The Eruption near Grindavík

Date 30 May 2024

The Eruption near Grindavík

The Eruption near Grindavík

[Updated 05/30/2024] On Monday, December 18, 2023 at 10:17PM local time exactly, a massive volcanic eruption occured near Grindavík after several weeks of geological tension. Iceland is currently experiencing its fourth eruptive event on the Reykjanes peninsula since 2021.

Fortunately, the fissure opened up in a completely uninhabited area several kilometers from the small town of Grindavík and the famous Blue Lagoon.

The first signs of eruption after weeks of tension


Grindavik in November 2023 following the earthquakes - Credit

After an eventful six weeks marked by thousands of earthquakes and significant ground movements in Grindavík, the town was evacuated as per procedure. The Blue Lagoon is therefore closed and will reopen on December 17 when residents can return to their homes.

During the main event, a 4-kilometer-long fault opened up 1 km east of the Blue Lagoon and 2 km north of Grindavík. While far enough from these inhabited zones, the eruption caused plumes of lava to fountain up to 150 meters in the air and emitted substantially larger lava volumes than previous eruptions of its kind, so the safe option was to evacuate.

The December 2023 Eruption, and the ones from January to May 2024


The 2023 eruption hit the Sundhnúkagígar region in a big way and has grown to outclass the recent eruptions in the Reykjanes Peninsula in terms of scale. However, experts suggest that as a result it may not last long.

The fault is already beginning to contract to form a series of craters as the lava cools. At present, the lava flow was measured at 100 cubic meters per second which means it still qualifies as a major eruption.

Crucially, however, the event poses no threat to local populations since the evacuation.

As of December 21st at 2:30PM there is no eruptive activity visible on the Reykjanes Peninsula, suggesting that the eruption is reaching its natural conclusion. Aerial observations confirmed no new activity, with all craters appearing dormant though embers remain visible in the lava bed.

New eruption closer to Grindavík on 01/14/2024


The eruption of January 2024 - Photo credit:

Shortly after 8 a.m. on Sunday 14/01/2024, a new eruption began north of Grindavík, this time very close to the town. In the middle of the night, residents were awakened by the siren to warn them of an imminent evacuation following an increase in earthquakes. The Blue Lagoon hotel was also evacuated.

The crack grew rapidly, and the lava flow was already impressive just 1 hour after the start of the eruption at 9 a.m. The eruption is located near the Sundhnúk crater, very close to the city, only 450 meters away.

  • Watch the eruption live in video : 


Eruption Map

The eruption is located south of the previous one

A 10 a.m., fissure was around one kilometre in length.

Unfortunately, at the very beginning of the afternoon, a small crack opened near the first houses of the village of Grindavik and three houses unfortunately burned.

Eruption near houses

On 01/16, even if it is a little early to announce the end of the eruption, it seems that the two fissures are no longer producing lava. The eruption that began on 01/14 has in any case decreased in intensity very significantly.

New eruption near the Blue Lagoon on 02/08/2024

Eruption Blue Lagoon

The impressive eruption near the Blue Lagoon on 02/08/2024 - Photo credit

On 02/08/2024, just before 8 a.m., a new rift opened north of Grindavik and east of the Blue Lagoon. The rift is approximately 3 km long. The images of the lava on the road near the Blue Lagoon are impressive, and the Blue Lagoon was obviously closed and evacuated early in the morning before the eruption began.

At the end of the afternoon, the power of the eruption seems to have already diminished significantly and on 02/10/2024, it seems there is no longer any activity detetected.

New eruption near the Blue Lagoon on 03/16/2024

Eruption Blue Lagoon mars 2024

The eruption began on the night of March 16-17 - Photo creditörður Kristleifsson

On March 16 at 8:23 p.m. local time, a new volcanic fissure opened on Iceland's Reykjanes Peninsula, releasing lava, marking the fourth eruption in the area since December. The eruption was located between Stora Skogfell and Hagafell on the Reykjanes Peninsula.

Moments before the eruption began, the Icelandic Meteorological Institute issued a statement warning of increased seismic activity, increasing the risk of another eruption.

According to local media, residents of Grindavik began to be evacuated and received text messages urging them to quickly leave the area. These residents were allowed to return home on February 19 after being evacuated the previous November 11. Grindavik, as well as the Svartsengi power plant and the famous geothermal tourist site Blue Lagoon, were evacuated.

The lava appears to be flowing rapidly south, towards the defensive walls north of Grindavík. This also flows west towards Grindavíkurvégur (the road connecting the city to the north of the peninsula), just like during the eruption of February 8. The created Stóra-Skógfell fissure is 3.5 km long. This is currently the most powerful eruption of the region's latest eruptions.

05/10/2024: the eruption officially stopped on May 10, but specialists predict a probable new eruption in the coming weeks.

New eruption near the Blue Lagoon on 05/29/2024


Eruption near Blue Lagoon - Photo credit Guðmundur Bergkvist

This is the 5th eruption in the series of eruptions that started late last year in Reykjanes. The eruption began northeast of Sýlingafell before 1pm on Wednesday, May 29th.

A strong seismic tremor was felt in the Sundhnúkur crater series shortly before 11am. Grindavík, the Blue Lagoon, and the Svartsengi power plant were evacuated before noon. The National Police Commissioner, in consultation with the police chief in Suðurnes, declared a state of emergency due to the eruption. More magma had accumulated under Svartsengi than before the previous eruption. Eruptive activity had already significantly declined by Thursday morning, May 30th.

There is no risk for travelers. However, the Blue Lagoon has been closed until further notice.

Information for Travelers


  • Flights are scheduled as usual as the airport is situated at a considerable distance from the eruption.
  • An eruption began northeast of Sýlingafell at 1:00 p.m.
  • The eruption site is strictly prohibited so keep your distance.
  • All roads leading to the eruption site are closed.
  • The Blue Lagoon is temporarily closed.

The best view of the eruption


The December 2023 eruption - Credit

Unlike previous eruptions, the actual site is forbidden to visitors this time. Road 41 between Reykjavík and Keflavík is not recommended, but if you must drive there, keep in mind that it is prohibited to stop along the road as the lava is still highly unpredictable. If you are in the area, it is crucial you ensure emergency vehicles have a clear passage.

For a unique perspective, consider booking a helicopter excursion to fly over the eruption in total safety: