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My little hike up an active volcano.
Product Placement at 4:36PM, April 5, 2010
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On March 21, a small fissure opened up between two glaciers, about 100 miles from my home. The usual alarms were sounded off and the nearest residents were evacuated from the area. However, it didn't take long for people to realize that this particular eruption was unusually small in addition to being incredibly conveniently located for civilian observation. After few days of observation, the national rescue committee (which is our equivalent of national guard) issued a statement allowing the public to visit the site under their own risk.

2 weeks later, every tourist company in the area is making a killing.

Naturally, someone like me was interested in seeing an eruption first hand so I started to plan a little hike to the area.

Hiking in Iceland is tough if you don't know what you're doing. What's most important is the way to dress. A good mixture is to wear a woolen undershirt and pants, cotton over that (to absorb moisture from the undershirt), a warm isolating clothing over that and a wind breaker. I wore two layers of wool shirts, cotton shirt, wool sweater, polyester sweater and a wind breaker. I was expecting a cold climb.


Here's the first picture on the trip. I was nearing the glaciers at that point and you can see the one called Eyjafjallajökull in this picture. It's a relatively small glacier, not much more then a snow covered mountain peak but the larger glacier is behind the mountains. Near the glacier however is a small plume that's being generated by the volcano.


I parked the car near this waterfall which marks the start of a hiking trail that conveniently leads to the volcano. On the right of the picture you can actually see a staircase that you have to climb before starting the climb. It was put there to allow tourist an easy access to the top of the waterfall.


Ok now. Remember where we parked the car. Let's turn around and…


… oh boy. This is going to take a while, isn't it?

The trip isn't actually that long. About 15-16 km (10 miles) and you're climbing over the course of the trip about a mile high elevation. Experienced climbers can finish it in about 4 hours but for someone like me who was out of practice (hadn't climbed a mountain in almost 10 years) it was going to be 5-6 hours, with all the rest stops.



Well finally I'm done climbing all of this. Surely I'm about to fin…


… oh for crying out…

Oh well… At least I can expect some pretty scenery along the way.


Btw. That's Gunnar, my hiking buddy.



If you pay close enough attention, you should be able to spot the seagulls, flying around in this canyon. A nice reference point to spot the actual scale of it.


Oh look! More waterfalls.


Approaching the snow line.


A frozen waterfall. Don't see those every… oh wait, that's the third one along the way.

All right. That's enough waterfalls, let's see something a bit more spicy. Don't want to waste all my battery power on some water.

*3 hours of walking later*


That's what I'm talking about. Up close and personal with a freaking volcano!


Feel the burn.

What? Not hot enough for you? Then what about this one?


“But Product. That's just some lame glowing rock. You walked 5 hours to get there. Surely you can provide us with a better picture than that.”

Oh fine. Here's another picture of a water fall.

ON FIRE!

In fact. SCREW WATER! IT'S ONLY FIRE!



Hey, what's that right next to it?



Aw look. It's a baby lava fall. That's so adorab…

*zoom out*



… uhm… I'm gonna shut up now.



A recording of this mighty impressive looking thing:


Some self-absorbed modeling.




Well around this time, I got informed that a new fissure had opened up and that the eruption was about to intensify. A distress signal was made out and a team of rescue workers and law enforcement was dispatched to close of the mountain. We were ordered to go to a safe location and wait to be picked up by mountain trucks and helicopters. While I was waiting, I got the chance to take some pictures, and watch it intensify.


Now to explain that picture a bit. The giant steam column to the left is happening because of the new fissure that's opening up. Next to the right is the new fissure. The old fissure is behind the small hill next to the new fissure and you should be able to make out the smoke coming from it. The giant steam column on the far right is where the lava falls are where I got those awesome pictures from.

Here's the same thing, later in the night, when things got a bit more active.




Those fire pillars are going 100 meters into the air, believe it or not. They're massive! The whole thing was ordered an extreme danger zone.






I hope you enjoyed reading through this tiny travel blog of mine. This thing is expected to chill out in few weeks but worst case scenario predict that it might go on for years. Thus if anyone's interested in checking it out, I suppose it isn't too late.

Peace out.
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:52PM
Lonnehart at 4:47PM, April 5, 2010
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Thanks. Now I'm jealous. I wish I could experience being so close to the crater of a live volcano myself. Of course one thing I'd have to be careful of are those lava tubes… step on one with a weak roof and my leg would be roasted.

