I’ve had a long passion for living volcanoes. It began when I shot at Mt St Helen a few years after it erupted and saw it smoking. It was the first time I’d seen a live volcano. Since then I’ve made a point of seeing them, often on the Big Island (Hawaii). Sometimes I’ve seen lava flowing into the sea, or walked on lava that has small streams of brilliant liquid flowing. (Not smart but amazing.) I’ve shot through an open window in a small plane hovering the crater at Mt. St. Helen. It was magic – I loved it.
So, when I saw these stunning volcano photographs I had to post them. They’re from 2012: The Year in Volcanic Activity from Focus in the Atlantic Monthly.
Out of an estimated 1,500 active volcanoes around the world, 50 or so erupt every year, spewing steam, ash, toxic gases, and lava. In 2012, active volcanoes included Guatemala’s Volcan de Fuego, New Zealand’s Tongariro, Russia’s Plosky Tolbachik, Chile’s Puyehue, Italy’s Etna, and a new island appearing in the Red Sea. In Hawaii, Kilauea continues to send lava flowing toward the sea, and locals living near Mexico’s Popocatepetl continued to deal with ashfalls.
Mount Etna spews volcanic ash during an eruption on the southern Italian island of Sicily, on April 1, 2012. Mount Etna is Europe’s tallest and most active volcano. (Reuters/Antonio Parrinello)
Big clouds of ash and steam are spewed from the Popocatepetl Volcano as seen from the Santiago Xalitxintla, in the Mexican central state of Puebla, on April 25, 2012. Residents at the foot of Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano no longer sleep soundly since the towering mountain roared back into action, spewing out a hail of rocks, steam and ash. The volcano, Mexico’s second highest peak at 5,452 meters, started rumbling and spurting high clouds of ash and steam on April 13, provoking the authorities to raise the alert to level five on a seven-point scale. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images)
Incandescent lines mark the boundaries between migrating crustal plates on the surface of the lava lake in Kīlauea’s Halema’uma’u crater, on the Big Island of Hawaii, on October 22, 2012. Here, and at other lava lakes across the world, these rifting zones have a characteristic zigzag pattern. (David Dow/USGS)
There are a number of varied magnificent photos in the slide show linked above. They make me want to see volcanoes everywhere. Check them all out.