Fire and Ice: Images of Volcano-Ice Encounters

Hot rock, meet your match

Tolbachik eruption

(Image credit: Ben Edwards)

Researchers are studying how lava changes when it flows on, under and next to snow and ice. The different patterns can be used to hunt for now-disappeared glaciers from past ice ages.

Steamy sight

Veniaminof volcano

(Image credit: Ben Edwards)

Lava and ice at Veniaminof volcano in Alaska, Aug. 2013.

Weird volcano

Tuya Butte

(Image credit: Ben Edwards)

Tuya Butte, the volcano in northern British Columbia that is the source of the term tuya — a volcano that erupted under ice.

Ice dam

Hoodoo Mountain

(Image credit: Ben Edwards)

Lava flows at Canada's Hoodoo Mountains dammed behind a glacier, now disappeared.

Cascades tuya

Hayrick Butte

(Image credit: Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program)

Hayrick Butte in northern Oregon is an example of a tuya in the United States.

Stand back!

lava-ice test

(Image credit: Ben Edwards)

At Syracuse University in New York, scientists are simulating their own lava-ice interactions.

Tunnel of lava

Tunnel of lava

(Image credit: Dave McGarvie)

Imagine a lava flow creeping slowly through a circular tunnel melted into the ice. Cool down the lava flow, then remove the ice. The sinuous shape of the lava flow shows that it was confined by ice.

Iceland glacier-volcano

table mountain

(Image credit: Dave McGarvie)

A table mountain in Iceland, the local term for a volcano that erupted under ice.

Antarctica's fiery past

Antarctica volcano

(Image credit: NASA astronaut image)

View across northwestern James Ross Island, a subglacially-erupted volcano in Antarctica.



(Image credit: John Smellie)

Close-up of the glassy lava breccia called hyaloclastite formed when lava flows into water and explodes into fragments.

Where water once flowed

James Ross Island

(Image credit: Ian Skilling)

A lava-fed delta on James Ross Island in Antarctica. The horizontal surface separating the layers marks the former water level.

Becky Oskin
Contributing Writer
Becky Oskin covers Earth science, climate change and space, as well as general science topics. Becky was a science reporter at Live Science and The Pasadena Star-News; she has freelanced for New Scientist and the American Institute of Physics. She earned a master's degree in geology from Caltech, a bachelor's degree from Washington State University, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz.