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Holuhraun Lava Field Thickens Substantially

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Holuhraun Lava Field Thickens Substantially

The lava river in Holuhraun.

Holuhraun. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Comprehensive cross-section measurements of the eruption in Holuhraun taken from the air on December 30 and January 21 show that the lava field has thickened substantially during these three weeks and that the volume of the lava field is now just under 1.4 km3.

The flow of magma during the three week period was just under 100 m3 per second. The intensity of the eruption is slowly decreasing. It is hoped that it will be possible to measure the volume of the lava field again later this week, which will give new numbers on the flow of magma, as stated in the most recent fact sheet from the Scientific Advisory Board of the Icelandic Civil Protection, published yesterday.

Seismic activity in Bárðarbunga continues to be strong. Eight earthquakes between magnitude 4.0 and 4.9 have been detected since the last meeting of the Advisory Board last Friday. The strongest earthquake measured magnitude 4.9 on Saturday, January 24. In total around 150 earthquakes have been detected around the caldera since last Friday. No earthquake over magnitude 5.0 has been detected in Bárðarbunga since January 8.

Around 50 earthquakes were detected in the intrusive dike connecting Bárðarbunga and Holuhraun during the same period. Most of them were under magnitude 1.0.

GPS measurements near northern Vatnajökull glacier show continuing slow deflation towards Bárðarbunga. The volcano lies under the glacier's northwestern corner.

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