Photos

Photographer's Note

Hekla eruption 1980 - Unpublished picture of the beginning of the eruption.

The Hekla volcano is located west of Iceland's SE volcanic rift-zone. Hekla erupts a magma type that is unique for Iceland, intermediate between highly silicic and andesitic composition. Hekla is a stratovolcano (1491 m).

Hekla is a perpetually snow-covered volcano in southern Iceland. It is the most active volcano on the island, having erupted over twenty times since 1104. Some of the eruptions caused much loss of life. Major eruptions occurred in 1300, 1766, and 1947. The most recent eruption was in 1991. Because of its eruptive tendencies, Hekla is said in Icelandic folklore to be the gateway to Hell, and many local legends center upon its fierceness.

It happened by chance, we where there.

On the 17th of August Helka started erupting explosively first from the summit area and then spread along the whole 4.3 mile (7 km) fissure. The eruption column of steam and then dark tephra reached an altitude of over 49,000 ft.(15 km). The maximum tephra thickness for this eruption was reported ~6 miles (10 km) north of the summit with a depth of 8 inches (20 cm). The fluorine content in the tephra was high enough to cause heath problems with livestock. Lava started to flow from the summit of Helka and continued along the length of the fissure, all together forming four separate flows. The largest amount of lava was erupted within the first twelve hours and by August 20th the only activity left was eruptions of steam.

Picture original is a slide Kodachrome 64. Scanned using a Nikon Coolscan V.

This picture has been published in: Detay M., Detay A.-M. — Islande - splendeurs et colères d’une île. Belin Ed. 208 p. (2010). ISBN 978-2-7011-5762-7

alainh, fabEarth, fayeulle, rjb874, jmcl, mightyweed, steliosk has marked this note useful

Photo Information
Viewed: 7747
Points: 22
Discussions
Additional Photos by Michel Detay (mdetay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 487 W: 1 N: 1045] (4929)
View More Pictures
explore TREKEARTH