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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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 (Su√įurstrandavegur) 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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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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Earthquake with magnitude Mw4,1 just west of Kleifarvatn lake

Today (7-August-2022) at 11:52 UTC an earthquake with magnitude of Mw4,1 took place just west of Keifarvatn lake. This earthquake was felt in Reykjavík.

Green star just west of Kleifarvatn lake, in swarm of red and orange dots that show earthquakes from today (red) and few hours ago (orange)
Earthquake activity west of Kleifarvatn lake. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Earthquake activity is ongoing in this area. This might be tectonic earthquakes because of pressure changes that are now taking place because of the eruption in Meradalir valley. That is however unclear in my view.

Reykjanes volcano

At 10:52 UTC an earthquake with magnitude Mw3,0 took place west of Grindavík in the Reykjanes volcano. This might not be an earthquake related to pressure changes because of the eruption in Merdadalir valley. I am however not sure if that is the case. The Reykjanes volcano is going to erupt one day, since it goes out in the ocean, an ocean eruption and island formation is a possibly. An eruption on land is also an possibility. When and how an eruption happens in Reykjanes volcano is something that just has to wait and see.

The eruption in Meradalir valley

Newest reports is that a pulsing activity has started in the largest eruption fissure in Meradalir valley. This suggest to me that the old lava that is now erupting is almost all erupted. When that magma supply is gone a short break in the eruption might happen and then a new, larger eruption is going to start with the new magma that is on the way to the Fagradalsfjall mountain. When and if this happens like this is a big wait and see.

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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 R√ļv 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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Update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjalli mountain on 23-April-2021

This is a short update on the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain on 23-April-2021 for the last week. Information is provided with best effort. The volcano that is erupting is Kr√Ĺsuv√≠k-Tr√∂lladyngja volcano system.

No major changes have been seen this week in the eruption. Here are the highlights.

  • According to last chemical analyse of the lava. The magma that is coming up is getting more primitive and from deeper part of the mantle. This increased the chance that the eruption is going to go on for months to years. Details can be found here on Twitter or here on Facebook.
  • Thickness of the lava is in most places just 16 meters. In Geldingadalur valley the thickness is at most 50 meters and getting thicker as the eruption continues and the valley slowly fills up. The lava doesn’t flow far and so it piles up next to the erupting craters.
  • At the writing of this article it seems that crater 1 is slowing down or shutting down. There seems to be some activity but it is low and mostly just gas is blowing out.
  • Craters continue to collapse as the eruption goes on. This happens at random and results in flood of lava happening.
  • The most active area now is the craters that opened on 7th of April and other time after that.

Other than this the eruption continues to be stable and the flow of lava is around 5m2/second according to last report I did read in the news.

Update on Fagradalsfjall mountain eruption on 9-April-2021

This is a short article about the eruption in Fagradalsfjall mountain that is part of Kr√Ĺsuv√≠k-Tr√∂lladyngja volcano system.

This week has been busy and please read the older articles about what happened earlier in this week.

  • Lava output is now 50% more according to University of Iceland measurements compared to start of the eruption (19-March-2021). Gas output is also more then in start of the eruption. It has resulted in problems depending on wind direction.
  • There is a high risk that an eruption might start south of Geldingadalir valley eruption. There is also a high risk that new eruption is going to start north of the 5-April-2021 eruption.
  • There is no change in inflation in the area. It has slowed down but remains the same.
  • There continues to be low level earthquake activity along the dyke from Keili to Fagradalsfjall mountain.

Any change that is going to happen without warning and might not happen without any earthquake or little earthquake activity.

Next update is going to be on 16-April-2021 unless something major happens. This eruption is always changing and this weekend and next week might get interesting. If anything happens I am going to write new article soon as possible.

Update at 22:43 UTC

Icelandic Met Office released this map and press release (in Icelandic only) about the risk new fissures can open up both north and south the the current craters that are erupting. This page is updated regularly so if you are looking at this later than 9 to 10 April 2021 you might have to look for this information.

Map showing marked area that goes little south and north of the current erupting fissures in Fagradalsfjall. That area has been marked as dangerous by Icelandic Met Office. The map also shows the lava fields in purple.
The new area that has a risk of new fissures opening up without warning. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

The map shows the area that is now at risk of new fissures opening up without warning.

Update 10-April-2021 at 15:20 UTC

Around 03:14 UTC on 10-April-2021 fissure number 4 did open up between fissure number 2 (5-April-2021) and fissure number 3. The eruption from this crater doesn’t seem to be large but it did happen under a new lava that had flowed over that same area few days before from fissure 2. In fissure/crater 1 the amount of erupting lava did drop a little just before the new eruption.

I am noticing that it seems new fissures are opening up more frequently then before. This seems to have changed after opening up of fissure 3.

Timeline of fissure openings so far.

1st fissure 19-March-2021
2nd fissure opened 5-April-2021
3rd fissure opened 7-April-2021
4th fissure opened 10-April-2021

Time period between new fissures opening up currently seems to be 3 to 4 days. I suspect that this is going to change soon and it is possible that new fissure that opens up might get larger as the eruption goes on. There seems to be phase in this eruption that is happening in Fagradalsfjall mountain. I am not perfectly sure what that phase is now since I’ve never seen this before and I don’t have any data on this type of eruption behaviour from other volcanoes outside of Iceland. That I know of.

Video of the eruption fissure 4 opening up.

N√°tt¬≠√ļr¬≠an er √≥√ļt¬≠reikn¬≠an¬≠leg og √≥fyr¬≠ir¬≠sj√°¬≠an¬≠leg (mbl.is)


Article updated at 22:48 UTC.

Article updated at 15:39 UTC on 10-April-2021.
Article updated at 15:54 UTC on 10-April-2021.