After Rodger Wilson was obliged to discontinue his daily participation at this site, we have decided to start up an El Hierro type article. The newest additions will always be on top and if the article gets too long, we will cut off a part of it and archive it. This url will always be the one to follow and if you leave our page open in your browser, the page will refresh every 15 minutes automatically.
Please be a little patient with this new format.
This report is compiled out of many information sources.
Bárðarbunga update August 27 22:45 UTC
Info from the TF-SIF flight @20:15 UTC :
A cauldron/low was observed in the glacier at 64°34,80′ N 17°21,30′ W (northwest side Vatnajökull).
The cauldron seems to be shallow, but many small crevasses/fractures.
Ice thickness probably 400-600 m.
Possibly 1-2 other cauldrons/lows but unconfirmed, one ~2 km SSE of the largest one, the other 2 km to the NNW. This is approximately where the dyke extends from, ESE of the caldera itself. Also likely that there are extensional fractures on the surface in the lava N of the glacier.
A new flight will be boarded tomorrow morning and the scientists will at that time also discuss what what was reported today
Bárðarbunga update August 27 20:55 UTC
27th August 2014 18:42 – from geoscientist on duty
Almost 1300 earthquakes have been detected in the automatic network since midnight. This activity has mostly been in the intrusive dike, which now stretches some 12 km north of the glacier‘s edge. A few earthquakes have also been detected near the Bárðarbunga caldera, the largest one M2.7. No signs of volcanic tremor
Bárðarbunga update August 27 17:28 UTC
NO more afternoon status report (see below for the reason)
Bárðarbunga update August 27 16:23 UTC
27th August 2014 11:50 – from of the Scientific Advisory Board
Scientists from the Icelandic Meteorological Office and the Institute of Earth Sciences, together with representatives of the Civil Protection in Iceland, met today to discuss the on-going unrest at the Bárðarbunga volcano.
Conclusions of the Scientific Advisory Board:
* Intense seismicity continues. Over 700 earthquakes have been recorded since midnight.
* Earthquakes are occurring mostly beyond the edge of the Dyngjujökull glacier and the intrusion itself has migrated about 1 km northwards since yesterday.
* At 00:16 UTC today, a magnitude 5.3 earthquake occurred in the caldera of Bárðarbunga.
* At 02:50 UTC, another similar-sized earthquake (magnitude 5.2) took place in the same region.
* At 01:52 UTC, a magnitude 4.5 earthquake was detected on the eastern side of the Askja volcano. This was followed by a few micro-earthquakes in the same area.
* The dyke intrusion beneath Dyngjujökull is thought to be about 40 km in length.
* Modelling of GPS data indicates that about 20 million cubic metres of magma have been added to the volume of the intrusion in the last 24 hours.
* Modelling results suggest that the dyke intrusion is causing stress changes over a large area, including the region to the north of the dyke’s extent; this could account for the increased seismicity at Askja volcano.
* There are no indications that the intensity of the activity declining.
From today, the afternoon status report will no longer be produced. However, if the situation escalates (i.e. imminent signs of an eruption), daily status reports will be reintroduced. The results of the scientific advisory board will continue to be distributed daily at around midday.
Bárðarbunga update August 27 16:23 UTC
No tremor, No strong earthquakes since 03:42 UTC this morning but still high seismicity at the glacier’s edge and north of the glacier.
Bárðarbunga update August 27 10:20 UTC
From the geoscientist on duty a 06:30 UTC
* The night started with a 5.3 event in Bardarbunga at 00:16 hours.
* Around half an hour later activity around the tip of the dyke started increasing and reached some kind of “high” around 2 o’clock and has continued at that level since with many events of magnitude 2-3.
* Just before 2 o’clock there was a magnitude 4.5 event just east of the Askja caldera. Few microearthquakes have been measured there earlier this week.
* At 02:50 there was a 5.2 event again in Bardarbunga.
* Total events automatically detected from midnight until now are 500, most of them around the tip of the northward migrating dyke.
* Implications of Askja event is still premature to speculate on. However, we are watching the area closely.
* There seems to be a slight increase in activity compared to same time. The >M5 events in Bardarbunga are still interpreted as being relaxation process of the caldera due to magma pressure changes and the propagating dyke.
Bárðarbunga update August 27 05:20 UTC
Red sky in Iceland above Bardarbunga. NO not an eruption, just sunrise
Bárðarbunga update August 27 05:00 UTC
3 strong earthquakes since midnight UTC
NO eruption yet, but a relative peak in tremor, which may lead to further intrusion in the dyke, now already 40 km long.
Bárðarbunga update August 26 18:55 UTC
Bárðarbunga update August 26 16:11 UTC
26th August 2014 11:50 – from the Advisory Board of scientists
Scientists from the Icelandic Met Office and the Institute of Earth Sciences, and representatives of the Civil Protection in Iceland, attend the meetings of the Advisory Board.
The following points were the conclusion at a meeting of the Advisory Board today:
* Intense seismicity continues. Over 500 events have been recorded since midnight.
