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Eyjafjallajökull Eruption Intensifies, Flight Ban Imposed

Posted by feww on May 4, 2010

New clouds of volcanic ash force Ireland flight ban

Ireland imposes a six-hour flight ban, as a section of British airspace is closed

An intensified wave of seismic activity, which began on May 2, PM,  and is still ongoing, the volcano people at the Icelandic Meteorological Office and Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland reported largest plumes of ash reaching a maximum height of about 5.2km height (17,000 ft) a.s.l., as estimated
by the Icelandic Coast Guard during an observation flight at 14:30 local time.

The plume reached a new height of about 5.5km after a major explosion about 30 minutes later. For more details, see  Eruption in Eyjafjallajökull
Status Report: 16:00 GMT, 03 May 2010
(PDF file)

Eyjafjallajökull Eruption photo dated 2010.05.02 – Sigrún Hreinsdóttir – 1. Source: IESNVC. Image may be subject to copyright. For older images see link in the corresponding sections. Click image to enlarge.

Volcanic Ash Cloud Over Ireland

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) grounded all flights into and out of Ireland from 06:00 GMT (UTC) to midday on Tuesday as a safety precaution against potential dangers posed by the new volcanic cloud from Iceland.

“Ireland falls within the predicted area of ash concentrations that exceed acceptable engine manufacturer tolerance levels,” IAA statement said.

“The decision is based on the safety risks to crews and passengers as a result of the drift south of the volcanic ash cloud caused by the north easterly winds.”

The statement added that  “over-flights of Ireland from the UK and Europe will not be impacted tomorrow. Flights in mainland Europe will operate normally.”

Up to a thousand Irish flights affected

Up to a thousand flights in and out of Dublin airport  Shannon and Cork in the south of the country as well as in the smaller regional airports were reportedly affected.

IAA chief  Eamon Brennan was reported as saying that winds had already pushed volcanic ash on to Ireland airspace.

“Some of the denser volcanic ash, that’s the no-fly zone, is over the (County) Donegal area (in the northwest) and we are concerned about the northeasterly winds moving this down over the rest of the country,’’ he told RTE state radio.

“At the moment we have a slither of denser ash over the midlands.”

Limited airspace closures in Scotland

Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) warned “increased concentrations of volcanic ash in the atmosphere are forecast to cause limited airspace closures in Scotland” on late Monday and Tuesday (local time).

Icelandic Met Office reported:  “No measurable geophysical changes within the Katla volcano.”

It’s highly probable that they are looking down the wrong volcano, however. Volcanic chain reactions are not as regular, or indeed predictable as, say, the 4 seasons.

The pattern of seismic activity in Iceland:

The pattern of seismicity in Iceland is virtually unchanged sine the initial eruption occurred more than 2 weeks ago:

Iceland’s Map of Seismicity. Click image to enlarge and update (assuming the image is still there). Source IMO. See source for copyright information.

On April 20, 2010 Fire Earth said:

Iceland seismic record for the past 48 hours shows 7  separate cluster of quakes in the vicinity of the following volcanoes (See image below)

  1. Kolbeinsey ridge (Last erupted: 1999)
  2. Krafla (1984)/ Theistareykjarbunga (< 1000 BC)/ Tjörnes fracture zone (1868)
  3. Askja (1961)
  4. Bárðarbunga (1903) and neighboring Grímsvötn (2004)
  5. Grímsnes (> 3500 BC)
  6. Reykjanes (1879)
  7. Eyjafjallajökull (Currently ongoing)

Bárdarbunga, one of the most active volcanoes in Iceland, is a massive volcano with a  700-m-deep caldera which lies beneath the NW Vatnajökull icecap.  A fissure eruption at Thjorsarhraun produced about 21 km³ of lava, the largest known Holocene lava flow on the planet.

Powerful eruptions may occur among the volcanoes lying along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. The plate tectonics could also translate into increased seismicity along the divergent plate boundary and boundaries of neighboring plates.

Source: Iceland Met Office. © Veðurstofa Íslands

Further evidence  …

On April 22, 2010 Fire-Earth said: The Next Icelandic Volcano Likely to Erupt

The pattern of seismicity in Iceland has remained almost unchanged from two days ago, while the eruption at Eyjafjallajökull has become less explosive.

Loads of magma seem to be flowing under the land of Ice and Fire [Iceland,] but where is it all going?

In Iceland’s Bárdarbunga May Be Erupting posted on April 20,2010, Fire Earth Moderators said they believed Iceland’s Bárdarbunga May Be Erupting or is about to Erupt.

Seismic events occurring between Apr 18 – 20,2010

Source: Iceland Met Office. © Veðurstofa Íslands

Seismic events occurring between Apr 20 – 22,2010

Source: Iceland Met Office. © Veðurstofa Íslands

Volcanic Ash Advisory from London – Latest graphics   click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge.

Iceland Volcanic Eruption – click image to enlarge

These images are monitoring for the presence of volcanic ash emission in the vicinity of Iceland using infrared data from the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellite. Because cloud particles and volcanic ash particles interact with the infrared radiation in different ways, data at several different wavelengths can be combined to identify the main ash plume, which, when present, would be shown as yellow and orange colours in the images. Note that it is only the thicker parts of the plume that are able to be detected by this method. In addition, the ash plume is often masked by overlying high cloud.
UK Met Office – © Copyright EUMETSAT/Met Office.

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One Response to “Eyjafjallajökull Eruption Intensifies, Flight Ban Imposed”

  1. […] Eyjafjallajökull Eruption Intensifies, Flight Ban Imposed […]

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