Iceland is bracing for a volcanic eruption within the coming days after a sequence of earthquakes and proof of scorching magma flowing rapidly underground.
The fishing city of Grindavik, dwelling to three,000 folks, has been ordered to evacuate amid issues it might be destroyed by lava flows.
Sky News takes a have a look at a few of the key questions in regards to the volcano and what might occur if there’s an eruption.
Where is the volcano?
The Icelandic Meteorological Office has stated there’s a “considerable” threat of an eruption on or simply off the Reykjanes peninsula.
Located southwest of the capital Reykjavik, the peninsula is a volcanic and seismic hotspot.
The city of Grindavik may be very near a brand new 15km (9 miles) fracture that has opened up, prompting the evacuation.
Will there be an eruption?
Even although earthquake exercise died down slightly in a single day into Monday, an eruption within the subsequent few days continues to be “highly likely”, in keeping with Bill McGuire, professor emeritus of geophysical and local weather hazards at University College London.
Modelling means that magma is rising alongside the fracture and is now as near the floor as 800m and even much less.
What can also be unsure is the place precisely alongside the fracture the eruption will begin.
Professor McGuire stated: “If it is on land, which is most likely, it will be dominated by spectacular lava ‘fountaining’ and the production of lava flows.
“If magma breaks the floor on the southern finish of the fracture, nonetheless, it might erupt beneath the ocean. This could be a extra explosive occasion that may construct a cone of fragmental materials.”
Professor McGuire said there was no reason, currently, to think that the eruption will be especially large, but added that it is notoriously difficult to forecast how big eruptions will be.
What occurs if the volcano erupts underneath the ocean?
If the eruption happens within the stretch of fracture that’s underneath the ocean, it might turn into “explosive”, says Dr Michele Paulatto, an professional in volcanic and tectonic processes from Imperial College London.
“If it erupts undersea it could cause a Surtseyan eruption similar to the one that happened in 1963, also in Iceland, and created the island of Surtsey.
“That explicit eruption lasted a number of years, so it is a chance,” he stated.
Will there be one other ash cloud like in 2010?
The Eyjafjallajokull eruption again in 2010 produced an enormous ash cloud that induced chaos to world air journey.
Dr Dave McGarvie, a volcanologist with the University of Lancaster, says a possible eruption is not going to result in disruption like that of Eyjafjallajokull.
He stated that occasion was “unusually disruptive” due to a uncommon “if not unique” mixture of things.
He added: “The volcanoes on the Reykjanes Peninsula do not have the ability to produce the disruptive ash clouds that characterised the Eyjafjallajokull 2010 eruption.”
What’s extra, he says, classes have been realized because the 2010 incident and even when a future occasion produced the same ash cloud there would solely be about one-third of the flight cancellations in comparison with what occurred in 2010.