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By producing videos and documentaries, Olivier Grunewald and Bernadette Gilbertas wish to bear witness to the beauty of wild spaces and to tell the story of the work of those who work to better understand and protect them.

My drone has melted above the Icelandic lava!

An eruption started in Iceland on July 10, 2023 at the foot of Mount Litli Hrútur, to the north of the Fagradalsfjall eruption that had lasted 6 months in 2021 and restarted in 2022 for 3 weeks. The activity began with the opening of a large fracture, and after a few days, a crater began to form in which huge gas bubbles exploded. From the outset, the lava has been flowing southwards, reassuring the authorities. A major road and all the pipes and cables that bring hot water and electricity to the capital Reykjavik are just a short distance to the east of the volcanic activity.

The incredible lava geyser of Iceland

In May 2021, the eruption of the Fagradalsfjall volcano in the southwest of Iceland, which had begun two months earlier, had a unique phase of activity by projecting at regular intervals a real geyser of lava. Its crater filled up until it became a lake of magma which, while bubbling, projected for a few moments molten material at a height of nearly 100 meters. Then the lava flowed on the sides of the crater while this one emptied again.

Lake and lava flows from Fagradalsfjall volcano in Iceland

Cela faisait 8 siècles que la péninsule de Reykjanes ne s’était pas embrasée. Face à cette éruption débutée en mars 2021, suivie par une nouvelle période d’activité en août 2022, les autorités et les volcanologues s’inquiètent des potentielles répercussions économiques, sanitaires d’une activité volcanique qui pourrait s’étaler sur des années, et affecter les centrales géothermiques à proximité, et la route de l’aéroport, qui coupée, pourrait priver l’île de tout approvisionnement.

Maryam Dengelat, the dizziness of Faith

God once entrusted the Ethiopians with the art of revealing his home. They dug more than two hundred troglodyte churches in the cliffs of Tigray. The church of Maryam Dengelat, isolated at a height of 30 meters, became inaccessible following successive collapses of the cliff, has opened its door again and revealed its magnificent paintings after 400 years of oblivion, thanks to the will of a philosopher-historian and a team of mountaineers.

Kawah Ijen, the mystery of the blue flames

In 2008, Olivier Grunewald heard about a strange phenomenon in the heart of the Kawah Ijen volcano in Indonesia. Olivier will return for several years and spend 30 nights in the crater, in the middle of extremely corrosive gases, to bring back images of these unique volcanic manifestations. The high temperature sulfuric gases ignite, producing electric blue flares. At night, miners come to collect the crystallized sulfur.

Dallol, at the frontiers of life

In northern Ethiopia, Dallol combines the most extreme conditions on Earth. At the bottom of the African rift, under a 2000 meters thick salt crust, a magma pocket heats up the waters that infiltrate from the Ethiopian highlands. Loaded with mineral elements, the hot water rises, building the Dallol dome in the middle of the Danakil. In January 2016, for the first time, biologists, microbial ecologists, geologists, and crystallographers landed on this strange planet.

Nyiragongo, Journey to the center of Earth

At the bottom of the Nyiragongo volcano boils the planet’s largest lava lake. This African giant is the most active volcano in Africa. Its eruptions have devastated the capital and its more than one million inhabitants in 1977 and again in 2002. Anticipating the risk of Nyiragongo’s eruption has become a major concern for the people living at the foot of the volcano.

Photographer Olivier Grunewald close to the lava lake of Nyiragongo Volcano

Photographer Olivier Grunewald ( approaches as closely as possible to the lava lake of Mount Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo during an expedition of the Society of Geneva Volcanology (SVG). The images were shot by Peter Vetsch from the camp installed during nine days in the crater. Olivier will be the third of the team to reach the shore of the eight million cubic meters of lava bubbling after Marc Caillet and Franck Pothé. Excerpt from Olivier Grunewald's film, "Nyiragongo, Journey to the Center of the Earth".

A drone in the heart of the craters of the volcano Stromboli

Known since ancient times as the lighthouse of the Mediterranean, the Stromboli volcano in the Aeolian Islands in Italy is permanently active. It has been the volcano that has introduced many people to active volcanism and for many has generated a real passion. Until July 2019, its summit was accessible and many groups climbed it every day. Since then its activity has increased and its summit is closed for safety reasons.

My drone in the Erta Ale volcano

A drone ventures into an Ethiopian volcano

It was at the bottom of the Erta Ale crater, above its lava lake, that I carried out my first experience of taking pictures of a volcano using a drone.

Operating a drone in an extreme environment, where the heat of the lava generates complex aerology and the magnetism of the magma interferes with radio waves, is a highly formative experience. Thanks to a radio transmission system, I was able to recover the images filmed by the camera as my drone ended up in the lava lake.