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 RĂşv 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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Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjalli mountain in Meradalir valley on 12-August-2022

This is a short update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain in Merdalir valley. As expected there is not a lot of news in this eruption, since lava type of eruptions are normally not news heavy eruptions.

  • The amount of lava that is now erupting according to latest news is about 15m3/sec. This is higher than the eruption in Geldingadalir in 2021.
  • The lava seems to have filled up the valley the eruption started in. The floor seems to be about 10 to 30 meters high depending on location.
  • The crater has formed to some extend. The lava lake that remains there blocks the formation of a normal crater for now. This might change with time as the eruption continues.
  • Lava flow go both in south and north direction. The north lava flow goes into a smaller valley that was there. This is the long way out of the valley for now.
  • There is a risk that the lava flow is going to reach road 427 (SuĂ°urstrandavegur) in few weeks time.
  • The risk of new eruption sites opening up remains high and that risk increases as the eruption goes on.
  • There is a swarm of small earthquakes that has been happening regularly since the start of the eruption in the dyke.  It is unclear why that is happening.
  • I’ve been seeing what appears to be a lava fountain taking place in the eruption in the last few hours. This has not yet been confirmed, I have however observed this on the web cameras.

I think this is all. I hope the next update is going to be on Friday 19th August 2022 unless something major happens.

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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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Massive lava cave opens up, results in lava flood down to Nátthagi

Yesterday (15-September-2021) around 11:10 UTC a large lava cave just south of the crater in Geldingadalir had a roof collapse in a small area or a lava breakup in the surface. This resulted in the lava flow down Geldingadalir into Nátthagi. The flow covered Geldingadalir in less than 20 minutes. After that it did reach the barrier that stops it from going into Nátthagakriki, if that happens both walking path A and B are going to get closed forever or having to be redrawn from their current locations. Lava down that path also allows the lava flow to go in the direction of Grindavík town and nearby roads.

The lava flow yesterday did go down into Nátthagi but didn’t get far into there compared with the older lava it was flowing on top of. This sudden lava flow did put people in danger and shows that the lava field is full of dangerous caves that can collapse or burst open at any time without any warning. The lava flow that started yesterday is ongoing best to my knowledge. But the view has been limited due to fog and bad weather in Fagradalsfjall mountain this evening.

One or two idiots where seen walking on the crater rim yesterday and I think this are the same people that Icelandic coast guard had to transport from GĂłnhĂłll since they where unable to get back because of the new lava flow that had happened when they where there.

The crater is now ~334 meters above sea level high. Currently the crater is now growing in height but that can change without warning.

Pictures of this new lava flow are on social media. I can’t use them because of copyright but if searched they can be found and viewed. There are also some amount of videos of this lava flow on YouTube.

Fagradalsfjall mountain is part of Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcano system.

Added 10-January-2022

This article can be found in Spanish here.

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 19-August-2021

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

  • The eruption continues its strange cycle of not erupting for few hours and erupting for few hours.
  • The consequence of this type of eruption is that the lava doesn’t flow that far from the crater. It just piles up next to the crater making the structure ever higher. I am currently estimating (this is a guess and might be wrong) the crater at 200 meters high (-+ 50 meters).
  • The eruption has now been going on for five months. Holuhraun eruption in BárĂ°arbunga volcano in 2014 to 2015 lasted for six months.
  • At the writing of this article there are no new craters open but it doesn’t rule out that new crater might have opened but are hidden under the amount of lava that is around the main crater. As there are some extreme large caves in this lava field. Allowing for a lot of space for new crater to form and start erupting unnoticed.

There are no more updates of the eruption at the writing of this article. That might change without warning but I don’t know if that is going to happen.

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

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

  • New crater has been confirmed in the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain. This crater started to form few days ago. It follows the activity in the largest crater and remains inactive during the time period when there is no activity in the large crater.
  • This new crater is going to change lava flows in the eruption and restart lava flows in the south-Meradalir and Geldingadalir.
  • Current the new crater is building up. It is on the larger crater rim and might be unstable and collapse are likely to happen.
  • Formation of new craters following the formation of this crater is likely. When and where new craters form is impossible to know in advance.
  • It is a question if this is a new phase of the eruption. I currently don’t have an answer.
  • The new crater is visible on all the web cameras.

Fog has been blocking the view of the eruption today and I expect that is going to be the case tomorrow (17-August-2021) and maybe next few days. This fog makes it difficult to see what is going in the eruption.