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Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 43, Issue 4

last modified Mar 22, 2016 10:34 AM

The cover of the current issue of Geophysical Research Letters, An AGU Journal, features a painting by Brandur Bjarnason Karlson showing the main eruption crater Baugur. Brandur, the son of one of the authors of the featured paper, is severely disabled and created the artwork using mouth painting techniques.

The journal features the paper Strike-slip faulting during the 2014 Bárðarbunga-Holuhraun dyke intrusion, central Iceland authored by Thorbjörg Ágústsdóttir, Jennifer Woods, Tim Greenfield, Robert G Green, Robert S White, Tom Winder, Bryndís Bransdóttir, Sveinbjörn Steinthórsson and Heidi Soosalu.

Video showing the propagation of molten rock underground, highlighted by over 30,000 small earthquakes:


Over a 13 day period magma propagated laterally from the subglacial Bárðarbunga volcano in the northern rift zone, Iceland. It created > 30,000 earthquakes at 5–7 km depth along a 48 km path before erupting on 29 August 2014. The seismicity, which tracked the dyke propagation, advanced in short bursts at 0.3–4.7 km/h separated by pauses of up to 81 h. During each surge forward, seismicity behind the dyke tip dropped. Moment tensor solutions from the leading edge show exclusively left-lateral strike-slip faulting subparallel to the advancing dyke tip, releasing accumulated strain deficit in the brittle layer of the rift zone. Behind the leading edge, both left- and right-lateral strike-slip earthquakes are observed. The lack of non-double-couple earthquakes implies that the dyke opening was aseismic.