Gallery: Beautiful Images of Bardarbunga's Volcanic Eruption

Morning glow

Bardarbunga volcano

(Image credit: Tobba Ágústsdóttir/@fencingtobba)

Glowing lava pours steam into the air, where it catches the morning light. This photo shows the Aug. 29 eruption in the Holuhraun lava field north of Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland. Here are more beautiful images of the eruption.

The source

Bardarbunga volcano

(Image credit: Dave McGarvie, Open University)

Bardarbunga volcano viewed from Askja volcano 30 miles (50 km) to the northeast. The volcanic activity started Aug. 16, when thousands of small earthquakes underneath Bardarbunga signaled fresh magma (molten rock) was burrowing underground.

The rock trackers

Bardarbunga volcano map

(Image credit: University of Iceland)

Geologists tracked magma on the move from Bardarbunga to Holuhraun using earthquakes and GPS.

Quiet before the storm

Bardarbunga volcano

(Image credit: Tobias Dürig/University of Iceland)

The Holuhraun lava field is an older lava flow that erupted in 1797. As fresh magma neared the surface, new cracks opened in the surface and older fractures widened, as shown here.

The world watches

Bardarbunga volcano eruption

(Image credit: Mila)

Anyone with an Internet connection could watch the eruption live on one of several webcams pointed at the region.


Bardarbunga volcano eruption

(Image credit: Iceland Coast Guard/Almannavarnir)

The eruption lasted only four hours, but the lava was still steaming when scientists surveyed the area by plane.

Different view

Bardarbunga volcano eruption

(Image credit: Iceland Coast Guard/Almannavarnir)

This radar image of the Aug. 29 lava flow clearly shows the fresh rock.

Ash and steam

Bardarbunga volcano eruption

(Image credit: Iceland Coast Guard/Almannavarnir)

Fresh ash (the lighter layer) coats the ground in the top half of this image.

Hot and cold

Bardarbunga volcano

(Image credit: Ármann Höskuldsson/University of Iceland )

A glowing lava flow snapped by scientists monitoring the Holuhraun eruption.

Bigger every day

Bardarbunga volcano

(Image credit: Icelandic Met Office)

A map of the Holuhraun lava flow on Sept. 3.

Fiery fountains

Holuhraun eruption

(Image credit: Ármann Höskuldsson/University of Iceland)

Lava jets into the air from the new fissure.

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.