Bárðarbunga Developments Gathering

Bárðarbunga Area Sees Greater Seismic Activity

Published August 28, 2014

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Tobias Dürig/TF-SIF

Seismic activity at and around the Bárðarbunga volcano has prompted authorities to call an urgent meeting to assess the situation. There is still no confirmation of an eruption.

Earlier this evening, Tobias Dürig tweeted a photo of fissures in Holuhraun, next to Dyngjujökull, and southeast of Bárðarbunga, taken by a TF-SIF surveillance plane. Vísir reports the fissures are four to six kilometres long, and ten to fifteen metres deep. As Civil Protection in Iceland announced:

“Scientists from the Icelandic Earth Science Institute, the Icelandic Meteorological Office and representatives from the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management were on a flight observing the surface of Vatnajökull tonight and discovered a row of 10-15 m deep cauldrons, 1 km wide, south of the Bárðarbunga caldera. They form a 6-4 km long line. The cauldrons have been formed as a result of melting, possibly an eruption, uncertain when. Heightened tremor level/volcanic tremor has not been observed on Meteorological Office´s seismometers at the moment. The area is on the watershed line between north Vatnajökull and south Vatnajökull. The new data are still being examined. The Crisis Coordination Centre in Skógarhlíð has been activated.”

MBL reports there is still no confirmation that an eruption is in progress. The Civil Protection Science Board “is meeting now to consult on the issue.”

The news comes on the heels of earlier reports from RÚV of a 4.5 magnitude earthquake near Askja, stating, “Models of the intrusion, based on GPS measurements of land deformation and earthquake resolutions, indicate that about 20 million m³ of magma have entered the intrusion over the last 24 hours; 3-400 million m³ since the beginning of the episode, on Aug. 16. The intrusion also seems to have caused considerable stress in the bedrock over a large area, including the vicinity of Askja.”

An annoucement on whether or not an eruption is in progress is still pending.

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