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Geologist worry about earthquake activity in Kistufell field (Bárðarbunga volcano)

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posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 06:25 AM

Geologist worry about earthquake activity in Kistufell field (Bárðarbunga volcano)


In the tonight news on Rúv about this area, Páll Einarsson geologist at University of Iceland says in the news on Rúv that there is a good reason to worry about this area. As it is one of the most active one in Iceland, but it is directly above the mantle plume under Iceland. Páll Einarsson also says in the news on Rúv that before the eruption in the year 1996, that took place in a volcanic ridge now named Gjálp there was a increase in earthquake activity in Kistufell field.

Crustal deformation signals associated with the September 30–October 13, 1996 Gjálp subglacial eruption, Vatnajökull ice cap (PDF)

Additional source from yesterday

We have talked briefly about this on the Iceland thread but I think the time has come to bring this to a wider audience.

First let me say that this is NOT something that is imminent, but depending on what type of eruption takes place there could be consequences for Iceland, the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe, not to mention little old Ireland.

The blog is by Jon Friman and for those of you who do not know of him let me just say that this is a solid reliable source from an Islander who knows.

The blog mentions the Icelandic plume which is something I have spoken about on Quake Watch 2010. The plume, which is not like Yellowstone is not believed to be in existence by all. See the end of the post for documents that may refute it's existence.

"Iceland sits on a plume that make Yellowstone look like a beginner. 150km across and over 400 km deep!" That's my bit of sensationalism for now. It does not generally produce explosive eruptions of the nature of Yellowstone. This produces large lava flows.

For a detailed explanation of the plume (which incorporates that diagram above) see Geology and geodynamics of Iceland (PDF)

Here is a little more reading on Flood basalts, mantle plumes and mass extinctions

Bardabunga has been a bad boy in the past. Source: Smithsonian

The large central volcano of Bárdarbunga lies beneath the NW part of the Vatnajökull icecap, NW of Grímsvötn volcano, and contains a subglacial 700-m-deep caldera. Related fissure systems include the Veidivötn and Trollagigar fissures, which extend about 100 km SW to near Torfajökull volcano and 50 km NE to near Askja volcano, respectively. Voluminous fissure eruptions, including one at Thjorsarhraun, which produced the largest known Holocene lava flow on Earth with a volume of more than 21 cu km, have occurred throughout the Holocene into historical time from the Veidivötn fissure system. The last major eruption of Veidivötn, in 1477, also produced a large tephra deposit. The subglacial Loki-Fögrufjöll volcanic system located SW of Bárdarbunga volcano is also part of the Bárdarbunga volcanic system and contains two subglacial ridges extending from the largely subglacial Hamarinn central volcano; the Loki ridge trends to the NE and the Fögrufjöll ridge to the SW. Jökulhlaups (glacier-outburst floods) from eruptions at Bárdarbunga potentially affect drainages in all directions.

You have probably heard of Laki, that did for 2 million in Europe and killed 25% of more of Iceland's population? Well this is the same system as the perpetrator of that lot. (More sensationalism)

Basically what I am saying is that whilst it will probably be 'normal' this has the potential to be very big.

For more info on Icelandic volcanoes see DYNAMICS OF VOLCANIC SYSTEMS IN ICELAND: Example of Tectonism and Volcanism at Juxtaposed Hot Spot and Mid-Ocean Ridge Systems (PDF)(2000)

Your will find references to several papers that are downloadable here

To show the anti view please see Plumes, or plate tectonic processes? (PDF)(2002) and additionally Mantle Plumes: heat flow near Iceland (PDF)(2003)

edit on 7/2/2011 by PuterMan because: To add Gjalp link

posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 07:06 AM
i trust your judgement on these things Pm .

all we can do now is wait and see what happens if anything.

posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 07:07 AM
Thanks for making this thread Puterman.

