Gradual caldera collapse at Bárdarbunga volcano, Iceland, regulated by lateral magma outflow

Alessandro Aiuppa, Melissa A. Pfeffer, Martin Hensch, Alexander H. Jarosch, Simone Cesca, Sigurdur Jakobsson, Sebastian Heimann, Sæmundur A. Halldórsson, Benedikt G. Ófeigsson, Kristín Jónsdóttir, Björn Oddsson, Marco Bagnardi, Stéphanie Dumont, Amy Donovan, Michelle M. Parks, Karsten Spaans, Tobias Dürig, Torsten Dahm, Gunnar B. Gudmundsson, Sara BarsottiKristín S. Vogfjörd, Joaquín M. C. Belart, Andrew Hooper, Vincent Drouin, Hannah I. Reynolds, Tayo Van Boeckel, Gro B. M. Pedersen, Kristján Jónasson, Hildur M. Fridriksdóttir, Matthew J. Roberts, Sigurdur Jakobsson, Thórdís Högnadóttir, Baldur Bergsson, Gudfinna Adalgeirsdóttir, Eniko Bali, Martin P. J. Schöpfer, Sigrún Hreinsdóttir, Olgeir Sigmarsson, Gudmundur H. Gudfinnsson, Hildur M. Fridriksdóttir, Finnur Pálsson, Magnús T. Gudmundsson, Freysteinn Sigmundsson, Páll Einarsson, Torsten Dahm, Thomas R. Walter, Mike R. Burton, Matthew J. Roberts, Vala Hjörleifsdóttir, Eoghan P. Holohan, Morten S. Riishuus, Eyjólfur Magnússon, Baldur Bergsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

199 Citations (Scopus)


Large volcanic eruptions on Earth commonly occur with a collapse of the roof of a crustal magma reservoir, forming a caldera. Only a few such collapses occur per century, and the lack of detailed observations has obscured insight into the mechanical interplay between collapse and eruption.We usemultiparameter geophysical and geochemical data to show that the 110-squarekilometer and 65-meter-deep collapse of Bárdarbunga caldera in 2014-2015 was initiated through withdrawal of magma, and lateral migration through a 48-kilometers-long dike, from a 12-kilometers deep reservoir. Interaction between the pressure exerted by the subsiding reservoir roof and the physical properties of the subsurface flow path explain the gradual, nearexponential decline of both collapse rate and the intensity of the 180-day-long eruption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)aaf8988-1-aaf8988-8
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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