Sulphur smell from Kvíá glacier river that comes from Öræfajökull volcano

Today (16-November-2017) it was reported that sulphur smell was felt from a glacier river that comes from Öræfajökull volcano. The glacier river in question is called Kvíá and is a small and short glacier rivers on the south side. Currently there are no conductivity measurements on the glacier rives that comes from Öræfajökull volcano. The plan is that such measurements are going to start soon around Öræfajökull volcano. Along with gas measurements.

This change suggests that a hydrothermal systems have opened up somewhere under the glacier in Öræfajökull volcano. This means that magma has now reached depth of 1 km or less. For the past few days the earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano has been getting lower then during the last few weeks when up to 50 earthquakes was being recorded during each week. Earthquake activity continues today, but at much lower rates than before at the moment.

I’ll post updates about this as more information is reported.

Icelandic news in Icelandic

Brennisteinslykt við Öræfajökul (Rúv.is, Icelandic, map of the area)
Rannsaka brennisteinslykt við Kvíá (Vísir.is)

Article updated at 17.11.2017 at 00:44 UTC. Minor text title fixes.

This entry was posted in Earthquakes, Monitoring, Öræfajökull, Volcano. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Sulphur smell from Kvíá glacier river that comes from Öræfajökull volcano

  1. Mike Ross says:

    These caught my eye… interesting location, interesting depth…

    16.11.2017 18:57:15 64.591 -17.181 17.8 km 1.0 99.0 17.4 km ESE of Bárðarbunga
    16.11.2017 18:51:35 64.597 -17.202 15.0 km 1.2 99.0 16.3 km ESE of Bárðarbunga

    • This deep earthquake activity is something to worry about. I also suspect that this area is the source of the high conductivity in Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacier river.

      • Beardy Gaz says:

        Very unlikely, this is a deep feed area and has no surface activity. Earthquake activity is fairly regular here and has been for numerous years.

        There is scientific a paper on the feature here:

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2017GL074749/abstract

        I also wrote about the feature here:
        http://www.volcanocafe.org/greip-gjalps-mysterious-sister/

        Much more likely to be from a cauldron around the caldera rim of Bardarbunga. It’s possible that this deep feed area contributes to Bardarbunga’s magma supply (see the paper above).

      • No. This area has show vertical change in recent months (shallower earthquakes). According to geological maps I have of the area it’s outside Bárðarbunga volcano fissure swarm and also outside of Grímsfjall volcano fissure swarm (to best knowledge I have).

        This area doesn’t have official name that I know of. What this activity means in the long run is unclear at the moment. This area might never erupt, but it might sustain a hydrothermal area for long period of time (centuries).

  2. Beardy Gaz says:

    You misunderstand my comment Jon, I said no surface (0.1 km activity) rather than shallow quake activity. This area has shown shallow activity recently and in the past, see my post about it that contains historic quake data, but it’s predominately deep activity. Without any surface activity I find it hard to believe it is the hydrothermal source.

    I speculated that it’s an extension of the Grimsvotn fissure swarm just from extrapolating the fissure swarms lines as shown on futurevolc and other IMO maps. The scientific paper speculates it’s part of Bardarbunga’s fissure swarm and may be the deep source of the magma that fed 2014’s eruption.

  3. IngeB says:

    Somebody seen this? http://www.vedur.is/um-vi/frettir/ketill-i-oraefajokli
    Means there was a new cauldron resp. widened cauldron discovered on the top of Öraefajökull.

    • IngeB says:

      Would now be interesting to know, where exactly these cauldrons are situated and if there is/was shallowing seismicity to be found at these places during the last days.

  4. Gizmo says:

    Here we go…! New cauldron in Öræfajökull:
    https://twitter.com/i/web/status/931627872644714496

  5. Tyler says:

    Alert level raised for .Öræfajökull

  6. I’ll write a new article tomorrow about this latests developments.

  7. Kristín agnes says:

    How long time u think before it starts to erupt?
    And dó you know of anything any sign that something is gonna happend or than ~when :p

  8. I note there is a plan for the coastguard to take scientists on an inspection flight over the Kvíá area of Öræfajökull today. I wonder if there is still a plan for an expert´s inspection flight to the Jökulsá á fjöllum area? Anyone know, I know the weather got in the way, but better weather is forecast now.

  9. I note there is a plan for the coastguard to take scientists on an inspection flight over the Kvíá area of Öræfajökull today. I wonder if there is still a plan for an expert´s inspection flight to the Jökulsá á fjöllum area? Anyone know? The weather got in the way of this flight but better weather is forecast now.

  10. Unfortunately, by the time one can smell sulphur, surely it is always right before a serious eruption. Well at least if we go by Hollywood movies such as Dant’s Peak, which I thought was very entertaining, but I couldn’t tell you whether the scientific info in the movie surrounding the onset of a serious volcanic eruption are correct?. Is it possibly true that if we smell suphur or see sulphuric acid in the rivers, that the local volcano is about to go up? Or is the science of volcanoes a lot more sophisticated than the movie Dant’s Peak?

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