"It looks like the inflation has resumed"

Twelve days have passed since the eruption started at the …

Twelve days have passed since the eruption started at the Sundhnúkagígar crater row. mbl.is/Hörður Kristleifsson

According to the Icelandic Met Office’s deformation measurement director, Benedikt Gunnar Ófeigsson, there are signs that inflation has resumed under Svartsengi.

Twelve days have passed since the eruption at Sundhnúkagígar crater row began; the fifth in a row in this area since December. In the first days after the eruption, land-levels were measured in the Svartsengi-area but now there are indications that land is beginning to rise again.

The lava tongue has barely been moving since yesterday

“It looks like the inflation has resumed, but it will be more evident tomorrow when we read the data,” Ófeigsson says to mbl.is.

According to Ófeigsson, the first days of the eruption saw deformation. From the weekend onwards, the land had been flat, but now it is likely that land is beginning to rise. The activity in the only crater that is active has been quite similar in the last few days.

Last Saturday night, the flow of lava began to increase downstream of Mt Sýlingarfell to the west, and a part of Grindavíkurvegur Road went under lava again, and for the third time since volcanic activity began in the Mt Sundhnúkur volcanic system. The burst of activity ended later on Saturday afternoon, and the tongue of lava has barely moved since yesterday.

Ófeigsson says this happens. Lava gathers in lava ponds and when they break, it flows out with added force like it did this weekend. He says scenario could repeat itself.

“This can continue for weeks to come,” he says, but adds that it’s impossible to predict how long the eruption will continue with any certainty.

Most likely these events will continue

When asked if he can see the end of the volcanic eruptions in this area this summer, he says:

“If we continue to see inflation at a rate comparable to the Svartsengi system, I’m quite afraid this will happen again. I think it’s highly likely that these events will continue, but it’s hard to predict this.”

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