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The pumice and ash deposits of the Minoan eruption of Santorini; two of the students for scale. (Pho...
Spring-time on Santorini Island, Greece (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
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Lava fountains from the Holuhraun fissure eruption August 2014
Bardarbunga (Bárðarbunga) is a large central volcano lying underneath Iceland's 500-m thick Vatnajokull glacier in the center of the country. It is located at the junction between the eastern and northern volcanic rift zones in the area where the present-day center of the mantle hot spot beneath Iceland is thought to be.
Bardarbunga has had about 300-400 eruptions during the past 10,000 years which includes only 23 eruptions historic times (approx the past 1000 years), i.e. it seems to erupt currently at rates of approx. twice per century, the last one having occurred in 1910. A massive explosive-effusive eruption (VEI 6) in 1477 resulted in a large ash and pumice fall-out deposit.
Approx 8600 years ago, Bardarbunga produced the largest known lava flow during the past 10,000 years on earth (more than 21 cubic kilometers of volume). The lava was erupted from the Veidivötn fissure system and traveled more than 100 km to the south coast.
|Volcano type||Stratovolcano normal or dormant|
|Summit elevation||approx. 2000 m / ca. 6,560 ft|
|Bárdarbunga volcano eruptions||1080(?), 1159(?), ca. 1210, ca. 1270, ca. 1350, ca. 1410(?), 1477 (very large effusive-explosive eruption), 1697, 1702, 1706, 1712, 1716, 1717, 1720, 1726, 1729, 1739, 1750, 1766, 1769, 1797, 1807(?), 1862-64, 1872(?), 1902-03, 1910, 2014-15 (Holuhraun fissure eruption)|
|Typical eruption style||Large effusive eruptions, some explosive activity.|
The volcano is hidden beneath the northwestern part of the Vatnajökull glacier, and contains a 700-m-deep caldera that is hidden beneath ice and has extensive flank fissures, from where eruptions have taken place: the Veidivötn fissure extends for over 100 km to the SW, almost reaching Torfajökull volcano, while the Trollagigar fissure extends 50 km to the NE touching Askja volcano.
A major risk from Bárdarbunga are jökulhlaups (glacier-outburst floods), that can be hazardous for areas in all directions around Bárdarbunga.
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