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Ash plume from Eyjafjallajokull Volcano, Iceland

63.5N 19.8W

April 18th, 2010 Category: Volcanoes

Ash plume, Iceland - April 17th, 2010

Ash plume, Iceland - April 17th, 2010

Eyjafjallajökull volcano on April 3rd, 2010

Eyjafjallajökull volcano

Europe’s air travel chaos deepened on Saturday as a huge cloud of volcanic ash spread southeast across the continent, halting more than three in four flights and stranding tens of thousands of passengers worldwide.

European aviation agency Eurocontrol said no landings or takeoffs were possible for civilian aircraft in most of northern and central Europe because of the ash spewed out by the Icelandic volcano, which was still erupting.

Many countries closed airspace until Sunday or Monday and weather experts forecast the cloud would not move far. They said the plume of ash could even become more concentrated on Tuesday and Wednesday, posing a greater threat to air travel.

The plume that floated through the upper atmosphere, where it could wreak havoc on jet engines and airframes, is costing airlines more than $200 million a day.

Crater of Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, Iceland – April 18th, 2010

63.5N 19.6W

April 18th, 2010 Category: Image of the day, Volcanoes

Iceland - April 14th, 2010

Iceland - April 14th, 2010

This orthorectified image shows the Eyjafjallajökull glacier (pronounced [ˈɛɪjaˌfjatlaˌjœːkʏtl̥], translated “island-mountains glacier”), one of the smaller glaciers of Iceland. It is situated to the north of Skógar and to the west of the larger glacier Mýrdalsjökull (dark area, right).

The icecap of the glacier covers a volcano (1,666 metres or 5,466 ft in height) which has erupted relatively frequently since the Ice Age. The volcano erupted twice in 2010, on 20 March and 15 April. The April eruption caused massive disruption to air traffic across Northern Europe, while scientists claimed it was ten to twenty times more powerful than the March event.

The crater of the volcano, visible near the center of the image, near the shoreline and the river, has a diameter of 3–4 kilometres (1.9–2.5 mi) and the glacier covers an area of about 100 square kilometres (39 sq mi).

Mýrdalsjökull and Eyjafjallajökull Glaciers, Iceland

63.6N 19.1W

August 26th, 2009 Category: Volcanoes

Iceland - August 13th, 2009

Iceland - August 13th, 2009

Two glaciers in the south of Iceland appear as dark patches in this orthorectified image: Mýrdalsjökull (larger, right) and Eyjafjallajökull (smaller, left).

Mýrdalsjökull, literally meaning the ice cap in the marsh valley, is situated to the north of Vík í Mýrdal. Its peak reaches 1,493 m in height and in 1980 it covered an area of 595 km².

The ice-cap of the glacier covers an active volcano called Katla. The crater of the volcano has a diameter of 10 km and the volcano erupts normally every 40 – 80 years. As the last eruption took place in 1918, scientists are monitoring the volcano very carefully.

Since 930, 16 eruptions have been documented. The Laki craters and the Eldgjá being part of the same volcanic system, it can be regarded as one of the most powerful in the world.

The icecap of Eyjafjallajökull, one of the smaller glaciers of Iceland, situated to the north of Skógar, also covers a volcano. The volcano is 1,666 m in height and has erupted relatively frequently since the Ice Age. The last eruption was from 1821 to 1823, causing a fatal glacier run.

The crater of the volcano has a diameter of 3-4 km and the glacier covers an area of about 100 km². The south end of the mountain was once part of the Atlantic coastline. As the sea has since retreated some 5 km, the former coastline has left behind sheer cliffs with a multitude of beautiful waterfalls.

Cloud of Ash Spewing from Iceland’s Grimsvotn Volcano – May 26th, 2011

64.4N 17.3W

May 26th, 2011 Category: Image of the day, Volcanoes

Iceland - May 23rd, 2011

This image shows a cloud of ash spewing from Iceland’s Grimsvotn volcano, a vision reminiscent of the 2010 eruptions of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano (click here for previous articles). The Grimsvotn volcano is located under the Vatnajokull glacier in the Vatnajokull National Park – the biggest national park in Europe.

Although the eruption temporarily affected European air travel, with about 700 flights cancelled in Germany on Wednesday, air traffic is now operating normally. In Iceland, clean up of the ash has begun, and all major roads have been reopened.

Condensation Trails Over Germany and Denmark

54.4N 11.0E

May 13th, 2010 Category: Snapshots

Germany - April 28th, 2010

Germany - April 28th, 2010

Condensation trails are visible over Germany, some of the Danish isles and the Baltic Sea in this recent image that was obviously taken on a day when ash from the erupting Eyjafjallajokul volcano was not blowing over northern european airspace and interfering with flights.

Condensation trails, or contrails, are streaks of condensed water vapor caused by hot engine exhaust  from airplanes cooling in the atmosphere.