Reykjanes Eruption: Sporadic Lava Flow May Signal Beginning of End Skip to content
Eruption on hiatus
Photo: Volcano in Geldingadalur (vedurstofa.is).

Reykjanes Eruption: Sporadic Lava Flow May Signal Beginning of End

Following considerable activity yesterday evening, as much as twelve hours elapsed between the flow of lava from the volcano in Geldingadalur. Such sporadic activity may signal the beginning of the end, according to experts.

Newsworthy but not definitive

As reported by Iceland Review on Tuesday, intermittent volcanic tremors at the ongoing eruption on Reykjanes have caused experts to speculate whether the eruption may be ending. Over the past 24 hours, the eruption has followed a stop-and-start pattern. Following significant volcanic activity yesterday evening and into the night, as much as twelve hours elapsed since new lava flowed from the main caldera and for a while no embers were visible within the main caldera.

As reported by Mbl.is a few minutes ago, the lava began to flow again sometime this afternoon. Speaking to Mbl.is, geologist Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson did not rule out the possibility that the eruption was coming to an end, considering that there is less magma than before: “This behaviour over the past few days is consistent with what we’d expect to see if this were in fact the end, or, at least, the beginning of the end. There is considerably less supply of magma now than before.”

Kristín Jónsdóttir, Natural Hazards coordinator with the Icelandic Met Office, echoed Magnús’ sentiments, stating that the changing activity was certainly newsworthy but that it was impossible to say whether or not the eruption was over; there could still be plenty of activity beneath the surface.

Seems to have entered into a new phase

Last night, a dark cloud of smoke issued forth from the caldera and volcanic tremors were registered. Lovísa Mjöll Guðmundsdóttir – a geohazard specialist at the Icelandic MET Office – stated that the tremors began increasing late yesterday. Just before 10 pm last night, a considerable amount of lava began flowing from the caldera until 2 am, with the lava eventually seeping into Nátthagi valley. The volcanic tremors began to abate as the night progressed, however. “It seems that the eruption has entered into a new phase with the advent of this cyclical activity, but we’ll continue to monitor the situation,” Lovísa stated.

Three months later

The eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula has now lasted for more than three months, and experts have stated that there is no way of predicting when it will end. The eruption was kicked off by a strong earthquake swarm, and it could take another such swarm to end it.

This article will be updated.

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