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Ice-clad Snaefellsjökull volcano anchors the western tip of the isolated Snaefellsnes Peninsula in western Iceland. Numerous pyroclastic cones dot the flanks of the 1448-m-high stratovolcano, the only large central volcano in this part of Iceland. Lower-flank craters produced basaltic lava flows and upper-flank craters intermediate-to-silicic material. Holocene lava flows extend to the sea over the entire western half of the volcano. Several Holocene silicic eruptions have originated from the summit crater. The latest dated eruption took place about 1750 years ago; several lava flows may be even younger.
Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).
|Start Date||Stop Date||Eruption Certainty||VEI||Evidence||Activity Area or Unit|
|0200 ± 150 years||Unknown||Confirmed||Radiocarbon (uncorrected)||Tephra layer Sn-1|
|1000 BCE ± 500 years||Unknown||Confirmed||2||Radiocarbon (uncorrected)||NW flank (Raudhólar)|
|2010 BCE ± 100 years||Unknown||Confirmed||Radiocarbon (uncorrected)||Tephra layer Sn-2|
|2270 BCE ± 300 years||Unknown||Confirmed||0||Radiocarbon (uncorrected)||South flank (Thufuhraun)|
|2400 BCE ± 200 years||Unknown||Confirmed||2||Radiocarbon (uncorrected)||NE flank (800 m)|
|2970 BCE ± 300 years||Unknown||Confirmed||0||Radiocarbon (uncorrected)||SE flank (Dagverdarahraun)|
|4050 BCE (?)||Unknown||Confirmed||0||Tephrochronology||West flank (Ondverdarnesholar)|
|4550 BCE ± 1500 years||Unknown||Confirmed||2||Tephrochronology||East of Snaefellsjökull (Budaklettur)|
|6050 BCE ± 1000 years||Unknown||Confirmed||Tephrochronology||Tephra layer Sn-3|
|8460 BCE ± 200 years||Unknown||Confirmed||Radiocarbon (corrected)|
This compilation of synonyms and subsidiary features may not be comprehensive. Features are organized into four major categories: Cones, Craters, Domes, and Thermal Features. Synonyms of features appear indented below the primary name. In some cases additional feature type, elevation, or location details are provided.
|Feature Name||Feature Type||Elevation||Latitude||Longitude|
|Bardarlaug||Cone||120 m||64° 46' 0" N||23° 41' 0" W|
|Budaklettur||Cone||88 m||64° 48' 0" N||23° 26' 0" W|
|Holaholar||Cone||113 m||64° 47' 0" N||23° 56' 0" W|
|Holantindur||Cone||693 m||64° 48' 0" N||23° 51' 0" W|
|Kviahnjukur||Cone||706 m||64° 47' 0" N||23° 44' 0" W|
|Ljosakridha||Cone||720 m||64° 55' 0" N||23° 51' 0" W|
|Ondverdarnesholar||Shield volcano||100 m||64° 51' 0" N||24° 0' 0" W|
|Purkholar||Cone||145 m||64° 45' 0" N||23° 50' 0" W|
|Raudholar||Cone||180 m||64° 52' 0" N||23° 53' 0" W|
|Sandfell||Cone||64° 49' 0" N||23° 49' 0" W|
|Saxholar||Cone||120 m||64° 51' 0" N||23° 56' 0" W|
|Sjonarholl||Cone||64° 51' 0" N||23° 51' 0" W|
|Svalthufa||Cone||40 m||64° 44' 0" N||23° 47' 0" W|
|Svortutindar||Cone||605 m||64° 55' 0" N||23° 52' 0" W|
|Toppgig||Cone||64° 48' 0" N||23° 49' 0" W|
|The low Budaklettur scoria cone on the east flank of Snæfellsjökull in western Iceland was the source of the Budahraun lava field, which forms a flat, low-lying peninsula. The eruption occurred sometime between about 5000 and 8000 years ago. Youthful, Holocene lava flows form much of the coastline surrounding Snæfellsjökull volcano.
Photo by Richie Williams, 1981 (U.S. Geological Survey).
|Lysuhöll, Iceland's smallest volcanic system, consists of a chain of small cinder cones and vents along a WNW-ESE line cutting diagonally across the Snæfellsnes Peninsula in the center of the photo. The cones and vents of the Lysuhöll volcanic system, seen here from the ENE, are located between the snow-covered Helgrindur mountains in the foreground and the glacier-covered Snæfellsjökull volcano in the background. The latest eruptions from Lysuhöll occurred during the Holocene.
Photo by Thorvaldur Bragason, Iceland Geodetic Survey (courtesy of Richie Williams, U.S. Geological Survey).
|Ice-clad Snæfellsjökull volcano towers above Breidavík bay at the western tip of the isolated Snæfellsnes Peninsula in western Iceland. Numerous pyroclastic cones dot the flanks of the 1448-m-high stratovolcano, which is the only large central volcano in this part of Iceland. Holocene lava flows extend to the sea over the entire western half of the volcano. One young flow that reached the coast on the eastern flank can be seen at the left side of the photo. The latest dated eruption took place about 1750 years ago; several lava flows may be even younger.
Photo by Richie Williams, 1979 (U.S. Geological Survey).
The following references have all been used during the compilation of data for this volcano, it is not a comprehensive bibliography. Discussion of another volcano or eruption (sometimes far from the one that is the subject of the manuscript) may produce a citation that is not at all apparent from the title.
Bardason T, 1990. Lava flows near Snaefellsjokull. Rannsoknarverkefni Hakoli Islands, 17 p (in Icelandic).
Gudmundsson A T, 1986b. Iceland-Fires. Reykjavik: Vaka-Helgafell, 168 p.
Johannesson H, 1982. Summary of the geology of Snaefellsnes. Arbok Ferdafelags Islands 1982, p 151-172 (in Icelandic).
Johannesson H, Flores R M, Jonsson J, 1981. A short account of the Holocene tephrochronology of the Snaefellsjokull central volcano, western Iceland. Jokull, 9: 23-30.
Kjartansson G, 1968. Geological map of Iceland, sheet 2, west-central Iceland. Icelandic Museum Nat Hist, 1:250,000 geol map.
Steinthorsson S, 1967. Two new C-14 datings on tephra from Snaefellsjokull. Natturufraedingurinn, 37: 236-238 (in Icelandic with English abs).
Steinthorsson S, et al., 2002. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World - Iceland. Unpublished manuscript.
Thorarinsson S (ed), 1960. On the geology and geophysics of Iceland. 21st Internatl Geol Cong, Copenhagen, Guidebook, A2: 1-73 p.