Iceland Eruption: Explaining Bárðarbunga

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Iceland Eruption: Explaining Bárðarbunga

Map of Vatnajökull

Map of Vatnajökull. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Confused about the eruption site? Bárðarbunga is the sub-glacial volcano located in the northwestern corner of the glacier Vatnajökull. Dyngjujökull is an outlet glacier that is part of Vatnajökull and lies to the north of Bárðarbunga.

The eruption that started today was caused by magma that flowed northeast from the Bárðarbunga caldera towards the Dyngjujökull glacier under 400 meters of thick ice.

It would take hours, if not days, to melt the thick Dynjujökull glacier.

Under the Vatnajökull glacier there are several big sub-glacial volcanos. Bárðarbunga is one of the largest, in addition to Öræfajökull and Grímsvötn.

Vatnajökull is the largest glacier outside of the Polar Regions, covering eight percent of Iceland. In 2008 it became the largest National Park in Western Europe.

Vatnajökull has around 30 outlet glaciers flowing from the ice cap, including Dyngjujökull.

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