Thursday, October 30, 2014

Roundtrip to Hell - Barðarbunga Volcano Expedition (A-mazing video!)


ICELAND, LAND OF FIRE - Bardarbunga volcano expedition (with drone aerial view) from Elisabetta Rosso on Vimeo.


More Earthquakes in Bárðarbunga, Heat Increases

By Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir
Bárðarbunga volcano in Vatnajökull glacier.
Bárðarbunga. Photo: Páll Stefánsson. 

Seismicity continues in Bárðarbunga volcano in Vatnajökull glacier. A magnitude 4.4 earthquake hit 11.5 km (7.3 miles) east of the volcano shortly before 2:30 last night and the strongest earthquake recorded there yesterday was magnitude 5.1.

Geothermal heat continues to increase in Bárðarbunga. Scientists on a surveillance flight above the volcano yesterday could clearly see cauldrons that had formed in the glacier on the western and southeastern rim of the caldera, ruv.is reports.

The largest cauldron has deepened by 25 meters (82 feet) in one month. Scientists link this development to the subsidence of the caldera, which now measures 40 meters. The subsidence cannot be detected with the naked eye as the caldera is 8 km wide.

The eruption in Holuhraun, north of Vatnajökull, continues. The lava erupting in a fissure there originates in the Bárðarbunga magma chamber and is channeled to the eruption site via an intrusive dike, which formed underground before the eruption started in August.

The eruption is visible on webcams, including one established by telecommunication company Míla in August.

source

Saturday, October 25, 2014

How much lava has erupted from Holuhraun?



Extention of lava field in Holuhraun, updated to today. Please click on image for larger size.

Sources: Twitter

@gislio @almannavarnir
@uni_iceland
@EmaMaiorana

Monday, October 20, 2014

Holuhraun at Barðarbunga Eruption Update 10/19/2014

Fissure Eruption Update
Experts at Discover The World and Ari Trausti Guðmundsson 
19/10/2014

The lava outpouring from the short fissure at Holuhraun has now remained steady for weeks. Three interconnected vents (300-400 m long) are what remains of the original 1.9-km-long, once active fissure. The height of the crater hill around the vents exceeds 100 m, taking the form of a lava shield (also known as a shield volcano) - see the image from the Geoscience institute by geoscientist Morten Riishuus.  The big regional dyke is still going strong and the eruption could remain active for many years or die down within a few weeks or months. Further breaching of the surface along the dyke leading to a subglacial eruption in the Dyngjujökull outlet glacier is still possible.

The lava flow now has an area of roughly 60km² and a volume of approximately 800 million cubic metres (0.8 cu. km). The Hekla lava flow is somewhat similar in size but was generated in 13 months. Therefore, the highlands will soon become the largest lava flow occurring within such a short interval in Iceland - since the late 18th century. New trace elements and isotope analysis are said to indicate a magma source at a depth of at least 15 km.

The included map is from the Geoscience Institute and the Coast Guard (October 17th).

The Bárðarbunga central volcano continues to shudder, with dozens of earthquakes every day. On October 18th, two earthquakes were recorded with a magnitude 4.7 and 5.0, with a further two on the 19th with a magnitude of 5.2 and 4.5. Currently, the depression in the caldera ice dome is over 35 m deep. The main earthquake location is at the northern rim of the caldera or at the volcano flank in the north. GPS-readings over a period of a few days show both dilation and/or doming of the volcano.

Reverse faulting has been detected from some earthquakes. Another earthquake location is at the south-eastern rim. Practically no earthquakes originate in the caldera floor. With time, a simple model of caldera floor subsidence and a direct link between a Bárðarbunga magma chamber and the big dyke seems more and more unlikely.

I have stressed before, as have prof. Águst Guðmundsson (Royal Holloway – University of London) and prof. Þorvaldur Þórðarson (University of Iceland) in talks and in an article (in the Bulletin of Volcanology), that a large magma reservoir, is the possible site of the magma influx into the dyke.

Independently of this, the roots and the non-verified (but naturally alleged), shallow magma chamber remains beneath the caldera, a theory consistent with chemical signals in the magma. The magma from a deeper reservoir is probably being injected into the volcano, even as ring dykes. It remains to be seen if this hypothesis is correct but many indications are present.

There is no way to predict what will happen at Bárðarbunga; small or large eruptions may occur, and similar tectonic movements or a sudden caldera collapse could become the result of the processes in the volcano.

The many scenarios presented by the Civil Protection and its Scientific council are still valid.
The nearby Tungnafellsjökull central volcano (with a caldera), west of Bárðarbunga, has been the site of over 150 earthquakes (with the majority of them with magnitude less than 3.0). Most of them have loci at shallow depth but some originate much deeper, at up to 20 km plus. This probably indicates an influx of magma but the GPS-readings do not support that, so far. Magma intrusions in a volcano do not automatically lead to eruptions.

It is interesting to note that the Kverkfjöll central volcano (with two calderas), the next neighbour of Bárðarbunga in the east is showing very little tectonic activity. Only a few dozen quakes have originated there and the same story can be said about the very active Grímsvötn central volcano southeast of Bárðarbunga. It is, at any rate, important to follow the development of all nearby volcanoes with care.

More elaborate seismic and GPS monitoring would help in revealing the processes at hand below the earth´s surface in this very active part of Iceland.

