Aurora Borealis Illuminates Erupting Volcano in Stunning Time-Lapse Video from Iceland

Stunning time-lapse captures the mesmerizing interplay of Iceland's erupting volcano and the northern lights, signaling a new era of volcanic activity in the region.

Nimrah Khatoon
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Aurora Borealis Illuminates Erupting Volcano in Stunning Time-Lapse Video from Iceland

Aurora Borealis Illuminates Erupting Volcano in Stunning Time-Lapse Video from Iceland

A breathtaking time-lapse video has captured the awe-inspiring sight of the aurora borealis, also known as the northern lights, illuminating an erupting volcano near the town of Grindavik in southwestern Iceland. The stunning natural phenomenon was observed as the volcano, located in the Fagradalsfjall region, erupted for the fourth time since December 2023, sending lava flowing towards a nearby community.

The video, taken by photographer Marco di Marco on March 23 and 25, 2024, showcases the mesmerizing interplay of the orange-red lava and the blue-green sky, creating a beautiful color harmony due to the complementary hues. Di Marco, a self-proclaimed 'volcano chaser,' managed to capture the incredible scenes during the volcano's most recent eruption, which has been ongoing for 28 days.

This current eruption is the second longest of the seven that have occurred in the Fagradalsfjall region over the last three years, surpassed only by the six-month-long eruption in 2021. The northern lights, created when energized particles from the sun collide with Earth's upper atmosphere at speeds of up to 45 million mph, are redirected by the planet's magnetic field towards the poles, resulting in the dramatic atmospheric display.

Why this matters: The recent volcanic activity in Iceland's Reykjanes Peninsula marks a significant shift in the region's seismic activity, which had been dormant for 800 years prior to the recent eruptions. Experts believe that these events signal the beginning of a new era of volcanic activity in the area, potentially impacting the lives of nearby residents and the country's infrastructure.

The Sundhnukagigar volcano, situated about 30 miles southwest of Iceland's capital, Reykjavik, has been erupting for approximately four weeks, releasing an estimated 3.6 cubic meters of lava per second. While the eruptions have caused multiple evacuations and some infrastructure damage, they have largely spared critical facilities. The eruption was preceded by increased magma movement and ground inflation in the nearby Svartsengi area, home to a geothermal plant that provides electricity and water to 30,000 people.

As the volcanic activity continues, authorities remain vigilant in monitoring the situation and ensuring the safety of the local population. "We are closely observing the eruption and its potential impact on the surrounding areas," stated a spokesperson for the Icelandic Meteorological Office. The time-lapse video serves as a stunning reminder of the raw power and beauty of nature, as well as the challenges faced by those living in close proximity to active volcanic regions.

Key Takeaways

  • Time-lapse video captures aurora borealis over erupting volcano in Iceland.
  • Volcano in Fagradalsfjall region has erupted 4 times since Dec 2023, flowing lava.
  • Current eruption is 2nd longest of 7 in the region over last 3 years.
  • Volcanic activity signals a new era of eruptions in the Reykjanes Peninsula.
  • Authorities monitor the eruption to ensure safety of nearby residents.