Earthquake Swarm Could Make Iceland Volcanoes Erupt



Earthquake Swarm Could Make Iceland Volcanoes Erupt

Aerial view taken on February 28, 2021 shows the lighthouse and the geothermal energy plant near the town of Grindavik on the Reykjanes peninsula, Iceland, add 50 kilometers west of the capital Reykjavik, atop the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, one of the three most seismically active areas on the planet. – In the quiet Icelandic fishing town of Grindavik, the some 3,500 residents have been alert for a potential volcanic eruption after an unusually strong earthquake at the end of February 2021. has experienced seismic tremors for about a year, commonplace in the region, but their intensity and frequency are puzzling experts and have spooked residents.

Last week, more than 20,000 earthquakes shook southern Iceland, particularly the capital Reykjavik. According to a report issued by the Iceland Meteorological Office (IMO) on March 4, the phenomenon has left geologists on alert, as all signs point to volcanic eruptions that, until then, were pending.

The marathon of earthquakes was triggered by a swarm of seismic activity, which, according to the LiveScience portal, began on February 24, shortly after a 5.7 magnitude earthquake hit the vicinity of the Reykjanes Peninsula, which is about 34 miles away. kilometers from the country’s capital.

As explained by Michigan Technological University, earthquakes in the magnitude range 5.0 to 5.9, considered moderate, can result in small damage to structures, such as buildings and houses. Fortunately, the epicenter of the earthquake occurred far enough away from the populated areas that no damage or injury was reported.

Earthquake Swarm

The vast majority of the 20,000 earthquakes that occurred after Feb. 24 were smaller in magnitude. According to the IMO, only two tremors registered magnitudes above 5.0. Still, residents of Reykjavik felt the tremor day after day. “Some woke up with an earthquake and others tried to sleep with an earthquake,” said Thorvaldur Thordarson, professor of volcanology at the University of Iceland, in an interview with The New York Times.

“While it’s disconcerting – and even though IMO has issued a warning about the increased risk of landslides on the Reykjanes Peninsula – there is nothing to worry about,” added Thordarson, as the earthquakes were not enough to derail the City.

Even though the phenomena haven’t aroused any feelings of concern, researchers are on the lookout, especially since earlier swarms of earthquakes like these were observed before volcanic eruptions in southern Iceland. “As before, the movement of magma on the border where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet was responsible for the tremors. And it is this same movement that feeds the five active volcanoes on the Reykjanes Peninsula”, revealed the IMO in a statement.


If any of Iceland’s southern volcanoes erupt in the next few weeks, the incidents could be easily manageable. According to Thordarson, “The volcanoes of southern Iceland experience pulses of activity every 800 years or so, and the last pulse occurred between the 11th and 13th centuries. Iceland is therefore in time to prepare for another cycle of eruption”, pointed out the specialist.

Like earthquakes, potential eruptions pose a small threat to Icelanders, even though it doesn’t compare to the last activity of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in 2010, which sent a column of ash more than 9 km into the sky, forced hundreds of people to evacuate their homes and disrupted European air traffic for six days.

“The eruptions that can occur in southwest Iceland are likely to result in slow lava flows. These flows are fed by softly exploding craters and cones,” revealed Lancaster University in Lancashire, England. “In Iceland they are warmly called ‘tourist eruptions’ as they are relatively safe and predictable.”

Scientists Suggest A Fish Farm On The Moon

Space fascinates people. Just like the things in it. The moon is one of the most researched celestial bodies. She has an important role for Terra. It influences tides, moves the oceans and is responsible for life in the seas. What’s more, it also makes the Earth maintain its axis, without hesitation.

This cosmic neighbor of ours is the only body in the solar system that humans have ever stepped on. That’s why it’s well known. In 1969, the United States made the first trip to the moon. The Apollo 11 mission caused Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to step onto the lunar ground along with the flag of the American nation. Between 1969 and 1972, there were five moon landings, but no more people have been sent since.

The moon is seductively far from our planet and cosmically far away. And even decades after the space race era, it’s still very expensive and difficult to get to our natural satellite. But that doesn’t stop NASA and other countries’ space agencies from planning to explore it.


Even with this satellite being so well known, there are still some unanswered questions. For example, as a team of French scientists pointed out, when the European Space Agency builds the planned Village on the Moon what will astronauts eat?

They even had an idea to answer that question. Their plan is to raise fish on the moon using live eggs that will be shipped from Earth and water harvested from the lunar surface. The fish are animals that end up attracting the attention of many people. Researchers are always discovering new species or surprising characteristics in these animals.

A priori this creation of animals on the moon, in the near future, sounds strange. But at least scientists have found that fish can survive the trip. This gives hope that astronauts can eat more appetizing meals than the prepackaged foods that are shipped from Earth.


To test this idea of ​​rearing fish on the moon, scientists at the Space Center at the University of Montpellier and the French Research Institute for the Exploration of the Sea (IFREMER) packed eggs of sea bass and real croaker. They chose these particular fish because they felt they were more resistant than others.

Then they were placed on instruments that vibrated and shook them in an attempt to recreate the Russian Soyuz rocket takeoff experience. Surprisingly, 76% of sea bass eggs and 95% of legitimate croaker eggs still hatched after this “release”.

“It was completely crazy. The environment was very difficult for these eggs,” said Cyrille Przybyla, scientist and principal researcher at Ifremer.


The benefits of this research to try to get fish to be raised on the moon are many. In addition to the clear dietary benefits, the researchers believe that raising fish on the moon could make life in the planned Vila da Lua more enjoyable. Even because, at least, at mealtime astronauts would remember home.

“From a psychological point of view, it’s better to have a memory of the Earth. And you have a garden, you have a fish pond,” Przybyla said.