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Torfajökull

Photo of this volcano
  • Country
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  •  
  • 63.892°N
  • 19.122°W

  • 1280 m
    4199 ft

  • 372050
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

The Global Volcanism Program has no activity reports for Torfajökull.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Weekly Reports available for Torfajökull.

The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Torfajökull.

This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.

Eruptive History

There is data available for 10 confirmed Holocene eruptive periods.

1477 Mar Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 2

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode N of caldera (Namshraun, Laugahraun)
1477 Mar - Unknown Evidence from Observations: Reported

List of 4 Events for Episode 1 at N of caldera (Namshraun, Laugahraun)

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow
   - - - -    - - - - Tephra
1477 Mar    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

1170 (?) Confirmed Eruption  

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode W side of caldera (Hrafntinnuhraun)
1170 (?) - Unknown Evidence from Correlation: Tephrochronology

List of 2 Events for Episode 1 at W side of caldera (Hrafntinnuhraun)

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Tephra

0870 (?) Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 3

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode W side of caldera (Hrafntinnuhraun)
0870 (?) - Unknown Evidence from Correlation: Tephrochronology

List of 3 Events for Episode 1 at W side of caldera (Hrafntinnuhraun)

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow
0870 (?)    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

0150 ± 100 years Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 3

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode N of caldera (Domadalshraun)
0150 ± 100 years - Unknown Evidence from Correlation: Tephrochronology

List of 4 Events for Episode 1 at N of caldera (Domadalshraun)

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow
   - - - -    - - - - Tephra
0150 ± 100 years    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)

1150 BCE ± 100 years Confirmed Eruption  

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode N of caldera (Domadalshraun)
1150 BCE ± 100 years - Unknown Evidence from Correlation: Tephrochronology

List of 1 Events for Episode 1 at N of caldera (Domadalshraun)

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow

1550 BCE ± 500 years Confirmed Eruption  

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode W side of caldera (Markafljot domes)
1550 BCE ± 500 years - Unknown Evidence from Correlation: Tephrochronology

List of 1 Events for Episode 1 at W side of caldera (Markafljot domes)

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow

4550 BCE ± 500 years Confirmed Eruption  

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode N of caldera (Haolduhraun)
4550 BCE ± 500 years - Unknown Evidence from Correlation: Tephrochronology

List of 1 Events for Episode 1 at N of caldera (Haolduhraun)

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow

4850 BCE (?) Confirmed Eruption  

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode W of caldera (Laufafell domes)
4850 BCE (?) - Unknown Evidence from Correlation: Tephrochronology

List of 1 Events for Episode 1 at W of caldera (Laufafell domes)

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow

5050 BCE (?) Confirmed Eruption  

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode Hrafntinnusker and Domadalshraun
5050 BCE (?) - Unknown Evidence from Correlation: Tephrochronology

List of 1 Events for Episode 1 at Hrafntinnusker and Domadalshraun

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow

6050 BCE (?) Confirmed Eruption  

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode W side of caldera (Slettahraun)
6050 BCE (?) - Unknown Evidence from Correlation: Tephrochronology

List of 1 Events for Episode 1 at W side of caldera (Slettahraun)

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Lava flow
Deformation History

There is data available for 3 deformation periods. Expand each entry for additional details.


Deformation during 2003 - 2007 [Subsidence; Observed by InSAR]

Start Date: 2003 Stop Date: 2007 Direction: Subsidence Method: InSAR
Magnitude: Unknown Spatial Extent: Unknown Latitude: Unknown Longitude: Unknown
Figure (see Caption)

InSAR images of Torfajokull caldera generated from SAR images acquired over the caldera from (a) 1993 to 2000 and (b) 2003 to 2007. In both cases the satellites were flying in a descending orbit, and the line-of-sight vector is to the ESE, ?21? from the vertical for (a) and ?23? for (b). Line-of-sight lengthening is seen in the western part of the volcano, and assuming that this motion is predominantly vertical gives subsidence rates of up to ?8 and ?13 mm yr?1, respectively. Black outlined star is the location of the centre of subsidence. Note difference in scale between (a) and (b).

From: Scheiber-Enslin et al. 2011.


Reference List: Scheiber-Enslin et al. 2011.

Full References:

Scheiber-Enslin, S. E., LaFemina, P. C., Sturkell, E., Hooper, A. J., & Webb, S. J., 2011. Geodetic investigation of plate spreading along a propagating ridge: the Eastern Volcanic Zone, Iceland. Geophysical Journal International, 187(3), 1175-1194.

