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Holuhraun Lava Field Iceland


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Iceland's youngest lava... for now!

Holuhraun is a lava field located just north of Vatnajökull glacier in the highlands. It was created by fissure eruptions in the area, including a 1797 eruption of Askja. Holuhraun is located at the southern end of one of Iceland‘s largest lava fields, Ódáðahraun, 15 km south of Askja’s caldera and 41 km north-east of Bárðarbunga volcano.

On 31 August 2014 a fissure eruption began in Holuhraun. As the eruption gained strength, the fissure grew to 1.5 km in length and by the time the eruption ended on 27 February 2015 it had spewed enough lava to create a new 85 km2 lava field, making it the largest lava eruption since Laki blew in 1783.

It was proposed the new lava field would be called Nornahraun, which translates to “Witch's Lava” on account of the abundance of Pele's hair the eruption created, which Icelanders call "witch's hair." In the end the new lava field was called the same thing as the old lava field: Holuhraun.

A marked trail to the northern edge of the lava field is open to experienced hikers looking to experience the thrill of trudging across still cooling lava.

View Central Highlands of Iceland
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