Bulletin of Volcanology

, Volume 70, Issue 2, pp 169–182 | Cite as

The millennium eruption of Hekla in February 2000

  • Ármann HöskuldssonEmail author
  • Níels Óskarsson
  • Rikke Pedersen
  • Karl Grönvold
  • Kristín Vogfjörð
  • Rósa Ólafsdóttir
Research Article


The 18th historic eruption of Hekla started on 26 February, 2000. It was a short-lived but intense event, emitting basaltic andesitic (55.5 wt% SiO2) pyroclastic fragments and lava. During the course of the eruption, monitoring was done by both instruments and direct observations, together providing unique insight into the current activity of Hekla. During the 12-day eruption, a total of 0.189 km3 DRE of magma was emitted. The eruptive fissure split into five segments. The segments at the highest altitude were active during the first hours, while the segments at lower altitude continued throughout the eruption. The eruption started in a highly explosive manner giving rise to a Subplinian eruptive column and consequent basaltic pyroclastic flows fed by column collapses. After the explosive phase reached its maximum, the eruption went through three more phases, namely fire-fountaining, Strombolian bursts and lava effusion. In this paper, we describe the course of events of the eruption of Hekla and the origin of its magma, and then show that the discharge rate can be linked to different style of eruptive activity, which are controlled by fissure geometry. We also show that the eruption phases observed at Hekla can be linked with inferred magma chamber overpressure prior to the eruption.


Hekla Volcano Eruption Discharge rate Segmentation Iceland Lava flow Pyroclastic flows 



We would like to think James White and two anonymous reviewers for a thorough and stimulating review. We are also thankful for the stimulating discussion with Halldór Ólafssona and Erik Sturkell during the preparation of this manuscript. Landsvirkjun and Landgræðsla ríkisins are thanked for field support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ármann Höskuldsson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Níels Óskarsson
    • 1
  • Rikke Pedersen
    • 1
  • Karl Grönvold
    • 1
  • Kristín Vogfjörð
    • 2
  • Rósa Ólafsdóttir
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Earth SciencesUniversity of IcelandReykjavíkIceland
  2. 2.The Icelandic Meteorological OfficeReykjavíkIceland

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