Eyjafjallajökull Update for 5/13/2010: Travel snarls ease over Europe

An aerial view of Eyjafjallajökull erupting on May 11, 2010, with the extent of the black ash from the eruption on GÃgjökull clearly evident, along with the cracks in the glacier near the lava flow. Photo from the Icelandic Met Office, by Sigurlaug Hjaltadóttir.

Since this past weekend's disruptions due to Eyjafjallajökull, the air over Europe has cleared and most of the airports in Spain, Portugal and Germany (along with those in Morocco) have reopened. The current ash advisory by the London VAAC looks like it will only effect transatlantic flights and Iceland itself, with the ash cloud stretching down the axis of the Atlantic Ocean. Of course, things could change quickly - and that is the constant threat that travelers in and around Europe will face while the volcano is erupting. This idea has prompted the EU to considering changing its ash avoidance rules for air travel.

Webcam capture of Eyjafjallajökull erupting on May 12, 2010, with the grey eruption plume peaking out from behind the cloud layer.

The eruption itself hasn't changed dramatically since the explosive activity became reinvigorated over the weekend. The Icelandic Met Office reports that the ash cloud is slightly lower than in the past few days but still over 4-5 km (>13,000 feet) tall. They have posted a nice article on the ash plume with some photographs of how it changes. There were also more reports of lightning in the plume yesterday. You can see a number of timelapse videos of the volcano's activity over here, including FLIR thermal images. I want to offer a big tip o' the cap to everyone who has been putting together these timelapse videos - definitely helps me stay caught up on the activity at Eyjafjallajökull. Keep it up!

More like this

The GÃgjökull outlet glacier on Eyjafjallajökull, showing the steaming lava flow carving its way through the glacier. Image taken May 5, 2010 by Dr. Joseph Licciardi. A quick update on the ongoing activity at Eyjafjallajökull: The activity at the volcano continues to be more explosive during the…
A shot of the summit area of Eyjafjallajökull, showing the twin steam-and-ash plumes from the lava flow and active vent. Picture taken by Dr. Joseph Licciardi (UNH). Over the weekend, the newly reinvigorated ash eruptions from Eyjafjallajökull combined with favorable winds meant that ash from the…
The eruptive plume from Eyjafjallajökull taken Holsvelli webcam. Image courtesy of Mattias Larsson. Sorry to disappoint everyone visiting to blog while they sit at any number of airports around the world, but the eruption at Eyjafjallajökull appears to still be going strong. The Icelandic Met…
The steam plume from a lava flow moving down the slopes of Eyjafjallajökull on May 2, 2010. A quick note on the activity at Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland: The ash from the ongoing eruption has caused a partial closure of airspace over Ireland from 0600 to 1200 on Tuesday May 4. This is one of the…

Good morning.

Erik, it seems like the little vent with the steam is getting bigger and hotter on the FLIR, am I wrong? Thanks

At the moment the ash plume is somewhat stronger. Reykjavik radar now puts the height at 8.2km, and the top is outside the field of view of the Hvolsvöllur and Múkalot cameras.

It also looks like that little steam vent turned darker, like ash...

Haha - just went on the tremors page for the first time in a while - since I last went they've added this line of text:

Katla is NOT erupting and there are NO indications that Katla is about to erupt. Information on this page is for the Eyjafjallajökull eruption.

By hannahsmetana (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

"...cracks in the glacier..."

Crevasses, surely?

By Pedant's pencil (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

GÃgjökull Glacier Time Lapse - 16 April 2010 to 13 May 2010 This video shows the changes that have occurred to GÃgjökull valley in the weeks since the eruption started. There are no webcam images of the glacial lake before the initial outbreak and flooding; the time lapse begins 16 April. Two days are missing: one day with no images on the vodafone server, one day with only cloud all day.


By d9tRotterdam (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

The plume is definately reaching a higher altitude today. As for the enlarged "little vent" that you see on the FLIR image. My thoughts have been is that this is the lava flow moving through the glacier. I'm thinking that the FLIR camera can now just see more of the thermal image, whether more glacier has melted or broken away. If you look alittle furthur down the glacier towards the valley you will see a couple areas that are slightly warmer then the surroundings. I think this is where the flow has extended to.

I can't even see the top of the ash plume right now so you know it is tall. Way higher then 13,000 feet and maybe even closer to 30,000 feet, just a guess but it is pretty close. Almsot 2 months since the eruption started and it is still going strong.

