Hekla volcano

Updated: Jul 6, 2022 12:02 GMT - Refresh
stratovolcano 1491 m (4,892 ft)
Iceland, 63.99°N / -19.67°W
Current status: normal or dormant (1 out of 5)
Last update: 15 Dec 2021
Hekla in eruption in March 2000 with the large black lava flow in the foreground from that eruption.
Hekla in eruption in March 2000 with the large black lava flow in the foreground from that eruption.

1491-m-high Hekla is one of Iceland's most prominent, most known and active volcanoes. It has frequent eruptions that start with an explosive onset producing eruption plumes, then lava fountains and culminate in large lava flows. Most of the volcano's flanks are covered by extensive lava flows from historical eruptions, dating back to 1104 AD.

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Typical eruption style: Explosive and effusive.
Hekla volcano eruptions: 1104 (large, Plinian eruption), 1158, 1206, 1222, 1300, 1341, 1389, 1440(?), 1510, 1554, 1597, 1636-37, 1693, 1725, 1766-68, 1845-46, 1878, 1913, 1947-48, 1970, 1980, 1981, 1991, 2000
Lastest nearby earthquakes:
TimeMag. / DepthDistance/Location
Saturday, July 2, 2022 GMT (1 quake)
Jul 2, 2022 7:09 am (GMT +0) (Jul 2, 2022 07:09 GMT)
1.8

9.4 km
9.2 km (5.7 mi)
Iceland: 3.0 Km SW of Vatnafjöll
Thursday, June 30, 2022 GMT (1 quake)
Jun 30, 2022 4:56 pm (GMT +0) (Jun 30, 2022 16:56 GMT)
1.7

5.7 km
9 km (5.6 mi)
Iceland: 0.9 Km SSW of Vatnafjöll
Sunday, June 26, 2022 GMT (1 quake)
Jun 26, 2022 9:39 pm (GMT +0) (Jun 26, 2022 21:39 GMT)
1.7

9.3 km
9.2 km (5.7 mi)
Iceland: 1.9 Km WSW of Vatnafjöll
Friday, June 24, 2022 GMT (1 quake)
Jun 24, 2022 3:45 am (GMT +0) (Jun 24, 2022 03:45 GMT)
1.8

2.2 km
16 km (9.9 mi)
Iceland: 11.1 Km NW of Álftavatn
Thursday, June 23, 2022 GMT (1 quake)
Jun 23, 2022 11:54 pm (GMT +0) (Jun 23, 2022 23:54 GMT)
2.0

1.1 km
16 km (9.9 mi)
Iceland: 11.6 Km NNW of Álftavatn

Background

Hekla is located near the southern end of the eastern rift zone. It sits on a rift-transform junction, and has produced basaltic andesites, in contrast to the tholeiitic basalts typical of Icelandic rift zone volcanoes. Hekla's tephras are generally rich in flourine, which is very hazardous to grazing animals.
The elongated shape of the volcano is caused by a 5.5-km-long fissure, Heklugjá, that cuts across the volcano and is often active along its full length during major eruptions. Repeated such eruptions, oblique to most rifting structures in the eastern volcanic zone, have created Hekla's elongated ENE-WSW profile.
Frequent large explosive eruptions during historical times have deposited tephra throughout Iceland and provide important time markers that can be used to date eruptions from other volcanoes in Iceland.

Hekla Photos

Gjárfoss waterfall in the basaltic gorge of Gjáin near Hekla volcano, Iceland (Photo: Janka)
Gjárfoss waterfall in the basaltic gorge of Gjáin near Hekla volcano, Iceland (Photo: Janka)
The contours of Mount Hekla materialising in the hazy evening light behind a volcanic ridge. Near  Hrauneyjalón, southern boundary of the Icelandic Highlands - 13 Septmeber 2014. (Photo: Ingrid)
The contours of Mount Hekla materialising in the hazy evening light behind a volcanic ridge. Near Hrauneyjalón, southern boundary of the Icelandic Highlands - 13 Septmeb...
 



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