Eruption started in Sundhnúkagígar at 06:02 UTC on 8. February 2024

This morning (08. February 2024) at 06:02 UTC an eruption started close to Sundhnúkagígar, close to the area where the eruption started on 18. December 2023. The eruption fissure is at the writing of this around 3 km long, but the fissure is getting longer, based on views from web cameras.

This eruption is at favourable location. Since its far way at the moment from all buildings and infrastructure. That might change if the fissure stretches more to the south. This eruption started really quickly, according to Rúv, from the start of the earthquake swarm until the eruption started the time was only about 30 minutes. The time this took on 18. December 2023 was 60 minutes.

View of the eruption from Þorbjörn - 2 web camera. The red glow is at the distance.
The eruption at Rúv webcamera from YouTube. Copyright of this image belongs to Rúv ohf.
Red dots and green star along the dyke and the fissure. The earthquake activity goes all the way to the Grindavík town.
Earthquake activity along the fault valley and the dyke. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
Earthquake activity in the last 48 hours. Showing increase in small earthquake activity from midnight 00 on Wednesday and until the start of the eruption at 06:00 Thursday.
The earthquake activity over the last 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

I’ll post more information later today when it is clear how this eruption is progressing.

Earthquake activity in Brennisteinsfjöll volcano (Bláfjöll)

Yesterday (26. January 2024) and today (27. January 2024) an earthquake activity took place in Brennisteinsfjöll volcano, in the Bláfjöll area. The first earthquake had a magnitude of Mw2,4 at 22:54 UTC on 26. January 2024 and the second earthquake had a magnitude of Mw3,1 on 27. January 2024 at 05:28 UTC. Smaller earthquakes started later today. That earthquake activity seems to have ended at the writing of this article.

Green star in Bláfjöll area in Brennisteinsfjöll volcano to the east side of the Reykjanes peninsula.
Earthquake activity in Brennisteinsfjöll volcano and other areas on Reykjanes peninsula. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake activity, at least in the case of the Mw2,4 and Mw3,1 earthquake did show a sign that they where created by magma movement, among those signs was a strong vertical movement and low period signal that only happens when magma creates earthquake. At this point in time, I don’t think an eruption is going to happen any time soon. It is possible that magma has started to collect in Brennisteinsfjöll volcano. It is going to be several years until something more happens, it might even take decades before anything serious happens.

Update on the activity in Hagafell on 17. January 2024 at 00:03 UTC

I am sorry that I am late on this. I’ve been working on my new server computer and its taken longer then expected.

The eruption has ended and it only lasted about 41 hours. The lava did burn down three houses and cause damage to road, cold water lines, hot water lines and electric lines into Grindavík town. A new rift valley formed east of the rift valley that formed on 10. November 2023. This has resulted in that Grindavík town is now an extreme danger area because of cracks in the ground that are up to 40 meters deep until a ground water level is reached. GPS data is a mess because all this been moving the crust up and down, depending if the area is either east or west of the rift valleys that have formed. It takes few days to see how fast the inflation is now in this area. The magma that erupted now did come from a sill that is located in Skipastígahrauni and Eldvörpum area to the west of the eruption site. It doesn’t seems like the sill close to Svartsengi erupted this time, since no deflation was detected there during this eruption.

The maximum amount of time until next eruption is around 30 days, with error of eight days at maximum. This might be shorter, because it seems that inflation speed is increasing. There’s lot of uncertainty in this because how the crust is now around Grindavík town.

Image showing the rift valley, along with how much it has risen or lowered in the area around Grindavík town. Along with fault lines and cracks that have formed.
Map of the rift valleys that have formed in the activity on 10. November 2023 and 14. January 2024. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

The eruptions are moving south along this area and that’s bad news, because that places the next eruption in middle of Grindavík town, once it happens in around 30 days. As is, the town of Grindavík can’t be lived in because of dangers from the faults and cracks in the ground. There has also been a major damage to infrastructure inside Grindavík already and added to the already damaged houses, roads and more.

Update on the eruption at Hagafell on 15. January 2024 at 01:14 UTC

This is a short update about ongoing eruption that can change without warning and information here can go out of date quickly.

