Iceland: Volcanic Update

It’s not only the sun that’s heating up, so are the volcanic activity at Iceland. According to the Modern Survival Blog, ash could begin to reach parts of Scotland as early as Tuesday followed by Britain, France, and Spain while a powerful Icelandic volcano named Grimsfjall (“Grimsvotn”) continues to erupt there at the Vatnajökull ice cap – Europe’s largest glacier.

“First estimations show this is 10 times larger than the 2004 eruption.”

eyewitness

One observer says, “There was no warning at all…approximately 20 minutes from first quake to eruption.First estimations show this is 10 times larger than the 2004 eruption.”

There were some expectations that the next eruption at Grimsfjall/Grimsvotn would be stronger, due to increased bulging inflation in the area, but the powerful explosion and ash plume reaching as high as 25 km, caught many out, the ModernSurvivalBlog writes.

A curious observation followed the initial quake swarm and eruption. Once the magma reaches the surface, the quakes typically stop.

With Grimsfjall/Grimsvotn, another earthquake swarm persisted to the east.

There is also renewed earthquake activity to the south, at the Katla volcano region, which itself is a time-bomb waiting to unleash its fury.

Locally, the immediate threat is ash-fall, which this time is of a heavy consistency.

Threats of glacial water flooding persist due to the intense volcanic heat melting the ice.

Further away, European air traffic control are working with Meteorology Offices to determine the path of the ash cloud and the impact it may have on European air traffic this week.

One year ago, much of European air traffic was shut down for 6 days from another Icelandic volcano that blew its top (Eyjafjallajokull), leaving countless stranded travelers and a dent in the economy.

Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson, Professor of Geophysics at the University of Iceland, says:

“We see some signs that the power is declining a bit, but it is still quite powerful,” adding that the eruption was the most violent at the volcano since 1873.

The potential disruption during the upcoming week will depend on the atmospheric wind patterns, and the ongoing strength of the eruption itself.

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