Washington, July 4 (ANI): A new study has determined that glaciers are the reason behind seismic activity and earthquakes in Iceland.
The study was carried out by Kristin Jonsdottir, Roland Roberts, Veijo Pohjola, Bjorn Lund, Zaher Hossein Shomali, Ari Tryggvason, and Reynir Boovarsson from the Department of Earth Science, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
In volcanic regions, repeating long-period (lp) earthquakes occur often and are sometimes thought to signal an imminent eruption.
Recently, however, some of these earthquake events have been found to be associated with ice movement rather than with volcanic activity.
To accurately assess volcanic hazards, scientists need to correctly identify the source of earthquake activity.
For their study, Jonsdottir and his colleagues analyzed climatic and seismic data from Katla volcano, Iceland.
Their study, covering more than 13,000 lp events since 2000, indicates that earthquake activity was seasonal and clearly correlated with climatic changes associated with increased ice movement.
They also note that the seismic activity has been continuous for years, with no sign of volcanic eruption.
They conclude that the lp events recorded in the region were caused by glacial movements, not volcanic activity, as previously thought.
Although the results are specific to the Katla volcano region, the researchers suggest that global warming could lead to increasing glacier-induced earthquake activity at other glacier-covered volcanoes. (ANI)