Fire Earth

Mass die-offs from human impact and planetary response to the assault could occur by early 2016

Posts Tagged ‘Ash cloud’

Eyjafjallajökull Eruption Closes Down Main UK Airports

Posted by feww on May 17, 2010

Ash cloud grounds at least 1,000 flights

Large Plume of Volcanic Ash Forces Closure of Heathrow and Gatwick Airports, Britain’s busiest

Volcanic ash cloud is now drifting further south, threatening more chaos in the UK and European flights paths.

A no-fly zone has been imposed for at least a six-hour period between 01:00 BST and 07:00 BST (24:00 to 6:00UTC) by the UK Civil Aviation Authority shutting down Heathrow, Gatwick and London City airports.

There are currently no flights in parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Volcanic Ash Advisory from London – Issued graphics


Photos, charts, maps and all other images issued by the European governments may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair USE Notice. Click image to enlarge.

Eruption Update – 16 May 2010 19:15UTC

The eruption plume is reaching a maximum height of  about 9 km (30,000 ft), about 15 percent higher than yesterday.  The ash cloud is currently drifting in a southeast to east-southeasterly direction, Icelandic Met Office (IMO) said.

Ash fall was detected southeast of Eyjafjallajökull.

For other details of eruption see status report.

A view of Eyjafjallajökull Eruption from Thórólfsfelli Webcam

Earthquakes

At least 3 earthquakes measuring 5.1 to 5.4Mw have occurred in the Norwegian Sea about 590km to the northeast of Jan Mayen volcano which sits on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the divergent tectonic plate boundary located along the floor of the Atlantic Ocean , which also runs through Iceland.

The section of the ridge that includes  Iceland is called Reykjanes Ridge.

Fire-Earth is currently working on an update for its earlier statistical forecast of volcanic eruptions in and around Iceland.


Original Caption:  Map showing the Mid-Atlantic Ridge splitting Iceland and separating the North American and Eurasian Plates. The map also shows Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, the Thingvellir area, and the locations of some of Iceland’s active volcanoes (red triangles), including Krafla. Source: USGS.


Original Caption: Aerial view of the area around Thingvellir, Iceland, showing a fissure zone (in shadow) that is an on-land exposure of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Right of the fissure, the North American Plate is pulling westward away from the Eurasian Plate (left of fissure). This photograph encompasses the historical tourist area of Thingvellir, the site of Iceland’s first parliament, called the Althing, founded around the year A.D. 930. Large building (upper center) is a hotel for visitors. (Photograph by Oddur Sigurdsson, National Energy Authority, Iceland. Source: USGS.


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Posted in environment, Jan Mayen volcano, Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Reykjanes Ridge, tectonic plate boundary | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Eyjafjallajökull Eruption – UPDATE Apr 18

Posted by feww on April 18, 2010

Eyjafjallajökull Eruption Intensifying

Fire-Earth can confirm that  the eruption at Eyjafjallajökull is intensifying with ash plume rising to a height of about 10km.

The sun turns dark: Eyjafjallajökull through Valahnúk Webcam at 07:30UTC


The eruption
at Eyjafjallajökull has almost completely darkened the sky. Click image to enlarge.

Note: The Eyjafjallajökull Hvolsvelli Webcam was not operating properly, as of posting.

How Long Will Eyjafjallajökull Erupt

There is absolutely no reason why the explosive  activity at Eyjafjallajökull couldn’t go on for days, weeks even months. Not only Eyjafjallajökull could follow the “Chaitén pattern” and even trigger other, larger volcanoes like Kata to erupt. Indeed, there’s historic precedence for the latter scenario.

Iceland’s Meteorological Office agrees with Fire-Earth assessment.

“The eruption could go on like that for a long time,” geophysicist Bergthora Thorbjarnardottir at the Meteorological Office said.



© Veðurstofa Íslands

Maps of Volcanic Ash in the Atmosphere


Shades of orange represent the volcanic ash in the atmosphere. © Copyright EUMETSAT/Met Office. Click image to enlarge

UKMET: Update to Volcanic Ash Plume — 0851 on Sunday 18 April 2010

“Satellite imagery Sunday morning shows an active volcanic plume spreading ash southwards and southeastwards from southern Iceland. Remnants of earlier plume activity over Europe much less evident now on derived dust imagery. Recent information from the Icelandic Met Office suggests the volcano is currently erupting ash to a height of approximately 4km. Issued at 0850 on Sun 18 Apr 2010.”