By Chance Metz (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

Nice time lapse. Like the little puffs of steam - none in the last week though. Time to put the kettle on again?

By hannahsmetana (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

#7 Rotterdam: thanks for that video! Shows clear what happened sinds 16.4.

By Lavendel, Swit… (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

The Keflavik radar gave 9.0 km as the highest level at 1430 local time, an hour ago. The current number is 5.2, which I believe is not quite right, seeing the plume.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

No way it is only 5 km. that has to be a error or else the plume just got this tall again.

By Chance Metz (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

I think we're used to seeing the plume blowing pretty strongly away from the cameras, now it has swung more towards them - would make the plume seem larger...

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

There is faint black smoke coming from the lava trench, in the part where the apparent angle is about 45 degrees to the right of vertical. Hot stuff without water to boil?

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

OK before anyone as inept as i are, misses any more:
On the Picasa web album...if You click the magnifying glass icon and put Your screen up to 200%, You can touch and move the picture around and get so close You can almost walk under the arch....
ok... i hear You out there laughing at this old lady, but MAYBE there is someone out there that doesn't know about this. (like me; yesterday) :)

More EQs

3 EQ and the little steam plume starts to look like ash! Gets bigger.

Anyone see the dinosaur to the right of the round rock?
Looks like he's interested too!

@motsfo - you mean the TRex head at about 1 o'clock above the split stone?

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

Watching from the mila cams
from the Hvolsvöllur you can see a white top of the mountain.
thorolfsfelli cam you can see it at the right site of the eruption. the ash plume is moveing into the left back of your view, seeing from the Hvolsvöllur, so the "white ash" is more on the opposite direction of the wind ( why? )

what is the "white" that i see?
it isnt just the sun shining into the spot reflecting it.

Right, Jón, it does look larger, wider - would llke to see the base. I just got a 'server not found' when I tried to refresh Thoro & Hvol cams. Mulacam shows a big mess and a low ash cloud.. Can just barely see the top on Heklubyggð.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

Dennis, it seems Eyjafjallajökull has been covered with snow overnight. It's happened several times before that an all-black mountain has been covered in thick cloud and re-emerged a pristine white. So again, there is a lot of moisture to feed the eruption. ;)

By Henrik, Swe (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

#23 Dennis: that's snow in my (humble) opinion.

By Lavendel, Swit… (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

@22... yeah, Kultsi, isn't that something!

Quick question

Close ups of the vent seem to show spattering and small fountains like those at Stromboli which I'd always thought of as being particular to low-viscosity basaltic magmas, but the ash analysis suggests this is an andesite eruption which I'd have thought was too sticky.

So - how common is it to see this sort of spattering from andesite eruptions?



By Mike Richards (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

@motsfo, a shout out-hello! To a fellow Alaskan ;) And I too, am hooked on our little friend, the RSO.

As to today's current activity, I am glad to discover that some of the cams will load properly as I darned near had withdrawals yesterday ;)

For some reason, I keep expecting something else to happen-increased activity at another volcano....just a hunch, it seems likely based on the history there. A little concerned about fouride, and not too clear on which volcano/type or eruption produces it-can someone point me to a link? Thanks very much.

I watch these people up there taking pictures and I have to wonder...doesn't anyone have a decent camera any more? I mean really, if I'm going all the way there (even if from other parts of Iceland) I'm taking a good camera with good optics and multiple zoom capability. A cell phone camera wouldn't cut it for me.

5 EQ now

@AnnaReykjavik 31, I love that video - saw it somewhere a few threads back, great to re-post it - shows the patterns...interesting that there seem to be more Bardabunga area ones this time around...

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

While we are all "seeing things" - There was an excellent snow-on rock old Norse warriors head, walrus mustache and all, shown on the now defunct Valahnúk cam. He wandered off when it warmed up a little though. I can't see the T.Rex - however on the closeup Vodafone cam, can anyone else see a grinning man with a large nose and chin on the right next to the rock fissure?

Ecch - bad geography - wrong area - go back to hole!

By birdeseye (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

Sounds like there are a lot of Redoubt watchers here and probably a few others who watched the CVO site intently during the 2004 Mount St Helens eruption, as I did. It was quite a solitary experience. I found nothing like this forum, so I spent my hours googling and reloading the seismos and cams waiting for a glimpse after days of unremitting low overcast.

