Volcanic summer in Iceland, Part II


The almost obscenely inconspicious volcano of Bárdarbunga seen in all it's icy glory.

The almost obscenely inconspicious volcano of Bárdarbunga seen in all it’s icy glory.

The Bárdarbunga volcanic system is the largest in Iceland and it has erupted more lava than any other volcano on the planet in the last 10 000 years. The volcanic system is 200 kilometers long and 25 kilometers wide.

The central volcano has a seventy square kilometer caldera that is ten kilometers across. Technically it is a highly complex type of volcano that is a mixture between a shield volcano, a strato volcano, tuya formations, volcanic ridges, radial volcanic fissures and a truly astounding volcanic fissure swarm extending in a NNE/SSW direction out from the central volcano.

The largest effusive eruptions has come from the fissure swarm where the Thjorsahraun is the largest lava eruption on the planet in the last 10 000 years. The largest explosive eruption occurred in 1477 during the Veidivötn basalt flood eruption in the southern part of the fissure swarm. During that eruption a VEI-6 explosive eruption occurred in the caldera that was the largest explosive eruption in Iceland since Grimsvötn suffered another VEI-6 almost 10 000 years ago. The 1477 eruption is the largest explosive eruption in Iceland since settlement and also the second largest effusive eruption only bested by the Lakí eruption. I think I just set a new record in using the word “largest” in a single paragraph.

The faulting mechanism of the M5 1996 Bárdarbunga earthquake. This is how a double-couple earthquake with no volumetric change looks like.

The faulting mechanism of the M5 1996 Bárdarbunga earthquake. This is how a non-double-couple earthquake with no volumetric change looks like.

Bárdarbunga is understudied since very little was known about the volcano until satellite imagery revealed the true scale. The reason behind this is a combination between it being remote, it having had small and benign eruptions for the last 537 years. The small scale of the eruptions are probably due to damages to the volcanic chamber system in the caldera after the large explosive eruption in 1477. The last reason is that the entire volcano is covered in ice completely.

The last confirmed eruption in Bárdarbunga occurred in 1996 during the Gjálp eruption. That eruption was a short duration VEI-2 eruption with a 3.5km high eruption column. It is also possible that the entire Gjálp eruption was a radial fissure eruption from Bárdarbunga and that Grimsvötn erroneously had that eruption attributed to it. The jury is out on that one.

Bárdarbunga is also by far the most seismically active of the volcanoes on Iceland. Not in numbers, that is the Gódabunga Cryptodome near Katla Volcano, but in the amount of Cumulative Seismic Release. CSR is the same as the amount of earthquake energy released over time.


Image from the 1996 Gjálp eruption.

Image from the 1996 Gjálp eruption.

During the decade leading up to the Gjálp eruption Bárdarbunga suffered from a very peculiar set of earthquakes ranging between M4 and M5.1 ending with the M5 earthquake that set of an intense earthquake swarm consisting of continuous earthquakes ranging between M3 and M4 as the Gjálp fissure ripped open.

After the Gjálp eruption Bárdarbunga has suffered several seismic swarms. These swarms can be short bursts, or longer swarms that can last for months. The current swarm has now been running for 2 months, it has consisted of several different loci. One is around Kistufell where predominantly deep earthquakes (>20km) have occurred with earthquakes well spaced out in time, this swarm was the first part of the current seismic unrest cycle. After that a more vigorous swarm started on a radial fissure between Kistufell and Bárdarbunga. This swarm mainly consisted of earthquakes between 12km and 5km and the strength of the individual earthquakes have mostly been small (M1 to M2). In the last month a third swarm has started in the Bárdarbunga caldera with events ranging from M1 to M2.7. The depths have ranged from 14km to 0.5km, and the earthquakes have mainly been tectonic but with a few showing more magmatectonic signatures.


Image from Icelandic Met Office. Dyngjuháls GPS.

Image from Icelandic Met Office. Dyngjuháls GPS.

