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Bardarbunga volcano: Is a major eruption on the way?

Iceland's meteorological agency has said that seismic activity around the Bardarbunga volcano seems to have subsided. But lava continues to produce a large plume of steam and gas.

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    In this aerial view, fountains of lava, up to 60 meters high, spurt from a fissure in the ground on the north side of the Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland, Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014. The alert warning for the area surrounding Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano remained at orange on Tuesday, indicating that it is showing increased unrest with greater potential for an explosive eruption.
    Stefano Di Nicolo/AP
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Experts say the seismic activity near the Bardarbunga volcano on Iceland is calming down while tall fountains of fire and lava continue to lick the air along a volcanic fissure, producing a huge plume of steam and gas.

A massive white cloud some 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles) tall was rising above the fissure eruption in the Holuhraun lava field north of the Dyngjujoekull glacier on Tuesday. No ash fall has been detected.

Iceland's meteorological agency said the lava eruption appears to be less active. It said the number of earthquakes in the area fell to 300 on Tuesday, compared to 500 the previous day.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office had previously set Bardarbunga volcanic system at red, the highest aviation warning level, indicating that a significant emission of ash was likely. But the weather agency has since reduced the warning to an orange level.

Thousands of small earthquakes have rocked the region in recent days, leading to concerns that Bardarbunga, which lies under a vast glacier, could erupt.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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