By Carla - Seattle (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

Today's EQs in the crater area are all in the ~3-4 km range, close to each other. Is this a precursor to opening a new vent on the west side?

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

That is a lot of people on the Thoro and FLIR cams lol

By Corporal_E (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

Seems to be a much frequented spot for trips and outings...

By Lavendel, Swit… (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

#28 Mike Richards.

Mike, it´´s not unusual to have this kind of spattering on andesitic volcanoes, but for sure thay are much larger than those at Stromboli. One of the best examples is Sakurajima, where you can have in the same day vulcanian explosions and then strombolian spattering. These volcanoes can range form basaltic to andesitic. I use to work in Nicaraguan volcanoes and sometimes it´s crazy to study so much different types of eruptive processes. But if you want to go crazy you should come to Teide volcano or how to go from nearly MORB to phonolites in just 400 meters, XD


By David Calvo (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

Someone mentioned that today is a national holiday. If i lived there, i'd pack a picnic and head out-- Didn't JonF say he was going to try and get out there today? Has anyone seen him?

By parclair NoCal USA (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

Today is Ascentionday which in many countries is an official day off. And ofcourse, wenn I lived there, I would take the oppportunity to go and have a look.
I guess I'm just jalous...

By Lavendel, Swit… (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

@parclair #41

Do you know what Jon Friman looks like? Maybe he was one of those friendly folks waving into the camera?

Clearly, a lot more foot traffic today than the other days...

By Holger, N California (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

Dan @ 30 - if they are Icelanders, the eruption might not seem special enough to make lugging a big camera up a hill worthwhile.

Slight off-topic: does anyone know where I can get good shapefiles for Iceland? I'm experimenting with a GIS program.

Is it all possible that a hiker can place the travelocity gnome for our webcam viewings

Yes Jón , I would not go so close either,you never know what could happen, and if it happens, it happens very very fast.You could never out run it. not even on Thorolfsfjäll.

Just got back from the volcano a couple of hours ago, after heading out there on Tuesday. Activity today seems a lot higher from the ground - the plume seemed higher (we estimated it at at least 6 km altitude, when it appeared through the clouds).

Ashfall to the south was VERY heavy this afternoon - driving out on Tuesday it wasn't so bad (but hanging out in it for 2 hours to study poor Solheimajokull wasn't great fun) but today it was very dense, and when we stopped for photos a 'wall' of dense ash moved in. Visibility was pretty poor. It seemed almost as bad as when I drove through it on 17th April!

It's interesting that lightning activity has picked up again - nothing to speak of today, but on Tuesday we saw and heard a number of strikes in the plume.

I should have some photos up soon, so I'll link through to them when I do.

@45 Doug C Good catch! and You can see all of him.

@Peter Cobbold - OK, you win - I contacted my alma mater which in 1999 did a geology trip to Iceland (with an optional side trip to Viking So. Greenland, afterwards.) Travel director said it is already tentatively on her list for 2012...open to non-alums as 'friends.' I will keep Erik posted, otherwise I I have no way to keep in touch especially with such an in-the-future time.

Anyone interested, start saving! Or look into a 'sooner' trip.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

@47 Ryan - : ) Preferably upside down in ash....or photoshopped to riding the plume....

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

Thanks motsfo. I see Redoubt is still slumbering fitfully. Judging from the webcams it's going to be a cloudy summer. I like the dome-size comparisons AVO put up.

Hi there! I can't find links for recent time-lapse video, especially FLIR. Are our generous movie producers exhausted, discouraged or simply nothing happens due to cloud curtain?

Anyway, I wish to thank any of previous contributors. Such material is very helpful for teaching petrology. So, please, donât give up! Keep on with good work!

*grmbl* The Vodafone cams need the boot. Again.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

In just few hours, the ash type of the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull has been going on for 1 month now. With the start of a eruption in Fimmvörðuháls (part of Eyjafjallajökull) the eruption has been going on for three months from the 21st of May. Give or take the small brake between the eruptions.

I look at Hvolsvelli cam.- its just amazing how High the ash plume now rises.
has the eruption open up another vent?

@ Birdseye 51 I go with a UK university/geological soc. group this summer, under Izzy tours. Reunion of 2000 trip, but with less muscle power and fewer neurones. Hoping Eyjaf still has some life left, but not too much. Organiser is academic geologist with decades of Iceland experience, but
I guess there must be geology under/postgrads in Iceland wanting to work as expert guides?

By Peter Cobbold (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

The eruption looks very photogenic on the apron cam in MÃlakot.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

take a look at the cam Guys, something is up,.. Im not sure , but it looks like a pyroclastic flow, going on to the right!?

Wow, "E" is pumping out a slew of ash/steam. Any word on how high the ash plume is today? Looks like 20,000 ft at least!

By Robert Bordona… (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

Hi guys,
Did any of you happen to see somthing (a bomb..) that appeared to be flying of Eyja at 21:55 local time, to the left, absurdly far???

By cristihan RO (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

@60 Thanks birdseyeUSA, I am familiar with that links. Hope for 12/05, now almost 13/05 FLIR time-lapse movies.

I was looking at the Hvolsvelli cam, and suddenly the right side of thje plume looked like it was colapsing, down the slope, is this normal?

Looking at the Hvolsvelli cam, the right hand side of the mountain does look very blurred and the ash cloud itself very very dark - After reading some of the above comments, I Google'd Pyroclastic Flow and from a video on there, it does look spookily similar! Any experts around to explain what migh tbe happening, or is it just a trick of the very low cloud?

By Steve, UK (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

@thor #66 & #70

From the mulakot webcam it looks more like heavy ash fall (at least to my uneducated eyes). But as was discussed yesterday, it wouldn't be surprising if Eyjafjallajökull would throw in a few pyroclastic flows at some point. While that would be awesome to see, it would also be very dangerous to the people nearby. Therefore, let's hope she / he behaves...

By Holger, N California (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

keep in mind that what you are observing right now on the Mila-Hvolvöllur is partly a refection of the change in the wind direction. in the recent days it has been blowing southeastwards (away from the camera). now there is very little wind, the little there is blowing south (causing heavy ashfall in the vicinity just south (right) of the mountain (2 meter visibility said one farmer on the radio just now). and it is predicted to go more into the southwesterly direction tomorow.
that being said, it looks like we got a bit more lava action than in recent days judging from the white plumes appearing to the right and what is now clearly visible in the Mila_Ãórólfell cam.

It definitly looks very familiar to a Pyroclastic flow,. but it can also be just strong winds over the ridge carrying the plume downwards and down the mountain slopes.
anyways I would not been near that area, cause i guess the air would be HOT down that slope!

One more question: did the SOHO and GOLA GPS station show a significant and sudden deflation or am I reading it wrong?

By cristihan RO (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

what is happening up there ? did she just suddenly stop?
first the part plume colapse down the slope and now she looks like she went calm? any one with any ideas , or is it because of the sunlight?

was that a lava bomb?

There's a low pressure center sitting almost on top of Eyjafjöll right now, so the ash isn't going to go far for the next day or so. I think the conditions could lead to some small pyroclastic flows caused by fountain collapse of the plume.

the steam plume is static because there is very little wind to shift it and alot of ash is falling straight down???

#77 (thor)
think not much is changing, except visibility. in the absense of wind the ash is not getting blown away in any one direction. and hence the exhaust pipe is just blending into an overall background of grey ash.

@63 Peter Cobbold Good for you! Suspect the same 'academic geologist' who led the 1999 trip will lead this one, too. Wonder if they'll add Greenland again. you can come back here and update us all on your trip! Wave from Thoro cam! (Holding ID sign, to escape comment... ; )

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

Let the light show begin...

A few lightning strikes were visible within the last few minutes on the Ãórólfsfell webcam. We'll see, if the lava will be visible tonight.

By Holger, N California (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

Hi, I was wondering: why does everybody call this volcano "she"? is it the same with every volcano? or just this one? and why? Thanks.

For those of you interested in detailed maps of the Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull area, I have compiled a Google Earth file containing overlays of 1:50,000 scale topographic maps of the area. Because of the large map images the file is 9.4MB in size. You can download the Google Earth file here:


The topo map images are from Landmælingar Ãslands.

With the map overlays and the Google Earth ruler tool it's quite easy to measure distances.

The file also shows the various web cam locations and includes download overlays of the latest NASA MODIS satellite images and two one-meter resolution GeoEye images.

I also created overlays of the 1:100,000 atlas sheets; the Google Earth file has my email address if anyone would like to request a copy of that file.