Sadly the nearest GPS has suffered a malfunction with the last data point coming from 19th of June this year for the long-term plot. Anyways it shows a rather interesting pattern. The Dyngjuháls GPS-station is directly north of Bárdarbunga. Since October 2008 the station has been pushed 140mm straight north and 100mm straight up. That would be 17mm of north motion per year and 23mm of uplift. If we now imagine that the station had been on top of the hypocenter of inflation we would probably see values in the range of 5cm of yearly uplift.

If one instead look at the short term plot there is not a lot to be had, it seems like the general uplift has not changed due to the current seismic activity.


A smal part of the 1477 eruption of Veidivötn. Photograph by Rajan Parrikar.

A smal part of the 1477 eruption of Veidivötn. Photograph by Rajan Parrikar.

Even though this is far from the largest earthquake swarm at Bárdarbunga, neither is it the longest, it is still a bit of an oddity. First of all the earthquakes are deeper than normal (even though they have happened before). But the main oddity is the distribution of the individual swarms since they follow directly along the path of the main northern fissure swarm of Bárdarbunga. Also, the earthquakes have grown slightly larger and more numerous over time instead of abating.

One should not have feelings around volcanoes; one should instead look sternly at the facts at hand. And a slightly unusual set of swarms is far from a definite sign. Especially at a volcano that can be orders of magnitude more energetic. Still the feeling lingers that this could be the start of the run up. I might of course be totally wrong and it all putters out without even letting out a fart. But, still it could be fun to go through what I think would happen if the volcano erupted and what I think the signs would be for that eruption.

I think that Gjálp is a good indication of what to expect. I think we will see a non-double-couple earthquake with no volumetric change happening inside the caldera with strength between M4.5 and M5.5, after that an intense swarm will occur between Bárdarbunga and Kistufell as the fissure opens up. Expect to see continuous earthquakes above M3 for a day or two. After that the eruption will break through the ice. I also expect that intermittent earthquake swarms will strike at Bárdarbunga and that a VEI-2 eruption will occur there too. I expect the eruption to run for anything between 1 week and 4 months and that between 0.1 and 4 cubic kilometers of lava will be erupted. It is guesswork, but I think I am pretty much on the football field with my guesstimate.

I will though reiterate, there are currently no definite signs for a coming eruption. But if an eruption is around the corner we will not be guessing, we will know for sure because one thing is a definite and that is that it will be noisy.


This week the answers to Matt´s riddles are volcanoes and volcanic features. 2 points are awarded for each correct answer, 1 point after a clue was given. Good luck!

#1 I’m really going to lead you down the wrong path with this riddle!

2 points Bobbi  It’s in the South Shetland islands, and those are Shetland ponies. Leading someone down the wrong path, of course, is deception. It used to be a great refuge for ships seeking to avoid storms and icebergs.

#2 On this American battleground, the invaders left dogs and fresh-brewed coffee. Most of the casualties were from the weather. Sissel 2 points his Aleutian volcano was the only part of the United States successfully invaded by an axis power during WWII. The Japanese knew about the allied invasion forces, and evacuated, leaving “Nothing but dogs and fresh-brewed coffee” according to the admiral in charge of the allied campaign. Although the Japanese boobytrapped the place, and although the Canadians and Americans accidentally shot at each other during the operation, weather-related illness took the heaviest toll.

#3 Unfortunately, this island played a role in the Falklands conflict. 2 points Frances. Ans: San Felix (Part of the Desventuradas Islands, or “unfortunate islands,” it was the base for some British reconnaissance missions. The islands were formed in a volcanic eruption about 100,000 years ago.)

#4 This extinct volcano was the site of the last tree of its species, (at least in the wild.) The cutting of the rest was part of the residents’ downfall. Irpsit 2 points Rano Kau on Easter Island. The last wild Toromiro tree, endemic to Easter Island, grew in its crater. The ecological pillage of the land that led to its extinction in the wild also led to the collapse of the island’s civilization.

#5 This one will be forever etched into your mind… and your sheep. 2 points KarenZ 

This volcanic gas is emitted in large quantities by Icelandic volcanoes. During the Laki fissure eruption, it poisoned a lot of sheep and other livestock, leaving the residents to starve. Plenty of the residents died or were weakened by this gas as well. Hydrofluoric acid is commonly used to etch glass and silicon wafers.

