Two-Hundred Meter High Lava Fall in South Iceland

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Two-Hundred Meter High Lava Fall in South Iceland

Volcanologist Haraldur Sigurdsson witnessed the creation of a 200-meter-high lava fall at the scene of the Fimmvörduháls volcanic eruption today, when lava flowed down the Hrunagil canyon. There were massive steam explosions when the lava hit the snow.

Photo by Hallgrímur Egilsson.

“There haven’t been many changes to the eruption except the number of craters is decreasing. The crater rim has sort of become a solid mountain or a hill, brand new. There are four or five active craters,” Sigurdsson described to mbl.is.

Sigurdsson explained that when the crater rim rises, there is less space for the craters and their number drops, but the craters that remain grow more powerful.

Sigurdsson said lava will continue to flow down Hrunagil and probably all the way down to the valley of Thórsmörk. In a few days the lava flow might reach the sandbanks below the canyon and subsequently have an impact on the Krossá river channel.

The volcanologist described the eruption as a lava eruption, where slag and lava spurts out of the crater and a large slag crater mounts up, similar to the eruption in the Askja volcano in 1961 and the eruption in the Westman Islands in 1973.

“We known that the magma is 1,150-1,200°C (2,102-2,192°F) hot—extremely hot. A chemical analysis has been made. It is basalt magma,” Sigurdsson said.

Click here to read more about the eruption.