Oh… and instead of firefall, shouldn't that be “lavafall”? :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:39PM
lba at 4:57PM, April 5, 2010
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Kick ass photos. Iceland looks like my kind of place. I wish I had the kind of money and time to hop on a plane and head out to to take a look myself.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:30PM
Air Raid Robertson at 5:01PM, April 5, 2010
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I don't live anywhere near the Ring of Fire or anywhere else that has volcanic activity, so this venture seems almost otherwordly to me.

Great photos.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:48AM
Product Placement at 5:01PM, April 5, 2010
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Lonnehart
Oh… and instead of firefall, shouldn't that be “lavafall”? :)
I never wrote firefall in this thread so I don't know what you're talking about. If you're referring to the title on that youtube video, then I opted to say fire because that's the elemental opposite of water. It sounds better that way in my mind. If it makes you feel any better, I wrote lavafall in the video description :)
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:52PM
Randal at 6:05PM, April 5, 2010
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Air Raid Robertson
I don't live anywhere near the Ring of Fire or anywhere else that has volcanic activity, so this venture seems almost otherwordly to me.

Great photos.

Iceland isn't in the ring of fire. that's in the pacific. Iceland is one of the few, if not only places on earth where a mid-ocean ridge is above sea-level as opposed to miles below the waves. While places like India and southern california lie on subduction zones and are getting smaller or sliding against eachother, Iceland is getting larger, because the ridge is ever expanding.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:01PM
I Am The 1337 Master at 6:29PM, April 7, 2010
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THE RING OF FIRE!!!!!
-Finding Nemo


Wow PP. You get gangsta points. ten of em.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:54PM
Product Placement at 7:15PM, April 7, 2010
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Thanks for the comments guys. I kinda wish I had a better camera with me for the trip because the one I had was terrible. When it got dark, the camera lost all focus and ended up being messy blurs. That sucked because the most impressive scenery were from that time.

Two people died, trying to make the hike last night. A woman that tagged along was found just in time to save her. These people made all the mistakes you can do when planing a trip like that. They didn't know the rote and failed to research it. They were dressed poorly and didn't have any provisions with them. They got lost when a storm hit and they were found 10 hours later.

Just goes to show what could happen if you don't plan.

A volcano update:
The old crater has stopped erupting now but the new crater that opened up, while I was up there is still going strong. The lava is now running in a different direction so the lavafall that I took pictures of has now stopped. I've been told that it's now running of a different cliff, forming a very impressive looking lava fall in that location.

I webcamera has been set up that's monitoring the volcano for all to see.

Watch the volcano, live!

It's night time at the moment so all you can see is some bright flashes on top off a mountain but it should look pretty nifty when it gets brighter.
Those were my two cents.
If you have any other questions, please deposit a quarter.
This space for rent.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:52PM
PIT_FACE at 8:17PM, April 7, 2010
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that's fuckin cool, pp!i'd actually like to maby use some of these as referances for scenes in my comic later on if ya wouldnt mind! woulnt be for a long time, but i guess im tryin to say ya inspired me a little. must have been very cool!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:45PM
Product Placement at 8:32PM, April 7, 2010
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You're more than welcome to do that. Just remember to PQ me when you're done. I'd like to see what you'll come up with.
Those were my two cents.
If you have any other questions, please deposit a quarter.
This space for rent.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:52PM
Zeph at 11:00PM, April 7, 2010
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I demand you circle the sea-gulls. I can't flippin see the microscopic bastards. Seagulls are trying to defy me.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 4:56PM
ozoneocean at 12:26AM, April 8, 2010
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Lucky prick.
If I go to Iceland for a holiday, I'm staying with you.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
ParkerFarker at 1:06AM, April 8, 2010
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Those are some cool photos, but there are a few that the perspectives are whack. It's cool.

Like this one: At the top it looks like three different images 'shopped into one.

And this one:
It looks as if that waterfall is massive and heaps far away, but I can see your shadow on it.

And there are a lot of photos that look as if they're close but then you look and see some tiny ant-people in them and go “whoa”.


Are you sure this volcano wasn't a fissure opening… into the twilight zone?

