REYKJANES, Iceland (KOLD News 13) - You would think that when a volcano explodes, people will run away. But ever since the volcano in the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland reactivated, it’s kind of becoming a new tourist attraction.
Since it’s first eruption in about 800 years on Friday, March 19, thousands of tourists from Iceland have flocked to the site to witness the phenomenon. The site is located about 18 miles east of the capital [Reykjanes].
The shield volcano is located in the flat peaks of the Fagradalsfjall Mountains in Iceland. Shield volcanoes have an overall dome shape, and the lava they produce is low in silica, a natural compound that defines lava viscosity and also defines how explosive/volatile a volcano can get.
Since this volcano is low in silica, the [mafic] magma it digests slowly oozes downslope, until it cools down and finally hardens with the change in temperature.
To cope with the amount of site seers, authorities in Iceland have set up a hiking trail of more than two miles around the perimeter of the eruption site, and are patrolling the area to prevent people from venturing into dangerous areas polluted by pyroclastic gases.