Saturday, 13 September 2014

8 Photos of Iceland's Barðarbunga Volcano

Iceland's Barðarbunga volcano has been erupting since Aug. 29, with lava shooting out of the ground on the Holuhraun lava field about halfway between that volcano and a neighboring volcano called Askja. The lava has flown out of the collapsed crater of Bardabunga, known as a caldera, in a nearly 30 mile long dyke, before reaching the Earth's surface.


The flow of molten rock, or magma, out from underneath the volcano, through the dyke, and out of the ground has been so significant that the caldera itself — which sits underneath the Dyngjujokull glacier — has sunk by more than 61 feet, which is the largest amount of subsidence observed in any volcano in Iceland since such observations began in about 1950.


Due to the magma movement and the sinking volcano, earthquakes continue to rattle the area, with a 5.5 magnitude quake last Wednesday, and a 5.3 magnitude quake last Thursday.


Scientists studying the volcano from the air and the ground have had to contend with hazardous plumes of sulfur dioxide gas that are streaming from the fissure in the ground that opened up on the Holuhraun lava field, like a scrape on a person's skin. The gases may pose a health hazard to populated areas downwind of the eruption, and have been detected as far away as Norway.


The scientists are still unsure exactly how the eruption will proceed from here. It could eventually result in flooding or an ash-producing eruption that would disrupt trans-Atlantic air travel and, if it is large enough, exert a cooling influence in the Earth's climate.


For now, though, the eruption is relatively benign, and absolutely beautiful. In this aerial view, fountains of lava, up to 200 feet high, spurt from a fissure in the ground on the north side of the Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland on Sept. 2, 2014.


The sky over the site of a lava eruption on the Holuhraun fissure on Sept. 1, 2014.


An aerial view of fountains of lava on the north side of the Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland on Sept. 2, 2014.


How to get there?

Those of you wishing to travel to the area and take a flight can contact these companies:

Flight from Reykjavík (from 670€)
- Helicopter from Reykjavík (from 1.180€)
Flight from lake Mývatn (from 250€) Most popular: Recommended
Super Jeep Tour from lake Mývatn (from 220€)
Flight from Akureyri (from 360€)
- Helicopter from Akureyri (780€)

The cost per person is €250 from Mývatn, and the truth is this one is highly recommended (do not overpaid for this!).


Iceland24
September 2014

Bárðarbunga Expedition

The views of the volcano from the plane were impressive to say the least. That was on the Saturday, the day of our arrival. It was on the Sunday, whilst enjoying lunch with some Spanish red wine that the real adventure began. It was an unexpected but most welcome twist to our journey that we will remember for the rest of our days.


At around 2pm we received a call from the Civil Protection Agency informing us that access to “point zero” was now permitted. We were not expecting this. In fact when we got the call we were planning our return trip to Reykjavik. Suffice to say we quickly finished eating and ran to the hotel to collect our belongings.

Time was of the essence, so we headed straight for the meeting point at Myvatn to find our contact Sindri, who would take us to the volcano. Sindri, a local expert driver-guide was as excited as we were. It was the first time he had the opportunity to experience a volcano at such close quarters.After checking all of our equipment, including dangerous gas sensors we jumped into the Super Jeep and headed off to the “giant in flames”.


The unpredictable nature and potentially devastating effects of volcanoes is something not to be taken lightly, and with the eruption of 2010 still fresh in our minds we approached the eruption site with no little amount of trepidation and fear. However, our relentless thirst for travel, our fascination of the volcano plus our commitment to report on the events helped to give us the impetus we needed to get there.


Less than an hour later we were in Moðrudalur, the last inhabited settlement before entering the maze of tracks that lead to the volcano. The possibility of a sub-glacial eruption flooding the valley that offered the most direct route, we were forced to take a diversion  through winding roads and lava fields from the east to the shelter of Askja. From here we would follow a new path that would lead us to Þorvalstindur and the eruption area.


The numerous police checks combined with the slow arduous going on the barely drivable tracks in this bleak arid landscape merely served to compound our frustration. Night was approaching and there was still another 35km to go. The glow of the clouds in the distant lent an apocalyptic feel to the proceedings. Fear, respect, excitement, impatience, apprehension, joy, curiosity – our team were experiencing a cocktail of emotions that somehow managed to unite us more than ever.


We finally arrived at Askja. We stopped at the hut there for a few minutes before the countdown could begin. Our journey to the gates of hell was almost over. Sindri accelerated as if possessed by demons as the engine of the 4X4 roared into action.Suddenly it was there. Expelling magma and smoke with a violent force that coloured the sky with dark foreboding shades of grey.


With a bright red dot on the horizon forming a strange almost surreal sunset that illuminated a seemingly infinite expanse of black sand, our indefatigable horse walked on. A glacier and a dark mountain completed this otherworldly landscape, and I felt like I was marching into a battle at the end of the world. My very own Ragnarrök.

Then it hit me. What if the activity at Bárðarbunga suddenly increases. What if a dreaded subglacial eruption floods the entire area that surrounds us? I glanced nervously at Sindri, and he sensed my unease. I ordered him to stop the jeep. We could feel the ground beneath us shaking. I asked him if he was sure we were doing the right thing. Without hesitation and displaying a bravado so typical of a Viking warrior he replied that we were. We took advantage of this brief pause to take pictures and videos just as it was getting dark.


Our desire to be as close as possible to the eruption spurred us on. We set off again, and 10 minutes later we were almost there. The darkness had made the glowing embers of the lava almost indistinguishable from the red lights of the few vehicles that were already there.


