Bárðarbunga update for 16-October-2014

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.

This entry was 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. Bookmark the permalink.

64 Responses to Bárðarbunga update for 16-October-2014

  1. Da Xin says:

    Thanks, Jon!

    Was good to be able to finally see the area where the lava flow and river meet.

    Maybe sometime someone will focus a little longer on that area. They mentioned the longitudinal lakes being formed . . . Would like to see more images of those with better lighting and longer. LOL.

    But it was a moving video with tons of power and drama in it even in the silent mode.

  2. Scots John says:

    That’s cool Jon, there will still be great interest day to day as speculation builds over the ‘final’ outcome of the current event. That’s the trouble with following this, since 5 minutes from now everything could change.

  3. SusanonKauai says:

    Magnitude mb 4.4
    Region ICELAND
    Date time 2014-10-17 01:58:56.4 UTC
    Location 64.81 N ; 16.62 W
    Depth 2 km

    (from EMSC)

  4. Jay says:


    I wonder if this will steady out, seems in the last week a lot of shaking just before a big quake. If this pattern continues maybe another is imminent.

    • Andy W says:

      The spikes (or shaking) are caused by atmospheric disturbances or local weather disturbance (ice on antenna etc), nothing more. You should only be looking at the long term trend from the GPS, it is not accurate enough to show anything else.

      • Scots John says:

        The GPS unit also uses the sil and gps unit on Vonaskard as a reference point for greater accuracy. That was reported back in September and was also mentioned in here.

  5. James says:

    The activity in the dyke and further north near Askja has practically stopped since yesterday. Meanwhile more activity at Bard and now Tung. I think either an eruption will start there from one of those or maybe a new fissure in that area. Or things will gradual die down now.

  6. JR says:

    Big drop and it looks more or less real

  7. Luisport says:

    Karsten Spaans ‏@KarstenSpaans 16 min.

    @uni_iceland field team reports increased degassing in the last two days at the #Bardarbunga #Holuhraun vent site compared to 7-10 days before

    • Geyser Soze says:

      As I have speculated before,watch for changes in the fissure eruption as it is possibly being influenced by changes in the caldera chamber,we could be in for an interesting few days ,with plenty of changes occurring.

  8. whistler says:

    Increased unrest showing on dyn, skr and vos stations in the 2-4 hz band. Something in the works or just weather?

  9. Ian says:

    So when magma starts erupting from Tungnafellsjökull, of which I think will happen in the next few days, will this be classed as Tungnafellsjökull erupting or new fissure eruption from a bardabunga based dyke??

  10. Larry A says:

    So, what’s up with http://baering.github.io/ ? It seems like every time I go there, they have only verified a few big ones (>3) and leaves swarms of the smaller EQs unconfirmed. Which means I’m looking at one EQ in the last 16 hours, a M4, three hours ago.

  11. whistler says:

    Holy moly, a big quake 5+ for sure, would not be surprised if its close to 6

  12. Thor says:

    Something is definitely changing as I write. Look at the von graph here.

  13. Ian says:

    So there has been a gradual shift in the Tungnafellsjökull swarm since yesterday, it is now more in the centre of the caldera rather then the outta edge as it was yesterday.

    I also see a quake in Tungnafellsjökull of 2.4 with a 99% accuracy at a depth of only 0.5km!!

  14. Tyler Mannison says:

    Now what is going on at Tungnafellsjokull?
    17.10.2014 10:50:24 64.773 -17.916 3.2 km 3.2 99.0 8.9 km NE of Nýidalur

  15. Kolla says:

    They have now extended the area closed to the public north of Vatnajökull, because of a “risk of an explosive eruption in either Bárðarbunga or Tungnafellsjökull” and also because the amount of gas which has been increasing lately.

    I think this is the first time they mention Tungnafellsjökull in this context.


    • Kolla says:

      Sorry, I misread, they said Dyngjujökull, not Tungnafellsjökull. I must have been too focused on Tungnafellsjökull this morning. Like the rest of us probably.

      • IngeB says:

        It was more the contrary: The area which is closed for public (Lok­un­ar­svæðið) is now smaller than before, but the area called “danger area” (hættusvæði) is a bit bigger. Entrance there is not forbidden but on everyone’s own responsibility.

