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Current activity of Bardarbunga volcano, Iceland: An intense seismic crisis started at Bárdarbunga volcano on 16 August 2014 and is continuing at the time of writing (23 Aug). It may or may not lead to a volcanic eruption, possibly under the Vatnajökull ice cap.
Follow updates as news come in!
Bardarbunga (Bárðarbunga) is a large central volcano lying underneath Iceland's 500-m thick Vatnajokull glacier in the center of the country. It is located at the junction between the eastern and northern volcanic rift zones in the area where the present-day center of the mantle hot spot beneath Iceland is thought to be.
Bardarbunga has had about 300-400 eruptions during the past 10,000 years which includes only 23 eruptions historic times (approx the past 1000 years), i.e. it seems to erupt currently at rates of approx. twice per century, the last one having occurred in 1910. A massive explosive-effusive eruption (VEI 6) in 1477 resulted in a large ash and pumice fall-out deposit.
Approx 8600 years ago, Bardarbunga produced the largest known lava flow during the past 10,000 years on earth (more than 21 cubic kilometers of volume). The lava was erupted from the Veidivötn fissure system and traveled more than 100 km to the south coast.
Bardarbunga volcano (Iceland): magnitude 3.8 earthquake, likely not related to magma movements
Wednesday Aug 31, 2016 16:35 PM | BY: T
Yesterday's magnitude 3.8 quake at Bardarbunga volcano
Depth vs time of recent quakes under Barrdarbunga
A magnitude 3.8 earthquake followed by dozens of small aftershocks occurred yesterday at 3 km depth under the volcano's northeastern caldera rim (located under the ice cap).
While it is possible that such earthquakes are caused by shallow magma intrusions, the present quakes at Bardarbunga are more likely result of volcano-tectonic movements, in this case the continuing subsidence of the caldera (a so-called slow caldera collapse) which has been going on since the large 2014-15 Holuhraun flank eruption.
This also seems to reflect the opinion of Icelandic Met Office's seismologists according to a local press article.
Ever since the large Holuhraun fissure eruption (Aug 2014-Mar 2015), the volcano has remained restless. Over the past months, the volcano's seismic activity has been showing a slow increase. ... [more]
Over the past few months, seismic activity at the volcano, mainly under the volcano's large, ice-covered caldera has been increasing again, suggesting that magma might be filling the volcano's reservoir underneath the caldera. ... [more]
Intraplate volcanism: A third tectonic setting where volcanism occurs is believed to be the result of mantle plumes and not directly related to plate boundaries. So called hot spot volcanoes fall into this category.
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