General overview of Grímsvötn eruption on 23. May 2011 at 20:33 UTC

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This is a general overview of Grímsvötn eruption on 23. May 2011 at 20:33 UTC.

Ash cloud: The ash cloud is still going strong. It is however a bit lower then in first few days. Measurements of the ash plume now says that it is between 5 to 9 km. Because of that it does not appear on the radar at IMO. The ash cloud has now been detected all over Iceland, except for the most western part of Iceland (Westfjod). In the areas closest to the main ash cloud the visibility is from 1 meter and up to 500 meters when it is at it’s best. Ash fall is expected to last for the next few days, or until the crater does not get any water into it to make the ash. The ash cloud is expected to reach Scotland tonight (Rúv, Icelandic). BBC News about cancelled flights due the ash cloud. Farmers live stock has started to die due to the ash cloud. It is unknown how the wild life is doing while the ash cloud covers part of south Iceland. Current output of the Grímsfjall volcano is about 1000 to 2000 tons of ash pr second. It was around 10,000 tons of ash pr second during the first days of the eruption.

Rúv News, Öskufall næstu daga (Icelandic, Rúv.is)

Eruption: Even if the ash cloud is lower now. It appears that the eruption is still going strong. In the evening news at Rúv it was reported that there was a chance the magma that powers this eruption might be from a great depth (more then 20 km). Tremor graphs that are online show and suggest that the eruption is still at full power. The reason why they are at lower noise level is most likely due to fewer explosion in the eruption, as less water is in the crater. When water no longer goes into the crater it turns into lava eruption. There is also an speculation that new fissures might open up in this eruption where there is more glacier cover (evening news on Rúv). But that would mean flash glacier flood and new ash cloud when the eruption would break the glacier covering it. But so far this has not happened and is nothing but a speculation. It would mean earthquake activity when the magma would break the crust, as happened when the eruption did start on 21. May 2011.

GPS data: According to report from IMO and University of Iceland the deflation now has been 50 cm to northwest and has subsided 25 cm. According to the report this about 60% larger then after the eruptions in the year 1998 and in the year 2004.

Web cameras: Grímsvötn Míla web cam is now up and running. It should be possible to see the eruption when an ash cloud is not in the way. But so far that has been the case.

Please note that information here might get outdated really fast and with no warning at all!

Updated at 20:42 UTC.

This entry was posted in Ash cloud, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, GPS data, Grímsvötn / Grímsfjall, Harmonic tremors, Magma, Monitoring, SIL Network, Volcano, Volcano ash, Volcano News. Bookmark the permalink.

144 Responses to General overview of Grímsvötn eruption on 23. May 2011 at 20:33 UTC

  1. treacleminer says:

    I think Ginas cloud thing has become invisible. Perhaps it may have been steam which shows less now the sun is higher. Although there appears no eruption there, perhaps the ground is getting hot or a hot water spring has appeared.

  2. Treacleminer says:

    Posted on BBC Livetext website – Don’t know if it is true.

    1328: It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it: Volcanologists are hoping to get close to the Grimsvotn crater this evening. Weather permitting, they will travel there on ice mobiles and are hoping to stick around doing tests until Thursday.

    Let’s hope they do not get roasted.

  3. Rick says:

    Live on the BBC, only about Ash. Nothing about the people of Iceland and the trouble this is causing them, Guess its humans been humans again.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13519623

    Is it me or the Katla area the eq activity is increasing in the pass few days?

    • treacleminer says:

      Well, Godabunga is getting a bit more active. I’m not sure that Katla is. Godabunga might belong to Eyjafyallajokull or may be seperate altogether. I guess it has had a good earthquake shaking.

  4. treacleminer says:

    Bah, my post has disappeared, just because I put a capital T on my username.

    I posted that Live on BBC had reported that someone had sent in:

    ” 1328: It’s a dirty job but someone has to do it: Volcanologists are hoping to get close to the Grimsvotn crater this evening. Weather permitting, they will travel there on ice mobiles and are hoping to stick around doing tests until Thursday.”

    I do not know if it is true or not. If it is I hope it is safe.

  5. Irpsit says:

    Yes, it is also very wind here in South Iceland. And clearing up the weather.

    No plume is visible at all today! Which means is much smaller in size.
    Still some ash was falling down this morning.

  6. william gunning says:

    The only time it maters in the uk is if it affects aeroplanes. I would love to know how the poor people are doing caught up in this and the poor animals? Of coures if it was America that would be a different thing all together.

  7. Sander says:

    http://www.icenews.is/index.php/2011/05/24/iceland-volcano-intensity-dropping-fast/

    Another article about the decreasing intensity of the eruption

    • treacleminer says:

      They say the activity in the crater is not diminishing, so I presume that means it is just running out of water so is less violent.

      • Sander says:

        No they say “has not dimished however” which means it is still there, combining it with the things said above in the article they mean that there is still activity in the crater I think however less then before

      • Sander says:

        add to my other post:

        Less activity could mean indeed mean less water, so on that point I have to agree with you :p

  8. Renato Rio says:

    What I think is most strange is the fact that Grim cam is pointed to a direction which shows no plume. We would see it, even if it were a 500 m plume. That means that either the supposed direction is not Grimsvötn’s, or that the plume comes from elsewhere.

