Report on Bardarbunga (Iceland) — 19 November-25 November 2014
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 19 November-25 November 2014
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2014. Report on Bardarbunga (Iceland). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 19 November-25 November 2014. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
64.633°N, 17.516°W; summit elev. 2000 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
During 18-25 November, IMO maintained Aviation Colour Code Orange due to continued activity at Bárdarbunga’s Holuhraun eruptive fissure; FLIR thermal images of the craters on 18 November showed that the most intense area of thermal convection was at the northern part of the eruption site, called Heimasæta. Lava flowed ESE. Subsidence of the Bárdarbunga caldera continued and local air pollution from gas emissions persisted. On 20 November observers characterized the eruption as pulsating explosions in the crater every 10-15 minutes, followed by a gush of lava down the main channel with splashing on either side.
Geologic Background. The large central volcano of Bárðarbunga lies beneath the NW part of the Vatnajökull icecap, NW of Grímsvötn volcano, and contains a subglacial 700-m-deep caldera. Related fissure systems include the Veidivötn and Trollagigar fissures, which extend about 100 km SW to near Torfajökull volcano and 50 km NE to near Askja volcano, respectively. Voluminous fissure eruptions, including one at Thjorsarhraun, which produced the largest known Holocene lava flow on Earth with a volume of more than 21 cu km, have occurred throughout the Holocene into historical time from the Veidivötn fissure system. The last major eruption of Veidivötn, in 1477, also produced a large tephra deposit. The subglacial Loki-Fögrufjöll volcanic system to the SW is also part of the Bárðarbunga volcanic system and contains two subglacial ridges extending from the largely subglacial Hamarinn central volcano; the Loki ridge trends to the NE and the Fögrufjöll ridge to the SW. Jökulhlaups (glacier-outburst floods) from eruptions at Bárðarbunga potentially affect drainages in all directions.