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Iceland's largest volcano waking up

Öræfajökull means 'wasteland' in Icelandic and the name has not been chosen without reason. Situated in the south of the island, Öræfajökull is home to Iceland's largest volcano. It is Iceland’s highest peak and is thought to be one of the most powerful volcanoes in Europe. It is responsible for the country’s second deadliest eruption after a steam blast in 1362 deposited 10 cubic kilometers of debris across farmland and killed all inhabitants across dozens of farms.
In November 2017, a newly formed 1 kilometer-wide caldera was discovered[1]. The Veður­stofu Íslands, the Icelandic Meteorological Office, has also received reports of the surrounding area smelling of sulphur, while geothermal water was reported to be released from the volcano into a river on the surrounding glacier. Scientists believe this water caused a section of the volcano to collapse, producing the new caldera.

Does this mean that a new eruption is imminent? Scientists are unsure, because they do not exactly know how this particular volcano behaves. Öræfajökull last erupted in 1727 AD, and 1362 AD before that.

[1] Morgunbladid: Kanna aðstæður við Öræfa­jök­ul - 18 November 2017

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