New dyke intrusion in Katla volcano

Yesterday (01-May-2015) a minor dyke intrusion took place in Katla volcano. This dyke had depth down to 26,9 km and up to 18,5 km. This is the second dyke intrusion in this are in short space of time. Largest earthquake in the following earthquake swarm had the magnitude of 2,0.

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Dyke intrusion in Katla volcano (dense cluster of earthquakes). Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

While this doesn’t signal imminent eruption in Katla volcano this activity does have me concerned due to past experience with activity in Katla volcano. This might die out, but there is no way to know for sure. All that can be done is to wait and see what happens next in Katla volcano.

Notice on Grímsfjall volcano

There has been a slight increase in earthquakes in Grímsfjall volcano. This suggest that the volcano is about to be ready for its next eruption. Earlier eruptions took place 2011, 2004, 1998 … etc. It is impossible to know when or how big next eruption in Grímsfjall volcano is going to be.

No lava flow visible in Holuhraun main crater

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.

Bárðarbunga volcano update for 06-February-2015

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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Bárðarbunga volcano update for 30-January-2015

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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Bárðarbunga volcano update 27-January-2015

Nothing major is to report from last update on Holuhraun eruption. It continues at the same phase as before. It has been slowly diminishing over the past few weeks and continues to do so. There are complex reasons for this, but one thing is clear. This eruption is going to end one day. The size of the lava is unclear that the moment. It volume is now around 1,4 km³ according to the news. Cauldrons in the glacier, on top of the Bárðarbunga volcano caldera rim have been getting deeper over the past few weeks. This means that the hydrothermal activity in those areas is increasing and presence of magma at shallow depth. This also suggests that amount of magma at that shallow depth is increasing. If it is going to erupt is unclear at the moment, there are however currently higher chance that it is going to do so, rather than not.

150127_2035
Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano for the past 48 hours. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

There has been less earthquake activity taking place for the past 48 hours then during same days last week. There are peaks and lows in the earthquake activity, there might be a lot of earthquakes taking place one day, other days there appears to be a low in earthquake activity. What is also playing in as a factor here is the fact that bad weather has been taking place in Iceland for the past few days.

Last week scientists have been doing studies into the gas content of the eruption to see what is contains. SO² continues to be a problem in Iceland, depending on wind direction.

Icelandic news


Til marks um hve hættulegt svæðið er
(Ruv.is, Icelandic)
Rannsaka gas við Holuhraun (Ruv.is, Icelandic, video)

Holuhraun Eruption Gases Studied (Iceland Review)

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Article updated at 22:53 UTC.
Article updated at 22:55 UTC.

Bárðarbunga volcano update for 23-January-2015

Current activity in Bárðarbunga volcano remains the same. The eruption in Holuhraun continues, at bit slower rate now than it was some ten days ago according to latest news. This is not surprising, since last eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano that was like this only lasted for around 8 months. That formed the craters named Tröllagígar (more information at the end of this article). Flow of lava out of the crater is now estimated to be around 60m³/sec. It was also noted in the news that cauldrons in the glacier on top of Bárðarbunga volcano have been getting deeper in past few weeks, this means the area and the volcano it self is getting hotter. This means that magma has risen up along the caldera rim and warmed up the crust. This is important since magma cannot warm up the crust like this unless it is shallow, less depth then 2 km and in some areas less then 1 km. One reason why Holuhraun eruption might be coming to a end is that the magma has found a new and easier path up to the surface. The magma appears to be deep sourced and that is a problem, since it is harder to impossible to monitor and speculate on deep magma chamber. Since shallower magma chambers can often be monitored by earthquake activity, there is no such thing for magma chambers on more depth then 20 km in the crust.

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Harmonic tremor in the past few days from the eruption in Holuhraun. Drops in harmonic tremor are sign of drop in the eruption. The eruption is now fluctuating (in my view) that at times stroke activity (the little that is) is possibly stopping at times. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

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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 around the same in Bárðarbunga volcano for the past 48 hours. There has not been a magnitude 5,0 or larger earthquake in the past 15 days according to latest news. Earthquake activity remains high in Bárðarbunga volcano. This earthquake activity has however been dropping since August-2014 when it was peaking around 12.000 earthquakes a week (around 3000 earthquakes a day).

