Steam Well Eruption, Iceland

photo of Steam Well Eruption, Iceland

Steam roars from a geothermal well in Iceland, the only known man-made vent of a volcanic eruption. The night before this photo was taken, a dike of magma intruded into the well at depth, and a few tons of incandescent lava fragments, lifted by the steam, cut through the bend in the steam pipe. The deafening noise of the escaping steam forces our Icelandic friend and colleague, Páll Einarsson, to cover his ears.

Photo copyright Barbara Decker.

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