Leirhnjúkur crater row in Krafla caldera
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Panoramic photo by Jakub Hruska EXPERT Taken 20:55, 06/07/2008 - Views loading...

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Leirhnjúkur crater row in Krafla caldera

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The Leirhnjúkur area is a central volcano in Krafla caldera. One hundred thousand years ago, there was a volcanic cone here that caved in after erupting. The caldera thus formed is now filled with younger volcanic material. Below at a depth of about 3 km, however, is a magma chamber. Volcanic activity in the area occurs at intervals of several centuries.

The Mývatnseldar eruptions (the “Mývatn fires”) in 1724 began with a great volcanic explosion which formed the crater Stóra - Víti. In the following years, a series of earthquakes and eruptions occurred in the vicinity of Mt. Krafla. The greatest eruption took place in 1729, when lava flowed from Leirhnjúkur down to Mývatn lake. Eldhraun, the lava field formed during the eruptions. A new series of eruptions (the "Krafla-fires") began in Krafla in 1975, after anintermission of about 250 years. In the following nine years, nine eruptions occurred.

With a good eyes you can see the last fissure from which lava poured out. It is dotted with small fractures from which steam rises to the sky. Best view is from rim of a small crater near the walking path though it is prohibited to climb on it.

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A: Inside The Krafla Caldera Crater from 1984

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This panorama was taken in Iceland, Europe

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Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.

The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.

Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".

Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.

Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights.

In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. 

Text by Steve Smith.

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