Magma Intrusion Approaches Askja Fissure Swarm

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Magma Intrusion Approaches Askja Fissure Swarm

Askja

Askja. Photo: Jara Fatima/Vatnajökull National Park.

The magma intrusion of Bárðarbunga volcano has continued to lengthen and now extends 5 km (3 miles) beyond the edge of Dyngjujökull, an outlet glacier on the northern border of Vatnajökull, approaching a fissure swarm belonging to the volcanic system of Askja in the northeastern highlands of Iceland.

Gunnar B. Guðmundsson, specialist at the Icelandic Met Office’s earth science department, said it’s exciting for scientists to follow the developments, ruv.is reports.

“It’s believed that there was an eruption there [where the magma intrusion is now] in 1797 when the so-called Holuhraun [lava] formed. [The intrusion] is following the fissure swarm in the area,” Gunnar stated. “Some scientists believe an eruption could happen there but there are still no indications of magma breaking its way to the surface.”

Approximately 450 earthquakes hit around Bárðarbunga and Dyngjujökull last night, many of which were larger than magnitude 3. There is not as much seismic activity in the area as yesterday, although the activity remains intense. It comes in spells. Most earthquakes hit at the entrance of the magma intrusion.

The distance between Bárðarbunga and Askja is exactly 50 km (30 miles).

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