Potential for major volcanic eruption in Iceland

Volcano fans, get out the popcorn: a subglacial volcano in Iceland, known by the anglicised name of Bardarbunga, may be about to erupt.

Considered to be the country’s largest volcanic system, Bardarbunga apparently last erupted in 1910. Going back about 8500 years, the system was responsible for one of Earth’s largest lava flows of the period, expelling from 21-30 cubic kilometers of material.

A major earthquake swarm began about two days ago and has yet to abate, but an eruption is not yet believed to be under way. Local authorities have raised the aviation alert level to orange, the second highest level. If an eruption does occur, potential effects could range from massive local flooding due to the rapid melting of the overlying glacier, to air travel disruption of the sort that happened in when the (unrelated) Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted in 2010.

Anyway, could be interesting times ahead.



Oh great. Thanks.

I just spent 12 days in Iceland this month, it would have been interesting to have been there for that. We hiked just west of the volcano in question, past Eyjafjallajökull and Katla.

I’m willing to bet you did not type that from memory.

Swell - I’m supposed to be flying to London via Iceland on Monday. Then we’re cruising back transatlantic with 3 stops in Iceland.

I am not amused at this news. :mad:

Just remember to pack an extra sacrificial virgin and you’ll be fine.

It’d have to be a pretty small sacrificial virgin - we’re limited to 2 bags at 50# each… :wink:

Actually, it’s pretty easy to remember. There are plenty of t-shirts in Iceland to remind you. It’s just three parts: Ejya - fjalla - yökull, and the last part is just the Iceland word for glacier that you use all the time.

So, yes, I did type that from memory. :slight_smile:

I can still spell Landmannalaugar, the starting point of our trek. Don’t know how long that will last.

Its always going to be something with you, Joe, isn’t it?

No biggie, all the ice will cool the lava before any damage is done.

Huh? Say what? But the NAME of the place is ICEland, fer crying out loud! Next your going to tell me Greenland isn’t a tropical rainforest…

Earth could use a Mt. Pinatubo level eruption to take the edge off of global warming for a year or so.

For that matter, where is she going to find a virgin in southern Maryland?

I’d like some Iceland ash for my collection but it’s too far for me to go to collect any. Perhaps Bardarbunga would be so kind as to inject a copious amount into the stratosphere where it can circle the earth, thus saving me the expense and inconvenience.

Oh, **BBBobbio **- you so funny… :stuck_out_tongue:

**lieu **- if I get ashed when I’m over there, I’ll bring some back for you.

I can hear it now:

“…This just in… Reykjavik has just been renamed Reykjavolc. Details at 11…” :eek:

The reason the Eyjafjallajökull eruption was so disruptive to air travel was because the jet stream was in an unusual position, such that the ejected ash was inserted straight into the jet stream, and then blown pretty much right down the middle of Europe. While it’s possible that a Bardarbunga eruption could shut down air travel within Europe to the extent Eyjafjallajökull did, I think it’s rather unlikely that things would be that bad.


FairyChatMom, leave the virgin at home, please!

Or you could drop her by my house. For safekeeping, you know.

Unlikely worst case: all planes grounded for six months.

Hope all Dopers in the area are safe and prepared, and that there’s no global catastrophe. :slight_smile:

Couple posts from an Icelander (is that the right term?) on the Daily Kos:

from Just to let you all know… and Volcano watch