Update on Bárðarbunga eruption at 17:32 UTC

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This information is going to get outdated quickly.

A short notice: While I know a lot about volcanoes, earthquakes and such things. I do not know everything. I have read many science papers on the subject. But I have not read them all and I never will. What is also important is that nobody knows for sure what is going on in Bárðarbunga volcano. This is the first eruption in the volcano since recording of earthquakes started in Iceland and it appears that this eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano might be a big one (even if it not at that stage yet).

Update on the activity in Bárðarbunga volcano

  • Earthquake activity continues in Bárðarbunga volcano. The largest earthquake since midnight had the magnitude of 5,2 according to Icelandic Met Office.
  • Earthquake activity continues in the dyke  south of the eruption area. This suggest that the dyke is still expanding in the crust.
  • Minor eruptions have taken place south of the main eruption in Holuhraun. Most of this are like the minor eruption that started south of the main eruption, but in glacier free area. Other minor eruptions that have taken place are under the glacier. They have formed small cauldron in the process without making a glacier flood.
  • Cauldron in the glacier have been spotted at 2 km inside the glacier (I think this distance is correct. If it is not. I will correct it), 6 km from the edge of the glacier and 10 km from the edge of the glacier. This cauldron are directly above the dyke and as mentioned above are the results of minor eruption taking place under the glacier. One of this cauldron was discovered on Friday. I don’t remember if it was included in the news that day.
  • There are no signs of the eruption in Holuhraun is about to end. The lava field is now creating a dam as it goes over the Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacier river path. This has created minor explosions in the past few hours and in process throwing up minor volcano ash at the same time.
  • There is still a lot of gas in the lava coming from the eruption. Making it extremely dangerous to go close to eruption and the lava field. This gas is in so high consternation that geologist working in the field are often at great risk.
  • Smell of sulphur (SO2) has now been found in parts of Norway according to the news (in Icelandic, Norwegian, map in the news from Norway). It is far from being on dangerous levels in Norway due to distance travelled.
  • The lava field continues to create its own local weather. Small tornadoes can be spotted on the Míla web-camera.  There is also a lot of local cloud formations taking place. Sometimes limiting the view to the erupting area.
  • There is high risk of new eruption fissures opening up without warning.
  • Eruption activity in the main crater now happens in pulses according to latest news. It drops for a while and then goes high up. I think there is a reason for this behaviour.
  • It appears that the erupting crater are being closed slowly by there own erupting material. That might explain the pulsing behaviour that is now being observed from it. This also means there is enough pressure in the dyke to continue the eruption for a good while longer (in my view).
  • Inflow of magma and outflow of magma appears to be in balance for the time being. That balance might change without warning if something changes in Bárðarbunga volcano.

No confirmation on the eruption last night

So far there has not been any confirmation on the possible eruption that I did write about last night. This might not have been an eruption or there might not be any evidence of it on the surface of Vatnajökull glacier.

News update on 10-September-2014

“Gravely concerned” about Bardarbunga (Rúv.is)

More notes on comments

Please do not post all your text in caps lock. It is rude to everyone else reading the comments on this website. I also want to point out that not everything is known as I noted above. Some questions do not have any answers yet when it comes to volcanoes or earthquakes, but there are no stupid questions far as I am concerned. I offer no guarantee on the answers however.

I also ask people just to be nice to each other here. I also have to ask you to provide links when text is posted here, it is both good for everyone who want to read more from that website in question. There also a requirement on doing so from Icelandic Met Office and University of Iceland in the disclaimers they have.

Article updated at 10-September-2014 at 22:31 UTC.

Posted in Ash, Ash cloud, Bárðarbunga, Caldera, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, Glacier flood, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Volcano | 307 Comments

Possible eruption under the glacier might have started in Bárðarbunga volcano [Unconfirmed!]

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This is a short notice. I think that eruption has started under the glacier in Bárðarbunga or maybe in the dyke area. I base this on the change in harmonic tremor that is now taking place. Please note that this has not yet been confirmed by Icelandic Met Office or by Rúv in Iceland at the moment. So this is unconfirmed reports from me at current time (01:13 UTC on 9-September-2014).

