this eruption is not over. Even if it has just stopped for now. I normally consider eruption over when the tremor has gone back into background noise (wind, ice, ocean etc..). That has not yet happened with Grímsfjall volcano eruption at this moment.

Update 1: Here is an tremor plot that Icelandic Met Office has released. The article where this picture is from Icelandic Met Office can be read here, it is in english.


Click on the picture for full size. I must point out that this picture is big. Copyright of this picture belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Blog post updated at 20:46 UTC.

General overview of Grímsvötn eruption on 23. May 2011 at 20:33 UTC

This is a general overview of Grímsvötn eruption on 23. May 2011 at 20:33 UTC.

Ash cloud: The ash cloud is still going strong. It is however a bit lower then in first few days. Measurements of the ash plume now says that it is between 5 to 9 km. Because of that it does not appear on the radar at IMO. The ash cloud has now been detected all over Iceland, except for the most western part of Iceland (Westfjod). In the areas closest to the main ash cloud the visibility is from 1 meter and up to 500 meters when it is at it’s best. Ash fall is expected to last for the next few days, or until the crater does not get any water into it to make the ash. The ash cloud is expected to reach Scotland tonight (Rúv, Icelandic). BBC News about cancelled flights due the ash cloud. Farmers live stock has started to die due to the ash cloud. It is unknown how the wild life is doing while the ash cloud covers part of south Iceland. Current output of the Grímsfjall volcano is about 1000 to 2000 tons of ash pr second. It was around 10,000 tons of ash pr second during the first days of the eruption.

Rúv News, Öskufall næstu daga (Icelandic, Rúv.is)

Eruption: Even if the ash cloud is lower now. It appears that the eruption is still going strong. In the evening news at Rúv it was reported that there was a chance the magma that powers this eruption might be from a great depth (more then 20 km). Tremor graphs that are online show and suggest that the eruption is still at full power. The reason why they are at lower noise level is most likely due to fewer explosion in the eruption, as less water is in the crater. When water no longer goes into the crater it turns into lava eruption. There is also an speculation that new fissures might open up in this eruption where there is more glacier cover (evening news on Rúv). But that would mean flash glacier flood and new ash cloud when the eruption would break the glacier covering it. But so far this has not happened and is nothing but a speculation. It would mean earthquake activity when the magma would break the crust, as happened when the eruption did start on 21. May 2011.

GPS data: According to report from IMO and University of Iceland the deflation now has been 50 cm to northwest and has subsided 25 cm. According to the report this about 60% larger then after the eruptions in the year 1998 and in the year 2004.

Web cameras: Grímsvötn Míla web cam is now up and running. It should be possible to see the eruption when an ash cloud is not in the way. But so far that has been the case.

Please note that information here might get outdated really fast and with no warning at all!

Updated at 20:42 UTC.

New video of Eyjafjallajökull volcano crater

Tonight Rúv did show a new video of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano crater area. But the Rúv News team accompanied the scientist up too the top of Eyjafjallajökull volcano in order too view the crater that is there, and the lave field that did flow from the top crater. According to the news on Rúv it is going to take many years until the glacier recovers fully from the year 2010 eruption in Eyjafjallajökull volcano. As the lava field is up too 100 meters thick due the cooling from the glacier when it did flow form the crater in the eruption.

Rúv News. Use Google translate with the hope that it might translate…or not.

Eyjafjallajökull rannsakaður (Rúv.is, Icelandic)

Vísindamenn ofan í gígum Eyjafjallajökuls (Rúv.is, Windows Media Player required, Icelandic, at the end of the news on Rúv)

Blog post updated at 15. May 2011 at 00:08 CEST. Fixed text and added extra information.
Blog post updated at 15. May 2011 at 19:20 CEST. Fixed the blog post title.

New measurements of Eyjafjallajökull volcano crater

There is a short news piece about Eyjafjallajökull volcano on the news web site Morgunblaðið (mbl.is). It is about recent trip that geologist took to Eyjafjallajökull volcano. They where monitoring and during measurement of the crater that did form on top of Eyjafjallajökull volcano during the eruption in the year 2010.

