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Eruption Update: Earthquake Activity Continuing

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Eruption Update: Earthquake Activity Continuing

Cracks in the lava by the Holuhraun eruption.

Photo: Geir Ólafsson.

Earthquake activity is continuing in Bárðarbunga and in the northern part of the dike intrusion.

Around 20 earthquakes were measured in the Bárðarbunga area between midnight and 6:30 am, which is about half the number of events detected during the same period yesterday, according to the latest report from the Icelandic Met Office.

The largest earthquake last night measured magnitude 5.3 and occurred shortly after midnight at the southern caldera rim of Bárðarbunga.

Seismic activity remains unchanged although event rates in the intrusion were slightly lower than in recent days, but activity is persistent.

As reported, the three scenarios considered most likely are:

Subsidence of the Bárðarbunga caldera stops and the eruption in Holuhraun declines gradually.

Large-scale subsidence of the caldera occurs, prolonging or strengthening the eruption on Holuhraun. In this situation, it is likely that the eruptive fissure would lengthen southwards under Dyngjujökull, resulting in a jökulhlaup and an ash-producing eruption. It is also possible that eruptive fissures could develop in another location under the glacier.

Large-scale subsidence of the caldera occurs, causing an eruption at the edge of the caldera. Such an eruption would melt large quantities of ice, leading to a major jökulhlaup.

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