Author Topic: Iceland Volcanic Eruption  (Read 37741 times)

Andrew Stacey

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Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« on: April 01, 2010, 07:47:29 AM »
As the Iceland volcanic thread seems to have disappeared, can those people who posted links, and I'm thinking especially of Val and Judith, re-post ... as the show at the crater's edge goes on!
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Judith R

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2010, 08:47:19 AM »
As all the links are in my Favourites I can oblige!
Webcams:

http://eldgos.mila.is/eyjafjallajokull-fra-fimmvorduhalsi/ 
The one looking from 'the other side' where you could see 4WD driving away last night


http://www.vodafone.is/eldgos
The one with 2 views - can't see anything today which makes you realise how good the visibility has been so far

http://eldgos.mila.is/eyjafjallajokull-fra-thorolfsfelli/
The original one with a nice long distance view.

http://www.icelandreview.com/icelandreview/
Iceland review - lots of articles including some this mornng about the evacuation after the second vent opened last night.

http://chris.is/
Christopher Lund's amazing photos.


The thing I don't have is any copy of Ian's amazing descriptions. Val PLEASE repost.
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Judith R

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2010, 08:55:01 AM »
And here's a new one - if only I was there and had a spare 43000 ISK!
http://helicopter.is/helicopter/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=115&catid=41&Itemid=131
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ValVannet

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2010, 09:32:07 AM »
Will do!  I have them stored safely at home.
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Judith R

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2010, 12:25:54 PM »
Cheers!
Visibility very poor now - it's snowing!
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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2010, 05:31:10 PM »
The Chris Lund photos are superb! I now have a new desktop image.

If I could I'd be off to Iceland tomorrow.
Just have to hope that it stays active until the summer!

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2010, 09:37:28 PM »
OK... long posting of the diaries of VolcanIan coming up.....

Blimey, this is for real. I was walking on the lower flanks of the volcano yesterday afternoon, hours before it started. I had gone to bed at about 23.00 or so; I had taken a walk on my deck to view the stars and moon just before and there was, a hint ... of something, unknown at the time. I was then deep asleep and I awoke just after midnight; I thought this odd as I usually sleep like a log! It was windy so I put it down to that. Then my phone went off; very strange indeed - it also seemed to "play its tune" at twice the normal speed. "Ian, have you heard; evacuate now, the volcano has blown; be very quick". It then became rather unreal; what do you pack in such a situation, am I ever to be back; just how quickly should I leave? I dashed around the house, gathered wallet, phones, chargers, laptops and the like and my Passport and various important bits of documentation. I remembered to dress too; what to wear, what to take; just what was the end game of this to be.  As I looked east, there it was, a rich red/orange glow, emanating from the mountains and above it hovered a red cloud reflecting this. It was way up the valley, in the area of Thorsmork. The valley was alive with lights; people were evacuating very quickly. Would it be an ash fall? Lava bombs? A lava flow?
I had more calls …….come on, are you OK, get out. I then drove to Hvolsvollur, to the school to register. All was bright, warm and calm there; everyone was anxious but all was quiet. Seemingly everyone is now accounted for and evacuated (400 - 500 persons); it is very strange to think of this. A road block was set up to stop sightseers coming in to the valley. However, as I drove to Selfoss to get a bed in a friend’s house, the number of cars driving east, towards the volcano was incredible; I have hardly seen as many cars on a July afternoon. Most cars seemed to be saloon cars so I am guessing that many youths, out on a Saturday night, heard about the eruption and set out to see it. Fortunately, as I drove in to Selfoss, another police road block was being established to stop this.  I am now homeless, a refugee; this is very odd. My wee hus! Now it is big news of course; everyone is waiting to see what the authorities say. The Press conference at 11.00 gave no real update, only that the situation is being watched and nature is in control. Farmers are being allowed in just to feed animals and then come back out again; this is a real live volcanic emergency and, actually, it´s not fun at all, it is quite something to think that here is an other episode of Iceland´s formation going on as I type. But when people, property,livestock, livelihoods are at risk, I am afraid that the whole event is somewhat surreal; just what is going to happen. Mind you, if all this dies down, guess where I´ll be hiking this summer - you bet!

