Magma on the move: unusual activity reported at Iceland’s Mt. Hekla volcano

July 6, 2011 ICELAND – Meters around Mt. Hekla in southern Iceland have shown “unusual activity” in recent days. The Public Safety Commission has been alerted. According to RÚV Public Radio there is no reason for action as of now. The movements have been recorded in five very precise meters that have been placed around Mt. Hekla in recent years. Professor Páll Einarsson says that these movements are seen in all five meters and even though the evidence is not conclusive they are thought to show magma movement under the volcano. It has now been eleven years since Mt. Hekla, Iceland’s most famous volcano, erupted. In the years since then the mountain is said to have slowly expanded because of magma buildup. The last eruption in Hekla came on February 26 2000 and then earthquakes started an hour and a half before the outbreak of the magma. As of now there is no cause for any activity on behalf of the Public safety commission. –Iceland Review
“The movements around Hekla have been unusual in the last two to three days and have been recorded in five very precise metres placed around Mount Hekla,” University of Iceland expert Pall Einarsson said, adding that while this might not necessarily mean an immediate blast, “the volcano is ready to erupt.” –AFP
Hekla fact sheet: Hekla is a stratovolcano located in the south of Iceland with a height of 1,491 metres (4,892 ft). Hekla is one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes; over 20 eruptions. During the Middle Ages, Icelanders called the volcano the “Gateway to Hell.” The volcano’s frequent large eruptions have covered much of Iceland with tephra and these layers can be used to date eruptions of Iceland’s other volcanoes. 10% of the tephra produced in Iceland in the last thousand years has come from Hekla, amounting to 5 km3. The volcano has produced one of the largest volumes of lava of any in the world in the last millennium, around 8 km3. –Wikipedia
This entry was posted in Earth Changes, Earth Watch, High-risk potential hazard zone, Seismic tremors, Volcano Watch. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Magma on the move: unusual activity reported at Iceland’s Mt. Hekla volcano

  1. St johnian says:

    This article talks about a 6.5 earthquake in New Zealand today. I can’t find it on Usgs. Do you have any info?

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.php?c_id=1&objectid=10736488

    Like

  2. luisport says:

    Semeru erupting too: Shérine France on July 6, 2011, 2:18 AM
    Indeed if you see images of Semeru it may be because the same day a small eruption also occurred on this volcano. But it was not indicate in the video.
    http://www.poskota.co.id/berita-terkini/2011/07/03/gunung-semeru-dan-soputan-meletus-warga-diimbau-jangan-panik

    Like

  3. luisport says:

    Meters around Mt. Hekla in southern Iceland have shown “unusual activity” in recent days. The Public Safety Commission has been alerted. According to RÚV Public Radio there is no reason for action as of now. The movements have been recorded in five very precise meters that have been placed around Mt. Hekla in recent years. Professor Páll Einarsson says that these movements are seen in all five meters and even though the evidence is not conclusive they are thought to show magma movement under the volcano. It has now been eleven years since Mt. Hekla, Iceland’s most famous volcano, erupted. In the years since then the mountain is said to have slowly expanded because of magma buildup. The last eruption in Hekla came on February 26 2000 and then earthquakes started an hour and a half before the outbreak of the magma. As of now there is no cause for any activity on behalf of the Public safety commission. http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/woalert_read.php?edis=VA-20110706-31429-ISL

    Like

  4. David says:

    Iceland’s Hekla volcano ‘ready to erupt’,Another geophysicist, Ari Trausit Gudmundsson, also said the measurements around Hekla were very “unusual” and that the volcano looked ready to blow
    http://old.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110706/ts_afp/icelandvolcanoeruption

    Like

  5. luisport says:

    Signs of unrest at Iceland’s Hekla – but what do the signs mean?
    Erik Klemetti on July 6, 2011, 10:03 AM

    inShare.0
    It seems that our attention is being brought back to Iceland every few months when it comes to volcanism – and this shouldn’t be any surprise, the north Atlantic island is one of the most magmatically active places on the planet.

