From 14–20 April, ash from the volcanic eruption covered large areas of Northern Europe. [73] Ash from the current Eyjafjallajökull eruption contains one-third the concentration typical in Hekla eruptions, with a mean value of 104 mg of fluoride per kg of ash. Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik, is situated just 160km west of where Eyjafjallajökull erupted. [50] The concentration of water-soluble fluoride was one-third of the concentration typical in Hekla eruptions, with a mean value of 104 mg of fluoride per kg of ash. In April 2010, Eyjafjallajökull, a volcano in southern Iceland, began spewing several kilometres of volcanic ash into the atmosphere.The cloud of ash forced the greatest airspace closure since World War II, cancelling nearly 100,000 flights and disrupting the travel plans of tourists and business travelers alike throughout northern Europe. The eruption was preceded by intense seismicity and high rates of deformation in the weeks before the eruption, in association with magma recharging of the volcano. Visual observations were greatly restricted due to cloud cover over the volcano, but an aeroplane of the Icelandic Coast Guard imaged eruptive craters with radar instruments. [12], This volcanic activity so disruptive to air travel because of a combination of factors:[citation needed]. (First eruption on 20 March 2010). [64] In Scotland, the number of phone calls to health services for respiratory and eye irritation did not rise significantly. The eruption was declared officially over in October 2010, when snow on the glacier did not melt. The direction of the jet stream was unusually stable at the time of the eruption's second phase, continuously southeast. Although the volcanic eruptions were relatively small, the effects had a hugely debilitating impact on the European airline industry. The eruption of Eyjafjallajökull volcano in 2010 lasted for 39 days, 14 April–23 May. Two new craters were formed in this eruption called Magni and Móði after the sons of Thor, the Norse god of thunder. The eruption happened underneath an ice sheet. The series of events that marked its latest eruption began on March 10, 2010 and continued for 23 days. Lace your climbing boots tight, because this quiz will test whether you can conquer the highest peaks of knowledge. More than 100 million cubic meters of lava erupted, more than 1000 million cubic meters of tephra erupted. By the morning of 24 May 2010, the view from the web camera installed on Þórólfsfell[57] showed only a plume of water vapour surrounded by a bluish haze caused by emission of sulphurous gases. Eruption of Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, Iceland. [25] The seismic activity continued to increase, and from 3 to 5 March, close to 3,000 earthquakes were measured having their epicentre at the volcano. [41][42][43], On 25 March 2010, while studying the eruption, scientists witnessed, for the first time in history, the formation of a pseudocrater during a steam explosion. [36] This rise in water temperature was thought to be related to the eruption nearby and was affecting part of the Krossá drainage basin. Craters in autumn. At 250 ppm, death can occur within a few days. The Eyjafjallajökull eruption sequence of 2010, which lasted from January until May of that year, began with the onset of clusters of small earthquakes, and by early March the earthquake activity had increased in intensity and frequency. The 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. By the evening of 6 June 2010, a small, new crater had opened up on the west side of the main crater. [56][66] Many flights within, to, and from Europe were cancelled following 14 April 2010 eruption, and although no commercial aircraft were damaged, the engines of some military aircraft were harmed. A 500 metre fissure opened up. [72] The effect also spread beyond Iceland. It further indicated that the locations of most of the earthquakes in 2009 occurred between 8 to 12 km (5.0 to 7.5 mi) depth east of the volcano's top crater. IES also noted that the eruption continue with less explosive activity. [9] On 20 April 2010 Icelandic President Ólafur Grímsson said, "the time for Katla to erupt is coming close ... we [Iceland] have prepared ... it is high time for European governments and airline authorities all over the world to start planning for the eventual Katla eruption."[10]. In March 2010 a small eruption started close to the famoushiking trail Fimmvörðuháls. The erupted products were fragmented material, the majority fine-grained airborne tephra. A study by the Icelandic Meteorological Office published on December 2009 indicated an increase in seismic activity around the Eyjafjallajökull area during the years 2006–2009. