Most of the population left the island by boat. Despite the eruption's close proximity to the town and the extensive property damage, only one fatality could be attributed to the eruption - a man who had broken into a chemist's store to acquire drugs was suffocated by toxic fumes. It is a stratovolcano. With the harbour improved by the new lava breakwater, the fishing industry regained its former vigour and the island today remains the most important fishing centre in the nation. The fissures grew to 1,600 metres (5,200 ft) in length, and lava began to erupt. Volcano, vent in the crust of Earth or another planet or satellite, from which issue eruptions of molten rock, hot rock fragments, and hot gases.A volcanic eruption is an awesome display of Earth’s power. Create your own unique website with customizable templates. Each plant extracted energy from a square 100 m on each side, by percolating water down into the hot parts and collecting the resulting steam. Up to three acres of lava flow could be cooled at one time, with internal barriers then being created within the flow, which thickened and piled up upon itself. Random Facts About Natural Elephant Rock Heimaey Iceland Includes: 1. Kristjansson L., Simon I., Cohen M.L., Björnsson S. (1975). Categories: Volcanoes of Iceland | Cinder cones, Lava fountains tower over Heimaey in the early stages of the Eldfell eruption, Thick blocky lava flows advance into town, Steam rises copiously where seawater is being used to cool the flows, Sketch showing the changes to Heimaey caused by the eruption of Eldfell, The street shown above, cleared of lava after the eruption, Helgafell (l) and Eldfell (r) today. The tremors continued at a reduced rate until 11:00 on 22 January, after which they stopped until 23:00 that evening. Eruptions are a big part of Westman Islands history and on the islands there are 2 Volcanoes. Browse 115 eldfell volcano stock photos and images available, or start a new search to explore more stock photos and images. Eldfell is a volcano in the Westman Islands, off the South Coast of Iceland, which famously erupted in the middle of the town of Heimaey in 1973. The fissure extended across the entire island, producing a spectacular curtain of fire. Spectacular lava fountaining occurred along the whole fissure, which reached a maximum length of about 3 km (2 miles) during the first few hours of the eruption, but activity soon became concentrated on one vent, about 0.8 km (0.5 miles) north of the old volcanic cone of Helgafell and just outside the eastern edge of the town. During the early days of the eruption, the rate of lava and tephra emission from the fissure was estimated to be 100 m³/s, and within two days, the lava fountains had built a cinder cone over 100 m high. It is a moderately active volcano, but, relatively less active than its neighbors Katla and Eldfell. They were too weak to be felt by the residents of the island, but a seismic station 60 km away recorded over 100 small tremors between 01:00 and 03:00 on 22 January. Up to 40 megawatts of power could be generated by the plants, which also then supplied hot water to nearly every house on the island. Since then, its height has dropped by 18-20 m (60-65 ft), due to slumping and compacting of the unconsolidated gravelly tephra as well as wind erosion. The ground on Heimaey started to quake and fissures formed. Submarine activity also occurred just offshore at the northern and southern ends of the fissure. In total, the volume of lava and tephra emitted during the five-month eruption was estimated to be about 0.25 km³ (0.06 cubic miles). Volcanic ash fell over most of the island, destroying many houses, and a lava flow threatened to close off the harbour, the island's main income source via its fishing fleet. Causes and Information of the 1973 Eruption: Following the end of the eruption, scientists began to assess the feasibility of extracting geothermal heat from the gradually cooling flows. Eldfell: Eldfell is a very small volcano, only around 650 feet high, on the Icelandic island of Heimaey. The water cooling of the lava was slow, but achieved a maximum efficiency, with almost all the water being converted to steam. The 221m-high volcanic cone Eldfell appeared from nowhere in the early hours of 23 January 1973. Apart from falling ash, some houses were also burned down by fires caused by lava bombs, or overridden by advancing lava flows. Although several men sustained minor burns, no serious injuries were received. Eldfell is a cinder cone 200m high on the island of Heimay in the Vestmann islands off the south west cost of Iceland. While the island had been evacuated up to six hours after the first eruption, there was still no clean drinking water supply for the very few people who chose to stay on the island. First an eruption fissure, about 1,500 m long, opened seawards only about 200 – 300 meters from the easternmost part of the town. Although you probably want to do this hike earlier in the day. Please submit any useful information about climbing Eldfell that may be useful to other climbers. The first boats left for Þorlákshöfn at about 02:30, just half an hour