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volcano, 2,684 ft (818 m) high, S Iceland, at SW edge of the VatnajökullVatnajökull
, glacier, c.3,150 sq mi (8,160 sq km), SE Iceland; largest glacier in Europe. At an elevation of from 4,200 to 6,100 ft (1,280–1,860 m), it covers a huge volcanic plateau, which includes the Grímsvötn caldera, Iceland's third largest and
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 glacier. Its eruption in 1783 was one of the more devastating on record, leading to the deaths of a quarter of Iceland's inhabitants (mainly due to a famine that resulted from the eruption's effects). Haze from the eruption spread over parts of Europe, where some experts believe it affected the inhabitants' health. Surrounding the crater are the Lakagígar series of c.100 volcanic rifts.


See A. Witze and J. Kanipe, Island on Fire (2015).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a volcanic chain in southern Iceland, near the southwestern edge of the Vatnajökull glacier. Maximum elevation, 818 m.

The Laki chain consists of 115 craters extending 25 km along a tectonic fissure. There was a major eruption in 1783–84, during which some 12.2 cu km of lava were expelled. A lava field of 565 sq km was formed. Approximately 0.3 cu km of volcanic ash was spread over 6,000 sq km. The eruption caused the death of 10,521 people, as well as 10,000 cattle, 27,000 horses, and about 180,000 sheep.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In 1783, the Laki fissure ejected so much ash and toxic gas that it cooled the northern hemisphere for three years, causing crop failures and famines that helped trigger the French Revolution.
A 1783 eruption of the Laki fissure volcano in Iceland led to the deaths of thousands of people and livestock throughout Europe due to fluorine poisoning, crop failures, and long-term economic misery.
Dr Grattan's predictions, are based on studies of much smaller eruptions such as the 1783 Laki Fissure in Iceland which triggered extreme weather.
The Laki Fissure eruption in Iceland in 1783 caused terrible weather, crop failure and death.
Stothers and Courtillot make note ofthe 1783 Laki fissure eruption in Iceland, which sent a haze containing more than 10 million tons of sulfuric acid over Europe and into Asia and North Africa.
The year was 1783 and the more prosaic explanation was a volcanic eruption in Iceland's Laki Fissure which ran from June 1783 to the following February.