The Woolly Mammoth Guide to Icelandic Volcanism 2018 – Chapter 1

Reykjanes Ridge and Eldey-Geirfuglasker Volcanic Belt A year and a half ago I wrote what I thought would be the end of writing about Icelandic volcanoes for quite some time. Reality obviously caught up with me, and I had to write quite a few more articles. The Woolly Mammoth was not intended to be left…

The Usual Suspects

This week there are three volcanoes worthy of attention. So, I thought I would write a brief update on them since we have covered them either recently, or in detail. Without further ramblings let us go on to Gunung Agung. And as I came to my final and third volcano life coughed up a fourth…

History of Öræfajökull

Iceland has ice. Glaciers cover 10% of its landscape, including its highest volcanoes. Of its frequent eruptors, only Hekla is (almost) ice free. Katla, Bardarbunga, and Grimsvötn, which together account for the large majority of eruptions, are all hidden underneath ice sheets, which gives problems studying the volcanoes themselves. But a more serious issue is…

Öraefajökull – A challenge for volcanology

A couple of years ago I was asked on a radio show which volcano in Iceland I wanted least to erupt. I quickly answered Öraefajökull. It confused everyone, and I got bogged down in explaining why an unknown (to the layman) volcano would be that bad. It is though true, if there is a single…

An Iceland Enigma – The Thórsmörk Ignimbrite

Today we welcome a guest post by volcanologist Dave McGarvie. Dave is a senior lecturer at the Open University and studies volcanoes in Iceland and Chile. He can be found on Twitter under the username @subglacial. One of the wonderful aspects of working as a volcanologist is Iceland is that fascinating new puzzles and their…

Iceland seismicity – monthly review (July 2017 edition)

Ever since I began plotting earthquake data for Iceland and generally for the world (where data is available), I was planning to do a monthly review of the seismicity in Iceland, so we can keep track of it on a monthly basis. Of course, if there is any stronger activity or something unusual happens, usually…

Living dangerously: a Grimsvotn prediction

Grimsvotn (‘Grim’s lakes’) is Iceland’s secret. Of all its volcanoes, this is the most frequent erupter, exploding as often as every 5-10 year. It also causes jokulhaups with decadal frequency. And worst of all, it is a mass murderer, which has killed as many as a quarter of Iceland’s population. And all of this is…

Volcanic unrest in Iceland

Iceland suffers from eruptions on average every 3 to 7 years. And in between we tend to look at other volcanoes with interest. And as time goes by we forget that Iceland at any time can have larger and faster eruptions than pretty much any other spot on earth. During this phase of volcanic unrest…

Unrest at Fagradalsfjall

The pleistocene volcano of Fagradalsfjall has started a phase of uncertainty due to a medium sized tectonic swarm associated with the volcano. At the time of writing there have been around 400 earthquakes ranging up to M4.0 in size. Fagradalsfjall last erupted during the last glacial period in Iceland. The earthquake swarm is fairly intense…

Greip, Gjálp’s Mysterious Sister

In this article, we move away from the usual suspects in Icelandic volcanism and turn our attention to a feature many of us have noticed over the years. This feature has only been revealed from seismicity, but here I try to unravel the past and future activity as well as give this feature a sense…