About Volcano in Iceland
This website is operated by the one of the land owners of “Hraunsland”, a vast, privately owned area in the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland. Smack down in the middle of “Hraunsland” you will find Fagradalsfjall mountain and Geldingadalir valleys, where a volcanic eruption started on the evening of March 19th 2021.
This website is dedicated to mediate information about the eruption, how to get there, what to bring and first and foremost; to encourage respectful behavior on the way and close to the eruption. The natural forces are a breathtaking thing to watch up close and are not to be messed with. We urge people to go see this amazing volcanic eruption while we ask hikers to be mindful, follow the rules set by local authorities and respect mother earth – we think she deserves that much!
About the volcanic area
A volcanic eruption started in Geldingadalir valleys on the eve of March 19th 2021. This marked the first volcanic eruption on the Reykjanes Peninsula for 800 years. Molten lava soon spread out in Geldingadalir valleys and started running down to Meradalir valleys, more specifically on the 5th of April 2021.
Though we speak about valleys, since the Icelandic word “dalir” means valleys, neither Geldingadalir nor Meradalir are proper valleys. Both areas are more like a string of basins or shallow valleys.
The name Geldingadalir is a combination of two Icelandic words; „geldingur“ and “dalur”. The literal translation of the word “Geldingur” is eunuch, though in this case it means a castrated animal, more specifically sheep, a wether. The origin of the name Geldingadalir, the Wethers Valleys, is that farmers wanted to separate wethers from ewes and lambs because castrated sheep do not produce milk. The wethers were most likely kept in Geldingadalir during the summer, since the valleys are located on the mountains and the area is referred to as the highlands of the Reykjanes Peninsula.
The name Meradalir is easier on the tongue and simpler to explain. „Meri“ means mare, so it should not come as a shock to learn that mares, and in fact wethers as well, have roamed this area in olden days. The flocks of animals that wandered around those parts were however not big in numbers since the quality of the land were, and have always been, quite meager. The area is sparsely vegetated and farming has never been the main industry on the Reykjanes Peninsula. The number of livestock on the Peninsula have been consistently small and the best example of that is found in the registry for the farm “Hraun” on “Hraunsland” in the beginning of the 18th century. Three rams, four cows, eleven ewes, a few ewe lambs and some lambs. That was it.
This once bare area has now become one of the most popular attractions in Iceland and the challenging and harsh terrain swallowed by tons of molten lava. The eruption could go on for years, even decades, hopefully allowing the public and the scientific community to admire and study its glory for many years to come.
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