The anticipated volcanic activity on Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula commenced shortly after 6 a.m. UTC today. Following a brief seismic disturbance lasting about 30 minutes, centered around Sýlingarfell, a 3-kilometer-long fissure opened at the eruption site first identified on December 18, 2023. This fissure extends approximately north to south, stretching from Sundhnúk in the south to the eastern tip of Stóra-Scógfel. Lava is flowing laterally from the fissure, primarily in an east-west direction. While there are lava fountains erupting along the fissure, the production rate seems slower compared to the December 18 event, potentially indicating a prolonged eruption this time.
Ground uplift showed a slight increase again yesterday evening, following minimal activity in the preceding 36 hours. It’s speculated that the rock above the magma chamber might have reached its elastic limit, causing increased back pressure in the conduit system, hindering the magma’s ascent. Confirmation of this hypothesis awaits further measurements to determine any subsequent ground subsidence.