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Iceland Mag

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Iceland's melting glaciers could result in more frequent volcanic eruptions

By Staff

  • Cloudy Eyjafjallajökull erupted in 2010 and caused air travel in Europe to come to a halt. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson

A new research which delves into the climate driven glacial melting occurring in Iceland shows that Iceland’s glaciers are losing an estimated 11 billion tons of ice per year. This does not only contribute to the global rise of sea levels, but also causes the entire island to rise.

Read moreIceland's most notorious volcano is kept under close surveillance

The paper, called “Climate driven vertical acceleration of Icelandic crust measured by CGPS geodesy”, was conducted by investigators from the University of Arizona and the University of Iceland. The team analysed data from 62 Global Positioning System (GPS) sensors located all over Iceland to try and determine the earth's response to enhanced glacial melting resulting from climate change. Their findings showed that Iceland is rising by 35 millimetres (1.4 in) each year.

Read more:Volcanic eruptions in Iceland could pose as a threat to Britain, new report claims

“As the glaciers melt, the pressure on the underlying rocks decreases. Rocks at very high temperatures may stay in their solid phase if the pressure is high enough. As you reduce the pressure, you effectively lower the melting temperature,” Kathleen Compton, one of three researchers, told Time magazine.

And what does this mean? Well, Iceland and the rest of the world can expect volcanic eruptions similar to the 2010 eruption in Eyjafjallajökull to happen every seven years. 

 

Eyjafjallajökull_eruption.jpg

Eyjafjallajökull erupting. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson

 

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