That red area looks small, doesn’t it?
But it’s the possible site of an impending eruption, what might be one of the biggest (though well behaved) eruptions to hit Iceland in several hundred years.
The Iceland Monitor article linked below gives a good overview of what’s going on in the Reykjanes Peninsula right now — much better and more authoritative than anything I could write, though I’m continuing to work on it in the background and will post updates separately as possible.
Key words: Fagradalsfjall, Krysuvik, and Reykjanes-Svartsengi (a huge lava field, the setting, I think, for my last post on this).
It’s worth watching! This, from a seismologist there about eight hours ago:
Crazy activity tonight with M5.1 and 6 M4's within the same hour.. InSAR reveals ongoing dike formation in Fagradalsfjall on the Reykjanes peninsula. #earthquake#volcanomonitoring
More to come.. https://t.co/dBQt8yapyc
— Kristín Jónsdóttir (@krjonsdottir) March 7, 2021
The Global Volcanism Program has a page on Fagradalsfjall, where activity is concentrated at the moment (including a 20-minute burst of harmonic tremor this evening, per Jon Frimann, who is a blogger), but little to no information, as no activity is recognized here since Pleistocene times. They do mention the activity a few days ago at an adjacent volcanic system.
The situation is developing quickly — basically, underground dykes are forming as magma tries to find a path to the surface along this above-sea part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge — but at this time there is no eruption.
The good news is that, if and when it comes, it isn’t likely to be explosive, as other recent Iceland eruptions have been. The past history here, as you’ll see in the article linked below, is effusive: lava flows along the lines of Kilauea’s Fissure 18 in 2018, but lasting much longer.
Possibly for centuries.
But from what I’m reading on Twitter, it probably won’t affect international air traffic, though locals will need to make some adjustments.
- Jon Frimann is including webcams of possible eruption sites (seven, at last report) in his blog updates.
- Dr. Eric Klemetti’s blog post on this.
- Icelandic Met Office (English): official information.
Here is the article:
“If an eruption occurs, it would likely mark the beginning of such a [volcanic] period – lasting a few centuries, I believe.”
Source: Could Volcanic Period Be Ahead?
Featured image: A Red Cherry via Wikimedia