Sulfur dioxide detected in a drilling hole in Svartsengi power plant
Svartsengi powerplant in the dark. Underneath the power of the earth is brewing, posing a danger to the plant that otherwise utilizes those same powers. mbl.is/Eggert Jóhannesson
Yesterday, magma gas, or sulfur dioxide, was measured from a drilling hole in Svartsengi power plant, located just north of Mt. Þorbjörn. The drilling hole is located in the east under Grindavík road and extends into the crust towards Sundhnúkar crater row.
This is reported in a notice from the Icelandic Met Office.
Confirmation of magma north of Hagafell
This means that the end of the well is extended close to the point in the crust where the magma channel is estimated to be. Further measurements will be made tomorrow. The presence of magma gas from the well is a confirmation of the presence of magma north of Hagafell, as models have indicated.
The seismic activity at the magma channel has been relatively stable between days. At 17 am, about 1,300 earthquakes had been measured since midnight, the largest of which was 2.6 magnitude and was measured at Hagafell before five o’clock yesterday morning. Most of the earthquakes were less than two magnitude and the most intense activity is at Hagafell.
Chance of eruption still high
“Deformation related to the magma channel continues to be measured, although it has slowed slightly since yesterday. The latest models calculated from GPS measurements and satellite data indicate that the most breakage of the magma channel is north of Grindavík near Hagafell. If magma is able to break its way to the surface, it is still most likely to occur in that area.”
It is noted that the likelihood of a volcanic eruption is still considered high.
“The signals of subsidence of small-swarm activity and sudden glide are continuing to be observed, which may be a predictor of magma breaking to the surface. However, there are no signs of this.”