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Department of Earth Sciences


Volcanic activity has started up again on Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula -- less than a year after lava stopped spewing from what was thought to be a relatively quiet corner of the island. A group of volcano seismologists from our Department are heading out to Iceland this weekend, beginning three weeks of fieldwork spread across the country.

Tom Winder, research associate with the Cambridge Volcano Seismology Group, explains the team’s upcoming fieldwork plans:

“First we will spend a week servicing stations around the Fagradalsfjall fissure eruption, which resumed in spectacular style yesterday.

This will be followed by 5 days in the remote interior of Iceland - the Icelandic Highlands - first servicing stations around the Vatnajökull ice-cap, beneath which lie Bárðarbunga and Grímsvötn volcanoes (the latter of which was elevated to yellow aviation colour code a couple of days ago!), before servicing and installing new stations in and around the caldera of Askja volcano, which has inflated by more than 35 cm over the past 12 months - another one currently on the warning list!

Finally, a small team will then spend 3 days on the Icelandic coastguard vessel, retrieving instruments deployed on the ocean floor along the Reykjanes Ridge last summer.”

The Volcano Seismology group have a network of seismometers across Iceland, in collaboration with the Iceland Geosurvey, the Icelandic Meteorological Office, the Czech Academy of Sciences, and Universität Potsdam. The team are also working with petrologists including Cambridge’s John Maclennan to understand magmatic conditions.

Read more about the ongoing eruption in this summary.