Torfajökull (Icelandic for "Torfi's glacier"; [ˈtʰɔrvaˌjœːkʏtl̥]) is a rhyolitic stratovolcano, caldera (central volcano) and complex of subglacial volcanoes, located north of Mýrdalsjökull and south of Þórisvatn Lake, Iceland. Torfajökull last erupted in 1477 and consists of the largest area of silicic extrusive rocks in Iceland.

Kaldaklofsfjöll (41).jpg
Torfajökull area
Highest point
Elevation1,259 m (4,131 ft)
Coordinates63°55′00″N 19°10′00″W / 63.91667°N 19.16667°W / 63.91667; -19.16667Coordinates: 63°55′00″N 19°10′00″W / 63.91667°N 19.16667°W / 63.91667; -19.16667
Torfajökull is located in Iceland
Age of rockPleistocene
Mountain typeStratovolcano
Last eruptionMarch 1477

The volcano's eruption around 870, a combined bimodal eruption (rhyolite-basalt) with additional engagement of the Bárðarbunga-Veiðivötn volcanic system, has left a thin layer of easily recognized mixed tephra all over Iceland (Landnámslag).[1] This layer makes it possible to determine the exact dates of many archeological finds by so called tephrochronology, like in the Reykjavík 871±2 museum.


According to legend, the glacier is named for Torfi Jónsson í Klofa, an Icelandic historical figure. When the plague arrived in Iceland in 1493, Torfi fled with his family and his belongings into the highlands and settled in a valley surrounded by the glacier.[2]

According to another legend, the glacier is named for Torfi, a farm worker at a nearby farm. Torfi eloped with the farmer's daughter and fled to the glacier.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ C.F. Zellmer, etal.: On the recent bimodal magmatic processes and their rates in the Torfajökull–Veidivötn area, Iceland. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 269 (2008) 387–397.
  2. ^ "Sagnir af Torfa í Klofa".
  3. ^

External linksEdit