From Iceland — Daily Volcano Briefing: Eruption Has Subsided To A Simmer

Daily Volcano Briefing: Eruption Has Subsided To A Simmer

Published August 19, 2022

Photo by
Emma Ledbetter

The volume of lava flow at Meradalir is less than one third of what it was when it started about two weeks ago, reports RÚV.

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Volcanologist Þorvaldur Þórðarson says it is impossible to say how this will develop, but he thinks it is likely the eruption will continue to simmer, potentially for months.

“My sense is that it has reached some kind of equilibrium so that it can continue to simmer there for quite some time. Maybe a few days, weeks or even months,” says Þorvaldur.

The activity of the eruption has also changed: the power of each pulse has increased and the magma is blowing higher into the air than before, reports RÚV.

“The crater is almost brimming with lava. This accumulation of magma in the crater holds back the eruption so that it builds up more. Then a pulse comes up and we get magma plumes with little pulses until it quiets for a while. So it’s as if the eruption is going into this cascade activity that the 2021 eruption went into,” says Þorvaldur.

It is unlikely the lava will flow out of Meradalir and toward Suðurstrandavegur and the ocean, which was an early concern.

“The lava flow is primarily limited to the crater area itself,” says Þorvaldur. “With such low productivity I think it is very unlikely that the lava will reach beyond Meradalir.”

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