Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 21-May-2021

This is a short update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 21-May-2021. This is part of the Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system.

There has not been a lot of change since last update on the eruption. The eruption has now been going on for two months and few more days. There are no signs of the eruption ending.

  • The lava fountain activity continues as it has been doing for the last month.
  • Output of lava has been increasing and is now around 11m3 compared to 5m3 at the start of the eruption.
  • Lava is now on its way to the ocean by flowing down into Nátthagadalur valley. There is an attempt to try and stop or delay that from happening by pushing up defences and try to hold back the lava field. It is my personal view that this attempt is going to fail, at most it is only going to delay the lava a little bit. Since the lava field also has to get over a hill that is in its path anyway. That is only going to take few days to a week depending on how much lava is being fed into this part of the lava field. That changes all the time with no warning.
  • Most of the lava goes into Meradalir valley where it is for now not putting anything in danger or risking infrastructure.
  • SO2 pollution is starting to show in south Iceland. There was also report of static electric charge build up around the eruption site yesterday (20-May-2021). It didn’t result in a lightning but the risk was in place for a good while.

There are for now no other news of the eruption and it has been quiet in other parts of the Iceland during the last week.

Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 15-May-2021

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

The eruption continues as before but increase in lava output has been detected and is now 70% more according to latest news from Icelandic Met Office and Earth science of University of Iceland. Compared to the start of the eruption on 19-March-2021.

  • The eruption continues in one main crater. It erupts in lava fountain style at the writing of this article. With highest lava fountains reaching the height of 400 to 500 meters. The lava fountains can be seen from Reykjavík and other nearby area.
  • The lava field is about to reach Nátthagi valley and there is now an attempt to stop that from happening. Because of nearby road and fibre optic cable that runs through that area. It is my estimate that attempts to stop the lava flow are going to fail when the lava flow starts going back to Nátthagi valley.
  • The main crater is now 50 to 90 meters high. But his height is always changing because of continued collapse from it inside it and outside it. The process of collapse is slowly growing the crater volume and size.
  • The magma seems to be coming from even deeper part of the mantle compared to with start of the eruption. Based on lava changes in the chemical makeup.
  • There are no signs of the eruption about to be ending soon.

It is difficult to know for sure what happens next in the eruption. Opening up of new craters outside of current line of craters is something that might happen. With the eruption growing in size it is difficult to know for sure what is going to happen next in Fagradalsfjall mountain.

Earthquake swarm in Krýsuvík volcano

Since last night (night of 3-May-2021) there has been earthquake swarm in Krýsuvík volcano close to Kleifarvatn lake. At the writing of this article this earthquake swarm is ongoing.

Earthquake swarm in Krýsuvík volcano shown by two green stars on top of each other
Earthquake swarm in Krýsuvík volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquakes in this swarm had a magnitude of Mw3,2 and there where several other smaller earthquakes that also happened. The earthquake at 03:04 UTC was felt in Reykjavík but I don’t have any reports about the earthquake at 15:49 UTC with same magnitude being felt. It is difficult to know what this earthquake activity means but for now the idea is that this earthquake activity might be connected to stress changes because of the magma dyke connected to the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain that is happening within same volcano system.


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Vacation

I am taking a little vacation between 5 May and until 10 May. Unless something major happens next update won’t be until after 10 May 2021. I am hoping to see the eruption or the area if the eruption is not ongoing next weekend if weather allows for such a trip. I don’t know yet if I can see the eruption, but I hope that I am going to have a chance to see the eruption.

Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 30-April-2021

This is a short update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 30-April-2021.

There has not been any major changes since last update. This are the noticeable changes since last update in the eruption in Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system.

  • Just one crater is now erupting. All other craters have stopped erupting but for now some of them might contain lava lake for now that might be creating a flow in lava tubes under the surface in the lava field. This process might not be visible on the surface.
  • A lot of activity now is in form of high lava arcs (correct word?) are now being formed in the one crater because of increased gas content of the lava.
  • Lava fields are slowly filling up all nearby valleys that it is flowing into. This is a slow process and is going to take months.
  • There are no signs the eruption is about to end.

No other updates have been reported so far. Rúv has installed a new web camera to give better view of the eruption. That camera can be found on YouTube Rúv channel.

Vacation

I am going on a small vacation between 5th May and 10th May. That means next update about the eruption is going to be on 14th May. I don’t know if I can go to the eruption yet as that depends on the weather and the weather is always unstable in Iceland.

Earthquake activity south of Keilir mountain

During the night of 27-April-2021 an earthquake swarm took place south of Keilir mountain in Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system. This earthquake activity at this location has been going on for a long time and is interesting. There are no sign that suggest an eruption is about to happen at this location, that is the situation at the writing of this article. Largest earthquake in this swarm had a magnitude of Mw3,2 at the depth of 6,1 km and second largest earthquake had a magnitude of Mw2,8 at the depth of 5,9 km.

