No glacier flood yet from Hamarinn volcano, but it is on it’s way

At current time (around 20:30 UTC) it has been observed that no glacier flood has started in Skaftá river. But the glacier flood is expected to start in the river around midnight, but the river might start to grow around 19:00 to 21:00 UTC. According to latest news the river has however started to get darker and conductivity in the water has started rise since this morning, but that was the signal that a glacier flood was about to start. Glacier flood tremor have also been dropping in the last few hours according to the latests news that I have seen (but I am hoping for a update on that detail).

The source of this glacier flood is a hydrothermal area in Hamarinn volcano (part of Bárðarbunga volcano). This area also did have a glacier flood last year. But last year there where two glacier floods in Skaftá river in June 2010, see reports here in Iceland at Icelandic Met Office web page.

This hydrothermal area in Hamarinn volcano is in two cauldrons in the Vatnajökull glacier. With time they fill with water that then breaks ice when the pressure is enough in the cauldrons due to water levels. It remains a question if the surprise glacier flood earlier this month from Hamarinn volcano has something to do with this. But at current time that is only speculation. But if the hydrothermal area is unusually highly active, or there has been some change it is hard to know for sure the size of this glacier flood.

Currently however the experts are expecting a small glacier flood due the fact there where two glacier floods from this area last year. But we however have to wait until midnight until we know what is the actual size of this glacier flood.

Icelandic News about this

Skaftárhlaup ekki enn hafið (Rú
Skaftárhlaupið komið í byggð eftir sólarhring (Ví
Engin merki um hlaup ennþá (

This entry was posted in Glacier flood, Hamarinn, Hydrothermal, Monitoring, Vatnajökull glacier, Volcano. Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to No glacier flood yet from Hamarinn volcano, but it is on it’s way

  1. Luisport says: What’s going on? It’s steam?

    • It is just the clouds. Nothing else.

    • Pieter says:

      Please once again:
      Katla will never ever start an eruption by steaming. If ever there is going to visible steam at the Katla cam it would be after an eruption just as we’ve seen at Eyjafjallajökull. Katla will start off with a tremendous amount of earthquakes and most probably immediate ash emmission. There is no such thing as a steam emission phase. I repeat: n.o. s.t.e.a.m.

    • helena says:

      Definitely cloud but she does look very beautiful tonight.

  2. Margeir says:

    Interesting to see how the landscape is under Vatnajökull and how big the Bardarbunga caldera is:

  3. Irpsit says:

    Two interesting GPS changes today:

    Katla suddently deflates, about 30 mm
    And Hekla, still keeps a stable inflation trends in recent days, about 20 mm.

    This happens, as another flood comes from Hamarinn.
    Interesting day!

    • Irpsit says:

      And I wanted to say, also a sudden south movement in Hekla. About 30mm too.
      Something strange or a data error? Are other stations showing some sudden deviations?

      • There is a error in the GPS data for the last 24 hours. It happens. I do not know why.

      • Irpsit says:

        Is this just for Isakolt (south movement) and Godabunga (down movement)? Because a data error for only these 2 stations, at the same time, is quite a strange coincidence, but it could still be a coincidence of course.

      • Frans Faase says:

        I don’t think so. All these GPS receivers are listening to the same satelites. Normal GPS positioning is not accurate to the mm. What these receivers do is intergrate measurements from a long periode. But I can imagine that there are many effects that could disrupt such measurements, for example atmospheric conditions.

      • Lurking says:

        A while back, I took my bluetooth GPS receiver and set it up in the backyard. I set my computer to log the raw positional data as it streamed out and saved it to a log-file. The reason I did it was that there was supposed to be an issue with GPS in this area at flight level 350 and up as some testing was being done over in one of Jacksonville’s OPAREAs about 400 miles to the East of here. I wanted to see if I could see a change in the trending as it was going on. All I found was an odd outage that occurs as the various satellites go “new day.”

