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Published on Aug 15, 2011
A steam vent that was opened by "accident" during drilling at Krafla power station. They knew a magma chamber was down there. They had a drill rig that should theoretically reach it so being Icelanders...
The cone is rocks heaped up to try to baffle the sound and to allow the steam to cool a little before it hit the air. The vapour is mostly water with some hydrogen sulfide (rotten eggs) sulfur dioxide and CO2. Apparently the live steam is at ~300C and before the rocks were piled was jetting about 15ft into the air before it started to condense and become visible - hence the rocks. For scale, the two squarish objects either side of the cone are standard shipping containers.
The sound was deafening - like standing next to a jet plane running its engines before takeoff. I stopped where I did because I couldn't get closer without being in pain - you might notice a little camera shake!
It carried on all night before calming down enough to be capped off and plumbed into the geothermal power network.