Home > Data Analysis and Visualisation > Scientists forecast decades of ash clouds – Times Online (and some amazing images from NASA) [and an update from met.ie]

Scientists forecast decades of ash clouds – Times Online (and some amazing images from NASA) [and an update from met.ie]

Scientists forecast decades of ash clouds – Times Online.

THE Icelandic eruption that has caused misery for air travellers could be part of a surge in volcanic activity that will affect the whole of Europe for decades, scientists have warned.

They have reconstructed a timeline of 205 eruptions in Iceland, spanning the past 1,100 years, and found that they occur in regular cycles — with the relatively quiet phase that dominated the past five decades now coming to an end.

At least three other big Icelandic volcanoes are building towards an eruption, according to Thor Thordarson, a volcanologist at Edinburgh University.

This is a bit worrying. Might be time invest the pennies in Ferry company shares!

Meanwhile, NASA has some amazing images of the latest eruption:

Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano produced its second major ash plume of 2010 beginning on May 7. This latest plume has thus far caused far fewer aircraft disruptions than the earlier eruption, however, due, in part, to computer models that are being used to predict the spread of volcanic ash. A key constraint to running volcanic plume simulation models is data on how high the volcanic ash is being injected into the atmosphere, as well as the amount and timing of ash released. The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument aboard NASA’s Terra satellite passed just east of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano mid-morning on May 7, 2010, and viewed its ash plume for about 600 kilometers (373 miles) downwind. From MISR’s nine different angular images, the height of the ash plume can be derived. On the left is a natural-color, nadir (directly downward) view of the scene, with the volcano itself just off the upper left corner of the image, and the main plume extending to the southeast. At right is the stereo-derived plume height, which is retrieved at 1.1 kilometer (0.68 mile) horizontal resolution, and with vertical accuracy of about half a kilometer (0.3 miles). Much of the plume resides between 4 and 6 kilometers (2.5 and 4 miles) above the ocean surface (orange and red color in the right image), but descends to the 3 kilometer (2 mile) range (yellow-green) far downwind. Note also the smaller patch of ash plume near the source, within about 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) of the surface (blue in the right image), which appears to be traveling to the southwest.

Met Eireann:
Volcanic Ash update issued at 1300 hrs on Sunday May 16th
The activity of the Eyjafjallajökull Volcano continues and the plume is currently reaching up to between 20000 and 30000 feet (latest information received from the Icelandic Met Office).
The Icelandic Met Office also states that there are no signs that the eruption is about to end.
Northwesterly winds are pushing a plume of volcanic ash southeastwards over Ireland at the moment. This plume will remain over Irish airspace tonight.
A southwesterly airflow will become established over Ireland on Monday and will gradually push the plume away from us to the northeast. The plume should clear from over Munster and Connacht and by Monday night and then continue to clear from Leinster and Ulster overnight and on Tuesday morning.
The mainly southwesterly airflow will persist through the rest of the week and should keep the ash away from Irish airspace.
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