Earthquake Swarm Forebodes Earth-Splitting Eruption
Iceland's ongoing earthquake swarm is being caused by two tectonic plates moving away from each other, thereby causing magma to flow into voids created by the tearing movement.
REYKJANES PENINSULA, ICELAND — For more than two weeks now, Icelanders have been shaken by a swarm of over 20,000 earthquakes, and scientists believe the quakes could portend a major volcanic eruption.
National Geographic reports that the ongoing earthquake swarm has been rattling houses in the Reykjanes peninsula.
Iceland's Meteorological Office is warning people in the region to avoid steep terrain, as rocks and boulders can fall and chances of landslides are increased.
Luckily, it is unlikely that any probable eruption would be as explosive as Iceland's 2010 eruption, when another volcano blasted ash 19 kilometers into the air, leading to the cancellation of around 900 flights all over Europe.
That's because the current earthquake swarm is caused by two tectonic plates moving away from each other, thereby causing magma to flow into voids created by the tearing movement.
This periodically results in the slow outflow of large volumes of lava over large areas.
Such a slow outflow of lava could be destructive to land and structures, but is usually too slow to be dangerous to people.
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