Where is the volcanic ash moving?


A diagrammatic  illustration of volcanic ash dispersion up to 20,000 ft, issued at 7 pm on 17 April. Advisory charts are issued every six hours, for up to 18 hours ahead, by the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center. Source: UK Met Office.


Volcanic Ash Advisory Graphicsfrom London Met Office. Image may be subject to copyright. Click image to enlarge.

‘Chaos’ as the volcanic ash from Iceland continues to move into Europe’s airspace

About 60,000 flight will have been canceled by Sunday evening (UTC) with an estimated 12 million air travelers stranded since Thursday.

Desperate Airlines ‘Daredevil Management’ May Well End in DISASTER

About 20 countries have closed their airspaces until late Sunday, some into Monday, leaving millions of passengers globally as ash clouds from Eyjafjallajökull eruption linger on in Europe’s airspace.

Dutch and German airlines have reportedly carried out test flights, apparently without any damage to the planes. The most obvious dangers of such recklessness are the facts that the concentration of airborne ash particles is neither uniform, nor constant. High concentration of ash may exists in air pockets that the test flights avoided, or changing wind patterns could increase the concentration of ash in an air route within minutes.

In fact the weather reports say the Icelandic ash concentration in the upper atmosphere may become more concentrated through Wednesday.

Airlines are desperate because, in addition to losing money for each flight canceled, their stock values are taking a nosedive, too. In fact some of the major carriers could lose by as much as 10 percent of their share values by Tuesday.

Why is volcanic ash so dangerous?

Volcanic ash is composed of small tephra, or tiny bits of pulverized glass and rock that are created by volcanic eruptions. The particles are usually accompanied by several gases including sulfur dioxide (SO2), which is mixed with water in the air and converted into droplets of sulfuric acid and other substances that are harmful to the plane. Volcanic ash is potentially deadly to aircraft and their passengers. It poses three types of danger to aircraft by way of:

  • Clogging the engine and causing engine failure
    • Clogging the fuel and cooling systems
    • Melting in the hot parts of the engine, and fusing on engine components thereby causing loss of engine thrust that could lead into a flame out, shutting down the engine
    • Breaking the blades and other sensitive components inside the turbine
  • Causing physical damage to various parts of the plane including abrasion of engine parts, the airframe, as well as control and steering mechanism
  • Reducing visibility

Few Facts about Icelandic Volcanoes

  • Iceland is home to about 130 volcanoes, 18 of which have erupted since about 1,000 years ago.
  • Eruption from Iceland’s volcanoes have produced more than 30 percent of the total lava output globally, since the 1500s.
  • The Laki eruption in 1783-1784 produced he largest volume of lava in the last 500 years.
  • An eruption of Eldgjá in 934 CE produced twice as much lava as did Laki.

Explosion at Laki (Lakagigar) Volcanic fissure

A destructive eruption at Laki volcano, which occurred over an 8-month period in 1783–1784, ejected about 14 cubic km (3.4 cu mi) of basalt lava and plumes of poisonous hydrofluoric acid and sulfur-dioxide gas that lead to a famine in Iceland. About a quarter of the population and half of all livestock perished. Dust clouds covered most of Europe and parts of Eurasia and Africa for a year.

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Flight disruptions

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Posted in Iceland volcano, Katla, Markarfljót river, volcanic eruption, volcano | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Okmok Eruption, Cleveland Volcano [Update #2]

Posted by feww on July 16, 2008

Alaska Volcano Observatory

Current Status Report
Tuesday, July 15, 2008 11:49 AM AKDT (19:49 UTC)

OKMOK VOLCANO (CAVW #1101-29-)
53°23’49″ N 168°9’58″ W, Summit Elevation 3520 ft (1073 m)
Current Aviation Color Code: RED
Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING

Okmok Volcano continues to erupt. Seismicity, though below this weekend’s intensity, has remained steady over the last 24 hours. Satellite data continue to show a long (~250 km) plume moving east; the height of the plume is approximately 30,000 ft above sea level.

The volcano is currently at aviation color code RED and alert level WARNING. All areas immediately around the volcano are considered hazardous. Airborne ash and gas continues to drift with the wind and pose a hazard to aviation in the area. Additional ash fall will occur on Umnak Island and possibly adjacent islands as long as the eruption continues.

