Update on Fagradalsfjall mountain eruption on 9-April-2021

This is a short article about the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain that is part of Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system.

This week has been busy and please read the older articles about what happened earlier in this week.

  • Lava output is now 50% more according to University of Iceland measurements compared to start of the eruption (19-March-2021). Gas output is also more then in start of the eruption. It has resulted in problems depending on wind direction.
  • There is a high risk that an eruption might start south of Geldingadalir valley eruption. There is also a high risk that new eruption is going to start north of the 5-April-2021 eruption.
  • There is no change in inflation in the area. It has slowed down but remains the same.
  • There continues to be low level earthquake activity along the dyke from Keili to Fagradalsfjall mountain.

Any change that is going to happen without warning and might not happen without any earthquake or little earthquake activity.

Next update is going to be on 16-April-2021 unless something major happens. This eruption is always changing and this weekend and next week might get interesting. If anything happens I am going to write new article soon as possible.

Update at 22:43 UTC

Icelandic Met Office released this map and press release (in Icelandic only) about the risk new fissures can open up both north and south the the current craters that are erupting. This page is updated regularly so if you are looking at this later than 9 to 10 April 2021 you might have to look for this information.

Map showing marked area that goes little south and north of the current erupting fissures in Fagradalsfjall. That area has been marked as dangerous by Icelandic Met Office. The map also shows the lava fields in purple.
The new area that has a risk of new fissures opening up without warning. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

The map shows the area that is now at risk of new fissures opening up without warning.

Update 10-April-2021 at 15:20 UTC

Around 03:14 UTC on 10-April-2021 fissure number 4 did open up between fissure number 2 (5-April-2021) and fissure number 3. The eruption from this crater doesn’t seem to be large but it did happen under a new lava that had flowed over that same area few days before from fissure 2. In fissure/crater 1 the amount of erupting lava did drop a little just before the new eruption.

I am noticing that it seems new fissures are opening up more frequently then before. This seems to have changed after opening up of fissure 3.

Timeline of fissure openings so far.

1st fissure 19-March-2021
2nd fissure opened 5-April-2021
3rd fissure opened 7-April-2021
4th fissure opened 10-April-2021

Time period between new fissures opening up currently seems to be 3 to 4 days. I suspect that this is going to change soon and it is possible that new fissure that opens up might get larger as the eruption goes on. There seems to be phase in this eruption that is happening in Fagradalsfjall mountain. I am not perfectly sure what that phase is now since I’ve never seen this before and I don’t have any data on this type of eruption behaviour from other volcanoes outside of Iceland. That I know of.

Video of the eruption fissure 4 opening up.

Nátt­úr­an er óút­reikn­an­leg og ófyr­ir­sjá­an­leg (mbl.is)


Article updated at 22:48 UTC.

Article updated at 15:39 UTC on 10-April-2021.
Article updated at 15:54 UTC on 10-April-2021.

Update on Fagradalsfjall mountain eruption on 8-April-2021

This is a short update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain in Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system.

Last 24 hours have been busy in the eruption. Here are highlights of what has happened best to my knowledge.

  • New fissure opened up and started erupting between the Geldingadalir eruption, second day of Easter eruption and the new eruption fissure is between the two.
  • The lava fields have now merged and are now one large lava field from Geldingadalir down to Meradalir valleys.
  • The eruption continues at the same slow rate as before even with several new vents erupting.
  • Morgunblaðið lost their first web camera to the lava flow (news can be found here in Icelandic). Icelandic Met Office had hardware close to the new lava flow. I don’t know if that hardware was saved from the lava flow but it was planned attempt to do so before it was lost to the lava.
  • The fissures might merge at future point and start erupting at one large fissure eruption. It is impossible to know if that is going to happen or when that might happen.
  • There has not been any deflation detected in the GPS data after the eruption started. That GPS data can be viewed here.
  • New fissures have been detected north of the crater that started erupting on 5-April-2021. Those fissure might start erupting without warning.
  • There is a risk of the eruption also going south-west and opening up fissures there. That has not yet happened but the possibility remains as a high risk possibility.

The situation is difficult to predict and new fissures can open up without warning. If nothing major happens then next update is going to be Friday 9-April-2021 on the eruption.

Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 6-April-2021 (2nd update)

This is a short update and second update for 6-April-2021 for Fagradalsfjall mountain that is part of Krýsuvík-Trölladyngju volcano system.

