UPDATE 10:24 PM EST: An eruption near Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano that briefly threatened flights has ended, reports BBC.
“Before lifting air travel curbs, the Icelandic Met Office (IMO) lowered its aviation warning from red to orange – the second-highest level,” the report states.
As expected, the Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland has begun to erupt. The Icelandic Met Office said magma broke through a rift in one of the older lava flows last night. According to Fox News, the new fissure is a little over a half mile long. The lava field is located five and a half miles north of the Dyngjujokull glacier between the Bardarbunga and another volcano, the Askja.
Scientists keep an eye on Iceland’s Bardarbunga Volcano
Scientist who are watching the volcano’s activity are camped not far from the eruption site. Webcams around the site also show an orange glow and some small fountains of lava.
Officials raised the alert level for the volcano to red earlier this month. They began diverting planes to keep them away from the area and closed the area to visitors after a swarm of earthquakes shook the volcano. Currently there isn’t an ash cloud from the eruption. Icelandic officials also upped the Askja volcano’s alert level to yellow.
Nearby volcano also monitored
The Askja is located about 30 miles to Bardarbunga’s northeast. Scientists say that magma is tunneling underground toward the Askja. The strip of magma, which is called a dike, is currently about 25 miles long. As the magma pushed ahead, scientists observed new cracks on the surface and saw older surface fractures within the lava flow grow. The Holuhraun lava flow is from an eruption that occurred back in 1797.
Scientists from the University of Iceland and the Icelandic Met Office are keeping close tabs on the whole area. They flew over the Bardarbunga on Thursday to look for subglacial eruptions. Scientists say that the glacier which covers the volcano is cracked and has sunk, which means that there is melting occurring underneath the ice. Grimsvotn Lake, which is to Bardarbunga’s south, appears to have been flooded by the meltwater because the lake level has climbed by approximately 16 feet since the last time it was measured.
They also discovered three crevasses on Thursday, with each put being between 32 feet and 50 feet deep. Strung together, they’re approximately three miles long.