Nature & Environment Jan 28, 2015

WIRED & Popular Science Feature Iceland’s Bárðarbunga Volcano

A stunning look at the rapidly expanding Holuhraun lava field.

Since August 2014, Iceland’s Bárðarbunga volcano has been erupting in an uninhabited area of the country. The nearly five months of continuous eruptions has left quite the mark on the Holuhraun lava field.  According to Mary Beth Griggs of Popular Science: ”As of January 18, when the picture at the top was taken by NASA’s MODIS instrument, the lava field measured 84.6 square kilometers in size, or about the area of Manhattan.”

WIRED’s Erik Klemetti notes that “50-70 cubic meters (1,765-2,472 cubic feet) of lava is erupting per second! That’s over 4.3 million cubic meters a day (~0.004 cubic kilometers).” Don’t worry though, Bárðarbunga is over 200km away from Reykjavik and 100km away from Hofn, so even though the lava field is growing in size, it’s still a significant distance away from Iceland’s most populated areas.

The picture below was taken by NASA on January 3, and shows lava and steam emerging from the volcano. For the most up-to-date information about the volcano, click here.