From Iceland — Holuhraun Reaches River, Steam Plumes Reported

Holuhraun Reaches River, Steam Plumes Reported

Published September 8, 2014

Nanna Árnadóttir
Photo by
Institute of Earth Sciences

Lava from the Holuhraun eruption has reached the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum, reports the Institute of Earth Sciences.

Geologist Þorvaldur Þórðarson confirms that steam is rising from the site where the lava is in contact with the river, though no explosive activity has been reported as yet.

According to the Icelandic Meteorological Office the steam clouds generated by the contact measure upwards of 3-4 kilometres high – directed north-northeast.

bardarbunga caldera drop pic

This map courtesy of the Institute of Earth Sciences shows that the Bárðarbunga caldera has sunk by approximately 15 metres since it was last measured on September 5th.

According to the Icelandic Meteorological Office seismic activity yesterday was concentrated around the Bárðarbunga caldera which was the site of the largest earthquakes with a magnitude of 4.6 and 5.4 respectively

Overall however, there were fewer earthquakes measured yesterday than the day before, 155 in all.

Scientists in the field report that lava fountaining in the northernmost part of the north-fissure has ended. However the central craters are still extremely active.

Scientists have also documented a great deal of “Pele’s Hair” (known in Icelandic as Witches Hair or Nornahár). Pele’s hair is volcanic glass threads or fibres formed when small particles of molten material are thrown into the air and spun out by the wind into long hair-like strands. They can be as long as 2 metres and are commonly found downwind from active vents.

To see more pictures of the volcano, check out the Grapevine’s photo gallery with pictures by Axel Sigurðarson.

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