Reykjavik, Iceland: A volcano erupted about 25 miles [40 km] from the Icelandic capital Reykjavik on Friday, turning the sky red as rivers of red mud burst forth.
Known as the land of fire and ice, Iceland is the largest and most active volcanic region in Europe, home to a third of the world’s runoff of mud since the Middle Ages, according to Visit Iceland.
The largest island in the North Atlantic crosses the Arctic Circle where it crosses the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a sea divide that separates the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates.
The partial replacement of these plates is the cause of Iceland’s massive volcanic activity.
32 volcanoes are currently considered operating in the country.
A new video of the explosion of the Geldingardalur village on the Reykjanes peninsula. Taken from a Guard helicopter. #Reykjanes #Eruption # Fagradalsfjallpic.twitter.com / B862heMzQL
– Iceland Meteorological Office – IMO (@Vedurstofan) March 19, 2021
Here are the main explosions in Icelandic history:
The rise of Bardarbunga, the volcanic eruption of Vatnajokull – Europe’s largest glacier – in the heart of Iceland’s high plateaus, was the latest eruption ahead of Friday.
The volcano erupted for five months, both below the ice and collapsed at the top of the Holuhraun lava field, causing a massive flow of basalt lava in Iceland for more than 230 years without causing any damage or damage.
Mount Grimsvotn, also located under the ice of Vatnajokull, is Iceland’s most active volcano. Its latest eruption occurred in May 2011, the ninth since 1902. For more than a week, it released a 20-mile [25 km] ash cloud in the sky, triggering the cancellation of more than 900 flights, mainly in the UK, Scandinavia, and Germany. .
In April 2010, piles of ash filled the skies for several weeks during the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which caused severe plane crashes during the silence until the Covid-19 epidemic. Some 100,000 planes were suspended, leaving more than ten million passengers stranded.
In one of the most dramatic eruptions in the country’s recent history, Heimaey Island in the Westman Islands woke up one January morning to a volcano 150 feet [150 m] from the city center. The eruption of Mount Eldfell not only occurred in a densely populated area – one of the most important fishing grounds in the country at the time – but also surprised local people this morning. A third of the houses in the area were destroyed and 5,300 residents were evacuated. One person died.
Considered Iceland’s most dangerous volcano, Katla’s last eruption added three miles [5 km] of land to the country’s south coast. It is located at the base of the Myrdalsjokull glacier, where Katla erupts releasing large quantities of tephra, or solid rock fragments that are still being blown into the air and carried by a powerful glacier. At the rate of a double explosion of 100, Katla had never erupted in more than a century and experts say it was too late.
Probably unknown at the time, Askja, Iceland’s second-largest volcano, erupted in three distinct phases. Two-thirds of the clouds of ashes rise more than 12 miles (12 miles) in the sky. A toxic storm across Iceland, which in some places reached a depth of two inches [20 cm] (8 inches), killed livestock, polluted the soil, and swept away the wave of migration to North America. Separated from the plains and far from civilization, Askja today is a tourist attraction and its mud fields were used to train astronauts with Apollo machines from 1965 and 1967.
The Laki volcanic eruption in the south of the island is considered by some experts to be the worst in Icelandic history, causing the greatest environmental and social and economic catastrophe: 50 to 80 percent of Icelandic livestock were killed, resulting in famine that left a quarter of Iceland’s population dead.
The amount of mud, about 15 cubic kilometers (3.6 cubic miles), is the second largest recorded on Earth a thousand years ago.
The effects of the Laki eruption had a profound effect on several years in the Northern Hemisphere, causing global warming and crop failures in Europe as millions of tons of sulfur dioxide were emitted. Some experts have suggested that the effects of the eruption may have played a role in the French Revolution, although the issue is still controversial.
130 volcanoes that still smuggle volcanoes were added to UNESCO’s world heritage list for 2019, as well as the entire national park under Vatnajokull.
The Eldgja eruption – meaning “fire valley” in Icelandic – the largest basalt lava eruption in the world has ever been observed. Part of the same volcanic system as Katla’s largest volcano, the Eldgja fissure is about 45 miles [75 km] long, extending from the western edge of Vatnajokull. The explosion led to two large rails covering 780 square miles (301 square miles).