Iceland's Largest Volcano Starting to Rumble

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Iceland's Largest Volcano Starting to Rumble

Post by absinthe beginner » Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:28 am ... -to-rumble

Iceland raised the alarm after its largest volcano was hit by the biggest tremors since 1977.

Two quakes larger than 4 in magnitude early Monday rocked the crater of Katla, the country’s Met Office said in a statement. That was followed by at least 10 more tremors at the volcano, which rises 1,450 meters (4,757 feet) into the air on the North Atlantic island’s southern coast.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damages to property.

Katla last erupted in 1955 and 1999. Neither of those were large enough to break the ice covering its 10 kilometer-wide (6 mile) caldera. Its last major eruption was back in 1918, when it spewed ash for more than five weeks.

An eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010 caused the cancellation of more than 100,000 flights across Europe on concern that glass-like particles formed from lava might melt in aircraft engines and clog turbines. Historically, Eyjafjallajokull has been known to erupt one to two years prior to Katla.

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Re: Iceland's Largest Volcano Starting to Rumble

Post by KGBrick » Tue Aug 30, 2016 5:18 pm

To put the known potential of this volcano on a scale, its previous largest eruption (934 CE) was a few times larger than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, more on the scale of the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo. The glacier coverage of the volcano makes things worse if the eruption breaks through it - with all the excitement of lahars/volcanic mudslides, and all sorts of exciting prizes you can win from water mixing with molten rock.

The good thing is that to my understanding relevant authorities have moved forward quite a bit since 2010 with technology to predict and avoid ash interference with air traffic. I'm not so sure how far along transatlantic airliners have come in implementing the new ash early warning tech but from what I hear they have the revenue to do it if they can find the foresight.

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Re: Iceland's Largest Volcano Starting to Rumble

Post by quazi » Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:12 pm

Volcanic ash is bad enough. I'm glad our volcanoes mostly just send up a bunch of ash and don't usually do much in the way of lava and lahars.

Ash is another good reason to keep a few masks on hand.

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Re: Iceland's Largest Volcano Starting to Rumble

Post by Halfapint » Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:08 pm

Glad I don't work for an international airline. However out pilots are "the most specialized" when it comes to ash avoidance and flying. When the last Icelandic volcano hit we sent pilots all over Europe to train their guys how to spot it and how to use the avionics to steer clear.

Other than that if it goes boom I hope we get to have some streams of it. Something that big going off would be a blast to see!
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Re: Iceland's Largest Volcano Starting to Rumble

Post by Ad'lan » Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:58 am

I'd wonder about it's larger geo-climatic effects.

One the one hand, all the CO2 and other geenhouse gases associated with a volcanic eruption, on the other, the possibilities of atmospheric dust clouds lowering global temperatures.

And of course, those effects on the politics of Europe, a failed growing season would have a pretty drastic impact on food prices.
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Re: Iceland's Largest Volcano Starting to Rumble

Post by Stercutus » Thu Sep 01, 2016 5:38 pm

Iceland falls right on a plate line. It splits the country neatly in half. For no rational reasons volcanoes on the plates make me more nervous than the others when they start acting up.

Today a Mt. Tamboru event would likely result in numbers of deaths on a scale of the apocalypsy we have never known in all of human history. Climate change would cease to be an issue.
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