Most of us already know that there are certain areas of the world that are more prone to earthquakes than others and that residents of these places, such as Southern California, Indonesia and parts of China, are pretty used to it at this time. . One such area accustomed to occasional tremor is the small island nation of Iceland.
There are earthquakes common due to the land extending over two of the earth’s tectonic plates, both the North American and Eurasian plates. They remain divided by an underwater mountain range called the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which oozes molten hot rock from deep within the earth.
Despite the fact that earthquakes were a common occurrence in Iceland, the country was not prepared for the events of the past week, which included an astonishing 1
“I have experienced earthquakes before, but never so many in a row,” Reykjavik, Auður Alfa Ólafsdóttir, told CNN. “It is very unusual to feel the Earth shaking 24 hours a day for an entire week. It makes you feel very small and powerless against nature.”
What scientists have to say
Geophysicists and volcanologists say that seismic activity on the island has intensified since December 2019, and although volcanoes in southwestern Iceland have been quiet for about 800 years, they said the rest period may finally be coming to an end.
Experts claim that the intense series of earthquakes is the culmination of over a year of intense seismic activity, and that similar earthquakes have been observed before volcanic eruptions in the past. The Icelandic Meteorological Office told The New York Times that magma movements were a probable cause of the earthquakes, and the agency warned that an eruption could occur within days or weeks.
“The two tectonic plates are moving away from each other, and that motion has created the conditions for magma to reach the surface,” Freysteinn Sigmundsson, a research professor of geophysics at the University of Iceland, told The New York Times.
Iceland has about 30 active volcanoes, but volcanologists have tried to ease residents’ fears of an impending eruption, saying that one in Reykjanes will not actually threaten inhabited areas on the peninsula.
Icelanders, however, can not be blamed for being concerned, given the catastrophic eruptions of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano back in 2010. The event was so intense as to release vast clouds of black ash that it caused one of the most significant air traffic disruptions in decades.
“Of course it worries people,” Þorvaldur Þórðarson, a professor of volcanology at the University of Iceland, told CNN. “For this region, this is actually quite unusual, not because of the type of earthquake or their intensity, but for their duration. It’s been going on for more than a week now. “
Experts have said the biggest damage expected from the possible impending eruption includes power line damage and the road connecting the capital, Reykjavík, to the airport could be affected.
“The magma composition here is very different, the intensity of explosive activity would be significantly less,” said Þórðarson.
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