Friday update for Bárðarbunga volcano on 17-October-2014

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Bárðarbunga volcano eruption in Holuhraun did reach one big milestone today (17-October-2014). It is now the largest eruption in Iceland since the eruption in Laki (Skaftáreldar) in 1783 – 1784 eruption. By volume the lava field in Holuhraun is now larger than the 1947 eruption in Hekla volcano that is 0,8 km³ by volume and took 13 months to erupt that amount of lava. Current size of the lava field in Holuhraun is larger then 59 square kilometres (km²) in size, or around 0,83 km³ by volume according to University of Iceland Tweet on this matter. University of Iceland also has new map of the lava field, I just don’t know how to link to that image here.

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Earthquake activity today in Bárðarbunga volcano and Tungnafellsjökull volcano to the left. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquake today had the magnitude of 4,4. Second largest earthquake today had the magnitude of 4,2. Other earthquakes have been smaller today and there has been less earthquake activity today compared to earlier this week (Week 42). There was not big change in the eruption in Holuhraun today according to the news, the magma that did erupt today was reported to be more gas rich then in past few days or weeks. There is no major change taking place in the dyke area according to GPS measurements from the area around Bárðarbunga volcano. The GPS mesurements can be found here. New images of the eruption in Holuhraun can be found here. So far I have not read or seen anything more taking place in Bárðarbunga volcano. If everything stays quiet (I’m sure it won’t do that), I plan to have next update on Monday 20-October-2014 if no major activity takes place.

I wish everyone a good weekend.

Article updated at 23:46 UTC.

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Caldera, Collapse, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Inflation, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, Rift Zone, Swarm, Tremor plots, Volcano | 289 Comments

Increased risk of eruption in Tungafellsjökull volcano

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There is now an increased risk of eruption in Tungafellsjökull volcano (this is my opinion only). This volcano is different than Bárðarbunga volcano and is not connected to it on crustal levels (46 km top layer of the Earth crust in this area).

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Tungnafellsjökull volcano is to left of Bárðarbunga volcano on this image. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There has never been any historical eruption in Tungnafellsjökull volcano far as I know. So I have no data to work with in terms of analysing historical behaviour of this volcano. There is a stress factor at work here from Bárðarbunga volcano, this means that all the activity and drop of the Bárðarbunga volcano is changing the stress in nearby crust, this is the idea for the moment about how activity in Tungnafellsjökull volcano started. There is an increased risk of magma rising from depth into Tungnafellsjökull volcano from all of this. I don’t know why that appears to be the case (based on the data that I got), since magma coming into Tungnafellsjökull volcano is from its own deep root system that is connected to Tungnafellsjökull volcano. Even if magma is entering Tungnafellsjökull volcano it does not mean an eruption is imminent. The risk of an eruption in Tungnafellsjökull volcano is increasing at the moment, it might get lowered again soon, but this is the current status. Tungnafellsjökull volcano continues to have Green status on Icelandic Met Office website.

If anything more happens in Tungnafellsjökull volcano I am going update this article or post a new one.

Posted in Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Harmonic tremors, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Tungnafellsjökull, Volcano | 37 Comments

Bárðarbunga update for 16-October-2014

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Largest earthquake in Bárðarbunga volcano today (16-October-2014) had the magnitude of 5,0. Second largest earthquake had the magnitude of 4,6. Other earthquakes have been smaller. There have been more earthquake activity today compared to yesterday. The eruption in Holuhraun continues as it has been doing for the past 1,8 month, currently there is nothing to suggest the eruption is about to end any time soon. I don’t have any other news of the eruption today.

Rúv has new video of the Holuhraun eruption and it can be viewed here. It shows the power of this eruption clearly. The text is in Icelandic and there is no (or poor) audio with the video.

I am only going to post short updates when nothing special is to report since day to day changes of this eruption are not great. I am going to post updates to this eruption while it continues. Even if that is going to be for 10 years or longer.

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Caldera, Collapse, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Inflation, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, Mountain, Rift Zone, Swarm, Tremor plots, Volcano | 64 Comments

Bárðarbunga volcano update for 15-October-2014

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Far as I know there has not been a big change in the activity in Bárðarbunga volcano today (15-October-2014). Largest earthquake today had the magnitude of 5,4 and was felt in Akureyri. When the magnitude 5,4 earthquake happened the caldera dropped 15 cm in one go according to the GPS measurements in its centre. Over the past two days earthquake activity has been increasing in Bárðarbunga volcano and along the dyke that is erupting in Holuhraun. After the largest earthquake today the earthquake activity appears to have dropped a little.

