What You Need to Know About the Volcanoes in Iceland


Nature’s wonderland known as Iceland is popularly known as the land of fire and ice. The dramatic contrast between the freezing glaciers and active volcanoes brings forth a unique landscape that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

These volcanic systems in Iceland expound its landscape, creating an endless stream of red hot molten lava, uneven peaks, steppes of black sand, and boundless pits. Though an island where active volcanoes exist may sound scary, without these geothermal activities in the volcanoes there’ll be no hot springs or even thermal pools. 

Icelanders know their volcanoes very well, so they are swift in executing eruption plans once there are any forewarning signs of an eruption. These volcanoes are not only one of nature’s beauty, but they also pack a lot of knowledge. 

3 Things About What You Need to Know About the Volcanoes in Iceland

How many volcanoes are there in Iceland?

Iceland has approximately 130 active and inactive volcanoes. In all parts of the country other than the Westfjords, Iceland has 30 active volcanic systems. The only reason Westfjords no longer has any geothermal activity is that it’s the oldest part of Iceland that has been pushed off the Atlantic ridge. The main reason why there are so many volcanoes in Iceland is that it sits directly across the magnetic ridge, since these tectonic plates pull away from each other it causes hot molten lava from the mantle to rise and fill up space thus leading to volcanic eruptions.

How often do volcanic eruptions occur in Iceland?

Volcanic eruptions are unpredictable in Iceland but the occurrence of these eruptions is relatively regular. Whether eruptions are spaced apart or whether eruptions go off in succession, not one decade has gone by without one of these volcanoes erupting since the 19th century. The 1783-1784 eruption of Laki is recorded to be one of the greatest volcanic eruptions. The 2014 eruption of the Bárdabunga is the second greatest volcanic eruption ever to be recorded. These two eruptions that occurred in Iceland were the biggest ever to be recorded in history.

Are these volcanic eruptions in Iceland safe?

The impart these volcanic eruptions have on human lives is small. Iceland seismic stations around the country are effective in predicting eruptions especially in more active volcanoes like Katla or Askja. Most of the active volcanoes are out of town, so when the volcanoes show any sign of rumbling, the area is sealed off and monitored. Even though the threat to human life is low, it still has vast consequences since the elements brought out from the Earth are poisonous to plants and animal life.

Volcano tours are one of the thrilling experiences that you get to enjoy no place in the world other than Iceland. Volcanoes tours allow you to descend into a brightly colored lava chamber of a dormant volcano using a lift. These volcanic tours provide once in a lifetime experience that truly portrays Iceland’s magnificence.