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Sixty-Three Big Earthquakes Hit Bárðarbunga

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Sixty-Three Big Earthquakes Hit Bárðarbunga

The eruption in Holuhraun up close.

Bárðarbunga is feeding the Holuhraun eruption. Photo: Geir Ólafsson.

A total of 63 earthquakes above magnitude 5.0 have occurred in and around Bárðarbunga volcano under Vatnajökull glacier between August 16 and November 25. Lately, the frequency of such big earthquakes has declined; last week there were five days between them.

Kristín Jónsdóttir, director of the Icelandic Met Office’s natural hazards division, told mbl.is that the subsidence of the Bárðarbunga caldera is causing the seismicity. The activity is limited to the Bárðarbunga area and it’s unclear for how long it will continue

According to Kristín, it’s most likely that the subsidence will gradually slow down and eventually stop. However, other future scenarios are possible, including a major sub-glacial eruption in Bárðarbunga. New evidence has revealed that magma is closer to the glacier’s surface than earlier believed.

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