The Icelandic Met Office has determined that unusual air bubbles in the Kvíárlón lagoon to the southeast of the Öræfajökull volcano neither pose a health hazard to travellers nor indicate the onset of volcanic activity. Vísir reports that a local landowner contacted the meteorological office after seeing unusual air bubbles in the lagoon that “sounded like a soft drink.”
In a post on its Facebook page, the Met Office explained that employees visited the lagoon on Wednesday with a device that can measure carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, sulphur dioxide, and hydrogen in its environment. Repeated attempts to take measurements of these compounds under the surface of the lagoon, however, returned only trace-amount readings. Based on this, experts agree that the whatever is causing the bubbles in the lagoon does not pose a safety concern for travellers.
Further tests will be run on water samples taken from the lagoon, but the current hypothesis is that carbon dioxide emissions from the volcano are causing the carbonated effect. Such emissions are normal and do not in and of themselves indicate an increase or onset of volcanic activity. Indeed, earthquake and expansionary activity at Öræfajökull has been on the decline this year.