The Volcanic Eruption Of Iceland Essay example

756 Words Mar 30th, 2016 4 Pages
Iceland is located in the North Atlantic sea, near the arctic circle. Iceland is 40,000 square miles large, which is approximately the size of Virginia and Kentucky combined. Only around 20 percent of the island is inhabited, and it is smallest country in Europe based on population (Geography). Some refer to the island as the land of fire and ice due to the presence of both glaciers and volcanoes (Gunnarsdóttir, Nanna, 2016). Volcanoes can even be found beneath glaciers. Glaciers cover more than 10% of Iceland’s land area. The combination of both volcanoes and a large number of glaciers make Iceland very susceptible to Jökulhlaups.
From late September through early October 1996, Iceland experienced their largest volcanic eruption since 1967. A 7 km long fissure was created due to earthquake activity on September 29th and 30th (Pagli, Carolina, 2016). The eruption, also known as Gjalp, occurred in between two large active volcanoes on a fissure. It was located under the Vatnajökull glacier, the largest glacier located on the island (Pagli, Carolina, 2016). A glacier is a large block of ice and snow. The Vatnajökull glacier is a temperate glacier which means the entire glacier, not including the outside 15m, is the temperature of the melting point during winter (Gı́slason, S.r, 2016). This means that the ice will melt very quickly and create runoff water, especially when volcanic activity is involved. The eruption began on September 30th at approximately 22:00 GMT (Gı́slason,…

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