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Bárðarbunga and Askja - Volcanic Activity


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I am still trying to understand what is happening here but there does seem to be a little confusing information going on. Before I express any thoughts, understand that I am not a volcanologist and th

Did you see the beautiful picture with the eruption glow and northern lights giving surreal lighting effects.   The eruption seen from Jökulsarlón south of Vatnajökull glacier.  (Martin Schultz,

This is my favourite (from elsewhere) to date - very atmospheric.  

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Yeah,and Krakatoa is much smaller than Bardabunga,which is why i have my optimism,iceland is mostly one big volcano as i see it.

 

 

there is absolutely no way anything like that could happen in Iceland it just isn't possible you might get a slide from a volcano near the coast but even that is quite minimal that this would happen but the whole island breaking up is ludicrous to say the least and there is no chance of anything happening here this looks like it is going to be a fissure eruption if anything which is just a crack opening up in the earth we would get some ash because of ice and water interaction but nothing really explosive or destructive just lots of lava gases and ash but the ash probably wouldn't get too high and be more of a surface thing and even if bardarbunga caldera blew there wouldn't be anything to do anything like is being talked about.

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That's odd still shows as around 4.1 on here http://en.vedur.is/earthquakes-and-volcanism/earthquakes/vatnajokull/ 

 

(Edit: written before seeing Crepuscular Ray's post but still quite a difference) 

Edited by Evening thunder
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Some posts been deleted I'm sure they are some missing?

Anyway no more big ones since the 5.1 of Yesterday. Quakes are also at much lower level this morning. This could mean that magma has found an easier path or that the input has slowed reducing the pressure.

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That's odd still shows as around 4.1 on here http://en.vedur.is/earthquakes-and-volcanism/earthquakes/vatnajokull/ 

 

(Edit: written before seeing Crepuscular Ray's post but still quite a difference) 

And the USGS have it as 5.7 and 5.0 km down. Presumably data are still being processed as it only happened a few hours ago.

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Yeah,and Krakatoa is much smaller than Bardabunga,which is why i have my optimism,iceland is mostly one big volcano as i see it.

Not quite, it contains a number of volcanic systems which in most instances work as separate entities, but have the potential to link during more extensive eruptive cycles as seems to be the indication with Bardabunga at the moment.  However, there are a number of peaks that have now moved well away from the rifting zone and are unlikely to erupt again, thus we would not have the whole of Iceland erupting as a single giant eruption that would lead to a tsunami.  The only conceivable way in which a tsunami might be generated from an eruption is if we had a cataclysmic eruption from Surtsey or the Vesteman Islands or caldera collapse at these locations, both of which are unlikely at present as they have not formed calderas and are not characterised by explosive eruptions.  I don't know of any other volcanoes that drop directly into the Atlantic on Iceland.

 

 

(EDIT:  That'll teach me to reply without refreshing the screen properly, Buried under snow has hit the nail on the head with his reply earlier this morning).

Edited by Moomin71
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Nothing of any size for the last few hours.  But some of those tremors over 5 must have shaken things up quite a bit.

 

This could go on months before anything substantial happens, but the longer it goes on, the more likely that when it happens it will be a noteworthy event.

 

Interesting read about Mount St Helens posted by JP earlier, to have a pyroclastic flow almost break  the speed of sound must have been incredibly frightening if you were anywhere near it.

 

I think a phreatic eruption is the greatest concern, that would be likely to put a lot of ash into the air.  In previous eruptions the degassing of the lava has caused problems, do we know if this is a heavily gassed lava?  It's not something we can really check

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Seems to me this is indicative of the magma chamber beneath Bárðarbunga emptying out, as the magma rushes out into the dyke to the NE the cavity left behind is gradually causing the caldera above to sink. Each one of the +5 quakes being in the caldera's edge at a shallow depth. Expect to see more +5 quakes in the next day with even bigger ones to come as more of the caldera sinks into itself.

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Seems to me this is indicative of the magma chamber beneath Bárðarbunga emptying out, as the magma rushes out into the dyke to the NE the cavity left behind is gradually causing the caldera above to sink. Each one of the +5 quakes being in the caldera's edge at a shallow depth. Expect to see more +5 quakes in the next day with even bigger ones to come as more of the caldera sinks into itself.

