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The Svarmi team mapped lava fields at Holuhraun, one of the largest historical lava eruptions in Iceland’s history.

On 29 August 2014, a small fissure eruption started in the Holuhraun lava field, just north of Vatnajökull ice cap in the central highlands of Iceland. That small eruption lasted only for few hours, but was the first sign that one of the largest lava eruptions in Iceland’s history was underway. About two days later, a larger lava eruption started in a fissure in Holuhraun that lasted until 28 February 2015, producing 85 km² of lava with an average thickness of 16m.

Only two weeks after the eruption ended, the Svarmi team traveled to Holuhraun with earth scientists from University of Iceland to map and measure the extent, shape and volume of the lava. Of particular interest to the scientists were the craters created by the lava flow.


Mapping of eruption


University of Iceland


Fixed wing drone and a high resolution RGB camera

Few hundred high resolution RGB images

Both a high resolution true color camera along with a multispectral camera were used to be able to identify all the characteristics of the seaweed

Couple of hundreds of NIR and red edge images

Many hundreds of NIR and Red edge images were taken and calibrated with an on-board spectrometer as well as a reflectance target located on the ground