Volcano: The volcanic eruption in Iceland opens a four-kilometer fissure | EUROtoday

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  • Volcn Iceland declares a state of emergency because of the eruption of a volcano whose dangerous gases are approaching Reykjavík

It took some time however lastly volcanic eruption that Icelandic geologists had been ready for since November 11 started on Monday night time. At 10:17 p.m., lava started to circulate after opening a fissure on the Reykjanes peninsula that’s at present about 4 kilometers lengthy. An hour earlier than, at 9 p.m., a seismic swarm – a set of earthquakes – preluded the eruption.

Just 4 kilometers from the world of ​​the eruptive is the town of Frame avkconveniently evicted weeks in the past by the Icelandic authorities, accustomed to continuously coping with volcanoes Well, because the geologist José María Cebri Gmez, senior scientist on the Institute of Geosciences (IGEO), explains, “Iceland is a volcanic island. Practically all of its territory is because it is located in a hotspot or hot spot on the mid-Atlantic ridge, which is where the plates between America, Europe and Africa are separating.”

Hypnatic eruption of a volcano northeast of the Icelandic metropolis of Grindavk

It is “a very particular point, with constant activity. Magmatic material continually rises and separates the plates, so it is normal for there to be eruptions with relative periodicity. And that is why it is a super-monitored island in which the activity is monitored.” seismic exercise repeatedly,” explains the geologist in a telephone interview.

Several people observe the eruption
Several people observe the eruption near GrindavkANTON BRINKEFE

As reported by the Icelandic Meteorological Office (MET), which is in charge of the volcanic eruptionsseismic measurements and GPS show that The intensity of the eruption began to decrease just four hours after its start, and has continued to decrease throughout the morning. However, they clarify that “the truth that exercise decreases isn’t a sign of how lengthy the eruption will final, however relatively that is reaching a state of equilibrium. This growth has been noticed in the beginning of all of the eruptions on the Reykjanes peninsula in recent times,” says this Icelandic organization, which considers that we are facing a volcanic episode very similar to those that occurred recently in Fagradalsfjall (in 2022 and 2023). .

During the first two hours, the volcn It vomited hundreds of cubic meters of lava per second, giving rise to the spectacular images of fire during Monday night. On Tuesday, the lava river has been reduced to a quarter of what it was at the beginning of the eruption, while the lava fountains have also considerably decreased in height, to 30 meters.

The authorities have activated the state of emergency, and monitor the direction of the winds that move gases with toxic particles. For this Tuesday, the plume with volcanic material is expected to change and go towards the northwest, so the only population affected would be Vestmannaeyjar. On Wednesday morning, the gases from the volcano could reach the area of ​​​​the capital, Reykjavk. “Our priorities stay defending lives and infrastructure. Civil Defense has closed the affected space. Now we wait to see what the forces of nature have in retailer for us. “We are prepared and remain vigilant.”the president of the nation, Gudni Johannesson, has revealed in his account of the social community X, previously Twitter.

If the lava flows south, may have an effect on each the houses and infrastructure of the evacuated metropolis of Grindavk and a geothermal vitality plant however in the mean time the lava isn’t heading there. “Geothermal plants inject water into depth to heat them up and generate electricity with the heat. Some flammable material is usually used as coolants, which are usually stored near the plant. But if the eruption continues as before, I don’t think it will cause problems.” within the plant,” says Cebri.

Stavros Meletlidis, a geologist from the National Geographic Institute (IGN), agrees that he believes that if the eruption continues like this it would not directly affect the plant, although he sees it possible that the action of the magma generates stress in the rock and the configuration of the plant will have to be changed. central to the future.

A fissure eruption

The seismic swarm prior to the eruption, explains Cebri, is related to the rise of magma, since geologists are able to distinguish earthquakes linked to the volcanoes of the other earthquakes. “But though it was recognized that the magma was rising and that it was probably going to be a fissure eruption, because it occurred, it was not doable to foretell when the eruption would happen and if it will lastly happen., as a result of the magma couldn’t have gotten any worse.”

Unfortunately, Cebri explains, volcanology is not like meteorology and there is not enough data to make an accurate prediction: “We could have indications that there’s going to be an eruption however we can not assure it. And though the exercise is reducing, we additionally know that That doesn’t imply that it’s going to finish, as occurred in La Palma.

“You never know when an eruption is going to occur, because many factors influence it, not just if there is magma. In Iceland, obviously, there is a lot because it is also shallow. Much less than in the Canary Islands, where you have to climb 15 kilometers or m. And magma by nature is vague, if it does not find facilities it does not rise. In Iceland, in addition, there has been seismic activity for two months that has broken the crust and generated several fractures,” says Stavros Meletlidis from Tenerife, a geologist on the National Geographic Institute (IGN), who provides that “the first 24-72 hours are critical to see How is a person going to behave? volcnalthough everything indicates that it is a classic Icelandic eruption, of fissures.

volcanic ash

Since the eruption of the Eyjafjallajkull volcano in 2010 caused columns of ash that reached 11 kilometers in altitude and forced the closure of airspace in much of Europe, every time there is an eruption in that country fear arises about whether it could again cause aerial chaos. At the moment, the experts consulted consider that there is no indication that it could generate high columns of ash, and they believe that it is most likely that the problems it causes in airspace are local. “It is a basaltic-type eruption, comparatively calm and with little explosive character. “At the moment, this eruption is being much less explosive than that of Eyjafjallajkull.”bye Algebra.

Photograph offered by Icelandic Civil DefenseEFE

The present eruption and the one in 2010, he explains, “are quite similar but in the current one the activity is much more effusive, which means that it has quite large lava sources but it does not have a very large explosive component, which is what This happened with Eyjafjallajkull, which caused it to expel ash at high altitudes. Therefore, although we cannot predict what this eruption will be like and what characteristics it will have, we can go out on a limb and say that there may not be problems like in 2010. Ash production is common in island volcanoes“It isn’t one thing uncommon and has at all times occurred, however usually the issues it causes in aviation have a neighborhood impact.”

The magma in Iceland, explains Meletlidis, “is of a basaltic sort, like that of the Canary Islands, however rather more fluid as a result of it comes from the mantle and barely has time to vary, and it’s that change that gives the gasoline. At the second, there isn’t any “It has enough gas to fragment the magma and generate explosions and ash when fragmenting.” But additionally, bear in mind, “in 2010 a lot of ash was generated because then the interaction between magma and water also occurred, when you mix them you can have an explosive problem depending on the amount of water there is.”

A man observes the eruption
A person observes the eruption close to GrindavkANTON BRINKEFE

Buy the method with a pan of boiling oil. “If you pour a liter of water nothing happens, but if you pour a tablespoon of water, the oil will jump. That’s why The interaction of magma with water does not always give rise to an explosive phase, There has to be a ratio of 3-1, approximately three parts magma and one part water. Right now there is no shallow aquifer or glacier as there was in 2010. The heat of the magma melts the ice and those explosions were generated that caused that eruptive column. But again, we don’t know yet if there is going to be more gas in this eruption.”

The Greek geologist assures that each one situations are open. “The explosiveness could continue to decrease, and be like this for days, weeks or months. But it can also happen that there is more superficial seismicity or the pressure increases because it finds a small aquifer that is not very deep and there is more explosiveness.”