This is a list of recorded volcanic eruptions on Iceland.
01 Nov 2022
1. Prehistoric Eruptions
- about 16,000,000 years ago - the oldest known rock in Iceland was formed in a lava eruption. (See Geology of Iceland - Origins
- about 6700 BC. - A large eruption in the Veiðivötn (:is:Veiðivötn) area, then the great Þjórsá Lava flowed. This is the largest lava eruption known to have taken place in Iceland. The Þjórsá lava field is up to 1000 square kilometers in area and flowed over 100 km to the sea and forms the coast between Þjórsá and Ölfusá.
- about 5000 BC - Hekla (H5). The first acidic eruption in Hekla. The ash layer H5 is found in soil in the central highlands and in many parts of the North.
- about 3000 BC. - Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands). Formation of Helgafell and the older lava on Heimaey.
- about 2500 BC. - Hekla (H4)
- about 1200 BC - Veiðivatnasvæði, Búrfellshraun flowed from a series of craters near Veiðivötn (:is:Veiðivötn), on the one hand to Þórisós and on the other hand down with Tungná and Þjórsá all the way down to Landsveit
- about 1000 BC - Katla. Two ash layers in the South and the Reykjanes peninsula.
- about 900 BC. - Hekla (H3)
- circa 250 AD - Snæfellsjökull
- 540 and 547 e. ISK - Icelandic volcano, location unknown. Repeated eruptions, probably in the same volcano in the years 540 to 542 and 547 AD.
2. 9th 10th Centuries
- circa 870 - Ash and lava eruptions in Vatnaöldur (:de: Vatnaöldur), form the settlement layer
- circa 900 - Afstapahraun (:is: Afstapahraun)
- circa 900 - Vatnajökull
- circa 900 - Krafla
- circa 900 - Hallmundarhraun (:is: Hallmundarhraun) lava flows.
- circa 900 - Rauðhálsahraun in Hnappadalur (:is: Hnappadalur)
- circa 905 - Vatnajökull
- circa 920 - Reykjanes, location uncertain, but t tuff layer from the eruption is known.
- circa 920 - Katla (ash layer called Katla-R)
- circa 934 - Katla and Eldgjá. A large lava flow from Eldgjá flowed over Álftaver (:is: Álftaver), Meðalland and Landbrot (:is: Landbrot). Probably the earthquake that Molda-Gnúpur and his people fled from according to "Settlement". Landnáma also tells about the formation of Sólheimasandur in the great course of Jökulsá
- circa 940 - Vatnajökull / Veiðivötn (:is:Veiðivötn) (volcanic layer in NA-land)
- circa 999 or 1000 - Svínahraun (lava)
- circa 1000 - Katla. A tuff layer survives.
3. 11th Century
4. 12th Century
- 1104 - Hekla. Its first and greatest eruption in historical time. Heavy ash fall to the north and northeast. Þjórsárdalur was destroyed, incl. the town of Stöng (:is: Stöng (bær)).
- 1151 - Krýsuvíkureldar (:is: Krýsuvíkureldar). Eruption in Trölladyngju; Ögmundarhraun and Kapelluhraun lava flow.
- 1158 - Hekla, second eruption
- circa 1160 - ? in Vatnajökull (Vatnajökli)
- 1160-1180 - Two eruptions in the sea off Reykjanes (ash layer known)
- 1179 - Katla. Sources are unclear, but ash layers found in Greenland Glaciers.
- 1188 - ? Rjúpnadyngju lava flow and Mávahlíða lava flow. Rjúpnadyngjuhraun og Mávahlíðahraun runnu
5. 13th Century
- 1206 - Hekla, eruption number 3
- 1210-1211 - from Reykjanes. Eldey formed
- 1222 - Hekla, eruption number 4
- 1223 - off Reykjanes, location uncertain.
- 1225 - off Reykjanes, location uncertain.