“We are in the stickiest situation since Sticky the stick insect got stuck on a sticky bun.” - Blackadder
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:39PM
ozoneocean at 2:13AM, April 8, 2010
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ParkerFarker
Those are some cool photos, but there are a few that the perspectives are whack. It's cool.

At the top it looks like three different images 'shopped into one.
Look carefully- That bright rock ridge on the left actually overlaps the waterfall from that angle. That waterfall is only viewed through a gap in the rock, the full thing is behind it.
ParkerFarker
And this one:
that waterfall is massive and heaps far away, but I can see your shadow on it.
I think it probably really is big and that's not his shadow. He's on a ledge and that shadow belongs to the overlapping ridges behind and below him.

I think the problem is that everything's in perfect focus, so it's hard to judge the depth of field.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
Product Placement at 7:09AM, April 8, 2010
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ozoneocean
ParkerFarker
Those are some cool photos, but there are a few that the perspectives are whack. It's cool.

At the top it looks like three different images 'shopped into one.
Look carefully- That bright rock ridge on the left actually overlaps the waterfall from that angle. That waterfall is only viewed through a gap in the rock, the full thing is behind it.
ParkerFarker
And this one:
that waterfall is massive and heaps far away, but I can see your shadow on it.
I think it probably really is big and that's not his shadow. He's on a ledge and that shadow belongs to the overlapping ridges behind and below him.

I think the problem is that everything's in perfect focus, so it's hard to judge the depth of field.
Like Oz said, that's not my shadow in the background. The waterfall it further away then that. It went down that hole forever and was too big for me to capture in a single frame so I opted to stand by the cliff and take a picture of myself there. If I were to stand right next to the waterfall, I'd probably be about 5 times smaller.

I picked the landscape zoom which is why everything is in such perfect focus. I agree that it's ridiculously hard to spot the scales in these pictures but I can assure you that in most cases the things in the background are far bigger then you realize.

One of the biggest problems I had was trying to relay the information of how big and grand the eruption actually was. Fortunately, the local news media was kind enough to compose this comparison picture that showed the scale of things if the eruption happened to be located in Downtown Reykjavík.

Well crap… I guess I'm not going clubbing tonight.

Zeph
I demand you circle the sea-gulls. I can't flippin see the microscopic bastards. Seagulls are trying to defy me.
No problem. Here you go.



The two small circles are of flying seagulls while the other two show small groups of them, sitting on a cliff edge. I would never had made them out myself if I hadn't been there to see them with my own eyes.
ozoneocean
Lucky prick.
If I go to Iceland for a holiday, I'm staying with you.
You're welcome at any time.
Those were my two cents.
If you have any other questions, please deposit a quarter.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:52PM
alwinbot at 7:19PM, April 8, 2010
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You're obviously green screened in there.

/sarcasm
Read this comic. It is the greatest journal comic ever written and drawn. Trust me.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:50AM
Randal at 7:33PM, April 8, 2010
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ozoneocean
Lucky prick.
If I go to Iceland for a holiday, I'm staying with you.

Psh, yeah right Ozone. Plane tickets cost money, ya vagabond. :D
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:01PM
ozoneocean at 10:35PM, April 8, 2010
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Randal
Psh, yeah right Ozone. Plane tickets cost money, ya vagabond. :D
Duh.
That's why I'm staying with PP. ALl I have to pay for is the airfare ;)

Then it's volcanoes A-hoy!
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
Lonnehart at 2:31PM, April 9, 2010
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So is Iceland kinda like Hawaii… constant eruptions? Except that in Iceland's case they're more… explosive?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:39PM
Product Placement at 2:45PM, April 9, 2010
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Lonnehart
So is Iceland kinda like Hawaii… constant eruptions? Except that in Iceland's case they're more… explosive?
Kinda but I guess it's better to compare us to Japan. They have geothermal activities that's very similar to ours.

The main difference between Hawaii and Iceland is that we have way more volcanoes and that they don't erupt as frequently as the Hawaiian ones. Thus they tend to build up more pressure by the time they go off.