The rifting event

When the eruption in Holuhraun ends, it is just going to mean that the Holuhraun eruption has ended. The rifting is going to continue for a long time after the eruption has ended. The models that I work with (in my head, I don’t got a supercomputer) suggest that it might migrate south along Bárðarbunga volcano fissure swarm. This is difficult to predict for sure, but there are data (cracks in the ground forming over the past few years) suggesting that a large area is going to rift. This rifting is going to start eruptions, both short and long along this area. Part of this eruption risk area is under thick glacier (Vatnajökull glacier). That is going to start glacier flood that area going to damage everything in there path.

What is also impossible to know for sure is how long this rifting is going to last. Past episodes suggest that active periods like this normally last from 5 – 10 years. Sometimes shorter and sometimes longer, depending on how long it has been since last rifting episode took place. Last rifting episode in this area might been ~100 years ago in part of the system. I don’t know this for sure, but this is what the data suggests.

Tröllagíar crater information

Veiðivötn (need.is)
Vatnajökull national Park (uef.fi, 39 page pdf document)
Old paper and chemical analyse of eruptions in 18th century in Bárðarbunga (or that area). (timarit.is, Icelandic, part in English)
Field trip to Veiðivötn – Heljargjá – Jökulheimar (earth.leeds.ac.uk, pdf file)

Icelandic News

Gosinu í Holuhrauni gæti lokið á næstu vikum (Vísir.is, Icelandic)
Dregið hefur úr virkni gossins á yfirborði (Vísir.is, Icelandic)
Mik­il virkni enn í Bárðarbungu (mbl.is, Icelandic)

Donations

I am currently waiting for PayPal to finish validating my new account in accordance with EU anti-money laundry rules. I don’t know how long this process is going to take. I hope it won’t be long. While that happens, I want to point out that it is possible to support my work by buying from Amazon (select your area before you shop) or by support my work directly by bank transfer. Information on donations with bank transfer can be found on “Donations” site. Thanks for the support. 🙂

Comments

Please keep comments on topic (minor off-topic is ok if you get bored, but I recommend youtube or some game if you get bored). Please do not flame. I want to point out that nobody has clear idea what is going in Bárðarbunga volcano. Often nobody knows for sure what is going on in Bárðarbunga volcano.

Article updated at 21:36 UTC.

Bárðarbunga volcano update for 20-January-2015

The eruption in Bárðarbunga volcano (Holuhraun). Not much change has been reported in past few days. Currently the northern side of the eruption crater has not collapsed so far, but based on web cameras it appears that the activity is increasing in the north part of the crater. The lava field is now around 85 km² in size. The amount of SO2 that comes up during the day is around 10.000 – 30.000 tons of it.

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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 has been increasing in Bárðarbunga volcano for the past 24 hours. There is now a considerable higher number of earthquakes with magnitude 3,0 and higher taking place. I don’t know why this is happening. Either something is changing in Bárðarbunga volcano or something in the crust is giving away. At the moment it is impossible to know for sure what is going on. It is also impossible to know when that might become clear what is going on.

Other Bárðarbunga volcano related

Landsnet the company that runs the electric grid in Iceland is now moving electric poles in few areas, in order to avoid damage to the electric grid due to a eruption under the glacier in Bárðarbunga volcano and the glacier flood that follows it. They are also performing changes close to dams in the path of possible glacier flood from Vatnajökull glacier. This is done in order to try and protect those structures much as possible from damage if an glacier flood happens.

Scientist working in the close proximity of the eruption in Holuhraun and that have been staying there for a long time have noticed that they suffer from chronic cough. Once they left the eruption area for Christmas break the cough stopped, since at that time they got out of the polluted area.

Icelandic news

Háspennusmastur fært vegna flóðahættu
(Rúv.is, Icelandic, video)
Vísindamenn með krónískan hósta vegna gasmengunar (Vísir.is, Icelandic)

Minor schedule update

I’ve moved the second update during the week to Friday. Since that allow more days to pass during the regular eruption phase in Holuhraun.

Moving PayPal to Denmark (again)

I am going to be moving PayPal to Denmark soon (2 – 4 days). I do this since there are problems with having PayPal in Iceland. Since I am going to be moving back to Denmark in few years anyway (Since I really integrating well into Danish society, even if I was not fully integrated when I moved back to Iceland due to my current money problems).

