Krafla is the volcanic system east and northeast of Lake Mývatn. In the center of the Krafla volcanic system, is a large and old caldera called Víti. The volcano is located in the volcanic zone, which lies north from Vatnajökull, to Öxarfjördur fjord by the north coast of Iceland and in between the tectonic plates of Eurasia (east) and North America (west).

The area around Lake Mývatn and volcano Krafla has had a lot of volcanic activity since the last Ice Age ended about 10 to 12 thousand years ago. There have been periods of high volcanic activity and considerable lava flow. During the years 1724 to 1729, so called Mývatnseldar, a volcanic eruption occurred in the area with heavy volcanic explosions.

In the year 1975, the land by Krafla volcano began to rice and divergence. Following these events, Körflueldar with many volcanic eruptions began, and lasted until 1984. After the last volcanic eruption during this period the lava covered an area around 60 km2 and the length of the volcanic fissures was about 11 kilometers in total, erupting through small and large volcanic fissures. The ground of the area was in great motion at this time and divergence few meters. The lava that came out during Kröflueldar was Pahoehoe lava.

At the same time as the eruption was going on, the government was building a geothermal power station in the area, which had the same name as the volcano Krafla. They were afraid that the volcano would destroy the power station and no one knew if the lava flow would reach the power station or not. The volcanic eruption had some impact on the power plant, one of the borehole were damaged due to earthquake movements, and magna entered the borehole of the power station. Krafla Power Plant (finished in 1977) is a geothermal power plant where high and low pressure steam from 18 geothermal boreholes is used to power the power plants and produce electricity. The plant produces about 60 MW of electricity or about 500 GWh per year.

Directions:

From the small village Reykjahlíð in North Iceland take Ring Road nr. 1 heading east for about 6 km and then turn on road nr. 863. Drive until the car park and from there you can hike around the caldera.

The caldera by Krafla during winter
Krafla Caldera in North Iceland
Krafla volcanic system
Krafla Power Plant
Krafla Power Plant in Iceland
The caldera by Krafla during winter
Krafla Caldera in North Iceland
Krafla volcanic system
Krafla Power Plant
Krafla Power Plant in Iceland

The caldera by Krafla during winter

Krafla Caldera in North Iceland

Krafla volcanic system

Krafla Power Plant

Krafla Power Plant in Iceland