Iceland Volcanic Eruptions Update

  • by BusTravel Community
  • Good to Know
  • 15 Jan 2024

Iceland Volcanic Eruptions Update

Mt. Stóra-Skógfell and Sundhnúk eruption: Updated February 8th, 2024

Around 05:30 AM on February 8th, 2024 a series of earthquakes began close to eruption site from last December. At 06:06 AM new fissure opened between Mt. Stóra-Skógfell and Sundhnúk. The fissure was estimated 3 km long with lava reaching up to 80 m into the air.

The eruption does not affect air traffic and poses no danger to travelling in Iceland. At the moment it is not safe to be close in the area of eruption, and the Blue Lagoon is temporarily closed.

For more details, please visit Iceland’s official volcano info page on Visit Iceland.

Reykjanes eruption February 2024
Stóra-Skógfell eruption February 2024. [Photo credit to Almannavarnir]

Grindavik Eruptions – Updated January 15, 2024

On the Sunday morning of January 15, 2024, just before 8am, an unexpected eruption unleashed its fury north of Grindavík, Iceland.

The day had begun with a sense of unease as a series of small earthquakes rumbled throughout the night around Sundhnúksgíga, foreshadowing the imminent natural spectacle. Hours prior to the eruption, Grindavík’s residents had been evacuated as a precaution. As the day unfolded, a second fissure burst open above the town around midday, spewing molten lava towards the once-peaceful settlement. Sadly, the eruption claimed three houses in its path. However, relief came as swiftly as the chaos had erupted, for the second fissure eruption appeared to be over.

Fortunately, despite the fiery display, there was no threat to human life, and flights to and from Iceland remained unaffected.

Volcanic eruptions close to Grindavik, Reykjanes. [Photo credit to Almannavarnir]

Sundhnúkur Eruptions – Updated December 21, 2023

As of early morning December 21st, no lava flow is seen at Sundhnúkur eruption site. The area nevertheless stays active, and there is a possibility of the eruption resuming or a new fissure opening in the vicinity.

A new volcano erupts in Iceland near Sundhnúkur on December 18th at 22:17. This one is the largest so far of recent eruptions on Reykjanes, with the fissure length about 4 km and estimated 250 cubic meters per second lava flow.

Volcano december 2023
View on the new fissure near Sundhnúkur. Photo source: Almannavarnir

New volcano eruption is close to Grindavik town, geothermal powerplant and the Blue Lagoon. But according to specialists, it opened in one of the best locations possible under circumstances. There is no immediate danger to the infrastructure, and lava flow has to continue for some time before it could create any damage.

For safety reasons, the Blue Lagoon is currently closed and Grindavik remains evacuated.

Iceland Volcano Map 2023
Iceland Volcano Eruption Map 2023, source: Icelandic Meteorological Office.

Litli Hrutur Eruption – Updated July 10, 2023

On July 10th 2023, a week-long cluster of thousands of earthquakes on the Reykjanes Peninsula culminated in the 3rd volcanic eruption in the area in just over 2 years. This new eruption at Litli Hrutur has formed an impressive crater and has garnered widespread attention and generated much excitement for locals and tourists alike.

A drone shot of hot magma flowing out of a volcanic crater in Reykjanes in 2021
Photo courtesy of Bruno Veiga

Litli Hrutur follows eruptions two separate eruption. The first at Fagradalsfjall began on March 19th, 2021, which erupted for the first time in approximately 8 centuries. It brought the land of fire and ice back to the center stage for explorers and adventurers. The eruption continued for around 6 months.

This was followed by the August 2022 Meradalir eruption. This volcano was initially more powerful than the Fagradalsfjall eruption which ceased after only 3 weeks or so.

According to ongoing research, Reykjanes ridge will stay active for many years, and more eruptions can begin at any time. There is however no way to tell when exactly. Meanwhile, the new eruption sites provide an extraordinary opportunity to see the newly formed land.

The four eruption sites are very close to each other and the new lava flows from both eruptions are connected. The area is just under one hour’s drive from Reykjavik and is relatively easy to access.

It´s not possible at this time to predict how long Litli Hrutur might erupt. We do hope that it will be more like Fagradalsfjall than Meradalir in this regard and that we can  continue offering out exciting active volcano tours.

Meradalir eruption – Updated August 2022

The Meradalir eruption in Iceland, commencing in August 2022 near Fagradalsfjall, is part of the same volcanic system that became active in 2021. This eruption, like its predecessor, occurred on the Reykjanes Peninsula, an area with a long dormant period prior to 2021.

Meradalir’s eruption was characterized by fissure vents spewing lava, creating mesmerizing lava flows and adding to the peninsula’s dramatic landscape. It posed minimal risk to populated areas, allowing for safe observation and study. This event offered invaluable insights into Iceland’s geology, contributing to our understanding of volcanic behavior in a region marked by tectonic activity and offering a spectacular display of Earth’s dynamic nature.

Meradalir Volcano eruption 2022
Meradalir eruption on Reykjanes Peninsula in 2022.

Fagradalsfjall eruption – Updated March 2021

The Fagradalsfjall eruption in Iceland, beginning in March 2021, marked the first in the Reykjanes Peninsula in about 800 years. Originating in the Geldingadalir valley, this event was notable for its relatively low danger to humans and infrastructure, allowing close-up observation.

The eruption, characterized by spectacular lava fountains and flows, provided valuable insights into volcanic activity and attracted global attention. Unlike explosive eruptions, Fagradalsfjall’s was effusive, with lava steadily oozing out. It reshaped the local landscape, creating new landforms and altering ecosystems. This eruption was a unique opportunity for scientists to study volcanic processes and for visitors to witness nature’s raw power.

Here you can find a detailed article about the Fagradalsfjall eruption.

Fagradalsfjall eruption on Reykjanes Peninsula.
About the author
BusTravel Community
BusTravel Community
BusTravel Community represents a collaborative initiative by BusTravel Iceland, dedicated to delivering the latest and most comprehensive travel information for visitors to Iceland. Spearheaded by a diverse team of knowledgeable and passionate experts, including Irena, Kristjan, Neil, Yanshu, and many others, this collective endeavor ensures that travelers have access to up-to-date, reliable, and insightful guidance for exploring the stunning landscapes and rich culture of Iceland.

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