May 23, 2011

Look at this amazing photograph of the volcanic eruption in Iceland over the weekend. The plume of ash when the Grimsvotn volcano erupted on Saturday shot 12 miles into the air! (Photo: Egill Adalsteinsson / EPA).

Iceland is one of the most active volcanic regions in the world, because it Is located on both the Iceland hotspot and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, which runs right through it. This location means that the island is highly geologically active with many volcanoes, and eruptions occurring on average roughly every three years. For example, in the 1900s there were 39 volcanic eruptions on and around Iceland.

The Grimsvotn volcano lies under the uninhabited Vatnajokull glacier. It began erupting Saturday for the first time since 2004. This is a different volcano than Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull, which erupted in April 2010. When that happened last year, large parts of Europe’s air space were closed for five days, because of the danger that the volcanic ash could harm jet engines. Some 10 million travelers were stranded.

This one doesn’t seem quite as disruptive. So far, airports are closed in Iceland, and they are keeping a close watch on the ash in nearby Great Britain.

Eruptions often cause local flooding from melting glacier ice, but rarely cause deaths. Police closed a main road near the volcano Sunday as heavy ash fell.


There have been some amazing photographs taken of volcanic eruptions in Iceland over the years.

You can see photos like this one and read about some of the earlier eruptions in my book VOLCANOES.





Posted by: Seymour Simon

(1) Comments  •   Labels: science news, Volcanoes, Photography   •  Permalink (link to this article)   •  Share: