Volume, Effusion Rate, and Lava Transport During the 2021 Fagradalsfjall Eruption: Results From Near Real-Time Photogrammetric Monitoring

Gro B.M. Pedersen, Joaquin M.C. Belart, Birgir Vilhelm Óskarsson, Magnús Tumi Gudmundsson, Nils Gies, Thórdís Högnadóttir, Ásta Rut Hjartardóttir, Virginie Pinel, Etienne Berthier, Tobias Dürig, Hannah Iona Reynolds, Christopher W. Hamilton, Guðmundur Valsson, Páll Einarsson, Daniel Ben-Yehosua, Andri Gunnarsson, Björn Oddsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

The basaltic effusive eruption at Mt. Fagradalsfjall lasted from 19 March to 18 September 2021, ending a 781-year repose period on Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland. By late September 2021, 33 near real-time photogrammetric surveys were completed using satellite and airborne images, usually processed within 3–6 hr. The results provide unprecedented temporal data sets of lava volume, thickness, and effusion rate. This enabled rapid assessment of eruption evolution and hazards to populated areas, important infrastructure, and tourist centers. The lava flow field has a mean lava thickness exceeding 30 m, covers 4.8 km2 and has a bulk volume of 150 ± 3 × 106 m3. The March–September mean bulk effusion rate is 9.5 ± 0.2 m3/s, ranging between 1 and 8 m3/s in March–April and increasing to 9–13 m3/s in May–September. This is uncommon for recent Icelandic eruptions, where the highest discharge usually occurs in the opening phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2021GL097125
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume49
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 16 2022

Keywords

  • Fagradalsfjall
  • effusive eruption
  • lava flows
  • near real-time monitoring
  • photogrammetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences

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