Bárðarbunga volcano daily update 02-October-2014

This information is going to get outdated quickly if anything happens in Bárðarbunga volcano.

Current status in Bárðarbunga volcano at 23:03 UTC

  • The eruption in Holuhraun continues at the same rate as before. There are no signs of it slowing down. I don’t know if new craters have opened up, it doesn’t look like it at the moment.
  • Bad weather has prevented visibility check from the ground. There currently is storm in the area with limited visibility at the moment. Please check the wind map for more details.
  • Largest earthquakes so far today where two magnitude 4,8 earthquakes that took place at 00:36 UTC and 13:27 UTC. Second largest earthquake took place at 06:39 UTC and had the magnitude of 4,6. Other earthquakes are smaller.
  • It seems that earthquake activity is increasing in Bárðarbunga volcano. I don’t think that is a good sign. So far there are no signs of an eruption under the glacier, at least not a large one at the moment.
  • Magma continues to flow into the dyke at the same rate as before. It also appears that the pressure inside the dyke is increasing since the eruption in Holuhraun is not keeping up with the material that is flowing into it.
  • Due to bad weather I don’t have any more information on the eruption in Holuhraun.
  • Bad weather is expected tomorrow in north Iceland and in the higher parts of Iceland at the same time. Snow is expected to fall in mountains and higher areas. This is going to mean poor or no visibility on Míla web cameras during this bad weather.

Information from GPS data

GPS data shows that the dyke that feeds the eruption in Holuhraun eruption is being well fed. There are no signs of any contraction taking place and it is clearly not cooling down. Earthquakes happen in the dyke when it expands since the eruption is not big enough. I don’t know why eruption has not yet broken up in a new place yet. As the times goes on the rock around the dyke gets soft from the heat, it turns into rubber type of mush that no longer breaks. This also applies to the crust above it. The depth down to the dyke is no more than 2 km, but it is expected that it is around 1 km or shallower in some areas.

141002_2225
The earthquake activity in Bárðarbunga volcano today and for the last 48 hours. This is just the earthquakes that have been recorded today trough the bad weather that has been taking place. So I am expecting more earthquake to have taken place than are showing up here. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

When the earthquake data is connected to GPS data it tells the story of an dyke that is being well fed and is trying to expand into nearby crust. Creating minor earthquake activity in the process. It is erupting so it can only expand by the volume that the eruption is not erupting. I don’t know how much that is, the dyke it self is around 3 – 4 meters wide and around 10 – 15 km deep (best estimate).

DYNC_3mrap.svd.02.10.2014.at.21.39.utc
The dyke size and feeding appears clearly here. I don’t know why it is moving west now, rather than east. This might suggest that something else is going on that does not appear on the surface yet (it might never appear on the surface). Copyright of this image belongs to University of Iceland.

URHC_3mrap.svd.02.10.at.21.39.utc
It is almost the same story on this GPS station. With the exception it is not moving to the west. It is stable where it is. This GPS station is almost on top of the dyke. So any change is going to appear quickly on it. Copyright of this image belongs to University of Iceland.

More GPS stations and information can be found here on University of Iceland website.

Break from Friday

I am going to go on a little break during this weekend from Friday. This means the following.

  • Comments are going to stay a little longer in moderation queue if you are commenting for the first time, or posting many links. If your comment vanishes it means the spam filter ate it, so it is going to take me a little time to recover it. So just wait a little for it.
  • If anything happens I might not be able to update this website with newest information right away. I will try to do soon as possible if I can.
  • Update for the Friday (03-October-2014) might be short and come in late (or not at all). When I don’t know yet.

This has been a busy one and half month for me. I’ve been watching Bárðarbunga volcano for almost all hours of the day regardless where I am and what I am doing. After a while it starts to tire you. That is why Icelandic Met Office and University of Iceland have people on rotation during this eruption. I don’t have that option so I just have to take a short breaks and hope nothing big happens while I am resting my self for a short while.

I did learn during the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2010 that if I spend too much time in this I burn out and the recovery from that is long process. That is why I now have plan to prevent that during a long eruption, that covers eruptions that are longer than one month. Like is now the case in Bárðarbunga volcano.

I advice this for anyone how is going to watch this eruption for a long period of time (since it is going to last a long period of time). Spending too much time on an eruption is not good. Even a one day break is a good thing for anyone watching this eruption.

In the case there is no new article tomorrow. I wish everyone a good weekend.

