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Old 20-08-14, 12:26   #1
 
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Arrow Right PhOtOs-Icelands 2000 Earthquakes>Volcano May Erupt=Evacuations .

Earthquakes Still Rocking Iceland’s Barđarbunga

By Erik Klemetti, Wired, 20 August 2014

The volcanic wastelands between Barđarbunga and Askja in Iceland, seen in 2012. Dave McGarvie, used by permission.

It has now been over 4 days of intense seismicity at Iceland Barđarbunga, located under the Vatnajökull ice cap. The latest report from the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) says that over 2,600 earthquakes, most less than M3, have occurred since the morning of August 16. The activity has shifted in its focus (see below) and is now primarily under a part of Vatnajökull that is ~600 meter thick, so any eruption would have a lot of ice to melt when the lava reaches the surface. This likely means that it would be a long time before any eruption would be noticed on the surface of the ice cap –

Instead, it would be glacial outburst floods (jökulhlaups) that would herald the start of the eruption. If the eruption never breaches the surface of the ice cap, there is the potential of a new tuya forming under the ice, where lava forms a broad, flat-topped mountain.

Beyond the seismicity, we’ve also seen deformation around the focus of the earthquakes, suggesting magma is filling in below and needs to make space by moving the Earth’s surface. IMO says most of the seismicity is occurring at depths between 3-7 km but there aren’t signs yet that the magma is moving to shallower depths, so we still could see this all end as merely the intrusion of magma rather than an eruption. The alert status for Barđarbunga remains at Orange.



The location of earthquakes near Barđarbunga, color-coded to time (blue is earlier in the day, red is later
– see hours marked on scale to right). Iceland Meteorological Office.



Also, there are now two webcams pointed at the Barđarbunga area, so you can keep an eye on it if any potential eruption manifests at the surface: Mila and Mogt.is. You can also see some realtime earthquake data in 3D (note: I can’t guarantee the accuracy of this model and more recent earthquakes do not have accurate depths until they have been examined)
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Old 21-08-14, 12:47   #2
 
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Update Re: PhOtOs-Icelands 2000 Earthquakes>Volcano May Erupt=Evacuations .

She's About to Blow!
-Iceland Volcano Eruption Could Ground Holidaymakers
  • Airlines preparing for repeat of the chaos seen when Eyjafjallajokull blew
  • All roads leading to the region near Bardarbunga volcano are blocked
  • Police say a quick evacuation would not be possible if the volcano erupts
  • Nearly 300 earthquakes were detected in the area on Wednesday

  • 2,000 earthquakes have shaken the live volcano since Saturday
Daily Mail UK, 21 August 2014


Part of Iceland was evacuated yesterday amid growing fears that the country’s Bardarbunga volcano is about to erupt.

Airlines were on high alert as the centre of the island was hit by an earthquake every minute, signalling increased seismic activity below the volcano.

If Bardarbunga erupts travel companies have been warned to prepare for a repeat of the chaos seen when Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano blew in 2010. A huge dust cloud shut down much of Europe’s airspace for six days, grounding 100,000 flights and affecting more than ten million people.


Iceland Volcano Warning Sparks Europe Flight Chaos Fears

Iceland has issued a warning to the aviation industry that another volcano could be about to erupt, causing global flight chaos like Europe experienced in 2010.

The country's meteorological office issued an orange alert – its second highest warning – on Tuesday, after a weekend of intense seismic activity beneath its largest system of volcanoes.

It warned the European aviation industry that it had detected movement of magma beneath the Bardarbunga volcano, located in the centre of the country, where more than 2,000 earthquakes have shaken the live volcano since Saturday.

It is the most intense "earthquake swarm" to affect Bardarbunga since 1996, Iceland says.




This diagram shows how the ash could spread across Britain should the volcano erupt



Flights would be grounded because the extremely fine volcanic ash can jam the planes' engines



Bardarbunga: Iceland's largest volcano is seen from afar on a webcam positioned on Grimsfjoll mountain


At around 3am yesterday between 300 and 500 people, mostly visitors, were ordered to leave the highlands north of Bardarbunga, after 300 earthquakes shook the area in just three hours. Tourists have been banned from visiting the area, which is popular with hikers, and all roads are closed.

Authorities said an eruption might cause the Vatnajökull glacier – one of the largest in Europe – which covers the volcano, to melt, causing mass flooding.

Iceland’s Civil Protection Agency said: ‘It cannot be ruled out that the seismic activity in Bardarbunga could lead to a volcanic eruption. The area is now closed and has been evacuated.’
It added: ‘These security measures have been taken since it would not be possible to evacuate the area in time should a sub-glacial outburst flood occur from Vatnajökull as a result of an eruption.’

Iceland issued a ‘code orange’ alert – the second highest risk level – to airlines on Tuesday, warning of possible disruption.

Iceland Civil Protection Agent Very Wary of Active Glacier Area:




Shaking all over: Nearly 300 earthquakes were detected near the Bardarbunga volcano this morning

With millions of British families currently abroad for the summer holidays, and many more planning getaways for the Bank Holiday weekend, the chaos could be substantial.

However, the extent of the disruption depends on the wind direction during eruption. At the moment, the prevailing winds are blowing south-east, directly towards Britain. Forecasters in the UK are carefully monitoring weather systems in the area.

Laura Young, spokesman for the Met Office, said last night: ‘At the moment the air flow is coming from the north-west.
‘It looks like it will stay that way until the early hours of Monday, when we are expecting a change. If there is an eruption, it is all about timing. If the air flow changed it might not affect us or European airspace at all.’

Forecasting the wind direction is complicated because of the potential height of the dust cloud.
If the ash is blown 20,000ft into the air, as the Eyjafjallajokull plume was in 2010, it would be affected by unpredictable air flows in the upper atmosphere.



Chaos: The Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted in 2010, creating massive disruptions for air travellers


At the moment the upper atmospheric winds are flowing in the same direction as surface winds, but that is not always the case.

Miss Young added: ‘The air moves around in different ways at various different levels in the atmosphere. We cannot second-guess exactly which direction any airflow in the upper atmosphere will change to.’

Einar Einarsson of the Icelandic Meteorological Office, said seismic activity was constant, adding: ‘It doesn’t seem to vary a lot – it is concentrated in one area under the glacier.’

Dr Nicolas Bellouin, an expert on atmospheric dust clouds at the University of Reading, said: ‘Volcanic ash is a hazard to aircraft, because of sandblasting of the outside of the plane and because particles are sucked into the turbines where they can melt and disable the engines.
‘For that reason, aviation authorities impose a limit on the maximum concentration of ash aircraft can fly through.’
But he added that a dust plume was ‘unlikely’ to have a dramatic effect on UK weather and that those with health conditions affected by pollution should not be ‘overly worried.'

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