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The Next Icelandic Volcano Likely to Erupt

Posted by feww on April 22, 2010

A Probability Analysis of the Icelandic Volcano Most Likely to Erupt Next

The pattern of seismicity in Iceland has remained almost unchanged from two days ago, while the eruption at Eyjafjallajökull has become less explosive.

Loads of magma seem to be flowing under the land of Ice and Fire [Iceland,] but where is it all going?

In Iceland’s Bárdarbunga May Be Erupting posted on April 20,2010, Fire Earth Moderators said they believed Iceland’s Bárdarbunga May Be Erupting or is about to Erupt.

Seismic events occurring between Apr 18 – 20,2010

Source: Iceland Met Office. © Veðurstofa Íslands

Seismic events occurring between Apr 20 – 22,2010

Source: Iceland Met Office. © Veðurstofa Íslands

The moderators have now allocated the following probabilities of eruption to each of the volcanoes/volcano groups previously listed:

  1. Probability of a second Icelandic volcano erupting this year: > 80 percent
  2. Kolbeinsey ridge (Last erupted: 1999) or a new submarine fissure in its vicinityprobability of eruption: 80 percent
  3. Krafla (1984)/ Theistareykjarbunga (< 1000 BC)/ Tjörnes fracture zone (1868) – probability of eruption: 52percent
  4. Askja (1961) – probability of eruption: 66 percent
  5. Bárðarbunga (1903) and neighboring Grímsvötn (2004) – probability of eruption: 84 percent
  6. Grímsnes (> 3500 BC) – 40 percent
  7. Reykjanes (1879) – 50 percent
  8. Eyjafjallajökull – probability that the current round of eruption would last more than 30 days: 34 percent
  9. Katla – probability of eruption: 64 percent
  10. Other Icelandic volcanoes not mentioned on this list: probability of eruption: less than 40 percent


A Map of Iceland Volcanoes. Click image to enlarge.

Bárdarbunga, one of the most active volcanoes in Iceland, is a massive volcano with a  700-m-deep caldera which lies beneath the NW Vatnajökull icecap.  A fissure eruption at Thjorsarhraun produced about 21 km³ of lava, the largest known Holocene lava flow on the planet.

Powerful eruptions may occur among the volcanoes lying along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The plate tectonics could also translate into increased seismicity along the divergent plate boundary and boundaries of neighboring plates.

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10 Responses to “The Next Icelandic Volcano Likely to Erupt”

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