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Hi-res Eyjafjallajökull images from ASTER 28 April 2010

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Eyjafjallajokull volcano, Iceland, 19 April 2010 (ASTER/Terra daytime VNIR image)
Eyjafjallajökull volcano, Iceland, 19 April 2010: detail of ASTER/Terra daytime VNIR image. Click on image to view original (13.5 MB jpg).

The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER), a joint US-Japanese sensor that lives on NASA’s Terra satellite, produces some marvellous imagery of the Earth, and seems particularly to like being pointed at volcanoes: the superb ASTER Volcano Archive features over 1500 volcanic sites from Abu to Zuni-Bandera.

ASTER has lately been hard at work on Eyjafjallajökull, and Prof Michael Ramsey of the University of Pittsburgh Department of Geology and Planetary Science has been compiling the results into some stunning high-resolution images. The data presently available comes from 1-26 April and gives a clear view of the activity and the surrounding terrain at Eyjafjallajökull during the recent period of vigorous eruption.

For all our Eyjafjallajökull coverage: Eyjafjöll « The Volcanism Blog.

News
High-res Icelandic volcano images obtained – UPI.com, 28 April 2010

Information
ASTER data of Eyjafjallajokull volcano – Prof Ramsey’s ASTER imagery

The Volcanism Blog

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Just some of the things Eyjafjallajökull has screwed up 23 April 2010

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(In addition to grounding European aviation for days on end and exhausting headline-writers’ supplies of volcano puns.)

The UK General Electionbetting on 2010 temperaturesSouthern California music festivalUK schoolgirls’ geography field tripthe Norwegian Government (iPad to the rescue) … touring wrestlers … Boston Marathon runnersthe London Book Fairhealth of petsfootball, ice hockey and runningPremier League refereesthe gilded progresses of celebs and pop starsJohn Cleese’s trip homefootball, cycling and runningPolish state funeraltransport of wounded soldiersDubai luxury hotel openingMorocco golf tournamentsexams, exotic foods and surgery … yet more celebs (Hollywood ‘paralized’, no less)Japan MotoGPthe international oil marketand even more celebsEuropean stocks and sharesKenyan flower growersKenyan vegetable growersmovie premieresBMW production in South Carolinaand still more celebs (superstar forced to take Irish Sea ferry)youth boxingequestrianismfootball (also boxing, running, tennis, motorcyle racing)organ transplants … Ghana farming, war crimes trials, rose growing, car making, flowers for New York weddings … travel plans of dogs, horses, snakes, geckos, turtlesclassical concerts in San Diego … classical concerts in Salt Lake Cityclassical concerts in New YorkTribeca Film FestivalMetallica tour (kings of heavy metal fight back, take bus) … supplies of sea urchins, monkfish livers and scallops to British restaurantsart shipmentsweddingsweddingscomputer gaming eventsairline emissions regulationIndian TV host’s IPL contract (seems rather unfair) … Italian guitar playerssupply chain resilience, whatever that  iscollege admissionsscareware cyberscams

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Ash grounds RAF jets 22 April 2010

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The BBC reports this afternoon that RAF Typhoon training flights in Lincolnshire have been suspended after volcanic ash was found in one aircraft’s engines. Update: more at Flightglobal.

Military jets fly a great deal faster than civilian aircraft and their engines draw in more air and at a more rapid rate, making them more vulnerable to ash ingestion and consequent damage. But it goes to show that the ash is still up there and the threat to aviation it represents is not an invention of a conspiracy of regulators bent on spoiling everyone’s holidays.

UPDATE. The United States Air Force also has ash concerns, about its F-15s flying from RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk: US Military fears volcano could harm jets.

The Volcanism Blog

An Eyjafjallajökull miscellany (further updated) 21 April 2010

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More on the eruption itself later, but for the moment here is a fairly random selection of Eyjafjallajökull links, some good, some bad, some just, you know, strange. [Updated 24 April 2010, new links marked with a *; and updated again 26 April 2010, new links marked with a #.]

UK political crackpot: Iceland volcano a message from God – eruption ‘a clear Biblical sign of repentance’, a reminder that ‘the human race is powerless compared to God’, claims Christian Peoples Alliance election candidate in outpouring of contemptible garbage.#

(How) Are Birds Affected by Volcanic Ash? – some of the effects of ashfall on non-human life: GrrlScientist has the details.

Finnish F-18 meets volcanic ash – pictures of damage to the engines of a Finnish Air Force F-18 fighter that flew through Eyjafjallajökull’s emissions on the morning of 15 April.

Eyjafjallajökull images from the NASA Earth Observatory – the Earth Observatory has been publishing some great satellite imagery of the eruption: the Eyjafjallajökull collection so far can be found here.

