Hekla Centre

Hekla Centre

Mount Hekla is Iceland’s most active volcano in recent years, erupting four times in the last four decades. Without a doubt, a visit to its centre will provide students with a greater insight into this famous volcano.

The year 2010 was a predicted year for another Hekla eruption, but Eyjafjallajökull performed instead! Hekla is a classic example of a central volcano set in the midst of a volcanic system with many supplementary craters and lava flows. There are continuing signs that magma could be on the rise beneath this majestic volcano, so another volcanic episode might be imminent. Equally, it could be many years from now before it puts on its next show.

The Hekla Centre itself is home to a contemporary, multimedia exhibition covering Hekla mountain, its history and its influence of human life in Iceland from the time of the settlement to the present. The exhibition emphasises the influence of the volcano on the nearby inhabited areas: the districts of Landsveit, Holt and Rangárvellir. Here, the history of these districts is traced and the stories of people's struggles with sandstorms and eruptions are told.

Access to Hekla’s summit is off-limits, however, students can discuss the topic of Hazard Management in the vicinity of the base of the volcano the perfect case study. To be surrounded by vast deposits of 1104 pumice not only begins to add an understanding of the nature of what an eruption can produce, but the enormity of its scale.

Monitoring techniques are varied and widespread across this volcanic system and mitigation plans are well established for all eventualities, all of which make excellent learning points.

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