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Icelandic Volcano 2010 -Hot Spot Under the Island 4-16- 2010

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Icelandic Volcano and Implications
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Icelandic Volcano and Implications

  • May 4, 2011
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By Dr. Joseph S. Maresca

Smoke and steam continue to hang over the volcano under the Eyjafjallakokull glacier in Iceland causing ice to melt and local flooding. The most recent volcanic eruption in Iceland started on April 14, 2010.

The Eyjafjallajökull eruption closely followed an eruption in Fimmvörðuháls, from March 20 thru April 12.

The Icelandic volcano sent ash over 20,000 feet high. When the ash settles, citizens should remain indoors. People with lung diseases should have their inhalers and medications on hand at all times. There are flight cancellations throughout Europe.

Geologists explain that a high concentration of volcanic activity is due to a combination of Eyjafjallakokull's position  on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and a volcanic hot spot underneath the island. The island straddles the Eurasian and North American Plates. Most volcanic activity is concentrated along the plate boundary which runs across the island from the south-west to the north-east of the island. Some volcanic activity occurs offshore. This includes wholly submerged submarine volcanoes and even newly formed volcanic islands such as Surtsey.

A volcano is a rupture in the surface of the earth. The crust allows magma ashes and gases to escape. Tectonic plates can diverge or converge. There is a stretching and thinning of the earth crust. Hot spots are found on rocky planets like Mars and moons.  Water vapor is the most frequent volcanic gas followed by carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide. Volcanoes thrust huge amounts of carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide 10-20 miles or more above the earth.

The International Civil Aviation Organization monitors ash clouds since the ash thrown into the air is a hazard to air craft. Gas emissions contribute significantly to acid rain. Existing detection systems for volcanoes include seismic readings near known sites, poison gas measurements, satellite monitoring, continuous monitoring through unmanned stations, inflection points and known behavior. Volcanoes exist on other planets. For instance, Mars has extinct volcanoes like Arsia Mons, Hecates Tholus and Olympus Mons.

Tsunamis can be caused by volcanoes, earthquakes and mudslides.  Continuously erupting volcanoes develop empty magma chambers.  At some point, the roof collapses causing a crater up to 1 kilometer in diameter. Water gushes into this crater causing a tsunami.  A tsunami can be triggered by land sliding into the sea creating huge waves.  The largest tsunamis in recent times were:

11-1- 1775     LISBON TSUNAMI        60,000 deaths

12-28-1908    SICILY                         58,000 deaths

The United States Geological Survey is tracking major volcanic activity.  Some of the more important recent hot spots are:

Egon- Flores Island, Indonesia at 1703m

Etna- Sicily at 3330m

Eyjafjoll- S. Iceland at 1666m

Reventador- Ecuador at 3562m

Arenal-Costa Rica at 1670m

Batu Tara, Komba Islands-Indonesia at 7482m

Kliuchevskoi, Russia at 4875m

Popocateptl-Mexico at 5426m

Joseph S. Maresca Ph.D., CPA, CISA, MBA: His significant writings include over 10 copyrights in the name of the author (Joseph S. Maresca) and a patent in the earthquake sciences. He holds membership in the prestigious Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society and Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society.  In addition, he reviews many books for Basil & Spice. 

Looking Back:

Earthquakes Continue To Shake China Today

Earthquakes Today Rattle Baja, CA (4/2010)

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Icelandic Volcano 2010 -Hot Spot Under the Island 4-16- 2010
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