Kverkfjöll

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  • Country
  • Volcanic Region
  • Primary Volcano Type
  • Last Known Eruption
  • 64.65°N
  • 16.72°W

  • 1929 m
    6327 ft

  • 373050
  • Latitude
  • Longitude

  • Summit
    Elevation

  • Volcano
    Number

14 August-20 August 2013

On 15 August park rangers noted unusually high water in the Volgu River, which originates from a water-filled depression called Gengissig in a geothermal area of Kverkfjöll; the high water destroyed a walking bridge. The next day an overflight of the area by members of National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police (NCIP), the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO), and the Institute of Earth Sciences revealed that Gengissig was empty and that a phreatic explosion had deposited streaks of dark material on the rock and snow.

Source: National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police (NCIP)

Index of Weekly Reports


2013: August

Weekly Reports


14 August-20 August 2013

On 15 August park rangers noted unusually high water in the Volgu River, which originates from a water-filled depression called Gengissig in a geothermal area of Kverkfjöll; the high water destroyed a walking bridge. The next day an overflight of the area by members of National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police (NCIP), the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO), and the Institute of Earth Sciences revealed that Gengissig was empty and that a phreatic explosion had deposited streaks of dark material on the rock and snow.

Source: National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police (NCIP)


The Global Volcanism Program has no Bulletin Reports available for Kverkfjöll.

Kverkfjöll is a large subglacial volcano at the NE end of the Vatnajökull icecap. Two elliptical ice-filled calderas, each about 8 x 5 km in size, have been identified. An associated fissure swarm can be traced 60 km to the NE. A half dozen ridges of subglacially erupted pillow lavas are now exposed and extend beyond the glacial icecap to the NE. Subglacial historical eruptions have been recorded since the mid-17th century. Several other historical eruptions once attributed to Kverkfjöll are now thought to have originated from Bárdarbunga volcano to the west.

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

Start Date Stop Date Eruption Certainty VEI Evidence Activity Area or Unit
1968 May 23 1968 Jun Confirmed   Historical Observations
1959 Unknown Confirmed   Historical Observations
1929 Jan 1929 Feb Confirmed 1 Historical Observations Hveradalur area
1729 Aug Unknown Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
1729 Feb 15 ± 45 days Unknown Confirmed 1 Historical Observations
1655 Apr 15 ± 45 days Unknown Confirmed 0 Historical Observations
5000 BCE ± 1000 years Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology Krepputunguhraun, Kverfjallahraun
7050 BCE (?) Unknown Confirmed   Tephrochronology Arnadalsoldugjoska

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.



Craters
Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Arnardalsoldugjoska Yngri Crater Row 65° 10' 0" N 16° 5' 0" W
Kreppuhraun Fissure vent 64° 46' 0" N 16° 22' 0" W
Krepputunguhraun Fissure vent 64° 55' 0" N 17° 2' 0" W
Kverkfjallaranamyndun Crater Row 64° 49' 0" N 16° 30' 0" W
Lindahraun Fissure vent 64° 46' 0" N 16° 30' 0" W
Urdalshraun Eystri Crater Row 64° 49' 0" N 17° 5' 0" W
Urdalshraun Vestari Crater Row 64° 51' 0" N 17° 12' 0" W
Vestasti Urdarhalsgigur Crater Row 64° 51' 0" N 17° 12' 0" W


Thermal
Feature Name Feature Type Elevation Latitude Longitude
Hveradalur Thermal
Kverkfjöll, seen here from the north, is a large subglacial volcano at the NE end of the Vatnajökull icecap. The Dyngjujökull glacier, an outflow sheet of the Vatnajökull icecap, appears in the foreground during a 1977 glacial surge. Two elliptical ice-filled calderas, 8 x 5 km in diameter, have been identified at Kverkfjöll volcano. An associated fissure swarm can be traced 60 km to the NE. Subglacial historical eruptions have been recorded since the mid-17th century.

Photo by Oddur Sigurdsson, 1977 (Icelandic National Energy Authority).
Kverkfjöll volcano (upper right) is seen here from Snæfell mountain, located to the ENE across the Bruarjökull glacier, an outflow sheet of the vast Vatnajökull icecap. A fissure system extends 60 km to the NE of Kverkfjöll, which is the northernmost of a half dozen volcanoes located on the Vatnajökull icecap.

Photo by Oddur Sigurdsson, 1978 (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.

Bjornsson H, Einarsson P, 1990. Volcanoes beneath Vatnajokull, Iceland: evidence from radio echo-sounding, earthquakes and jokulhlaups. Jokull, 40: 147-168.

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

Hoskuldsson A, Sparks R S J, Carroll M R, 2006. Constraints on the dynamics of subglacial basalt eruptions from geological and geochemical observations at Kverkfjoll, NE-Iceland. Bull Volc, 68: 689-701.

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

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

Sigbjarnarson G, 1988. Krepputunga and Bruardalir--Explanatory Text to Geologic Map. Reykjavik: Orkustofnun OS-88038/VOD-06, 44 p (in Icelandic with English summary).

Sigurdsson H, Sparks R S J, 1978. Rifting episode in North Iceland in 1874-1875 and the eruptions of Askja and Sveinagja. Bull Volc, 41: 149-167.

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

Stratovolcano
Caldera
Subglacial

Tectonic Setting

Rift zone
Oceanic crust (< 15 km)

Rock Types

Major
Basalt / Picro-Basalt
Rhyolite

Population

Within 5 km
Within 10 km
Within 30 km
Within 100 km
0
0
0
2,901

Affiliated Databases

Large Eruptions of Kverkfjöll 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.