Subglacial eruption

Subglacial eruptions, those of ice-covered volcanoes, result in the interaction of magma with ice and snow, leading to meltwater formation, jökulhlaups, and lahars. Flooding associated with meltwater is a significant hazard in some volcanic areas, including Iceland, Alaska, and parts of the Andes. Jökulhlaups (glacial outburst floods) have been identified as the most frequently occurring volcanic hazard in Iceland,[1] with major events where peak discharges of meltwater can reach 10,000 – 100,000 m3/s occurring when there are large eruptions beneath glaciers.

Subglacial eruption: 1 water vapor cloud, 2 lake, 3 ice, 4 layers of lava and ash, 5 strata, 6 pillow lava, 7 magma conduit, 8 magma chamber, 9 dike
Subglacial eruptions at Copahue (Chile/Argentina)
Explosive subglacial eruptions of Calbuco, Chile, in 2015
Subglacial eruption of Katla, Iceland, in 1918
Explosive subglacial eruption of Mount Redoubt, Alaska
Explosive subglacial eruption at Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland, in 2010
Subglacial eruption with an effusive component at Veniaminof (lava flows)
Subglacial lava dome extrusion at Mount Redoubt, Alaska
Lava domes at Mount St. Helens and a "runaway glacier"

It is important to explore volcano-ice interactions to improve the effectiveness of monitoring these events and to undertake hazard assessments. This is particularly relevant given that subglacial eruptions have demonstrated their ability to cause widespread impact, with the ash cloud associated with Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2010 resulting in significant impacts to aviation across Europe.


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