Giant magma flow in Iceland was the fastest ever recorded

11
Giant magma flow in Iceland was the fastest ever recorded


Lava erupting near Grindavik, Iceland, on 8 February

Iceland Civil Defense/Handout/Anadolu via Getty Images

The flow of magma into a 15-kilometre-long crack ahead of the recent volcanic eruptions in Iceland occurred at the highest rate observed anywhere in the world for this kind of event.

“We can have higher rates in very large eruptions,” says Freysteinn Sigmundsson at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik. “But I am not aware of higher estimates of magma flowing into a crack in the surface.”

Sigmundsson is part of a team that has been using ground-based sensors and satellites to monitor recent volcanic activity under the Reykjanes peninsula in Iceland. This began with magma accumulating several kilometres beneath the Svartsengi region, the site of a geothermal power plant that supplies warm water to the Blue Lagoon spa, a tourist attraction.

On 10 November 2023, a massive crack several kilometres deep and 15 km long formed nearby. As it opened, some of the accumulated magma flowed up into it at a rate of 7400 cubic metres per second, the team has calculated.

That is around a hundred times faster than the magma flow that occurred during eruptions in 2021, 2022 and 2023 in the nearby Fagradalsfjall area, says Sigmundsson.

The magma in the crack can be visualised as a piece of paper, he says, as it is at most 8 metres wide. The crack formed because Iceland is situated on a boundary where tectonic plates are moving apart.

On 18 December, a so-called fissure eruption began along part of this feature, lasting three days. Another, lasting two days, began on 14 January, with some of the lava reaching the evacuated town of Grindavik.

While the lava flows have consumed only a few buildings, cracks in the ground have done extensive damage to roads and pipes, and also created underground cavities, says Sigmundsson.

On 8 February, another eruption began a little further away from Grindavik. The lava from this has flowed across the pipes carrying hot water from the Svartsengi geothermal plant. This means that heating has been cut off in some nearby regions – most buildings in Iceland rely on geothermal water for heating.

Topics:


Disasters Expo USA, is proud to be supported by Inergency for their next upcoming edition on March 6th & 7th 2024!

The leading event mitigating the world’s most costly disasters is returning to the Miami Beach

Convention Center and we want you to join us at the industry’s central platform for emergency management professionals.
Disasters Expo USA is proud to provide a central platform for the industry to connect and
engage with the industry’s leading professionals to better prepare, protect, prevent, respond
and recover from the disasters of today.
Hosting a dedicated platform for the convergence of disaster risk reduction, the keynote line up for Disasters Expo USA 2024 will provide an insight into successful case studies and
programs to accurately prepare for disasters. Featuring sessions from the likes of The Federal Emergency Management Agency,
NASA, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NOAA, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, TSA and several more this event is certainly providing you with the knowledge
required to prepare, respond and recover to disasters.
With over 50 hours worth of unmissable content, exciting new features such as their Disaster
Resilience Roundtable, Emergency Response Live, an Immersive Hurricane Simulation and
much more over just two days, you are guaranteed to gain an all-encompassing insight into
the industry to tackle the challenges of disasters.
By uniting global disaster risk management experts, well experienced emergency
responders and the leading innovators from the world, the event is the hub of the solutions
that provide attendees with tools that they can use to protect the communities and mitigate
the damage from disasters.
Tickets for the event are $119, but we have been given the promo code: HUGI100 that will
enable you to attend the event for FREE!

So don’t miss out and register today: https://shorturl.at/aikrW

And in case you missed it, here is our ultimate road trip playlist is the perfect mix of podcasts, and hidden gems that will keep you energized for the entire journey

-

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More