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Posts Tagged ‘Grimsvotn volcano’

Afar Triangle Volcano Erupts as Forecast

Posted by feww on June 14, 2011

Correction: Nabro Volcano in Eritrea Erupts Ejecting a 15-km Plume of Ash into the Atmosphere

Following a swarm of Earthquakes that struck within the Afar Triangle Eritrea, Ethiopia, yesterday, FIRE-EARTH said:

… there’s a strong probability that the quakes may have primed one or more regional volcanoes for eruption.

Nabro Volcano erupted around midnight Sunday local time, ejecting  a 15-km plume of ash into the air, reports said.

The volcano, which is located about 375 km southeast of the Eritrean capital Asmara, sits within the Afar Triangle, a tectonic triple junction.

Nabro volcano, Eritrea, sits close to the border with Ethiopia.  Credit: ESA/NASA.  Click image to enlarge.

Nabro eruption is captured in this photo-like image by  MODIS on the Aqua satellite on June 13, 2011. “Initial reports from news agencies and the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center in Toulouse, France, proclaimed the eruption to be occurring at Dubbi, a volcano further south. But later reports from volcanologists, field scientists, and the satellite image above appear to confirm the eruption at Nabro. There are no historical reports of eruptions at Nabro before today.” Image and caption: NASA-EO. Click image to enlarge. Download largest image (4 MB, JPG)

The fact that there was no historic record of eruption at Nabro volcano may explain why the French VAAC got it wrong initially, attributing the eruption to the Dubbi volcano – EDRO

Nabro Volcano
Country: Eritrea
Region: Northeastern Africa
Previous Known Eruption: NOT KNOWN
Summit Elevation: 2,218 m (7,277 ft)
Coordinates : 13.37°N, 41.70°E
Source: GVP

Nabro Volcano Space Shuttle image

The large caldera below and to the left of the center of this Space Shuttle photo of the Danakil Alps of Ethiopia is Nabro. The 2218-m-high Nabro stratovolcano is the highest volcano in the Danakil depression and is truncated by nested calderas 10 and 5 km in diameter. The larger caldera is widely breached to the SW. Nabro was constructed primarily of rhyolitic lava flows and pyroclastics. The 8-km-wide Mallahle caldera is at the lower left, and the dark-colored lava flows at the right are from Dubbi volcano. NASA Space Shuttle image S-61A-36, 1985. Caption: GVP

Nabro (top) and  Mallahle (bottom) volcanic calderas. This false-color topographical image of the two volcanoes was produced by NASA. Click image to enlarge.

Map of East Africa showing some of the historically active volcanoes (red triangles) and the Afar Triangle (shaded, center)— a so-called triple junction (or triple point), where three plates are pulling away from one another: the Arabian Plate, and the two parts of the African Plate (the Nubian and the Somalian) splitting along the East African Rift Zone. Source: USGS

A map showing the approximate location of Nabro and Dubbi Volcanoes. The yellow circles mark the epicenters of the recent quakes that struck the area. Red stars are the two largest shocks in the swarm measuring 5.7Mw. Click image to enlarge.

The huge ash cloud ejected by the volcano is said to be moving across the Horn of Africa, threatening air travel. The German airline Lufthansa said on Monday it had cancelled two flights, one a flight out of the Eritrean capital Asmara, and the other into Addis Ababa.

The ash plume also forced the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to curtail her visit to the region. Ironically, Obama was forced to abandon his visit to Ireland when Iceland’s Grímsvötn volcano erupted last month.

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Updated on June 14, 2011 at 07:58UTC by EDRO
Updated on June 14, 2011 @ 12:01UTC by FEWW

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Grímsvötn Sulfur Dioxide Signature

Posted by feww on June 2, 2011

SO2 plume emitted during Grímsvötn brief eruption

The images and animation links below show the emission and transport of SO2 from Iceland’s Grímsvötn Volcano May 22 – 26, 2011. The images are based on measurements taken by the AIRS on NASA’s Aqua spacecraft and presented using GEOS-5 experimental model. Source: NASA-EO.

Plume on May 24, 2011

Plume as measured on May 23, 2011.  Click images to enlarge.

