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Underground Lava River Seen in Thermal Image

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Underground Lava River Seen in Thermal Image

Thermal image showing underground lava river.

Photo: The University of Iceland’s Earth Sciences Institute/Facebook.

A new thermal image of the Holuhraun eruption site, shot from the air, reveals a glowing underground lava river. The river originates in the crater, flows under solidified lava to the northeast and extends 14 km (8 miles) to the edge of the new lava field.

The image was posted on the Facebook page of the University of Iceland’s Earth Sciences Institute this morning.

When the outlines of the new lava field and the road (dotted line) are drawn onto the image, it can be seen that a large part of the lava field’s northern edge, close to the road, is active.

The lava field now measures 79.8 square km (30.8 square miles). As reported, it’s already larger than the entire Reykjavík metropolitan area and is approaching Iceland’s largest lake, Þórisvatn, in size, which is 83 square km. It’s the largest lava flow in Iceland—and the world—in 230 years.

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