Over 1000 Earthquakes Indicate Potential Bárðarbunga Eruption

Over 1000 Earthquakes This Weekend

Published August 18, 2014

Nanna Árnadóttir
Photo by
TommyBee

In all 1.115 earthquakes have been measured at and around the Bárðarbunga volcano – on the northwest corner of Vatnajökull glacier, reports RÚV.

Most of the earthquakes, roughly 800, with magnitudes between 1-2 though 10 had magnitudes over 3. There are no signs so far that confirm whether an eruption has begun, though the situation continues to be monitored.

As reported yesterday, the Bárðarbunga volcano is now classified as “Code Yellow” by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) colour system. Specifically, code yellow means “Volcano is exhibiting signs of elevated unrest above known background level.”

The Police Commissioner of Húsavík has decided to close Gæsavatnaleið road and other highland roads east of Skjálfandafljót up to Askja. The road to Herðubreiðarlindir (F88) has also been closed due to potential flooding in the area following an eruption.

UPDATE (12:30): RÚV is reporting that scientists’ latest numbers have shown a steady decrease in unrest, and that seismic sensors are yet to reveal disturbances that would indicate an eruption. The story adds that geologists consider it near impossible that magma has already already surfaced, noting that the seismic activity thus far documented is 5-10 km underground, and that a great unrest would inevitably occur if and when magma were to come in contact with the glacier.

UPDATE: (12:40): This just in: the last hour has seen a strong bout of seismic activity east of Bárðarbunga, and GPS data reveals magma movements under the surface. The Icelandic Meteorological Office has raised the alarm level from “yellow” to “orange,” and considers an eruption “likely.”

 

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