Notes on the 2010 eruptions

List of information in chronological order


In this article notes on the 2010 eruptions are given in chronological order. The purpose with this article is to provide an overview of information presented on the web. For scientific detail the reader is advised to read the relevant web pages.

21.03.2010 Announcing the onset of an eruption on Fimmvörðuháls, timing and placement of fissure.  Map with locations and depth, describing tremors and earthquakes for the past three weeks.

22.03.2010 A series of images from IMO‘s radar show the plume being carried westward. Graphs from river Krossá: Waterlevel, temperature and conductivity. Tremor graphs from five stations, renewed every ten minutes. Aerial photo with place names inserted.

23.03.2010 Photo of the lava flowing down a gully and for comparison a photo of the same gully in 2007. An automatic map on the web shows the location and size of earthquakes last 24 hours. Automatic tremor graphs from various stations.

24.03.2010 Waterlevel, conductivity and water temperature of river Krossá is shown on a graph which indicates the influence of the lava. A warning is issued to farmers and travellers based on fluorine measurements from the Institute of the Earth Sciences, IES. Graphs of GPS measurements presented with explanations and discussion.

25.03.2010 Reporting observations on the interaction of lava and ice in the gully. Aerial photographs show lava, steam and fire as well as blueish fumes which are also reported in historic eruptions.

26.03.2010 A warning issued with regard to flying lava bombs and water fissures in the snow which can form quite suddenly. Warning issued with regard to popular walking paths which the lava has now blocked. Warning also of increased water flow in river Hvanná. A model predicting lava flow (VORIS) presented with a discussion on two likely paths.

28.03.2010 Specific weather forecast for 800-1000 m a.s.l. presented with an article on wind chill and a link to an article on poisonous gases (ICE-SAR).

29.03.2010 Link to web-cameras (Míla). Technical advances introduced, new seismometer and two new water gauges. Three dimensional map relocating earthquakes beneath Eyjafjallajökull in March 2010 with more precision than daily processing allows. Colour coded time scale shows the magma migrating upwards.

30.03.2010 A graph of water level, conductivity and water temperature in river Krossá, showing distinct effects 18 hrs after the volcanic the eruption began.

31.03.2010 Three dimensional map with relocated earthquakes, colour coded according to origin time. The importance of specific weather forecasts for the area is stressed and warning made against wind chill and poisonous fumes.

04.04.2010 River Hvanná: Graph shows the water level and the timing of an increased flux.

05.04.2010 Graph shows another increase in the waterflow of river Hvanná. Tremor plots only show the effects of intermittent steam explosions. Weather forecast warns against temperatures below zero and decreased visibility.

07.04.2010 - 12.04.2010 Shallow earthquake size 3.7 Ml last night, located in the vent of the magma. Observations reported. Water level increased temporarily in river Hvanná, see graph. Specific weather forecast for the area. Link to satellite image (IKONOS) showing the volcanic site in 1 m resolution. An earthquake reported but tremor levels have decreased and GPS measurement show deflation, indicating that this eruption is now possibly over.

14.04.2010 Reporting new earthquake activity, location and depth. Announcing an eruption in Eyjafjallajökull, south rim of top crater. IMO‘s radar records 8 km hight of the plume. Comparison of aerial photos since 1992 and the present show the retreat of Gígjökull glacier. Automatic maps of earthquakes in the area continuously available as well as tremor plots. IMO‘s hydrological network of gauging stations is also available on the web with specific graphs presented for certain events. Water level graphs trace the timing of a single flood event from Gígjökull lagoon early this morning, to the new bridge across Markarfljót river at noon, and to the old bridge in the late afternoon.

15.04.2010 Sampling of ash is encouraged, instructions provided (pdf), both for the public and weather observers around the country. IMO‘s web-site now provides a fill-in-form for observations of ashfall and other related phenomena. Lightning in the plume is recorded and presented in a specific map on the web (via ATDnet UK Met Office). Ashfall forecast for Iceland made by IMO‘s meteorologists is presented on the web. An account si given of a historic flooding from Gígjökull in 1822. Graph shows changes in water level of Markarfljót river. Graph from seismometer in Goðaland shows periodic tremor, suggesting interaction of magma and water.

16.04.2010 Ashfall reported in Europe. Link to VAAC in London for flight safety. For Iceland IMO provides daily ashfall forecasts. Satellite images (EUMETSAT SEVIRI) show the ash plume carried eastwards across the ocean. GPS measurements suggest deflation of volcano due to emissions. IMO‘s radar records the plume hight (5-8 km). Scientists do reconaissance flights with the Icelandic Coast Guard almost daily with photos and comments presented on the web.

17.04.2010 Links to web-cameras (Míla) showing the eruption. Tremor and lightning recorded and described on the web. Plume hight recorded by the radar. QA on the eruption provided on the web (frequently asked questions).

19.04.2010 – 24.04.2010 Changes in tremor indicate that lava has started to flow from the crater, supported  by lower plume (2-4 km) according to radar. MODIS satellite image shows both ash from the volcanic site and loose ash blown from the surface of Mýrdalsjökull ice cap. Comments on sound blasts, viscosity, deflation and tremors. Link to satellite image RADARSAT-2 (from the Canadian Space Agency), link to a briefing issued by WMO of frequently asked questions.

25.04.2010 – 28.05.2010 Presenting joint status reports of IMO and IES daily. Through this, up to date information on the eruption is always available to other scientists and to the public. IMO issues forecasts of ash dispersion every six hours, predicting ashfall for the next four or five days. The written forecasts are supported by maps which are renewed on the web daily. IMO‘s network of hydrological gauging stations mediates information continually on the web. Recent observations of ashfall are available, both from weather stations and the public, as well as precipitation at selected weather stations for precaution against fluorine tamination.

05.05.2010 Three dimensional map showing earthquake activity beneath Eyjafjallajökull in April and May 2010, migrating upwards, and earthquake locations from 2009 to March 2010 for comparison. Precise locations reveal that the earthquakes‘ original source is at about 23 km depth but the location of the magma chamber is considered to be at 3-5 km depth.

07.05.2010 An animation of satellite images shows the development of the volcanic ash cloud detectable by brightness temperature difference (SEVIRI BTD) between two thermal channels, generated chiefly from EUMETSAT‘s geostationary satellite but segments from NOAA‘s polar orbiting satellites were superimposed where available.

26.05.2010 Observations in a reconnaissance flight reveal that the northside of the crater is stained yellow with sulfurides. Bluish fumes, sulfuric gases, run downwind to the south and southwest. Only steam comes from the crater (aerial photo).

11.06.2010 Another flight reveals that a lake has formed in the crater. Brownish veils indicate degassing of magma, steam rises from the surface and the water is stirred either from water intake or heat convection (aerial photos). Surveillance on ground shows an ice tunnel in Gígjökull; the main canyon has deepened and another canyon has formed to the west (photo).

23.06.2010 – 09.07.2010 Little or no activity at Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Single observation of a 3 km white steam plume. A cone of volcanic debris in the crater.

10.08.2010 – 09.10.2010 Aerial photographs show first the green colour of vegetation in spite of ashfall in spring and then the first winter snow, which proves that the new lava at the top crater has cooled somewhat.

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