Volcanic Activity near Reykjavík? Skip to content

Volcanic Activity near Reykjavík?

Volcanologist Haraldur Sigurdsson, one of the world’s most respected scientist in his field, said that land rise in Krýsuvík, about 20 kilometers from Reykjavík, Iceland’s capital, could mean that volcanic magma is streaming into the earth’s crust.

Land in the Krýsuvík area has risen about eight centimeters in two years and the area is watched closely because it could be an active volcano. The last eruption in the area was about 800 years ago and the lave in Hafnarfjördur, a town south of Reykjavík, came from that area.


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The circle shows the Krýsuvík area, south of Reykjavík. Heidmörk is at the north end of the circle, on the edge of Reykajvík. Google maps.

Sigurdsson says that even though there may be magma movement it is by no means certain that it will come to the surface as it did in 1151, forming the laves Ögmundarhraun, north of Grindavík on the south coast and Kapelluhraun by Hafnarfjördur. Alcan’s aluminum smelter is situated in Kapellluhraun.

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Krýsuvík. Photo: Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir/Iceland Review

The volcanic area goes from Grindavík in the south to Heidmörk on the outskirts of Reykjavík in the north.

Sigurdsson told RÚV that a possible eruption would be along that rift and lava would flow from it. “But nothing indicates that an eruption is imminent. But geological history and the information that we have on that area indicate that this is possible and therefore both Iceland Met and the University of Iceland follow this area closely.”

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