In its air-diluted form, or with sufficient amounts dissolved in the water you drink, far more than in fluoridated drinking water, chronic exposure damages bones and teeth, causing painful lesions on them, eventually leading to death.
In its concentrated form, this acid can be quite deadly. It readily passes through the skin, where it pulls calcium ions out of the tissue and blood. This means the nerves can’t transmit signals, so you don’t feel the pain of the burn, at least until the fluoride goes away. More than a few square inches of burn area can pull enough calcium out of your blood to stop your heart.

Score board: Updated Scoreboard (missing 1 Answer on #3)
24 Sissel
8 Inannamoon667
5 KarenZ
5 Bobbi
5 Dinojura44
4 Dorkviking
1 RenatoRio
1 Talla
26 Sissel
8 Inannamoon667
7 KarenZ
7 Bobbi
5 Dinojura44
4 Dorkviking
2 Frances
2 Irpsit
1 RenatoRio
1 Talla

490 thoughts on “Volcanic summer in Iceland, Part II

  1. Answer to Diana: yes, perpetual daylight in May, June and July causes one to be very active and not wanting to go to sleep. Also causes one to hiperactive at times, extrovert, a bit crazy at times and mostly positive moods.
    In winter one becomes lazy, sleeps long, complaining, and depression is common. Health also suffers more.
    I feel immediately the change to a less energetic mood between now and mid September. A person feels much more balanced and quieter by September, and then it becomes too much of introspection and depression sets in. And the reverse in April, to a much brighter and active mood, and everyone starts socializaling much more. But different people are affected to different degrees. Somepeople do not seem to change much. But what I wrote reflects most people. And it’s more noticeable in foreign people living in Iceland, although Icelanders are also affected by this difference in mood.

  2. It is nice to come home and read up on the Bárdarbunga eruption and see that the VC “machine” has been hard at work.

    My take is that an eruption has started or is about to start.
    I do not expect a drastic drop in seismicity as the eruption starts. It did not happen at Eyjafjallajökull and I do not expect it here.
    What I am though looking forward is the “Lurking Plot from Hell” that I think might be in the cooking. I know that if anyone will catch what is happening he is on the top of my list.

    But, here is my guess, eruption going or will be starting soon (read hours to a day or two tops)

    • I think we have one already, not a large one, possibly a kilometer at most, and possibly an second fissure from 19:42 hrs last night. If then , Flooding could come during the night. *not expert*

        • Check Geolurking simple plot (no depth) showing ring faulting around the caldera. His comment with this graphs is a few comments ago, i guess in page 2 of the comments.

          I think in a Geolurking graph with depth, we will see a column of quakes right at the SE edge of the caldera at depth progressively moving NE and shallower. First they were located ESE of Bardarbunga, then 7km NE, now they are 15 to almost 20km NE of Bardarbunga. We can see deep and shallow quakes all along this line, but most deep ones nearer the caldera. They seem to have came in waves, main ones at around 5am and then 8pm. After that, the quakes became more shallow, so this means a conduit is open from the depth to near the surface.

          Quakes near 2-4km throughout most of the morning at even more shallow ones just about in the last few hours. So this magma is not only coming in,it is rushing more and more towards near the surface.

          Yes, two peaks in activity, the start around 4am and then 7pm today. Not only quakes but harmonic tremor.
          The ice is thick at 700 meters, so it will take a while (1-2 days) until magma punches throught the ice cap, if it really has strenght enough to do that. Needs to be min VEI2-3.

          • I still see most of the activity out ESE of Bárdarbunga. And that would be Gjálps end towards Bárdarbunga.

            Now off to bed to pace myself. The Swedish VC meeting is having an effect on my general anatomy… Beersleepy 🙂

  3. Stonetablet.

    “The National Commissioner of Police and the District Commissioner of Police at Hvolsvöllur and Húsavík have declared a Civil Protection Uncertainty phase due to unrest in Bárðabunga.”

