Reykjanes

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 63.88°N
  • 22.5°W

  • 230 m
    754 ft

  • 371020
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

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The Reykjanes volcanic system at the SW tip of the Reykjanes Peninsula, where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge rises above sea level, comprises a broad area of postglacial basaltic crater rows and small shield volcanoes. The submarine Reykjaneshryggur volcanic system is contiguous with and is considered part of the Reykjanes volcanic system, which is the westernmost of a series of four closely-spaced en-echelon fissure systems that extend diagonally across the Reykjanes Peninsula. Most of the subaerial part of the volcanic system (also known as the Reykjanes/Svartsengi volcanic system) is covered by Holocene lavas. Subaerial eruptions have occurred in historical time during the 13th century at several locations on the NE-SW-trending fissure system, and numerous submarine eruptions at Reykjaneshryggur dating back to the 12th century have been observed during historical time, some of which have formed ephemeral islands. Basaltic rocks of probable Holocene age have been recovered during dredging operations, and tephra deposits from earlier Holocene eruptions are preserved on the nearby Reykjanes Peninsula.

Summary of Holocene eruption dates and Volcanic Explosivity Indices (VEI).

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
[ 1970 (?) ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 0   Reykjaneshryggur (Eldeyjarbodi)
[ 1966 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 0   Reykjaneshryggur (Eldeyjarbodi)
1926 Jun 5 ± 4 days Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations Reykjaneshryggur (NE of Eldey)
[ 1884 Jul 26 ] [ Unknown ] Uncertain 2   Reykjaneshryggur (NW of Eldey)
1879 May 30 (?) 1879 Jun 15 ± 5 days Confirmed 1 Historical Observations Reykjaneshryggur (Geirfugladrangur)
1830 Mar 13 (?) 1831 Mar (?) Confirmed 3 Historical Observations Reykjaneshryggur (Eldeyjarbodi)
1783 May 1 (in or before) 1783 Aug 15 ± 60 days Confirmed 3 Historical Observations Reykjaneshryggur (Nyey)
[ 1661 Dec ] [ Unknown ] Discredited    
1583 Jul 15 ± 45 days Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Reykjaneshryggur (near Eldeyjar Islands)
1422 Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Reykjaneshryggur (Geirfuglasker-Eldey area)
1340 (?) Unknown Confirmed 3 Historical Observations Reykjaneshryggur
1240 Unknown Confirmed 1 Historical Observations Reykjaneshryggur, Arnarsetur, Illahraun
1238 Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations Reykjaneshryggur
1231 Unknown Confirmed 3 Historical Observations Reykjaneshryggur, R-10 tephra
1226 Jul 15 ± 45 days 1227 (?) Confirmed 4 Historical Observations Reykjaneshryggur, R-9 tephra
1223 Unknown Confirmed 3 Historical Observations Reykjaneshryggur, R-8 tephra
1211 Aug 31 ± 30 days Unknown Confirmed 4 Historical Observations Reykjaneshryggur, Karlsgigur; R-7 tephra
1211 Unknown Confirmed   Historical Observations Stampar, Karlsgigur
1210 Unknown Confirmed 3 Historical Observations Vatnsfellsgigur
1179 (in or before) Unknown Confirmed 2 Historical Observations Reykjaneshryggur, R-5 and R-6 tephras
0920 (?) Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology Reykjaneshryggur (near Eldey), R-4 tephra
0200 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 0 Radiocarbon (uncorrected) Lambagjá
0400 BCE ± 100 years Unknown Confirmed 2 Radiocarbon (uncorrected) Sundhnukar
1800 BCE ± 300 years Unknown Confirmed 2 Tephrochronology Reykjaneshryggur, Stampar, R-2, R-3 tephras
3800 BCE ± 300 years Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology Reykjaneshryggur, R-1 tephra
4000 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 0 Tephrochronology Sandfellshaed
5040 BCE ± 100 years Unknown Confirmed 0 Radiocarbon (uncorrected) Hopsnes
8000 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 0 Tephrochronology Thrainskjöldur

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.


