From Iceland — Bárðarbunga Volcano Watch: The Morning Edition

Bárðarbunga Volcano Watch: The Morning Edition

Published August 21, 2014

Nanna Árnadóttir
Photo by

Bárðarbunga volcano continues to rumble but as yet there is no eruption to report, so here is a round up last night’s news.

01:35 – An earthquake with a magnitude of 3 or higher struck the area around Bárðarbunga volcano around 11:30 pm last night, reports RÚV. Since midnight roughly 50 earthquakes have been reported and in total 1000 earthquakes were measured Wednesday. Scientists flying over Bárðarbunga yesterday confirmed that so far there are no changes to the glacial surface of the volcano.

20:56 – Kristján Jónsson, a geologist with the Icelandic Institute of Natural History, has said that although he cannot confirm it, he expects the ash from this eruption will be coarser than that of Eyjafjallajökull in 2010, meaning it may not effect the aviation industry as heavily. “The Eyjafjallajökull eruption was a mainly rhyolite eruption, with a mix of rhyolite and basalt,” Kristján told RÚV.  “The ash from that kind of eruption can be very different from the kind of eruption that occurs when mainly basalt comes up from under the glacier. The ash that came from Eyjafjallajökull was much finer and lighter, like flour that hung in the air much longer and travelled further.”

19:04- The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration has been calculating where to tear up roads by 3 major bridges north of the glacier in order to manipulate the flow of glacial flood water in the event of an eruption. The move would relieve the bridges from taking the brunt of the runoff. “The idea is to take some of the pressure off the bridges, to tear up the road around the bridges [rather than lose them],” surveyor Jón Erlendsson told RÚV.

17:32 – Tourists in the countryside around Mývatn are reportedly feeling anxious about the situation brewing in Vatnajökull glacier and the fact that Mývatn’s Tourist Information Centre was closed yesterday. About 2000 travellers visit Mývatn daily. Axel Aage Schiöth, a park ranger for the Environment Agency of Iceland told RÚV that there was “an unrest in some” and that the tourists’ family members abroad were also worried. “I’ve met a few people today who have gotten calls from their family back home telling them ‘Hey, come back home, a volcano is about to erupt in Iceland.’ People want to know what to do, and sure there’s a little panic but we have just been calming those people down,” said Axel.

16:28- Bárðarbunga, which translates to “Bárðar’s Bulge”, was named after a Norwegian man, reports RÚV.  The Norwegian Bárðar sailed to Iceland, docked his ship in Skjálfandafljótsós and settled in a nearby valley that was eventually named after him – Bárðardalur (Bárðar’s Valley). After realising it would be better to live further south, Bárðar moved his family. Bárðar’s route to the south of Iceland has since been known as Bárðargata (Bárðar’s Street) and he is assumed to have travelled over Vatnajökull to the West of where the volcano – which would then be named after him – was located.

Other Volcano Related Resources

Halldór Eldjárn has created a site charting the earthquakes around Bárðarbunga and their location by representing them through musical notes and the result is quite lovely.

You can keep an eye on the volcano yourself with this real-time feed of Bárðarbunga.

To help you plan and travel safely across Iceland, check out SafeTravel.

For information on  Civil Protection and Emergency Management in Iceland check out their site or the Civil Protection and Emergency Management in Iceland’ Facebook page.

For information on closed roads check out The Icelandic Road Administration.


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