volcano status

Volcanic eruption in Holuhraun continues

Volcano Iceland Short DocumentaryDuring last week the eruption continues at a similar intensity and with similar lava flow, around 100 earthquakes have been measured in Iceland over the last 24 hours, there off 84 around Bardarbunga. Few earthquakes have been measured in the dyke but more earthquakes have been measured around Tungnafellsjokull glacier or around 40 over the same period. This is similar activity as the day before.

The Aviation Colour Code for Bardarbunga remains at ‘orange’.

The GPS station in the centre of Bardarbunga show that the subsidence of the caldera continues with similar rate as before. So far five earthquakes greater than M3.0 were recorded over the last 48 hours in or around the caldera. The largest one was M5.4 at 11:16 on Wednesday.GPS measurements show minor movements. No great changes were detected and no change was detected in water monitoring that cannot be explained by changing weather.

Air quality:
Today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday) east and northeast winds, gas pollution is expected in west and the southwest of the eruption site. A map showing the gas forecast can be found on the web page of the Icelandic Met Office www.vedur.is/vedur/spar/textaspar/oskufok/ An interactive map showing the gas distribution can be seen at www.vedur.is/vedur/spar/gasdreifing


  • People who feel discomfort are advised to stay indoors, close their windows, turn up the heat and turn off air conditioning. Use periods of good air quality to ventilate the house. People experiencing adverse effects should be in immediate contact with their healthcare centre. Measurements of air quality can be found on the webpage www.airquality.is The Meteorological Office issues forecast on its web-page and warnings if conditions change to the worse.
  • Instructions from The Environment Agency of Iceland and Chief Epidemiologist can be found on their web-sites.
  • The Icelandic Met Office will publish forecasts for sulphuric gases dispersion on the web and in the national radio.
  • Information and any questions on air pollution can be sent to The Environment Agency through the email gos@ust.is. The Environment Agency is especially looking for information from people who have been in contact with high concentrations of gas; where they were, at what time it happened, how the gas cloud looked (colour and thickness of the cloud) and how they were affected by it.

Three scenarios are considered most likely:

  • The eruption on Holuhraun declines gradually and subsidence of the Bardarbunga caldera stops.
  • Large-scale subsidence of the caldera occurs, prolonging or strengthening the eruption on Holuhraun. In this situation, it is likely that the eruptive fissure would lengthen southwards under Dyngjujokull, resulting in a jokulhlaup and an ash-producing eruption. It is also possible that eruptive fissures could develop in another location under the glacier.
  • Large-scale subsidence of the caldera occurs, causing an eruption at the edge of the caldera. Such an eruption would melt large quantities of ice, leading to a major jokulhlaup, accompanied by ash fall.

Map of Volcanic eruption Area