Seismic Activity below the Vatnajökull Glacier, Iceland

Photo by Oddur Sigurdsson, 1977 (Icelandic National Energy Authority)

Bardarbunga: New sources have been equating the recent seismic activity below the Vatnajökull Glacier, Iceland with the possibility of an eruption. The volcano in question– Bardarbunga– is larger than Eyjafjallajokull, which shut down air travel across Europe in 2010. It appears that an eruption will likely occur in the near future, due to both rising lava and the fact that Bardarbunga is due for eruption. Such an eruption would have similar effects to that of Eyjafjallajokull, resulting in millions lost by European airlines. For those in the area affected by Eyjafjallajokull, it would be imperative to closely follow the activity in and around the Vatnajökull Glacier.

Up to date information on seismic activity in the Vatnajökull Glacier can be found here.

By Khia Johnson, updated on Feb. 14, 2011

2 Responses to “Seismic Activity below the Vatnajökull Glacier, Iceland”

  1. Alan Bates Says:

    Hi Khia

    Nice job. Lovely picture – different from the standard, ground level pictures. Personally, I would have liked some idea of where the area was in relation to the East and West rift zones, Vestmannaeyjar and the hotspot. But maybe that’s because I have recently been studying Iceland volcanics!

    Keep up with the good work. No doubt your tutor will tell you if I am being unrealistic in my expectations!!

    Alan (mature – in age at least (I’m 65) – student from the Open University, UK)

  2. One thing in writing a scientific blog is to find reliable sources, and in this respect public media is about the worst possible. One can use media as a pointer to a region, but the facts must be found from the scientific sources onsite; in this case I’d use IMO ( and University of Iceland (

    A tip: _never_ say “due for eruption” or “overdue” about volcanoes; they operate on their own timetable, and predicting an eruption is practically impossible – the media, however, takes any statement and twists it to expect a cataclysmic eruption tomorrow, next week at the latest.

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