I am waiting more details on what is going on with the harmonic tremor.

Update: If this is an eruption then it is not a large one. The confirmation on if I am correct or not is going to take several hours. Unless a glacier flood starts soon. It is difficult to know at this time. The hard problem with volcanoes under the glacier is that nobody is sure what is going on under the glacier.

Update 2: The harmonic tremor is now dropping, or at least was doing so for a short period. Nothing has been confirmed so far if there was an eruption or not. I have seen the harmonic tremor on the following SIL stations starting 8/9.

Vonaskarð SIL station.
Grímsfjall SIL station.

If there was an eruption taking place. It was small one and its unlikely that it would have broken the glacier or started a major glacier flood.

Article updated at 02:14 UTC at 9-September-2014.
Article updated at 02:18 UTC at 9-September-2014.
Article updated at 11:15 UTC at 9-September-2014.

Posted in Ash, Ash cloud, Bárðarbunga, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Glacier flood, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Unconfirmed, Volcano | 147 Comments

Update for Bárðarbunga volcano eruption at 17:59 UTC

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This information is going to get outdated quickly.

Current status on Báðarbunga volcano eruption

  • Eruption continues in Holuhraun. Most of the craters have stopped erupting for now. The main craters continue to erupt.
  • It is my view that eruption under the glacier is imminent. That eruption would take place close to the location of today magnitude 4,5 and 3,0 took place today. When it might start is impossible to know.
  • Earthquake activity continues in Bárðarbunga volcano.  With largest earthquakes today having magnitude 5,0.  Most of the earthquake take place on the caldera rim, since the caldera is sinking into the crust. More on this below [1].
  • The lava field is now going into Jökulsá á Fjöllum. It is currently crossing the glacier river and creating a dam in the process. Only steam has been seen in this process.
  • Risk of eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano slopes is extremely high. There has not been any eruption in Báðarbunga volcano slopes since 23-August-2014.
  • GPS instruments have now be installed on top of Bárðarbunga volcano today. This is to measure exactly what is going on inside the volcano.
  • There is less blue haze today. There is concern that it is going to have effect on people, animals and plants if the blue haze stays for long time in any given area. Acid rain is a big concern at the moment. The SO2 levels in eastern Iceland have been the highest since measurements started in Iceland back in 1970.
  • There is high concentration of gas in the lava around the eruption site. It is in fact so high that it has put the geologist that are working there at great risk. Due the local weather the lava field is creating [2].

The caldera issue in Bárðarbunga volcano [1]

The caldera in Bárðarbunga volcano is dropping and it is dropping fast. According to latest news from Rúv (see link below) the caldera is dropping up to 90 cm/day. That is a huge drop for a mountain. There is also clue that central part of the caldera floor is now so soft that it no longer breaks and creates earthquakes, it is just buckling under the strain. This increases the risk of eruption in the central caldera up to almost certainty levels (for me that is 96+% chance of happening). The latest news from Rúv tell that the thickness of the glacier in the central part of the glacier is up to 850 meters thick. Since last Saturday the caldera has dropped 2 – 3 meters, meaning that current drop is now around 18,5 meters.

There is also high risk of eruptions in the slopes of Bárðarbunga volcano. None have taken place since 23-August-2014. It is not clear why that is. Some ideas say that it might be due to pressure release of the dyke eruption that is now taking place. I am now not personally convinced that is the case. The reason for lack of eruption must be some other. I don’t know what that reason is yet and I don’t think anyone knows at current time.

Local weather around the lava field [2]

The lava field has been creating a lot of it’s own weather. So much that is creating hazardous working environment for the geologist working close the lava field and the eruption site.

The local weather has also created small localized tornadoes. I spotted this one earlier today.

Bardarbunga.svd.08.09.2014.at.15.27.utc
It is difficult to see the tornado on this picture. But it is the white line across the image. Image taken at 15:27 UTC on 8-September-2014. Screen-shot of Míla web-camera.

This local weather is not going anywhere while the heat is at the levels as it is now. It might even last for months after this eruption finishes.

