The new lava field is the largest in Iceland since the Laki eruption (1783-1784) and it is
probably the third largest lava field on the planet over that period. For the first time in 150 years, gas pollution is emitted from a volcanic eruption according to a new report by the Scientific Advisory Board of the Icelandic Civil Protection who reviewed data about the development of
events at Holuhraun.
The report states that the volcanic eruption that began on Holuhraun on August 31st is characterised by a large and unusually steady flow of lava. The magma that comes up is a rather primitive basalt, with a chemical composition typical of the Bardarbunga volcanic system. The petrology analysis of the magma suggests that it stabilised at 9-20 km depth, meaning that it could not have resided at a shallower depth in the crust. The new lava field in Holuhraun now covers 76 square kilometers and is still growing.