Earthquake at Bárðarbunga Caldera Skip to content
Vatnajökull Bárðarbunga
Photo: Golli. Bárðarbunga caldera.

Earthquake at Bárðarbunga Caldera

An earthquake occurred under the Bárðarbunga caldera at 7:20 am on Saturday morning, RÚV reports. The quake was measured a 4 and while it isn’t uncommon for earthquakes to occur in the area, Saturday’s incident is notable as Bárðarbunga, a stratovolcano located underneath Iceland’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull, is the second largest volcano on the island—and the most active.

See Also: Bárðarbunga Calming Down or Preparing for Next Eruption

The earthquake started 4.6 km [2.85 mi] northeast of the volcano, at a depth of 1.3 km [8.1 mi]. Afterwards, the Met office only detected a very little aftershock activity.

The last time major unrest occurred at Bárðarbunga was in 2014, when magma streamed out of the chamber under the volcano and flowed almost 40 km [24.8 mi] to the Holuhraun lava field, where there was an eruption. The eruption lasted almost six months.

Geoscientists have been keeping a close eye on Bárðarbunga of late. In July, it was reported that the volcano has been expanding and it could be due to magma accumulation or recovery from its last eruption. Geophysicist Páll Einarsson told reporters, however, that the powerful earthquakes underneath the volcano this summer were likely due to land rise and that an eruption did not appear to be imminent.

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