Covering an area of 65 km2, Nornahraun, or Witches’ lava, created by the eruptions around Bárðarbunga, has become the largest new lava field in Iceland since the eruptions in Laki, 1783-1784. At 600 km2, the lava field created by the catastrophic events at Laki still leads by a great advantage, though.
The figure was announced by the Icelandic Met Office today, on Facebook. The radar image above was shot on a surveillance flight on Tuesday and accompanied the announcement. The yellow outlines mark the shape of the lava in its current form. The eruptions continue.
Sulphuric compounds and other pollution released by the explosive eruption in Laki, caused famine, mass death and mass emigration. So far, the eruption in Bárðarbunga is, in contrast, effusive and far more benign.