GCSE Geography AQA A Restless Earth: Eruption at Eyjafjallajokull

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  • Eruption in an MEDC, Eyjafjallajokull
    • About
      • Iceland lies on the Mid-Atlantic ridge, a constructive plate margin separating  the Eurasian and North American plate.
        • Eyjafjallajokull is located beneath an ice cap in Southern Iceland and is 1666m high.
    • The eruption
      • The volcano began to erupt on March 20th 2010 as magma broke through the crust beneath the glacier. This was the start of 2 months of dramatic and powerful eruptions.
      • The main eruption was on the 19th April 2010. The eruption caused a large ash plume to rise 1100m into the air and the ash was distributed by high velocity jet streams above iceland causing most airlines to seize flights.
      • The eruption became an international crisis in mid April as the cloud of fine ash spread towards Europe.
      • On the 14th April 2010, a new phase of more explosive eruptions began and huge quantities of gas were shot into the atmosphere.
    • Impacts
      • The heavier particle of ash fell  close to the ground, forcing hundreds of people to be evacuated from their homes and farms.
      • The 150m icecap melted which caused major flooding to Iceland, main roads were destroyed and 700 people had to be evacuated.
      • Fine ash clogged up many rivers and caused blockages later in the year.
      • The ash falls, which coated agricultural land with a thick layer of ash stopping farming temporarily.
      • At night time, rescuers wore face masks to prevent them from choking on the dense cloud of ash, these ash plumes were the dominant primary impact.
      • The eruption beneath a glacier caused a huge amount of meltwater to be produce.
      • Parts of the embankment supported the main highway in South Iceland were purposely breached by authorities to allow the flood water to pass through to the sea.
        • This action was successful as it prevented the destruction of expensive bridges and the reconstruction of the highway and embankment  completed within  a few weeks.
      • Soils are now more fertile due to the nutrient rich ash.
      • Iceland is now a popular tourist destination.
      • Volcanic land is great for geothermal energy.
  • Responses
    • Due to concerns of the effects of ash on engines, large sections of European airspace were closed down.
      • These knock on effects were worldwide as Many were stranded.
      • Raw materials could not be exported by plane.
        • Resulting in many African farmers losing their jobs.
    • Further research will be carried out to ensure better ways of monitoring ash.



Very Good!!! Thank you daisyking99

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