Uplift on Reykjanes Peninsula

Land has started rising again on the Reykjanes peninsula, RÚV reports. The uplift has been detected north of Mt. Keilir and south of the Fagradalsfjall eruption site. The land around Fagradalsfjall fell during the eruption itself, most likely because of the magma streaming out of the chamber beneath the surface.

According to GPS measurements, land fall began to subside at the end of August and then rise again around the middle of September. The uplift is, however, minimal: only one to two centimetres at the highest points.

According to the Met Office’s models, the magma accumulation deep within the earth is the most likely cause of the uplift, although scientists also believe that it is connected to a month-long wave of seismic activity that began at the southern end of Keilir at the end of September. No dislocation has been observed on the surface as of this time, which might mean that magma is getting closer to the surface.

See Also: The Fourth Longest Eruption Since the Start of the 20th Century

Magma accumulation under volcanic systems sometimes occurs after eruptions. As such, the current uplift is not necessarily an indication that magma will move toward the surface in the near future. It’s possible that this process would instead take years or even decades, although that is difficult for scientists to predict with much accuracy.

There has been no lava flow at Fagradalsfjall since September 18. Gas emissions are still being detected at the eruption site, but only in very small quantities.

 

‘Like Standing Beside an Orange Dettifoss’

Those fortunate enough to be present at the Fagradalsfjall volcanic eruption site on Thursday morning were treated to an awesome sight: a glowing wave of lava tumbling down a hillside. Luckily for the rest of us, the spectacle was captured in a video by geographer Daníel Páll Jónasson.

“It was like standing beside an orange Dettisfoss,” Daníel Páll remarked in an interview with Vísir, likening the flow to one of Iceland’s most magnificent waterfalls, reputed to be one of the most powerful in Europe.

https://www.facebook.com/1595310201/videos/1012424422825763/

Daníel Páll has been a regular visitor to Fagradalsfjall since the eruption began in March 2021. He filmed the video above on his 27th visit to the site and has also taken tens of thousands of photographs of it. But he still finds the experience of witnessing the eruption moving. “It was amazing to stand there next to it. Absolutely wild.”

Fagrahraun or Fagradalshraun: New Reykjanes Lava Field Awaits a Name

Tourists admiring the new lava in the Reykjanes eruption

The town council of Grindavík, Southwest Iceland has narrowed down around 339 name suggestions for the new lava field at Fagradalsfjall to just two: Fagrahraun and Fagradalshraun. RÚV reports that both options have been submitted to the authority that approves new place names in Iceland. The many craters at the eruption site, which has been active for over a month, will also be named Fögrugígar or Fagradalsgígar, depending on which name is chosen for the field.

Grindavík authorities organised a competition between March 31 and April 9, 2021 where the public was allowed to submit suggestions for what to name the new lava field. “The conclusion was that after reviewing the ideas that were received, which were 339, evaluating and weighing it, that the lava field should be called either Fagradalshraun or Fagrahraun,” stated Grindavík Mayor Fannar Jónasson.

The two names are similar in meaning. While Fagrahraun translates as “beautiful lava” or “beautiful lava field,” Fagradalshraun references Fagradalsfjall, literally “beautiful valley mountain,” located at the site. The name also references the volcanic system Fagradalsfjallskerfi, one of the volcanic systems beneath the Reykjanes peninsula.

“Corona Lava Field” Rejected

Dalahraun (E. valley lava field), Geldingadalshraun (E. Geldingadalur lava field), and Ísólfshraun (E. Ísólfur’s lava field; after an early settler once believed to be buried there) were among the most popular suggestions for the field, which continues to grow one month after the eruption began. Some name suggestions referenced the ongoing pandemic, including Kórónahraun and Covidhraun, while the suggestion Ölmuhraun was intended as a tribute to Iceland’s Director of Health Alma Möller. None of those suggestions made it past the town council’s deliberations.

The town council is now waiting on an official opinion on both place name suggestions.