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). John P. Rafferty writes about Earth processes and the environment. Agriculture is important in this region of Iceland,[51] and farmers near the volcano have been warned not to let their livestock drink from contaminated streams and water sources,[52] as high concentrations of fluoride can have deadly renal and hepatic effects, particularly in sheep. The eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland were a series of volcanic activities from March to June of 2010. The Eyjafjallajökull volcanic event has so far exhibited four different stages: an effusive stage followed by a brief quiescence, an explosive stage and a further quiescent stage. The resulting meltwater flowed back into the erupting volcano, which created two specific phenomena: The rapidly vaporising water significantly increased the eruption's explosive power. Causes : Eyjafjallajökull lay on the sixth biggest ice sheet in Iceland, approximately 100km2 – this resulted in excess flood water as the ice sheet melted. [69], At the mouth of the crater, the gases, ejecta, and volcanic plume have created a rare weather phenomenon known as volcanic lightning (or a "dirty thunderstorm"). Eyjafjallajökull volcano, beneath an extension of Mýrdalsjökull (Mýrdals Glacier), erupted in March 2010 for the first time since 1821. The plume was driven southeast, across the North Atlantic Ocean to northern Europe, by the prevailing winds. The first phase of the 2010 eruption began late on the evening of 20 March at the Eyjafjallajökull. [citation needed], A fissure opened up about 150 metres (490 ft) in length running in a north-east to south-west direction, with 10 to 12 erupting lava craters ejecting lava at a temperature around 1,000 °C (1,800 °F) up to 150 m (490 ft) into the air. This, together with the magnitude of the eruption (estimated to be VEI 4)[3] and being 10 to 20 times larger than the eruption of Fimmvörðuháls on 20 March, injected a glass-rich ash plume into the jet stream. Instead, the police closed the road to Þórsmörk and the four-wheel-drive trail from Skógar village to the Fimmvörðuháls mountain pass, but these roads and trails were reopened on 29 March, though only for suitable four-wheel drive vehicles. [62], No human fatalities were reported from the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. Mud, ice, and meltwater running off the volcano swelled local rivers and streams, especially the Markarfljót glacial river west of the volcano, which flooded farmland and damaged roads. [49], After a short hiatus in eruptive activity, and a large increase in seismic activity 23:00 on 13 April and 1:00 on 14 April, a new set of craters opened early in the morning of 14 April 2010 under the volcano's ice-covered central summit caldera. The crater at the top is 4 km across. Distributed by high velocity … [61], The IES updated the eruption flow rate on 21 April 2010 to an estimation less than 30 cubic metres per second (1,100 cu ft/s) of magma, or 75 tonnes/s, with a large uncertainty. Big floods (… At around 07:00 on 22 March, an explosion launched eruption columns as far as 4 km (2.5 mi) straight up into the air. Material (tephra) in the ice cauldrons around the volcanic vents: 30 million cubic metres (39,000,000 cu yd), Tephra filling the glacial lagoon of Gígjökulslón, carried by floods down the outlet, Airborne tephra that was carried to the east and south of the volcano, uncompacted tephra fallout from eruption plume: 100 million cubic metres (130,000,000 cu yd), This page was last edited on 24 November 2020, at 14:40. Due to the large quantities of dry volcanic ash lying on the ground, surface winds frequently lifted up an "ash mist" that significantly reduced visibility and made web camera observation of the volcano impossible. Initially detected visually, the eruption was seen at 2352 that day as a red cloud above the site. The magma discharge rate was about 300 cubic metres per second (11,000 cu ft/s) or 750 t/s. [70] When rocks and other ejecta collide with one another, they create static electricity. The London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC),[15] part of the UK Met Office, was responsible for forecasting the presence of volcanic ash in the north-east Atlantic. [47][48], Geophysicist Magnús Tumi Einarsson said (at a press meeting in Hvolsvöllur on 21 March) that this eruption was small compared to, for example, the eruption of Hekla in 2000. