This blog post will explore 5 amazing facts about volcanoes in Iceland! The island is one of the most volcanically active countries in the world and its residents are constantly on the lookout for a potential eruption.
1. Iceland has more volcanoes than any other country in the world.
It’s no secret that Iceland is a very volcanic country. But did you know it has over 130 active and inactive volcanoes? The country is certainly very explosive and geologists must keep a close eye on the volcanoes at all times in case they need to evacuate Icelandic residents.
2. All of the volcanoes are located along the same line.
Iceland’s volcanoes are mostly located along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a long underwater mountain range. This huge mountain range is formed by the movement of tectonic plates beneath the ocean.
3. The largest volcano in Iceland is 2,175 m tall!
The largest volcano in Iceland is Grímsvötn. It is located in the Vatnajökull glacier and its eruptions are known to produce huge ash clouds that take days to settle. Its latest eruption was in 2011 and caused hundreds of flights to be cancelled as they couldn’t fly through the ash.
Grímsvötn tends to erupt every 5-10 years so another eruption can be expected soon!
4. You need to watch out for Hekla.
The most active volcano in Iceland is Hekla. It has had more than 20 eruptions in the last 1,000 years. Sometimes Helka is called the Mountain of Hell because of how dangerous it is! The most recent eruption was in 2000, but thankfully it didn’t cause any major damage.
An eruption from Hekla is expected soon so geologists have set up huge monitoring systems to detect any signs of an eruption. In 2000, the systems meant that the residents were given half an hour’s notice before the eruption began.
5. The Laki eruption was the worst in Icelandic history.
The most destructive eruption in Icelandic history was the Laki eruption of 1783-1784. It released huge amounts of lava and ash, and caused the deaths of around 20% of the population at the time. It is also the worst eruption in all of recorded history. Luckily, Laki is now dormant (asleep) today and so it is very unlikely it will erupt for another 1000 years or so.