Looking at the perimeter of the magma channel as well

mbl.is/Kristinn Magnússon

The reason for the pressure change that took place in the HS Orka well in Svartsengi yesterday morning is unclear, according to Benedikt Gunnar Ófeigsson, the director of deformation measurements at the Icelandic Met Office, mbl.is reports.

The magma accumulation is expected to continue and most likely an eruption is expected to occur soon in similar areas as the previous eruptions.

The measurements received by HS Orka yesterday resembled signs of a possible magma opening but proved incorrect. The measurements were nevertheless significant, as the uncertainty is almost complete.

No increased seismicity or deformation has occurred and the Met Office assesses that the measurements were unrelated to a magma run.

After the intrusion on November 10, magma accumulation has never been greater than 13 million cubic meters, until now. It has therefore exceeded the limit that used to mark the beginning of a new eruption.

Going to expand the area of potential eruption

When asked whether it is unusual, given the pattern so far, that no eruption has started based on magma levels, Ófeigsson says it might not be that unusual, but it does represent some changes in the system.

It is changing with time and the fact that magma accumulation has exceeded this limit increases the uncertainty about a possible eruption.

When uncertainty increases, other possibilities must be considered, and according to Ófeigsson, experts are expanding the area of a possible eruption. They are especially looking at the periphery of the magma channel.

Nevertheless, he says that it is highly likely that an eruption will begin in areas similar to the last one and that all data indicate this.

However, the uncertainty about how quickly an eruption will follow increased magma accumulation is becoming more pronounced.




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