What happens when…

…a volcano erupts beneath a 400 meter thick glacier? I am betting on the volcano for the win, but we are about to find out.

The Bárðarbunga volcano is erupting in Iceland, beneath the Dyngjujökull glacier. At this point in time, there are no visible signs on the surface, but it is hard to tell if or when the magma will melt through the ice cap, and what will happen next.

Iceland’s combination of fire and ice (as well as the unpronounceable names) is fascinating. Along with glaciers and volcanoes, Iceland has geological features found in only one other location on earth (Yellowstone). With this event we may see a huge eruption of ash and steam, and certainly flooding from the melting glacier.

For the scale of this photo, note the airplane next to the plume.