Volcanic lightning, Eyjafjallajökull, and how it works – theoretical astrophysicist Ethan Seigel explains volcanic lightning, with gorgeous pictures.

The Big Picture: Iceland’s disruptive volcano – stunning images from The Boston Globe. More Eyjafjallajökull images from the Globe here.

Daily Mail: Iceland volcano – some wonderful pictures that happen to have shown up in the pages of one of the world’s more disgusting newspapers.

Ignorant idiot sounds off on volcanic ash threat (1) – Simon Jenkins in The Guardian‘s reliably appalling Comment is Free section: what’s all the fuss about, it’s just ‘a volcano and a bit of dust’.

Ignorant idiot sounds off on volcanic ash threat (2) – Frank Furedi at the generally loathsome Spiked Online: ‘I claim no authority to say anything of value about the risks posed by volcanic ash clouds to flying aircraft’, he says, but surprisingly he does not then shut up.

Ignorant idiot sounds off on volcanic ash threat (3) – rambling buffoon Max Hastings in the vile Daily Mail, has the nerve to say expert atmospheric scientist Dr Grant Allen of Manchester University ‘hasn’t a clue’.*

Ignorant idiot sounds off on volcanic ash threat (4) – prize twit Christopher Booker roams his enclosure at the Telegraph, rattling the bars: ash crisis all a fuss about nothing, evil European plot, global warming is wrong, blah blah blah.#

Eyjafjallajökull Art Project – art inspired by the eruption (Claire Iris Schencke‘s work is great).

Iceland Volcano Mispronunciation Video – lots of US television people coming a cropper trying to say Eyjafjallajökull.

Cybercrooks befuddled by Icelandic volcano name – scareware merchants and scammers can’t latch on to the Eyjafjallajökull story, the name is just too hard for them.

Icelandic singer explains how to say Eyjafjallajökull – with the help of her trusty ukelele.*

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Re-opening of UK airspace: NATS statement 21 April 2010

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The UK air traffic control authority NATS has issued a statement this morning on the re-opening of UK airspace which became effective last night:

Statement on Icelandic volcanic eruption: Wednesday April 21, 0945

Overnight most of the UK’s airspace has been available with the exception of an area over the north west of Scotland which has continued to be affected by a dense concentration of volcanic ash.  We continue to work with the latest information and guidance from our safety regulator, the CAA, the Met Office and the Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre on the predicted movements of the area of dense volcanic ash.  Based on the latest information, we anticipate that this area will continue to centre on the north west of Scotland and may extend further south into Scottish airspace during today.

Between the period of 0100 – 0700 on 21 April NATS handled 130 flights in airspace over England and Wales and 35 flights in Scottish airspace (including Northern Ireland).  We are in regular contact with the UK airports and airline operators to understand the latest information on flights entering UK airspace and our operation is ready to respond to an increase in demand.

Passengers should contact their airlines to find out how the current situation will affect their travel plans. We anticipate being able to provide a further update late this afternoon.

Previous NATS statements on the Icelandic volcanic eruption can be found archived here.

The Volcanism Blog

Eyjafjallajökull ash: phased opening of UK airspace from 2100 GMT today 20 April 2010

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The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority has announced a phased re-opening of UK airspace from 22:00 BST (21:00 GMT) today.  To quote from the CAA press release:

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the UK’s independent specialist regulator with oversight of aviation safety, today issues new guidance on the use of airspace. This is issued in conjunction with the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) and covers the Anglo Irish Functional Airspace Block (FAB).

The new guidance allows a phased reintroduction from 2200 tonight [i.e. 21:00 GMT] of much of the airspace which is currently closed due to the volcanic ash plume over the UK. There will continue to be some ‘no fly zones’ where concentrations of ash are at levels unsafe for flights to take place, but very much smaller than the present restrictions. Furthermore, the Met Office advise that the ‘no fly zones’ do not currently cover the UK.

An answer to the vexed question of how much ash is too much ash seems to have been agreed between the CAA, the Irish aviation authorities, the airlines and the aerospace industry:

The major barrier to resuming flight has been understanding tolerance levels of aircraft to ash. Manufacturers have now agreed increased tolerance levels in low ash density areas.

Our way forward is based on international data and evidence from previous volcanic ash incidents, new data collected from test flights and additional analysis from manufacturers over the past few days. It is a conservative model allowing a significant buffer on top of the level the experts feel may pose a risk.

If the authorities have this right, an end to the Great European Aviation Lockdown may be in sight.

UPDATE: UK air traffic authority NATS promises a statement by 22:00 BST tonight. British minister of transport has announced that all UK airports will re-open from 22:00 BST, says the BBC.

For all our Eyjafjallajökull coverage: Eyjafjöll « The Volcanism Blog.

