New data shows that magma has accumulated at less than one kilometre below the surface in the area between the mountains Keilir and Fagradalsfjall on the Reykjanes peninsula. The flow of magma has been deemed “considerable.” These are strong signs that an eruption may be imminent, a natural hazards expert with the Icelandic MET Office told RÚV this morning.
Following a similar pattern to the previous eruption
The seismic activity in the area between the mountains Keilir and Fagradalsfjall on the Reykjanes peninsula continues to decrease. Lovísa Mjöll Guðmundsdóttir, a natural hazards expert at the Icelandic MET Office, told RÚV this morning that the activity was “very similar to the previous eruption last year.”
“The seismic activity continues to diminish, and the magma has accumulated at a depth of one kilometre. If the magma reaches the surface, we can expect it to happen in the next hours or days. We’re on our toes and monitoring all the available data carefully.”
Lovísa observed that the experts of the MET Office – who monitor data in real-time – had not detected further deformation in the landscape. The tremors continue to grow more shallow, despite the reduction in seismic activity.
“Yes, the earthquakes are growing more shallow. This is very similar to last year’s eruption when activity decreased in this manner. The earthquakes were occurring at a similar depth. So we may as well expect that this could happen in the near future.”
“And if an eruption were to happen, it would happen without much notice?” a reporter with RÚV inquired. “Yes, very little notice,” Lovísa replied. “So we’re continuing to monitor events closely to try to determine the location of the eruption.”
As noted by RÚV, about 6,500 earthquakes have been recorded since the earthquake swarm began on the Reykjanes Peninsula on Tuesday, with the largest earthquake measuring 4.8 in magnitude. The Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management has declared an uncertainty level. The flight colour code over Fagradalsfjall remains orange. Travellers are advised against visiting the area.
Readers can monitor activity near Fagradalsfjall via webcams here.