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 direction of the jet stream was unusually stable at the time of the eruption's second phase, continuously southeast. More than 100 million cubic meters of lava erupted, more than 1000 million cubic meters of tephra erupted. , 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. Published Mar 29, 2010 Land Volcanoes , The grounding of European flights avoided about 3.44×108 kg of CO2 emissions per day, while the volcano emitted about 1.5×108 kg of CO2 per day.. 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. All ash dispersion models for this geographic region were produced by the VAAC in London. The latter eruption continued intermittently for nearly 14 months. An eruption began in South Iceland in late evening of 20 March 2010 at the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic system (also known as Eyjafjöll volcano – Global Volcanism Program Volcano number 1702-02=). 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. Eyjafjallajökull volcano, beneath an extension of Mýrdalsjökull (Mýrdals Glacier), erupted in March 2010 for the first time since 1821. Update on activity in Eyjafjallajökull 2010 Eruption in Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland. The second eruptive phase happened under 200 m (660 ft) of glacial ice. Immediately before the eruption, the depth of the seismicity had become shallow, but was not significantly enhanced from what it had been in the previous weeks. 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 … The most recent major eruptions occurred in 920, 1612, and from 1821 to 1823.  In 1783, 79% of the Icelandic sheep stock were killed, probably as a result of fluorosis caused by the eruption of Laki. Iceland’s capital city, Reykjavik, is situated just 160km west of where Eyjafjallajökull erupted. 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. This, together with the magnitude of the eruption (estimated to be VEI 4) 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. , Eyjafjallajökull (pronounced [ˈɛɪjaˌfjatl̥aˌjœːkʏtl] (listen)) is one of Iceland's smaller ice caps located in the far south of the island.  Other notable volcanic eruptions in recent years include the eruption of Mount Pinatubo of 1991 of VEI 6. Vodafone and the Icelandic telecommunications company Míla installed webcams, giving views of the eruption from Valahnúkur, Hvolsvöllur, and Þórólfsfell. Consequently, a very high proportion of flights within, to, and from Europe were cancelled, creating the highest level of air travel disruption since the Second World War. 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. In addition to volcanic ash being very hazardous to aircraft, 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. This was 10–20 times the average discharge rate in the preceding flank eruption at Fimmvörðuháls. 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. , Volcanic ash is a major hazard to aircraft. Meltwater started to emanate from the ice cap around 07:00 on 14 April and an eruption plume was observed in the early morning. Ash plume reached 11,000m in the air – reached the stratosphere. The study reported increased activity that occurred between June and August 2009 (200 events), compared to a total of about 250 earthquakes recorded between September 2006 and August 2009. On April 14th 2010 the top crater in the center of the glacier of Eyjafjallajökull started erupting. The initial visual report of the eruption was at 23:52 GMT, when a red cloud was seen at the north slopes of Fimmvörðuháls mountain pass, lighting up the sky above the eruptive site. These two erupting fissures shared the same magma chamber, according to geophysicists. Lace your climbing boots tight, because this quiz will test whether you can conquer the highest peaks of knowledge. This, with the abundant water-ice at the summit, aids in making lightning..  Seismic data showed that the frequency and intensity of earth tremors still exceeded the levels observed before the eruption, therefore scientists at the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO) and the Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland (IES) continued to monitor the volcano. A series of vents along a 2-km-long north–south-oriented fissure was active, with meltwater flowing mostly down the northern slopes of the volcano, but also to the south. , 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"). Ash ejection from this phase of the eruption was small, rising to no more than 4 km (2.5 mi) into the atmosphere. The first phase of the 2010 eruption began late on the evening of 20 March at the Eyjafjallajökull. The heat from the lava quickly melted and vaporized the glacier ice above. However, the second phase of Eyjafjallajökull's eruption lasted longer than that of Mount Pinatubo. 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. The molten lava flowed more than 4,000 m (13,000 ft) to the north-east of the fissure and into Hrunagil canyon, forming a lava fall more than 200 m (660 ft) long and slowly approaching Þórsmörk, but had not yet[update] reached the flood plains of Krossá. , 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. Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull Volcano burst into life for the first time in 190 years on March 20, 2010. Additional localised disruption continued into May 2010. 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. 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.  At the end of December 2009, seismic activity began around the Eyjafjallajökull volcano area, with thousands of small earthquakes (mostly of magnitude 1–2 Mw), 7 to 10 km (4.3 to 6.2 mi) beneath the volcano.  On 23 March, a small vapour explosion took place, when hot magma came into contact with nearby snowdrifts, emitting a vapour plume which reached an altitude of 7 km (4.3 mi), and was detected on radar from the Meteorological Institute of Iceland. 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. 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).  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. 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. On April 14, lava from new fissures surfaced beneath the crater of the glacier-covered summit. Shortly afterward, the water level returned to normal and water temperature decreased. The recent eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull and the largest ash plume associated with the second eruption phase were not unparalleled in either volume or abundance; however, the location was the critical factor because it affected air travel across Europe. , Samples of volcanic ash collected near the eruption showed a silica concentration of 58%—much higher than in the lava flows. The Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2010 had a huge impact on the aviation industry in Europe (Donovan & Oppenheimer, 2010). The eruption was declared officially over in October 2010, when snow on the glacier did not melt. 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. Eyjafjallajökull has erupted in the years 920, 1612, 1821 and 2010.  