Report on Fagradalsfjall (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 Fagradalsfjall (Iceland). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 28 April-4 May 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 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. 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.
Sources: Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO), Icelandic National Broadcasting Service (RUV)