Author Topic: Iceland Volcanic Eruption  (Read 42698 times)

Victoria

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #30 on: April 15, 2010, 09:53:51 AM »

ValVannet

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #31 on: April 15, 2010, 12:00:47 PM »
An excellent BBC 1 Breaking News 'special' is on right now.  My son and I are watching - it is fascinating to watch his reaction as he recognises areas we  explored last summer.  From the footage of the breached Number 1 road I'd say that no one will be travelling east along the south coast of Iceland for some time!

Also interesting to hear the medical experts warning of problems for asthma sufferers in the UK.....
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gilmoregirl

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #32 on: April 15, 2010, 03:22:06 PM »
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ice-cold/4497761488/

amazing pic of the northern lights and the volcanic eruption together.
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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #33 on: April 15, 2010, 05:50:52 PM »

ValVannet

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #34 on: April 15, 2010, 10:54:13 PM »
Good footage on Icelandic TV news this evening http://dagskra.ruv.is/sjonvarpid/4497963/2010/04/15/ . Lots of ash laden landscapes in Iceland compared to endless coverage of empty airports!
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ValVannet

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #35 on: April 16, 2010, 03:11:13 PM »
I think we should be feeling very priviledged to be getting first hand news like this from VolcanIan. It certainly puts a different slant on events.....

Hello everyone ,

JUST A GENERAL QUICK CATCH UP TO ALL FOR THE MOMENT:-

              Thanks for your emails, very much appreciated. This is a
very serious situation for Iceland/Icelanders. Sadly, BBC
news/Sky news is only concentrating on the disruption to
flights; here it is really serious, now and for the future.
Livlihoods, farming, livestock, migrating birds, landscapes,
fish spawning areas, water supplies, tourism, etc., etc.,
etc. I have been staying in Reykjavik these last 5 days with
a group (who had a brills time - super A level students with
Plate tectonics and natural hazard monitoring, management
and mitigation as a "major" in their syllabus) so am only
now back to internet connection. I am in Selfoss now on the
way back to my hus - I hope it is a hus and not a boat. All
seems OK at the moment but this is a major geographical
event with changed physical and human geography in the
making, on a grand scale. So it is supremely exciting to
witness all of this but also very, very anxious time. I am
desperate to get to Fljotshlid Valley and to see the state
of play. I think I will be allowed in  but may need to stay
with friends "higher up" the valley sides. But tomorrow it
is forecast to be a good sunny day so I cannot imagine the
scene that will be revealed - glorious Eyjafjallajokull will
be completely changed.Gigajokull is severly affected, the
road in to Thorsmork too. The embankments are holding the
Markarfljot river in its channel as planned (such AMAZING
engineering; did you hear that they cut the "1" road in 4
places to ease the pressure on the big road bridge? It
worked; the dischargh volumes are enormous).

     I am en route from Reykjavik, as I say, to my hus at the moment. It
was SO good to call in to the coach company just now in Selfoss; They
are great people and I worked with many of them; to be welcomed,
greeted, and to have my wellbeing asked about was terrrifically
warming; in Iceland EVERYONE  matters, it is such a great feeling.

  Now in Cafe Lif  gaining internet
access. The black coffee is helping. So good to be heading east to my
home area and to people I know. I will soon see it all for myself. I
will hope to write a report and keep all updated but my life is in
such a froth these days that I am pretty well drained. My hus looks
directlky across to the new eruptive such - Gordon Bennett! Quite a
view from my deck - no need for binoculars!

     AS I say, in a rush but just say ing all is well for the moment. DO
go on to www.icelandreview.com; www.mbl.is and www.vedur.is for
updates.

     Do please keep in touch; it helps a lot, many thanks.

     Goodness knows when my last group will get home (by ship?); blimey,
this is actually totally incredible to part of it all. Utterly
impressive toisee Iceland authorities in action; it really is so well
co-ordinated.

     OK, gotta go ...
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Judith R

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #36 on: April 16, 2010, 03:26:09 PM »
Thanks Val - it really brings it home how serious the situation is.
The long-term implications for the country aren't too good either given the current economic situation.
As usual, pass on our best wishes and thanks to Ian.
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Ruth N

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #37 on: April 16, 2010, 09:26:09 PM »
Thank you Val for the updates from Ian.  Please pass on thanks and best wishes to him.  It is just so amazing to have these first hand accounts .... and what fantastic video footage on the Iceland Review website.  Thanks Judith for posting that link.

