Stunning Photos of Volcano Lightning from Iceland

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 1:45 AM Bookmark and Share
While the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland continues to belch ash into the atmosphere and cripple air travel, it's also putting on quite a stunning light show. Follow the links below to see more images of  lightening ripping through the clouds of ash above Iceland.

"Photograph by Peter Vancoillie... A blast of white-hot lightning crackles over Iceland's 
Eyjafjallajökull volcano on Sunday" 18 April 2010 [Source: National Geographic].

Photograph by Marco Fulle, Barcroft/Fame Pictures [Source: National Geographic]

Such phenomena aren't anything incredibly new, however (nor are they all that surprising when you think about how much material and energy are getting pumped up into the atmosphere).  Still, these events can lead to new discoveries. For another cool example, here's a shot taken in 2008 of an eruption in Chile.

Chilean volcano with lightening ca. 2008.

Links to Other Images:


Posted by: helen | 4/21/2010 2:38 AM

Why is there lightning in the volcano's ash cloud?

Posted by: Paul | 4/21/2010 10:54 AM

While it appears the details are still up for debate, it seems the particulate matter could pick up a charge and subsequent separation of particles could set up enough potential to cause (at least short) lightening bolts.

I'm speculating here, but I'd imagine it would also be at least in part caused by the same processes that produce lightening in large thunderheads. More of those details can be found in this article from Mother Nature Network.

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