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Volcanic eruption at Fagradalsfjall near Reykjavik, Iceland

 

A volcano erupted on Friday, March 19, about 40 kilometers from the Icelandic capital Reykjavik.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) announced, causing a lava flow and reddening the cloud layer.

According to video footage shot by a coast guard helicopter.

A lava stream flowed from a crack in the ground at Geldingadalur, near Mount Fagradalsfjall.

"The eruption started on Friday at about 20:45 GMT, at Fagradalsfjall in Geldingadalur. The eruption is considered small.


Volcanic eruption Iceland

Given that the fissure is about 500-700 meters long.

Speaking on the size, the lava is less than a square kilometer," was launched on Twitter IMO, which monitors seismic activity.

The Krysuvik volcanic system is located on the Reykjanes peninsula, precisely south of Mount Fagradalsfjal.


Largely uninhabited area

Police and coastguards were dispatched to the area, but the population was advised to stay away from the area.

The international airport of Keflavik (Iceland) and the small fishing port of Grindavik are a few kilometers away.

But the area is uninhabited, and hence the eruption is not expected to be dangerous.

The most recent eruption occurred at Holuhraun, from August 2014 to February 2015.


In the Bardarbunga volcanic system, an uninhabited area in the center of the island.

However, in 2010, the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano sent huge clouds of ash and smoke into the atmosphere.

Disrupting air traffic for more than a 7 days: over than 100,000 flights worldwide had been cancelled and some 10 million passengers, stranded.


16,000 tremors this week

Police have advised residents, who live east of the volcano… to close their windows and stay indoors due to the risk of gas pollution.

Especially sulfur dioxide, can be high in the immediate vicinity of an eruption and can be a health hazard and even deadly.

At a distance, the pollution can exceed acceptable limits depending on the winds.


For over a year, earthquakes have multiplied in this area, a paradise for vulcanologists.

More than 16 000 tremors, more or less important, have been counted this last week.

Normally, "only" 1,000 are detected by seismographs.


Gas emissions may occur

The Krysuvik volcanic system, the system which has no main crater, is located south of Mount Fagradalsfjall.

On the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwest Iceland.

The eruption site is nearly of 5 km inland.

The police and the coast guard have been dispatched to the site but the population has been advised to stay away from the area.

The small fishing port of Grindavik and the Icelandic international airport of Keflavik are only a few kilometers away.

However, the area is uninhabited, so the eruption is not expected to be dangerous.

Authorities have not reported any immediate ash fall, but fragments of tephra (solidified magma) and gas emissions could occur.

The police advised the inhabitants living east of the volcano to stay inside and close their windows because of the risks of gas pollution.


Eruptions between 1210 and 1240

One of the unknowns now concerns the duration of the episode and if it opens a new long period of activity in the area.

The volcanic system of Krysuvik had remained inactive for 900 years, according to the meteorological institute.

While the last eruption in the Reykjanes peninsula as a whole was nearly 800 years ago.


This episode was spaced intermittently over a period of 30 years, precisely around the years 1210 to 1240.

After signs of revival over the past year, the region had been under increased scrutiny for several weeks.

After the magnitude 5.7 earth-quake, this was recorded on February 24, on the outskirts of Reykjavik, near Mount Keilir.

 

That quake has since been followed by an unusual number of smaller tremors - more than 50,000.

The highest number since digital records began in 1991.

Magma was detected nearly a kilometer below the surface, suggesting that an eruption was near.

Located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates part.

Iceland is the largest and most active volcanic region in Europe, with 32 volcanoes or volcanic systems considered active.


The country averages one eruption every five years, with the most recent eruption occurring between August 2014 and February 2015.

In an uninhabited area in the center of the country, located in the Bardarbunga volcanic system.

But the most famous of the modern era is that of Eyjafjallajökull in 2010.

In the south of the island. Its huge plume of smoke had caused the largest air disruption in peacetime.;

Paralyzing the European sky for nearly a month.

A scenario excluded this time with this small eruption of lava called "effusive".

Unlike explosive eruptions that spit clouds of ash high into the sky.

 

Why is Iceland volcanic?

 

The reason for the volcanic activity is that Iceland is located on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

The two tectonic plates are diverging, which means that they are constantly moving and moving away from each other.

Because of this, magma rises to fill the space between them and thus create volcanoes.

To see these two tectonic plates, the best places to go are Thingvellir, the Reykjanes peninsula and the Myvatn lake area.

 At these places you will clearly see the two continents.


How often do volcanoes erupt?

Like the weather, volcanic eruptions in Iceland are unpredictable but fairly regular.

The volcanic eruption occurs every four to five years, on average.

Since the 19th century, not a decade has gone by without one. The most recent were the Holuhraun volcano, located in the Highlands (2014).


Some volcanoes in Iceland


  • North of Iceland

Hverfjall

A volcano located near lake Myvatn in the north of the country, and is a must see when you go there!

It is between 2500 and 3000 years old and was born from a single eruption (it has never erupted since).

This volcano is located in a very beautiful area, very close to the Grotjaga cave and the natural baths of Mývatn.

To realize how incredible it is, you just have to climb on the rim and walk around to enjoy the crater and its surroundings.

Krafla

Located near Hverfjall, close to lake Myvatn, this place is a must!

This volcano last erupted in 1984 and it does not seem likely to do so again (at least in the near future).

This eruption changed the shape of the volcano but also has another consequence... on the Grotjaga cave!

Before the eruption, people used to enjoy swimming in this cave.

But now, because of the eruption, the temperature of the water varies a lot. So unfortunately, it is now forbidden to swim there...


  • South of Iceland

Öræfajökull

This volcano is located in the south of the country; Öræfajökull will amaze you by its size and beauty!

Öræfajökull is covered with ice and is the largest and highest active volcano in Iceland.

It has only erupted twice since the first Vikings arrived in Iceland.

Despite this, it is watched very closely as it is likely to erupt in the near future.

Laki

A volcanic fissure that last erupted in 1783, Laki eruption caused a drop in global temperatures because of a massive release of gas.

The toxic ash cloud had a great impact on the climate and killed much of the life of Iceland and Europe.

This eruption lasted for several months, killing 25% of the Icelandic population.

Since then, the volcano has been quiet, so you should visit it! The area is actually quite beautiful now and magical to explore.


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