Earthquake activity south of Keilir mountain shown by a green star on the map of Reykjanes peninusla
Earthquake activity on the Reykjanes peninsula. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

It seems that there is a chance there might be changes about to happen in the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain. I am going to write about that tomorrow at the earliest, but the article might be delayed of there is a lot going on while I gather information about what is happening.

Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 26-April-2021

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

There are no major changes reported during the last few days. But there have been minor changes in last few days. Here the latest changes that have been reported.

  • The oldest craters have stopped erupting. One of the crater has changed into a lava lake for now while the other is possible also a lava lake even if it is not visible. A lot of gas (smoke) comes from the more south crater in the crater row 1.
  • There are three to four craters that continue to erupt. There seems to have been a tiny increase in the eruption today (26-April-2021). This can be explained by how few craters are currently erupting.
  • No new craters have opened up in last few days. This is correct at the writing of this article.
  • Harmonic tremor seems to be decreasing. It is unclear why that is since the eruption is currently ongoing.

There are no other reports about the eruption. I am not sure when next update is going to happen but it is going to be soon as possible if anything changes in the eruption.

Earthquake swarm in Krýsuvík volcano (currently erupting in Fagradalsfjall mountain)

Yesterday (24-April-2021) an earthquake swarm took place in Krýsuvík volcano close to Kleifarvatn lake. The largest earthquake had a magnitude of Mw3,1 and the second largest earthquake had a magnitude of Mw3,0. Both earthquakes where felt in Reykjavík area and other nearby areas. This activity is closer to Reykjavík then earlier earthquake swarms.

Earthquake activity close to Kleifarvatn lake east of the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain
The earthquake swarm close to Kleifarvatn lake. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

This earthquake activity is not connected to the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain. That however doesn’t rule out that magma might be the reason why this earthquake activity is happening. Currently the earthquake activity is too low for this to be a start of a second eruption. It is impossible to know if this is going to develop into anything more serious at the writing of this article. There needs to be a lot more earthquake activity in this location before an eruption starts, even if an eruption might not start with a lot of earthquake activity as was seen when the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain started. This is based on assumptions that might be wrong but only time is going to show what happens in this area.

Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjalli mountain on 23-April-2021

This is a short update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 23-April-2021 for the last week. Information is provided with best effort. The volcano that is erupting is Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system.

No major changes have been seen this week in the eruption. Here are the highlights.

  • According to last chemical analyse of the lava. The magma that is coming up is getting more primitive and from deeper part of the mantle. This increased the chance that the eruption is going to go on for months to years. Details can be found here on Twitter or here on Facebook.
  • Thickness of the lava is in most places just 16 meters. In Geldingadalur valley the thickness is at most 50 meters and getting thicker as the eruption continues and the valley slowly fills up. The lava doesn’t flow far and so it piles up next to the erupting craters.
  • At the writing of this article it seems that crater 1 is slowing down or shutting down. There seems to be some activity but it is low and mostly just gas is blowing out.
  • Craters continue to collapse as the eruption goes on. This happens at random and results in flood of lava happening.
  • The most active area now is the craters that opened on 7th of April and other time after that.

Other than this the eruption continues to be stable and the flow of lava is around 5m2/second according to last report I did read in the news.

Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 19-April-2021

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

  • The crater that started erupting on 5-April-2021 has stopped erupting. I am unclear when it stopped erupting but that must have happened sometimes in last few days.
  • Smaller vents have opened up but none of them have been able to create any major eruption crater. Most of those have also stopped erupting and been buried by fresh lava from others craters when they stopped erupting.
  • Earthquake activity has been appearing along the dyke in last few hours. I am unclear what that means at the writing of this article.
  • New fissures with steam or hot air have been reported south of current eruption. I am unclear where they are located. There don’t appear to be any new fissures north of the crater that has stopped erupting at the writing of this article.
  • Crater 1 has now started to smoke a lot. While the second vent continues to erupt a smaller eruption. I am unclear on why one of the vent is smoking as it has been doing for the last few days.
  • The eruption is now 1 month old today. The eruption started on 19-March-2021.
  • Amount of lava being erupted has increased since the start of the eruption according to latest reports.

I don’t have any more reports today but that might change without warning. If that happens. I am going to write an article soon as I can.

Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 16-April-2021

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

There has not been any major change since last update. In this week four new craters started erupting and I write an article about that earlier in this week for more details.

  • It was reported today (16-April-2021) that lava has now started to flow outside of Geldingadalir and to the east. This lava is now flowing over a walking path that people used to get close to the eruption. Getting close to the eruption might not be possible any more. There is also a chance that lava is going to is going to flow to the south of the craters more than it already has done.
  • Swarm of small earthquakes took place north-east in Fagradalsfjall mountain early morning around 06:00 UTC. Largest of those earthquakes had a magnitude of Mw2,8.
  • There is no sign of the eruption ending.
  • There continues to be a high risk of new vents opening up and start erupting without warning.

There are no more reports this week outside of what I did write about what was happening earlier in the week. If anything major happens I am going to post an update soon as possible.