* Seismicity continues to migrate northward. Seismicity is now concentrated on the 10 km long tip of the dike extending 5 km beyond the edge of the Dyngjujökull glacier.
* At 01:26 this morning an earthquake of magnitude 5,7 was observed beneath the Bárðarbunga caldera.
* The dyke beneath Dyngjujökull is now thought to be close to 40 km long. Modelling of GPS data indicates that about 50 million cubic meters of magma have added to the volume in the last 24 hours.
* There are no indications that the intensity of the activity declining. The following three scenarios are still considered most likely:
*** The migration of magma could stop, accompanied by a gradual reduction in seismic activity.
*** The dike could reach the surface of the crust, starting an eruption. In this scenario, it is most likely that the eruption would be near the northern tip of the dyke. This would most likely produce an effusive lava eruption with limited explosive, ash-producing activity.
*** An alternate scenario would be the dyke reaching the surface where a significant part, or all, of the fissure is beneath the glacier. This would most likely produce a flood in Jökulsá á Fjöllum and perhaps explosive, ash-producing activity.
*** Other scenarios cannot be excluded. For example, an eruption inside the Bárðarbunga caldera is possible but presently considered to be less likely.
Bárðarbunga update August 26 05:23 UTC
5.7 earthquake only a 4.1 below Bardarbunga
USGS started a big alert for Iceland a little after midnight by reporting a M5.7 earthquake. 5.7 is big and is often for volcanoes the start of an eruption !
IMO (Icelandic Met) only reports a M4.1 though, this below Bardarbunga which is in line with what is happening all week already.
Seismicity is still very high with 2598 events in 48 hours
We do NOT see an increase in tremor, so magma is not erupting yet.
Update : They changed the Magnitude afterwards again in 5.7
Bárðarbunga update August 25 20:23 UTC
A little note from the Geoscientist on Duty @ 19:00 UTC
- Until 19:00 today, around 1.200 earthquakes have been automatically detected under northwestern Vatnajökull.
- The vast majority have been around the northernmost tip of the dyke intrusion at Dyngjujökull.
- The tip of the earthquake cluster has migrated further to 6-7 km north of Dyngjujökull.
- More than 20 events at the tip of the intrusion were between M3 and M4. Event depths are still around 5-12 km, no sign of upwards migration or low frequent tremor. – One earthquake M5.1 occurred within the Bárdarbunga caldera at 16:19 today. Otherwise, little activity has been within the caldera today.
Bárðarbunga update August 25 17:00 UTC
After a relatively long quiet period at Bardarbunga, at 16:19 UTC a new strong 4.9 earthquake occurred below the Bardarbunga volcano complex. NO strong tremot can be seen after this new strong earthquake. A strong earthquake at the edge of the glacier (M4+) may be the start an eruption. So far only 3 to 3.5 earthquakes in the dyke area
Update : The Icelandic agency has increased the Magnitude to 5.1 – depth unchanged
Bárðarbunga update August 25 16:24 UTC
ER : This report is almost similar as our 14:58 report but gives a little bit more details
Scientific status report of the Icelandic Met Office and the University of Iceland, Institute of Earth Sciences published at 16:00 UTC :
Compiled by : Hildur María Friðriksdóttir, Benedikt G. Ófeigsson, Melissa Anne Pfeffer, Sara Barsotti, Kristjana Eyþórsdóttir
Discharge- and conductivity measurements at Jökulsá á Fjöllum, Upptyppingar are similar to what it has been the last days. The data is within typical range observed at this time of the year in the last decade. Conductivity measured in Jökulsá á Fjöllum at the bridge north of Vaðöldu, in the Rjúpnabrekkukvísl and in the Köldukvísl is similar to what has been measured the last days.
Conditions at eruption site : No eruption.
No harmonic (volcanic) tremor observed.
Seismicity continues in the dike NE of Bárðarbunga caldera. Seismicity in this region continues to migrate northward. Seismicity is now concentrated on the 10 km long tip of the dike extending 7 km beyond the edge of the Dyngjujökull glacier. Event depths remain unchanged at about 5-10 km. At 20:39 last night an earthquake of magnitude ~5 was observed beneath the Bárðarbunga caldera. Since then earthquakes in the caldera have been smaller than 5.
The most recent GPS measurements indicate continuation of magma flowing into the dike under Dyngjujökull, now propagating north of the ice edge. This is supported by the current seismic activity at Dyngjujökull ice edge. Model calculations suggest that a total volume of 300 million cubic meters have intruded into the crust since the activity started. Currently there are plans to install two new GPS stations, one north of Vonarskarð and another at Urðarháls.
There are no indications that the intensity of the activity declining. Currently, three scenarios are considered most likely: 1) The migration of magma could stop, attended by a gradual reduction in seismic activity. 2) The dike could reach the surface of the crust, starting an eruption. In this scenario, it is most likely that the eruption would be near the northern tip of the dike. This would most likely produce an effusive lava eruption with limited explosive, ash-producing activity. 3) An alternate scenario would be the dike reaching the surface where a significant part, or all, of the fissure is beneath the glacier. This would most likely produce a flood in Jökulsá á Fjöllum and perhaps explosive, ash-producing activity. Other scenarios cannot be excluded. For example, an eruption inside the Bárdarbunga caldera is possible but presently considered to be less likely.
