The Litli-Hrútur eruption is over for now
The situation at Litli-Hrútur volcano at 13:21 on August 6 2023. Screenshot from the webcam of mbl.is
The eruption at Litli-Hrútur is over, or more accurately it was basically over yesterday. If the activity rebounds after this point, it would be a new volcanic eruption.
This is what volcanologist Þorvaldur Þórðarson tells mbl.is.
“It’s over for now, I think it’s quite safe to declare.” Þórðarson is part of the team that maintains the Facebook page of the Icelandic National Institute of Volcanology and Natural Hazards, the University of Iceland, which published an entry earlier suggesting that the volcanic eruption was over.
This was quoted as saying that Þórðarson had reliably predicted, in the media, that the eruption would end on Saturday, August 5 at 07:37. Now it has come to fruition that he was more or less on the ball in his predictions.
Probably 2 to 3 more volcanic eruptions
Þórðarson believes it is improbable that the eruption at Litli-Hrútur was the final leg of the Reykjanes peninsula’s series of volcanoes, which started with the eruption at Fagrafjall in 2021, Meradalir 2022 and now Litli-Hrútur in 2023.
“I think it’s more likely that we’ll have another eruption in similar areas as a result, even two or three more.”
He points out that the volcanic eruptions on the Reykjanes peninsula in recent years, are so-called fires.
It is characteristic of fires that they occur on a linear scale, in this way an eruption starts and then another eruption starts, and so on. It can often occur up to 8 volcanic eruptions in similar regions. Examples of fires experienced by Icelanders include the Krafla volcanoes, the Krýsuvík volcanoes, the Reykjanes fires and even Surtey fires.
Volcanic fires are different from volcanic eruptions that happen in volcanoes such as Katla and Hekla, which are usually eruptions with a higher power than the fires.
May we expect a year’s rest at least?
Asked how far the next eruption is, Þórðarson replies that he believes the next eruption will not be until a year at the earliest, or longer.
“Depending on the amount of magma that flows through the channel, there has been a subsidence after the eruption started. If we see that the land is starting to rise again in this area, we can expect the magma to be moving again. Naturally, the magma has to build up to a certain level and that can take a while.”
All volcanic activity was ultimately suspended
The volcano and nature group of South Iceland has also declared the eruption finished at Litli-Hrútur.