Lava flow, Iceland

Lava flow, Iceland

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Credit: ASHLEY COOPER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: On 23 January 1973 a 2 km long fissure opened up spewing out lava forming a new volcano, Eldfell. The lava flow threatened Heimaey town, on Heimaey in the Westmand Islands off Iceland's south coast. The lava and ash buried and destroyed one third of the town and threatened the harbour, the life line for the islands. The whole island was evacuated. A novel technique of pumping sea water onto the lava front, solidified the flowing mass and diverted the lava flow away from the harbour. When the eruption ceased in June, Heimaey was 2km bigger. This shot shows the last house to survive as the lava flow halted.

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Keywords: 1973, ash, eldfell, fissure, fissure eruption, harbour, heat, heimaey, heimaey town, helgafell, island, islands, lava, lava field, lava flow, lucky, magma, plate tectonics, survivor, tectonics, threat, town, vestmannaeyjar, volcanic, volcanic ash, volcanic cone, volcanic eruption, volcanicityeruption, volcano, vulcanicity, westman, westman islands

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