Scientists: Eruption Still Possible

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Scientists: Eruption Still Possible

Eyjafjallajökull 2010

Eyjafjallajökull 2010. Photo: Jóhannes Benediktsson.

Scientists of the Icelandic Met Office and University of Iceland, Institute of Earth Sciences, have evaluated the current status at Bárðarbunga and have concluded the following:

There are no indications that the intensity of the activity is declining. Currently, three scenarios are considered most likely:

  1. The migration of magma could stop, attended by a gradual reduction in seismic activity.
  2. 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.
  3. An alternate scenario would be the dike reaching 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.

Other scenarios cannot be excluded. For example, an eruption inside the Bárðarbunga caldera is possible but at present considered to be less likely.

Just under 900 earthquakes have been detected by the network since midnight, somewhat fewer than at the same time yesterday. The intrusive dike is now about 40-km (24-mile) long. Most of the activity has been near the edge of the glacier. An earthquake M4.6 (EMSC M4.4) occurred at 11:56.

Reports were received from Akureyri (a town in northern Iceland) that the earthquake could be felt there. The earthquakes are mostly on a similar depth as before, i.e. 8-12 km. A few were larger than M3. Few earthquakes were located in the Bárðarbunga caldera today.

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