The changing faces of Fagradalsfjall: fizz, bubbles and slugs

We have had quite a ride. The eruption began unseen, on March 19. The new fissure opened on April 5, after the initial double cone had begun to wane. The new fissures sprouted a series of cones, mostly twinned. By May, all twins had exterminated one of the siblings, and the survivors had battled for…

Magma sponge

There is one question that has been bugging me lately. Why are there two types of eruptions in the Reykjanes Peninsula? Slow and fast. I have talked about this before, in here. Basically eruptions can be classified into two broad categories depending on how fast the maximum eruption rate is, which clusters into two end-members,…

The ballad of Ballareldar: twister in the snow

Volcanoes are nature at its most impressive – and most damaging. The fire and the lava are a deadly alluring combination. Once the flow gets going, it is unstoppable. It may be deflectable: people are currently trying hard to save their road by building a wall. We were wondering, will the wall work? It would…

The ballad of Ballareldar: the boom and the bust

The eruption continues. There is so much hiding behind such an easy sentence. It continues – but always changes. It is not life as we know or understand it is the second most memorable phrase (at least in the paraphrased version) from Star Trek. This eruption is like that. You forget that this is actually…

The ballad of Ballareldar: the dike, the fissure and the fault

This is quite an eruption, with surprises with every new turn of events. It is an unusually tourist-friendly eruption: conveniently located, small, non-damaging (except to the owner of the land) and spectacular. It does appear that not all tourists are as friendly to the virtual tourists, judging from the antics going on in front of…

The Plume of Ballareldar?

To me the part of a volcano that is visibly erupting is the least exciting part. Perhaps a better way of stating it is, that it is only the effect of the cause. This is obviously not true to most people on the planet, so I think I owe everyone an explanation. And that explanation is especially important since we need to look deep into the volcano, to understand its future.   Like most people I can obviously spend hours looking at lava bombs being hurled, and lava slowly filling valleys. But, getting…

A wandering eruption

Since the eruption in Iceland started, some of us have been wondering about other past volcanic events that we could compare it to, in such a search I came up with an Icelandic eruption that I believe might by a good analogue, and no, it’s not the Krafla Fires. Currently some of the characteristics of…

The Hell Machine

Guest post by Chad As is now abundantly clear, a new eruptive cycle on the Reykjanes Peninsula has begun. While an isolated eruption did happen in the ocean off the end of the peninsula in 1783, there has not been an eruption on land since 1240, today 781 years ago. The eruption ongoing now has…

Reykjanes surprise

The eruption in Geldingadalir seemed to be waning. The flows from the two cones were notably weaker this morning. The cracks in the back of the cones which has been emitting steam had stopped doing so. The raised lava pool in front of the cones was emptying, and earthquake activity was almost absent. Activity has…

Reykjanes forever ?

The eruption is now some 10 days old. In some ways it has progressed as expected. The row of cones has focussed on one spot, although surprisingly it produced a twin (after exterminating the minor third). The lava is filling the valley but has not found an escape so remains well confined. The Icelanders are…