From Iceland — Eruption Report #3

Eruption Report #3

Published March 23, 2010

Eruption Report #3
Photo by
James Ashworth












The eruption continues to rumble on, with continuing quite spectacular fissure eruption activity. The fissure actually expanded yesterday, hence the confusion around its size – it stretched to become approximately 2 km long, about doubling in length. It will probably start to ‘squeeze’ if it hasn’t already, with the fire fountains eventually coming from isolated vents rather than an elongated fissure.

As of about 9pm yesterday, I believe the lava is flowing both north and south, and the northernmost flow was about 5 kilometres from Þórsmörk. I assume it is still moving that way, so I’ll update you with the latest as I find out what’s going on.

As for the ‘new mountain’ that is forming: that is basically media spin, but it’s not entirely untrue. A row of ‘scoria cones’ is forming along the fissure, made up of small lava fragments from the fire fountains. This could reach a few hundred meters high, potentially – think of something like Eldfell or Helgafell on Vestmannaeyjar. It’s not going to form anything like upturned boat-shaped Hekla overnight, though!

A group of friends and I took a trip out to see it last night, and a break in the weather allowed some pretty spectacular views (see photos above and below). Of course, strong gales and horizontal rain eventually caused us to have to bail, but until then it was quite a show despite the hassle of actually getting there without destroying our 4×4, and well worth it for the pictures. Hopefully I’ll get some more soon, with another one or two trips pending, including one at the weekend to possibly capture it with the (notoriously fickle) Northern Lights. If I manage to get that on film, you’ll see it!
Until next time!


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