Pingdom Check
06/24/2024 | 11:00 AM

Flights not affected by volcanic activity

Last updated: June 24, 2024

The Icelandic Meteorological Office has announced that the most recent volcanic activity near Grindavík in Southwest Iceland has stopped. The activity lasted 25 days and did not disrupt air travel to and from Iceland, as has been the case with other seven recent eruptions in the area.

Eruption-Feb8-drone-Arni_Saeberg.jpg
Lava from the February 2024 eruption, covering snowy ground on the Reykjanes peninsula. Photo credit: Árni Sæberg.

About the recent volcanic activity

The experts from the Icelandic Meteorological Office have put together a great short video to explain in simple terms what's happening on the Reykjanes peninsula, and why it's safe to travel to Iceland.

Location of the activity

The most recent volcanic activity is the eighth since December 2023. All events have been localized to the Grindavík area. The most recent activity is localized to the same area as in the March-May 2024 eruption, close to the Sundhnúksgígar crater row.

Activity_Map_May23_(1).jpg

Our preparedness

Iceland is a volcanic island, with many active volcano systems. Eruptions and earthquakes are a part of our DNA, and we Icelanders are always well prepared for volcanic events. The country’s incredible nature has given us excellent training and expertise to deal with unique situations.

In fact, we’ve now experienced eight eruptions on the Reykjanes peninsula over the last four years:

  • The first three, at Fagradalsfjall in 2021, 2022 and July 2023, were so-called ‘tourist eruptions’ that thousands of locals and tourists witnessed and enjoyed.
  • The fourth eruption was at the Sundhnúksgígar crater row on December 18, 2023, and lava flow stopped within 72 hours.
  • The fifth eruption was close to the town of Grindavík, beginning on January 14, 2024. The seismic activity in the area, coupled with the January eruption, has had a devastating effect on this small community.
  • The sixth eruption began on February 8, close to the site of the fourth eruption. The lava flow stopped within 48 hours.
  • The seventh eruption began on March 16 in the same area as the eruption in February and December. It lasted longer than its predecessors and ended on May 9.
  • The eighth eruption began on May 29 in the Sundhnúksgígar crater row and was declared over on June 22 after 25 days.

None of the recent eruptions affected flight schedules or operations at Keflavík airport.

Did you know that there are currently over 40 volcanoes erupting around the globe without significantly disrupting air traffic?

Visiting volcanic areas

The site of the Fagradalsfjall eruptions (in 2021, 2022 and July 2023) is once again open to visitors. Note: Hiking in the area of the most recent eruptions is strictly forbidden.

You can see detailed information about hiking trails around Fagradalsfjall, as well as accessible viewpoints for the current eruption, on the Visit Reykjanes website.

Banner photo: View of the lava fields surrounding the Fagradalsfjall volcano.

Read more

For more information on the situation, we recommend the following sites:

Safetravel – general information on safety in the area

Icelandic Road Authority road closures in the Southwest

Icelandic Meteorological Office detailed updates from experts

Visit Reykjanes news for the region

RÚV live blog in English from the national broadcaster

mbl.is links to livestreams from the Grindavík area

Government of Iceland official information from the Icelandic government

Air quality check the air quality across the country

The volcanic reawakening of the Reykjanes peninsula

  • A new era of volcanic activity: The 2021 eruption was the first volcanic eruption in Iceland in 6 years and the first one in the Reykjanes peninsula in 800 years.
  • The 2021 eruption: The eruption was situated in the Geldingadalir valley next to the mountain named Fagradalsfjall. The location was compared to a massive bathtub that lava can slowly pour into. The eruption began on March 19, 2021, and lasted for 6 months before ceasing in September.
  • The 2022 eruption: On August 3, 2022, the volcano restarted, erupting from a fissure in the Meradalir valley, not far from the crater that erupted for the longest period during the 2021 eruption. It ended on August 21, 2022.
  • The July 2023 eruption: On July 4, 2023, significant seismic activity resumed on Reykjanes, indicating that a new eruption might start in the area between the mountains Keilir and Fagradalsfjall. On July 10, a small eruption started at Litli Hrútur, close to Fagradalsfjall. It ended on August 6, 2023.

Photo: Aerial view of the lava fields from the Fagradalsfjall volcano.

fagradalsfjall-volcano-visitreykjanes

Previous eruptions

We've kept a close eye on the Fagradalsfjall volcano eruptions over the past three summers (2021 to 2023). These eruptions had no impact on flight operations, and they occurred a relative distance from infrastructure and towns.

We invite you to read more about their magnetic appeal.