- 1226-1227 - some eruptions in Reykjanes. They are owned by Yngra Stampahraun, (Klofningahraun), Eldvarpahraun, Illahraun and Arnarseturshraun. Sandy winter due to a large ash eruption at Reykjanestá and the so-called Medieval Valley fell. Hardness as a result.
- 1231 - off Reykjanes, location uncertain.
- 1238 - off Reykjanes, location uncertain.
- 1240 - off Reykjanes, location uncertain.
- 1245 - Katla. Fire and lava from Sólheimajökull.
- 1262 - Katla. Fire with heavy ash fall in Sólheimajökull. The last people at Sólheimasandur (:is: Sólheimasandur)
- 1300-1301 - Hekla, eruption number 5. Heavy ash fall in Skagafjörður and famine as a result.
6. 14th Century
- 1311 - Katla. Darkness in the Eastfjords and ash fall in many parts of the country. Major lava flow, probably on Mýrdalssandur, but sources are unclear and contradictory. Crop and hay failure the following year with associated casualties.
- 1332 - in Vatnajökull (Vatnajökli), probably in Grímsvötn
- 1340 - ? Sulphur mountains (no lava from the 14th century known on the Reykjanes peninsula)
- 1341 - Hekla, eruption number 6. The ash spread west through Borgarfjörður and Akranes. Great death, especially in Rangárvellir (:is: Rangárvellir) and many settlements were destroyed.
- 1341 - ? Grímsvötn
- 1354 - ? Grímsvötn
- 1357 - Katla. Extensive eruption and damage.
- 1362 - Knappafellsjökull. The largest ash eruption in Icelandic history. Litla-Hérað (Öræfasveit) was completely destroyed and few seem to have escaped. The group was called Öræfi when it started to rebuild and the glacier Öræfajökull. Most of the ash was carried east to the sea, but destroyed much of Hornafjörður and Lónshverfi along the way. Jökulhlaup to Skeiðarársandur and out to sea.
- 1372 - north-west of Grímseyjar
- 1389-1390 - in and around Hekla, eruption number 7. Norðurhraun lava flows, Skarð, Tjaldastaðir and maybe more towns are subsumed.
7. 15th Century
- 1416 - Katla
- 1422 - off Reykjanes an island is formed and lasts for several years.
- 1440 - Hekla or surroundings
- 1477 - at Heljargjárrein. Eruption on a long fissure in Veiðivötn (:is:Veiðivötn) west of Vatnajökull.
- circa 1480- 1500 - Katla
- about 1500 - in Vatnajökull
8. 16th Century
- 1510 - Hekla eruption number 8. A large eruption with heavy ash fall to the south. The largest Hekla lava field from historical times. Extensive land degradation in Rangárvallasýsla as a result.
- 1554 - Vondubjallar southwest of Hekla. The eruption lasted for 6 weeks in the spring. Red bells formed and from them flowed Pálssteinshraun.
- 1580 - Katla
- circa 1582 - at Eldey
- 1597 - Hekla, eruption number 9. From January 3 into the summer. Volcanic eruptions were widespread but caused little living space, although mainly in Mýrdalur.
- 1598 - Grímsvötn
9. 17th Century
- 1603 - Grímsvötn
- 1612 - Katla (and / or Eyjafjallajökull). The eruption began on October 16, but sources do not agree on which glacier erupted, Katla is considered more likely.
- 1619 - Grímsvötn
- 1625 - Katla. September 2 - 14 . Large eruption with heavy ash fall to the east. 25 towns were deserted. Þorsteinn Magnússon, abbot of Þykkvabær, wrote a report on the eruption, the first of its kind in Iceland.
- 1629 - Grímsvötn
- 1636-37 - Hekla, eruption number 10 began on May 8 and lasted for over a year. Ash fall to the northeast and little damage.
