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TitleThe collapse of Bárðarbunga caldera, Iceland
AuthorRiel, B; Milillo, P; Simons, M; Lundgren, P; Kanamori, H; Samsonov, S
SourceGeophysical Journal International vol. 202, issue 1, 2015 p. 446-453, (Open Access)
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20150214
PublisherOxford University Press (OUP)
Mediapaper; digital; on-line
File formatpdf
AreaBárðarbunga caldera; Iceland
Lat/Long WENS -21.9167 -18.7500 65.5833 64.7500
Subjectsgeophysics; remote sensing; geodesy; satellite geodesy; volcanoes; volcanology; magmatism; Bárðarbunga caldera
Illustrationsmodels; satellite images; location maps
Released2015 05 08
AbstractLying below Vatnaj¨okull ice cap in Iceland, Bararbunga stratovolcano began experiencing wholesale caldera collapse in 2014 August 16, one of the largest such events recorded in the modern instrumental era. Simultaneous with this collapse is the initiation of a plate boundary rifting episode north of the caldera. Observations using the international constellation of radar satellites indicate rapid 50 cm d-1 subsidence of the glacier surface overlying the collapsing caldera and metre-scale crustal deformation in the active rift zone. Anomalous earthquakes around the rim of the caldera with highly nondouble-couple focal mechanisms provide a mechanical link to the dynamics of the collapsing magma chamber. A model of the collapse consistent with available geodetic and seismic observations suggests that the majority of the observed subsidence occurs aseismically via a deflating sill-like magma chamber.