Tags archives: volcanic

  • Lava Lake Glow on Low Clouds

  • As the evening deepened and stratus clouds lowered over Kilauea caldera's highly active Halemaumau Crater, the lava lake rose, at times splashing distant gobs of fountain lava above the plane of the visible rim.  That was an uncommon sight, and one we were fortunate to witness.  The distinctive orange glow of the lava shone [...]
  • Warm Outflow

  • This is the first image in SkyPix specifically titled "outflow" that isn't in the Gallery of Outflow!  The name, both sarcastic and somewhat literally true, instead describes a 2,000-degree oozing inferno that sculpts its own fluid art anew every minute—a flow of rock, not air.  Destruction and renewal run downhill together [...]
  • The Skutustadir Pseudocraters

  • What does this formation of craters have to do with water works?  The key to the answer is in the origin.  Lava flowed over wetlands or shallow lake-bottom sediments near present-day Myvatn Lake in Iceland.  The resulting steam pressure built up and blasted holes repeatedly through the same weaknesses in the overlying lava d[...]
  • Abstractions in an Icelandic Paint Pot

  • Staring into an Icelandic geothermal mud pond, also known at Yellowstone as a paint pot for obvious reasons, one can become mesmerized at the continually evolving bands of dark and light mid, deforming and stretching this way and that as the mud flows both horizontally and vertically through the system.   Zooming in to the f[...]
  • Eyjafjallajökull: Landscape, Waterscape, Icescape

  • Eyjafjallajökull—nearly unpronounceable but palpably dangerous—offered stark and wondrous beauty just four years after its infamous eruption, peacefully capped in glaciers and draining waterfalls across its rolling green skirt, as if no such geologic tantrum had been thrown.  Still, one can see evidence of the pyroclastic pa[...]
  • Life and Death in the Caldera

  • In the caldera of a super-volcano, nothing is secure but the inevitability of disruption, upheaval and reordering, whether on scales of seconds and inches as scalding steam hits a bug or plant, or every 600,000 years in a series of blasts the likes of which mankind hasn't witnessed.  In between those scales, over years to de[...]
  • Blistering Splash

  • This is one splish-splash where you should not take a bath.  The gurgling cauldron of mineralized water sloshes to the surface from high-pressure underground chambers at temperatures that occasionally exceed the boiling point, which at this elevation is about 15 degree slower than at sea level—still more than enough to rende[...]
  • Yellowstone Mudpot Freeze-Frame

  • The Fountain Paint Pots at Yellowstone, along with the Hverir mudpots in Iceland, are two of the most consistently outstanding formations of their kind in the world.  Magma a short distance underground heats water to beyond the boiling point, but it stays liquid due to pressure.  In both cases, nearby geysers vent much of th[...]
  • Steam in the Fog

  • It seems post-apocalyptic:  this heat-blasted landscape of conifer skeletons, rising steam, bare and mineralized ground, in a sunrise light that reminds of artists' conceptions depicting primordial planets.   Yet the scene is readily available in some form, on most cool mornings in the Lower Geyser Basin.   Locally heavy rai[...]
  • Pinatubo Dust Glow over South Florida

  • Early in the morning twilight, the eastern sky glowed with a peculiar copper tint, arching upward and outward from the future sunrise point in progressively darker hues, like an optical band shell.  Light from the predawn sun was refracting through a stratospheric ash layer courtesy of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in the farawa[...]
  • Geothermal Waterscape

  • Rivulets of water, ranging in temperature from frigid to scalding, pour down a gravelly hillside in one of Iceland's largest and most peculiar geothermal fields, forming a fluidly abstract landscape of undular texture and strange tones.  Behind such alien beauty often lurks hidden danger, and this area certainly qualifies.  [...]
  • Volcanic Steam Eruption

  • Mount Saint Helens had been spitting steam and minor quantities of ash for several months at the time of this photo, while growing a prominent lava dome in the crater left behind by the famous 1980 eruption.  Melting snow, seeping through fissures in the ash and lava, supplied water for this steam column rising off the crest[...]