Information about Grímsvötn

 

Grimsvotn refers to subglacial lakes and a volcano of the same name that lie in the western part of Vatnajokull, Europe's largest glacier, in the Icelandic highlands. This volcano is the most active in Iceland.

Grimsvotn volcano

The volcano is of the the basaltic type and is mostly covered by ice. It measures around 900 m in diameter and up to 1000 m above sea level.

The volcano in the same fissure system as Lakagigar. Lakagigar's' eruption of 1783-4 was one of the greatest in historic times. Grimsvotn erupted at the same time and this eruption lasted until 1785.

Most of Grimsvotn's eruptions have been subglacial and the area has produced great glacier bursts, mostly from the glacier rivers Skeidara, Sula and Nupsvotn, with enormous amounts of water flooding south to the sea.

The name Grimsvotn alludes to the subglacial lakes, but is used for the whole volcano. A part of Grimsvotn volcano that protrudes through the glacier is known as Grimsfjall mountain. There the Icelandic Glacier Research Society has set up a cabin, but access to the cabin is severely limited. A prior agreement with the association has to be reached if one wishes to stay there, and in any case one should never travel the glacier unless veing highly experienced with it or accompanied by seasoned guides.

Recent activity

Grimsvotn has had several eruptions in the recent past. Week-long eruptions occurred in 1998 and 2004, the latter disrupting air traffic for a short term though no glacier floods occured at either eruption.

Some tremor was recorded in 2010 and 2011 saw an eruption that was Grimsvotn's strongest in a 100 years and lasted from May 21st to May 28th. While there were no glacier floods this time, the ash rose as high as 20 km and disrupted air travel widely in Europe, resulting in 900 flights being cancelled.

Possible future activity

It is believed that the recent eruptions may mark the beginning of an active period where an eruption may be expected every 2-7 years. Activity in the Bardarbunga stratovolcano has also been associated with an increased activity in Grimsvotn.

Services near Grímsvötn

All services in 50km radius

Attractions nearby Grímsvötn

Vatnajökull

Vatnajökull glacier is the largest ice cap in Iceland and the third largest glacier in Europe, covering 8% of the island's landmass. V...

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Bárðarbunga

The stratovolcano Bardarbunga is Iceland’s second-highest mountain and lies under the icecap of Vatnajokull, Europe’s largest glacier. Ba...

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Kverkfjöll

Credit: Wikimedia, Creative Commons. Photo by Pietro Kverkfjöll is a sub-glacial mountain range on the northern side of the Vatnajökul...

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Morsárfoss

Morsárfoss is Iceland's tallest waterfall, measuring 228 metres. In fact, there are several waterfalls in the area, and sometimes...

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Vestragil

Vestragil is a gully at Skaftafell in Vatnajokull National Park and a popular stop for hikers. Here you get the chance to soak weary feet in a hot sp...

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Skaftafellsjökull

Wikimedia. Creative Commons. Credit: Praveen Kumar Bodigutla Skaftafellsjökull is a glacier tongue spurting off from Iceland's largest ...

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Jökulheimar

  At Jokulheimar, close to Tungnarjokull glacier in Vatnajokull National Park are two cabins run by the Icelandic Glacier Research Association. ...

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Nýidalur/Jökuldalur

Nyidalur (a.k.a. Jokuldalur) is a valley in the Icelandic highlands, south of the glacier Tungnafellsjokull and north of Hofsjokull glacier. It is a f...

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Skaftafell

Photo from Tour to Skaftafell from Reykjavik.  Skaftafell Nature Preserve can be found in Öræfasveit, the western region of Aust...

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Svartifoss

Svartifoss, in the area of Skaftafell in Vatnajokull National Park, is one of Iceland’s most scenic waterfalls. This narrow 20 metre high ...

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Hafrafell

Hafrafell is a small mountain south of Mosfellsbaer town, around 12 km from Reykjavik.  This mountain offers a great view from the top, as you&#...

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Lomagnupur

Mt. Lómagnúpur is, very arguably, one of Iceland’s most recognisable mountains, with its proud and dramatic cliff faces, flat, gar...

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Langisjór

  Langisjor is among the clearest highland lakes in the country. Its altitude is 670 meters and at its deepest it’s 75 meters. The l...

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Skeiðarársandur

  Skeidararsandur is a vast sand plain, formed from alluvial deposits. It covers 1300 km², making it the largest sand in the world. There...

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Trölladyngja

Trölladyngja is Iceland's largest shield volcano, located in the north of Vatnajökull National Park in the highlands. At 1,468 metres (...

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Breiðamerkurjökull

Breiðamerkurjökull is the glacial tongue that extends from southern Vatnajökull and into the glacier lagoon Jökulsárló...

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Holuhraun

Holuhraun is an immense lava field north of Vatnajökull glacier in Iceland's Highlands. Holuhraun is the site of a powerful eruption which...

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Hvannadalshnúkur

Hvannadalshnúkur or Hvannadalshnjúkur is the highest peak of Öræfajökull volcanic glacier in Vatnajökull National P...

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Öræfajökull

  Oraefajokull is a glacier volcano in South-East Iceland. On its north-western side is Iceland's highest peak, Hvannadalshnjukur (2109 m). ...

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Ofaerufoss

Ofaerufoss is a highly beautiful waterfall in the volcanic chasm Eldgja in Southeast Iceland. The Eldgja chasm, belongs to the same volcanic system as...

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Tours near Grímsvötn

Combination Flying Tour | Lakagigar Craters, ​Grimsvotn & Glaciers

Join this scenic flight over the Lakagígar crater chain to witness their spectacular beauty from......

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Grimsvotn Eruption Site | Flightseeing Tour

Take this incredible flight to Grímsvötn, Iceland's most frequently erupting volcano. With......

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