According to a study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, climate change has caused the ice caps of Iceland to melt too rapidly over the past three decades. This in turn has caused the terrain to rise as the weight of the ice is lifted.
Specifically, a group of scientists from the University of Arizona and the University of Iceland has discovered that in areas of south and south-central Iceland, where several of the largest ice caps are located, the ground is rising at the rate of 1.4 inches annually.
The scientists recorded physical shifts in the crust of Iceland using GPS receivers. They used 62 sensors. Some of them were put in place as far back as 1995. Mathematical models demonstrate that this ascension in the earth of Iceland is attributed to rising global temperatures over the past three decades.
Bennett stated: “What we found is that the uplift in increasing. It’s faster and faster everywhere because of the accelerated loss of ice mass.”
University of Arizona geoscientist, Kathleen Compton explained: “As the glaciers melt, the pressure on the underlying rocks decreases.”
University of Arizona geologist and co-author Richard Bennett told the press: “It’s similar to putting weights on a trampoline. If you take the weights off, the trampoline will bounce right back up to its original flat shape.”
Compton reported: “Our research makes the connection between recent accelerated uplift and the accelerated melting of the Icelandic caps.” She added that the constant melting of the glaciers can also lead to future volcanic activity.
Bennett said: “High heat content at lower pressure creates an environment prone to melting these rising mantle rocks, which provides magma to the volcanic system.” This means “higher volumes of erupted material, which could have global economic impacts.”
While the specifics of the chain reaction involving volcanic activity, terrain uplift and melting ice caps are not fully understood, Bennett explained that when the ice melts, deeply buried rocks rise up as the ground rises.
He concluded: “They transport the heat like a hot potato as they move from high pressure to lower pressure and enter into conditions that promote melting.” This creates certain conditions that are conducive to volcanic activity.
Iceland Is Rising 1.4 Inches Annually As Glaciers Melt