Hekla volcano is among the most famous volcanoes in Iceland. Hekla Mountain has a height of 1,491m. Hekla mountain ridge extends over 40 km and is split by the stunning 5.5km long fissure known as Heklugjá.
In the early years, there were regular large volatile eruptions that deposited tephra over Iceland which up to date provide time stamps used in dating eruptions from other Icelandic volcanoes which come very useful for the scientific community.
Hekla has maintained a prestigious popularity throughout centuries, and the volcano was seen as a symbolic entity by European literary authors. In the ancient times, people believed that the fires of Hell burn under the Hekla volcano.
One of the most notable explosions was the 1104 AD eruption which occurred without warning resulting in the ejection of tonnes and tonnes of tephra. Hekla is believed to have had twenty eruptions since Icelanders settled here in the year 874 AD.
Recently, Hekla volcano has erupted at least four times within the twentieth century with the last eruption lasting just under two weeks being in 2000. Some of the eruptions being so powerful resulting in the volcanic ash being deposited in mainland Europe.
Hekla volcano has erupted more times than all other volcanoes on Iceland. The last big eruption occurred in 1947, so big and powerful, approximately 44m of earth and rock were added to its peak. The ash from this eruption travelled a distance of 2,860 km in nearly 50 hours.
The most significant eruption of Hekla volcano was in 1104, and it covered approximately half of Iceland about 55,000 km sq. with a volume of about 1.2 cubic km of rhyodacitic tephra. Hekla has become famous throughout Europe if not the World.
In the past 7000 years, Hekla volcano has experienced five big fissure eruptions. It is no wonder why Iceland is known as the Land of Fire and Ice.