- 1637-38 - by the Westman Islands
- 1638 - Grímsvötn
- 1655 -? probably an eruption in Vatnajökull, probably in Kverkfjöll. Big lava flow in Jökulsá á Fjöllum.
- 1659 - Grímsvötn
- 1660-61 - Katla. The eruption began on November 3 and lasted until the end of the year. A small ash fall but a large flow on Mýrdalssandur and cut Höfðabrekka off.
- 1681 - in Vatnajökull
- 1684-85 - Grímsvötn. A major lava flow in Jökulsá á Fjöllum, one person died and a number of livestock.
- 1693 - Hekla, eruption number 11 began on 13 February and lasted until the autumn. Heavy ash fall to the northwest at the beginning of the eruption which caused great and permanent damage in the surrounding areas.
- 1693 - Katla
- 1697 - in Vatnajökull
10. 18th Century
- 1702 - in Vatnajökull
- 1706 - in Vatnajökull
- 1711-12 - Kverkfjöll
- 1716 - in Vatnajökull
- 1717 - in Vatnajökull
- 1721 - Katla. Heavy ash fall, about 1 km³ and a big lava flow.
- 1724-29 - Mývatnseldar . Lava flowed into Lake Mývatn and the volcanic crater Víti by Krafla formed.
- 1725 - in Vatnajökull
- 1725 - southeast of Hekla
- 1726 - in Vatnajökull
- 1727 - Öræfajökull, at the glacier roots above Sandfellsskerji. 3 died.
- 1729 - Kverkfjöll
- 1746 - Mývatnseldar, 1 eruption
- 1753 - southwest of Grímsvatn
- 1755-56 - Katla. The eruption began on October 17 and lasted until mid-February. A large amount of ash, about 1.5 km³, reached the northeast and caused great damage in Skaftártunga, Álftaveri and Síða. A big lava flow on Mýrdalssandur, mostly west of Hafursey. Lightning killed 2 people. About 50 towns were deserted, most of them only temporarily.
- 1766 - west of Vatnajökull, probably in Bárðarbunga.
- 1766-68 - Hekla, eruption number 12. Ash fall in Húnavatns- and Skagafjarðarsýsla counties. 10 lands were deserted.
- 1774 - Grímsvötn
- 1783 - on Reykjaneshrygg southwest of Eldey. Nýey rose from the sea but soon disappeared again.
- 1783 - Laki. The eruption in 1783 caused much devastation and loss of life, leading to a famine that killed about 25% of the island's population and resulted in a drop in global temperatures, as sulfur dioxide was spewed into the Northern Hemisphere. This caused crop failures in Europe and may have caused droughts in India. The eruption has been estimated to have killed over six million people globally.
- 1783-84 - Skaftáreldar / Grímsvötn. Lava flowed along Skaftá and Hverfisfljót down into the lowlands and covered about 580 km². Ash fall and poisoning caused hay failure and famine all over the country.
- 1797 - Grímsvötn
11. 19th Century
- 1807 - Grímsvötn
- 1816 - Grímsvötn
- 1821 - Katla
- 1821-23 - Eyjafjallajökull. The eruption began weakly on December 19, no lava flowed but some ash fell. Subsequently Lava flowed north to Markarfljót.
- 1823 - Vatnajökull
- 1830 - Eldeyjarboði
- 1838 - Grímsvötn
- 1845-46 - Hekla, eruption number 13 began on September 2 and lasted for about 7 months. Heavy ash fall to the southeast and a lava flow in Ytri-Rangá. Lava flowed west and northwest, about 25 km², so the town of Næfurholt had to be relocated.
- 1854 - Grímsvötn
- 1860 - Katla. A small eruption.
- ? 1861 - Grímsvötn
- 1862-64 - at Heljargjárrein. The eruption began on June 30 in a 15 km long fissure north of Tungnaárjökull. Trollagígar formed there and Tröllahraun flowed from them.
