Stamps Printed with Volcanic Ash Issued in Iceland

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Stamps Printed with Volcanic Ash Issued in Iceland

The Iceland Post company issued three special types of stamps today dedicated to the volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajökull earlier this year.

The eruption on Fimmvörduháls. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

The stamps are made with a conventional offset print at the Dutch printery Joh. Enschedé but later silk-printed with a fine trachyandesitic ash which fell below the Eyjafjöll mountain range on April 17, 2010, visir.is reports.

Trachyandesitie is magma with a 60 percent silicon content and was more than 1,100°C (2,012°F) hot when it came in contact with the glacier, an announcement from Iceland Post explains.

The volcanic eruption began in Eyjafjallajökull shortly before midnight on March 20, 2010. In the first stage of the eruption, magma surfaced on the Fimmvörduháls mountain range. It was rather small and seemed to end on April 12.

However, approximately 24 hours later, on the night before April 14, the eruption resumed and then magma surfaced in the southwestern peak crater of Eyjafjallajökull glacier. The next morning volcanic clouds were seen stretching 30 kilometers to the south.

Volcanic ash was carried all over Europe and caused extensive disturbances to air traffic for a few days, the most significant since the end of World War II. It is considered that in the latter stage of the eruption, 250 million cubic meters of ash were emitted.

Ash fall caused problems for farmers in south Iceland and during the first days of the eruptions, hundreds of families were evacuated temporarily.

On May 21, the volcanic activity decreased significantly and the volcano has been quiet since, although the eruption has yet to officially be declared over.

The stamps were designed by Borgar Hjörleifur Árnason and Hany Hadaya at H2 design. The photographs are by Óskar Ragnarsson (Fimmvörduháls) and Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson (Eyjafjallajökull, two pictures).

Click here to read more eruption-related news and here to see the stamps.