New fissures erupting in Holuhraun
The two new fissures are about 1,5 kilometres south of the previous eruption, says Lara Omarsdottir, reporter for Icelandic National Broadcasting. She saw the new eruption from the air this morning.
Volcanologist Thorvaldur Thordarson, who is nearby, says clear that the eruption has changed; the eruption is now spreading to a new fissures, closer to the Dyngjujokull glacier. Large new surface cracks have been observed there in the last days, and a small rift valley (graben) has formed, which extends under the glacier.
The Icelandic Civil Protection Agency will dispatch a surveillance airplane this morning to survey the new fissure, as well as the nearby glacier. The area around the Holuhraun eruption is now closed to all traffic.
The Holuhraun eruption is fed by magma from a dike intrusion that leads from the Bardarbunga volcanic caldera in Vatnajokull, towards the north, beneath the Dyngjujokull outlet glacier and beyond, to the fissures. One possible scenario stated by scientists, is that a subglacial eruption could occur in Dyngjujokull, leading to a glacial flood rushing out from beneath the glacier, as well as explosive volcanic activity.
Two earthquakes of magnitude 4.3 and 5.2 occurred on the rim of the Bardarbunga caldera. The first earthquake was recorded at 23:33 yesterday and the larger event at 01:19 today. According to the Icelandic Met Office earthquakes were last night recorded in similar locations as in recent days: in Bardarbunga glacier, in the dike intrusion beneath and north of Dyngjujokull glacier and at Herdubreidartogl, north and east of the Askja volcano.
This story, by the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service (RUV), was updated on 5. September 2014, at 08.40 GMT.