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News Picks : Earthquakes continue around Icelandic volcano

By: Physics Today
28 August 2014

BBC: Although Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano has yet to erupt above ground, it continues to worry scientists. A spate of earthquake activity in mid August had put Iceland’s Meteorological Office on high alert. Then earlier this week the subglacial volcano began to erupt. Since Monday a huge subterranean channel of molten rock has been traveling north from Bardarbunga toward another volcano, Askja. As the magma moves, it cracks the rocky ground and has set off numerous earthquakes over a distance of some 40 km. Scientists are concerned that because the magma is moving at a rate of about 4 km/day, it could eventually reach the Askja volcano and trigger a large eruption there. But volcanoes are hard to predict; the magma channel could follow any number of underground fissures and completely bypass Askja, or it could freeze deep underground and stop moving altogether.


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