It will be more difficult to protect the Blue Lagoon in a new eruption

Work has been ongoing raising the defense walls.

Work has been ongoing raising the defense walls. mbl.is/Kristinn Magnússon

If another eruption occurs this summer in the Sundhnúkagígar crater row system, volcanologist Haraldur Sigurðsson expects a similar eruption to the one that has happened.

He says that the accumulated lava in the area at Sundhnúkagígar crater row has risen, making it harder to control the flow of the magma and predict the direction. For example, protecting areas at the Blue Lagoon and Grindavík could be harder.

Seen over Svartsengi earlier this year, but here is the …

Seen over Svartsengi earlier this year, but here is the HS Orka Power Plant and the Blue Lagoon. mbl.is/Árni Sæberg

“But there’s a lot of work being done in these defense walls. If it [the eruption] follows the same course with the fissure, then that should be fine, but I think it’s just fine to continue working on the defense walls and be prepared for everything, especially near the Blue Lagoon,” Sigurðsson points out.

Like a turtle

When asked about the accumulated lava bunk, he says that the lava has been accumulating with each eruption. “Every time a lava-made mound rises by 5 to 10 meters, or at least a few meters, and then it keeps rising. That’s the mound on this turtle. The highest point has grown a little high, and that affects the flow and makes it harder to predict the direction,” he explains.

Lava from the last eruption in Sundhnúkagígar crater row.

Lava from the last eruption in Sundhnúkagígar crater row. mbl.is/Eggert Jóhannesson


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