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Iceland Mag

Geology

Two powerful earthquakes in Bárðarbunga volcano on Sunday afternoon

By Staff

  • Keeping tabs on the monster Scientists checking on seismic monitoring equipment near Bárðarbunga. This station is on Gráalda mountain. Photo/Coast Guard

Iceland's largest volcano reminded us this weekend that it's not only the political world which can erupt unexpectedly. On Sunday afternoon the monster volcano was hit by a sharp earthquake swarm. Two powerful quakes, both 3.9 magnitude hit shortly before half past two. The epicenter of both quakes was in the north eastern edge of the caldera at a depth of 4.7-4.9 km (2.9-3 mi).

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

According to the seismic monitoring system of the Icelandic Meteorological Officethe two large quakes have been followed by a swarm of half a dozen significant, although smaller quakes.

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 who spoke to the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service 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 2014-15 Holuhraun eruption. The IMO has not detected signs of growing likelihood of volcanic activity.

 

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