Sunday, August 24, 2014

Bardarbunga erupts, maybe

Tonight's top story in my Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday at Daily Kos is Bardarbunga eruption, or at least what most people think is one.  Take it away, LiveScience!

Subglacial Eruption Begins at Iceland's Bardarbunga Volcano (Updated)
By Becky Oskin, Senior Writer
August 23, 2014 01:25pm ET
One week after an earthquake swarm first warned of magma on the rise, a volcanic eruption has started near Iceland's Barðarbunga volcano, the Icelandic Met Office announced today (Aug. 23).

The small-scale eruption is taking place northeast of Barðarbunga, underneath the Dyngjujökull glacier. Scientists estimate 492 to 1,312 feet of ice (150 to 400 meters) covers the emerging lava, the Met Office said in a statement. Even though no one can see the eruption, seismic signals indicate that ice is flashing into steam. This suggests lava has broken through to the surface, beneath the glacier.

Update at 9:30 p.m. ET: Volcano experts in Iceland are not convinced that an eruption is underway. Earthquakes continue, including a magnitude-5.3 this evening, but the tremors that signaled steam blasts from lava have decreased, the Met Office said. Nor is meltwater draining from the glacier. "Presently there are no signs of ongoing volcanic activity," the Met Office said in an update. "The aviation color code for the Barðarbunga volcano remains red as an imminent eruption can not be excluded."
Several diaries on Daily Kos also covered the eruption, including This week in science: fire and ice-land by DarkSyde, Bárðarbunga: Eruption! by Rei, and Code Red: Bárðarbunga Volcano Erupts? Updated M5.3 Quake Confirmed, Largest Quake Yet by FishOutofWater.  In addition, Vox asks Is Iceland's volcano erupting? Scientists are still waiting to see.  The event has attracted a lot of attention, so stay tuned for further developments.

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