Article updated at 23:42 UTC

Article updated at 23:43 UTC

414 Replies to “Bárðarbunga volcano daily update 02-October-2014”

    1. Could the lava field change the course of any rivers, and if so, might there be consequences for humans etc downstream?

      1. and it happened before, see Asbyrgi:
        “Ásbyrgi was most likely formed by catastrophic glacial flooding of the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum after the last Ice Age, first 8-10,000 years ago, and then again some 3,000 years ago. The river has since changed its course and now runs about 2 km to the east. ”
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%81sbyrgi

  1. EQ activity is really buffing up now, what do you think? Time to stock up on non-perishables? 😉
    It’s rather remarkable how it can sustain itself with so many quakes, especially some that shallow. Most of the time we get a little rattle and then bang, but now the rattling part is incredibly long, not something we’ve seen like it before in Iceland as far as i can remember…

    1. Thanks for this. Very interesting, though when I think I’ve got BB figured out, something unexpected occurs. We all need more core samples.

  2. Magnitude M 4.6
    Region ICELAND
    Date time 2014-10-05 16:59:05.7 UTC
    Location 64.65 N ; 16.93 W
    Depth 40 km
    Distances 271 km E of Reykjavík, Iceland / pop: 113,906 / local time: 16:59:04.5 2014-10-05
    121 km SW of Egilsstaðir, Iceland / pop: 2,265 / local time: 16:59:04.5 2014-10-05
    67 km NW of Höfn, Iceland / pop: 1,695 / local time: 16:59:04.5 2014-10-05 http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=402931

    1. Upgraded: Magnitude mb 4.8
      Region ICELAND
      Date time 2014-10-05 16:59:00.5 UTC
      Location 64.47 N ; 17.41 W
      Depth 2 km

  3. Great video links IngeB.
    Wonder how long this lava field at Holuhraun will last, i’m assuming a fair amount of it will be washed away in a large glacial flood whenever Bardarbunga decides to blow!

      1. Some it seems are taking ideas from here and popping over to VC to claim them as a new revelation of their own thought process ,not a lot of critical thinking going on there recently

      2. I don’t think the flood will destroy the shield volcano currently in formation but it will definitively shape it.

        Think Valdalda. It is eroded due to previous glacial floods. Think also Hestfjall in the southwest of Iceland. Same thing, only one side shield, the other eroded by the river. Same thing Hallmundarhraun, which is at ice cap edge, only half of shield was formed, because lava only flowed into one side.

        Holuhdyngja, this new shield volcano, will continue.

        The region (north of Vatnajokull) experiences a shield volcano on average every 1000 years, so it’s just time for another one. And the region north of Bardarbunga is abundant in shield volcanoes, and rare in long fissure eruptions. That’s why I still think this is a shield volcano in formation.

      3. And shield volcanoes do start with fissure eruptions and with rifting episodes. Even with more than one vent.

        Think Skjaldbreidur. There is a long rifting fissure, that runs all the way between the eastern side of Thingvallavatn until Skjaldbreidur. I am almost sure they formed at same time, as exact is their alignment and connection.

        Same thing in Holuhraun. A rift valley, rifting fissure in Dyngjujojull towards the current forming shield volcano.

      1. The geomporphologist in me really wants to see that landform recycled and ‘in use’ again. I have had the unforgettable experience of staying at Niagra Falls in Canada.
        To see a valley, formed by water and then abandoned, be once again occupied by a massive waterfall would be stupendous.
        Unfortunately the campsites wouldn’t stand a chance.

      2. Any glacial meltwater from BB has to go somewhere & the eruption is on sand, not exactly a strong foundation!

      3. I agree, wurzeldave. The eruption site and lava are occurring on the glacial sands and loess, a very unstable base should a jokulhlaup occcur there.
        I’m just stating that any meltwater from BB could go into any of several drainage basins. It is very difficult to predict which one or ones the water will drain through. Whatever the outcome, it will be spectacular to watch.

  4. I prefer night view when it lights everything up like someone turned lights in the eruption on

  5. Greece had many 4+ & 5+ EQs this past week & with Stromboli in Italy erupting along with Bardabunga here in Iceland……that’s exactly what I have been worrying about for quite some time. The activities we now see coming to the surface originated many years ago & were from very deep within.That’s why I mentioned silicon earlier. It would definitely be interesting to see silicon or iron in the core magma samples. Jon, I hope that you are receiving the re-invigorating peace & rest that you deserve. I hope all heck does not bust loose from the 7th through the 9th!! We will definitely be need you if that happens!!

