Bárðarbunga volcano getting ready to blow? 1000 Earthquakes felt as magma moves into ice covered caldera

yearly_activity[1]From the Icelandic Meteorological Office:

A summary of seismic activity, written Tuesday evening 19th August 2014 at 20:00

Around 1.000 small earthquakes were detected in the Bárðarbunga region from midnight (18/19) until Tuesday evening 19th August at 20:00. All of them were smaller than magnitude 3 and most were located in the cluster east of Bárðarbunga.

While the northern cluster close to Kistufell has calmed down significantly following the M4.5 earthquake on early Monday morning, event rates in the eastern cluster are still high. Similar to recent days, two pulses of comparably strong seismic activity have been measured between 04:00 and 08:00 this morning, as well as 16:00 and 18:30 in the afternoon. The cluster east of Bárðarbunga continued to slowly migrate northeastwards today. Events are still located at around 5-12 km depths, no signs of upwards migration has been seen so far.

Below is a summary map of all manually revised earthquakes since the onset of the swarm, which illustrates the migration of earthquake activity during the last days. Earthquakes in the map are colour coded by time, dark blue dots show the onset of the swarm on Saturday, orange dots Tuesday’s events until 19:00, light blue and yellow are the days in between. The time scale is days since the onset of the swarm.

Map by Gunnar B. Guðmundsson, Icelandic Meteorological Office.


via WUWT commenter “unmentionable”:

From the quotes below it sound like they’re crossing their fingers and toes that this thing stays underground and does not get any bigger. the longer the tremor goes on like this the worse its going to be if it pops under 2,000 ft of water ice.


Magma flowing into Bárðarbunga caldera with great force – 20th August 2014


Kristín Vogfjörð, seismologist and research director at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, says that the activity is very powerful. “This just keeps going on. This is many times more powerful than what’s been going on in recent years.” Kristín says that a large volume of magma is flowing under the caldera, heading northeast towards the Kverkfjöll mountain range. The magma is staying at a depth of 5-10 kilometers – there are no signs of it moving any closer to the surface. If asked if an eruption is due to happen in the next few days, Kristín responds: “Not necessarily. There’s nothing suggesting that it’s about to. But due to the size and scale of the activity there’s full reason to be vigilant and prepare for an eruption.”

Magma surge towards the surface would be very powerful – 20th August 2014


Kristín Vogfjörð, research director at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, says that the current seismic activity at Bárðarbunga is many times more powerful than any on record for the site. “It’s very powerful,” she says. For comparison she notes that thousands of quakes have been measured at Bárðarbunga in the past week, but in the Gjálpar eruption in 1996 they were only a few hundred. … “While this is going on, it may never reach the surface. But we still need to keep an eye on it because the volume of magma is incredible,” she adds. …”There is no indication that it’s moving further up than that. But if it were to happen, it would happen very quickly,” Kristín states.


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Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:
Oklahoma has nothing on Iceland! That one little island is having 50 an hour.

North Atlantic tectonics about to strike?
See Vuk’s graphs


… and the emitted carbon dioxide … ?

Large volume means cools slowly. There’s a lot of molten rock down there that is not going to be solid any time soon… unless it’s not down there anymore…
Hope this doesn’t happen.


Hockey stick alert!
(Oh wait. This is based on real measurements …)

Worried Lank

What happens now? Iceland has a population of about 330,000 people – when does the evacuation of these folk start? Do we wait for this to blow and take the risk it will wipe out most of the island?

When the volcano blows it will perhaps create another Island like Surtsey. Surtsey was created in 1963 by an eruption in Iceland. Iceland is on the Mid Atlantic Ridge and as such is separating. Half of the Island is moving towards Europe and half to North America. The separation is about 6 feet in 60 years.. In parts of Iceland you can walk through the separation gap in the expansion joint. So Iceland will always have Volcanic and Earthquake activity as our Planet Expands. What we have to do as ,supposedly intellegent people, is to accept the earth expansion reality and debunk “Isostatic Rebound” Isostatic Rebound has been mistaken for Earth Expansion all along. The Ice age therefore is a Myth and I can prove both hypotheses. Earth Expansion has been ongoing for millions of years while Isostatic Rebound is the figment of Darwin’s imagination which gained a following and resulted in the Rebound Theory. Nothing like that is reality it all a myth. Earth Expansion has been miatakenly termed Isostatic Rebound because as the Earth Expands Se alevels fall. and that is where Darwin went wrong.
Richard Guy ” THe Mysteriouos Receding Seas” on You Tube and Google and WEb Page : https://xbraille.wix.com/receding-seas Tel; 914-563-8529

george e. smith

Kawabunga ! , that will be something to see, and write a new chapter in the “here’s why the models don’t work” soap opera.

Russ in TX

What does it mean when somebody describes a volume of magma as “incredible?” I’m not a vulcanologist — is this typical media hype-talk, or does “incredible” actually mean just that?

