A night shot of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption showing the glowing plume from the strombolian explosions and the Aurora Borealis overhead.
A quick update on the current activity at Eyjafjallajökull eruption: the eruption continues at the summit craters, but there seems to be less ash being erupted, at least yesterday. The latest update from the Icelandic Met Office suggest that things are settling down – but floods are still periodically being produced by melting of the glacier:
Volcanic tremor has been similar the last 24 hours. GPS stations around Eyjafjallajökull showed deflation associated with the eruption.
The plume could be seen on IMO’s radar till 04:00. This morning it rose up to 16.000 feet, ca 4.8 km, and ash is blowing towards west.
Water in Markarfljot river increased slightly yesterday, probably due to continuous flow from the eruption area (Gigjökull).
You can keep up with changes in the ash cloud over on the UK Met Office Volcano Blog.
As the hub-bub begins to die down from the Eyjafjallajökull eruption, we can talk about some of the interesting ramifications of such a prominent volcanic eruption (at least in terms of the amount of news coverage):
- Tourism: Apparently “volcano tourism” is now all the rage. So much for trying to see a volcano on the cheap, eh? And if watching the volcano wasn’t exciting enough, how about skiing down the active volcanoes of Iceland?
- Business/Politics: The reaction of the European airlines and officials to the eruption and the passengers once flights resumed will be a topic of debate for a while. What the longterm effect on the air travel will not clear – both in terms of money lost and passenger confidence. However, politicians and businessmen are already using the eruption to get changes made in the EU.
- Iceland: Lost in a lot of this travel chaos is the effect of the eruption on Iceland itself. For the first time, ash from the eruption closed airports on the island nation today – and the recovery from the eruption is just beginning, even with the activity still going strong.
- Science: The debate on the eruption itself and its potential climatic effects will be closely watched for the next year (or more). I would hope that this discussion doesn’t degrade into the name-calling and mindless rhetoric that most climate discussions in the general public have become, but instead use the eruption to take a close look at how an eruption like this effects climate.
UPDATE: One quick update, but here is a great post on the NASA Earth Observatory, showing not only the visual record of the ash plume, but also compositional data. Great stuff!
UPDATE 2:: OK, one last update – here is an article from NSF talking about the state of glaciovolcanic studies. Lots of nice images modern and ancient evidence of lava-ice interaction.
Unless something changes dramatically, I likely won’t have any new posts until Monday – but feel free to post any interesting related information here!