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 | 24 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

Magnitude 7,1 earthquake (USGS) deep south of the Reykjanes Ridge

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At 18:59 UTC today (13-February-2015) a magnitude 7,1 earthquake (USGS) took place deep south of the Reykjanes Ridge. EMSC is reporting this earthquake having the magnitude of 6,8 (link). This earthquake was 1401 km south of Reykjavík, Iceland.

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Location of the magnitude 7,1 earthquake. Copyright of this image belongs to EMSC.

Several pre-earthquake took place, with magnitude 5,3 and 4,9 (automatic magnitude). Largest aftershock so far had the magnitude of 5,3 (automatic magnitude). Due to distance from land this earthquake was not felt and it did not create any damage. More earthquake activity should be expected in this area for next few days to weeks.

Posted in Earthquakes, Reykjanes Ridge, Swarm | 16 Comments

Bárðarbunga volcano update for 10-February-2015

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No mayor changes have been reported since my last update. Bárðarbunga volcano continues to subside at slow rate. The eruption in Holuhraun continues around the same rate as before. Sulfur dioxide pollution continues to be a problem. There are now also worries about the amount of sulfur dioxide that is bound into snow, since once spring arrives in Iceland (April – May) that snow is going to melt and flood the grasslands and rivers with sulfur dioxide pollution, when sulfur dioxide is combined with water it creates acid rain (that has also been a problem in Iceland).

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

Earthquake activity remains high in Bárðarbunga volcano, but there has not been a magnitude 5,0 earthquake since January-8 according to latest reports. Largest earthquake in past 48 hours had the magnitude of 4,7. I did notice today (10-Feburary-2015) several deep earthquake had taken place. This might suggest that magma is coming up from depth into Bárðarbunga volcano. It is difficult to know for sure what this means at the moment.

Correction of misunderstanding regarding Hreppar Microplate

Hreppar microplate has nothing to do with the eruption and rifting episode in Bárðarbunga volcano. Details on Hreppar microplate can be found here (page 18). Few more details can be found here (page 9).

New article schedule for Bárðarbunga volcano updates

With less activity in Bárðarbunga volcano I am lowering the amount of articles I am writing about it. Since it is hard to write about the same thing for five months. There won’t be any article on Friday (13-Feburary). Next update is going to be on Wednesday 18-Feburary. After that I am going to have weekly updates on Bárðarbunga volcano activity.

Donations: The PayPal button is going to return soon. Since I won’t be moving back to Denmark (as I hoped that I would do) I am moving it back to Iceland. It is going to take few days to finish that process. In the meantime it is possible to donate directly with bank transfer, information on how to do so can be found here. Other way to support my work is to shop from Amazon. I get a small percent of the sale price for each item sold.

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Deflation, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, Gas, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, SO2, Swarm, Toxic, Volcano | 185 Comments

Bárðarbunga volcano update for 06-February-2015

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This update is going to be slightly shorter than usual because I am sick (I got flu at the moment).

  • Over the past two weeks there has been considerable drop in the lava lake.
  • Lavafall was seen on new images (in the one of the lava rivers) in Holuhraun yesterday (05-February-2015).
  • Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano continues to drop.  It continues to be classified as considerable.
  • GPS data show that the area around Bárðarbunga volcano continues to subside towards the volcano.
  • The eruption in Holuhraun might end in 5 – 12 months, there is also a chance it might go on for years at low level. There is no way to know for sure.
  • Sulfur dioxide pollution continues to be a problem in Iceland. Depending on wind direction. Current release of Sulfur dioxide from the eruption in Holuhraun is from 30.000 tons/day and up to 80.000 tons/day.

 

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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 in the past 48 hours was a magnitude 4,9 earthquake in north-east Bárðarbunga volcano. It has now been one month since magnitude 5,0 or larger earthquake took place in Bárðarbunga volcano.

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Posted in Bárðarbunga, Caldera, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, Gas, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Holuhraun, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, Mountain, SO2, Swarm, Volcano | 54 Comments

Bárðarbunga volcano update for 3-February-2015

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Since last update of activity in Bárðarbunga volcano there have not been major changes in Holuhraun eruption. The lava lake in the crater has lowered by several meters based on pictures from Holuhraun today. Large cliffs have formed where the lava river is, I don’t have exact depth for them, but it is around 30 – 40 meters according to my estimate (it might be wrong).