Hoo-boy! A strike in perfect view! Oh, the glow is just beginning to show on the widescreen cam.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

@ 66, 70, 75
Is the difference of the magma here as compared to the magma at the very first vent in some way connected to the absence of pyroclastic flows at the first site?
Speaking as a lay person without geology education, I suspect such spectacular phenomena would be critically dependent on tiny variables in the magma composition.

BTW, are there noticeable differences in the frequency of pyroclastic flows between the local (Iceandic) volcanoes and similar volcanoes elsewhere? I rarely hear of Icelandic volcanologists dying.

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

well, its a grand lady dont you think?

The most beautiful ships are named after women, in many languages, and ancient religions, the earth, nature, spring and all other natural good is also female (Demeter, Persephone, Gaia, Mother Nature, Mother Earthâ¦), Liberty is rendered as a woman, and many national personifications are female (Columbia, Britannia, Italia Turrita, Marianne..)
Maybe forces of nature get female associations because they are so powerful and inspiring, while also a little fearsome.

Is it time now to put on the 1812 Ouverture with real cannon?

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

"all other natural good is also female"
well, that's also the case with lots of natural disasters: hurricanes, and now volcanoes... :-)
In fact, my question was less poetic: I do not know English very well, and I wanted to know whether it is a rule to refer to volcanoes as "she" rather than "it".

@ #11 Lavendel, Switzerland

Glad you enjoyed the video!

By d9tRotterdam (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

did u see that Big lightning filling the sky?
wow! who needs to go to florida, when you can go to Iceland for lightnigstorms,. ;)

does these lightnings make any sound, I mean do they produce thunder?

Great lightning. Pity no sound effects ;-(

Also, is that a new vent opening in the snow on the right hand side of the thorolfsfelli cam?

23:43:35 camera time: I can barely believe I managed to grab a screenshot of that flash!

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

I mean, it'd be very loud there, but the webcam has no microphone.

@Irna 84 I found out today (thanks Reynir) that in Iceland a jökull is masculine, and in a song (in English) the singer said 'Ejafjallajökull, he is always right.." So now we call 'it' Sir Ejya???

Amazing show!

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

@ 70
I was looking at the Hvolsvelli cam, and suddenly the right side of thje plume looked like it was colapsing, down the slope, is this normal?

Some spooky things are going one here, the pressure waves resulting from the eruption (when this is true, like i saw here -ruv.straumar.is/static.ruv.is/vefur/20042010_myndir_omar.wmv-), are creating some strange phenomenons, watched some strange cloud forming and moving.

Eyjafjallajökull is not female but male, in Icelandic.
Here how the name is pronounced and the name follow the rules of male names, females ar different.
Here is, Hér er Eyjafallajökull -The- Eyjafjallajökullinn
We talk about, um Eyjafjallajökul -The- Eyjafjallajökullinn
We kom from, frá Eyjafjallajökli -The- Eyjafjallajöklinum
We go to, til Eyjafjallajökuls -The- Eyjafjallajökulsins
Icelandic is different from English in this way and names are pronounced differently.

Dagur Bragason Iceland

By Dagur Bragason (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

a jökull(glacier) (isbre`) is a he, but the mountain eyjafjöll is a female..

so the volcano is a she, and the glacier on top is a he.

#105: Fjöll is neuter plural.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

So ..we'll call her "Lady It" then? ;)

By Frito Lay (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

"so the volcano is a she, and the glacier on top is a he"
Quite suggestive :-)

Thank you all for this lesson in Icelandic!

...so it's not birth pangs, it's indigestion?

@ 101: Thanks at Raving. That's a great lightning!

By Diana, Germany (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

@Reynir #99 Another vampire. Sorry about that (blush)

@Jón #111

That's quite a picture Jón. Shows how insignificant we are in the face of such forces. That must have been quite a daring trip. Did they go up by helicopter, do you know?

By Holger, N California (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

@Jón #116

Alright, found them. I thought those were boulders or some sort of ejecta.

By Holger, N California (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

Jón F., great find - I have seen other photos of the scientists on that ridge, and this gives a much better idea of the scale of things - more like what I expected - thanks.

Raving and Brian - good catches!

joeu, thanks for the map link and the trouble to compile it.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

(@86) Interesting looking at d9tRotterdam's time-lapse,(thanks!) you can see part of why why the plume was so squirrely-looking today - the clouds go every which way and in circles....

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

What happened to the FLIR cam? THe lightening show seems to have stopped all of a sudden too...

