The Meradalir volcano erupted again on August 3rd, 2022, almost a year after the last eruption had occurred.
Scientists and the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management are always monitoring the area closely and informing the public if there are any updates. The area is open to the public but that can of course change with little notice. The safety of our passengers is our number one priority therefore we will follow the instructions coming from the authorities but as of right now the area is open and is not considered to be dangerous to the public.
Also, we recommend visiting the volcano to follow these steps in the area:
There are no restrooms at the area just nature 😊 We do recommend that people use the restrooms in Grindavík where we stop for lunch before we start the hike.
You can bring it with you, but we do also stop for lunch in Grindavík where you can buy snacks as well for the hike. Please note though that food is not included in the tour.
The best and safest way to visit a volcano is with a guided tour. Expert guides will be able to lead you to the eruption site, choosing the most secure paths and the optimal distance to observe the newly formed lava fields so you can get the best, safest, and most enjoyable experience. You can choose to book the hike to the eruption site or book a helicopter tour and see the volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes Peninsula from above.
Make sure that you are prepared before heading out to the volcano. We recommend wearing hiking clothes and packing a backpack with:
It is not obligatory to be accompanied by a professional guide to visit the site. However, taking a guided tour is safer than visiting the eruption site as fellow travelers will accompany you, and a local professional guide will ensure your safety. Get to know more about hiking to Meradalir volcano from a local Arctic Adventures guide.
According to the Environmental Agency of Iceland, walking on the lava is forbidden and can be very dangerous. The top layer can easily break when stepped on, causing hazards to people. The lava at Fagradalsfjall Volcano is a unique geological monument that we must respect and protect. It is important for visitors to leave no traces such as throwing stones at the lava or making inscriptions on it. Lavas are under special protection according to art. 61 of the Nature Conservation Act. One of the biggest risks of walking on new lava is breaking the top layer over an unknown lava tube. Falling into a lava tube that's still several hundred degrees Celcius can lead to injuries.
A new eruption started on the 3rd of August 2022 in Mt. Fagradalsfjall after being officially declared over on December 18th, 2021.
Since August 21st, 2022 there has been no visible activity in Meradalir Volcano. No flowing lava can be seen at the moment, but the hiking path remains open.
The Meradalir Volcano is located on the Reykjanes peninsula close to Grindavík.
Yes, if you are not joining a guided tour and driving to the eruption site on your own, the parking fee is 1000 ISK (≈ 8 USD) and can be paid electronically at Parka.is. The payment is valid for 24 hours. There are signs at the parking lots with instructions.
There are currently two parking lots that you can choose from, Parking P1 or Parking P2. You will need to pick the correct payment site accordingly:
Parking P1: https://www.parka.is/pay/geldingadalir/
Parking P2 (Stóri-Leirdalur): https://www.parka.is/pay/volcanoskali/
According to a parka.is, the payment is necessary to pay for the infrastructure on-site and maintenance of it. The intention is to make access better and increase people's safety. The parking lots are monitored with cameras and if parking is unpaid, an additional fee is added and a bank claim is created. The claim usually goes out one day later, so if you have trouble paying on-site, you are able to finish the payment when you arrive back at your hotel.
The first eruption began in Geldingadalur in Fagradalsfjall on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2021. There is currently no danger to settlements or structures. The eruption is small, but the danger in the area can be greater than many suspects. It is forbidden to go near the crater due to the risk of gas pollution. New cracks can open and the large crater could rupture and new lava channels can form.
Clever viewers of the webcams noticed that at midnight a new eruption fissure opened just northeast of the original eruption in Geldingadalur. The Meteorological Office's nature conservation expert confirmed this to the news agency right now. The new fissure appears at the site where rescue workers noticed a landslide.
Geldingadalur the new eruption cracks opened at noon last morning.
It is likely that gas pollution in depressions and depressions near the eruption in Geldingadalur and the air quality in the vicinity will approach life-threatening values tonight. The chief of police in Suðurnes encourages people to leave the eruption area before five o'clock today. He accepts the encouragement of the Meteorological Office from this morning.
The wind gradually decreases as the day progresses. After seven o'clock in the evening, the wind can be expected to drop below three meters per second and the sulfur dioxide to exceed 9,000 micrograms per cubic meter. Conditions can therefore pose a great danger to people, in fact life-threatening, due to the accumulation of toxic gases.
