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Volcanologist Predicts Eruption’s End in March

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Volcanologist Predicts Eruption’s End in March

Holuhraun.

The Holuhraun eruption. Photo: Jóhannes Benediktsson.

Volcanologist Haraldur Sigurðsson wrote on his blog on Saturday that judging by the development of the caldera subsidence in Bárðarbunga volcano, which lies under Vatnajökull glacier, the eruption in Holuhraun, which is fed with magma from Bárðarbunga, will end on March 4, 2015.

Haraldur explains that the subsidence is linear but not a curve, which indicates that the sinking of the caldera will gradually slow down. Since a GPS monitor was placed in the caldera on September 12, the subsidence has been 12 meters (39 feet).

Based on this data, Haraldur’s grandson Gabriel Sölvi came up with a formula predicting that the eruption in Holuhraun will end 173 days after September 12.

The prerequisite for the prediction is that the magma flow in the intrusive dike connecting Bárðarbunga and Holuhraun, which lies at a depth of 8 km (4 miles), has reduced the pressure and caused the caldera subsidence.

With time, the pressure will reduce further and the subsidence slow down, also reducing the eruption activity in Holuhraun, which eventually will stop.

“This is the simplest way to explain the course of events and not necessarily the most accurate way, but we must start somewhere,” Haraldur concludes.

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