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More Eyjafjallajökull images at the NASA Earth Observatory 20 April 2010

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The NASA Earth Observatory is doing a superb job in speedily bringing us stunning images of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption from space. Some recent highlights:

Eyjafjallajokull volcanic eruption, 19 April 2010 (NASA image, MODIS/Terra)
Eyjafjallajökull volcano ash plume taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite, 19 April 2010.

Eyjafjallajokull eruption, 17 April 2010 (NASA image, ALI/EO-1)
Detailed view of ash plume at Eyjafjallajökull volcano captured by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite on 17 April 2010.

Eyjafjallajokull eruption, 17 April 2010 (NASA image, MODIS/Aqua)
Thick ash pouring from Eyjafjallajökull volcano in an image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired, like the image above, on 17 April 2010.

For all our Eyjafjallajökull coverage: Eyjafjöll « The Volcanism Blog.

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Eyjafjöll – summary information for Eyjafjallajökull, which the GVP calls Eyjafjöll (1702-02=)

The Volcanism Blog

Less ash, more lava: Eyjafjallajökull changing its style? 20 April 2010

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Eyjafjallajokull from the Hvolsvelli webcam, 20 April 2010
Eyjafjallajökull from the Hvolsvelli webcam, 20 April 2010 at 08:20 GMT.

Yesterday the Icelandic Met Office (IMO) bulletin on Eyjafjallajökull reported that seismic signals indicated that lava flow might be beginning and that the ash-producing phase of the eruption was coming to an end. A change in eruptive style from ash-producing to lava-producing could be under way, Icelandic scientists have suggested.

However, reports of ‘a new ash cloud heading into British airspace’ have meant that plans for a partial resumption of flights from UK airports have been scaled back. The latest Volcanic Ash Advisory from London VAAC, issued at 0600Z today, reports that the eruption plume is reaching 4000 m altitude and lava is visible in the crater, and remarks that there is no significant ash above FL350 (35,000 feet/10,600 metres altitude), and that from 1800Z this evening no significant ash is forecast above FL200 (20,000 feet/6,000 metres altitude). The accompanying maps show a very wide distribution of ash across European and North Atlantic airspace. It’s clear that no easing of the flight bans affecting much of Europe can be expected before this evening at the earliest.

The latest statement from UK air traffic authority NATS, released this morning, is as follows:

The situation regarding the volcanic eruption in Iceland remains dynamic and the latest information from the Met Office shows that the situation today will continue to be variable.

Based on the latest Met Office information, part of Scottish airspace including Aberdeen, Inverness and Edinburgh airports will continue to be available from 1300-1900 today, and also south to Newcastle Airport. Restrictions will remain in place over the rest of UK airspace below 20,000ft.

Overnight the CAA, in line with new guidance from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) decided flights above the ash cloud will be permitted in the UK; between 1300-1900 this will enable aircraft movements above 20,000ft in UK airspace.

The continuing restrictions on air traffic are highly disruptive and very expensive, and unsurprisingly there are increasing calls for a more ‘measured’ approach, particularly from the affected airlines. Dr Klemetti has more on this at Eruptions, and Chris Rowan has some relevant observations at Highly Allocthonous.

For all our Eyjafjallajökull coverage: Eyjafjöll « The Volcanism Blog.

News
A more measured reaction to the ashFinancial Times, 19 April 2010
Iceland volcano emits more lava, less ash – Reuters, 20 April 2010
Icelandic volcano ash cloud lower, eruption steady – Reuters, 20 April 2010
New surge of ash from Eyjafjallajokull volcanoThe Times, 20 April 2010
Iceland volcano: latest travel newsDaily Telegraph, 20 April 2010
All quiet on the volcano front: Icelandic volcano still activeIceland Review Online, 20 April 2010
The cost of Europe’s volcanic ash travel crisisTime, 20 April 2010

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Eyjafjöll – summary information for Eyjafjallajökull, which the GVP calls Eyjafjöll (1702-02=)
Met Office: Icelandic volcano eruption – information and updates from the UK Met Office

The Volcanism Blog

Eyjafjallajökull at ‘Eruptions’ (updated) 18 April 2010

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Dr Erik Klemetti of the Eruptions blog deserves some kind of award for his tireless coverage of the Eyjafjallajökull eruption. For an update on the latest from Iceland (as of 17 April 2010) you can’t do better than this.

UPDATE 19 April 2010. A new Eyjafjallajökull post from Erik here: Airlines lobby to reopen European airspace closed by Eyjafjallajökull (and 300+ comments as well).

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Some Eyjafjallajökull links 16 April 2010

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A very useful up-to-date collection of links related to the Eyjafjallajökull eruption can be found here: Eyjafjallajokull links / Liens à propos de l’Eyjafjallajokul.

Thanks to Michel of the French-language Islande 2010 blog (where there is much more Eyjafjallajökull coverage) for putting this collection together.

The Volcanism Blog