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Iceland Mag


Powerful earthquake swarm in monster volcano Bárðarbunga: largest a 4.1 magnitued quake

By Staff

  • Bárðarbunga The center of the most powerful volcanic system in Iceland is hidden beneath Vatnajökull glacier. The Bárðarbunga system has produced some of the largest eruptions in Icelandic history. Photo/Icelandic Met Office

After an unusually quiet couple of weeks a powerful earthquake swarm was detected the Bárðarbunga caldera this afternoon. The Icelandic Meteorological Office registered a 4.1 magnitude earthquake at 15:08, followed by several large quakes, including a 3.2 magnitude quake at  15:22.

Bárðarbunga, which is located beneath Vatnajökull glacier, is one of the two largest and most powerful volcanoes in Iceland. Katla, the other, is located beneath Mýrdalsjökull glacier. Both have been showing increasing levels of activity in the past weeks and months. 

Read more: Eruption in giant volcano Katla grows more likely. Tourism poses challenges for evacuation

Today's quakes took place in the nort-eastern part of the caldera. The epicenter of the first and most powerful quake was just below the surface, at a depth of 100 m (330 ft). Geophysisists at the Icelandic Meteorological Office believe the seismic activity in Bárðarbunga in the past months is caused by the magma chambers of the volcano filling up.

Bárðarbunga has seen constant seismic activity since the 2014-2015 Holuhraun eruption. Dozens of powerful earthquakes, larger than 3 on the Richter scale, have been detected. 

Earthqiuakes in Bárðarbunga 6.4.17
Earthquakes in Bárðarbunga Today's quakes are identified by the green stars Photo/Icelandic Met Office 


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