Posts Tagged "eruption"

Photo Friday: A Song of Ice and Fire

Posted by on Sep 19, 2014 in All Posts, Featured Posts, Images | 0 comments

Photo Friday: A Song of Ice and Fire

Spread the News:ShareWe’ve brought you plenty of posts and updates on the earthquakes and eruptions in Iceland over the past few weeks. The Iceland’s Institute of Earth Science recently published even more photos of researchers surveying Bárðarbunga from the air and from the ground from a variety of photographers. We’ve selected some of our favorites, but see the whole set here if you can’t get enough ice and fire. Photo Friday highlights photo essays and collections from areas with glaciers. If you have photos you’d like to share, let us know in the comments, by Twitter @glacierhub or email us at glacierhub@gmail.com. Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 6.17.43 PM (photo:Þorbjörg Ágústsdóttir) Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 6.17.17 PM (photo:Þorbjörg Ágústsdóttir) Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 6.16.57 PM (photo: Johanne Schmith) Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 6.16.18 PM (photo: Ármann Höskuldsson) Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 6.15.38 PM (photo:Þorbjörg Ágústsdóttir) Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 6.14.48 PM (photo: Johanne Schmith) Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 6.03.59 PM (photo: Ármann Höskuldsson) Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 6.02.46 PM (credit: Tobias Dürig) Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 6.01.51 PM (photo: Benedikt Gunnar Ófeigsson) Spread the...

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Craters have appeared on two glaciers in Iceland

Posted by on Sep 9, 2014 in All Posts, Featured Posts, News | 7 comments

Craters have appeared on two glaciers in Iceland

Spread the News:ShareThe recent volcano eruptions in Iceland have created enormous circular depressions in two of the country’s glaciers. These dramatic features, which differ from each other in their origins and shape, are visible from the air. A reconnaissance flight over Bárðar­bunga, the volcano where the first earthquakes were detected last month, shows that the ice over the caldera has fallen nearly 20 meters across an area about 7 kilometers long and 5 kilometers wide. This is a change in volume of 250 million cubic meters. The scientists at the University of Iceland attribute this shift to a movement of the base of the glacier rather than to melting. Magma has drained from a chamber under the glacier as it moves to the northeast and erupts onto the surface. As the chamber has emptied, the rock above it has shifted downward, carrying the glacier ice downward as well. This is the largest subsidence that has been observed in Iceland since measurements of the surface were begun over fifty years ago. This movement does not seem to be associated with geothermal activity at Bárðar­bunga, or of a higher likelihood of an eruption there. A recent photo from a helicopter flight shows the large extent and relative shallowness of this cauldron (the technical term for these craters). Another flight travelled over Dyngjujokull Glacier, to the northeast of Bárðar­bunga. It showed two separate depressions, somewhat smaller in extent, but almost twice as deep, reaching down 35 meters. These are probably associated with small eruptions of lava below the surface of the ice. Such eruptions can cause the formation of cauldrons like these, without unleashing outburst floods. There is some risk of continued eruptions, including larger ones, at this site. In recent days, the lava eruptions from the main fissure have been moving in two directions. The main flow from the eruptions is traveling to the northeast. It has recently reached the Jökulsá á Fjöl­lum River, releasing large quantities of steam. As this intrusion of lava into the river continues, explosive releases of gasses could occur, or a dam could be formed by the cooled lava, creating a lake and subsequent floods. A smaller branch of the fissure has opened close to Dyngjujokull. Should another branch open up a few kilometers to the south, under the glacier itself, there might be a flood or an explosive release of large quantities of ash. For the time being, though, the threat level remains at orange. Map of lava field in #Holuhraun. It flowed into Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacial river. No explosive activity #Bardarbunga pic.twitter.com/yT9wlICV44 — Univ. of Iceland (@uni_iceland) September 8, 2014 The eruption and steam have created hazy skies over the area. The Icelandic Civil Protection Authority has issued alerts to people downwind of the eruption with respiratory conditions, since there are elevated concentrations of sulfur dioxide. They continue to monitor the entire region carefully. Spread the...