DG 20th 1
Compiled by: Geoscience Institute of the University of Iceland/Coast Guard
Map base: The Geodetic Survey.
DG20th2
Photo: Morten Riishuus, Geoscience Institue
Dates: 28th of Sept. and 15th of Oct.

source

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Increased Earthquakes at Bárðarbunga Volcano

By Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir
Bárðarbunga volcano in Vatnajökull glacier.
Bárðarbunga. Photo: Páll Stefánsson. 

An increased number of earthquakes have been detected in and around Bárðarbunga volcano under Vatnajökull glacier in the past days. In the last 24 hours, almost 130 earthquakes have been detected at Bárðabunga and about 30 in the northern part of the intrusive dike.
The dike channels magma from Bárðarbunga to the Holuhraun eruption site north of Vatnajökull.
No quakes above 5.0 in magnitude have been detected in the area since October12, but five quakes between magnitude 4.5 and 4.8 hit yesterday, the Icelandic Met Office reported in its latest update this morning.
The eruption continues at a similar intensity. It was clearly visible on webcams from midnight until almost 8 this morning.

source

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Brand new im­ages of the Holuhraun erup­tion



Ac­cord­ing to Gísli Gís­la­son, pi­lot at Norður­flug, the erup­tion at Holuhraun was par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive on Fri­day. There has been some snow­fall in the erup­tion area and co­pi­ous amounts of lava was spout­ing from the crater. " The erup­tion seemed to have gained power to­day," said Gis­la­son but ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Me­tero­log­i­cal In­sti­tute the sit­u­a­tion is sim­i­lar to re­cent days.
Flights over the erup­tion area have been dif­fi­cult in the past few days due to heavy fog.
Im­ages cour­tesy of Norður­flug. 

source 

 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Barðarbunga Eruption

Bardarbunga Eruption, 9.11.-13.2014

First part seen from 50km distance under Northern Lights, timelapse animation. Second part showing Lava Fountains from approx. 1km distance. Note the Airplane at 1:00 - 1:02 giving scale.

High Res Image of #Holuhraun via Satellite


High res image of Holuhraun from satellite as part of LMU project via @lava_ice on Twitter

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Bárðarbunga Volcano Keeps Shaking

By Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir
Holuhraun.
 The Holuhraun eruption continues at a similar intensity. Photo: Jóhannes Benediktsson. 

Almost 30 earthquakes have occurred in and around Bárðarbunga volcano under Vatnajökull glacier since 7 pm yesterday, according to the Icelandic Met Office’s update this morning. Three quakes were larger than magnitude 4.0—a magnitude 5.0 earthquake hit at 3:52 am.

The volcanic eruption in Holuhraun continues at a similar intensity as in previous days, as stated in the latest status report issued by the Civil Protection Department’s National Crisis Coordination Center yesterday afternoon.

The lava production from the fissure in Holuhraun remains steady with lava flowing to the southeast into glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum. The subsidence of the Bárðarbunga caldera continues at a similar rate, the report concluded.

More than 40 earthquakes above magnitude 5.0 have been recorded in Bárðarbunga since August 16, ruv.is reports. The strongest of these—the strongest quake recorded in Iceland since 2008—was of magnitude 5.7, hitting on August 26, shortly before the Holuhraun eruption started on August 29.

Yesterday’s status report stated that the size of the largest earthquakes in Bárðarbunga has now subsided slightly and very little seismic activity is now detected in the northern part of the intrusive dike, connecting Bárðarbunga to Holuhraun, and around the eruption site.

source

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Dead hiker's posthumous photograph captures Japanese volcano's ash cloud sweeping towards him moments before it claimed his life