        Now… remember that this is a consumer grade GPS unit and does not have the precision of scientific instruments.

        This should serve to illustrate some of the data and noise crap that scientists have to filter through to get those pretty GPS orbit plots that we see.

        The plot consists of the reported distance from the 30 fix average of the positions.

    • Sander says:

      It’s normal now

    • Xana says:

      Que ovejas más guapas! Por fin veo las estrellas más famosas de la Cadena islandesa Katla TV! Muchas gracias por compartir!
      Lovely! So these are the famous stars of the Katla TV Network. Thanks for sharing!

    • propensity says:


    • The Boston Volcano Heads says:

      haha … when they stampede is when to worry. 😉

  4. Irpsit says:

    I have not seen other sudden deflation movements in other stations, other than Isakot and Godabunga. This suggests that at least its not a general data glitch. It could have been a coincidence and a glitch in both stations, in the same day. Or could this be also a coincidence of two magma movements under both volcanoes? What does it mean a sudden deflation?

    Update: the flood in Skafta river apparently dropped down. The river was quite turbulent and dark, but is dropping down now.

  5. So far no glacier flood reported. It so small it was not detected at all or there was no glacier flood at all.

    I am going to know more tomorrow when I make a new blog post about this.

  6. helena says:

    Ok thank you Jon, cya tomorrow. Hope you are feeling better from your cold.

  7. Daniel_swe says:

    Conductivity in Skafta river is still rising slowly (around 240 microsiemens/cm). Of course very small now compared to the past days spike ( over 3000 microsiemens / cm).

  8. This glaicer flood appears to be a no show. So far nothing has happened.

  9. Luisport says:

    29.07.2011 09:11:05 64.461 -17.642 5.8 km 1.1 33.25 8.5 km ESE of Hamarinn

  10. JulesP says:

    Perhaps not so good if the meltwater flow is blocked somewhere?

  11. LorcanRK says:

    John’s geophone starting to look interesting – seems there is no wind at the moment.

  12. Renato Rio says:

    I see many spikes in tremors around Mýrdalsjökull.

  13. The latest news on this glacier flood is that is still on it’s way. They think it is from the western cauldron in Hamarinn volcano.

    It is not known why this glacier flood takes so long going down Vatnajökull glacier. I am going to post more on this later today. I am waiting for more news on this before I make a new blog post about it.

  14. Daniel_swe says:

    @ Jón.

    How come all of a sudden there are alot of earthquakes concentrated south of Habunga?

    Most of them seem to be very shallow and due to glacial movements but there are a few on the same depth of 5km. Is this a new intrusion of magma in a place not well known for deep earthquakes?

    Alftagrof seems to be the closest SIL station and it has been quite noisy.

    • I have been observing this earthquake activity for few weeks now. This is quite interesting activity. I have not seen it before in this area. But it did start few weeks ago.

      Here is a earlier blog post about it.

      I plan to make new blog post about this soon. But at current time I am aware of this and I am watching it. But I do not have any idea why this is taking place or what it might mean.

    • Peter Pan says:

      Do you have the focal data of these earthquakes?

  15. The Boston Volcano Heads says:

    Looks to me like every GPS staion at Hekla is showing vertical inflation over the past few weeks … a slight but maybe increasing rise in ground level.

    Note, none of the GPS units are on the main elevated part of Hekla, except for HEKR which is just a little bit up on the north-west flank.

    • Pieter says:

      Hekla has been inflating ever since it’s last eruption in 2000. That has been clear for years.

      • The Boston Volcano Heads says:

        For the plots shown, the gps detectors are surrounding Hekla, not on top of Hekla, per se; and as can be seen in the plots, something *new* is happening now, as opposed to in prior months. In the relatively large land area covered by the gps units, there appears to be some vertical rise in recent weeks (the UP plots), recorded by all the detectors, wheras there is little or no rise in prior months of this year. Do you see that?

  16. New blog post is up! 🙂

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