Increasing pulse activity in the eruption signals end of the eruption

It has been reported in the news today (18-August-2022) at Rúv that more pulse activity has been seen. This results in lava being thrown up high in the air.

This is the same pattern as happened last year in the eruption in Geldingadalir valley. It took a while for that eruption to end and that might also be the case now.

Other than this, there have not been any other news of the eruption. There also has been interesting events out in the lava field, where the new lava is compressing the lava from 2021, resulting it being squeezed out at the edges. Since there is still flowing lava in the lava field from 2021 and that is going to be like that for many decades until this lava field cools through.

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Magnitude Mw3,0 earthquake in Kleifarvatn lake

Today (9-August-2022) at 11:43 UTC an earthquake with magnitude Mw3,0 took place in Kleifarvatn lake. At the writing of this article, no other larger earthquakes have taken place. Today there has been a swarm of small earthquakes in Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano and in Fagradalsfjall mountain. Some of this earthquake activity are just tectonic earthquakes, this applies mostly to earthquakes that are in Kleifarvatn lake and east of Grindavík town (might also be east of Grindavík, but I am not sure). This are because of the inflation from the dyke in Fagradalsfjalli mountain that reaches to Keilir mountain. The earthquake activity before current eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain in Meradalir valley also caused some major fault line movements over a large area. What that is going to result in when it comes to magma movements is unclear for now.

Orange and red dots over Kleifarvatn lake and close to Fagradalsfjall mountain. Showing considerable earthquake activity on Reykjanes peninsula, in the area that is now volcanic active
Earthquake activity on Reykjanes peninsula and in Kleifarvatn lake and Fagradalsfjall mountain. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Over the last two days there has not been any visibility on web cameras of the eruption. I am hoping that the weather might clear up later today or tomorrow but that is just wait and see. There has also been heavy rain in there and I don’t recommend that anyone going there in this weather. The area is also closed and now fines can be imposed by the police on people attempting to go there when the area is closed. Kids under the age of 12 have also been forbidden to walk to the eruption. Since the distance is 7 km one day (in total 14 km) over difficult area.

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Update on 5-August-2022 on the eruption in Meradalir valley

This is a short update because not much has changed in the last 24 hours in the eruption in Meradalir valley in Fagradalsfjall mountain.

  • The eruption is now in 120 meter long eruption fissure. Currently the output of the eruption is around 18 m3/sec according to yesterday’s measurements.
  • The new lava has now flowed over the lava from last year (2021) and into eastern Meradalir. This is about 1 km distance that river of lava has flowed.  Image of that can be found here on Facebook.
  • According to chemical analyse of the magma. This is the same magma that was erupting when the eruption in the older crater stopped erupting in September. This shows that this magma is older and the new magma has not yet reached the surface.
  • Fissures on the ground north-east of the eruption site have started to move and getting wider according to experts that are in the area. This strongly suggests that an eruption is about to happen soon in that location. When it starts is impossible to know. But this is going to close one way to the eruption and if eruption starts in new location south of the crater, seeing and viewing this eruption might start to get difficult or impossible, at least the part in Meradalir were the current eruption is happening now.

I think that is all for this Friday. Next update is going to be on Friday 12-August unless something major happens in this eruption and that might just happen.

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Update on the eruption in Meradalir valley/Fagradalsfjall mountain

This is a short update on Meradalir valley/Fagradalsfjall mountain eruption at 21:25 UTC on 3-August-2022.

Most of the fissure that started erupting at 13:16 UTC in Meradalir valley, just north of the old crater in Geldingadalir in Fagradalsfjalli mountain (Icelandic location names are long) is active after few hours of activity. Earthquake activity is now slowing or stopping almost completely as is the same thing that happened in 2021 after the Fagradalsfjall mountain / Geldingadalir valley eruption started.

The most northern part of the eruption fissure already seems to be shutting down. How fast that happens I don’t know, but there seems to be a crater started to form at the south end of the eruption fissure. At least for now. The news report at Rúv today noted that people where walking over a patch of land that was releasing gas and thermal camera showed the ground to be warmer than normally. This strongly suggests that an eruption might start at those location without warning. I don’t know exactly where those locations are, but they must be in the walking path, placing them south of the 2021 eruption crater.

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Magma dyke has formed between Þorbjörn mountain and Eldvörp on Reykjanes peninsula

According to news today (18-May-2022) and based on recent measurements, a magma dyke has formed between Þorbjörn mountain and Eldvörp on Reykjanes peninsula. Eldvörp on Reykjanes peninsula where formed during last eruption cycle in the volcano of Reykjanes during 12th and early 13th century, exact times are poorly known. This is in a volcano named Reykjanes and is not connected to Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano that erupted in 2021 (Fagradalsfjall mountain).

The dyke is shallow and narrow according the news that quote scientists from University of Iceland, Earth science department and Icelandic Met Office. The length of dyke is 7 to 9 km and depth is down to 4 to 8 km (?). This also shows up in the GPS data and other data that Icelandic Met Office has access to (I don’t have this level of access).

