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Icelandic Volcanos

[ Last update 3/10/2014 15:00 This will be the last update unless activity increases ]


Updated 3D Visual, last 50 earthquakes and webcam, you can move 3D image around with mouse
NOTE: Will not work in old versions of IE

Above courtesy of baering

Aviation colour code map


Click for enlarged aviation colour code map

Web cameras from Mķla - Site with numerous webcams.
Bardarbunga 2 is Holuhraun where a small lava eruption took place.

Iceland sits right on top of two tectonic plates that are pulling away from each other, Bįršarbunga is part of a volcano system underneath a massive glacier in the center of the country. located under the ice cap of Vatnajökull glacier, rising to 2,009 metres (6,591 ft) above sea level, making it the second highest mountain in Iceland. Bįršarbunga, for its part, has been fairly quiet for some time. Geological records suggest that the volcano historically erupts a couple of times per century, with the last one occurring back in 1910.

Could Bįršarbunga erupt in the near future. On August 16 and August 17, Icelandic scientists detected a pair of earthquake swarms in and around the volcano.

The area north of Vatnajokull glacier has been closed, and a widespread evacuation order is in effect, in the wake of ongoing earthquake activity around the subglacial volcano Bardarbunga, which is located in the northwestern part of the glacier.

There is currently no immediate danger, but if the volcano erupts, a major flood is expected to the north, fed by melting ice from the glacier.

London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre VAAC
The London VAAC is an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) designated centre, responsible for issuing advisories for volcanic eruptions originating in Iceland and the north-eastern corner of the North Atlantic.


3/10/2014 15:00 Filming an active volcano, using a DJI Phantom Quadcopter 2 drone. See the full video: here

22/9/2014 9:30 This will be the last update unless activity increases
Seismic activity has been persistent, but at comparably low levels during the last hours. Since midnight around 10 earthquakes have been automatically detected on the caldera rim of Bįršarbunga. Another around 10 earthquakes were detected in the northern part of the dyke intrusion, all smaller than magnitude 2. Yesterday (21 September), between 19:00 and 24:00, 25 earthquakes were measured: 8 at Bįršarbunga, 13 at the northern end of the dyke and 2 at Heršubreiš. Earthquakes over M3.0 at Baršarbunga between19:00 21 September and 06:00 22 September:
at 19:51 M3,5
at 20:07 M3,7
at 23:08 M3,5
at 00:19 M3.6
at 03:13 M3.7
at 05:28 M3.5
The volcanic activity at the eruption site appears to be stable, based on webcam observations this morning.

21/9/2014 9:30
Last evening (19:00-24:00) about 30 earthquakes were detected, 10 at Bįršarbunga, 10 at the northern end of the intrusion and 5 at Heršubreiš and Heršubreišartögl (Töglin). The largest one was at Bįršarbunga at 22:46 3.9 and five more in the same area were over 3 in size.
From midnight til morning (24:00-07:00), automatically detected events are also around 30, most of them around northwestern Vatnajökull. The four largest events were all in northern part of Bįršarbunga caldera:
at 00:57 magnitude 4.8
at 02:21 magnitude 3.8
at 03:05 magnitude 3.7
at 03:30 magnitude 3.4
No visible changes in eruption at Holuhraun from webcams.

20/9/2014 9:40
Around 30 earthquakes have been automatically detected around northwestern Vatnajökull since midnight. Of these, around 10 were located on the Bįršarbunga caldera rim and another 15 in the northern end of the dyke intrusion. The strongest event was a magnitude 5.1 on the north-eastern caldera rim at 01:10.

19/9/2014 9:40
Since 19h yesterday evening only about 10 earthquakes were recorded at the Bardarbunga caldera and only 3 from midnight until 06:00 this morning. One, with magnitude 4.5 occurred at the northern rim of the caldera at 21:43. Two other earthquakes with magnitude over 3 occurred there at 23:44 and 01:57. At 06:44 this morning an earthquake of magnitude 4.7 occurred at the northeastern rim of the Bardarbunga caldera.

18/9/2014 10:45
The largest earthquakes recorded in Bardarbunga since 19:00 yesterday. A magnitude 3.2 earthquake occurred at 22:28, M4.1 earthquake at 22:52 , M3.5 at 23:35, M4.5, at 03:17 and M3.4 at 06:05. From midnight 13 earthquakes have been detected in Bįršarbunga, about 27 in the northern part of the dyke and around 20 by Heršubreiš and Heršubreišartögl, all below magnitude 2.

