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Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano began erupting Saturday under the country's largest glacier after a week of seismic activity rattled the area with thousands of earthquakes, the country's Meteorological Office said.
The eruption prompted Iceland to raise its aviation alert level to red — the highest level on a five-point scale — indicating the threat of "significant emission of ash into the atmosphere."
Seismic data indicates that magma from the volcano is melting ice beneath the Dyngjujokull icecap on the Vatnajokull glacier, Met Office vulcanologist Melissa Pfeffer said.
She said it was not clear when, or if, the eruption would melt through the ice — which is between 100 and 400 metres thick — and send steam and ash into the air.
23.08.2014 18:33:05 64.677 -17.447 1.1 km 4.0 90.11 5.6 km NE of Bárðarbunga