The eruption at Fagradalsfjall volcano in southwestern Iceland has put on quite a show this year, lighting up the night sky and even appearing to influence the clouds above it. This natural-color satellite image shows the volcano by daytime, with a rare clear view of the eruption and the geologic features of the landscape.
The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 acquired this image around midday on May 9, 2021. Dark brown areas indicate where cooling lava has piled up and spread across valley floors. Notice the lava (red) actively pouring from one of the vent systems.
A volcano activity update from the Icelandic Met Office on May 12 noted that the vents associated with this eruption have spilled nearly 30 million cubic meters of lava since the start of the eruption in late March. Measurements on May 10 indicated that the lava discharge rate was increasing, reaching 13 cubic meters per second.
According to a video by Reykjavík Newscast, the nearby town of Grindavík has voted to name the lava field Fagradalshraun: beautiful valley lava.
NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey. Story by Kathryn Hansen.