  4. One thing we don’t need right now is a black swan. Europe hasn’t solved its financial problems yet, and the tit-for-tat sanctions won’t help. A nasty volcanic disruption, along with the cold winter it could cause, and the potential for Putin putting a squeeze on gas supplies… Then the weak recovery in the US that has largely left out the middle class, and China’s government-sponsored overoptimistic leveraging of debt… Combined with military tensions on the rise in Europe and Asia, along with the wars in the middle east…. And this time, many of the major players have nukes…. Plus rampant ebola in Africa….
    Yeah, all we need is a near Laki-sized event.

    • Only the nature-events are out of our control. All the others are in the hands of human beings. But humans seem to mess things quite a lot.

      The wars and economical problems show how much of a primitive species we are when in comes to societal models of organization. We are only less primitive when it comes to technology. But resource and political-wise, We are definitively primitive.And so our systems, which are very primitive, lead to conflicts and crises which tend to pile one over another through time, triggering vast crises every few decades. This is just another one, while the last one was WWII.

      Don’t forget to add a lot of other bad stuff: climate change, nasty disruptions in the ecossystems and mass extinction, mass desertification, religious extremism.

      Definitively we need a new socio-econo-political system which has a new way of functioning, beyond wars, much more cleverly designing the way we process resources (in loop rather than a line from extraction to waste), and a much better way of organizing human beings and giving them abundance, so as to prevent the suffering and frustation that leads to wars and crises. There are many solutions out there, trouble is, lack of motivation and determination to apply them.

      I should correct, we are not a primitive species, we are an intelligent species but a lazy one, since what we mostly have are primitive systems (same systems of decades or centuries ago). While tech advanced much in the last 200 years, the political and monetary systems have not changed that much. Or the way of our beliefs, our way of organizing society, jobs and resources. That’s the problem!!!

      • Laziness has created some of the best inventions. Don’t want to drag something long distances? Use wheels! Tired of hunting for food? Plant crops and raise livestock! Don’t want to pound grain to a powder? Use millstones and a windmill!

      • I think the next big thing will be robotics. But what will really solve a lot of problems is when we can decouple food and energy production from the environment. Everyone keeps working on algal biofuel because it produces 6-10 times as much per acre as traditional biofuel crops, and is carbon neutral. But what if we use the technology to make food? The closed systems lose no water through evaporation, letting you grow food, even in the desert. (Imagine the Middle East being self-sufficient in terms of food?) Most nutrients are recycled, and they aren’t flushed into the environment through runoff, so there will be less environmental damage and less need to make/mine fertilizer. Farmland and rivers diverted for irrigation could revert to its natural state. Again, the yields will be way higher than traditional crops. Lastly, if we ever hope to move beyond earth, we will need something like this!

        • Oh, yeah… edible oils sell for a lot more per gallon than any biofuel, so companies could actually make money doing it, and we could probably engineer the algae to make healthy oils, such as MUFA’s and omega-3’s.

        • “Imagine the Middle East being self-sufficient in terms of food?”

          Good luck with that. The last group that were given materials for nurseries and schools and such turned around and built tunnels with them.

    • It was the Black Swan of the AD536 event that ended working Roman civilisation in western Europe. Although the Empire had officially ended, a form of Roman type rule was being used by local rulers, mainly through the Christian church. After 536 everything fell apart and didn’t get back to where it was for about 500 years. Materially, the general population in Britain didn’t get back to where they were until the 15th or 16th century.

  5. Count at 01:50 hrs
    Fjöldi skjálfta:
    Stærð minni en 1 alls: 134
    Stærð 1 til 2 alls: 373
    Stærð 2 til 3 alls: 69
    Stærri en 3 alls: 3
    Samtals: 579

  6. Depth plot for Bardarbunga. Only a rudimentary one. View from the west. Taken from list at 01:00. Sorry no scales, but I hope it gives some idea. But it looks to me like there are three stacks, or the source separates into three.

    Dragon edit:


  7. From Wikipedia: “Many large prehistoric eruptions have occurred southwest of the glacier and two after settlement in Iceland, Vatnaöldur eruption about 870 and Veiðivötn eruption 1480. Both were very large eruptions that would have major effects on life in Iceland and neighboring countries were they to repeat in modern times.
    Smaller eruptions are frequent northeast of Bárðarbunga in an ice-free area called Dyngjuháls. Such an eruption last occurred in 1862-4.”
    Dyngjuháls is the name of the station where tremor is showing the largest anomalies.

