Global Volcanism Program | Image GVP-05155
Two scientists of the Nordic Volcanological Institute were preforming monitoring measurements on March 16, 1980, when deflation started and an eruption broke out. They sped toward the eruption to document its beginning. A few minutes after this photo was taken, a lava flow advanced toward them at high velocities. Because they were on snowmobiles they were able to escape the flow, which was traveling too fast to outrun. The March eruption, the first of four 1980 eruptive phases, lasted only six hours.
Photo courtesy of Gudmundar Sigvaldason, 1980 (Nordic Volcanological Institute, Reykjavík).