The Icelandic Cauldron

At this point most people know that a volcano erupted in Iceland spewing forth tons of ash that have grounded countless flights. What is less known is the intense thermal emissions (at least 60 megawatts, or 60 million watts) emanating from the vent at the base of the massive plume. This is just the energy released by heat into the atmosphere. This thermal emission, equivalent to the energy consumption of 60,000 homes, represents only a small proportion of the total energy being released by the volcano as its molten lava interacts violently with ice and water.

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