2020-01-09

Documenting Iceland

Iceland Landscape twilight photo │ Þríhnúkagígur volcano Craters │ Reykjanes

by: Rafn Sig,-

Iceland landscape photo, Þríhnúkagígur volcano crater in twilight

Þríhnúkagígur volcano is dormant – it last erupted over 4,000 years ago. There are no indications of it erupting again in the near future. The volcano’s name, mostly unpronounceable for anyone other than locals, would be directly translated as ‘Three Peaks Crater’. The name comes from Árni B. Stefánsson, who was the first to explore the vault and who has pleaded the case for making it accessible for years. The three craters are prominent landmarks, standing against the sky on the highland edge, about 20 km (13 miles) southeast of the capital area, within the protected area of Bláfjöll Country Park

Iceland is one giant geological hotspot. The country is one of the most active volcanic regions in the world, with eruptions occurring every 3–4 years on average. But why is Iceland so active? It’s mostly due to its location on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the Eurasian and North American plates are moving apart – and therefore literally opening the earth’s crust. In the center of this ridge sits Þríhnúkagígur volcano. The most north-easterly of the three peaks is a small cinder cone, standing about 35 m/100 ft higher than its surroundings. At the top of this cone is a funnel-shaped opening, about 4×4 m/12×12 ft wide, the entrance of a huge 120 m/400 ft deep, bottle-shaped volcanic vault, measuring 50×70 m/160×220 ft at the bottom. Volcanic passages continue down to the southwest, to a total depth of about 200 m/700 ft.

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