We have an eruption on about 5 year average but it's very rare that they're this safe to approach like that one. Next eruption is very likely to happen sooner then that though because there's a bigger Volcano right next to this one. Historically, the bigger one has always started once his neighbor has demonstrated his might. It's almost as if he's saying “Huh. You call that an eruption?”
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:52PM
Zeph at 2:52PM, April 9, 2010
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Do you know what kind of volcano it is? Granit? Basaltic? (Hawaii is basalt, strongest rock in the world (ROck not mineral, thats obviously the diamond) Problem is, it oxidizes with water, becoming very brittle and crumbly, making Hawaii prone to massive land slides)<- Learned that on the History Channel, but it makesme curious to what kind of volcanos Iceland has, and the volcano type is the type of eruption, with Basaltic being very oozey, and Granite being more Explosion, Shrapnel and volcanic ash.
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CLEARLY AN OUTRAGE! CLEARLY!
wait what?
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:56PM
Lonnehart at 3:02PM, April 9, 2010
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Heh… I wish I could go there to witness those eruptions first hand. There is an active volcano near the island I live on in the Mariannas chain (we're on top of a plate that's subducting the Pacific Ocean floor… right next to the deepest ocean trench in the world) but it's not on the same scale as the volcanoes there or that basalt place that once erupted in Australia.

Heheh… sometimes I wish I had become a Geologist… it's one of the fields of science (the other being Astronomy) that I've always had an interest in. :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:39PM
Product Placement at 3:08PM, April 9, 2010
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It's mostly basaltic and tephra although Hekla which is one of our most active volcanoes produces silicic magma.

While researching this information I discovered that Iceland has produced 1/3 of all the worlds lava for the last 500 years.
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:52PM
Zeph at 3:41PM, April 9, 2010
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So the ice is a lie. It's really Lavaland.
Comic The Mutha Flippin God of Airsoft

Rockin the WTF face.
CLEARLY AN OUTRAGE! CLEARLY!
wait what?
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:56PM
Lonnehart at 2:20PM, April 10, 2010
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Zeph
So the ice is a lie. It's really Lavaland.

Now there's a nice webcomic idea… I can see it now. A lone guy who lives on a constantly gushing volcano that's actually sentient and that's is way of talking to him.

okay… I need to lay off the coffee with melted chocolate in it… and that Chocolate Volcano that the local Chili's restaraunt sells…
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:39PM
Product Placement at 8:24PM, April 10, 2010
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Zeph
So the ice is a lie. It's really Lavaland.
Well it is nicknamed the land of fire and Ice. In fact, the national flag pays homage to this fact. It's a red cross inside a white cross with a blue background = Icy crust with a fiery core that's surrounded by ocean. Icelanders are suckers for imagery like that.
Lonnehart
Now there's a nice webcomic idea… I can see it now. A lone guy who lives on a constantly gushing volcano that's actually sentient and that's is way of talking to him.
So you're telling me that when a volcano burns down my home, it's actually saying hello?

Those were my two cents.
If you have any other questions, please deposit a quarter.
This space for rent.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:52PM
lba at 10:10PM, April 10, 2010
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Product Placement
So you're telling me that when a volcano burns down my home, it's actually saying hello?


No. That's just it giving you a friendly hug.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:30PM
Product Placement at 12:47PM, April 14, 2010
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The two craters that I visited have now stopped. The fissures have been dead now for over 24 hours.

But that wasn't the end of the story. A new fissure, that's over mile wide has opened up under the smaller glacier and is causing a massive steam explosion under it. Here's a picture of the plume, breaking the skyline.



It's causing massive flooding in the the surrounding area, washing away roads and farmlands. the Department of Civil Protection is declaring emergency again and are reinforcing the levies that are protecting the villages in the area. The wind is blowing to the east so Scandinavia is expecting some ashfall for the next couple of days.
Those were my two cents.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 2:52PM
Lonnehart at 9:34PM, April 14, 2010
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wow… I imagine that you people don't get a lot of sleep at night given the unpredictability of those eruptions… O_O
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:39PM
Product Placement at 11:43PM, April 14, 2010
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It's not affecting the capital since it's west from the eruption but the east side of the country is currently experiencing some heavy ashfal. The people living in those areas are saying that it looks as if it's night time outside (during the day of course) and poor visibility prevents people to see across the street.

You can watch the eruption online if you want. The amount of steam that is rising from that glacier is crazy and you can see black plumes behind the steam clouds.
http://eldgos.mila.is/eyjafjallajokull-fra-valahnjuk/
Those were my two cents.
If you have any other questions, please deposit a quarter.
This space for rent.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:52PM

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