Volcanic eruptions in Iceland
Icelandic volcanos regularly make top news in the global media, like the notorious Eyjafjallajökull in 2010, which stopped all air traffic over Europe for several days by spewing ash in the air, and the latest media sensation Fagradalsfjall that erupted in 2021.
As a result, many people ask; Is a volcano still erupting in Iceland? Of course, we understand the interest; there is hardly anything as fascinating as volcanos.
The easiest way to find out is to check the official and see if any of the 32 active volcanic systems in Iceland has a color code RED (a volcano is considered active if it has erupted in the past 10.000 years). If no volcano is erupting, likely, we won't have to wait too long for the next one since , and an eruption occurs every four years on average. However, the duration of eruptions is quite variable; they can last from just minutes or hours up to months or even years.
Where fire meets ice
The nature of eruptions in Iceland is diverse, from small effusive eruptions where lava flows rather quietly from fissures and crater rows to large explosive eruptions in ice-covered central volcanos that produce large ash plumes - literally where fire meets ice.
The reason for Iceland's intense volcanic activity is the country's geological position, where we have an interplay between a spreading plate boundary on the Mid-Atlantic Ocean ridge and a powerful mantle plume creating a hot spot on the surface. Together, they produce large amounts of magma, filling the gaps in the crust made by the spreading plates, resulting in frequent eruptions along the rift zone.
Below you can find links to eruptions in Iceland in the 21st Century and other volcano-related articles.
The Fagradalsfjall 2021 eruption
After being dormant for six thousand years, the Fagradalsfjall volcano gave a rumble in 2021. The eruption lasted for six months and was the longest-lasting eruption in Iceland in the 21st Century.
The 2014 Holuhraun eruption
The 2014-2015 Holuhraun eruption was the largest outbreak in Iceland for over 300 years and lasted for almost six months.
The 2011 and 2004 Grímsvötn eruptions
The ice-covered Grímsvötn is Iceland's most active volcano, erupting every 14 years on average. Once a century, it brings a large explosive eruption, like it did in 2011.
The 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruptions
The notorious volcano with the impossible name Eyjafjallajökull erupted twice in 2010 and stopped all air traffic over Europe for several days.