Eruption Over, Lava Stream All But Halted Skip to content

Eruption Over, Lava Stream All But Halted

By Andie Sophia Fontaine

Photo: Civil Protection and Emergency Management.

The eruption that began northeast of Sýlingarfell on the Reykjanes peninsula 24 days ago has finally drawn to a close, according to an announcement from the Icelandic Met Office. Meanwhile, efforts to stop a lava breach appear to have succeeded.

Working night and day

Yesterday evening, the Met Office announced that there was no longer any apparent lava in the one remaining crater of this eruption. Furthermore, seismic activity at the eruption site had calmed down significantly.

However, existing lava flow recently breached an earthen berm about a kilometre away from the Svartsengi Power Plant and the Blue Lagoon, activating workers to toil night and day to stop the lava flow with bulldozers and fire trucks. Speaking to RÚV, geologist at the engineering firm Efla Jónas Þór Ingólfsson told reporters that lava cooling efforts have exceeded all expectations, with no movement of the stream seen since yesterday morning.

What the future may bring

Reykjanes peninsula is an exceptionally geologically active area, even by Icelandic standards. The eruption that just ended marks the fifth in the Sundhnúkagígaröð volcano series, and while this eruption has drawn to a close, it will be far from the last one.

For more on what the near future may hold, check out our latest video, wherein we speak with noted volcanologist Þorvaldur Þórðarson.

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