And a later up-date…….OK, everyone from the valley is in total limbo. All fights into/out of Iceland are stopped at the moment. It is all just a matter of waiting and seeing. The authorities are "still out" on what´s going on/what´s happening. Go to www.mbl.is (English version) for stories, pics, video. Also try www.vedur.is Yikes, Blimey, this is for real.   (as Oor Wullie would say!)    Skal, Ian

Update Monday 22nd March
All is still pretty alarming. The eruption is getting bigger but it does seems to be "contained" (famous last words!). The scientists have had a good chance to monitor it (and take some amazing photos) and we are allowed to sleep in our homes in the valley if we wish tonight. I am back home after 2 nights in Selfoss - SO good to be home - but many homes are dark as people are frightened (or just plain wise).There are 2 cones growing; it is classic, a fissure eruption, with several points of main ejecta but two main cones forming at the moment. I am sitting at my big table, looking east and waiting, ever hopefully, for the evening glow to appear (as it did on Saturday night - jings, that was an experience ... I'll have heaps of stories for our Rayburn Tours groups in the future ("I was there"!); a surcharge will of course apply!. It is very cloudy tonight (Monday) though so maybe no "glowings" tonight.¨I am taking photos off the TV - some good images and good graphics. Got quite a good "live" one today as I drove from Selfoss; Wow, I've just looked out again - the valley is VERY dark. Police have blocked the road far up the valley (where there will be great viewpoint); I ventured there today but no luck. A few helicopters have been flying around.    Godan nott, Ian

Update Wednesday 23rd March
It looks like it is going to be a "tourist eruption". It is shaping up to be very beautiful - lava flows and cinder cones; images look superb (the ones you directed us to on SLN). It is also on a walking route through from Skogar to Thorsmork ... I can't wait; maybe I can do it in April once I return from Morocco (yes, I head there on Friday - hope there are no earthquakes in the Atlas on the converging plates - yikes and crikes again!). The existing walking guide poles on the route seemingly lead right directly into the growing crater! – talk about early preparation ; all very convenient! Thus it looks like we could have a "Krafla type" scene (NE Iceland - wonderful) here in the mid south; FANDABBIDOZIE! oh, yes, I'll be working on a day option as soon as I can! There will be amazing sights to see and wonderful lava formations. I am much more relaxed now - foolishly so? - and it is so good to be back home in my hus and to feel that the authorities have got a handle on things and really know what they are talking about. There are some great seismologists here  and they have been able to do fly-overs as well as approach on foot to about 1km seemingly; they went out on the Saturday night and Sunday night and they report that the weather for the rescue/emergency people was never worse - incredible winds and snow - epic! but still they had a "ball" (no doubt of fire!)). But they have amazing knowledge and understanding of what is going on. They seem to have all sorts of technology to allow them to know what's down there and how it is acting/changing; we need geo-physicists, that's for sure; wonderful stuff. Hinrik (who runs accommodation used by Rayburn Tours) and I had a great coffee break this morning at my big table, looking out my window towards the cloud covered mountain - can't wait till it clears ... better be before Friday! Hinrik could tell me all that had been on the news the night before; all very reassuring for us in Fljotshlid. Did I tell you I had been to a community meeting in Godaland (across the road from Husid) in 2005 where the whole scenario of what could happen was played out? It was really interesting; the whole landscape has been modelled and all sorts of scenarios were then played out - showing the waves of water that a glacial flood could bring, the depths it could be and for how long it would be at that depth as it passed to the ocean. But then, a bigger problem is created – as the glacial flood pushes back the sea, it returns as a wall of water to a narrower coastal fringe. The good news is that even in the worst case scenario, Husid and Skalinn (Rayburn accommodation) are safe - but ma wee hus may not be (in a worst case scenario; imagine the insurance claim form!). In fact so safe is Skalinn it would become a rescue/evacuation post for those on the lower valley bottom. It is also incredible how every eventuality has been considered, planned for, mitigated against. etc. Hey, this is Iceland; here they DO things, not just talk about things. And remember too that in Iceland, "Everybody matters", local or visitor ….

