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Report on Krafla (Iceland) — October 1978

Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 3, no. 10 (October 1978)
Managing Editor: David Squires.

Krafla (Iceland) Slow inflation continues; center of uplift higher than levels which triggered earlier deflations

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1978. Report on Krafla (Iceland). In: Squires, D (ed.), Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 3:10. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN197810-373080.

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Krafla

Iceland

65.715°N, 16.728°W; summit elev. 800 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)


"Inflation in the Krafla caldera continues at a somewhat reduced rate. The land height at the center of the uplift is now higher than at any time previously and deflation is expected within the next few weeks. A geologist is now permanently positioned in the area to advise the Civil Defense authorities. The seismometers and the continuously recording tiltmeters are now watched hourly day and night."

Geologic Background. The Krafla central volcano, located NE of Myvatn lake, is a topographically indistinct 10-km-wide caldera that is cut by a N-S-trending fissure system. Eruption of a rhyolitic welded tuff about 100,000 years ago was associated with formation of the caldera. Krafla has been the source of many rifting and eruptive events during the Holocene, including two in historical time, during 1724-29 and 1975-84. The prominent Hverfjall and Ludent tuff rings east of Myvatn were erupted along the 100-km-long fissure system, which extends as far as the north coast of Iceland. Iceland's renowned Myvatn lake formed during the eruption of the older Laxarhraun lava flow from the Ketildyngja shield volcano of the Fremrinamur volcanic system about 3800 years before present (BP); its present shape is constrained by the roughly 2000 years BP younger Laxarhraun lava flow from the Krafla volcanic system. The abundant pseudocraters that form a prominent part of the Myvatn landscape were created when the younger Laxarhraun lava flow entered the lake.

Information Contacts: K. Grönvold, NVI.