Since December 22, no activity has been measured at the the site of the Sundhnúkar eruption on the Reykjanes Peninsula. Despite the young volcano having cooled down, increased magma intrusion has recently been recorded at Svartsengi, a few kilometres from the eruption site.
Estimates report that by the new year, the amount of magma at Svartsengi will be of similar volume as when Sundhnúkar erupted. In conversation with RÚV, University of Iceland professor of geophysics Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson said that the next eruption might be closer to Grindavík — and it might erupt in a few weeks. He advocates the construction of defensive barriers, which the Grindavík municipal council supports.
According to the Met Office, more than 730 tremors were recorded around the magma channel since December 22, with ground uplift at Svartsengi accelerating at a similar rate as the onset of the Sundhnúkar eruption on December 18.
The situation in Grindavík is classified in the alert phase by the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management, with all roads to the town closed to the public.
Watch the Grapevine’s overview of the Sundhnúkagígar eruption’s aftermath:
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!