According to the news, the crater lake in Eyjafjallajökull volcano is now frozen and there is already 10 meter thick snow layer in the crater. While the lake is cold it is still dangerous do go down into it and people are advanced against to do so. Due to carbon monoxide that is on bottom the crater. While the bottom of the crater is cold, the same cannot be sad about the crater walls. But they are still steaming and the temperature there is from 70C and up to 95C not far below the surface. So this area continues to be dangerous to people and travelling into it should be done with care and not without an experienced tour guide.

The reason why they did go to this trip today was too estimate the area before more detailed measurements are done this summer.

News from Morgunblaðið with picture can be found here.

Fóru ofan í gíginn (mbl.is, Icelandic, pictures)

Blog post updated at 02:24 CEST on 14. May 2011.

How to get Icelandic media in a case of a eruption in Iceland

When a eruption starts in Iceland. All media in Iceland covers it. Both in there news web sites and on the radio stations on the internet that publish information in english and other languages if needed. Here is a list of the main media stations in Iceland.

Radio stations:

Rúv Rás 1 – Public radio station. Needs Windows Media Audio player to listen to this radio station. It is also possible to listen to Rás 1 over satellite on 1W.
Rúv Rás 2 – Public Radio station. Needs Windows Media Audio player to listen to this radio station. It is also possible to listen to Rás 2 over satellite on 1W.
Bylgjan FM 98,9 – A radio station with news. A flash might be needed to listen to this radio station.

Tv stations:

Rúv Sjónvarpið – Can be watched on-line here. Both with flash player and Windows Media Video capable player. In Europe Rúv Sjónvarpið can also been watched over satellite on 1W if you have Conax access card to view the channel (only available in Iceland to Icelandic citizen living in Iceland, don’t ask me for it). But Teletext information is still available even if the channel is scrambled and cannot be viewed because of that.
Stöð 2 – Can be viewed on-line on the web-site Vísir.is. But at that web page only news can be viewed. Flash player is required to view it. Stöð 2 does not broadcast over satellite.

When a eruption starts in Iceland. This are the best options to get into touch with Icelandic media that broadcast live video or audio. But other news web sites are mbl.is, dv.is. But this are only news papers that don’t offer any direct and live coverage when a eruption starts in Iceland.

Changes in Grímsfjall volcano

Few days ago changes started to happen in Grímsfjall volcano. It is hard to describe this changes. But they appears to be changes in harmonic tremor levels in Grímsfjall volcano. But they appears to be above background levels and the reason why that is a bit unclear at the moment, but I do not think that this is ice movement as I did think it was first. As this has been lasting for too long. Following this has been a slow increase in earthquakes in and around Grímsfjall volcano. This earthquakes don’t appear on the automatic SIL system, even if they are up to ML2.0 in size. This suggest that there origin is from magma movements, not tectonics one (tectonics earthquakes also happen there).

So far nothing suggest that a eruption is immanent. But that can change without any warning. As Grímsfjall volcano is known to start a eruption with no warning at all.


Harmonic tremor levels in Grímsfjall volcano on 30th March 2011. Picture is from around 17:30 UTC. Copyright of this picture belongs to Icelandic Met Office. The picture is from there web site.


Earthquakes in Grímsfjall volcano on 30th March 2011. Picture is from 17:30 UTC. Copyright of this picture belongs to Icelandic Met Office. The picture is from there web site.

All that can be done for now is to wait and see what happens. But my opinion is that something is up in Grímsfjall volcano. But what that is remains unclear at the moment.

There might be a volcano eruption in less then a one year time in Báðarbunga volcano (Kistufell field)

I do not know if this is Icelandic media sensationalism or just a simple misquote in the news article. But according to Morgunblaðið (mbl.is) in a interview with the geologist named Sigurlaugar Hjaltadóttir (works at Icelandic Met Office) she sad that there is more risk of a eruption in north-west side of Vatnajökull glacier due to the high earthquake activity in the area. But while the earthquakes continue to be at great depth, there is a less chance of a eruption in the area.

But she might be referring to is that a earthquake activity in the area might be increasing because of Grímsfjall volcano and Bárðarbunga volcano interaction. But it remains be seen if that is the case or not here. It is however clear that only time is going to tell us if there is going to be a eruption in this area soon or not.

The news in Icelandic. Please use Google Translate or something similar to understand.

Gæti gosið innan árs (mbl.is)