Signs and Portents of Iceland

Icelandic volcanoes are all about long term projections. They do not do things in the short run, before any eruptions you will see either several intrusive episodes like at Eyjafjallajökull, or you will see signs of steadily mounting pressure prior to an eruption. For some Icelandic volcanoes these two processes goes on for decades, or…

Eldgja: Eruption dating

The previous post described what we think we know about the Eldgja eruption. Our knowledge about one of the largest eruptions in Iceland is somewhat limited, surprisingly so given that Iceland was already well populated. One of the few things which seems secure is the date. Eldgja is believed to date to 934 AD, continuing…

The Eldgja Eruption: Iceland’s Baptism by Fire

Iceland is the most volcanic place in the world. Explosive eruptions, from many different volcanoes, are common, unpredictable and, when seen from afar, exciting. But don’t be fooled. These volcanic explosions are small fry, and mostly harmless. Less common but far more devastating are the other type, responsible for 80% of all Icelandic lava and…

Countdown to Grimsvötn

I have lately read a lot of comments about Iceland being boring and calm. In reality nothing could be more wrong, Iceland is brimming with activity. So, let us take a quick look at some interesting volcanoes before we go to the namesake of this article. Volcanic activity in general If we start in the…

100 years of Icelandic volcanism

  Statistics and volcanism does not exactly go hand in hand, especially since it tends to end up with idiots claiming that volcanoes are “overdue”. A volcano is never overdue, they may shift patterns of their eruptions, go into extended periods of dormancy, or pretty much do anything that they jolly well pleases. It is…