The beautiful country of Iceland is known as the “Land of Fire and Ice” due to its abundance of volcanoes and glaciers. On Monday, the “Fire” moniker took center stage when a new eruption began. The bubbling bright red and orange colors are putting on a fantastic show. Hikers have been flocking to the site, but arguably the best view is from above.
Where The Iceland Volcanic Eruption Is Located
The eruption began on July 10, 2023, near the Litli-Hrutur Volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula in southwestern Iceland. It’s just 10 miles from Keflavik International Airport and 19 miles from the country’s capital of Reykjavik. The eruption hasn’t disrupted any flights or caused any other travel problems, but it is giving arriving and departing airline passengers on the perfect flight path a once-in-a-lifetime view. A PLAY Airline pilot even took a slight detour so passengers could see the volcano.
Why Does Iceland Have So Many Volcanoes?
Iceland has about 130 volcanoes. The country is located where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet. This offers amazing experiences for visitors, including Silfra, the only place in the world you can snorkel or dive between two tectonic plates. It’s also why the country is known for its volcanic activity. Every year, the tectonic plates are moving a few centimeters apart. According to the Met Office, this tearing of the Earth’s crust creates volcanic rift zones allowing molten rock to rise and possibly erupt.
How To See The Lava Flow And Eruption Site
Visit Iceland has put together a guide for travelers who want to see the half-mile-long fissure and resulting lava flow. It’s an 11-mile, round-trip hike with some recommending hikers to bring gas masks to protect from the volcanic gas. It’s also important to pay attention to Safe Travel Iceland for updates.
For those of us who don’t have a trip to Iceland on the calendar, watching the live cameras focused on the eruption site is the next best thing.
Other Volcanic Eruptions In Iceland
This week’s eruption is part of the Fagradalsfjall Volcano system, which also had eruptions in 2001 and 2002. The most significant volcanic eruption in Iceland during the last 2 decades came in 2010 when the Eyjafjallajökull Volcano erupted. The ash from the eruption disrupted air travel across Europe canceling 100,000 flights.
Guide to Iceland details the most significant eruptions in the country’s history. No matter when you visit Iceland, visitors can see flowing hot lava any time of the year at the educational and engaging Lava Show in Vik and Reykjavik. Kids and adults alike love it, plus you are able to bring home a piece of cooled lava!