Cones

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Bergholl Shield volcano 37 m 63° 53' 0" N 22° 44' 0" W
Haleyjabunga Shield volcano 30 m 63° 49' 0" N 22° 39' 0" W
Hrolfsvikurhraun Shield volcano 63° 50' 0" N 22° 20' 0" W
Lagafell Shield volcano 91 m 63° 53' 0" N 22° 33' 0" W
Langholl Shield volcano 73 m 63° 53' 0" N 22° 40' 0" W
Sandfellshaed Shield volcano 74 m 63° 52' 0" N 22° 35' 0" W
Skalafell Shield volcano 76 m 63° 49' 0" N 22° 42' 0" W
Thrainsskjöldur Shield volcano 63° 53' 0" N 22° 12' 0" W
Vatnsheidi Shield volcano 140 m 63° 51' 0" N 22° 23' 0" W

Craters

Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Arnarsetur Crater Row 80 m 63° 53' 0" N 22° 25' 0" W
Badsvallagigir Crater Row 63° 53' 0" N 22° 25' 0" W
Borgarhraun Crater Row 121 m 63° 50' 0" N 22° 19' 0" W
Dalahraun Crater Row 63° 52' 0" N 22° 20' 0" W
Eldey Submarine crater 80 m
Eldeyjar
    Eldoerne
Submarine crater 63° 49' 0" N 22° 45' 0" W
Eldeyjarbodi Submarine crater 63° 26' 0" N 23° 50' 0" W
Eldvorp Crater Row 60 m 63° 51' 0" N 22° 35' 0" W
Fellshraun Crater Row 63° 53' 0" N 22° 25' 0" W
Geirfugladrangur Submarine crater 63° 26' 0" N 23° 17' 0" W
Grjothryggur Submarine crater
Gullholl Submarine crater
Haugur Crater Row 63° 52' 0" N 22° 37' 0" W
Hreidhur Crater Row 63° 50' 0" N 22° 40' 0" W
Illahraun Crater Row 40 m 63° 52' 0" N 22° 28' 0" W
Kalfellshraun Crater Row 63° 56' 0" N 22° 19' 0" W
Klofningahraun Crater Row 63° 50' 0" N 22° 33' 0" W
Langagrunn Submarine crater
Melholl Crater Row 140 m 63° 50' 0" N 22° 25' 0" W
Nyey
    Myoe
Submarine crater 63° 10' 0" N 24° 10' 0" W
Raudholar Crater Row 40 m 63° 50' 0" N 22° 40' 0" W
Reykjaneshyggur Fissure vent 80 m 63° 40' 0" N 22° 20' 0" W
Stampar Crater Row 30 m 63° 50' 0" N 22° 42' 0" W
Steinaholl Submarine crater
Stori-Brandur Submarine crater
Sundhnukar Crater Row 100 m 63° 53' 0" N 22° 23' 0" W
Svartsengi Fissure vent
Syrfellshraun Crater Row 63° 49' 0" N 22° 40' 0" W
Tjaldstadagja Crater Row 30 m 63° 51' 0" N 22° 39' 0" W
The Reykjanes volcanic system at the SW tip of the Reykjanes Peninsula, where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge rises above sea level, comprises a broad area of postglacial crater rows and small shield volcanoes. Snow-covered Sandfellshæd shield volcano (lower center), capped by a small crater, rises only 74 m above the Atlantic Ocean to the south. Most of the volcanic system is covered by Holocene lava flows. Eruptions have occurred in historical time during the 13th century at several locations on the NE-SW-trending fissure system.

Photo by Helgi Torfason (courtesy of Richie Williams, U S Geological Survey, published in Gudmundsson, 1986).
The two westernmost of five NE-SW-trending volcanic systems on the Reykjanes Peninsula cut diagonally across this aerial photo. The Reykjanes volcanic system, which lies near the SW tip of the peninsula, where the Mid Atlantic Ridge rises above sea level, has produced Holocene lava fields that extend to the western and southern coasts. The Krísuvík volcanic system, on the right side of the photo, has produced several eruptions since the settlement of Iceland. The latest of these took place during the 14th century.

Photo courtesy of Richie Williams (U.S. Geological Survey).
The snow-mantled Reykjanes volcanic system forms the SW tip of the Reykjanes Peninsula, where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge rises above sea level. The Reykjanes volcanic system is the westernmost of a series of four closely spaced, NE-SW-trending en echelon fissure systems that extend diagonally across the Reykjanes Peninsula. Most of the Reykjanes volcanic system is covered by Holocene lavas, and eruptions have occurred in historical time during the 13th century at several locations.

