The big question about Iceland’s volcano , The world is watching Fagradalsfjall volcano, in Iceland, which woke up this month after 700 years and is putting on a mesmerizing lava show. Volcanic eruptions are not often referred to as “cute,” but some people are saying that about Fagradalsfjall. They are calling it a Disneyland eruption.
This is the first time in 6,000 years that the volcano has erupted, but nearby volcanoes on the Reykjanes Peninsula have erupted as recently as 781 years ago, The Associated Press reported.
The volcano is erupting in the area that recently experienced a swarm of more than 22,000 earthquakes near the end of February and into early March. Officials in Iceland had been warning that the swarm was a prelude to a volcanic eruption.
Fagradalsfjall’s spring awakening has been a “best-case scenario” eruption in a country that gets a lot of eruptions. Iceland sits atop a plume rising from deep inside the earth to the shallow crust, where it meets the zigzag rift that separates the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates.
This geological hot spot gives Iceland its wondrously volatile landscape of hot springs, geysers, earthquakes and occasional major eruptions, like the spectacular 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, which disrupted European air traffic for weeks, and the 1783 eruptions at Laki, which released so much sulfur dioxide and other toxic gases over eight months that about 9,000 people in Iceland died — about a quarter of the population. It changed the weather and caused more deaths across Europe.
celand’s Department of Emergency Management said it was not anticipating evacuations because the volcano is in a remote valley, about 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) from the nearest road, the AP reported.
The eruption thus far has been confined to a small area, with the Icelandic Meteorological Office tweeting on Saturday that the eruptive fissure was approximately 1,640-2,300 feet (500-700 meters) long with lava covering less than 0.38 square miles (1 square kilometer).