Yes quite right Snow, it would be interesting to see if there's any settlement data or gravity data from Bardabunga to see if it backs that up, the link below shows some GPS data

 

http://volcanocafe.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/bardarbunga-nature-of-the-beast/

 

But its not from Bardabunga specifically and a few days old now.

 

Activity does seem to be tailing off but just spotted that there was a 3.3 at 30km depth  about 12:30, could this be a fresh pulse of magma??

 

M

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M4.8 not too long ago. For the past few days all of the larger earthquakes have been confined to a different area than where the majority of the earthquakes have been. This one on the other hand is with the rest of them, and looks like the biggest one we've seen in that area (atleast for a few days)

 

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And the USGS have it as 5.7 and 5.0 km down. Presumably data are still being processed as it only happened a few hours ago.

 

Yes I posted in response to Buriedundersnow's post but saw yours afterwards as we both posted at the same time,

 

Was just intrigued that estimates can vary that much, apparently a M5.7 earthquake releases 251 times more energy than a M4.1! according to this: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/topics/calculator.php 

 

Interesting to have it upgraded to 5.7 on the Icelandic Met Office site, even that releases nearly 4 times as much energy than the 5.3's we've had. 

 

I wonder if it means anything or just continued subsidence as mentioned above, and also whether that 4.6 in the dyke or the 3.3 at about 30km (deeper than what we've seen) means anything much.

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Yes I posted in response to Buriedundersnow's post but saw yours afterwards as we both posted at the same time,

 

Was just intrigued that estimates can vary that much, apparently a M5.7 earthquake releases 251 times more energy than a M4.1! according to this: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/topics/calculator.php 

 

Interesting to have it upgraded to 5.7 on the Icelandic Met Office site, even that releases nearly 4 times as much energy than the 5.3's we've had. 

 

I wonder if it means anything or just continued subsidence as mentioned above, and also whether that 4.6 in the dyke or the 3.3 at about 30km (deeper than what we've seen) means anything much.

I think the 4.6 in the dyke and the 3.3 at 30km could be another pulse of magma coming in from depth.  That idea will be better supported if there are any more of that magnitude anywhere in the dyke and any further ones at depth.  If I'm right it may also be indicating the magma is going straight for the dyke and bypassing Bardabunga.  The link John Pike posted has some good information, interesting to see the dyke is now 10km north of the ice cap, although the depth of the activity is not pointing to eruption yet if it does happen it seems more than likely it will be at least in part in the open, watch for an increase in very shallow activity.

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Just looked up where Askja is as it's been mentioned a few times.  That swarm is getting quite close

 

Positions from Wikipedia

Askja 1516 4974 Posted Image65.03°N 16.75°W     Bárðarbunga 2005 6515 Posted Image64.64°N 17.56°W

 

 

Swarm started @ approx 64.64N 17.15W

Now at 64.95N 16.90 W

 

Someone will have to get Google maps out to work out how far to the Askja Fissure swarm

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Yes quite right Snow, it would be interesting to see if there's any settlement data or gravity data from Bardabunga to see if it backs that up, the link below shows some GPS data

 

http://volcanocafe.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/bardarbunga-nature-of-the-beast/

 

But its not from Bardabunga specifically and a few days old now.

 

Activity does seem to be tailing off but just spotted that there was a 3.3 at 30km depth  about 12:30, could this be a fresh pulse of magma??

 

M

 

Some GPS data on this page.

 

http://strokkur.raunvis.hi.is/~sigrun/#VATN

 

New one located at the start of activity 20/8/14 is GSIG.

 

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Yesterday, Allseasons-SI posted a couple of photos from the Kverkfjoll cam, mentioning the loss of snow.

 

Today, the bottom left of the current Kverkfjoll cam image shows a significant region of exposed rock that was completely snow covered yesterday.

 

http://volcams.malinpebbles.com/pubweb/Iceland.htm

 

Now i'm not sure if this is some orographic cloud sat on top of the glacier..... but at the moment it looks like a section of ice has collapsed away in the upper section of the cam. I can now see what looks like an ice cliff across the whole width of the cam that wasn't there yesterday. But like I say, it's dificult to see if it's just some cloud sat on top of the glacier. There is definitely a reduced amount of snow on the slope underneath though.

 

Edit: After 30 mins of watching the cam, I think my snow cliff has moved slightly. So i'm thinking it may be cloud :( So disregard the second part of the above post,

Edited by Alby Back
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