An earthquake swarm is currently engulfing Bardarbunga with two of its largest quakes measuring 4.1 and 4.9 magnitude. The latter earthquake is the largest since 2015 when Bardarbunga finished erupting after almost a year.
However, Iceland’s Met Office said there is no cause for concern at the time being. Bryndís Ýr Gísladóttir, natural hazard expert at the Iceland Met Office, said, “There are no signs of any volcanic unrest as yet.”
If the huge volcano were to blow, it could cause travel chaos across Europe and the Atlantic – much like its compatriot the Eyjafjallajökull volcano did in 2010. The Bardarbunga volcano is 6590 feet tall and lies hidden beneath the Vatnajökull glacier. This makes it increasingly difficult to monitor beyond a few acoustic measurements.
Geophysicists currently studying the volcano believe recent activity is the result of the volcano filling its magma chamber in preparation ahead of an eruption. The 2010 Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption left 10 million air passengers stranded after grounding flights all around the world and cost the European economy around £4billion. Experts have stated if the Bardarbunga volcano was to come to life it would cause problems on a similar scale.
Earthquakes can suggest an imminent volcano explosion, as the magma moves through the cracks of the magma chambers. This causes pressure on the surrounding rock which causes the earthquakes, which are then tracked.
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