Bárðarbunga volcano update for 10-February-2015

No mayor changes have been reported since my last update. Bárðarbunga volcano continues to subside at slow rate. The eruption in Holuhraun continues around the same rate as before. Sulfur dioxide pollution continues to be a problem. There are now also worries about the amount of sulfur dioxide that is bound into snow, since once spring arrives in Iceland (April – May) that snow is going to melt and flood the grasslands and rivers with sulfur dioxide pollution, when sulfur dioxide is combined with water it creates acid rain (that has also been a problem in Iceland).

150210_1820
Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano for the last 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Earthquake activity remains high in Bárðarbunga volcano, but there has not been a magnitude 5,0 earthquake since January-8 according to latest reports. Largest earthquake in past 48 hours had the magnitude of 4,7. I did notice today (10-Feburary-2015) several deep earthquake had taken place. This might suggest that magma is coming up from depth into Bárðarbunga volcano. It is difficult to know for sure what this means at the moment.

Correction of misunderstanding regarding Hreppar Microplate

Hreppar microplate has nothing to do with the eruption and rifting episode in Bárðarbunga volcano. Details on Hreppar microplate can be found here (page 18). Few more details can be found here (page 9).

New article schedule for Bárðarbunga volcano updates

With less activity in Bárðarbunga volcano I am lowering the amount of articles I am writing about it. Since it is hard to write about the same thing for five months. There won’t be any article on Friday (13-Feburary). Next update is going to be on Wednesday 18-Feburary. After that I am going to have weekly updates on Bárðarbunga volcano activity.

Donations: The PayPal button is going to return soon. Since I won’t be moving back to Denmark (as I hoped that I would do) I am moving it back to Iceland. It is going to take few days to finish that process. In the meantime it is possible to donate directly with bank transfer, information on how to do so can be found here. Other way to support my work is to shop from Amazon. I get a small percent of the sale price for each item sold.

This entry was posted in Bárðarbunga, Deflation, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, Gas, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, SO2, Swarm, Toxic, Volcano. Bookmark the permalink.

185 Responses to Bárðarbunga volcano update for 10-February-2015

  1. Randall says:

    Has anyone taken a temperature reading of the Holuhraun lava lately and in particular the temperature trace since last August 31st? This might give us a clue as to the continuation of the eruption cycle.

  2. stefan mueller says:

    Congrats to Armann to have been at Baugur crater rim. I was waiting for that, I guess nobody did it so far because of the remote location and harsh climate.
    @JB, the theory with the caldera slab sinking into the shallow chamber is ridiculois. Please less drinks while writing comments. Theories should be supported by data or observations.

      • JB says:

        Try thin roofed calderas?This is not a science journal and I am not scientist so I do not need to give data I do not have, to backup a comment in the comments section of a blog.If you are going to make the claim of my comment being ridiculous ,then give your reasoning for that ,so it can be ascertained if your reasoning is sound?

      • SteveG says:

        Congratulations! That’s an interesting and relevant article. One must then consider how BB is similar and how it is different from the examples and models presented in the paper.

      • JB says:

        @steveG,that is the problem ,what is the structure of BB and what model applies.

      • SteveG says:

        There is at least one shallow chamber 3km down. The caldera lid might be that thick, but it is likely a sandwich of rubble, remelts and hard solid layers. The caldera is tilting down toward the NE. The north rim is in collapse in two places. The collapse is very gradual, called a subsidence.

        The subsidence has just about come to an end. There are no more mag 3+ EQ’s in the SE and the N and NE quakes of mag 3+ are ending.

        Some experts claim that this should be the end of the BB events, and that the dike eruption at Holuhraun will also end at midnight, April 1.

        The predictions are from calculations of exponential decay curves. But that is based on a static model of the world, which assumes that the underlying conditions will not change in the foreseeable future.

        Possible. But I see it otherwise.

        First, 2/3 of the magma has filled up the surrounding dike system, and has solidified to glue Iceland back together. This is a change in the initial conditions because now all magma will head to Holuhraun, not just the other 1/3. The magma pressure can now stabilize and even start to rise back up.

        Second, the condition of the deeper magma chamber at 10km+ can start to react to the decreasing pressure. It could start foaming and expanding.

        Perhaps.

      • Stefan Mueller says:

        Please don’t call me ANYTHING, or Jon will put you on THE LIST. You mentioned earlier that you had a drink too much, so I’m not too far off with my conclusion of how you get your theories. I’m happy that you are reading, the paper looks good, experimental tectonics, but please don’t tell me to do some reading. Ok? I read enough about the subject. If you wouldn’t notice, you are edging on with quite a couple of people here, so maybe try to change something with your amount of comments and what you are writing. Thanks for understanding.

      • Please stop with all the fighting or I will add people to the moderation list.

