A new report has said that a massive underground chain reaction triggered the 2010 eruptions of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano.
In the spring of 2010, the volcano began a 10-week series of outbursts, each of which spewed huge amounts of volcanic ash into the atmosphere, causing major disruptions to global air travel.
Experts say that the situation was caused by several ‘microearthquakes’, with the first rattling a magma chamber situated about 5kms below the surface of Eyjafjallajökull. The event then triggered a series of similar tremors, affecting further chambers at depths of 11kms, 19kms and finally at 24kms, provoking subsequent eruptions in the following weeks.
Eyjafjallajökull had been dormant for almost 200 years prior to the event.
Researchers came to the conclusion after analysing satellite images and samples of matter spewed from the volcano during the different eruptions. The results revealed numerous materials with specific geological makeup and a distinct age, according to the report.
Geophysicist Jon Tarasewicz, a researcher from the UK’s University of Cambridge, told the media, “Our Icelandic colleagues were quick to add more seismometers to the network close to the volcano when it became obvious from satellite imaging that the volcano was inflating, so the data were much better because of that,” MSNBC reports.