Eruption on Iceland's Reykjanes Peninsula 2021: activity updates

Updated: Dec 6, 2021 03:12 GMT -

eruption site is currently calm for now, slight inflation detected

Update Fri 19 Nov 2021 20:04
Yellow-to-red colors depict a new inflation on the Reykjanes peninsula (image: IMO)
Yellow-to-red colors depict a new inflation on the Reykjanes peninsula (image: IMO)
The effusive eruption at the volcano has already ended or has remained mostly calm since 18 September as lava flows have stopped.
During the eruption, instruments continued to detect a deflation over the eruption site as magma used to leave from the deep chamber and pushed its way up to the surface.
However, GNSS and InSAR instruments observed a new inflation on the Reykjanes peninsula since the end of September. This is likely reflecting a renewed magma intrusion and migration under the surface, supported also by continued deformation of the surface.
A swarm of small earthquakes occurred in late September, located in the south of Keilir area, that may be related to a new batch of magma rising inside the volcano's conduits, although no new ground deformation has been detected during this time period.
The current inflation may not be associated with a new impending eruption.
This may take years or decades what will happens next at Reykjanes peninsula.
Source: Icelandic Meteorological Office volcano activity update 19 November 2021

Fagradalsfjall volcano (Reykjanes peninsula, Iceland): lava overflowed dam and cut off another hiking trail to eruption site

Sat, 18 Sep 2021, 04:14
04:14 AM | BY: MARTIN
Lava flows crossed the hiking trail (image: @EIlyinskaya/twitter)
Lava flows crossed the hiking trail (image: @EIlyinskaya/twitter)
Aerial view of lava flows filling up the Nátthagi valley (bottom right) (image: @EIlyinskaya/twitter)
Aerial view of lava flows filling up the Nátthagi valley (bottom right) (image: @EIlyinskaya/twitter)
A new lava flow map depicts the affected area of hiking trail (image: @EIlyinskaya/twitter)
A new lava flow map depicts the affected area of hiking trail (image: @EIlyinskaya/twitter)
Lava flows just before the overtook the artificial dam (image: @EIlyinskaya/twitter)
Lava flows just before the overtook the artificial dam (image: @EIlyinskaya/twitter)
After the resumption of the effusive eruption at the current site one week ago, the activity shows signs of increasing.
It proves a formation of new lava flows in the upper part of the Nátthagi valley that have continued to fill up the valley.
The effusion of lava continues at elevated discharge rate. This is most likely reflecting at higher pace of the lava that overtook the artificial dam, crossed the hiking trail and leading towards the southern ring road.
Nátthagi valley by now is largely filled with lava flows.

Fagradalsfjall volcano (Reykjanes peninsula, Iceland): high-resolution lava flow map update

Thu, 16 Sep 2021, 05:59
05:59 AM | BY: MARTIN
A new lava flow map of the current eruption from 15 September (image: @geoviews/twitter)
A new lava flow map of the current eruption from 15 September (image: @geoviews/twitter)
A new lava flow map of the current eruption site has been published and updated today. The map depicts a spreading field of lava that continues to advance gradually and slowly filling up the valley of Nátthagi.
The lava flows have filled up valleys of the Geldingadalir, Meradalir, Meradalur and Nátthagi since the eruption started.
The picture also shows all artificial barriers marked as red lines.

Fagradalsfjall volcano (Reykjanes peninsula, Iceland): activity is back after 7 days of calm and illuminates sky over Grindavik

Tue, 14 Sep 2021, 03:29
03:29 AM | BY: MARTIN
Fountaining continues at the lava field in Geldingadalir valley (image: @EIlyinskaya/twitter)
Fountaining continues at the lava field in Geldingadalir valley (image: @EIlyinskaya/twitter)
Glowing steam at the current eruption site from live webcam accompanies the activity at the time of this update (image: Youtube/RÚV)
Glowing steam at the current eruption site from live webcam accompanies the activity at the time of this update (image: Youtube/RÚV)
Lava flow returned to the main crater (image: @szharangi/twitter)
Lava flow returned to the main crater (image: @szharangi/twitter)
Glowing steam illuminates the sky over Grindavik (image: @Vedurstofan/twitter)
Glowing steam illuminates the sky over Grindavik (image: @Vedurstofan/twitter)
After the longest break of 7 days of apparent calm in the effusive activity, it picked up again on 11 September as a new lava flow returned to the western flank of the main crater and continues to descend into the Geldingadalir valley.
Small lava fountains are being observed in the field of lava in the Geldingadalir valley and continue to erupt.
The activity quickly intensified accompanied by a strongly rising signal of volcanic tremor indicating rapid magma flux towards the surface.

Timelapse video of the returned effusive eruption on 11 September showing illuminated sky over Grindavik (source: @ar_etsch/twitter)

Fagradalsfjall volcano (Reykjanes peninsula, Iceland): eruption continues with regular pulses of lava fountains

Thu, 26 Aug 2021, 16:16
16:16 PM | BY: T
Lava fountain and two lava flows this morning at Fagradalsfjall in Iceland (image: RUV webcam)
Lava fountain and two lava flows this morning at Fagradalsfjall in Iceland (image: RUV webcam)
The eruption continues in a very similar way as during the past days, with alternating pulses of lava erupting from the vent and quiet phases, at a rhythm of 12-16 hours approximately between the lava pulses.
During the active phases, the crater fills with lava and "boils" over, often forming fountains, and forms multiple lava flows on the surface.
This morning, a new lava flow made its way towards the south and then turned east, while a smaller lava flow emitted a bit further to the west continued southwards towards Natthagi valley (s. image).
The size of the cone is constantly growing although its diameter at the top has decreased. As a consequence of the smaller volume of the bowl-shaped crater, the lava fountains are rising taller.

Activity oscillates like heartbeat from almost absence to spectacular lava overflows

Update Thu 19 Aug 2021 17:42
Eruption in Iceland this evening (image: RUV live webcam)
Eruption in Iceland this evening (image: RUV live webcam)
Oscillating tremor reflecting the regular magma surges (image: IMO)
Oscillating tremor reflecting the regular magma surges (image: IMO)
The eruption continues with no signs of ending, even though it has been going through rhythmically alternating phases of very low to very high levels. Roughly every 24 hours, it changes from one to the other extreme.
When it is high, the crater is filled with a lava lake that overflows on its rims and produces spectacular flows, as can be seen in the recent video below or in the view of the webcam right now (attached); when it is low, there is usually no visible activity at the surface.
Video:

Volcanologist Þorvaldur Þórðarson explained that these lava pulses are likely caused by large gas bubbles rising through the magma in the underground feeding system, pushing the magma out of the vent onto the surface.
Since these lava surges come at very regular intervals, these large gas bubbles must rise in very orderly pattern. Nature likes such regular processes and creates order,- think of the rhythmic behavior of geysers, for example.
The gas bubbles that are responsible for the peaks of activity at Fagradalsfjall are of course orders of magnitude larger than most similar phenomena. Likely, they originate at the top of the magma source in the upper mantle at 15-17 km depth, and once large enough to overcome a critical threshold of some sorts, they start rising and pushing the magma column upwards, resulting in the surface activity seen a short time after.
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