New study shows that ash cloud in Eyjafjallajökull and Grímsfjall volcanoes eruptions larger then expected

It was reported on Rúv News today about a new study that came out few days ago. In this study according to Rúv News the ash cloud from Eyjafjallajökull (2010) and Grímsfjall (2011) volcanoes where larger then appeared on satellite images. Meaning the ash could was covering larger area then appeared on images from space. The grain size in this eruptions was also underestimated. The decision to close down the airspace as was done in both eruptions was correct.

More details can be found here.

Rúv News

Viðbrögðin voru hárrétt (Rú, Icelandic, audio in Icelandic)

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Friday update on Bárðarbunga volcano 26-September-2014

This is the Friday 26-September-2014 update on Bárðarbunga volcano. This information is going to get outdated quickly.

Current status in Bárðarbunga volcano at 20:31 UTC

  • Largest earthquake today had the magnitude 5,2, it happened at 16:49 UTC. Second largest earthquake today took place at 18:54 UTC and had the magnitude of 4,3. There have so far been fewer larger earthquakes today than in last days.
  • The caldera dropped 30cm in the magnitude 5,2 earthquake. The caldera continues to drop around 50cm/day according to GPS measurements. Total caldera drop is now around 29 meters.
  • Smaller earthquakes have been taking place in Bárðarbunga volcano. This means the drop is continuing during those earthquakes.
  • Magma continues to flow into Bárðarbunga volcano around the same rate as before. This can be seen on GPS data on nearby GPS monitoring stations. For GPS information please check University of Iceland GPS information page here.
  • Bad sandstorm was in Holuhraun today. It was so bad that it was only possible to see 50 – 100 meters in front of people according to Rúv news earlier today.
  • The eruption in Holuhraun continues in the same manner today as yesterday. The lava field is now larger than 40 square kilometres. What the exact size is I don’t know since it is not known today due to weather.
  • Earthquake activity continues under the dyke and that suggests the pressure is increasing in it.
  • Currently there is no eruption under the glacier. If it was it would be visible on SIL stations around Vatnajökull glacier.
  • Nothing more has happened in Bárðarbunga volcano today far as I know. That might change without warning.
  • Storms are expected to take place in Iceland all weekend. There is going to be around three or four storms taking place this weekend with strong winds up to 20m/s and it can go up to 40m/s in wind gusts. This is going to effect SIL stations and my geophones as the storms pass over parts of Iceland.

Current status Saturday 27-September-2014 at 20:30 UTC

  • No major change has taken place today in the eruption in Holuhraun. There is also no sign that is ending. Most of the eruption takes place in one crater at the moment. New fissures might open up without warning in the area where the dyke is located.
  • Bárðarbunga caldera continues to drop around 50cm/day.
  • Largest earthquake today so far is a magnitude 5,2 that took place at 19:31 UTC. Second largest earthquake today was at 02:00 and had the magnitude of 5,0.
  • Due to snowstorm there is almost no visibility to the eruption area in Holuhraun. For the people in the field the visibility today was reported to be 50 to 100 meters.
  • There has been a lot of smaller earthquakes taking place in Bárðarbunga volcano. Some of those earthquakes are taking place due to caldera subsiding. Some of those earthquakes are taking place because the magma inside Bárðarbunga volcano is looking for a new pathway up the surface. It either has not found it or does not have the pressure yet to go up the crust yet.
  • There is less activity today in the dyke. There is however worrying earthquake activity in the dyke at the start of Dyngjujökull glacier. It might mean that magma is trying to get up to the surface. There already have been eruptions under the glacier in this area without any earthquake activity before they started. All of those eruptions lasted for a short period of time.
  • Nothing else is to report so far today (27-September-2014).

Update Sunday 28-September-2014 at 17:17 UTC

  • Largest earthquake today took place at 12:34 UTC. Other earthquakes have been smaller today.
  • Bárðarbunga caldera has dropped 7,4 meter since 12-September-2014 according to GPS measurements in the centre of the caldera. That GPS data can be found here.
  • The lava field is now 44,5 square kilometres wide. It is now larger than Mývatn (around 40 square kilometres wide) for comparison.
  • Harmonic tremor suggest that pressure is increasing in the Bárðarbungu volcano magma chamber. It drops once the magma finds way out, then it starts building up again.
  • No other information have been released today. Other activity is the same as for the past few days.

Storm notice!

