Iceland’s most active volcano may be ready to erupt

Iceland’s most active volcano, which landed 900 passenger planes in 2011, appears to be preparing to erupt again.

  • The volcano known as Chromswatn is almost completely covered by dense ice
  • Seismic measurements indicate the accumulation of magma under the volcano
  • Experts do not believe the eruption will be as big or disruptive as it was in 2011

Experts say a volcano in rural Iceland may be ready to erupt.

The volcanic island known as Chromswatn is very active and is almost completely covered by ice.

It last erupted in 2011 and sent a gray cloud 12 miles (20 km) into the air, canceling 900 flights.

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Experts say an ice-covered volcano could erupt in rural Iceland. The volcanic island known as Chromswatn is very active and is almost completely covered by ice

Smoke billows from the Grimswort volcano, located about 120 miles (200 km) east of the capital, Reykjavik, under the Watnajokul Glacier, which erupted in 2011.

Smoke billows from the Grimswort volcano, located about 120 miles (200 km) east of the capital, Reykjavik, under the Watnajokul Glacier, which erupted in 2011.

Grimswood volcano erupts, sending thousands of tons of volcanic ash into the sky over Iceland on May 23, 2011

Grimswood volcano erupts, sending thousands of tons of volcanic ash over Iceland on May 23, 2011

Another Icelandic volcano, Ijafzallajakul, erupted in 2010, causing much unrest and landing about 100,000 planes.

This is despite the fact that Ijafzallajakul is considerably smaller than Gramswattan.

Scientists have recorded signs of unrest in the region, with seismic activity indicating magma swelling in volcanic plumbing.

Dr. Dave McCarvey, a volcanologist at the University of Lancaster, adds in an article Conversation: ‘More ice is melting due to increased thermal activity, and there has been an increase in seismic activity recently.

What is Gramscat Volcano?

Gramswatton is attached to ice, which absorbs a large amount of energy from an explosion.

Instead of the classic image of lava erupting from a classic peak, Gramscatn erupts mostly affected by icy roofs.

Under normal conditions, the intense heat coming from the volcano melts the ice and creates an underground reservoir of melting water.

As the ice continues to fall in the hot water, it melts and increases the size of the lake.

It has a sudden escape trend and flows south downwards under snow all the time.

It emerges at a point where the ice ends and is historically very powerful, which can destroy entire toads.

All of these symptoms indicate an immediate eruption, and the next signal that experts will notice is an ‘intense mass of earthquakes lasting a few hours’.

This means that the magma moves upwards and is the primary to blow.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) has already raised the green code for volcanoes from green to yellow as a precaution.

Experts fear that an explosion may occur, which is evidence of a slight disruption to air travel later on.

In a statement, the IMO said: ‘Several datasets now indicate that the Gramswatt volcano has reached a state of unrest.’

Gramswatt has a major eruption, as it did in 2011, once a century. But Dr. McCarvey says it has small explosions once a decade.

‘If a lot of small eruptions in Gramscat’s past are to continue in the future, the next eruption should be a small one (there was a big one in 2011),’ he adds.

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If Chromswat’s ice roof its eruptions are not as catastrophic as other volcanoes.

The ash emitted by the blast collides with a wall of ice that may be 850 feet (260 m) thick and clusters upwards.

Instead of being a good debris that lasts in the atmosphere, it quickly becomes wet and sticky, falling out of the air, controlling disruption and damage.

‘So the gray clouds travel only a few ten kilometers from where they explode,’ says Dr. McCarvey.

‘This is a good scenario for Icelanders and air travel because it prevents the formation of significant gray clouds that can go around and close the air.’

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Cary Douglas

About the Author: Cary Douglas

Wayne Ma is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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