Monday, September 1, 2014

Holuhraun Eruption, Bárðarbunga or the little volcano that could

Just when you think a volcano has exhausted itself, it suddenly taps into new magma and the eruption perks up again. That's been the story at Holuhraun for the past few days. What began as an outgassing event 5 days ago has now been ripping through a dike near Bárðarbunga and making for some spectacular video. I'm already addicted to the cams set up by Mila and enjoying the fact that every time someone says that the eruption is diminishing, the dike shoots out fresh magma in a spectacular display.

Here's the latest specs on the eruption from Icelandic Met Office:

1st September 2014 19:00 - from geoscientist on duty
Since midnight over 700 earthquakes have been detected automatically which is somewhat fewer than in the past few days. The main activity is in the dyke. Two earthquakes occurred by the northern rim of the Bardarbunga caldera, at 08:58 AM M5.0 and 11:41 AM M5.3. Over 140 earthquakes were detected by Herðubreiðartögl, NE of Askja volcano. A few earthquakes were detected near Askja.

And now for today's best shots (so far):
 This image was capped during Iceland's sunrise, and after a very wild night, the eruption appeared to be diminishing.
 Later in the early afternoon, steam and ash began to thicken.
 Still later, the steam and ash turned darker.
 By sunset, the ash cloud became a dark mass lit by glowing lava below.
 And this is the most recent image at 6pm CST; the lava appears to be more focused in one area tonight.

And now for last night's eruption, I capped two videos from the Mila's Barðarbunga Cam 2. The first one is indicative of the majority of the night's eruption, but at 11:30PM CST, only 30 minutes later, Holuhraun became even more effusive with massive amounts of "slabby pahoehoe" ejected.. What a night for Icelandic geoscientists!


  1. So far this material does not seem to be the right type of stuff to generate a threat to high altitude jet airplane traffic in the Atlantic Basin and Europe.

  2. The map I saw last night that showed where restrictive air travel presently occurs lies to the north of Barðarbunga in the shape of an isosceles triangle, with the point aimed at the volcanic eruption. So, air travel is somewhat restrictive, but not enough to cancel flights. Yet. :-)