#eruption

Increased indications of volcanic activity in Öræfajökull outlet glacier in Vatnajökull on the south shore has moved the alert state to a higher level.  According to the Icelandic Med Office increased earthquakes, changes in volcanic related chemicals in glacial rivers floating from the glacier, and a new ice-cauldron taking shape on the top of the glacier are all unusual developments.  Not the least when all occur simultaneously.

Öræfajökull glacier on right side seen from Lómagnúpur mountain on the South Shore in Iceland

In recent months earthquake activity has increased in Öræfajökull the southernmost outlet glacier in Vatnajökull icecap. Just like the increased activity in Bárðarbunga outlet glacier on the northern part of Vatnajökull this development is quite intimidating.  Both outlet glaciers are also huge volcanos, and both have a humongous amount of ice on top.

Öræfajökull glcier/volcano

Are you looking for a place to shake your brain and legs? Are you interested in Iceland and the many active natural forces like earthquakes, eruption and moving glaciers? The new Lava Center is a place you should seriously consider. A unique and highly interesting exhibition center with interactive exhibits located only a few kilometers from the notorious Eyjafjallajökuill glacier/volcano, and other active volcanos.

When you enter the exhibition, you start in a corridor that tells the story of a century of eruptions in Iceland.

Most dangerous eruptions in Iceland occur under ice, under a thick ice cap.  The reason is the massive flood that forces its way to the shore as the magma melts the thick ice on the volcano's top.

Scientists are constantly monitoring Bárðarbunga and nearby places

 

Laki is a rather small mountain similar to many other mountains in Iceland but unlike other mountains, as it has an extraordinary reputation.  Laki Mountain is approximately 820 meters high and stands 300 meters over its surrounding area deep in the highland of Iceland. Before June 8th, 1783 Laki was just an ordinary lonely and peaceful mountain. But all that changed when large fissures opened both to the west and east side of the mountain forcing an unprecedented amount of magma to the surface.  Although Laki was more or less unharmed, the eruption ripped the northeastern part of Laki apart leaving some interesting cracks in that part of the mountain.  Contrary to outspread writings and wrong information Laki had nothing to do with the Skaftáreldar eruption. Laki is not even a crater or a volcano. But when people came to the source of the catastrophic events when things cooled down in 1784 they named the craters on both sides after Laki, the Laki craters. 

A rewarding trip to go to Laki

The mountain Laki is deep in the Icelandic highland.  It is a place you could easily call a geological and geographic wonderland.  After the eruption, Laki became an excellent place to climb to view the magnitude and source of the Skaftáreldar eruption.  As time passed, more and more people became interested in this one of a kind place.  Today it is becoming one of the main attractions in the Icelandic highland and probably soon one of the main attractions in Iceland.  A path to walk up to the top is on the south side and another to go down on the west side of Laki.  It is a good trail that is quite easy to walk and very rewarding, as the view is stunning.  The cracks on the northeastern side are also quite impressive, especially when you think about how they were formed.

The trip and drive to Laki is a day tour

The drive to Laki is a rough, hard road with rivers to cross, and only fit for a real 4WD.  This part of Iceland is only accessible during summer from the end of June until the middle of September.  The drive also requires a lot of patience as your average speed the whole 40 kilometers is probably under 30 kilometers per. hour.  The same applies for the drive back. You start your drive by turning north on the Ring Road Nr. 1 on the south shore a short distance west of the small village of Kirkjubærjarklaustur. Here you turn to Holtsvegur Road Nr. 206. After driving just two kilometers past the farm Hunkubakkar, you turn north again to the Lakavegur Highland and Mountain Road Nr. F206.  Follow the road for 40 kilometers, and you will reach Laki.  You can even make more of the tour by visiting Fagrifoss Waterfall and Fjaðrárgljúfur canyon on your way back. 

WHAT KIND OF CAR FITS FOR AN ICELAND ROAD TRIP?
Read this important article written by a local expert before you choose a car.

Below is the location of Laki mountain on the map of Iceland

The Laki trail is a good walk that is quite easy to walk and very rewarding, as the view is stunning.

Seven years ago the eruption at Eyjafjallajokull volcano grabbed the attention of the world.  In recent times few eruptions have caught a similar attention.  It was almost the only thing the news media discussed for days. One of the main reasons was, of course, the concern that the volcanic ash the eruption spewed into the atmosphere would damage aircraft engines.  Consequently, most of the airspace in Europe was closed down for days and all aircraft grounded with consequence for hundreds of thousands of people.

The Eyjafjallajokull eruption put Iceland on the map for many people

Iceland is an island of many volcanos, and according to one of our most prominent geologists, at least four major volcanos are due.

Katla, on the other hand, can possibly burst with devastating and dangerous consequences.

Katla under the glacier Mýrdalsjökull is an active volcano in the southern part of the Icelandic Highland.  “Active” in a geological sense is measured in tens and hundred of years of an interval between eruptions.  In the past, Katla has had the habit of erupting at least once-twice every century and has erupted twenty times since the Icelandic settlement in the tenth century. It has been a long time since the interval was as long as the current one. That is why Katla is monitored by the Icelandic Met Office and geologists around the clock all year round.

Katla long overdue volcano is roaring and might erupt at any time

 

The crater Tjarnargígur or Pond Crater is one of many craters created in the infamous 1783 - 1784 eruption Skaftáreldar in Iceland. The row of craters stretches over an area of 25 kilometers. Because of the young geological age of Tjarnargígur, the whole area around the crater is very sensitive consisting mostly of lava and moss.  Although there are many craters at Lakagígar, Tjarnargígur is one of the most impressive. One of the reasons is the water that forms a small pond within the crater.  The water is pristine and because of the small diameter and the 12 meter depth the pound has a beautiful turquoise color, at least on a clear day.  Consequently, the crater Tjarnargígur is quite photogenic and worth it to visit if you decide to take the driving tour to Lakagígar and Laki.

One of the most impressive natural wonders in the Highland

Lakagígar, The Laki Craters, is located int the middle of the Icelandic Highland. Like all places in the Highland, it is only open part of the year. Usually, the road opens late June or in the first two weeks of July depending on how fast the road dries up after the snow melts during spring. Most of the interesting places around Tjarnargígur and other craters were created in the Skaftáreldar eruption.  There is a parking lot by Tjarnargígur with excellent facilities to stop and have a picnic.  By the crater there are two interesting walking paths; one around the pound and another, a bit longer, in the lava. Both have a mystical atmosphere as the whole surrounding along the way is unusual, due to the peace and quiet while walking through a lava covered with thick moss.

Access is not easy and requires a 4WD vehicle

The crater Tjarnargígur is located approximately 6 kilometers west of Laki crater and mountain.  To drive to Laki and Tjarnargígur is a rugged, difficult road with many rivers to cross, and only fit for a good 4WD. It also requires a lot of patience as your average speed the whole 40 kilometers is probably under 30 kilometers per. hour.  The same applies for the drive back. You start you drive by turning north on the Ring Road Nr. 1 on the south shore near the small village of Kirkjubærjarklaustur. Here you turn to Holtsvegur Road Nr. 206. After driving just two kilometers, you turn north again to the Lakavegur Highland Road Nr. F206.  When you reach Laki, you turn west on the Highland Road F207 to go to Tjarnargígur. 

WHAT KIND OF CAR FITS FOR AN ICELAND ROAD TRIP?
Read this important article written by a local expert before you choose a car.

Below is the location of Tjarnargígur on the map of Iceland

The crater Tjarnargígur or Pond Crater is one of many craters created in the infamous 1783 - 1784 eruption Skaftáreldar in Iceland.

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