Three bad storms are expected in Iceland in next few days. In parts of Iceland wind is expected to go up to 50m/s in wind gusts. This is going to effect all earthquake recording and monitoring of Bárðarbunga volcano.

Next update

Next update is going to be on Monday 28-September-2014. I wish everyone a good weekend.

Article updated at 20:31 UTC on 27-September-2014
Article updated at 17:17 UTC on 28-September-2014

Bárðarbunga daily update 24-September-2014

This information is going to get outdated quickly.

Current status in Bárðarbunga volcano at 21:47 UTC

  • Eruption in Holuhraun continues at the same phase as yesterday. There is however just one or two crater erupting at the moment. New crater might open without warning if anything changes.
  • The lava field is now around 40 square km in size. It is now second largest lava field in Iceland at the moment. Largest lava field did come from Hekla volcano in 1947 in 13 month long eruption. It is expected if anything changes that Holuhraun lava field is going to reach 80 square km size in about two weeks (or one and a half) time.
  • Largest earthquake since midnight had the magnitude 5,2. Other earthquakes today have been smaller in magnitude.
  • Bárðarbunga caldera continues to subside around 50cm/day. Total subside is now around 27 meters.
  • The lava field is going over a path that has been used by geologist to get to the eruption. The path in question is called Gæsavatnaleið. At last check that lava field had around 200 meters until it was going to go over the road and close it permanently.
  • Earthquake activity is increasing in the dyke. This suggest that pressure is increasing inside the dyke. This also means there is high risk of an eruption in new location in the dyke, inducing under the glacier with everything that follows it (glacier flood, volcano ash and so on).
  • If eruption happens under the glacier the harmonic tremor is going to jump up and glacier flood is going to be visible soon after that. Depending on where the water is flowing under the glacier.
  • No major change has taken place today.

Other things

I am sorry for this late update today. I got a hardware to watch Icelandic Television in Denmark over the internet (IPTV). But the video kept freezing and it took a while to figure that out. Turns out the problem is my current router, it just can’t handle the traffic. So I had to get a new router that did cost me 103,78€. The new router is going to solve this problem for good. The last router that I did buy did cost me 25€, I had to buy cheap router since I was broke at that time.

Article updated at 22:06 UTC. Corrected numbers about the lava field size.

What to expect from Bárðarbunga volcano

I am writing this now, since I might not have time to do so on Monday. Updates are going to continue to go here until Monday. Unless something major happens.

The collapse of Bárðarbunga volcano

The collapse of Bárðarbunga volcano has already started. The caldera collapse in Bárðarbunga volcano started on 16-August-2014 and has been going on since then. Here is what I am expecting from the caldera collapse once it reaches its peak.

  • There are going to be earthquakes in the range of 5,5 and up to 6,7. Maybe larger if the crust can handle it.
  • Glacier flood are going to go south-west and north (Húsavík area) and possibly in other directions. I am expecting damage to hydrothermal plants in the pathway of the floods. How much damage there is going to be depends on the magnitude of the flood and the path it takes.
  • I am expecting long periods of no power in parts of Iceland once the flood has passed. I am also expecting lack of communications in large areas of Iceland. This is why Rúv has been telling people to get long-wave radios for the past few days. Usage of mobile network is also going to be unreliable in large parts of Iceland once the collapse starts full force in Bárðarbunga volcano. Due to damage that glacier floods are going to create.
  • I am expecting an ash cloud that might go up to 20 km or higher up in the atmosphere. It is however impossible to know for sure what happens until this starts.
  • It is difficult to know fore sure how much drop is going to take place, but it can be up to many hundreds of meters.
  • I fear that north slope of Bárðarbunga might collapse forward once this starts. Earthquakes in the area give clues about weakness forming there.

Bárðarbunga volcano is 2009 meters high above the ocean. This means there is a lot of material that is going to blow outwards once the collapse starts full force. This is might be one of largest eruptions in Iceland since it got populated more than one thousands years ago. I am hoping that the picture that I am drawing up is not as bad the reality once this starts. I am also hoping that no loss of life is going to happen. I am hoping for the best in this case, but the clues that I am getting are no good at all.

Current status on Bárðarbunga volcano at 19:30 UTC

This information is going to get outdated quickly.