    1. Between 1900 and 1920 over 20,000 people were killed in Italy alone by earthquake tragedy.
      The planet has always been restless.

    2. Since Stromboli is permanently active, always a volcano will erupt at the same time : “Mt. Stromboli has been in almost continuous eruption for the past 2,000 years. ”
      Nickname “Lighthouse of the Mediterranean”

      So no fear, stay and learn more about volcanos. It’s really interesting beside any disasters…

  6. Beautiful somber looking photograph Egill101!! Thick looking SO2. Glad you are still with us folks still above the ground! I have always wished to see Iceland in person and envy your trip today!! Were some of the Icelandic Ponies along your route today?

  7. An interesting blog from one of the real professionals in the field

    http://vulkan.blog.is/blog/vulkan/entry/1448119/

    Using google translate (there are inaccuracies in translation) –
    ==================================================
    öskjusigAllt suggests that there is a very large magma chamber under Bárðarbunga. This magma chamber, for example, delivered a one of the largest basalt lava on earth modern, Thjórsá lava. It ran for about 8600 years, all the way south to the sea, there is now a Stokkseyri and Eyrarbakka. The lava is about 25 cubic kilometers. Probably magma chambers with up to 100 cubic kilometers in the tank of about 1175 oC hot magma. But at what depth is it? Perhaps give jarskjálftarnir indication of that. Earthquakes are not the magma chamber, but probably faults, which are associated öskjusiginu. Earthquakes are caused by movement of cracks in the earth’s crust, such as when the fault moves. The first one is rather rough picture of the cross-section of a volcano with a caldera. This is not Bardarbunga but typical volcano like a child would draw, but the main points are the same. The caldera formed when magma flows out of the magma chamber and into the swarm and running, as the arrow on the right shows. Sigur large cards of the Earth’s crust into magma chamber. Red stars are symbols of earthquakes, resulting from the breach in the Earth’s crust to slip. Seismic spread in a circle, which defines the outline of the carton track. The bottom picture shows Bárðarbunga on a map and the map shows the distribution of earthquakes Bárðarbunga in August. Seismic data is of course from the website IMO. Consider this more of YouTube, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PTEDxrIRoM

    This movie is kind of a cross section of the crust under the volcano. Notice skjálftavirknin almost exclusively shallower than 8 km below the box. According to this estimate, the roof swarm develop suitability is at about 8 km depth. It tells us nothing about how deep it is or what the amount of magma is in development. Tremors can not be formed deeper, where the rock below the magma chambers are too hot to be broken. It sinks instead. Perhaps the magma chamber near the red circle in dashed line in the figure. earthquakes

    The chemical composition of the magma also helps to determine the depth of magma develop observation. If we drive analytically ies University through digest its applications Mark Ghiorso, it is pretty much clear that this dynamic can not be reached directly from the mantle, but has evolved into a magma chamber within the crust, probably at a pressure corresponding to a depth of 10 km. So: quake and chemistry is consistent. This is now a little deeper than I would have thought, but then we are always learning something new. Finished the magma chamber (bottom of the box) is then about 8 to 10 km thick plug and its diameter is about the same (10 to 12 km). What does he long continue to slide down into the magma chamber, about half a meter a day? Begins to rise again, when the eruption ends and magma flows into the magma chamber of the mantle? No one knows, but the only example that we have for comparison are the requirements Eldar 1975 to 1984, but then rose and slid the carton bottom repeatedly in nine years. Exciting times ahead? But the thought of the massive amounts of magma, which is under development is certainly awesome.
    =========================================================

    I think you will agree that statements like this from Haraldur Sigurðsson mean sit up and pay attention, I find the quantity of magma quite disturbing personally.

    1. The trouble with that guy is he changes his mind too often,he is trying to make a pre existing theory fit to the events,instead of developing a theory based on the events.That there is a lot of magma down there is obvious,Iceland is one of the most volcanically active places on earth,so there has to be a lot of magma present at relatively shallow depth.

      1. I think the IMO guys have said already this is a new situation, they do not have a model for it. As the data comes in ideas have to adapt if the initial ideas are wrong. Which is why they have given scenarios.

        We are all guessing, professionals and amatuers. I do not agree with everything they say, but they have the data and the training to interpret it, so I listen.

