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Skaftáreldahraun

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Over 250 years ago an enormous eruption took place in Southern Iceland creating the third largest lava flow on Earth since the Ice Age. This huge lava flow has been named Skaftáreldahraun. Flowing from a row of craters called Lakagígar ; the lava spread along a 25km long fissure and was the largest in historical times. The vast coverage of lava created a 200m – 500m wide rift valley which stretched for 2km, but is now concealed under volcanic gravel.

The 1783 eruption has been dubbed ‘The Skafta river fires’ with more than 20 farms abandoned and towns destroyed and was followed with a period of famine and disease called ‘The dusty hard times’. As a result of the incredible eruption and terrible aftermath, 9,000 people died which makes up approximately 20 per cent of the Icelandic nation, and therefore makes this staggering event one of the gravest attacks to the people of Iceland.

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Skaftáreldahraun, Kirkjubaejarklaustur

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