04.15.10

Can You Say Eyjafjallajökull?

Posted in General News at 10:58 am by Rebekah

Air space has been shut down indefinitely across Great Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia, and a few other parts of western Europe, including at London Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport (see BBC, CNN, MSNBC)

A large volcanic eruption in Iceland has spewed ash towards Europe, causing a safety hazard for aircraft (the ash can get sucked into an aircraft’s engine and cause the engine to fail).

A friend of mine and fellow OU grad student (from England, incidentally) told me a few weeks ago that a volcano in Iceland started erupting on her birthday, March 20.  She shared a website with a “volcano-cam” where we could watch Eyjafjallajökull spew ash and lava.  Eventually the poor camera gave out (we theorized that it got “lava-ed”), and a new webcam took its place (unfortunately this new one was farther away and did not give quite as good of a view — if interested, you can see it at the link above).

The following image from the UK Met Office shows the projected coverage of the ash by 7am British Summer Time (0600 GMT) tomorrow, at which time the airports hope to re-open.

And here’s an interesting satellite loop, from EUMETSAT, showing the plume of ash heading for Europe (the ash is the dark, reddish-colored area coming from southern Iceland).

Click to play.

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