Eldgjá, (“Fire canyon”) a 40 km long volcanic rift reaching from the Mýrdalsjökull glacier to the mountain Gjátindur. Most impressive at the northern end where it is 600 m wide and 200 m deep. Extensive lava fields have come from Eldgjá and spread over the lowlands of Meðalland, Landbrot and Álftaver. Named by Þorvaldur Thoroddsen, the first geologist to study Eldgjá. He thought there had been only one eruption about 1,100 years ago but later research shows that there have been many eruptions, the lava of Álftaver being the oldest.