17/9/2014 10:00
The largest earthquakes recorded in Bįršarbunga since 19h yesterday occurred in the evening. A magnitude 4.8 earthquake occurred at 20:20 and a 5.4 earthquake at 21:34. From midnight 40 earthquakes have been recorded: 5 in Bįršarbunga, about 15 in the northern part of the dyke and around 20 by Heršubreiš and Heršubreišartögl, all below magnitude 2.

16/9/2014 22:50
Nearly 100 earthquakes have occurred since midnight. Just over 20 at Bįršarbunga and over 30 in the intrusion under Dyngjujökull and near the eruptive site. Earthquakes at the northern rim of Bįršarbunga caldera today were at 09:13 M3,4 and at 10:36 M4,8 and at 16:13 M3,7. At the southwestern rim there was an earthquake at 14:47 M5,2
The eruption site in Holuhraun at 18:40 today, 16 September 2014. Photo: Freysteinn Sigmundsson.

15/9/2014 09:00
No major changes are observed in the seismicity. 23 events were measured near Bįršarbunga and the dyke, of these nine occurred in Bįršarbunga. This rate is similar as two nights ago. The largest events were of magnitude M3.6 at 00:11 and M3.7 at 00:14 at the southern rim. Another one occurred at 02:27, M3.4 (size not confirmed yet) at the western rim. Swarms at Heršubreiš, Heršubreišartögl and Dreki continue (around 15 events in these areas in total). Eruption continues at Holuhraun.

14/9/2014 11:00
No major events have occurred since midnight, the largest events were at 01:47 M 3.5 and at 06:54 M 4.0 at the south- and southeastern rim of Bįršarbunga. According to webcam the eruption in Holuhraun still continues on one central crater (Baugur). The vertical displacement of the GPS-instrument on the ice-shelf at Bįršarbunga is around -20 cm from midnight.

13/9/2014 10:00
Since midnight, around 20 earthquakes have been recorded in the north-west region of Vatnajökull. Earthquake locations are similar to recent days: in Bįršarbunga, in the dyke intrusion near to the edge of Dyngjujökull, and occasionally at Heršubreišartögl.

12/9/2014 10:00
Thirty earthquakes have been recorded, mostly located in the dyke under Dyngjujökull and at the eruption site, and at the northern rim of Bįršarbunga. The largest earthquakes are around magnitude 2. A few earthquakes have occurred by Askja, Heršubreišartögl and Tungnafellsjökull.

11/9/2014 09:05
Earthquake activity is continuing in Bįršarbunga and in the northern part of the dike intrusion. The largest events occurred just after midnight (00:07:38, M5.3) at the southern caldera rim of Bįršarbunga and around five o'clock (05:00:38 of M4.3 and 05:04:49 of M3,0) at the northern rim of Bįršarbunga. Eruption is still ongoing.

10/9/2014 10:00
Earthquake activity is continuing in Bįršarbunga and in the northern part of the dike intrusion. Fewer events were detected at Heršubreišartögl. Eruption continues north of Dyngjujökull.

09/9/2014 22:30
Since this morning, 230 earthquakes have been recorded. The main activity has been in the northern part of the dyke, north of Heršubreiš, by Heršubreišartögl and at the rim of Bįršarbunga. No earthquakes larger than magnitude 3 have been recorded since 01:07.

08/9/2014 13:30
The earthquake activity today continues at the northern part of the dyke intrusion. The largest earthquake in the dyke since the end of August occurred at 16:27 today with magnitude 4.5. An earthquake swarm is taking place north of Heršubreiš. About 80 earthquakes have been recorded so far today
The earthquake activity since midnight continues at the northern part of the dyke intrusions and at Bįršarbunga. Between 30 and 40 events have been located in the area since midnight.

07/9/2014 18:30
The lava tongue now extends 11 km to the north and has reached the western main branch of Jökulsį į Fjöllum river.
Earthquake activity continues in Bįršarbunga, in the northern part of the dike intrusion and in Heršubreišartögl. Total of 70 earthquakes have been detected since midnight, the largest M5,7 at 07:08 in the Bįršarbunga caldera. The lava has reached Jökulsį į Fjöllum. Steaming occurs.