OMI image showing the extent of the sulfur dioxide gas cloud from the eruption of Okmok Volcano. The large red mass is from the main explosive phase on 12 July at 21:30 UTC and is at an estimated height of 50,000 ft above sea level. The north-south dimension of this cloud is about 850 miles. Current emissions from the volcano are at a lower altitude of approximately 30,000 to 35,000 feet. Other OMI data (not shown) indicate that volcanic ash is mixed with the sulfur dioxide cloud. Picture Date: July 14, 2008 UTC – Image Creator: Dave Schneider – Data provided through the OMI near-real-time decision support project funded by NASA.

CLEVELAND VOLCANO (CAVW #1101-24-)
52°49’20″ N 169°56’42″ W, Summit Elevation 5676 ft (1730 m)
Current Aviation Color Code: YELLOW
Current Volcano Alert Level: ADVISORY

Satellite and webcam views continue to be cloudy today. AVO has received no reports of eruptive activity at the volcano.

AVO monitors Cleveland Volcano with satellite imagery as weather allows. The lack of a real-time seismic network at Cleveland means that AVO is unable to track local earthquake activity related to volcanic unrest. Short-lived explosions of ash that could exceed 20,000 ft above sea level can occur without warning and may go undetected on satellite imagery. Please see http://www.avo.alaska.edu/activity/Cleveland.php for more information.


Astronaut photograph of May 23, 2006 eruption of Cleveland Volcano. Image Science and Analysis Laboratory, NASA-Johnson Space Center. Original NASA Caption:

At 3:00 p.m. Alaska Daylight Time on May 23, 2006, Flight Engineer Jeff Williams from International Space Station (ISS) Expedition 13 contacted the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) to report that the Cleveland Volcano had produced a plume of ash. Shortly after the activity began, he took this photograph. This picture shows the ash plume moving west-southwest from the volcano’s summit. A bank of fog (upper right) is a common feature around the Aleutian Islands. The event proved to be short-lived; two hours later, the plume had completely detached from the volcano (see image from May 24). The AVO reported that the ash cloud height could have been as high as 6,000 meters (20,000 feet) above sea level.

Cleveland Volcano, situated on the western half of Chuginadak Island, is one of the most active of the volcanoes in the Aleutian Islands, which extend west-southwest from the Alaska mainland. It is a stratovolcano, composed of alternating layers of hardened lava, compacted volcanic ash, and volcanic rocks. At a summit elevation of 1,730 meters, this volcano is the highest in the Islands of the Four Mountains group. Carlisle Island to the north-northwest, another stratovolcano, is also part of this group. Magma that feeds eruptions of ash and lava from the Cleveland Volcano is generated by the northwestward movement of the Pacific Plate beneath the North American Plate. As one tectonic plate moves beneath another—a process called subduction—melting of materials above and within the lower plate produces magma that can eventually move to the surface and erupt through a vent (such as a volcano). Cleveland Volcano claimed the only known eruption-related fatality in the Aleutian Islands, in 1944.

Small explosion at Cleveland volcano on July 20, 2007. This photo, taken from the USFWS research vessel Norseman, shows a small ash cloud rising a few thousand feet above the summit and drifting downwind. This type of intermittent explosive activity is likely characteristic of the current level of unrest at Cleveland. Such small ash clouds can easily go undetected on satellite imagery. Image taken from FWV Tiglax, from NE of Cleveland looking SW. Tana is to the left in the image, Kagamil and Carlisle off the image to the right. Dissipating plume from a small eruptive burst, likely Strombolian, from the summit of Cleveland volcano. Picture Date: July 20, 2007 – Image Creator: Doug Dasher – Image Creator: Max Hoberg – Photo courtesy of School of Fisheries, UAF.


Image of Herbert (left-most volcano), Carlisle (upper volcano) and Mount Cleveland (stratovolcano with small steam plume). Mission: ISS001 Roll: E Frame: 5962 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS01 Country or Geographic Name: USA-ALASKA Features: ISLANDS OF FOUR MTS.,SMK Center Point Latitude: 53.0 Center Point Longitude: -170.0 – Picture Date: January 01, 2001 00:11:15 GMT – Image courtesy of the Image Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center.


