Report on Krysuvik-Trolladyngja (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 Krysuvik-Trolladyngja (Iceland). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 14 April-20 April 2021. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
63.917°N, 22.067°W; summit elev. 360 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. The Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcanic system is described by the Catalogue of Icelandic Volcanoes as an approximately 50-km-long composite fissure swarm trending about N38°E, including a 30-km-long swarm of fissures, with no central volcano. It is one of the volcanic systems arranged en-echelon along the Reykjanes Peninsula west of Kleifarvatn lake. The Fagradalsfjall and Krýsuvík fissure swarms are considered splits or secondary swarms of the Krýsuvík–Trölladyngja volcanic system. Small shield volcanoes have produced a large portion of the erupted volume within the system. Several eruptions have taken place since the settlement of Iceland, including the eruption of a large basaltic lava flow from the Ogmundargigar crater row around the 12th century. The latest eruption, identified through tephrochronology, took place during the 14th century.