Iceland’s Fagradalsfjall volcano hasn’t released the lava since September 18 which was the day that it began the longest eruption in Iceland’s history over 50 years. But scientists say it’s not yet enough to conclude that the eruption is over.
Lava began to flow from a crack in the earth in the 19th of March evening in the Reykjanes peninsula that lies to south-west of Reykjavik The spectacle quickly turned into a major tourist attraction.
Today the hardened black lava fields are aplenty over the area for nearly five square kilometers (1.93 sq miles) and occasionally, a fume of sulfurous sulfur rises out of cracks.
“It could be that a spot has become clogged enough to allow it to begin cooling down (so the) this new layer of lava hasn’t been able to break out,” Sara Barsotti, volcano hazards coordinator at the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) she told AFP.
“That’s the way that eruptions usually come to an end.”
For the past two months, seismographs have recorded no tremors, the slight vibrations that were recorded in the lead-up to or during event..
Although there hasn’t been any any lava eruptions in the past but a plume of smoke continues to rise from the crater’s main entrance.
“It is simply the leftover heat and gas trapped in the magma beneath,” geophysicist Pall Einarsson explained.
After spewing out magma that is over 1200° Celsius (2,192 Fahrenheit), “it takes a long time for an eruption to cool before stopping the exhalation of gas and the heat”.
The volume of sulfur dioxide that is released by the volcano is still low at a mere few kilograms per second, compared to hundreds at the height of the volcano, the IMO stated.
Over 340,000 visitors have visited the location since the beginning of March, although the number of visitors has decreased significantly over the past few months.
The area is currently seismically active , and scientists keep an watch on it.
GPS and satellite GPS data have revealed an upswing in surface level in a large portion in the Reykjanes peninsula, also known as uplift or inflation, which supports the idea of volcanic reactivation within the region.
The rise in the ground that started in mid-September, has been deemed to be small by experts in volcanology, approximately two centimetres in height at its highest point, as per the IMO.