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First Descent Into a Magma Chamber: Volcano Pictures

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posted on Apr, 11 2011 @ 05:41 AM

Into the Abyss

During the first ever scientific expedition into a volcanic magma chamber, climber Einar Stefánsson rappels into Iceland's dormant Thrihnukagigur volcano in October. Magma chambers supply the molten rock that oozes or bursts onto Earth's surface during an eruption. Thrihnukagigur, which last erupted about 3,000 years ago, contains only ancient magma—though the volcano could come back to life at anytime, experts say.

"Thrihnukagigur is unique. … It's like somebody came and pulled the plug and all the magma ran down out of it," said volcanologist Haraldur Sigurdsson. Thrihnukagigur is located about a hundred miles (160 kilometers) from Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano, which blew last April and grounded airplanes for several days with its ash clouds. While people have ventured inside the relatively shallow volcanic craters located close to Earth's surface, the 2010 expedition was the first to explore a volcano's deeper chambers.

Hanging Out

Climber Björn Ólafsson descends into the 45-story magma chamber inside Iceland's Thrihnukagigur volcano in fall 2010.

Sigurdsson (left) examines rock from inside Thrihnukagigur volcano's magma chamber with team member Freysteinn Sigmundsson, a volcanologist at the University of Iceland.

"Everywhere inside the chamber, you had a plastering of magma on the walls," Sigurdsson said. "It looked like a beautiful plaster of Paris, and, in places that peeled off, you could see the geological makeup of the volcano underneath."

"We knew from geophysical tools what the plumbing system inside of a volcano looked like, but we only knew it in the crudest way,"
James Quick, a volcanologist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas

Lava Tube

A magma shaft—an offshoot of the much larger magma chamber—inside Iceland's Thrihnukagigur volcano in autumn 2010.

The magma chamber itself is bottle shaped, Sigurdsson said. The bottom half is about a hundred feet (30 meters) across, while the "neck" that connects to the surface is only about 10 feet (3 meters) wide. The entire chamber is about 450 feet (137 meters), from top to bottom. Branching off from the main "bottle" are various veinlike vertical chutes and horizontal channels where magma once flowed.

Source: _34287_600x450.jpg

All part of something like this at one time, and maybe again someday...

I mean, COME ON!!!! How much better does it get-in that field of study-to be doing this?

Absoultely fascinating stuff. Look at the walls. I think they tell so much.. but I just don't know what exactly. I never studied Lava and anything related. Those folks had a field day for sure.

I love the pic of the Lave Tube. And, as noted, that is just an off-shoot of the main one... which, now I'll have to watch the special episode to see if they put a picture/video of the main one up. I couldn't find a related video for this particular story so....

Anyway, I think they could turn this event into a nice tourist destination/park etc. I would pay to go there and do that. You?

If you liked the last pic, you might want to check out this thread of mine that is the first one that got me going on Volcanos. I promise you, you won't be disappointed:

**Volcano Lightning Electrifies Japan Eruption

I hope you enjoy this as much as I.

edit on 4/11/2011 by anon72 because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 11 2011 @ 06:34 AM
reply to post by anon72

Wow, thats pretty awesome.

Seems like we're finding out more and more about this big rock we live on. Like the discovery of the Crystal Caves. Im hoping soon that we start to explore more of our oceans depths. Only one can imagine what ruins are left.

Stuff like this, get overlooked, too often. Everyone seems to be lost in debate, on the hunt for the truth, and basically blind to the beauty.

Thanks for the thread.

posted on Apr, 11 2011 @ 06:42 AM
How beautiful! It will never cease to amaze me how alive our planet is. Thank you for sharing this!

posted on Apr, 11 2011 @ 06:59 AM
While it certainly looks neat, and I love learning about and looking at stuff like this, I would be kind of freaked out to actually go in there. It's about as close as you can get to hell on earth. Well, besides Japan.

posted on Apr, 11 2011 @ 07:22 AM
Wow thanks anon72 thats really fascinating to see those pictures. This is why I love ATS, sometimes is space, sometimes geology, technology, but whatever it is every day I find or get shown something spectacularly interesting on here

posted on Apr, 11 2011 @ 07:31 AM
If I had been 'climbing' down there then all i would have been thinking about is........

