Evidence indicates that an underwater volcanic eruption occurred off North Iceland recently, between the islands Grímsey and Kolbeinsey. Earth scientists have recovered new lava stones from the ocean floor approximately 50 km (31 miles) north of Grímsey.
Photo: Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review.
Geophysicist Bryndís Brandsdóttir at the University of Iceland told visir.is that the lava is so fresh that it could have flowed just yesterday. She added that she and geophysicist Páll Einarsson agree that it may be a few months, but not years, old.
To confirm the lava’s age, more detailed analysis is necessary.
Extensive research of the ocean floor off North Iceland, which began 12 years ago, has, among other things, led to gas exploration on Skjálfandi Bay, which is currently ongoing, and new knowledge of volcanic activity with the aid of 3D images.
New underwater volcanoes have been discovered, such as the one known to Grímsey inhabitants as Stórigrunnur.
Powerful earthquakes have occurred in the area in the past ten years. For example, one of a 5.5 magnitude in 2002, which may have been connected with a minor eruption, Bryndís stated.