  8. Okay… I’m baffled now. The background image is from Georeferencing the image from above and laying in the quakes using Diva. Its not what I expected. I did a verification of the georeference, and its correct. This appears to be a bit outside of the Bárðarbunga Caldera, and if I did the right quake set, away from Gjalp. It is quite possible that I have the wrong set and are missing the newer quakes. Why the hell would there be a ring like structure over there?…

    NOTE: The quake colors are the depth in km.

    I’m done for the evening. Arm is numb and my eyes are bleary… and the freeking dog won’t leave me alone.

    • And in the background on audio… Louisville Metro Police. Driver hit the guardrail while trying to get on the interstate (wrong way), then got out and began urinating on the barrier. Is being detained by another driver until the PD arrives. The caller thinks the guy is drunk.

      He may have issue with the guy keeping him from getting back in the car, but that guy is saving his life. Head on collisions on the Interstate are always quite messy.

      This sounds much more normal than the feed from last night where a citizen complained about a thrown sex toy bouncing off his windshield as he passed through an intersection.

    • hmm.. tis a bit strange. Because if it is not a ring structure and these outline new fissures forming (bsig shows them nicely in the view from the west) they have a peculiar W / E lineament. There are three in the main cluster and the much smaller southern group shows this same orientation as well. Why this change away from the normal lineament? Reminds a bit of the Darfield quake in Canterbury but I have no idea how that fits into the local stress regime here. I would have expected the opposite, i.e. the fissures to line up at least on NE/SW heading or even a bit more northwards.

      If we can’t explain it with tectonics (but I hope someone here can!) then these fissures must be in response to inflation but that makes little sense either as the lines are so neatly parallel.

      Thoroughly discombobulating.

      • ok, getting closer to an answer. The East/West alignment ties in nicely with the Mid Iceland Belt which intersects the Eastern Volcanic Zone under Bardabunga.

        sorry for this stumbling along. I fully realize most of you already know all this. Just trying to make sense of it all for myself and am busy learning!

      • I think you’re on to the reason. That is where that other transform fault intersects. (and makes a defacto triple junction) As a hinge point for three seperate fault systems, it makes sense that it would have the most activity. Could there be an ambulatory stress field rolling through?

        On my next try, I may see if I can remember how to change the projection to mercator so that everything looks proper.

  9. Up with coffee #1 . Oh My! An interesting morning. Renato you will be going to bed around now. Sleep well and we will keep watch for you it’s a pity we can’t give you a prod if eruption breaks through. 😀
    Matt & Irpsit very depressing observations about world tensions which are quite correct. Nature has a way to put us puny humans back into place. Volcanic activity is peculiar in that it can have a rapid global effect and unlike Icelanders most of the rest of the world have little or no strategies for helping out their populations. Being British, I am hoping that any future hardships will bring our own self centred and ailing society back on track and the national spirit that was last seen in WW ll will come to the fore. I think I am very much an optimist. I will stick with Volcanic observations as the situations in various parts of the world are not, as irpsit points out, humanity’s best behaviours. We can do so much better.
    Irpsit Thank you for answering my question. I admit to getting lethargic and rather grumpy through the darkest part of winter. I always blamed the silly season of Christmas shopping for that though 😀 (Silly season already started in our shops. Now school uniform is bought ready for September it is time for the Christmas decorations and manic brainwashing that everyone needs a perfect, tidy, colour co-ordinated, beautiful looking home with joyously happy , thankful children and a brand new sofa or two 😀 Like world peace this is not likely to happen anytime soon here :D)
    Funny how it gets a volcanic event to stir me into a proper rumination mode.
    Time for coffee #2 then back to watching what I think will be a fissure event.. I hope so, as it’s likely not to be as harmful as Bardarbunga Blowing it’s lid off..