Current status on Bárðarbunga volcano

  • There are now two lava lakes (at least) in the fissure that has been erupting in Holuhraun. The eruption has not yet stopped, but it is less powerful but the flow of magma from the craters has not slowed down based on latest observations.
  • Bárðarbunga caldera is getting lower by 80 cm/day according to GPS measurements and other measurements that have been made. Total drop in the caldera so far is 21 meter. Cracks have started to form in the glacier that fills the caldera. Normally there are no cracks in that glacier. Most of the cracks are in the central caldera.
  • More magma is flowing into the dyke than out of it. Eruption has not yet increased yet, this also increases the risk of new eruptions along the dyke.
  • The central crater in the eruption continues to erupt, other craters have mostly stopped erupting and several of them are just emitting gas now.
  • Largest earthquake since midnight was a magnitude 4,7 at 09:32 UTC.
  • The lava field continues to flow into Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacier river. It is slowly blocking it, some explosions might take place, but due to the thickness of the lava that does not seem to happen often.
  • SO2 pollution is a big problem now in parts of East Iceland. The pollution goes depending on wind, so for the moment it is East Iceland that is having this issue.
  • GPS data shows that inflation continues in the dyke. This is because more magma is flowing into it than erupting from as I did mention above.

Icelandic Government preparing for major eruption

It seems that Icelandic government has started to prepare for major eruption in Iceland. This is evident when they put up a banner like this on Rúv website.

Rúv radio blackout alert banner due to an eruption at the bottom of this image. Screen-shot of Rú website.

When the national radio of Iceland sets up a image like that. I take it as they know that things are bad in Bárðarbunga volcano. Same way as I know it. The website in question that the banner connects to can be found here, it has English text.

Updates 12-September-2014

  • The amount of SO2 in Reyðarfirði has now around 4000 µg/m³ (at 22:45 UTC). People in that village and nearby area advised to stay indoors and don’t go outside.
  • The largest crater in Holuhraun is now getting close to being 70 meters high.

Updates 13-September-2014

  • Largest earthquake since midnight was a magnitude 4,9 earthquake at 07:58 UTC. At that same time the caldera dropped 25 cm according to news on Rúv.
  • GPS stations show fast movements around Bárðarbunga  volcano. This means the current activity is far from over, even there has been a minor drop in activity at the moment.
  • Instability in Bárðarbunga volcano continues to increase.
  • There appears to be a fast inflation in Grímsfjall volcano. It is unclear why this is happening, but it might be due to influence from Bárðarbunga volcano. The sudden inflation in Grímsfjall volcano appears clearly on GPS measurement that are being done on top of the volcano. This might not lead to an eruption, since Grímsfjall volcano can take a lot of magma into its system. The eruption that took place in 2011 was the largest one in at least 140 years. Turns out this was just snow on the GPS antenna. So this is false alarm when it comes to Grímsfjall volcano.
  • Dangerous levels of SO2 are problem in eastern Iceland and where the wind blows it. Gas at the eruption site is also huge risk to anyone working in close proximity to the eruption site. It is also blocking the view to the eruption at Míla cams, along with dust storm that appears to be taking place now due to wind.
  • The eruption at Holuhraun is about the same as yesterday (12-September-2014).
  • The eruption is now confined mostly to the main crater in the fissure. Other craters have stopped erupting currently. That might change without warning.

Updates 14-September-2014

  • The eruption in Holuhraun seems to be ending. During the day the power of the eruption has dropped. The largest central crater is still erupting, but at a lot less power than yesterday and on 12-September-2014. Eruption has stopped in smaller craters in the eruption fissure.
  • The lava has stopped moving forward into Jökulsá á Fjöllum. It no longer has the energy to progress into the glacier river. New fields of lava are forming closer to the crater that continues to erupt.
  • Largest earthquake today (when this is written) is a magnitude 5,3 earthquake that took place at 14:06 UTC. Second largest earthquake today was a magnitude 4,0 earthquake that took place at 06:54 UTC.
  • The caldera continues to drop. Since this activity has continued to total drop is now 23 meters according to latest measurements (from yesterday). Most drop is taking place in north-east part of the caldera. More information can be found here, text is in Icelandic.
  • Harmonic tremor suggest that the pressure is increasing in Bárðarbunga volcano again. There is also high chance of small eruptions taking place under the glacier.
  • There is no rapid inflation taking place in Grímsfjall volcano. GPS signal got distorted by snow or ice on the GPS antenna.

