Last week, the Litli-Hrútur eruption produced around 30-50% less lava than the previous week. If this trend continues, the end of the eruption could be only one to two weeks away, reports RÚV.
According to vulcanologist Þorvaldur Þórðarson, the lava flow needs to rest at around three cubic metres per second in order to keep the eruption open. The lava flow has most recently been measured at five to six metres per second, and if the rate should fall further, the end of the eruption may be in sight.
Such predictions are of course to be taken with some reservation, but according to Þorvaldur, “measured against the recent changes last week, it could be just one or two weeks until the end of the eruption, maybe a bit longer.”
He continued: “These predictions are always somewhat uncertain since we of course don’t know what the future holds.” He also noted that an increase in the flow cannot be ruled out if for instance, a large earthquake should have an effect on the eruption.
The 2023 Litli-Hrútur eruption began with more power than the previous 2021 Geldingadalir and 2022 Meradalir eruptions on the Reykjanes peninsula, at around 40 cubic metres per second. However, the volume quickly dropped off, measuring 16 cubic metres by the second day, and 10 cubic metres by the third day. Since then, it has steadily declined to the rate of five to six that we see today.
Þorvaldur stated to RÚV: “This eruption might last four to five weeks in total, which would be two weeks longer than the eruption last year but considerably shorter than the eruption in Geldingadalir 2021, as that eruption was rather exceptional.”