Minor earthquake swarm close to Eldeyjardrangar on Reykjanes ridge

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During the night (on 21-March-2015) a minor earthquake swarm took place close to Eldeyjardrangar on Reykjanes ridge. Largest earthquake in this swarm had the magnitude of 3,2. Total number of earthquakes in this swarm was around 30.

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Earthquake swarm close to Eldeyjardragnar. The green star shows the magnitude 3,2 earthquake. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Earthquake swarms like this are common in this part of the Reykjanes ridge. It is difficult to know if more earthquake activity is going to take place soon.

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Article updated at 20:01 UTC.

Posted in Earthquakes, Monitoring, Reykjanes Ridge, Swarm | 8 Comments

Minor earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes ridge

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Today (19-March-2015) at 15:24 UTC a minor earthquake swarm started on the Reykjanes ridge. This earthquake swarm was minor, it however might be clue that more activity might happen soon in this part of the Reykjanes ridge.

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The earthquake activity on the Reykjanes ridge today (19-March-2015). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquake in this swarm had the magnitude of 3,5 and other earthquakes where smaller. Last earthquake swarm in this area took place on 3-March-2015 and I did write about it here.

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Posted in Earthquakes, Reykjanes Ridge, Swarm | 3 Comments

Bárðarbunga volcano continues to deflate

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The eruption in Holuhraun is over and nothing has been happening the crater for the past three weeks. This does not mean the deflation is over in Bárðarbunga volcano. Currently Bárðarbunga volcano continues to deflate at the rate of 2cm/day, total deflation since 31-August-2014 is around 60 meters. All this deflation has started to move the glacier inside the caldera, creating what appears to be inflation, that change in the glacier, that inflation is 1,5cm/day. That inflation should be 3-4cm/day according to Icelandic Met Office, so the difference is the deflation taking place. Currently the GPS sensor inside Bárðarbunga volcano caldera is not working so the only way to monitor this deflation is to continue to fly over the glacier and measure it that way. Next scheduled flight for Bárðarbunga volcano is going to take place after Easter.

News in Icelandic

Bárðarbunga hefur sigið um 60 metra (Rúv.is)

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Deflation, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Magma, Monitoring, Vatnajökull glacier, Volcano | 25 Comments

What is going to happen next in Bárðarbunga volcano

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It has been few days since the eruption in Holuhraun has ended and everything is quiet for the moment in Bárðarbunga volcano. What is going to happen next is a big question and nobody has the exact answer. Here are few options.

  • Nothing is going to happen. The rift is going to continue without more eruptions.
  • New magma intrusion is going to start soon in Bárðarbunga volcano. New eruption is going to start days to weeks later.

There is also high risk in my view of eruptions in Hamarinn volcano (also called Loki-Fögrufjöll). That volcano system is inside Bárðarbunga volcano and dyke intrusion from Bárðarbunga to the south might start a volcano eruption in it. I don’t know how big such eruption would be, it is my estimate. Dyke to Torfajökull volcano is unlikely to happen. I however cannot rule it out at this point.

What is going happen in Bárðarbunga volcano depends on many factors and not all of them are known. What is known is that heat has been increasing in shallower parts of the crust and caldera for the past six months and those signs are not good. What is not known is the time in question. Next eruption could happen tomorrow or nothing can happen for years. There is no way to know when next eruption is going to happen.

Currently I am just monitoring Bárðarbunga volcano and waiting to see what happens next. The text above is just speculation, not fact. It is not clear what is going to happen next. The only way to know that for sure is to wait until next eruption starts and that might be a long wait.

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Posted in Bárðarbunga, Dyke intrusions, Fissures, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Hamarinn, Monitoring, Volcano | 70 Comments

Minor earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes ridge

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During the night (3-March-2015) there was a minor earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes ridge. Largest earthquake had the magnitude of 3,1. Other earthquakes where smaller.

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Earthquake activity on the Reykjanes ridge during the night. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Most of this earthquake activity was deep, with most depth being at 16,0 km. This suggest that this earthquake swarm happened mostly due to magma movement at depth. There is nothing suggesting that eruption is imminent in this area. Depth of the ocean at this location is around 400 – 1000 meters, this means that any signs on the surface are going to be hard to detect or not detected at all.

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Article updated at 18:44 UTC.

Posted in Earthquakes, Monitoring, Reykjanes Ridge, Swarm | 1 Comment

The eruption in Holuhraun has ended

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The eruption in Holuhraun ended yesterday (27-Februar-2015) it seems. Current status of Bárðarbunga volcano is now yellow. While the eruption is over the area continues to be closed for public due to danger of new eruptions in the area, both outside the glacier and inside it. It is unclear what is going to happen next in Bárðarbunga volcano. There is also a considerable gas emission from Holuhraun crater at the moment and that gas is toxic.

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Current earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano and for the past 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

What happens next is not known. There is a high risk of new eruption taking place under the glacier. I don’t know if subsidence of the caldera is going on at the moment or has stopped. It might take days, weeks or months until inflation starts again in Bárðarbunga volcano. This is a rifting event and that means this is far from over. For the moment however it is going to be a little break (at least, it can be hope) in the activity in Holuhraun or Bárðarbunga volcano. The lava and the crater continue to be extremely hot (~800C) and are going to remain hot for many years (5 years?).

