Bárðarbunga Volcano Named after Norse Viking

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Bárðarbunga Volcano Named after Norse Viking

Bárdarbunga

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Bárðarbunga volcano, located under Vatnajökull glacier, which has been showing heightened signs of activity in recent days, is named after settler Bárður Bjarnason, later called Gnúpa-Bárður, from the Sognefjord in West Norway.

Bárður came ashore near Húsavík and settled in the valley still bearing his name, Bárðardalur in North Iceland, around the year 900.

Several years later Bárður sent some of his sons—he had nine—to check the land in South Iceland. They made the return journey over the still uninhabited highlands near Bárðarbunga and through the pass Vonarskarð. The path from North to South Iceland is still named Bárðargata.

After his sons returned from the journey to his farm Lundarbrekka in Bárðardalur valley and told him that the vegetation was much better in the south, he moved and founded the farm Gnúpur near Núpsstaður just east of Kirkjubæjarklaustur.

In Landnáma, the book of the Icelandic settlement, Bárður’s wife’s name is not mentioned but the names of his nine sons were: Sigmundur, Þorsteinn, Egill, Gísli, Nefsteinn, Þorbjörn krum, Hjör, Þorgrímur and Björn.

Bárðarbunga is Iceland’s second-highest mountain rising 2,009 meters (6,591 feet) above sea level. It’s Iceland’s largest volcanic system, 200 km (120 miles) long and 25 km (16 miles) wide.

The glacier on top of the volcano is up to 800 meters (2,625 feet) thick.

The location is very remote and lies 225 km (122 miles) in a straight line northeast from Reykjavík.

A Code Orange was issued yesterday in light of increased likelihood of an eruption after continued earthquakes in the area.

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