News bits 12-September-2014

Stærsti gígurinn í Holuhrauni að ná 70 metra hæð og fer stækkandi (Ví, video, Icelandic)

News bits 13-September-2014

“Like breathing from the exhaust pipe” (Rú
Botn Bárðarbunguöskju seig um 25 sm (Rú, Icelandic)


This is shorter updated today due to there has not been a lot of change since yesterday and it is Friday.

More on comments

Please remember to be nice to each other. Not everything is known about geology, but please remember that this website deals with facts, science and ideas based on known facts. If your idea sounds crazy, it might just be too crazy for this website. There are places for those ideas elsewhere on the internet. Use them, I don’t know about them so don’t ask.

If your comment is on hold for me to approve it. Please wait. I will get to it. If your comment just vanish it means it was false flagged with my spam system so I have to manually check it. If a spam comment goes appears without me knowing about it, please send me a link to the comment so that I can remove it.


I get few emails about the volcano activity in Bárðarbunga. I can answer some of them, but not all of them. I try to put what I know here, so please read it rather than to send me an email. I answer all emails about comments and this website.

Article updated at 19:35 UTC on 12-September-2014.
Article updated at 22:56 UTC on 12-September-2014.
Article updated at 14:54 UTC on 13-September-2014.
Article updated at 22:33 UTC on 13-September-2014.
Article updated at 02:53 UTC on 14-September-2014.
Article updated at 18:17 UTC on 14-September-2014.
Article updated at 18:28 UTC on 14-September-2014.

Status update on Bárðarbunga volcano at 21:21 UTC

This information is going to get outdated quickly.

About how I work my data

I do all my data work in my head. Since I don’t have the computer power or the programming skills do so in normal computer. This is generally refereed as “thought experiments” I think. The data set for Bárðarbunga volcano are now huge and it takes me a while to update them and work out what I am seeing.

Caldera collapse is in progress in Bárðarbunga volcano

I know that scientists in Iceland don’t want to mention this in the news and are still hoping for current sequence of events to stop. That is not going to happen, it was already to late when the magma found a way out of the magma chamber on 16-August-2014, all that can be done now is to plan for the eventual collapse of Bárðarbunga volcano into a new caldera. I don’t expect the mountain to make it based on current earthquake activity. Eruptions should also be expected without warning around the circle that the earthquakes have now formed around the magma chamber that is collapsing in Bárðarbunga volcano.

Bárðarbunga volcano is however not going to collapse quickly, while the eruption once it starts in Bárðarbunga volcano is only going to last 1 week at the longest. This type of events takes several weeks to months from start to end. When Askja volcano collapsed in 1875 it started sometimes in the year 1874 and did not end until October 1875 (Global Volcanism Program says 1. Jan, 1875 to 1875, 17 Oct.). So this might take more than six months from start to end and might not end until sometimes next year (2015). There is also a chance this collapse is going to take just several weeks. There is no way to know for sure how long this is going to take, since it depends on many unknown factors. There is also a factor that no caldera collapse has taken place in Iceland since modern recording and monitoring of volcanoes started in Iceland (around 1970).

Current status of the Bárðarbunga volcano

  • Eruption continues in Holuhraun lava field. Most of the craters have now stopped erupting and one is now just emitting gas according to latest reports today.
  • Power of the eruption in Holuhraun is about the same since it started, even if there are fewer vents erupting lava at the moment.
  • Visibility has been limited today due to bad weather in the highland of Iceland.
  • SO2 levels in populated areas in east Iceland did go up to 2550µg/m³ around 15:00 UTC in Reyðjarfjöður village. Health warning was issued for the area during the peak of the SO2 pollution.
  • Largest earthquakes today had the magnitude of 5,5 at 05:25 UTC, second largest earthquake today had the magnitude of 4,8 at 15:51 UTC. Other earthquakes have been smaller. There is now less earthquake activity taking place since magma is not breaking as much crust as before.
  • The caldera has now dropped some 20 meters according to last measurements taken when there was a flight over Bárðarbunga volcano.
  • There continues to be earthquake in the dyke, most of it is in area that is covered with glacier.
  • Eruption in Hamarinn (Loki-Fögrufjöll) volcano is now a possibility. It might start without warning and without any earthquake activity, or just little earthquake activity.
  • Dyke activity might start to go south of Bárðarbunga volcano. It has not happened yet, but there is a high risk of it in my personal view.
  • This is creating stress changes around Bárðarbunga volcano. There is a minimal risk of that starting an eruption in other volcano systems that are nearby. It is not likely to happen, but the possibility is there. The reason is that Bárðarbunga volcano is a large volcano, the second biggest in Iceland in my view. With Hofsjökull volcano being the largest in Iceland in my view.
  • The lava field continues to block the glacier river Jökulsá á Fjöllum. As this progresses there is going to be a natural dam in this area after few days.
  • Seven minor eruptions have been confirmed according to the news today (on Rúv). This is besides the eruptions that where in the glacier free area (and are still ongoing). None of those eruptions seems to have lasted for long.
  • Based on harmonic tremor I think pressure is again increasing in Bárðarbunga volcano magma chamber system. This does not appear to be resulting in more powerful eruption in Holuhraun. That is why I think there is increased risk of new dyke to start forming.
  • Gas output from the eruption in Holuhraun remains high and it is extremely dangerous to go there. The lava field is also creating a lot of local weather in good weather. That also makes this dangerous. This eruption is no place for tourist.


