Bigger than the island of Manhattan, the lava flow from the Holuhraun lava field in Iceland is now the largest the country has seen in more than 200 years, reports the Washington Post.
Scientists from the University of Iceland sample basalt lava from the eruption at Holuhraun of the Bárðarbunga volcanic system. September 2014.
Since August of last year, lava flowing out of the Bárðarbunga volcanic system has spread a total of 32 square miles (84 sq km), according to NASA’s Earth Observatory. This makes it the largest lava flow since the 1783–84 Laki eruption that wiped out 20 percent of Iceland’s population (and killed as many as eight million people worldwide).
Scientists from the University of Iceland’s Institute of Earth Sciences estimate that the thickness of the lava on the eastern part of the field at about 10 meters (33 feet) thick, the center at 12 meters, and the western part at 14 meters. Their preliminary analysis put the volume of lava at 1.1 cubic kilometers, enough for the eruption to be considered a flood basalt.
Although activity appears to be slowing, as to today “Holuhraun continues to spew out copious amounts of lava and sulfur dioxide,” says Adam Voiland of NASA.
Thanks to John at Bayshore for these links