Increased geothermal activity in Grímsfjall volcano

According to a news by Morgunblaðið (mbl.is) there is a increased geothermal activity in Grímsfjall volcano. The news reports that in fields close to the houses (hud or something like that) that research and mountain group have in the area there is increased geothermal activity. There is hard to know from the news report how much increase in activity there is. But but this increase appears to be significant as it got noticed by a group that was travelling in the area few days ago.

The group that did go there few days ago where from the Icelandic glacier research society. They did agree that they never had seen so much geothermal activity in the area. The inflation in Grímsfjall volcano is now more then it was before the eruption in 2004 according to the news. There is a good chance that the ML3.5 and ML4.2 earthquakes few days ago did change pathways in the ground and allowed the hot water to rise to surface in this location.

Thanks to Fireman to find this news.

Icelandic news about this. Use Google translate at own risk.

Mikill hiti í Grímsfjalli (mbl.is) – There is a picture in this news of the new geothermal activity.

A new earthquake swarm in Krísuvík volcano

A new earthquake swarm appears to have started yesterday in the Krísuvík volcano. This earthquake swarm is a small one, in the number of earthquakes and the size of them. The largest earthquakes according to the automatic SIL system are around ML1.8 in size. The depth is constant around 2 to 5 km or so. This earthquake swarm is just the latest of earthquake swarm that have been taking place in Krísuvík volcano over the past few weeks. As the earthquake activity has been more or less continues for the past few months in Krísuvík volcano.

The current GPS plot shows some inflation taking place at Krísuvík volcano. But so far it is small and does not indicate that a eruption is immanent in Krísuvík volcano. But if the inflow of magma changes suddenly this might change when Krísuvík volcano might start erupting.

Thanks to Carl le Strange on müsli for the tip on the GPS plot.

Inflation starts again in Eyjafjallajökull volcano

After a few months of a period of stability in Eyjafjallajökull volcano after the eruption ended on the 28th of May 2010. There seems to be more instability starting again in Eyjafjallajökull volcano. This instability can so far only be seen on GPS sensors around the volcano. So far the inflation that is starting at medium rate, about 5mm on every 24 hours or so. This is clear when a early results (not error corrected) are checked from Icelandic Met Office GPS network. The trigger for the current instability appears to be a sharp deflation that took place in Eyjafjallajökull volcano few days ago.


Picture is from Icelandic Met Office, copyright of this picture belongs to them. Click on the picture for higher resolution.

Automatic GPS data from 21st of December 2010. The GPS station name is THEY and is on the south slope of Eyjafjallajökull volcano. The sharp deflation appears clearly on the GPS automatic data (not error corrected) and is followed by a sharp inflation period that is currently ongoing. I got a email from a expert that tells me that volcano ash can interfere with the GPS signal. But this does not change my opinion on that a inflation is about to start in Eyjafjallajökull volcano.

It currently remains unclear if this inflation period in Eyjafjallajökull volcano is going to continue. At current time the inflation in Eyjafjallajökull volcano is going to continue. It is also clear that today Eyjafjallajökull volcano is few weeks from re-starting the eruption, as it has not inflated enough to do so. But what is unclear is if this inflation and inflow of new magma under Eyjafjallajökull volcano is going to move around older magma that currently is higher up in the Eyjafjallajökull volcano plumbing after the eruption started earlier this year. For the moment the only that can be done is to wait and see what happens next.

Wikipedia articles on Eyjafjallajökull volcano

Eyjafjallajökull
2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull

Text updated at 23:49 UTC on 21st of December 2010.

Signs that a eruption in Grímsfjall volcano might be close

Over the past two weeks there have been signs appearing that a eruption might be close in Grímsfjall volcano. But a GPS station named Skrokkalda. This GPS station has started to move north, but this indicates that inflation has started in Grímsfjall volcano at full power. This did also happen at the same GPS station in 2004 before the eruption in Grímsfjall volcano that same year. But it is debated if this movement was created by ice or by a dike intrusion in Grímsfjall volcano. It is my just my personal opinion on this movement that takes place at the GPS station.

It currently remains to be seen if this northerly movement continues or if it starts to deflate again. So far this is the only indicator that Grímsfjall volcano is getting ready for a eruption. When this did happen in the year 2004 it was almost three weeks after this process started until a eruption took place. But then a glacier flood did trigger the start of the eruption in the year 2004.

For the moment the only thing to do is to wait and see what happens with Grímsfjall volcano. Nobody can tell how long the wait is going to be.

Krísuvík volcano starts to inflate at fast rate

There is currently no shortage of volcano news coming from Iceland at this moment. The newest volcano to make the news is the Krísuvík volcano. Small area of Krísuvík volcano have been inflating during the last few months with following micro-earthquakes swarms in the area where the inflation takes place. This process started last year (2009). But then the inflation was 30mm (3 centimeters). But last winter a process of deflation started and lasted until early spring this year (2010). But then it started to inflate again. I am assuming that the current levels of inflation is something similar to the inflation that was seen in the year 2009. The area in question is south-west of Kleifarvatn lake.

