Bárðarbunga volcano update Monday 3-November-2014

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The eruption in Holuhraun continued last weekend as it has been doing for the past two months. No change happened. Due to bad weather this weekend it was difficult to monitor what was happening in Holuhraun. The eruption continues at full force from what I can see on Míla web cameras, when I was viewing it earlier today I noted that lava strokes where going up 20 – 50 meters high up. The main crater has build up around 90 meter high wall around the main eruption, blocking all view to it. I don’t know how stable this wall it, so collapses might happen in it at times without warning.

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

Largest earthquake during the weekend had the magnitude of 5,4. Other earthquakes where smaller, but there was a lot of earthquakes that had magnitude larger than 3,0. This high volume of strong earthquakes continues in Bárðarbunga volcano, so far more than 61 earthquake have been larger then magnitude 5,0, more then 228 earthquakes with magnitude 4 – 5 have happened since this started and more than 434 earthquakes have happened in Bárðarbunga volcano since August. The amount of magma that has erupted in Holuhrauni lava field is now 1,0 km³ (or more). The new lava now covers 70 square kilometre area according to last measurements that I know of. The eruption in Holuhraun is still fourteen times smaller than Laki eruption that happened 1783 – 1784. Far as I know there is currently nothing more to report.

Icelandic News

Stærsta gos síðan í Skaftáreldum (Rúv.is, Icelandic)

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Article updated at 00:37 UTC on 04-November-2014.

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Caldera, Collapse, Donations, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, Mountain, SO2, Swarm, Vatnajökull glacier, Volcano | 137 Comments

Bárðarbunga volcano update for Friday 31-October-2014

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This is the update for Bárðarbunga volcano on Friday 31-October-2014.

Not much has changed since Wednesday (29-October-2014) update in Bárðarbunga volcano. Earthquake activity continues as it has been doing for the past two months. No major change has been taking place in according to GPS data. No major change has happened in eruption vents in Holuhraun, the lava field is now around 65 square kilometres in size.

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

Strongest earthquakes for the past 24 hours have the magnitude of 5,3 and 5,2. Other earthquakes have been smaller. There is no change in earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano and the caldera continues to drop around 40cm/day at the moment. Current SO2 output levels are around 20,000 to 40,000 tons/daily of SO2 from the eruption in Holuhraun. Bad weather has blocked proper earthquake detection and monitoring of the eruption in Holuhraun and of Bárðarbunga volcano. The weather is going to be extremely bad in Iceland for the next 6 – 10 hours. Other than this I don’t have any more news of Bárðarbunga volcano eruption.

Article updated 01-November-2014 at 00:30 UTC.

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Caldera, Collapse, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, Gas, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, SO2, Storm, Swarm, Toxic, Tremor plots, Volcano, Weather, Wind | 236 Comments

Minor earthquake swarm on Reykjanes peninsula

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Yesterday (30-October-2014) there was a minor earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes peninsula in Krýsuvík volcano. Around 30 earthquakes where recorded in this swarm.

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The earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes peninsula. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Largest earthquakes in this swarm had the magnitude of 3,1 and 3,3 other earthquakes where smaller. This was tectonic only earthquake activity from the looks of it. I don’t know if more earthquakes are going to happen.

Posted in Earthquakes, Krýsuvík, Monitoring, Reykjanes, Swarm | 6 Comments

Bárðarbunga volcano update for Wednesday 29-October-2014

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Today (29-October-2014) marks the two months since the second eruption in Holuhraun started. Currently the eruption is ongoing with no signs of stopping, it is erupting about the same power since Monday, the eruption power is less than it was when it started two months ago and that is normal. The lava field has now covers area of 64,6 square kilometres in size. This is now largest lava in Iceland since Laki eruption of 1783 – 1784.

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

Earthquake activity remains strong in Bárðarbunga volcano. There is one to two magnitude five or stronger earthquake every 20 – 35 hours at present time. The caldera continues to drop around 40cm/day, most of the drop happens without any earthquake activity at all. So far no major eruption has happened under the glacier, only minor eruptions have happened that have only lasted for few hours.

I also want to point out there is only basalt lava in this eruption. This magma is up to 1600C warm when it comes up from its deep source at +20km depth. If there was any other type of magma in this eruption it would have been detected by now in the current eruption in Holuhraun. Most of Iceland eruptions are basalt only eruption, since Iceland is both on hotspot and the mid-Atlantic ridge. There are other melts and types of eruptions, but such eruptions don’t happen as frequently as normal basalt eruptions. The reason for ash cloud eruptions in volcano like Grímsfjall is due the fact that there is a glacier on top of the volcano. Same rule applies to Katla volcano, it is all basalt most of the time, but since there is a lot of glacier on top of the volcano the eruptions that happen are explosive due to that fact.