News bits in Icelandic and English

Continuing subsidence in Bardarbunga (Rúv.is)
Askjan í Bárðarbungu sigið um 2,5 til 3 m (Rúv.is, Icelandic)
Eitt stærsta hraungosið frá því á 19. öld (Rúv.is, Icelandic)

Updates 08-September-2014

  • According to latests news on Rúv this is now the largest lava eruption since 19th century in Iceland. The eruption in Holuhraun is now many times larger than largest eruption in Krafla volcano during its 10 year eruption period.

Note on comments

In order to keep things running smooth on this website. Please just post links to images. Along with some text about what they are. That also prevents the ant-spam system false flag it and me from regarding links as spam. I also have to ask people how copy data from Icelandic Met Office and University of Iceland to provide a link to the source. This is disclaimer that they added in recent weeks. I want to be on the right side of this government organizations. I also want to prevent that I have to remove comments due there demands.

Article updated on 08-September-2014 at 18:50 UTC.

Posted in Ash, Ash cloud, Bárðarbunga, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Glacier flood, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Volcano | 102 Comments

Minor increase in conductivity in Múlakvísl glacier river from Mýrdalsjökull glacier (Katla volcano)

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Over the past few days there has been a minor increase in conductivity in Múlakvísl glacier river that comes from Mýrdalsjökull glacier. This is the glacier that is on top of Katla volcano. There is no unusual earthquake activity taking place in Katla volcano at the moment.

140908_1345
There is little activity in Katla volcano today. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

The reason why conductivity is higher in Múlakvíl glacier river over the past few days is that there are cauldrons in the glacier. Those cauldrons are created by hydrothermal areas in Katla volcano caldera. They empty them self on regularly during the year. There is no risk of eruption in Katla volcano at the moment. Activity is well below normal background activity fro Katla volcano.

Posted in Earthquakes, Hot Springs, Hydrothermal, Katla / Mýrdalsjökull, Magma, Volcano | 33 Comments

Eruption update at 21:29 UTC

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This information is going to go outdated quickly.

This is the current information about the eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano.

Please note: Since I cannot go to the area that is erupting my self (it is closed and I also live in Denmark at the moment). I have to relay on what is being told in the news and released by Icelandic Met Office along with other data. This means that I spend most of the day collecting data and working out what is going on (my view in most cases). This means that in most cases I write post late in the day when daily observation is done.

Current status of the eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano

  • New fissure did open around 2 – 3 km south of the eruption fissure that started erupting 31-August-2014.
  • Comments on this website did notice the eruption around 04:00 UTC on 05-September-2014. At the same time there was an minor increase in harmonic tremor on SIL stations close to the eruption.
  • The new eruption fissure is around 1 – 2 km long. It might get longer as time passes.
  • The new eruption was first reported by the press around 06:00 – 08:00 on Rúv.
  • New cauldron has formed some 6 km in Dyngjujökull glacier. The  glacier in the that area is 300 to 350 meters thick. Last report was that this cauldron was getting deeper during the day.
  • Higher conductivity has been reported in Jökulsá á fjöllum glacier river. That is currently continuing on that last check I did on Icelandic Met Office website.
  • Smell of rotten eggs is now coming from Jökulsá á fjöllum. Normally there is no such smell of that glacier river.
  • Inflation in the dyke continues, not on the same speed as before, but it is ongoing.
  • The rift valley appears to continue expand were he is visible.
  • The air around the eruption site is toxic due to release of SO2, CO, CO2, fluorine gases and other dangerous gases.
  • The water vapour cloud goes up to 4,5 km according to latest measurements.
  • The SO2 goes the way of the wind direction at any given time.
  • The lava field has just 1 km to Jökulsá á fjöllum glacier river. Once the lava enters the river it might start to build a dam and the lava is going to explode and steam a lot in the process.
  • Largest earthquake since midnight was magnitude 5,3 that took place at 01:19 UTC. It took place in Bárðarbunga volcano caldera rim. As other large earthquakes since this events started.
  • Largest earthquake in the dyke area took place at 14:31 UTC and had the magnitude of 3,2. It was under the glacier were most earthquake activity is now taking place.
  • Volcano eruption with ash cloud is now expected to take place. When and exactly where it is going to take place is not known at current time. I don’t think it going to have effects on international flight. But the local effects might be big if wind is in the direction of populated areas of Iceland.

