Eyjafallajokull Volcano case study

I made notes while watching a programme on the 2010 Icelandic volcano as I thought it would make a good case study on volcanoes. So I've put it on here for you to use too.

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  • Created by: Emily
  • Created on: 03-05-10 14:23
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Icelandic Volcano-Eyjafallajokull Volcano
Flight cancellations throughout Europe
But Icelandic airspace free of ash-planes still allowed
Volcanic bombs-magma, ash, waves of pressure
Dark material-magma
White smoke-water vapour-ice and snow melting
Lava 1000 degrees centigrade plus
Why are there volcanoes there?
Mid Atlantic Ridge-Between 2 tectonic plates- moving apart
Allowed Iceland to go above sea level
It can be seen that Iceland is split in half
1 eruption every 5 years-one of the most volcanic active areas
Geologists could see it happening-it breaks rocks, swells the crust
See it coming
Loads of small earthquakes happening before
Satellite images showed it was deforming
GPS showed changes in slope of the volcano
20th March
Little interest from rest of world at first
Nothing to stop the lava flowing
It continued for 3 weeks-monitoring continued
Volcano ready to erupt again but where and when.
Runny enough so the gas could escape making it less explosive
2nd Eruption
14th April
Broke 14 miles away from first
Rising magma instantly chilled when it meets the ice
This caused it to break up into minute particles meaning ash
Chemical composition of lava changed-stickier=more explosive
Fine ash-5 miles into the atmosphere
Why did this ash cloud bring air travel cancellations?
Caught in a jet stream

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Blown south east
Ash cloud is a known flight hazard
The particles travelled so far south because it was so light and small
It can cause visibility problems
It can mess up the navigation system
It can erode the body
If it gets into the engines it can cause engine damage/failure
Problems that it caused
Within 4 days of the eruption nearly all of Europe's airports closed
£10 million pounds a day it cost the UK due to the closed airports
Fresh food and medical…read more

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Increasing threat?
Due to global warming and increase in changing temperatures.
Global warming can melt the ice sheets which may cause dormant volcanoes
to become active again in Iceland.
Being prepared
Monitoring-This can forecast when they will erupt so can help in getting
plans ready-but it can't say how big it will be, how long it will last, when it
will be at its worse.
Katla Volcano
There are fears that this may go off now as they are believed to be
connected.…read more


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