New fissures open near the eruption site in Geldingadalir, Iceland

New fissures open near the eruption site in Geldingadalir, Iceland

Two new volcanic fissures opened near the eruption site in Geldingadalir, Iceland on April 5, 2021. Helicopters from the Icelandic Coast Guard were sent to the new eruption site to make sure the area is evacuated.

The fissures are in total 200 m (656 feet) long and are located approximately 700 m (2 300 feet) NE of the craters in Geldingadalir.

The lava from the fissures is non-viscous and flows fast in a narrow lava river into Meradalir valley, east of the new fissures, where a new lava field is forming. 

Because of the lack of ash and tephra emission in the atmosphere, the aviation color code for Keflavik airport remains Orange as there is no imminent hazard for aviation.

Images courtesy Icelandic Met Office

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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

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