The eruption in Meradalir is going to end in next few days

Today (19-August-2022) there hasn’t been any lava flow seen from the crater in Merdalir valley in Fagradalsfjall mountain according to University of Iceland, Earth Science on Facebook. Few splashes of lava have been seen coming from the crater. This has also been observed on web cameras watching the eruption. Harmonic tremor has also dropped considerably since yesterday (18-August-2022) and continues to drop.

When the eruption ends exactly is unclear, but it might happen in the next few days.

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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 RĂşv 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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Short update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall on 7-August-2021

This is a short update on the eruption in Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system on 7-August-2021.

Over the last few weeks there has not been a lot to report about the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain. That changed tonight. The eruption seems to have entered a new stable phase. With constant eruption, rather than erupting every few hours and nothing happening for several hours after that. I don’t know if that is going to continue for long, but that is the situation at the writing of this article.

Red glow from the crater lights up the nearby lava field that has three gas funnels rising up from it. Lava is flowing from the crater down into nearby Meradalir and some of the lava is flowing underground
The eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain. Copyright of this image belongs to RĂşv ohf.

Most of the lava flow is going into Meradalir at the writing of this article. Some of the lava flow is happening underground and that lava flow is going into south-Meradalir that is just above Nátthagi valley. That can be seen as gas is now coming from that lava field and increase in gas emission shows that fresh lava is flowing under the crust of the lava. Surface lava paths can change without warning at any time.

Tourist continue to place them self in great danger by walking out in the lava field. If there is an accident there won’t be any recurse because it is going to be already too late anyway.

Update on 7-August-2021 at 13:48 UTC

Today (7-August-2021) at 08:00 UTC the eruption stopped. The harmonic tremor dropped quickly as the stop in the eruption was quick after going on for two and half day. Why this happens remains unclear. At the writing of this update at 13:49 UTC the eruption remains inactive.

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Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 18-June-2021

This is a short update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain. It is still classified as Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano eruption. That might change in the future.

  • There is no sign of the eruption is about to stop.
  • Most of the week the lava was flowing in lava tubes that where invisible from the surface. Today (Friday 18-June-2021) that changed and lava is now again overflowing over the crater.
  • The crater remains unstable and collapses from the inside walls are frequents, or used to be. It is possible that for now the amount of lava in the crater is holding the walls up.
  • Nátthagi is now flooded with lava and the lava is on its way out of Nátthagi in next few hours to days. There won’t be any attempt made to stop the lava reaching the road or the ocean.
  • Geldingadalir valley is now full of lava and has overflowed a little. Lava might flow into Nátthagakriki in next few days, but small dirt walls where pushed up to try and delay that from happening. It is unclear if that worked. But for now the lava has not flowed into that direction.
Yellow lava flows out of the crater into a lava field and creates a new lava river.
The crater overflowing with lava. Copyright of this image belongs to RĂşv.
A lot of smoke blocks the clear view into Nátthagi where the lava field is and is about to leave Nátthagi. Car can be seen at the end of the lava field.
View into Nátthagi but is in part blocked by gas pollution from the eruption. Copyright of this image belongs to Rúv.

Currently there are no other news about this eruption. Next update should be on 25-June.

Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 5-June-2021

There has not been a lot of change in the eruption during this week (28-May to 5-June) in the eruption of Fagradalsfjall mountain that might be part of Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system.

  • The crater continues to get bigger. The crater grows by collapsing on the inside and expanding it walls following that it seems. Current height of the crater is 300 to 500 meters. This is a bad estimate based on web camera views.
  • The main viewing area is now cut off from walking people because lava has flowed over the lowest point on the walking path.
  • There is now a risk because of the overflow over the walking path that the western barrier is going to be breached soon.
  • In general the lava doesn’t travel far but it builds up close to the erupting crater and is now at locations hundreds of meters thick.
  • If the eruption continues as it has been doing the whole area is going to go under lava in next 6 to 10 months. As the lava just keeps building up.
  • There are no signs that this eruption is ending.

There are no other news about this eruption that I know of. It continues as it has been doing since 19-March-2021. In other parts of Iceland it has also been quiet or minimal activity not worthy of reporting.

This article is a little late because I was dealing with headache issue for the last 12 hours.

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Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 28-May-2021

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

  • There have not been any major changes since last update. Minor changes seems to be happening but at the writing of this article, those changes have remained small.
  • Large lava fountain activity has stopped in later part of this week. There is still some lava fountain activity going on but it is minor based on what I’ve seen on the web cameras.
  • Lava is now flowing into Nátthagi. It is expected to reach SuĂ°urstandarvegur road in 20 to 60 days depending on the lava flow into Nátthagi.
  • The western barrier for the lava has stopped the lava flow into Nátthagi at the writing of this article. Bad weather today (28-May-2021) has prevented any observation of the current situation in the eruption area. Its fog and heavy rain in this location currently.
  • Lava reservoir have formed in the lava field. They fill up slowly and then empty them self quickly into the lava field both on surface and with lava tubes that have formed in the lava field. This allows the lava field to expand quickly and without warning into new areas.
  • The lava field is slowly building upwards from the height it has been in recent weeks. Results of this is that soon the walking path to the viewing area on the ridge might soon be blocked by lava going over the area at its lowest points. This might only take few weeks to happen but that depends on how quickly the lava field builds up.

Other then this there has not been a lot of change in the eruption. This phase of the eruption might go on for months. There are clues that this is the first step in the building of a shield volcano or maybe a stratovolcano. What happens is a wait and see on this eruption.

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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.