DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lava landscape. Hills and valleys created by rapid erosion of recently deposited soft rhyolitic lava. Rhyolite is a type of extrusive rock formed from shallow magma (molten rock) that emerges from the Earth's crust during volcanic activity. Rhyolite is rich in silica, aluminium, potash and feldspar. Also seen is a recent outpouring of obsidian (volcanic glass, black, centre to lower right), which is rich in silica. Photographed in Landmannalaugar, Iceland. The intense volcanic activity in this region is the consequence of the island's location on the boundary between the European and North American tectonic plates.
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