Iceland was blessed with extremely bad weather this winter.
Much of the dangerous SO2 gas, between 20,000 and 60,000 thousand tons, emitted from the Holuhraun eruption every day literally blew away in the storms.
Even to Ireland, when on September 6, SO2 levels measured 498 µg/m3, 1,500 km (900 miles) away from the eruption site.
It is dangerous to be outside when the hourly concentration reaches 350 µg/m3.
The people of Höfn in Hornafjörður were subjected to a total of 107 hours of SO2 levels above the health protection limit. On October 26, it reached 21,000 µg/m3. At that level, it is plain dangerous to be outside.
The second worst day in inhabited areas was by Lake Mývatn, Northeast Iceland, on October 1, when it measured 5,800 µg/m3.
The highest measurement was recorded at the eruption site itself, around 130,000 µg/m3.
It’s plain life threatening for persons to visit the site, even with a mask, when the SO2 levels are so high.
Now, the eruption has stopped, so it’s time for the weather god to relax a little and stop sending low pressure systems every other day toward the Republic of Iceland.
Páll Stefánsson - ps(at)icelandreview.com