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After a brief lull, eruption concerns spiked again as a 5.5 magnitude earthquake shook an area just northeast of Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano Wednesday morning. Seismic activity first escalated around the volcano in mid-August. The Iceland Review reports the chance of an eruption is rising because the volcano's crater, also called a caldera, has been steadily sinking. The crater has sunk as much as 65 feet since last week, Reuters reports.
(Reuters) - Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano registered one of its most powerful earth tremors yet on Wednesday while the sinking of its caldera raised concerns of an eruption and flooding, authorities said. The caldera, the cauldron-like crater at the top of a volcano, had sunk by up to around 20 meters since last week as magma channeled through underground passages moves away from the volcano, Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson, geophysics professor at the University of Iceland, told public service broadcaster RUV.
We don’t see something like this every day. A toxic tornado consisting of Sulfur Dioxide (SO2,) emitted from the large volcanic eruption occurring at Bardarbunga Volcano in Iceland. The erupting magma (lava) is producing its own weather, clouds, and now the superheated air is producing superheated tornadoes like one would see in a large forest fire.
As an island in the moist, atmospherically turbulent North Atlantic, Iceland is often shrouded in cloud cover and hard to observe from space. And lately, the island is making some of its own cloud cover, as the Earth has split open between the Bardarbunga and Askja volcanoes and spewed lava and hot gas. The view of the Holuhraun lava field has been spectacular from the ground and from low-flying aircraft. Infrared imaging makes the view spectacular from space, too.