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Grímsvötn is Iceland's most frequently active volcano, probably because it is located on the center of the active NE rift zone of Iceland. Most of the volcano is hidden beneath the giant glacier of Vatnajökull, Europe's largest glacier.
Caldera 1725 m (5,659 ft) Iceland, 64.42°N / -17.33°W Current status: restless (2 out of 5) Grímsvötn webcams / live data Grímsvötn volcano books | Tours Grímsvötn volcano eruptions: ca. 1310, 1332, 1341, 1354(?), ca. 1370, ca. 1390, ca. 1430, ca. 1450, ca. 1470, ca. 1490, ca. 1510, ca. 1530, 1598, 1603, 1619, 1629, 1638, 1659, 1681, 1684-85, 1706, 1716, 1725, 1753, 1768, 1774, 1783-85 (Laki fissure eruption: the largest historically known effusive eruption), 1794(?), 1796(?), 1816, 1823, 1838, 1854, 1861(?), 1867, 1873, 1883, 1887-89, 1891-92, 1897, 1902-04, 1922, 1933, 1934, 1934, 1938, 1939(?), 1941(?), 1945, 1948(?), 1954, 1972(?), 1983, 1984(?), 1996, 1998, 2004 (Nov.), 2011 (21-26 May) Typical eruption style: Effusive, explosive magma-water/ice reaction. Produces notorious and frequent floods of melt-water bursts from the glacier (jökulhlaups). Last earthquakes nearby Latest satellite images
Earthquakes under Grímsvötn volcano, probably a result of the glacial flood (Icelandic Met Office)
A small jökulhlaup (glacier outburst flood) started yesterday from the subglacial lake Grímsvötn and has been discharging into the river Gígjukvísl. ...more
The event, which could have been triggered by normal fluctuations of hydrothermal activity under the ice is expected to be small. The Icelandic Met Office reports maximum discharge rates on the order of magnitude 1000 cubic meters per second, similar to rates during summer ice melt, and expects no damage to occur. The maximum of the flood is expected to be around the end of the week. A small shallow earthquake swarm, probably as a result of adjustments in the ice mass above the draining lake, has accompanied the flood today. There are no indications that the flood was caused by a volcanic eruption of Grímsvötn volcano. [less]
A small glacial flood occurred at Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland on 29 January 2012. The cause of the flood was probably not volcanic, but strong rainfalls and unusually high temperatures that caused melting of large amounts of snow. The flood damaged parts of the Ring Road between Núpsvötn and Gígjukvísl in the Skeiðarársandur flood plain and and east of Gígjukvísl.
The explosive eruption of Grimsvötn volcano continues, but the height of the ash plume has significantly dropped and is estimated 5-7 km this morning 24 May. ...more
While Kevlavik airport on Iceland has resumed operations since yesterday afternoon, a lower level ash plume (at flight level 200, ca. 6 km altitude) has been drifting SE and is now partly over northern Britain, where several flights had to be canceled. (Source: London VAAC) [less]
The ash plume from the large and still ongoing subglacial eruption of Grimsvötn volcano has caused heavy ash fall and shredded much of the country in darkness over the weekend. At the moment, most flights to and from Iceland are cancelled. ...more
At the moment, the plume height seems to have decreased from initially 17-18 km (55,000 ft) to 8-12 km (20,-35,000 ft) and is drifting and spreading W and NW, where it is interfering with transatlantic flight routes. European airspace has so far not been affected and experts think that a repeat of a major disruption of air travel as during last year's Eyafjallajökull eruption is unlikely. [less]
A new eruption started at Grimsvötn volcano, located under the Vatnajökull icecap late on 21 May yesterday evening at around 17h15 local time. ...more
The eruption was preceded by only 15-30 minutes of intense seismic activity and started at around 19h15 pm local time. It created a large eruption plume above the glacier, reaching of 15-20 km height (50-65,000 feet), which is larger than last year's Eyafjallajökull's plume last year and makes it the largest eruption on Iceland since Hekla volcano in 1947. Iceland review reports that a group of people stayed in a hut on Grímsvötn volcano the night before the eruption, but had left on Saturday 6 hours before the eruption started. The group noticed nothing unusual, but another group that climbed Hrútafellstindar mountain in the southern part of Vatnajökull glacier said they smelled suphur on the morning of 21st May.More than 100 people climbed Öræfajökull volcano, Iceland’s highest peak, on Saturday and saw nothing unusual. [less]
Signals of a possible impending eruption at Grimsvötn volcano under the icecap of Vatnajökullremain remain uncertain. Scientist measured an increase in seismic tremor at Grimsvötn, probably caused by the meltwater flow increase, but no volcanic tremor. The composition of the meltwater indicates that much of the water has been melted caused by increased geothermal heat flow. No other signs of an impending eruption are detectable (so far).
Grímsvötn volcano on Iceland might be heating up to a new eruption. Recently, it has been observed that the amount of glacial meltwater from Grímsvötn emerging from under the thick ice cap of Vatnajökull covering the massive volcano has doubled. ...more
While this might well be caused by heating of the volcano due to rising magma leading to a new eruption, Icelandic volcanologist say that seismicity under the volcano is still low. There are other possible caused that could explain the increase in melt water outflow, such as geomorphical changes in the drainage system allowing an increased discharge of accumulated meltwater on top of the volcano. [less]
Ubinas activity updates: The most frequently active volcano in Peru entered a new eruptive phase in 2014. Updates and news are regularly posted on this page.
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