Volcanic Ash Could Last Months, Larger Nearby Volcano Could Soon Erupt Too

Volcanic Ash Could Last Months, Larger Nearby Volcano Could Soon Erupt Too

It’s scaremongering at best, but yesterday’s volcanic ash story has turned into a right old mess for the aviation industry, with all planes grounded until at least Sunday in the UK. Even worse, a much larger volcano could erupt.

As I said yesterday, the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted for the second time on Tuesday, and as it was under a 200m-thick piece of glacier ice, it’s resulted in all the rivers flooding – not to mention the volcanic ash which has meant very few planes are able to depart or arrive in the UK, with the rest of western Europe affected as well.

Jalopnik explained what happens when the volcanic ash gets in aeroplane engines and flight control systems – and just how dangerous it can be, with 90 commercial aeroplanes suffering damage from volcanic ash in the past 30 years alone. We may not be able to see it in the air (though apparently a very red sunset was viewed last night by many), but it’s harmful enough to cut off Britain from mainland Europe.

Now, experts are saying that the Eyjafjallajokull eruption could likely trigger activity at Mount Katla, a nearby glacier volcano that’s even larger and potentially more dangerous. It’s not erupted since 1918, but “volcanologists” are saying it’s very close to blowing its top. We can already expect the volcanic ash to hang around in the skies for the next couple of weeks, but if Katla goes then it might last for months. Back in 1783 another volcano in Iceland caused thick fog across Europe and even spread as far as the US, for eight whole months.

At least we’re getting some amazing photos from the eruption, with several showing the Northern lights appearing next to Eyjafjallajokull volcano. [Metro and The Telegraph]

Image Credit: *ice