Bardarbunga's amazing display

ANDREW FREEDMAN
Last updated 06:52 03/09/2014

New fissure eruption at Iceland volcano

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This post was originally posted on Mashable.

The Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland continues to put on quite a show, with lava pouring out of a gash, or fissure, in the ground.

The latest fissure eruption, which began on Sunday, could go on for weeks, if not longer. It may also lead to a greater hazard — an explosive eruption that sends large clouds of ash into the air and melts glacial ice, causing flooding.

Such ash clouds are hazardous to modern jet aircraft, and an explosive eruption in Iceland could snarl trans-Atlantic air traffic again — as when the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted in 2010.

While ash is not billowing skyward, lots of potentially deadly sulfur dioxide gas is. Scientists working in the vicinity of the volcano are being told to wear masks and minimize their exposure.

According to scientists who have been closely monitoring the Bardarbunga volcano, and now its close neighbor known as the Askja volcano, it is not yet clear how the eruption, which so far has resembled the relatively benign events regularly seen on the volcanic slopes of Hawaii, is going to evolve.

According to volcano blogger Erik Klimetti of Wired.com, the flow rate of lava from the ground is about half that of Niagara Falls.

The Scientific Advisory Board, which is staffed by officials of various agencies, including the Icelandic Meteorological Office, said on Monday morning that the lava eruption on the Holuhraun lava field continues. Scientists are conducting a reconnaissance flight on Monday to gather more data.

According to scientists who have been closely monitoring the Bardarbunga volcano, and now its close neighbor known as the Askja volcano, it is not yet clear how the eruption, which so far has resembled the relatively benign events regularly seen on the volcanic slopes of Hawaii, is going to evolve.

According to volcano blogger Erik Klimetti of Wired.com, the flow rate of lava from the ground is about half that of Niagara Falls.

The Scientific Advisory Board, which is staffed by officials of various agencies, including the Icelandic Meteorological Office, said on Monday morning that the lava eruption on the Holuhraun lava field continues. Scientists are conducting a reconnaissance flight on Monday to gather more data.

The scientists reported that pressure built up continues from molten rock, or magma, that has been moving from underneath Bardarbunga, northward via a dike underneath the Dyngjujokull glacier, and toward the Askja volcano.

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More than 500 Icelandic earthquakes have been registered on Monday, including a 5.2 magnitude quake.

With no precise prediction possible, scientists have laid out four different scenarios that could take place in the coming days and weeks — including everything from no further eruptions to "explosive, ash-producing activity."

A VOLCANO BY ANY OTHER NAME...

Bardarbunga is one of the easier Icelandic lava spitters to pronounce and is meant to be said ba-thar-bunga.

People will remember news presenters and reporters trying to rattle off Eyjafjallajokul (pronounced EH-ya-fi-AHT-la-yo-coot), which aused the cancellation of more than 100,000 flights  when it started spitting ash in 2010.

Let's just hope that Skjaldbreiur (Sky-ald-bray-the) and Snaefellsjokull (Snay-fetls-yuh-kut) do not go off any time soon.

You can also have a crack at trying to pronounce Theistareykjarbunga. No clear pronunciation could be found for this so you might need to ask an Icelandic friend for help.

Other honourable mentions from around the world include Russia's Kliuchevskoi (klee-u-che-vis-koi), Chile's Aucanquilcha (OW-kahn-KEEL-chuh), Mexico's Popocatepetl (Po-po-ca-te-petal).

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- Mashable.com

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