I live in the UK so anything to do with the volcanoes of Iceland are always of interest to me. You have given me lots to read up on this afternoon

posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 08:41 AM
reply to post by boo1981

Just came across this in the comments on the source thread

Very interesting

posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 11:07 AM
reply to post by PuterMan

Brilliant, thank you very much for the links. I have lots to be reading and researching me thinks

posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 12:26 PM
fair play putterman!!! your always on top of things like this and your knolladge is very much appriceated

great thread as per usual

posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 01:22 PM
Here´s some of the comments Páll Einarson said on Rúv. (Google translated)

There is every reason to have a reservation No scopes on most active earthquake areas. Seismicity in northwestern Vatnajökull is increasing and every reason to have a reservation, said Paul Einarsson, Professor of Geophysics. However, missing an earthquake measuring the area, in order to keep with. In recent days, the cycle earth quake measured near Kistufell and Bárðarbunga the northwest side glacier, this is an active area, and no wonder - there is the middle of the mantle plume that comes to the country. "This brings together several systems. Bard's biggest Bung system which includes Veiðivötn, water waves and lies far north and west Dyngjuháls caldera. Then of course Grim water system that lies a little further east. " Paul says Bard Bung themselves to be most active now and sprungusveimur from north-east of it. On this site seismicity has been sustained since measurements began. it is however most active now Bárðarbunga self and sprungusveimur to NA from her. there has been persistent seismicity since measurements began, and has sometimes been more like Always ahead of the eruption was in 1996. However, it is difficult to say whether the quake are now caused by the volcanic eruption, or whether the region is to apply a rate cut. "That we need better measurements. For example, it is difficult to measure the depth of earthquakes in these areas because it lacks measured in the net in the middle of the country, as a crustal because much of the area is covered with glaciers. There is no doubt that skjálftavirknin there is slowly growing, and that seismicity the last few days, it is a sign of it. There is every reason to have a reservation. This is the most active areas of the country if we look at the whole country together. "

Well this is quite disturbing to say atleast, we knew something was about to happen but i had thought that it would rather be Katla, Hekla, or even the reykjarnes ridge.. But not the sleeping giant, let´s just hope it´s going to blow off some steam instead of a cataclysmic event.

Source in Icelandic

edit on 7-2-2011 by Spacedman13 because: fixed 2 words

posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 02:24 PM
Thought i´d toss in some more info.

Láki fissure

The system erupted over an 8 month period during 1783-1784 from the Laki fissure and the adjoining Grímsvötn volcano, pouring out an estimated 14 km3 (3.4 cu mi) of basalt lava and clouds of poisonous hydrofluoric acid/sulfur-dioxide compounds that killed over 50% of Iceland's livestock population, leading to famine which killed approximately 25% of the population[4]. The Laki eruption and its aftermath has been estimated to have killed over six million people[5] globally, making it the deadliest volcanic eruption in historical times. The drop in temperatures, due to the sulfuric dioxide gases spewed into the northern hemisphere, caused crop failures in Europe, droughts in India, and Japan's worst famine.An estimated 120 million tons of sulfur dioxide was emitted, about three times the total annual European industrial output in 2006, and equivalent to a 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption every three days.


More pdf files about the mantle plume and basicly just verify´s the existance of it.
This comes from this site

I´ll be back

posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 03:04 PM
reply to post by Spacedman13

Thanks spacedman, that at least backs up what I was saying. Like you i certainly hope that this is just going to blow off steam. We don't want another Laki

An estimated 120 million tons of sulfur dioxide was emitted, about three times the total annual European industrial output in 2006, and equivalent to a 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption every three days.

I am not allowed to say it here but this is (potentially) one bad MF. Definitely an occasion where 'American' is most descriptive!

edit on 7/2/2011 by PuterMan because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 05:24 PM
There's a Volcano erupted in Russia today. Japan last two weeks. Is this volcano activity normal, there just seems to be more than usual lately? I'm getting worried.

posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 05:32 PM
reply to post by Seekeye2

well theres always an erupting volcano going on somewhere in the world so to answer your question ..

yes its normal.

whats not normal is if Yellowstone or lake toba blows their tops

posted on Feb, 7 2011 @ 06:36 PM
reply to post by Seekeye2

As Alysha said, yes it is normal. At any given time there will be at least 20 or so volcanoes going off.

These volcanoes are considered to be always erupting. There are 16 of them.

During the course of a year between 50 and 70 volcanic eruptions will have taken place. They will be of various different sizes and severity. I know it is a tired riposte now. but it is very true, that we are so much better informed these days than we were. When Surtsey erupted off the coast off Iceland in the 1960s I remember seeing a couple of newspaper articles and that was about it. Not many of us had TV and there was no Internet, so basically huge numbers of people in the world knew nothing about it. Imagine that happening today? Well it sort of did with Eyjafjallajokull and look at the press coverage and fuss that got!