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The earthquake activity today in Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Other then this I don’t think there is anything more in news of activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. Since day to day activity remains the same. Tungafellsjökull volcano continues to show earthquake activity following the stress changes that are now taking place in Bárðarbunga volcano. I still think no eruption is going to take place in that volcano [Tungafellsjökull volcano], at least as things stand at the moment.

Those how are interested in hearing the magnitude 5,4 earthquake that happened today. It is possible to do so in this two audio files that I did convert from my earthquake data earlier. This is how my geophones at Böðvarshólar (bhrz) and Heklubyggð (hkbz) “hear” the earthquake. Each audio file is only 2 seconds long. The sound from Heklubyggð is louder since the earthquake signal is stronger there. Both audio files are released under Creative Commons Licence. Please see CC Licence page for more details.

Böðvarshólar geophone
141015.111600.bhrzZ

Heklubyggð geophone
141015.111607.hkbzZ

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Caldera, Collapse, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, Glacier flood, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Inflation, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, Mountain, Storm, Swarm, Volcano, Weather, Wind | 109 Comments

Bárðarbunga volcano update for 14-October-2014

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This update is going to be a short one. Since not much change has taken place in Bárðarbunga volcano since yesterday. Activity continued in Holuhraun same as yesterday, there was a new video of the erupting crater in ten clock news at Rúv. It showed the same lava lake that is now erupting and the lava river flowing from it. The video can be viewed here, it starts at 14:21.

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Earthquake activity on 14-October-2014 in Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Earthquake activity has been same as it has been for the past one month (about). Largest earthquakes had the magnitude of 4,8 and several magnitude 4,7 earthquakes took place. Other earthquakes have been smaller in magnitude. Harmonic tremor has been unstable, suggesting that minor eruptions might be taking place under the glacier. At least something is going on under the glacier, what exactly is not clear at the moment.

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Caldera, Collapse, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Inflation, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, Mountain, Swarm, Volcano | 98 Comments

Bárðarbunga daily update for 13-October-2014

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Current activity in Bárðarbunga volcano is around the same as it has been for the past weeks with no sign of change coming. The eruption in Holuhraun continues at the same rate as before with no change taking place. I am not sure how big the lava field is at the moment, it is however somewhere over 54 square kilometres in size. It is growing every day, the growth rate is however different depending on how much lava is flowing out of the craters at any given day.

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The earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Earthquake activity remains high in Bárðarbunga volcano. With several magnitude 3,0 or larger earthquakes happening every day. There doesn’t seems to be any major change in that activity. Largest earthquake on 13-October-2014 had the magnitude of 4,8 and second largest earthquake had the magnitude of 4,7. Most of the earthquake activity is happening in the caldera that has now dropped some 36 – 37 meters far as I know. There has been increase in earthquake activity along the dyke, suggesting that at least for the time being the pressure inside of it is increasing and dropping between those increases. SO2 pollution is now a problem in Iceland depending on wind direction. This pollution is hard on people with asthma or other breathing problems.

Eruptions under the glacier

Due to the nature of the volcano activity in Bárðarbunga volcano it is clear that eruptions under the glacier are going to take place. They have already happened, so far those eruptions have been minor and only lasted for few hours at the time. Eruption that might last for months at the time as current Holuhraun eruption might start one day without a warning under the glacier. When that happens there is going to be a glacier flood and the harmonic tremor is going to go up once that happens. That does not mean end to the eruption in Holuhraun, since both places can easily erupt at the same time.

Tungafellsjökull volcano

There has been increase in earthquake activity in Tungafellsjökull volcano. Current idea is that this activity is due to stress changes in the crust around Bárðarbunga volcano. Both due the caldera collapse taking place and rift zone is moving by rifting. I am monitoring this activity for any changes that an eruption might take place. Due to lack of any historical eruptions in Tungafellsjökull volcano there is no way to predict or know what happens in this volcano.

