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Iceland's scientists seek signs of eruption as earthquakes surge around glacier-capped volcano

Iceland Volcano-1.jpg

FILE This is a Saturday May 8 2010 file image taken from video of a column of ash rising from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokul volcano. It was reported Tueday Aug. 19, 2014 that thousands of small intense earthquakes are rocking Iceland amid concerns that one of the country‚Äôs volcanoes may be close to erupting. Iceland has raised its aviation alert level for the risk of a possible volcanic eruption to orange _ the second-most severe level. The alert is worrisome because of the chaos that followed the April 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajokul, when more than 100,000 flights were cancelled because volcanic ash floating in the atmosphere is considered an aviation safety hazard. (AP Photo/ APTN) ** (The Associated Press)

Iceland's Meteorological Office is reporting a surge in seismic activity at the restless Bardarbunga volcano, but sees no evidence yet of any eruptions.

Thousands of small earthquakes have rattled the volcano deep beneath the Vatnajokull glacier over the past week. Activity increased Saturday following a lull.

Met Office vulcanologist Melissa Pfeffer says scientists will fly over the glacier Saturday to look for changes on the surface.

Iceland is keeping its aviation alert at "orange," the second-highest level, amid what the Met calls "heightened levels of unrest."

A 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajokul volcano caused international aviation chaos, with more than 100,000 flights cancelled.

Aviation regulators since have reformed policies about flying through ash, so a new eruption would be unlikely to cause that much disruption.