The first data received from new seismographs put up on Bárðarbunga volcano, which lies under Vatnajökull glacier, last week, shows that the magma is much closer to the surface than previously thought.
The earthquakes occur at a depth of only three kilometers (1.8 miles), not five to eight as scientists had assumed. “The Bárðarbunga magma chamber system is much more complicated than we thought,” geophysics professor Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson told mbl.is.
The new data shows that the ice on top of the Bárðarbunga caldera, which has been sinking slowly but steadily ever since the eruption in Holuhraun started in late August, is thinner than previously thought.
The lava which is erupting in Holuhraun north of Vatnajökull is coming up from at least nine kilometers (5.5 miles) under the surface.