Volcanoes my love

Volcanoes my love

Half a century ago, a little girl went with her parents and another distant and closer family on a trip to the Grodno Castle, located at the junction of the Owl Mountains and the Wałbrzych Mountains. Someone from the adults, maybe it was the father, I don’t remember exactly, said that we were just walking on the volcano.

The child I was then twitched its ears …
– What if it explodes? Which way will it explode? But it would be like it exploded!
“It won’t explode,” the adults said. This is an inactive volcano.
What a pity, I thought.

In a little later time, when my children were small and I was working full-time, we practiced “close-home” tourism with my family – I know the Karkonosze in quite detail – both on the Polish and Czech side. These mountains were formed during the so-called Variscan (otherwise known as Hercynian) orogeny. In the Late Devonian and Carboniferous (approx. 400 to 330 million years ago), a series of orogenic movements took place that covered the area stretching between Portugal and Poland. It was then that the Kaczawskie Mountains, now known as the “Land of Extinct Volcanoes”, were established.

Ostrzyca Proboszczowicka, also known as the Silesian Fujijama, rises there. It is not high, it is only 501 m above sea level. You can climb to the top along the yellow trail, the final part of which is a staircase made of basanite – an exuberant igneous rock, which is an olivine type of tephrite. The ostrich has a characteristic shape, similar to Mount Fuji, and therefore it is compared to this stratovolcano. Stratovolcano cones are made of pyroclastic rocks, i.e. material ejected from the inside of the volcano (these are boulders, stones, volcanic bombs, crushed lava, pumice, scoria, volcanic ash and ash).

One of the more famous Icelandic stratovolcanoes is Eldfell, located on the island Heimaey (Vestmannaeyjar archipelago).
Ostrzyca Proboszczowicka equals the name of the famous Eyjafjallajökull, but try asking Icelanders to repeat it – they have no chance.

Many of my friends have traveled to various regions of the world, for example to South America, and some of them had the opportunity to climb Cotopaxi in Ecuador – one of the highest active volcanoes in the world, which, incidentally, also belongs to the stratovolcanoes with a characteristic conical shape.
Let me put it this way, I was twisted with jealousy … I asked rhetorically my husband, a “gloomy bastard”, would I ever climb any active volcano?
Until I came to Iceland. Now the husband says: “consider if you will ever climb a mountain that is not a volcano again …”.

One of the consequences of living in Iceland has become a cycle “Volcanic Alphabet” – the first article in this series will be published in IcelandNews “A for Askja”.

Monika Szewczuk

Source: Yle




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