I don’t think there is anything else new about the eruption and activity in Bárðarbunga volcano since Monday.

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Caldera, Collapse, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Hotspot, Inflation, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, Mountain, Rift Zone, Swarm, Vatnajökull glacier, Volcano, Webicorders | 146 Comments

Bárðarbunga volcano update for 27-October-2014

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During the weekend activity in Bárðarbunga volcano was in the same manner as it has been for the past two months. Largest earthquakes during the weekend had the magnitude of 5,2 and 5,3. Pollution was a big problem south of the eruption in Holuhraun and new record was set for SO2 pollution in populated areas in Iceland. The pollution levels did go up to 21.000 μg/m3 when they where the highest during the weekend. A emergency was declared for Höfn in Hornafirði when the worst pollution did go over the area. Currently there is a little bit less pollution, but air quality is poor in parts of south Iceland at the moment.

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

Largest earthquake on 27-October-2014 had the magnitude of 5,3 and happened in the south-east part of the caldera. Since it has been quiet in terms of earthquake activity. According to Icelandic Met Office this is normal and has happened before. Subsidence of the caldera happens without any earthquake activity most of the time. According to Icelandic Met Office and others (pdf file here), the caldera has now dropped some 40 meters. New cauldrons have been forming along the caldera rim and older ones (that I did not know about until today) have been getting deeper according to measurements from Friday (24-October-2014). The new and older cauldrons appear clearly on images that can be found here (text is in Icelandic). GPS data is showing minor inflation in the dyke that is currently erupting, suggesting that more magma is flowing into it then is erupting from it.

If any melt is happening in the caldera it is not appearing on the glacier yet. As for the water, it just goes down. Rock inside volcanoes leaks, a lot, so it is easy for the water to go into the crust. It doesn’t have to go anywhere else in small amounts that might be melting if the crust has warmed up enough to do so. Currently there are no evidence for that taking place, but with 850 meters of glacier on top of it is difficult to be sure. There are no other news about the eruption that I know of at the moment.

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Posted in Bárðarbunga, Caldera, Collapse, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, Glacier flood, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Inflation, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, Mountain, Swarm, Tremor plots, Volcano | 188 Comments

Minor earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes ridge

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Last night (27-October-2014) a minor earthquake swarm took place on the Reykjanes Ridge. Around 10 earthquakes where recorded and the largest one had the magnitude of 3,7.

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The earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes Ridge. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

No further earthquake activity has been detected today besides this earthquake activity around midnight. This does not rule out future activity, since earthquake swarms are common on the Reykjanes Ridge and they often can get big and last for few days to week when they happen.

Posted in Earthquakes, Reykjanes Ridge, Swarm | 4 Comments

Bárðarbunga volcano Friday update on 24-October-2014

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This is the Friday update for Bárðarbunga volcano eruption.

During the past 48 hours total (when this is written) of 69 earthquakes with magnitude of larger than 3,0 have happened in Bárðarbunga volcano. Total number of earthquakes in that same time period is 286 earthquakes (when this is written). Since yesterday it appears that earthquake activity is increasing in Bárðarbunga volcano at the moment, there is minor fluctuation in activity every few hours. I do not know why that is happening.

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Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. Green stars are earthquakes larger than magnitude 3,0. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Most of the earthquake activity is taking place in North-east part of Bárðarbunga volcano caldera rim. Few to no earthquakes are happening in the centre of the caldera. Currently the caldera continues to lower around 30 – 40cm/day according to latest news from Icelandic Met Office. Far as I know the eruption in Holuhraun continues at the same rate as yesterday with no major change taking place. Some minor earthquake activity has been taking place along the dyke for the past 48 hours. Other then this I don’t have heard any other news about current status. I am currently looking into few details about what might be happening, but I am as always waiting to see what nature does next.

Added: I forgot to mention that Holuhraun lava field is now 63 square kilometres in size. It doesn’t grow in size today as fast as it used to do. It might however be adding volume rather then size at the moment, with occasional break in the lava rim allowing it to expand slowly.

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Other: Next week I move to a different schedule since current phase is not changing a lot between days. This means that updates are going to be on following days. Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Unless there is something new happening then I am going to update right away with newest information. I never know what is going to happen so I don’t keep tight schedule on updates.

Article updated at 22:51 UTC.