      2. Can’t argue with that,but I think some of the meaning and context gets skewed in the translation anyway.

      1. So he helped prove what killed the dinosaurs, explained Pompei, found a lost town and edited some encyclopedia. What has he done lately?

      2. I guess I am lucky he does not lurk in the comments section(fools dungeon)of volcano blogs,phew I think I made a fool of myself (what am saying I am a fool lol).I somehow do not think he would worry himself over anything said here.

      3. A hvaða dýpi er kvikuþróin? (Post by Haraldur Sigurdsson, on his blog, vulkan.blog.is, 20.9.2014)
        At what depth is the magma chamber?

        All suggests that there is a very large magma chamber under Bárðarbunga. This magma chamber, for example, produced one of the largest basalt lava fields on earth during the Holocene, the Thjórsá lava. It was erupted 8600 years from now, and ran all the way south to the sea, till where are now (the villages) Stokkseyri and Eyrarbakki. The lava comprises about 25 cubic kilometers. Probably the magma chamber is with up to 100 cubic kilometers in the tank, of about 1175 oC hot magma. But at what depth is it? Perhaps the earthquakes will give an indication of that. The earthquakes don’t have their origin in the magma chamber, but probably at faults, which are associated to the subsidence. Earthquakes are caused by movement of cracks in the earth’s crust, such as when faults move.

        The first one is a rather rough picture of the cross-section of a volcano with a caldera. This is not Bardarbunga, but a typical volcano like a child would draw, but the main characteristics are the same. A caldera forms when magma flows out of the magma chamber and into a dike as the arrow on the right shows.

        Then a large shred of the Earth’s crust sinks into the magma chamber. Red stars are symbols of earthquakes, resulting from the breach in the Earth’s crust with the subsidence. The earthquakes spread then in a circle, which defines the outline of the caldera on the map. The bottom picture shows Bárðarbunga on a map and below the map is shown the distribution of earthquakes below Bárðarbunga in August. Seismic data is of course from the website of IMO. See details on a YouTube video.

        So this picture is sort of a cross-section of the crust under the volcano. Pls. note that the earthquakes are almost exclusively over 8 km under the caldera. So that we may suppose that the roof of the magma chamber would be at a depth of around 8 km. This does not say us anything about how deep the magma chamber is or what kind of magma there is in the chamber. Earthquakes can not have a deeper origin because the rocks here under the magma chamber are too hot to break. It subsides instead. So that the magma chamber may be near the red ring with the dashed line in the picture.

        The chemical composition of the magma also helps to determine the depth of magma chamber. If we do a test of the chemical / petrological analyse of University of Iceland by means of the computer program MELTS by Mark Ghiorso, it is pretty much clear that this magma can not come directly from the mantle, but has evolved within a magma chamber in the crust, probably at a pressure corresponding to a depth of 10 km. So: quakes and chemistry are consistent. This is a little deeper than I thought first, but we are always learning something new.

        The lid of the magma chamber (bottom of the caldera) is then a about 8 to 10 km thick plug and its diameter is about the same (10 to 12 km (…)). For how long a time will he continue to subside into the magma chamber, at about half a meter per day? Will he begin to rise again, when the eruption ends and magma flows into the magma chamber up from the mantle? No one knows, but the only example that we have for comparison are the Krafla Fires, 1975 to 1984, but then the caldera bottom (of the Krafla caldera) rose and subsided repeatedly during nine years. Exciting times ahead? But the thought of the massive amounts of magma which is in the magma chamber is certainly frightening.

        http://vulkan.blog.is/blog/vulkan/entry/1448119/

        (translation: Google + IngeB )

        PS: Hope this helps. 🙂

      4. Have read that before,possibly correct,but it does not impress me ,but it does not have to impress me or people like me and its not designed to.

  8. Thanks for that Scots John very interesting not too sure if it has clarified the future any more for me, it does show what a potential beast Bardarbunga is.
    My understanding is that the fissure eruption is fed from the main Bardarbunga magma chamber, is that the case? this fissure eruption could last a lot longer, and be a lot larger than many of us think.
    Also the earthquakes are weakening the caldera crust continually and eventually either part or all of it will collapse, unless the pressure can relieved through the fissure eruption. If any of this is correct. it is going to be a large event. Love to know from the experts here, if what I have just said is how it is unfolding, or am I off the mark. What is certain is that the timing of any of these scenarios is not known, weeks months, years.

