New volcanic eruption on Iceland's Reykjanes peninsula
Sat, 20 Mar 2021, 05:1505:15 AM | BY: T
First view of the new eruption in Iceland (image: Coast Guard helicopter, via IMO / twitter).
Location of the new eruption on Iceland (image: IMO / twitter)
A new volcanic eruption has started last evening around 20:45 local time on 19 Mar 2021 on the Reykjanes peninsula!
Seismograph showing the hours before the eruption. A very low tremor is current to the right of the image and only on those monitors next to the eruption site (image: IMO / twitter)
A new fissure about 200 m long opened near Geldingadalur, close to Fagradalsfjall mountain, where the seismic activity had been focussed lately.
Small lava fountains along the fissure feed two slowly advancing lava flows to the southwest and west. According to the Icelandic Met Office (IMO), the most advanced front had reached an area about 2.6 km from Suðurstrandarvegur.
The eruption came somewhat as a surprise at this stage of the ongoing seismic crisis, because the seismic and ground deformation activity had decreased during the past days compared to the preceding weeks. Some scientists had started to speculate that the process might rather be calming down instead of developing into an eruption.
In fact, the eruption occurred with very weak seismic activity accompanying it. IMO's seismic stations only recorded weak volcanic tremor during the onset of the eruption.
A possible explanation is that the ground by now in this area had been already fractured so much by the preceding earthquakes that it was extremely easy for the magma to rise from the dike the last approx. 1000 meters upwards to reach and break out at the surface.
We will follow up on this event as more news and further details come in. Stay tuned and check this page from time to time!
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