The inflation is currently taking place on the depth of 3 to 4 km according to geological scientists. This intrusion of magma is also having effects on geothermal features present in the area. But that makes new hot springs and makes current hot springs more active and warmer, it also changes them and often dramatically. It might also create new hot spring areas where no hot springs where before. This inflation process has been followed by a swarms of micro-earthquakes in the area where the inflation is taking place.

According to the news the Icelandic Met Office has alerted the Icelandic Civil Protection Authorities about the changes in this volcano. Two new GPS stations have also been installed in the area to monitor the inflation that is currently taking place. At current time scientists are not expecting a eruption in the area any time soon. But as history has shown that can change without warning and quickly. The authorities and IMO have increased there surveillance in the area due to this inflation. If a eruption takes place the type is going to be a Hawaiian type of eruption, unless a fissure opens up under water or in the ocean. Last eruption that took place in Krísuvík volcano was in the year 1340.

Icelandic news, in Icelandic. Please use Google Translate (at your own risk)

Grannt fylgst með landrisi við Krýsuvík (Vísir.is)
Telja eldgos ekki í uppsiglingu en ástæða að vakta svæðið vel (Víkurfréttir)

Channel 2 news video (flash) about this activity. In Icelandic.

Updated at 23:52 UTC on the 30th of November 2010. News video added and name error fixed.

Are Esjufjöll volcano starting to inflate ?

I have been monitoring the GPS station at Grímsfjall volcano. After the earthquakes that took place in Esjufjöll volcano few weeks ago something interesting started to happen at that GPS station. It started to move in north direction.

Due to the location and lack of activity in Esjufjöll volcano there are almost none GPS stations around that volcano, and there are not many SIL station in this area. So getting insight into what is happening in Esjufjöll volcano is hard. But given the GPS station at Grímsfjall volcano it seems to that Esjufjöll volcano have started to inflate. It is hard to know exactly by how much at current time. But it appears to enough to have effect on the GPS station at Grímsfjall volcano.

This is given that Grímsfjall volcano it self is not having any inflation south of the GPS station on it’s own. At the moment it is hard to know what volcano is responsible for the northward movement. Only time is going to tell us the truth in that matter.

Grímsfjall volcano GPS data (automatic, Icelandic)

GPS changes in Grímsfjall due to ice on GPS antenna

I did just speak with geologist at Icelandic Met Office and the he told that the recent changes in GPS measurements in Grímsfjöll where not real. But they where created by ice. But now the ice has been cleared of the GPS antenna and the data is now correct.

But the real movement is to the south and Grímsfjall has continued to do that. So Grímsfjall is continues to inflate at relative fast rate and prepares for a eruption as magma flows into the Grímsfjall magma chamber.

Grímsfjall continues to inflate

I see that many people think that Grímsfjall has started to deflate due to a drop in GPS measurements. But the “Up” part of the GPS measurements have been dropping over the past few days from about 85mm and down to about 65mm today.

As that may be true that the mountain has started to deflate from the top. It is not to say that deflation process has started at Grímsfjall. As the GPS data clearly shows that a inflation process has just moved from the top and to the south. But current GPS measurement clearly show that Grímsfjall is now inflating to the south (15mm today) with minor inflation to the east (about 15mm today). So it is clear that the magma is moving inside the volcano from one location to a other over the past few days. What that means is unclear at the moment. But it appears that the inflation to the south is speeding up at current time. This might get interesting soon in my opinion. Regardless if there is a eruption or not.

Data: ISGPS GFUM
Vatnajökull continued GPS data project from 2004.

Grímsfjall continues to inflate

According to GPS data from GPS station located on top of Grímsfjall the volcano continues to inflate. Now it is about 80mm and does not seems to go much higher then that for some reason. Since Grímsfjall has stopped to inflate up at the moment it is currently inflating in other directions. The automatic GPS data clearly shows that the inflation is now moving south but is interestingly is holding it east-west movement. I am not clear on why that is the case at the moment.

Data: GFUM ISGPS

Grímsfjall continues to inflate at fast rate

Over the past two days the GPS station on Grímsfjall has been reporting some interesting data on what is going on inside Grímsfjall. But it appears that Grímsfjall is inflating at really fast speed at the moment. The movement is mostly upwards, as the station is located on the top of the mountain.

Currently the GPS station at Grímsfjall is reporting about 85mm movement upwards and about 5mm movement north (moving south). At last the movement east is about 10mm. But that gives the expansion site close to the GPS station, I would estimate rather rudely about 5 to 10 km from the SIL and GPS location. But it might be closer or longer. This is just a badly educated guess that I am doing here.

It is clear that if Grímsfjall continues to inflate at the same rate and it has been doing for the past few days and weeks it is going to erupt real soon. When is a good question as always.

Data: ISGPS GFUM