Iceland Sounds Alarm After Largest Volcano Rocked By Big Earthquake Cluster

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The earthquake swarm that occurred on the night of August 29

 

Six years after the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 caused the cancellation of more than 100,000 flights across Europe on concern that glass-like particles formed from lava might melt in aircraft engines and clog turbines, Iceland met office raised the alarm after its largest volcano was hit by the biggest tremors since 1977. Katla, named after an evil troll, is in southern Iceland about 140 kilometers (87 miles) from the capital, Reykjavik.

Two quakes larger than 4 in magnitude early Monday rocked the crater of Katla, the country’s Met Office said in a statement. That was followed by at least 10 more tremors at the volcano, which rises 1,450 meters (4,757 feet) into the air on the North Atlantic island’s southern coast. Continue reading

Iceland Is Experiencing Its Biggest Continuous Volcanic Eruption in Centuries

The last time an Icelandic volcano made headlines around the world was when the tongue-twister Eyjafjallajökull spewed tons of ash into the air in 2010, halting thousands of flights and costing airlines and passengers more than $7 billion in lost revenue.

Despite the power and global impact of that volcano’s several-week-long eruption, it barely affected Iceland, dropping only a small amount of ash near its peak, Freysteinn Sigmundsson, a geophysics and volcanology researcher at the University of Iceland’s Institute of Earth Sciences told Newsweek during an interview at his office in Reykjavik at the beginning of October.

But Eyjafjallajökull is paltry compared to the recent eruption of Bardarbunga (or Bárðarbunga in Icelandic), a volcano in a remote area of central Iceland that began venting lava and fumes in earnest on August 31, Sigmundsson said. Continue reading

Subglacial volcanic eruption begins in Iceland

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) — Iceland raised its aviation alert to red Saturday as a subglacial eruption began at the restless Bardarbunga volcano, which has been rattled by thousands of earthquakes in the past week, the country’s Meteorological Office said.

Seismic data indicated that lava from the volcano was melting ice beneath the Vatnajokull glacier, Iceland’s largest, Met Office vulcanologist Melissa Pfeffer said.

The eruption led Iceland to raise its aviation alert level to red, indicating an eruption that could cause “significant emission of ash into the atmosphere.” Red is the highest alert warning on a five-point scale. Continue reading