  • Images taken last Saturday by hiker Izumi Noguchi show the moments immediately after Mount Ontake erupted
  • The 59-year-old's body was later found near the volcano's summit shrine compound with his camera close by
  • His wife Hiromi has now opted to make the haunting images public as a tribute to her late husband's memory
  • Massive eruption left at least 47 people dead, with a further 16 people - the majority hikers - still unaccounted for
These haunting photographs capture the huge cloud of ash from a Japanese volcano that swept towards a hiker just seconds before killing him.
The images - which were taken last Saturday on Mount Ontake - show the moments immediately after the volcano erupted, sending dense plumes of gas and ash high into the sky and leaving at least 47 people dead, with a further 16 people still unaccounted for.
Among the victims of the volcano was 59-year-old hiker Izumi Noguchi, whose body was found near Mount Ontake's summit shrine compound. 
Search and rescue teams recovering his body discovered his camera and among the photographs he had taken were images of the a huge cloud of ash creeping ever closer to him following the eruption. His wife Hiromi has now opted to make the images public as a tribute to Mr Noguchi's memory. 
The images emerged as doctors determined that almost all of those killed on Mount Ontake died of injuries relating to rocks flying out of the volcano. 
Scroll down for video 
Final photograph: Izumi Noguchi took this incredible photograph of a huge cloud of ash from Japanese volcano Mount Ontake just moments before he was killed. His body and camera were found near Mount Ontake's summit shrine compound
Final photograph: Izumi Noguchi took this incredible photograph of a huge cloud of ash from Japanese volcano Mount Ontake just moments before he was killed. His body and camera were found near Mount Ontake's summit shrine compound
Tragic: Izumi Noguchi's images - which were taken last Saturday on Mount Ontake - show the minutes immediately after the volcano erupted, sending dense plumes of gas and ash high into the sky and leaving at least 47 people dead, with a further 16 people still unaccounted for
Tragic: Izumi Noguchi's images - which were taken last Saturday on Mount Ontake - show the minutes immediately after the volcano erupted, sending dense plumes of gas and ash high into the sky and leaving at least 47 people dead, with a further 16 people still unaccounted for
Gesture: Among the victims of the volcano was 59-year-old hiker Izumi Noguchi (above) who took the photographs of the ash cloud. His wife Hiromi (below) has now opted to make the images public as a tribute to Mr Noguchi's memory
Rescuers have retrieved 47 bodies from the ash-covered summit area of Mount Ontake since Saturday's eruption. Authorities this morning announced that another 16 people are still missing, with search efforts suspended once again due to rain.
Doctors concluded that all but one of the bodies showed signs of having been hit by volcanic boulders and rocks, Nagano prefectural police said. The other victim died of burn injuries caused by inhaling hot air.
Those hit by the rocks and debris had multiple cuts and fractures, particularly in the head and the back, as well as the legs, a prefectural police official said on condition of anonymity, citing department policy. Nagano police had earlier said the victims died of 'disaster,' without specifying the cause.
Most of the bodies were found near Mount Ontake's summit, where many climbers were resting or having lunch. Some bodies were retrieved from a trail at a slightly lower elevation.
Experts say hikers near the summit might have been hit by rocks flying as fast as 190 miles per hour. Most of the ash fell in the first hour of the explosion, according to the University of Tokyo's Earthquake Research Institute. 
Hunt: These handout pictures made available today show rescuers from Japan's Ground Self-Defence Force walking down a slope covered with deep volcanic ash. Workers have retrieved 47 bodies from the ash-covered summit area of Mount Ontake since Saturday's eruption
Hunt: These handout pictures made available today show rescuers from Japan's Ground Self-Defence Force walking down a slope covered with deep volcanic ash. Workers have retrieved 47 bodies from the ash-covered summit area of Mount Ontake since Saturday's eruption
Eerie: A handout picture made available today shows a mountain lodge covered with volcanic ash near the peak of Mount Ontake. Authorities this morning announced that  16 people are still missing, with search efforts suspended once again due to rain.
Eerie: A handout picture made available today shows a mountain lodge covered with volcanic ash near the peak of Mount Ontake. Authorities this morning announced that 16 people are still missing, with search efforts suspended once again due to rain.

A handout picture made available today shows Japan's Ground Self-Defence Force's rescuers walking down a slope covered with deep volcanic ash 

A handout picture made available today shows Japan's Ground Self-Defence Force's rescuers walking down a slope covered with deep volcanic ash
Grim: These images made available today by Japan's Ground Self-Defence were released as doctors confirmed that all but one of the 47 bodies they have recovered showed signs of having been hit by volcanic boulders and rocks. The other victim died as a result of burn injuries caused by inhaling hot air
Survivors said they fled for their lives as rocks and debris rained down on them while they struggled with hot air and ash hitting their face.
Medical experts who have examined some of the nearly 70 injured have said most had bruises, cuts and bone fractures on their back, an apparent sign they were hit by rocks flying out of the volcano. Some of the injured reportedly had damage to their lungs and other organs due to the impact of rocks hitting them.
The eruption at Mount Ontake, located in central Japan, caught hikers by surprise. Seismologists have said that increased seismic activity had been detected at Ontake, one of 47 active volcanoes in Japan that are under 24-hour monitoring, but that nothing signaled such a big eruption.
The death toll is the highest from a volcanic eruption in Japan's postwar history, exceeding the 43 people killed in the 1991 eruption of Mount Unzen in southern Japan.
Ontake, Japan's second-highest active volcano, last had a minor eruption seven years ago. Researchers say predicting a steam-driven explosion is especially difficult - and even harder with limited information about a peak's past volcanic activity. 
Japan monitors 47 of its 110 active volcanoes around the clock, but the research budget has always been less than for earthquakes and critics say the equipment is insufficient.
Over the last 10 years, volcano research in government institutions has received an average 1.4 billion yen annually, compared to 7.6 billion yen for earthquake studies, Education Ministry data shows.
'Maintenance of monitoring devices has been delayed, and the equipment is getting old,' Yasuo Ogawa, at the Tokyo Institute of Technology's Volcanic Fluid Research Centre, told Reuters.
Hasegawa, at the Japan Meterological Agency, said he was not aware of budget changes and technology now allows real-time observations from afar. Surveillance was extended in 2009.
Ogawa disagrees. 'I don't think the network is adequate and there aren't enough people,' he said. 'Hopefully, everybody can use this as an opportunity to rethink things.' 

 source
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PYROCLASTIC FLOWS: A DEADLY AVALANCHE OF GAS AND ROCKS 

Pyroclastic flows are one of the most destructive and deadly processes of a volcanic eruption. The flows act and look like a body of liquid but are actually composed of hot gas and rock. Formed inside the volcano by the fragmentation of magma and rocks during the eruption, they travel down the mountain slope at breakneck speeds, often incinerating everything in their path.
The flows act as a fast-moving current and appear similar to a snow avalanche when they burst from the volcano. These flows, composed of volcanic rock debris and toxic gases, are usually deadly as they can reach speeds over 100 km/h and temperatures of 1,000 degrees.
Although they are composed of gas and rock, the properties of pyroclastic flows mean they act more like a liquid. The heavier debris moves along the ground, covered by a gas plume which radiates upwards as it moves. Depending on the size of the rock debris carried within them, they can leave behind deep layers of rock fragments.
The eruption at Mount Ontake likely triggered a pyroclastic surge, although it is thought to have been relatively cold when compared to some other documented flows.
Professor Emeritus of the University of Tokyo, Shigeo Aramak, told NHK World the colour of the debris clouds seen in the footage of the erupting Mount Ontake showed the temperature was relatively low for a pyroclastic flow, which may mean magma was not present.


