Will there be a new eruption on Reykjanes?

On 4th July, 2023, America’s Independence Day, there was an unusually high level of seismic activity at Mount Fagradalsfjall. Over three hundred earthquakes were recorded in the afternoon, and a bit before ten o’clock, there was a big one, the biggest of the year in the region, with a magnitude of 3.6. “It is most likely that magma is moving and there is an intrusion forming. We saw this before the last eruption,” said Elísabet Pálmadóttir, a natural expert at the Icelandic Meteorological Office, in an interview with RÚV. Fagradalsfjall erupted last year and the year before, small beautiful eruptions, where lava flowed down into uninhabited valleys. If there were an eruption on the northern side of Fagradalsfjall, it is a short distance to the highway between Reykjavík and the international airport at Keflavík, or to the town closest to the volcano to the north, Vogar á Vatnsleysuströnd. Then there would be trouble. Icelandic Times / Land & Saga scrambled to Vogar to film this community in Reykjanes, halfway between Keflavík and Hafnarfjörður / Reykjavík.

Hafnargatan, the main street of Vogar, with a population of less than 1,500

The harbour in Vogar, the mountain Keilir in the background

Probably waiting for an eruption, around 30 cars were parked by the gym in Vogar

Road 240 at Vatnsleysuströnd

Arctic tern by Knarrarnes church

Kálfatjarnar church built in 1893

The deserted farm, Ásláksstaðir in Vogar

Photographs & text: Páll Stefánsson
Vatnsleysuströnd 04/07/2023 : A7C, RX1R II, A7R III – FE 1.4/24mm GM, 2.0/35mmZ, FE 1.8/135mm GM