It just keeps gushing wonderful lava

It just keeps gushing wonderful lava

Photos by
James Ashworth

Published March 25, 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello again volcano watchers! I bring scientific updates on Eyjafjallajökull and (I think) some pretty beautiful photography for you to feast your eyes upon. So let’s begin! Firstly, the eruptive fissure is actually about 250 metres in length, not 1-2 kilometres as previously estimated from the air. The fire fountains you see are maybe 100-150 metres high, to give you a sense of scale. The steam that you can now see emanating from the northern lava flow is due to its interaction with a river. Obviously the hot lava comes into contact with the water and vaporises it to steam. I believe the river has actually taken to flowing OVER the lava flow, which must be an interesting sight…

As for the eruption itself, like life, it goes on. If anything, it is increasing in vigour, which makes it quite unusual. Usually, an eruption will start with force and then subside somewhat, but this eruption began very quietly (it was perhaps an hour before it was actually noticed) and seems to be steadily getting more spectacular. Being something quite new, and coupled with the quantity and quality of scientific data coming from this eruption (thanks mainly to instruments operated by University of Iceland and the Icelandic Meteorological Office), I think this one will be studied by a number of people for quite some time to come.

This increasing activity sits with the latest GPS readings, which show that the mountain has finally begun to deflate. In other words, whereas in the first few days the eruption did not seem to make a dent in the pressure built up within the volcano, more lava is now leaving the volcano than magma is being pumped into the bottom. This doesn’t mean that the eruption is going to end within the next few days, really, just that eruptive activity has increased and that it’s not going to go on indefinitely (unless something changes, of course).

Finally, as I think I promised previously, I took another trip out there yesterday to take advantage of the amazing weather, and consequently got some gorgeous photographs. Is it possible to fall in love with a geological phenomena? I think so.
So, enjoy!






Eruption Report #1
Eruption Report #2
Eruption Report #3


Mag
Articles
Two Days Of Criminal Activity

Two Days Of Criminal Activity

by

People thought we were nuts at the time, when in reality we were suffering from good old Icelandic gung-ho enthusiasm. This year, we ought to know better. Three of us—Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Ragnar Jónasson and I—got together last year to organise a small crime fiction festival in Reykjavík. After all, how hard could it be? We had all been to a few of these, and it didn’t look like it could be all that much of a headache. It had seemed odd to us that Iceland didn’t have its own crime fiction festival. After all, there are plenty of them elsewhere.

Mag
Articles
A New Wave Of Protests

A New Wave Of Protests

by

Tension has been rising in Iceland of late. An estimated 4,500 people attended a general protest against the government on November 4, almost completely filling Austurvöllur by Alþingi. This marks it as one of the biggest demonstrations this year. The event was initially inspired by a Facebook rant from singer-songwriter Svavar Knútur, wherein he bemoaned the current coalition government’s favouritism of the rich and powerful. Instigator Svavar Knútur began the demonstration by addressing the crowd. In his speech—which has been widely shared across social media since the event—he likened the rally to the first of three warnings his father used to

Mag
Articles
Arrest, Injury, Aftermath

Arrest, Injury, Aftermath

by

Standing by the door of a two-storey building in the Höfði industrial district and not finding a doorbell, I call Chaplas Menke, who says he’ll come down to let me in. My interview subject made local headlines this September, after being reportedly brutalised by the police. Since then, the story has gone quiet. A short while later, he invites me to his abode. He is of average height, dark-skinned, with sunken eyes and a svelte frame. He has a thick accent and speaks hesitatingly, picking his words carefully. I ask him how he’s doing, and he modestly says okay as

Mag
Articles
News In Brief: November

News In Brief: November

by

Icelanders have once again grown fed up with their elected representatives, staging a massive protest demonstration in front of Alþingi last Monday. Thousands stood at Austurvöllur, Reykjavík’s hip spot for protest meetings, to denounce a veritable cornucopia of bad policy decisions (police estimated 4,500 attendees at the protest, while some attendees estimated that they were in fact closer to 7,000). This particular time around, the political party actually leading the country–in this case, the Progressives–have most recently polled at just under 9%. Remember, folks: the last time a ruling coalition stepped down, it was because one party didn’t want to

Mag
Articles
Who’s Afraid Of November 9?

Who’s Afraid Of November 9?

by

After DV revealed that the police had just acquired some 150 submachine guns from Norway, Chief Superintendent Jón Bjartmarz—who refused to answer any of the newspaper’s questions—explained on RÚV’s Kastljós that they have possessed machine guns “ever since after the Gúttó-fight.” “The Gúttó-fight” was a violent clash between police and workers, who were protesting announced wage reductions, back in 1932. The reference is as significant as they get. An Icelandic State Police authority, as opposed to a municipal one, was established in the aftermath of that fight, to ensure that authorities would henceforth have the upper hand against demonstrators. This

Mag
Articles
Pippa’s Wish

Pippa’s Wish

by

A particularly heart-warming story made the rounds recently when a crowdfunding campaign called “Pippa’s Wish” hit its required target, after a month online. The GoFundMe campaign was started by family friend Tamara Antonelli Comerford to take Pippa—a disabled seven-year-old Sigur Rós fan from Missouri, who suffered a stroke at birth that left her with Cerebral Palsy, among other medical conditions—on the family holiday of a lifetime. During an extended convalescence after an operation to reshape her pelvis and straighten her legs, Pippa was in severe pain, but responded with fascination to the soothing beauty of Sigur Rós’ tour documentary ‘Heima’,

Show Me More!