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Geothermal Heat in Bárðarbunga Melts Glacier

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Geothermal Heat in Bárðarbunga Melts Glacier

Sunrise by glacial river Jökulsá á Fjöllum on September 3, 2014.

Jökulsá á Fjöllum. Photo: Jóhannes Benediktsson.

The energy of the geothermal areas in Bárðarbunga volcano in Vatnajökull now measures several hundred megawatts and the melting of glacial ice is estimated at approximately 2 cubic meters per second.

The melt water flows into glacial rivers Skjálfandafljót and Jökulsá á Fjöllum. However, the water flow is too insignificant to cause the rivers to swell, the Icelandic Met Office concludes in its latest update on the volcano, published at noon today.

The situation of Bárðarbunga remains unchanged regarding earthquakes, subsidence of the caldera and sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas pollution. Today the gas is expected to drift across West Iceland and tomorrow cover an area from Northwest to Southwest Iceland.

Over 80 earthquakes were observed in the Bárðarbunga area in past 24 hours. The largest was of magnitude 5.3 and hit at 01:30 am; the earthquake to exceed magnitude 5.0 since Tuesday. A few other quakes were larger than magnitude 3.0.

Some seismic activity was detected in the northern part of the dike intrusion, leading from Bárðarbunga to Holuhraun.

Currently the Holuhraun eruption site is not visible on webcams due to poor weather conditions.

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