Icelandic volcano Bardarbunga hit by 53 quakes as expert warns it’s preparing for ERUPTION

Wednesday, November 8, 2017
By Paul Martin

ICELAND’s Bardarbunga volcano has been struck by 53 earthquakes in the last seven days, sparking fears that it could be about to blow.

Wed, Nov 8, 2017

The largest of Iceland’s volcanos saw an eruption in August 2014, which lasted for six months, but experts worry another is about to happen.

A series of relatively small quakes, with the largest registering at 2.1 on the richter scale, have been hitting the 6,591ft tall Bardarbunga volcano which has been interpreted as a sign an eruption is on the horizon.

Páll Einarsson, a volcanology expert at the University of Iceland, revealed the latest quakes were part of a series that have been “in progress for two years” as he warned Bardarbunga is “clearly preparing for its next eruption” within the next few years.

He said: “The reason for the earthquakes in this place is that the volcano Bardarbunga is inflating, i.e. the pressure of magma in the magma chamber is increasing It has been doing this since the last eruption ended, in February 2015.

“The volcano is clearly preparing for its next eruption, that may happen in the next few years.

“The earthquakes last week are just the symptoms of this process, they do not cause the volcano to erupt.”

If the huge volcano were to blow, it could cause travel chaos across Europe and the Atlantic – much like its compatriot the Eyjafjallajökull volcano did in 2010.

The Bardarbunga volcano is 6590 feet tall and lies hidden beneath the Vatnajökull glacier. This makes it increasingly difficult to monitor beyond a few acoustic measurements.

Geophysicists currently studying the volcano beileve recent activity is the result of the volcano filling its magma chamber in preparation ahead of an eruption.

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