Third largest lava field since 1784


The new lava field is the largest in Ice­land since the Laki erup­tion (1783-1784) and it is
prob­a­bly the third largest lava field on the planet over that pe­riod. For the first time in 150 years, gas pol­lu­tion is emit­ted from a vol­canic erup­tion ac­cord­ing to a new re­port by the Sci­en­tific Ad­vi­sory Board of the Ice­landic Civil Pro­tec­tion who re­viewed data about the de­vel­op­ment of
events at Holuhraun.

The re­port states that the vol­canic erup­tion that be­gan on Holuhraun on Au­gust 31st is char­ac­terised by a large and un­usu­ally steady flow of lava. The magma that comes up is a rather prim­i­tive basalt, with a chem­i­cal com­po­si­tion typ­i­cal of the Bar­dar­bunga vol­canic sys­tem. The petrol­ogy analy­sis of the magma sug­gests that it sta­bilised at 9-20 km depth, mean­ing that it could not have resided at a shal­lower depth in the crust. The new lava field in Holuhraun now cov­ers 76 square kilo­me­ters and is still grow­ing.

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