Earthquakes Continue To Rattle Bárðarbunga - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Earthquakes Continue To Rattle Bárðarbunga

Published August 27, 2014

Nanna Árnadóttir
Photos by
TommyBee

Intense earthquake activity continues around Bárðarbunga volcano and Vatnajökull glacier, reports RÚV. Just passed midnight an earthquake with a magnitude of  5.3  hit Bárðarbunga and an earthquake with a magnitude of 4.5 hit Askja caldera, the largest quake in Askja since 1992.

An additional two strong earthquakes hit Bárðarbunga around 3 am.

Seismic activity has been intensifying further in the past few days due to pressure changes resulting from the movement of magma, which is now making its way to the Askja caldera.

Almost 500 earthquakes were measured last night overall.

According to the Met Office, going forward there are three possible outcomes. The first is that the migration of magma could stop, attended by a gradual reduction in seismic activity.

The second is that the dike could reach the surface of the crust, starting an eruption. In this scenario, it is most likely that the eruption would be near the northern tip of the dike. This would most likely produce an effusive lava eruption with limited explosive, ash-producing activity.

The third possibility is that the dike could reach the surface where a significant part, or all, of the fissure is beneath the glacier. This would most likely produce a flood in Jökulsá á Fjöllum and perhaps explosive, ash-producing activity.

That being said they would not rule out the unlikely possibility that an eruption inside the Bárðarbunga volcano could happen.

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