Ash Cloud Still Rather Small Skip to content

Ash Cloud Still Rather Small

The eruption began at Grímsvötn volcano at approximately 17:30 UTC, May 21st 2011 according to Icelandic Met Office. The accomanying pictures show the earthquake activity and the size of the ash cloud at 22.00 (10 PM).

Eruptions in Grímsvötn start as subglacial eruptions, which quickly break the ice cover. At 21:00 UTC, the eruption plume had risen to an altitude of over 65,000 ft (~20 km). Initially, the plume is expected to drift to the east and subsequently to the north-east.

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Eruption Cloud at 22.00 on Saturday. Source Iceland Met.

The figure above shows an image of the eruption cloud at 22:00 UTC. The image is from the Icelandic Met Office weather radar located at Keflavik International Airport, at 220 km distance from the volcano. The cloud extends above a large part of Vatnajökull ice cap. The line marks the approximate location of Grímsvötn volcano.

The last eruption in Grímsvötn occurred in November 2004. Grímsvötn is Iceland’s most frequently erupting volcano.

The figure below shows tremor activity associated with the eruption. Note that seismic activity increases after 17:30 UTC.

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Tremor activity. Source Iceland Met.

If you have photos or observations about the current eruption, please send them to us at [email protected].

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