When will Askja Erupt?
Askja, the mighty volcano that has been asleep for more than 60 years, is starting to awaken, with signs pointing to an imminent eruption. Askja has an explosive eruption history, and as of August 2023, the water in Viti, a pale blue lake-filled crater, has been rising, and there have been continuous earthquakes in the area.
Askja is a caldera in the remote, beautiful Dyngjufjöll Mountains. Large volcanic craters, or calderas, are formed by collapsing land after a volcanic eruption. At 1,519 metres, Askja emerges from the Ódáðahraun lava field, and the terrain is quite rocky.
How Has the Area Around Askja Changed?
The land at Askja has risen 70 cm over the past two years, indicating that some 20 million cubic metres of magma are collecting under the volcano’s surface. Furthermore, M-measurements show that the temperature of the site’s geothermal lake, Víti, has risen in the summer of 2023.
Where is Askja Located?
Askja is located in the Icelandic highlands, the interior of Iceland. It takes excellent planning and an F-Road-approved vehicle to access the area. If you plan to hike in the highlands, ensure you have the appropriate clothing, sturdy footwear, food and water, and a charged mobile phone. Always check the weather and road conditions before heading out on any hike.
When Has Askja Erupted Throughout History?
Askja’s last eruption was in 1961, and before that, in 1875, when a devastating explosion had dire consequences. The ashfall was heavy enough to damage the land and kill livestock, and ash from the eruption drifted to Sweden, Norway, Germany and Poland. Askja is still an active volcano, though there are no indications of an imminent eruption.
Where Can You Learn About Volcanoes in Iceland?
Perlan’s Forces of Nature exhibition allows guests to feel the power of volcanoes, earthquakes, and geothermal energy that powers the island. Guests will learn that volcanoes form when heat and pressure build up beneath the earth’s surface. The earth’s weak points tend to be along fault lines where tectonic plates converge or diverge, as in Iceland’s case.
Perlan’s exhibition shows that volcanic activity in Iceland is so diverse that researchers typically speak of “volcanic systems” rather than individual volcanoes. The island has 30 active volcanic systems, each with many types of volcanoes.
What would happen if Askja erupts?
The result of an eruption would depend on its size. There would likely be earthquakes before the eruption, and warnings would be issued by authorities. Tours to the region would be cancelled, and roads to the area would be closed if warranted. Geologists are constantly monitoring the volcanoes on the island, and procedures are in place to keep people safe in the event of an eruption.
Is it safe to visit an eruption site?
There are several factors to consider before visiting an erupting volcano. When a volcano erupts, visibility can be low, and dangerous gas levels can shift quickly and be harmful. Make sure you check www.safetravel.is for the latest updates on safety conditions. The authorities can always close access to the hiking trail if gas levels reach a dangerous level or if weather conditions are poor.
What type of eruption does Askja produce?
The last eruption in Askja, in October 1961, was effusive, as most of the eruptions occurred at this volcano. Twenty days before, a significant increase in geothermal activity was observed, and increased seismicity was reported in the area. New solfataras were observed in the area which had not been active before.
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