GPS inflation

DYNC_3mrap.svd.05.09.2014.at.20.56.utc
GPS measurements of the inflation that is currently taking place in the dyke. More GPS data can be found here. Copyright of this image belongs to University of Iceland.

Magma continues to flow into the dyke. It is at slower rates than before, but it still flowing into the dyke at rates that current eruption is not powerful enough to equal or drop the pressure inside the dyke. This is going to result in more eruptions as we have already started to see. When and where they are going to take place is something that is not known.

The eruption area is closed to the public

Due to risk of dangerous gases and flood the eruption area is closed to the public. Anyone that is found within the closed zone is going to get heavy fine. Going to this area is also extremely risky sine the area that is now eruption is extremely unstable with the risk of new eruption opening up without warning in the fault area and even outside it (if there is a weakness in the crust the magma is going to go that way). Police in Iceland have already spotted and fined two cars that were trying to enter the closed off area. This area of Iceland is also out in the middle of nowhere. The town is up to 10 hours away in a car (due to bad roads). Weather is also extremely unpredictable and can change without warning. So if you are thinking about going on car or foot. Don’t go!

The good news is that it is still allowed to fly over the area. So get one of those tours. I don’t know what they cost, but I know they take place if weather allows.

News bits

Arrested near the Holuhraun eruption (Rúv.is)
See the lava creeping forward at Holuhraun (Rúv.is, video)
The powers at play beneath the surface (Rúv.is, video)

More news in English can be found here (Rúv.is).

Updates for 06-September-2014

  • As noted by many here there is now news report on how much Bárðarbunga volcano has lowered since 16-August-2014. Bárðarbunga volcano has lowered some 15 meters according to latest measurements. This does not reduces the risk of eruption in Bárðarbunga caldera, in fact, this might increase it by a large margin. Such large drop in a mountain has not happened in Iceland since Askja 1875 when that volcano dropped some 300 meters in one of the largest eruption in the 19th century. According to the news on Rúv the caldera crust is in fact floating the magma that is keeping it up. Part of that magma is now erupting just north of Dyngjökull glacier.
  • Magnitude 5,0 earthquake took place in Bárðarbunga volcano at 05:40 UTC. It was in the NE Bárðarbunga in the caldera rim.
  • The risk of large eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano has increased due the current activity and drop of the caldera (as explained above). When such eruption would take place is impossible to know at this time.
  • The lava field is now just 900 meters from Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacier river. It is going to get into contact with the main stream sometimes in the next 24 hour period.
  • The activity in the new eruption fissure has decreased a little over the past 24 hours. It is now only erupting in one or two craters at the moment.
  • There is high risk of new fissures opening in the rift valley without warning. Both outside the glacier and below it. If an eruption takes place under the glacier there is going to be sudden glacier flood that is going to hit without warning.
  • Possible minor eruption might have happened under Dyngjökull glacier in last few days. As there have been cauldron formations in it. One of the cauldron is some 6 km from the glacier edge. The deepest cauldron is 35 meter deep according to radar measurements.
  • A new cauldron was also found some 10 km from the edge of Dyngjujökull glacier. This suggest that minor eruption took place there in past few days.
  • Blue mist has been seen today in east Iceland. It is not clear what is happening, but there are clues that this blue mist is connected to the eruption. Sensors to measure this blue mist have been sent to east Iceland. This blue mist can also be seen on satellites that Icelandic Met Office uses for weather measurements.

