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Hekla Volcano Dangerous to Airplanes?

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Hekla Volcano Dangerous to Airplanes?

Hekla volcano Iceland

A small Hekla eruption. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Up to 30 passenger jets fly directly over the Hekla per day. Hekla is Iceland’s most active volcano, erupting four times since 1970.

Hekla has throug the centuries been Iceland's most dreaded volcano; thought to be the entrance to Hell.

In an interview on RÚV earlier this month, University of Iceland professor of geology Páll Einarsson claimed, that these planes should take slightly a different route when flying over Iceland.

Páll insists that his advice should be taken seriously, saying that these planes could fly straight into an ash plume. He explained that an eruption at Hekla did not need to melt through a thick glacier, meaning the plume would rise with full force straightaway before rising 10 km (30 thousand feet) into the air.

In 2001 geologists managed to predict an eruption in Hekla approximately one hour before it started. This Páll says is not guaranteed and the risk is too high in his view. He says most of the planes are from Turkish airlines and they would need to correct their path only slightly to eliminate any danger from a Hekla eruption.

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