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Holuhraun eruption could go on for years

By Staff

  • The new lava field Although the eruption in Holuhraun has slowed down the volcanic fissure is still spewing up massive amount of lava. Photo/Institute of Earth Sciences

Volcanologist Ármann Höskuldsson at the Institute of Earth Science predicts that the eruption in Holuhraun could go on for years. The eruption and the subsidence in Bárðarbunga caldera are closely related and in an interview with daily newspaper Fréttablaðið Ármann explains that although activity has decreased both in Holuhraun and in the big caldera the eruption is not drawing to an end. 

"The good news, is that the gas emission is much smaller than it was in the first weeks of the eruption,” said Ármann, but high amount of sulfur dioxide pollution from the eruption has raised concerns.

According to the latest status report from the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) of the Icelandic Civil Protection lava is now flowing inside a closed channel to the eastern edge of the lava field, about 15 km (9.3 mi) from the crater. Lava is also running to the north.

The new lava field in Holuhraun now covers around 80 square km (30.9 sq mi) and is still growing.

A magnitude M4.5 earthquake struck on the southern rim of Bárðarbunga on Sunday (December 21st). It is the strongest earthquake in the caldera since last Friday (December 19th). In total about close to 200 earthquakes have been detected in Bárðarbunga since noon Friday.

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