- 1867 - Grímsvötn
- 1867-68 - Mánáreyjar
- 1872 - in Vatnajökull
- 1873 - Grímsvötn
- 1874 - Askja. Likely eruption in February. Gas was seen.
- 1875 - Askja. Lava eruption began on January 3 . Sigketill began to form later that month.
- 1875 - Askja. A lava eruption began in Sveinagjá in Mývatnsöræf on 18 February on a 25 km long fissure. It lasted until mid-August and flowed from Nýjahraun. It is believed to be a magma flow from Askja.
- 1875 - Askja One of the largest ash eruptions in Icelandic history began on March 28 and lasted for about 8 hours. Eruption from Víti and other craters. Heavy damage from ash fall in the middle of East Iceland and many towns were deserted. Many East Fjord people moved to the West as a result. Öskjuvatn was formed and it grew steadily. Eruptions occurred for several months.
- 1876 - Askja. The last flame was seen at the end of the year.
- 1876 - in Vatnajökull
- 1878 - Krakatindur east of Hekla
- 1879 - Geirfuglasker
- 1883 - Grímsvötn
- ? 1884 - Near Eldey. Unclear sources.
- ? 1885 - Grímsvötn
- 1887 - Grímsvötn
- 1889 - Grímsvötn
- 1892 - Grímsvötn
- ? 1896 - Probable eruption south of the Westman Islands
- 1897 - Grímsvötn
12. 20th Century
- 1902-04 - Grímsvötn
- 1905-06 - Grímsvötn
- 1908-09 - Grímsvötn
- 1910 - Grímsvötn. Ashfall was observed in the east of the country from June to November.
- 1913 - Mundafell / Lambafit east of Hekla.
- 1918 - Katla. The eruption began on October 12 and ended on November 5 . The eruption reached a height of 14.3 km and caused considerable damage in Skaftártunga. There was a lot of lava flow on Mýrdalssandur. It extended the southern coast by 5 km due to laharic flood deposits. Its present dormancy is among the longest in known history.
- 1921 - Askja. A small lava eruption.
- 1922 - Askja. A small lava eruption.
- 1922 - Grímsvötn. The eruption began at the end of September and ended within a month.
- 1923 - Askja. A small lava eruption.
- 1923 - Grímsvötn. Smágos.
- 1926 - Askja. Eruption in the summer. A small island formed in Öskjuvatn.
- 1926 - at Eldey. Turbulence in the sea for several hours.
- 1927 - by Esjufjöll. A small eruption and a large lava flow off Breiðamerkurjökull that killed one person.
- 1929 - Askja
- 1929 - Kverkfjöll. A fire was seen for a long time during the summer.
- 1933 - Grímsvötn. Smágos.
- 1934 - Grímsvötn. The eruption began at the end of March and lasted until mid-April.
- 1938 - Grímsvötn. An eruption north of the caldera but did not emerge from the glacier ice.
- ? 1941 - Grímsvötn. Possible eruption.
- ? 1945 - Grímsvötn. Possible eruption.
- 1947- 48 - Hekla, eruption number 14 began on March 29 with an explosion. The plume reached a height of 30 km; ash fall to the south over Fljótshlíð and Eyjafjöll. Heklugjá opened lengthwise, about 0.8 km³ of lava flowed, mostly to the west and southwest from Axlargígur.
- ? 1954 - Grímsvötn. Possible eruption.
- ? 1955 - Katla. Probably a small eruption under the glacier. A little gel.
- 1961 - Askja. Lava eruption began on October 26 on a 300 m long fissure and lasted until the end of November.
- 1963- 67 - Vestmannaeyjar : Surtsey rose from the sea on November 14 in an underwater eruption southwest of Geirfuglasker. Later, the islands Syrtlingur and Jólnir were formed but soon disappeared again.
