OK, I was looking at that quake map and noticed the “string of pearls” on the Mid Atlantic Ridge where we have 4 quakes. Got me wondering: Do quakes on the ridge mean Iceland gets some more action?
That lead to this article:
which finds just such a cycle…
Volcanologists say the fireworks exploding from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano on Iceland, which is responsible for the ash cloud that is grounding all commercial flights across northern Europe, may become a familiar sight. Increased rumblings under Iceland over the past decade suggest that the area is entering a more active phase, with more eruptions and the potential for some very large bangs.
“Volcanic activity on Iceland appears to follow a periodicity of around 50 to 80 years. The increase in activity over the past 10 years suggests we might be entering a more active phase with more eruptions,” says Thorvaldur Thordarson, an expert on Icelandic volcanoes at the University of Edinburgh, UK. By contrast, the latter half of the 20th century was unusually quiet.
Along with increased volcanism, more seismic activity has been recorded around Iceland, including the magnitude-6.1 quake that rocked Reykjavik in May 2008.
Hmmm… That’s not encouraging… Maybe it’s time to invest in passenger ships out of England and Ireland to the mainland.
In 1998 Gudrún Larsen from the University of Iceland in Reykjavik and colleagues used 800 years’ worth of data from lava layers, ice cores and historical records to show that Iceland’s volcanism goes through cycles of high and low activity. The peaks of these cycles seem to be strongly linked to bursts of earthquakes, which release the build-up of strain on tectonic faults near Iceland caused by the rifting of the Atlantic Ocean.
So we’ve got Iceland linked to the rifting strain. A long period of low activity, that’s now shifted to more active, and a historical pattern of that period spanning the (roughly) 60 year cycle… rather like the PDO / Pacific cycle. Well, looks to me like folks in the EU ought to start watching the activity on the Mid Atlantic Ridge a mite closer.
Wonder if that timing might also match the timing that was predicted by the Russians for the deepest part of the predicted cooling. About 2040, IIRC.
As well as becoming more frequent, eruptions seem to get more intense during the high-activity phases. A number of Iceland’s most devastating eruptions – including that of the volcano Laki in 1783 that killed over half of Iceland’s livestock and led to a famine that wiped out about a quarter of its human population – have occurred when the Atlantic rift system has been active. “If we are entering a more active phase, these bigger eruptions will become more likely,” says Thordarson.
Judging by recent volcanic and earthquake activity, Thordarson and his colleagues believe that Iceland is entering its next active phase and estimate it will last for 60 years or so, peaking between 2030 and 2040.
That’s gonna leave a mark…
We seem to have a constellation of things coming together and pointing to the same mechanisms, the same timings, and the same outcomes. A cold dismal 2020-2040 with increased volcanism as well. Along with probable loss of crops and disruption of travel systems.
Probably not a good time to be buying insurance company stock… or airlines.
There are times when it’s really annoying to have clue about what’s coming.
Iceland Seismicity Map
Unfortunately, I’ve not figured out how to get a live map html from their site, so you have to click the link to see what’s up now.