Updates go here when they happen.

News bits

I am going to add news here in case anything happens.

References list

Caldera (Wikipedia)
Modelling Caldera Collapse (OSU)
Caldera (Science Daily)

Update on Bárðarbunga eruption at 17:32 UTC

This information is going to get outdated quickly.

A short notice: While I know a lot about volcanoes, earthquakes and such things. I do not know everything. I have read many science papers on the subject. But I have not read them all and I never will. What is also important is that nobody knows for sure what is going on in Bárðarbunga volcano. This is the first eruption in the volcano since recording of earthquakes started in Iceland and it appears that this eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano might be a big one (even if it not at that stage yet).

Update on the activity in Bárðarbunga volcano

  • Earthquake activity continues in Bárðarbunga volcano. The largest earthquake since midnight had the magnitude of 5,2 according to Icelandic Met Office.
  • Earthquake activity continues in the dyke  south of the eruption area. This suggest that the dyke is still expanding in the crust.
  • Minor eruptions have taken place south of the main eruption in Holuhraun. Most of this are like the minor eruption that started south of the main eruption, but in glacier free area. Other minor eruptions that have taken place are under the glacier. They have formed small cauldron in the process without making a glacier flood.
  • Cauldron in the glacier have been spotted at 2 km inside the glacier (I think this distance is correct. If it is not. I will correct it), 6 km from the edge of the glacier and 10 km from the edge of the glacier. This cauldron are directly above the dyke and as mentioned above are the results of minor eruption taking place under the glacier. One of this cauldron was discovered on Friday. I don’t remember if it was included in the news that day.
  • There are no signs of the eruption in Holuhraun is about to end. The lava field is now creating a dam as it goes over the Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacier river path. This has created minor explosions in the past few hours and in process throwing up minor volcano ash at the same time.
  • There is still a lot of gas in the lava coming from the eruption. Making it extremely dangerous to go close to eruption and the lava field. This gas is in so high consternation that geologist working in the field are often at great risk.
  • Smell of sulphur (SO2) has now been found in parts of Norway according to the news (in Icelandic, Norwegian, map in the news from Norway). It is far from being on dangerous levels in Norway due to distance travelled.
  • The lava field continues to create its own local weather. Small tornadoes can be spotted on the Míla web-camera.  There is also a lot of local cloud formations taking place. Sometimes limiting the view to the erupting area.
  • There is high risk of new eruption fissures opening up without warning.
  • Eruption activity in the main crater now happens in pulses according to latest news. It drops for a while and then goes high up. I think there is a reason for this behaviour.
  • It appears that the erupting crater are being closed slowly by there own erupting material. That might explain the pulsing behaviour that is now being observed from it. This also means there is enough pressure in the dyke to continue the eruption for a good while longer (in my view).
  • Inflow of magma and outflow of magma appears to be in balance for the time being. That balance might change without warning if something changes in Bárðarbunga volcano.

No confirmation on the eruption last night

So far there has not been any confirmation on the possible eruption that I did write about last night. This might not have been an eruption or there might not be any evidence of it on the surface of Vatnajökull glacier.

News update on 10-September-2014

“Gravely concerned” about Bardarbunga (Rú

More notes on comments

Please do not post all your text in caps lock. It is rude to everyone else reading the comments on this website. I also want to point out that not everything is known as I noted above. Some questions do not have any answers yet when it comes to volcanoes or earthquakes, but there are no stupid questions far as I am concerned. I offer no guarantee on the answers however.

