The Dynamic Earth View Multimedia Version

Main Menu >  Plate Tectonics and Volcanoes  >  Mid-Atlantic Ridge >  1783—Laki Erupts
TITLE: 1783 - Laki Erupts

[Photo: Laki]
In June 1783, the largest lava eruption in history began at Iceland's Laki fissure system. Fluorine gas poisoned over half of Icelandís sheep and cattle. More than 10,000 Icelanders died from famine and disease. The Laki eruption showed that volcanic eruptions can affect global climate. Benjamin Franklin, then U.S. Ambassador to France, described a lingering blue haze over Europe and suggested airborne particles from the Laki eruption were its cause.

Bottom Navigation Bar


Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Mineral Sciences website Credits