The chief of police in Suðurnes advises people to stay on the hills and not go down into valleys or depressions in the immediate vicinity of the eruption sites. People are also encouraged to stay within the hiking trail that has been marked to and from the eruption area.
Many people have made their way to the eruption in Geldingadalur this morning. The weather is much better than it was yesterday. It can cause problems as the day goes on with an increasing risk of gas pollution. People were therefore encouraged to leave sooner rather than later.
The weather forecast assumes the fairest weather at the eruptions today, where the outlook is for a relatively slow westerly or variable direction with occasional showers and temperatures of up to five degrees until evening, but then it could start to freeze. Members of the rescue squad Þorbjörn yesterday completed the most efficient hiking trail from Suðurstrandarvegur to the eruption sites, so now there is nothing in the way for those who want to see the eruption. However, there is a strong warning against going down to Geldingadalur due to gas pollution, especially when the wind is less strong.
This afternoon, a group of ten people from the rescue team Þorbjörn went on a stake trip up to Fagradalsfjall in crazy weather and this evening the project ended. "Now it is possible to walk a marked path from Suðurstrandavegur to the eruption stop in a very convenient way and it takes about an hour and a half for well-equipped people to walk that way, but it is about 3.5 km or 7 km back and forth," says in Facebook- entry of the rescue squad. The red line on the map below shows the hiking trail.
"This is clearly the shortest and safest way," says Davíð Már Bjarnason, Landsbjörg's information officer, in a conversation with the news agency tonight. He says that they are now waiting for Vegagerðin to open Suðurstandarveginn in one direction, hopefully tomorrow. "Then the next step is to look at further parking possibilities nearby and if something happens in the next few days, access will be much better."
He hopes people will heed the war on gas pollution tomorrow.
Geldingadalur has now erupted since 20:45 on Friday and this happened mostly today, Monday 22 March.
At 20:45 an eruption began in Fagradalsfjall which has been given the name Geldingadalsgos in the head of Geldingadalur, where the largest lava flows. This has been likened to the eruption at Fimmvörðuháls, which ended about a decade ago, and scientists agree that this is the most suitable place for a "pent lava eruption". Although small, it is remarkable as it has not erupted on the Reykjanes peninsula for 800 years.
About 2,700 earthquakes were measured in the metabolic zone on the Reykjanes peninsula yesterday, Monday, from midnight to midnight, slightly fewer than in the previous days. The main difference is that there were no major earthquakes in the area yesterday. Only eight earthquakes measured 3.0 or greater, the largest 3.3, and none struck four or more. Elísabet Pálmadóttir, a nature conservation specialist at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, says there is nothing unusual to see in the south at the moment and no signs of unrest. But even though Monday seemed the calmest, it does not mean that the great earthquake, which began on February 24, is in decline, as can be deduced from the large number of small earthquakes measured yesterday. Kristín Jónsdóttir, group leader of nature conservation at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, expects the seismic activity to continue but be divided into chapters.
The Scientific Advisory Board for Civil Protection convened a teleconference today to review the situation.
The Science Council believes that there is still a chance of an eruption in the area between Fagradalsfjall and Keilir. The latest measurements indicate that magma flow has decreased since last week. An earthquake similar to the one that occurred over the weekend can be expected.
The main results are as follows:
Volcanology and the nature conservation group of the University of Iceland today published a new lava flow forecast that takes into account the events of the night. There are five possibilities for eruptions, but it is stated that there is almost no chance of eruptions in all places at once.
There is still considerable seismic activity on the Reykjanes peninsula, although it slowed down during the night. The last time an earthquake larger than 4 was measured at 19:14 on Thursday evening. It was 4.1 in size. Since then, 12 earthquakes have been larger than 3 but many smaller earthquakes. By eight o'clock on Friday morning, 810 earthquakes had shaken less than 3.
Three magnitude earthquakes have occurred in the metamorphic area of the Reykjanes peninsula since midnight. A total of eight earthquakes, three or larger, have occurred around Fagradalsfjall and Keilir after a magnitude 4.2 earthquake shook the area yesterday evening. The largest, 3.7 in size, was at 19.46.