Deformation during 1993 - 2000 [Subsidence; Observed by InSAR]

Start Date: 1993 Stop Date: 2000 Direction: Subsidence Method: InSAR
Magnitude: Unknown Spatial Extent: Unknown Latitude: Unknown Longitude: Unknown
Figure (see Caption)

InSAR images of Torfajokull caldera generated from SAR images acquired over the caldera from (a) 1993 to 2000 and (b) 2003 to 2007. In both cases the satellites were flying in a descending orbit, and the line-of-sight vector is to the ESE, ?21? from the vertical for (a) and ?23? for (b). Line-of-sight lengthening is seen in the western part of the volcano, and assuming that this motion is predominantly vertical gives subsidence rates of up to ?8 and ?13 mm yr?1, respectively. Black outlined star is the location of the centre of subsidence. Note difference in scale between (a) and (b).

From: Scheiber-Enslin et al. 2011.


Reference List: Scheiber-Enslin et al. 2011.

Full References:

Scheiber-Enslin, S. E., LaFemina, P. C., Sturkell, E., Hooper, A. J., & Webb, S. J., 2011. Geodetic investigation of plate spreading along a propagating ridge: the Eastern Volcanic Zone, Iceland. Geophysical Journal International, 187(3), 1175-1194.

Deformation during 1991 - 2002 [Subsidence; Observed by Tilt]

Start Date: 1991 Stop Date: 2002 Direction: Subsidence Method: Tilt
Magnitude: Unknown Spatial Extent: Unknown Latitude: Unknown Longitude: Unknown

Reference List: Sturkell et al. 2006.

Full References:

Sturkell, E., F. Sigmundsson, and R. Slunga,, 2006. 1983-2003 decaying rate of deflation at Askja caldera: Pressure decrease in an extensive magma plumbing system at a spreading plate boundary. Bull. Volc., 68, 727-735.

Emission History

There is no Emissions History data available for Torfajökull.

Photo Gallery

The viscous Laugahraun lava flow was emplaced in 1477 CE just inside the northern rim of Torfajökull caldera. This thick flow extends for about 2 km, and at its widest (left to right in this image), is about 1.3 km. Other small lava flows were produced at the same time as the Laugahraun lava flow: the Námshraun and Norðumámshraun lavas to the northeast just outside the caldera rim, and the Frostastaðahraun further north on the fissure system. The light-colored deposits surrounding the darker lava flow are rhyolitic volcanics.

Photo by Richie Williams, 1981 (U.S. Geological Survey).
The silicic Hrafntinnuhraun eruption occurred in about 877 CE, producing about 0.18 km3 of lava and 0.4 km3 of tephra. An eruption column of up to 20 km high was associated with this Plinian eruption. The Hrafntinnuhraun lava flow stretches from the bottom left to top right in this image, with a stream running around its base on the left reflecting the sun.

Photo by Richie Williams, 1981 (U.S. Geological Survey).
The Torfajökull central volcano is cut by a 12 x 18 km caldera that formed during the Pleistocene. Torfajökull is of one of the largest areas of silicic and intermediate volcanism in Iceland. The Laugahraun (lower left) and Domadalshraun (right center) lava flows, seen here from the SE, are located just within and north of, respectively, the northern caldera rim. At least 12 eruptions have occurred in the last 9,000 years with activity concentrated in the west.

Photo by Oddur Sigurdsson, 1977 (Icelandic National Energy Authority).
GVP Map Holdings

The maps shown below have been scanned from the GVP map archives and include the volcano on this page. Clicking on the small images will load the full 300 dpi map. Very small-scale maps (such as world maps) are not included. The maps database originated over 30 years ago, but was only recently updated and connected to our main database. We welcome users to tell us if they see incorrect information or other problems with the maps; please use the Contact GVP link at the bottom of the page to send us email.


Title: Geomorphology of Iceland
Publisher: University of Goteborg, Dept Phys Geog
Country: Iceland
Year: 1984
Map Type: Geology (Geomorphology)
Scale: 1:1,750
Map of Geomorphology of Iceland

Title: Geographical Names of Iceland
Publisher: University of Goteborg, Dept Phys Geog
Country: Iceland
Year: 1984
Map Type: Unknown
Scale: 1:1,750
Map of Geographical Names of Iceland
Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

The following 5 samples associated with this volcano can be found in the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections, and may be availble for research (contact the Rock and Ore Collections Manager). Catalog number links will open a window with more information.

Catalog Number Sample Description Lava Source Collection Date
NMNH 117551-114 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-115 Unidentified -- --
NMNH 117551-54 Unidentified Domadalshraun Lava Field --
NMNH 117551-55 Obsidian Hrafntinnuhraun --
NMNH 117551-56 Obsidian Laugahraun lava flow --
External Sites