Report on Fagradalsfjall (Iceland) — 29 September-5 October 2021
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
29 September-5 October 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, 29 September-5 October 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 Institute of Earth Sciences reported that lava effusion at Krýsuvík-Trölladyngja volcanic system, close to Fagradalsfjall on the Reykjanes Peninsula, likely ceased during the evening of 18 September. The area of the flow field was about 4.85 square kilometers, and the total volume erupted was 150 million cubic meters, based on 30 September measurements. Parts of lava flows thickened in areas to the S of Geldingadalur and in Nàtthagi valley, and deflated in areas N of Geldingadalur. Points of incandescence were visible at night, at least through 4 October, likely from lava flows that continued to advance downslope.
A seismic swarm in an area SW of Keilir (about 10 km NE of the fifth vent), at the N end of the dike intrusion, began on 27 September. According to news reports, over 6,000 earthquakes at depths of 5-6 km had been recorded by 4 October with at least 12 of them over M 3; the largest event was a M 3.8. Some of the larger events were felt in the capital. The seismicity was similar to patterns recorded before the beginning of the eruption to the SW. IMO stated that more data was needed to characterize the data as either indicative of magma movement or due to tectonic stress. 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), Icelandic National Broadcasting Service (RUV), Icelandic National Broadcasting Service (RUV), Almannavarnadeild ríkislögreglustjóra (National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police and Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management)