It is now thought that the eruption is going to be like the 1973 eruption on Heimaey; wonderful. They reckon it will go on as it is just now (steady and calm) for weeks, perhaps months, building up an "Eldfell". At the moment there is one fissure with one significant cinder/tephra cone and crater growing and within it ….six plumes of lava fountains and lava bombs - looks really beautiful (why are such forms so entrancing?). There is one lava flow moving down a valley and into Thorsmork but this is no problem at all, just plain exciting. Water temperatures in rivers/streams are now about 11 degrees C as the lava is melting snow (not ice) that feeds into the river systems; again. not a problem. And now the talk is, "How do we get locals/tourists in easily to view this new natural phenomena" - superb. So, watch this space; imagine, a day out from Husid/Skalinn on some of the freshest land surfaces on the globe and all so nearby; what a bonus!
 Tomorrow evening (Wed) at 20.30 there is a big meeting in the Sports Hall in Hvolsvollur to bring everyone up-to-date (and one at 15.00 for Polish speakers - no mention of one for Scottish speakers!). So, now it is all looking really very exciting; I'd get a group booked into Husid/Skalinn as soon as possible ... 2011 could be a busy year!

24th March 11am

"VolcanIan" reporting in again - it's all go! Hope you like the next instalment.

This morning (Wed) I was up at 05.15 as the wind had dropped and I thought that maybe low cloud had lifted off the mountains and volcano - it had! What a show from my house; the rich orangey/red glow was back, the fire that had made us all leave the valley so quickly last Saturday night/Sunday evening.   Out of all of my east facing windows it was quite a show.  Yes, I have a loo with a view, that’s for sure; who’d have thought it! Believe it or not, I hesitated, not out of fear (I am getting so into this event now  unlike in the first few days of great uncertainty), but more I was thinking should I go back to bed or should I put on some clothes and drive east in to the valley with binoculars for an even better show. Well, my indecision was short lived -  on with some clothes and I drove at great speed up the valley  -15 minutes to the farthest in we are allowed to go. The Logreglan (police) were stationed at the river crossing over a tributary to the Markarfljot River; what a night shift for them! There was only the cop car and one other 4x4, a local farmer I think and myself.

It was AWESOME; fountains of lava ejecta into the air, lava bombs too. It was like watching Strokkur geysir in reverse ... and in red/orange. There is a cinder cone volcano forming (in the style of Eldfell on Heimaey). There is one main column of lava fountain; almost constant, like an enormous hosepipe shooting lava in the air. I could see the edge of a lava flow too; all some distance away but with binoculars it was like "I was there" (and possibly as close as I would like to be for the moment). Oh my!  As well as the main fountain of lava, there are subsidiary ones (I assume in a line NE/SW); they also did their wee lava dances too. Sometimes it looked like an exploding firework rocket, you know, the expensive ones, how they go high up in the air and then explode with a cluster of lights radiating out and then falling to earth - just like that.

I tried to take photographs but to no avail - too difficult for my little camera to gain any more than a red glow (of which I am actually quite proud!). But, actually, it is being here, seeing, it, believing it that counts. The professionals will give us some brilliant shots in good time. It really is remarkable to witness this; live action, seeing how it works  not sure I believed it all until now (joking!). I no longer have to go to Hawaii!

It was funny as I drove back down the valley to my house; there was also an orange glow sitting over Vestmnannaeyar, the town on the island of Heimaey. I knew it came from the streets lights and they were being reflected by the clouds above the island but, in my mind, when I lined up that "human glow" with the natural glow behind me on the montains, WOW, there it was, all illuminated and clear to imagine, the SW/NE line of the Mid Atlantic Ridge, Eastern Zone; MEGA WOW definitely a geographer's moment!

