Lava from the Bardarbunga volcano has turned the Holuhraun lava field in Iceland into a fiery fountain of lava. While lava breached the surface of the ground last week, the action really got going yesterday.
Check out the breathtaking footage from Skarphéðinn Snorrason in the video below. Ragnar Eldon Haraldsson is flying the chopper as the two witness huge fountains of lava at the Holuhraun lava field.
Bardarbunga has been shaken by thousands of earthquakes in recent weeks. As the quakes pushed the lava to the surface, the lava entered a channel that took it north of Bardarbunga into the Houhraun lava field. Good news for the airline industry since no high elevation ash clouds have been produced.
You can check out the latest information from Iceland’s Scientific Advisory Board here. Here’s the most important takeaways. I’ve also included some of the best pictures of the lava eruptions below.
A noticeable decrease in seismicity has occurred during the last 24 hours. The level of activity is approximately half of that during recent days. Since midnight today, around 300 earthquakes have occurred. At the same time yesterday, 01 September, around 500 earthquakes had been detected.
The eruption has not created any ash-fall. A white plume of steam and gas rises from the eruption on Holuhraun, reaching an elevation of about 4.5 km above sea level. Downwind, a volcanic cloud extends from the eruption site. Yesterday afternoon a white cloud from the eruption extended 60 km to the north-north-east.
It remains unclear how the situation will develop. Four scenarios are still considered most likely.
1. The migration of magma could stop, resulting in a gradual reduction in seismic activity and no further eruptions.
2. The dike could reach the Earth’s surface causing another eruption, possibly on a new fissure. Lava flow and (or) explosive activity cannot be excluded.
3. The intrusion reaches the surface and another eruption occurs where either the fissure is partly or entirely beneath Dyngjujökull. This would most likely produce a flood in Jökulsá á Fjöllum and perhaps explosive, ash-producing activity.
4. An eruption in Bárðarbunga. The eruption could cause an outburst flood and possibly an explosive, ash-producing activity. In the event of a subglacial eruption, it is most likely that flooding would affect Jökulsá á Fjöllum. However it is not possible to exclude the following flood paths: Skjálfandafljót, Kaldakvísl, Skaftá and Grímsvötn.
— Univ. of Iceland (@uni_iceland) September 1, 2014
— Hjortur Smarason (@hjortur) September 2, 2014
Featured image credit: University of Iceland/Armann Hoskuldsson