My sister Britt-Arnhild invited me to contribute to her blog with a scenario of the volcanic activity in Iceland.
As a geologist living here at the volcanic island, exactly on the border between the North American and European tectonic plates it was of great excitement when the volcano Eyjafjallajökull woke up from his sleep last week, burst into life for the first time in 190 years, and started to erupt lava and ashes.
I decided straight away when I learned that the eruption was happening that I had to see this with my own eyes (and cameras). The weather forecast for the week-end was good with clear sky, however, with cold wind from the north. I first considered to walk up the mountain, but realized that cold wind, toxic gases and 12 hours of return walking was not for me this Saturday. Instead I ordered a trip with a helicopter.
Driving down to Skógarfoss (meaning; the forest waterfall), where my airlift started took me about 2 hours from Reykjavik through the changeable landscape of Iceland. The Skógafoss is one of the biggest and most beautiful waterfalls of the country with a width of
Boulders covered with ice at the bottom of Skógarfoss.
After a nice stroll around Skógarfoss, I was all set for the thrill of my life, a helicopter tour for a close up view of the erupting volcano.
In the front seat with the pilot, I had the best view you could expect, and my expectations increased as we started to climb the mountain.
The amount of bright white snow increased as we gained attitude, however, the snow soon turned into grey due to the ashes from the eruption. And then suddenly we reached the top and the eruption revealed itself in all its glory. Surprisingly, I was not the only person around, hundreds, even thousands of people had walked, used their snowmobiles, or mountain trucks, to reach the mountain that day.
The lava fountain reaching 100-
After the ride with the helicopter, reaching the lowland again, I needed to calm down to digest all the huge impression from the helicopter ride. I could glimpse the shoreline in the horizon of the huge delta south in Iceland. I drove my car some kilometers and started to walk. However after 20 minutes, I realized that I have not approach the shore at all. Distances got a new perspective within this landscape. So I just laid down there in the middle of nowhere, with only sand plains around me for tens of kilometers and reflected over the meaning of life. It was nice to be lonely. I made considerations of the creation of the world and the previous experience of the birth of new land. My conclusion; we human are important, but we are small in this huge masterpiece!