Location of Cleveland volcano and other Aleutian volcanoes with respect to nearby cities and towns.
Picture Date: February 06, 2006 – Image Creator: Janet Schaefer – Image courtesy of the AVO/ADGGS.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
John Power, Acting Scientist-in-Charge, USGS
jpower@usgs.gov, (907)786-7497

Steve McNutt, Coordinating Scientist, UAFGI
steve@giseis.alaska.edu (907)978-5458

Volcano Alert Levels

Normal
Volcano is in typical background, noneruptive state or, after a change from a higher level, volcanic activity has ceased and volcano has returned to noneruptive background state.
Advisory
Volcano is exhibiting signs of elevated unrest above known background level or, after a change from a higher level, volcanic activity has decreased significantly but continues to be closely monitored for possible renewed increase.
Watch
Volcano is exhibiting heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption, timeframe uncertain, OR eruption is underway but poses limited hazards.
Warning
Hazardous eruption is imminent, underway, or suspected.

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Explosive Eruption at Okmok Volcano [Update #1]

Posted by feww on July 15, 2008

Click link for: Okmok Eruption & Cleveland Volcano [Update #2]

A strong explosive eruption is underway at Okmok Volcano

AVO/USGS Volcanic Activity Notice

2008-07-14 16:26:51 – [2008-07-15 00:26:51UTC]

Information Statement
Summary

A strong explosive eruption is underway at Okmok Volcano on Umnak Island in the eastern Aleutians.The volcano is currently at aviation color code RED and alert level WARNING. All areas immediately around the volcano are considered hazardous. Airborne ash and gas continues to drift with the wind and pose a hazard to aviation in the area. Additional ash fall will occur on Umnak Island and possibly adjacent islands as long as the eruption continues.


Image of the eruption of Okmok, taken Sunday, July 13, 2008, by flight attendant Kelly Reeves during Alaska Airlines flights 160 and 161. Picture Date: July 13, 2008 Image Creator: Kelly Reeves – Image courtesy of Alaska Airlines.

Latest OKMOK VOLCANO Status Report

Alaska Volcano Observatory
Current Status Report
Monday, July 14, 2008 12:39 PM AKDT (20:39 UTC)

OKMOK VOLCANO (CAVW #1101-29-)
53°23’49″ N 168°9’58″ W, Summit Elevation 3520 ft (1073 m)
Current Aviation Color Code: RED
Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING

The eruption at Okmok continues based on ongoing seismic activity. Satellite observations indicate ash emissions continue reaching altitudes of 30,000 – 35,000 ft asl. Satellite observations also indicate a thermal anomaly in the western portion of the caldera (in the vicinity of Cone D.). There is currently an NWS ash fall advisory in effect for the Eastern Aleutian zone, including Nikolski and Unalaska/Dutch Harbor.

Satellite data shows an ash plume extending towards the southeast at an estimated height of 30,000 – 35,000 ft (~9 – 11 km) above sea level.


Okmok Caldera as viewed from an Alaska Airlines jet in early June, 2007. Okmok caldera is a nearly circular, 500- to 800-m-deep, 8- to 10-km-diameter collapse crater that truncates an older volcanic edifice. The current caldera formed about 2000 years ago. Since then, numerous eruptions from vents on the floor of the caldera have produced a variety of cones, craters, lava flows, and other volcanic features. As of March, 2008, Okmok last erupted in 1997 and is one of the most active of volcanoes in the Aleutians. Picture Date: June 07, 2007 – Image Creator: Cyrus Read – Image courtesy of AVO/USGS.

Reports indicate no ash fall in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor since Saturday, July 12. There is currently an NWS ash fall advisory in effect for the Eastern Aleutian zone, including Nikolski and Unalaska/Dutch Harbor.
Ash fall is expected to continue downwind of the volcano including over marine areas in the North Pacific. Areas in the immediate vicinity of the volcano on Umnak Island should be avoided, particularly the Crater Creek drainage northeast of the caldera.

Ash clouds are drifting southeast of the volcano and poses a risk to aircraft in the vicinity. The current estimated ash cloud height for the ash is 30,000 – 35,000 ft asl (~9 – 11 km) above sea level.
Ballistics may impact the areas around the caldera rim.

Historical eruptions of Okmok have typically produced lava flows, however at this time we cannot confirm that a lava flow has been produced.

Okmok Volcano is located on the northeast end of Umnak Island in the eastern Aleutians about 65 miles southwest of Unalaska/Dutch Harbor. The volcano consists of a 6-mile-wide circular caldera or crater about 1600 feet deep that formed about 2000 years ago. Okmok has been frequently active in historical times producing ash clouds often accompanied by lava flows within the caldera. The most recent eruption occurred in 1997 and produced ash clouds and a lava flow that traveled about 5 miles across the caldera floor.

See http://www.avo.alaska.edu/activity/Okmok.php for more information.