Previous eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull have been followed by eruptions at its larger neighbour, Katla. A 500 metre fissure opened up. Explosive eruptive phase of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, Iceland, begins 14 April 2010. The Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted in 920, 1612 and again from 1821 to 1823 when it caused a glacial lake outburst flood (or jökulhlaup). Fluoride poisoning can start in sheep at a diet with fluorine content of 25 ppm. Big floods (… Records kept since Iceland was settled show that Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted in 920, 1612 or 1613, and 1821–23. It was the highest level of air travel disruption since World War 2. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. In March 2010 a small eruption started close to the famoushiking trail Fimmvörðuháls. Most of these were too small (magnitude 2) to be interpreted as precursors to an eruption, but some could be detected in nearby towns. 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.… Causes : Eyjafjallajökull lay on the sixth biggest ice sheet in Iceland, approximately 100km2 – this resulted in excess flood water as the ice sheet melted. Craters in autumn. 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. A short time-lapse from 17 April 2010. Its name is derived from an Icelandic phrase meaning “the island’s mountain glacier,” and the volcano itself lies beneath Eyjafjallajökull (Eyjafjalla Glacier). Iceland has several volcanoes and is situated on two tectonic plates – the North American plate and Eurasian plate. The crater at the top is 4 km across. In October 2010, Ármann Höskuldsson, a scientist at the University of Iceland Institute of Earth Sciences, stated that the eruption was officially over, although the area was still geothermally active and might erupt again.  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. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The volcano's explosive power was enough to inject ash directly into the jet stream. "Volcano tourism" quickly sprang up in the wake of the eruption, with local tour companies offering day trips to see the volcano. 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. The massive volcanic plumes released on the 14th of April 2010, covered almost the entirety of Northern Europe and forced more than 20 countries to close their airspace. On 20th March 2010, Eyjafjallajökull burst into life after nearly 190 years of inactivity. 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. Initially detected visually, the eruption was seen at 2352 that day as a red cloud above the site.  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. By the morning of 24 May 2010, the view from the web camera installed on Þórólfsfell showed only a plume of water vapour surrounded by a bluish haze caused by emission of sulphurous gases. Updates?  When rocks and other ejecta collide with one another, they create static electricity. He serves currently as the editor of Earth and life sciences, covering climatology, geology, zoology, and other topics that relate to... What is the highest mountain range in South America? By the evening of 6 June 2010, a small, new crater had opened up on the west side of the main crater. , 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. The London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC), part of the UK Met Office, was responsible for forecasting the presence of volcanic ash in the north-east Atlantic. This second phase erupted trachyandesite. The 2010 eruption of Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano had a huge impact on air travel, changing the assessment of risk by the aviation sector and catalyzing new lines of scientific investigation.  The Civil Protection Department 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.  Smoke and ash from eruptions reduce visibility for visual navigation, and microscopic debris in the ash can sandblast windscreens and melt in the heat of aircraft turbine engines, damaging engines and making them shut down. The volcanic events starting in March 2010 were considered to be a single eruption divided into phases. Most Recent Weekly Report: 27 October-2 November 2010 Cite this Report. The eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in May 2010 resulted in the grounding of thousands of flights all over Europe. Its summit is 1,651 meters above sea level. Read more: TV Show "60 Minutes" Captures the Eruption of Eyjafjallajökull Volcano.  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) and Hvolsvöllur town (40 kilometres (25 mi) north-west of the eruption location) leaving vehicles with a fine, grey layer of volcanic ash. 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. , 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. The plume was driven southeast, across the North Atlantic Ocean to northern Europe, by the prevailing winds. (See the GPS Time Series page of the Nordic Volcanological Center's website for detailed information on the degree of movement detected in the Earth's crust in the Eyjafjallajökull locality. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. , 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 view of the eruption from Þórólfsfel also includes a thermal imaging camera. This indicates that the rate at which magma was flowing into the magma chamber roughly equaled the rate at which it was being lost due to the eruption, giving evidence that this phase of volcanic activity reached equilibrium.  Crustal expansion continued at Þorvaldseyri for two days after the eruption began, but was slowly decreasing whilst the volcanic activity was increasing. Its highest point rises to 5,466 feet (1,666 metres) above sea level.  This eruption lasted eight days, from 7 – 15 June of that year, with an ash cloud that would have required additional days to dissipate, and resulted in worldwide abnormal weather and decrease in global temperature over the next few years. Additional localised disruption continued into May 2010. 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. 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. , This volcanic activity so disruptive to air travel because of a combination of factors:. 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. IES also noted that the eruption continue with less explosive activity. Eruption of Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, Iceland. 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. Eyjafjallajökull volcano emitting ash into the air over southern Iceland, April 16, 2010.  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. Lava flows – 1000 degrees Calcius lava spewed 150m into the air. On March 21, fountains of lava began exiting through a 0.3-mile- (500-metre-) long vent in the ice-free Fimmvörduháls Pass, which separates the Eyjafjallajökull glacier from the larger glacier Mýrdalsjökull to the east. 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