23 May 2011
A year on from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano eruption, another Icelandic volcano has erupted.
The Grímsvötn volcano in southeast Iceland started to erupt on 21 May 2011. The volcano is spewing out a plume of volcanic ash, which has reached as high as 17km. The eruption was preceded by an increase in seismic activity.
Dr Susan Loughlin, Head of Volcanology at the British Geological Survey (BGS), said, "The Grímsvötn volcano is currently emitting a plume of volcanic ash that is being monitored by the Icelandic Meteorological Office. Grímsvötn is the most active volcano in Iceland and is covered by an ice cap, similar to the Eyjafjallajökull volcano which erupted in April 2010. However, unlike that eruption, the Grímsvötn volcanic ash is likely to be coarser and fall out closer to the volcano."
The seismic activity and ash plume are being monitored by the Icelandic Meteorological Office. The London Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre, which is run by the UK Met Office, is issuing regular forecasts of the ash plume location .
Current reports suggest that ash could reach Scotland and parts of Northern Europe later today. The joint NERC and Met Office atmospheric research aircraft is currently on standby, ready to fly if tests are needed. Other European research aircraft are also standing by, so as to enable a coordinated research effort if required.
The ash fall from Grímsvötn is visible from a web cam at Jökulsárlón .
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Press release: 13/11
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