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See the first photos from inside the burnt out Holuhraun crater

By Staff

Scientists have entered for the first time into Holuhraun’s main crater, what used to be the home of a huge red-glowing lava lake throughout the six month-long eruption.

The eruption came to an end last Friday but due to extreme weather in the central highlands, scientists could not start examining the eruption site until late this week.

Conditions at the site remain extremely dangerous.  The new lava field is still emitting volcanic gases, including carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, an odourless, colourless gas that can kill you.

The images from inside the crater are striking. 

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Explorers Notice the blue smoke. Some volcanic gases are visable, others are not. Photo by Ármann Höskuldsson/Institute of Earth Sciences

 

The scientists working on site are from The Institute of Earth Sciences, and according to their status report (PDF), measurements show that the temperature is 550 to 600 decrees Celsius (1022-1112 F) in fissures in the crater. Indicating, according to volcanologist Ármann Höskuldsson, that there is flowing magma just 3 to 5 meters (10-16 ft) below the surface. 

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The fire within Thermal image from Holuhraun's big crater. One of the scientists can be seen in the bottom left corner. Photo by Ármann Höskuldsson/Institute of Earth Sciences

 

Read more: The eruption in Holuhraun is over

The Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) of The Icelandic Civil Protection is now reviewing the hazard assessment for the Holuhraun eruption site. SAB’s next meeting is on Tuesday, March 10th.

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