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In the Flatey Book Annal it was recorded that during the 1341 eruption, people saw large and small birds flying in the mountain's fire which were taken to be souls.
Hekla has a morphological type between that of a crater row and stratovolcano (built from mixed lava and tephra eruptions) sited at a rift-transform junction in the area where the south Iceland seismic zone and eastern volcanic zone meet.
The most active part of this ridge, a fissure about 5.5 km (3.4 mi) long named Heklugjá, is considered to be within Hekla proper.
Hekla looks rather like an overturned boat, with its keel being a series of craters, two of which are generally the most active.
After a violent storm on the night of the 2nd of September in that year, the surface of the ground in the Orkney Islands was found strown with volcanic dust.
of volcanic rock into the atmosphere, placing its Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) at 5.The unusual form of Hekla is found on very few volcanoes around the world, notably Callaqui in Chile.Hekla is situated on a long volcanic ridge of which the 5.5 km Heklugjá fissure is considered Hekla proper.This would have cooled temperatures in the northern parts of the globe for a few years afterwards.
Traces of this eruption have been identified in Scottish peat bogs, and in Ireland a study of tree rings dating from this period has shown negligible tree ring growth for a decade. This was the second largest tephra eruption in the country in historical times with a VEI of 5.
This fissure opens along its entire length during major eruptions and is fed by a magma reservoir estimated to have a top 4 km below the surface with centroid 2.5 km lower.