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Caldera, Collapse, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, Glacier flood, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Inflation, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, Mountain, Swarm, Volcano | 242 Comments

Bárðarbunga volcano daily update for 23-October-2014

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Currently earthquake activity is increasing in Bárðarbunga volcano. For the past 48 hours 53 (when this article is written) earthquake with magnitude above 3,0 have happened. It is unclear what is going now in Bárðarbunga volcano, at the moment most of the earthquake activity is located in north-east of the caldera rim. I am unsure why earthquake activity is increasing the way it is currently doing.

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Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano for the past 48 hours. Green stars show earthquakes with magnitude above 3,0. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

I am not sure if there have been any harmonic tremor this time around in Bárðarbunga volcano. That might well be without me noticing them. Even if the eruption in Holuhraun stops it is clear that Bárðarbunga is far from being a stable or in dormant state. A new eruption vent is more likely to open up then not. That might happen under a glacier and that is going to mean glacier flood and volcano ash eruption while water gets into the crater. This has not yet happened on large scale in Bárðarbunga. There is also no eruption taking place in the caldera at the moment and the glacier is getting thicker this time of the year due to fresh snowfall on top of it and making it heavier at the same time. Far as I know the eruption in Holuhraun is at the same pace as it was yesterday. I didn’t see anything on the web-cameras due to weather when I checked them earlier.

If anything major happens I am going to post update here soon as possible.

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Caldera, Collapse, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Inflation, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Tremor plots, Volcano, Webicorders | 102 Comments

Bárðarbunga volcano daily update for 22-October-2014

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Bárðarbunga volcano eruption in Holuhraun has not changed much from yesterday. Latest news however say that the eruption in Holuhraun is slowly coming to an end. When that might happen is not known, there is less lava flow today then two weeks ago. Activity in Bárðarbunga volcano is far from over and I am expecting new eruption starting at any time with no warning at all. There is also no major change in the GPS data as can be seen here.

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Earthquake activity today in Bárðarbunga volcano. Green stars show earthquakes with magnitude above 3,0. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There is no longer any point for me to mention the largest earthquakes today. Since there happen magnitude 3,0 – 4,9 earthquake every one to three hours at the moment and earthquakes with magnitude above 5,0 every 20 – 30 hours. People wanting to check magnitude details can do so on Icelandic Met Office website here. Any large earthquake also appear clearly on my geophones, the website for those can be viewed here. Other then this I don’t have any new news about what is happening in Bárðarbunga volcano. The day to day changes are not great as I have mentioned earlier.

Update 1: Rúv News has published a news about new estimate from Icelandic Met Office if an eruption happens in Dyngjujökull or in the river area of Jökulsá á Fjöllum. New estimates are that 25,000 cubic meters per second of water are going to flood down Jökulsá á Fjöllum in such eruption and are going to reach Holuhraun eruption and lava field in about 30 minutes. The news can be viewed here with graphics, both language and text is in Icelandic.

Icelandic News about Bárðarbunga volcano

„Þetta hætt­ir einn góðan veður­dag“ (mbl.is)

Other:
Due the fact that the eruption in Holuhraun and activity in Bárðarbunga volcano is almost the same now between days I am going to write fewer articles about the activity in Bárðarbunga volcano. The reason is that I want to get a little rest before the next chapter in Bárðarbunga volcano activity starts and I find it is difficult to report always the same thing almost every day. I am going to keep the daily update format until Friday and from Monday I am doing to update every other day, this means there is going to be update on Monday, then on Wednesday and on Friday. Unless something major happens then I am going to update soon as I can do so.

Article updated at 21:48 UTC.
Article updated at 22:57 UTC.

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Caldera, Collapse, Donations, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Inflation, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Vatnajökull glacier, Volcano, Webicorders | 86 Comments

Bárðarbunga volcano daily update for 21-October-2014

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This is the daily update for Bárðarbunga volcano.

Largest earthquake today had the magnitude of 5,3. Second largest earthquake had the magnitude of 4,7. The magnitude 5,3 earthquake had the depth of 15,6 km. This suggest that something is happening at depth inside the volcano. What that exactly is bit unclear that the moment. Other earthquakes today have been smaller, but there have been good amount of magnitude 3,0 and 4,0 earthquakes taking place today.

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Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano today. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Earthquake activity has been increasing along the dyke today. This suggest that pressure is increasing along the dyke, this might mean that more magma is flowing into it at the moment. After what appears to have been some type of pressure drop earlier today. What this means is unclear, but an eruption under the glacier continues to a be a big risk in Bárðarbunga volcano. The Holuhraun lava is now around 60,4 square kilometres in size. This is according to latest measurements that have been taken. The volume of lava is considerable more, since the lava is up to 10 – 30 meters thick at locations and might be getting thicker as the time passes. I don’t think there is anything more to report currently.

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Caldera, Collapse, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Inflation, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, Swarm, Volcano | 72 Comments