Finally there it was. The Volcano. It would be futile for me to even attempt to explain how I felt. There are simply no words. The excitement just flowed through my body and I could feel tears trickling down my cheeks. Pictures and videos can only go some way to describing the sensation of witnessing a volcano eruption. There is nothing that can truly depict what we felt. All I can say to you,  friends, readers and travellers is to believe me when I say that there is nothing more powerful or humbling than the unrestrained forces of nature.

How to get there?

Those of you wishing to travel to the area and take a flight can contact these companies:

Flight from Reykjavík (from 670€)
- Helicopter from Reykjavík (from 1.180€)
Flight from lake Mývatn (from 250€) Most popular: Recommended
Super Jeep Tour from lake Mývatn (from 220€)
Flight from Akureyri (from 360€)
- Helicopter from Akureyri (780€)

The cost per person is €250 from Mývatn, and the truth is this one is highly recommended (do not overpaid for this!).


Jóhanna & Kolla & Juan
Iceland24, September 2014

Monday, 8 September 2014

Holuhraun Eruption Tour in Iceland - Bárðarbunga Eruption Sightseeing Flight

10:25 Iceland - LATEST NEWS


There was a nervous atmosphere as we travelled in silence to Mývatn. The Iceland24 team had just been informed that, for security reasons the volcanic eruption site around Holahraun was inaccessible by jeep.



After waiting almost a week to get a permit from the Icelandic authorities it was disappointing to discover we could not get there by car. However we were determined not to miss the opportunity to be in the “eye of the storm”.


The only way to reach the site of the eruption has been to take a small plane and fly over it. From this vantage point one gets to truly appreciate the real size of the fissure eruption that the whole world has been keeping an eye on. After a long day, we can finally give you a first hand account of it .


To experience the lava fountains spewing magma more than 100 metres into the air next to the largest glacier in Europe is a difficult to feeling to describe. It was almost like witnessing Earth “giving birth”. This felt particularly true when we saw the vivid colours of the so called “curtain of fire”.




The smouldering lava field was moving at about 40 metres per hour, engulfing everything in its path. Latest developments indicate that there is an explosive encounter between the lava and the Jökulsá glacial river that flows from the glacial tongue of Dyngjujökull. 


Volcanic activity in the area has remained stable over the past few days, although seismic activity has decreased slightly.



Islandia24 will continue to report from the site. Our commitment is not only to our followers but also to discovering the truth behind the stories, leaving us no choice but to see the eruption for ourselves.


How to get there?

Those of you wishing to travel to the area and take a flight can contact these companies:

Flight from Reykjavík (from 670€)
- Helicopter from Reykjavík (from 1.180€)
Flight from lake Mývatn (from 250€) Most popular: Recommended
Super Jeep Tour from lake Mývatn (from 220€)
Flight from Akureyri (from 360€)
- Helicopter from Akureyri (780€)

The cost per person is €250 from Mývatn, and the truth is this one is highly recommended (do not overpaid for this!).


Iceland24 Team
September 2014

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Up to 130 meter high lava fountains

Robust activity has been seen in the Holuhraun lava eruption this morning, says volcanologist Armann Hoskuldsson who is monitoring the event. "The highest lava fountains rise up to 130 meters from the craters," he says. The new lava field is now estimated to be 11 - 12 square kilometers in size.


"We returned to the fissure early this morning and saw considerable volcanic activity at around 7 AM," says Dr. Hoskuldsson. He and other scientists spent the night at a mountain hut nearby, after an evacuation was ordered yesterday when volcanic tremor was detected in the area, leading to fears that a subglacial eruption was imminent. "The main craters are now very active and the lava fountains from them rise up to 120 - 130 meter height," he says.


The new lava from the fissure now extends to about 11 - 12 square kilometres says dr. Hoskuldsson. "It´s been robust in the last hours and lava has been flowing westward by about 300 meters. The fissure itself has not changed much however; it´s still 1.7 - 1.8 kilometer long," he says.

Despite the volcanic tremor yesterday, no signs of a subglacial eruption have been seen, and no change has been observed in water flowing from beneath the glacier. The tremor is still unexplained, but indications point to an area south of Holuhraun, extending under the Dyngjujokull glacier margin where a small rift valley (graben) has formed. One possible theory, according to scientists, is that groundwater has seeped through deep cracks in the bedrock, down to the magma intrusion beneath, causing explosive activity detected by seismometers.


According to the Icelandic Met Office (IMO), GPS measurements indicate that the volume of magma entering the dike intrusion is still more than the volume of lava being erupted at the Holuhraun fissure. The rate of magma being pumped in seems however to have slowed , says Benedikt Ofeigsson, a geophysicist at the IMO.

Seismic activity is still ongoing at Holuhraun, but the strongest earthquakes have been detected near the rim of the Bardarbunga volcano. Four earthquakes, exceeding magnitude 4 have occurred there since midnight. The strongest one was M4,8 according to the IMO.

How to get there?

Those of you wishing to travel to the area and take a flight can contact these companies:

Flight from Reykjavík (from 670€)
- Helicopter from Reykjavík (from 1.180€)
Flight from lake Mývatn (from 250€) Most popular: Recommended
Super Jeep Tour from lake Mývatn (from 220€)
Flight from Akureyri (from 360€)
- Helicopter from Akureyri (780€)

Source: www.ruv.is
Iceland24