Iceland Volcano Creates 27-Story "Mountain"
But fan-favorite lava fountains sputtering, experts say.
The 2,192°F (1,200°C) jets of lava and gas haven't been without their charms, scientific and otherwise. "Especially in the twilight, everything starts to glow, and it's spectacularly beautiful," said Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson of the University of Iceland's Institute of Earth Sciences. (See pictures of the Iceland volcano erupting.)
Because a glacier covers Eyjafjallajökull (pronounced AY-uh-full-ay-ho-kul), the eruption at first sparked fears of flooding, and Icelandic authorities evacuated about 600 people in the area. But the residents soon returned when scientists realized the active vents were in a 1.2-mile-wide (2-kilometer-wide) ice-free strip.
In fact, in some places the ribbons of orange lava flowing downslope—called lavafalls (see picture)—have become major tourist attractions, Guðmundsson added.