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

Largest earthquake in the past 48 hours had the magnitude of 4,6. Other earthquake activity is as it has been for the past three to four weeks in terms of earthquake activity. What I have been observing in the past few days are harmonic tremor spikes, the largest one happened on 30-January-2015, after that smaller harmonic tremor spikes have been taking place. It is unclear at the moment why this is happening. This might be due to changes in hydrothermal areas under the glacier or magma is on the move inside the volcano.

Update 1: New webcamera close to the eruption. It can be viewed here.

Donations: I have currently removed the paypal buttons for a short time. The reason is that I have come to the conclusion that I cannot move back to Denmark (even if I want to). The reason is my social welfare that I am on in Iceland and the Icelandic Krona. I don’t trust the exchange rate of the Icelandic krona. The Danish tax is not a issue as such for me, but it does increase the pressure on my finances in general, so with everything adding up. I can’t afford living in Denmark even if I wanted to. I am going to be in north-west Iceland for the next few years, after that I am considering buying a house in north-east Iceland if I can collect at least 30% for the house (rest being a bank loan for the house).

While I am moving my Paypal account back to Iceland. People can donate directly with the bank transfer, information on what to do can be found here. People can also support my work by shopping with Amazon through the banners that I have here. Thanks for the support.

Article updated at 20:30 UTC.
Article updated at 20:36 UTC.
Article updated at 21:14 UTC.

Posted in Bárðarbunga, Caldera, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, Gas, GPS data, GPS Monitoring, Harmonic tremors, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, SO2, Swarm, Toxic, Volcano | 65 Comments

Minor earthquake swarms in TFZ (Tjörnes Fracture Zone)

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During the night and today there has been a minor earthquake swarm activity on the Tjörnes Fracture Zone (TFZ). Largest earthquake in this swarm had the magnitude of 3,1, so far 59 earthquakes have happened.

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The earthquake swarm in TFZ for the last 48 hours. Green star shows the location of the magnitude 3,1 earthquake. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

TFZ is highly active area of Iceland in terms of earthquake activity. It has now been a while since major earthquake swarm took place in TFZ. Earthquakes in TFZ can go up to Mw7,0*.

* This is just a historical note that I am making here.

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Posted in Earthquakes, Monitoring, Swarm, TFZ | 5 Comments

Bárðarbunga volcano update for 30-January-2015

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Since last update nothing major has changed in Holuhraun. There have been some changes in Bárðarbunga volcano it self and I am going to cover that later in this article. The magma flow from the craters in Holuhraun remains high at the moment, with latest flow measurements saying that flow of lava is now 100m³/sec. There seems to be uncertain or maybe changes in the flow of lava out of the crater. The volume is now ~1,4 km³. The lava-field has been getting thicker over the past weeks and closest to the craters it is now around 40 meters thick. New estimate of when the eruption might end are now 4 to 15 months.

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

Earthquake activity remains high, but it continues to drop at steady rate between weeks. Earthquake activity now also drops between peaks in activity. I still don’t know if a small eruption took place in Bárðarbunga volcano. Nothing has yet been confirmed and it might remain unconfirmed for a long time. I am also seeing small spikes in the harmonic tremor data due to hydrothermal activity in Bárðarbunga volcano (far as I can tell).

If anything major happens I am going to post update about it soon as I can.

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Posted in Bárðarbunga, Dyke intrusions, Earthquakes, Eruptions, Fissures, Gas, Harmonic tremors, Holuhraun, Hydrothermal, Lava, Magma, Monitoring, Mountain, SO2, Swarm, Toxic, Tremor plots, Volcano | 65 Comments

Minor earthquake swarm on the Reykjanes Ridge

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Yesterday (29-January-2015) a minor earthquake swarm took place on the Reykjanes Ridge. Total number of earthquakes was something around twenty or close to it.

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

Largest earthquakes in this swarm had magnitude of 3,2 and the second largest earthquake had the magnitude of 3,0. More earthquakes like this can possibly happen in next few days to weeks. This area often has high amount of earthquake activity.

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