Report on Fagradalsfjall (Iceland) — 14 April-20 April 2021
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
14 April-20 April 2021
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2021. Report on Fagradalsfjall (Iceland). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 14 April-20 April 2021. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
63.895°N, 22.258°W; summit elev. 250 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
IMO reported that the fissure eruption in the W part of the Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcanic system, close to Fagradalsfjall on the Reykjanes Peninsula, continued during 14-20 April. Lava flowed from about eight vents and the flow field continued to expand; on 14 April a new hiking trail (“A”) had been covered. Volcanic gas emissions were at dangerous levels during 14-15 April so the eruption site was closed to the public. At about 1500 on 17 April a new vent was confirmed to have opened. It was small and close to another crater, possibly the one that had opened on 13 April. Lava was not flowing from the northernmost crater (the first that had opened outside Geldingadalur) during 18-20 April.
The eruption had been ongoing for 30 days by 17 April. Based on a report from University of Iceland’s Institute of Earth Sciences, the average lava-flow rate during the first 17 days of the eruption was 4.5-5 cubic meters per second but had increased to 7 cubic meters per second over the previous 13 days. During 12-18 April the flow rate was closer to 8 cubic meters per second, a slight increase over the recent average. By 19 April the area of the flow field was 0.9 square kilometers and the total volume was over 14 million cubic meters.
IMO warned visitors that new fissures could open without adequate visible warning, especially in an area by Litla-Hrút, just S of Keilir, `where seismicity was concentrated. They also warned of increased gas emissions hazards. The Aviation Color Code remained Orange due to the lack of ash and tephra emissions.
Geological Summary. Although the Fagradalsfjall fissure swarm has previously been considered a split or secondary swarm of the Krýsuvík–Trölladyngja volcanic system (https://volcano.si.edu/volcano.cfm?vn=371030), as of September 2022 Icelandic volcanologists managing the Catalogue of Icelandic Volcanoes (https://icelandicvolcanoes.is/) made the decision to identify Fagradalsfjall as a distinct separate system. The recent eruptions and related reports have been reassigned here, and other content will be prepared and adjusted as appropriate in the next few months.