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Öræfajökull: Iceland's biggest volcano waking up

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Staff Writer | Thursday November 30, 2017 5:43AM ET
Iceland volcano
Europe   There has been significant geothermal activity

Iceland's largest and most deadly active volcano Öræfajökull appears to be waking up from its centuries-long slumber.


Scientists detected an increased geothermal activity coming from the giant frozen volcano. Öræfajökull last erupted in 1727, in what is reportedly the second most deadly eruption in the history of Iceland.

The volcano is now closely being watched by Icelandic authorities and the Icelandic Civil Protection Agency has declared an uncertainty phase for the frozen volcano, Iceland Magazine reported.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office said that recent satellite images of the volcano revealed that a new 1Km-wide "ice cauldron" has formed within the volcano's caldera.

Scientists also believe that the volcano's caldera has released geothermal water, which likely resulted in a section of the caldera to collapse.

The geothermal water was spotted merging into the glacial river of the Kvíárjökull outlet-glacier, on the south-east end of the Öræfajökull glacier. A distinctive smell of sulphur has also been detected along with the release of the water.

"Although there has been significant geothermal activity in the Öræfajökull caldera, there are no signs of an imminent volcanic eruption. There is considerable uncertainty about how the situation will evolve.

"The Icelandic Meteorological Office continues to monitor the region around-the-clock via seismic observations."

 

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