Feb 28, 2012
Feb 24, 2012
Feb 23, 2012
Feb 19, 2012
Feb 18, 2012
Feb 17, 2012
Feb 15, 2012
Feb 13, 2012
Feb 12, 2012
An oldie for today - this was a panorama I took seemingly ages ago during our 2010 trip to Iceland. I had forgotten that many of those files edited on the fly needed redoing on our return due to laptop screen issues. This was taken at the tail end of a very bleak 2 days at Snaefellsnes when the weather finally cleared!
ps. that's our fondly remembered suzuki vitara on the right of image - we considered getting one but for the purposes of transporting kids, we might have to settle for something larger like the Ford Territory!
Feb 11, 2012
Feb 6, 2012
Feb 3, 2012
On 30 January 2002, I climbed to the summit craters of Etna with two friends, on a rather mild, sunny day with almost no snow. Five months had passed since the spectacular eruption of July-August 2001, which had mostly affected the south flank of the volcano, but some vents had also opened on the upper northeast flank. That eruption had brought a sudden end to the nearly continuous activity that had occurred at all four summit craters of Etna for six years (1995-2001). No glowing lava had been seen anywhere on Etna since 9 August 2001. However, deep within the Bocca Nuova, deep rumblings were heard a few weeks after the end of that eruption, and this was again the case when I visited that crater on 30 January 2002. We were standing on the rim of the huge pit in the western part of the crater, and every few minutes a loud bang rose from the tremendous throat, along with a volume of white vapor and bluish sulfur dioxide. The ground was covered with fine, light brown ash, a sign that some ash had been emitted lately, but this was all pulverized old rock, no sign of new magma rising to the surface.
In this view, you can see the countless layers of lava and loose (pyroclastic) rock material, which led to the filling of the Bocca Nuova between 1995 and 1999. The steaming peak in the left background is the western rim of the Voragine, and the steep crag in the right distance is what remains of a small cone formed within Etna's former Central Crater in 1964. Not much of the features visible here remain today.
Etna remained essentially silent for another two months, then ash emissions started from the Bocca Nuova and the Northeast Crater in late-March and early April 2002. Magma briefly appeared in the Bocca Nuova in mid-June, but more consistent Strombolian activity started within the Northeast Crater in July, and went on through late-September. Etna was coming back to life, and everybody was convinced that it would not take long until there would be another major flank eruption. The eruption of July-August 2001 had destabilized the volcano and ripped its flanks open, and it would not be difficult for new magma to issue through these wounds once more.
And that's exactly what would happen during the night of 26-27 October 2002.
Photo taken with a Canon AE1 and scanned from original Ektachrome color slide