The Grímsvötn Eruption let Out More Ash in One Day than Eyjafjallajökull in Forty

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The Grímsvötn Eruption let Out More Ash in One Day than Eyjafjallajökull in Forty

Scientists say that the Grímsvötn is without doubt the most powerful eruption since Hekla erupted in 1947. During the first 24 hours it produced more ash and rocks than Eyjafjallajökull did in 40 days.

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Day one. Ash is filling the air. Photo: Monique Starr

Steinunn Jakobsdóttir, geophysicist at Iceland Met, told RÚV that even though the volcanic activity is substantially reduced the crater shoots out reserves once in a while. At two o’clock on Tuesday the smoke suddenly reached 8 kilometers. At the moment (Tuesday night) it is 2-3 kilometers high. She said that even if the eruption was quite small at the moment it was too soon to predict its end. “Experience would say three to four days, but it is very hard to say if we are talking about days or a few weeks.”

Halldór Björnsson, meteorologist at Iceland Met, said that in the first day the Grímsvötn eruption was very big, probably the biggest eruption since Hekla in 1947. Since then the eruption has lost considerable strength and the material coming from the crater now is only a small fraction of what came out during the first day. New ash coming out will not be a problem. “However, the ash that is already up in the sky will be blowing from one place to another for the next few days. That could disrupt air travel in Iceland and Europe.”

Click here for general information about the eruption in Grímsvötn from Promote Iceland.

Please note: The next issue of the print edition of Iceland Review will include extensive coverage of the eruption. If you subscribe now, you will receive a photo book by IR editor/photographer Páll Stefánsson of the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull as a gift.

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