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Iceland volcano spewed more toxic gas than all of Europe

Sep 242015

A recently released study from the University of Leeds indicates that the 6 month eruption from the Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland emitted three times as much toxic gas than all man-made sources in Europe.  

Iceland volcano eruption Credit: John Stevenson

According to an article in Wired UK the eruption started in August, 2014, and continued until February, 2015. At points, the volcano expelled as much as 120 kilotons of gases a day, eight times the rate of all European industry.  The article quotes Anja Schmidt, author of the study from the University of Leeds, "This was a truly spectacular eruption -- the biggest in Iceland for more than 200 years. It became clear very quickly that the eruption was producing truly staggering amounts of sulphur dioxide -- a toxic gas," .

In an sobering side note, John Stevenson, co-author of the study at the University of Edinburgh, told WIRED, "For the next two decades we'll be in the peak of Icelandic rifting period" -- a period of heightened volcanic activity that occurs every 140 years or so -- meaning "there will be a chance that there will be more eruptions like this one in the next 20 years."  

Lizard Point has a geography definitions study guide that can be useful in learning definitions of terms such as volcano, magma, caldera and lava.  Just follow this link and click on the study quiz mode.