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Fagradalsfjall volcano
Fissure swarm 385 m / 1263 ft
Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland, 63.89°N / -22.27°W
Current status: erupting (4 out of 5) Fagradalsfjall volcano eruptions:
2021 new fissure eruption
None during the past 10,000 years
Less than few million years ago (Pleistocene)
Typical eruption style:
fissure eruptions, lava flows

New volcanic eruption on Iceland's Reykjanes peninsula

Sat, 20 Mar 2021, 05:15
05:15 AM | BY: T
First view of the new eruption in Iceland (image: Coast Guard helicopter, via IMO / twitter).
First view of the new eruption in Iceland (image: Coast Guard helicopter, via IMO / twitter).
Location of the new eruption on Iceland (image: IMO / twitter)
Location of the new eruption on Iceland (image: IMO / twitter)
Seismograph showing the hours before the eruption. A very low tremor is current to the right of the image and only on those monitors next to the eruption site (image: IMO / twitter)
Seismograph showing the hours before the eruption. A very low tremor is current to the right of the image and only on those monitors next to the eruption site (image: IMO / twitter)
A new volcanic eruption has started last evening around 20:45 local time on 19 Mar 2021 on the Reykjanes peninsula!
A new fissure about 200 m long opened near Geldingadalur, close to Fagradalsfjall mountain, where the seismic activity had been focussed lately.
Small lava fountains along the fissure feed two slowly advancing lava flows to the southwest and west. According to the Icelandic Met Office (IMO), the most advanced front had reached an area about 2.6 km from Suðurstrandarvegur.

The eruption came somewhat as a surprise at this stage of the ongoing seismic crisis, because the seismic and ground deformation activity had decreased during the past days compared to the preceding weeks. Some scientists had started to speculate that the process might rather be calming down instead of developing into an eruption.
In fact, the eruption occurred with very weak seismic activity accompanying it. IMO's seismic stations only recorded weak volcanic tremor during the onset of the eruption.
A possible explanation is that the ground by now in this area had been already fractured so much by the preceding earthquakes that it was extremely easy for the magma to rise from the dike the last approx. 1000 meters upwards to reach and break out at the surface.

We will follow up on this event as more news and further details come in. Stay tuned and check this page from time to time!

Previous news

Mon, 15 Mar 2021, 06:41
Earthquakes on the Reykjanes peninsula during the past 48 hours (image: IMO)
The volcano-seismic unrest continues on the southern Reykjanes peninsula, centered around Fagradalsfjall mountain. ... read all
Fri, 12 Mar 2021, 16:06
Recent earthquakes in the Reykjanes peninsula
The earthquake swarm in the Reykjanes peninsula, concentrated in the area around Mt. Fagradalsfjall SW of Keilir, continues with no signs of weakening. By early afternoon, the Iceland Met Office (IMO) had already recorded over 1700 earthquakes since midnight alone, including many of magnitude 3 or higher and a widely felt magnitude 5 event at 07:53 GMT this morning. ... read all
Thu, 11 Mar 2021, 07:30
Sketch showing the forming magma reservoir, a dike, under the Reykjanes peninsula (image: RUV)
In recent reports, the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) stated that magmatic movements are the likely cause of the ongoing earthquake swarm in the Reykjanes peninsula. As magma migrates upwards, overlying rock layers are displaced, which causes tremors and ground deformation on the surface. ... read all
Wed, 10 Mar 2021, 15:29
Earthquakes on the Reykjanes peninsula during the past 2 weeks (image: IMO)
The Icelandic Met Office (IMO) announced earlier today, that the total number of earthquakes in the region has exceeded 34,000 since the onset of the seismic swarm about 2 weeks ago. read all
Wed, 10 Mar 2021, 06:08
Figure 1. Earthquake location map as of 10 Mar 2021. Recent earthquakes focused in areas between Fagradalsfjall and Keillir. (source: IMO)
As the number of earthquakes recorded in the Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland, surpassed the 20,000 mark, the main area of unrest was identified as the area between Fagradalsfjall and Keillir. According to the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO), magma intrusions under the surface are the prime suspect to cause this ongoing seismic activity. ... read all

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