On November 17, 2017, a pilot flying over Öræfajökull volcano in Iceland noticed a new ice-caldron within the volcano’s caldera. Now, volcanologists say the situation is far from normal.
Volcanologist Ármann Höskuldsson says that the situation at Öræfajökull volcano is far from normal.
The caldera has deepened by 20 meters (65 feet) and crevasses have become larger since it was first spotted, according to 3D image made by Geological Institute of the University of Iceland. In addition, a geothermal heat has been detected in the area.
“We see a greatly increased pattern of fissures around the caldera. It’s now more of a drop shape than a circle, lengthening towards the South West,” Ingibjörg Jónsdóttir of the University of Iceland told Morgunblaðið today.
The last eruptive episode of this volcano started on August 3, 1727, and ended on May 1, 1728 (± 30 days). It had Volcanic Explosivity Index of 4 (on a scale of 1 – 7) and was responsible for deaths of three people.
Before that, the volcano started erupting on June 5, 1362 (± 4 days) and stopped on October 15, 1362 (± 45 days). This one had Volcanic Explosivity Index of 5 and was Iceland’s largest historical explosive eruption. The volcano ejected huge amounts of tephra and destroyed the district of Litla-Hérað by floods and tephra fall. More than 40 years passed before people again settled the area, which became known as Öræfi.
In light of increased activity at the volcano, the Department of Civil Protection in Iceland has created an evacuation plan for the Öræfajökull volcano.
H/t reader squodgy:
Sinking 65ft & showing heat on a volcano with an EXPLOSIVE history is interesting to say the least.”
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