Bárðarbunga update August 25 14:58 UTC
The following was presented at a meeting of the Advisory Board at 10 am UTC today
Scientists from the Icelandic Met Office and the Institute of Earth Sciences and representatives of the Civil Protection in Iceland attend the meetings of the Advisory Board.
* Intense seismicity continues. Over 700 events have been recorded since midnight.
* Seismicity continues to migrate northward. Seismicity is now concentrated on the 10 km long tip of the dike extending 5 km beyond the edge of the Dyngjujökull glacier.
* At 20:39 last night an earthquake of magnitude ~5 was observed beneath the Bárðarbunga caldera. Since then earthquakes in the caldera have been smaller.
* The dike beneath Dyngjujökull is now thought to be close to 35 km long. Modelling of GPS data indicates that it contains about 300 million cubic meters of magma.
* Additional stations for continuous GPS monitoring will be installed north of Vonarskarð and on Urðarháls within a few days.
* There are no indications that the intensity of the activity declining. Currently, three scenarios are considered most likely:
***** The migration of magma could stop, attended by a gradual reduction in seismic activity.
***** The dike could reach the surface of the crust, starting an eruption. In this scenario, it is most likely that the eruption would be near the northern tip of the dike. This would most likely produce an effusive lava eruption with limited explosive, ash-producing activity.
***** An alternate scenario would be the dike reaching the surface where a significant part, or all, of the fissure is beneath the glacier. This would most likely produce a flood in Jökulsá á Fjöllum and perhaps explosive, ash-producing activity.
Other scenarios cannot be excluded. For example, an eruption inside the Bárdarbunga caldera is possible but presently considered to be less likely.
Bárðarbunga update August 25 14:27 UTC
We see a dwindling number of readers but based on what we think that will happen next, they are wrong!
The dyke contains 300 million cubic meter of magma and we have a new location popping up in the earthquake list, Trölladyngja. This location (see map below) is north of the glacier and most earthquakes there are shallower than 3 km. Just a theory of course, the near future will see whether it is a good one or not!
Bárðarbunga update August 25 10:14 UTC
The Morning tweet of the Civil Protection Iceland says it all : Good morning Twittersphere. No changes overnight. Seismic activity still ongoing w/over 500 events detected
Overview report from the Guard on duty on what happened during the night
* At 07:30 UTC about 500 events have been automatically detected. Most of them were along the northern tip of the propagating dyke intrusion northeast of Bardarbunga volcano at about 5 km segment outside the northern margin of the outlet glacier Dyngjujokull.
* At the northernmost segment of the dyke 9 earthquakes were larger than M3 and 3 of them about M3,5. The earthquakes depths are still below 5 km (mostly around 10 km).
* No large event were detected at the Bardarbunga caldera since midnight.
* There is NO sign of volcanic (harmonic) tremor (ER: which signals flowing lava).
ER : As the dyke seismicity has nof evolved beyond the glacier, there is still a chance of watching fountains of fire the coming hours/days. The lava has however to get to shallower depths in order to break trough the thin crusts.
Bárðarbunga update August 24 22:43 UTC
Until 19:00 today, around 1.300 earthquakes have been automatically detected under northwestern Vatnajökull. The vast majority is around the northernmost tip of the dike intrusion at Dyngjujökull.
The tip of the earthquake cluster has migrated throughout the night and today to 4 km north of Dyngjujökull. The propagation of the intrusion was slower than yesterday.
More than 20 events at the tip of the intrusion were stronger than M3, four of them M4-M4.3. Event depths are still around 5-12 km, no sign of upwards migration or low frequent tremor.Following the M5.3 and M5.1 earthquakes in the caldera of Bárðarbunga, one M4.8 (15:00) and several smaller events occurred in the caldera.
Focal mechanisms of the strongest events indicate subsidence of the volcano due to volume decrease underneath, similar to past days.
Bárðarbunga update August 24 18:36 UTC
24th August 2014 11:40 – notes from scientists’ meeting
- Earthquake activity in NW-Vatnajökull is still very strong, 700 earthquakes have been observed since midnight and they are somewhat larger than previous days.
- Two large earthquakes, over 5 where in the Bárðarbunga caldera this night.
- he activity under Dyngjujökull has propagated northwards and is now mostly under the edge of the glacier, where an earthquake of size 4,2 was recorded this morning.
- The dyke under Dyngjujökull is now estimated to be approximately 30 km long.
- There are no indications that the activity is slowing down, and therefore an eruption can not be excluded.
- Observations show that a sub-glacial eruption did not occur yesterday. The intense low-frequency seismic signal observed yesterday has therefore other explanations.
The Icelandic Meteorological Office has decided to move the aviation color-code from red to orange.
Bárðarbunga update August 24 10:15 UTC
Below and image which shows the seismicity since midnight. The strongest earthquakes below Bardarbunga but most earthquakes (up to M3.5) in de dyke area
Bárðarbunga update August 24 09:15 UTC
Apart from the seismicity below Bardarbunga and below the Dyke area to the North East no new facts to report.
