• Welcome to TalkWeather!
    We see you lurking around TalkWeather! Take the extra step and join us today to view attachments, see less ads and maybe even join the discussion.
    CLICK TO JOIN TALKWEATHER
  • April 2024 Weather Video of the Month
    Post your nominations now!

Askja Volcano (Iceland)

WesL

"Bill, I'm talkin' imminent rueage"
Administrator
Moderator
Messages
3,413
Reaction score
2,740
Location
Fayetteville, AR
Special Affiliations
  1. SKYWARN® Volunteer
Spotted this story in my feed this morning. Looks like Askja is causing some concern in Iceland and across the European continent.

Hundreds of earthquakes have rocked the Icelandic Askja volcano which is situated in the eastern volcanic belt. There have been more than 550 earthquakes so far, the highest with magnitudes 3.2 and 3.4, felt by local residents. If it were to erupt, the ash cloud would be carried directly over western Europe before circulating back over into central Europe and up to Scandinavia, according to severe weather Europe.
 

bjdeming

Member
Sustaining Member
Messages
1,681
Reaction score
1,375
Location
Corvallis, Oregon
That may just be tabloid journalism. Every story like this is usually the same, but the volcano might instead be named Katla or Hekla or Krafla -- and then nothing happens.

Iceland volcanoes are very active, very confusing for those of us who aren't from the country or volcanologists, and as we've seen in the last decade they can be both dangerous and a nuisance. They are extremely well monitored, and it's those sources that give reliable information.

Gonna lay what hopefully are some good information links down:

I've been following Askja's swarm here It's intense but could just be tectonic, per Jón Frímann, though he's not an official source. The Iceland Met Office does have all volcanoes at Aviation Code Green. (Like Japan, Iceland combines its meteorology and geological hazard offices.)

They had raised Askja to yellow back in 2014 -- it could indeed be the next Icelandic volcano to go off, since it's close to Bardarbunga, another volcano in this fissure zone, which erupted in 2014 -- but they lowered it again as the seismicity back then waned.

Also volcanologist Eric Klemetti would probably mention Askja at his current blog, if anything were likely. He hasn't, yet. However, London VAAC did an Askja exercise earlier this month.

Mr. Frímann is interesting. I don't who he is, but he isn't a volcanologist and instead appears to be the volcanophile equivalent of a very knowledgeable amateur who keeps a state-of-the-art weather station in the back yard. Frímann, instead, builds a seismic network in Iceland -- must be nice!

I follow him to help understand what's going on in Iceland because he held his own in online detailed discussions at Dr. Klemetti's old blogs when other volcanoes erupted (Eyjafjallajokull in 2010 and Bardarbunga in 2014). But I rely more on information from the Iceland Met office and Dr. Klemetti.
 

bjdeming

Member
Sustaining Member
Messages
1,681
Reaction score
1,375
Location
Corvallis, Oregon
Spotted this story in my feed this morning. Looks like Askja is causing some concern in Iceland and across the European continent.


Those have continued and also there has been some ground uplift. It got exciting in recent months when the volcano's big crater lake (there's a small, hydrothermally heated one, too) deiced in winter conditions, but the water temperature increase wasn't substantial, per Iceland media and per Vedur.is and scientist tweets I followed; then it froze up again.

Haven't heard anything since March, but here is the live blogging on it, to be updated if and when....
 

bjdeming

Member
Sustaining Member
Messages
1,681
Reaction score
1,375
Location
Corvallis, Oregon
At the end of November 2023, land rise at Askja reportedly stopped. We'll have to wait until snow melts off before they can check the deformation (if any) this year.

PS: Not sure if that Facebook link still works. Per RUV in January 2024 (autotranslated), it is only a slowdown.
 
Last edited:

bjdeming

Member
Sustaining Member
Messages
1,681
Reaction score
1,375
Location
Corvallis, Oregon
IMO did an update (autotranslated) today after some increased seismicity. Basically, inflation has begun again but not at quite as fast a rate.

Of note, my reading on the Peninsula volcanism has brought some side highlights, including the fact that Askja most often erupts in lava flows, including some filmed in the early to mid twentieth century:



So, if anything does eventually develop out of this long deformation phase, it most likely will be effusive.

Explosive major events happen but are few and far between; presumably, too, the buildup to such a powerful eruption would have strong precursors, and Askja is monitored closely.
 

bjdeming

Member
Sustaining Member
Messages
1,681
Reaction score
1,375
Location
Corvallis, Oregon
From the IMO update:

A
satellite image from March 19 shows that traditional winter conditions prevail in the area and the lake is covered in ice outside separated by two areas that are always open due to geothermal activity. In February about a year ago, Öskjuvatn became ice-free, which was unusual so early in the year. Towards the end of last year, the Norwegian Meteorological Agency installed a webcam inside Öskja that looks at its southern part. The camera sends pictures every 10 minutes that show the conditions inside Askja. A recent photo taken on a good weather day, where the environment is clearly visible, accompanies the news.


Satellite image26032024



A satellite image showing conditions in Askja on March 19, 2024. You can see an ice-free area on the western shore of Lake Askja, where there is a known geothermal area.

 
Back
Top