  • During the night a new fissure was discovered between the new eruption and the old eruption. The fissure is about 150 meters long and there is hot air coming up from it.
  • There are reports of a new fissure north of the new eruption and land has been sinking down at that location. No other changes have been reported at the writing of this article.
  • The lava going down into Meradalir valley slows down once it is there because it cools down quickly once it is there. There is a lava river going down in the Meradalir valley and that lava is moving quickly.
  • It is now estimated that this is a start of a long volcano activity period on Reykjanes peninsula that is going to last for centuries with breaks of 10 to 20 years between active periods of 30 to 50 years.

The situation is currently changes often during the day and the night and the risk of a new eruptions starting without any warning is now extremely high.

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Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall (including Geldingadalir valley) on 6-April-2021

This is a short update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain as it is part of Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano.

There has been a slight increase in micro-earthquake activity along the dyke after the new fissures opened up in Fagradalsfjall mountain. Most of them are interestingly forced on a area close to Keilir mountain.

Earthquake activity on the Reykjanes peninsula many earthquakes form a direct line with the magma dyke that formed in February and March. Few red dots close to Keilir mountain
The earthquake activity on the Reykjanes peninsula. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
  • It has been reported that lava flow from the new and old eruption site is now more than what was most at the old eruption site (Geldingadalir valley). It is now estimated to be total 10m3/second.
  • Craters are building up at the new eruption site. That might change the lava flow long term and there is a risk that it is going to flow towards Geldingadalir valley when that change in lava flow happens.
  • There is a high risk of new fissures opening up both north and south of Geldingadalir valley (1st eruption) and north of Fagradalsfjall mountain eruption (2nd eruption).
  • Lava is now flowing into Meradalir valley. That valley is far larger then Geldingadalir valley and won’t be filled up easily. There seems to be more water in this valley and that might result in lava explosions if the lava gets that far down into the valley.

Currently there are no other new information that I can find. Next update should be on Friday 9th April 2021 unless something major happens.

New fissure opens up north-east of current eruption in Geldingadalir valley

This is a short article.

New fissure started to open up at around 11:37 UTC on 5-April-2021 when a magnitude Mw1,5 earthquake (most likely) took place in Fagradalsfjall mountain. The new fissure is expanding and but I am now estimating that the current length of the new fissure is 1,2 km based on Rúv News web camera view. The new fissure is north-east of the earlier eruption in Geldingadalir valley any.

Small eruption fissure that is forming north-east of earlier eruption
The new fissure opening up. Copyright of this image belongs to Rúv. From Rúv web camera.

I’ll post update about this later today when I know more.

Update at 16:29 UTC

The larger fissure is around 300 meters long according to reports. Part of it seems to be under its own lava flow based on what I am seeing on new videos of the fissure. The second fissure is about 10 to 30 meters long. There is also a one single eruption vent in the area just outside of the fissure areas. The lava flow is going into Meradalir below the new fissures. It might soon go into a what seems to be a lake or a dried up lake in that valley that is a lot larger and deeper than Geldingadalir valley that is now full of lava. The eruption in the original craters continues but at lot less energy levels than before. This might only be temporary change but it is impossible to know for sure what is going to happen.

Drone video of the new fissure from Morgunblaðið

Nýtt dróna­mynd­skeið af sprung­unni (mbl.is)

Next update is going to be again in few hours as this situation develops.

Pictures are from Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management.

Two eruption fissures erupting lava from a the ground and the lava is orange in colour. Lava river goes down hill and into a valley
The eruption from a helicopter as seen today. Picture is from Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management. Free to use.
River of lava flowing downhill into a valley called Meradalir
The lava river into Meradalir valley. Picture is from Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management. The pictures is free to use.

Article updated at 16:36 UTC.

Earthquake activity South-West of Keilir mountain

During the night 4-April-2021 at 02:04 UTC an earthquake with magnitude Mw3,0 at 5,7 km depth took place 1,5 km south-west of Keilir mountain. This earthquake was felt in Reykjavík area and outside of it. Based on the earthquake location it looks like it is located in the dyke or close to it. This is part of the Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano.

Few dots on Reykjanes peninsula that shows the earthquake activity during the last 48 hours
Earthquake activity on Reykjanes peninsula. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Along the magma dyke there seems to be forming focused points of earthquake activity. Currently I am seeing two location. The first location is around the eruption in Geldingadalir valley (former) and the second location that seems to be forming is just south of Keilir mountain. It has been my experience during the eruptions over the last few years that this type of earthquake activity might suggests that new location where eruptions might take place based on this earthquake activity. It is impossible to know if anything is going to happen. There is no change in GPS data since the eruption started. The GPS data can be viewed here.