Andrew Stacey

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #38 on: April 17, 2010, 08:08:12 AM »
Stunning webcam this morning, in glorious crystal-clear air! Saw a lovely item yesterday on the BBC site, with one student saying it was the best fieldtrip ever!

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ValVannet

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #39 on: April 17, 2010, 09:20:39 AM »
Managed to chat with Ian on Skype last night.  He has been allowed back to his 'hus'!.  No tourists are allowed in to the area.  It was totally surreal to be speaking to someone who was watching flashes of lightening in the night sky above a volcano.  You can see his pics captured earlier last night here www.flickr.com/photos/sagt
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ValVannet

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #40 on: April 18, 2010, 12:28:36 AM »
A couple of email communications from Ian Hardie received today.  Images he refers to are uploaded to www.flickr.com/photos/sagt
 Ian is happy for these to be 'used'.     
1)   This is simply wonderful - at the moment! Here are a couple of
pics taken at breakfast time this morning. There seems to be no
abating of the eruption, if anything ... !

     Glorious weather, clrear blue sky but with the wind now a northerly
the volcanic dust plume is going south to completely cover Heimaey -
it looks very black there. Oh dear, the problems for them,
unimagineable. What about their fish (never mind catching them,
getting them exported too - I belive there are 000's of tonnes of
fish now in cold store in R'vik awaiting air flights). There are
going to be stories and stories galore after this all dies down.

     So exciting to be living in a "sealed valley" - only locals allowed
in case the "261" road becomes jammed up and an evacuation is
sounded.

2) Holy fumeroles, this is amazing! Sorry, got to let someone know (a way of
letting off personal steam!). The volcano is constantly erupting but with
bouts of white ash cloud, grey cloud and almost black cloud. I can watch
the "shoots" of grey ejecta racing into the sky, ballooning out into
cauliflower clouds (or are they grey brains ... it doesn't really
"matter"!). Sometimes one "burst" ceases and then it is followed
immediately by a second one thus producing two clouds quite different in
nature, side by side. West Heimaey can now just be seen again through the
volcanic haze; funny to think of Eldfell gaining an exotic fresh ash
coating from Eyjafjallajokull. It is a glorious blue sky day and
the icecap beneath the volcano is still pristine white with glistening ice
- so beautiful. I think that there is going to be at least one new
volcanic cone on the top of Eyjafjallajokull at the end of all this, I can
see a whole new "top" forming already. I do hope the wind does not swing
round to the east. I cannot imagine the power that is being released from
this eruption - stunning. There have been a few official helicopters going
about so there should be some good news film on TV soon. But the valley
here is still closed to outsiders in case they hamper any evacuation that
may become necessary; again my bags and sleeping bag are packed by the
door should the call come to evacuate again (yes, and my breakfast dishes
are washed too!).


« Last Edit: April 18, 2010, 09:56:20 AM by ValVannet »
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Andrew Stacey

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #41 on: April 18, 2010, 10:49:05 AM »
Good maps at   http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8625813.stm . Despite being in harm's way, Ian is clearly loving the show. I hate him already! ;)
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Judith R

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #42 on: April 18, 2010, 12:17:37 PM »
I can 'hear' his voice as I read - Ian has a great knack of writing just how he talks!
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ValVannet

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #43 on: April 18, 2010, 12:49:50 PM »
And more this morning from Ian Hardie.....

EYJAFJALLAJÖKULL ERUPTION: UPDATE: SUNDAY 18TH APRIL, 2010:

Well, it began to fall at about 09.15 this morning, a light fall, a “drizzle” almost, but quite white and light in texture, silently. It covered my outside decking almost completely (and within just a few minutes) but only to a depth of about 2mms. There was little or no wind so it fell uniformly. Yes, these winter snows in Iceland can fall any month of the year! Thought that would wake you up, sorry! No dust fall here as yet.

Yesterday, I only now fully realise, proved to be a magnificent day for watching the mind boggling eruption and events taking place on Eyjafjallajökull . It was a totally clear day with a strong north wind and so the views from the Fljótshlið Valley and my hús were simply world class, stunning, beautiful, awesome, the lot. Last night as darkness fell the great fat “trunks” of ejected, billowing ash and dust were still being strongly jettisoned into the air over the mountain from three craters, each with their own distinctive chemical colour palette. The lightning was spectacular. As the upshot particles and rocks collided and rubbed together, as they rose hundreds and thousands of metres from the craters, they created enormous electrical charges. When these then discharged the lightning bolts and flashes were brilliant (in both senses of the word). Sometimes the flashes were localised, occurring throughout the volcanic cloud (although more were located nearer to the mountain summit), small and they appeared as light bulbs being randomly switched on and off. Every so often a great linear bolt of lightning would also appear, running almost the entire length of the height of the volcanic cloud, looking itself like a volcanic fissure, not always continuous, often fragmented, but always in a crooked line, sometimes forking; what power was being released.