The quake, which occurred at 08:54, was 4.5 magnitude. The source was 1.5 kilometers southeast of Fagradalsfjall. An announcement on the Meteorological Office's website says that the quake was felt well in the southwest corner of the country. Unrest has not resumed in conjunction with the quake. Fréttastofa received a tip that the earthquake had also been found in Hveragerði.
The quake is the largest that has been detected on the Reykjanes peninsula since the previous day, March 2. A magnitude 4.6 earthquake shook the region at 03:05.
About 2500 earthquakes were measured yesterday. Since midnight, almost 800 earthquakes have been detected. In total, more than 18,000 earthquakes have occurred since the eruption began about a week ago, according to a summary by the Icelandic Meteorological Office's nature conservation experts. Most of the activity is limited to Fagradalsfjall and has moved only to the southwest, compared to the activity yesterday. Turbulence and seismic activity decreased only in the middle of the night, but increased again around five in the morning.
The largest earthquakes from midnight are as follows:
at 00:59 M4.1
at 04:04 M3.6
at 05:17 M3.9
at 05:36 M3.9
at 05:44 M4.0
The turbulence in the seismic areas on the Reykjanes peninsula has decreased somewhat since midnight, says Bjarki Kaldalón Friis, a nature conservation specialist at the Icelandic Meteorological Office.
The seismic activity last night has been higher than it was last night. Shortly before five o'clock, about 600 earthquakes had been located in the meteorological system of the Icelandic Meteorological Office since midnight. The largest of them was an earthquake that lasted for one minute at a time. It was 4.1 in size, 1.4 kilometers southeast of Fagradalsfjall. At four minutes past four there was an earthquake measuring 3.6. It was one kilometer south of Fagradalsfjall. Bjarki said that the earthquakes were slightly more and they were bigger than they were last night. However, the unrest has eased since yesterday, and the distance between earthquakes has been slowly increasing as the night has passed. It is unclear, however, what this means for the future, whether the unrest increases again or not.
Increased power came in the ring at six o'clock this morning. The quake that occurred at 05:44 was 4.0 magnitude, the quake at 05:36 was 3.9 and the two quakes that occurred at 05:17 were 3.9 and 3.5 magnitude.
According to information from the Meteorological Office, the activity began to decrease around 4 pm today. However, this goes back and forth and can increase as the night progresses.
Since midnight, 21 earthquakes larger than 3 have been measured. The largest was 4 and it occurred at 15:11. They have been found well in the capital area and beyond.
Police have now closed roads to Keilir and a possible eruption area.
Journalist Magnús Geir Eyjólfsson joined a group of scientists at the Institute of Earth Sciences at the earthquake site today. He said in Sjónvarp's extra news program that everything had been quiet there until about three o'clock when they were asked to get to a safe place.
He said that the scientists had been looking for similar cracks that formed in the eruption in Holuhraun.
Magnús Geir Eyjólfsson, a journalist, spoke to Ásta Rut Hjartardóttir, a geologist at the Institute of Earth Sciences, who, together with other experts from the Institute of Earth Sciences, was measuring and surveying conditions at Keilir today. Among other things, a drone was placed in the air that measures, for example, temperature below the surface. The measurements can give an indication of whether magma is moving closer to the surface.
Scientist says that people should continue with their lives. This will not have a huge impact on people's lives in the near future. "What could happen is this gas pollution that could affect people with underlying diseases. The size and quantity of eruptions go hand in hand. "
Víðir says that they have not been dealing with eruptions near settlements for a long time. The distance from the settlement now is still such that no one is in danger. He says the area is difficult to navigate, bad weather and low visibility. "But of course we are worried that people will go near the stations and put themselves in danger." Víðir says that no roads are in danger but they have closed the road to Keilir where scientists had to get peace of mind.
If it went to the red alert level, flights would be temporarily suspended, but most likely it would be reduced to orange. "This should not have a big impact on air travel," says scientist
The traffic management will have the risk that traffic will be normal. It is not possible to fence off the area, but people will be told that such eruptions can be dangerous due to gas pollution. The most dangerous area is around the lava. Therefore, people should be directed not to go near the eruption sites. "Still, let's wait for the eruption to come."
Source: RUV agency and mbl.is