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Caldera, Collapse, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Inflation, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, Rift Zone, Swarm, Tungnafellsjökull, Volcano | 90 Comments

Powerful earthquake activity deep on the Reykjanes ridge

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During the weekend there was an earthquake activity deep on the Reykjanes ridge. Largest earthquake in the swarm had the magnitude of 5,5 (EMSC information here). Second largest earthquake had the magnitude of 5,4 (EMSC information can be found here), the smallest detected earthquake had the magnitude of 4,6 (EMSC information can be found here).

This activity took place some 1000 km away from Iceland closest point. For that reason it is impossible to know what is happening at this location. It might an eruption that nobody is going to see or notice, or this might just be a earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes ridge, such activity is common along the Reykjanes ridge and happens regularly.

Posted in Earthquakes, Monitoring, Reykjanes Ridge, Swarm, Volcano | 5 Comments

Minor earthquake swarm in Katla volcano during the weekend

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During the weekend there was a minor earthquake swarm in Katla volcano. This was a minor earthquake swarm that lasted for few hours and then stopped.

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The earthquake activity in Katla volcano last weekend. Green star is a magnitude 3,2 earthquake that took place. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquake during this period was a magnitude 3,2 earthquake. This earthquake is a bit outside the main swarm area and does not appear to be part of the earthquake swarm. No changes in harmonic tremor took place during this activity. Currently earthquake activity in Katla volcano is little and well below background levels at the moment.

Posted in Earthquakes, Katla / Mýrdalsjökull, Monitoring, Swarm | Leave a comment

Friday update for Bárðarbunga volcano on 10-October-2014

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This is current status on Bárðarbunga volcano on 10-October-2014.

  • There is no change or little in the eruption in Holuhraun far as I know. Visibility has been low today due to bad weather and snow.
  • Largest earthquake today had the magnitude of 4,8 at 11:26 UTC. Second largest earthquake had the magnitude of 4,7 at 02:24 UTC. Other earthquakes have been smaller.
  • Earthquake activity is increasing in Tungafellsjökull volcano. Current idea about this activity is that it is responding to tension changes in Bárðarbunga volcano. I don’t know how good this idea is. It might explain some of the earthquake activity. I am unsure if it explains all of the current earthquake in Tungafellsjökull. Currently I am just waiting to see what happens next with this volcano.
  • Earthquake activity along the dyke was minimal from what I can tell. Most of it took place under the glacier and that might not be a good sign if an eruption starts in that area. Since it would start a glacier flood and later a minor volcano ash eruption.
  • No further reports far as I know about current status in Bárðarbunga volcano.

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Earthquake from Tungafellsjökull volcano at 22:58:28 UTC. There is some signature different in the earthquakes and the one from Bárðarbunga volcano. The main different at the moment is that the earthquakes in Tungafellsjökull volcano appears to be more tectonic and not due to magma movement. That has however been changing since the earthquake activity changed. Latest earthquakes show less pure tectonic activity than before. It is my assessment that magma might be on the move in Tungafellsjökull volcano. There is currently nothing to suggest that an eruption is going to take place even if that is the case. This image is released under Creative Commons Licence. Please see CC Licence for more details.

Saturday 11-October-2014 update

  • No change reported in the eruption according to the news today. The eruption fissure is now one 400 meter long fissure and all the craters that where in that area have merged together into one crater.
  • Largest earthquake today had the magnitude of 5,0. Second largest earthquake had the magnitude of 4,7. Other earthquakes have been smaller in magnitude.
  • New video of the eruption can be found here on Vísir.is. Audio and text is in Icelandic.
  • The eruption might last for months according to scientists in Iceland.
  • When scientists flew over Bárðarbunga volcano on Friday they noted some new cauldrons in the glacier. I suspect this has more to do with minor eruptions in the area rather then hydrothermal or hot spring activity. Such activity cannot be ruled out and possibly is taking place along the dyke. If any hydrothermal activity is taking place in Bárðarbunga volcano it means that magma has now reached depth of 1 – 2 km or less.

Sunday 12-October-2014 update

  • Largest earthquakes on 12-October-2014 had the magnitude of 5,2 and the second largest earthquake had the magnitude of 4,7.
  • Slightly higher earthquake activity has been detected today compared to yesterday. There has been more earthquake activity along the dyke then yesterday.
  • Due to bad weather there has not been any visible observation on Míla web cameras.
  • I suspect that minor eruptions are taking place under the glacier. I don’t know where they are taking place. A flight over the glacier is needed for such observation to see new or deepened cauldrons in the glacier.
  • Nothing else to report far as I know.

