Geophysicist: Small Sub-Glacial Eruption Occurred

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Geophysicist: Small Sub-Glacial Eruption Occurred

Grímsvötn

Grímsvötn on Vatnajökull glacier. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Geophysics professor Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson stated in an interview with RÚV this evening that a minor volcanic eruption likely occurred under Vatnajökull glacier and is now over.

This would explain the appearance of the cauldrons on the glacier’s surface near Bárðarbunga volcano and the fact that they haven’t changed since yesterday.

The ice that melted has most likely flowed into Grímsvötn, Magnús added.

He believes that the magma which caused the eruption subsequently flowed into the intrusive dike, which now stretches all the way into the Askja volcano fissure swarm north of Dyngjujökull outlet glacier.

“A minor eruption most likely occurred. The magma flowed that way for a short while but then the dike took over. The eruption stopped very suddenly or died down rather quickly,” Magnús reasoned.

Magnús flew with a team of scientists on Icelandic Coast Guard airplane TF-SIF over Vatnajökull last night when the cauldrons were first observed and again this morning to re-evaluate the situation.

On the 10 pm television news on RÚV, the civil meeting held with inhabitants who live near Skjálfandafljót glacial river in Northeast Iceland was covered. No changes to conductivity in the river has been detected.

A flood in Skjálfandafljót is considered unlikely and if the river would flood, people would have approximately ten hours to evacuate the area, they were told. The meeting was held to keep the inhabitants informed and as a precautionary measure.

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