Geldingadalur is an area on the Reykjanes Peninsula, notable for being home to the currently erupting Fagradalsfjall volcano.
The Reykjanes Peninsula in south-west Iceland is a very volcanic area, renowned for its conic mountains, craters, hot springs, and lava fields. The eruption at Geldingadalur, however, is the first in the region for 800 years.
Beginning at 21.30 on March 19th, 2021, a 700-meter fissure opened within Fagradalsfjall, the lava flow covered around a square kilometer. However, aside from its release of poisonous gases, it was clear that the volcano would pose little threat to life and infrastructure, as it was occurring in a sheltered valley away from any settlements and had a gentle, effusive flow.
Though it was unknown where the eruption would occur, it had been heavily suspected by those living in Reykjavik and on the Reykjanes Peninsula that a local eruption would happen for weeks. Over 40,000 earthquakes and tremors had been shaking the region, with some as high as 5.7 on the Richter Scale.
Due to its relatively small size, gently moving lava, and the lack of glacier on top of it, Geldingadalur’s eruption poses no threat to air travel.
The Reykjanes Peninsula, adjacent to the capital region and home to both the Blue Lagoon and Keflavik International Airport, is accessible throughout the year. Geldingadalur, however, has limited access with its ongoing eruption.