Red dots north of Grindavík town and a green star showing the main centre of earthquake activity in Reykjanes volcano
Earthquake activity north of Grindavík town. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

It is not possible to know when a eruption start or in what area. The main risk areas now are Blue Lagoon, HS hydrothermal energy thermal plant. The town of Grindavík is slightly south of this and is possibly in danger. How this goes depends on where the eruption starts and how large it is going to be. Smaller eruption is less of a problem than a big eruption in this area. All that can be done now is to continue to monitor the situation.

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Update on the Fagradalsfjall mountain eruption on 12-September-2021

This is a late and short update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 12-September-2021. Fagradalsfjall mountain is part of Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system.

Yesterday (11-September-2021) at around 05:00 the harmonic tremor on SIL stations around Fagradalsfjall mountain started to show an increase in harmonic tremor after a break of 8 days. It took few hours for the magma to reach the crater and lava was visible in the crater around 12:00 UTC.

Harmonic tremor chart in purple (lowest frequency), green (mid range frequency) and blue (highest frequency) that shows in the increasing harmonic tremor by rising at the end of the link up to 6000 units (not defined) at 00:38 Icelandic time.
Increasing harmonic tremor at 00:38 UTC on Fagradalsfjall mountain SIL station. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There have been possible new vents been opening up yesterday and today in the lava field. Icelandic Met Office says that this is a lava flow under the old colder lava and is now breaking up and looking like new vents. I don’t know yet if this is accurate, but it is my early assessment that this are new vents and are going to build new crater, at least there is a possibly of crater building if the new vents stay active long enough.

If this are new craters as I suspect, then they are going to change the lava flow quickly and increase the output of the lava flow from what it was. It might soon start to flow down into Nátthagi and other locations that are nearby.

It is a big question if the cycle eruption with no activity for hours has stopped for now. If this has turned back into an eruption that goes in 24 hours a day, that is going to allow the lava field to reach a lot more distance then before.

Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 10-August-2021

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

  • The eruption continues as before with few hours of eruption and few hours of no activity. (This is my personal view of the situation) Each event is an active eruption as it would happen with any other volcano. The time between eruptions now is just shorter than in any volcano in Iceland. Its hours, not decades between eruption. I don’t know why this is happening like this.
  • Cracks have appeared in the viewing area hill closest to the erupting crater. Why this is happening is unclear. There are two explanations for this. The first one is that this are tension cracks because of the eruption and lava flows nearby to this hill . The second explanation is that this is deformation cracks because magma is about to start erupting in this part of the hill. Formation of new cracks was observed early on in the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain few days before an eruption started in that area.
  • There is now slightly less lava flowing from the crater. Current flow is up to 9m3/sec according to latest reports about the lava flow. This studies are done by Earth Science of University of Iceland and Icelandic Metrology Office.

This eruption remains small. Currently it is even smaller than Hekla volcano 2000 eruption that was the smallest eruption in Hekla in recorded history (according to the news). While the eruption remains this small the lava is not going to flow far or is going to do so slowly. Most of the lava is just going to build up next to the crater and next nearby area.

People continue to walk out in the lava and that is extremely dangerous. The lava field, where it is deep enough has large caves full of 1100C hot lava and if the roof breaks and people fall into it there is no saving anyone from this. Just break in the lava field crust allows for lava flows to break out with same deadly consequences.

Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 11-June-2021

This is not going to be a long update since there has not been a lot of change during the last week. There has been some and this is what happened. This is part of Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system (until the studies are updated).

  • The main crater is slowly closing and lava fountain activity has almost or has ended at the writing of this article.
  • The main crater is now around 100 meters high. Lava depth is from 10 to 70 meters thick depending on a location. There is a map but for copyright reasons I can’t show it here.
  • Lava flow is now permanent and does not happen between overflows necessary.
  • Lava lake might be forming in the crater, but the status of that remains unclear at the writing of this article.
  • There are overflows happening in the crater but according to the news the main lava flow happens underground in large dykes that go from the main crater into the lava field. Creating lava ponds that regularly break and expand the lava field at random.
  • Today (11-June-2021) people that are idiots where seen walking on the fresh lava that has a surface temperature from 50C to 100C in order to get to the viewing area (blocked by fresh lava flows) and one did even go as far walking on the slopes of the crater and almost ending up as part of the lava field him self. Video of that can be seen here on mbl.is website. As can be seen the lava flows them self are human height and can bury a person in a few seconds time.
  • Fresh lava in Fagradalsfjall is hot. While it is only 100C on the surface it can be 900C just few centimetres down and can go as high as 1100C if a surface of a lava tube is broken.
  • Yesterday (10-June-2021) a change happened in the eruption and that resulted in a change in the harmonic tremor that continues. Suggesting a permanent or a long term change to the eruption. What this mean is unclear currently.

There are no other updates as is. Next update should be on 18-June-2021 unless something happens in this eruption. Other parts of Iceland are quiet at the writing of this article.

Blue, green and purple show the harmonic tremor from the eruption in Fagradalsfjall. The change on 10-June shows a sharp edged harmonic tremor plot.
The harmonic tremor on nearby SIL station to the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

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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.