Ongoing Expedition to Askja Volcano in North Iceland

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Ongoing Expedition to Askja Volcano in North Iceland

The expedition of five scientists to Askja volcano in the northeastern highlands is ongoing and has been successful so far. They are collecting data to determine the likelihood of an upcoming eruption; the volcano’s crater lake, Öskjuvatn, is iceless.

askja-large_ps

Askja. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

Benedikt G. Ófeigsson at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, a specialist in movements of the earth’s crust, told Morgunblaðið that they are measuring heat, conductivity and other indicators in Öskjuvatn. Its iceless state is unusual for this time of year.

Benedikt is accompanied by another earth scientist from the Metrological Office, two from the University of Iceland’s Science Institute and one from the University of Cambridge.

“They will leave heat and conductivity sensors that will transmit signals until next summer,” Benedikt added. “We’re also collecting data on seismic activity. There are earthquake monitor stations all around which are operated by Cambridge University […]. We have also established three GPS monitors and will leave one when we depart.”

Other projects include measuring gas in some locations. Benedikt said it is too soon to tell whether an eruption might occur at Askja; first the data must be thoroughly reviewed.

Click here to read more about and see photos of the iceless Öskjuvatn and here to read speculations about other Icelandic volcanoes.

ESA