Phreatoplinian Ash Plume Forms Over Iceland

SS: the iceland volcano has formed the largest type of ash plume just under a full blown super volcano eruption .. this development has occurred over night and there is reported the eruption is going strong with no end in sight .. this eruption indicates a caldera eruption rather than a volcano eruption as it is very similar to the 2008 chaiten caldera eruption .

A radar image of the three craters forming the volcano at Eyjafjallajokull is pictured in this handout photo April 16, 2010. A volcanic eruption in Iceland, which has thrown up a 6-km (3.7 mile) high plume of ash and disrupted air traffic across northern Europe, has grown more intense, an expert said on Thursday. REUTERS/Icelandic Coast Guard/Handout (ICELAND - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT)

In this photo released by the Icelandic Coastguard on Friday, April 16, 2010, shows the crater of the volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland, which erupted for the second time in less than a month, melting ice, shooting smoke and steam into the air and forcing hundreds of people to flee rising floodwaters is seen. Flights around the world have been canceled and passengers stranded as the ash cloud from the volcano affected operations at some of the world’s busiest airports. (AP Photo/Icelandic Coastguard)

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Threat of Icelandic ash closes airspace over Europe April 15, 2010 8:27 AM, by Erik Klemetti The newly-subglacial Eyjafjallajökull eruption of 2010 has now begun to be felt outside of Iceland. The ash being thrown into the atmosphere from this explosive phase of the eruption has prompted officials in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Norway to close the airspace above their nations due to the threat that ash poses to jet aircraft. Remember, the silica glass shards that make up most ash can melt inside jet engines, causing them to stall - which could lead to crashing. Luckily, so far we have not seen this at any eruption, but we have had a couple near misses when the airplane lost power to all four engines. This closure of much of the airspace over northern Europe has disrupted travel all over the continent and into/from North America - and exactly when the airspace will reopen is unclear. There is also the problem that if the eruption continues, the prevailing winds will push the ash over more of Europe into Russia, so we might expect more countries closing their airspace later this week.

As for the eruption itself, all reports suggest it is going strong. The plume has reached anywhere from 8,000-11,000 meters and was spectacular on a Terra image taken yesterday (see above), stretching across southern Iceland over the clouds. There have been sporadic floods related to the eruption as the glacier melts from the heat from the new fissure - you can see some of the eruption footage here (although the video is in Icelandic) - you can see more footage here as well. Hundreds of people were evacuated from areas threatened by the floods and significant property and roadway damage has already been reported. What is most impressive is the amount of grey volcanic debris already being washed down the drainages into the lowlands and out to sea.

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Smoke and steam hangs over the volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland, Wednesday April 14, 2010, which has erupted for the second time in less than a month, melting ice, shooting smoke and steam into the air and forcing hundreds of people to flee rising floodwaters. Volcanic ash drifting across the Atlantic forced the cancellation of flights in Britain and disrupted air traffic across northern Europe, stranding thousands of passengers. Flights in and out of London Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport, were halted, and the shutdowns and cancellations spread to France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, Finland and Switzerland. The volcano’s smoke and ash poses a threat to aircraft because it can affect visibility, and microscopic debris can get sucked into airplane engines and can cause them to shut down. (AP Photo/Jon Gustafsson) ** ICELAND OUT **

Smoke and steam hangs over the volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland, Wednesday April 14, 2010, which has erupted for the second time in less than a month, melting ice, shooting smoke and steam into the air and forcing hundreds of people to flee rising floodwaters. Volcanic ash drifting across the Atlantic forced the cancellation of flights in Britain and disrupted air traffic across northern Europe, stranding thousands of passengers. Flights in and out of London Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport, were halted, and the shutdowns and cancellations spread to France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, Finland and Switzerland. The volcano’s smoke and ash poses a threat to aircraft because it can affect visibility, and microscopic debris can get sucked into airplane engines and can cause them to shut down. (AP Photo/Jon Gustafsson) ** ICELAND OUT **

In this image made available by the Icelandic Coastguard, taken, Wednesday April 14, 2010, smoke and steam rises from the volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland, which erupted for the second time in less than a month, melting ice, shooting smoke and steam into the air and forcing hundreds of people to flee rising floodwaters. Authorities evacuated 800 residents from around the glacier as rivers rose by up to 10 feet (3 meters). Emergency officials and scientists said the eruption under the ice cap was 10 to 20 times more powerful than one last month, and carried a much greater risk of widespread flooding.
(AP Photo/Icelandic Coastguard, ho)

In this image made available by the Icelandic Coastguard, taken Wednesday April 14, 2010, floodwaters rising after the volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland erupted for the second time in less than a month, melting ice, shooting smoke and steam into the air and forcing hundreds of people to flee rising floodwaters. Authorities evacuated 800 residents from around the glacier as rivers rose by up to 10 feet (3 meters). Emergency officials and scientists said the eruption under the ice cap was 10 to 20 times more powerful than one last month, and carried a much greater risk of widespread flooding.
(AP Photo/Icelandic Coastguard, ho) 

Lightning streaks across the sky as lava flows from a volcano in Eyjafjallajokul April 17, 2010. An Icelandic volcano that is spewing ash into the air and wreaking havoc on flights across Europe appeared to be easing up on Saturday but could continue to erupt for days or even months to come, officials said.« Read less
REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (ICELAND - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Lava flows from a volcano in Eyjafjallajokul April 17, 2010. An Icelandic volcano that is spewing ash into the air and wreaking havoc on flights across Europe appeared to be easing up on Saturday but could continue to erupt for days or even months to come, officials said.« Read less
REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (ICELAND - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT)

In this image made available by the Icelandic Coastguard, taken Wednesday April 14, 2010, floodwaters rising after the volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland erupted for the second time in less than a month, melting ice, shooting smoke and steam into the air and forcing hundreds of people to flee rising floodwaters. Authorities evacuated 800 residents from around the glacier as rivers rose by up to 10 feet (3 meters). Emergency officials and scientists said the eruption under the ice cap was 10 to 20 times more powerful than one last month, and carried a much greater risk of widespread flooding.
(AP Photo/Icelandic Coastguard, ho)

Volcanic ash from the volcano in Eyjafjallajokull floats in the ocean near Iceland April 15, 2010. A volcanic eruption in Iceland spewed black smoke and white steam into the air on Wednesday and partly melted a glacier, setting off a major flood that threatened to damage roads and bridges.
REUTERS/Ingolfur Juliusson (ICELAND - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT)

Volcanic ash from the volcano in Eyjafjallajokull floats in the ocean near Iceland April 15, 2010. A volcanic eruption in Iceland spewed black smoke and white steam into the air on Wednesday and partly melted a glacier, setting off a major flood that threatened to damage roads and bridges.
REUTERS/Ingolfur Juliusson (ICELAND - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT)

Footprints in volcanic ash fallen to ground Friday April 16 2010 near Myrdalssandur, some 220km east of the capital Rejkavik, Iceland. The Eyjafjallajokull glacier volcano began erupting for the second time in a month on Wednesday, sending ash several miles (kilometers) into the air. Winds pushed the plume south and east across Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia and into the heart of Europe.« Read less
(AP Photo/Brynjar Gauti )

Ice chunks carried downstream by floodwaters caused by volcanic activity lie on the Markarfljot river bank Friday April 16 2010, some 120km east of the capital Rejkavik, Iceland. The Eyjafjallajokull glacier volcano began erupting for the second time in a month on Wednesday, sending ash several miles (kilometers) into the air. Winds pushed the plume south and east across Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia and into the heart of Europe causing travel chaos.« Read less
(AP Photo/Brynjar Gauti )

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