Eruption at Skjaldbreiður?

From the shield volcano / mountain Skjaldbreiður, there are only about twenty kilometers to Þingvellir in the south, and about 15km to Laugarvatn. In the last few days there has been a wave of earthquakes in the volcano, but in the last 30 days there have been about 800 earthquakes in and around the mountain. The same number as has been measured in total in the last 15 years. But when the shield volcano / mountain, was created in a long eruption 9000 years ago, the eruption formed the landscapes we know in Þingvellir today. The lava at Þingvellir came from Skjaldbreiður. Is Iceland going into a new volcanic eruptions period, no one knows. But effusive eruptions, like when Skjaldbreiður was active, are rare, and last for a long time, because the lava that forms this over a thousand meter high mountain lasted for almost one hundred years.

The top of Skjalbreiður, Langjökull can be seen to the north in the background

The crater of Skjaldbreiður

Skjakdbreiður seen from Þingvellir

Skjaldbreiður seen from Kaldidalur

A map from the Icelandic Meteorological Office that shows the earthquake activity today, all originating from the top of the volcano

Photographs & text: Páll Stefánsson
Shield width 05/09/2023 : A7R IV, RX1R II : FE 2.8/90mm, 2.0/35mm Z, FE 1.2/50mm GM