Beerenberg seen from Sumara 2011
Walking around the Rim of Beerenberg 2011

 

 

It looks like Jan Mayen has been hit by a very large 6.6 magnitude earthquake but no damage has been reported. I wonder if that makes Beerenberg closer to errupting (although Gudrun assures me Katla in Iceland is the next to blow – and it could be soon!).

Apparently is was very big, bigger than any they had experienced before but not enough to trigger a tsunami. The previous largest quake was in 2008 at 6.2 magnitude which was regarded as Norway’s biggest quake.

Beerenberg last errupted in 1985 on the north slope but with little lava. A large erruption happened in 1970 with lava flowing for three weeks and creating 4 sq km of new land. Any new erruption is likely to be a flank erruption on the north or north east side. An erruption from the central crater would be the worst case scenario and would cause a tremendous explosion and catastrophic consequences for everyone on the island.

This recent quake was still a fair way from the island in an area that is frequently hit by quakes.

 

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