As you might, or perhaps might not, be aware, Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano is building up to a potential eruption … or not. Here below is a quick snapshot of what has been happening during the past 48 hours, and as you can see, not only have rather a lot of Earthquakes been hitting the area, but the intensity has also been climbing, and as I write, starting to calm down a bit …
So where can I see this data myself?
The above comes directly from the Icelandic Met Office …
For a rather different view, you can also find a 3D Earthquake Map that has been Created by Baering using data by vedur.is and is being cached by RasmusKr ..
There are also live web CAMs … so if things get rather dramatic, then you can get to see it for yourself as well
CAM1: Höfn, Southeast Iceland (delayed)
CAM2: Kverkfjöll, Iceland (delayed)
CAM3: Bardarbunga, Iceland (live)
What is going to happen?
We simply do not know, it is impossible to tell, but for some details of what has happened in the past we have some notes from the Volcano Cafe …
The Bárdarbunga volcanic system is the largest in Iceland and it has erupted more lava than any other volcano on the planet in the last 10 000 years. The volcanic system is 200 kilometers long and 25 kilometers wide.
The central volcano has a seventy square kilometer caldera that is ten kilometers across. Technically it is a highly complex type of volcano that is a mixture between a shield volcano, a strato volcano, tuya formations, volcanic ridges, radial volcanic fissures and a truly astounding volcanic fissure swarm extending in a NNE/SSW direction out from the central volcano.
The largest effusive eruptions has come from the fissure swarm where the Thjorsahraun is the largest lava eruption on the planet in the last 10 000 years. The largest explosive eruption occurred in 1477 during the Veidivötn basalt flood eruption in the southern part of the fissure swarm. During that eruption a VEI-6 explosive eruption occurred in the caldera that was the largest explosive eruption in Iceland since Grimsvötn suffered another VEI-6 almost 10 000 years ago. The 1477 eruption is the largest explosive eruption in Iceland since settlement and also the second largest effusive eruption only bested by the Lakí eruption.
Even though this is far from the largest earthquake swarm at Bárdarbunga, neither is it the longest, it is still a bit of an oddity. First of all the earthquakes are deeper than normal (even though they have happened before). But the main oddity is the distribution of the individual swarms since they follow directly along the path of the main northern fissure swarm of Bárdarbunga. Also, the earthquakes have grown slightly larger and more numerous over time instead of abating.
Geologist Ari Trausti Guðmundsson who was a presidential candidate in 2012 (yes, in a place like Iceland even the politicians are Geologists), is also blogging all the latest details here, so you should check out his blog for the latest updates – click here for details.