Prestahnukur

Photo of this volcano
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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 64.6°N
  • 20.58°W

  • 1400 m
    4592 ft

  • 371070
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Prestahnukur.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Prestahnukur.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Prestahnukur.

Basic Data

Volcano Number

Last Known Eruption

Elevation

Latitude
Longitude
371070

3350 BCE

1400 m / 4592 ft

64.6°N
20.58°W

Volcano Types

Subglacial
Shield(s)
Fissure vent(s)

Rock Types

Major
Basalt / Picro-Basalt
Rhyolite

Tectonic Setting

Rift zone
Oceanic crust (< 15 km)

Population

Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km
60
60
233
183,485

Geological Summary

The massive subglacial Prestahnukur volcano at the SW end of the Langjökull icecap has associated rift zones to the north and SW that have erupted during the Holocene. Hot springs are associated with the rhyolitic Prestahnukur central volcano. The classic Icelandic shield volcano Skjaldbreidur was formed at the southern end of the Prestahnukur volcanic system, between Thorsjökull glacier and Thingvallavatn lake. The broad, low-angle shield volcano produced more than 13 cu km of basaltic lava flows during the early Holocene. The smaller mid-Holocene Sköflungur lava shield lies immediately NE of Skjaldbreidur.

References

The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography.

IAVCEI, 1973-80. Post-Miocene Volcanoes of the World. IAVCEI Data Sheets, Rome: Internatl Assoc Volc Chemistry Earth's Interior..

Johannesson H, Jakobsson S P, Saemundsson K, 1982. Geological map of Iceland, sheet 6, south Iceland. Icelandic Museum Nat Hist & Iceland Geodetic Surv, 1:250,000 geol map, 2nd edition.

Johannesson H, Saemundsson K, 1998. Geological map of Iceland, 1:500,000. Tectonics. Icelandic Inst Nat Hist, Reykjavik.

Kjartansson G, 1964. Geological Map of Iceland, Sheet 5, Central Iceland. Reykjavik: Museum Nat Hist Dept Geol Geog, 1:250,000 geol map.

Piper J D A, 1973. Volcanic history and tectonics of the North Langjokull region central Iceland. Can J Earth Sci, 10: 164-179.

Saemundsson K, 1992. Geology of the Thingvallavatn area. Oikos, 64: 40-68.

Saemundsson K, Einarsson S, 1980. Geological map of Iceland, sheet 3, south-west Iceland. Icelandic Museum Nat Hist & Iceland Geodetic Surv, 1:250,000 geol map.

Sinton J, Gronvold K, Saemundsson K, 2005. Postglacial eruptive history of the Western Volcanic Zone, Iceland. Geochem Geophys Geosyst, 6(12): 10.1029/2005CG001021.

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

Thordarson T, Hoskuldsson A, 2008. Postglacial eruptions in Iceland. Jokull, 58: 197-228.

Eruptive History


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


Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
3350 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 0 Tephrochronology Sköflungur
6950 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 0 Radiocarbon (corrected) Geitlandshraun II
7550 BCE ± 500 years Unknown Confirmed 0 Radiocarbon (uncorrected) Skjaldbreidur

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
Skjaldbreidur Shield volcano 1066 m 64° 24' 0" N 20° 45' 0" W
Skoflunger Shield volcano 656 m 64° 26' 0" N 20° 38' 0" W

Craters

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Geitlandshraun
    Getlandshraun
Fissure vent 620 m 64° 40' 0" N 20° 37' 0" W

Photo Gallery


The massive subglacial Prestahnukur volcano at the SW end of the Langjökull icecap has associated rift zones to the north and SW that have erupted during the Holocene. The classic Icelandic shield volcano Skjaldbreidur (seen in this photo) was formed at the southern end of the Prestahnukur volcanic system, between Thorsjökull glacier and Thingvallavatn lake. The broad, low-angle shield volcano produced 17 cu km of basaltic lava flows during the early Holocene. Hot springs are associated with the rhyolitic Prestahnukur central volcano.

Photo by Ingibjörg Kaldal (Orkustofunun, courtesy of Richie Williams, U.S. Geological Survey).
The classic Icelandic volcano Skjaldbreidur is perhaps the best known of the many small shield volcanoes that were constructed along rift zones where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge rises above sea level. Skjaldbreidur, seen here from the west along route 52, was formed about 9500 years ago during a single long-duration eruption at the southern end of the Prestahnukur volcanic system in central Iceland. The broad, low-angle shield volcano produced 17 cu km of basaltic lava flows and is capped by a small 300-m-wide summit crater.

Photo by Richie Williams, 1981 (U.S. Geological Survey).

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database


A listing of samples from the Smithsonian collections will be available soon.

Affiliated Sites

Large Eruptions of Prestahnukur 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).
MODVOLC - HIGP MODIS Thermal Alert System Using infrared satellite Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data, scientists at the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawai'i, developed an automated system called MODVOLC to map thermal hot-spots in near real time. For each MODIS image, the algorithm automatically scans each 1 km pixel within it to check for high-temperature hot-spots. When one is found the date, time, location, and intensity are recorded. MODIS looks at every square km of the Earth every 48 hours, once during the day and once during the night, and the presence of two MODIS sensors in space allows at least four hot-spot observations every two days. Each day updated global maps are compiled to display the locations of all hot spots detected in the previous 24 hours. There is a drop-down list with volcano names which allow users to 'zoom-in' and examine the distribution of hot-spots at a variety of spatial scales.
MIROVA Middle InfraRed Observation of Volcanic Activity (MIROVA) is a near real time volcanic hot-spot detection system based on the analysis of MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) data. In particular, MIROVA uses the Middle InfraRed Radiation (MIR), measured over target volcanoes, in order to detect, locate and measure the heat radiation sourced from volcanic activity.