It’s not clear whether the fluctuating activity of Iceland’s ongoing eruption indicates the start of a new phase of activity, says Natural Hazard Specialist Sigurdís Björk Jónasdóttir of the Icelandic Met Office. Since late June, volcanic tremors at the site have subsided for hours at a time before starting up again.
Such a dip in activity occurred yesterday, but it picked up again last night and has been high all night. “The crater is bubbling along and the lava has been flowing vigorously,” Sigurdís told RÚV. She added that it was uncertain whether the oscillations in activity were the start of a new chapter in the eruption. “It is difficult to predict whether this phase has come to stay. We just have to keep an eye on it.”
A fog-like mist blanketed the Reykjavík capital area over the weekend, caused in part by gases from the eruption. Sigurdís points out that residents can monitor air quality on the website loftgaedi.is. The graph below shows tremor activity at Grindavík, near the eruption site, over the past several days.
The Reykjanes eruption has now been active for more than three months. If the steady flow continues, it could eventually form a shield volcano.