Rapid land elevation near Iceland’s Fagradalsfjall volcano indicated the formation of a new magma chamber, prompting warnings of a potential volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes Peninsula in the weeks or months to come. The Icelandic Meteorological Office urged caution, especially for those planning outdoor activities in the region.
The land near Fagradalsfjall mountain has shown significant uplift, suggesting a magma chamber is in the process of forming. Experts from the Icelandic Meteorological Office predict this could lead to a new eruption within a time frame of weeks to months. The rise in land level has been compared to measurements taken prior to the last eruption, revealing similar tension levels in the area.
Kristín Jónsdóttir, the head of natural hazards at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, stated that while it’s uncertain whether the magma intrusion will lead to an eruption, the possibility is there. “We can observe a similar level of tension as before the last eruption, and we anticipate another magma intrusion,” she said.
The region has a history of earthquake swarms leading up to volcanic activity. Powerful tremors were a significant feature in the lead-up to the previous eruption. Jónsdóttir emphasized the need for heightened awareness, especially for people planning mountain excursions or navigating rocky terrains. “It’s crucial for people to be aware of this so they can be prepared if and when the tremors occur,” she advised.
Experts have particularly advised against planning hikes or other outdoor activities near the eruption area on the Reykjanes Peninsula. The likelihood of volcanic activity occurring before Christmas has been pointed out, making it crucial for public caution during this period.
1 Telur líklegt að það gjósi fyrir jól og biðlar til fólks að fara varlega – RUV – October 14, 2023
Featured image credit: Copernicus EU/Sentinel-2, The Watchers. Acquired on September 29, 2023
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