Major eruption possible in Iceland

There are indications a large blob of magma is moving underneath the Reykjanes Peninsula of Iceland (south of the big airport at Keflavik). The town of Grindavík is being evacuated, and there could be a major eruption in the next few days. Here is the latest earthquake map:

And a recent satellite interfereometry map showing the land bulging from the magma buildup:

For more info and updates see the Icelandic Met Office. This matters more than just locally, major eruptions in Iceland have the potential to cause considerable chaos for trans-Atlantic aviation as even shut down air traffic over Europe itself. The 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull caused nearly $2 Billion in economic impacts across Europe from disrupted traffic. It’s not likely this eruption would have similar impacts, but our ability to model that sort of thing is rather limited.

You can see live camera views of the area where it (might) reach the surface and erupt at this link on YouTube.

Geology joke:

A geologist is sent to his eternal fate in the underworld, and is greeted by Old Scratch himself:
Devil: This is the lake of lava you will be spending eternity in!
Geologist: Actually, since we’re underground, it would be magma.
Devil: You understand this is why you’re here, right?

Leave a Reply