Ash Attack!

August 19, 2014

tumblr_mbb4h4cx8M1rgxbgpo1_500Cool and quiet this early Tuesday on California’s north coast and the silence feels good on the brainwaves — nothing like a nice time before daylight.

In the midst of bad shit all over, there seems to be some natural fireworks coming from underground. In the European theater of dramatic effects, everybody’s paying attention to Iceland once again, as another science-fiction-like volcanic blowout is makin itself ready — international airlines have been warned about the possibility of flights being diverted, interrupted and otherwise dangerously ashed by Iceland’s Bárðarbunga volcano, which according to brainiacs, could erupt/explode at any minute.

(Illustration found here).

Authorities ‘registered hundreds of earthquakes since midnight yesterday
Around 800 earthquakes have been measured in the area since midnight Aug. 18, with the strongest one measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale, the agency said.
A bit of background from DeCodedScience:

Bárðarbunga is Iceland’s fourth most active volcano.
Since the settlement of Iceland in 741, Bárðarbunga has erupted on 43 known occasions – and the figure may be higher.
The volcano is located beneath the northern part of Iceland’s Vatnajökull ice cap, which introduces additional hazard in terms of flooding from meltwater as well as increasing the likelihood of an ash cloud as chilled water meets molten rock.
Bárðarbunga’s last confirmed eruption was in 1910, but there have been numerous occasions since 1986 when activity (mainly flooding) has been observed, so the volcano is clearly currently active.
Historic evidence suggests that it is capable of very large eruptions indeed: that of 1477 is among the largest of historic times and may have been ten times larger than the eruption of Mt St Helen’s in 1980.

And from

Through August 16, 2014, the risk level had been at code green – a “background, non-eruptive state.”
The IMO has upgraded the risk twice in the last two days, on August 17 to code yellow, and early in the day today (August 18) to code orange, indicating that a “volcano shows heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption.”
The focus of this IMO monitoring is on Bárðarbunga, a volcano more than 2,000 meters in elevation, located beneath Vatnajökull, the country’s largest glacier.
According to an Icelandic source, since midnight on the morning of August 18, the IMO has detected about 950 eart­hqua­kes at Bárðarbunga.

The IMO has been particularly concerned by what it calls a “seismic swarm.” (If you were wondering how to say that in Icelandic, the answer is “skjalftahrina.”) This term, in either language, refers to a cluster of earthquakes.
This recent swarm began early in the day on August 16 and has continued to the present.
More than 1400 earthquakes have been recorded since August 16, some small, some medium-sized, concentrated near the faults associated with the volcano.
These swarms constitute a second line of evidence that an eruption may occur, since such earthquakes can be created by pools of magma as they move upward.
The earthquakes in the last 24 hours have been more numerous, more powerful, and closer to the surface — all pointing to an increased likelihood of eruption.

And in a layered, scientific interpretation of the Bárðarbunga situation, via Volcano Discovery: An eruption of the subglacial volcano seems more and more likely to be imminent.
Huh — ‘more and more likely to be imminent’ — ??

Four years ago, an ash cloud caused by the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano shut down much of Europe’s airspace for six days.
Iceland’s words look so crazed-freakin’ weird, or is it just how far north the country?

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