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Bárðarbunga – And So Begins The Gas Plume

An indepth look at what is happening with the volcanic activity in Iceland, along with regular updates – from Daily Kos

‘In Icelandic volcanoes deep in the highlands, lava is rarely a major threat. The serious threats we face from volcanoes in the currently active system, as mentioned previously, are:

1) Jökulhlaup – catastrophic glacial outburst floods which can reach biblical proportions. This is a local catastrophe.

2) Pumice / ash falls – some of the volcanoes in the current system have had tremendous explosive eruptions of a scale that caused widespread abandonment of farms and towns over a hundred miles away. This is a local catastrophe.

3) Ash clouds – eruptions from this system before airplanes were invented have caused orders of magnitude worse ash problems than Eyjafjallajökull. This is both a local and international disaster.

4) Gas emissions – eruptions from the broader system have at times released enough climate-altering, poisonous gases to kill millions of people worldwide.

Those who remember my first article in this series will recall the consequences of the last time, a couple hundred years ago, that #4 led to a catastrophe. Well, finally we have meters on site measuring sulfur dioxide emissions from the first sizeable eruption of the current event…….

volcanicPlume

Update, 10:00 2 september: Early reports are that activity is roughly the same as yesterday. Quake activity in the dike continues to be (proportionally) low but steady. Scientists are now heading out to the site with gas meters to decide whether they think it’s safe enough to work there today or not.

Finally got a good NESDIS SO2 satellite pass, at least for the northeast side of the country (the 11:07 pass here)). Not pretty. :Þ It’s halfway to Svalbard and Northern Norway.

New Met Office update. GPS meters suggest that outflow is nearly matching inflow. Of course, that doesn’t suggest how long inflow will continue, but at least it limits it’s potential to expand to the south (jökulhlaups) or north (potentially triggering Askja). This the current status is thus, obviously, a good thing, one that we hope will hold. Flow rates are said to be similar to yesterday. SO2 emissions are reportedly up, but still no estimates on the total emission rate. I should send an inquiry.

Heavy seismic activity continues in Herðarbreiðartögl and the Bárðarbunga caldera.’

Bardarbunga

Continue Reading article/updates at Daily Kos