Friday, October 3, 2014

Barðarbunga: About Last Night (Images & a video)





 

video

Bardarbunga volcano update


03.10.2014, 11:00 UTC - Conclusions of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Icelandic Civil Protection:

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 Scientific Advisory Board of the Icelandic Civil Protection. A representative from The Environment Agency of Iceland was also present.
 
The eruption continues at a similar intensity as previous days. The lava production is steady and running to the southeast from the grader.
  • Very high SO2 values were measured at the eruption site yesterday. It is estimated that 35.000 tons of SO2 are produced by the eruption daily. 
  • The subsidence of the Bardarbunga caldera continues with similar rate although the size of the largest earthquakes have subsided slightely over the last week. 
  • Eleven earthquakes greater than M3.0 were recorded since noon yesterday, the largest M4.8 at 01:41 yesterday.
  • Smaller earthquakes are now detected in the northern part of the dyke and around the eruption site.
  • GPS measurements show minor movements.
  • No change was detected in water monitoring that cannot be explained by changing weather.
Air quality:
  • Today (Friday) gas pollution is expected north and later east of the eruption site. Tomorrow (Saturday) gas pollution can be expected northwest of the eruption site. A map showing the gas forecast can be found on the web page of the Icelandic Met Office www.vedur.is/vedur/spar/textaspar/oskufok/ An interactive map showing the gas distribution can be seen at www.vedur.is/vedur/spar/gasdreifing
  • The Icelandic Met Office has a form on its web-page for the public to report if they have detected gas pollution. A link to the page can be found on the Icelandic version of the web page under Skrá mengun.
Instructions:
  • People who feel discomfort are advised to stay indoors, close their windows, turn up the heat and turn off air conditioning. Use periods of good air quality to ventilate the house. People experiencing adverse effects should be in immediate contact with their healthcare centre. Measurements of air quality can be found on the webpage www.airquality.is The Meteorological Office issues forecast on its web-page and warnings if conditions change to the worse.
  • Instructions from The Environment Agency of Iceland and Chief Epidemiologist can be found on their web-sites.
  • The Icelandic Met Office will publish forecasts for sulphuric gases dispersion on the web and in the national radio.
  • Information and any questions on air pollution can be sent to The Environment Agency through the email gos@ust.is. The Environment Agency is especially looking for information from people who have been in contact with high concentrations of gas; where they were, at what time it happened, how the gas cloud looked (colour and thickness of the cloud) and how they were affected by it.
Three scenarios are considered most likely:
  • The eruption on Holuhraun declines gradually and subsidence of the Bardarbunga caldera stops.
  • Large-scale subsidence of the caldera occurs, prolonging or strengthening the eruption on Holuhraun. In this situation, it is likely that the eruptive fissure would lengthen southwards under Dyngjujokull, resulting in a jokulhlaup and an ash-producing eruption. It is also possible that eruptive fissures could develop in another location under the glacier.
  • Large-scale subsidence of the caldera occurs, causing an eruption at the edge of the caldera. Such an eruption would melt large quantities of ice, leading to a major jokulhlaup, accompanied by ash fall.
Other scenarios cannot be excluded.

From the Icelandic Met Office: The Aviation Colour Code for Bardarbunga remains at ‘orange’.

source

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Eruption at Barðabunga Volcano (2 Videos)



Oct 1, 2014
 
DJI's first video in a series called "DJI Feats" takes you to the remote wilderness of an erupting Icelandic volcano, where Phantom 2 quadcopters are used to capture viewpoints of an exploding magma caldera too dangerous to be approached by manned aircraft.

Barðarbunga volcano research


 

Cambridge Earth Sciences Ph.D. student talks about what it's like to see a volcano erupt up close & personal.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The reason why last night's surveillance of Holuhraun at Barðarbunga was so dismal is because...

IT SNOWED!

Mount Ontake surprise eruption on Nagano-Gifu border kills hiker, wounds 46 (Video & Images)


Reuters, Kyodo, AFP-JIJI



Mount Ontake, a volcano straddling Nagano and Gifu prefectures, erupted on Saturday, spewing ash and small rocks into the air, killing a female hiker, leaving at least 16 people unconscious and 30 others seriously injured, and stranding more than 40 on the mountain, officials and media said.

Following the eruption at 11:53 a.m., a thick, rolling gray cloud of ash rose high into the sky above the mountain close to where hikers were taking pictures, TV footage showed. Hikers and residents were warned of falling rock and ash within a radius of 4 km.

