Bárðarbunga - update
Seismic events began 16 August 2014
Update on the continued Bárðarbunga seismic events and gas emissions from the Holuhraun lava field is given here with notes, factsheets and observations in March. New material is added to the top of the article. In combination, the monthly articles give an overview of events: August, September, October, November, December, January, February and the current update. A few photos from field excursions are stored in another article.
Below is a short-cut to additions in March. New material is only added when necessary.
16 March 2015 - reduction of the access controlled area
The Police District Commissioners in North Eastern, Eastern, Southern Iceland, and the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police have decided to change the restricted area in Holuhraun, see press release (pdf 0.9 Mb).
This decision is based on a risk assessment from the Icelandic Meteorological Office covering risk factors in the area. The Icelandic Meteorological Office has also proposed countermeasures to increase public safety close to the restricted area.
The Police, in cooperation with Vatnajökull National Park, will provide a presence in the area to secure public safety, in close collaboration with the Icelandic Meteorological Office. These institutions will try to install further monitoring equipment to add to the existing monitoring system in the area to increase monitoring so that warnings may be issued if necessary.
Vatnajökull National Park will issue locations of viewing areas. Information on evacuation routes will be issued by officers on site.
The restricted area extends 20 m outside the edges of the new lava field, to the edge of Dyngjujökull glacier on the south side, the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum to the east and to the westernmost branches of Jökulsá á Fjöllum in the west. Enlarge.
12 March 2015 - from the Scientific Advisory Board
Notes from the Meeting of the Scientific Advisory Board 10 March (pdf 0.3 Mb) are now available. No further meetings are booked; the board will convene when needed. The main points of the meeting are:
- The hazards that may still be relevant, following the events in Bárðarbunga and Holuhraun, were discussed.
- More equipment must be installed in the area, and the monitoring of the Icelandic Met Office must be secured, before the area is opened for the public.
- Counter-measures to reduce risk in the area will be taken and decisions on further opening of the area will then be made.
- The Aviation Colour Code for Bárðarbunga was changed from orange to yellow when the eruption ended.
5 March 2015 - field trip yesterday
4 March 2015 - field report with photos
3 March 2015 - surveillance flight confirmed the end
Last week, Thursday evening 27 February, a surveillance flight was made in order to confirm the news that no glow was visible on webcams at Holuhraun. It was too dark to take any photographs.
According to thermal measurements (FLIR, IES) there was still considerable heat on the rims of the crater but colder at its bottom. A gas detector showed max 0.5 ppm SO2 in flight and max 0.4 ppm when tested on ground, at the southwestern edge of the lava field.
In the northeastern part of the lava field there were still embers in old outbreaks; the maximum temperature detected was 560°C (compared to 1200°C before). After comparison with other data at the Met Office it is concluded that probably the eruption ended early morning 27 February.
3 March 2015 - from the Scientific Advisory Board
The volcanic eruption in Holuhraun came to an end on Friday 27th of February.
Scientists are now analysing data and examining the eruption site to reassess the hazard assessment. It was decided to use this week for that assignment. The Scientific Advisory Board will meet again next Tuesday, 10th of March, based on that meeting it will be decided if the hazard assessment and the restricted area will be changed.
Notes from the Meeting of the Scientific Advisory Board (pdf 0.4 Mb)
2 March 2015 - gas emissions continue
The eruption in Holuhraun has come to an end but the Icelandic Meteorological Office still monitors gas dispersal closely. Other lava eruptions have taught that the lava field continues to emit gas for a long time yet and without the thermal rise from an open vent, the volcanic gases will tend to follow the ground. Therefore, even higher values of more polluting gas may be expected now than in recent weeks.
1 - 28 February 2015
Observations from the month of February are found in another comparable article, including a declaration from the Scientific Advisory Board that the volcanic eruption in Holuhraun has come to an end and that gas emissions still continue.