Most people know nothing of the Gjalp (1996) eruption and the 2004 eruption on Grimsvotn. We ARE better informed, but whether that is a good thing...................

posted on Feb, 8 2011 @ 10:08 AM
Have too say I love the description of one poster in the source

Well, here we are… two bruisers and the associated hangers on that are ready to rumble, itching for a fight. (Bárðarbunga, Grimsvötn, Hamarrin, that dis-interested daughter volcano south of Grimsvötn that I am not even going to try and transliterate, and Askja prancing around up in the corner screaming “me too!!”)

South? Mm Esjufjoll perhaps. Flagged as due in the next 2 years about a year ago by Icelandic geologists.

posted on Feb, 8 2011 @ 10:15 AM

“It is indisputable that the seismic activity is growing steadily in the area—the series of earthquakes over the past few days is an indicator of that. There is full reason to be on the alert. This is one of the most active areas in the country,” he iterated.

Source: Iceland Review Online

Pall Einarsson is one of Iceland's top geologists. If he is taking this seriously then I would say there is cause for concern.

posted on Feb, 8 2011 @ 10:23 AM
Although theyre saying its not a major concern, the fact that its being looked at a little closer is good enough reason to listen a little closer. I could do with extra eyes and ears with all this activity to watch out for

Thanks for the info PM

posted on Feb, 8 2011 @ 05:59 PM
Interesting reading - what would warrant an alert to the countries and people involved? Would massive evacuations be necessary? I hate to ask this but how soon might this eruption occur? Taking note of all the quakes in the area I was thinking this might be sooner than later.

posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 01:09 AM
reply to post by crazydaisy

There is of course no way in knowing when this might occur or even if it will occur at all, they are basing this information on what lead to the last eruption in that area and giving it a time frame of less then a year. There is no large scale evacuation available that i kind find anywhere for the whole country and i doubt there is one. If a smaller eruption would happen there (blowin off some steam) there is no concern as the nearest town is about 75-100km away.

There are a few factors that make me real nervous about this, 6 volcano´s are due for a eruption (2 of them the are Hekla and Katla) considering there eruption history, 2 other are predicted to erupt (soonish). I live in Iceland and i can tell you for sure that it is not normal that geoligist come on national television and tell the nation that there is every reason to be alert. When a eruption has happent in the past here or was likely to happen it´s something that had a small column with small letters in the back of a newspaper and if they came on television they´d tell the nation there was nothing to worry about.

During the Eyjafjalljökull eruption last summer the worldwide media went on a scaremongering mission, while about 3% of our nation went to see the eruption. There actually were daily tours to the eruption we were selling helicopter rides to it. Here´s a picture of some them enjoying the eruption

There were only a few days the area was off limits to visitors, our media reported this as a normal eruption that was disrupting flight across Europe and the geoligist that came on television then stated that fact and said the only concern with the eruption was that Katla might erupt as our president stated also.

Here is a picture i dug up on our national disaster site that shows the alert status they were in.
Red=much lava and tephra.
Orange=severe contingency situation.
Yellow=Heavy ash livestock dies
Green=Light Volcanic Ash potential evacuation

They never released this picture to the media or even warned the public about any danger, but you can clearly see they were in full alert for this volcano that has no history of violent outburst except for a few cattle dying back in 1822 which clearly indicates that there is a high alert for a large scale eruption.

Which brings me back to the point if 2 of our top geoligist have said that there is a cause to be on alert and are willing to go public with it and go on national television and talk about the mantle plume which isn´t accepted by all. Well fudge man, this all getting to real

posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 08:41 AM
Just a reminder that you can access the Icelandic Helicorders here

and the Icelandic GPS monitors here

and the Vatnajokull earthquakes here. (Grimsvotn, Bardabunga, Esjufjoll and others)

and the Myrdalsjokull earthquakes here. (Eyja, Katla, Hekla)

posted on Feb, 10 2011 @ 10:41 AM
In my search for a webcam for Bárðarbunga volcano (I now know there isn't one) I found

Thought I would just pop a link here in-case it dose decide to blow. Then we have a direct link to weather and all importantly wind direction.

I know I will find if of great interest as I'm in the UK.

Great work

edit on 10/2/11 by boo1981 because: Just seen that Puterman has already put a link for earthquakes in the last 48hrs!! Removed my link.

posted on Feb, 10 2011 @ 12:45 PM
reply to post by boo1981
Just posted on RSOE EDIS EDIS Number VA-20110208-29486-ISL
Event type: Volcano Activity Date / time [UTC]: 08/02/2011 - 17:14:27

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