From Iceland — Volcano Surprises Again: New Crater Forming

Volcano Surprises Again: New Crater Forming

Published August 17, 2021

Valur Grettisson
Photo by
Art Bicnick

It’s official. The volcano at Geldingadalir is proving to be one of the most versatile to erupt in Iceland over the past few decades—even centuries—with a new crater forming just south of the one known as Number Five.

There was news about a possible new crater last week, but the appearance of this new fissure was not confirmed until this week. The crater is growing every day; it is now visible to people hiking to view the volcano, and is almost as high as Number Five.

The volcano has transformed many times since it first erupted on March 19th. At first, there was one big crater with two visible fissures, called Southie and Northie. Later as many as eight new fissures opened up until Number Five stood alone, and formed what was referred to as a fire geyser. Since May there has only been one fissure, which could indicate that the volcano has not yet found its final form in this incredible ever-changing event.

There have been signs of decline at the volcano, and scientists have said that its odd rhythm could signify the beginning of the end of the eruption. The volcano has taken breaks for hours—even days—and then erupted again. Effusions have been steady the last few days, as has the production of lava at around 11 to 12 cubic metres per second, (according to geologists at the Iceland Meteorological Office).

This steady activity has taken scientists by surprise, and they now say that it’s purely guesswork as to when the volcano will stop.

It’s estimated that more than 200,000 people have visited the volcano since it started erupting.

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