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Earth Transportation Science

Eruption Of Iceland's Bardarbunga Raises Travel Alert to Red 38

The eruption of the Bardarbunga volcano in central Iceland, which appeared a strong possibility after a series of earthquakes, is currently underway, beneath the ice of the Dyngjujokull glacier. The BBC reports that Iceland has raised its air travel alert to red, its higest level, but that for now all of Iceland's airports remain open. CNN notes that "the underground activity did not immediately result in changes to volcanic activity on the surface ... Because of a pressure from the glacier cap it is uncertain whether the eruption will stay sub-glacial or not, Iceland 2 TV said."
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Eruption Of Iceland's Bardarbunga Raises Travel Alert to Red

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  • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @02:26PM (#47737471) Homepage

    At least this time we can pronounce the damn thing.

    • by qbast ( 1265706 ) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @02:28PM (#47737477)
      They really should not name things by letting a cat walk on a keyboard.
      • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @02:54PM (#47737567)

        They really should not name things by letting a cat walk on a keyboard.

        "Bardabunga" sounds like it was named by Bart Simpson.

        I once flew in a helicopter over Mauna Loa [wikipedia.org]. It looked nothing like the Iceland volcanoes in the news. There was very little smoke, an no ash. Just red hot lava flowing down the mountain. So when I got back home I did some research. It turns out there are different types of volcanoes. Mauna Loa is a shield volcano [wikipedia.org], while Iceland has stratovolcanoes [wikipedia.org]. Shield volcanoes erupt continuously over long periods, produce relatively little ash, and have heavy low viscosity lava that flows quickly and spreads out. Stratovolcanoes erupt in explosive bursts, producing lots of smoke and ash, and have lighter, high viscosity lava, containing high levels of silicates, which tends to ooze like honey rather than flowing like water.

        Btw, the helicopter ride over Mauna Loa cost about $200/person and was definitely worth it. It was the high point of our vacation. If you are on the Big Island, you should go.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          What you're seeing on the news is likely a previous eruption of another volcano, since the present events do not (yet) produce any striking images - it's all under the ice. What will happen with BÃrÃarbunga (if anything) is uncertain since it's a very large system with potential for eruptions both under the glacier and outside the glacier. Right now it looks like it will stay subglacial, which means much of the ash would be contained by the ice - so no shutdown of all flights in Europe in that cas

          • by Rei ( 128717 )

            You can't say with any confidence at all right now what kind of eruption it's going to be in the long term nor what its effects will be. It's pretty much standard for Icelandic volcanoes (excepting Hekla and a few others) to start off with small lava eruptions, and it's pretty much a requirement of a subglacial eruption to begin suchly. These are chains of interconnected volcanoes, to the point where it's even hard to define what's one volcano and what's the next (it's rifts of permanent weakness from the p

      • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @09:21PM (#47739735) Homepage

        It means Bárður's Bulge“.

        Eyjafjallajökull means "Glacier of the Mountains of the Islands" (Eyja = Of islands; fjalla = of mountains; jökull = glacier). ("The Islands" = Vestmannaeyjar, a small island chain close off Iceland's southern shore; Eyjafjall and his big sister Katla form a mountain range near Vestmannaeyjar.)

    • by dackroyd ( 468778 ) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @02:50PM (#47737545) Homepage

      "The eruption is closer to #Dyngjujokull than #Bardarbunga so we may need to retrain journalists in pronunciation"

      Good luck with that.

      https://twitter.com/gislio/sta... [twitter.com]

    • by Anonymous Coward

      At least this time we can pronounce the damn thing.

      Except that that "d" is supposed to be an eth ("ð").

  • skateboard slang....
  • Why is it that when a thing like this happens (supposedly), we're directed to the misguided BBC, and to cowardous CNN?
    Doesn't Iceland have some kind of geologic society or meteorlogic society that issues reports based on adequate, current, hot-off-the-volcano scientific data?

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Saturday August 23, 2014 @04:06PM (#47737913) Journal

    I don't know if any of you are fans of the magnificent cartoon "Metalocalypse", but if you are, it occurs to me that an active volcano named, "Bardarbunga" on the Dyngjujokull glacier in Iceland is exactly the kind of place Dethklok would hold one of their massive concerts where everything goes wrong and there's a total catastrophe with thousands of casualities.

    Seriously, the first thing I thought of when I read the summary was Dethklock being lowered onto the stage by four armor-laden quadracopters being flown by their henchment and one of William Murderface's bass notes triggering the volcano, causing lava to burst forth over the audience. That show is friggin' hilarious.

    http://youtu.be/y9KsdNtj_58 [youtu.be]

    • by Rei ( 128717 )

      You know, that really is the sort of thing people would do here ;) When Dethklok - sorry, Skálmöld ;) - took the stage at Menningarnótt this evening (with about a quarter of the country in attendance - who doesn't like metal? there's even been multiple Skálmöld Day“s at elementary schools where little kids come in their best metal gear and listen/ sing along to their music, and no, I'm not kidding ;) )... anyway, when they took the stage, the concert started off with a news

      • Skálmöld

        Thank you for turning me on to my new favorite band in all the world.

        I don't usually listen to metal, but I do when I'm playing video games. But then, it's essential. How can you go wrong with a band that refers to itself as "Viking Folk-Metal"?

        but that volcano is extinct

        Sure, that's what they all say. Like a guy telling a girl he's met, "I've had a vasectomy".

  • Once again Iceland precipitates a Sci-Fi Channel Disaster Event!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    If this is melting and heating the glacier, there is a great chance of a huge explosion once the steam pressure hits critical mass. Expect an explosion of Mount St. Helen's magnitude.

Today is a good day for information-gathering. Read someone else's mail file.