      • Good Morning Bruce. It’s the Dog’s fault. I do not allow them on the bed. Husband however is a pushover. Meg (Oldest Lurcher) pokes the bedside light (It’s a touch turn on sort) with her nose. Pokes me with said wet nose. Whimpers to say ” Legs crossed here I need to go out”. I stumble outta bed and downstairs…..Meg dutifully answers call of nature in our paved yard…Very useful can be hosed and disinfected . We have an ancient but fully working outside loo with tap. The loo has a wooden cistern and resulting flush resembles Niagra Falls even with water saving block in it…….
        I digress….. By this time Meg has shot back upstairs and is happily curled up next to Husband having got me out of the way and Poppy (Youngest Lurcher) has joined her.(if husband is working then no one is in bed except two happy dogs) They know full well I have, by this time , become awake and getting back to sleep is not an option. They know I will be making Coffee #1. They KNOW I then I go to my “Office” to start work or to get involved with VC 😦 Life is comfy and sweet for dogs here. They don’t even try to get on the bed when we go up at night. There isn’t room for them and me and I am not for sleeping on doggy beds on the floor. 😀

        • That’s what I call a dog’s life. If I ever get reincarnated…. Speaking of reincarnation, there’s a nice article in the latest geographic about the neolithic civilization on the Orkneys which came to an abrupt end 2300 BC…. “why?” I wondered. They had time to have one last massive feast beforehand so it doesn’t sound like an Icelandic volcano was the culprit, but you never know. Maybe they thought the place was damned and skedaddled.

  10. @ Anyone who knows…….If emissions occur from the present activity, would the resulting plumes be seen in the distance from this view point at Jokulsalon? Just wondering if any distant activity would be caught on any of the cams.

  11. A friend of mine is quite livid right now. He got called in to work after an incident with the asbestos abatement company. They did this with a Saws-all.

    That is a steel pipe. It carries chill water for the AC system. The operator of the saws all evidently didn’t notice that he had sliced through a pressurized water pipe and merrily kept on cutting.

    • Well, the building’s owner decided to go with a different company… hopefully they were bonded to a sufficient level.

      My friend is ticked since he has to contract out the repair so he can get the AC system back up… and why on earth did the SawsAll operator keep cutting while high pressure water was making itself known. That pipe is almost sliced all the way through. Question two… why was he using a blade specifically made for metal? A wood blade would have had all of it’s teeth worn off before it got that far into it… or literally snag and stop.

    • Now that’s exciting. The stacks (see Bsig’s plot above) are east west, parallel to the Mid Iceland Belt and the big quakes mark the intersection of these stacks with the EVZ / NVZ belt running up and down the island. We have ignition!

      • Kistufell is another volcano, Is that what you mean, when you speak about ignition?

        Could it be the Black swan, that people speak about in whispers, behind closed doors. 🙂

  12. #3 Volcano Monte Fitz Roy .Although on Cile/Argentine border. UK ships were sunk off Fitroy in the Falklands. Other than that how about the Scotia Plate? Scotia Ridge seamounts?

  13. Im no expert,but it looks like we have a pretty big rifting event about to happen ,it looks like a pretty big horseshoe shaped rift, either that or something is gonna blow its top , big style. Again, i’m only guessing here,

  14. Morning everyone. It’s nice to wake up and have a lot of comments to read and interesting theories to ponder 🙂 I for one can’t wait to see what ol’ Bárður will do today.

  15. Hi

    Here is an animation

    Bardabunga Earthquake animation 28/07-17/8/2014

    data from IMO and NOAA
    I used the etopo 1 bedrock data for the terrain.

    The first 2 sequences show day to day earthquake animation from 2 different points of vue.
    Then there is an horizontal rotation with all the quakes and 2 vertical rotations.

    This is a old piece of code, so be indulgent, I’ll try to do something better next time.

    • Yes, it looks quite like the radial fissure are ripping open.
      I would also lik to point out that many earthquakes are not correctly places. Right now I would exclude all earthquakes below M2 from plots since it seems to be the point where IMO manually corrects them now.

  16. Hi,

    I’m a newbie here, reading Volcanocafe for 3-4 months as I love everything related to Iceland. What strikes me is how huge the area with earthquakes is. Much larger than the last few unrests I’ve seen. Am I mistaken?