Rescue headquarters on the Nagano side of the mountain said it had received information from rescue workers that a female hiker was killed in the eruption. Further details, including her identity or cause of death, were not yet available.

A Nagano prefectural official said at least 16 other people were unconscious, based on information gathered from mountain lodges where people were seeking shelter. There were also indications that more than 30 hikers were seriously wounded.

At one point, more than 250 hikers had been stranded on the mountain, which is 3,067 meters high. But some 200 managed to descend by Saturday evening, police said. The remainder were forced to spend the night on the mountain until rescue work resumed Sunday morning.

Nagano police sent an 80-strong team to assist climbers who were making their way down the mountain, while Kiso Prefectural Hospital, near Ontake, said it had dispatched a medical emergency team. “We expect a lot of injured people so we are now getting ready for their arrival,” said an official at the hospital.

The Meteorological Agency said the volcano, about 200 km west of Tokyo, erupted just before midday and sent ash pouring down the mountain’s south slope for more than 3 km. The agency is forecasting further eruptions that may affect people living around the base of the mountain.

No signs of any lava were seen in the TV report, but the footage showed dozens of hikers covered with ash hurriedly descending the mountain. Climbers reaching the bottom points of one trail grasped each other with joy and relief to have made it down. “I barely escaped,” a local resident told NHK. “Immediately after I watched the eruption, I ran away from it but I was soon covered with ash, which piled up to some 20 cm.”

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who returned from the United States on Saturday, said he had issued instructions to mobilize the military to help in the rescue effort. “We are still trying to figure out details. I instructed that everything possible be done to rescue the people affected and secure the safety of the trekkers,” Abe told reporters.

The eruption also forced aircraft to divert their routes, although officials at Tokyo’s Haneda airport and Japan Airlines Co. said there were no disruptions to flights in and out of the capital.
More than five hours after the initial eruption, the thick ash cloud showed no signs of abating, NHK TV showed. “It was like thunder,” a woman interviewed by NHK said. “I heard ‘boom, boom,’ then everything went dark.”

Mount Ontake’s last major eruption was in 1979, when it emitted over 200,000 tons of ash. It experienced a minor eruption in 1991 and triggered multiple volcanic earthquakes in 2007.
With a relatively easy climb, lodges along the way and a ropeway running part of the way to the summit, the mountain is popular with outdoor enthusiasts for its autumn scenery, drawing large crowds in late September and October, according to the local tourism association.

“It’s all white outside, looks like it has snowed. There is very bad visibility and we can’t see the top of the mountain,” Mari Tezuka, who works at a mountain hut for trekkers, said. “All we can do now is shut up the hut and then we are planning on coming down. … This is a busy season because of the changing autumn leaves. It’s one of our busiest seasons.”

source
 

 Found on Twitter @MM; shot taken 1 minute before surprise eruption

 Found on Twitter @MM; the eruption as it happened




Monday, September 22, 2014

Holuhraun at Barðarbunga September 21, 22, 2014 (Video & Images)



The eruption continues with chunks of lava pushed from the spatter cone on the night of September 21, 2014.

 

However, the next night, curtains of lava shoot from the eruption site, intensified from the previous night. What a sight this display produced.

Here are some stills from the same night:







Sunday, September 21, 2014

Especially if you're in Iceland, don't be a putz

Disregarding closures 'life-threatening'

Flokkar: Volcano
A depression observed in the glacier. Photo: Thordis Hognadottir.
Icelandic authorities reiterate that disregarding closures around the eruption site north of Vatnajokull glacier can be life-threatening. Six new off-road trails, created by tourists, were found Saturday in the vicinity of the eruption.
The ongoing lava eruption, located at Holuhraun, an ice-free area north of the subglacial Bardarbunga volcano, shows no signs of diminishing. The lava now covers around 37 square kilometers, equal to around 60% of Manhattan.

The most dangerous place in Iceland

Dead birds, killed by the pollution from the eruption, have been found in the area. Vidir Reynisson, head of the National Police Commissioner's Departement of Civil Protection, stresses that there is a reason for the extensive closures around the eruption. He urges the public to respect closures. "This is the most dangerous place in Iceland, and people have to show caution, and we simply must ask people to think a little before they act."

Great ashfall to be expected

Reynisson says that the course of events has few parallels. Another eruption might suddenly start under the glacier, south of the current eruption, with ensuing flooding and extensive ashfall. Depressions which have been observed in the glacier are among the evidence pointing to that scenario, he adds. "If we assume that the eruption under the glacier would be a relatively small one, then a lot of ash should be expected in a 20-25 km radius (12-15 mi)." He explains that the density of the ash would be so high that people would not see out of the windshields of their cars.

Saving numerous people 'impossible'

Reynisson says that scientists and others working in the field are putting themselves in great danger. Authorities expect to be able to evacuate the 20-30 people who normally work near the eruption, but he says it would be impossible to rescue a great number of people in time.

Holuhraun eruption still stable after three weeks

No significant changes have been obvserved in the Holuhraun eruption. The output of lava has been stable for the three weeks since the eruption started, which is unusual, says Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson, professor of geophysicics at the University of Iceland, who has been working in the field for the past week. "This eruption keeps getting larger, and you need to go back to the Surtsey eruption to find something similar," Gudmundsson says, referring to the total volume of lava produced by the eruption. In 1963-1967, a submarine eruption formed a new island at Surtsey, south of Iceland.

