A volcanic system situated near Iceland’s Bardarbunga’s volcano was hard hit by an earthquake of magnitude 4.5 early-hours Wednesday.
This reinforces the concerns that the magma from the volcano could feed into Askja volcano which is situated not far away. Scientists have said that about fifty million cubic meters of liquefied rock have moved in the last 24 hours.
They are of the opinion that if this moves towards the north, it could trigger a massive eruption within the Askja system. Scientists who have been working in the area have said that they will exit as from Wednesday after they have installed the necessary instruments which will help with regard to monitoring the situation.
According to Professor Bob White of the University of Cambridge, indication is showing that it’s moving north, but said it was at time hard to predict volcanoes.
“It’s moving at the rate of four kilometers a say towards Askja and there is a possibility that it could get there in a few more days,” he said.
“We all know that there is a lot of molten rick that is sitting beneath Askja, a major volcanic system. If the flowing molten rock flows and hits it, the likelihood of an eruption is more feasible,” he added.
He further reiterated that the movement of the molten rock may just stop. It may also freeze there, hence making the unexpected happen. Researchers from the University of Cambridge have been carrying out research and monitoring sessions in the area since 2006.
According to Pro Simon Redfern, the magma is quite huge, therefore creating a huge amount of subterranean molten rock. For the last decade, many underground quakes have been detected which moved northwards, leaving underground stones cracked in its wake.
On Tuesday morning, a massive 5.7 magnitude earthquake hit the area, which caused the biggest tremors since last week. The amount of magma which was moved is twice the amount that was experienced in 2010. The professor said that the molten magma could easily move using underground dykes and as a result join up with underground fissures leading to massive magma network.
Soil scientists have said that there are quite a number of scenarios which may unfold. The first is that the volcano may erupt just inside the glacier. This is really bad news because this will push ash clouds to greater heights of up to forty thousand feet, just like what happened in 2010. During this time, the amount of ash that was released into the skies was enough to disrupt air travel.
The second scenario is that it could create plumes if flames or fire mountains. This doesn’t carry a lot of ash, but can be very dangerous. But if the lava continues moving towards the north and causes an eruption, disruptive ash all over the Iceland may be possible.