Dramatic Iceland Eruption Photos Show Lava Spreading Across Pristine Snow

Lava flows across snow-covered ground in southwestern Iceland.
Photo: Marco Di Marco (AP)

Southwestern Iceland has been a world transformed over the last few months, as initial tremors gave way to a full-throated volcanic eruption. The fishing village of Grindavík was evacuated in November, along with popular tourist destinations like the country’s Blue Lagoon, as residents held their breath for a potential eruption.

And lo, a little later than expected, in December 2023, a large crack in the ground made by the initial quakes began to spew molten rock, captured in some remarkable photos. Another eruption happened last month, and now, a resurgence in volcanic activity forced lava across the snow-covered landscape in southwestern Iceland. The recent eruption—the third in as many months—started around 6 a.m. local time Thursday.

“The power of the eruption has decreased. Now it is erupting mainly in three places on the crater that opened this morning,” Iceland’s meteorological office reported at 2 p.m. local time. “This is not unlike what was seen in the December 18 eruption, when the activity shifted to individual craters a few hours after eruption.”

The lava flows and cooled rock from the recent activity have blanketed swaths of the region, as you’ll see in the following photos.

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