Few more news have appeared about the sudden warming of Askja volcano caldera lake. From what I this news say. It seems that this sudden melt of ice in Askja lake did start in beginning of March, by the end of March the lake had gone completely ice free. This is highly unusual and is not known to have happened before. This increase in hydro-thermal activity seems to be located at the bottom of the lake. But so far there is no new change around Askja lake. But it was reported yesterday that known hydro-thermal areas in Askja volcano where well active. It is now being reported that Askja lake got ice-free over period of two weeks so. But that is highly unusual and fast change in Askja lake.
Earthquake activity has not been above background level in Askja volcano so far. But this increase in hydro-thermal activity is interesting from geological point of view, and is the most clear sign that Askja volcano is preparing for a eruption. But there have been earthquakes taking place in Askja volcano. But as I sad yesterday. There have been few earthquakes in Askja volcano during past few months. Askja lake is about 1000 meters above the sea level. This means that once ice settles the lake in December it normally lasts until mid July. But the lake is self is normally up to 22C warm. So the warm increase
If anyone is going to Askja volcano. It is now official advice that people how are travelling in this area not to into Víti lake, or into Askja lake due to risk of dangerous gases that might be coming up from the ground. If you have no special reason going to Askja volcano, you should not go there at this point due to the changes in the volcano. As at this moment it is unknown what exactly is creating this changes in the Askja lake, and possibly nearby hydro-thermal areas.
University of Iceland and Iceland Meteorological Office are going to go after Easter and setup more monitoring hardware and run some test on what might be taking place in Askja volcano.
Update 1: Here is a youtube video by the user gummih that shows how fast Askja lake did thaw during middle of winter.
Icelandic news about this. Use Google translate to make sense of it.
Fylgst með framvindu mála í Öskju (mbl.is)
„Óeðlilegt ástand“ í Öskjuvatni (DV.is)
Fólk fari ekki að Öskjuvatni (mbl.is) – The news with the offical warning about going to Askja lake and Askja volcano.
Vara ferðafólk við Öskjuvatni og Víti (Rúv.is)
Almannavarnir: Ekki fara að Öskju (DV.is)
Óvenjulegt ástand við Öskju (Almannavarnir, Iceland Civil Emergency Authority)
Fólki bent á að fara ekki að Öskju (Vísir.is)
News in English about this
Photos: Iceless Iceland Volcano Lake Causes Speculation (icelandreview.com)
Blog post updated at 18:46 UTC on 04.04.2012.
Blog post updated at 19:12 UTC on 04.04.2012.
Blog post updated at 20:12 UTC on 04.04.2012.
Blog post updated at 01:28 UTC on 05.04.2012.