New mass increase beneath Askja volcano, Iceland – a precursor to renewed activity?

Rymer, Hazel; Locke, Corinne; Ófeigsson, Benedikt G.; Einarsson, Páll and Sturkell, Erik (2010). New mass increase beneath Askja volcano, Iceland – a precursor to renewed activity? Terra Nova, 22(4) pp. 309–313.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3121.2010.00948.x

Abstract

Askja is an active central volcano located on the NS trending en echelon rift zone marking the mid-Atlantic plate boundary in North Iceland. Between 2007 and 2009, we observed a gravity increase at the centre of the caldera. This contrasts with net gravity decreases recorded between 1988 and 2007 interpreted previously in terms of magma drainage. The recent gravity increase is rapid, but similar in terms of lateral extent to the preceding decrease. This gravity increase corresponds to a sub-surface mass increase of 0.68×1011kg at about 3km depth. It is possible that the new gravity increases observed at Askja reflect accumulation of magma beneath the caldera and thus may herald a new phase in the activity of this volcano, which last erupted in 1961.

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