    1. Should have said “unless the pressure can relieved through the fissure eruption it will blow.”

      1. I have read conflicting reports, as will always happen in a best guess scenario like this. I belive and have read that the fissure magma is deep sourced. I am sure it was a IMO statement but there’s so much been written I cant find it.

        They said that B fed the fissure initially, certainly when viewed from above that seems the case, however I am at odds with that when viewed over depth, there are too many gaps. The initial fissure lava analysis was lacking in certain compounds as I understand, it could have been from B, but it could also have been from deep source with decompression melt of up to 30% accounting for it appearing evolved.

        This is just my opinion and I am not a pro.

        The fact that the caldera is dropping AND the magma chambers are full (there are reportedly 3 ro possibly more chambers) means it is being pushed into fissures in the caldera walls.

        If you look daily at the drumplots http://hraun.vedur.is/ja/drumplot/vatnajokull.html
        you will see the same eq appearing on several sil stations. When a large eq occurs some sil’s show a distinct P and S wave, but some only show the P wave and no or small S wave which means it is being filtered out due to magma being between the eq and the corresponding sil station.

        I wouldn’t go expecting a doom scenario, as the IMO state it could die down and stop. I think there are a growing numbers who expect an event. The severity or otherwise is the unknown factor.

    2. Put very simplistically, and based on a vague synthesis of what others have said here, here’s one scenario: At first magma escaped from the chamber via the dike that started the eruption, that hit a weak spot radiating from another source, took a left, and eventually got blocked from its origin in the caldera, but continued having opened up an old crack down to the mantle. Meanwhile the caldera’s chamber continues to fill, but like an expanding donut, with minor excursions into cracks along the sides, but in general widening and flattening, such that the great weight of rock and ice over the center slowly started to drop despite the increase in magma. The point of this scenario is it can explain the steady rate of subsidence without reference to the continuing fissure eruption, the fact the fissure eruption still continues, and some of the GPS evidence from surrounding stations. It also gives some intuition about the inevitability of a full caldera eruption — in this view it might not happen at all in the foreseeable future, as the magma chamber might be making room for more magma faster than the magma is coming in (presuming it’s coming in).

      I am in no way personally prepared to defend the scenario, and it is not original, and it’s probably garbled, but it helps my thinking.

  9. I dont think this will “Blow” just yet. I am glad that the article above backs up my guesses about the size of the piston that i made some time ago. It did all fit (rather too ) nicely withe the observed subsidence, the rifting and the erupted lava. Also nice to see an accumulator / valve model working and the amount of energy in the EQs tying up with the amount of slippage. I think that the decapitated cone shape of the plug has a very steep angle and a cylinder is a good approximation for andy maths. Perhaps the angle of the cone can be seen in the double couple of the EQs. This rough measurement of steepness could help in calculating how much rock is to be fractured before a cyclider is formed that falls easier. Then we should see accelerated fall of the plug and many smaller EQs exacerbated by water permeation and further lubrication and higher plumes at the fissures. If eruption starts at BB it may well start off slow and at the rim sides. Job calculated initially a plug fall of 35m before any changes. He wasnt sure of mistakes in the calc and i dont know the details but 35m is within a couple of weeks.

    1. I think the nature of the ‘plug’ is key to everything, and I am in agreement with other that it is tilting due to irregularities in shape and mass. The trouble is magma is incompressible, so how is it going down? Either it is migrating into fissures in the caldera walls which could be accounting for some of the eq’s. Is the chamber NOT full, well everything I’ve read so far disagrees with that, and lastly is the fault still opening – but there is not evidence of eq’s showing any new migration.

      DFM’s plots are very informative –
      https://www.youtube.com/user/dfmorvan/videos

      1. Completely speculative from my side:
        If the “deeper magma” in the dyke is flowing through the champer in BB, then the heat from that will melt material in the magma chamber. That might then cause the lid to sink as the flow through the chamber is constantly eating (melting) material from the lid. This would likely create a linear subsidence graph for the caldera as the magma flow through the magma chamber is “pretty constant” over time.

        No backup what so ever for this theory, but the linear subsidence of the caldera. Might perhaps open up for new wild ideas from others as well? This is the art of brainstorming…

      2. 1. There hasn’t been enough magma erupted out of the existing fissure to account for the volume required to cause the drop we are seeing in the caldera.

        2. The northeastern edge of the caldera above the rim and just inside it shows inflation, not deflation, according to the most recent Lidar data I have seen (taken in September). This would indicate magma entering the area there.

