Lava-Cooling Operations During the 1973 Eruption of Eldfell Volcano,
Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland
U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 97-724

Figure 6.

Vertical aerial photograph taken on 6 April 1973, when lava cooling was at its maximum. (see fig. 3 for reference to place-names in the town of Vestmannaeyjar and environs.) In the lower left part of the photograph, the pipe from the Sandey cooling operation can be seen extending across the lava flow at the wharf. Water-flow measurements wee completed at this location as well as at the Sandey operations in the town of Vestmannaeyjar. Most pumps are on the Básaskersbrygga [Básasker Wharf] in the lower right of the photograph, and, from there, the water pipe runs through the town up onto the lava. The primary pipe is located near Sólhíð ( a street north of the new hospital), where it extends up onto the lava. This was where the main cooling went on at this time, and from there the water spread over the lava flow near the road to the harbor. The clouds of steam give an idea of the rate of cooling. From the north, the lava flow is situated at the commercial buildings of Hráðfrystistöð Vestmannaeyja, the Fiskiðjan hf., and Ísfélag Vestmannaeyja hf. At the terminus of the lava, fire hoses can be seen in various positions. Farthest to the east, the Vestmannaeyjar barge is pumping water; other pumps are at Nausthamarsbryggja [Nausthamar Wharf], and farthest to the west, the water comes from the pump on Básaskersbrygga. There the generation of stream is beginning to diminish, and water is seen flowing out of the lava or down across it. Close to the center of the photography, a house is standing at Bakkastígur [Bakka Street] in a narrow valley between the lava flows that overran the town and an older lava flow that was pushed up onto the old shore. South of the house is the high lava margin, where the water was pumped for 24 hours, the creep of the lava flow was somewhat delayed. When the lava flow resumed moving from this are, it did so at a faster rate. North of the house, the new lava was never subjected to cooling, and there the lava margin is low and evenly inclined.