Skip to main content

Images: Grimsvotn Volcano Puts on Lightning Show

Grimsvotn Approach

Grimsvotn eruption, Iceland

(Image credit: Jóhann Ingi Jónsson)

Amateur photographer Jóhann Ingi Jónsson took a jeep tour to within about a half-mile (1 kilometer) of the erupting Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland. Read more about his experience.

Grimsvotn Lightning

Grimsvotn eruption, Iceland

(Image credit: Jóhann Ingi Jónsson)

Particles rubbing together in the eruption plume of Grimsvotn trigger lightning.

Lightning, Grimsvotn

Grimsvotn eruption, Iceland

(Image credit: Jóhann Ingi Jónsson)

Two lightning bolts flash within Grimsvotn's eruption plume

Ash and Steam

Grimsvotn eruption, Iceland

(Image credit: Jóhann Ingi Jónsson)

The ash cloud from the volcano mingles with steam from the surrounding melting glacier.

Grimsvotn Lightning Cloud

Grimsvotn eruption, Iceland

(Image credit: Jóhann Ingi Jónsson)

A lightning strike inside Grimsvotn's plume.

Grimsvotn Lightning

Grimsvotn eruption, Iceland

(Image credit: Jóhann Ingi Jónsson)

The experience of getting up close to an erupting Grimsvotn was "once in a lifetime," said photographer Jóhann Ingi Jónsson.

Pink Lightning

Grimsvotn eruption, Iceland

(Image credit: Jóhann Ingi Jónsson)

Lightning flashes purple and pink in this photo taken May 22 during Grimsvotn's eruption.

A view of Grimsvotn

Grimsvotn eruption, Iceland

(Image credit: Jóhann Ingi Jónsson)

Leaving Grimsvotn around 9 am May 22, Jóhann Ingi Jónsson caught a view of ash clouds over the glacier.

Grimsvotn Volcano

Grimsvotn eruption, Iceland

(Image credit: Jóhann Ingi Jónsson)

Iceland's Grimsvotn volcano erupts on May 22, 2011.

Ash and Snow

Grimsvotn eruption, Iceland

(Image credit: Jóhann Ingi Jónsson)

Ash mars snow in southern Iceland.

Getting closer ...

Grimsvotn volcano

(Image credit: Jóhann Ingi Jónsson.)

Photographer Jonsson drives toward the Grimsvotn volcano, getting closer to its enormous ash plume.