Bárðarbunga update August 24 08:03 UTC
Below an overview of the strongest +M3 earthquakes since the beginning of the seismic crisis. Please note that the strongest ones are occurring below the Bardarbunga volcano and the that the weaker ones are below the Dyke (north-east of Bardarbunga). The number of earthquakes in the dyke area is massively bigger than the ones below the Bardarbunga volcano. In total there are more than 6000 earthquakes registered so far. We do see a new increase in the number of earthquakes.
Bárðarbunga update August 24 07:43 UTC
The Icelandic Meteorological Office reported that the M5.3 Magnitude earthquake this morning was the strongest recorded in Iceland in 18 years. The last similar one recorded was a quake in an almost similar situation, the sub-glacial eruption of Gjálp volcano, who also started as a sub-glacial seismic event but broke after erupting through the ice layer and became a normal eruption (after melting the glacier, so not instantly of course). The experts are keeping all options open for the Bardarbunga event as the magma pressure keeps building. They explain the large earthquakes as a dynamic process inside the volcano edifice.
Wikipedia wrote : The Gjálp fissure vent eruption in 1996 revealed that an interaction may exist between Bárðarbunga and Grímsvötn. A strong earthquake in Bárðarbunga, about 5 on the Richter scale, is believed to have started the eruption in Gjálp. More detailed info about this Gjalp fissure eruption can be consulted here A fissure eruption is a long stretched fissure where magma is being ejected like in the image below. Remember that experts are talking all the time about a 25 km long Dyke forming here NorthEast of Bardarbunga. If the dyke breaks through, a fissure eruption would probably also produce in this case. Experts do not know yet wether such an eruption would be sub-glacial or immediately surfacing as the seismic activity is on the edge of the glacier complex
Bárðarbunga update August 24 06:04 UTC
Strongest earthquake so far
At 05:33 this morning UTC a M5.1 earthquake occurred below the Bardarbunga volcano.
No indication of any visual activity can be seen on the webcam
Tremor is not exceptionally high this morning
IMPORTANT Bárðarbunga update August 23 21:49 UTC
There are no indications that there is currently an eruption under Dyngjujökli. The Aviation Color code remains however red until tomorrow morning and will then be evaluated again. Geophysicist Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson reported after flying over the area, that he saw no signs that an eruption had commenced. At 11:20 am when instrumental signals gave a strong indication that the eruption was underway, the opposite was reported by IMO.
The tremor activity decreased in the afternoon but the seismicity (earthquakes) continued.
Around 14:00 UTC (2 PM) the Coast Guard plane flew over the icecap for many hours with experts from IMO and the Institute of Earth Sciences from the University of Iceland. Also on board representatives of the Civil Protection Department. The plane flew over Bárðarbunga, Dyngjujökul and Jökulsá in good clear weather. A special heat detecting device was used to scan the surface of the glacier but did not find any signs of an eruption. No traces either from additional meltwater at the exit of the glacier.
The experts are now concluding that there was NO eruption while they were flying over the glacier.
Due to continuous ongoing seismicity IMO has decided to maintain the RED aviation color code. The decision will be reassessed in the morning.
ER: Most of the “minor eruption information, also coming from IMO, was reported while the experts where still flying over the glacier.
Sorry for the poor language, but we had to translate this from Icelandic
Bárðarbunga update August 23 21:19 UTC
Good news for those among you who like to follow the events on the webcams. LivefromIceland.is had added a second webcam to view the eruption glacier. Hard to say at the moment where what exactly is but this is really great news.
The mysterious Dust, Sand – or Steam clouds have disappeared from the Mila Webcam 1 (see images below). It coincides with the strong decrease in tremor.
Please keep in mind that it is currently night in Iceland and that there is very low light which explains that the image is far from perfect
Bárðarbunga update August 23 21:09 UTC
We at ER have the impression that based on the tremor (see below) the eruption is decreasing again or has even halted.
The time from Sub-glacial to an ash eruption is mentioned by scientists in between 0 and 20 hours. 8 hours have passed right now. They also added that the eruption may stop again at a certain point and will remain sub-glacial. The decrease in tremor is also decreasing the chance that the eruption will melt the 500 meters of glacier ice above the hot spots. A possible pre-eruption sign could also be be the caving in of the glacier but we think that only an overflight by Helicopter or coastal guard plane will be able to detect it.
Bárðarbunga scientific status report for August 23 @ 15:00 UTC ER update @21:00 UTC
Compiled by : Melissa Anne Pfeffer Sara Barsotti Hildur María Friðriksdóttir Kristín Jónsdóttir Kristín Vogfjörð Bergur Einarsson Benedikt G. Ófeigsson Þóra Árnadóttir Ásta Rut Hjartardóttir Michelle Parks
Based on : Seismic, GPS, water samples
Hydrological measurements at Jökulsá Á Fjöllum, Upptypingar do not indicate a contribution of geothermal/volcanic gases to the hydrological system that is outside of the typical range observed in the last decade until now. Water melting from the glacier/lava interactions could reach this station after 0-20 hours.
