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Öraefajökull volcano (Iceland): continuing seismic unrest cause worries about potential reawakening

Thu, 25 Oct 2018, 15:56
15:56 PM | BY: T
Earthquakes under Öræfajökull during the past 7 days
Earthquakes under Öræfajökull during the past 7 days
The volcano is continuing to show signs of unrest. Over the past months, elevated numbers of small earthquakes have continued to occur beneath the glacier-covered volcano, suggesting that fresh magma has been accumulating at shallow depth around 5 km.
This could be precursory sign of a new eruption in a not-too-distant future, but it cannot be predicted whether and when it might occur, which could be months or several years from now.
The volcano is one of Iceland's most dangerous for its history of very violent explosive eruptions. The greatest hazard in case of a new eruption would probably be the occurrence of large glacial floods as magma melts part of the massive ice shield covering the volcano's caldera.
Fortunately only that the area the volcano lies in is not densely populated and evacuation efforts would be comparably easy to handle.

Previous news

Wed, 11 Jul 2018, 06:00

Oraefajokull volcano (Iceland) - Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for 11 July-17 July 2018 (New Activity / Unrest)

After a series of meetings between the Icelandic Meteorological Office, the University of Iceland, and Iceland Geosurvey, the Iceland Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management stated on 13 July that Öræfajökull has shown clear signs of unrest for at least the past year and a half. The report noted ongoing inflation and increased seismicity, despite a decrease in geothermal activity since December 2017. The volume change since the beginning of the unrest was about 10 million cubic meters, likely from an injection of new magma. ... Read all
Wed, 9 May 2018, 06:00

Oraefajokull volcano (Iceland) - Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for 9 May-15 May 2018 (New Activity / Unrest)

On 4 May, the Icelandic Met Office reduced the Aviation Color Code at Öræfajökull from Yellow to Green due to signs of reduced activity. Since September 2017 there has been less earthquake activity, stable hydrological and geochemical measurements, and reduced geothermal heat output. There has been possible minor ongoing inflation, but no signs of an imminent eruption. ... Read all
Show more
Stratovolcano 2119 m (6,952 ft)
Iceland, 64°N / -16.65°W
Current status: normal or dormant (1 out of 5) Öraefajökull volcano eruptions:
1362 (Plinian eruption), 1727-28 (sub-Plinian)
Typical eruption style

Explosive.


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