Öraefajökull

Photo of this volcano
  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 64.05°N
  • 16.633°W

  • 2010 m
    6593 ft

  • 374010
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

Most Recent Weekly Report: 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 Met Office (IMO)

Weekly Reports - Index


2018: May
2017: November | December


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 Met 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 Met 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 Met Office (IMO)


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

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 Holocene eruptive periods.

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1727 Aug 3 1728 May 1 ± 30 days Confirmed 4 Historical Observations Caldera, west flank (to 1100 m)
1362 Jun 5 ± 4 days 1362 Oct 15 ± 45 days Confirmed 5 Historical Observations

Deformation History


There is no Deformation History data available for Öraefajökull.

Emission History


There is no Emissions History data available for Öraefajökull.

Photo Gallery


Öræfajökull, Iceland's highest peak, is viewed here from the west, with the Svinafellsjökull glacier (left) descending from the central icecap nearly to the coastal road. A 4 x 5 km subglacial caldera truncates the summit, which rises to 2119 m about 10 km NW of the Atlantic Ocean shoreline. A major silicic eruption in 1362 was the largest in Iceland during historical time. It and another eruption during 1727-28 were accompanied by major jökulhlaups (glacier outburst floods) that caused property damage and fatalities.

Photo by Oddur Sigurdsson, 1986, (Orkustofnon, Icelandic National Energy Authority).
See title for photo information.

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 --

Affiliated Sites