20. November 2020

Online class introducing Icelandic Volcanoes


International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction - October 13, 2020


The UNESCO Global Geoparks in Iceland, Katla UGGp and Reykjanes UGGp, joined forces to celebrate the 31st International day of Disaster Risk Reduction by cohosting an educational event presented by specialists at the Meteorological office in Iceland. Students in the 8-10th grade and their teachers were introduced to the Catalogue of Icelandic Volcanoes which has recently been published online in Icelandic.

Around 150 students from the GeoSchools in Katla Geopark, as well as teachers, participated in this digital classrom, namely Hvolsskóli in Hvolsvöllur, Víkurskóli in Vík and Kirkjubæjarskóli in Kirkjubæjarklaustur. 

We thank  Bergrún Óladóttir, Ríkey Júlíusdóttir, Sigrún Karlsdóttir and Haukur Hauksson for assisting us by offering our students and teachers this informative introducation on how to use this catalogue for further education. 

Geohazards in the Geoparks

Both Geoparks are situated in active volcanic regions, although different in nature. Katla UGGp is situated on the young Eastern Volcanic Zone where many of Iceland´s largest and most dangerous volcanoes reside under glaciers and ice sheets. During subglacial eruptions, huge outburst floods and ashfall can occur, posing a constant threat to civilization. The largest and most dangerous volcano is Katla, but other volcanoes in the Geopark have started to show signs of unrest also.

Spreading episodes are common in the Reykjanes UGGp as the mid-Atlantic ridge (seafloor spreading) surfaces on land at the Reykjanes peninsula. The area is characterised by fissures, shield volcanoes and geothermal activity as the area is also quite young on a geological time-scale. Recent uplift, close to the famous Blue Lagoon, hints at increasing activity in the near future and the likelihood of a possible volcanic eruption. Numerous large earthquakes have caused alarm within the nearby communities, and a much-need for understanding the cause and nature of these episodes

A great way to gain an understanding of these forces at work is to have a look into the volcanic and geological history of each area. Understanding the past is key to preparing for the future, reducing risk and preventing disaster. The information presented in the online Catalogue of Icelandic Volcanoes is  filled with information to aid in this sense.


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