Year in photos: volcanic eruptions






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Iceland's Eyjafjoell volcano spews ash and steam during the early morning of May 2, 2010. (Halldor Kolbeins/AFP/Getty Images)

The world was captivated by the eruptions of several major volcanos in 2010. In Iceland, two spectacular explosions in March and April sent huge plumes of ash and smoke high into the atmosphere, causing European air traffic to come to a standstill — the most serious delays the region had seen since World War II.

Then, in Indonesia in November, Mount Merapi, the country's most-volatile volcano, erupted. It forced the evacuation of thousands of villagers from its slope and ultimately killed more than 100 people, including Mbah Maridjan, the celebrated spiritual gatekeeper of the mountain. 

Lava shoots out of the Fimmvorduhals volcano near the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland. With lava still gushing, a small Icelandic volcano that initially sent hundreds fleeing from their homes is turning into a boon for the island nation's tourism industry, as visitors flock to catch a glimpse of the eruption. (Halldor Kolbeins/AFP/Getty Images)

Smoke billows from a volcano in Eyjafjallajokull on April 16. Iceland's second volcano eruption in less than a month sent plumes of ash and smoke billowing more than 20,000 feet into the sky. (Halldor Kolbeins/AFP/Getty Images)

The ash cloud from Eyjafjoell volcano is pictured on May 8, in Hvolsvoellur, Iceland. European air traffic faced growing disruption as the cloud of ash affected flights in Spain, France and Portugal. (Halldor Kolbeins/AFP/Getty Images)

A passenger waits at Gillot airport in the French Indian ocean island of Saint Denis de la Reunion on April 22. Nearly 7 million passengers were affected by disruptions in air traffic because of the Icelandic volcano. (Richard Bouhet/AFP/Getty Images)

Mount Merapi in Central Java, considered Indonesia's most volatile volcano, erupted on Nov. 3, forcing the evacuation of thousands from the mountain's slopes. (Fauzan Ijazah/GlobalPost)


Villagers drive away from erupting Mount Merapi in Boyolali, Central Java on Nov. 3. (Fauzan Ijazah/GlobalPost)  


Residents of Yogyakarta, the capital city of Central Java, make there way through its ash-covered streets as Mount Merapi erupts on Nov. 2. (Fauzan Ijazah/GlobalPost)

Ash blankets a home on the slopes of Mount Merapi after one of its most severe eruptions in a decade on Nov. 3, in Central Java. (Fauzan Ijazah/GlobalPost)