For more than a week the earth has been rumbling beneath Iceland’s looming Bardarbunga volcano. The almost continuous small earthquakes led the government to activate its National Crisis Coordination Centre this week and block off access to the largely uninhabited region around the Bardarbunga caldera.
Major airlines are making contingency plans for a potential eruption that could throw dust into the atmosphere and disrupt flight paths between North America and Europe.
International aviation chaos followed the 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajokul volcano, when more than 100,000 flights were cancelled.
On the ground, the primary concern for now is the massive Vatnajökull glacier – the largest glacier on the island, under which Bardarbunga lies. ”It would not be possible to evacuate the area in time,” according to an official statement, as an eruption would cause a sudden melt of the glacier.
On Friday the rumbling continued. Using data made available freely by the Icelandic Met Office, here is a map showing all the seismic events around the volcano on Friday, August 22, Iceland local time.
Experts say there is no indication that a full-scale eruption is starting in the area. But if it does, a popular page on the web site for Iceland Review invites you to “Watch the Eruption Live (If and When Starts).”
The earthquakes mapped below were recorded in Iceland from midnight on Friday, August 22 to 4 p.m. local time. The size of the circles represent the magnitude of the earthquake, and the full animation takes just under two minutes.
Earthquakes in Iceland
Tom Cardoso and Murat Yukselir » The Globe and Mail. Source: Icelandic Met Office