Bjorn Steinbekk managed to capture stunning footage of the volcano with his drone.
Mount Fagradalsfjall – a volcano on Iceland’s Reykjanes peninsula – began to erupt on the evening of March 19, 2021, the Icelandic Meteorological Office reported. The eruption produced a river of lava that could be seen from the capital city of Reykjavik, 20 miles (30 km) away. While small in comparison to other recent eruptions in Iceland, the event was bright and large enough to be seen by satellites orbiting hundreds of kilometers above the planet.
This is the first eruption in the Reykjanes peninsula in nearly 800 years, the Associated Press reported. Thousands of small earthquakes in February and earlier this month on the Reykjanes peninsula had experts warning that magma was moving beneath the ground and could soon erupt. Late last Friday (March 19), an eruption officially began, as lava broke through the surface near Fagradalsfjall, one of several shield volcanoes on the peninsula.
Iceland is among the most volcanically active places in the world, with roughly one eruption every five years, not including submarine eruptions. Iceland borders the Arctic Circle where it straddles the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, a crack on the ocean floor separating the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. The shifting of these plates is in part responsible for Iceland’s intense volcanic activity.
The Icelandic Met Office notes that dangers from this eruption are currently limited to the vicinity of the eruption site and nearby valleys. Unhealthy air from the volcanic gases isn’t significantly affecting people living elsewhere on the Reykjanes peninsula or in the capital area. Updates here.
Gudmann & Gyda said: “We were ready to go photographing when the Geldingadalsgos volcanic eruption started. In this video we hike to Geldingadalur walley on the first day of the eruption. This was a unforgettable adventure. It is unreal to stand close to a volcano.”
Bjorn Steinbekk said: “I wanted to share some of my more simple captures of the volcano, and as a big admire of Icelandic music, I was allowed to use this song by the talented Frikki Dór.”
Bjorn Steinbekk did some ‘crater surfing’ with his drone.
??First available image of #Iceland #Fagradalsfjall #volcano eruption as seen by #Landsat 8 on March 22. A minor eruption is underway according to @Vedurstofan latest report. #Reykjanes #volcanomonday. Here the HR image : https://t.co/q2nN8fNtOR pic.twitter.com/6JE9A5SMDE
— antonio vecoli (@tonyveco) March 22, 2021
Bottom line: Drone video, photos, and satellite images of the eruption of Iceland’s Fagradalsfjall volcano in March 2021.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.