Starting at 11:18, seismic tremor was observed at 1 and 1.5 Hz. This is consistent with lava/ice interaction. and is similar to the tremor observed during the Fimmvörðuháls eruption and the lava flowing phase of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption. We are not observing explosions in the tremor data, which suggests it is a relatively small volume of lava in contact with the ice.
The frequency of earthquakes is so high, that the events are overlapping in time, and it is difficult to discern individual events. We are currently interpreting the depth of the majority of earthquakes5-10 km) as the depth of the base of the dyke. The dyke has propagated about 5 km to the north since yesterday.
Most recent GPS data shows that magma flow is continuing. Since the start of unrest on August 16th, the total displacement across the dyke intrusion has been over 20 cm. A model to fit the GPS data suggests that the volume of magma contained within the dyke is approximately 250 million cubic meters. The Dyngjuháls and Kverkfjöll GPS stations show continuing deformation
The aviation color code has been raised to “red” as the data is currently interpreted as a subglacial eruption. Both the thickness of the ice at the possible contact point (100-400 m) and the volume of lava in possible contact with the ice are highly uncertain.
It could be 0-20 hours before lava reaches the surface of the ice.
It is also possible that the lava will not break through the ice, and the eruption could remain subglacial.
Bárðarbunga update August 23 19:10 UTC
As reported earlier a portion of the Icelandic Airspace has been closed for flights (both local and international). This is the official report from Iceland
Here is a map of the Authority (ISAVIA) indicates the area that is closed because of a possible volcanic eruption in northern icecap. This area is defined as the area and blocked all IFR traffic. Enska summary: Here is a map from the Civil Aviation Authorities (ISAVIA) showing the area defined as danger area-which closed for instrument flight rules (IFR) due to a potential eruption in northern Vatnajökull glacier.In accordance with procedure, the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police has raised the level to Civil Protection Emergency Phase. On 18 August, the Icelandic Met Office changed the aviation color code to orange and TODAY the code was changed to red / emergency-which is the is the highest level.
Aviation Map of closure as of 23/08/2014 1500 GMT ER: The map has been made after taking into account the wind direction
Bárðarbunga update August 23 19:02 UTC
Below the location of the epicenter of the M4.2 earthquake. The location data were provided by The Icelandic agency
Update : Vedur.is has now recalculated the Magnitude and reports a M4.2 at a depth of only 900 meter !
Bárðarbunga update August 23 18:52 UTC
Still the same situation as during our last update except that at 18:33 a new M4.0 earthquake occurred at the extremely shallow depth of 1.1 km
The Orange bullets on the map is the location where the eruption is currently happening (at 500 meter below the tick glacier ice)
Bárðarbunga update August 23 15:29 UTC
The MILA webcam was zoomed to give a better impression of what is still a mystery. Is it sand, dust or steam or a combination of a couple of those. Local peaple are telling sand but their opinion is also based on webcam images only.
Bárðarbunga update August 23 15:15 UTC
The text above the Vedur.is pages has changed and now mentions the following :
It is believed that a small subglacial lava-eruption has begun under the Dyngjujökull glacier.
The aviation color code for the Bárðarbunga volcano has been changed from orange to red.
Official press release from the Iceland Civil Protection
A small eruption has started
Scientists at the Icelandic Met Office believe that a small sub-glacial volcanic eruption has now started under the icecap of Dyngjujökull glacier in the Northern part of Vatnajökull glacier.
Because of this, the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police has raised the alert phase to emergency phase.
At the same time the Met Office has raised the aviation color code from orange to red resulting in the air space above the eruption site being closed.
The eruption is considered a minor event at this point.
Because of a pressure from the glacier cap it is uncertain whether the eruption will stay sub-glacial or not.
The Coast Guards aircraft, TF-Sif, is currently monitoring the area and there are no visible signs of a plume at this moment. Nothing indicates floods because of the eruption.
At this stage measurements taken is based on a small event.
The Jökulsárgljúfur canyon has been closed and evacuation of tourists in that area and around Dettifoss waterfall has started.
The situation at this stage does not call for evacuation of habitants in Kelduhverfi, Öxarfjördur and Núpasveit. People in those areas are encouraged to watch news closely and have their mobiles switched on at all times.
Bárðarbunga update August 23 14:48 UTC
Scientist do believe that the eruption is relatively small.
Authorities have not yet decided to evacuate
Below : Iceland experts are checking and discussing the status of tvöleytið after it was confirmed that the lava was erupting below the Dyngjujökli glacier.
Bárðarbunga IMPORTANT update August 23 14:14 UTC
ERUPTION (below glacier) confirmed by the Icelandic Met service.
The first press reports are mentioning “rather small” and not to melt the ice immediately. So still a lot of mystery. In a short-while more reports will certainly be published.
Below 2 webcam pictures – the above one was a screenshot of 13:01 UTC, the bottom one a screenshot of 14:37 UTC
Bárðarbunga IMPORTANT update August 23 14:14 UTC
Aviation code has been changed to RED a few moments ago.
