Six landscapes shaped by volcanoes
Monday, April 14, 2014, 7:17 PM
Much of the world's landscape has been shaped by volcanoes in one way or another, with numerous mountains, craters, hot springs and lakes serving as a reminder of the sheer power of an eruption.
Every once in a while, a volcano will create a landscape unlike anything else on the planet.
Here are six examples, in no particular order.
1. Giant's Causeway-- Northern Ireland
The Giant's Causeway is a region containing about 40,000 interlocking columns. Located on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland, this spectacular stretch of land is the result of an ancient volcanic eruption.
It was declared a world heritage site in 1986, and a National Nature Reserve a few months later.
Readers of the British publication Radio Times declared it to be the fourth-greatest natural wonder of the UK in a 2005 survey.
2.Diamond Head -- Hawaii
This famous volcanic tuff cone on the island of Oahu was given the name "Diamond Head" by British sailors in the 19th century upon mistaking the calcite crystals found in the rock for diamonds.
Locals call this phenomenon Le'ahi, with 'Lae' meaning 'brownridge' and 'ahi' translating to 'tuna', a reference to the ridge line which is reminiscent of a tuna's dorsal fin.
3. Rocas Bainbridge -- Ecuador
This incredible image was snapped off the southeastern coast of Santiago Island, Galapagos.
It represents just one in a chain of volcanic cones. The Turquoise centre is a shallow saltwater lake that is a hot spot for flamingos.
4. Kerið -- Iceland
Photo courtesy: Wikipedia
Kerið is a popular tourist destination in southern Iceland, and it's just one of many crater lakes in the area.
This one, however, stands out because its caldera -- or crater -- remains in tact. Surrounded by red volcanic rock, Kerið is relatively young at about 3,000 years old.
That's roughly half the age of other volcanic landscapes in the area.
5. Svartifoss -- Iceland
Photo courtesy: Wikipedia
Speaking of Iceland, take a look at this incredible waterfall in Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland.
Also referred to as Black Falls, these incredible basalt columns were the inspiration behind the Hallgrímskirkja church in Reykjavík as well as the country's National Theatre.
6. Champagne Pool -- New Zealand
The name of this hot spring was derived from a high concentration of carbon dioxide that create bubbles similar to what you'd see in a glass of bubbly.
Scientists believe it was formed about 900 years ago following an eruption, leaving behind a crater about 65 metres in diametre.
The orange ring around the hot spring comes from arsenic and antimony sulphide deposits.