Eyjafjallajokull: Facts About the Volcano in Iceland

Here are some facts about Eyjafjallajokull.

  • Eyjafjallajokull is a volcano that is entirely covered by an ice cap. It is located on the south coast of the island of Iceland, about 3km inland.
  • Its unusual and difficult to pronounce name comes from the combination of various words with different meanings. Different parts of the name mean island, mountain and glacier.

  • The ice cap covers an area of about 100 square km, although it is one of the smallest ice caps in the country. Iceland has about 130 volcanic mountains.
  • Eyjafjallajokull is what is known as a stratovolcano, meaning it has a large, steep sided cone. Mount Etna and Mount Vesuvius are also stratovolcanoes and are among the most destructive.
  • The volcano is 1,651 metres high, with a crater of up to 4 km in diameter, containing 3 main peaks. The mountain was once part of the coast, although it has now retreated.
  • Although active, Eyjafjallajokull usually goes several centuries between eruptions, erupting in 920, 1612, 1821 and 2010. The ash from the 1821 eruption can still be found in the area.
  • The eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in May 2010 resulted in the grounding of thousands of flights all over Europe. It was the highest level of air travel disruption since World War 2.
  • The initial eruption caused a 500 metre fissure in a nearby pass. The ash plume that was created reached a height of 11 km.
  • The ash cloud reached as far as the south coast of England, Germany and parts of western Russia. Farmers in Iceland were warned to not let livestock drink from water tainted by the ash.
  • Another glacier covered volcano, Katla, is located about 25 km away from Eyjafjallajokull. In the past, an eruption at Eyjafjallajokull was always followed by an eruption at Katla, although in 2010 the volcano was quiet.

What next? Discover more volcano facts by visiting our volcanoes resources page.

45 thoughts to “Eyjafjallajokull: Facts About the Volcano in Iceland”

  1. Thank you~ I’m also doing a school project on this volcano and this gave me so much information!!

  2. thanks for this. it helped with my fact file in geography.

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  4. Thank you, this website has helped me a lot ! Keep up the good work. Xx

  5. I am doing a project for this volcano as well. Thanks for the cool facts!

  6. Thank you soooo much I am doing a stupid geography assignment and I usually find my homework really boring but this actually made it fun thks again Xx

  7. these facts were very useful as I am doing a report on this vocano!!

  8. This has been very helpful! Ive needed it for my geography homework

  9. I’m doing a Science project on this volcano. These facts are very important and much needed. Thanks Primary Facts!

    1. very helpful especially with your homework,10 interesting facts.JUST WHAT I NEED

  10. i am doing a school report this information is very good thanks

  11. Thanks a lot because I am writing a 200 word essay and with this website I am almost finished.

  12. im lerning about this volcano and this helps with homework alot

  13. Very helpful for research project in S2/Year 8/7th or 8th Grade (not too sure as I’m Scottish!!) Got to be 2000 words 😐 so thanks for the help!!:)

  14. Thank you this has just helped me write my fact file on the EYJAFJALLAJOKULL volcano

  15. You are all awesome. my teacher mr.mann was really proud looking when I turned in my volcano essay. thx!

  16. Thank u so much I’m writing an eight hundred wrd essay

  17. I think this is very interesting!
    I am dong a school project on this specific volcano & these are much needed facts for me.

    1. Thanks so much doing a school report this helped a lot

    2. i am also doing a project and i bet i might get a 100%

    3. I’m doing a similar thing, but I’m making a documentary for my project.

      Great facts!

    4. Same for me I have to do a project on this Volcano and it really helped thanks a lot

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