Iceland – The Island of Volcanoes

3 Oct

Iceland volcano

Iceland – The Island of Volcanoes

Volcanoes and volcano eruption are plentiful in Iceland. Iceland is situated in the ridge of the mid Atlantic zone of the planet earth. A new oceanic massive crust is formed in this part of the planet. The ride is exactly located on top of the mantle plume of earth. It is the reason you find the land in Iceland to be of the sub-aerial category (landmass above the mean sea level). There is enormous significance attributed towards the positioning of the ridge especially, as it is situated right in between the continental plates of Eurasia and North America.


It is interesting to know, why do Icelandic volcanoes erupt. Eruption means expulsion of lava, and different gases from a volcanic fissure or a vent, Matters expelled are also known as ash, volcanic bombs, lapilli and blocks. There are several types of volcanic eruptions that have been identified by volcanologists also coined after known volcanoes where the behavior of the volcano has been observed.

  • Magmatic Eruptions- The most observed and it involves gas decompression inside the magma that propels and thrust it outward.
  • Phreatomagnetic Eruptions- propelled by the condensation of gas inside the magma. A process which is adversely different from magmatic activity.
  • Phreatic Eruption- eruptive meta type, which is moved by the steam’s super heating through association with magma. Most often it does not exhibit release of magma but instead it generates rock granulation.


Volcano eruption is hazardous not only to the utmost surrounding vicinity but also nearby the area of eruption. If volcanic ash reaches aircraft it causes a threat most specifically to the jet engines where particles of ashes melt thus altering the shape and the activity of turbine is disrupted.

Subsequently, temperatures can be affected by large blasts as droplets and ashes of sulfuric acid hindering the sunlight and the troposphere (the Earth’s lower temperature). Heats that are radiated upward are absorbed.

Three popular types of volcanoes stratovolcano (conical volcano consisting of layers of solid lava), cinder cone volcano (doesn’t have any horizontal layers, and is instead a steep conical hill of tephra) and shield volcano (volcano built entirely or mostly from fluid lava vents). To prevent people from doubting that they are not in danger when living within the vicinity, some new classifications are being adopted to describe the numerous levels and volcanic movement in some places in the world.  Others are into color coding and numbers alert systems to identify different stages. Some use the words and colors or the combinations of both.

Why do Volcanoes Erupt

Is there any systematic time period during which volcano eruption occurs? Is it possible to reduce the amount of molten material that spreads to adjacent towns and villages? So many questions crop up in our minds naturally when thinking about volcanoes. Is an earthquake in any way related to volcanic activity? Or in more precise terms – do continental plate shifts often cause eruption? Scientifically there are many doubts that might arise in our mind. It is normal to indulge our sense of curiosity and ponder about the planet we inhabit.

thunder in ashclouds

Volcano eruption cannot be 100% predicted by a scientist or historian or any other explorer or researcher at any point in time. Seismic studies are being conducted to do analyses on the nature or condition of the earth’s crust just beneath us, in certain places, and the data is sent to labs for further technical analysis.

Soil and water samples are taken into consideration to assess the imbalance underneath and the extent to what you might expect a natural catastrophe to occur in that vicinity in the nearest possible future. You will be able to ascertain certain vital facts in that way, for sure. Yet, all these statistical data and logs and analysis as well as the utility of artificial intelligence, cannot pave way to the scientists and researchers, to help them rightly identify a specific time when a volcano eruption will occur next… or when it would cease.

Based upon previous occurrences and corresponding logs that are maintained for a particular volcanic peak or mountain, guesses and assumptions are made accordingly through insertions of graphs or extrapolation of curves in the graphs and so on. Other than that – pure guesswork is at hand if you are to arrive at precise details about an imminent volcano eruption out of only one of these things. Technology has not improved to those standards yet. To be able to detect volcano eruption some otherworldly intelligence and advancement in technology is needed. Yet, as we mentioned earlier, there are logs that are maintained by researchers wherein they note the movements of volcanoes. What these scientists do is dedicate a person or a team to monitor and watch the movements and happenings in a volcano. It is possible to rightly assess the conditions of the volcano, to a certain extent.

You can somewhat trust that the volcano eruption will not occur again for a certain amount of time. It can be ca month or a year and so on. Samples are collected from a particular arena and sent to the laboratories for analysis and testing. Based upon the nature of the samples, the condition, the physical and chemical properties of the minerals present and their state, will all supply credentialed information for the researchers to assess the condition, and be able to come to best assumptions. Yes, these are valid assumptions based upon technical data, which might be reliable to a certain extent, although, not 100%. It is impossible to ascertain when a volcano eruption will occur again.

The core of earth is so hot that one has not been able to figure out exactly when massive material will suddenly ooze out of the fissures and cracks in the mantle (crust of the earth). Earth’s core is full of molten lava. Only one millionth of earth’s core temperature, or even less, is what we see in volcanic molten lava.


Molten lava that is spewed by an Icelandic volcano easily reaches neighboring places and can burn wood, animals, or men to ashes in minutes. Imagine then, what the condition is inside of an Icelandic volcano.

As mentioned previously, in the tectonic plate boundary of the earth in the mid-Atlantic ocean ridge you find the island of Iceland. It is an area that is prone to leaks from the inner core of molten lava from planet earth. Remember, earth is nothing but a part of a solar family. The molten lava content is still there deep inside the earth’s crust, and the life period of planet earth is completely dependent upon the state of this internal molten material. Different layers that are enclosing the core of earth are so densely well packed in such a manner that there is not any leak of hottest molten material inside. Yet, there are certain areas, like the tectonic plates, where there can be a bit of leaking as these are areas where the continental plates are adjoining each other.

With that said you might be curious about the other areas you can expect such leaks or lava output. Yes, this happens in many parts of the earth, including oceans. Yet, if you count on all the lava output all over the planet as such, one third of the overall output could just be from this place alone. Such is the nature of Iceland.

There are more than thirty diverse volcanism systems in Iceland.  The year 1783 was blacklisted in the history of Iceland as well as the whole European continent when huge catastrophic destruction occurred. Skaftáreldar volcano erupted and almost half of the population in Iceland at that time died just after the incident. It was not the lava this time though. It was the polluted environment all over the island. Smoke particles from the spew of the volcano spread all over the island surrounding atmosphere.

volcanic explotion

People found it difficult to breath. Those with pulmonary diseases suffered badly and finally many succumbed. Children and elders were especially influenced. Livestock fell rapidly as well. Adequate food, water and air were unavailable for most of the population due to the enormous amount of toxic pollutants that mixed with the water and air. This miserable situation lasted for years resulting in the demise of many inhabitants of the Island because of this volcano eruption. That is only mentioning the effect on Iceland.

Some Information on why do Icelandic Volcano Erupt

Iceland is a land mass created by pure rifts and accretions that happened over millions of years in this particular joint between the two continental plates, through volcanism. For that reason, there should be no wonder in seeing volcanoes everywhere here. There are many Icelandic volcanoes and most of them are listed below.

  1. Katla
  2. Esjufjöll
  3. Prestahnúkur
  4. Kerlingarfjöll
  5. Kverkfjöll
  6. Bárðarbunga
  7. Loki-Fögrufjöll
  8. Kollóttadyngja
  9. Eyjafjallajökull
  10. Reykjanes
  11. Eldgjá
  12. Öræfajökull
  13. Hekla
  14. Thordarhyrna
  15. Eldfell
  16. Lýsuhóll
  17. Askja
  18. Laki
  19. Grímsnes
  20. Surtsey
  21. Grensdalur
  22. Snæfellsjökull
  23. Krýsuvík
  24. Krakatindur
  25. Jólnir
  26. Volcanic
  27. Hveravellir
  28. Hverfjall
  29. Vatnafjöll
  30. Fremrinámur
  31. Reykjaneshryggur
  32. Hrómundartindur
  33. Tungnafellsjökull
  34. Hofsjökull
  35. Torfajökull
  36. Herðubreið
  37. Tindfjallajökull
  38. Brennisteinsfjöll
  39. Ljósufjöll
  40. Hengill
  41. Þórólfsfell
  42. Kolbeinsey Ridge
  43. Krafla
  44. Grímsvötn
  45. Theistareykjarbunga

By now you might have gathered that Iceland is the home to some notorious, wicked volcanoes that have continued to cough molten lava. Despite environmental threats the inhabitants of Iceland manage to live peacefully. There are no threats from the water side as there have been no reported tsunamis in this region for many centuries now. Yet, the volcanoes can be a bigger threat as well as the polluted atmosphere they create. People living here are able to tackle these conditions, the reason for their assurance, and many more interesting details will be discussed in a later article.

Iceland has a significant number of volcanoes that are active because of its mid-Atlantic Ridge location, a boundary of divergent tectonic plate. The island consists of 30 volcanoes that are active, and since their settlement in Iceland 13 had already erupted the year 874 AD.

The Latest Iceland Geology

Movements in earthquake activity continue to project in Badarbunga volcano as being monitored for the last 2 months.  The most significant earthquake had a recorded intensity of 5.4 magnitudes. Small earthquakes are also sensed.  Other earthquakes have been smaller, and affected Icelandic weather conditions

GPS measurement predicts a reduction in Bárðarbunga Iceland volcano activity and continues at the same rate as before. The subsidence rate has no changes; however the large area of the Bárðarbunga volcano has now begun to diminish.

As earthquake movement stays strong in the Bárðarbunga Iceland volcano. The caldera dropped simultaneously to about 40cm/day, but this drop happens with no earthquake movement at all.

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