Fissure Eruption Begins In Iceland As Bardarbunga Magma Breaches The Surface

Over the weekend, we reported that Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano, located under Europe's largest glacier, Vatnajökull, has started to erupt with the Iceland met service warning of yet another possible pyroclastic cloud, one which will likely snarl transatlantic air traffic as happened after the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajokull and the 2011 smaller but just as damaging Grimsvotn volcano eruption.

Well, as Icenews reports, a fissure eruption has started in the Holuhraun lavafield north of Dyngjujökull. Newly formed crevasses were spotted in surveillance flyovers by scientists yesterday and at that time geophysicist Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson estimated that the magma intrusion which had been monitored for the previous week was moving only 2 kilometres under the surface. 

The magma has now breached the surface and the volcanic eruption has been confirmed by scientists in the field. The low frequency tremors suggests the eruption is located outside the glacier. The blaze can be observed in Mila’s webcameras, two of which are trained on Vatnajökull glacier’s Bárðarbunga area.

According to the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police the eruption is thought to be coming from a 3-400m long fissure with direction to NE-SW according to first reports.

While not much is visible in the following live webcasts of the volcano, as it is currently night over Iceland, the magma glow can be distinctly seen from various angles:

 

More from Visir:

Lava eruption has begun in Holuhraun, north of Dyngjujökull. The Met office confirms that and webcams in the area show that lava is braking it´s way up on the surface.

 

First news from the Civil Protection in Iceland tell us that the Lava is making it's way up on the surface in a 400m long area north of Dyngjujökull.

 

The eruption is located on an ice-free zone which tells us that no ice is being melted so far causing floods in rivers in the north of Iceland. "This is probably located on the north end of the lava tunnel that moves from under Dyngjujökull. The eruption is located on an ice-free zone" says Rögnvaldur Ólafsson from the Civil protection in Iceland.

 

"The eruption is not a big one, but we urge people to be safe and not go to near the eruption," says Rögnvaldur. "There are chances of explosions."

A comprehensive 3D seismic map of the volcano after the jump:

 

So will this explosion affect your flight plans, or the air quality above you? Here is a real time wind map over Iceland to help you decide.