Iceland: could a volcanic period be ahead?

Posted: March 11, 2021 by oldbrew in Cycles, data, Earthquakes, Geology, History, research, Uncertainty, volcanos

Lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula [image credit: Vincent van Zeijst @ Wikipedia]


24th February: ‘Southwestern Iceland was rocked by a series of earthquakes’, reported DW.com. ‘Experts say shocks from the quake, which registered 5.7 in magnitude, sparked increased volcanic activity, triggering a number of aftershocks registering over 4.0 for hours after the initial quake hit.

“It’s an intense activity zone, we are all well aware of that but I’ve never experienced or felt so many strong earthquakes in such a short period of time. It’s unusual,” as the Icelandic Meteorological Office’s (IMO) earthquake hazards coordinator Kristin Jonsdottir told Icelandic public broadcaster RUV.’

The article below appeared five days ago.
– – –
“If an eruption occurs, it would likely mark the beginning of such a [volcanic] period – lasting a few centuries, I believe,” states Magnús Á. Sigurgeirsson, geologist at ÍSOR Iceland GeoSurvey – a consulting and research institute in the field of geothermal sciences and utilization.

“That’s at least how it has been the past three times, and even dating further back, but we don’t have as exact data available on that,” he tells Iceland Monitor.

He is referring to the uncertainty regarding whether an eruption can be expected soon on the Reykjanes peninsula, Southwest Iceland.

Magnús assembled data on the past three volcanic periods in the area. These were 3,000-3,500 years ago, 1,900-2,400 years ago, and finally between the years 800 and 1240 AD.

His information is based on geological maps of the Reykjanes peninsula and on a comprehensive book on volcanic eruptions in Iceland called Nátt­úru­vá á Íslandi, eld­gos og jarðskjálft­ar.

Research reveals that during the latter part of Holocene – a term used to describe a period that began about 11,700 years ago – the volcanic systems on the Reykjanes peninsula have erupted every 900 to 1100 years.

Less is known about the first part of Holocene.

Each eruption period appears to have lasted about 500 years, and during that time most of the volcanic systems appear to have been active, albeit generally not simultaneously. The volcanic activity is characterized by eruptions that each last a few decades. Lava flows from volcanic fissures that can be as long as 12 km (7.5 mi).

On the Reykjanes peninsula, there are six volcanic systems, lined up side by side, pointing from southwest to northeast. Farthest west is that of Reykjanes, then those of Svartsengi, Fagradalsfjall mountain, Krýsuvík, Brennisteinsfjöll mountains and, finally, Hengill mountain.

The last volcanic period began around the year 800 in Brennisteinsfjöll mountains and in the Krýsuvík system, creating the lava fields of Hvammahraun and Hrútafellshraun.

Full article here.
– – –
Update: Lava eruption from long-dormant Icelandic volcano (MARCH 20, 2021) — close to Fagradalsfjall mountain

Comments
  1. oldmanK says:

    Quote: “- – every 900 to 1100 years.-” Thereabouts. Centred on the 980 (or 975+/-50); the Eddy cycle.
    3000 to 3500 > centre ~1300bce Eddy root; start of Agean collapse.
    1900 to 2400 > about 300 bce; Eddy root; beginning of Punic wars; but what was the primer?
    The previous five roots have a more disastrous history.

  2. tallbloke says:

    Millennial climate cycle.
    The Co2 driven Climate models have the effect of Pinatubo added into their hindcast, post-hoc. But they don’t have the effect of any future eruptions parameterised into their predictions. It’s one of the many reasons the models run too hot.

  3. craigm350 says:

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    Whilst we can’t vouch for weather (which will be blamed for any cooling) some spectacular sunsets lie ahead if indeed Iceland’s volcanoes are once again awakening.

  4. Spirit of the wind says:

    Iceland is practically a giant Volcano anyway.
    It probably started as a “Surtsey”, then just got bigger.

  5. Gamecock says:

    10-4, Spirit. Iceland has always been volcanic.

    ‘could a volcanic period be ahead?’

    The current volcanic period is at 20 million years.

  6. ivan says:

    Can’t help wondering just how much the geothermal power plants are involved with the approaching volcanic activity. Yes, I know it is a cyclic event but pulling heat out of the ground in a volcanic area must have some effect on volcanic activity, or haven’t they investigated that?

  7. […] Tallbloke’s Talkshop […]

  8. oldbrew says:

    Italy’s Mt. Etna has been busy lately…

    Etna has released some 40 million cubic metres of volcanic material, says volcanologist Boris Behncke, who monitors Etna closely for the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV).

    “It is quite a lot,” he tells the BBC. In comparison, the Etna eruption that threatened the town of Randazzo in 1981 released a mere 20 million cubic metres of material.
    . . .
    Etna is no stranger to these episodes. Despite the extraordinary amount of volcanic material that has erupted, experts agree the volcano is merely repeating previous patterns of behaviour. But they also admit that the power released is greater than before.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-56344311
    – – –
    Black dust everywhere.

  9. Gamecock says:

    “Can’t help wondering just how much the geothermal power plants are involved with the approaching volcanic activity.”

    We are pissants.

  10. Gamecock says:

    “Etna has released some 40 million cubic metres of volcanic material”

    What is that in millimeters of sea level rise?

  11. oldbrew says:

    Iceland shaken by more than 50,000 earthquakes in three weeks
    3 hours ago

    This unusual activity indicates a volcanic eruption is on its way.

    Scientists are baffled over when it will happen and Icelanders are learning to live with the shakes.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-56420607
    [inc. short video]

    Several over magnitude 5. The ‘big one’ is on its way they say, but it’s not expected to be like 2010 with ash flying all over Europe. But it’s quite close to the capital city.

  12. oldbrew says:

    Etna again…

  13. oldbrew says:

    Had to happen…

    Iceland halts air travel following volcanic eruption
    19.03.2021

    A volcano in southwest Iceland has erupted — as anticipated following thousands of smaller earthquakes in the area in recent weeks.

    https://www.dw.com/en/iceland-halts-air-travel-following-volcanic-eruption/a-56935890

    Seems to be mainly lava flows so far. Last eruption here was ~800-900 years ago (reports differ).

  14. oldmanK says:

    Etna has been very agitated; and furious.
    Just now M7+ Japan. x2.
    Equinox today. Shifting stresses??

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