Bardarbunga keeps shaking and sinking

Seismic activity in the Bardarbunga caldera is still intensive. Sunday morning, a M5.5 earthquake struck the volcano, one of the biggest quakes since the activity started in August. The largest earthquake to date was a M5.7 on 26 August.
Numerous earthquakes of magnitude 3.0 or above were detected Saturday and Sunday. The caldera has subsided by 26 m (85 ft) in the last few weeks, and a subsidence of 25 cm (10 in) was observed in tandem with the M5.5 earthquake Sunday morning.
This graph shows the subsidence of the Bardarbunga caldera in meters in the last two days. The graph at the bottom shows earthquakes in the area in the same period.



tryggvia@ruv.is
This story, by the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service (RUV), was updated on 21 September 2014, at 22:57 GMT.

source

New Madrid: The Earthquakes of 1811 - 1812


Friday, September 19, 2014

Holuhraun at Bárðarbunga, September 19 2014 (Videos)



Big change in eruption this evening at Holuhraun at Bárðarbunga; this is the long range video from the Mila webcam. The video below is the short range capture. Notice how hot the extruding lava is? That's the hottest I've seen of the eruption so far. Tomorrow, there should be news about what's happening tonight from the Icelandic vulcanologists.


Elemental Iceland (the video)


Northern Lights Appear Over Iceland's Bardarbunga


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Latest news on Barðarbunga at Holuhraun

Size of lava field today via LANDSAT.

14. september 2014 12:30 - from the Scientific Advisory Board

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 Scientific Advisory Board of the Icelandic Civil Protection. A representative from The Environment Agency of Iceland was also present.

Conclusions of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Icelandic Civil Protection:


The eruptive activity at Holuhraun continues at similar intensity. The lava flows at slower rates than it did yesterday. The lava is now spreading more to the sides and there is less visible activity is in the eruptive craters.

The subsidence of the Bárðarbunga caldera continues and is now up to 23 meters.
Scientists flying over the area saw new tongues of lava breaking out from the main lava stream towards the east and west. The largest one of these lava tongues stretches towards the east and had become 300 m wide and 2 km long at 18:00 yesterday. An eruption cloud reaches 4 km in height but lowers with distance from the eruption site.

Seismic activity is similar to what it has been in the past days but earthquakes are starting to go down in numbers and magnitude. Over 60 earthquakes have been detected since midnight. Most of them have been by Bárðarbunga and the dyke under Dyngjujökull. The biggest earthquake, of magnitude 4.0, was detected today at around 07:00 in the south of Bárðarbunga. Three other earthquakes of 3.0 in magnitude or more have been detected today.

GPS monitoring shows continuing subsidence in Bárðarbunga and insignificant crustal movements north of Vatnajökull around the dyke.
Air quality in urban areas in the East of Iceland:

High air pollution was detected yesterday in Egilsstaðir and Reyðarfjörður. Forecasts indicate that the gas cloud will blow towards the north in the next 24 hours. High concentrations of sulphuric gases can be expected in Mývatnssveit, Kelduhverfi, Tjörnes, Húsavík, Aðaldalur and Reykjahverfi.

Instructions:
  • People who feel discomfort are advised to stay indoors, close their windows, turn up the heat and turn off air conditioning. Use periods of good air quality to ventilate the house. Measurements of air quality can be found on the webpage www.loftgaedi.is The Meteorological Office issues forecast on its web-page and warnings if conditions change to the worse.
  • Instructions from the office of the Chief Epidemiologist and The Environment Agency can be found on their web-sites www.ust.is and www.landlaeknir.is
  • The Icelandic Met Office will read forecasts for sulphuric gases along with weather news on the national radio and TV.
  • The Environment Agency is working on getting more measuring equipment to better monitor the gases coming from the volcanic eruption.
  • Information and any questions on air pollution can be sent to The Environment Agency through the email gos@ust.is. The Environment Agency is especially looking for information from people who have been in contact with high concentrations of gas; where they were, at what time it happened, how the gas cloud looked (colour and thickness of the cloud) and how they were affected by it. In the near future, there will be a page on the IMO's webpage for this type of information.
Air quality at the eruption site:
  • Gas emissions at the eruption site remain high. As local gas concentrations at the site can be life threatening, people at the eruption site should wear gas masks and gas meters. At the eruption site, local wind anomalies can occur due to thermal convection from the hot lava. This makes the conditions on site extremely dangerous as winds can change suddenly and unpredictably. Scientists in the field have gas meters for their security.
Three scenarios are considered most likely:
  • Subsidence of the Bárðarbunga caldera stops and the eruption on Holuhraun declines gradually.
  • Large-scale subsidence of the caldera occurs, prolonging or strengthening the eruption on Holuhraun. In this situation, it is likely that the eruptive fissure would lengthen southwards under Dyngjujökull, resulting in a jökulhlaup and an ash-producing eruption. It is also possible that eruptive fissures could develop in another location under the glacier.
  • Large-scale subsidence of the caldera occurs, causing an eruption at the edge of the caldera. Such an eruption would melt large quantities of ice, leading to a major jökulhlaup, accompanied by ashfall.
Other scenarios cannot be excluded.