Article updated at 01:57 UTC on 21-January-2015
Article updated at 13:21 UTC on 21-January-2015

Bárðarbunga volcano update for Friday 16-January-2015

Not much change has been reported in Holuhraun eruption since Wednesday (14-January-2015). The lava field continues to grow and is now ~84 km² in size. SO2 pollution continues to be a problem in Iceland, depending on wind direction. Output of magma currently is 50 – 70m³/sec according to latest measurements.

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

Earthquake activity remains strong in Bárðarbunga volcano, with strongest earthquakes having the magnitude of 4,6. It has been a while since a magnitude 5,0 or stronger earthquake happened. GPS data show continued deflation of Bárðarbunga volcano, it has slowed down since the eruption in started by the end of August, this slowed deflation of Bárðarbunga volcano shows that magma continues to flow out of the magma chambers inside the volcano. Earthquake activity in the dyke continues, all of the earthquakes so far are minor earthquakes, most having magnitude less then 2,5.

Far as I know there is nothing else to report from Bárðarbunga volcano at present time.

Change in update schedule: From next week I am going to change the update schedule for Bárðarbunga volcano. From next week I am just going to update two times a week. The updates are going to be on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The reason for this change is that most of the time now nothing major is happening in Bárðarbunga volcano. If anything major happens I am going to post update soon as I can about what is going on.

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Article updated at 22:18 UTC.

Bárðarbunga volcano update for 14-January-2015

The eruption in Holuhraun continues at the same phase as it has been doing this week. Far as I know there has not been any reports about changes in the news or in the reports from Icelandic Met Office. SO2 continues to be a problem in Iceland depending on wind direction. Both to people and animals.

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

Strong earthquake activity continues in Bárðarbunga volcano. Strongest earthquake in the past 48 hours had the magnitude of 4,7. Many smaller earthquakes have been also taking place in Bárðarbunga volcano and there are no signs that earthquake activity is about to end. Even if it has dropped from it’s peak in September to November.

According to Channel 2 (Stöð 2) news, Bárðarbunga volcano has been preparing for an eruption since the year 1974 at least (this might have started years earlier without anyone knowing about it), possibly earlier. This means there is huge amount of magma inside the volcano and possibly in the deep root system (my view) that is ready to erupt. There is also high risk of eruption taking place under the glacier, that risk is going to increase once the eruption in Holuhraun stops. Since it is clear in my view that Holuhraun cannot erupt (at least there is a good chance of it) all the magma that is now in Bárðarbunga volcano. There is always the question if all that magma is going to erupt, the chance of that are good based on current factors. That might change without warning.

Icelandic news

Hætta gæti aukist á öflugu sprengigosi í Bárðarbungu (Vísir.is, Icelandic, images)

Bárðarbunga volcano update 7-January-2015

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This is going to be a short update for Bárðarbunga volcano.

There are changes taking place in harmonic tremor on the SIL stations closest to the eruption in Holuhraun. I don’t know what this means exactly, the best idea at the moment is that the eruption is either ending or getting less in power. It is hard to know for sure at this moment due to the bad weather in Iceland. This might also just be part of normal fluctuation of the eruption.

dyn.svd.08.01.2015.at.00.14.utc
Harmonic tremor from the eruption in Holuhraun. Changes can be seen at the end of the trace. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

Earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano is the same now as it has been for the past few days.

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

Currently there are only 11 earthquakes larger then magnitude 3,0 in Bárðarbunga volcano for the past 48 hours. That is among the lowest number of earthquakes since this activity started in August-2014. Total of 117 earthquakes are on this map, that is now considered as “few” earthquakes compared to what was happening from August-2014. Holuhraun lava field is now 1,15 km³ in size, it also covers ~83,11 km². It is about the same size as Þingvallavatn lake. It is only going to take few more days until it is larger then largest lake in Iceland.

Storm warning

Please note that there is going to be bad weather in Iceland until Friday to Sunday. I am not sure when there is going to be break in the bad weather. Observations of what is happening in Bárðarbunga volcano are going to be difficult at best during this stormy days.