From Iceland — Geldingadalsgos' Crater Now Drops Lava Bombs

Geldingadalsgos’ Crater Now Drops Lava Bombs

Published May 4, 2021

Alina Maurer
Photo by
Art Bicnick

Just like a kid with a tantrum, Geldingadalsgos’ infamous crater number 5 – the most powerful one at the eruption site – has started shooting chunks of lava. The lava bits were up to 15 centimeters in size and occurred just after the volcanic activity changed over the weekend. RÚV reported of several examples where people had to seek refuge when the bombs landed far from the crater.

Enlarged danger zone

The change in activity caused lava jets, shooting up to 300 meters into the air. Sara Barsotti, a director of volcanic eruptions at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, told Vísir in an interview that the danger area needs to be enlarged after the changes in activity on Sunday.

According to the draft the new, enlarged danger zone will be up to 650 meters around crater number five, when wind speed rises to 15 meters per second. The danger area is expected to be somewhat smaller in a calmer wind direction, or about 400 meters. Sara advises people to be careful, as lava chunks can be fired further. Work is already underway to change the hiking trail, currently in parts still in the danger zone.

What causes the phenomenon is unclear

At the moment, it is difficult to say what caused the change in activity, but according to the Icelandic Meteorological Office, changes in magma and gases are being monitored. Sara Barsotti states, “We are collecting data and reviewing it, but it is not yet clear why we are seeing these changes”. Scientists have not found any particular reason for this change in behavior, but it is known that a certain gas blows up the jets.

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