@renee #121

Looks like dense fog or maybe even ash fall. But then it appears to affect all webcams, even the one at Hvolsvöllur, which would argue for dense fog.

Too bad, the night show had a good start, but the fog won again....

By Holger, N California (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

Thanks Holger I haven't checked the weather lately forgot

That only leaves one thing to say...I HATE FOG sorry I'm better now.

To tide you over, you might enjoy images from a different volcanic extreme, Dallol in the Danakil depression of Ethiopia. From what people say, there is not a more dangerous and inhospitable research location on earth. But the photos..... wow.


By Carla - Seattle (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

Maybe it's not only fog after all. The sun is slowly coming up and there is a dark cloud hanging over the Markarfljot valley. Looks like the wind is bringing the ash over towards the Ãórólfsfell webcam today.

The view from Hvolsvöllur confirms this idea, even if no details are visible.

By Holger, N California (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

There's an outside possibility that the glacier collapsed during the dark, and filled markafljot with smoke.

#104 So we were wrong about our "Lady's" gender! And all that talk about giving a name to the volcano (since it's the "volcano on the glacier Eyjaf")?

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

Wow, Jon #111, that photo is simply amazing. It's also amazing that people can (or choose to) be in that particular spot. What a huge adrenaline rush it must be!

By Jennifer in Portland (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

#105 All right. It's a she volcano, but still no names?

By Renato I Silveira (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

Sorry - Jón!

By Jennifer in Portland (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

Well time to call it a night. But not before looking at things and feeling bad for some of the people in the cams. From the looks of it the wind has shifted, radar seems to show this, and now the ash looks like it's headed for them. Mulakot looks ominous.

Presumably the rules being proposed mean that aircraft can always fly in the evening because there is no visible plume?

I'd still like to know how people can look out the window and say "yeah, that's volcanic ash." I'll agree you can do so when you have visual contact with the volcano, but what are the criteria for deciding that something is volcanic ash when you're flying?

By MadScientist (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

Aargh! why do we have to sleep! Again I missed a lot of the "action".
Thanks a lot to all the people who made screenshots and time-lapses! At least with their help I am able to see them afterwards.

A nice day every-one.
*Lavendel headed to work*

By Lavendel, Swit… (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

Does anyone know why the valahnuk web camera hasn't come back up on the eldgos.mila. web site? I really liked that view the best. It just says that it is under maintainance.

By missyland (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

Looks like there are some ash particles on the lens of the Vodafone cam. I guess somebody should go out there and clean the webcam. I'd like to go myself, but unfortunately I'm a bit far off...

The Mila webcam at Ãórólfsfell seems to be better off, no cleaning needed.

By Holger, N California (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

@missyland: the Valahnúk camera is in a currently restricted area, so they cannot get to it, for any foreseeable future. It is, AFAIK, a self-contained unit, so when the batteries ran out, no more pictures. MÃla took it off their webcam list.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

Hi again,
Any chance we could find online a recording of the Hvolsvelli images from around 21:55 Iceland time yesterday? I'm still wondering what was it that I saw then, it had a clearly "balistic" trajectory.

By cristihan RO (not verified) on 13 May 2010 #permalink

Those photos are fantastic Scarlet Pumpernickel !

@Scarlet, I know the photographer (M. Rietze) but haven't yet seen those images ... they're hilarious. That looks like he and his companions got real close, let's hope they'll never be *too* close because the photos are wonderful and extremely illustrative of this type of volcanic activity, which by the looks of it should be best described as "violent Strombolian" but has also elements of Vulcanian activity.

There is some view of the valley on the Thoro cam at the moment. The meltwater has increased and there is a white line travelling to the right, slanting downwards from the top of the split rock.

@ #140: WOW (words are superfluous) !!!


I've lost the link to the Eyja/Katla history paper that someone posted a week or so back [note to self...'Save' at the time you damn eyjadiot!]

Can someone please repost it for me, there's no way I'll find it again in all these threads...thanks!!

@140 Scarlet just spectacular!

Goodmorning all! Does anyone has a timelapse of the spectacle of this night?? Seems I missed on that show!

Cancel 145...I got it!


A question about the picture Jón linked in #111:

You can see lots of dark spots against the bright cloud above the people in the picture. Is all of that rocks flying from the volcano? They are kind of everywhere, and it seems like a wonder if no one got hit, if it's all rocks!

