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New Holuhraun Lava Field Keeps Expanding

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New Holuhraun Lava Field Keeps Expanding

The sun above the new lava.

The new Holuhraun lava field. Photo: Geir Ólafsson.

The volcanic eruption in Holuhraun continues with similar intensity as it has for the last two weeks. Lava continues to flow out of the lava lake in the crater to the east-southeast. The lava field now measures approximately 72 square km (28 square miles).

The new lava is now twice the size of Mývatn in Northeast Iceland, the country’s fourth largest lake, RÚV reports.

Seismic activity in Bárðarbunga volcano under Vatnajökull glacier continues to be strong. In total 160 earthquakes were detected in the area since noon on Friday, two of which were magnitude 5.4, as stated in the latest update from the Scientific Advisory Board of the Icelandic Civil Protection, released at noon yesterday.

The subsidence of the Bárðarbunga caldera continues at a similar rate as in the last few weeks. The rate of the depression in the center of the caldera is decreasing but the flow of magma underneath the caldera is not since the depression area in the caldera continues to grow at the same rate as in the past three months.

GPS measurements outside Bárðarbunga show that the displacement is slowing down.

Three future scenarios are still considered most likely: that the activity will gradually subside and the eruption in Holuhraun stop; that the fissure will extend under the glacier and result in a sub-glacial eruption, ash fall and flood; or that Bárðarbunga will burst with a major sub-glacial eruption, ash-producing activity and massive flooding in glacial rivers.

Eruption pollution is expected to the north and east of the eruption site today and tomorrow. Forecasts are available on vedur.is and information on sulfur dioxide (SO2) levels and advice on how to respond to the pollution on airquality.is.

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