From Iceland — Water Level Rising, No Sign of Volcano

Water Level Rising, No Sign of Volcano

Published November 2, 2010

While water flowing down from the Gígjukvísl area continues to rise, there is as yet no sign of a volcano, but there are indications of geothermal activity behind the flooding.
As has been reported, seismic activity was reported in the Grímsvötn area over the weekend, and there has been increasing melting glacial ice. Melting glacial waters coming through the Gígjukvísl area had increased from 140 cubic meters a second midday Monday to 455 cubic meters per second by noon yesterday and 630 cubic meters per second at 17:30 the same day.
Today, the National Weather Service is reporting that the water level continues to rise, and is showing signs of geothermal heat in the water. Grapevine volcanologist James Ashworth emphasizes that “there is some additional melting going on if the surface temperature beneath the ice is rising, but it will probably be a relatively small effect. The water flow rate is largely rising because the ice dam keeping the waters in the lake is slowly breaking apart, creating a larger and larger hole from which the water can escape.”
Having said that, measurements of increasing pressure and seismic activity in the area are showing similarities to levels recorded before the 2004 eruption. Icelandic officials do not believe that there will be anything more than a small eruption, if at all.
While a large chunk of ice carried by the melting waters smashed into a high tension cable tower, knocking out all electricity in the town of Kirkjubæjarklaustur yesterday, no other damages have been reported.

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