Global Sea Ice Extent

September 17th Data:

Arctic Sea Ice: 1.2 Million km

Antarctic Sea Ice: 1.5 million km

Net Global Sea Ice Deviation: 0.3 million km

Wild GPS Readings at Bardarbunga

I don’t know if anything significant is about to happen, but there have been wild GPS readings at Bardarbunga over the last several hours.  It is fluctuating as wildly as I’ve seen it yet.  Is there something going on in Iceland?  Is it stormy, window, or anything like that?  I don’t know what would make the GPS start recording wild changes in the ground level.  Here is a screenshot I grabbed showing the recent fluctuations.  The light gray color shows momentary deviations.  Red is a 30 minute average and blue is a 180 minute average.

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Bardarbunga GPS Reading

Bardarbunga GPS

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4 comments to Wild GPS Readings at Bardarbunga

  • Sander

    We have seen this shaking graph before after every M5 earthquacke. I am no professional, but i suspect one of these things is happening:
    – The icecap repositions itself after the deformation of the earthquacke. It is a sludge, 700m think, 8000m wide, and responds slowly to the changes beneath. It moves in short shocks, litteraly small icequackes. This could be what you see. Take in mind that this GPS reading is only a point reading, so it can very well be waves travelling trough the ice.
    – Secondly, there can be water moving beneath or within the icecap. When the caldera floor drops, more water is flowing from the outside to the center. The moving water will make the ice above go move with it.
    – Mind that these are movements of only 0,5 m, max 1m over a short period, while the average suface height stays the same. So it must be some kind of wave.

    Greetings, Sander

  • Good point about the shifting. It makes sense that when you have this much ice and large quakes that something is going to move. But whatever the case is, the readings have stopped. Does it look like the ground deformation has let up a bit today?

  • Sander

    All the spikes should be interpreted as side effects i think. It looks like a gradual process. In geological perspective you can also call it a free fall. Apart from the big quackes when there are sudden drops. Note that the surface is dropping too when there are no quackes. There is no stopping in this.

    You could also consider the fact that the ice can cover things up (well it does). The deformation map shows most takes place in the center. If it is so that the ice moves towards the center, it can mean that it is filling up the gap. This means that the actual subsidence can be larger, but is partially covered by ice (and maybe water) compacting above it.

    I might be totally wrong about this. Its just my interpretation.
    What i am wondering is: how much heat must the volcano produce to break trough 800m of ice? Moreso, all the meltwater it creates, will stay right there, because the caldere edges are about 600-700m hight. If there will be any break at all it will be cooled down at very start.

    A flank collapse would be a shorter way out (more likely?)

  • I am not sure the ice would really cover up the sinking since the readings are GPS based. I think ice could cover it up if the measurements were laser based. But that ice is a really bad thing. Have you looked at the Google map of the volcano? I did for the first time yesterday and I was amazed. I really had no idea where exactly it was located. So for anyone that hasn’t already looked, I encourage checking out this link.,+Vatnaj%C3%B6kull+National+Park,+Iceland/@64.6244943,-17.4290934,27819m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x48d1f2b06d4133cf:0xf4844f9a15da0453

    It really is right under a glacier.

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