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Iceland Mag

Geology

Sharp earthquake swarm in the slumbering giant volcano Bárðarbunga

By Staff

  • Bárðarbunga A giant volcano hidden beneath Europe's largest glacier, Vatnajökull. Photo/Magnús Tumi.

A sharp earthquake swarm shook Iceland's largest volcano early morning. At 5:18 am a 3.1 magnitude quake was detected in the volcano. More than 40 quakes have been detected in the giant sub-glacial volcano in the past 48 hours, according to the Icelandic Meteorological Office. The epicenter of the activity has been in the eastern part of the volcano's caldera at a depth of only 100 meters (330 ft). 

Quakes in Bárðarbunga 13 oct 2017

Quakes in Vatnajökull in past 48 hours The quakes in Bárðarbunga are marked with a green star. Photo/IMO

Read more: Quick primer on Bárðarbunga, Iceland's most powerful volcano

Bárðarbunga, which is one of the most powerful volcanic systems in Iceland, is hidden beneath the north-western part of the ice cap of Vatnajökull glacier. Bárðarbunga has been showing significant signs of seismic activity since the end of the 2014-15 Holuhraun eruption. The activity is believed to be caused by the magma chambers of the giant sub-glacial volcano re-filling.

Read more: Why the constant earthquakes? Iceland is slowly being torn apart

According to a seismologist at the IMO the night's activity was in no way unusual. A number of powerful quakes have been detected in the caldera since the end of the Holuhraun eruption, but there are no signs of imminent volcanic activity.

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