1,400 earthquakes were recorded in a 24-hour period, which may indicate magma is on its way to the surface.
Iceland has declared a state of emergency and is attempting to evacuate the coastal town of Grindavík. These actions have been taken in response to a swarm of intense earthquakes in the region, which could indicate an impending volcanic eruption.
Iceland declared an emergency and issued evacuation orders for a popular tourist town Saturday after 1,400 earthquakes were recorded in a 24-hour period — sparking fears of an impending volcanic eruption.
Authorities urged residents of Grindavík to flee the coastal town following the flurry of seismic activity roughly 3 miles below the surface of the Reykjanes Peninsula.
“There are indications that a considerable amount of magma is moving in an area” near the Fagradalsfjall volcano, about 25 miles southwest of Reykjavik, the country’s capital, the Icelandic Meteorological Office said in an 11:30 p.m. update.
“The amount of magma involved is significantly more than what was observed in the largest magma intrusions associated with the eruptions at Fagradalsfjall.”
Iceland sits along a plate boundary, along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, pushing the North American continent away from Europe. It also sits on top of a “hot spot,” a magma plume bringing molten rock to the surface. It is home to 130 volcanoes, and fissure eruptions, which occur along breaks on the Earth’s surface, are also known to occur.
The seismic activity map of Iceland right now is…jaw-dropping.
These are quakes that have happened in just the last 6 hours. The Reykjanes Peninsula is smothered in thousands of small quakes and some mid-magnitude ones.
That's what happens when rising magma breaks rocks. pic.twitter.com/cia8wdC7Ad
— Dr Robin George Andrews 🌋☄️ (@SquigglyVolcano) November 11, 2023
The Blue Lagoon, one of Iceland’s most iconic spots, recently closed due to the substantial increase in seismic activity.
“Blue Lagoon has proactively chosen to temporarily suspend operations for one week, despite the authorities not raising the current level of uncertainty during this period of seismic activity,” the lagoon’s website reads.
“The primary reason for taking these precautionary measures is our unwavering commitment to safety and wellbeing. We aim to mitigate any disruption to our guests’ experiences and alleviate the sustained pressure on our employees. During this time, Blue Lagoon will carefully monitor the seismic developments and reassess the situation as necessary.”
A significant volcanic eruption in Iceland has the potential to impact the globe. The 2010 eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano significantly disrupted air travel, which led to changes in that industry, which cost the airlines over $1 billion. It also forced transportation professionals to figure out methods aimed at assessing how to navigate around volcanic ash.
Ash advisories derived from dispersion-model output were issued by the London VAAC, depicting the presence of ash over large parts of Europe and the North Atlantic. Based on those advisories, over 300 airports in about two dozen countries, and a correspondingly large airspace, were closed in Europe during 15-21 April 2010. This resulted in massive impacts on air travel worldwide. Over 100,000 flights were cancelled over that week, affecting 7 million passengers, and resulting in $1.7 billion USD in lost revenue to airlines according to an analysis by Oxford Economics.
…Also in response to Eyjafjallajökull’s impact on air travel, ICAO formed the International Volcanic Ash Task Force (IVATF) in May 2010, charging it to examine how best to define hazardous airspace and manage aviation risk. The IVATF included representatives from government and industry groups involved in aviation regulation, operations, and scientific investigations.
Historically, more significant eruptions in Iceland have impacted global weather….which may lead “experts” to start another round of worrying about the next Ice Age. The 1783 eruption of Laki released enough fluoride to poison livestock across the island and triggered a very harsh winter.
The Laki eruption lasted eight months during which time about 14 cubic km of basaltic lava and some tephra were erupted. Haze from the eruption was reported from Iceland to Syria.
In Iceland, the haze lead to the loss of most of the island’s livestock (by eating fluorine contaminated grass), crop failure (by acid rain), and the death of one-quarter of the human residents (by famine)…
The climatic effects of the Laki eruption are impressive. In the eastern United States, the winter average temperature was 4.8 degrees C below the 225 year average. The estimate for the temperature decrease of the entire Northern Hemisphere is about 1 degree C.
Now we're feeling the earthquakes in Reykjavík too!
— Dr. Thorbjorg Agustsdottir (@fencingtobba) November 10, 2023
Here is hoping for the smallest possible impact on everyone!
Questo impressionante video proviene da #Grindavík, la città più vicina all'intensa sequenza sismica in corso in queste ore in Islanda. I piani di evacuazione sono già pronti ma non sono ancora in atto. Lì le scosse vengono avvertite praticamente in modo continuo. pic.twitter.com/EYx0RCUWpG
— Il Mondo dei Terremoti (@mondoterremoti) November 10, 2023
"Experts" suggest ways of stopping Iceland volcanism. pic.twitter.com/YugdTBybDI
— Leslie Eastman ☥ (@Mutnodjmet) November 11, 2023
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