The likelihood of another eruption increasing

The Icelandic Met Office says the area around Sundhnúkagígar crater …

The Icelandic Met Office says the area around Sundhnúkagígar crater row is not safe for people because the magma crust is widely cracked. mbl.is/Kristinn Magnússon

According to a report from the Icelandic Met Office, there are increased likelihood of a new magma-run and another volcanic eruption in the coming days. The most likely eruption is on the Sundhnúkagígar crater row and the notice time of the eruption could be very short.

There has been little change in the inflation after the volcanic eruption ended last morning. The magma accumulation continues at the same rate as before.

Likely that magma runs again into the magma chamber under Svartsengi

“Today, it can be assumed that nearly 14 million cubic metres of magma have been added to the magma chamber since the eruption began on March 16,” the announcement states.

“In previous magma-runs and volcanic eruptions, approximately 8 to 13 million cubic metres of magma have been added to the magma chamber under Svartsengi between events before the magma leaps from the magma chamber to Sundhnúkagígar crater row. Now magma levels have risen above the upper limit, but the experience from Krafla-fires shows that as magma-runs increase, more pressure is needed to start them.”

It is thought that magma may run back from the magma chamber under Svartsengi to the Sund-hnúkagígar crater row, but there is some uncertainty about when enough pressure will be reached to start the magma run and enable the magma to reach the surface.

“New eruption fissures could open up between Stóra-Skógafell and Hagafell and lava flows could be comparable to the initial phase of the last eruptions on the Sundhnúkagígar crater row,” it says. The notice could be little to none.

Sundhnúkagígar crater row not a safe place to be

“An increase in seismic activity has been measured on the Sundhnúkagígar crater row in the last few days. This increase in seismic activity is probably a sign of tension release in and around the magma channel on the Sundhnúkagígar crater row due to increased magma pressure in the magma chamber underneath Svartsengi magma channel.”

The seismic activity south of Stóra-Skógafell increased overnight and was local or similar to how it was at the outset of the previous magma-runs.

“The activity lasted a rather short time, but it cannot be excluded that there was a small amount of magma breaking through,” the announcement states.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office has issued an updated hazard assessment of the Sundhnúkagígar crater row. The office says it is very dangerous for people to be traveling in the area. The crust in the seismic zone between Stóra-Skógafell and Hagafell is widely cracked.

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