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Iceland: Grímsvötn Eruption “Will Not Impact Aviation for 24 Hours”

Grímsvötn Eruption Cloud (dark blue) courtesy Icelandic Met Office

An eruption at the Grímsvötn volcano in Iceland began at 17:30 UTC on May 21st 2011. The subglacial eruption quickly broke the ice cover of the Vatnajökull glacier and created a cloud of steam and ash around 20km high.

Because the prevailing winds will take the ash plume East and North, it is not expected that the eruption will impact upon aviation within the first 24 hours. The weather radar at Keflavik International Airport -220 km away from the eruption site – is monitoring the eruption cloud.

The last eruption in Grímsvötn occurred in November 2004. Grímsvötn is Iceland’s most frequently erupting volcano.

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