Bárdarbunga (Iceland): The situation remains the same as yesterday. The earthquake swarm continues at high intensity. The quakes are clustered in an area 20 km east of the Bárdarbunga volcano’s caldera under the ice cap and at shallow depths of 10-1 km.
During the first 7 hours of today, 200 events were registered, the largest being a magnitude 3 quake at 10 km depth.
Police authorities and Civil Protection have decided to close and evacuate the area around the volcano due to possible elevated volcanic hazards, one of the most severe being likely jökulhlaups, glacial floods.
The following is a press release of Iceland’s Civile Protection from yesterday evening:
Earthquakes, volcanic tremor and deformation continue, but there are no signs of an impending eruption so far, as long as the earthquakes, indicators of magma intrusion, don’t migrate towards the surface. The country remains at alert of a possible eruption from Bardarbunga, which could and likely would produce a significant ash plume.
In the meanwhile, the Icelandic Met Office (IMO) published the following summary for the ongoing activity at the volcano (Monday evening):
“Since the onset of the earthquake swarm at Bárðarbunga on Saturday morning 16th August 03:00am, around 2.600 earthquakes have been detected with the earthquake monitoring network of the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO), of these around 950 since midnight (17/18th August). Several of these events were larger than magnitude 3. The swarm initially started in the Bárðarbunga caldera and has been migrating in two clusters towards the north and the east of the volcano.
On Sunday 17th of August, these two clusters were active east and north of Bárðarbunga. The activity in both clusters was migrating northeastwards. While the strongest events were located in the northern cluster, the highest number of events was detected in the eastern cluster. The strongest event since the onset of the swarm was detected on Monday morning 02:37 in the northern cluster. Detailed analysis revealed that its magnitude was 4.5 and it was felt in Akureyri and Lón. By Monday evening, activity has significantly decreased in the northern cluster.