There might be risk of a new eruption, this time in the area of Vatnajökull, the largest of Iceland’s glaciers. Vatnajökull, located in the south-east of the country, lies along fault lines. In the past days notable seismic activity was observed by geophysicists from the University of Iceland in the north-west of the glacier, where the volcano of Bárðarbunga is located. The recorded swarms of earthquakes might indicate that an eruption is to be expected. Experts affirm there are more than a few reasons to worry, but given the complexity of the location, which prevents measuring devices from detecting earth movements more effectively and accurately, they cannot make exact predictions for now.
Here is the map showing the position of the volcano of Bárðarbunga in the north-west of Vatnajökull’s glacier.
The stratovolcano of Bárðarbunga, with its 2009 meters in height, is not only Iceland’s second highest mountain, but it is also part of Iceland’s largest volcanic system (Iceland East Volcanic Zone or EVZ) which extends for more than 200 kilometers and which includes also the nearby Grimsvötn — direct interaction among these two volcanoes is believed to exist. Bárðarbunga’s crater, measuring 70 square kilometers in width and 700 in depth, is entirely covered in ice, making observation of seismic phenomena in the area more difficult. Although sustained activity has been frequently noted, eruptions are quite rare, making this volcano relatively lesser known. The last eruptive episode of Bárðarbunga took place in 1903, but the last major outbreak dates back to 1477. This infamous event produced the largest known lava flow — more than 21 cubic kilometers in volume — of the past 10,000 years.