Icelandic Volcano Could Disturb Air Traffic Featured

Icelandic Volcano Could Disturb Air Traffic

The world's eyes are now on Bárðarbunga volcano in Iceland which could erupt at any moment. Just as Eyjafjallajökull did in 2010, Bárðarbunga could disrupt or ground air traffic around the world. Civil Aviation Authorities are monitoring the situation. 

Intense earthquake swarm continues at Barðarbunga. Presently there are no signs of magma moving to the surface.

Ash cloud prediction

The Norwegian Meteorological Institute has issued a ash prediction for if the volcano would erupt - but Eyjafjallajökull grounded flights in Norway as most of Europe in 2010. 

If Bárðarbunga would erupt today, it would take the ash cloud 2-3 days to reach Norway. 

The following picture shows the ash prediction for a powerful eruption in Bárðarbunga

The picture below shows the ash prediction for a small volcanic eruption in Bárðarbunga. 


Updated summary from Bárðarbunga

from the Icelandic Met Office

Around 1.000 small earthquakes were detected in the Bárðarbunga region from midnight (18/19) until Tuesday evening 19th August at 20:00. All of them were smaller than magnitude 3 and most were located in the cluster east of Bárðarbunga.

While the northern cluster close to Kistufell has calmed down significantly following the M4.5 earthquake on early Monday morning, event rates in the eastern cluster are still high. Similar to recent days, two pulses of comparably strong seismic activity have been measured between 04:00 and 08:00 this morning, as well as 16:00 and 18:30 in the afternoon. The cluster east of Bárðarbunga continued to slowly migrate northeastwards today. Events are still located at around 5-12 km depths, no signs of upwards migration has been seen so far.

Below is a summary map of all manually revised earthquakes since the onset of the swarm, which illustrates the migration of earthquake activity during the last days. Earthquakes in the map are colourcoded by time, dark blue dots show the onset of the swarm on Saturday, orange dots Tuesday's events until 19:00, light blue and yellow are the days in between. The time scale is days since the onset of the swarm.

Map by Gunnar B. Guðmundsson, Icelandic Meteorological Office.
Written today, August 21st:

Seismic activity in Bárðarbunga and vicinity is still great. As yesterday, the main activity stems from the intrusive event under Dyngjujökull.

A few earthquakes, shallower than those described above, have occurred in Bárðarbunga, where the activity started. This is the same pattern as during previous days.

The highest magnitude during the last 24 hours was about 3.8, measured at 23:38 last night (20th August).


Status report for Bárðarbunga volcano

There are no measurements to suggest that an eruption is imminent. Previous intrusion events in Iceland have lasted for several days or weeks, often not resulting in an eruption. However an eruption of Bárðarbunga cannot presently be excluded, hence the intense monitoring and preparation efforts. The ongoing monitoring and assessment effort is necessary in case a volcanic eruption occurs. Hazards in the event of an eruption are being assessed, including a glacial outburst flood and dispersal of volcanic ash. Additional seismic, GPS and hydrological stations have been installed in the Bárðarbunga region. Likewise, mobile radars capable of monitoring ash dispersal have been moved to the region. The aviation colour-code for the Bárðarbunga volcano remains unchanged at ‘orange', signifying that the volcano is exhibiting heightened levels of unrest.


You can now see Bárðarbunga volcano live through webcam by clicking here!


Last modified onThursday, 21 August 2014 17:47
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