Update on the eruption in Geldingadalir valley (former) on 2-April-2021

This is a short update of the activity in the eruption in Geldingadalir valley (former, as the valley has now filled up with lava or close to being filled with lava). The eruption is taking place in Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system. The eruption has been stable  all week. On Sunday 28-March-2021 other side of the craters that had built up collapsed into the lava stream that has formed below the erupting craters. Both craters are now about equal erupting size.

  • The lava that is now erupting is primitive Tholeiitic magma  based on the chemical analyse from University of Iceland. That report can be found here (pdf).
  • Both  craters are unstable and often suffer a collapse and rock slides and that often changes their look suddenly and drastically in a moment.
  • Icelanders continue to act like idiots in front of the web cameras that show the eruption online (I think all of them). The Rúv web camera is a large structure there that is easy to avoid (with solar panels and everything).
  • Lava boiling is a common occurrence that often breaks up through the newly formed crust in the new lava field. This happens without warning and often reshapes the lava field in a instance.
  • Spatter activity in the eruption craters often drops but the flow of lava seems to be stable based on the web cameras and observation reported in the news by volcano scientists according to the latest news I was able to find.
  • It is unclear when lava is going to start flowing out of Geldingadalir valley (former). It might start to happen this weekend or by next week.
  • Based on what I am observing on the web cameras at the writing of this article. A collapse might happen in the erupting crater on the right side on the screen (I don’t know what is north and south on the web camera). When that or if that happens is impossible to know, but the whole structure that I am seeing doesn’t look that stable when I write this article.
  • At the writing of this article a large collapse took place in the erupting crater on the left side on the camera. Resulting in block of the erupting vent and resulting in a lot of spatter activity as a result as it clears it self of the rock that fell into it.

Currently there are no signs of this eruption about to end. This eruption might go on for a long time. Next update about the eruption in Geldingadalir valley (former) should be on 9-April-2021 unless something major happens in the eruption.

Update 14:12 UTC on 3-April-2021

Two craters erupting. On the left side of the screen the crater there is showing splatter pattern while the one of the right side of the screen shows less spatter activity but small lava fall from the main eruption crater.
The eruption craters at 13:56 UTC on 3-April-2021. Copyright of this image belongs to Rúv. From Rúv YouTube stream of the eruption.

There is now in the northern crater (right side on screen?) a small lava fall. Its not big but it is few meters high. There are variations in spatter activity and the whole crater structure remains unstable. There are many collapses and changes now over one day.

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Article updated at 14:12 UTC on 3-April-2021

Update on the eruption in Geldingadalir on 27-March-2021

This is a short update on the situation about the eruption on 27-March-2021. This eruption is now classified as to be happening in Krýsuvík volcano system.

  • The eruption seems to be slowly increasing. The small craters on the left (on the web camera) have now merged into one larger crater. It is possible that the two remaining craters might merge into one large crater.
  • The magma fro this eruption is coming from 17 – 20 km depth and that can result in a eruption that can last a long time.
  • Geldingadalir valley is now almost filled with lava. It is expected to overflow by Easter in about 6 days based on current eruption rate of the lava.
  • Lake of lava has formed in the Geldingadalir valley. Videos have been posted on Facebook and other social media showing how dangerous the lava field currently is. Do not walk on the fresh lava. It is going to take decades and possibly centuries to cool down to a safe level.
  • The lava at it thickest is estimated now to be 20 to 30 meters deep.
  • There are fluctuations in the eruptions. Sometimes its slightly more and sometimes slightly less based on observations with the web camera on Rúv.
  • It seems that a mountain is being built by this eruption. How that is going to progress is difficult to know for sure.

In general there has not been a lot of change in the eruption since it started a week ago (19-March-2021).  Next update is going to be hopefully on 2-April-2021 unless something major happens in this eruption.

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Update on the eruption in Geldingadalur on 22-March-2021

This is a short article about the eruption in Geldingadalur. The volcano that is erupting continues to be Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system. This might change at later date. This article is written on 22-March-2021 at 17:30 UTC.

