Woolly Fringe-moss Over Iceland's Lava

November 03, 2014

Kupersmith moss covered lava flow

Photographer: John Kupersmith; John's Web site
Summary Authors: John Kupersmith; Jackie Phillips

Kupersmith-moss-covered-lavWoolly Fringe-moss (Racomitrium lanuginosum) covers extensive areas of the largest lava flow in recorded history, the Skaftareldahraun lava flow in southern Iceland. The flow covers approximately 232 sq mi (600 sq km) with the moss as thick as 1.6 ft (0.5 m) in some places (left). The lava flow was created during the Laki eruption of 1783. This fissure eruption lasted 8 months and resulted in a drop in global temperatures that lead to massive crop loss and famine throughout the world, but especially in the Northern Hemisphere, making this perhaps the deadliest eruption in historical times. Photo taken on May 8, 2014.

Photo Details: Camera Maker: SONY; Camera Model: DSC-RX10; Lens: 8.8-73.3 mm f/2.8; Focal Length: 21.94mm (35mm equivalent: 60mm); Aperture: f/5.6; Exposure Time: 0.0063 s (1/160); ISO equiv: 125; Software: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.4 (Macintosh).