Taxonomy term

iceland

King Oraefajokull

The Öraefajökull Volcano boasts Iceland’s highest peak — 2,109 meters above sea level — and has the reputation of being Iceland’s largest and most violent volcano. Major eruptions in 1362 and 1727 were among the most explosive in the island’s history, and both were accompanied by catastrophic glacial floods. After the 1362 event, the Icelandic word öraefi, originally meaning “area without a harbor,” was rechristened to mean “wasteland.”

29 Mar 2016

Geomedia: Books: Iceland's eruption of biblical proportions explored in 'Island on Fire'

For a few months in 2014–2015, a volcanic eruption in Iceland captivated many people around the world. The Holuhraun lava field produced the largest volume of lava erupted on the North Atlantic island in the past 200 years. Except for the areas plagued with acrid, sulfur-rich gas, which affected air quality, the eruption was mostly harmless and became a tourist spectacle. It was Icelandic volcanism at its finest.
 
16 Jul 2015

Megafloods mostly shaped Icelandic canyon landscape

A new study suggests that in one environment prone to catastrophic floods, the Jökulsárgljúfur Canyon in northeastern Iceland, the effects of several megafloods in the past 9,000 years have sculpted the canyon landscape far more so than “background” erosion caused by water and sediment flowing through it.

22 May 2015

Lead-up to Icelandic earthquakes seen in groundwater chemistry

Scientists tracking groundwater in Iceland have reported that significant shifts in the water’s chemistry occurred months prior to earthquakes in 2012 and 2013. It’s far too early to apply the findings to earthquake hazard assessment, researchers say, but the results suggest that precursory groundwater changes may also herald earthquakes elsewhere and point toward a potential means of future seismic monitoring.

31 Dec 2014

GPS measurements of ground inflation help forecast ash plumes

When Grimsvötn Volcano in Iceland erupted in May 2011, northern European airspace was closed for seven days and about 900 passenger flights were canceled. Scientists were charged with trying to read the volcano — to tell how high the ash plume would go and to figure out how long the violent eruption would last. Such features are hard to predict, but in a novel study, one research team has found a correlation between the height and composition of the Grimsvötn ash plume and ground deformation before and during the eruption. The findings, the team says, could improve volcanic plume dispersion models, which in turn could help air traffic managers determine when and where it’s safe to fly when volcanoes like Grimsvötn and Eyjafjallajökull suddenly erupt.

20 Feb 2014

Warring trolls explanation for mysterious basalt pillars revised

Peculiar basalt pillars found in Iceland — attributed in local lore to a pair of angry trolls hurling projectiles at each other — are having their origin story updated. In a rare example of nonexplosive lava-water interactions occurring on land, the hollow pillars likely formed around vertical columns of steam and superheated water venting through lava as it flowed over saturated ground, according to a new study.

02 Feb 2014

Voices: Volcanoes everywhere ... is there a link?

It may seem that there has been an unusual amount of volcanic activity lately, with major eruptions occurring in Iceland, Guatemala and Ecuador. But is it really unusual, and are the eruptions connected?

The short answer to both questions is no.

03 Jun 2010

Fire and ice produced Eyjafjalla's explosion

When an Icelandic volcano with a nearly unpronounceable name erupted after 200 years of quiet in March, it was little more than a curiosity. But when it erupted again in April — this time spewing huge clouds of ash as high as 11 kilometers into the stratosphere, quickly choking airways across Europe and costing airlines billions of dollars — it captured the world’s attention. As the ashfall decreased and airlines resumed normal routes this week, the headlines began to fade.

23 Apr 2010

Offbeat Betting: Volcano betting gathering steam

You never quite know when a given volcano is going to erupt — but you can bet on it. Ireland’s biggest bookmaker, Paddy Power, jetted to fame among geologists in early January, when it announced its latest novelty bet: which of a handful of famous volcanoes around the world would be the next to powerfully erupt.

21 Apr 2010

Blogging on EARTH linkfest: More on the Iceland eruption

Blogging on EARTH: Iceland links and Volcanoes 301

There's a lot of great info out there about the Iceland eruption's geology, if you know where to link.

19 Apr 2010

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