Pseudocraters at Stakholstjorn Lake, Iceland

July 06, 2012

Pseudocraters pano

Photographer: Rebecca Roush
Summary Author: Rebecca Roush

This photo was taken while on a walk around Stakholstjorn Lake in Iceland. The lake is circled by an easy footpath laced among the many Skutustadargigar pseudocraters. About 2,000 years ago, hot lava flowed over what was then swampy ground. The swamp water was pretty much vaporized instantly and the resulting steam blasted these holes in the covering rock. Pseudocraters are also called rootless cones because they have no direct connection with any magma chambers, nor do they vent lava. The divergent boundary of the North American and European continental tectonic plates runs through this part of Iceland making the region very volcanically active. Scientists were able to witness the formation of pseudocraters for the first time on March 25, 2010, during the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano. Other pseudocraters are near Lac Pavin, a crater lake in France, and on Mars. The latter may be evidence of water on the Red Planet. Photo taken September 9, 2011.

Photo Details: Camera: Canon PowerShot SD1300 IS; Focal Length: 5mm; Aperture: f/2.8; Exposure Time: 0.0031 s (1/320); ISO equiv: 80; Software: Gimp 2. Image is three photos stitched together with Hugin.