“My feeling anyway is that this eruption could continue for a few years. But of course, we don’t know that for certain. But there’s nothing that’s telling us that this eruption is going to stop tomorrow.” These were the words uttered by Professor of Volcanology Þorvaldur Þórðarson in a RÚV interview yesterday, the day that marked six months since the eruption on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula began.
Since it began on March 19, the so-called Geldingadalir eruption has formed new vents, cut off hiking paths, released giant gas bubbles, and filled the surrounding valleys with fresh, black lava. Surface activity has lapsed on several occasions, including earlier this month when one of the eruption’s vents clogged up, but experts say activity below the surface has continued.
Lava from the eruption is now forming pools in Geldingadalir, which occasionally overflow to create beautiful but dangerous streams down into the surrounding valleys. Þorvaldur expects activity to be concentrated in the Geldingadalir valleys in the coming weeks.
“We see that lava pools are building up in Geldingadalir and we of course saw just last week on Tuesday that when these lava pools burst and open up, then the lava can go down, or rather forward, very fast and go much further than under normal circumstances,” Þorvaldur stated. He added that the further south the lava pools are in Geldingadalir, the likelier it is that the lava will flow into Nátthagi valley and from there toward Suðurstrandarvegur road.