Volcano News from Iceland:
Monday, Nov 17, 2014
Winter conditions continue to make it difficult to study the fissure eruption at Holuhraun. Rare opportunities for visual observation however revealed that the Baugur crater ceased to eject tall lava fountains and transformed into an elongated, boiling lava lake. Magma seems to be welling up in this lava lake at the same effusion rate as early November. The two images accompanying this update are snapshots from a stunning video recently shot by Jon Gustafson (watch at vimeo.com/111344670)
Sunday, Nov 09, 2014
The volcanic eruption at Holuhraun gives no signs of weakening and continues to eject an impressive lava fountain from the central Baugur crater at a rate similar to the past few weeks. This record-breaking eruption started on the 31st of August 2014 and formed a more than 17 km long lava flow. Using the successive outlines of this lava flow as drawn on a radar image from the Icelandic Coast Guard, researchers from the Institute of Earth Sciences estimated that by now the lava has covered an area of 70 km². ...
Iceland and its volcanoes:Iceland has the land area of Virginia and the population of Virginia Beach (about 260,000 people). The country has the highest literacy rate (100%) of any nation in the world. Its history has always been closely related to volcanoes and knowledge of many volcanic eruptions since the middle ages are preserved in accounts.
First settled by Vikings in the 9th century AD, Iceland established its own parliament in 930 and recorded its first historical volcanic eruption only a few years later. After a golden age of literature in the 12th and 13th centuries (when the sagas were written), natural history reporting reached a low around the 15th century. In the years 1707-09 a third of the population died from smallpox, and the 1783-84 Laki eruption killed a fifth of the remaining population by famine. Iceland gained sovereignty from Denmark in 1918 and complete independence in 1944.
Iceland is noted for subglacial and regional fissure eruptions related to the rifting process between the separating plates.
(adapted from GVP/Smithsonian Institution)
Volcanoes of Iceland
Iceland, the land of ice and fire, is a true paradise for volcanologists. In few places on earth, geology and human history are so closely connected to volcanism as on Iceland. The island owns its existence to a large volcanic hot spot sitting on a mid-oceanic ridge, a unique setting. The plate boundary between the American and Eurasian tectonic plates crosses Iceland from south to North and the spreading process can be directly measured and observed on land.