Earthquakes Hit Iceland’s Largest Glacier Skip to content

Earthquakes Hit Iceland’s Largest Glacier

A series of earthquakes occurred at Bárðarbunga in Vatnajökull, Iceland’s largest glacier, shortly before 1 am yesterday. The largest tremor measured 3.3 on the Richter scale and a few others ranged between two and three points.

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Vatnajökull. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

According to the Icelandic Meteorological Office it is too early to tell whether the seismic activity may lead to something else, but the situation is being monitored, ruv.is reports.

Bárðarbunga is a stratovolcano which lies underneath the northwestern Vatnajökull icecap. Smaller eruptions are frequent northeast of Bárðarbunga in an ice-free area known as Dyngjuháls.

A number of eruptions have also occurred beneath the glacier itself, which appear to follow a cycle, as studies of tephra layers have indicated, in 1701-1740, for example. In September 2010 a series of earthquakes were recorded near Bárðarbunga.

The last eruption in Iceland occurred in another volcano below Vatnajökull, in Grímsvötn in May 2011, causing significant ash fall. Now another sub-glacial volcano, Katla in Mýrdalsjökull, is under close observation due to ongoing seismic activity.

Click here to read about seismic activity in Iceland in November.

ESA

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