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To celebrate the one year anniversary of the eruption in Meradalir, the second eruption of the Fagradalsfjall volcano, I decided to create a timeline showing all the events which happened during this eruption just as I did for the Geldingadalir eruption. It’s by no means meant as a geological or scientific account of things but more as a visual guideline and memento dedicated to this incredible experience. It’s combined with some of my favourite photographs taken during this eruption. Enjoy!

July 30th 2022 - A Powerful Earthquake Swarm Begins

As the Geldingadalir eruption progressed, geologists became convinced that this was just the first chapter in a lengthy book. The 2021 eruption and the lead up to it was only the start of a period of 100 to 150 years of increased volcanic activity on the Reykjanes Peninsula. Therefore it was widely assumed that we would see another eruption soon.

In December 2021, a new situation developed at Fagradalsfjall. For several weeks it was thought that a new eruption was likely in this area but in the middle of January 2022, all activity died down again.

It wasn’t until May 2022 when we would see increased activity as a new earthquake swarm kicked off at Eldvörp, which is roughly 20 kilometre west of Fagradalsfjall. Even though there was quite a lot of inflation measured, this activity died down after a few weeks as well.

On July 30th 2022, a new intense earthquake swarm began with Fagradalsfjall at its center. Dozens of earthquakes larger than magnitude 3 were measured in the area and were widely felt in the area. After only three days Veðurstofa Íslands in Iceland made an official statement saying that a new eruption at Fagradalsfjall was extremely likely in the next few days. The most likely area would be near Geldingadalir, the area of the 2021 eruption.

August 3rd 2022 - The Eruption Begins

Shortly after midday on August 3rd the Meradalir eruption kicked off. A 300 metre long fissure opened in the flank of Meradalahnjúkur, a mountain in the Meradalir valley. Very quickly a brand new lava lake appeared, which formed on top of the lava field that was created in the Geldingadalir eruption of 2021.

A few days later, on August 6th, the activity concentrated itself to the centralmost vents and began building up a spatter cone. Because the lava lake kept rising, the cone didn’t really manage to grow to a massive size as was the case in 2021. Several days later, the activity starts dying down slowly.

On August 20th the only visible activity at the crater is gas rising from it. No lava is visibly exiting the crater and activity dropped to a low. After a little over two weeks, the eruption was almost coming to an end.

August 21st 2022 - The Last Day of the Eruption

November 21st 2022 - The Eruption Is Officially Declared Over

Exactly three months after the last visible activity was seen at Meradalir, the eruption was officially declared over.

New Earth: My Book About the 2021Geldingadalir Eruption

In December 2021, I self-published a book about the eruption in Geldingadalir “New Earth” became a uniquely personal, photography- and experience-focused book covering the recent volcanic eruption in Geldingadalir from the first until the last day it was active.

Find out more about New Earth

What People Are Saying About New Earth

This has to be the ‘go to’ book on a crazy last 9 months in an even crazier country. The photography is incredible but the words that go with it is where Jeroen has taken it to the next level.” – Jacob

It is excellent how it captures the feelings, moments and thoughts that also I had during the time at the volcano.” – Glacionaut

I kept saying “wow” throughout! A fantastic book for anyone who visited Geldingadalir, wanted to but couldn’t, or anyone with a passion for volcanoes who’d appreciate witnessing the story of this incredible eruption. Magical!” – Lesley

Highly recommended from someone who has had the chance to experience over 15 volcano eruptions and owns 45 books about volcanoes, so I can safely say that I can distinguish the wheat from the chaff.” – John

The Fagradalsfjall Fires

Because there have been two eruptions at Fagradalsfjall in such a short time, people have started calling them the Fagradalsfjall Fires (Fagradalsfjallseldar). This homage to the Fagradalsfjall Fires is a collection of video footage made during the two eruptions at the Fagradalsfjall volcano in Iceland. This footage has been captured over the course of 7 months during both the Geldingadalir and Meradalir eruptions in 2021 and 2022.

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As an independent photographer, Jeroen partially relies on your support to keep producing worthwhile content such as blogs, photographs, books and much more. If you want to support his work, it is possible to do so by buying his e-books & books, prints or calendars.

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Jeroen Van Nieuwenhove

Jeroen is an award-winning Belgian photographer based in Iceland. The past years, he dedicated his photography to the Central Highlands & volcanic eruptions. Most recently, he received international attention for his work at the Fagradalsfjall volcano.

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