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Ash and Lightning above an Icelandic Volcano
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Ash and Lightning above an Icelandic Volcano
Credit & Copyright: SigurĻur Stefnisson
Explanation: Why did a picturesque volcanic eruption in Iceland create so much ash? Although the large ash plume was not unparalleled in its abundance, its location was particularly noticeable because it drifted across such well-populated areas. The EyjafjallajĘkull volcano in southern Iceland began erupting on 2010 March 20, with a second eruption starting under the center of a small glacier on 2010 April 14. Neither eruption was unusually powerful. The second eruption, however, melted a large amount of glacial ice which then cooled and fragmented lava into gritty glass particles that were carried up with the rising volcanic plume. Pictured here during the second eruption, lightning bolts illuminate ash pouring out of the EyjafjallajĘkull volcano.

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
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Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day

Publications with keywords: volcano
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