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Iceland Mag

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The new Holuhraun lava field is getting significantly thicker

By Staff

The new Holuhraun lava field now covers 84.4 square km (32.2 sq mi). It is on average 10 m (33 ft) thick in the eastern part, about 12 m (39 ft) in the center, and about 14 m (46) or more in the western part according to the Icelandic Met Office (IMO).

Scientists from the Institute of Earth Science (IES) made radar measurements for height, giving indications of the thickness, during a surveillance flight on December 30th. Uncertainties are considerable and full processing of the data is not finished 

IES reports that according to the preliminary results the new Holuhraun lava field has thickened significantly since the beginning of December, chiefly in the eastern part of the lava field, where new lava has spread over tongues of lava from earlier stages of the eruption.

According to the measurements the maximum thickness of the lava is close to the magma lake and is about 40 m (131 ft) at the eastern margin of the lake.

Preliminary estimate for the volume of the lava is 1.1 km³.

Two flight sections were also measured across Bárðarbunga caldera during the surveillance flight. The subsidence continues in a similar fashion as in the last few weeks and is about 25 cm (10 in) per day. The ice surface in Bárðarbunga has lowered by 59 m (194 ft) since August 16th.  

Holuhraun_satellite_january.jpg

From orbit Combined satellite images, LANDSAT 8 thermal image (NASA & USGS) and SENTINEL 1 (ESA), Captured on January 5th. Processed by the Institute of Earth Science. 

 

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