News bits for 06-September-2014

Rannsaka bláa móðu á Austurlandi (Rúv.is, picture of the blue mist, Icelandic)
Eldstöðvarnar í Holuhrauni – Myndband (Rúv.is, Icelandic, video)

Updates for 07-September-2014

  • Earthquake with the magnitude of 5,4 took place at 07:07 UTC. This earthquake took place in the caldera rim as other earthquakes in Bárðarbunga volcano.
  • The flow of magma is currently 100 to 200 m³ every second.
  • The new fissure has stopped erupting according to latest news.
  • There is a high risk of new fissure opening up in the erupting area without warning.
  • The lava field has reached Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacier river. This is going to increase conductivity in the river as the lava goes more into the glacier river. There is a lot of steam cloud being created following this. It is not clear when the lava field is going to dam the glacier river.
  • There are now only 2 – 3 craters erupting in the main erupting fissure. The power of the eruption remains the same.
  • Earthquake activity continues south of current eruption. Most of the earthquake activity now is taking place in the glacier, where minor eruptions have been taking place in past few days.
  • There is no sign of this activity is about to end.
  • Bárðarbunga volcano caldera continues to sink. There is a lack of earthquakes in the caldera it self. That suggest the heat below the crust is high enough to make the crust soft and that prevents earthquakes from happening. More on this tomorrow (Monday).

News bits on 07-September-2014

100 – 200 rúmmetrar úr jörðu á sekúndu (Rúv.is, video, Icelandic)
Svona hefur Bárðarbunga sigið (Rúv.is, picture of the lowering of Bárðarbunga caldera, Icelandic)

Article updated at 14:04 UTC on 06-September-2014.
Article updated at 14:11 UTC on 06-September-2014.
Article updated at 18:16 UTC on 06-September-2014.
Article updated at 18:18 UTC on 06-September-2014.
Article updated at 18:29 UTC on 06-September-2014.
Article updated at 19:43 UTC on 06-September-2014.
Article updated at 14:52 UTC on 07-September-2014.

Posted in Ash, Ash cloud, Bárðarbunga, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Glacier flood, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Hydrothermal, Inflation, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Vatnajökull glacier, Volcano | 480 Comments

Eruption update for Bárðarbunga volcano at 18:52 UTC

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This information is going to get outdated fast.

This is latest information that I got on Bárðarbunga volcano eruption. The status of the eruption and the volcano is always changing so I do not have up to date information on what is going on. The area is also remote and subject to bad weather at times and often for days.

  • There is no change in the eruption it self. There is also no sign that this eruption is about to end. It has now been going on for the past four days.
  • The lava field is just few days away from entering Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacier river. It has already entered smaller streams in the area. When the lava enters the river it is going to create steam explosions and small local ash clouds.
  • More magma is flowing into the dyke at depth than is erupting from it. This means that there is extremely high risk of the magma breaking a new path to the surface south of current eruption. The most likely place for new eruption to start is in the rift valley that has formed.
  • The rift valley that has been created continues to grow. This also shows that magma is just 2 km under the surface at the most. Large parts of this rift valley is under the glacier.
  • Currently there is no explanation on why harmonic tremor increased yesterday (03-September-2014). No eruption under the glacier seems to have taken place. At least no sign of such event has been observed as of yet.
  • People have been trying to enter the area in illegal way. This is extremely dangerous. Since an eruption under the glacier might start without warning, there is also risk of quick sand around this area due to all the changes that are now taking place in the crust at Holuhraun lava field.
  • Bárðarbunga volcano caldera continues to have earthquakes. Largest earthquake since midnight had the magnitude of 4,8 at 03:44 UTC, second largest earthquake had the magnitude of 4,4 at 10:28 UTC. Other earthquakes have been smaller.
  • There has been a slight increase in earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano caldera. Most of this earthquake activity is micro-earthquakes.
  • The glacier inside Bárðarbunga volcano caldera is up to 850 meters thick according to the news report I did hear today.
  • Since the eruption started there has been drop in earthquake activity. Most of the earthquake activity is taking place south of current eruption in an forming rift valley at that same location.
  • Eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano caldera is still a possibility and has not been ruled out. Eruption under the glacier south of current eruption has not been ruled and is expected to take place at some point in the future if the current eruption continues as it has been doing.

News bits in English and Icelandic

“Everything changes when night falls”
(Rúv.is, video)
(Full) frontal breakout of Pāhoehoe lava (Rúv.is, video)
Up to 130 meter high lava fountains (Rúv.is)

Hraunið nálg­ast Jök­ulsá (mbl.is, Icelandic, picture)

Updates 04-September-2014

Evening news on Rúv, 04-September-2013. Has some great video(s) of the eruption. Second news starts at 05:50.

