Sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas pollution from the eruption in Holuhraun north of Vatnajökull glacier in the northeastern highlands is expected in most parts of the country today, but East Iceland will probably be pollution free in the afternoon, the Icelandic Met Office predicts.
Slow easterly winds are expected to carry gas that has accumulated as well as new gas to the west from the eruption site. The Met Office’s gas distribution map shows pollution reaching from Húsavík in the north to Kirkjubæjarklaustur in the south.
The map then shows the haze then stretching eastwards, covering the highlands, North Iceland, the entire West Fjords, West and Southwest Iceland, the capital included.
SO2 levels may exceed 600 mµ/m3 in some areas, at which point people are advised against engaging in physical activity outside.
The Met Office’s trial gas dispersion forecast map shows the predicted concentration of SO2.
The air quality can be monitored in color-coded graphs on airquality.is (click on the dots on the map and them ‘more’) and on the website of the Reykjavík Public Health Authority (red shows levels above 600 mµ/m3). Warnings will be issued if necessary.
Tomorrow, a stronger easterly wind is forecast, which is expected to blow the gas which has accumulated in the past days out to sea, while new gas from the eruption will likely be carried to the west and northwest and pollute an area stretching from Skagafjörður in the north to Reykjavík in the south, including the southern West Fjords and entire West Iceland.