Visualisation of historic earthquakes in Iceland
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Iceland is subject to variety of geological phenomena due to the intense plate-boundary processes, driven by tectonics and magmatism from the mantle below. Such volcanism can have serious social and economic costs: the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull alone caused a near-complete closure of European air-space from 15-21 April and an estimated revenue loss to the airline industry of $1.7 billion (Bolić and Sivčev, 2011). Researchers try to mitigate the hazard by forecasting the eruption time, using the historic pattern of earthquakes and related phenomena such as strain and geochemical signals immediately prior to past eruptions. Visualising the earthquake data helps the interpretation of the pattern of events, and is a significant improvement on the inspection of raw numeric tables. This project aims to develop an interactive web application which visualises the earthquake population effectively. Its aim is to aid the analysis of the spatial temporal relationship between volcanic eruption and earthquakes in Iceland, including the functions of spatial query, graph generation and statistics to aid further study. In one case study, the web application developed here clearly demonstrates the possibility of identifying an abnormal earthquake pattern prior to the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2010. Feedback was obtained from potential end-users, and is mostly positive, with some limitations arising from the ‘up-side down’ visualisation associated with the specific use of Google tools in developing the webpage. Further development of the application is expected with more complicated functions for detailed analysis.