06/9/2014 15:25
The surveillance flight yesterday the ice-surface at Bįršarbunga was measured with the radar system of Isavia's aircraft. The measurements show large changes on the ice-surface. Up to 15 m subsidence has occurred in the centre of the caldera, which corresponds to a volume change of 0.25 km³. The shape of the subsidence area is in accordance with the elevation of the caldera floor having lowered by that amount. The most probable explanation is that this subsidence is related to the recent high seismic activity and subsurface magma flow to the northeast.
Earthquakes have been recorded in similar locations as in recent days: in Bįršarbunga, in the dyke intrusion beneath and north of Dyngjujökull and occasionally at Heršubreišartögl. At 05:40, an earthquake of magnitude 5 occurred on the rim of the Bįršarbunga caldera. Since midnight, the total number of automatically located earthquakes is around 50

05/9/2014 09:20
Two earthquakes of magnitude 4.3 and 5.2 occurred on the rim of the Bįršarbunga caldera. The first earthquake was recorded at 23:33 yesterday and the larger event at 01:19.
Toxic gases from the Holuhraun eruption have been measured up to six kilometers (four miles) high. Mostly it contains sulfur dioxide and scientists found some poisoning effect in the first day of the eruption. Up to now forty million cubic meters (1.200 million cubic feet) of lava have come out of the craters in Holuhraun.

04/9/2014 07:00
Since August 16th, 13 earthquakes have measured over 5 in magnitude.

03/9/2014 12:00
Seismic activity continued at similar rate as yesterday until 03:09 when M5.5 earthquake was measured in northern part of Bardarbunga. After that there was increase in activity both in the area under the northern part of Dyngjujokull, south of the current eruption site as well as in Herdubreidartogl. The Aviation Colour Code for Bįršarbunga remains at ‘orange' and the code for Askja at ‘yellow'.

02/9/2014 12:00
A noticeable decrease in seismicity has occurred during the last 24 hours. The level of activity is approximately half of that during recent days.
Volcanic activity in Holuhraun continues at steady rate. According to webcam observation there is no visible change in activity since yesterday with effusive lava eruption and fountains.

01/9/2014 19:00
Since midnight over 700 earthquakes have been detected automatically which is somewhat fewer than in the past few days. The main activity is in the dyke. Two earthquakes occurred by the northern rim of the Bardarbunga caldera, at 08:58 AM M5.0 and 11:41 AM M5.3. Over 140 earthquakes were detected by Heršubreišartögl, NE of Askja volcano. A few earthquakes were detected near Askja.


31/8/2014 The new eruption in Holuhraun at 07:15. Video: Benedikt G. Ófeigsson.

The Aviation Colour Code for Bįršarbunga was raised at ‘red' this morning and it has been moved back to 'orange' since 15:00 UTC. The color code for Askja is at ‘yellow'.

30/8/2014 Around 450 earthquakes have been detected since midnight 29/30 August until 07:00, the vast majority in the northern part of the dike intrusion Several events have been detected on the caldera rim of Bįršarbunga, strongest were M4.5 at 02:35 and M4.2 at 06:18, both on the northern rim. A magnitude M5.4 earthquake occurred at 07:03 at the southern rim of Bįršarbunga caldera. Several events of similar size have occurred around the caldera rim in recent days.
Summarizing, no significant changes in seismic activity have been observed.
Icelandic authorities briefly raised the aviation warning code to red Friday after a small fissure eruption near Bardarbunga volcano, but no volcanic ash was detected by the radar system.

Earthquake activity is high
At 11:14:59 AM (29 August) an earthquake of M4.8 occurred by the northern rim og the Bardarbunga caldera.

And yesterday
Size Time Location
5.0 28 Aug 08:13:40 7.3 km ENE of Bįršarbunga
4.8 29 Aug 11:14:59 4.9 km NE of Bįršarbunga
4.1 28 Aug 01:30:52 6.8 km E of Bįršarbunga

Iceland lowered its aviation alert level to orange from red Sunday, saying there was no sign of an imminent eruption at the Bardarbunga volcano. And scientists at the Icelandic Meteorological Office said their announcement Saturday that the volcano had experienced a subglacial eruption was wrong.

An orange alert indicates “heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption.”

Icelandic Met Office:
A small sub-glacial volcanic eruption has started near Bardarbunga volcano, under the icecap of Dyngjujökull glacier in the northern part of Vatnajökull glacier, according to the Icelandic Met Office. All air traffic is now prohibited in a large radius around the volcano.

The intense earthquake swarm continues with no significant changes. There are no signs of magma migrating towards or reaching the surface are present, although the risk of a subglacial eruption in the near future remains high.