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Thursday, August 28

The mysterious journey of Bardarbunga's magma, clearly explained by the Beeb

As millions of people around the world including air traffic controllers watch and wait and wonder, the complex secret life of volcanos goes about its business, unaware of the stir it's causing in the world of humans.
Rebecca Morelle, Science Correspondent for BBC News, has followed the reports of scientists fussing around at the Bardarbunga volcano with their many instruments, and from this somehow delivered a clear explanation of what the hell is going on.

In the updated version ("4:47 ET") of the August 27 report (Iceland volcano: New quakes raise concern over large eruption), Morelle also details the three most likely scenarios at this point about the magma's route and explains ihow each scenario would affect people, including air travelers, should it come to pass.

When we know which scenario happens?  The worst case is that we'll know when the skies above Europe are filled with ash, which as of the update doesn't look very likely.  In a few days the magma will make up its mind, is the best the scientists can figure.
The report is a joy to read for its clarity.  And educational too.  And yes, there is a graphic depicting the magma's journey, if you like studying bunches of meandering dots and little triangles pointing this way and that.

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