Scientists warn it could cause disruption for centuries to come.
“It seems that after being relatively inactive for many centuries, this region is waking up,” said volcanologist Dave McGarvie.
Reykjanes peninsula’s last active period started in the 10th century and lasted until the 13th. Situated only nine miles (15km) from Iceland’s international airport, when activity in this region gets going it appears to splutter on and off for up to 300 years, producing eruptive episodes (locally known as “fires”) lasting a few decades. Long thin cracks (fissures) extend up to five miles (8km), producing fountains of lava, usually without large amounts of ash or explosive activity.
“People on the Reykjanes peninsula, and their descendants for several generations, may have to be on their guard and ready to evacuate every so often,” said McGarvie.
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