Last week, Bardarbunga volcano was shaken by four of the largest earthquakes since its last eruption in 2014.
Geophysicist Páll Einarsson, a volcanology expert at the University of Iceland, says the tremors indicate that pressure in the volcano’s magma chamber is increasing.
Einarsson warned that Bardarbunga, which is hidden under the ice cap of the Vatnajökull glacier, is “clearly preparing for its next eruption” within the next few years.
Such an eruption could create an ash cloud that could bring travel chaos similar to that caused by the 2010 eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano, which threw thousands of tons of ash into the sky and stranded more than 10 million air passengers.
That eruption, the strongest of its kind in Europe in more than 240 years, cost the European economy an estimated £4 billion ($4.9 billion).
Experts envision a similar scenario if Bardarbunga, one of the most active of Iceland’s 130 volcanoes, were to erupt.
However, this does not mean the 6,591-foot-tall volcano is going to erupt tomorrow.
According to the Catalogue of Icelandic Volcanoes, although Bardarbunga’s activity level is high, the warning code remains green – meaning the volcano is in a normal, non-eruptive state
Thanks to T Fortier and Laurel for these links