A scientist at the University of Iceland Institute of Earth Sciences now consider that the volcanic eruption which began on Fimmvörduháls ridge between the glaciers Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull on March 20 and lasted until April 12, and continued in the summit crater of Eyjafjallajökull on April 14, is over. The last spew came out of the Eyjafjallajökull summit crater in mid-June.
From the height of the eruption on Fimmvörduháls. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
“This event is over,” confirmed volcanologist Ármann Höskuldsson to Morgunbladid, however adding that there can be a continuation of the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull at a later stage.
The area is still geothermally active and the eruption channel is still scorching hot—the cooling can take a few years. On Fimmvörduháls embers can still be seen in cracks in the lava and inside the craters but that is not the case in Eyjafjallajökull.
“Everything is still boiling hot up there,” Höskuldsson said of Fimmvörduháls, reminding people to be careful. He added scientists are now processing the data collected in relation to the eruption. “The next step is to raise money for continued research.”
In the Icelandic Meteorological Office’s report on the volcanic eruption in Eyjafjallajökull it is stated that since 1994, a series of intermittent earthquakes have been detected in the area. The activity increased significantly in March 2010.
The fine ash emitted in the phreatic eruption caused extensive disturbances—in recent decades there hasn’t been as much disruption to international air traffic as was caused by the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull.
A number of airports had to be shut down and almost every continent was affected in some way—it is believed that airlines lost more than ISK 200 billion (USD 1.8 billion, EUR 1.3 billion) in total.
Flooding caused by the eruption tore holes in some levees and filled the glacial lagoon by the Gígjökull glacial tongue to the north of Eyjafjallajökull. Significant accumulation of ash on the glacier caused mudslides.
The total weight of volcanic debris is estimated to be between 300 and 400 million tons and it is believed that almost 100 million cubic meters of ice melted during the eruption.
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