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Report on Reykjanes (Iceland) — 3 April-9 April 2024


Smithsonian Institution / US Geological Survey
Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 3 April-9 April 2024
Managing Editor: Sally Sennert.

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 2024. Report on Reykjanes (Iceland) (Sennert, S, ed.). Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 3 April-9 April 2024. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.

Weekly Report (3 April-9 April 2024)



63.817°N, 22.717°W; summit elev. 140 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

IMO reported that the eruption along the fissure within the Reykanes volcanic system continued during 3-9 April. Two cones produced lava flows during the beginning of the week, but by 8 April only the larger, main cone was active. Lava flowed mostly S and the flows thickened near the crater and slightly to the S where the flows were most active. On 7 April lava filled the main crater, overflowed the crater rim, and cascaded down the cone’s flank. Part of N crater rim collapsed at 2130 causing lava to flow N; the lava built up a mound, blocking the path, and by the next day most of the lava again flowed S.

The average lava effusion rate decreased from about 6.6 cubic meters per second during 27 March-3 April to about 3.6 cubic meters per second during 3-8 April. During an overflight on 8 April observers confirmed that there had been a gradual decrease in the intensity of the eruption. The lava-flow field was an estimated 6.14 square kilometers with an approximate volume of 31.1 million cubic meters. Concurrent with a decrease in eruption intensity, inflation had accelerated. Seismicity continued to be at low levels and was concentrated between Sylingarfell and Stóra-Skógfell, and in the W part of Grindavík. Sulfur dioxide emissions continued to be high around the eruption site and were detected in residential areas downwind. On 3 April the Civil Protection Emergency Level was lowered to the middle level on a three-level scale. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale).

Geological Summary. The Reykjanes volcanic system at the SW tip of the Reykjanes Peninsula, where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge rises above sea level, comprises a broad area of postglacial basaltic crater rows and small shield volcanoes. The submarine Reykjaneshryggur volcanic system is contiguous with and is considered part of the Reykjanes volcanic system, which is the westernmost of a series of four closely-spaced en-echelon fissure systems that extend diagonally across the Reykjanes Peninsula. Most of the subaerial part of the system (also known as the Reykjanes/Svartsengi volcanic system) is covered by Holocene lavas. Subaerial eruptions have occurred in historical time during the 13th century at several locations on the NE-SW-trending fissure system, and numerous submarine eruptions dating back to the 12th century have been observed during historical time, some of which have formed ephemeral islands. Basaltic rocks of probable Holocene age have been recovered during dredging operations, and tephra deposits from earlier Holocene eruptions are preserved on the nearby Reykjanes Peninsula.

Sources: Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO), Almannavarnadeild ríkislögreglustjóra (National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police and Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management)