Volcanologist Haraldur Sigurdsson traveled by helicopter to the eruption site on Eyjafjallajökull glacier on Wednesday to observe how the landscape had changed. On his blog he called the new lava which had flowed from the crater a “spectacular” sight.
“It was amazing to finally get up close to the new crater and look down into the white steam cloud which snaked upwards like in a gigantic boiling casserole,” Sigurdsson described.
“But truth be told, I was more awestruck when I finally got to see the new lava which covers the valley that used to be the upper part of Gígjökull [glacial tongue]. A new and magnificent landscape has been created,” the volcanologist added.
“There is a lot of lava there,” he told Morgunbladid, describing how the lava flow has extended from the crater and sculpted a large valley, or ravine, down into Gígjökull.
It is to be expected that the lava will eventually disappear partly or entirely underneath the glacier but Sigurdsson believes it will remain ice-free, at least during the summer, in the next few years.
Sigurdsson was traveling with the company Profilm, which is making a documentary about the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull for National Geographic.
All was quiet at the crater, he described, as there are no more phreatic explosions. It appears as if water is flowing down into the crater at which point it boils when it comes in contact with lava. The water speeds up the cooling process.
“The situation is at a standstill right now but anything can happen,” the volcanologist said. Some unrest is still being detected in the volcano and there is seismic activity underneath the glacier and in its immediate surroundings.
The volcanic eruption will not be declared over until after next weekend.
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