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  • Created by: india3010
  • Created on: 02-02-16 09:15

Background information


Iceland is located on the North American and Eurasian plate and is immediatly south of the Artic Circle. The Eyjafjallajokull volcano is located in the South of the island situated between the Skogar ice cap to the north and the Myrdalsjokull ice cap to the west. Eyjafjallajokull is 1,666 meters high with an ice cap covering the caldera of the volcano.


The volcanic events started in March 2010 it was thought that this was the start of the eruption but just split into phases. The first eruption phase ejected basaltic lava several hunderd meters into the air. The ash  ejection from this phase of the eruption was small raising no more than 4km. On the 14th April the eruption entered the explosive phase ejected fine ash 8km into the atmosphere. This phase was thought to be a VEI 4 eruption which is larga and powerful.

Iceland has a population of approximatly 329,100 and 92.61% of the population consists of native Icelandic people. Iceland has very low taxes compared to many other OECD countries. It maintains a Nordic welfare system providing universal health care, education for all citizens. Its also ranked as the 13th most developed country in the world. Running on renewable energy.   

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Iceland is located on the North American plate which is moving west and the Eurasian plate wich is moving east this is creating a divergant plate boundary which moves appart at a rate of 1-5 cm a year. This has resulted in the formation of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. 

The eruption was so bad due to the magma chamber that was under the volcano had been capturing magma for 18 years prior to the eruption, this is often common in highly active volcanoes on Earth. There was also 2 or more magmatic sources involved meaning that when the magma of different compositions met it resulted in the explosive eruption.  

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  • The 150m thick ice cap melted causing major flooding resulting in the evacuation of 700 people. 
  • Ash (Pyroclastic) 
  • Location - Close to the jet stream maning that when an eruption occurs then ash may be carried as far as Norway and effecting alot of Europe
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Primary Impacts

  • 500 farmers and their families were evacated
  • Flooding due to the ice cap melting ear the volcano
  • No one died as a result of the eruption however a couple of tourists died trying to see the volcano got lossed and froze to death
  • Roads washed away by flood waters
  • Rye and Barley destroyed by ash

Secondary Impacts

  • People living down wind of the volcano had to wear face masks and goggles due to the ash
  • The ash had contaminated local water supply and farmers were tol not to let their cattle drink frm streams and rivers due to the high concentation of Sulper
  • Flights landing in Norther and Eastern Europe were cancelled and also transatlantic
  • Airlins and bussinesses lossed around £130 million a day
  • Over the 8 days around 107,000 lights were cancelled whch accounted 48% of all air traffic which is 10 million passengers
  • Kenya was als effected due to 20% of their economy is based n exports to Europe
  • 50,000 farmers were temporarly uneployed as their peas and beans could not be sold
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Management Strategies

Short term stratagies

  • Iceland was prepared for the eruption because of a smaller eruption prior so they were prepared for  larger eruption
  • There was partial and full distruction of roads to allow flood water to get to the sea with out being blocked 

Long term straagies

  • High tech equiptment used to predict further eruptions
  • Icelandic residents texts get sent to residents with a 30 minute warning
  • The emergency sevices are well prepared
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