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. "Volcano tourism" quickly sprang up in the wake of the eruption, with local tour companies offering day trips to see the volcano. Plume from Eyjafjallajökull volcano (tan streak) moving southeast over the North Atlantic Ocean, April 15, 2010. The eruption was explosive and much bigger then the eruption in Fimmvörðuháls. Abo… [58], On 21 June 2010, data from seismic recorders in the area indicated that the frequency and strength of earth tremors had diminished, but were continuing. About 500 farmers and their families had to escape from the areas of Fljótshlíð, Eyjafjöll, and Landeyjar were evacuated overnight (including a group of 30 schoolchildren and their three teachers[28][29] from Caistor Grammar School in England), and flights to and from Reykjavík and Keflavík International Airport were postponed, but on the evening of 21 March, domestic and international air traffic was allowed again. Records kept since Iceland was settled show that Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted in 920, 1612 or 1613, and 1821–23. [17], The radar stations of the Meteorological Institute of Iceland did not detect any appreciable amount of volcanic ashfall during the first 24 hours of the eruption. [45], A new fissure opened on 31 March, around 200 m (660 ft) north-west of the original fissure. 2.5.2010. [13] The Civil Protection Department[14] of the Icelandic Police produced regular reports about access to the area, including a map of the restricted area around Eyjafjallajokull, from which the public was forbidden. The second eruptive phase happened under 200 m (660 ft) of glacial ice. Explosive activity from this new crater was observed with emission of small quantities of ash. It erupted again beginning on April 14 and sent wandering ash plumes into the skies that disrupted air traffic for days across northern and central Europe.… This was the highest plume since the eruption started. This photo was taken at sunrise on a Saturday morning in October, by Ólafur Sigurjónsson who lives in Forsæti III nearby and has done frequent flying across the eruptive area. (See the GPS Time Series[23] page of the Nordic Volcanological Center's[24] website for detailed information on the degree of movement detected in the Earth's crust in the Eyjafjallajökull locality. Its summit is 1,651 meters above sea level. The 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull were volcanic events at Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland which, although relatively small for volcanic eruptions, caused enormous disruption to air travelacross western and northern Europe over an initial period of six days in April 2010. Cold water from melted ice quickly chilled the lava, causing it to fragment into highly abrasive glass particles that were then carried into the eruption plume. The eruption had two explosive phases separated by a phase with lava formation and reduced explosive activity. The initial eruption caused a 500 metre fissure in a nearby pass. Eyjafjallajökull volcano, also called Eyjafjallajökull, Eyjafjalla volcano, Eyjafjöll, or Eyjafjalla Glacier volcano, subglacial volcano, southern Iceland, lying within the country’s East Volcanic Zone. No unusual seismic activity was detected at the time the new fissure appeared, nor any crustal expansion according to many seismometers and GPS recorders situated in nearby areas. It was a bit smaller, around 300 m (980 ft) long according to witnesses, and lava coming from it started to flow into Hvannárgil canyon. According to a news article from 27 October, a scientist at the University of Iceland Institute of Earth Sciences noted that the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, that began as a fissure eruption on 20 March 2010 and later continued from the summit caldera on 14 April, was over. Corrections? 