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Lava, and alerts, are seeing red

Posted by on Aug 31, 2014 in All Posts, Featured Posts, News | 0 comments

Lava, and alerts, are seeing red

Spread the News:ShareOur colleague Gísli Pálsson wrote this morning from Iceland, “The show is on; this time a considerable eruption.” At the Holuhraun lava field, lava has been erupting since Sunday morning. These lava fountains reach more than 50 meters high. Though they are dramatic, they do not release ash that would interfere with aviation. This activity is about five kilometers from  Dyngjujökull Glacier. If the fissure opens under the glacier, floods might result. Utbrot i Holuhraun. Bilete: Ármann Höskuldsson, Jarðvísindastofnun Háskólans. /via @almannavarnir pic.twitter.com/HlisNeUVgL — Daniel T Johansen (@dtlanghoff) August 31, 2014 These lava fountains are just part of the activity along the fissure that stretches to the northeast from Bárðarbunga.  As the attached map shows, there have been a large number of earthquakes in recent days associated with this fissure, though there is earthquake activity nearby as well, linked to other fissures and faults. This map comes from a source tweeted out by Dave McGarvie, a remarkably well-informed volcanologist who is currently in Iceland. For more information, you can follow an animation of the earthquake activity, also tweeted by McGarvie. At the northeast end of the fissure, directly at Bárðarbunga, the risk of a subglacial eruption  has increased.  The earthquake activity continues to be strong, with one earthquake today registering 5.1. A flight over the glacier on Friday noted new crevasses, a sign of melting at the  base of the glacier.   As a result, the risk to aviation has been raised again to red, for the third time. A small portion of the airspace north of the area has been closed to aviation, but no airports or commercial flights have yet been affected. The evacuation orders continue in effect. Further reconnaissance will have to wait a day or two. The remnants of Hurricane Cristobal are approaching Iceland, bringing winds of 40 to 50 miles per hour and rains. The heaviest rains are expected in the southeast of the country, around the area of the eruption. The storm will pass, but the future of the eruptions remains uncertain.   Spread the...

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The eruption has begun (We mean it this time)

Posted by on Aug 29, 2014 in All Posts, Featured Posts, News | 0 comments

The eruption has begun (We mean it this time)

Spread the News:ShareThe Icelandic Met Office announced that an eruption began at midnight, local time, at Holuhraun, north of Dyngjujökull. Lava is emerging on the surface, rather than beneath a glacier, so it is directly visible. http://www.ruv.is/frett/video-of-the-holuhraun-eruption The lava is being emitted from a fissure about 900 meters long, with what the Civil Protection Authority calls “low lava fountains with thin flowing lava.” The lack of ash means that the risk to aviation at present is small. Had the eruption occurred under the ice, there would have been a much larger risk of an ash cloud like the one in 2010 that halted air traffic for six days. The Icelandic Met Service had briefly raised the warning level at Bárðarbunga to red, but after a few hours brought it back to orange. There is a small area restricted to aviation, but it does not extend even to the regional airport at Akureyri in the north. A webcam from the area at Bárðarbunga does not show much activity, though last night the eruption from Dyngjujökull could be seen in the distance. Authorities are continuing to order an evacuation area north of the glacier. The possibility of an outburst flood cannot entirely be ruled out, even though the magma has moved north of the country’s major glaciers to areas of bare rock. Though we don’t have many dramatic photos to show at this point, we would like to share a cartoon that appeared yesterday, just before the eruption started.  It comes from a producer of children’s music, who lives on a new volcanic island near the main island of Iceland. You can follow her on twitter at @islandofelska. And we would like to send our thanks to Gísli Pálsson, who sent us an email this morning from Reykjavik to alert us about the eruption. You can read his account of a recent visit to a glacier in a non-volcanic part of Iceland here. Spread the...

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Icelandic volcano in Vatnajökull erupts

Posted by on Aug 23, 2014 in All Posts, Featured Posts, News | 0 comments

Icelandic volcano in Vatnajökull erupts

Spread the News:Share  Our Icelandic colleagues have just contacted us. Ásdís Jónsdóttir writes “Just a note to tell you that an eruption has begun in Vatnajökull – it is under the outlet of Dyngjujökull. It started about half an hour ago (at quarter past two p.m.). They are evacuating areas to the north of the glacier (they were partly evacuated earlier).”   Gísli Pálsson adds “ It’s now maximum alert, limited air travel around.” The Icelandic Meteorological Office ha upgraded the aviation alert to red: “Eruption is imminent or in progress – significant emission of ash into atmosphere likely.” Their most recent report indicates that lava has emerged under the glacier, but that the future progress of this event is still unknown: They list six points (From http://en.vedur.is/earthquakes-and-volcanism/articles/nr/2947) A small lava-eruption has been detected under the Dyngjujökull glacier. The Icelandic Coast Guard airplane TF-SIF is flying over the area with representatives from the Civil Protection and experts from the Icelandic Met Office and the Institute of Earth Sciences. Data from the equipment on board is expected later today. Data from radars and web-cameras is being received, showing no signs of changes at the surface. The estimate is that 150-400 meters of ice is above the area. The aviation color code for the Bárðarbunga volcano has been changed from orange to red. Some minutes ago (14:04), an earthquake occurred, estimated 4.5 in magnitude. Spread the...

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