these are the posts tagged ‘volcanoes’:


volcanic pools!

are you tired of volcanic stuff yet? i promise, this is the last one for a while! :)

these are the natural pools in biscoitos, a funny-named town on the north side of terceira island. they’re volcanic in origin, but not heated by volcanic activity like hot pots. pools were formed as old lava flows cooled off when hitting the sea, the spaces between the rocks getting filled with seawater. add a few platforms and stairs, and now you can swim or sunbathe here.

the basalt rocks absorb a lot of heat actually, so standing next to them becomes hard on a sunny day, gently nudging you to take a dip. surprisingly, the ocean in azores is not that cold either, because of the north atlantic drift bringing all that tropical water north… so of course we had to dip our toes in it. it felt wonderful after all that hiking.

when your feet are fresh enough, grab a donete from a nearby stall and you’re all set for the next hike!

algar do carvão

and speaking of volcanoes, we went inside of one! well, sort of — it’s more like a “lava tube”, which is what happens when lava tries to escape not from the top of the volcano but from a lateral vent. the entrance through a low-ceiling tunnel was a bit claustrophobic for me… but well worth the discomfort as the interior was interesting!

you go down through a series of steps, marveling at the vegetation dripping with all the humidity of the overhead fogs…

deep down, a lake was formed with all the rainwater, which also creates white silica-rich stalactites. my photos are crap, but the boy shot this video which does a better job of showing the place:

and in the end, someone in our group even bought the cup:

i’ve been inside a volcano, it says — true story! :D

molten rock

having spent a couple of months going over daniela’s geology lessons in preparation for her national exams a few years ago, it all came rushing back to me in iceland. first, the black stones and sand that adorn residential gardens in reykjavik, and then later, out on the road.

the first lava field we drove by was a thrill of recognition, its spiky edges talking of semi-viscous, slow-moving a’a lava. then came the familiar slopes of old volcanos, the ropey waves of fluid pahoehoe lava, the neat geometrical columns formed by the quick cooling of basaltic lava…

all so familiar in theory, and yet, so foreign in practice.

volcanoes in iceland

volcanoes in iceland
volcanoes in iceland

volcanoes in iceland

volcanoes in iceland

volcanoes in iceland

volcanoes in iceland

in a different life, i think i could have been a geologist!