Largest Volcanic Eruption in Grímsvötn in 100 Years Skip to content

Largest Volcanic Eruption in Grímsvötn in 100 Years

The current volcanic eruption in Grímsvötn on Vatnajökull glacier is the largest in that volcano 100 years and larger than the one in Eyjafjallajökull last year. It is similar to the eruption of 1873, according to geophysicist Magnús Tumi Gudmundsson. A large flood is not expected.


The current eruption in Grímsvötn is larger in scale than the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull in 2010, according to geophysicist Magnús Tumi Gudmundsson. Photo of the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull by Bjarni Brynjólfsson.

This morning the ash cloud was 15 to 18 kilometers high which means that the volcanic eruption is ten times more powerful than the last eruption in Grímsvötn in 2004, Gudmundsson told

However, it is not unique. Grímsvötn goes through phases where it erupts often in a period of 60-80 years, then there are quieter periods of equal length.

In these quieter phases there are small eruptions such as the ones in 1998 and 2004 and then the third and fourth eruption are larger in scale, like in 1619 and in 1873, which is similar in character as the one we’re experiencing now.

It is much larger with much more magma flow and much more emission of ash than what we witnessed in the volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajökull last year. The ash scatters widely and the ash cloud stretches over a large part of the country.

Please note: The next issue of the print edition of Iceland Review will include extensive coverage of the eruption. If you subscribe now, you will receive a photo book by IR editor/photographer Páll Stefánsson of the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull as a gift.

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Follow for further news updates of the eruption. If you have any photos of the current Grímsvötn eruption and would like to see them published, please send them to [email protected] and [email protected].

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