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  • Country
  • Subregion Name
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 63.43°N
  • 20.28°W

  • 279 m
    915 ft

  • 372010
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit

  • Volcano

There are no activity reports for Vestmannaeyjar.

 Available Weekly Reports

There are no Weekly Reports available for Vestmannaeyjar.

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1973 Jan 23 1973 Jun 28 Confirmed 3 Historical Observations Heimaey (Eldfell)
1963 Nov 8 1967 Jun 5 Confirmed 3 Historical Observations Surtsey
1896 Sep Unknown Confirmed   Historical Observations South or SE of Hellisey
1637 Oct 1638 Feb 28 ± 60 days Confirmed   Historical Observations SW of Heimaey ?
3950 BCE ± 300 years Unknown Confirmed   Uranium-series Heimaey (Helgafell)
4270 BCE ± 200 years Unknown Confirmed 3 Radiocarbon (corrected) Heimaey (Saefell tuff cone)
4550 BCE ± 500 years Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology Heimaey (Stórhöfdi tuff cone)
6050 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology Alsey, Brandur, Sudurey, Hellisey
7550 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 3 Tephrochronology NW Heimaey (Nordurklettar)
8050 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed 4 Tephrochronology NW Heimaey (Háin tuff ring)

The following references are the sources used for data regarding this volcano. References are linked directly to our volcano data file. 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. Additional discussion of data sources can be found under Volcano Data Criteria.

Einarsson T, 1974. The Heimaey Eruption in Words and Pictures. Reykjavik: Heimskringla, 88 p.

Green J, Short N M, 1971. Volcanic Landforms and Surface Features: a Photographic Atlas and Glossary. New York: Springer-Verlag, 519 p.

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

Jakobsson S P, 1979. Petrology of recent basalts of the eastern volcanic zone, Iceland. Acta Nat Islandica, 26: 1-103.

Jakobsson S P, Pedersen A K, Ronsbo J G, Melchior Larsen L, 1973. Petrology of mugearite-hawaiite: early extrusives in the 1973 Heimaey eruption, Iceland. Lithos, 6: 203-214.

Johannesson H, Jakobsson S P, Saemundsson K, 1982. Geological map of Iceland, sheet 6, south Iceland. Icelandic Museum Nat Hist & Iceland Geodetic Surv, 1:250,000 geol map, 2nd edition.

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

Leys C A, 1983. Volcanic and sedimentary processes during formation of the Saefell tuff-ring, Iceland. Trans Roy Soc Edinburgh: Earth Sci, 74: 15-22.

Mattsson H B, Hoskuldsson A, 2005. Eruption reconstruction, formation of flow-lobe tumuli and eruption duration in the 5900 BP Helgafell lava field (Heimaey), south Iceland. J Volc Geotherm Res, 147: 157-172.

Mattsson H B, Hoskuldsson A, Hand S, 2005. Crustal xenoliths in the 6220 BP Saefell tuff-cone, south Iceland: evidence for a deep, diatreme-forming, Surtseyan eruption. J Volc Geotherm Res, 145: 234-248.

Mattsson H, Hoskuldsson A, 2003. Geology of the Heimaey volcanic centre, south Iceland: early evolution of a central volcano in a propagating rift?. J Volc Geotherm Res, 127: 55-71.

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

Thorarinsson S, 1967b. Surtsey - The New Island in the North Atlantic. New York: Viking Press, p 1-47.

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

The mostly submarine Vestmannaeyjar volcanic system is the southernmost and youngest volcanic center of the eastern volcanic zone that cuts across east-central Iceland. It consists of a roughly 30 x 40 km group of basaltic volcanic islands and submarine cones occupying a shallow shelf off the south coast of Iceland. Vestmannaeyjar was the site of two of Iceland's most noted 20th-century eruptions. The new island of Surtsey grew from the ocean floor during 1963-67. The island of Heimaey, 20 km to the NE, was the site of dramatic eruptions in 1973 during which lava flows partially overran the town of Vestmannaeyjar and threatened its harbor. Several other volcanoes have erupted during historical time. Twenty-two postglacial eruption sites are known in the Vestmannaeyjar system, and all ten subaerial vents on Heimaey are of Holocene age.