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Report on Krysuvik-Trolladyngja (Iceland) — 28 April-4 May 2021


Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
28 April-4 May 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, 28 April-4 May 2021. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (28 April-4 May 2021)



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 28 April-4 May. According to a news source, activity at the S vent of the fifth cone, which had opened on 13 April with N and S vents, intensified at around 2030 on 26 April. Fountaining became more explosive and lava was jetted 40-50 m high. The lava-flow rate significantly increased; lava flowed S then E and descended a valley into Meradalir.

By 29 April activity had intensified at the fifth cone where lava ejections reached 250 m high, but had ceased at the others. By 1 May lava flows had traveled N in Meradalir and connected to the flows that had previously descended into the valley from a fissure that opened on 5 April. IMO noted that fountaining at the vent was steady until around 0000-0100 on 2 May when it became more pulsating. Resting periods of 1-2 minutes were punctuated by intense fountaining reaching 100-150 m high for periods of 8-12 minutes. Gas plumes with minor amounts of ash rose 800-900 m a.s.l. A news source noted that on 2 May lava fountains rose over 300 m, the highest to date, and were seen from Reykjavik. Ejecta set fire to vegetation on the hill to the S of the vent, causing a smoke plume. The Aviation Color Code remained at 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.

Sources: Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO), Icelandic National Broadcasting Service (RUV)