By Nick, Sweden (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

@Nick, #149: Yes, these are flying rocks. You can see it in the video, which is linked in #150. And this is the main reason, why this area is closed. They found really big rocks (more than 50kg in weight) as far as 1 km away from the volcano.

Morning to all. I wondered if anyone knew of information about what is happening to the north of Iceland in the Tjörnes fracture zone? -on the met office EQ plots there has been continuing activity up there since EJ had her last lot of EQs earlier this week. I see there is an island near the location of the EQs, and on google earth looks habited with an air strip. Any thoughts on a cloudy day on the webcams?

#150 Thanks, I also just watched the videos linked in #140. That clearly answers my question. From your video it seems like very few of those rocks are likely to reach the place where they are standing though. But still, there are lots of craters on the ground, suggesting that they are far from safe.

I would really love to see the volcano from that viewpoint, but it doesn't seem to be worth worth the risk. :D

By Nick, Sweden (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

Maybe my thoughts at #152 were a bit rambling - I see that the area experiences these small rumbles all the time, and occasionally larger ones - are there any correlations with the EJ eruptions and this Tjornes area? and are there any visible/underwater changes occuring in the northern region?

@Christihan 138 There was an airplane/helicopter in the area shortly before that time, I was watching it - when the cameras refresh, things often zoom - I have seen a few rocket-propelled birds as well!

@Scarlet Pumpernickel 140 Those are amazing pics - but I can't get the videos to run - anyone have a suggestion? Have downloaded a player that is supposed to handle most things, but no luck with MP4.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

A glimpse on Hvol cam of plume going off the top of the frame, looks like not much wind diversion.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

The plum is visible on Hvols cam and it looks to be high, it goes above the screen.

@birdseye, the apple quicktime player works well for MP4 files, Btw the latest Met report shows tops FL240 to FL260

Technodummie again - anyone know a way to send pictures here that doesn't involve entering your birthdate (tinypic) ? Or can I just make one up? I've only sent pics by email so far.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

lol I meant to say plume of course not plum I think its time I went and got some lunch :)

@161 ... plums for lunch? :)

@159Greg Thanks - just figured out i have to double-click the image - duh - they shouldn't allow people over a certain age to play with these toys...

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

#140 SP: awesome pictures!! THanks for posting that link.

By Lavendel, Swit… (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

birdseye, I would recommend VLC, which handles almost any video format without any need to install codecs or anything.


By Nick, Sweden (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

That is a very tall plume. I have not seen it that vigorously off the top of the frame before.

By Dasnowskier (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

@163,lol...I know the feeling. Those movies are awesome!!
The plums look huge on Hvol cam

Oh, I noticed you've already solved the problem. I'm very slow at posting. :D

By Nick, Sweden (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

#155 @birdseye: Dunno about @greg's suggestion re QuickTime, but if you don't want that, try VLC.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

@Nick, Reynir, thanks - think my problem is loading speed - can't handle more than a few seconds at a time - have both QickTime and VLC. Sigh.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

any videos of vent showing lava flow recently ???

By robert somerville (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

sorry, take the extras off the end of the .html

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

@birdseye: At least on Firefox browser the videos got downloaded first, then QuickTime started and the videos ran really well. Maybe that's 'cause QT is not a plugin in Firefox, i.e. not integrated seamlessly with/into the browser.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

#166: The plume is now dropping ash in areas SW-NW from the eruption - right into milk country - all the way to ReykjavÃk.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

@birdseye: about last night, most weird was that it looked like a bomb and it had a bomb-like trajectory (you know what's said about "what looks like an elephant"?) and it went off the screen to the left. After seing the film posted earlier with the insane people standing in front of the volcano, I'm pretty sure it was indeed a bomb - you will hear latter of a volcanic rock that reached 20km to the NW of Eyja ;)

About the videos, try a site called keepvid.com. It should allow you to download the videos and than watch them offline.

By cristihan RO (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

@Cristihan,Kultsi, thanks - will try the keepvid solution.
Ref. animals, here's what I was concerned about last week, for sheep in lambing time...
from Visir.is today... " (increasing) lamb mortality in sheep on Volcanic Ash areas and veterinarians closely monitor progress. There is no evidence that fluoride poisoning is a cause of death lamb, but is large and growing congestion [pneumonia] in sheep to blame, because you can not allow ewes and lambs out of the houses, as usual.

Field agents and veterinarians will visit all towns in the region and survey the situation."

