Hverfjall Crater

Hverfjall Crater


Age: 2,800 years

Height: 660 ft (200 m)

Width: 1 mile (1.6 km)


Description of Hverfjall Crater

Hverfjall Crater is a massive cone like geologic structure in Iceland. Hverfjall Crater was formed 2800 years ago after an eruption of a volcano. It measure about 1 mile (1.6 km) in diameter and its walls reach a height of 660 ft (200 m). Many tourists flock here to make a beautiful picture of the Hverfjall Crater that stands out barren, but picturesque and highly unusual landscape. It has two paths that lead to the rim of the Hverfjall Crater. Local regulations are pretty strict about about staying on the trail given the soil highly unstable. Venturing off beaten path might be risky and fairly dangerous.


Formation of the crater
It formed around 2,500 years ago in huge water vapor explosions that were triggered when hot magma hit groundwater. The lava has solidified glassy due to water vapor. At the edge of a mighty column of water vapor, in which nothing could sink, volcanic loose material trickled down, forming this ring with a diameter of 1 km and a height of 90–150 m. Many of the innumerable layers were created by pyroclastic flows. The total volume of the ejected material was approx. 250 million m³.

More craters of this type
Only a few craters of this type exist on Earth. The somewhat smaller Lúdent is about 4 km southeast of Hverfjall. Other examples are the Diamond Head and the Koko Head in Hawaii or some specimens in the Fort Rock Basin in Oregon, USA.

Hiking trails on Hverfjall
The ring wall of Hverfjall can be climbed on two marked hiking trails. These must not be left in order not to destroy this sensitive geological tuff formation.