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
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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.