Iceland Volcano Still Monitored Skip to content

Iceland Volcano Still Monitored

It is possible that new magma broke through to the surface of Eyjafjallajökull on Friday evening. Increased volcanic activity was registered and a black plume extended from the glacier’s summit. Scientists continue to monitor the volcano and have yet to officially declare the eruption to be over.

The eruption in Eyjafjallajökull at its height. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

“It isn’t over yet,” geophysicist Magnús Tumi Gudmundsson told Morgunbladid. “It is not a big event,” Gudmundsson said of the unrest on Friday. “It isn’t all that surprising and shows that we must keep a watchful eye on the volcano.”

However, the unrest has since subsided and now only steam is rising out of the crater, environmentalist and volcano enthusiast Ómar Ragnarsson told ruv.is this morning.

According to Gunnar B. Gudmarsson, earth scientist at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, the activity near the summit of Eyjafjallajökull increased sharply after 5 pm on Friday until 7:50 pm, and then again shortly before 9 pm, but dropped in between.

“It is the most unrest we have seen since the volcanic activity had, for the most part, subsided,” Gudmarsson told Morgunbladid.

“It might have been magma breaking up onto the surface—it is impossible to say—but it seems as if there has been some kind of steam explosion or increased gas flow with noise and disturbances. There is at least some explosive activity,” he said.

Gudmarsson added that this activity doesn’t originate deep underneath the surface and it is possible that there will be a continuance of shallow disturbances in the glacier.

“It is possible that we can expect such spells of unrest now and then with some activity. Judging by sources from the 1821-23 eruption, there are descriptions of such puffs coming up once in a while,” Gudmarsson aid.

Geophysicist Freysteinn Sigmundsson said no earthquakes were picked up by sensors, which indicates that the unrest can be traced back to changes at the top of the volcano.

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