  • Eruption started close to Hagafell mountain at 07:58 UTC on 14. January 2024. Two fissures opened up.
  • The largest fissure was at its maximum length around 900 meters. The second smaller fissure is around 100 to 200 meters long.
  • The second fissure is almost inside Grindavík town and has lava flowing into the town.
  • Lava flow has destroyed two to three houses at the writing of this article.
  • In the last few hours, the harmonic tremor has dropped. This suggest that the strength of the eruption is getting lower.
  • There’s no power, cold water or hot water in Grindavík town. Lava has destroyed the cold water, hot water and power lines that go into Grindavík town. Repairs are going to take months if Grindavík town is found save to live in after few months.
  • New fissures and displacement happened during the dyke intrusion phase of this eruption. Some areas of Grindavík town moved up to two meters in either direction according to Icelandic Met Office. At this time, accurate measurements have not been done because how unsafe the area is.
  • The eruption is happening alongside the rift valley and not in it. I am not sure why that is.

This is all I have for now. Next update should be on 16. January unless something major happens in this eruption.

Rúv has web cameras on their YouTube channel and same does mbl.is and Vísir news website.

Eruption started in Sundhnúkagígar at 07:58 UTC on 14. January 2024

This is a short article. I’ll post new article later today or tomorrow when I’ve gotten some sleep.

Eruption started at 07:58 UTC on 14. January 2024 in Sundhnúkagígar area, the eruption fissure around 1 to 2 km north of Grindavík town. This eruption was proceeded with a large earthquake swarm along the dyke that was created and is now erupting.

New cracks formed in Grindavík town, resulting in more damage. That’s all the information I have at the moment. The edge of the lava is at the writing of this article around 400 meters north of closest houses in Grindavík town.

Next update is going to be later today hopefully. I’ve been working on new server computer and been awake for too long at the writing of this article.

Earthquake activity in Grímsfjall volcano

Early this morning at 06:53 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw4,3 took place in Grímsfjall volcano. This is the largest recorded earthquake in Grímsfjall volcano since recording started in 1991. This happened soon after a glacier flood started from Grímsfjall volcano lake. This is a minor glacier flood.

Green star in Grímsfjall volcano. There's also an earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano with a green star.
Earthquake activity in Grímsfjall volcano and in Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Experts are expecting an eruption from Grímsfjall volcano. However, it is my personal view that no eruption is going to happen during this flood like last time. The reason being that Grímsfjall volcano has entered different type of eruption cycle. Start of that eruption cycle was in the May eruption in 2011. Why that is I don’t know.

Update on Sundhnúkagíga activity for 2. January 2024

This update is going to be short. Information here might go outdated quickly and without warning. This article is written at 20:51 UTC on 2. January 2024.

Inflation in Svartsengi volcano has reached its maximum according to GPS stations compared to 18. December 2023. This inflation is not even among the GPS stations on top of Svartsengi volcano. Why that is unclear, but most likely reason is that the sills that are in Svartsengi volcano are not evenly filled this time around. Why that is I don’t know, something must have changed in the internal flow of this volcano when it comes to the sills.

It is difficult to know when next eruption happens, at the writing of this article I am looking at around seven day window at the moment. That an eruption should happen around 9. January 2024. It might happen sooner or it might happen later. It is difficult to know for sure. Where eruption is going to happen is impossible to know. It is expected that an eruption might happen again close to the last eruption took place or at the same location.

If anything happens. I’ll post update soon as possible. Next update for Sundhnúkagíga is going to be when something happens.

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Update on Sundhnúkagíga on 27. December 2023 (includes information on Fagradalsfjall volcano)

This is a short update on the situation in Sundhnúkagíga on 27. December 2023 at 20:40 UTC. Information here can go outdated without warning and quickly.

There’s inflation taking place in Svartsengi volcano. At current rate this inflation is around 10mm a day. This means that earliest an eruption might happen is around 30. December 2023 in my view. But it might happen as late as 10. January 2024. This inflation is really quick, but since last eruption only lowered Svartsengi volcano only around 80mm, the inflow of magma has less space to fill up before a critical point is reached in the crust in Sundhnúkagígaröðin area. This also means it takes shorter time for this to happen.