10:00", "Experimental Acute Sodium Fluoride Poisoning in Sheep: Renal, Hepatic, and Metabolic Effects", "Ash from Iceland Volcano Endangers Horses", "Ash Fall Causes South Iceland Farmers Serious Trouble", "Iceland's volcanic ash halts flights across Europe | World news", "Articles < Seismicity < Icelandic Meteorological office", "University of Iceland reports and scientists' quotes", "A survey of early health effects of the Eyjafjallajökull 2010 eruption in Iceland: a population-based study", "Health effects following the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption: a cohort study", "Syndromic surveillance to assess the potential public health impact of the Icelandic volcanic ash plume across the United Kingdom, April 2010", "RAF grounds fighter jets after volcanic dust is found in engines | Home News | News", "Icelandair and the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption in 2010", "Dirty thunderstorm shoots lightning from volcano", The eruption that changed Iceland forever, "Volcano could mean cooling, acid rain: 'Not like Pinatubo' so far, but potential is there", "Icelandic volcano won't affect the world's climate", "Geologist Ari Trausti Guðmundsson answers Iceland volcano questions | IceNews – Daily News", "APOD: 19 April 2010 – Ash and Lightning Above an Icelandic Volcano", "The Cataclysmic 1991 Eruption of Mount Pinatubo, Philippines", Frequently Asked Questions on the Eruption in Iceland – from the Icelandic Met Office, BBC webpage with film of the volcano, taken from 500m from the crater's edge, by Chris Weber on 13 May 2010, Collection of Scientific Earth Observations and Models, Satellite evidence of hot lava flows from an Icelandic volcano (CIMSS Satellite Blog), Description of beginning of current eruption, (March 2010), Icelandic Met Office, Webpages and -links related to 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruptions. Situated to the north of Skógar and to the west of the larger ice cap Mýrdalsjökull, Eyjafjallajökull covers the caldera of a volcano 1,666 m (5,466 ft) high, which has erupted relatively frequently since the last ice age. Its highest point rises to 5,466 feet (1,666 metres) above sea level. Explosive eruptive phase of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, Iceland, begins 14 April 2010. [1], Seismic activity started at the end of 2009 and gradually increased in intensity until on 20 March 2010, a small eruption began, rated as a 1 on the volcanic explosivity index.[2]. In addition to volcanic ash being very hazardous to aircraft,[56] the location of this eruption directly under the jet stream ensured that the ash was carried into the heavily used airspace over northern and central Europe. When the second fissure appeared, the road was closed again because of the danger of flash floods, which could have developed if the fissure had opened near big ice caps or other snow reservoirs, but the road was again opened at around noon on 1 April. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The volcanic eruption near Eyjafjallajökull persists into its second week, with continued lava fountaining and lava flows spilling into nearby canyons. Beginning on 14 April 2010, the eruption entered a second phase and created an ash cloud that led to the closure of most of the European IFR airspace from 15 until 20 April 2010. Teams from the Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue were stationed at the eruption site as part of standard safety measures and to assist in enforcing access restrictions. On April 14, lava from new fissures surfaced beneath the crater of the glacier-covered summit. Fearing the damage to commercial aircraft and potential loss of life that could result from flying through the ash cloud, many European countries closed their national airspace and grounded flights for several days. All ash dispersion models for this geographic region were produced by the VAAC in London. With a VEI (Volcanic Explosivity Index) of four, the 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull was not one of the largest recorded eruptions, but the resulting damage was significant. Eyjafjallajökull first erupted on March 20, 2010, in a fiery display that sent fountains of lava shooting high into the air and ribbons of lava flowing down cliff faces. About 20 countries closed their airspace to commercial jet traffic and it affected approximately 10 million travellers. Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull (pronounced “AY-yah-fyah-lah-YOH-kuul”) Volcano roared to life on April 14, 2010, injecting billowing clouds of steam and volcanic ash into the atmosphere. On April 14th 2010 the top crater in the center of the glacier of Eyjafjallajökull started erupting. This second phase erupted trachyandesite. [54] The thick layer of ash that had fallen on some Icelandic pastures and farms at Raufarfell had become wet and compact, making it very difficult to continue farming, harvesting, or grazing livestock.