Center of the Iceland hotspot experiences volcanic unrest



A volcanic eruption beneath the Vatnajökull ice cap in central Iceland (Figure 1) began on September 30,1996, along a 7-km-long fissure between the volcanoes Bárdarbunga and Grímsvötn. The eruption continued for 13 days and produced ˜0.5 km3 of basaltic andesite. Meltwater from the eruption site flowed into the caldera lake of the Grímsvötn volcano, where it accumulated beneath a floating ice shelf. The lake's ice dam was lifted off the glacier bed on November 4, and in the next two days more than 3 km3 of water drained out beneath the glacier and flushed down to the south coast's alluvial plain, causing extensive flooding and damage to transportation and communication systems.