    • Hi Tom! The last time there was this number of quakes was the Grimsvotn eruption of 2011. This swarm does seem to cover a very large area – which is why I’m also puzzled, excited and watching! (I’m not an expert)

    • The last two times with such intense earthquake swarms – in 2010 and 2011 – resulted both times in an eruption.

    • Hello Tom!
      When you have intense swarms you tend to get ghost earthquakes that are ecos of other large earthquakes. And also this time it is so intense that it seems to affect joining fissures.
      And also, remember that Bárdarbunga is the largest volcano on the planet of its type. It is just to expect that it will be noisy before it goes.

  17. There’s a good crowd and clear weather at Jökulsárlón:

    Now as far as I can figure, there’s a chance an eruption plume would be visible on the horizon from this camera, IF weather clear AND plume high enough. Can someone with local knowledge of landmarks etc. take a peek and confirm if this would be the case? Where on that skyline would a plume be expected to appear?

  18. I am watching that same cam Mike.
    I think we should see something pretty soon after an eruption as the magma and ice will make a rather large explosion producing mucky boiling water and gasses.
    I am no expert here but I should think this volcanic cloud will not be mistaken for your average cumulus or lenticular type clouds we are seeing at present. They are too white and pretty 😀
    A Mag 3+ quake at the top of the Kverkjoll Glacier. This away from the more linear plot of the preceding larger quakes.
    So many questions as to what is going on here. Do he experts in IMO have answers I wonder.
    This situation just shows how far we have come with Volcanic forecasting and how much there is still to learn.

  19. I’m a little bit annoyed at the lack of news in the Icelandic media but I have some hopes for the 12 o’clock news on the radio. I was hoping to hear they’re flying over the area to check and see if there are any visible changes.

  20. Eruption in two different places under the glacier have been confirmed by fly-overs. No further details but the Icelandic news will be covering this later today.

    DragonEdit: Released from the Dungeon…

  21. From http://www.ruv.is/frett/ekki-merki-um-eldgos-enn-i-bardarbungu
    “No signs yet that the eruption has started in Bárðarbunga. Researchers met with civil protection in the morning. They said, can not be excluded that the chain of events that is now underway will lead to an eruption outside the glacier or beneath it.
    Eruptions under glaciers could lead to flooding in the rivers that flow from it. Scientists and the Civil closely monitor the situation and uncertainty is still valid.
    Earthquake eruption in Vatnajokull Bárðarbunga that began back from kl. 3 in the morning goes on. The activity has shifted and is now in two clusters, north and east of Bárðarbunga. Scientists believe that the activity caused by magma activity aside in the Earth’s crust.” (translated with Google)

  22. with Venus and Jupiter in conjunction, if something happens in the next couple of days, it will be beautiful and big

  23. UPDATE 6 – Seems currently 11:52 two (fissures) areas 10 km long, 3-4 km wide are active at present time (11:52) – one East and one North East of Bárðarbunga. One appears outsite of glacers edge (and no eruption visible, and skies are mostly clear over Ieland) but the other area under thick glacier. In my opinion thikish type magma is on the move, trying filling cracks as it pushes upwards. Yesterdays activity was mostly at 10 km depth, but I have not heard the current (focal) depth. This is IMO quake map data.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    • Translated (and edited):
      KMU writes: Robust earthquake, 5 on the Richter scale, launched a Gjálp eruption in Vatnajökull in 1996, according to a statement on the Web eldgos.is.
      Harald Sigurdsson, a volcanologist, explores this possibility in a paper on the internal structure Bárðarbunga, which he published on its website this morning. Because he drives a history of unusual earthquakes in the volcano and quotes Göran Ekström, Professor at Columbia University. Göran believes that the Bárðarbunga is conical crustal plug and interpreted seismic eruption of the size of five points as a result of pressure from the tap.
      “Is it caused by the movement of the cap under Bárðarbunga? Is the magma to accumulate in shallow magma chambers above the cap? “Asks Harold. “According to his model, earthquakes of magnitude 5, when the cap is pushed down,” says Harold.

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