A Volcanic Eruption Has Begun In Iceland

It’s been 800 years since the last eruption on the Reykjanes Peninsula in SW Iceland. The latest updates are below.

Lava is flowing a lot more now | Source: https://www.ruv.is

The eruption has begun at Fagradalsfjall this evening (8.45pm, 19th March) and has erupted in the middle of the magma chamber as shown on the map below. The fissure is 700m long and is sending the lava 100m into the air. The lava fountains are small and it is away from any populated areas.

This article will be updated with the latest from the volcano each day until it dies down. Scroll down for the individual days.

You can view the eruption here on RUV, Iceland's local broadcaster.

Lava flows down the mountain | Source: https://twitter.com/Vedurstofan

A tweet from the Iceland Meteorological Society shows the current state of the lava flows an hour ago. The photo was taken by the coast guard.

The smell of sulphur is in the air and is expected to reach the capital by Sunday evening.

The eruption is not thought to be significant except that this is the first volcanic activity in 800 years! This could be the beginning of a long phase of eruptions in the area.

There are now two flows one going south towards Nátthaga and Nátthagakrika. The other stream is bigger and heading towards Geldingadalur.

Some more photographs from the Coast Guard Helicopter, where you can see the volcanic fountains. They aren't that big but producing a glow on the horizon for miles around.

Lava flows | Source: https://www.ruv.is/
Fountains of lava | Source: https://www.ruv.is/

Update 20th March 2021

If you haven't seen the live webcam you are missing out. The camera was moved to a better location this morning, its the best thing besides being there. Well for me anyway, I would have loved to take photos of the eruption.

You are watching the earth growing before you, the molten rock has been spewing out of the ground since 8.45pm (19th). The activity is less than it was last night and the scientists have been able to get out to the eruption. They have been taking samples from the lava flows, especially from the oldest one. This will show the state of the lava chamber deep beneath the ground.

The Science Council will meet at 4pm to discuss the findings and they will have a press conference after.

volcanic activity has decreased since last night. The magma jet activity is lower than in the beginning and the eruption flow is reduced. It has now been revealed that the eruption fissure was never longer than almost 200 meters and has already partially closed. Geophysicist Freysteinn Sigmundsson

It was thought that there would be lots more dangerous sulphur from the eruption that might have headed to the major towns. But this has been reduced because of the rain and snow that has been falling today.

Helicopters land the scientists | Source: https://www.ruv.is/

The eruption is in a location called Geldingadalir a valley in Fagradalsfjall. It is in the middle of nowhere away from where anyone lives. You can see the exact location below (63.89102, -22.27520)

SW tip of the Peninsular | Source: Google Maps
10.30am 20th March 2021 | Source: https://www.ruv.is/
12pm 20th March 2021 | Source: https://www.ruv.is/
16pm 20th March 2021 | Source: https://www.ruv.is/
1am 21st March 2021 | Source: https://www.ruv.is/

Update 21st March 2021

The volcanic activity carried on through the night and it has nearly doubled in size. The sounds from the mountain were amazing as lava spewed out of the biggest vent. There are three significant ones and you can see from the video below from a journalist who got up close to it how impressive it is. It doesn't seem that dangerous, like he said in his commentary “it's a tourist volcano”. Check out the YouTube video below.

It's amazing the webcam coverage, I have been watching it for hours, mesmerizing watching geology in action. Grab a glass of wine and catch the live footage here. Send it to your TV if you have a smart one, sound has been added so you can hear the lava erupting.

Here is a timelapse of the spread of the lava yesterday.

Timelapse of how quickly the lava flowed yesterday | Source: https://youtu.be/HBGXWMiAW4U

This article will be updated with more information when it is available.

Run a Digital Design Agency for the last 25 years / 15 years professional photographer. Write about Weather, Space, Web Design, Fashion, Music & Photography.

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