The volcanic eruption beneath the Eyjafjallajökull glacier in March 2010 was seen before the precursor activity was noticed. This is an undoubted failure of measurement systems, and although for one such case we have a dozen in which the instruments worked faster, forecasting volcanic eruptions is still a game in which we lose to the unpredictability of the forces of nature. Fortunately, less and less. Since 1973 when a dense seismographic network started operating, a warning issued prior to 14 among 21 eruptions. That is 67 percent effective.
One of the most frequently asked questions in the context of Iceland is – next to „why is it so expensive here?” – the one about the next volcanic eruption. A question that should be rather easy to answer. After all, Iceland’s eruptions tend to be fairly regular – every four to five years – and the choice is wide. The island boasts 30 active volcanic systems, consisting of almost two hundred craters. (…)
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