Update: Aviation Colour Code Red has been declared for the Volcano Bárdarbunga and the surrounding area.
Icelandic Met Office helicopter observation confirms ongoing eruption that appears to be small at this time. Keep up with the updates as they come.
And an urgent call: Please keep traffic on IMO sites as low as possible. If you have saved a siginficant webcam or IMO screenshot you can gain good karma by uploading it to image service like tinipic, imgur etc and post a link here. This way the traffic to the important sites can be reduced. Thank you!
This is just a brief update due to the current violent activity at Bárdarbunga. In the last hour the recorded levels of tremor at Bárdarbunga has set a new record. There is as far as I know no recorded dataset that has shown this much tremor, not even during the large 2010 Eyjafjallajökull or the 2011 even larger VEI4 eruption of Grimsvötn. There is still no sign of an actual eruption taking place, but there is an intriguing development.
The magmatic intrusion that left Bárdarbunga central volcano and meandered off to due east of Kistufell has now rapidly in an hour formed a fissure extending from 20km depth all the way up to 2.5km from the surface. This means that if an eruption starts the eruption could draw more material directly from the mantle as decompression melt sets in. This would follow the formula from the Lakí eruption pretty well.
If an eruptions starts I expect the beginning to be pretty violent since it would contain evolved magma (explosive) from Bárdarbunga and it would happen 13km due east of Kistufell under the glacial ice. I do though expect that it would calm down after a few hours into a fissure eruption. The steam column would though stay high due to heat convection as the pristine mantle magma (very hot) would continue to melt the ice and boil off water for quite some time. If it will be a rifting fissure eruption it could go on for a while.
It has been suggested by commenter Irpsit that the area is prone for shield volcano building instead of basalt floods. I tend to agree with him that we are more likely to see a small shield volcano being born if the eruption has a long duration.
Now it is clear that the trajectory of the initial intrusion has changed direction again. It seems like it found more fertile ground after standing still in the same spot for the last 24 hours.
I repeat once again, I am not sure an eruption has started. But it seems likely to start sooner rather than later.
Updated by a passing dragon.
This is general overview of all Bárðarbunga north side face, involved in todays eruption alert is area in top center and towards Kverkfjöll in distance. Bárðarbunga Volcano is so HUGE it can not be caught in one photo unless its is wide angle (24 mm here). Shot from motorglider aircraft TF-SAA by Eggert Norðdahl, especially for VC, courtesy of pilot Dr. Ásgeir Bjarnason (Icelandic Gliding Club) steering.
For your normal friday entertainment-> The riddles by riddle master Matt
This week the answers to Matt´s riddles there are three volcanoes, one volcanic feature, and one volcanic term. 2 points are awarded for each correct answer, 1 point after a clue was given.
#1 Riddle: Hot rocks + image
Clue It has everything to do with domes, ash, and pyroclastic flows, but nothing to do with cars.
#2 In the country where coffee got one of its names, this was the only one to erupt during the 20th century. 2 points Espadrille Harras of Dhamar in Yemen. With Saana’s harbour Mocha as the name for coffee
#3 2 points inannamoon667 Soufriere Hills The volcano came between Margaritaville and Pyroclasticville.
#4 Agave and communists? It’s pretty cool! Clue: Clue: It took a nuclear reactor to find it. 1 point LDP Gakkel Ridge, surveyed by. Arctic Gakkel Vents Expedition.