Published March 27, 2010
Another day, another report. Not a huge amount to say today, as the eruption carries on its merry way, not stopping or even slowing down, it seems. Nonetheless, there are a couple of points of interest that are worth mentioning today.
Firstly, a second beautiful lava fall has formed and is flowing down into Hvannargil valley. Various media outlets have gotten some stunning close-up footage of this, which is well worth checking out. Unfortunately, the Grapevine is not one of them. But look around. The first lava flow appears to have stopped flowing completely at the moment, going on steam activity – the big plume it was generating seems to have disappeared.
On a less visible and more theoretical note, it would seem that the volcano has begun to inflate once again. I reported back in the fourth report that GPS readings were showing that the mountain had begun to deflate, which would most likely correspond to a decrease in pressure within (i.e. more lava leaving than magma was being introduced from below). However, this short-lived trend seems to have reversed. More data is needed to see what is really going on, but if the current activity is doing nothing to relieve building pressure within the system, then things could change. Could another fissure open up? Could something else happen? Impossible to tell, but I wouldn’t rule it out. If the inflation trend continues then access to the volcano could be limited once again in case of further developments.
Bear in mind that this is all conjecture. Nothing may change, and the eruption could continue for months. It could equally well stop tomorrow. Or the top could theoretically blow off the volcano, no matter how unlikely that is. Nothing is ever certain in volcanology, which is one of the things that makes it so fascinating.
And of course, for everyone who isn’t so involved in the science, it will always provide a breathtaking spectacle. Enjoy it while you have the chance to witness something so amazing!
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