Earthquake activity along the dyke from 10. November close to Grindavík town and there's also a earthquake swarm activity in a fault line in Fagradalsfjall volcano.
Earthquake activity along the dyke that was created on 10. November 2023 and in Fagradalsfjall volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There’s also activity in Fagradalsfjall volcano. This is along a fault line that I don’t think has been active like this before. Why is unclear, but this might be an early sign that this fault in Fagradalsfjall volcano might erupt in the future. Since Fagradalsfjall volcano is on around ten month eruption cycle, this fault might erupt sometimes between May to September 2024. I am sure that this is going to get more clear as the time goes on if anything is going to happen in Fagradalsfjall volcano. Satellite images from Google Earth do show a clear fault in along the earthquake active area. This is possibly a known fault, but I do not have any information about that as is.

Earthquake activity along the dyke shown in higher resolution along the dyke from 10. November 2023. An earthquake activity in Fagradalsfjalli volcano east of Svartsengi and Sundhnúkagígar on a small faultline there.
Earthquake activity for the last 8 days in Sundhnúkagígaröðin and in Fagradalsfjalli. Image from Skjálfta-Lísa. Copyright of image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.
A crack in the ground on satellite image from Google Earth in Fagradalsfjall volcano.
Crack in the ground on Google Earth image of Fagradalsfjall volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Alphabet/Google Earth.

It is impossible to know what happens in Fagradalsfjall volcano and in Svartsengi volcano. This situation can change quickly and without warning. It can change so quickly that I might not be able to update about it quickly enough if this happens at a time when I am outside doing something else.

If anything happens. I’ll update soon as I can do so. Next update should be on 2. January 2024 if this remains quiet.

Update on Sundhnúkagígar on 22. December 2023 at 20:49 UTC

This is a short update and information here might go outdated quickly and without warning. This update is written on 22. December 2023 at 20:50 UTC.

Inflation has resumed in Svartsengi volcano. It also seems that inflation started again just before the eruption ended in Sundhnúkagaígar. At the writing of this article, the inflation is only around 5mm to 8mm a day. That is fast, by any standard, but still lower than before the eruption when inflation was around 10mm a day. There seems to be a slowdown of inflation before an eruption happens and a new dyke creations. Not all dyke that are going to happen are going to end in a eruption, maybe, since the magma has only limited space to expand into in the rift valley, because of the dyke that was created on 10. November 2023.

Red dots along the rift valley and orange dots from the earlier earthquakes today.
Earthquake activity along the rift valley today. This is a lot of earthquake activity. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Earthquake activity along the rift valley increased quickly as the eruption that started on 18. December 2023 started to slow down. That means the magma in Svartsengi volcano is trying to find a way out and erupt all at once, or close to that in my personal view. The 4,1 km long fissure that erupted last time doesn’t seems to have been a enough for the pressure that is in the volcano at the writing of this article. That is interesting but might also be a clue that things are about to get really dangerous in this area. I also don’t know if this is going to happen, because clues are one thing and reality is a different thing.

If anything happens. I am going to write an article soon as I can.

Update on Sundhnúkagígar activity on 21. December 2023 at 18:47 UTC

This is a short article, written on 21. December 2023 at 18:47 UTC. Information here might go outdated quickly and without warning.

The eruption that started on 18. December 2023 at 22:17 UTC is over, best I can see. This was large eruption, but a short one. Total lava flow covered an area of 3,7 km2 (square kilometre). Most of the eruption happened in the first 24 – 48 hours of the eruption. There are early indicators that inflation has resumed in Svartsengi volcano, if it inflates at the same rate as before this eruption it is only going to take 8 to 10 days until next eruption. This is a big question since there’s a lot of magma in Svartsengi volcano and that magma can move towards the surface, even if the inflation doesn’t happen and can result in a larger eruption. If that happens is a wait and see situation.

Videos from the eruption areas show a lot of degaussing in the eruption fissure. This is interesting and I am not sure why that is. There’s a chance a lot of magma is in the dyke that is just releasing gas into the air without having the energy to erupt. There’s a small chance that a new eruption might happen in the same location. If that happens is impossible to know.

Red dots and yellow dots in the rift zone valley where the eruption just ended. Time on image is 21. Des. 2023 at 19:15 UTC.
Earthquake activity along the rift valley. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake activity is interesting, it started yesterday (20. December 2023). This follows the same pattern as the earthquake activity before the start of the eruption on 18. December. If that is what is happening remains a wait and see situation for now.

This is the last update unless something happens in this area. Based on current information, that is what is going to happen, the question is just when.