Is the recent Fagradalsfjall volcano eruption in Iceland dangerous?   

#Fagradalsfjall volcano eruptio #volcano eruption in Iceland #subglacial volcanoes #formation of subglacial volcan

Liam Davis
@Liam.Davis · Posted 22 Sep. 2022

Lily Campbell
@Lily.Campbell · Updated 22 Sep. 2022

The recent Fagradalsfjall volcano eruption in Iceland is certainly an event to be watched, and for many, this will be their first time hearing about it. Geologists are still trying to determine the full extent of the eruption and what dangers it may pose, but so far there don't seem to be any serious long-term consequences. If you're traveling to or living in Iceland, please keep this in mind and consult with local authorities if you have any questions.

Although there is no imminent danger, the volcano is still active and any future eruptions could be dangerous.

Volcanologists have cautioned for years about the potential for an eruption at Fagradalsfjall, a type of subglacial volcano in eastern Iceland. In recent days, seismic activity has increased dramatically, prompting officials to issue an orange alert, the highest level of warning. Although there is no definitive evidence that an eruption is imminent, this could still be a very dangerous situation. Depending on the intensity of the eruption, ash and gas could spread widely and cause significant damage.

The formation of subglacial volcanoes like other volcanoes is a vital part of Earth’s geology, and Iceland is no exception. The Fagradalsfjall volcano eruption in the country’s south-central region is a reminder of this. However, the eruption is by no means the most dangerous volcano in Iceland. The most dangerous is the Katla volcano, located in the northeast of the country.

The Fagradalsfjall volcano on the Reykjanes peninsula erupted once more on August 3, 2022. The catastrophe was preceded by weeks' worth of earthquakes, the strongest of which registered above 5.0 on the Richter scale. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries or any property damage. Geologists cautioned, however, that a volcanic eruption was imminent. Those forecasts were ultimately realized on August 3rd, when a 300-meter-long volcanic fissure in the Meradalir valley suddenly erupted, spewing 20–50 square meters of lava per second. The volcanic eruption site is located in the Geldingadalur valley, about 0.6 miles (1 km) away.

Thankfully, the recent Fagradalsfjall volcano is largely non-lethal. Despite its ominous aspect and the environment that resembles Mordor around the eruption site, it does not provide a threat to people, property, or air travel. The fact that the current eruption of the Fagradalsfjall volcano is effusive rather than explosive is the key factor in its lack of threat. This indicates that, unlike Eyjafjallajokull, the lava does not erupt from the earth's crust in an explosion of ash and fire. Instead, molten rivers of lava are formed as the lava continues to flow steadily from the Meradalir valley volcano. It also helps that the eruption is occurring in a remote valley far from any populated areas or critical infrastructure.

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