·

Eruption starts near Fagradalsfjall on Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula

eruption-iceland-krysuvik-fagradalsfjall-reykjanes-peninsula-march-2021

A volcanic eruption started near Fagradalsfjall in Geldingadalur, Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcanic system, Iceland's Reykjanes Peninsula at 20:45 UTC on March 19, 2021, after more than 50 000 earthquakes registered since February 24. The last eruption in this area took place in 1340 (VEI 1) – 681 years ago.

  • The Aviation Color Code for the Reykjanes Peninsula has been elevated to Red, signifying an eruption in progress. 
  • Additional domestic restrictions have been put in place, including the closure of Reykjanesbraut – the main road from the capital region to Reykjanesbær and the international airport at Keflavík.
  • The public is advised to stay away from the area.

The eruption is considered small at this stage and the eruptive fissure is approximately 500 – 1000 m (1 640 – 3 280 feet) long, the Icelandic Met Office (IMO) reports.

The magma area is approximately 1 km2 (0.38 mi2) and lava fountains are still small at this stage.

The eruption was first seen on a web camera positioned close the mountain. It was also confirmed on thermal satellite imagery. 

The eruption site is in a valley, about 4.7 km (2.9 miles) inland from the southern coast of the Reykjanes Peninsula.

The coastal town of Grindavík is the closest populated region to the eruption site, located approximately 10 km (6.2 miles) to the southwest.

After more than 50 000 earthquakes detected since February 24, 2021, earthquake activity in the region of the magma intrusion has been lower in recent days, and there is presently no intense seismicity occurring in the region.

Earlier in the day, several low-frequency earthquakes were recorded below Fagradalsfjall.

There are presently no reports of ashfall, although tephra and gas emissions are to be expected.

In line with well-rehearsed contingency plans, the Aviation Color Code for the Reykjanes Peninsula has been elevated to Red, signifying an eruption in progress.

Additional domestic restrictions have been put in place, including the closure of Reykjanesbraut – the main road from the capital region to Reykjanesbær and the international airport at Keflavík.

​Image credit: IMO

Image credit: IMO

"Given the extent of the eruption as it is now, it doesn't seem to threaten a building or structures," IMO said.

"However, there is a possibility that gas pollution can cause discomfort to people. Forecasts of gas distribution from the volcanic eruption will be released in the near future. The weather forecast predicts some strong winds and rainfall that will reduce the impact of possible pollutants from the volcanoes."

Geological summary

The Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcanic system is described by the Catalogue of Icelandic Volcanoes as an approximately 50 km (31 miles) long composite fissure swarm trending about N38°E, including a 30 km (18 miles) long swarm of fissures, with no central volcano.

It is one of the volcanic systems arranged en-echelon along the Reykjanes Peninsula west of Kleifarvatn lake.

The Fagradalsfjall and Krýsuvík fissure swarms are considered splits or secondary swarms of the Krýsuvík–Trölladyngja volcanic system. 

Small shield volcanoes have produced a large portion of the erupted volume within the system.

Several eruptions have taken place since the settlement of Iceland, including the eruption of a large basaltic lava flow from the Ogmundargigar crater row around the 12th century.

The latest eruption, identified through tephrochronology, took place during the 14th century.

Featured image credit: IMO

If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.

Share:

Related articles



Your support makes a difference

Dear valued reader,

We hope that our website has been a valuable resource for you.

The reality is that it takes a lot of time, effort, and resources to maintain and grow this website. We rely on the support of readers like you to keep providing high-quality content.

If you have found our website to be helpful, please consider making a contribution to help us continue to bring you the information you need. Your support means the world to us and helps us to keep doing what we love.

Support us by choosing your support level – Silver, Gold or Platinum. Other support options include Patreon pledges and sending us a one-off payment using PayPal.

Thank you for your consideration. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Teo Blašković

$5 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$50 /year

$10 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$100 /year

$25 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$200 /year

You can also support us on Patreon

support us on patreon

or by sending us a one-off payment using PayPal:


Commenting rules and guidelines

We value the thoughts and opinions of our readers and welcome healthy discussions on our website. In order to maintain a respectful and positive community, we ask that all commenters follow these rules:

  • Treat others with kindness and respect.
  • Stay on topic and contribute to the conversation in a meaningful way.
  • Do not use abusive or hateful language.
  • Do not spam or promote unrelated products or services.
  • Do not post any personal information or content that is illegal, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate.

We reserve the right to remove any comments that violate these rules. By commenting on our website, you agree to abide by these guidelines. Thank you for helping to create a positive and welcoming environment for all.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *