Hekla ( Mt Hekla )

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Hekla ( Mt Hekla )

Of the thirty active volcanoes in Iceland, Hekla in South Iceland is one of the most active and potentially the most dangerous. Since the last Hekla eruption in 2000, the monitoring system run by the Icelandic Met Office has been considerably ramped up.

“The hope is that this measuring system will enable us to send out an eruption warning quickly enough to reduce the effect of the eruption on people and infrastructure,” reads the IMO website.

Hekla has erupted 23 times over the last 1,000 years, making it Iceland’s third most active volcano. The last time was in 2000, when the blast created a cloud of ash, gas and steam reaching up to 12km into the sky.  The biggest ever Hekla eruption was back in 1947, when the blast cloud reached 30km all the way into the stratosphere. Hekla eruptions present various types of danger, e.g. ash fall, lava, and floods caused by melting mountain snow.

Since 1970, Hekla has erupted at more or less ten-year intervals – 1970, 1980-1, 1991 and 2000 – and it is therefore widely thought that a new eruption is due. That said, before 1970 eruptions were much less frequent, sometimes 120 years apart. The most recent eruption was relatively short, it started at 18:18 on 26 February 2000 and lasted until 8 March

According to the IMO, despite their best efforts, difficult environmental conditions around Hekla and possible problems with transmitting and processing data mean that it may not be possible to issue an eruption warning in time. Tourists visiting Hekla must therefore bear in mind that an eruption may begin without warning. A Hekla eruption could be life-threatening for those nearby, owing to lava flows, ash fall and gas emissions.

Hekla is a popular destination for hiking. Following the most recent eruption the path goes most of the way to the summit, the walk takes 3 to 4 hours

The earliest recorded eruption of Hekla took place in 1104. Since then there have been between twenty and thirty considerable eruptions, with the mountain sometimes remaining active for periods of six years with little pause. Eruptions in Hekla are extremely varied and difficult to predict. Some are very short (a week to ten days) whereas others can stretch into months and years (the 1947 eruption started 29 March 1947 and ended April 1948). But there is a general correlation: the longer Hekla goes dormant, the larger and more catastrophic its opening eruption will be.

 

Live camera from Mt Hekla

Of the thirty active volcanoes in Iceland, Hekla in South Iceland is one of the most active and potentially the most dangerous. Since the last Hekla eruption in 2000, the monitoring system run by the Icelandic Met Office has been considerably ramped up.

“The hope is that this measuring system will enable us to send out an eruption warning quickly enough to reduce the effect of the eruption on people and infrastructure,” reads the IMO website.

Hekla has erupted 23 times over the last 1,000 years, making it Iceland’s third most active volcano. The last time was in 2000, when the blast created a cloud of ash, gas and steam reaching up to 12km into the sky.  The biggest ever Hekla eruption was back in 1947, when the blast cloud reached 30km all the way into the stratosphere. Hekla eruptions present various types of danger, e.g. ash fall, lava, and floods caused by melting mountain snow.

Since 1970, Hekla has erupted at more or less ten-year intervals – 1970, 1980-1, 1991 and 2000 – and it is therefore widely thought that a new eruption is due. That said, before 1970 eruptions were much less frequent, sometimes 120 years apart. The most recent eruption was relatively short, it started at 18:18 on 26 February 2000 and lasted until 8 March

According to the IMO, despite their best efforts, difficult environmental conditions around Hekla and possible problems with transmitting and processing data mean that it may not be possible to issue an eruption warning in time. Tourists visiting Hekla must therefore bear in mind that an eruption may begin without warning. A Hekla eruption could be life-threatening for those nearby, owing to lava flows, ash fall and gas emissions.

Hekla is a popular destination for hiking. Following the most recent eruption the path goes most of the way to the summit, the walk takes 3 to 4 hours

The earliest recorded eruption of Hekla took place in 1104. Since then there have been between twenty and thirty considerable eruptions, with the mountain sometimes remaining active for periods of six years with little pause. Eruptions in Hekla are extremely varied and difficult to predict. Some are very short (a week to ten days) whereas others can stretch into months and years (the 1947 eruption started 29 March 1947 and ended April 1948). But there is a general correlation: the longer Hekla goes dormant, the larger and more catastrophic its opening eruption will be.

 

Live camera from Mt Hekla