OK, all I see at the moment from my breakfast table is lots of steam  - as the lava is meeting the winter snow you can imagine what happens. Luckily the eruption is not below either of the two neighbouring icecaps. Spookily, the new volcano is growing almost exactly in the middle of the gap between the 2 icecaps . The weather forecast is for improving weather today and onwards. If the sky is clear tonight, after dark, I think that there will be many flasks of coffee and lots of cake heading up the valley in 4x4s to watch the show; I must remember to take my camera!  Skal, Ian   


25th March
Meeting in Hvolsvollur was AMAZINLY interesting; will tell all in the "report" I am planning to write - just not enough hours in the day/days in the week.  At end I hovered and spoke to the Chief Seismologist, Magnus. I was determined to meet him. He was great. I asked him for a quote for SAGT ... and he gave me a great one (aha; wait till I write it all down.  VERY special) Just back from my third up valley jaunt; heaps of locals out to view;  what a spectacle. This is simply an ASTOUNDING event.  I'll catch up with write ups when I can; these last days have been totally wonderfully, emotionally CRAZY!

26th March

I am still frothing with excitement about the volcano - SO much to tell. Presently in T4 at LHR having just come in to T1 from Iceland ... on my way to Marrakech!  I am trying to write up the last two days - amazing - but there are not enough hours in the day; maybe this afternoon once I am checked in and then on the flight. I got some great shots this morning from my "A" seat, However  now, after speaking with the couple that sat next to me on the plane I have MORE stories; OMG x n! I spoke to a couple in the plane and now have the most amazing aerial close up shots of the eruption.  ( ON THE ICELAND PICS PAGE)
 
27th March
Well, it's where it all began, I suppose! 4.6 billion years ago... to this!     I managed to write up all my activities these last few days in the flights yesterday - I am delighted to have done this as it was worrying me that I might forget it! I need to go back now and check spelling and add wee bits in etc. but the guts of it is done. I will try to get this to you as soon as I can.


And here it is .... http://www.4shared.com/file/253048173/64a5bf0a/Report_from_VolcanIan.html






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ValVannet

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2010, 09:46:03 PM »
Another OMG moment - it is completely amazingly, indescribable right now!  A total fireball with new lava flows....
« Last Edit: April 01, 2010, 09:48:55 PM by ValVannet »
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Victoria

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2010, 09:55:17 PM »
Still loving watching the webcam...

Iceland Express fares also very interesting (if frustrating!) - for about 10 mins earlier this evening, there were outward flights for £37 before taxes... back up to £72 again now... Lottery win needed - or a trip in summer after my exam marking if the eruption is still going on then!

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2010, 10:05:01 PM »
It may be my imagination but I think I am seeing a lot of vehicle headlights moving at some speed away from the new crater and towards the webcam! If I were in their position, I think I'd be doing the same thing only faster......

Sequence of pics here www.flickr.com/photos/sagt
« Last Edit: April 01, 2010, 10:24:17 PM by ValVannet »
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Judith R

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2010, 10:15:37 PM »
Thanks for the Ian stuff Val - will put it into Word so I can keep it!

No - it's not your imagination  - loads of headlights. Last night there were only one or two at a time, but quite a convoy tonight. I've added it to the ppt collection.
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Judith R

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2010, 10:45:12 PM »
Just been having a browse of the latest articles on Iceland Review. If you find the article that mentions 'beautiful videos' - watch it! True awe and wonder.

http://www.icelandreview.com/icelandreview/daily_news/?cat_id=16567&ew_0_a_id=360280
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Judith R

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2010, 05:41:33 PM »
Found this site which has a map of the webcam locations.

http://reykjavik.mydestinationinfo.com/en/hekla-volcano-webcam

My favourite one went off and then seems to be showing a different view - can't watch all the cars etc any more    :(, although loads of helicopters flying over today  :)
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Judith R

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2010, 10:17:48 AM »
All very snowy and quiet today - complete white-out yesterday!

Iceland Review provided the link to the NASA Earth Observatory sequence of photos:
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/event.php?id=43253

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2010, 12:28:20 PM »
The video is amazing Judith thanks for posting about it. I probably would not have seen it otherwise.

http://www.icelandreview.com/icelandreview/daily_news/?cat_id=28304&ew_0_a_id=359635

and can see ash streaking across this webcam(!) - looks quite large!  http://eldgos.mila.is/eyjafjallajokull-fra-thorolfsfelli/
« Last Edit: April 18, 2010, 10:59:21 AM by Andrew Stacey »

 

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