After experiencing 700 earthquakes on Tuesday, Iceland meteorologists said on Wednesday morning the country has experienced another 800 since midnight. The quakes came after researchers detected sulfur dioxide, a gas that indicates magma is near the ground surface.
Most of the earthquakes that struck early Wednesday were in the middle of a magma dyke at a depth between roughly two to three miles, the country's meteorological office said in a 6:30 a.m. ET update. They also said that there are clear indications of deformation in the area and that magma is "still flowing," although part of the dyke into which it's going "seems to be solidifying."
The office has also detected measurements of sulfur dioxide, which according to the U.S. Geological Survey is a "colorless gas with a pungent odor" that can irritate peoples' eyes, noses and throats. This gas is released when "magma is relatively near the surface," the USGS says, and if it's detected when a volcano isn't erupting, it could indicate that it will "soon."