        3. The area of ice where the most subsidence is seen is directly above the region of quakes and is also over the deepest part of the caldera.

        4. Subsidence of a caldera is generally seen only after an extremely large eruption that results in such an emptying of magma from the chamber that it can no longer support the weight above it, though some shifting can occur in a caldera “plug” that is broken and jumbled with various fractures.

    2. Pacman 42,that was something I suggested on VC some weeks back,so I would back you up on that one.For all that my opinion is worth lol.

    1. True. The lava is dramatic, and always impressive, but I like videos that start out somewhere and go somewhere, taking in the landscape too.

    2. I watched the movie Stardust online for the first time last night. It has a few amazing scenes of Iceland, including Vatna from the perspective of the seashore.

  10. Hey guys anyone had a peek over at the latest batch of earthquakes in Bard… she is definitely restless today?

      1. I’m not prepared to agree with that. It is quite likely that the “plug” is not solid. It likely has a lot of dikes that work their way up through it. Most caldera floors are not nice and solid. I still believe this is magma working its way up through various dikes in the caldera and likely already has been leaking out on the floor of the caldera.

        The drop of the surface ice has been too linear, in my opinion. The 10 meters of drop over the past month has most likely, in my personal opinion, been due to the ice melting at the bottom. A dome building eruption inside that caldera, in the northeastern section of it, would account for what we are seeing. And so far I have seen nothing inconsistent with that.

        In fact, a cycle of dome building, collapse, building, collapse, und so weiter is typical for these sorts of volcanoes. In this case, the floor of the caldera where the dome building would occur is under a depth of so much ice and water that there is no surface evidence except the subsidence as ice that is very rich in air melts and the air escapes causing a loss of volume. When the caldera gets a decent shake, it “burps” and some of that air escapes allowing the ice to drop a bit — sometimes.

        Also notice how often the quake and drop is preceded by a rather significant rise. Even if all the ice in that caldera were to melt, we would likely see little more than a steaming lake. The eruption would still be too deep under it to present any explosive activity at the surface. The eruption would have to occur in under 100 meters of water for there to be any surface activity other than steaming or plumes of discolored water. We saw this in action with the eruptions at El Hierro not so long ago. Most of the activity showed only plumes of discolored water until a dome built close enough to the surface to allow there to be visible fountaining.

      2. We agree on some things and not others Crosspatch 🙂

        The glacier, and any water will present little obstacle if it decides to go, these two articles are of interest in this respect –

        https://seismo.berkeley.edu/~rallen/research/iceland/eruption96/chronaccount.html

        and (use google translate on this) –
        http://vulkan.blog.is/blog/vulkan/entry/1448119/

        I only quote that one again as I believe the quantity of magma to be mind boggling. Water and ice would not stop this, if anything it will aggravate it.

      3. Why is glacier ice rich in air? I thought the pressure of the ice is so high, that there is not so much. I read it could be around 2%. Is this enough to make “burps”?

      4. There are some aspects that I don’t really understand here.

        1) To have a circle of dome building and destroying is typical for subduction zone volcanoes, but not for the Icelandic ones sitting near rift zones (and a diverging plate boundary).
        Or anyway, the cycles would represent very long time frames.
        These are not andesitic stratovolcanoes in Iceland.
        So how would this fit together?

        2) If there were dome building – which I could well imagine going on -, would it not more be on the caldera rim, where normally lava domes are sitting on Icelandic volcanoes (see eg. Katla).
        How would a dome building process, situated in the center of the caldera fit together with the very probable (in my humble and laicist opinion) distortion of the caldera (as indicated by earthquake activity and interpreted by Geyser Soze)?

      5. scots john ,when a caldera that is formed from an explosive eruption,is not the the elevated rim often what remains of the original edifice and is it not the case that somtimes the rim maybe what remains of a dome building episode that has been partially blasted away?If there is all this activity without violent interaction with water than a natural explanation would be the development of a rhyolitic dome building episode,so gradual interaction with water,would only cause heating of the water and melting of ice?

      6. I am gleefully imagining another possibility to acount for the missing volume:

        the meltwater might have intruded into cracks and we now have an increasingly active hydrothermal system implying improved heat transfer to the glacier bottom (even if there is no subglacial eruption).

        Unfortunately I have no understanding of rock mechanics to gauge the likely and possible sizes of cracks which might form
        with so much shaking.

