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Volcanic fissure in Iceland / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Laki (Icelandic pronunciation: [ˈlaːcɪ]) or Lakagígar ([ˈlaːkaˌciːɣar̥], Craters of Laki) is a volcanic fissure in the western part of Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland, not far from the volcanic fissure of Eldgjá and the small village of Kirkjubæjarklaustur. The fissure is properly referred to as Lakagígar, while Laki is a mountain that the fissure bisects. Lakagígar is part of a volcanic system centered on the volcano Grímsvötn and including the volcano Þórðarhyrna.[1][2][3] It lies between the glaciers of Mýrdalsjökull and Vatnajökull, in an area of fissures that run in a southwest to northeast direction.

Quick facts: Laki, Highest point, Elevation, Coordina...
Highest point
ElevationVaries: canyon to 1,725 m (5,659 ft)
Coordinates64°03′53″N 18°13′34″W
Mountain typeFissure vents
Last eruption1784

The system erupted violently over an eight-month period between June 1783 and February 1784 from the Laki fissure and the adjoining volcano Grímsvötn. It poured out an estimated 42 billion tonnes or 14 km3 (18×10^9 cu yd) of basalt lava as well as clouds of poisonous hydrofluoric acid and sulfur dioxide compounds that contaminated the soil, leading to the death of over 50% of Iceland's livestock population, and the destruction of the vast majority of all crops. This led to a famine which then killed approximately a quarter of the island's human population.[4]

The Laki eruption and its aftermath caused a drop in global temperatures, as 120 million tonnes of sulfur dioxide was spewed into the Northern Hemisphere. This caused crop failures in Europe and may have caused droughts in North Africa and India.