E15 case study

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  • E15
    • Location
      • Iceland
      • Low population density
      • Island on the Mid Atlantic Ridge
      • Most people live in the 7% of the island made up of fertile coastline
      • >13% covered by snowfields & glaciers
    • Tectonic setting
      • Divergent margin & hot spot
      • North American and Eurasian plates
      • Sub-glacial stratovolcano
        • Formed by eruptions beneath the surface of a glacier/ice sheet
    • Eruption
      • First on 20th March 2010
        • Basic lava -> lava fountains & 200m high lava fall
      • Second eruption on 14th April 2010
        • Explosive, and ejected fine, glass-rich ash
        • Erupted under the ice cap = heat melted the ice, which vaporised it
        • Ice chilled the molten lava = fragmented into highly abrasive shards of ash
    • Effects
      • Air space was closed for much of northern Europe
        • 15th-20th April 2010
      • 95000 cancellations of air travel
      • £130 million/day to UK airlines
      • Thick fluorine rich ash inhibiting plant growth and grazing of animals
      • Road washed away by jokulhaup
      • Zambia's flower/veg industry lost $150'000 a day
      • Obama and others couldn't get to the President of Poland's funeral
      • Other transport methods had a rapid increase in income
        • Ferry, trains, car hire
      • Foof imported = food prices increased
    • Management
      • Well monitored volcano
      • Eruption was mainly foreseen because seismic activity increased
      • GPS showed ground movement
        • One farm moved south by 3cm
      • Feb 2010, ground deformation was detected
        • Suggest magma is moving towards surface
    • Presently
      • Eruption is usually a pre-cursor to Katla
        • Katla is being monitored
      • Increase seismicity/inflation of Katla has been measured
      • Katla is statistically due for a new eruption
    • Responses
      • 800 people evacuated
      • Comported reviews of restrictions of flights
        • Could make monitoring of international airspace better
      • Tourism industry increased
      • Helicopter/bus/jeep tours to view eruption/volcano
      • End of March 10000 people had visited the volcano
      • No change to managemnt needed
    • Hazards
      • Primary
        • Ash
        • Lava flows 7 lave bombs
        • Volcano releases 0.15 million tonnes of CO2
      • Secondary
        • Jokulhaups

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