Hekla volcano (Iceland): strong inflation suggest volcano could be close to erupting

May 1, 2013ICELAND The famous Icelandic volcano is showing further signs that indicate an eruption could occur in a near future. Significant rapid inflation, concentrated in the northern part of the volcano, has been detected since early April and likely represents accumulation of rising magma underneath. Already in mid March this year, an earthquake swarm, volcanic tremor and deformation caused an alert, because it was believed that this was caused by rapid movement of magma under the volcano. The last eruption of the volcano was in March 2000, and it is estimated that by now, a significantly larger volume of magma has since then accumulated beneath the volcano. This would mean that a new eruption should be expected to be larger than the last one. Hekla’s eruptions normally begin with a powerful explosive phase, and could pose a significant hazard to anyone in close (less than 10 km) proximity during the onset of it. –Volcano Discovery
Growing threat from Iceland volcanoes: British researchers say some Icelandic volcanoes could produce eruptions just as explosive as those in the Pacific Rim, with disruptive ash clouds. Previously, scientists had thought that Icelandic magma was less “fizzy” — containing less volcanic gases like carbon dioxide — than that in Pacific Ocean volcanoes, and expected much less explosive eruptions by comparison. However, research by Britain’s The Open University and Lancaster University said they’ve found evidence of Icelandic magma twice as “fizzy” as previously believed, increasing the likelihood of future eruptions like that of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 that created ash clouds that disrupted air travel over large parts of Europe. The researchers analyzed pumice and lava from an eruption at Iceland’s Torfajokull volcano some 70,000 years ago to search for evidence of the levels of gases from water and carbon dioxide in the eruption. “I was amazed by what I found,” Lancaster University doctoral student Jacqui Owen said. “I measured up to 5 percent of water in the inclusions, more than double what was expected for Iceland, and similar in fact to the values for explosive eruptions in the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire.’ “We knew the Torfajokull volcanic eruption was huge — almost 100 times bigger than recent eruptions in Iceland — but now we also know it was surprisingly gas-rich.” The researchers said their study shows Icelandic volcanoes have the power to generate the fine ash capable of being transported long distances and cause disruption across Europe. With worrying evidence of increased volcanic activity, “Iceland’s position close to mainland Europe and the north Atlantic flight corridors means air travel could be affected again,” Lancaster researcher Hugh Tuffen said. –UPI
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6 Responses to Hekla volcano (Iceland): strong inflation suggest volcano could be close to erupting

  1. George says:

    Depending on the size of the eruption could ave serious consequences as this article relates……
    ‘On June 8, 1783, the Laki volcano erupted and remained active for eight months. Its ash cloud reached as high as 15 kilometres. The poisonous dust that rained down on Iceland killed 10,000 people, a quarter of the island’s population at the time.
    The Icelandic language even has a word for it: Móduhardbindin, meaning “death by famine caused by poisonous gas”. Domestic animals suffered white spots on their skin and burns on their hooves. The little grass that remained turned yellow and pink. Half of all livestock died from poisoning.
    Iceland was not the only country where apocalyptic scenes became reality. In the United Kingdom, the summer of 1783 would go down in history as the “sand summer”. Large swaths of Europe were enveloped in a thick, permanent, haze. The fog rolled over Bergen in Norway first, followed by Prague and Berlin, and finally, Paris and Rome. With visibility at sea extremely limited, ships remained moored in port. By day, a paltry sun emitted little more light than the moon did by night. Only at sunset and sunrise did it turn a deep crimson red.
    Extremely hot summers and cold winters followed, causing crops to fail across Europe. Famine ensued. In the UK alone, 23,000 people died from poisoning in the summer of 1783. In the winter that followed an additional 8,000 succumbed to hunger. In 1784, the United States had its coldest winter ever. Even parts of the Gulf of Mexico froze over. The Mississippi river was covered with ice as far south as New Orleans.
    The eruption’s effects lasted until 1788. France was plagued by heavy storms. Newspaper reports from the era mention hailstones so big they killed cattle on impact. Harvests failed and famine followed. Grain prices reached record heights. The country’s rural populace in particular, which then accounted for 85 percent of the population, rebelled against the bankrupt French monarchy. The Bastille prison was stormed and the Ancien Régime overturned.’



    • Irene C says:

      Thank you George for this information. Fascinating. Can you imagine how disastrous this would be if it happened again?


    • Angelsong says:

      Wow! Thank you for sharing, George. Let us pray that history does not repeat itself…


  2. Brandon says:

    We had quiet a bit of volcanoes going off there for awhile. Seems to have died back for now. I’m more inclinded to say we are having a build up… Calm before the storm…


  3. lode torfs says:

    The threat of volcano eruptions on iceland are not known by the west european population. A information campaign could be helpfull. Disruption of commercial flights to us and canada are not pleasant. Thats is a genuin concern for thousands of travellers.


  4. ingrid king says:

    we will be in iceland november 7 for one week. I hope that our presence will calm “The gods” for a bit!


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