''hmm , is that a rumble? did I just smell sulpher?, it's getting kinda hot down here ?, Do i have personal insurance?

Amazing pictures.......


posted on Apr, 11 2011 @ 08:23 AM
reply to post by clintdelicious

I couldn't agree with you more.

I started off on Ufo's/Aliens etc and expanded so much from there.

I find myself enjoying Space and Fragile Earth more than anything else-currently.

Man, if we are the first/only smart beings in this universe, what a shame. But, we do have our work cut out for us and for those in the future by studing these types of things.

I am sure these enviormental conditions exist on distance planets/moons and we need to be able to know about the basics of such things before we get there.

posted on Apr, 11 2011 @ 10:31 AM
reply to post by Oozii

Everyone seems to be lost in debate, on the hunt for the truth, and basically blind to the beauty

Man, I love this sentence. And how true.

I was like that, lost in debate... but now I focus more on the beauty and wonderment of things.

posted on Apr, 11 2011 @ 12:41 PM
I really wish folks would put their thoughts down about the pics.

You must be thinking something....

Of course, I can understand you being taken away by the sheer beauty and wonderment of it.

No ATSer that is a certified Vocano person...?

posted on Apr, 11 2011 @ 01:19 PM
This reminds me of the x-files episode with the first people to explore a magma chamber.
They discovered some kind of ancient fungus that uses people as hosts.

There was also a similar Dr Who episode (except they are in space). They visit a mining / experimental energy colony in a volcanic planetary body. What they wake up is the devil himself.

posted on Apr, 11 2011 @ 02:31 PM
The National Geographic channel program on Iceland's volcanos, which featured these Icelandic scientists' descent into the magma chamber was very interesting and while the April NatGeo has an article on it, the video is even more interesting. One thing they mentioned was that they could feel small tremors almost all the time and that it was a bit unnerving. Great photos!

posted on Apr, 11 2011 @ 03:45 PM
It's easy to see why old tribes created a lot of superstition around volcanoes.

posted on Apr, 11 2011 @ 03:58 PM
reply to post by anon72

Really cool post - and I agree, the walls look incredible and probably contain a lot of information, that is if you're a geologist

Awesome that spaces and tunnels like this are carved out naturally. Just forces of nature at work
edit on 11-4-2011 by Hawking because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 11 2011 @ 04:05 PM
ooohhh Julius Verne would be so proud!!!

Very nice expedition!

posted on Apr, 11 2011 @ 05:18 PM
reply to post by anon72

Yet another beautiful set of images that display the wonders of our universe.

Thank you!

posted on Apr, 11 2011 @ 05:37 PM
That's some dangerous research. Couldn't there have been any deadly gasses down at that depth? I know it dormant, but I would think there could have been some trapped deadly gasses.

posted on Apr, 11 2011 @ 06:34 PM
reply to post by anon72

Go to Kona the big Island of Hawaii and visit the Volcano National Park. You would love it, Casual walks on very recent lava flows and benches with hot lava running under you that you can see and feel. Trek through old lava tubes. See just how f**cking massive the Kilauea caldera is as you stand on the edge of it. Make sure you go during the day and stay till dark to catch the show.

posted on Apr, 11 2011 @ 08:07 PM
Thanks for this post..very fascinating to see the inside of the tunnels and the lava tube. I have often wondered what the inside of the lave tube would look like, and now I know. S&F

posted on Apr, 11 2011 @ 08:21 PM
Absolutely stunning.

I had been looking into deep caves and other under earth formations looking for any clues for a silly theory. When I really stopped and looked at the photographs, at the beauty.

It makes you stop and hold your breath for a second and understand that there is so much beauty below our feet and hidden underground that most of us let slip by our knowledge. And one can't help but wonder what else there is that we're missing sitting in our cubicles every day.

posted on Apr, 11 2011 @ 09:01 PM
thats crazy! makes you think u dont take enough risks with ur life

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