Large Depression Forms at Eruption Site

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Eruption

Large Depression Forms at Eruption Site

The volcanic fissure at the Holuhraun eruption seen from the air on September 2, 2014.

The eruption in Holuhraun this morning. Photo: Reinhard Kungel.

The pressure in the intrusive dike north of Dyngjujökull, Vatnajökull outlet glacier, is increasing and a 1-km (3,300-feet) wide and deep depression has formed under the glacier.

Seismologist Kristín Jónsdóttir at the Icelandic Met Office told ruv.is that the depression is so deep that it appears through the icecap. It’s breaking the glacier’s edge. The earth itself is sinking, not the glacier.

“It’s a deformation event we’ve been observing since August 16, the [tectonic] plates are moving apart. Then we see a depression appear. Þingvellir is an example of a depression—naturally a very big depression,” Kristín stated.

“It means that the [volcanic] fissure could extend to the south and stretch below the glacier. If magma surfaces below the glacier, there’s a risk of flooding, ash production and explosions,” she added.

District commissioner at Húsavík Svavar Pálsson said that no decision has been made on a change to the civil protection level because of the developments in Dyngjujökull but the situation is under constant review.

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