Rivers of lava- stunning new shots of the eruption

The eruption in Holuhraun has subsided somewhat. Pollution from poison gases is now the largest problem arising from the eruption. There is still considerable seismic activity in the Bardarbunga crater, with quakes coming at frequent intervals and ending in a large quake. 

Groups of scientists are using this rather more quiet time in the eruption to look into data to predict how the next few weeks will go and when the eruption will end.

Lava flow from the eruption causes little danger but gas pollution from the eruption has started to affect people all over Iceland. "We haven't dealt with anything like this since the Laki eruption in the eighteenth century," explains volcanologist Ármann Höskuldsson. This is the first eruption in Bardarbunga in the age of science." 

The reason for the gas pollution, according to Höskuldsson,  is that the magma comes straight from the depths of the earth, the very heart of Iceland which results in a different kind of eruption. 

The Scientific Advisory Board of the Icelandic Civil Protection has issued the following information today: 

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
  • The Icelandic Met Office has a form on its web-page for the public to report if they have detected gas pollution. A link to the page can be found on the Icelandic version of the web page under Skrá mengun.


  • 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.




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Later today

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