Weather on Thingvellir 3,5°C SSV 5 m/s.
1. April 2021

Skjaldbreiður man made eruption ( April fools day )

Update: This news bulletin below was an April fool´s day prank. Thank for your kind comments and have a happy Easter holiday.

Thingvellir national park in association with the 
Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources will initiate a shield volcanic eruption on the top of Mt. Skjaldbreidur in the afternoon at 14.00. 

This project has been planned for quite some time but when the eruption started in Geldingadalir in Reykjanes two weeks ago more effort was put into it.  Then it became obvious that the pressure of visitors in and around the erupting volcano would be beyond the capacity of the nearby communities. The aim of the new eruption is to ease the pressure of tourists on the Reykjanes peninsula.  Since the start of the eruption in Reykjanes more than 30.000 visitors have flocked to the site adding extreme pressure on the local community, natural qualities of the sites and the infrastructure. 


Visitors to Thingvellir in recent days have noticed plume and smoke around the top of Mt.Skjaldbreidur but they are part of tests which have succesful.

The eruption in Skjaldbreidur today will be done by an old Icelandic technique used many times e.g. in the Geysir area but with enhanced methodology based on most recent studies of magma and volcanic behavioral science.   

Magnesium enriched soap will be pumped under high pressure down into an old dried up hollow-dyke close to Skjaldbreidur.  Remote sensing has proven that the dyke reaches the top of Mt.Skjaldbreidur.  This is followed with strongsoap highly enriched with the mineral composit olivin-tholeit.  Both magnesium and olivin-tholeit are minerals which are associated with magma straight from the mantle. 


An extreme off road truck with built in highpressure soap dispensers. Massive amount of soap is required.

The fusion of the soap with the earth materials will result in an eruption according to scientists at the Earth and Naturalhazard deparment at the Met´s Office.  The download of soap materials has been going on all week but calculations expect the eruption around 14.00 in the afternoon today.  The eruption is will last into the evening.  But if the soap materials find an active sleeping dyke it can prolong the eruption for a long time. 

Hrafntinna Bergsdóttir specialist at the Earth and Naturalissues department at the Met´s Office warns visitors to get very close to the eruption whereas faults, fissures and deep earthfunk can suddenly appear. There is no immediate risk for earthquakes whereas the soap softens up all tectonic movements. 

If the project becomes a success it will be continued in various other shieldvolcanoes around Iceland creating more sites for tourists to visit. 

Mt.Skjaldbreidur is one the best known shield volcanoes in Iceland and marks the viewshed from Thingvellir to the northeast.  The best place to watch the eruption is from the visitor centre at Hakid at Thingvellir national park which has good parking and restroom facilities. 


High pressure soap pumps.