[55]. After that, many further vapour explosions occurred. The eruption, rather than taking place under the ice cap of the glacier, occurred in the mountain pass between the Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull glaciers. Iceland has several volcanoes and is situated on two tectonic plates – the North American plate and Eurasian plate. The lava was alkali olivine basalt[40] and was relatively viscous, causing the motion of the lava stream to the west and east of the fissure to be slow. Expanding gases from the rapid vaporization of ice started a series of moderate phreatomagmatic explosions (which result from the contact of water and magma) that sent a plume of steam and ash almost 7 miles (11 km) into the atmosphere. The series of events included earthquakes, landslides and melting of the glacier on the top of the mountain. The 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull were volcanic events at Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland which, although relatively small for volcanic eruptions, caused enormous disruption to air travel across western and northern Europe over an initial period of six days in April 2010. The ash plume that was created reached a height of 11 km. On 14 April 2010, however, the eruption entered an explosive phase and ejected fine glass-rich ash to over 8 km (5.0 mi) into the atmosphere. [65], Volcanic ash is a major hazard to aircraft. ), This unusual seismic activity, along with the rapid movement of the Earth's crust in the area, gave geophysicists evidence that magma was flowing from underneath the crust into Eyjafjallajökull's magma chamber and that pressure stemming from the process caused (in geophysical terms) the huge crustal displacement at Þorvaldseyri farm. Omissions? The first phase of the eruption lasted from 20 March to 12 April 2010 and was characterised by olivine basaltic andesite lava flowing from various eruptive vents on the flanks of the mountain. As long as the fissure was not near the glacier, the risk of flooding was minimal; however, the fissure could extend into the ice cap, thereby greatly increasing the risk of flooding. Neither phase of the eruption was unusually powerful. The eruption is thought to have begun on 20 March 2010, about 8 km (5 mi) east of the top crater of the volcano, on Fimmvörðuháls, the high neck between Eyjafjallajökull and the … Most of these were too small (magnitude 2) to be interpreted as precursors to an eruption, but some could be detected in nearby towns. [59], During the eruption, the BBC television news announcers did not try to pronounce the name "Eyjafjallajökull," but called it "the Iceland volcano.". Its name is derived from an Icelandic phrase meaning “the island’s mountain glacier,” and the volcano itself lies beneath Eyjafjallajökull (Eyjafjalla Glacier). The heat from the lava quickly melted and vaporized the glacier ice above. While some ash fell on uninhabited areas in Iceland, most had been carried by westerly winds resulting in the shutdown of large air space over Europe. [8] Previous eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull have been followed by eruptions at its larger neighbour, Katla. From the initial eruptive activity at Eyjafjallajokull volcano in 2010, that was a lava producing eruption 20 March - 12 April, preceding the explosive eruption. Iceland is outlined at top left; in the plume's path are the Faroe and Shetland islands. The earthquake swarm was followed by the onset of a seismic eruption tremor. The Institute of Earth Sciences[60] made a preliminary estimate of erupted material in the first three days of the eruption on 14 April 2010 at Eyjafjallajökull. The craters can be seen when hiking the Fimmvörðuháls trail as well as the lava field from the eruption called, Goðahraun. By way of comparison, the Mount St. Helens eruption of 1980 was rated as 5 on the VEI, and the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo was rated as a 6. [76][77] Other notable volcanic eruptions in recent years include the eruption of Mount Pinatubo of 1991 of VEI 6. [30][31][32] Inhabitants of the risk zone of Fljótshlíð, Eyjafjöll, and Landeyjar area were allowed to return to their farms and homes after an evening meeting with the Civil Protection Department on 22 March and the evacuation plan was temporarily dismissed. [18] However, during the night of 22 March, they reported some volcanic ash fall reaching the Fljótshlíð area (20 to 25 km (12 to 16 mi) north-west of the eruption's location)[19] and Hvolsvöllur town (40 kilometres (25 mi) north-west of the eruption location)[19] leaving vehicles with a fine, grey layer of volcanic ash. The volcano's explosive power was enough to inject ash directly into the jet stream. https://www.britannica.com/place/Eyjafjallajokull-volcano, NASA - Eruption of Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, Iceland, Global Volcanism Program - Eyjafjallajökull, Eyjafjallajökull volcano - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). The Icelandic flag carrier airline, Icelandair, seemed at first especially vulnerable, but managed to deal effectively with the eruption and subsequently published a detailed report about its actions and conclusions. High-fluoride Hekla eruptions pose a threat to foraging livestock, especially sheep. The April 2010 eruption of Eyjafjallajökull volcano (Figure 1), located on Iceland's southern coast, created unprecedented disruptions to European air traffic during 15–20 April, costing the aviation industry an estimated $250 million per day (see the related news item in this issue). [33][34][35], On 22 March, a flow meter device in the Krossá glacial river (which drains Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull glaciers) in the Þórsmörk area (a few kilometres north-west of the erupting location) started to record a sudden rise in water level and water temperature – the total water temperature rose by 6 °C (11 °F) over a two-hour period, which had never happened so quickly in the Krossá river since measurements began. Eyjafjallajökull volcano emitting ash into the air over southern Iceland, April 16, 2010. Where ash fall was significant, all horses had to be sheltered indoors. The fissure vent eruption on Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland on March 21, 2010. Large-scale release of sulphur dioxide into the troposphere also poses a potential health risk, especially to people with pre-existing breathing disorders. The second phase resulted in an estimated 250 million cubic metres (330,000,000 cu yd) (0.25 km3) of ejected tephra and an ash plume that rose to a height around 9 km (5.6 mi), which rates the explosive power of the eruption as a 4 on the volcanic explosivity index. Ash plume reached 11,000m in the air – reached the stratosphere. The Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2010 had a huge impact on the aviation industry in Europe (Donovan & Oppenheimer, 2010). Unlike the earlier eruption phase, the second phase occurred beneath glacial ice. [53] In 1783, 79% of the Icelandic sheep stock were killed, probably as a result of fluorosis caused by the eruption of Laki. Composite map of the volcanic ash cloud spanning 14–25 April 2010, Volume of erupted material and magma discharge, Short- and long-term weather and environmental effects, Measurements made by using maps and measurement tools from Fasteignaskrá Íslandskort, Meteorological Institute of Iceland: Eruption in Fimmvörðuháls mountain pass, Kvöldfréttir Stöðvar Tvö "Viðtal við Ármann Höskuldsson eldfjallafræðing", 2010 eruption series in the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic system, Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue, Air travel disruption after the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption, knock on impact on the economy and cultural events, previous related sequence of eruptions of this volcano, beginning in 1821, Effects of the April 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption, "Volcanic eruptions: Science and Risk Management", "Eruption in Eyjafjallajökull Status Report: 11:00 GMT, 7 June 2010", "Eruption in Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull Over", "Eruption in Iceland – frequently asked questions", "Iceland prepares for second, more devastating volcanic eruption", "BBC Newsnight interview with President Grímsson of Iceland, 20 April 2010", "Scientists picture Icelandic volcano's 'plumbing, "Eruption at the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic system", "Seismic Signs of Magma Pathways through the Crust in the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, South Iceland", "Jarðskjálftahrina undir Eyjafjallajökli", "GPS time series for Eyjafjallajökull and Katla Volcano", UNEP Year Book2011, An Overview of Our Changing Environment, "Caistor children flee as Iceland volcano erupts | Grimsby Telegraph", Volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallaglacier – flights to Iceland are on hold, "Fyrsta vél frá Boston í loftið klukkan hálf fimm", "Litlar líkur taldar á öðru gosi við Eyjafjallajökul", "Volcano Erupts Under Eyjafjallajökull – The Reykjavik Grapevine", "Gosið enn í gangi – Farið að bera á öskufalli", "Ný gossprunga – skráð 01.04.2010 kl. : TV Show `` 60 Minutes '' Captures the eruption was declared officially over in October 2010 when! 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