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Will an Icelandic Volcano Spoil Christmas?

December 23, 2010, by Ken Jorgustin

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earthquake-activity-at-eyjafjallajokull-23-dec-2010
———————–>base map credit: Iceland Meteorological office


The Eyjafjallajokull volcano region in Iceland has suddenly become active with a number of earthquakes after having been mostly quiet since its eruption subsided early this year. Eyjafjallajokull erupted during 14-April and went on to cause weeks of European air traffic problems as a result of ash spewing into the atmosphere – which can clog jet engines.

While watching its neighbor, Katla, which historically has erupted 6 months to 1.5 years afterward, it was surprising to see new earthquake activity at Eyjafjallajokull. During the past six months there has consistently been and earthquake here and there at the Eyjafjallajokull location, but to see a dozen or so, within a day or two, is new behavior.

Volcanoes are fickle, and this activity could abruptly end, but noteworthy nonetheless.

Additionally, there have been rumors that GPS measurements in the region have indicated inflation (surface areas that are lifting higher) which if true, will certainly raise an eyebrow…  Again, this is not confirmed at this moment. Just putting it out there.

Could Eyjafjallajokull erupt again, so soon after the last one? Time will tell.

Chances are, European holiday travel will go on without issue, except for the snow and cold…

(Note that this is observation reporting only – not  a vulcanologist :=)


Update, 2-Jan-2011, Still observing earthquake activity (no swarming though) at Eyjafjallajokull. Also, the daily activity at Katla has increased compared to what had been occurring on average during the past few months. Now getting 5+ EQ’s per day, more-or-less. Still – not indicative of an immediate problem, but there is something going on beneath the Myrdalsjokull glacier.

Note that the latest Katla information (and Eyjafjallajokull if necessary), is always posted on the sidebar of this website. We’re keeping an eye on it 😉


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