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Geophysicist: Holuhraun Eruption Could Last for Months

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Geophysicist: Holuhraun Eruption Could Last for Months

Holuhraun eruption

Photo: Institute of Earth Sciences.

Geophysicist professor Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson believes that the volcanic eruption in Holuhraun in the northeastern highlands could carry on for months and even though the activity is decreasing it will likely not come to an end until after two months at the earliest.

“I look at it at a scale of months but not days because we don’t have data for that. The flow of lava is now down to one third of what it was at the beginning,” Magnús told RÚV after Wednesday’s scientific expedition to the eruption site.

Scientists flew over the eruption site for seven hours on Wednesday. The lava field measures 85 square km (32 square miles) and the field has thickened significantly in the past months. It measures 40 meters (15 square miles) at its thickest location.

As Magnús mentioned, the lava flow has decreased greatly since September and is now down to 60 cubic meters per second.

“If it continues to develop this way the most optimistic forecast is that it might end in two months but more likely it will continue for much longer,” Magnús stated. “Then the subsidence in Bárðarbunga [caldera] won’t stop until next autumn and it might very well continue for a year.”

The eruption started in late August and has now carried on for approximately four months.

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