Magma cooling and eruption risk shrinking

07.01.2022 - 14:58
Mynd: Haukur Snorrason / Haukur Snorrason
Seismic activity on the Reykjanes peninsula has diminished significantly since the earthquake swarm began on 21st December due to a new magma intrusion around Fagradalsfjall. The latest measurements indicate that the magma in the intrusion has started to solidify. The longer time that passes without changes, the less likely it becomes that this magma intrusion will end in a volcanic eruption.

According to the Met Office, the intrusion now is roughly half the size of the one that caused the eruption last year. 

Over the Christmas period, it was considered likely a new eruption would start within days or weeks. The likelihood of an eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula remains high, but the timescale is now extending and the immediate risk may be passing. 

There is still a lot of heat in the lava field around the Fagradalsfjall volcano and steam can be seen rising from it on cold days and there is an uprise of hot air that concentrates the water vapour in the cold. This heat is not considered a sign of increased activity, however. 

Scientists continue to carefully monitor the area and new satellite images are expected late this week, possibly today. They will hopefully shed further light on the situation beneath the surface. 

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