Volcanic eruption

A small volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes peninsula in southwest Iceland

  • Risk to populated areas and critical infrastructure considered very low
  • No disruptions to international aviation
  • Volcanic activity follows considerable seismic activity over the past few days
  • The fissure is close to the site of an eruption of a similar type last year

At 13:18 GMT on 3 August lava began flowing from a ground fissure around Fagradalsfjall near the town of Grindavík on the Reykjanes peninsula. The eruption started in the wake of intense seismic activity lasting several days.

The site of the eruption is close to last year’s eruption that lasted for about six months. According to the Icelandic Met Office, the exact location of the fissure is in Meradalir about 1.5 km north of Mt. Stóri-Hrútur. The area is in southwest Iceland, about 15 km from Keflavik International Airport and about 25 km from the Reykjavík metropolitan area.

The eruption is considered to be relatively small and due to its location, there is low threat to populated areas or critical infrastructure. However, volcanic gases can accumulate in topograhic depressions in calm weather so people visiting the site should be very cautious and heed all warnings.

Currently, there have been no disruptions to flights to and from Iceland and international flight corridors remain open.

The response to the ongoing volcanic activity is led by the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management of the police in cooperation with the Icelandic Meteorological Office and the University of Iceland.

The eruption is classified as a fissure eruption (often referred to as Icelandic-type). Explosive activity or significant production of ash dispersed into the stratosphere is usually not associated with such eruptions.