  • downloadhigh definition animation (13 MB, QuickTime)
  • download web resolution animation (5 MB, QuickTime)

Grímsvötn’s explosive eruption began at 17.30UTC on Saturday May 21 and lasted for just over a week.  The volcano paused at 7:00 UTC Saturday May 28, 2011.

Eruption cloud from Grímsvötn volcano at 22:00 UTC May 21st 2011 captured by Icelandic met Office Weather Radar located at Keflavik International Airport located about 220 km from the volcano. The eruption cloud covers a large section of Vatnajökull ice cap.

The onset of May 21 eruption in Grímsvötn. Photo credit: Ólafur Sigurjónsson, Forsæti III.
Source: Icelandic Met Office (IMO)

Eruption continued on May 24. Photo credit: Árni Sigurðsson/ via IMO.

This Icelandic feature (photo posted at IMO without a caption, presumably showing the crater after the eruption had stopped) was taken by Vilhjálmur S. Kjartansson. Source: IMO. Note: IMO images may be subject to copyright.

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Grímsvötn Eruption – Recent Images

Posted by feww on May 24, 2011

Ash Cloud Heads Toward UK, Grounds Flights

The towering column of smoke and ash registered a height of about 13km earlier today.

All flights to and from Scotland have been cancelled as a large volcanic ash cloud produced by Grímsvötn in Iceland heads toward the UK.

Airlines including BA, KLM, Aer Lingus, Loganair and Eastern Airways have cancelled flights on Tuesday, and several flights over the Atlantic were reportedly delayed. Hundreds of tourists have been evacuated from Iceland’s national parks.


“[There were now] much more robust systems [in place to] minimize the disruptive effect [of volcanic ash clouds,]” the UK transport secretary Philip Hammond told BBC news.

“Most importantly, the basic situation now is that the threshold for most aircraft is 20 times where it was last year. We have got from 200 microgrammes per cubic metre to 4,000 microgrammes per cubic metre as the threshold up to which most aircraft can fly.”

Grímsvötn Volcano Erption – freeze frame from recent video clip.

Volcanic Ash Advisory from London – Issued graphics
© Crown copyright –

Grímsvötn Volcano. Photo-like image captured by MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite at 13:00 UTC (1:00 pm local time) on May 22, 2011. Source: NASA-EO. Click image to enlarge. Download largest image (1 MB, JPEG)  

Ash plume from Grímsvötn Volcano, Iceland. Satellite: Aqua. Dated May 22, 2011 at 05 :15 UTC. Pixel size: 1km. Source: NASA/rapidfire.  Alternate pixel size: 500m | 250m

Grímsvötn Volcano

Summit Elevation: 1,725 m  (5,659 feet)
Latitude: 64.42°N  (64°25’0″N)
Longitude: 17.33°W  (17°20’0″W)

The Laki Fissure. The most prominent of a series of fissures extending NE and SW from Grímsvötn central volcano is the noted Laki (Skaftár) fissure, which trends vertically across the photo SW of Grímsvötn. Laki produced the world’s largest known historical lava flow during an eruption in 1783.  Photo by Sigurdur Thorarinsson (courtesy of Richard Williams, U.S. Geological Survey). Caption: GVP

The 1783-84 Deadly Eruption

The Grímsvötn volcanic system erupted from a 130-crater fissure in the Grímsvötn volcanic system called Laki or Lakagígar fissure, and Grímsvötn volcano for 244 days  (8 June 1873 to 7 February 1784), spewing at least 15km³ of basaltic lava, world’s largest and deadliest volcanic eruption, causing widespread damage to crops and destroying more than a half of Iceland’s livestock (including 85 percent of the sheep), and leading to a severe famine that resulted in the loss of about quarter of the Icelandic population.

The emission of sulfuric aerosols from Lakagígar eruption is said to have caused a drop in global temperatures, resulting in crop failures in Europe, droughts in India and China, as well as a severe famine in Japan, killing an estimated six million people  globally.

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Large Magma Lake Lurking Beneath Iceland

Posted by feww on May 23, 2011


Icelandic Volcano Activity Could Increase Exponentially and Dramatically in the Next 5 Years

FIRE-EARTH analysis indicate that a massive lake of magma may be boiling under Iceland, which could rise to the surface anytime. Large volumes of lava could cover Iceland, making life on the volcanic island impossible. European countries MUST help to evacuate Icelanders without delay.

