Bardarbunga Update: The Holuhraun Lava Field Has Become The Largest In The World In 5 Months And More Big Eruptions Are Expected By Volcanologists

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Bardarbunga update: Five months after, this aerial footage shows the Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland is continuing to insanely erupt and grow.

The Holuhraun lava field is now around 85 square kilometers (33 square miles). It’s Iceland’s largest baslatic lava flow since the Laki eruption in 1783-1784.

These new aerial footage and satellite photos show the giant field of lava growing north of the Vatnajökull, Iceland’s largest glacier. According to NASA, the Holuhraun lava field covers more than 84 square kilometers (32 square miles). This is larger than Manhattan. It is also the biggest in 200 years and it’s not stopping.

The lava lake now measures 500 metre-long (1,640 ft) and 70 metre-high (229 ft).

The Bardarbunga volcano started erupting in August 2014 as small fissure, but now it is Iceland’s largest basaltic lava flow since the Laki eruption in 1783–84, an dramatic event that killed 20 percent of the island’s population.

NASA published this photo from the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 captured on January 3, 2015:

bardarbunga volcano, Growth of the Holuhraun Lava Field, bardarbunga volcano january 2015, Spectacular video and images of world's largest lava field in 200 years in iceland, Holuhraun lava field had spread across more than 84 square kilometers (32 square miles), Holuhraun is Iceland’s largest basaltic lava flow since the Laki eruption in 1783–84
NASA

Compare it to its status on September 6, 2014, just about four months ago… The growth is insane:

bardarbunga volcano lava field, Growth of the Holuhraun Lava Field, bardarbunga volcano, Growth of the Holuhraun Lava Field, bardarbunga volcano january 2015, Spectacular video and images of world's largest lava field in 200 years in iceland, Holuhraun lava field had spread across more than 84 square kilometers (32 square miles)
NASA

NASA says that analysis of the magma has found out that it comes from the Bardarbunga volcanic system and was last stored at a depth of 9 to 20 kilometers beneath the surface. Here a video showing volcanologist John Stevenson picking up a lava sample on-site:

According to volcanologist Ármann Höskuldsson, there is still a risk of new channel opening, bringing even more lava into the area. While still ongoing and powerful, the current eruption has reduced its strength considerably. That doesn’t mean things will eventually calm down! Given the current activity, seismologists expect more big eruptions from the Bárðarbunga system.

And what if the Bardarbunga’s caldera suddenly collapses?

 

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