Iceland Volcano Remains Calm Skip to content

Iceland Volcano Remains Calm

All appears to have been quiet at the volcanic crater in Eyjafjallajökull glacier in south Iceland last night. There is no news of ongoing volcanic activity, although the Icelandic Meteorological Office detected minor seismic unrest by Básar in Thórsmörk yesterday evening.

The eruption in Eyjafjallajökull. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

However, the volcanic eruption has not formally been declared over and there is still a risk of mud flooding from the glacier,

Mud flooding occurs when meltwater and rainwater mix with volcanic ash on top of the ice and then burst forward, as has already happened on two occasions.

Geophysicist Páll Einarsson told Fréttabladid that it takes seven to ten consecutive days of inactivity before further volcanic activity in the glacier can be written off.

“It is still not quite clear whether the magma flow has continued down below and whether the volcano has expanded, which is what matters the most in determining whether there will be a continuation of this story or not. We won’t be able to find out for a few days,” Einarsson explained.

Einarsson described the eruption as a story with many chapters and although one chapter may be finished, it is unknown whether it is in the middle or at the end of this story.

“The first chapter was written in 1944 with the first event in this story taking place, a magma intrusion at the bottom of the volcano,” Einarsson said.

“When the eruption on Fimmvörduháls stopped there was a similar turning point with geologists waiting to be able to confirm that the magma flow had stopped,” he added. “It is too early to write this series of events off—they might still be in full swing.”

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