  • Toxic gas has been measured up to 6 km above the eruption craters. Most of the toxic gas that is being released is SO2 (see Wikipedia information here). There is also some CO (Wikipedia information here) along with minor amounts of hydrogen. There is also some water vapour getting released from the lava in this eruption.

Updates 05-September-2014

  • Two new fissures have opened up according to Rúv News. This new fissures are now erupting and are closer to the glacier than the fissure that started erupting almost one week ago.

Article updated at 20:48 UTC on 04-September-2014.
Article updated at 20:50 UTC on 04-September-2014.
Article updated at 21:58 UTC on 04-September-2014.
Article updated at 08:09 UTC on 05-September-2014.

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Glacier flood, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Inflation, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Vatnajökull glacier, Volcano | 244 Comments

Rift valley has formed south of the eruption in Holuhraun lava field

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This information is going to get outdated quickly. This is current events in Báðarbunga volcano.

  • Rift valley has formed south of the eruption. Part of this rift valley is not under the glacier. Most of this rift valley is under the glacier, were the glacier is thin the glacier has formed a cauldron that is around 1 km wide and several meters deep. There is a risk of eruption in the newly formed rift valley.
  • Harmonic tremor suggest that an glacier flood is under way from Bárðarbunga volcano. What is happening is unclear at the moment. Scientists and press people have been told to evacuate the area due to this risk.
  • More magma is going into the dyke then is erupting from it. This has increased the pressure inside the dyke.
  • Largest earthquake since midnight had the magnitude 5,5.

Updates

  • There has not been any sign of an eruption under the glacier yet. One idea for this increase in harmonic tremor is that ground water got into contact with the magma at 1 to 2 km depth.
  • There is a high risk of eruption taking place under the glacier in the area of Dyngjujökull glacier, that glacier is south of current eruption and can be seen on the Míla web cameras.
  • There is a lot of cracks in the ground south of the eruption, in some places the ground has dropped some meters down.

Updates on 4-September-2014

  • Largest earthquakes since midnight (04-September-2014) had the magnitude of 4,8 and 4,4.
  • The eruption is now creating  120 to 130 meters tall lava fountains at the moment. No other change has been reported.

News in both Icelandic and English

Mikið af sprungum í jörðinni (Rúv.is, Icelandic, Video, Image)
Hraun­breiðan 9,1 fer­kíló­metri (mbl.is, Icelandic, Pictures)

Notice on commens

I have to approve all comments first time around. This is in order to prevent spam from taking place in my comment section. Spam prevention is the common Captcha puzzle and a maths test. Registered users don’t have to type in captcha word puzzle or the maths test.

Article updated at 00:27 UTC on 04-September-2014.
Article updated at 11:58 UTC on 04-September-2014.
Article updated at 14:01 UTC on 04-September-2014.

Posted in Ash, Ash cloud, Bárðarbunga, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, Glacier flood, Harmonic tremors, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, Rift Zone, Volcano | 314 Comments

Large cauldron has formed in Dyngjujökull glacier (south of current eruption)

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According to latest news a large cauldron has formed in Dyngjujökull glacier. The cauldron is about 1 km wide and it is deep (no mention of how deep it is in the news).

Update 1: No eruption has yet started. It is however now expected to start without warning. The cauldron are forming due an rift valley formation in this area.

I will post more information about is when I have more details.

Article updated at 12:40 UTC.
Article updated at 12:42 UTC.

Posted in Ash, Ash cloud, Bárðarbunga, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Glacier flood, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Vatnajökull glacier, Volcano | 92 Comments

Update on Bárðarbunga volcano and eruption at 19:23 UTC

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This is a short update on current status in Bárðarbunga volcano and the eruption. This information is going to get outdated quickly.

Current status in Bárðarbunga volcano

  • Earthquake activity remains reactively high at the moment. Strongest earthquakes today had the magnitude of 4,9, 5,0 and 5,3. Other earthquakes have been smaller.
  • Dyke activity remains high and eruption remains high. See more details below.
  • Risk of eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano caldera remains high.
  • There is nothing suggesting that current events are about to end.

