Check out these breathtaking photos of the Fagradalsfjall volcanic eruption in Geldingadalur, Iceland!
It's taken seven years of waiting since Holuhraun’s eruption in 2014, but a new volcano has finally gone off in Iceland! Fagradalsfjall, a shield volcano on the Reykjanes Peninsula that has been dormant for 6,000 years, awoke at 21:30 on March 19th. Since then, it has taken the form of an awe-inspiring fissure, spewing snaking rivers and releasing gleaming fountains of lava.
Many have flocked to the spectacular eruption site with their drones and cameras, hoping to capture the perfect image of this magnificent and rare phenomenon. Thankfully, however, we have award-winning photographer Iurie Belurgurschi on hand to do the job for us! Here, we have compiled ten of his most insane photos of the Fagradalsfjall volcanic eruption at Gelingadalur.
What better way to start than with an aerial portrait of Fagradalsfjall in all its glory. Peaks spitting fire, craters unfurling smoke, molten rivers, and a glowing plane of brand new earth reveal the beauty and power of Iceland’s volcanic forces.
In this photograph, you can see there are no buildings, roads, or other signs of infrastructure in Geldingadalur. Not only does this explain why this eruption has raised little concern in terms of the damage it can do, but it also adds to the primordial ambience of the scene. It is no wonder why so many have made comparisons to the fiery lands of Middle Earth’s Mordor.
Fagradalsfjall in Geldingadalur is an effusive volcano rather than an eruptive one. That means the lava is emerging from the rift and craters in a gentle flow of rivers, rather than with an explosion of magma, rock, and ash.
This has allowed Iurie and other photographers to get close enough to this site to photograph it in such majesty and explains why no one is particularly concerned about its impact on agriculture or air travel.
Here, these rivers can be seen at night, where they form orange veins through a sea of black.
In this photograph of the Geldingadalur eruption, you can marvel at the spectacular contrast between the ominous lava and the rolling greenery behind. Iceland is famous for the unusual moss that can grow on the barren, burnt landscapes of volcanic regions such as the Reykjanes Peninsula, and soon, it will take root in this new land.
As Fagradalsfjall began its eruption in winter, the dark evenings allowed for some incredible night photography. The vividness of the orange lava and the brightness of fires truly come out against the black landscapes, as can be seen in this image, where the terrifying eye of a flaming beast seems to be emerging from the crater.
In this awe-inspiring image, you can see a photographer snapping shots at the frontier of Geldingadalur's eruption; so long as they remain at this distance, they should be relatively safe due to the slow progression of the lava. The gas you see rising around the edge of the flaming field is steam; the dampness in the surrounding ground evaporates with a hiss the moment it comes in contact with the heat.
The eruption at Geldingadalur began as a fissure around 700 meters long; as you can see in this aerial photograph of the Icelandic volcano, however, a single main crater has begun to form and rise. If the lava flows long enough, there could soon be another distinctive cone-shaped peak on the Reykjanes Peninsula skyline!
In this photo of Iceland's erupting volcano, you can see how the fissure's heat keeps the molten rock from ever fully solidifying; the red currents of lava appear as a glowing version of the Nazca Lines. Despite its small size and gentle flow, there is a deep magma chamber beneath Geldingadalur, meaning that scientists have few reliable predictions on how long Fagradalsfjall's eruption will last.
Here, you can marvel over the edge of the already vast lava field emerging from Fagradalsfjall volcano; even its extremities still glow from the heat of the eruption. As this new rock cools from the outside in, it will contract and form subterranean tunnels, which in the future may allow lava caving tours beneath this new landscape.
See also: Lava Cave Tours
Due to the volatile climate of Iceland in winter and spring, it has been possible to photograph the Fagradalsfjall volcano in many different conditions; heavy snows allowed it to reveal why Iceland has the nickname 'the Land of Ice and Fire'. As hot as 1,250 degrees Celsius, no snow can settle even close to the eruption site, instead encircling the searing hot rock and lava rivers.
For those visiting, this is a helpful marker as to where it is safe to walk!
Just because the lava flow is not technically explosive does not mean you won’t get to see some beautiful fountains of fire. The magma is still rising under enormous pressure, meaning that you’ll regularly see molten rock and licks of flame bursting from the craters and fissure. In this breathtaking photo of the Fagradalsfjall eruption on the Reykjanes Peninsula, you can see jets of fiery orange arching over the site.