Snaefellsjokull

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 64.8°N
  • 23.78°W

  • 1448 m
    4749 ft

  • 370010
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

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Ice-clad Snaefellsjökull volcano anchors the western tip of the isolated Snaefellsnes Peninsula in western Iceland. Numerous pyroclastic cones dot the flanks of the 1448-m-high stratovolcano, the only large central volcano in this part of Iceland. Lower-flank craters produced basaltic lava flows and upper-flank craters intermediate-to-silicic material. Holocene lava flows extend to the sea over the entire western half of the volcano. Several Holocene silicic eruptions have originated from the summit crater. The latest dated eruption took place about 1750 years ago; several lava flows may be even younger.

Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
0200 ± 150 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected) Tephra layer Sn-1
1000 BCE ± 500 years Unknown Confirmed 2 Radiocarbon (uncorrected) NW flank (Raudhólar)
2010 BCE ± 100 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (uncorrected) Tephra layer Sn-2
2270 BCE ± 300 years Unknown Confirmed 0 Radiocarbon (uncorrected) South flank (Thufuhraun)
2400 BCE ± 200 years Unknown Confirmed 2 Radiocarbon (uncorrected) NE flank (800 m)
2970 BCE ± 300 years Unknown Confirmed 0 Radiocarbon (uncorrected) SE flank (Dagverdarahraun)
4050 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 0 Tephrochronology West flank (Ondverdarnesholar)
4550 BCE ± 1500 years Unknown Confirmed 2 Tephrochronology East of Snaefellsjökull (Budaklettur)
6050 BCE ± 1000 years Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology Tephra layer Sn-3
8460 BCE ± 200 years Unknown Confirmed   Radiocarbon (corrected)

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.


Cones

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Bardarlaug Cone 120 m 64° 46' 0" N 23° 41' 0" W
Budaklettur Cone 88 m 64° 48' 0" N 23° 26' 0" W
Holaholar Cone 113 m 64° 47' 0" N 23° 56' 0" W
Holantindur Cone 693 m 64° 48' 0" N 23° 51' 0" W
Kviahnjukur Cone 706 m 64° 47' 0" N 23° 44' 0" W
Ljosakridha Cone 720 m 64° 55' 0" N 23° 51' 0" W
Ondverdarnesholar Shield volcano 100 m 64° 51' 0" N 24° 0' 0" W
Purkholar Cone 145 m 64° 45' 0" N 23° 50' 0" W
Raudholar Cone 180 m 64° 52' 0" N 23° 53' 0" W
Sandfell Cone 64° 49' 0" N 23° 49' 0" W
Saxholar Cone 120 m 64° 51' 0" N 23° 56' 0" W
Sjonarholl Cone 64° 51' 0" N 23° 51' 0" W
Svalthufa Cone 40 m 64° 44' 0" N 23° 47' 0" W
Svortutindar Cone 605 m 64° 55' 0" N 23° 52' 0" W
Toppgig Cone 64° 48' 0" N 23° 49' 0" W
The low Budaklettur scoria cone on the east flank of Snæfellsjökull in western Iceland was the source of the Budahraun lava field, which forms a flat, low-lying peninsula. The eruption occurred sometime between about 5000 and 8000 years ago. Youthful, Holocene lava flows form much of the coastline surrounding Snæfellsjökull volcano.

Photo by Richie Williams, 1981 (U.S. Geological Survey).
Lysuhöll, Iceland's smallest volcanic system, consists of a chain of small cinder cones and vents along a WNW-ESE line cutting diagonally across the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in the center of the photo. The cones and vents of the Lysuhöll volcanic system, seen here from the ENE, are located between the snow-covered Helgrindur mountains in the foreground and the glacier-covered Snæfellsjökull volcano in the background. The latest eruptions from Lysuhöll occurred during the Holocene.

Photo by Thorvaldur Bragason, Iceland Geodetic Survey (courtesy of Richie Williams, U.S. Geological Survey).
Ice-clad Snæfellsjökull volcano towers above Breidavík bay at the western tip of the isolated Snæfellsnes Peninsula in western Iceland. Numerous pyroclastic cones dot the flanks of the 1448-m-high stratovolcano, which is the only large central volcano in this part of Iceland. Holocene lava flows extend to the sea over the entire western half of the volcano. One young flow that reached the coast on the eastern flank can be seen at the left side of the photo. The latest dated eruption took place about 1750 years ago; several lava flows may be even younger.

Photo by Richie Williams, 1979 (U.S. Geological Survey).

The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title.

Bardason T, 1990. Lava flows near Snaefellsjokull. Rannsoknarverkefni Hakoli Islands, 17 p (in Icelandic).

Gudmundsson A T, 1986b. Iceland-Fires. Reykjavik: Vaka-Helgafell, 168 p.

Johannesson H, 1982. Summary of the geology of Snaefellsnes. Arbok Ferdafelags Islands 1982, p 151-172 (in Icelandic).

Johannesson H, Flores R M, Jonsson J, 1981. A short account of the Holocene tephrochronology of the Snaefellsjokull central volcano, western Iceland. Jokull, 9: 23-30.

Kjartansson G, 1968. Geological map of Iceland, sheet 2, west-central Iceland. Icelandic Museum Nat Hist, 1:250,000 geol map.

Steinthorsson S, 1967. Two new C-14 datings on tephra from Snaefellsjokull. Natturufraedingurinn, 37: 236-238 (in Icelandic with English abs).

Steinthorsson S, et al., 2002. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World - Iceland. Unpublished manuscript.

Thorarinsson S (ed), 1960. On the geology and geophysics of Iceland. 21st Internatl Geol Cong, Copenhagen, Guidebook, A2: 1-73 p.

Volcano Types

Stratovolcano
Pyroclastic cone(s)

Tectonic Setting

Rift zone
Oceanic crust (< 15 km)

Population

Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km
9
129
2,264
11,820

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Snaefellsjokull Information about large Quaternary eruptions (VEI >= 4) is cataloged in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE) database of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).
WOVOdat WOVOdat is a database of volcanic unrest; instrumentally and visually recorded changes in seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission, and other parameters from their normal baselines. It is sponsored by the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and presently hosted at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
EarthChem EarthChem develops and maintains databases, software, and services that support the preservation, discovery, access and analysis of geochemical data, and facilitate their integration with the broad array of other available earth science parameters. EarthChem is operated by a joint team of disciplinary scientists, data scientists, data managers and information technology developers who are part of the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a collaborative effort of EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS).
Smithsonian Collections Search the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections database. Go to the "Search Rocks and Ores" tab and use the Volcano Name drop-down to find samples.