The aviation space is now closed in some parts of Iceland
Bárðarbunga update August 23 13:57 UTC
We know 100% sure that the current clouds who can be viewed in the MILA webcam where not there this morning. Jens, one of our volunteers, has been watching the webcam on regular intervals and alerted us about the abnormality.
Dust clouds also happen just after an earthquake, but this mainly in dry desert like environments.
Currently the origin of the clouds remains a mystery but will normally soon be clarified.
The clouds are forming in 2 different locations of the webcam (already from the very beginning)
Bárðarbunga update August 23 13:20 UTC
Steam or sand(dust)storm above the glacier ?
Why are we saying this.
Because we saw some reports that a short while ago a helicopter has been flying over Bardarbunga and did NOT notice anything abnormal. Coincidence then (the sandstorm would have been happening right at the time of the increased tremor). Possible of course. The current Coast Guard inspection flight will decide which of both possibilities is true.
Bárðarbunga update August 23 13:20 UTC
The Iceland Civil Protection has just tweeted the following :
Increased activity at #Bardarbunga. @almannavarnir follows the situation closely and will update information regularly.
Coast guard observation flight took off at 13:00 UTC (thats only 20 minutes ago). They will make a lot of air samplings and will have visual inspections but we emphasize that this flight is very dangerous as nobody knows exactly when and if the eruption will be surfacing
Bárðarbunga IMPORTANT update August 23 13:02 UTC
Tremor remains high which indicates that the magma is still flowing (in the volcano OR in between the volcano and the glacier)
Steam is rising from below the glacier which indicates AT LEAST a heating source below the glacier (several hundred meter thick).
Please keep in mind that the webcam is at a relatively big distance from Bardarbunga (about 30 km)
Bárðarbunga update August 23 12:42 UTC
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RUV Iceland confirms that the dyke is fastly expanding north (probably the reason for the increased tremor on the graph below). What it would really mean for a possible eruption is hard to say, but ER expects a possible eruption (if any) below the northern thinner cap of the glacier or even north of the glacier itself.
The red bullets on the Vedur map below are showing the most recent earthquakes in red and many of them are at the extreme north of the glacier and even beyond. In case this scenario will come true, you may see a totally different eruption than most people would expect, not out of a volcano crater but probably a long stretched zone with erupting lava.
The RUV article shows a coast guard airplane who is used for inspection missions.
Bárðarbunga update August 23 12:23 UTC
IMO has still the following banner on their Bardarbunga report
Intense earthquake swarm continues at Barðarbunga.
Presently there are no signs of magma moving to the surface.
Scientists are currently looking into the details of the installed instruments (only some of them are public) and will normally make a statement later this afternoon.
There are NO signs yet of a Jokullhaup (sudden ice river triggered by the melting ice of the volcano) which may indicate that a below ice eruption is NOT occurring and which feeds the idea that magma is traveling fast within the volcano.
Some webcams are currently NOT working, but the YouTube overview gives at least one image. As could be expected nothing is visible. A tick layer of at least 500 meter steel-hard ice is covering the area where the earthquakes are happening.
The weather is good enough to see any ash emission from a big distance (weather is Iceland is often cloudy).
Bárðarbunga update August 23 12:06 UTC
The number of earthquakes is still dwindling with 1626 earthquakes vs 1872 at 23:18 yesterday evening (UTC)
Something really important is currently going on, a climb in tremor which may indicate OR a below ice eruption, but in that case an almost immediate Jokullhaup (sudden ice river triggered by the melting ice of the volcano) should occur OR the magma changing direction.
Not clear yet what will happen and we are standing by minute by minute to see the progress.
IF (some kind) of an eruption is currently going on below the ICE, the alert level will be raised to RED .
The below image (courtesy and copyright Vedur.is) shows the sudden increase of tremor.
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Bárðarbunga update August 22 23:25 UTC
The wider volcano below the icecap shows a deformation of about 20 centimeters, thats a lot, but not exceptional for activity below a volcano. The main movement is horizontally. The dyke Intrusion seemed to have stopped in the northeastern direction.
The Geophysicists believes that there is either some obstacle or of reduced inflow of magma.
This behavior confirms our own statistics that the number of earthquakes have decreased considerably in number today. At 14:11 the number of the last 48 hours was 2032, at 23:18 the number decreased to 1872. A volcano is very unpredictable so the activity may jump up again or may further weaken.
Most earthquakes occur at a depth of five to ten kilometers. Geophysicists at the Icelandic Met Office believe that the seismic activity in the Bárðarbunga caldera is connected with changes in pressure in the magma chamber below, from where magma is moving into intrusions. However, there are no indications that magma is breaking its way to the surface.
Bárðarbunga update August 22 13:12 UTC
A report from RUV Iceland who quotes a lot of information from the Icelandic Met Service
A 25 kilometer long dyke intrusion has formed, north and east of the Bardarbunga caldera. Intense seismic activity continues there. Strong earthquakes have been detected in the caldera itself, but they are associated with decompression of the magma chamber beneath the caldera.