Worried Lank

From Paul’s link ….”Barðárbunga stretches out over 200 kilometers long. It has a large eruption every 250-600 years. One of its eruptions before settlers arrived was 21-30 cubic kilometers of lava. Like her little brother Laki, she’s associated with massive amounts of toxic gas release.”
Mt Pinotoba produced about half the lava of this and without anywhere near the volume of gas. And of course it was not under ice cover so the lahars from Pinotoba will be nothing compared with what could happen here!

Anything is possible

If it blows, we will have excuse #32 for the pause……

CC Squid

“Lahar is an Indonesian term that describes a hot or cold mixture of water and rock fragments flowing down the slopes of a volcano and (or) river valleys. When moving, a lahar looks like a mass of wet concrete that carries rock debris ranging in size from clay to boulders more than 10 m in diameter. Lahars vary in size and speed. Small lahars less than a few meters wide and several centimeters deep may flow a few meters per second. Large lahars hundreds of meters wide and tens of meters deep can flow several tens of meters per second–much too fast for people to outrun.”

Reblogged this on The Next Grand Minimum and commented:
Volcanic activity has played a role in grand minimum cooling. We could see some Norther Hemisphere cooling with the eruption of this volcano.


Two good sources for info:
I have a bad feeling about this..

The prevailing winds in Iceland are toward the east and the most heavily populated area of Iceland is to the west and southwest of Bárðarbunga. That may mitigate the effects somewhat on the population if a major eruption occurs.

Michael 2

My Icelandic was never very good but the right hand legend is “Days From” and the color codes are how many days after 16 August 2014 so you can see the tracks.
Yfirfarith (the crossed “d” is a soft “eth” like the th in “mother”) means Yfir (over) farith (the fare, traveling, go, as in English “fare” like fare well).
Or in other words, traveled over (land) starting from 16 August for 4 days.
This is almost on the centerline of the watershed flowing northeast and southwest under the largest glacier on east central Iceland. It would produce an enormous amount of water that would break loose in a flood going both directions cutting off the ring road. It’s far enough from Reyjkavik to not perhaps be a serious problem to the city.
It might pose a risk to Kharanjukar dam.

Leon Brozyna

Hope this thing fizzles out … if it blows, it’ll ruin the day for a lot of people … and give us another bitterly cold winter.


If it erupts it might send a billion pounds of chlorine directly into the stratosphere. Of course those are good little chlorine atoms, not like those horrid man-made chlorine compounds that stay near the ground and when the ozone molecules see them from 50 miles up they decompose. Nor all the other hydro-X gasses that when in water form sulfuric, nitric, or hydrochloric acid. Don’t be silly, acid rain comes from coal fired plants – including when Portland OR had clothing dissolving a century ago, it couldn’t possibly be from the erupting Alaskan volcano.
Now if only Mt Ranier erupts totally destroying the Puget Sound area and disrupting those awful coal trains…

Bob Diaz

If it blows, I’m sure that someone will blame it on increased CO2.

Barbara Skolaut

“If it blows, I’m sure that someone will blame it on increased CO2.”
And the usual suspects will blame it on Booooooosh, Bob. (Or the Jooooooos. Or both.) >:-(


Time to listen.


You can bet the CAGW grant hounds are desperately praying to the volcano god Pele that this gigantic volcano blows it’s top, because if it does, it’ll be the ultimate excuse to explain away the 18 years of flat/falling global temperature trends and future anemic trends for decades.
Volcanism is already a common excuse used by CAGW grant hounds to explain away the entire Little Ice Age (1280~1850) that lasted for about six centuries..
If she blows, and it’s as big as previous Baroarbunga eruptions, it could well be a career saving phenomenon for many of these feckless hacks.

Interestingly enough, there appears to be a link between volcanic activity and solar activity at maxima and minima during 11 year cycles.


I don’t like it. Keeping an eye on Katla was onerous too.
So much to learn in this field yet.


Mr Mann and The Team will have had jizzed themselves after seeing the ‘Seismicity at Bárðarbunga’ graph. Hockey sticks hockey sticks everywhere

The Good News is … The plotted earthquakes are not getting closer to the surface, nor are they significantly larger over these four days.
The Bad News is … The are getting slightly larger as they trend to the northeast; the newer earthquakes are slightly larger over time than the earlier earthquakes.
The Good News is .. They are getting further from the (previous) volcanic peak, and so may not erupt like it did previously.
The Bad News is … They are trending to the northeast, which IS the dominant direction of the surface features (the fault lines) and IS parallel to the Great Rift; thus, the earthquake centers are closer to the surface and to flaws in the surface that can vent lava, gas, and ash more easily.
The Good News is … They are trending further from the volcanoes peak .
The Bad News is … They are trending in a direction where the mountain is lower, thus the earthquakes (magma pockets) are closer to the surface.
The Good News is … The earthquakes are trending to the northeast, which means they are closer to the edge of the glaciers on the mountain peak.
The Bad News is … They are trending to the northeast, which is the line directly under the longest length of the glacier ice. Also, if the magma breaks through, ice upstream (uphill) of the lava is likely to melt anyway, slice downhill towards the venting gas and magma, and melt anyway right in the lave, thus spewing steam and gas even further into the atmosphere. If the lava heated rocks which melted all of the glacier ice before the lava breaks out, then the water can flow off downstream “a little less” catastrophically. May still flood, but more slowly.
The Bad News is … Many glaciers are thinnest at the very top(where little ice has been deposited yet) and at the very bottom (where melting is highest and temperatures warmest). If the lava breaks through in the middle of the glacier, more glacier ice is directly above the new volcanic vent since the glacier is likely thickest in the middle of the run.


