Nyiragongo volcano (DRCongo), Jan 2011: lava surface patterns

Spin web shapes of the surface of the lava lake at night. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Spin web shapes of the surface of the lava lake at night. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The crust is so thin it is easily torn apart. At such "rift zones", the exposed hot interior of the lake quickly cools to form a new plate. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The crust is so thin it is easily torn apart. At such "rift zones", the exposed hot interior of the ... [info]
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An isolated fountain breaks the sub-concentric arrangements of small plates on the lava lake crust. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
An isolated fountain breaks the sub-concentric arrangements of small plates on the lava lake crust. ... [info]
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A fissure-like fountain cuts through the crust of the lava lake. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A fissure-like fountain cuts through the crust of the lava lake. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The center of the lava lake often contains one or several plates, from which cracks seem to radiate. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The center of the lava lake often contains one or several plates, from which cracks seem to radiate.... [info]
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The lava lake's crust seen at night. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The lava lake's crust seen at night. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Numerous small fountains on the lake, reminding of scattered campfires... (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Numerous small fountains on the lake, reminding of scattered campfires... (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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The surface of the lake is split into ever changing plates that drift along driven bz internal convection. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The surface of the lake is split into ever changing plates that drift along driven bz internal conve... [info]
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Slightly larger plates form sometimes when an area of the lake hasn't been upset by fountains for a while. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Slightly larger plates form sometimes when an area of the lake hasn't been upset by fountains for a ... [info]
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Volcanic gas obscuring the view of the surface of the lava lake. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Volcanic gas obscuring the view of the surface of the lava lake. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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Opposite to what one expects intuitively, the plates are drawn TOWARDS the fountains, not away from them. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Opposite to what one expects intuitively, the plates are drawn TOWARDS the fountains, not away from ... [info]
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The fountains on the lava lake are caused by degassing, the release of hot gasses that rise from the magma chambers. The gasses are the main engine of the lake, providing just the right amount of heat energy to keep the lake stable and liquid. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The fountains on the lava lake are caused by degassing, the release of hot gasses that rise from the... [info]
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Small amounts of volcanic gas, visible as bluish sulphur dioxide, escape from the "plate boundaries". (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
Small amounts of volcanic gas, visible as bluish sulphur dioxide, escape from the "plate boundaries"... [info]
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The shapes of the plates on the lake are in constant evolution, a fantastic spectacle to watch for hours! (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
The shapes of the plates on the lake are in constant evolution, a fantastic spectacle to watch for h... [info]
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At night, the lava lake reminds of abstract drawings. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
At night, the lava lake reminds of abstract drawings. (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer) [info]
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A "spider web" has formed in the left part of the lake... what is it hoping to catch? (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer)
A "spider web" has formed in the left part of the lake... what is it hoping to catch? (Photo: Tom Pf... [info]
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