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

#149 video

Are those people on the rim, is that Martin in the pics I posted :P

By Scarlet Pumpernickel (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

@Reynir,Chris,Anna - translation for 'kolniður? ' (Jónsi) - can't find one...only references say that the translations with the release are 'very wrong.'

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

Photos from my trip out there, mostly from Tuesday but the last three are from yesterday (Thursday). I had to work on Solheimajokull glacier on Tuesday afternoon, which at the time was right in the heavy tephra fall area. Not a huge amount of fun. I was as that glacier maybe a month ago and it was beautiful and white, but now it looks like the Moon out there!

There's an interesting shot of the tephra fall that I took near Thorvaldseyri, too (near the THEY GPS station). It's amazing how much stuff has fallen! There's a very visible thick, dark layer representing the first phreatomagmatic-Plinian phase, and then alternating bands of lighter-coloured tephra above it from more recent phases. Pretty interesting stuff. There were some hard layers part-way down from rainfall mixing with the tephra, but the stuff on the surface was loose.

Here's the Flickr album:


Click the photos for a bigger version.

I took some video footage which I'll try to upload soon, too. My internet connection is being funny though...


Kolniður is a made up compound word, that's why you won't find it in dictionaries.

Kol means coal
Niður means din (or the kind of sound a river makes for example, not entirely sure what the English word would be)

So Kolniður means coal-din or even black din.

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

Popocatépetl isn't doing anything more than it has for the last two months...frequent daily exhalations.

Good view of the looming ash billowing over low clouds, Mulakot webcam.

Icelandic authorities will have to consider moving livestock from the affected areas near Eyjaf to summer pasturage elsewhere. The eruption isn't showing signs of stopping soon.

This relocation is essential because the sheep, horses and cattle will suffer immune depression from a lack of sunlight, will suffer from micronutrient deficiency from a lack of minerals and PUFAs (essential fatty acids) in hay (versus new spring grass) and are still prone to fine ash health effects even when kept in barns.

Locating sympathetic farm owners outside of the ash-deposition zone, willing to provide fenced pasture access and to keep an eye on the animals between animal owners visits, and matching them to number/type of animals from affected farms near Eyjaf would be a Good Thing.

#182: I usually see 'kolniður' in the context 'kolniðamyrkur' (extreme darkness), so I suspect that 'kolniður' is something very dark to look at.

By Reynir, .is (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

#182 Reynir, Anna, birdseye: pitch black, coal black? Birdseye, you need to give the word in context; translating is much more than knowing the words...

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

@James (#184), Great pics, some of the links seem to be broken though. My internet connection has been funny today too.

@Passerby (#186), a lot of farmers from all over the country have been in contact with the Farmers' Association to offer their assistance -- housing, grazing fields etc. Thing is, the farmers in the affected areas have been reluctant to take drastic measures, I guess they're hoping the eruption will stop or slow down. But things have been going from bad to worse for them ...

@Reynir (#182) Then the word ought to be Kolnið, grammatically speaking :)

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

@Kultsi (#188), Kolniður is a song title, there is no context.

Nið (n) darkness (new moon)
Niður (n) din
Niður (adv) down

Maybe Jónsi means "coal-down"? I guess somebody needs to give him a call and demand an explanation.

By Anna, ReykjavÃk (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

@Anna, Yes. I suspected that affected farmers wouldn't be keen on this drastic step. Large animal vets may need to encourage affected farm owners using animal welfare-health advisories.

@Kultsi 188, this started when I was trying to find out about the song that accompanied the eruption time-lapse video that made Philipp feel bad...see@177 Think we have a good understanding now about it. ;)
re:sheep, the biggest reluctance I guess aside from inconvenience (and the fact that you'd be moving pregnant ewes and newborns) would be moving animals onto possibly scrapie-carying grass, or farmers with clean farms receiving possibly scrapie-carrying animals - Chris mentioned this a few threads back. But it's also a big loss to lose wool and lambs for a whole year, and maybe your ewes too. Being shut up without good ventilation is really bad for sheep. Big problem, I guess there are a lot of sheep farms in that area.

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

Looks like there is lava flows left of the current lava flow, complete with 2 black steam small plume and one small steam plume. I wonder how this will evolve.

By Summer, Canada (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

@Summer, Canada - we both goofed this time, everyone is over on the other string!

By birdseyeUSA (not verified) on 14 May 2010 #permalink

Alot of earthquakes. Most of them deeper than 20km in the past hour.

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