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Lava Keeps Building up

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Lava Keeps Building up

Grímsvötn

Grímsvötn. Photo: Páll Stefánsson

The volcanic eruption in Holuhraun continues in a similar way as in the past few days, and does not seem to be declining. The scientific committee had its daily meeting and concluded the following:

The lava flows with the same rate as yesterday, mostly around the center of the lava field, which is now around 37 square km (14.3 square miles). According to new measurements the total volume of the lava is 0.4-0.6 cubic km and the magma flow 250-350 cubic meters pr. second.

The subsidence of the Bárðarbunga caldera continues at the same rate as before.

Big earthquakes are still detected in the Bárðarbunga caldera. Since noon yesterday there have been 9 earthquakes bigger the M3.0. The biggest one was measured M5.5 at 10:51 yesterday morning, making it the second biggest earthquake since this wave of seismic activity started on August 16. Smaller earthquakes were detected in north part of the dike and around the eruption site.

Earthquakes up to M4 have been measured under the north-northwest mountain side of Bárðarbunga.

No change was detected in water monitoring that cannot be explained with changing weather.

Three scenarios are considered most likely:

- The eruption on Holuhraun declines gradually and subsidence of the Bardarbunga caldera stops.

- 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 glacial flood 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 glacial flood, accompanied by ash fall.

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