Iceland

  Bárðarbunga/Holuhraun, Fissure eruption, Aurora Borealis incl.

    9th to 14th of September 2014  

M.Rietze, R.Roscoe, Th. Boeckel

in deutsch

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Island 2014 Bardabunga Holohraun by Th Boeckel     Island Holuhraun 2014 by Boeckel
Overflight video of the fissure   Animation  Holuhraun Herðubreið

Just in another world

Since 18th of August 2014 a series of earthquakes up to intensity of 5.4 in the interval of about 2 days in the active area of the volcano  Bardabunga  let scientists and volcano photographers listen up. Although a greater volcanic activity was predictable, what and where it would happen could not be initially assigned. Most earthquakes in the 5th to almost 6th strength were among the caldera of the volcano Bardabunga. With 5,7 on the Richter scale at the 26. of August the highest value was measured  since 2008. However, most of earthquakes of magnitude 3-5.3 moved suspectly on a line toward north of the glacier Vatnajökull, which is now eruptive fissure in Holuhraun which probably belongs to Bárðarbunga system. (Source RUV , Verdur.is ) 

Pre eruption

            

Link to the report by M.Szeglat

Although the Holuhraun plain was observed from Marc and Martin in a time of one week till the first eruption occured on August the 23rd, the first try to catch the eruptive fissure still active failed due to the bad weather conditions. The action was almost not feasible, because already mentioned on Saturday August the 23rd, four km north of the glacier Vatnajökull the fissure opened in the early morning hours with a strong lava discharge. This eruption lasted only about 3-4 hours. (to perform magic does not work at all). Marc ventured on Sunday a flyover, while only observing the cooled down and steaming fissure ( images / report above).

Already at that time the roads were closed due to flooding risk of the marsh area due to subglacial warming. Why ? Also the main volcano Bardabunga was heated. The ice cap subsidenced noticeable in the crater area of Bardarbunga, where the melt water has gone is thitherto completely unknown. May a huge water reservoir below the 400m mighty ice layer has originated, and if the locks get opened under the glacier a colossal ice flood would be the episode. Thus, there would be no chance on the ground to escape only four kilometers from the edge of the glacier.

On August the 29th a new step of escalation followed. Many earthquakes in this area had already announced this advance of the activity.

1rst helicopter flight 11th of September 8:00h

Island_2014 Bardarbunga Holuhraun by Boeckel

   

Approaching to the fissure. Die sulfuric-dioxid cloud which is expanding now nearly over the whole island can be seen very brownish against the sun light

 Island_2014 Bardarbunga Holuhraun by Boeckel    Island_2014 Bardarbunga Holuhraun by Boeckel    Island_2014 Bardarbunga Holuhraun by Boeckel

Island_2014 Bardarbunga Holuhraun by Boeckel    Island_2014 Bardarbunga Holuhraun by Boeckel    Island_2014 Bardarbunga Holuhraun by Boeckel

Island_2014 Bardarbunga Holuhraun by Boeckel

 Looks like a big steel coocker, the right cauldron

Island_2014 Bardarbunga Holuhraun by Boeckel     Island_2014 Bardarbunga Holuhraun by Boeckel

The southern lain big cauldron was on the 11th still activ.  On the 13th of September this pot was not active any more.

Island_2014 Bardarbunga Holuhraun by Boeckel     Island_2014 Bardarbunga Holuhraun by Boeckel

2nd helicopter flight 13th of September 17:00h

Island 2014 Bardabunga Holohraun by Th Boeckel

The second helicopter flight to Holuhraun plain to the eruption site. Right: A sand storm irritated or shocked us well. A number of previous flights had to be canceled to the  fissure because of poor visibility. Coming closer, it seemed to be a clear view at all because the border area doesn't annexed the eruption area. Why just this small area was a sand storm focus could no one tell us. Perhaps it was due to local soil deposits which have been sighted in this area often.

