Iceland’s biggest volcano has not erupted since February 2015, but after a series of earthquakes over the past week, there are fears it could erupt again. (Credit: REUTERS/Armann Hoskuldsson)
Iceland’s biggest volcano has not erupted since February 2015, but after a series of earthquakes over the past week, there are fears it could erupt again.
And this time, it might cause chaos for the airline industry.
Bardarbunga, which is under the ice cap of the Vatnajökull glacier, is “clearly preparing for its next eruption” within the next few years, University of Iceland volcanology expert Páll Einarsson told The Express. It was hit by four separate earthquakes, measuring 3.9, 3.2, 4.7 and 4.7 on the Richter scale.
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In a separate interview with The Daily Star, Einarsson added that the latest tremors are part of a series that has going on for two years and is a sign that pressuring is building inside the volcano and its magma chamber.
Unlike the explosion of volcano Eyjafjallajökull in 2010, which put thousands of tons of mineral ash into the air and caused more than 10 million airline pbadengers to be stranded, the most recent explosion of Bardarbunga did not disrupt the airline industry. It did, however, impact the air quality in Iceland.
If Bardarbunga were to erupt, some experts believe that a similar scenario to what happened with Eyjafjallajökull could play out.
University College London professor Dr. Simon Day told The Express: “Activity could precede a large explosive eruption and consequent widespread ash fall but it is statistically unlikely.”
Day added that more has to happen before a major explosion, giving it odds of 1 in 100.
“It’s not very likely that the current activity will lead to an eruption breaking the ice or erupting along the rift zone,” he said.