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Volcanoes Produce Lightning

Flickr user skarpi has a series of photographs documenting the phenomenon of volcano triggered lightning at the site of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption.

From Wikipedia:

When the higher levels of the atmosphere are cooler, and the surface is warmed to extreme temperatures due to a wildfire, volcano, etc, convection will occur, and the convection produces lightning…

There are three types of volcanic lightning:

  • Extremely large volcanic eruptions, which eject gases and material high into the atmosphere, can trigger lightning. This phenomenon was documented by Pliny The Elder during the AD79 eruption of Vesuvius, in which he perished.
  • An intermediate type which comes from a volcano’s vents, sometimes 1.8 mi-

Oh, there’s only so long we can keep the scientific veneer.  Check out these pictures, they are amazing!

Higher rez versions can be found at skarpi’s Flickr stream, as well as other gorgeous volcano shots, though the rest are not of Eyjafjallajökull.

(via Reddit.)

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