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Seismic Investigation of Glacial and Magmatic Activity at Vatnajökull icecap, Iceland with implications for natural hazard monitoring in glacio-volcanic regions


Active ice-covered volcanoes present considerable danger to society due to their explosive, ash-rich nature and the potential to generate destructive glacial outburst floods. However, the ability to monitor their activity is complicated by the difficulty in discriminating volcanic and glacial earthquakes as they can appear identical in the seismic record. My recent work in Chile and Alaska has demonstrated how newly developed waveform correlation approaches could help distinguish between glacial and volcanic seismicity. The multi-disciplinary SIGMA project will apply these methods to an exceptional seismic dataset in Iceland while developing a new automatic classification software. The work plan includes creating a new micro-seismic catalogue in which events will be characterised as glacial or volcanic using statistical analysis tools. Furthermore, glacial events will be used to calculate subglacial hydraulic properties, an important requirement for modelling future glacier behaviour. The 3 targets areas across the Vatnajökull ice cap include some of the most active volcanic and glacial regions in Iceland. Under the supervision of Dr Magnússon and Prof. Aðalgeirsdóttir at the University of Iceland, and Dr Jónsdottír during a secondment at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, I will receive exceptional training in research and transferable skills that will allow me to fulfill my future career goal of becoming a leader in geophysical monitoring of volcanoes and other natural hazards. Being based at the University of Iceland will mean joining a world-leading research institute in geosciences with opportunities to develop internal and international multidisciplinary collaborations. Ultimately, the project will help future activity assessments at the most active volcanoes in Iceland and in turn, reduce their risk to local populations and infrastructure, while contributing towards the long-term EU target of ensuring a more resilient society against natural hazards.

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MSCA-IF-EF-RI - RI – Reintegration panel


Saemundargotu 2
101 Reykjavik
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 184 239,36