        Is it possible to get say a crack 5mm thick, half a kilometer wide and several kilometers deep? This could swallow significant amounts of water for later steam explosions or heat transfer..

    1. Something has given a bit. A swarm of large quakes after the one at the south west of crater. Almost as if that quake in the SW was movement in the hinge.

      1. I am glad you guys know what you are thinking when you equate earthquakes with hinges and lids ,because you have completely lost me lol

      2. Yes, acting very differently isn’t it? A large quake normally brings a period of stability, but something has changed!

      3. Just one thing if the plug is tilting or hinging,is not the question why?If the earthquakes are due to this,what is causing the movement?The lion is roaring,why is he roaring?Is he angry,does he have a sore tooth,you see saying he is roaring does not tell me anything more than he is making noise.

      4. The lion is roaring because someone is pulling the carpet under his feet? (Not a very original circus metapher, ok, but … )

  11. Hinges and lids. Look at an old fashioned egg timer, turn it over and watch the sand, it does’nt flow evenly, it forms a cone which sometimes “tilts” sideways making an uneven drop and flow.
    The flows are affected by vibration, so possibly that may be what is happening, the “plug” is being “broken up” by intruding magma, crumbling and compressing, so giving the effect of a “hinge”.
    Small domes may be forming beneath the ice causing melt and the ice surface to subside, but because of the “crumbling” effect the flow is quickly cut off and it has to find a new route and begin again.
    It is impossible to envision what is going on under the ice of the caldera, but physics should rule, so if magma acts like water or oil or vapour, it will look for the easiest path.
    The plug I understand is estimated to be 8 to 12 kms thick, so if we assume and allow for assumption to be the mother of all **** ups then the plug is made of solid basalt?
    So going through it is going to be a lot harder than working round it, then assuming that there is or was in the past less ice on the side of the caldera facing towards “torfasjokull” sorry icelanders if that is wrong, then that side would have cooled at a different rate and therefore may be a weak spot.
    So that may be the area to watch, a possible site for a flank eruption?
    Hope you enjoyed your rest Jon, you wont have much over the next few weeks!
    And thanks to everyone else for such an informative set of comments, reads better than John le carr!

    1. Also worth mentioning here is the strain the iceflow itself puts on the caldera in the general direction that it travels. This has been going on for 2 – 3 thousand years – tugging, pushing and pulling on the strata under the icecap. The northern caldera wall would be most influenced by this because of the steeper inner slopes and accelerated iceflow at the northern edge of the glacier.

      But I guess this is a minor influence compared to the deeper physics further down in the crust that are less/not influenced by the glacier at all. But for that final push, and finding a soft sweet spot to funnel magma it might have an influence.

    2. Thank you for the very interesting analysis, Stilton-no-cheese. 🙂
      Just something small: The volcano on the northwestern side of Bárðarbunga is Tungnafellsjökull. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tungnafellsj%C3%B6kull

      Torfajökull on the other hand, is the volcano which likes to erupt simultaneously with the southwestern fissure swarms of Bárðarbunga. Torfajökull is situated not far from Hekla in the south of the country and a breathtakingly beautiful area within the biggest rhyolite dominated volcanic region of Iceland. Part of that is Brennisteinsalda, the most colourful mountain of the country: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brennisteinsalda

    1. Awesome! I had never heard the eruption be quantified in such terms: 400 tons of molten rock put out every second, and the energy release equal to two Hiroshima explosions every two minutes — day after day, week after week… Wow. Thanks!

    2. Very cool! I love that dslr HD footage especially. (You can tell it’s dslr from the way it lags slightly on panning, the “jelly” effect). A lot of my people are from the Cambridge area, and a couple of them have associations with the university, so there’s a point of vicarious pride, as well. I’ve seen that Cambridge smile before. 🙂

      I feel morally obliged to consider fighting climate change my mission, but obviously have a deep fascination for volcanoes. However since it’s known there’s a link between shield volcanoes started from dikes and melting glaciers, I’m trying to talk myself into believing there’s a field of study that covers both — if the data are good enough, and it sounds like the data are good enough this time. A guy can dream, anyway.

  12. @crosspatch.point The missing volume is in a 40 by 10km dyke that has opened 60cm.

    Please apply Occams Razor
    Or Einsteins Razor

    1. If there was no inflation of that northeastern rim, I might tend to agree with you. The indications point to magma still entering the system under the caldera. A relatively short distance northeast of the point of maximum ice cap drop we see about 6 meters of inflation directly over the rim of the caldera.

