Iceland: Hekla volcano could be ready for another eruption, measurements suggest – Published 30 Mar 2017 1730z (GMT/UTC)

Mount Hekla Volcano

“More pressure is in the magma chambers underneath the mountain than before the last two eruptions in 1991 and 2000” says geophysicist Pall Einarsson at the University of Iceland

 

Mount Hekla

“Most measurements that we have today indicate that Hekla is ready for an eruption, but we do not know what factor will set the eruption off,” says geophysicist Pall Einarsson at the University of Iceland. More pressure is in the magma chambers underneath the mountain than before the last two eruptions in 1991 and 2000. It’s however impossible to say whether a Hekla eruption is to be expected soon or not, as eruptions come without much warning and with little correlation to other volcanic or earthquake activities in South Iceland. Today marks the 70th anniversary of the greatest Hekla eruption known to man, which lasted 13 months. There have been five eruptions in Mount Hekla since 1970.

RSOE March 30 2017 12:35 PM (UTC).

“1991

On January 17th Helka violently erupted with a cloud of ash and tephra that reached an altitude of 39,360 ft. (12 km). During this eruption a summit fissure and a main crater were created and from these lava flows extended down the southeastern and northwestern slopes. Lava fountains in these craters reached a height of 984 ft. (300m). This eruption continued until March 11th when activity once again died down”. – volcano.oregonstate.edu

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“2000

A lava field on Hekla in July 2000

The most recent eruption was relatively short, it started at 18:18 on 26 February 2000 and lasted until 8 March. It was a VEI3 eruption producing a lava volume of 0.189 km3 DRE[38] / 0.29 km3[12] and 107 m3 of tephra.[12] The eruption went through four phases:

  1. initial explosive stage
  2. fire fountains
  3. bursts of Strombolian eruption
  4. effusion of lava[38]

Eruption activity was at a maximum in the first hour and by the first night the fissure on Hekla had opened to a length of 6–7 km. The steam column rose to a height of almost 15 km and ash was transported to Grímsey.[39] During this eruption, a NASA DC-8 aeroplane accidentally flew through the plume with all instruments switched on, resulting in unprecedented measurement of a young volcanic plume.[40]

Up until this eruption, it had always been assumed that Hekla was incapable of producing the most dangerous of volcanic phenomena, the pyroclastic flow. In January 2003, however, a team from the Norvol Institute in Reykjavík, under the leadership of Dr. Ármann Höskuldsson, reported that they found traces of a pyroclastic flow, roughly 5 km long, stretching down the side of the mountain. This will call for a reappraisal of volcanic eruptions of the basic rock type, which up to now were generally thought not to produce large pyroclastic flows. It will also require that the public and curious spectators who always rush to the scene at the start of a new outbreak, be kept much further away from the volcanic activity than was thought necessary during previous outbreaks.

Future eruptions

Steam at the summit of Hekla

In January 2010 there were reports of patches near to the summit not covered with snow[41] and that the lava chamber pressure had reached levels similar to those before Hekla last erupted[42] however no eruption subsequently occurred.

International media reported activity that is interpreted as being close to another eruption in July 2011[43] while Icelandic news sources claimed otherwise.[44] The Icelandic state news web site, ruv.is, regularly warns travellers of imminent eruptions.[45][46][47]

In March 2013 a Civil Protection State of Uncertainty was issued due to an unusual cluster of seven micro-earthquakes at a depth of approximately 11 km, to the NE of the volcano, although there were no signs of ground deformation.[48] People were warned against travelling to the mountain, and the air traffic surveillance level was increased to yellow temporarily.[49][50] In April the volcano underwent unusual rapid inflation, particularly in the northern region of the volcano, that some commentators regarded as making an imminent eruption more likely.[51][52]”

For  more see:

Icelandic Meteorological Office

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

volcano.oregonstate.edu

Do not use any information on this site for life or death decisions. All information is intended as supplementary to official sources. Kindly refer to your country’s official weather agency/government website for local warnings, advisories and bulletins.

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