Bluish Mist at Iceland Eruption Site

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Bluish Mist at Iceland Eruption Site

A bluish mist or gas has been seen rising into the air at Gígjökull, an Eyjafjallajökull glacial tongue, where the lava from the volcano is flowing. The mist is believed to be connected with the lava flow.

The ash cloud above Eyjafjallajökull at an earlier stage of the eruption. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

Puffs of steam are also rising into the air, although they were smaller yesterday than the day before. Yesterday the steam plumes reached a height of 5.8 to six kilometers by Eyjafjallajökull, mbl.is reports.

The Civil Protection Department would like to remind people that the gas at Gígjökull can be dangerous. People have been eager to enter restricted areas lately.

The Civil Protection Department would therefore like to point out that although the eruption is a spectacular sight, people must keep a safe distance.

The areas marked on this map are off-limits and people are asked to respect that.

It is uncertain what effect the eruption has on the glacier itself. Crevasses may have formed and there is at least one water channel underneath the glacier, at a 50-meter depth in the southern part.

Radar pictures that were shot by the Coast Guard yesterday show growing channels in Gígjökull and continued piling up of volcanic substance at the crater. The size of the opening of the crater is now 280x190 meters.

An eyewitness in Fljótshlíd (which lies outside the restricted area—road F261 from Hvolsvöllur) saw splatters of lava rise a few hundred meters from the crater yesterday.

The volcano is still very active; ash production and explosive activity has increased in the past days, although the activity is not nearly as significant as during the early days of the eruption. Unrest has subsided, yet there is nothing that indicates that the eruption is ending.

The connection between the summit crater of Eyjafjallajökull and Gígjökull is expected to break shortly. When that happens, toxic gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulphide (H2S) will have easier access down the glacial tongue and out to the sandbank in front of it.

The Icelandic Meteorological Office reported this morning that the character of the eruption this morning is similar to what it was yesterday.

The volcanic cloud was clearly visible yesterday as it was darker in color than in the days prior. Stöd 2 reported last night that the reason is increased explosion activity, which produces more ash. Some ash fall can therefore be expected in the coming days.

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