Iceland lava field now the biggest in 200 years

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

6 thoughts on “Iceland lava field now the biggest in 200 years”

  1. When first erupted from a volcanic vent, lava is a liquid at temperatures from 700 to 1,200 °C according to Wikipedia.

    The area of Manhattan Island is ~87460000 square metres.

    At 700 C which is 973 Kelvin each square metre is emitting ~50,820 Watts per square metre.

    This gives a total radiative emission of the order of 4,444,717,200,000 watts.

    Over the earth this is equivalent to a radiative forcing of ~0.009 W/sqm – to paraphrase climate scientists and the IPCC.

    The IPCC and alarmists wet their pants over a radiative forcing of about 0.9 W/sqm due apparently to CO2 and say this is extremely dangerous.

    The funny thing is this it only requires a mere 100 volcanoes of this order worldwide to produce the same “catastrophic” radiative forcing – many of which are unknown to us under the seas.

    Perhaps we should be investing in massive heat resistant corks and go around plugging these catastrophic climate threats rather than worry about an inert gas essential to life !

    • A much better idea would be to place sensors around those volcanoes to understand how much CO2 they emit and to understand just how much CO2 is absorbed by the Oceans.
      Once that is known the pitiful amount Man has emitted in the last 120 years of the energy age can be measured. In my opinion it won’t even register above 0001 of an average percentage.
      Oh sorry I forgot, that won’t happen as the UN and the IPCC will be seen for having their hands in the till, stealing the profits from the West’s working poor.

  2. I wouldn’t fall for that last paragraph lies about this thing slowing – it’s NOT! Last I saw a few days ago the lava release was much wider than a month ago! Plus the caldera collapsed on Dec. 20th, according to GPS by a large amount as well. Could very well be headed for a catastrophic eruption. Don’t get fooled by these naysayers.

  3. The most recent actual research on climate change is by Dr. Peter L. Ward (USGS, Ret.) He found that the greenhouse gas theory of global warming in most climate change models is not physically possible; it breaks several of the basic laws of thermodynamics. Instead, he shows that the global warming from 1970 to 1998 was caused primarily by human-made chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) depleting the ozone layer, and that the lack of warming since 1998 was the result of the Montreal Protocol limiting the emissions of CFCs. When the ozone layer is depleted, more high-energy ultraviolet solar radiation reaches earth and warms the earth. He also shows that climate change throughout geologic time is most clearly and accurately explained by volcanic eruptions: explosive eruptions block sunlight and cool the earth, but large basaltic lava flows emit sulfur dioxide, deplete the ozone layer and warm the earth. His scientific website is

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