Logo link to homepage

Öræfajökull

Photo of this volcano
  • Iceland
  • Iceland Neovolcanic Rift Zone
  • Composite | Stratovolcano
  • 1728 CE
  • Country
  • Volcanic Province
  • Landform | Volc Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 64°N
  • 16.65°W

  • 2010 m
    6594 ft

  • 374010
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

Most Recent Weekly Report: 11 July-17 July 2018 Citation IconCite this Report

After a series of meetings between the Icelandic Meteorological Office, the University of Iceland, and Iceland Geosurvey, the Iceland Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management stated on 13 July that Öræfajökull has shown clear signs of unrest for at least the past year and a half. The report noted ongoing inflation and increased seismicity, despite a decrease in geothermal activity since December 2017. The volume change since the beginning of the unrest was about 10 million cubic meters, likely from an injection of new magma.

Source: National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police (NCIP) Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management

Weekly Reports - Index


2018: May | July
2017: November | December


11 July-17 July 2018 Citation IconCite this Report

After a series of meetings between the Icelandic Meteorological Office, the University of Iceland, and Iceland Geosurvey, the Iceland Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management stated on 13 July that Öræfajökull has shown clear signs of unrest for at least the past year and a half. The report noted ongoing inflation and increased seismicity, despite a decrease in geothermal activity since December 2017. The volume change since the beginning of the unrest was about 10 million cubic meters, likely from an injection of new magma.

Source: National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police (NCIP) Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management


9 May-15 May 2018 Citation IconCite this Report

On 4 May, the Icelandic Met Office reduced the Aviation Color Code at Öræfajökull from Yellow to Green due to signs of reduced activity. Since September 2017 there has been less earthquake activity, stable hydrological and geochemical measurements, and reduced geothermal heat output. There has been possible minor ongoing inflation, but no signs of an imminent eruption.

Source: Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO)


20 December-26 December 2017 Citation IconCite this Report

On 22 December IMO reported that activity at Öræfajökull had been fairly stable during the previous weeks, though still above background levels; the Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow. In December the largest earthquake detected was a M2.5, but most events were smaller than M1. Earthquakes were located close to the caldera at depths between 2 and 10 km.

Source: Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO)


15 November-21 November 2017 Citation IconCite this Report

The Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) reported that on 17 November the Aviation Color Code for Öræfajökull was raised to Yellow because satellite images and photos showed that a new ice cauldron had formed within the caldera the previous week. The new cauldron was about 1 km in diameter and 15-20 m deep, and signified a recent increase in geothermal activity. Scientists conducted an overflight on 18 November; in addition, while on the ground, they took water samples, measurements of electrical conductivity, and gas levels at the Kvíárjökull outlet-glacier, a valley glacier on the SE flank of Öræfajökull. There was no obvious sign of flooding in the Kvíá river. A sulfur odor, which had been reported for about a week, was also noted. An increase in the seismic activity was recorded for the last few months (the largest earthquake, an M 3.4, occurred on the 3 October), but was low for the past few days. IMO noted that there were no signs of an imminent volcanic eruption, though there was considerable uncertainty about how the situation will evolve.

Source: Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO)


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

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 2 confirmed Holocene eruptive periods.

1727 Aug 3 - 1728 May 1 ± 30 days Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 4

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode Caldera, west flank (to 1100 m)
1727 Aug 3 - 1728 May 1 ± 30 days Evidence from Observations: Reported

List of 8 Events for Episode 1 at Caldera, west flank (to 1100 m)

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Tephra
   - - - -    - - - - Earthquakes (undefined) Time and Type Unknown.
   - - - -    - - - - Jokulhaup
   - - - -    - - - - Property Damage
   - - - -    - - - - Evacuations
1727 Aug 3    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)
1727 Aug 4    - - - - Fatalities

1362 Jun 5 ± 4 days - 1362 Oct 15 ± 45 days Confirmed Eruption Max VEI: 5

Episode 1 | Eruption Episode
1362 Jun 5 ± 4 days - 1362 Oct 15 ± 45 days Evidence from Observations: Reported

List of 11 Events for Episode 1

Start Date End Date Event Type Event Remarks
   - - - -    - - - - Explosion
   - - - -    - - - - Pyroclastic flow
   - - - -    - - - - Lava dome Uncertain
   - - - -    - - - - Ash
   - - - -    - - - - Lapilli
   - - - -    - - - - Pumice
   - - - -    - - - - Jokulhaup
   - - - -    - - - - Property Damage
   - - - -    - - - - Evacuations
1362    - - - - Fatalities
1362 Jun 5 ± 4 days    - - - - VEI (Explosivity Index)
Deformation History

There is no Deformation History data available for Öræfajökull.

Emission History

There is no Emissions History data available for Öræfajökull.

GVP Map Holdings

Maps are not currently available due to technical issues.

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.

Smithsonian Sample Collections Database

The following 2 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 117551-1 Obsidian -- --
NMNH 117551-12 Obsidian Hof rhyolite dome --
External Sites