Sunday, May 22, 2011

Grimsvotn Volcano, Iceland - John Seach

An eruption began at Grímsvötn volcano in Iceland at approximately 17:30 UTC, on 21st May 2011. The volcano is located under the Vatnajokull glacier in south-east Iceland. The subglacial eruption sent a plume 20 km high. A 120 nautical mile flight restriction has been placed around the volcano. A group of people stayed in a hut in Grímsvötn volcano the night before the eruption, and had left an midday on Saturday six hours before the eruption started. The group noticed nothing unusual, but another group that climbed Hrútafellstindar in the southern part of Vatnajökull glacier said they smelled suphur on the morning of 21st May. More than one hundred people climbed Öræfajökull, Iceland’s highest peak on Saturday and saw nothing unusual. A flood in Skeidarársandur is expected, and will depend on the exact location of the eruption. Eruptions in Grímsvötn are quite frequent, every ten years on the average and are generally short and small. Many of the eruptions have lasted from one to three weeks, the 2004 eruption lasted only four days.
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