Earth’s grandeur is spilling out.
The Icelandic Meteorological Office reported Friday evening that lava started flowing out of a fissure on the island’s Reykjanes peninsula, after months of quaking in the region. The lava flows aren’t currently a threat to anyone, so they’re a pure source of intrigue and wonder.
The Icelandic musician Björk, for example, is stoked.
The new fissure is some 500 to 700 meters long, and video captured by the Iceland Coast Gaurd shows lava fountaining into the air from the large crack.
Iceland is one of the most volcanically dynamic places on Earth, with a significant eruption occurring on average every four or five years. Yet this was southwestern Iceland’s first eruption in some 800 years, reports the New York Times. Much of the island is composed of (long-ago cooled) volcanic rock. Molten rock (magma) is always brewing beneath Iceland, in large part because it lies over a hot spot, where a plume of magma, from deep in the Earth, can travel up near to the surface. (Hawaii has a similar hot spot).
The images and video below show Iceland’s latest, vivid lava flows:
The eruption is small and the volcanic activity has somewhat decreased since yesterday evening. The eruptive fissure is appr. 500 – 700 m long. The lava area is less than 1 km2. Lava fountains are small and lava flows are currently a very local hazard. #Reykjanes #eruption pic.twitter.com/2YsSbGtIuZ
— Icelandic Meteorological Office – IMO (@Vedurstofan) March 20, 2021