Icelandic eruption, ash column 'diminished markedly': expert

April 19, 2010
Smoke and ash billow from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano during an eruption on April 17. Iceland's volcanic eruption as well as the towering column of ash spewing out of it have both declined significantly, an Icelandic seismologist said Monday.

Iceland's volcanic eruption as well as the towering column of ash spewing out of it have both declined significantly, an Icelandic seismologist said Monday.

"Currently the eruption has diminished markedly," Bryndis Brandsdottir of the University of Iceland told AFP, basing her comment on seismological radar readings in Reykjavik.

"The ash column does not rise above 3,000 metres (9,800 feet)," or less than half its original height, she added.

Icelandic geophysicist and civil protection advisor Magnus Tumi Gudmundsson agreed that the ash column from the Eyjafjallajokull eruption -- which has paralysed in most of Europe -- was decreasing, five days after it began.

"Less ash has been generated over the last 36 hours than previously. The ash production has been reduced," he told AFP.

Brandsdottir said the eruption started decreasing Sunday afternoon, but that is had been difficult at the time to monitor the volcano "because of and clouds."

"The amount of tethra (a type of ash that makes up the volcano plume) has diminished to the point that (experts monitoring the eruption) could not see the column, indicating it did not rise above 3,000 metres," she said.

Seismological radars in Reykjavik had also picked up additional tremors near the Eyjafjallajokull volcano that began erupting for the second time in less than a month last Wednesday, Brandsdottir said.

But she stressed seismometers not only measured volcanic tremors but also recorded exterior seismic factors such as strong winds and tremors produced by the ocean.

"The North can also produce tremors. The increase in overnight yesterday is partly associated with the strong northerly winds," blowing ash to the south, she said.

But these strong, northerly winds would have no effect on the transport of ash to Europe, Brandsdottir said, pointing out that an column below 3,000 metres "is hardly transported far away."

Explore further: Ash falls on Anchorage as volcano keeps spewing

Related Stories

New satellite image of volcanic ash cloud

April 15, 2010

This image, acquired today by ESA's Envisat satellite, shows the vast cloud of volcanic ash sweeping across the UK from the eruption in Iceland, more than 1000 km away.

Icelandic volcanoes can be unpredictable and dangerous

April 16, 2010

If history is any indication, the erupting volcano in Iceland and its immense ash plume could intensify, says a Texas A&M University researcher who has explored Icelandic volcanoes for the past 25 years.

New ash studies needed to 'limit air traffic chaos'

April 18, 2010

Better research models of how ash is dispersed would greatly reduce the air traffic havoc wreaked in Europe since an Icelandic volcano began spewing a giant cloud of the toxic dust last week, an expert said on Sunday.

Recommended for you

Can Paris pledges avert severe climate change?

November 26, 2015

More than 190 countries are meeting in Paris next week to create a durable framework for addressing climate change and to implement a process to reduce greenhouse gases over time. A key part of this agreement would be the ...

Amazon deforestation leaps 16 percent in 2015

November 28, 2015

Illegal logging and clearing of Brazil's Amazon rainforest increased 16 percent in the last year, the government said, in a setback to the aim of stopping destruction of the world's greatest forest by 2030.


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

5 / 5 (1) Apr 19, 2010
What is a Seismological radar?
5 / 5 (1) Apr 19, 2010
It must be a new development, possibly by Al Jazeera or Al JaReuters, because all 500 G00gle hits on "seismological radar" are recent and have the same keywords as those articles.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.