  • The eruption is now mostly just in one crater. There is some activity in two other craters but it seems to be getting smaller as the eruption goes on.
  • This eruption is tiny and one of the smallest eruption observed in Iceland.
  • There is risk of new eruption opening up once this eruption ends or starts to get close to ending.
  • There is a fissure in the ground on the right side of the main crater (as seen on the web camera). A lot of volcanic gas comes from that fissure but no eruption has taken place so far.
  • There has not been any noticeable deflation according to GPS data from today (22-March-2021).
  • The main crater is now estimated to be 30 meters high but it is unstable and collapses often.
  • The lava is estimated going to fill Geldingadalur valley in 10 to 14 days if the eruption continues this long.
  • Earthquake activity has almost stopped on Reykjanes peninsula after the eruption started. Once the eruption stops earthquake activity might increase again.

 

The Geldingadalur valley seen from above with Google Earth. Small valley with small mountains on most sides.
This is a image from Google Earth and shows Geldingadalur valley that is now being filled slowly with lava. Copyright of this image belongs to Google Earth/Google and other companies that Google has made this image available with its Google Earth program.

The last eruption period on Reykjanes peninsula lasted from the ~700 to the year ~1400. It can be estimated that current eruption period that has now started on Reykjanes peninsula is going to last until the year ~2400 to the year ~2600. During this time shortest time between eruptions is 1 year but the longest time between eruptions might be up to 10 years. How this going to be exactly is a big question but this estimate of mine is based on the limited historical data that I have read somewhere (I no longer remember where that was).

News items with videos

Tower breaks again, lava gushes forth (Rúv.is)

Web cameras now with English text

Live feed from Iceland volcano (Rúv.is)
Live from Geldingadalir volcano, Iceland (YouTube)

Rúv has moved the stream to YouTube only.

Beint: Eld­gosið í Fagra­dals­fjalli (mbl.is, this camera is on the other side compared to the Rúv camera)

Update at 23:57 UTC

According to the evening news on Rúv the lava and magma that is now flowing into the valley of Geldingadalur is around 1200C and is a primitive magma of Tholeiitic magma series (Wikipedia). The source of this eruption is a magma chamber with the depths of 17 km to 20 km and the origins of the magma it self is far deeper into the hotspot below Iceland. This magma has a lot of CO and CO2 gases that are highly dangerous. There is also a lot of SO2 gas in the eruption and that is dangerous gas.

News in Icelandic about this

Hraunkvikan sýnir beintengingu við miðju möttulsins

Rate of updates

Since the eruption is now in stable activity I am going to limit update to if anything major happens. Next update about the eruption should be on Friday 26-March-2021. Other activity in Iceland is going to be reported as normal if anything happens.

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Article updated at 18:32 UTC. New web camera added.
Article updated at 20:50 UTC. Web camera information updated.
Article updated at 23:57 UTC. Information added about the eruption.

Update on Geldingadalur in Fagradalsfjall mountain eruption on 21-March-2021

This information is going to get outdated quickly. This article covers Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano. This article is written on 21-March-2021 at at 00:40 UTC.

  • This eruption is tiny. The amount of magma erupted is now around 0.02km3 but this number might not be fully accurate since I’ve not seen any published number about of volume of lava erupted so far.
  • This is unconfirmed but it is possible that an new fissure opened up under the lava field next to the hill side (seen on the web camera, this is on the left side).
  • The current erupting fissure is now about 200 meters long and might be getting shorter.
  • Earthquake activity has almost stopped at the writing of this article.
  • This eruption might only last 1 to 3 days before it stops.
  • There is no sign of deflation in the GPS data at the writing of this article.

There are no other reports about this eruption at current time. This might change without warning.

Web cameras

Beint vefstreymi frá eldstöðvunum – Rúv.is – Live from the eruption.

Beint vefstreymi af eldgosinu – Vogastapi (Rúv.is) – Added 22-March-2021. View from a distance. Should show a red glow from the eruption if the weather isn’t too bad. – This web camera is no longer active!

Update at 15:28 UTC – One side of the main crater collapses

Here is a video of the main crater collapse on one side and give lava a new path for short period of time. At the writing of this update that path for the lava has closed down again.

Gígbarmurinn gefur sig og ný hraunrennslisæð myndast (Rúv.is)

Update at 21:21 UTC

Kvikustreymið braut sér nýja leið (Rúv.is) – This is a new video of the crater collapse that took place at 14:20 today (21-March-2021).

Article updated at 15:29 UTC. New information added.
Article updated at 21:21 UTC. New information added.
Article updated at 03:06 UTC on 22-March-2021. Web camera added.
em>Article updated at 16:34 UTC on 22-March-2021. Web camera has been removed by Rúv – comment added to that web camera.