- 1970 - Hekla, eruption number 15 began on May 5 in the southwestern part of Heklugjár and in Skjólkvíar north of the mountain. Considerable ash fall to NNV, all the way north to Húnavatnssýslur. In the mountain itself the activity stopped after a few days but in Skjólkvíar it erupted for about 2 months.
- 1973 - Westman Islands. A 1600 m long eruption fissure opens east of Heimaey on 23 January. About a third of the town was buried under lava, over 400 properties were destroyed. A volcano formed and Heimaey expanded to the east.
- 1975 - Krafla fires, 1st eruption 20 December. Lava eruption from a short fissure at Leirhnjúkur.
- 1977 - Krafla fires, 2nd eruption 27-29 April
- 1977 - Krafla fires, 3rd eruption 8-9 September
- 1980 - Krafla fires, 4th eruption 16 March
- 1980 - Krafla fires, 5th eruption July 10 - 18
- 1980- 81 - Hekla, eruption number 16 began on August 17 and lasted until the 20th . Ash spread to the north, lava flowed mostly to the west and north. The eruption resumed on April 9 of the following year and ended on April 16 .
- 1980 - Krafla fires, 6th eruption, 18-23 October
- 1981 - Krafla fires, 7th eruption, 30 January - 4 February
- 1981 - Krafla fires, 8th eruption, 18-23 November
- 1983 - Grímsvötn. A small eruption at the end of May.
- ? 1984 - Grímsvötn. Probably a small eruption.
- 1984 - Krafla fires, 9th eruption, 4-18 September
- ? 1985 - Final ridge under Vatnajökull. Possible eruption. Gosórói on meters and sigg boilers in the glacier.
- 1991 - Hekla, eruption number 17 began on January 17 in the southern part of Heklugjár but soon subsided. One crater east of the mountain was active until March 17 . A considerable amount of lava flowed on the south side of the mountain, but there was little ash fall.
- 1996 - Gjálpargosið / Bárðarbunga. An eruption began on 30 September in a 4-5 km fissure under a glacier between Bárðarbunga and Grímsvatn and lasted until 13 October. The seismic activity indicated a magma flow from Bárðarbunga. Melting water flowed to Grímsvatn and ran from there to Skeiðarársandur on 5 November .
- 1998 - Grímsvötn. 18. - 28 December.
- 2000 - Hekla, eruption number 18. February 26 - March 8.
13. 21st Century
- 2004 - Grímsvötn. The eruption began on November 1 .
- 2010 - Eyjafjallajökull. The eruption began at Fimmvörðuháls on March 20 .
- 2010 - Eyjafjallajökull. The eruption began in Eyjafjallajökull on 14 April .
- 2011 - Grímsvötn. The eruption began on May 21 .
- 2014-15 - Holuhraun. The eruption began on August 29, 2014 and ended on February 28, 2015.
- 2021 - Fagradalsfjall. Geldingadalir eruption started on March 19 and the "Fagradalshraun" lava flowed into the Meradalir valley.
- 2.3.co;2. ISSN 0091-7613. Bibcode: 1993Geo....21..275D. https://dx.doi.org/10.1130%2F0091-7613%281993%29021%3C0275%3Arpmrtt%3E2.3.co%3B2" id="ref_1">Müller, R. Dietmar; Royer, Jean-Yves; Lawver, Lawrence A. (1993-03-01). "Revised plate motions relative to the hotspots from combined Atlantic and Indian Ocean hotspot tracks". Geology 21 (3): 275. doi:10.1130/0091-7613(1993)021<0275:rpmrtt>2.3.co;2. ISSN 0091-7613. Bibcode: 1993Geo....21..275D. https://dx.doi.org/10.1130%2F0091-7613%281993%29021%3C0275%3Arpmrtt%3E2.3.co%3B2
- Denk, Thomas; Grímsson, Friðgeir; Zetter, Reinhard; Símonarson, Leifur (2011-02-23), Introduction to the Nature and Geology of Iceland, 35, retrieved 2018-10-16
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