Since the eruption in Holuhraun is over I won’t post any update next Wednesday. Next update is going to be when something happens.

Icelandic News

Icelandic Met Office information website
The eruption has come to an end (Icelandic Met Office)

Note on email: If you need to send me email please send them to volcano [at] jonfr.com. I do not answer emails send to blog [at] jonfr.com. Emails that go this address are ignored.

Article updated at 16:59 UTC.

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Deflation, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, Gas, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Holuhraun, Inflation, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, Rift Zone, SO2, Swarm, Volcano | 106 Comments

No lava flow visible in Holuhraun main crater

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Today (27-February-2015) there was no visible lava flow from the main crater in Holuhraun. The eruption is not officially over, this however seems to be the end of this eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano. It appears that gas emission continue from the crater and Holuhraun at the moment, it can be expected those are going to end in next few weeks to months.

New video of the crater in Holuhraun can be found here.

Ekki glóð í gígnum í Holuhrauni – Myndband (Rúv.is, video)

It is not known what happens next in Bárðarbunga volcano or when it is going to happen. All that can be done is to wait and see.

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, Gas, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Holuhraun, Hydrothermal, Inflation, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, Mountain, SO2, Swarm, Toxic, Volcano | 18 Comments

Bárðarbunga volcano weekly update for 25-February-2015

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There hasn’t been a lot of new information about the eruption in Holuhraun this week. Earthquake activity continues in Bárðarbunga volcano as before, but at slower rate and earthquake with magnitude 3,0 and larger have almost stopped at the moment.

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Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano for the past 48 hours, no earthquake above magnitude 3,0 has been recorded for the past few days. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Earthquake activity continues in Bárðarbunga volcano, but at far lower level than just few weeks ago. Subsidence has slowed down considerably at the moment. It has not stopped. There are earthquakes along the dyke from Bárðarbunga volcano, suggesting that pressure might be increasing in it. That in it self might not lead to a new eruption.

The eruption in Holuhraun continues, but at low level. The only remaining vent that is now open is building a new crater inside the big crater that has now stopped erupting. The eruption might continue at this low level for many more months. Current status of the eruption is not known due to extremely bad weather in Iceland at the moment. The eruption is not over, it is however really small at the moment.

Due to bad weather I am expecting that my geophones might go offline due to loss of power or other connection problems that might happen due to this bad weather. Information about the storm can be found here. This is not a weather to travel outside. If you are in Iceland, stay where you are and don’t travel until the weather has passed over Iceland.

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Article updated at 16:35 UTC.

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Deflation, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, Gas, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Hydrothermal, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, SO2, Swarm, Toxic, Volcano | 39 Comments

Minor earthquake swarm in Katla volcano

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During last night (21-February-2015) a magnitude 3,3 earthquake took place in Katla volcano. This was a shallow earthquake and took place close to the area that had minor eruption in July-1999.

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Earthquake activity in Katla volcano during the past 48 hours. Green star is the location of the magnitude 3,3 earthquake. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Second swarm of earthquake also started today in the east part of the caldera in Katla volcano. This is not far from the location the had a minor eruption in July-2011. Most of the earthquakes that took place at that location where deep, with the deepest earthquake having the depth of 19,9 km. At this depth earthquakes happened due to magma pressure changes. There is a chance this was a minor dyke intrusion at depth in Katla volcano magma chamber, no harmonic tremor was detected following this earthquake activity. At this moment there is nothing suggesting that anything is about to happen in Katla volcano at current time.

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Posted in Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Katla / Mýrdalsjökull, Monitoring, Swarm, Volcano | 1 Comment

Bárðarbunga volcano weekly update on 18-February-2015

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There has not been major change in Holuhraun eruption since last week. The eruption continues at low phase at the moment far as I know. Bad weather has prevented scientists monitoring the eruption in the past few days. There continues to be considerable activity in Bárðarbunga volcano, the volcano continues to deflate.

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Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano for the past 48 hours. Green star is a magnitude 4,1 earthquake that took place at 14:18 UTC on 18-February-2015. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

New vents might open up along the dyke once current vent closes up in Holuhraun. There seems to be several weak points forming along the dyke, based on current earthquake activity (cluster of earthquake activity). There is also a risk this might happen before the eruption in Holuhraun ends. If the pressure inside the dyke is enough to start an eruption in new location before that.

The long term view of Bárðarbunga volcano

When the eruption in Holuhraun ends it is not going to mean the end of activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. Current activity is just a start of activity that is going to last for several years. According to Ármann Höskuldsson volcanologist in a interview at Rúv News yesterday. While it is not known for how long the rift episode that has now started in Bárðarbunga volcano is going to last. It is clear that this is at minimum of 5 years, common time for rift zone activity is up to ten years. There is a chance it is going to last longer than that. When it comes to Bárðarbunga volcano how long such activity is not known. There are also going to be breaks, with no activity at all between eruptions. Activity in Bárðarbunga volcano won’t be declared over until it is once again stable. Eruption activity in Bárðarbunga volcano might not end until the year 2026 at the longest.

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Posted in Bárðarbunga, Caldera, Deflation, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, Gas, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Inflation, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, SO2, Swarm, Toxic, Volcano | 176 Comments