I wish everyone a good weekend.

Article updated at 22:42 UTC.
Article updated at 00:29 UTC on 13-October-2014.

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Caldera, Collapse, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, Glacier flood, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Inflation, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Tungnafellsjökull, Volcano, Wind | 261 Comments

Bárðarbunga volcano daily update 9-October-2014

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This is the daily Bárðarbunga volcano update. If you wonder why I write this every day even if there are no major changes there is a reason to it. There is an eruption taking place and there is always something going on. There are more notes about other things at the end of this article.

Current status in Bárðarbunga volcano on 9-October-2014

  • Largest earthquake today had the magnitude of 5,2, it took place at 21:22 UTC. Second largest earthquake today took place at 04:37 UTC and it had the magnitude of 5,0.
  • There is increased activity over the dyke origin area in Bárðarbunga volcano. Largest earthquake so far had the magnitude of 4,8 at 19:13 UTC today. I don’t think this is a good sign, since it appears to me that more magma is trying to get into the dyke. The dyke is however not wide enough to take in all this new magma that is trying to pressure its way into it. So it is now trying to expanding it at is starting point. If that expansion of the dyke fails the magma is going to start looking for new way out. What path the magma is going to go is not possible to predict. When the formation of new dyke starts, there is going to be a new earthquake swarm with thousands of earthquakes as happened from 16-August to 29-August when the eruption started.
  • Bárðarbunga volcano caldera continues to drop even if the magma pressure is increasing. I don’t know why that is. The caldera is not going to collapse until most or all of the magma leaves the magma chamber holding it up. Until then it is going to stay up. When the magma finds a path out of the magma chamber it is going to start a large eruption that is only going to last 60 – 75 hours (less than a week). Until then it is going to be more of the same. New dykes forming and sometimes erupting.
  • Bad weather has prevented me from seeing anything on the web cameras. I have also not heard anything about the lava field current status on the news today.
  • Today there was more earthquake activity along the dyke then yesterday. Suggesting increased pressure in it, as would be expected since I am seeing more pressure in the magma system (based on earthquake activity).
  • Nothing else to report far as I know.

The ring fault in Bárðarbunga volcano

The ring fault that has formed in Bárðarbunga volcano can clearly be seen on this image today from Icelandic Met Office.

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The ring fault in Bárðarbunga volcano. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Bárðarbunga volcano is a Stratovolcano (Wikipedia information can be found here) on a rift zone setting. This means Bárðarbunga volcano is able to erupt normal explosive eruptions at times (rhyolitic type eruptions), since magma can be mixed inside the volcano over a long period of time. I don’t think that is going to happen now, since there doesn’t seems to be any such magma in Bárðarbunga now. Since current activity happened without warning and that has not allowed any magma to evolve inside Bárðarbunga volcano magma chambers. As for Bárðarbunga volcano caldera collapse, information about how and why that is happening is explained here in general terms. As I said above, for as long there is magma inside the magma system that holds the weak area up it is going to stay where it is.

If anything major happens in Bárðarbunga volcano. I am going to write a new article or update this article with the latest information.

Other things

please note that I am in the process of moving back to Iceland. The moving date has been set in December. Until then I am just slowly packing my stuff down into boxes and ordering the transport for my stuff to Iceland. I am also trying to save up some money for the transport cost so I don’t have to take a large loan with my parents for this move back to Iceland. This also means that my geophone in Denmark is going down tonight. The website for it won’t go away right away. The image is going to be replaced with a test card.

Donations: Please remember to support my work with donations or by shopping at Amazon. Don’t worry about it if you can’t donate. I am just happy when I get any donation. Regardless how big or large it is. Thanks for the support.

Crazy theories

If there is a theory or idea that sounds just too crazy to be true. It is just that. Nature has its own rules and laws that it follows, even if we don’t understand them all. That is still what the nature does, even when it comes to eruptions. The best idea when it comes to crazy ideas is to ignore them. It is also important to know that nature ignores all crazy ideas anyway and does what it pleases to do. Regardless of any human idea about how nature works. I write this since I have been hearing a lot of crazy theories and ideas about Bárðarbunga volcano. Almost none of them have basis in fact, others are just twisting the facts and creating something unrealistic in the process.

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Caldera, Collapse, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Inflation, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, Mountain, Study, Swarm, Volcano, Weather | 103 Comments