Report on Bardarbunga (Iceland) — 17 December-23 December 2014
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
17 December-23 December 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, 17 December-23 December 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 17-23 December, IMO maintained Aviation Colour Code Orange due to continued activity at Bárdarbunga’s Holuhraun eruptive fissure. The lava field covered just over 79.8 square kilometers on 18 December. Data collected during an overflight showed that subsidence of Bárdarbunga Caldera continued with a total amount of 56 m and a volume of 1.7 cubic kilometers since the beginning of the eruption. On 22 December lava was flowing through a closed channel to the E edge of the lava field, about 15 km from the crater. Lava was also flowing N.
Geological Summary. 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 km3, 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.