So exciting! A volcanic eruption in Vatnajökull glacier! The earth shakes, the ground quakes … all beneath a layer of ice 100-200 metres thick. How cool is that?
Actually flicked on the TV at noon today to catch the extra news report. Killer shots of smoke drifting skyward 10 km into the air – magnifico – like a hybrid of thick clouds and sheepskin, with soot-grey explosions happening somewhere in the middle.
AND NOW FOR A QUICK GEOLOGY LESSON:
Under Vatnajökull glacier (south-east Iceland, nowhere near here, PTL) there is a “caldera”. Like bowl. At the bottom of the caldera/bowl you’ve got yer basic volcano. So let’s say the volcano wants to start spitting fire. First there’s “geothermal activity” meaning quaking and lots of heat. This melts ice which makes water which collects in the caldera. Eventually it floweth over and results in a flood down Skeiðarársandur sands (south-central Iceland, nowhere near here…). With the water that’s been pressing down on it gone, the volcano is free to let rip – which is just what it did last night. So now we’ve got even more flooding down the sands, fortunately there has been no damage to roads or bridges – as yet. You never know – if this keeps going for a while, we may get something akin to what happened in ’96 where there was a massive flood that eventually burst forth carrying icebergs the size of three-storey houses and scattering them around the sands like a handful of pebbles. Which is a fantastic, fabulous, amazing sight that this time around I plan to actually see with my own two eyes (last time I let the chance pass me by – not so again!) and nothing bad to be said about it except that, well, it cost billions to repair the infrastructure and such.
So all this is pretty thrilling and distracting, – well, at least I am so thrilled and distracted that I’m gonna give the oil company conspiracy a break – except to say that so far it seems that the Icelandic nation is not going to tuck this particular scandal in and sing it a lullaby – if the email that has been circulating over the last 24 hours is any indication. It urges punters to boycott gas station convenience stores – i.e. not to stop buying gas or to have a gas-free day (which only results in you buying more the next day, as is so succinctly pointed out) but just not to buy anything else. Which does sound like an excellent way to get even.
Weather: grey, drizzly, overcast, mild. Temps currently 8 degrees. Sunrise was at 9.15; sunset is scheduled for 17.06.