We have already shared several photos from the Nature’s Best Photography, Windland Smith Rice International Awards 2013, currently on show at the Smithsonian Institution, and the winner in the Power of Nature category was one of my favourite volcano snappers.
The photo shows where the lava from the ongoing eruption of Kilauea on the main island of Hawaii meets the Pacific Ocean in an explosion of steam and burning gobbets of molten rock as fire and water meet in their endless powerful encounters. As the flow entered the sea the water started to boil, producing these amazing vortices of steam shooting up above the surface, testifying to the mixing of energies below. Usually only one or two appear, so the seven in this photo represent a rare and amazing moment in geological history, though all future geologists will have to go on to understand it will be a mound of shattered glassy lava fragments, probably altered, and known as hyaloclastite.
Image credit: Bruce Omori/ Extreme Exposure Fine Art Gallery