Öræfajökull volcano leaking gas into a glacier lake

It was announced today (8-August-2019) that gas has started to appear from Öræfajökull volcano. It is not clear from the news when this gas was discovered but it might have been just few days ago. Icelandic Met Office has already made attempts to collect the gas for analyse, last attempt failed due to how little gas is coming from the ground. That might change as this situation changes. What type of gas is leaking out is not known but there is a good chance that this is mostly CO2, SO2. It has been quiet in Öræfajökull volcano in recent weeks. It is a question if this lack of activity is what happens with some volcanoes just before an eruption as is indicated by a study that was done few years ago (information about the study can be found here).

What this means is unclear. Earthquake activity remains at minimum in Öræfajökull volcano. There is a chance this gas is a signal for more earthquake activity even if an eruption doesn’t happen. It is unclear what happens before an eruption in Öræfajökull volcano since last eruption took place in 1727 3rd of August to 1728 1st May.


Earthquake activity in Öræfajökull volcano today. Quiet volcano at the writing of this article. Copyright of this image belongs to Icelandic Met Office.

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4 Replies to “Öræfajökull volcano leaking gas into a glacier lake”

  1. I have updated the structure on the historical eruptions and earthquakes in Iceland. It is now a page rather than a post and that means the comment on it won’t close after 14 days. Both pages are work in progress.

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