Report on Fagradalsfjall (Iceland) — 8 September-14 September 2021
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
8 September-14 September 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, 8 September-14 September 2021. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
63.895°N, 22.258°W; summit elev. 250 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
The fissure eruption in the W part of the Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcanic system, close to Fagradalsfjall on the Reykjanes Peninsula, had paused for several days. The Institute of Earth Sciences reported that based on aerial photography acquired on 9 September, during the pause, the area of the flow field had grown to 4.6 square kilometers, and the total volume erupted was 143 million cubic meters. The crater floor was visible and was at least 70 m deep, with a deeper cavity or drainage sometimes visible.
Lava visibly returned on 11 September; RSAM values increased and low lava fountains emerged from a few areas on the flow field to the W of the main crater. Lava also returned to the main vent. Lava fountains from the main crater were visible for periods of 5-10 minutes on 13 September and lava advanced in multiple directions. Lava flowed N on 14 September. By 15 September lava quickly advanced S, flowing past the earthen barriers constructed at the S end of Geldingadalur valley, and turning E into the Nàtthagi valley. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange due to the lack of ash and tephra emissions, though IMO warned of the potential for lapilli and scoria fallout within a 650 m radius of the active vent. Authorities also warned of gas emission hazards.
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), Institute of Earth Sciences, Icelandic National Broadcasting Service (RUV), Oliver Lamb (University of North Carolina), Icelandic National Broadcasting Service (RUV), Benjamin Hennig (University of Iceland)