See below for latest Iceland Volcano report - New concerns over Iceland ash cloud as country's most feared volcano is 'ready to erupt'
New concerns over Iceland ash cloud as country's most feared volcano is 'ready to erupt'
Europe could be poised to feel the dusty wrath of one of Iceland’s biggest volcanoes, according to experts.
Geophysicists believe ‘unusual’ magma movement deep beneath Hekla could signal the early stages of activity that could lead to a massive explosion.
The volcano, which was dubbed the ‘Gateway to Hell’ in the middle ages, is capable of producing four times the debris of the country’s last ash-producing eruption in May.
University of Iceland geophysicist Pall Einarsson today said an eruption could not be expected imminently but he expected it to erupt 'soon'.
‘No eruption has started in Hekla volcano. But it might start without any warning’, Icelandic volcano expert Jon Frimann added.
‘Nobody seems to know what is going on with this magma moments for the moment,’ he told Irish Weather Online.
‘What is more interesting is that this does not seems to have started until few days ago.
‘What is interesting is that fact that no earthquakes appear during this magma movements, there is also no harmonic tremor when the magma is moving around in the crust close to Hekla volcano.
‘But if there is any earthquakes, noise or whatever coming from Hekla volcano it is going to appear on my geophone that is located about 16 km away from peak of Hekla volcano.’
Hekla, which means hooded cloak in Iceland, has erupted more than 20 times – and once a decade in recent times.
Its first eruption, in 874, produced 2.5 cubic km of tephra, the scientific term for various kinds of debris emitted by volcanoes
That’s four times as much as the 0.6 cubic km released by Grimsvotn, which caused flights to be cancelled across northern parts of Britain in May.
The Eyjafjallajokul eruption in April 2010 produced roughly 1.8 cubic km over three days. The main reason it grounded so many flights for over a week was that the ash cloud hung so low.
Hekla has the portential to cause even more eruption. How bad it could be depends on the scale of the explosion and the speed and direction of the wind.
The volacano, situated about 70 miles east of the Icelandic capital, Reykjavik, is a neighbour of Eyjafjallajokull.
During the Middle Ages, Icelanders called Hekla the ‘Gateway to Hell.’
Eruptuions have occurred in 874, 1158, 1206, 1222, 1300, 1341, 1389, 1510, 1597, 1636, 1693, 1766, 1845, 1947, 1970, 1980, 1991 and 2000.
Some of these eruptions caused great damage, especially the eruptions in 1510, 1693 and 1766.
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