The Lava Halfway across Jökulsá Glacial River Skip to content

The Lava Halfway across Jökulsá Glacial River

The lava from the eruption in Holuhraun has now flowed halfway across Jökulsá á Fjöllum glacial river. Ómar Ragnarsson, journalist, environmentalist and entertainer flew over the area this afternoon and he observed the developments.

When lava flows over water, so-called pseudocraters may be formed. Pseudocraters are formed by steam explosions as flowing hot lava crosses over a wet surface, such as a swamp, a lake, or a pond. The explosive gases break through the lava surface in a manner similar to a phreatic eruption, and the tephra builds up crater-like forms which can appear very similar to real volcanic craters. They are common in Iceland.

Volcanologist Þorvaldur Þórðarson told RÚV this morning that no pseudocraters had formed so far, but that might happen later. The lava could block the river, moving the riverbed further to the east. Ómar Ragnarsson thinks it is unlikely that pseudocraters form in the area.

He told RÚV that the new fissure to the south of Holuhraun is no longer emitting lava. This might be bad news, increasing the pressure under the glacier and making an eruption in Bárðarbunga more likely.

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