Bárðarbunga briefly shows its fiery side

Stronger earthquakes associated with last night's eruption shown in yellow and orange.

Stronger earthquakes associated with last night's eruption shown in yellow and orange.

Icelandic Meteorological Office

Iceland’s Bárðarbunga volcano has had a short eruption that sent steam into the air, but officials have lifted air flight restrictions now that the activity has stopped, Reuters is reporting.

An eruption that began at about midnight local time in a fissure in a lava field ended about 4 hours later, government officials said in a statement. Iceland’s weather office initially raised the aviation alert status to red, which imposes certain flight restrictions in the area. It returned the status to orange, however, after no extensive ash was observed. Flights in the area are now allowed.

“The eruption occurred on an old volcanic fissure on the Holuhraun lava field, about 5 km north of the Dyngjujökull ice margin,” according to a daily status report released earlier today by the Icelandic Meteorological Office and the University of Iceland's Institute of Earth Sciences. “The active fissure was about 600 m in length.” Within hours the eruption had stopped, and officials were reporting that “aerial observations by the Icelandic Coastguard show that only steam is rising from the site.” Researchers are continuing to monitor the situation.

Meanwhile, there’s another—and showier—eruption occurring in Papua New Guinea, according to Vox.

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