Island 2014 Bardabunga Holohraun by Th Boeckel  Island 2014 Bardabunga Holohraun by Th Boeckel

Island 2014 Bardabunga Holuhraun by Th Boeckel 

The last sun beams in the late afternoon gave the couldrons a fine shape

Island_2014 Bardarbunga Holuhraun by Boecke  Island 2014 Bardabunga Holohraun by Th Boeckel 

Island 2014 Bardabunga Holohraun by Th Boeckel  Island 2014 Bardabunga Holohraun by Th Boeckel

At the beginning a spilling gap like an open wound in the island of Iceland was prevailing the lanscape, but from the first day ca. 50-100m high lava fountains originated ​​within 10 days an imposing crater populated volcanic landscape. The classic shape, a lava blooding fissure seemed to be gone actually, and this was initially the reason not to fly. But as you can see on the photographs we got surprised by high fountains up to 100m -130m (estimation very difficult) while the smaller active cauldrons found itselves on a string of pearls. Here it was again, this fissure similar sight and impression.

Island 2014 Bardabunga Holohraun by Th Boeckel  Island 2014 Bardabunga Holohraun by Th Boeckel  Island 2014 Bardabunga Holohraun by Th Boeckel

The formally bubbling main crater. Nice to see in the middle photo how the mountain horizon in the background is deconstructed  by the heat

Island 2014 Bardabunga Holohraun by Th Boeckel    Island 2014 Bardabunga Holohraun by Th Boeckel

The lava flow reaches 20 Kilometer in easter direction

Island 2014, Holohraun Bardabunga by Th boeckel  Island 2014 Bardabunga Holohraun by Th Boeckel

Lava flow about 6 kilometers from the fissure.The fresh subterrain lava runs by so-called tubes of several hundred meters in length to the next way into open terrain.

Island_2014 Bardarbunga Holuhraun by Boeckel

The Dyngjujokull glacier, a northeast lain part of the mighty Vatnajökull glacier

Island_2014 Bardarbunga Holuhraun by Boeckel  Island_2014 Bardarbunga Holuhraun by Boeckel

Island_2014 Bardarbunga Holuhraun by Boeckel  Island_2014 Bardarbunga Holuhraun by Boeckel

The lava field beginning from the Holuhraun eruption is now advanced ca. 20 Km in northern direction. Here the lava approaches the western lain branch of the Jokulsa a Fjollum glacial river which has its source from the outlet of the Dyngjujökull glacier.

Island_2014 Bardarbunga Holuhraun by Boeckel  Island_2014 Bardarbunga Holuhraun by Boeckel  Island_2014 Bardarbunga Holuhraun by Boeckel

Side flows get in touch with white water 

Island_2014 Bardarbunga Holuhraun by Boeckel  Island_2014 Bardarbunga Holuhraun by Boeckel

Mirroring of the morning sun at Jokulsa a Fjollum glacial river at the backflight on 11.09th

Island_2014 Bardarbunga Holuhraun by Boeckel    

Martin, Matthias (pilot) and Richard in front of the helicopter

Island 2014 Bardabunga Holohraun by Th Boeckel

  The red shine of the fissure eruption in Holuhraun together with the green aurora was a phantastic view


Strongest solar storm of the year (KP7)

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Island 2014 Bardabunga Holohraun by Th Boeckel1  Island 2014 Bardabunga Holohraun by Th Boeckel2  3 Island 2014 Bardabunga Holohraun by Th Boeckel4

Movie
  5

Photographies

Island 2014 Bardabunga Holohraun by Th Boeckel

Auroral light games over the volcanic lake Mývatn on 13 September

Island 2014 Bardabunga Holohraun by Th Boeckel  Island 2014 Bardabunga Holohraun by Th Boeckel  

Island 2014 Bardabunga Holohraun by Th Boeckel

   

Lights in games like 'Lord of the Rings' fascinated the whole nights. Did this auroral action occurred in the night of 10-11. September surprisingly, the 13-14th polar lights were an announced sky spectacle.

island 2014 by boeckel     Island 2014 Bardabunga Holohraun by Th Boeckel     

The entire landscape from north to east is alternately or simultaneously decorated with this light event

Island 2014 Bardabunga Holohraun by Th Boeckel  Island 2014 Bardabunga Holohraun by Th Boeckel  Island 2014 Bardabunga Holohraun by Th Boeckel

However, strong but bizarre forms of polar lights on September the 13th at apprx. 21:00h over the crater lake Mývatn. The twilight gave these auroras the subtle nuance.

I maintain, more is not able in five days ...

More coming soon!!!

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© 2014, Thorsten Boeckel, last modification 20.09.2014