        There is no imminent change of situation at Holuhraun or Bárdarbunga or Dyngjujökull.

        It was not done, because of something like that. Just a new assessment of the situation by Almannavarnir.

  16. James says:

    From volcanodiscovery website:

    Tungnafellsjökull central volcano has not have recorded historical activity, but is considered an active volcano that has erupted during the past 10,000 year, mainly from flank fissures on the NE side where young basaltic lava flows occur.
    It is located to the NW of the Vatnajökull glacier and contains two calderas. One is largely filled by the Tungnafellsjökull glacier, while the other one to the SE is free of ice and has old rhyolitic lava flows.

  17. James says:

    So maybe the free caldera to the SE is going to erupt soon.

    • IngeB says:

      Which “free caldera”? Ice-free? There is no ice-free caldera under Vatnajökull (ie. to the SE of Bárdarbunga).

      • Kolla says:

        I think he´s talking about Tungnafellsjökull.

      • IngeB says:

        Hm, that would be in NW direction, not SE.

        SE could be Grímsvötn, but Grímsvötn is with the exception of some nunataks covered by up to 400 m of ice.

  18. James says:

    Or more likely a fissure on the NE side.

    • Bardarboom says:

      That in and of itself will be explosive. It also would accelerate the caldera collapse in unpredictable ways

  19. Treacleminer says:

    What is the evidence that Tungnafellsjökull is a really seperate volcano, rather than just another vent of Bardarbunga’s?

  20. James says:

    Yep was talking about Tung. That’s why I posted the info about Tung just before my comment. 🙂

  21. Jonni says:

    Scientist now speculating that the movements in the ring-fault probably causes water to drip deep down and increase EQ activity in BB, also saying that Holuhraun eruption is now half of what it was before but very much gas coming up with the magma which is coming from the mantle.

    • Geyser Soze says:

      Yes its developing a hydrothermal system,but melt water causing the earthquakes?Heat plus water equals,ummm.. steam!

      • Geyser Soze says:

        My guess the gas is from the caldera chamber,and the dike is getting sealed by viscous magma intrusion.

    • crosspatch says:

      It is going to be difficult for water at that depth to have much of a chance to cause quakes, I think. The water is not going to flash to steam at that depth, it will more likely form a sort of hydrothermal activity. Think along the lines of volcanic vents found at similar depth under ocean with plumes of hot water being ejected. There will be some thermal expansion of the water and that might have some impact and the water will also become corrosive and can have a chemical impact on rocks but that generally takes a considerable amount of time to break large amount of rock down.

      • Geyser Soze says:

        Ok they said the chamber was draining via the fissure,causing the lid to drop.But if the magma was draining ,that would of meant less heat in the caldera system,heat equals energy,earthquakes are the result of release of energy,so less energy in the system would have meant less earthquakes and less activity?Drainage model is busted in my opinion as caldera system is becoming more energetic even though the fissure eruption has declined significantly.

  22. James says:

    @Inge: I meant the SE of the Tung volcano, not SE of Bard or Vatna etc.

  23. Mafl says:

    Whatever will happen, Iceland is prepared:
    19th October: Icelandic Red Cross Emergency Exercise

  24. James says:

    My guess is the quakes have blocked the dyke path.

  25. There is an increased risk of eruption in Tungafellsjökull volcano. It might not happen, but at the moment it cannot be ruled out in my view.

    • Bob says:

      Yes I was wondering about that, there seems to have been quite an uptick in eq activity under Tungafellsjokull today.

  26. Gizmo says:

    Overview of the EQs in BB and Tungna last 24h.
    All credits: IMO http://en.vedur.is/

  27. Andy says:

    Video of the eqs. I think the evidence speaks for itself.


  28. Andy says:

    The gas increase is worrying. Increasing temperature or another source or if water then glacial melt and lava mixing. All possibilities tending towards increased activity.

  29. New article about Tungnafellsjökull volcano and increased risk of eruption is up.

  30. Cementboy says:


    Pressure is not pressure! I don’t think you can compare the pressure under thousands of meters water in ocean (black smokers or so?) with melt water a few 100 meters crust…see also the link for german “Hydrostatic Pressure”:


  31. New article about Bárðarbunga volcano eruption is up. 🙂

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