Geophysicist at the Nordic Volcanological Centre at the University of Iceland’s Institute of Earth Sciences Freysteinn Sigmundsson heads a new project on coordinating monitoring and research of volcanoes.Eyjafjallajökull. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
The project, ‘A European Volcanological Supersite in Iceland: a Monitoring System and Network for the Future,’ or ‘FutureVolc,’ aims to establish a coordinated European volcano supervision system by developing new ways to evaluate eruption risk and predict ash distribution.
‘FutureVolc’ was awarded an EU grant of around EUR 6 million (ISK 957 million, USD 7.7 million), the highest amount to be awarded to a European project led by an Icelandic scientist, according to the website of the University of Iceland.
The National Police Commissioner Civil Protection Division, IT companies Miracle and Samsýn and over 100 European scientists will contribute to the 3.5-year project, which is being lead by the University of Iceland’s Institute of Earth Sciences and the Icelandic Meteorological Office. Around one third of the funding will be directed to Icelandic participants.
The hope is that the results will help lessen the impact of future eruptions on air traffic as well as improve the flow of information during such an event.
Work on the project began on October 1. Representatives of all collaborators arrived in Iceland last week to discuss the work ahead.