New Fissure Eruption Near Fagradalsfjall in Iceland

Mar 31, 2021 | Daily Space, Earth

New Fissure Eruption Near Fagradalsfjall in Iceland
IMAGE: Screen capture of RUV’s live-stream webcam. CREDIT:

Several weeks ago, we shared with you news that increased tremors on the Reykjanes peninsula seemed to indicate magma was on the move and that a volcanic eruption was possible. Well, last Friday night, that eruption finally occurred! 

For the first time in 900 some years, the Fagradalsfjall Volcano began to erupt. This is a fissure volcano, which to my astronomer’s eye, basically means it appears that the earth has cracked open, allowing magma from deep below to ooze and fountain out, building up a small cone and lava field. This volcano is considered safe with the exception of periodic clouds of poisonous gas; it is neither expelling ash high into the air nor threatening homes or life with lava. The only real concern, so far, has been for possible archaeological sites. 

According to the Icelandic news site,, archaeologist Oddgeir Osaksen raced to the site by helicopter after the eruption started, but didn’t find any burial sites, stating: I did not see the valley in its entirety before it went under the lava, so I do not dare to swear that nothing went under, but judging by aerial photographs it is unlikely. 

For now, this volcano is calmly filling the valley it is located in, and if the eruption continues for tens of days, it may overfill it and spill into neighboring regions.

Volcanologists from the Iceland Met Office have already taken and processed samples of the lava emerging onto the surface, and it appears to have come directly from the Earth’s mantle at a depth of 17-20 kilometers. This kind of direct connection to the region below the Earth’s crust is rare, and I look forward to more footage of volcanologists getting crazy close, cooking sausages over the lava, and collecting more samples to science upon their return to their labs.

More Information

Eruption Mar 2021 on the Reykjanes Peninsula: activity updates (Volcano Discovery)

Live feed from Iceland volcano (


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