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Scientists: Sub-Glacial Eruption in Bárðarbunga Likely

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Scientists: Sub-Glacial Eruption in Bárðarbunga Likely

Eyjafjallajökull 2010

The 2010 eruption in Eyjafjallajökull was a sub-glacial eruption. Photo: Jóhannes Benediktsson.

In light of the volcano’s history and considering the fact that a large part of the Bárðarbunga volcanic system lies under Vatnajökull glacier, a sub-glacial eruption is likely, according to Kristín Jónsdóttir, director of the Icelandic Met Office’s natural hazards division.

The volcanic eruption in Holuhraun, which ended on Friday, was connected with Bárðarbunga by an underground intrusive dike through which magma was channeled. Now that the vent has closed, pressure continues to build in the sub-glacial volcano.

“It’s absolutely clear that Bárðarbunga is on. The activity comes in series and a period of increased activity has begun in Bárðarbunga, so that it’s highly likely that further eruptions will follow,” Kristín told RÚV.

However, it’s difficult to predict when and where the next eruption will occur, Kristín stated, adding that a series of eruptions could be coming up in the following years. A sub-glacial eruption is likely, she maintained.

“A large part of the Bárðarbunga volcanic system lies under the glacier and therefore it’s highly likely that an eruption will occur under the glacier with the accompanying ash fall and flooding,” Kristín concluded.

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