I also ask people just to be nice to each other here. I also have to ask you to provide links when text is posted here, it is both good for everyone who want to read more from that website in question. There also a requirement on doing so from Icelandic Met Office and University of Iceland in the disclaimers they have.

Article updated at 10-September-2014 at 22:31 UTC.

Possible eruption under the glacier might have started in Bárðarbunga volcano [Unconfirmed!]

This is a short notice. I think that eruption has started under the glacier in Bárðarbunga or maybe in the dyke area. I base this on the change in harmonic tremor that is now taking place. Please note that this has not yet been confirmed by Icelandic Met Office or by Rúv in Iceland at the moment. So this is unconfirmed reports from me at current time (01:13 UTC on 9-September-2014).

I am waiting more details on what is going on with the harmonic tremor.

Update: If this is an eruption then it is not a large one. The confirmation on if I am correct or not is going to take several hours. Unless a glacier flood starts soon. It is difficult to know at this time. The hard problem with volcanoes under the glacier is that nobody is sure what is going on under the glacier.

Update 2: The harmonic tremor is now dropping, or at least was doing so for a short period. Nothing has been confirmed so far if there was an eruption or not. I have seen the harmonic tremor on the following SIL stations starting 8/9.

Vonaskarð SIL station.
Grímsfjall SIL station.

If there was an eruption taking place. It was small one and its unlikely that it would have broken the glacier or started a major glacier flood.

Article updated at 02:14 UTC at 9-September-2014.
Article updated at 02:18 UTC at 9-September-2014.
Article updated at 11:15 UTC at 9-September-2014.

Update for Bárðarbunga volcano eruption at 17:59 UTC

This information is going to get outdated quickly.

Current status on Báðarbunga volcano eruption

  • Eruption continues in Holuhraun. Most of the craters have stopped erupting for now. The main craters continue to erupt.
  • It is my view that eruption under the glacier is imminent. That eruption would take place close to the location of today magnitude 4,5 and 3,0 took place today. When it might start is impossible to know.
  • Earthquake activity continues in Bárðarbunga volcano.  With largest earthquakes today having magnitude 5,0.  Most of the earthquake take place on the caldera rim, since the caldera is sinking into the crust. More on this below [1].
  • The lava field is now going into Jökulsá á Fjöllum. It is currently crossing the glacier river and creating a dam in the process. Only steam has been seen in this process.
  • Risk of eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano slopes is extremely high. There has not been any eruption in Báðarbunga volcano slopes since 23-August-2014.
  • GPS instruments have now be installed on top of Bárðarbunga volcano today. This is to measure exactly what is going on inside the volcano.
  • There is less blue haze today. There is concern that it is going to have effect on people, animals and plants if the blue haze stays for long time in any given area. Acid rain is a big concern at the moment. The SO2 levels in eastern Iceland have been the highest since measurements started in Iceland back in 1970.
  • There is high concentration of gas in the lava around the eruption site. It is in fact so high that it has put the geologist that are working there at great risk. Due the local weather the lava field is creating [2].

The caldera issue in Bárðarbunga volcano [1]

The caldera in Bárðarbunga volcano is dropping and it is dropping fast. According to latest news from Rúv (see link below) the caldera is dropping up to 90 cm/day. That is a huge drop for a mountain. There is also clue that central part of the caldera floor is now so soft that it no longer breaks and creates earthquakes, it is just buckling under the strain. This increases the risk of eruption in the central caldera up to almost certainty levels (for me that is 96+% chance of happening). The latest news from Rúv tell that the thickness of the glacier in the central part of the glacier is up to 850 meters thick. Since last Saturday the caldera has dropped 2 – 3 meters, meaning that current drop is now around 18,5 meters.

There is also high risk of eruptions in the slopes of Bárðarbunga volcano. None have taken place since 23-August-2014. It is not clear why that is. Some ideas say that it might be due to pressure release of the dyke eruption that is now taking place. I am now not personally convinced that is the case. The reason for lack of eruption must be some other. I don’t know what that reason is yet and I don’t think anyone knows at current time.

Local weather around the lava field [2]

The lava field has been creating a lot of it’s own weather. So much that is creating hazardous working environment for the geologist working close the lava field and the eruption site.

The local weather has also created small localized tornadoes. I spotted this one earlier today.
It is difficult to see the tornado on this picture. But it is the white line across the image. Image taken at 15:27 UTC on 8-September-2014. Screen-shot of Míla web-camera.