From the Icelandic Met Office: The Aviation Colour Code for Bárðarbunga remains at ‘orange' and the code for Askja is ‘green'.

source

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Bárðarbunga - updated information 09/13/2014

 
Panoramic view towards the eruptive site in Holuhraun 3rd September 2014. Photo: Richard Yeo.

13 September 2014 19:00 - from geoscientist on duty

Comparatively quiet at the eruptive front, 85 earthquakes have been detected. Most of them, 38, near the northern end of the intrusive dike but 22 in Bárðarbunga, 19 around Herðubreið and Herðubreiðartögl and 6 elsewhere in the country.
The largest earthquake of the day occurred at 07:58 this morning in the nortern part of Bárðarbunga, M4.9, and it was accompanied by ca. 25 cm lowering of the caldera according to the newly installed GPS meter there. In the afternoon, two earthquakes close to M3.5 occurred, both in Bárðarbunga. Other earthquakes have been smaller. According to scientists in the field the activity has diminished and the only crater which is active, is the one named Baugur.

13 September 2014 11:30 - from the Scientific Advisory Board

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 Scientific Advisory Board of the Icelandic Civil Protection. Representative from The Environment Agency of Iceland and the Chief Epidemiologist and the Directorate of Health, were also present.

Conclusions of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Icelandic Civil Protection:

  • The eruptive activity at Holuhraun and the the subsidence of the Bárðarbunga caldera floor continues at similar intensity.
  • The subsidence of the Bárðarbunga caldera and seismic activity continues the same as the last few days. The GPS station on top of Bárðarbunga shows a subsidence of the caldera around half a meter over the last 24 hours.
  • The volcanic eruption in Holuhraun is still ongoing with similar strength as last few days. Lava flows at similar rates as yesterday towards East into Jökulsá á Fjöllum.
  • The lava filed was measured yesterday afternoon to be 24,5 square kilometres.
  • Accumulated volume of the lava is now estimated to be at least 200 million cubic meters.
  • Gas cloud from the eruption drifts to the east. High level of SO2, sulphur dioxide, was measured at Reyðarfjörður last night around 10:00 o'clock. The highest value measured were just under 4000 micrograms per cubic meter. These are the highest values measured in Iceland. High level, 685 micrograms per cubic meter, was also measured in Egilsstaðir.
  • Warning was sent via the GSM system to all mobile phones in Fjarðarbyggð.
  •  Air quality in urban areas in the East of Iceland:
    • Forecasts indicate that high concentrations of sulphuric gases may be expected in the northern part of the Eastern fjords, Fljótsdalur, Hérað, Jökuldalur, and on Langanes. Forecast indicates that concentration may become higher later today. The Environment Agency will set up new monitoring stations in Akureyri and in South Iceland. Geographical conditions must be considered when estimating air quality.
  • Instructions:
    • People who feel discomfort are advised to stay indoors, close the windows, turn up the heat and turn off air conditioning. Use periods of good air quality to ventilate the house. Measurements of air quality can be found on a map from the Environment Agency. The Icelandic Met Office issues text forecasts and warnings in header if conditions change to the worse.
    • Some advise from The Environment Agency can be found on their web-site.
    • The Icelandic Met Office will read forecasts for sulphuric gases along with weather news on the national radio and TV.
    • The Environment Agency is working on getting more measuring equipment to better monitor the gases coming from the volcanic eruption.
  •  Air quality at the eruption site:
    • Gas emissions at the eruption site remain high. As local gas concentrations at the site can be life threatening, people at the eruption site should wear gas masks and gas meters. At the eruption site, local wind anomalies can occur due to thermal convection from the hot lava. This makes the conditions on site extremely dangerous as winds can change suddenly and unpredictably. Scientists in the field carry gas meters for their security.
    • Degassing from the volcanic eruption is now estimated to be up to 750 kg/sec.
  •  Three scenarios are considered most likely:
    • Subsidence of the Bárðarbunga caldera stops and the eruption on Holuhraun declines gradually.
    • Large-scale subsidence of the caldera occurs, prolonging or strengthening the eruption on Holuhraun. In this situation, it is likely that the eruptive fissure would lengthen southwards under Dyngjujökull, resulting in a jökulhlaup and an ash-producing eruption. It is also possible that eruptive fissures could develop in another location under the glacier.
    • Large-scale subsidence of the caldera occurs, causing an eruption at the edge of the caldera. Such an eruption would melt large quantities of ice, leading to a major jökulhlaup, accompanied by ashfall.
  • Other scenarios cannot be excluded.

 From the Icelandic Met Office:

The Aviation Colour Code for Bárðarbunga remains at ‘orange'.

13 September 2014 06:50 - from geoscientist on duty

Since midnight, around 20 earthquakes have been recorded in the north-west region of Vatnajökull. Earthquake locations are similar to recent days: in Bárðarbunga, in the dyke intrusion near to the edge of Dyngjujökull, and occasionally at Herðubreiðartögl. See maps (second image) and weekly overview. At 23:59 (12 Sept.), an earthquake of magnitude 4,7 occurred on the rim of the Bárðarbunga caldera. Web camera views of the eruption site during the night showed volcanic activity at similar levels to yesterday.

via the Icelandic Met Office

Stunning pictures of Barðarbunga erupting

  • Craters spit out lava as molten rock flows into a river in the stunning images taken over the Holuhraun lava fields   
  • Met Office issued a 'red alert' at the end of August after the Bardarbunga volcano experienced a 'small' eruption
  • Move echoed the Eyjafjallajokull ash cloud disaster which brought European air travel to standstill for six days in 2010
By Annabel Grossman for MailOnline
Dramatic images of the volcano Bardarbunga violently spewing lava and molton ash have emerged - suggesting that Iceland was quite right to ban all flights over the area.

