The vast Eldhraun lava field in the south of the Icelandic highlands, was created in one of the greatest eruptions in recorded history and is of the largest of its kind in the world.
This eruption lasted from 1783 to 1784 and is known as the Skaftáreldar (The Skaftá River Fires). This was a cataclysmic event for Iceland and beyond. In Iceland, it lead to disease, crop failure and disasters.
The eruption affected Europe as well. In Great Britain, that summer is known as the Sand-Summer in Great Britain due to the fallout of ash and it is believed that the airborne haze and blocking of sunlight may have contributed to the French Revolution.
In the middle of Eldhraun is a small forest grove that was planted around 1975 by Guðmund Sveinssson. At that time, few believed that trees could grow in Iceland, let alone in the middle of lava. Guðmundur was an enthusiast, and he planted pine, larch, spruce and birch, which have grown well and are beginning to self-regenerate.