  9. Irpsit says:

    If you think it is too much Eyjafjallajokull and Grimsvotn within the space of a year, just look at what happened in Iceland in the 1720s: (from Jon’s previous post)
    Just look at it!

    Year 1721. Eruption in Katla volcano. Heavy ash fall, volume of ash is estimated 1 km³ and large glacier flood follows this eruption.
    Year 1724 – 1729. Krafla volcano eruption. This eruption creates the crater Víti when lava did flow into Mývatn.
    Year 1725. Eruption somewhere in Vatnajökull volcano glacier.
    Year 1725. Eruption takes place south-east of Hekla volcano.
    Year 1726. Eruption somewhere in Vatnajökull volcano glacier.
    Year 1727. Volcano eruption in Öræfajökull volcano. Three people did die in this eruption.
    Year 1729. Volcano eruption in Kverkfjöll volcano.

    For 3 years in a row 1725-1727 there was 2 or 3 eruptions!!!

    Three volcanoes erupted in 1725, followed by 2 eruptions in 1726, and 2 other eruptions in 1727. Then two more eruptions in 1729.

    So if Hekla and Katla erupted this year, it wouldn’t be a record.

    • treacleminer says:

      I hope you are not wishing it are you? I mean, you live there, so surely you do not want these eruptions causing chaos for you do you?

  10. Irpsit says:

    It is difficult for me to say if I would wish for more eruptions or not. One part of me, would like to see other volcanic eruptions, another part of me, wishes for that not to happen, because of the impact is has in everyone living in Iceland (from a hassle to disaster).

    I found it interesting that yesterday there were 3 earthquakes in Veidivotn (after the minor swarm in Hamarinn). It seems magma is moving somewhere underneath these fissures. But so far this activity is very low, and probably means nothing more. There were also some earthquakes to the south of Grimsvotn.

  11. Icelander says:

    Being an Icelander myself I find it startling if someone from Iceland is wishing a volcano or couple of volcanoes to erupt. The havoc volcanoes have wreaked on the country for now years in a row is devestating and to have another one would be horrible. I accept that I live on a volcanic Island but it doesnt have to mean I have to like it and wish for this and that volcano to erupt. I hope this sudden increase in activity in the last couple of years will mean that NO volcano will erupt in the next few decades. I dont like volcanoes and I would rather there where none in Iceland.

    • This the nature in Iceland. There is nothing that can be done about it. It is however an fact that history is often repeated (or close to it). With more volcano activity starting in Iceland this might well happen in one or other form in the coming decades.

      It might also not happen. There is no way to know for sure until it happens.

  12. Renato Rio says:

    Irpsit:
    Do you have any idea as for where Mila’s Grim webcam is pointed to?
    I’m still wondering about those “car lights” I saw yesterday, to the right side of the hill in the middle. Is it possible for cars to reach that close?
    I say it is car lights, because I have no idea of how close the cam is located from the spot. It stood there for a while, got brighter, than vanished from sight. Then a tiny white cloud was visible above that location, but it also disappeared. Had I been sure lava was expected to show from this eruption, it could well have been some sort of flow, as we can see in Stromboli or Etna. But if you say cars can go that close, I shut up and talk no longer about this.
    Many thanks.

  13. Morten says:

    When looking at the tremor graphs such as:

    http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/oroi/grf.gif

    How do you spot rising or moving magma? Are you looking for high peaks? high amplitudes? An increasing average value? Or regularities in the ups & downs of the curve?
    I am just curious about what signs we could have before a secondary fissure eruption or a neighbouring volcano eruption?

  14. New blog post is up!

  15. Timothy says:

    by william gunning:
    “The only time it maters in the uk is if it affects aeroplanes. I would love to know how the poor people are doing caught up in this and the poor animals? Of coures if it was America that would be a different thing all together.”

    I don’t get it – are you saying you think the BBC would focus much more on the human side of the story if it happened in America?

  16. william gunning says:

    Timothy remember iam only useing America as an example. There is just not enough about the poor people of Iceland

  17. Peter Cobbold says:

    Is in not odd that the ash plume has decayed at least ten fold over past two days yet the tremor goes on with little reduction?
    This recent research artice in Nature provides a mechanism for 1-5Hz tremor that might apply to many volcanoes:
    http://www.eos.ubc.ca/~mjelline/Papers%20PDFs/J&B_tremor_2011.pdf
    and the ‘News and Views’ summary:
    http://www.eos.ubc.ca/~mjelline/Papers%20PDFs/J&Btremor_newsandviews.pdf
    What they say is that tremor is generated when a column of magma in its conduit ‘waggles’ side to side against a gasseous annular layer lining the conduit wall. The waggling will create the 1-5Hz tremor that is found at many volcanoes: it is a catch-all explanation.
    So where’s the conduit under Grimsfjall?- can it be detected in EQ data?

  18. Timothy says:

    I agree, William. Anytime a volcano goes off near people the headline shouldn’t be “how it affects us.” And Mount Merapi in Indonesia for example killed 353 people last year from hot ash clouds and I don’t remember the human suffering there being reported very prominently either.

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