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Scientists Reassess Hazard Assessment for Eruption Site

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Scientists Reassess Hazard Assessment for Eruption Site

Holuhraun

Photo: Elisabetta Rosso.

The Scientific Advisory Board of the Icelandic Civil Protection met this morning with representatives of the Icelandic Civil Protection, the Environmental Agency of Iceland and the Directorate of Health to discuss the situation at the Holuhraun eruption site.

Confirming that the volcanic eruption in Holuhraun came to an end on Friday, February 27, scientists are now analyzing data and examining the eruption site to reassess the hazard assessment for the surrounding area. It was decided to use this week for that assignment.

Seismic activity in Bárðarbunga volcano continues to diminish. Only one earthquake stronger than magnitude 2.0 was measured there since last Saturday—a magnitude 2.3 quake which hit yesterday at 4:08 am. In total around 60 quakes were detected around the caldera in the period, as stated in the board’s latest status report, released this morning.

Around 120 earthquakes were detected in the intrusive dike, connecting the sub-glacial volcano with Holuhraun, during the same period. The strongest measured magnitude 1.6 and hit on Sunday at 2:10 am. A slightly heightened activity is now being measured in the dike, most likely due to decreased pressure.

Three earthquakes were detected around Tungnafellsjökul glacier, about 30 earthquakes around Herðubreið mountain and two at Grímsfjall mountain. All of these earthquakes were weaker than magnitude 2.0.

Insubstantial tectonic movements are now detected in the area.

Volcanic gas pollution is still being detected over and around the lava field and is expected to be carried to areas in the vicinity of the eruption site. Gas emissions will be monitored closely and forecasts issued if needed.

The Scientific Advisory Board will meet again next Tuesday, March 10. Based on that meeting it will be decided if the hazard assessment and the restricted area will be changed.

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