Yesterday, as the day ended and evening began, a dense, deepening purple/blue haze could be seen to be settling on the south side of Eyjafjallajökull (the side facing the ocean). It was a massive bowl of volcanic dust and debris, engulfing all the farms and little communities “under the mountain”. This bowl of dust, of which I could only see the upper portion, was all the more remarkable as it was masked to me on its lower portion by the pure white snow and ice of Eyjafjallajökull mountain. As the sun lowered in the west, the volcanic plume also deepened in colour with fawns and dull oranges appearing in amongst an ever deepening petrol blue/slate grey volcanic cloud. There was no let up in the ferocity of the eruption.

The Icelandic TV news last night was all about the effects of the eruption on those people living “below the mountain”. I was incorrect in stating that the island of Heimaey had gained a covering of ash yesterday; the wind direction was just saving their island by a whisker (an island so devastated in 1973 ... but that really is another story). Instead the Heimaey people were gazing northwards to the mainland, not so much thinking of the spectacular nature of the volcanic eruption but thinking of the people and how they would be feeling; they could fully empathise in the light of their experiences 37 years ago and in the dark days that they endured.

It was pitch black all along the south coast “1” road all day yesterday. The yellow plastic sticks that are placed every 50m on both sides of the road to show where the road is during snow storms, driving rain and fog (and which are, trust me, totally invaluable) , could not be seen from one to another due to the density of volcanic ash in the air. Everyone was wearing nose and mouth masks, animals were being kept indoors. Any cars of the Rescue Team/Authorities that were moving threw up great clouds of talcum like dust; thanks goodness it has been dry, just what would rain/snow do to the situation. Of course, again, farmers are only allowed in to attend to their animals but not to stay overnight. One farm, Thorvalseyri, one of the largest in Iceland, is very well known to everyone; it is a big complex, white walls, red roofs, typical for Icelandic farms. Its setting is glorious - fertile lands, neat buildings against a backdrop of the lower flanks and then glacial top of Eyjafjallajökull. The farmer is very adventurous and has increasingly been growing cereal crops and oil seed rape (a positive consequence of global climatic change – yes, there are many ... but that too is another story!); indeed I have some bags of his milled flour in my hús. The farmer was hoping to convert his farm machinery to use never more rape oil as a fuel; such effort, such ingenuity, such determination, such “get on and do it”; such a typical Icelander. But what now of his land, his livestock, his livelihood? The people “under the mountain” will have stories to tell and lives to rebuild. 

Overnight there was no evacuation call; this provided much relief to everyone. On waking and heading to my east windows (the loo one first!) the volcano had “gone”. The sky was filled instead with low, mid grey, stratus cloud and little could be seen, only the lower slopes of Eyjafjallajökull . A dusting of snow could be seen on these lower slopes and around Seljalandsfoss (looking at first like it was an ash fall) but, otherwise, yesterday could all have been a dream. Thus my realisation that yesterday was such a special an event. So, is the volcano still active? Is it still creating new landscapes? Just what is going on? At least the weather forecast is still for either westerly or northerly winds today and through much of next week; no solace for the people below the mountain but a relief that perhaps, just perhaps, other farming areas and communities might escape the anxieties and threats from ash fall. But, it’s nature; we have just to sit tight, keep together and wait and see.
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ValVannet

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Re: Iceland Volcanic Eruption
« Reply #44 on: April 18, 2010, 10:08:05 PM »
The floodwaters from the glacial flood have now receded but have left behind huge chunks of ice on the floodplain  http://www.flickr.com/photos/sagt/4532578594/  (pic courtesy of ian hardie who was out exploring the area today).  For those who know the area, the image is taken looking south west along the Markarfljot tiver towards Stora Dimon.  It is amazing to think that a number of us stood on top of Stora Dimon last August and listened to Ian's description of an overdue eruption of this volcano and his explanation of the flood defences which were in place for exactly the situation which has arisen in the last few days.
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