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Volcanic eruption in Iceland subsides, though scientists warn more activity may follow.

Volcanic eruption in Iceland subsides, though scientists warn more activity may follow.
Lava crosses the main road to Grindavík and flows on the road leading to the Blue Lagoon, in Grindavík, Iceland, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024. A volcano in southwestern Iceland has erupted for the third time since December and sent jets of lava into the sky. The eruption on Thursday morning triggered the evacuation the Blue Lagoon spa which is one of the island nation’s biggest tourist attractions. Credit: AP Photo /Marco Di Marco

A volcanic eruption in southwestern Iceland appears to have subsided, though scientists are warning that the area may experience further eruptions in the coming months.

Iceland's Meteorological Office said late Thursday that the eruption had decreased significantly.

The eruption began at about 6 a.m. local time on Thursday in the area northeast of Mount Sýlingarfell, the Met Office said. It prompted the evacuation of the popular Blue Lagoon thermal spa and cut off heat and hot water to several communities on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern corner of the island.

"Although the eruption has significantly decreased it is still too early to declare if it has come to an end,'' the Met Office said Friday. The office said it was maintaining a close watch on the area.

Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir said authorities hope to restore hot water to the area by midday on Friday, national broadcaster RUV reported.

The eruption site is about 4 kilometers (2½ miles) northeast of Grindavik, a coastal town of 3,800 people that was evacuated before a previous eruption on Dec. 18. The town wasn't threatened by Thursday's eruption.

  • Volcanic eruption in Iceland subsides, though scientists warn more activity may follow.
    Lava crosses the main road to Grindavík and flows on the road leading to the Blue Lagoon, in Grindavík, Iceland, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024. A volcano in southwestern Iceland has erupted for the third time since December and sent jets of lava into the sky. The eruption on Thursday morning triggered the evacuation the Blue Lagoon spa which is one of the island nation’s biggest tourist attractions. Credit: AP Photo /Marco Di Marco
  • Volcanic eruption in Iceland subsides, though scientists warn more activity may follow.
    Aerial view of the volcano erupting, north of Grindavík, Iceland, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024. Iceland’s Meteorological Office says a volcano is erupting in the southwestern part of the country, north of a nearby settlement. The eruption of the Sylingarfell volcano began at 6 a.m. local time on Thursday, soon after an intense burst of seismic activity. Credit: Almannavarnir via AP
  • Volcanic eruption in Iceland subsides, though scientists warn more activity may follow.
    A view of lava crossing the main road to Grindavík and flowing on the road leading to the Blue Lagoon, in Grindavík, Iceland, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024. A volcano in southwestern Iceland has erupted for the third time since December and sent jets of lava into the sky. The eruption on Thursday morning triggered the evacuation the Blue Lagoon spa which is one of the island nation’s biggest tourist attractions. Credit: AP Photo /Marco Di Marco
  • Volcanic eruption in Iceland subsides, though scientists warn more activity may follow.
    A view of lava crossing the main road to Grindavík and flowing on the road leading to the Blue Lagoon, in Grindavík, Iceland, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024. A volcano in southwestern Iceland has erupted for the third time since December and sent jets of lava into the sky. The eruption on Thursday morning triggered the evacuation the Blue Lagoon spa which is one of the island nation’s biggest tourist attractions. Credit: AP Photo /Marco Di Marco
  • Volcanic eruption in Iceland subsides, though scientists warn more activity may follow.
    Lava reaches close to the road to Grindavík, near the exit for the blue lagoon, in Grindavík, Iceland, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024. A volcano in southwestern Iceland has erupted for the third time since December and sent jets of lava into the sky. The eruption on Thursday morning triggered the evacuation the Blue Lagoon spa which is one of the island nation’s biggest tourist attractions. Credit: AP Photo /Marco Di Marco
  • Volcanic eruption in Iceland subsides, though scientists warn more activity may follow.
    Aerial view of the volcano erupting, north of Grindavík, Iceland, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024. Iceland’s Meteorological Office says a volcano is erupting in the southwestern part of the country, north of a nearby settlement. The eruption of the Sylingarfell volcano began at 6 a.m. local time on Thursday, soon after an intense burst of seismic activity. Credit: Almannavarnir via AP
  • Volcanic eruption in Iceland subsides, though scientists warn more activity may follow.
    People look at the volcano erupting, north of Grindavík, Iceland, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024. Iceland’s Meteorological Office says a volcano is erupting in the southwestern part of the country, north of a nearby settlement. The eruption of the Sylingarfell volcano began at 6 a.m. local time on Thursday, soon after an intense burst of seismic activity. Credit: AP Photo/Marco Di Marco

Benedikt Ófeigsson, a geophysicist at the Icelandic Met Office, told RUV that the area can expect an eruption every month or so over the next few months.

"In the long term, it's very difficult to say, but in the short term, the next months, we will probably continue to see repeated magma intrusions and eruptions,'' he said.

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Citation: Volcanic eruption in Iceland subsides, though scientists warn more activity may follow. (2024, February 9) retrieved 26 February 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2024-02-volcanic-eruption-iceland-subsides-scientists.html
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