Thursday, April 15, 2010

Volcanic activity on Iceland- personal thoughts

The volcano under Eyjafjallajökull is erupting on Iceland. Jökull means glacier and the mountain is called Eyjafjall. I found a good site with pictures, here, thanks, and the picture on top of this post too.

Iceland is a country known to me. Here I have stayed under the shadow of this very volcano, for months I lived there. Some evenings after the sun had set, the ice cap of Eyjafjallajökull seemed to glow with an inner light. I have no other way to describe it. Every morning you looked that way to see if you could see the volcano or if it was hidden in clouds. On the old postcard picture LS published you can see Eyjafjallajökull, the snowcovered mountain on the right.

Volcanos are amazing, and I have never felt more aware of Earth as an everchanging environment than here, in Iceland (Ísland). Here I have swum in hot water in natural basins, under the stars under the volcano Katla and Myrdalsjökull and in deep caves at Myvatn. I have dug my fingers deep into the sand in active areas and felt the soil being warmer in the ground than on the surface (Landmannalaugar). I have walked on 10 year old lava-fields at Krafla, still wenting sulphuric gas (Myvatn) and seen the mud boil (Namafjall) and water gush from geysers ("geysirs"). For a Swede used to old rocks of granite lying apparently unchanged for eternity this is a totally different experience. The ground is alive, and earthquakes is part of normal life.

Volcanoes are also scaring, they can overtake a lush country with thick ash layers. I have walked and ridden through ash-covered barren lands, where nothing but a few bushes and grasses can live. The southern coast of Iceland is covered in mile by mile of black volcanic sand.

I want to go there again, and experience nature in constant change. I wish I had been there overlooking the volcanic eruption as shown on the pictures. Instead I follow the events on the internet, like at the Volcanism Blog.


LS said...

Nice writing, EH! I have only been to Iceland for 3 days, but I have seen this volcano in real life too. AREA too, she was only 6 months old but we have been walking on a glacier and smelled the sulphur...I would love to go back and see more of it, it felt like I just got a tiny taste of the history and nature of this old-feeling place that is so relatively young.

EH said...

The planes from me to you stops there, at least they used to. We can meet halfway and have a vacation together!