Grímsvötn began erupting just after 17:30 on Saturday May 21st, with the plume reaching a height of more than 20 km above the Vatnajokull glacier. During the morning of May 22, the plume reached an  altitude of 10km, rising occasionally to 15 km, Iceland Met Office (IMO) reported.

Most Violent Eruption

The Grímsvötn latest eruption was the volcano’s most violent  since 1873, according to a University of Iceland Geophysics Professor.

The eruption turned the day into night as an inch thick cloud of ash fell on the area, covering buildings, roads and cars, and reducing the visibility to less than a meter (3 feet) eyewitnesses said.

Grímsvötn volcano MODIS satellite image acquired at about 05:00UTC on May 22, 2011  shows the plume casting shadow to the west. Source: IMO

Lightning Activity

Intense lightning activity was reported follows the eruption.  “Never before have as many lightning been observed in a volcanic eruption in Iceland.” IMO reported.

Grímsvötn volcano lightning activity. Click image to enlarge.

The hourly lightning count peaked at 2,198 strokes between 00:00 and 01:00 on 22 May 2011. Whereas, the highest hourly count during the Eyjafjallajökull eruption was only 22 which occurred between 08:00 and 09:00 on 16 May 2010.

Ash Cloud

The eruption has forced the closure of Iceland’s main airport. Ash from Grímsvötn volcano could reach northern Scotland by Tuesday May 24 and  Britain, France and Spain by the weekend if the eruption continues at the same rate, UK Met Office said.

Volcanic Ash Advisory. Source Met UK.

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Iceland’s Grímsvötn volcano erupts

Posted by feww on May 22, 2011

Grímsvötn volcano, Iceland’s most active, has started erupting

A large plume of smoke and ash was ejected to a height of about 20km above the volcano.

The explosive eruption, which occurred at 17.30UTC on Saturday May 21, 2011, has been described as very powerful.

Grímsvötn is Iceland’s most active volcano and had previously erupted  in November 2004.

A Map of Iceland Volcanoes. Click image to enlarge.

Iceland’s Met Office Report

“Eruptions in Grímsvötn start as subglacial eruptions, which quickly break the ice cover. At 21:00 UTC, the eruption plume had risen to an altitude of over 65,000 ft (~20 km). Initially, the plume is expected to drift to the east and subsequently to the north. Thus, the ash is not expected to impact aviation in Europe, at least not during the first 24 hours.”

Eruption cloud from Grímsvötn volcano at 22:00 UTC May 21st 2011 captured by Icelandic met Office Weather Radar located at Keflavik International Airport located about 220 km from the volcano. The eruption cloud covers a large section of Vatnajökull ice cap.

Grímsvötn: “A very powerful volcano”

“Grimsvotn is a very powerful volcano, so we’re monitoring it closely, even if the last few eruptions have been harmless,” University of Iceland geophysicist Pall Einarsson told Morgunbladid.

“We do not expect this to be a big one as it’s coming from the same crater as the last three eruptions, which were all small.”

‘Not Like Last Year

“It can be a big eruption, but it is unlikely to be like last year,” Icelandic Met Office geologist Hjorleifur Sveinbjornsson told Reuters, referring Eyjafjallajokull.

Lots of Ash

“A lot of ash has been falling around the Vatnajokull glacier and nearby towns this evening. It is expected to continue through the night and maybe into tomorrow, according to Icelandic Met Office geologist, Hjorleifur Sveinbjornsson. The ash is much coarser than that which came from Eyjafjallajokull last year.” IceNews reported.

Aviation Threat

Isavia civil aviation authority has imposed a 120 nm  flight ban around the volcano, a spokesman said. “We have closed the area until we know better what effect the ash will have.”

Grímsvötn volcano erupts producing a mushroom cloud of smoke and ash. Frame grabs from video clip by Icelandic National TV station RÚV.

Probability of Eruption: April 2010 Forecast

Bárðarbunga (1903) and neighboring Grímsvötn (2004) – probability of eruption: 84 percent

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