• Created by: Olliejh98
  • Created on: 26-01-15 22:18

Backround info:

  • Mid Atlantic ridge (constructive)
  • N.American/Eurasian
  • Volcanic belt
  • Eyafjallajokul is 1,666m high
  • 125km SE of Reykjavik
1 of 7


  • March 2010 magma broke through crust beneath the glacier
  • mostly lava eruptions (little threat to locals)
  • 14 April (more explosive phase) ash emitted
2 of 7

Primary Impacts


  • Heavy particles of ash (black gritty sand) fell to close ground
  • This coated agricultural land with thick layer of ash 


  • Cloud of fine ash spread south eastwards towards rest of Europe
3 of 7

Secondary Impacts


  • Crops (particularly grass used for hay) were damaged by ash falls
  • Homes, roads were damaged and services disrupted (elctricity/water)
  • Local water supllies contaminated with fluoride
  • Meltwater from glacier resulted in flooding


  • Due to closure of airports passenger and freight traffic ground to a halt
  • Ten million affected, Airport Operators Assosiation estimated 80 million in losses
  • Business people/ tourists stranded 
  • Industrial production could not function as import/export of raw materials/products cancelled eg/ Honda announced partial halt to production
  • in Kenya farmers lost their jobs/ suffered pay cuts as crops (beans/flowers) perished unable to be exported
  • Supermarkets/ producers could not recieve goods
  • International sporting events eg/ Boston Marathon were affected by flight ban.
4 of 7

Immediate Response


  • Hundreds evacuated from their farms and villages
  • Rescuers were forced to wear face masks to prevent choking due to the ash clouds
  • Sections of embankment supporting main highway breached by authorities to allow floodwater to pass through to sea (prevent damage to expensive bridges


  • Large sections of European airspace closed down (100,000 flights cancelled in 8 days- 48% of total air traffic, 10 million passengers affected)
5 of 7

Long term Response


  • Reconstruction of roads and services was expensive
  • Local flood defences had to be reconstructed (Enbankments rebuilt and highway reconstructed in weeks)


  • Further research to improve monitoring ash concentrations and forecast models
6 of 7



  • Eyafjallajokul considered an Icelandic tourist destination 'the land of ice and fire' this creates jobs and improves local industries eg/ gift shops
  • Lava and ash rich in minerals making volcanic soil very fertile
  • Rocks can be used for building
  • Geothermal energy beneath the surface is accessable (electricity/provide hot water for industrial proccesses, heating pools, melting snow on pavements)
  • Valuable minerals such as copper, gold, silver, lead and zinc
  •  Sulphur can be mined from craters to bleach sugar, make matches and fertiliser
7 of 7


No comments have yet been made

Similar Geography resources:

See all Geography resources »See all Restless Earth resources »