This local weather is not going anywhere while the heat is at the levels as it is now. It might even last for months after this eruption finishes.

News bits in Icelandic and English

Continuing subsidence in Bardarbunga (Rú
Askjan í Bárðarbungu sigið um 2,5 til 3 m (Rú, Icelandic)
Eitt stærsta hraungosið frá því á 19. öld (Rú, Icelandic)

Updates 08-September-2014

  • According to latests news on Rúv this is now the largest lava eruption since 19th century in Iceland. The eruption in Holuhraun is now many times larger than largest eruption in Krafla volcano during its 10 year eruption period.

Note on comments

In order to keep things running smooth on this website. Please just post links to images. Along with some text about what they are. That also prevents the ant-spam system false flag it and me from regarding links as spam. I also have to ask people how copy data from Icelandic Met Office and University of Iceland to provide a link to the source. This is disclaimer that they added in recent weeks. I want to be on the right side of this government organizations. I also want to prevent that I have to remove comments due there demands.

Article updated on 08-September-2014 at 18:50 UTC.

Eruption update at 21:29 UTC

This information is going to go outdated quickly.

This is the current information about the eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano.

Please note: Since I cannot go to the area that is erupting my self (it is closed and I also live in Denmark at the moment). I have to relay on what is being told in the news and released by Icelandic Met Office along with other data. This means that I spend most of the day collecting data and working out what is going on (my view in most cases). This means that in most cases I write post late in the day when daily observation is done.

Current status of the eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano

  • New fissure did open around 2 – 3 km south of the eruption fissure that started erupting 31-August-2014.
  • Comments on this website did notice the eruption around 04:00 UTC on 05-September-2014. At the same time there was an minor increase in harmonic tremor on SIL stations close to the eruption.
  • The new eruption fissure is around 1 – 2 km long. It might get longer as time passes.
  • The new eruption was first reported by the press around 06:00 – 08:00 on Rúv.
  • New cauldron has formed some 6 km in Dyngjujökull glacier. The  glacier in the that area is 300 to 350 meters thick. Last report was that this cauldron was getting deeper during the day.
  • Higher conductivity has been reported in Jökulsá á fjöllum glacier river. That is currently continuing on that last check I did on Icelandic Met Office website.
  • Smell of rotten eggs is now coming from Jökulsá á fjöllum. Normally there is no such smell of that glacier river.
  • Inflation in the dyke continues, not on the same speed as before, but it is ongoing.
  • The rift valley appears to continue expand were he is visible.
  • The air around the eruption site is toxic due to release of SO2, CO, CO2, fluorine gases and other dangerous gases.
  • The water vapour cloud goes up to 4,5 km according to latest measurements.
  • The SO2 goes the way of the wind direction at any given time.
  • The lava field has just 1 km to Jökulsá á fjöllum glacier river. Once the lava enters the river it might start to build a dam and the lava is going to explode and steam a lot in the process.
  • Largest earthquake since midnight was magnitude 5,3 that took place at 01:19 UTC. It took place in Bárðarbunga volcano caldera rim. As other large earthquakes since this events started.
  • Largest earthquake in the dyke area took place at 14:31 UTC and had the magnitude of 3,2. It was under the glacier were most earthquake activity is now taking place.
  • Volcano eruption with ash cloud is now expected to take place. When and exactly where it is going to take place is not known at current time. I don’t think it going to have effects on international flight. But the local effects might be big if wind is in the direction of populated areas of Iceland.

GPS inflation
GPS measurements of the inflation that is currently taking place in the dyke. More GPS data can be found here. Copyright of this image belongs to University of Iceland.

Magma continues to flow into the dyke. It is at slower rates than before, but it still flowing into the dyke at rates that current eruption is not powerful enough to equal or drop the pressure inside the dyke. This is going to result in more eruptions as we have already started to see. When and where they are going to take place is something that is not known.

The eruption area is closed to the public

Due to risk of dangerous gases and flood the eruption area is closed to the public. Anyone that is found within the closed zone is going to get heavy fine. Going to this area is also extremely risky sine the area that is now eruption is extremely unstable with the risk of new eruption opening up without warning in the fault area and even outside it (if there is a weakness in the crust the magma is going to go that way). Police in Iceland have already spotted and fined two cars that were trying to enter the closed off area. This area of Iceland is also out in the middle of nowhere. The town is up to 10 hours away in a car (due to bad roads). Weather is also extremely unpredictable and can change without warning. So if you are thinking about going on car or foot. Don’t go!

