Iceland’s ongoing eruption has grown in intensity and is now producing around 10m3 of lava per second, according to geologists from the University of Iceland. Scientists conducted a new survey of the lava flowing from the eruption in Geldingadalir valley, Southwest Iceland yesterday. With the help of vertical aircraft photogrammetry, they found the new fissure that opened just before noon yesterday was producing 7m3 of lava per second. Meanwhile, the eruption’s original craters continue to spew lava and a rough estimate of the full discharge rate at the eruption site is 10m3/s.
Magma Source is Near Earth’s Mantle
The eruption began on March 19 in Geldingadalir valley following weeks of powerful earthquakes that shook Iceland’s capital area and were felt across the country’s South and West regions. Yesterday, two new fissures opened at the site, increasing the lava flow. Further studies conducted on the lava show no changes in its chemical composition. The measurements indicate that magma is coming from a “deep magma reservoir that probably lies close to the boundary between the crust and mantle below the Reykjanes peninsula.” Magma from such a deep source has not reached Iceland’s surface for around 7,000-8,000 years.
The eruption site is closed to visitors today. Authorities are mapping the area with the help of experts in order to determine how to safely reopen the popular destination to the public. Read more about the geology of the Reykjanes peninsula.