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Eruption in Meradalur, the return of Fagradalsfjall

Pictures are at the bottom...

10 August, 2022

After a few weeks of earthquakes, none of which we felt, we got a prompt return visit from the lava. This time a new fissure eruption, on the northern edge of the old lava flow from last year, in Meradalur. We had things on, and holidays booked elsewhere, so I didn't get out there for a whole week, and had to wait longer for some weather closures, but finally!

It's still awesome. Because it's now filled the end of it's little valley, there's no flowing lava running for you to actually get close to unfortunately, but watching the action in the fissure/pot is still nice. It's got a main center of action, but it's still obviously a fissure, with three centers in the main pool, and two little spouts either side, still in a very clear line.

(While I was waiting for the photos to process, I got sent some pictures of a large breakout at the "tourist" end of the valley, which would have been cool to see, completely the opposite direction of where it was all flowing when I was there.)

The lake is beautifully sloppy, with big waves, and regularly collapsing crust sections. Somehow it's only building up a wall on one side at the moment. My rough timing estimates make the fountains around 100-130m tall, at least while I was there.

The track is quite a bit longer than last year, and the second half of it, while generally flat, is pretty rough. It's classic icelandic landscape, lumpy rocks with moss, not a lot of fun for walking. There's a team hard at work moving loads of dirt and digging up rocks and what they've done is lovely, but they've got a way to go yet. I was 1h45m up, and about 1h30m back, but I'm pretty used to walking on that sort of ground.

It was really nice to get up and see the old flows from last year from the west side again too, I'd not been up that side since well before the eruption stopped last year.

Oh, did I mention the people? Wow, I've never seen so many people on the same hiking track before, absolutely wild. Completely non-stop, wall to wall people.

For a map, map.is probably has the best map showing the hiking tracks, with recent photos.