Earthquake swarm raises concerns for big eruption in Iceland
If you've watched game of thrones than you probably of a sense of what Iceland looks like s an incredible place so you've got mountains scarfs and rolling landscapes and every once in a while you've got a little bit of grass or Moss on top of. Thanks thanks very. Game of thrones right so a lot of game of thrones was film there forbidding desolate and gorgeous all at the same time It's barren it's black. It's volcanic I mean. This entire island has been built up by volcanic eruptions year after year for the last last twenty to twenty five million years so the whole landscape everything you're looking at what has been built by black rock that came out from the heart of the earth Iceland sits in the North Atlantic right on top of the fault line on the ocean floor that divide the North American and Eurasian plates and as the two plates drift opposite directions. Iceland is in effect slowly being split apart making the country a geothermal hot spot where earthquakes and volcanoes are just just a fact of life. So icelanders were really used to volcanoes going off on average. There's an eruption on the island at once. Every five years you grew walk with his and I by eight fifteen had seen three volcanic eruptions. This volcanologist Thor Thordarson I. I didn't even know that that profession existed when us all these options. Now it might sound alarming depth. Aquino's are going off so frequent but both of these eruptions aren't too big or destructive no absolutely most ruptures and actually fairly small and sort of what we call tourist friendly All this volcanic activity has earned Iceland. The nickname the land of fire and ice thought has spent the last thirty six years studying one volcano. Oh Qena Lock. It's taught in elementary school history classes as greatest disaster that Icelanders face but but it turns out there wasn't much actual scientific research on lot so door had a lot of work to do. And you can map these things out. You can look at the architecture. Architecture of these like the love of flow he collected ash and lava samples analyzed their chemical makeup reconstructed the route of the lava flow. And how far the Asheville. So it's a bit of a detective work and he began his investigation at ground. Zero the site of the eruption that typical volcano you might have in mind is probably a towering cone shaped mountain with a big bowl full of bubbling lava in the middle long steep slopes on either side losing with flowing molten rock. Imagine like you're baking soda and Vinegar Volcano in like middle school or whatever but Lachie doesn't look like like that absolutely not lackey doesn't look anything like that. If you climb Mount Lucky like we did you look in both directions you see these. ooh volcanic vents going off to the horizon. Both directions lucky is really just a twenty-seven kilometer-long crack Damn mm-hmm a sixteen mile cracking. The ground might not seem that imposing. But don't let that fool you into thinking it's less powerful. Some ways might contain more more coat see the reason for cone shape. All KAYLA's is because you have magma coming up through one conduct over and over the lucky on the other hand does it have just one conduit one release point for the lava and ash it. It has many over the twenty seven kilometers. We have about one hundred and forty five combs which line the longest crack all those offense run deep into the earth connecting to a chamber of Magma Molten rock that like a pressure cooker is waiting to blow. This this is the hidden life force of Laki which couldn't stay hidden forever.