A strong episode of unrest within the Bárðarbunga volcanic system began on the 16th August 2014. The main eruption started on the 31st August, when a fissure opened up in the Holuhraun plain to the north of the Vatnajökull ice cap. The eruption was characterised by lava fountaining and the extrusion of extensive lava flows covering an area of ~ 84 km2. The eruption ended on the 27th February 2015. This has been the largest lava eruption in Iceland since 1783.