Resulting from Iceland’s location on the Mid-Atlantic ridge, a divergent tectonic plate boundary, and its location over a sizzling spot, the northern Nordic island nation has a high-concentration of energetic volcanoes.
Often called the land of fireplace and ice, the island at present has 32 energetic volcanic methods, 13 of which have seen eruptions for the reason that settlement of Iceland in AD 874. Probably the most energetic system is Grímsvötn.
Iceland is Europe’s greatest and most energetic volcanic area, residence to a 3rd of the lava that has flowed on Earth over the previous 5,000 years – for the reason that Center Ages, in keeping with Go to Iceland.
The huge North Atlantic island borders the Arctic Circle the place it straddles the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a crack on the ocean flooring separating the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. The shifting of those plates is partly answerable for Iceland’s intense volcanic exercise.
Regardless of being situated within the far north close to the arctic circle, Iceland’s volcanoes can have far-reaching penalties for the remainder of the globe. In 2010, an eruption on the Eyjafjallajokull volcano despatched big clouds of smoke and ash into the ambiance, inflicting the largest air visitors disruption in peacetime till the Covid-19 pandemic.
The disruption lasted for greater than per week with the cancellation of greater than 100,000 flights worldwide and leaving some 10 million passengers stranded.
Pictured: The Northern Lights are seen above the ash plume of a volcano in Eyjafjallajokull, Iceland, April 22, 2010
The eruption of Eldgja – which suggests ‘canyon of fireplace’ in Icelandic – is the largest basalt lava eruption the world has ever seen. A part of the identical volcanic system because the mighty Katla volcano, the Eldgja fissure is 75 kilometres lengthy, stretching to the western fringe of Vatnajokull. The eruption led to 2 giant lava fields protecting 301 sq. miles.
The eruption of the Laki volcanic fissure within the south of the island is taken into account by some consultants to be probably the most devastating in Iceland’s historical past, inflicting its greatest environmental and socio-economic disaster: 50 to 80 p.c of Iceland’s livestock was killed, resulting in a famine that left 1 / 4 of Iceland’s inhabitants lifeless.
The amount of lava, practically 15 cubic kilometres (3.6 cubic miles), is the second-biggest recorded on Earth up to now millennium.
The meteorological influence of Laki’s eruptions had repercussions for a number of years within the Northern Hemisphere, inflicting a drop in world temperatures and crop failures in Europe as hundreds of thousands of tonnes of sulphur dioxide had been launched.
Some consultants have urged that the results of the eruption might have performed a component in triggering the French Revolution, although the problem remains to be a matter of debate.
The volcano’s 130 still-smoking craters had been positioned on UNESCO’s World Heritage record in 2019, together with all the Vatnajokull nationwide park to which it belongs.
Pictured: Laki Volcanic cones left behind after its eruption in 1783. The amount of lava, practically 15 cubic kilometres (3.6 cubic miles), is the second-biggest recorded on Earth up to now millennium
Just about unknown on the time, Askja, Iceland’s second-biggest volcano system, erupted in three distinct phases. Two of the three ash clouds rose greater than 20 kilometres (12 miles) into the sky.
The poisonous fallout throughout Iceland, which in some locations reached a thickness of 20 centimetres (eight inches), killed livestock, contaminated the soil and sparked a wave of emigration to North America.
Remoted in a plateau and much from civilisation, Askja is at this time a preferred vacationer attraction and its lava fields had been used to coach astronauts for the 1965 and 1967 Apollo missions.
Thought-about one in every of Iceland’s most harmful volcanoes, Katla’s final eruption added 5 kilometres of land mass to the nation’s southern coast.
Situated beneath the Myrdalsjokull glacier, when Katla erupts it ejects giant portions of tephra, or solidified magma rock fragments that are disseminated within the air and carried by the highly effective glacier flooding brought on by melting ice.
Averaging two eruptions per century, Katla has not erupted violently for greater than 100 years and consultants say it’s overdue.
Satellite tv for pc picture of Katla Volcano located in Iceland. Picture taken 20 September 2014. Thought-about one in every of Iceland’s most harmful volcanoes, Katla’s final eruption added 5 kilometres of land mass to the nation’s southern coast
In some of the dramatic eruptions within the nation’s latest historical past, the island of Heimaey within the Westman Islands awoke one January morning to an eruption in a fissure simply 150 metres (yards) from the city centre.
The eruption of the Eldfell volcano occurred not solely in a populated space – one of many nation’s then most necessary fishing zones – however it additionally stunned locals at daybreak. A 3rd of properties within the space had been destroyed and the 5,300 residents had been evacuated. One particular person died.
In April 2010, monumental plumes of ash billowed into the sky for a number of weeks through the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, inflicting the largest air visitors disruption in peacetime till the Covid-19 pandemic.
Some 100,000 flights had been cancelled, leaving greater than 10 million travellers stranded.
Pictured: Horse graze as a cloud of volcanic matter rises from the erupting Eyjafjallajokull volcano, April 16, 2010 in Fimmvorduhals, Iceland. A significant eruption occurred on April 14, 2010 which resulted in a plume of volcanic ash being thrown into the ambiance over components of Northen Europe, disrupting air journey. Some 100,000 flights had been cancelled, leaving greater than 10 million travellers stranded
The Grimsvotn volcano, additionally situated beneath the Vatnajokull glacier, is Iceland’s most energetic volcano. Its newest eruption was in Might 2011, its ninth since 1902.
Over one week, it spouted a cloud of ash 25 kilometres (15 miles) into the sky, inflicting the cancellation of greater than 900 flights, primarily within the UK, Scandinavia and Germany.
2014 – 2015
The awakening of Bardarbunga, a volcano situated beneath the Vatnajokull glacier – Europe’s largest ice cap – within the coronary heart of southern Iceland’s uninhabited highlands, was the newest eruption earlier than Friday’s.
The volcano erupted for 5 months, each beneath the ice and breaching the floor in a fissure on the Holuhraun lava subject, creating Iceland’s greatest basalt lava movement in additional than 230 years however inflicting no accidents or damages.