Long-Dormant Icelandic Volcano Erupts After 6,000 Years of Inactivity


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Icelandair (@icelandair)

Iceland is living up to its nickname of “the land of ice and fire” after its first volcanic eruption in six years. The country’s ground is shaped by volcanic and glacial terrains, and it’s no stranger to geological events. However, this eruption is particularly special since the volcano was previously dormant for 6,000 years.

After a “swarm” of earthquakes, the eruption of Mount Fagradalsfjall—about 20 miles southwest of Reykjavik—happened on March 19, 2021, at 8:45 PM. According to the Icelandic Meteorological Office, the eruption is considered small. The eruptive fissure measured around 1,640 feet long and spewed more than 10 million square feet of lava. In the following days, the ongoing volcanic activity has decreased, and the volcano now poses no immediate danger to surrounding towns.

Despite the relatively small size, the volcanic eruption provides the people of Iceland with mesmerizing views. The event could last days or even months, so many people are seizing the rare opportunity to capture photos and videos of the flowing lava from a safe distance. The eruption has also caused beautiful red and orange skies that can be admired several miles from the site.

Iceland experienced more than 18,000 earthquakes in the last week alone. The dramatic increase in seismic activity is rare and has sparked a scientific investigation as to why it’s happening. Thorvaldur Thórdarson, a professor of volcanology at the University of Iceland says, “It is very likely that we have an intrusion of magma into the [Earth’s] crust there. It has definitely moved closer to the surface, but we are trying to figure out if it’s moving even closer to it.”

Iceland is located along a series of tectonic plates called the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, making it particularly prone to activity. Elian Peltier from The New York Times explains, “The country straddles two tectonic plates, which are themselves divided by an undersea mountain chain that oozes molten hot rock, or magma. Quakes occur when the magma pushes through the plates.”

The eruption is being closely monitored, but so far, it’s no cause for alarm. People around the world are currently celebrating its beauty. Icelandic pop star Björk is one of them, writing on Instagram, “YESSS !! , eruption !! we in iceland are sooo excited !!! we still got it !!! sense of relief when nature expresses herself !!! enjoy , warmthness.”

Check out photos and videos of the mesmerizing volcanic eruption below.

A 6,000-year-dormant Icelandic volcano recently erupted near Mount Fagradalsfjall, about 20 miles southwest of Reykjavik.

It’s Iceland's first volcanic eruption in six years.

According to the Icelandic Meteorological Office, the eruption is considered small and poses no immediate danger to surrounding towns.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Deividas | Iceland (@deividas)

h/t: [Mashable]

Related Articles:

Incredible Photos Capture Powerful Lightning Storms Over Volcano Eruptions

Photographer Accidentally Captures Amazing Shot of a Shooting Star Over an Erupting Volcano

Thrill-Seeking Photographer Describes What It’s Like to Be Inside an Active Volcano

Intense Close-Range Photos Taken at the Edge of a Volcano

Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content