Experts Reckon That An Icelandic Volcano Is About To Erupt Again
Just when you thought that this wretched year couldn't possibly throw any more at us. Let that be a lesson folks, it can always get worse.
Anyway, you might remember the last time that Grímsvötn erupted, because it was only back in 2011 and resulted in the grounding of around 900 flights.
At least no-one is really going anywhere at the minute, so it's not that big a deal, is it?
It's not quite the same as when the catchily titled Eyjafjallajökull volcano went boom back in 2010 and caused 100,000 flights to stay on the deck.
Anyway, Grímsvötn is even bigger than that one, and is covered with ice on the top. The folks who look at these sorts of seismic shenanigans have noticed there seems to be something rumbling away within the bowels of the ancient volcano.
That seismic activity could mean that magma is swelling therein, and could soon erupt forth into the world.
Dr Dave McGarvie, who is a volcano expert at the University of Lancaster, wrote in The Conversation: "Increasing thermal activity has been melting more ice and there has also been a recent increase in earthquake activity."
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All of this underground nonsense points to the conclusion that it's building up for something. The next indicator would be 'an intense swarm of earthquakes lasting a few hours' that signals magma moving up to the top.
The Icelandic Met Office (IMO) has already upgraded the Aviation Colour Code from green to yellow in preparation for whatever is going on.
That's because they're anticipating that disruption to air travel could be possible.
An IMO statement reads: "Multiple datasets now indicate that Grímsvötn volcano has reached a level of unrest."
Dr McGarvie continued: "If Grímsvötn's past pattern of occasional large eruptions with more numerous smaller eruptions occurring in between continues into the future, then the next eruption should be a small one (given there was a large one in 2011)."
Because it's covered in ice, the eruptions for this particular volcano aren't usually that bad. The emissions hit the ice and clump together, meaning there are less fine particles shunted up into the sky to annoy the aviators.
McGarvie explained: "Ash clouds therefore only travel a few tens of kilometres from the eruption site.
"This is a good scenario for Icelanders and also for air travel, as it prevents the formation of substantial ash clouds that could drift around and close off airspace."
Maybe it ain't so bad then, after all?
Featured Image Credit: Jon Gustafsson/AP/Shutterstock