Earth split in Iceland

On Monday afternoon, July 10, six days after more than 12,000 earthquakes, magma broke through the surface and erupted again on Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula. In 2021, after 800 years of calm, the Earth split open and lava flowed into the region, possibly the start of a long, decades-long volcanic cycle. In 2021, volcanic activity lasted for 6 months, last August for three weeks.

He seemed to have calmed down already

The symptoms of the current volcanic eruption were very similar to those of the previous two eruptions: strong earthquakes, explosive ground motions always at shallow depths, rapid magma upwelling from the upper part of the Earth’s crust and, in relation to this, a strong surface cone, reducing earthquakes.

And the area seems to be quieting down, the volcano has started erupting

– he writes in a statement sent to Dr. Chabolx Harangi Geologist-volcanologist, az ELTE TTK Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences Director of Geography and Geology Department and MTA-ELTE Volcano Research Group Its leader.

Similar omens were observed not only before the volcanic eruption in Iceland, but also before the volcanic eruptions of El Hierro in the Canary Islands in 2011 and La Palma in 2021. Although the silence of the earthquakes is a relief to the inhabitants of the area, this seems to be a symptom: since the magma is already so close to the surface, it no longer breaks the rock, but flexibly changes its shape due to the magma. High temperature.


According to calculations, in the days before the eruption in Iceland, the magma was only 500 meters from the surface. It got stuck here for a bit, then split the surface on Monday afternoon at the base of Mount Litli Hrudur, about 900 meters from the site of two previous eruptions. A curtain volcano erupted and lava flow spread over the flat surface.

Four million cubic meters of lava

Since then, more than four million cubic meters of lava has spread to the surface. The explosion no longer takes place through a fissure, but the explosion is called a spatter cone. The lava is moving in a southerly direction and by the end of the week it will reach the lava rock of the previous 2022 eruption, from where it can easily continue its journey down another valley and move towards the sea. As a result, the route along the south coast is cut off and there is a risk of damage by cables laid close to the ground.

Uninhabited area, people and property are no longer at risk, and it is relatively flat, so the volcano spreads slowly. The biggest problem at this time is smoke from gasses rising to the surface and from burning the understory. Other Risk Tourists: In the first days, more than 4,000 people visited the site of the blast, traveled 9 kilometers and returned the same distance.

Emin Yogurtcuoglu / ANADOLU AGENCY / Anadolu Agency / AFP

Many have climbed the new lava and splatter cone and it’s amazing that there have been no accidents so far. Due to this and the heavy, health-threatening smog, the police closed the area for the second time, however, as in previous eruptions, there is great interest among locals and tourists to witness the spectacular eruption.

How much additional magma will be supplied to the eruption and whether fission will occur elsewhere is a question of the future. In a worst-case scenario, which is currently unlikely, a large lava flow near Mount Keylir could flow north-northwest and cut off the Keflavik-Reykjavik highway.

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