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Mucho Magma

Magma from Holuhraun

Magma from Holuhraun

It’s actually a coincidence that my last two vacations were spent in countries where there are many active volcanoes. Iceland, where I spent part of Summer 2013, is now experiencing a huge eruption that is five to six times bigger than 2010’s eruptiojn at Eyjafjallajökull, which put a stop to much of Europe’s air traffic because it reduced air visibility over a wide area. It is also four times greater than Grimsvötn in the following year, which also was a major spewer of ash.

The difference with Holuhraun is that, although it has blanketed Iceland with dangerous levels of sulfur dioxide, it is known more for the massive amounts of magma produced. To date, one cubic kilometer of lava has been produced. According to The Iceland Review:

In terms of volume of lava, the Holuhraun eruption is now the biggest in Iceland since the 1783 Laki eruption (aka Skaftáreldar). The lava which surfaced during that disastrous eruption is 14 times the volume of the Holuhraun eruption.

“It now covers an area the size of Reykjavík and in some places it is 10-20 meters thick,” geophysicist Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson, who is on the Civil Protection Department’s Scientific Advisory Board, said of the new lava in Holuhraun.

This year I spent three weeks in Peru, where I saw the Volcano Sabancaya in eruption. What’s next for me? Krakatoa?