According to the Icelandic Met office there are no signs that seismicity is decreasing. A 25 kilometer long dyke has formed in the crust under the Dyngjujokull outlet glacier at 5 – 10 km. depth. Magma is thought to continue to move along the dyke, possibly branching out at the NE end of the dyke.
Several strong earthquakes have been detected in the Bardarbunga itself; the last one, magnitude 3,5, at around 11 GMT this morning, These events are thought to reflect an adjustment of the caldera rim, related to decompression in the caldera since the beginning of the unrest six days ago.
Land displacement measurement with GPS around the volcano show up to 14 centimeter drift since the unrest began, on August 16. Annual drift in Iceland, due to crustal plate movements, is about 2 cm.
„A new GPS station in Kverkfjöll is now running and sending data. Similar seismic instruments were installed by Kverkfjöll yesterday, as well as close to the GPS station at Hamarinn, which was set up two days ago. In addition, two seismic stations set up in Dyngjujökull yesterday are collecting data on site. This work is done in collaboration between IMO, the Institute of Earth Sciences and collaborators in the European FutureVolc research project.“ (Icelandic Met Office).
The evacuation order for the area north of Vatnajokull is still in effect. The area north of Route 1 (including Dettifoss, Hljodaklettar, Asbyrgi) is still open to the general public.
This story, by the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service (RUV), was updated on 22 August 2014, at13.45 GMT.
ER : below in red the number and Magnitude in earthquakes since the last 4 hours. The image shows a decrease both in number and Magnitude of the earthquakes.
Bárðarbunga update August 22 13:12 UTC
Still on top of every Vedur page : Intense earthquake swarm continues at Barðarbunga. Presently there are no signs of magma moving to the surface. This message hasn’t changed since many days
- we are noticing a decrease in the number of earthquakes the last 12 hours. Still a massive number of course
- 3 M+3 earthquakes today below the Bardarbunga volcano location BUT at a depth of respectively 8.1, 9.2 and 9 km which means in human terms far away from a possible eruption. These stronger earthquakes are meaning that the pressure of the magma continues but cannot find a way up. Less earthquakes means also usually stronger earthquakes.
- The dyke North East area of the glacier where earthquakes are currently very shallow (a lot of weak quakes at a depth of 1 km) is currently having a decrease in number of earthquakes
- Visir Iceland reports the view of a number of specialists. Every belief finds his truth
Kristín Vogfjörð, Director of Research at the Icelandic Met Office believes that based on her interpretations of the GPS data, the pressure is receding and the likelihood of eruption is minimising.
Meanwhile, Ingi Þorleifur Bjarnason, a research scholar with the Insitute of Earth Sciences at the University of Iceland interprets the data differently, believing that the pressure is increasing and that the volcano is rising in preparation for eruption.
Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson, geophysicist and professor at the University of Iceland has said that really, it could go either way.
“There is definitely a chance that this will end with an eruption, the likelihood of that has not changed,” said Magnús Tumi. “You could say that the longer this [eruption delay] goes on the chances of an eruption will go up. But I believe that there is no more a chance that an eruption will happen than it won’t. Nobody really knows.”
ER believes Kristin is right (based on the current data)
Bárðarbunga update August 21 22:15 UTC
Report 2014-08-21 16:49 UTC
Compiled by : Melissa Anne Pfeffer Sara Barsotti Gunnar Guðmundsson Kristín Jónsdóttir Matthew J. Roberts Ásta Rut Hjartardóttir Hildur María Friðriksdóttir Elías Rafn Heimisson Michelle Parks
Report based on Seismic, GPS, water samples and Eruption plume if any
Meltwater No eruption. Daily measurements of water samples from Upptyppingar on Jökulsá á Fjöllum have shown a stable conductivity of ~200 µS/cm since Sunday.
Conditions at eruption site : No eruption.
Seismic tremor : No sign of harmonic (volcanic) tremor detected.
Intense earthquake activity continues at the Bárðarbunga volcano – a situation that has persisted since 16 August. Since midnight, over 900 earthquakes have been detected in Bárðarbunga. There are no signs that the seismicity is decreasing. Seismic and GPS measurements reveal a 25 kmlong dyke being formed in the crust under the Dyngjujökull glacier at 5 – 10 km depth. The dyke has not propagated to the north-east, nor has it progressed to shallower depth. Today three earthquakes exceeding three in magnitude have occurred on the caldera rim of Bárðarbunga (M 3.7 at 10:29, M 4.0 at 10:58 and M 3.4 at 13:02). These earthquakes were at depths around 2 – 5 km. They are interpreted as possible adjustments of the caldera due to changing magma pressure – they are not assumed to be the precursor to an imminent eruption.
Seismic and GPS measurements reveal an approximately 25 km long dyke being formed in the crust under the Dyngjujökull glacier east of Bárðarbunga. The results of the GPS measurements also indicate a decrease in pressure in the magma chamber below the Bárðarbunga caldera, which might suggest migration of melt from the Bárðarbunga magma chamber to the dike intrusion east of Bárðarbunga. A new GPS station was installed in Kverkfjöll on the 21st of August 2014. This station will measure continuously and transmit data automatically to scientists of the Icelandic Meteorological Office and of the Institute of Earth Sciences at the University of Iceland, in a similar manner as other continous GPS stations do near Bárðarbunga. The new GPS measurements will provide scientists with an improved understanding of how the magma is moving within the crust.
