The Grimsvötn eruption of 5 May 2021

38 per cent of all eruptions in Iceland come from Grimsvötn. It is an amazing number: this hidden volcano, invisible and unreachable to all but the most hardy explorer, is among the most active volcanoes in the world. Not the most active: the volcano with the highest frequency of eruptions is Mayon, which has erupted…

Þorbjörn’s Tormented Tribulations

As Þorbjörn rumbles on it seems ever likelier that it will erupt. So, to explain what is happening I decided to pull out all the stops and produce a more definitive article explaining the news and a possible future now that Albert has put things into context. So, without further ado, I would like to…

A Reykjanes story

Iceland does it rather well. Over the 1100 years or so since the Viking settlement, it has erupted some 63 km3 of lava, the large majority of it basaltic. A similar volume of tephra was also produced. The East Volcanic Zone is the prime suspect for any eruption, and with good reason: it is responsible…

Volcanic alert at Þorbjörn Volcano

The Icelandic Met Office has released an Official Bulletin about the possibility for an upcoming eruption at Þorbjörn on the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland. Þorbjörn belongs to a class of volcanoes that I normally like to call Unknownabunga, one of all of those volcanic features in Iceland that pretty much nobody knows anything about, until…

Climate in action

16,000 years ago, Iceland was in the grip of ice. The sea was 100 meters lower than it is now, and the land extended far beyond the current coast. But too little benefit. The island was covered in an icecap which extended well beyond the current coast. At its peak (21.5 thousands years ago) the…

The Woolly Mammoth-Sized Eruption Poll – One Year On

It’s been one year, yes one whole year of DNA damage and telomere shortening, since the last poll and we’re all still waiting to see who’s going to go first. We’ve seen activity increase in some areas and decline in others. Will that have swayed your opinion or will you stick to your previous vote…

Strong tremor signal detected at Grimsvötn

At 19.03 local time the automatic SIL-system in Iceland picked up a strong tremor signal. When this type of tremor signal is visible in Iceland it is normally associated with either a large jökulhlaup (rapid glacial melt outflow) that can become larger than the output of the Amazon River, or it is associated with an…

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Holohraun Five Years Later

A guest post from Salting I visited Iceland many times in the past to meet friends and take a day off on my way between Europa and US. In summer 2011 I made an extra-long stop and visited a glacier to better understand the forces that shaped the coastline around my Swedish home island. Trekking…

Was Puyehue Cordón-Caulle really a VEI-5?

That the question even exist is a bit of an oddity in modern volcanology, after all we have known amply how to take ejecta-depth measurements to create Isopac-maps since 1956, more about that below. The reason that this question has prevailed is that there are anomalies in the numbers proven for the eruption, compared to…

The Forgotten Volcano

A few days ago, I was sipping on a rum and coke as I was flying over Kilimanjaro and the great continental divide ripping East Africa away from the embrace of the rest of Africa. As I did that, I got to ponder the other major tectonic powerhouse, Iceland. People tend to forget or underestimate…