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Alaska’s Okmok Volcano Erupts

Posted by feww on July 13, 2008

A strong explosive eruption is underway at Okmok Volcano – See Okmok Volcano [Update #1]

AVO/USGS Volcanic Activity Notice

Volcano: Okmok (CAVW #1101-29-)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING
Current Aviation Color Code: RED

Steaming Cleveland volcano on July 27, 2007, its steep, slopes mantled by grey debris ejected from the summit crater during recent explosions. Even the snow patches on Tana, an older volcano on the eastern portion of Chuginadak Island about 12 km (7 mi) east, are slightly grey with a dusting of what is probably Cleveland ash. The prominent peak on the horizon is 7051-ft-tall Vsevidof volcano on southwestern Umnak Island. Picture Date: July 27, 2007 06:35:00 – Image Creator: Power, John. Credit: Andrew Rose and Maritime Helicopters


Issued: Saturday, July 12, 2008, 9:28 PM AKDT (20080712/0528Z)
Source: Alaska Volcano Observatory
Location: N 53 deg 23 min W 168 deg 9 min
Elevation: 3520 ft (1073 m) -
Area: Aleutians Alaska

Volcanic Activity Summary:
A strong explosive eruption began at approximately 1943 Z (11:43 AM ADT) and continues at this time based on high levels of seismicity recorded on the AVO seismic network. Seismicity reached a peak at about 2200 Z (2:00 PM ADT) and has been gradually declining since. The main mass of the ash cloud is at least 35,000 feet above sea level and is moving generally southeast from the volcano, with lesser amounts of ash moving eastward. Ash fall has been reported on eastern Umnak Island and in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor.

….

….

AVHRR Thermal IR (Channel 4) satellite image at 00:15 UTC on July 13, 2008 of ash cloud from Okmok eruption cloud. – Picture Date: July 13, 2008 – Image Creator: Webley, Peter – Image courtesy of the AVO/UAF-GI


Recent Observations:

[Volcanic cloud height] The ash cloud is reaching in excess of 35,000 ft above sea level. Light winds appear to be carrying the ash cloud to the southeast and east at this time.

[Ash fall] Ash fall was reported soon after the eruption onset at Fort Glenn 7 miles southeast of the volcano. Ash fall began at Unalaska/Dutch Harbor at 3:45 pm ADT and is reportedly tapering off. Preliminary reports indicate only a light dusting has fallen so far.

[Other observations] U.S. Coast Guard aircraft in the area reported ash to at least 35,000 feet at 0130 Z on 13 July (5:30 PM ADT 12 July).


Location of Okmok volcano and other Aleutian volcanoes with respect to nearby cities and towns.
Picture Date: May 16, 2006 – Image Creator: Schaefer, Janet – Image courtesy of the AVO/ADGGS.

Hazard Analysis:
[General hazards] Ash fall is expected to continue downwind of the volcano including over marine areas in the North Pacific. Areas in the immediate vicinity of the volcano on Umnak Island should be avoided, particularly the Crater Creek drainage northeast of the caldera.

[Ash cloud] An ash cloud is drifting southeast and east of the volcano and poses a risk to aircraft in the vicinity. The estimated cloud height for the ash cloud is in excess of 35,000 ft above sea level.

[Ballistics] Ballistics may impact the areas around the caldera rim.

[Lava flow/dome] Historical eruptions of Okmok have typically produced lava flows, however at this time we cannot confirm that a lava flow has been produced.


Mission: ISS002 Roll: 715 Frame: 2 Mission ID on the Film or image: ISS002 Country or Geographic Name: USA-ALASKA Features: UMNAK ISLAND, VOLCANO Center Point Latitude: 53.5 Center Point Longitude: -168.5 * Picture Date: 2001 * Image Creator: Image Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center. Image courtesy of the Image Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center. Image Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center. Earth Sciences and Image Analysis, NASA-Johnson Space Center. 25 Mar. 2005. “Astronaut Photography of Earth – Display Record.”

Remarks:
Okmok Volcano is located on the northeast end of Umnak Island in the eastern Aleutians about 65 miles southwest of Unalaska/Dutch Harbor. The volcano consists of a 6-mile-wide circular caldera or crater about 1600 feet deep that formed about 2000 years ago. Okmok has been frequently active in historical times producing ash clouds often accompanied by lava flows within the caldera. The most recent eruption occurred in 1997 and produced ash clouds and a lava flow that traveled about 5 miles across the caldera floor.

More information: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/activity/Okmok.php
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