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Wild Green

Former Utne Reader senior editor Keith Goetzman on environmental issues from climate change to composting.


Awe-Inspiring Volcano Photos From Iceland

 by Keith Goetzman


Tags: Environment, volcanoes, Iceland, Eyjafjallajökull, photography, Flickr, The Iceland Weather Report, Visir, Iceland Review, Keith Goetzman,

Iceland volcano

I’m a volcano geek, and I have vacationed in Iceland in part because of its powerful geothermal-seismic juju. So I’ve been surfing photo galleries of the great Eyjafjallajökull blasts and marveling like a schoolkid at the magma waterfalls, red-hot-rock fireworks, and towering plumes of ash.

The Yahoo editors’ picks on Flickr are some of the best photos I’ve seen from this natural spectacle.

But I have to say that my favorite is this shot of a farm under the towering ash cloud, which I came across on the blog The Iceland Weather Report. (It originally appeared in the Icelandic publication Vísir.) The photograph was taken by a farmer, Ólafur Eggertsson, who soon had to flee as his pastures flooded because of rapid melting; he believes his 200 cows are safe in a cowshed.

Of course, in Iceland there’s always another blast coming. Iceland Review reports that while Eyjafjallajökull has evacuated farmers concerned, it’s a neighboring volcano, Katla, that really strikes fear into their stoic Nordic hearts.

“I am not afraid of this eruption but I fear Katla,” says one. “It might not happen immediately but it will happen. Then we will be talking about much more power.”

Sources: Flickr, The Iceland Weather Report, Visir, Iceland Review

Image by Hello, I am Bruce, licensed under Creative Commons.