    • JB says:

      @stefan mueller,Sigh,I have had enough and will not be back under any alias,enjoy your experimental tectonics,although it is about the mechanics of caldera collapse.Whatever goodbye sir!

  3. SteveG says:

    Captcha problems, then it says this is a duplicate. Is it?

    There is at least one shallow chamber 3km down. The caldera lid might be that thick, but it is likely a sandwich of rubble, remelts and hard solid layers. The caldera is tilting down toward the NE. The north rim is in collapse in two places. The collapse is very gradual, called a subsidence.

    The subsidence has just about come to an end. There are no more mag 3+ EQ’s in the SE and the N and NE quakes of mag 3+ are ending.

    Some experts claim that this should be the end of the BB events, and that the dike eruption at Holuhraun will also end at midnight, April 1.

    The predictions are from calculations of exponential decay curves. But that is based on a static model of the world, which assumes that the underlying conditions will not change in the foreseeable future.

    Possible. But I see it otherwise.

    First, 2/3 of the magma has filled up the surrounding dike system, and has solidified to glue Iceland back together. This is a change in the initial conditions because now all magma will head to Holuhraun, not just the other 1/3. The magma pressure can now stabilize and even start to rise back up.

    Second, the condition of the deeper magma chamber at 10km+ can start to react to the decreasing pressure. It could start foaming and expanding.

    Perhaps.

    • IngeB says:

      What is the quantity of the magma we are talking about? The magma within all of the system of Bárdarbunga? The magma within the central volcano? +/- the magma coming up from the mantle?

      And how would we know what percentage of that is to be found under Holuhraun resp. “The Dyke”?

      And how would we know that the magma in the dyke has finished to solidify? (Such an important batch – minimum 5 m x 15 km x 45 km.) Eg. the magma that erupted as lava during the Krafla eruptions has still not totally cooled down, 30 years later.

      And within the magma chamber, the pressure would not decrease but on the contrary, increase – under the premise that magma from the mantle is still streaming in (the deep earthquakes). And only that would initiate the magma to foam and bubble, not a decreasing pressure. http://www.jsu.edu/dept/geography/mhill/phylabtwo/ignrokdiscus.html

  4. Be it noted that, at this time, there are no stars on the Vatnajokull map for the first time since last August. In fact, the strongest quake currently shown is a 1.7

    Do we end with a whimper, or a bang? Or maybe we haven’t ended at all; maybe the caldera floor has just hit rock bottom and stablised, but the magma inflow from deep sources will continue largely unaffected.

    • IngeB says:

      Is it not very probable, given the “normal” developments of Icelandic rifting events, that this is just an episode among others, and there will be more of these within the coming months to years?

      And are not GPS instruments still showing movements in the direction of Bárdarbunga and others?

  5. What are your thoughts about this.

    From a RÜV interview with geophysicist Ármann Höskuldsson:

    “The “mother” of the volcanoes, as dr. Höskuldsson called Bardarbunga volcano, is boiling and the diminishing eruption in Holuhraun/Nornahraun is an alarm sign as another turn of events is expected…and then it is impossible for the mother not to make her presence known. (…)
    If the crater of Nornahraun closes up and there is still seismic activity under the surface, it is most likely that Bardarbunga volcano itself will erupt, geophysicist Dr. Höskuldsson has concluded.”

    Source, audio in Icelandic…: http://www.ruv.is/frett/glidnunargos-standa-oft-lengi

    • LouiseS says:

      Iceland Eruptions, I have been thinking for some time that the scenario Dr. Hoskuldsson has presented is a strong possibility for Big B in the future. I also toy with the idea that the eruption at Nornahraun will gradually come to an end only to have another location in this area erupt in a short time period due to rifting. I suppose we will have to hold on to our hats as future winds can blow in surprising directions.

    • IngeB says:

      The above is no literal translation of what Ármann Höskuldsson said.

      His metaphor was to call Bárdarbunga the mother of her own volcanic system, Holuhraun etc. as the “children”.

      And he was not so alarmist.

      He also said that there is still the possibility that the event goes just still and stops.

      On the other hand, he finds likely from past experience – Krafla etc. -, that other rifting events will follow.

      Most interesting is that he mentions – in the same interview – the possibility of eruptions under the glacier and explains it like that: The land has lost its “cover” between Holuhraun and the caldera, the “lid has been lifted”. Which means, that because of the rifting and the dyke, the earth in these parts of the country is extremely fissurized and so more prone than other parts of the country for magma to break through.

  6. Mick Daly says:

    Wednesday
    18.02.2015 14:17:59 64.663 -17.475 1.7 km 4.1 99.0 3.5 km NE of Bárðarbunga

    Just to keep us happy!

  7. New article is up about Bárðarbunga volcano. This is now a weekly updates that I write. Do to current lack of changes taking place in the eruption.

Comments are closed.