Craters spit out lava as molten rock flows into a river in the stunning images taken over the Holuhraun lava fields in the Icelandic highlands.

The country's Met Office issued a 'red alert' at the end of August after the Bardarbunga volcano, which lies underneath the Vatnajökull glacier, experienced a 'small' eruption.

Craters spit out lava as molten rock flows into a river in the stunning images taken over the Holuhraun lava fields in the Icelandic highlands.
Craters spit out lava as molten rock flows into a river in the stunning images taken over the Holuhraun lava fields in the Icelandic highlands.

The  Met Office issued a 'red alert' at the end of August after the Bardarbunga volcano, which lies underneath the Vatnajökull glacier, experienced a 'small' eruption.
The Met Office issued a 'red alert' at the end of August after the Bardarbunga volcano, which lies underneath the Vatnajökull glacier, experienced a 'small' eruption.

The dramatic pictures of the Holuhraun eruption were taken from an altitude of 50-500m at twilight and with the stunning Aurora Borealis in the background
The dramatic pictures of the Holuhraun eruption were taken from an altitude of 50-500m at twilight and with the stunning Aurora Borealis in the background

Even though no volcanic ash was detected at the time, authorities took the unusual step of banning all flights in the airspace over the volcano. 

It was a move that echoed the Eyjafjallajokull ash cloud disaster which brought European air travel to a standstill for six days in 2010. 

More than 100,000 flights across Europe were cancelled when Eyjafjallajokull volcano spat ash some 30,000ft into the air, creating aviation chaos costing an estimated €1.26bn. 

Although the feared travel chaos has not materialised, new aerial photographs of the volcano in the Holuhraun lava field show that airlines were right to have been worried.

The dramatic images suggest that Iceland was quite right to ban all flights over the airspace in the area due to safety concerns
The dramatic images suggest that Iceland was quite right to ban all flights over the airspace in the area due to safety concerns

Access to the volcano on foot is currently restricted because of the dangerous gases released from the eruption and the risk of flooding due to melting glaciers.
Access to the volcano on foot is currently restricted because of the dangerous gases released from the eruption and the risk of flooding due to melting glaciers.

Even though no volcanic ash was initially spotted, authorities took the unusual step of banning all flights in the airspace over the volcano
Even though no volcanic ash was initially spotted, authorities took the unusual step of banning all flights in the airspace over the volcano

The Holuhraun eruption has caused frequent earthquakes in the region, but on the plus side it has also created some stunning images
The Holuhraun eruption has caused frequent earthquakes in the region, but on the plus side it has also created some stunning images

The dramatic pictures of the Holuhraun eruption were taken from an altitude of 50-500m at twilight and with the stunning Aurora Borealis in the background.
Access to the volcano on foot is currently restricted because of the dangerous gases released from the eruption and the risk of flooding due to melting glaciers. The Holuhraun eruption has caused frequent earthquakes in the region.

Bardarbunga is located under Iceland’s largest glacier and it has been rocked by thousands of earthquakes for nearly two weeks. A red warning code indicates that an eruption is imminent or underway, with a risk of ash.

Closing the airspace was a move that echoed the Eyjafjallajokull ash cloud disaster which brought European air travel to a standstill for six days in 2010
Closing the airspace was a move that echoed the Eyjafjallajokull ash cloud disaster which brought European air travel to a standstill for six days in 2010
There were fears that an eruption could disrupt air travel over Europe, and aviation authorities are still keeping a watchful eye on the situation
There were fears that an eruption could disrupt air travel over Europe, and aviation authorities are still keeping a watchful eye on the situation
Bardarbunga is located under Iceland¿s largest glacier and it has been rocked by thousands of earthquakes for nearly two weeks
Even from a distance evidence of the eruptions could be seen, creating  dramatic images for miles around
Bardarbunga is located under Iceland¿s largest glacier and it has been rocked by thousands of earthquakes for nearly two weeks
Bardarbunga is located under Iceland’s largest glacier and it has been rocked by thousands of earthquakes for nearly two weeks
A red warning code is the most severe and indicates that an eruption is imminent or underway, with a risk of ash.
A red warning code is the most severe and indicates that an eruption is imminent or underway, with a risk of ash.
The rumblings at Iceland's largest volcano system, which is covered by a several hundred meters thick glacier,  raised worries of a serious eruption
The rumblings at Iceland's largest volcano system, which is covered by a several hundred meters thick glacier, raised worries of a serious eruption
In the early hours of 29 August, a small fissure eruption occurred in the Holuhraun lava field and has moved progressively north
In the early hours of 29 August, a small fissure eruption occurred in the Holuhraun lava field and has moved progressively north
Anot­her fissure eruption occurred on 31 August in the same rift as the eruption which had occurred two days earlier, helping to create the stunning images seen here
Anot­her fissure eruption occurred on 31 August in the same rift as the eruption which had occurred two days earlier, helping to create the stunning images seen here