Premature to Declare Official End of Eruption, Experts Caution Skip to content
A volcanic eruption near Sýlingafell in 2023
Photo: Screenshot from Mbl.is.

Premature to Declare Official End of Eruption, Experts Caution

Experts are in consensus that the volcanic activity on the Reykjanes peninsula has ceased, though an official declaration marking the end of the eruption is still pending. The Chief of the Suðurnes Police hopes that after today’s meeting with the Icelandic MET Office, the authorities will be able to lift the restrictions in Grindavík.

Important to proceed cautiously

In an interview with RÚV published this morning, volcanologist Ármann Höskuldsson stated that the eruption near Sýlingafell on the Reykjanes peninsula was over. Kristín Jónsdóttir, a department head with the Icelandic MET Office, agreed with his assertion; there is no longer any measurable volcanic activity in the area.

Nevertheless, Kristín cautioned that it was too soon to officially declare the end of the eruption given that the situation could change rapidly; it is important to proceed cautiously, especially given the proximity of the eruption site to critical infrastructure.

Magma accumulation resumed

As reported by IR yesterday, there are indications that magma accumulation has resumed beneath Svartsengi. Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson, a geophysics professor at the University of Iceland, told RÚV that this renewed magma accumulation at Svartsengi closely resembles the conditions prior to the Sýlingafell eruption.

“If the magma continues its upward movement into the chamber beneath Svartsengi, we may witness a similar series of events,” he noted. Magnús Tumi added that it could take weeks or months for this to occur, however, and there’s also a possibility that the process might cease entirely.

Hoping for a homecoming

Úlfar Lúðvíksson, the Chief of Police in Suðurnes, told RÚV yesterday that scientists would review new data this morning, with a meeting with the Icelandic MET Office being scheduled for 1 PM today.

“I expect that the meeting will involve a review of the risk assessment map and, of course, I hope for a change that will allow residents to return home,” Úlfar stated. He mentioned that such speculations had already started before the eruption completely subsided. “One is always hopeful, and we will lift these restrictions if we find that such a thing is warranted.”

As noted by RÚV, applications for rental apartments for residents of Grindavík through the leasing company Bríet opened today. The application deadline is 10 AM tomorrow. The aim is to allocate most of the apartments on the same day.

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