    The latest news from Iceland comes from Hekla. The volcano is one of the most active volcanoes on the island, rising almost 1,500 meters over sea level. However, unlike a lot of other Icelandic volcanoes that erupt basaltic magmas, Hekla has a history of more silicic eruptions (namely basaltic andesite or even more silica-rich up to rhyolite) that have deposited tephras across the landscape and produced pyroclastic flows (along with the more typical lava flows). Just skimming over the history of Hekla, it has a past littered with VEI 2-4 eruptions (and as high as VEI 5, mostly recent in 1147 AD) over the past few hundred years, including an impressive eruption last in 2000.

    So, when any volcano with a volatile history like this shows any signs of unrest, it is newsworthy. It appears that a new GPS system has capture slight changes in the shape of the volcano that betray the movement of magma beneath the surface at the volcano. This has, of course, put the media in a frenzy, especially after the eruption of Grimsvötn this spring. This isn’t helped by Dr. Pall Einarsson (likely unfortunate) quote that Hekla is “ready to erupt”. At this point, it is unclear what these data suggest about the activity at Hekla – clearly magma is moving at depth, but does this mean an eruption is imminent? As Dr. Einarsson points out, Hekla usually gives little-to-no warning before erupting. The big “however” here is that Hekla has new monitoring equipment, namely this GPS system, so now we can watch every minute change in the volcano, something not possible 10 years ago. Are we seeing the opening signs of a new eruption or is this normal behavior for a volcano with an active magmatic system (which is common in Iceland) between eruptions? That is what we will find out in the coming weeks – and there is a lot of knowledge of the potential hazards (pdf) of a Hekla eruption.

    In any case, it should be reassuring to the people of Iceland (and Europe) that many of these Icelandic volcanoes are so closely monitored so we can see these small changes in their behavior. The million dollar question is how we can interpret these volcano monitoring data – is the volcano going to erupt tomorrow, next week, 5 years from now? Unfortunately, we just don’t have the experience yet to know what the changes being seen at Hekla mean in terms of the timing of an eruption. Hekla will erupt again, that there is no doubt, but what this new information on the deformation of the volcano mean is still unknown.

    If Hekla does actually head towards eruption, you can watch the results on one of the webcams for the volcanoes. Another perk of Icelandic volcanism.

    http://bigthink.com/ideas/39169

    Like

  6. luisport says:

    Situation Update No. 1
    On 06.07.2011 at 11:53 GMT+2

    One of Iceland’s most feared volcanoes looks ready to erupt, with measurements indicating magma movement, Icelandic experts said Wednesday, raising fears of a new ash cloud halting flights over Europe. The Hekla volcano is close to the ash-spewing Eyjafjoell, which last year caused the world’s biggest airspace shut down since World War II, affecting more than 100,000 flights and eight million passengers. The Iceland Civil Protection Authority told AFP it was closely monitoring the situation. “The movements around Hekla have been unusual in the last two to three days,” University of Iceland geophysicist Pall Einarsson said. While this might not necessarily mean an immediate blast, “the volcano is ready to erupt,” he stressed. “The mountain has been slowly expanding in the last few years because of magma buildup,” he explained. Another geophysicist, Ari Trausit Gudmundsson, also said the measurements around Hekla were very “unusual” and that the volcano looked ready to blow. The volcano, dubbed by Icelanders in the Middle Ages as the “Gateway to Hell,” is one of Iceland’s most active, having erupted some 20 times over the past millennium, most recently on February 26, 2000. Over the past 50 years, Hekla has gone off about once a decade. It measures 1,491 metres and is located about 110 kilometres (70 miles) east of Reykjavik, not far from Eyjafjoell.

    http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/woalert_read.php?edis=VA-20110706-31429-

    Like

  7. D. Grant Chee says:

    One does not have to be an alarmist– to be aware that
    many many recent natural disaters involving weather
    tsunami’s and other disturbing signs possibly point to
    God’s merciful warning to those who are watchmen.

    If the watchman fails to warn and the people perish,
    the blood of the people is on the hands of the watchman.
    If the watchman warns the people and they heed not the
    warning and the people perish then the watchman will be
    rewarded.

    Like

  8. sophia carlson says:

    Hi Alvin,read a comment in Yesterdays Christchurch Press in reference to the recent earthquakes in Australia that their volvanoes erupt every two thousand years and haven’t erupted for the last five thousand years and that they are expecting a volcanic eruption. I didn’t know Australia had volcanoes and until recently understood earthquakes were very uncommon there.

    Like

All comments are moderated. We reserve the right not to post any comment deemed defamatory, inappropriate, or spam.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s