The good news is that it is still allowed to fly over the area. So get one of those tours. I don’t know what they cost, but I know they take place if weather allows.

News bits

Arrested near the Holuhraun eruption (Rú
See the lava creeping forward at Holuhraun (Rú, video)
The powers at play beneath the surface (Rú, video)

More news in English can be found here (Rú

Updates for 06-September-2014

  • As noted by many here there is now news report on how much Bárðarbunga volcano has lowered since 16-August-2014. Bárðarbunga volcano has lowered some 15 meters according to latest measurements. This does not reduces the risk of eruption in Bárðarbunga caldera, in fact, this might increase it by a large margin. Such large drop in a mountain has not happened in Iceland since Askja 1875 when that volcano dropped some 300 meters in one of the largest eruption in the 19th century. According to the news on Rúv the caldera crust is in fact floating the magma that is keeping it up. Part of that magma is now erupting just north of Dyngjökull glacier.
  • Magnitude 5,0 earthquake took place in Bárðarbunga volcano at 05:40 UTC. It was in the NE Bárðarbunga in the caldera rim.
  • The risk of large eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano has increased due the current activity and drop of the caldera (as explained above). When such eruption would take place is impossible to know at this time.
  • The lava field is now just 900 meters from Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacier river. It is going to get into contact with the main stream sometimes in the next 24 hour period.
  • The activity in the new eruption fissure has decreased a little over the past 24 hours. It is now only erupting in one or two craters at the moment.
  • There is high risk of new fissures opening in the rift valley without warning. Both outside the glacier and below it. If an eruption takes place under the glacier there is going to be sudden glacier flood that is going to hit without warning.
  • Possible minor eruption might have happened under Dyngjökull glacier in last few days. As there have been cauldron formations in it. One of the cauldron is some 6 km from the glacier edge. The deepest cauldron is 35 meter deep according to radar measurements.
  • A new cauldron was also found some 10 km from the edge of Dyngjujökull glacier. This suggest that minor eruption took place there in past few days.
  • Blue mist has been seen today in east Iceland. It is not clear what is happening, but there are clues that this blue mist is connected to the eruption. Sensors to measure this blue mist have been sent to east Iceland. This blue mist can also be seen on satellites that Icelandic Met Office uses for weather measurements.

News bits for 06-September-2014

Rannsaka bláa móðu á Austurlandi (Rú, picture of the blue mist, Icelandic)
Eldstöðvarnar í Holuhrauni – Myndband (Rú, Icelandic, video)

Updates for 07-September-2014

  • Earthquake with the magnitude of 5,4 took place at 07:07 UTC. This earthquake took place in the caldera rim as other earthquakes in Bárðarbunga volcano.
  • The flow of magma is currently 100 to 200 m³ every second.
  • The new fissure has stopped erupting according to latest news.
  • There is a high risk of new fissure opening up in the erupting area without warning.
  • The lava field has reached Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacier river. This is going to increase conductivity in the river as the lava goes more into the glacier river. There is a lot of steam cloud being created following this. It is not clear when the lava field is going to dam the glacier river.
  • There are now only 2 – 3 craters erupting in the main erupting fissure. The power of the eruption remains the same.
  • Earthquake activity continues south of current eruption. Most of the earthquake activity now is taking place in the glacier, where minor eruptions have been taking place in past few days.
  • There is no sign of this activity is about to end.
  • Bárðarbunga volcano caldera continues to sink. There is a lack of earthquakes in the caldera it self. That suggest the heat below the crust is high enough to make the crust soft and that prevents earthquakes from happening. More on this tomorrow (Monday).

News bits on 07-September-2014

100 – 200 rúmmetrar úr jörðu á sekúndu (Rú, video, Icelandic)
Svona hefur Bárðarbunga sigið (Rú, picture of the lowering of Bárðarbunga caldera, Icelandic)

Article updated at 14:04 UTC on 06-September-2014.
Article updated at 14:11 UTC on 06-September-2014.
Article updated at 18:16 UTC on 06-September-2014.
Article updated at 18:18 UTC on 06-September-2014.
Article updated at 18:29 UTC on 06-September-2014.
Article updated at 19:43 UTC on 06-September-2014.
Article updated at 14:52 UTC on 07-September-2014.