What if the Eruption were Somewhere Else? Skip to content

What if the Eruption were Somewhere Else?

The lava flow since the beginning of the Holuhraun eruption covers around 40 square kilometers (15 square miles) and comprises a total volume of about 500 million cubic meters and is one of the biggest in Iceland in such a short time.

Yesterday we showed how much of Reykjavík the lava would cover. Many of our foreign readers may not relate to Reykjavík so we calculated how much of Manhattan the lava could cover. It turns out that the lava now could cover almost the whole island.

Lava in Manhattan

The picture on the left shows how much area in Manhattan the lava would cover now. The cube on the right show how many Empire State Buildings the lava could sink now. Illustration: Jóhannes Benediktsson.

The volume of the lava is one of the greatest in recent history. It could contain over 150 Empire State Buildings, 100 Eiffel Towers or over 200 Khufu Pyramids. The volcano has even produced enough lava to build the Great Wall of China 1.5 times over.

The lava could cover:

  • The Eiffel Tower 107 times
  • The Great Wall of China 1.6 times
  • The Empire State Building 154 times
  • The Taj Mahal 13,500 times
  • St. Peter’s Basilica 450 times
  • The Great Pyramid of Khufu 209 times

In our story yesterday the original heading was: A Volcano in Reykjavík? The Lava Now Covers almost the Whole City. The story was accompanied by a photoshopped photo of Hallgrímskirkja church, a Reykjavík landmark, in front of an erupting volcano.

A handful of readers thought that ‘other readers’ could be misled by the story (but they themselves understood that it was only to paint a picture). So for the others we state: the eruption is north of Vatnajökull glacier in Iceland and not in Reykjavík, New York, Paris, Rome or any other place.

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