Crew from 60 Minutes Hike to Iceland Volcano Skip to content

Crew from 60 Minutes Hike to Iceland Volcano

Icelandic volcanologist Haraldur Sigurdsson traveled to the summit crater of Eyjafjallajökull glacier on Saturday along with a crew from 60 Minutes. Reporter Scott Pelley conducted an interview with Sigurdsson at the edge of the volcanic crater.

Haraldur Sigurdsson. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

“It was very exciting being so close to the crater. We were at Godasteinn, at the edge of the large crater,” the volcanologist told Morgunbladid.

“The trip went very well. We were lucky with the weather. You could clearly see the lava flow under the ice of Gígjökull [glacial tongue]. Great white steam plumes extended from holes in the glacier because of the lava flow below. The lava is drilling its way through down to Thórsmörk,” Sigurdsson described.

The volcanologist said there was a lot of unrest at the eruption site yesterday. “There is obviously a lot of magma moving around there and the eruption is far from winding down. The phreatic eruption is subsiding but the lava eruption is increasing,” Sigurdsson said.

He added that lava could soon be spotted in the canyon below Gígjökull. Water and mud has been flowing down the canyon, filling the basin of the old lagoon and piling up a mud cone. Sigurdsson went on an expedition to the area on Saturday.

“There is a lot of sand and gravel and rocks. But mostly ice, vast amounts of ice, almost like ice gravel. In some places the area was white from ice cubes. Extensive quantities of substance are piling up there,” Sigurdsson said.

The volcanologist runs the Volcano Museum in Stykkishólmur, which is open daily. A special exhibition on the current eruption in Eyjafjallajökull is now running. In the summer, tours and lectures will be organized by the museum.

Click here to read an interview with Sigurdsson about his museum.

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