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Artistic creations and lava flow events are an integral part of the Syracuse University Lava Project. Background for this aspect of the project can be found on Professor Robert Wysocki’s Vimeo site: Below we highlight some additional information related to some especially aesthetically interesting features and events created by the Lava Project. 


Professor Robert Wysocki pouring lava


View of molten lava inside a large tilt furnace

Flowing lava results in many diverse, interesting and beautiful features. These include morphologies, structures and textures on many scales from millimeters to hundreds of meters. Here we present a sampling of images that continue to inspire and motivate our projects and investigations. All images from SU lavas unless otherwise noted.

Click on an image to see an expanded view.

Play of colors on a lava surface.
Lava that burned wood.
Glowing lava bubbles.
Stretched texture in Icelandic lava.
Folds in SU lava flow.
Flow texture in SU lava flow.
Window in an SU lava flow.
Large lava bubbles.
Polygonal structure on Icelandic lava lake.
Lava bulbs formed by lava droplets on snow.
Glowing folded lava flow.
Lava sculpture.
Folded Icelandic lava flow.
Lava and dike in Thirhnugigur volcanic vent.
Large lava bubble.
Lava beads.
Cracked Icelandic lava surface.
Glassy folds in Icelandic flow.
Jagged lava Icelandic flow surface.
Finely rippled Icelandic flow surface.
Icelandic lava folds.
Folded lava flow at SU.
Jagged Icelandic flow surface.
Columnar joints in Icelandic lava.
Lava bulbs in Icelandic flow.

Iceland is a popular tourist destination that features spectacular volcanic terranes including volcanoes, lava flows, geysers and hot springs. In fact, Iceland is almost entirely constructed of  young (<few million years old) basaltic lava flows with active eruptions occurring every few years. Geothermal heat is a major source of domestic energy and continues to shape Iceland’s industry and culture. In this context the Lava Project is collaborating with entrepreneurs Júlíus Ingi Jónsson and Ragnhildur Agustsdottir to create a lava flow demonstration for tourists and the local populace in Reykjavik, Iceland to provide a first-hand glimpse of flowing lava that is the foundation of Iceland and that continues to represent remarkable opportunities and hazards. The show is planned to open in 2017.

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Bob Wysocki pours lava on a block of ice in Reykjavik to promote the Icelandic Lava Show.

Toronto Nuit Blanche, 2015

One of the most ambitious and spectacular lava flow demonstrations to date took place at the Nuit Blanche Art Exposition in Toronto, Canada in October 2015. For this invited installation, Professor Wysocki used a specially built, large (>30 feet tall), coke-fired, blast furnace to generate ~8 tons of lava in an overnight demonstration. This event attracted thousands of spectators who witnessed an evolving lava flow and associated features in downtown Toronto. 

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Bob Wysocki managing lava flow.
Large blast furnace and lava flow in downtown Toronto.