Photo by Oddur Sigurdsson, 1998 (Icelandic National Energy Authority).
The submarine Reykjaneshryggur volcanic system, lying off the SW tip of Iceland at the top of the photo, is part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which extends onto the Reykjanes Peninsula in the foreground. Numerous submarine eruptions at Reykjaneshryggur dating back to the 12th century have been observed during historical time, some of which have formed ephemeral islands. Tephra deposits from earlier Holocene eruptions are preserved on the Reykjanes Peninsula in the foreground.

Photo by Oddur Sigurdsson, 1998 (Icelandic National Energy Authority).

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.

Andrew R E B, Gudmundsson A, 2007. Distribution, structure, and formation of Holocene lava shields in Iceland. J Volc Geotherm Res, 168: 137-154.

Gudmundsson A T, 1986b. Iceland-Fires. Reykjavik: Vaka-Helgafell, 168 p.

IAVCEI, 1973-80. Post-Miocene Volcanoes of the World. IAVCEI Data Sheets, Rome: Internatl Assoc Volc Chemistry Earth's Interior..

Jakobsson S P, Jonasson K, Sigurdsson I A, 2008. The three igneous rock series of Iceland. Jokull, 58: 117-138.

Jakobsson S P, Jonsson J, Shido F, 1978. Petrology of the western Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland. J Petr, 19: 669-705.

Jenness M H, Clifton A E, 2009. Controls on the geometry of a Holocene crater row: a field study from southwest Iceland. Bull Volc, 71: 715-528.

Johannesson H, Einarsson S, 1988b. The age of Illahraun at Svartsengi. Fjolrit Natturufraedistofnunar, 7: 1-11 (in Icelandic with English summary).

Johannesson H, Saemundsson K, 1998. Geological map of Iceland, 1:500,000. Tectonics. Icelandic Inst Nat Hist, Reykjavik.

Jonsson J, 1978. Geology of the Reykjanes Peninsula. Orkustofnun Jardhitadeild, OS-JHD-7831, Geol maps and 303 p text (in Icelandic).

Saemundsson K, Einarsson S, 1980. Geological map of Iceland, sheet 3, south-west Iceland. Icelandic Museum Nat Hist & Iceland Geodetic Surv, 1:250,000 geol map.

Sigurgeirsson M A, 1992. Tephra fall formations on the Reykjanes Peninsula. Unpublished MSci thesis, Univ Iceland, 114 p.

Steinthorsson S, et al., 2002. Catalog of Active Volcanoes of the World - Iceland. Unpublished manuscript.

Thordarson T, Hoskuldsson A, 2008. Postglacial eruptions in Iceland. Jokull, 58: 197-228.

Volcano Types

Crater rows
Shield(s)

Tectonic Setting

Rift zone
Oceanic crust (< 15 km)

Rock Types

Major
Basalt / Picro-Basalt

Population

Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km
13,995
13,995
15,542
192,922

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Reykjanes Information about large Quaternary eruptions (VEI >= 4) is cataloged in the Large Magnitude Explosive Volcanic Eruptions (LaMEVE) database of the Volcano Global Risk Identification and Analysis Project (VOGRIPA).
WOVOdat WOVOdat is a database of volcanic unrest; instrumentally and visually recorded changes in seismicity, ground deformation, gas emission, and other parameters from their normal baselines. It is sponsored by the World Organization of Volcano Observatories (WOVO) and presently hosted at the Earth Observatory of Singapore.
EarthChem EarthChem develops and maintains databases, software, and services that support the preservation, discovery, access and analysis of geochemical data, and facilitate their integration with the broad array of other available earth science parameters. EarthChem is operated by a joint team of disciplinary scientists, data scientists, data managers and information technology developers who are part of the NSF-funded data facility Integrated Earth Data Applications (IEDA). IEDA is a collaborative effort of EarthChem and the Marine Geoscience Data System (MGDS).
Smithsonian Collections Search the Smithsonian's NMNH Department of Mineral Sciences collections database. Go to the "Search Rocks and Ores" tab and use the Volcano Name drop-down to find samples.