after the start of the eruption. The area of the lava flow is 2.1 km 2, and the average thickness is about 70 m. The name initially given to the new volcano was Kirkjufell (Church Mountain), perhaps to echo the nearby Helgafell (Holy Mountain), but the cone was eventually named Eldfell (Fire Mountain) by the official Icelandic place naming committee. In January of 1973, an eruption began along a 1.5 mile (2 km) long fissure not far from the center of the town of Vestmannaeyjar. volcano number: 1702-01= (according to Volcanoes of the World, 1994 edition) summit elevation: 225 m (Helgafell cone) location: 63.43°N, 20.28°W The Vestmannaeyjar archipelago was settled in about 874 AD, originally by escaped Irish slaves belonging to Norse settlers on the mainland. The resourceful local people pumped seawater onto the lava which diverted the … There were not many severe environmental impacts from the eruption. At 1.55am on the 23 january a fissure 1800m long opened up from one shore to the other. 32 pumps were brought in from the USA, which had a capacity of up to 1000 l/s. Because of severe storms in the days before the eruption, almost the entire fishing fleet was in the harbour, a stroke of luck which greatly assisted the organisation of the rapid evacuation. The threat of lava flows cutting off the harbour was the most significant facing the town. This page was last modified 00:27, 6 May 2005. One notable feature of the lava cooling operation was the deposit of large amounts of salt where seawater was sprayed onto the lava. From its initial rate of 100 m³/s, the emission rate fell to about 60 m³/s by 8 February, and just 10 m³/s by the middle of March. The abundant tephra produced by the eruption was used to extend the runways at the island's small airport, and also as landfill on which 200 new homes were built. It is sobering to think this volcano erupted during my lifetime! The eruption caused a major crisis for the island and nearly led to its permanent evacuation. The islanders have planted grass around the lower slopes of the otherwise bare hill, to stabilise it against further erosion, and eventually it is expected that most of the volcano will be covered by grass, as neighbouring Helgafell is. By the end of the eruption, Eldfell stood about 220 m (720 ft) above sea level. Efforts to mitigate the hazards presented by the accumulation of poisonous gas included the building of a large tephra wall to divert gases away from the town, and the digging of a trench to channel away the CO2. The scheme was extended to several more houses and the hospital, and in 1979 construction began of four larger plants to extract heat from the flows. Rough tracks were made onto the flow by bulldozing tephra, but these tracks quickly became very uneven and moved several metres a day. Although plagued by poor water supplies and piracy during much of its history, Heimaey became the most important centre of the Icelandic fishing industry, having one of the few good harbours on the southern side of the country, and being situated in very rich fishing grounds. Nearly all of the island’s 5,300 residents were evacuated by fishing boats to the mainland, and they temporarily could not return. Scientists have speculated that volcanic activity in the archipelago may be increasing due to the southward propagation of the rift zone which crosses Iceland. Eldfell is a cinder cone volcano just over 200 m high on the Icelandic island of Heimaey. Eldfell Volcano - Westmann Islands is a 0.8 mile loop trail located near Vestmannaeyjar, Southern, Iceland that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. 2. The insides of lava flows can remain at temperatures of several hundred °C for many years due to the very low thermal conductivity of rock. Houses close to the rift were soon destroyed by lava flows and tephra fall. The fissure rapidly extended to a length of 2 km (1.25 miles), crossing the island from one shore to the other. Eldfell Volcano Loop is a 3.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Vestmannaeyjar, Southern, Iceland that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. However, Professor Þorbjörn Sigurgeirsson of the University of Iceland calculated that it should easily be possible to cool the lava flows to the point of solidification by spraying them with sufficient sea water. View of Heimaey before the eruption: Town of Vestmannaeyjar with Helgafell in the right back-ground (photo courtesy of Sólarfilma). Man Against Volcano: The Eruption on Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland. Helgafell, the supposedly dormant volcano, seen from the slopes of Eldfell, the volcano created by Helgafell’s eruption. Many houses were destroyed by the weight of the ash fall, but crews of volunteers working to clear the ash from roofs and board up windows saved many more. Iceland is a region of frequent volcanic activity, due to its location astride the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the North American and Eurasian Plates are moving apart, and also over the Iceland hotspot, which greatly enhances the volcanic activity. 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