Increased activity at Iceland volcano

Iceland is on high alert after seismologists detected an increase in volcanic activity at the Bardarbunga Volcano.

Volcanic eruptions may release ‘Tephra‘; tiny shards of volcanic rock which carry a geochemical ‘fingerprint’ unique to a specific eruption. Tephra are carried through the atmosphere before being deposited as fine layers in soils and sediments.

Geologists use tephra layers, combined with knowledge of the timing of the eruption that produced them, as a time marker to determine the age of soils and other materials (e.g. fossil pollen).

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Earthquakes around the world

Ever wondered where and when earthquakes occur around the world?

The Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology have produced this handy global earthquake map showing seismic activity over the last five years.

The map highlights the importance of the Ring of Fire. Shaped like a horseshoe around the Pacific Ocean, the Ring of Fire comprises a string of more than 400 volcanoes spanning some 40,000 km and is one of the most active earthquake zones in the world.