Eldhraun Lava – Laki Area

Region: South Iceland
Coordinates: 63.6769444° N 18.1408333° W

Sagas of IcelandThe 25 km long crater row called Lakagigar was created during a relatively short, but catastrophic eruption between the 8th of June 1783 and February 1784, considered among the biggest and most poisonous eruptions of the earth during historical times. It created two vast lava fields with a total area of 565 km² and the total volume of tephra is estimated to have been 12,3 km³. The consequences were enormous. Between 53% and 82% of the domestic animals and 20% of the human population perished as a result.

As Iceland was a part of the Danish Kingdom at the time, the Danish parliament debated the evacuation of the remaining 40.000 Icelanders and relocating them to Jutland, but fortunately nothing came of that. Most of the craters are now covered with Woolly Fringe Moss and the landscape is magnificent. The crater area was proclaimed inviolate in 1971.

This eruption caused failed or reduced crops in Europe and some historians claim it to be one of the factors of revolutions, such as the French in 1789.

Eldhraun is on the Saga trail for South Iceland.

Eldhraun in Icelandic


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