Bright green moss has colonized a hill in the middle of Maelifellsandur, a black desert of lava and volcanic ash in Iceland. The hill is all what remains of a once active cinder cone, ground down by ice of the nearby retreating Maelifell glacier.


Bernhard Edmaier is an aerial photographer living in a small village in Germany, but his photography takes him to exquisite corners of the world, where his interest in natural phenoma thrives. There and beyond, he documents the colors and patterns of the Earth’s surface that are astounding, mind-blowing, and full of grandeur. All of the images below are paired with geologic explanations from his website — where you can see more photos.

(via butitdoesfloat)

There have been volcanoes in the Oregon area for 30 Million years ago, blasting huge amounts of ash into the sky. Winds and rivers carried the ash to where the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument now lies. This volcanic ash built up, layer after layer, continually burying the marshes and forests that flourished in the moist and warm tropical climate of the period. The heavy stroms that rain down here today carve gullies into the soft layers of ash and, over time, have created the striped landscape of Painted Hills. The yellow and red layers owe their colour to eroded volcanic materials, while the dark blurry flecks are the remains of dead vegetation.


Hot volcanic gases can corrode rock and turn ponds into bubbling mud pools. An upsurge of hot gases causes mud eruptions.

The 60-metres deep crater of Champagne Pool torn open during a volcanic explosion in Wai-O-Tapu 900 years ago. The spring water in the basin is heated to 75 degrees Celsius. Heat loving bacteria cover the crust, where minerals are deposited. The orange colour is evidence of antimony compounds.

Sometimes in the summer months, small pools occur at the polygon`s corners of the patterned permafrost ground. These little lakes could become up to 3 m deep and 30 m in diameter. Driven by gravity, water flows along the polygon`s rims from one pool to the other, so that the pools get connected by a stream. Scientists call it beaded drainage. This phenomenon is typical for thawing permafrost.

Reefs can act as a barrier made up of billions of sponges and tiny coral polyps that have built up over the millennia. They construct their exoskeletons by filtering calcium carbonate out of the water. Some of the smaller islands of the Bahamas, such as Conception Island are surrounded by reefs. They stabilize the edges of the islands and protect them from the surging waves.

Bands of moraine debris rest on the furrowed ice tongue of the Age Nielson Glacier in East Greenland. The glacier is retreating. At its front, more ice breaks off into the sea than the glacier can accumulate from the landmass behind it. Please also look at [IMAGE NO. 7]


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Vivian Hua (華婷婷) wears a lot of random hats, but has somewhat mastered globetrotting like a hobo and evading traditional 9-to-5 work schedules. She enjoys observing human idiosyncrasies perhaps more than anything and is a magnet for homeless people (a joy) and bug bites of all types (absolutely terrible). Through her work, she hopes to embrace the temporary while documenting the nostalgic, using divination and dream symbolism as guides through the cosmic maze. Additional writing, art, video, and other crap, like her astrological chart, can be seen at www.inallthings-patterns.net. She is the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE magazine, and quite appreciates unsolicited personal e-mails just to shoot the shit and narrow the gaps between human beings.