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Original Iceland Volcanic Crater Goes Silent

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Original Iceland Volcanic Crater Goes Silent

There is significant activity in the new volcanic crater on Fimmvörduháls mountain pass in south Iceland while the original crater has ceased spurting lava—for now, at least. However, the lava still seethes in the older crater.

The old crater at its most active stage. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

Seismologist Ármann Höskuldsson at the Earth Sciences department of the University of Iceland, told Morgunbladid that a broad lava stream now extends to the west of the Hvannárgil canyon and flows one or two kilometers per hour.

A team of nine scientists from the Earth Science department went to Fimmvörduháls yesterday to take samples and measure the spreading and thickness of the lava flow.

Höskuldsson said blue volcanic fumes extend from the older crater but there are no explosions. That is an indication that the crater is cooling down. Yet aerial pictures show that there is still a seething lava pool within the closed crater.

“There is quite a lively activity in the new crater and a lot of lava that flows from it,” Höskuldsson said, adding there are no indications that the eruption is about to stop.

“It was expected that the old crater would go silent as the new crater lies at a lower altitude where it is easier for the magma to reach the surface,” Höskuldsson explained.

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