Volcanic landscape

Volcanic landscape

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Credit: TONY CRADDOCK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Volcanic landscape. Moss and lichen on volcanic rocks on the island of Lanzarote. The island is volcanic in origin, with volcanic cones seen on the horizon amid barren but beautiful landscapes of volcanic rock. There are some 300 extinct volcanoes on the 60-kilometre-long island. Because there is little rain, and hence little erosion by water, the landscape is mostly unchanged since the volcanic eruptions (most recently in the 18th and 19th centuries). These mosses and lichens are the early part of the process of forming soil from the rocks. Lanzarote, part of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, is 110 kilometres off the coast of North Africa.

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