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Wednesday, 25 May 2011

GRIMSVÖTN: ANOTHER ICELANDIC VOLCANO DISRUPTS EUROPEAN SKIES A YEAR AFTER


Here's information on Iceland's 2011 volcano, which threats to close down European skies:

[bbc.co.uk]
Iceland has closed its main international airport and cancelled domestic flights after its most active volcano, Grimsvotn, began erupting.
A plume of smoke has risen 20km (12 miles) into the sky from the volcano.
But Iceland's Meteorological Office says the eruption should not cause widespread disruption to air traffic.
Last year, ash clouds from another Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajokul, led to the closure of a large section of European airspace.
Governments feared that ash particles could cause aircraft engines to fail, and the closure caused chaos to air travellers.
Different ash
Hjordis Gudmundsdottir, a spokeswoman for the Isavia civil aviation authority said: "We have closed the area until we know better what effect the ash will have."
The authority said Keflavik airport, the country's main hub, would remain shut for the rest of Sunday.
But officials say the eruption is unlikely to have the same impact as Eyjafjallajokul in 2010.
University of Iceland geophysicist Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson said this was Grimsvotn's largest eruption for 100 years, "much bigger and more intensive than Eyjafjallajokull".
He added: "There is a very large area in south-east Iceland where there is almost total darkness and heavy fall of ash. But it is not spreading nearly as much. The winds are not as strong as they were in Eyjafjallajokull."
He said this ash was coarser than last year's eruption, falling to the ground more quickly instead of floating long distances.



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