A Grapevine service announcement Be patient: That eruption is expected to last until 2015
News
Elevated Caution Over Seismic Activity At Volcano Site

Elevated Caution Over Seismic Activity At Volcano Site

Photos by
Halldóra K. Unnarsdóttir

Published August 17, 2014

The Bárðarbunga volcano is now classified as “Code Yellow”, although there are no indications that magma has reached the surface.

According to a statement from the Icelandic Met Office, a cluster of earthquakes at and around the Bárðarbunga volcano – on the roughly northwest corner of Vatnajökull glacier – have been recorded and have been ongoing since about 3:00 August 16. To wit:

Long-term seismic and GPS data indicate that there is increased unrest in the northwestern region of Vatnajökull glacier, where Bárðarbunga is located.

Over the last seven years seismic activity has been gradually increasing in Bárðarbunga and the fissure swarm north of the volcano. This activity dropped down at the Grímsvötn eruption in May 2011, but soon after, the activity started to gradually increase again and has now reached similar level of activity to that just before the Grímsvötn eruption. Earlier this year, in the middle of May 2014, there was a small swarm of over 200 events and now the present swarm has already generated at least 300 earthquakes.

Since early June 2014, displacements at GPS stations around Vatnajökull (Hamarinn, Grímsfjall, Vonarskarð and Dyngjuháls) show an increased upward movement and away from Bárðarbunga.

Together, these two systems indicate magma movements in Bárðarbunga.

However, the Met Office emphasises that, as of 23:00 August 16, “there is no unequivocal indication that magma has reached the surface”.

As a precautionary measure, Bárðarbunga is now classified as Code Yellow by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) colour system. Specifically, code yellow means “Volcano is exhibiting signs of elevated unrest above known background level.”

Bárðarbunga is a powerful volcano which last erupted in the late 19th century. While seismic activity at the site of the volcano is cause for concern, the situation has not yet reached dangerous levels nor is an eruption necessarily imminent.

UPDATE: This just in from the Civil Protection and Emergency Management in Iceland:

Regarding earthquake swarm in northern part of Vatnajökull glacier.

Situation today, 17th of august at 19:00

There was a meeting this morning with the Department of Civil Protection and emergency management, Icelandic met office and the Institute of Earth Sciences to go over the situation. The earthquake swarm is still ongoing and the intensity is concentrated to the north and east of the Bárðarbunga caldera, beneath Vatnajökull glacier. GPS measurements confirm that magma is intruding within the Bárðarbunga volcanic system. At the moment there are no indications that eruption has started.

Scientist have increased monitoring of the area and the local authorities have reviewed their response plans.

At the moment a helicopter from the Icelandic Coast Guard is in the area carrying scientist and people from the department of Civil Protection. Their objective is to install more seismic monitors and webcams in the area for increased monitoring.

The Police Commissioner of Húsavík has decided to close Gæsavatnaleið road and other highland roads east of Skjálfandafljót up to Askja. The road to Herðubreiðarlindir (F88) has also been closed due to potential flooding in the area following an eruption.

The above image is of the 2011 eruption of Grímsvötn.


News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Police Fail To Withhold Names And Identities

by

Police have disclosed an internal report about its actions and organization during public demonstrations in the advent and aftermath of the 2008 ecomonic crash, including events related to the uprising known as the “kitchenware revolution”. This is in accordance to a ruling made by the Information Access Complaint Board last week. The board ruled that the report should be disclosed as demanded by author and activist Eva Hauksdóttir since 2012, while the identity, names and addresses of various individuals and officers involved should be withheld. After distributing three copies of the report to select media outlets, the Police were made

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

110 Earthquakes In 24 Hours

by

Vísir reports that, during 24 hours from Friday morning to early Saturday, 110 earthquakes were measured in and around Bárðarbunga. Seven of those measured at or over magnitude 4 on the Richter-scale. The biggest in the series was of magnitude 5.2 shortly before two o’clock Saturday morning. Bárðarbunga has been in eruption for close to two months now, or since August 29th. Twenty minor earthquakes were measured around mount Herðubreið, none over magnitude 2.

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Gas Pollution Blows West on Saturday, East on Sunday

by

The Met Office predicts volcanic gas pollution around the Western, North-Western and South-Western coasts and inlands on Saturday. On Sunday gas pollution is expected on the Southern-East coast and inlands. The Met Office has introduced an online interactive visualizer of its gas pollution forecast model. The Met Office warns that this model is still in development and that predicted levels of SO2 output are imprecise.

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Pasha’s 4th Day on Hunger Strike

by

Today, Adam Ibrahim Pasha concludes the fourth day of his hunger strike, which commenced Tuesday. The hunger strike is in protest of the Directorate of Immigration’s (UTL’s) recent decision not to review his application for asylum. Pasha says he will rather die than be deported. Earlier today, he said he felt weak and in need of hospital care. Social services will supposedly visit him today, but at the time of this writing it remained unclear if they would be accompanied by a doctor. [Update:] Pasha was visited by social services today, as well as medical staff, which arrived by ambulance.

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Former PM Regrets 1968 Racist Remarks

by

Former Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde says that regrets and feels ashamed by racist remarks he made in a school paper at the age of 17. Geir’s article, “Maladies in our Society” resurfaced earlier this year. Its final paragraphs consist of explicitly racist remarks, including: “… I want to mention the highly increased blood-mixing of people of color and Icelanders. I think that such mixing is, to say the least, highly undesirable and unhealthy. The results of mistakes made by nitwits in these matters can be horrendous.” And so on. When the paper came under public scrutiny, last January, Geir

News
<?php the_title(); ?>

Blacked Out Street Lights For Better View Of Northern Lights

by

An employee of a travel service recently extinguished all street lighting by Kleppjárnsreykir, in the inlands of Borgarfjörður, by aiming a flashlight at their light-sensor controller. Apparently he did this to give a group of tourists a clearer view of the northern lights at play. According to Skessuhorn, a local news medium, this created great danger for the people who stood on the road to observe the sky, insufficiently visible to drivers, in the dark. Police authorities in Borgarfjörður received a complaint about the incident. The rhapsodic tourist guide told police that he had taken care that the travellers did

Show Me More!