Volcano number:372020
Region:Iceland and Arctic Ocean
Geodetic measurements?Yes
Deformation observation?Yes
Measurement method(s):InSAR, GPS - continuous, Tiltmeter
Duration of observation:Continuous
Inferred cause of deformation:Magmatic
Characteristics of deformation:

Intrusions beneath the flanks of Eyjafjallajökull occurred in 1994 and July-December 1999 and were accompanied by increased seismic activity and was constrained by tilt measurements, GPS-geodesy and InSAR.

Studies of these intrusions “reveal sill intrusions at 4.5–6.5km depth as the most likely source of deformation. The 1994 and 1999 intrusions had inferred volumes of ~(10–17)×106m3 and ~(21–31)×106m3, respectively” (Sigmundsson et al., 2010 and references therein). 

Between mid-2000 and 2009, earthquakes occurred intermittently at rates of 1–4 events per month, while deformation remained negligible (Sigmundsson et al., 2010).

Sigmundsson et al. (2010) present geodetic covering the Eyjafjallajökull over its most recent eruption that started with an effusive flank eruption of basalt from 20 March to 12 April 2010. The main eruption started on 14 April 2010. Eyjafjallajökull is unique at present in the InSAR record in that it shows multiple short pulses of uplift, two of which did not end in eruption within a year and one that did (Biggs et al., 2014).

Sigmundsson et al. (2010) show that deformation during this period of eruptions can be split into three phases:

“(1) a pre-eruptive stage of inflation due to a complicated time-evolving magma intrusion that produced variable and high rates of deformation, in particular after 4 March;

(2) from 20 March to 9 April, a co-eruptive stage characterized by a pause in deformation (negligible rates); and

(3) a co-eruptive deformation stage associated with the April–May summit eruption, indicating gradual deflation of a source distinct from the pre-eruptive inflation source.”

Parks et al. (2014) present “long-term deformation time-series spanning > 20 years for Hekla, Katla, Eyjafjallajökull and Askja volcanoes, based on a variety of geodetic techniques including InSAR, GPS and tilt measurements”. At Eyjafjallajökull, the authors state that “post-eruption deformation observations reveal inflation, possibly related to the influx of new melt or readjustment of crustal stresses following the 2010 eruption”.

The last historical activity prior to an eruption in 2010 produced intermediate-to-silicic tephra from the central caldera during December 1821 to January 1823, before geodetic measurements (GVP).


Reference:Smithsonian Institution Global Volcanism Program
Reference:Sigmundsson F. et al. Intrusion triggering of the 2010 Eyjafjallajokull explosive eruption. Nature 468, 426–430 (2010)
Reference:Pedersen R. & Sigmundsson F. Temporal development of the 1999 intrusive episode in the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, Iceland, derived from InSAR images. B. Volcanol. 68, 377–393 (2006)
Reference:Parks, M., Dumont, S., Drouin, V., Sigmundsson, F., Hreinsdottir, S., Michalczewska, K., ... & Heimisson, E. R. (2014, December). Long-Term Geodetic Measurements at the Most Active Volcanoes in Iceland: Role of Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar and GPS in Hazard Monitoring at Hekla, Katla, Eyjafjallajökull and Askja Volcanoes. In AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts (Vol. 1, p. 4801).
Location:-19.62, 63.63

View of Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Source: Smithsonian Institution Global Volcanism Program

Sourced from FutureVolc (http://futurevolc.hi.is/volcanoes-and-monitoring): “Iceland: volcanoes and present long-term monitoring stations. The volcanic areas consist of volcanic systems, made of central volcanoes, calderas and fissure swarms. Western Eastern, and Northern volcanic zones marked (WVZ, EVZ, NVZ) are located on the divergent plate boundary between the North-American and Eurasian plates. Iceland’s most active volcanoes are Grímsvötn (G) and Bárðarbunga (B) under the Vatnajökull ice cap, Katla (K) under Mýrdalsjökull ice cap, and Hekla (H). Eyjafjallajökull vocano is labelled E”.