Awesome job, Scott Hurst

I’ve got a little habit of checking in on the video footage from Fagradalsfjall now and then, and to my surprise I noticed that this one is from a friend, who went to Iceland without me. I’ll forgive him this time for his skill in getting his drone within 25m of the crater.

It looks like boiling, flowing water. Glowing red intensely hot flowing water.


  1. dorght says

    Wow, I’ve never gotten such a sense of the speed of that lava can flow before. This isn’t the ooze of Hawaii. Right near the end you can see a narrow very fast channel go into a wide area and the flow slow down, just to become narrow and fast again. Fascinating.

  2. rabbitbrush says

    #1 anthonybarcellos- Yeah. Unnecessary and irritating soundtrack. Just turn off the sound and focus on the lava flows!

  3. John Harshman says

    Yeah, I was just there. From the ground, the fast flows were far away though still spectacular. I particularly liked the frequent giant chunks of crater or magma chamber wall that went by. The closeup flow was just oozing out in a few spots, just a foot or so per minute, sporadically. Maybe 50 feet per day, though, and that adds up.

  4. John Harshman says

    There seems to be some controversy over what to call the volcano. It has no official name, but the one my guides were using is “Ragnar”, and that’s said to be a popular one.

  5. birgerjohansson says

    The cool thing is, the eruptions in this part can go on and on for years.
    The bad part is the lava flow may cut off the coastal road.

  6. John Harshman says

    This is why you may want to consider living on a hot spot centered on the mid-Atlantic Ridge.

  7. William George says

    @ 8 John Harshman

    And miss my slim chance to hang out with Bjork? Hell no!

  8. strangerinastrangeland says

    I learned a while ago from a newspaper article here (in Iceland) that the volcano likes to “eat” drones, so good that this one made it. Obviously the mix of heat from the lava and electromagnetics waves that are created through the movement of the lava interfere with their electronics and let them crash. Many of those can’t be retrieved again and are lost.

  9. strangerinastrangeland says

    @6 John Harshman
    The right to name a new volcano or lava field lies traditionally with the community or private owners of the land it is on. Sometimes they also do a public survey to find a popular one. Very often a name is chosen according to a close-by location, in this case it is likely that it will be finally called after either the mountain Fagradalsfjall or the valley Geldingadalur and then get the suffix “-hraun”, which means “lava field”. But nothing has been decided as far as I know.
    Ragnar is a common Icelandic man’s name and in no way in the contest for the volcano’s name. Either it is a nickname the local guides gave it or – knowing my Icelandic hosts – they were just pulling your leg. :-)

  10. outis says

    So many beautiful videos about that hellmouth.
    I like to watch it here:
    today it seems to be offline (the volcano ate my camera, professor) but there’s some very good views from all over the country, and even an IR feed in the volcano’s vicinity. It’s fine armchair tourism…

  11. Larry says

    I’ve been following this for a number of weeks via youtube videos. There was some awesome vides a week or two ago when the volcano was quite active. It would quiet down for 7-12 minutes and then start pulsating again causing a lavafall over the rim of the crater. The lava flowed like 2000° water, cascading over the edge before most of it disappeared into a lava tube. According to a geologist, this lava is quite heavily infused with water, making it flow far more easily. Now, so much lava has been produced that it isn’t possible to be as close to the cone as before so this is a really cool view.

  12. whheydt says

    I’ve been spending far too much time over the last 3 months (as of tomorrow, 19 June) since the start of the eruption.

    From the look of the “braided channels” of lava, it looks like your friend shot the video last Sunday when the pool in Geldingadalur overflowed from the south end down into Natthali. (And, yes, “gelding-” means that same as it does in English as a verb. Historically in that now-not-a valley it was sheep, not horses.)

    This volcano is unusual for having a very deep magma source, somewhere between 15 and 20Km down, so nearly to the top of the mantle. The effusion is also quite slow, having varied between 5 and 15 cubic meters per second. Coming straight up from that depth means the lava emerges at the high end of the possible temperature range. At the start of the eruption, a temp of 1190’C was cited.

    History of the area suggests that the eruption could last for 30 years and be part of a 200 to 400 year eruption cycle in the region.

    The Icelanders are, apparently, pretty sanguine about losing the south coastal road. (One official was quoted as saying, “We can build a new road.” Most of the annoyance is that, until ten years ago, the road wasn’t even paved, so they’d be losing a new road.) The bigger concern was about the fiber optic cable that runs next to it. They experimented by burying a section of cable in the path of a lava flow and then monitored it to see how long it would continue to work. With that data, they have put a new cable parallel to the coast road, but two meters down (instead of the usual one meter), encased in a conduit.

    Re: John Harshman @ #6…
    There is a community formed around the RUV stream (re-stream), run by a guy whose name I will not even attempt, but who is familiarly known as Ragnar. People applied names to the various vents as the opened up, the original one being “Bob”. Rag-Nar were two vents close together. “Rag” eventually closed, and the sole remaining active vent is “Nar”. Somewhat more officially, it is vent #5.