Most Feared Volcano ‘Ready to Erupt’

Friday, July 8, 2011
By Paul Martin

New concerns over Iceland ash cloud as country’s most feared volcano is ‘ready to erupt’
7th July 2011

Europe could be poised to feel the dusty wrath of one of Iceland’s biggest volcanoes, according to experts.

Geophysicists believe ‘unusual’ magma movement deep beneath Hekla could signal the early stages of activity that could lead to a massive explosion.

The volcano, which was dubbed the ‘Gateway to Hell’ in the middle ages, is capable of producing four times the debris of the country’s last ash-producing eruption in May.

University of Iceland geophysicist Pall Einarsson today said an eruption could not be expected imminently but he expected it to erupt ‘soon’.

‘No eruption has started in Hekla volcano. But it might start without any warning’, Icelandic volcano expert Jon Frimann added.

‘Nobody seems to know what is going on with this magma moments for the moment,’ he told Irish Weather Online.

‘What is more interesting is that this does not seems to have started until few days ago.

‘What is interesting is that fact that no earthquakes appear during this magma movements, there is also no harmonic tremor when the magma is moving around in the crust close to Hekla volcano.

‘But if there is any earthquakes, noise or whatever coming from Hekla volcano it is going to appear on my geophone that is located about 16 km away from peak of Hekla volcano.’

Hekla, which means hooded cloak in Iceland, has erupted more than 20 times – and once a decade in recent times.

Its first eruption, in 874, produced 2.5 cubic km of tephra, the scientific term for various kinds of debris emitted by volcanoes.

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