Eldfell

Eldfell is a volcanic cone just over 200 m high on the Icelandic island of Heimaey.wikipedia
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Heimaey

Heimaey, IcelandVestman Islands
Eldfell is a volcanic cone just over 200 m high on the Icelandic island of Heimaey. It formed in a volcanic eruption, which began without warning on the eastern side of Heimaey, in the Westman Islands, on 23 January 1973.
In January 1973, lava flow from nearby Eldfell destroyed half the town and threatened to close its harbour, its main income source.

Iceland

IcelandicISLRepublic of Iceland
Eldfell is a volcanic cone just over 200 m high on the Icelandic island of Heimaey.
This means that the island is highly geologically active with many volcanoes including Hekla, Eldgjá, Herðubreið, and Eldfell.

Vestmannaeyjar

Westman IslandsVestmann IslandsVestmannaeyjabær
It formed in a volcanic eruption, which began without warning on the eastern side of Heimaey, in the Westman Islands, on 23 January 1973. The Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands) archipelago lies off the south coast of Iceland, and consists of several small islands, all formed by eruptions in the Holocene epoch.
Vestmannaeyjar came to international attention in 1973 with the eruption of Eldfell volcano, which destroyed many buildings and forced a months-long evacuation of the entire population to mainland Iceland.

Eurasian Plate

EurasianEuropean plateAsian Plate
Iceland is a region of frequent volcanic activity, due to its location astride the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the North American and Eurasian Plates are moving apart, and also over the Iceland hotspot, which greatly enhances the volcanic activity.
All of the volcanic eruptions in Iceland, such as the 1973 eruption of Eldfell, the 1783 eruption of Laki, and the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, are caused by the North American and the Eurasian Plates moving apart, which is a result of divergent plate boundary forces.

Helgafell (volcano)

Helgafell
The most prominent feature on Heimaey before 1973 was Helgafell, a 200 meters (650 ft) high volcanic cone formed in an eruption about 5,000 years ago.
Immediately north of Helgafell is the active volcano Eldfell, which last erupted January 23, 1973.

List of volcanoes in Iceland

200 volcanoesIcelandic volcanoesvolcanic zones of Iceland

Vestmannaeyjar Airport

Vestmannaeyjar
Fortunately, the lava flows and tephra fall did not at first affect the island's airstrip (Vestmannaeyjar Airport), and a few people who were unable to travel by boat were evacuated by air—primarily the elderly and patients from the hospital.
During Eldfell's volcanic eruption in 1973, Vestmannaeyjar Airport served as an evacuation point for elderly and patients from the hospital who could not evacuate by boat.

Lava

lava flowlava flowspahoehoe
Volcanic ash fell over most of the island, destroying around 400 homes, and a lava flow threatened to close off the harbour, the island's main income source via its fishing fleet.

Geography of Iceland

IcelandGerpirIcelandic landscape
This location means that the island is highly geologically active with earthquakes and many volcanoes, notably Hekla, Eldgjá, Herðubreið and Eldfell.

Volcanic cone

pyroclastic conetuff conecone
Eldfell is a volcanic cone just over 200 m high on the Icelandic island of Heimaey.

Types of volcanic eruptions

volcanic eruptioneruptionvolcanic eruptions
It formed in a volcanic eruption, which began without warning on the eastern side of Heimaey, in the Westman Islands, on 23 January 1973.

Icelandic language

IcelandicModern IcelandicIceland
The name means Hill of Fire in Icelandic.

Emergency evacuation

evacuationevacuatedevacuate
The eruption caused a major crisis for the island and nearly led to its permanent evacuation.

Volcanic ash

ashash cloudash fall
Volcanic ash fell over most of the island, destroying around 400 homes, and a lava flow threatened to close off the harbour, the island's main income source via its fishing fleet.

Fishing

fishfishermenfished
Volcanic ash fell over most of the island, destroying around 400 homes, and a lava flow threatened to close off the harbour, the island's main income source via its fishing fleet.

Seawater

sea watersaltwatersalt water
An operation was mounted to cool the advancing lava flow by pumping sea water onto it, which was successful in preventing the loss of the harbour.

Electricity generation

power generationelectricitygeneration
After the eruption, the islanders used heat from the cooling lava flows to provide hot water and to generate electricity.

Tephra

pyroclastpyroclasticpyroclastic material
Fortunately, the lava flows and tephra fall did not at first affect the island's airstrip (Vestmannaeyjar Airport), and a few people who were unable to travel by boat were evacuated by air—primarily the elderly and patients from the hospital. They also used some of the extensive tephra, fall-out of airborne volcanic material to extend the runway at the island's small airport and as landfill on which 200 new houses were built.

Landfill

landfillsdumpgarbage dump
They also used some of the extensive tephra, fall-out of airborne volcanic material to extend the runway at the island's small airport and as landfill on which 200 new houses were built.

Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Reykjanes RidgeAtlantic RidgeMid-Atlantic
Iceland is a region of frequent volcanic activity, due to its location astride the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the North American and Eurasian Plates are moving apart, and also over the Iceland hotspot, which greatly enhances the volcanic activity.

North American Plate

North AmericanNorth American tectonic plateNorth America
Iceland is a region of frequent volcanic activity, due to its location astride the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the North American and Eurasian Plates are moving apart, and also over the Iceland hotspot, which greatly enhances the volcanic activity.

Iceland hotspot

Iceland plumeIcelandhotspot
Iceland is a region of frequent volcanic activity, due to its location astride the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, where the North American and Eurasian Plates are moving apart, and also over the Iceland hotspot, which greatly enhances the volcanic activity.

Basalt

basalticcolumnar basaltpillow basalt
It is estimated that a third of all the basaltic lava erupted in the world in recorded history has been produced by Icelandic eruptions.

Archipelago

Island grouparchipelagicarchipelagos
The Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands) archipelago lies off the south coast of Iceland, and consists of several small islands, all formed by eruptions in the Holocene epoch.

Holocene

PresentRecentHolocene epoch
The Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands) archipelago lies off the south coast of Iceland, and consists of several small islands, all formed by eruptions in the Holocene epoch.