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Iceland eruption
Photo: Icelandic Met Office. The Sýlingafell eruption on the morning of December 21, 2023.

Iceland’s Eruption May Be Over

The eruption that began on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula on Monday evening may already be over. Scientists on a monitoring flight saw no visible activity at the eruption site this morning, according to a Facebook post from the Met Office. Their observations were confirmed from the ground. It is, however, too early to declare the eruption officially over as there could still be activity in closed lava channels, experts say.

Most powerful eruption in recent years

The eruption began on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula just three days ago, near Sýlingafell mountain, some 3km [1.9mi] away from the evacuated town of Grindavík. It was quickly apparent that it was more powerful than the previous three eruptions that have occurred in the area over the past three years. During its first seven hours, the eruption produced more lava than the three-week Litli-Hrutur eruption that occurred earlier this year.

Read more: What do we know about the 2023 eruption near Grindavík?

Experts predicted that this eruption would be short-lived. Volcanologist Þorvaldur Þórðarson described it as typical for shallow magma eruptions, where built-up pressure leads to rapid magma ascent followed by a quick decrease in intensity. Þorvaldur and other experts have, however, stated that the area might experience more eruptions in the coming years, either on the Sundhnúka rift, along the line in Fagradalsfjall, or possibly slightly westward.

Read more about the geology of the Reykjanes peninsula.

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