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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Increasing pulse activity in the eruption signals end of the eruption

It has been reported in the news today (18-August-2022) at R√ļv 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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Changes in harmonic tremor in Meradalir valley eruption

This morning on (13-August-2022) at 06:30 to 08:00 UTC there was a sharp drop in harmonic tremor activity in the eruption in Meradalir valley. What happened is unclear, since no change has so far happened on the surface. From the looks of the harmonic tremor now, it seems that it is unstable currently.

Harmonic tremor plot on 0.5 - 1Hz, 1 - 2Hz, 2 - 4Hz, showing small drop in harmonic tremor around date of 13/08 as shown on the tremor plot
Harmonic tremor plot in Fagradalsfjall mountain, SIL station Fagradalsfjall (faf). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

New fissures might be about to open up, this can happen both north and south of current eruption. New fissures might also open up on either side of current eruption if that is a path that the magma can take. What happens is unclear and it is impossible to know when that might happen. Depending on the were next eruption happens, might mean a lot when it comes to possible lava paths and possible road damage if lava flows over a important road on Reykjanes peninsula.

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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 Kr√Ĺsuv√≠k-Tr√∂lladyngja 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 Grindav√≠k town (might also be east of Grindav√≠k, 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 earthquake activity in Fagradalsfjall mountain area on 2-August-2022

This is a short article because the situation changes constantly.

This was not a night where many people in Reykjavík got a good night sleep. A magnitude Mw5,0 earthquake took place at 02:27 UTC and was felt in Reykjavík, few seconds earlier a magnitude Mw4,7 earthquake took place. Earlier three earthquakes with magnitudes of Mw4,3 to Mw4,5 had taken place, this was just around midnight and was also felt in Reykjavík. Over 10 000 earthquakes have been recorded since Saturday when this all started. The earthquake activity during the night was at the western end of Kleifarvatn lake and was for that reason felt clearly in Reykjavík. Minor damage was reported with the earthquake around midnight. Other reports of damage have not been reported so far.

Heavy green stars on Reykjanes peninsula, all over and closest to Reykjavík at Kleifarvatn lake
Heavy earthquake activity on Reykjanes peninsula. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

The strong earthquakes during the night where fault earthquakes, that happen because of the inflation that is now taking place north of Fagradalsfjall mountain. GPS data has also been showing a interesting patter. There is now a deflation taking place in Gónhóll and the crater, while that area also seems to be on the move north (?). The 24 GPS data can be viewed here and 8 hours GPS data can be viewed here.

This earthquake activity is going to continue until an eruption starts. When that happens is impossible to know. More stronger earthquakes can be expected in next few hours and days on Reykjanes peninsula.

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Magma dyke has formed between √ěorbj√∂rn mountain and Eldv√∂rp on Reykjanes peninsula

According to news today (18-May-2022) and based on recent measurements, a magma dyke has formed between √ěorbj√∂rn mountain and Eldv√∂rp on Reykjanes peninsula. Eldv√∂rp 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 Kr√Ĺsuv√≠k-Tr√∂lladyngja 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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Changes in the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain

This is the short update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain. That is part of Kr√Ĺsuv√≠k-Tr√∂lladyngja volcano system.

From 22-June to 29-June the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain changed. It started to from being stable output of magma to intermittence magma output. That phase lasted from 22-June to 29-June until around 19:30 when activity started to increase again. The magma output seems to have more than doubled based on what I am seeing on the web cameras (when not blinded by fog).

It is unclear but there might have a new crater opened up just south of the main crater. Right next to him and that location is making confirmation on this difficult. There has been splatter activity seen from that location. It is also possible that this crater has already shut down in the latest changes. I don’t know yet.

Some lava fountain activity has been seen on web cameras in the last hour. As the lava activity continues to increase. The flow of lava seems to be increasing from before and is now flowing out on all sides of the crater. That did not happen before. Activity seems to drop to almost nothing between lava flows. If this is permanent or just temporary phase of the eruption I don’t know. This might take weeks to change into stable lava flow again.

It has also been reported in the news that most of the lava flow happens underground and goes directly into the lava field where it collects into lava ponds before it goes into Meradalir, Geldingadalir (already full of lava) or N√°tthagi valleys.

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 Kr√Ĺsuv√≠k-Tr√∂lladyngja 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 Kr√Ĺsuv√≠k-Tr√∂lladyngja 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 N√°tthagi. It is expected to reach Su√įurstandarvegur road in 20 to 60 days depending on the lava flow into N√°tthagi.
  • The western barrier for the lava has stopped the lava flow into N√°tthagi 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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