A small lava-eruption has been detected under the Dyngjujökull glacier. Dyngjujökull is a part Vatnajökull, not far from Bárðarbunga. The aviation color code for the Bárðarbunga volcano has been changed from orange to red.
Scientists at the Icelandic Met Office believe that a small sub-glacial volcanic eruption has now started under the icecap of Dyngjujökull glacier in the Northern part of Vatnajökull glacier. Following this news the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police has raised the alert phase to emergency phase. The Icelandic Met Office has also raised the aviation color code from orange to red and thereby closing the air space around the eruption site.
The eruption is still just considered a minor event at this point and could possibly stay sub-glacial.
The Coast Guard's airplane TF-Sif is currently monitoring the area. Data from radars and webcams are being received, showing no signs of changes at the surface ad nothing indicates a flood at this point. It is estimated that the eruption is below 150-400 meters of ice.
Small eruption under Dyngjujökull
- A small lava-eruption has been detected under the Dyngjujökull glacier.
- The Icelandic Coast Guard airplane TF-SIF is flying over the area with representatives from the Civil Protection and experts from the Icelandic Met Office and the Institute of Earth Sciences. Data from the equipment on board is expected later today.
- Data from radars and web-cameras is being received, showing no signs of changes at the surface.
- The estimate is that 150-400 meters of ice is above the area.
- The aviation color code for the Bárðarbunga volcano has been changed from orange to red.
- Some minutes ago (14:04), an earthquake occurred, estimated 4.5 in magnitude.
- Bardarbunga is part of a large volcano system hidden beneath the 500-metre (0.31-mile) thick Vatnajokull glacier in central Iceland.
- Authorities have previously warned that any eruption in the volcano, which sits under an ice cap, could result in flooding of the area north of the glacier.
- The eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in April 2010 caused the largest closure of European airspace since World War Two.
- Criticism following the strictly enforced shutdown resulted in the UK's Civil Aviation Authority relaxing its rules to allow planes to fly in areas with a low density of volcanic ash.
Tourists are being evacuated
Even because of this small event many precautions are being taken. The Jökulsárgljúfur canyon has been closed and tourists are being evacuated out of there as well as from the Dettifoss waterfall area.
People in Kelduhverfi, Öxarfjörður and Núpasveit are encouraged to watch the news closely in case they will have to evacuate.
Update at 4:05 pm
Scientists onboard the Coast Guard aircraft TF-Sif do not detect any visible signs of an volcanic eruption.
All Icelandic airports are open. Airspace, 140*100 nautical miles, is closed over the sub-glacial eruption site in Vatnajökull.
It is now estimated that the glacier is about 500 meters thick about the eruption and it's not sure if the lava will ever make it through.
The following image shows which part of the air space has been 'closed' or been assigned color code red.