Saturday, July 6, 2024

"Volcanic eruptions on Iceland might last decades"

I suppose it's time to break out the BBC's Guide to Icelandic Pronunciation.

For example, during 2010's eruption we learned that Eyjafjallajokull is pronounced:


(pic via Patrick Nielsen's website)  

Also that people will make jokes about anything:

"First, Iceland goes bankrupt. After that, it sets itself on fire. This has insurance scam written all over it."
"It was the last wish of the Icelandic economy that its ashes be spread over Europe"

From Geographical Magazine, July 4:

A new study reveals that volcanic eruptions in Iceland might become more frequent, and the instability could last decades

With over 11 per cent of the island covered in glaciers and around 130 volcanoes (32 of them active) dotting the landscape, Iceland well deserves its reputation as the island of fire and ice. Both glaciers and volcanoes can be extremely destructive. Glaciers crush the ground under them and, over time, reshape the landscape. Volcanoes play a similar role but often in a much shorter time. In recent years, the most infamous Icelandic volcanic eruption was when Eyjafjallajökull erupted in 2010 and sent a volcanic dust cloud into the atmosphere, shutting down air space across most of Europe for several days. Fortunately, most of the time, volcanoes are inactive, and in Iceland, a volcano erupts on average once every five years.

But imagine the impact it could have on day-to-day life if the incidence of volcanic eruptions were to significantly increase. Well, people on Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula, which is home to 70 per cent of the island’s population as well as the biggest city (the capital, Reykjavik, is situated just at the northeastern edge of this peninsula), as well as the international airport, might have to get used to living in an area of heightened volcanic activity. The volcanoes on the peninsula have been dormant for around 800 years, but since 2021, there have been eight separate eruptions. The latest of which took place in May and June of this year.  These eruptions have already brought great disruption and structural damage and led to the government declaring a state of emergency. Urban centres have been evacuated, and buildings and roads have been destroyed.

A new report says this might be just the start of an extended period of heightened volcanic activity that will see recurring eruptions lasting ‘years to decades and possibly centuries’. By analysing seismic tomography imaging and the composition of lava samples, an international team of scientists has worked out the geological processes behind the new volcanic era....


Just as long as we don't get another Laki - 1783: 

Laki: How A Volcano Swallowed Europe