      The only thing pointing to “caldera collapse” is speculation. There is absolutely no evidence of it. I am saying I value my own speculation as much as anyone else’s. If there was enough magma leaving that chamber to cause 10 meters of collapse in that period of time, seeing 6 meters of rise only 1500 – 2000 meters away seems unlikely.

      1. Need new surface data. Hopefully new overflights will happen soon, if they haven’t already.

      2. Yep it is all speculation ,trying to make the data fit a model,instead of a model that fits the data?

    2. One way to tell, I think, without any ambiguity. Put some gas monitors with that GPS unit. If there is any magma making the surface at the bottom of the caldera the only indication you are going to see of it is ice subsidence (which we are seeing) and increased CO2 (which isn’t being measured, to the best of my knowledge).

    1. The lower GPS chart disappeared for for a while but is now back but has not updated since 19.31 UTC now the top chart is updating the time only, but not updating the data. Maintenance ?

  13. Is the “hus” movement wind ? Looks a litle bit more than wind, and much more than in the nearby stations.

  14. Scrap that, you are right, the time is updating, but the data isn´t showing.
    Maybe the unit ran out of batteries after all.

    1. Did not realize the bottom chart did 30min updates, but I think the data is still missing from it, the small gap is growing larger.

    2. There was / is a heavy storm again in the area this evening and night, average wind speeds were over 20m/sec.
      Let’s hope that the GPS survived that.

      1. Absolutely, this has been an invaluable source as a guide to what has been happening at BB!

  15. @crosspatch CO2 Data

    Don’t know the resolution of OCO-2 (if you will see the source fissure or other) but soon the 90 days tests are over and we get the data from the link…

  16. Thanks Ingeb, I get an idea in my head and then trip up putting it on paper, it would be good to visit iceland and it is one of the items on my retirement bucket list. (After the wife’s mink coat) Its one true fact though about geology and volcanology that nothing ever runs smoothly, except runny lava.
    With the rifting that’s going on now we can and tend to let, the speculation machine run away with itself, its nice though to be able to sit back and enjoy the comments on the wonders of nature.
    This is though at a level of physics that we as humans really don’t have much knowledge of, so I for one will sit back at a safe distance and watch in awe.
    By the way Ingeb, are you in Iceland itself or one of the other Nordic countries?

  17. I guess one of the big attractions in watching a series of events like Bardarbunga is that volcanic activity is impossible for us to predict – there are just too many variables.
    There is always the unanswered question – what will happen next?

  18. I wonder if the GPS has packed up for some reason, shame if it has, the EQ’s are still updating. Guess we shall find out in due course. Black night on the Mila Cams some visiability but not much.

      1. Thanks InglB my comment went on before I saw yours. Looking at the graph it looks busted hope it recovers

  19. @Mike
    You are referring to the new pictures on their site. These are pictures from another source. They don´t mention anywhere flying over on Saturday. I think Jon is right, they have a tight budget, so as long nothing drastic happens, they´ll just wait, like the rest of us. And of course they have the crew on the ground.

    1. yes it is possible that there is another plane. Nevertheless, it is strange that there are no pictures for 6 weeks from the glacier! The weather was not bad 6 weeks. of the eruption column there are 1000 pictures, just not from the glacier! Why?

      1. What about the other aircraft and helicopters which flew 100 times over the column. No one could fly over the glacier. They really believe?

  20. Looks like the GPS for Miss B is back up, but it is really strange! Why is the graph going up? What is going on to our reliable GPS that gives us the subsidence info?

    1. It looks as if some data is missing, thus the flat line. Then the plots are now resumed, but there hasnot been enough time for the average plot lines to average out properly. We need to wait for the 30 minutes (red) or 3 hours (the more reliable blue).

      1. Thanks, I will be very much lost without the subsidence information! Hope all is restored in due time.

    2. Must be a technical issue,otherwise everyone would be wrong and that is not possible.Is it?

    1. I´ve been thinking the same. They have been awfully quiet lately. Maybe it´s because the media lost interest. I don´t know.

    2. Not much to see here. Move on.
      This whole, anticipated event is not going to happen as initially postulated. More excitement can be had watching grass grow.
      For the sake of friends I have in Iceland, South-East of this event, I hope I am right. Let the sheep farming and fishing continue.
      Let’s concentrate, for now, on local unemployment and local poverty and Ebola.

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