Stunning drone video of Fagradalsfjall eruption site in Iceland

"The ongoing eruption of the Icelandic Fagradalsfjall volcano in the Geldingadalir valley was one of the most magnificent sights I have ever witnessed in my life," says Joey Helms, a filmmaker who recently visited Iceland to make this amazing video.

"It is hard to put it in words, but this once-in-a-lifetime drone footage may give you an idea what it feels like to be there."

The eruption started at 20:45 UTC on March 19, 2021, after more than 50 000 earthquakes registered since February 24.

Data gathered on May 10 showed that lava flow increased significantly, from 8 to 13 m3 per sec (282 to 459 cubic feet per sec), making the eruption twice as powerful as it has been for a long time.

Simultaneously, some lava geysers started reaching unusual heights beyond 460 m (1 500 feet).

The last eruption in this area took place in 1340 (VEI 1) - 681 years ago.

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 and video courtesy Joey Helms

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