From Iceland — The Volcano That Just Keeps Going

The Volcano That Just Keeps Going

Published March 22, 2024

Photo by
Art Bicnick/The Reykjavík Grapevine

The eruption the began between Hagafell and Stóra Skógfell on March 16 is ongoing, though the volume of lava being expelled has slowed since it first began.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office reports the average output of lava from March 17 to 20 has been 14.5 m3/s for a total of 20.9 million cubic metres. The new lava now covers an area of 5.58 km2.

Though ground inflation beneath Svartsengi had remained steady in the first days of the eruption, the accumulation of magma into the subterranean reservoir appears to have stopped. Magma is instead flowing directly to the surface at the site of the eruption, rather than pooling first in the reservoir.

The map below from the Met Office shows the area covered by new lava in this current eruption and its thickness. The violet areas indicate lava from the December 2023, and January and February 2024 eruptions, while the areas in tones of yellow, orange and red indicate lava from the ongoing eruption.

It can be seen in the map that the berms erected around the town of Grindavík have successfully diverted lava away from the town. It continues to make its way, albeit very slowly, toward Suðurstrandarvegur and the sea to the southeast of the town.

Grindavík was evacuated on November 10, 2023, though residents are permitted to enter the town at their own risk to tend to their properties.

Gas Poisoning At The Blue Lagoon

While this eruption has yet to cause damage to infrastructure, RÚV reported Thursday that an employee of the Blue Lagoon was being treated for gas poisoning suffered while working at the site of the popular tourist attraction on Wednesday. The Blue Lagoon has since reported that the individual is home and recovering.

Security guards at the Blue Lagoon are reportedly equipped with gas metres, but there was no metre in the area where the poisoned employee was working.

The Blue Lagoon has been closed to visitors since the eruption began on Saturday night and will be closed until further notice.

Follow the Reykjavík Grapevine’s ongoing volcano coverage.

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!

Show Me More!