Current status of the eruption in Holuhrauni lava field

  • Eruption dropped this morning, but after 12:00 UTC it increased again. There does not seem to be any change the dyke that is feeding the eruption.
  • Sulphur (SO2) is being released into the atmosphere, according to measurements that is around 20,000 tonnes/day. Good map can be found here, the news in Icelandic.
  • According to the news, this eruption is about 5 times larger than the eruption in Fimmvörðuhálsi in Eyjafjallajökli. One geologist told in the news that this eruption had erupted everything that Fimmvörðuháls eruption did in it’s time around 12:00 today (If my memory is correct on this).
  • The lava field continues to grow. I am not sure about exact size at the moment.
  • Pressure in the dyke appears to be high. This might result in more fissure eruption and there is a high risk that some of them might open up under the glacier. More is going to be known tomorrow if the dyke pressure is changing.
  • Northern part of the fissure is more active than the south part. Part of the fissure has  closed and is not erupting any more. That might change without warning if the eruption gains more strength.
  • This eruption is might continue to for weeks or even moths.

If there is any sudden change I am going to post information soon as I can.

News bits

Close-up view of fresh Icelandic lava (Rúv.is)
Gosið ennþá nokkuð kröftugt – loftmyndir (air video, Rúv.is)

Updates

New crater opened up suddenly. It is far north on this image (to the right).

Bardarbunga.svd.02.09.2014.at.03.33.utc
The new crater soon after it started erupting. Screen-shot of Míla web camera. Copyright of this image belongs to Míla.

  • The lava field is getting close to Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacier river. Once that happens steam explosions are going to start and local ash clouds are going to be created. They won’t have any effect on anything but the local area. Once the lava field gets into the glacier river it is also going to show higher conductivity on instruments that are monitoring the glacier river downstream. Due the volcanic material getting into the glacier river.
  • There is a risk of fissure opening up under the glacier without warning. Both close and at more distance from current eruption site.

Article updated at 03:39 UTC on 02-September-2014.
Article updated at 22:27 UTC on 02-September-2014.

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Inflation, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Vatnajökull glacier, Volcano | 202 Comments

Eruption update at 15:24 UTC

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This is a short update on the eruption north of Vatnajökull glacier. The eruption has its origin in Bárðarbunga volcano. This information is going to get outdated quickly.

  • North end of the eruption fissure is in an area were no eruption has happened before (at least known eruption).
  • The eruption started around 03:00 – 04:45 UTC.
  • The eruption now is about large as largest eruptions in Krafla volcano during its eruption period according to the news.
  • Largest earthquake today was magnitude 5,1 that took place in North-east Bárðarbunga caldera. There is now an high risk of eruption in the Bárðarbungu volcano caldera.
  • There is a crazy storm in the area. Limiting viability at the moment. Wind is goes up to 25 to 30 m/s and wind gusts are even stronger.
  • The eruption fissure is now around 2 km long. It is on the glacier free area. The eruption fissure is the same one that erupted on 29-August-2014.
  • There is a high risk of new fissures opening up without warning in this area and under the glacier.
  • There are currently no signs of the eruption stopping at the moment.
  • The lava is now covering around 3 to 5 square km of area. This is just a desert area and nothing is at risk. It is running over the lava field that was created in the eruption of 1797.
  • There is currently no risk of any volcano ash. Since this is Hawaiian (Wikipedia link) type of eruption that is now taking place.

The eruption can be viewed on Míla web cam here (Bárðarbunga) and here (Bárðarbunga 2). Extremely bad weather is limiting visibility at times down to nothing. Weather is expected to clear up in few hours at the earliest.

Updates (as they come in)

  • There is now more power in the eruption. Reported by Rúv in last few minutes.
  • Lava fountains have been reported to up 70 meters high.
  • There is nothing indicating that the eruption is about to end.
  • North part of the fissure seems to have extended. There also seems to be less activity for the moment on the south end. That might change without warning.

Article updated at 15:25 UTC.
Article updated at 15:33 UTC.
Article updated at 19:41 UTC.
Article updated at 19:43 UTC.

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Vatnajökull glacier, Volcano, Volcano ash, Wind | 210 Comments