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Iceland volcano: How massive might eruption be and can it produce one other big ash cloud? | World Information

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Iceland is bracing for a volcanic eruption within the coming days after a sequence of earthquakes and proof of sizzling magma flowing shortly underground.

The fishing city of Grindavik, residence to three,000 individuals, has been ordered to evacuate amid considerations it could possibly be destroyed by lava flows.

Sky Information takes a take a look at a number of the key questions in regards to the volcano and what might occur if there may be an eruption.

The place is the volcano?

The Icelandic Meteorological Workplace has stated there’s a “appreciable” danger of an eruption on or simply off the Reykjanes peninsula.

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Positioned southwest of the capital Reykjavik, the peninsula is a volcanic and seismic hotspot.

The city of Grindavik may be very near a brand new 15km (9 miles) fracture that has opened up, prompting the evacuation.

Will there be an eruption?

Although earthquake exercise died down slightly in a single day into Monday, an eruption within the subsequent few days continues to be “extremely doubtless”, in keeping with Invoice McGuire, professor emeritus of geophysical and local weather hazards at College School London.

Modelling means that magma is rising alongside the fracture and is now as near the floor as 800m and even much less.

What can be unsure is the place precisely alongside the fracture the eruption will begin.

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Tectonic exercise damages street in Grindavik, Iceland

Professor McGuire stated: “Whether it is on land, which is more than likely, it is going to be dominated by spectacular lava ‘fountaining’ and the manufacturing of lava flows.

“If magma breaks the floor on the southern finish of the fracture, nevertheless, it might erupt beneath the ocean. This is able to be a extra explosive occasion that may construct a cone of fragmental materials.”

Professor McGuire stated there was no cause, presently, to assume that the eruption can be particularly massive, however added that it’s notoriously tough to forecast how massive eruptions can be.

Lava spurts and flows after the eruption of a volcano in the Reykjanes Peninsula in July 2023
Lava spurts and flows after the eruption of a volcano within the Reykjanes Peninsula in July 2023

What occurs if the volcano erupts underneath the ocean?

If the eruption happens within the stretch of fracture that’s underneath the ocean, it might grow to be “explosive”, says Dr Michele Paulatto, an skilled in volcanic and tectonic processes from Imperial School London.

“If it erupts undersea it might trigger a Surtseyan eruption just like the one which occurred in 1963, additionally in Iceland, and created the island of Surtsey.

“That individual eruption lasted a number of years, so it is a risk,” he stated.

Will there be one other ash cloud like in 2010?

The Eyjafjallajokull eruption again in 2010 produced an enormous ash cloud that triggered chaos to world air journey.

Dr Dave McGarvie, a volcanologist with the College of Lancaster, says a possible eruption won’t result in disruption like that of Eyjafjallajokull.

He stated that occasion was “unusually disruptive” due to a uncommon “if not distinctive” mixture of things.

He added: “The volcanoes on the Reykjanes Peninsula do not need the flexibility to supply the disruptive ash clouds that characterised the Eyjafjallajokull 2010 eruption.”

What’s extra, he says, classes have been realized for the reason that 2010 incident and even when a future occasion produced an identical ash cloud there would solely be about one-third of the flight cancellations in comparison with what occurred in 2010.

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