Not much is known about the volcanic eruption history of the Eyjafjallajökull glacier but the last eruption in the glacier lasted two years, from 1821 to 1823. Only one other eruption is recorded to have occurred in the glacier in historical times, in 1612.
Eyjafjallajökull and the farm Thorvaldseyri, where flooding has caused damage to pastures. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
There aren’t many sources about the 1612 eruption in Eyjafjallajökull but in the 1821-1823 eruption, a glacial flood emerged by the Gígjökull glacial tongue, as is also the case in the current eruption.
Eyjafjallajökull is among the largest volcanoes in Iceland and one of few that can be categorized as a stratovolcano, which is common in many other countries around the world.
The volcano is 1,660 meters high, oblong in shape and lies from the east to west. Its lower slopes are steep and mostly made from palagonite, as described on the website of the University of Iceland Institute of Earth Sciences.
Above the height of 900-1,000 meters the volcano is covered with an icecap. There is a small caldera at the summit of Eyjafjallajökull, which is 2-2.5 kilometers in diameter.
Our special offer for the Iceland Review magazine with eruption photos and article.