I don’t want to sound alarmist, but back in 1200 BC, there was a swarm of earthquakes happening around the middle east and volcanic eruptions.


Solar Notch model may be right after all with it’s free fall in global if it blows high into the stratosphere.
“Ice Age”




RACookPE1978 says:
August 20, 2014 at 7:10 pm
I would certainly like to see any sat based elevatiion change as such a pyroclastic flow continues ,underground, to move. Force vs pipe if you will. I would hope we have some GPS devices located in the area too boot!
Is it an earthworm making progress of a mole following a hole?
Somebody has to have some linkage to such…….


Ice Age, actually during the last ice age, there were more seismic and volcanic eruptions than now.
But usually any dust depending in which direction it moves, doesn’t stay around forever. Well I hope so anyway.


Mods, or a mole, not of. Help please……
Sorry, testing a BT keyboard and mouse on a TV tonight.

Michael D

Jocularity aside, we certainly don’t want another Krakatoa. Good wishes to Iceland !


Not sure if this is accurate info or not but something I came across….worth the quick read though:
“The winter of 1783-1784. The Revolutionary War had just ended, and Benjamin Franklin was puzzling over the nation’s bizarre weather. Congress had been delayed getting to Annapolis to vote for the Treaty of Paris because the Chesapeake Bay just wouldn’t melt. The Mississippi River froze down to New Orleans, and ice was reported floating in the Gulf of Mexico. Reports from Europe were of a bizarrely hot summer with thick fog that was choking people to death in Scotland, massive hailstones, lightning, and crop failures. The sun was blood-red at noon. Mass starvation that would ultimately kill 1/6ths of Egypt’s population took hold due to a historic drought of the Nile. As many as six million people would die from the bizarre weather.
Franklin was one of the few scientists of the era to (almost) correctly speculate as to its cause:
“The cause of this universal fog is not yet ascertained […] or whether it was the vast quantity of smoke, long continuing, to issue during the summer from Hekla in Iceland, and that other volcano which arose out of the sea near that island, which smoke might be spread by various winds, over the northern part of the world, is yet uncertain.”
He, however, had mixed up his Icelandic volcanoes, for it was not Hekla that erupted that year, causing the planet-altering weather, but Laki (Eldgjá). A rift 23 kilometers long opened up in places up to 100 meters wide with lava fountains at times reaching over a kilometers into the air – and it continued erupting for 8 months.
The total quantity of lava erupted – 14 cubic kilometers – was not that much more than Mount Pinatubo (largest eruption of the 20th century)’s 10 cubic kilometers. But the eruption kicked out a staggering 120 million tons of sulfur dioxide, compared to Pinatubo’s 17 million – nearly supervolcano levels. Also unusually, Laki emitted 8 million tons of hydrogen fluoride – normally a trace volcanic gas. These gasses created the “Laki Haze” across Europe. In Iceland, the consequences were most severe – a quarter of the population starved or died of fluoride poisoning, and most of the livestock died. Denmark considered evacuating the entire island.
Is Laki threatening to go off? No. Then why do I mention him?
Because his big sister IS threatening to go off.” ……Bardarbunga


Back in the forties, my mother blamed the bad weather and cold winters on atmospheric atom bomb explosions. Might be too.


oops, disregard my previous post….I see there’s a link above to it. Sorry Paul.
But here’s a web cam ….hope it’s not posted above http://www.livefromiceland.is/webcams/bardarbunga/

Bill Illis

Webcam from the Grimsfjall nearby volcano shows the eruption has started.
Others not showing it.


Michael D says:
August 20, 2014 at 8:17 pm
Jocularity aside, we certainly don’t want another Krakatoa. Good wishes to Iceland !
..or Tambora . Yikes. All the best to Iceland.

Bill Illis

Sorry, didn’t realize this links would show up. Website has changed I guess.


Is that dust Bill? Or Ash?


Not sure if that is new? There was a glowing area in those shots several hours ago.


could that just be the sun starting to rise through a light sensitive camera and fog?


That mogt.is site is running epically slow… must be getting a ton of hits.

Bill Illis

I guess it is just sunrise.
Sun comes up pretty early in Iceland at this time of year.

Here is another web site that does quakes and volcanoes. Armand Vervaeck does a great job with the information he shows….http://earthquake-report.com/2013/05/27/wordwide-volcano-activity-copahue-volcano-chile-alert-raised-to-red/


With what is going on in Iceland, is this information fed to the airlines that fly over this island? Would the airlines avoid flying over Iceland if the information being gathered appears to be pointing to a possible eruption?