There are no measurements to suggest that an eruption is imminent. Previous intrusion events in Iceland have lasted for several days or weeks, often not resulting in an eruption. However an eruption of Bárðarbunga cannot presently be excluded, hence the intense monitoring and preparation efforts. The ongoing monitoring and assessment effort is necessary in case a volcanic eruption occurs. Hazards in the event of an eruption are being assessed, including a glacial outburst flood and dispersal of volcanic ash. Additional seismic, GPS and hydrological stations have been installed in the Bárðarbunga region. Likewise, mobile radars capable of monitoring ash dispersal have been moved to the region. The aviation colour-code for the Bárðarbunga volcano remains unchanged at ‘orange’, signifying that the volcano is exhibiting heightened levels of unrest.
Bardarbunga update August 21 12:31 UTC
- The seismic activity is still high and continues to move northeast.
- The Coast Guard will send out its TF-SIF plane today at 13:00 with scientists and rescue workers on board.
- Víðir Reynisson, the head of Iceland’s Civil Protection Department, stated that it is believed that there are still travelers in the area who are unaware of the closures, but that the department is taking care to find anyone still in the evacuation zone. Notably, there were individuals who registered with SafeTravel.is whose hiking plans indicated that they should be in the area north of Vatnajökull around this time, but that their plans were not very specific and they may have already passed through.
- ICE-SAR, Iceland’s Search and Rescue, says that they successfully evacuated the area around Dyngjujökul last night, but will continue searching for people still in the area today.
More bits and bites on this very good page
Bardarbunga update August 21 08:35 UTC
Below a small table with the recent M3+ earthquakes. 2 of these recent 3+ quakes are right below the Bardarbunga crater area.
The 16:14 one is intriguing as it was reported at a depth of only 3.1 km. The left green stars on the map is the Bardarbunga crater area.
Whenever an eruption would take place a strong +4 earthquake might be an indication for it.
Do not forget either that an eruption would not necessarily get above the ice as the ice layer on top os the crater is at least 700 meter thick!
Bardarbunga update August 21 08:17 UTC
Bardarbunga volcano continues to rumble but as yet there is no eruption to report, so here is a round up last night’s news.
- An earthquake measuring 3 or higher on the Richter scale struck the area around Bárðarbunga volcano around 11:30 pm last night, reports RÚV.
- Scientists flying over Bárðarbunga yesterday confirmed that so far there are no changes to the glacial surface of the volcano.
- Kristján Jónsson, a geologist with the Icelandic Institute of Natural History, has said that although he cannot confirm it, he expects the ash from this eruption will be coarser than that of Eyjafjallajökull in 2010, meaning it may not effect the aviation industry as heavily.
- Tourists in the countryside around Mývatn are reportedly feeling anxious about the situation brewing in Vatnajökull glacier and the fact that Mývatn’s Tourist Information Centre was closed yesterday. About 2000 travellers visit Mývatn daily.
- Bardarbunga, was named after a Norwegian man, reports RÚV (so not after the bunga bunga parties from Berslusconi). The Norwegian Bárðar sailed to Iceland, docked his ship in Skjálfandafljótsós and settled in a nearby valley that was eventually named after him – Bárðardalur (Bárðar’s Valley).
More bits and bites on this very good page
You’d better NOT believe the many pictures currently published on Twitter and Facebook – The image below is the real stuff, boring action images for us volcano followers BUT at least beautiful weather for the Icelanders
Bardarbunga update 23:06 UTC
Iceland geophycicist after overflight : „It can go either way“
Icelandic Coastguard’s airplane landed at Reykjavik airport tonight. On board the plane were geologists returning from their flight over Bárðarbunga, amongst them Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson, one of Iceland’s leading geophysicists.
“The flight went well, we managed to gather the information we wanted. We did radar measurements of the glacier and the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum, which will be of much value in the event of an eruption,” he said in a telephone interview with mbl.is.
Magnús says it’s hard to evaluate the chances of an eruption. “It can go either way, nobody can really predict what will happen in this situation.”
A lot of ice to melt
He says that in the event of an eruption, one of two things would likely happen. “What’s more likely is an eruption below the glacier Dyngjujökull, where we can see earthquake activity moving northeast. In that area the glacier’s thickness measures half a kilometer, so it would have to melt a lot of ice before it could finally breach the surface.
Read the full article here
OLDER ARCHIVED PARTS OF THIS REPORT :
2013 : July 8 – July 31
2013 : June 24 – July 7
2013 : June 8 – June 23
2013 : May 26 – June 7
2013 : June 8 – August 20
2013 : August 21 – October 27
2013 : October 28 – December 12
2013 : December 13 – January 30
2014 : February 1 – May 20
2014 : May 21 – August 20