New satellite images indicate that the continuing earthquake that Iceland has experienced could be partly attributed to magma movement under the areas where the earthquakes have been greatest, Indicator reports. While this does not mean that eruptions are indeed on the way, scientists are still monitoring the situation closely.
Although city officials now believe the magma movement is the most likely explanation for the quake, scientists at the Icelandic Meteorological Office emphasize that yet no signs of impending eruption. This is because magma motion per se does not necessarily lead to an eruption; the magma may settle in place or possibly retreat. Safer signs of eruptions include rising ground levels and emissions of certain gases.
That said, the possibility of an eruption is still on the table. However, the circumstances that could play out do not yet indicate that this was a devastating event.
Volcanologist Þorvaldur Þórðarson reported RÚV that recent measurements do not show whether an eruption is imminent; rather, they can give an idea of what lava would go if an eruption occurred. In his opinion, such an eruption was neither large nor particularly dangerous. This was supported by Kristín Jónsdóttir at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, who said that if lava were to form in the area, it would probably not reach settlements.
Páll Einarsson geologist added that volcanoes are notoriously unpredictable and it could take a very long time for magma to reach the surface, if at all. This is certainly true – while volcanoes in Iceland have eruptions, it is impossible to predict when an eruption will occur and all the talk about a volcano being “timely” to erupt is not exactly scientific.
There have been a total of 1,800 earthquakes in Reykjanes since midnight last night when this was written. 23 of them were bigger than 3 and three bigger than 4 and the biggest of that period was 5.1 around five o’clock this morning.
Source: The Nordic Page