Vulcano eruption - Monitoring Icelandic volcanic ash

Thursday 15, April 2010


Vulcano eruption - Monitoring Icelandic volcanic ash


The Met Office is continuing to monitor the spread of the ash plume from eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano on Iceland. The forecasters monitor volcanic eruptions as part of the Met Office’s role in the global network of Volcanic Ash Advisory Centres (VAAC).



The Eyjafjallajökull volcano is still erupting, and possibly intensifying, with the ash plume rising to 30,000 feet. Evidence of ash dust over the UK is being detected by Met Office observations and there are reports of dust reaching the ground.


The Met Office commissioned NERC research flight flew over the North Sea on Friday afternoon and detected 3 distinct layers of ash, from fine particles at low levels to large particles around 8,000 feet.


All these observations are consistent with our forecast plumes for where the ash cloud would spread and how it would mix through the atmosphere.


The Met Office is working closely with the CAA and NATS, and because of the worsening volcanic activity UK airspace has now been closed until 1am Sunday. They continue to look for weather windows that will allow air space restrictions to be lifted.


We are also liaising with Health Protection Scotland and the Health Protection Agency and dust collected at Lerwick and Aberdeen has been analysed by Scottish Environment Protection Agency. Preliminary analysis has shown that the properties of the particles appear to be consistent with the properties of volcanic ash, but further more detailed analysis is being undertaken.


Decisions on flights and airline movement is controlled by National Air Traffic Services (NATS). The Met Office is unable to advise of any details of any flights. However, many airlines are providing information on their websites.




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