Towards a new volcanic eruption in the southwest of Iceland?

Towards a new volcanic eruption in southwest Iceland?


The likelihood of another eruption near Mount Fagradalsfjall, some 40 kilometers from the capital Reykjavík, “in the coming days or weeks” is considered “substantial”, the Meteorological Office of Iceland (IMO). 

Since Saturday around 12:30 GMT, intense seismic activity has shaken the Reykjanes peninsula and a large area around Fagradalsfjallhraun, the name given at the lava field formed by the longest volcanic eruption on the island in 50 years (March 19 to September 18, 2021).

As last public count on Monday, more than 10,000 tremors had been recorded by the IMO seismographs, including two with a magnitude greater than 5.

The exploitation of satellite images has confirmed a deformation of the earth's crust caused by a magmatic intrusion — an influx of magma — at relatively shallow Fagradalsfjall, about a kilometer from the surface, northeast of the s ite and far from any habitation.

While ground movements and seismic activity seem to be slowing down in recent hours, “it was one of the warning signs of the eruption” last year. the latter recalls the institute in a press release.

A similar seismic episode took place in the same region in December 2021 without the lava coming out of the ground, but was of less intensity.

Before last year, the Reykjanes Peninsula had not seen an eruption for almost eight centuries, but Icelandic specialists point out that the region has entered a new period of volcanic activity.