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Iceland’s Bárdarbunga May Be Erupting

Posted by feww on April 20, 2010

Fire Earth Moderators Believe Iceland’s Bárdarbunga May Be Erupting or is about to Erupt.

If our long-distance assessment is correct, the next eruption at Bárdarbunga/ Grímsvötn or any of the other 6 volcanoes listed below could spell a major disaster for Iceland.

Iceland seismic record for the past 48 hours shows 7  separate cluster of quakes in the vicinity of the following volcanoes (See image below)

  1. Kolbeinsey ridge (Last erupted: 1999)
  2. Krafla (1984)/ Theistareykjarbunga (< 1000 BC)/ Tjörnes fracture zone (1868)
  3. Askja (1961)
  4. Bárðarbunga (1903) and neighboring Grímsvötn (2004)
  5. Grímsnes (> 3500 BC)
  6. Reykjanes (1879)
  7. Eyjafjallajökull (Currently ongoing)

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.

Source: Iceland Met Office. © Veðurstofa Íslands

Original Caption:  Map showing the Mid-Atlantic Ridge splitting Iceland and separating the North American and Eurasian Plates. The map also shows Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, the Thingvellir area, and the locations of some of Iceland’s active volcanoes (red triangles), including Krafla.

The consequences of plate movement are easy to see around Krafla Volcano, in the northeastern part of Iceland. Here, existing ground cracks have widened and new ones appear every few months. From 1975 to 1984, numerous episodes of rifting (surface cracking) took place along the Krafla fissure zone. Some of these rifting events were accompanied by volcanic activity; the ground would gradually rise 1-2 m before abruptly dropping, signaling an impending eruption. Between 1975 and 1984, the displacements caused by rifting totaled about 7 m.  Source: USGS.

Original Caption: Aerial view of the area around Thingvellir, Iceland, showing a fissure zone (in shadow) that is an on-land exposure of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Right of the fissure, the North American Plate is pulling westward away from the Eurasian Plate (left of fissure). This photograph encompasses the historical tourist area of Thingvellir, the site of Iceland’s first parliament, called the Althing, founded around the year A.D. 930. Large building (upper center) is a hotel for visitors. (Photograph by Oddur Sigurdsson, National Energy Authority, Iceland. Source: USGS.

Continued …

Related Links – Fire-Earth entries on Eyjafjallajökull and other useful  sources:


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15 Responses to “Iceland’s Bárdarbunga May Be Erupting”

  1. feww said

    Iceland volcano professor hits back at eruption scare stories

  2. feww said

    Ongoing earthquakes near Vatnajökull

    “Pall Einarsson, a professor of geophysics at the University of Iceland, says the area around Bárdarbunga is showing signs of increased activity, which provides ‘good reason to worry.'”

    “A few systems come together there. The largest is the Bárdarbunga system, which includes Veidivötn and Vatnaöldur and stretches way north of Dyngjujáls and west of Askja. Then there is the Grímsvötn system which lies further to the east,” Einarsson explained.

    “It is indisputable that the seismic activity is growing steadily in the area—the series of earthquakes over the past few days is an indicator of that. There is full reason to be on the alert. This is one of the most active areas in the country,” he iterated.

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