Fissure could extend northwards

04.08.2022 - 13:59
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Hólmfríður Dagný Friðjónsd - RÚV
The level of volcanic activity in Meradalir valley on the Reykjanes peninsula has been fairly stable for all of the first 24 hours of the eruption so far. Lava is erupting from a roughly 300-metre-long fissure, which has shrunk somewhat since yesterday, with the most activity around the middle of the fissure.

Data compiled by scientists show the average lava flow rate as around 32 cubic metres per second; which is around five-times more than at the start of the eruption in the same lava field last year.

For context, the volcano would currently fill the biggest pool at the Laugardalur swimming complex in Reykjavík two times every minute.

As a result, the new lava field is expanding quickly, as can be seen in new photographs taken by RÚV's Hólmfríður Dagný Friðjónsdóttir and Guðmundur Bergkvist this lunchtime.

Geophysics professor Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson told RÚV news at midday that there are indications the fissure could extend northwards: "It is a possibility that cannot be ruled out. There is movement there and a lot of pressure, but it will become clear in the coming days whether the eruption means the pressure reduces, or whether it is still increasing," he explained.

Later today or tomorrow, more information is expected on the lava being produced by the volcano and how similar it is to the lava produced last year.

"We expect hopefully today to get better information on the lava which is coming up: is it the same as what was erupted last year, or has it changed somewhat?" Magnús Tumi says this will help scientists understand the processes at play and how closely this eruption is related to the last one in the area.