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Holuhraun Eruption Calming Down?

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Holuhraun Eruption Calming Down?

Holuhraun eruption by night, December 8, 2014

Photo: Ragnar Axelsson (RAX).

Scientists say there is a slight and ongoing decrease in volcanic and seismic activity at the site of the Holuhraun volcanic eruption in Iceland, which has been going on for over three months.

Scientists from the Icelandic Met Office and the Institute of Earth Sciences at the University of Iceland were joined in their regular meeting by representatives from the Icelandic Civil Protection Agency and the Environmental Agency of Iceland.

In a statement they say that there have been insubstantial changes in the volcanic eruption at Holuhraun over the last few weeks and that indications show the lava is now mainly flowing inside closed channels.

Seismic activity at the site remains strong: the strongest earthquake since noon on Friday took place on Monday at 09.37 at the northern rim of the caldera and was magnitude 5.4. About 20 earthquakes larger then M4 have been detected since Friday. In total about 200 earthquakes were detected in Bárðarbunga since noon on Friday.

Collated data since the beginning of the seismic activity in Bárðarbunga show a steady decline in the strength and number of large earthquakes.

GPS measurements near northern Vatnajökull glacier show continuing slow subsidence towards Bárðarbunga. The rate of the subsidence has slowly decreased.

Communication with the GPS station on Bárðarbunga caldera has not been established yet, the statement says, continuing: “Due to the bad weather forecast it is unlikely that scientists will be able to travel to Bárðarbunga in the next few days. A connection will be established with the GPS station as soon as possible.”

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