Cracks in ice indicate possible eruption at Bárðarbunga

“Hard to Explain what Happened if not Caused by an Eruption”

Rifts, about four to six kilometers (2.4 to 2.6 miles) long, have formed in Vatnajökull outlet glacier Dyngjujökull northeast of Bárðarbunga, according to the Icelandic Met Office and RÚV, .

Small calderas have also formed in the glacier and it cannot be ruled out that an eruption has started. The new calderas are thought to have been formed by heat from below.

According to Víðir Reynisson, director of the Civil Protection Department, there is no indication of a flood yet, but it would be hard to explain what has occurred if not caused by an eruption.

Seismic activity in Bárðarbunga was greater last night than the night before, with 500 earthquakes between midnight and 6 am. That included two larger earthquakes, one 5.3 about 2.5 km southeast of Bárðarbunga and another of 5.2 some 9.6 km east-northeast of Bárðarbunga.

Thanks to Angela Rambolosik for these links

14 thoughts on “Cracks in ice indicate possible eruption at Bárðarbunga

  1. as of 6 44pm aussie time(thurs 28th aug)our day 🙂 the usgs charts show another 5 quake in the last hour.
    so thats four 5 and 5+ in some 12hrs, no wonder cracks are appearing.

  2. 28th August 2014 12:35 – from of the Scientific Advisory Board

    Scientists from the Icelandic Meteorological Office and the Institute of Earth Sciences, together with representatives of the Civil Protection in Iceland, met today to discuss the on-going unrest at the Bárðarbunga volcano.
    Conclusions of the Scientific Advisory Board:

    This morning, there was a flight over the Bárðarbunga area and the surface of the glacier was surveyed. No changes to the ice crevasses southeast of Bárðarbunga, that were seen yesterday evening, were observed. These crevasses were likely formed due to melting at the ice bottom.
    The depressions have been located southeast of the Bárðarbunga caldera, in all likelihood within the water divide of the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum. There are three circular crevasse formations, about 5 km in total length. The ice thickness in the area is 400-600 m.

    The water level in Grímsvötn Lake has been surveyed and has likely risen by about 5-10 m in the last days, which corresponds to an addition of 10-30 million m3 of water in the lake. A slight increase in conductivity in Köldukvísl River was measured this morning, but the cause is yet unknown. No change has been measured in the Hágöngulón lagoon, Jökulsá River and Skjálfandi River. It is assumed, that the water from the cauldron has flowed into the Grímsvötn Lake or the river Jökulsá á Fjöllum.

    The seismic activity is similar to that of the last days. Around midnight, three earthquakes of magnitude around 4 were recorded and one of magnitude 5 at 08:13 this morning, all located within the Bárðarbunga caldera.
    Shortly before 08:00 this morning, there was a slight increase in seismic activity in the Askja volcano. Changes in the stress field due to expansion caused by the dyke have an effect on the Askja area.

    Since yesterday, the length of the dyke under Dyngjujökull has increased by 1-1.5 km to the north, which is considerably less than in the last days. The dyke has now reached the fissure system of the Askja volcano and GPS measurements indicate that the area there is greatly affected.

    The conclusions from the meeting of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Icelandic Civil Protection will continue to be published at around noon, after the meeting, if necessary

  3. Latest update at has it that he is expecting two volcanoes to erupt, this one being one and Askja next door. Both of these have histories of sizeable eruptions. And remember, Katla has been flirting with serious unrest for quite some time. If you draw the line backwards, that this “dyke” has been growing along, you will find Katla.

  4. I think the comments about Katla are misplaced, presently there are no signs of unrest, however the other two do seem to be building up to their next eruptions. I say seem because it might not happen but with each passing day it is looking more & more likely that something will happen.

    The ice cauldrons are not a surprise – with all the heat under Bardarbunga it is not surprise to discover some of the glacier above has melted.

    Of course this matter is starting to panic some people, for instance those with future travel plans and for those the best comment is to wait and see, there is nothing that anyone can do about it – perhaps check your insurance and ponder if you have an alternative travel option but even if there is an eruption it does not mean there has to be travel disruption.

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