May 12, 2010

Eyjafjallajokull volcano still going strong, ash plume lessens slightly

The ash plume of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano increased slightly Tuesday afternoon, with a darker and slightly higher plume, but there were no other major changes in its eruptive activity, the daily report from the Icelandic Meteorological Office and the Institute of Earth Sciences at the University of Iceland said.
The eruption plume rose to between 17,000 to 20,000 feet high, heading south south east, and was grey in color. Tephra (larger bits of rock and ash thrown from the volcano) was clearly seen on the monitoring video cameras placed nearby. Nine lightning strikes were recorded on the scientific equipment.
There was a slight increase in the lower frequency bands of the seismic tremors. Sixteen earthquakes were recorded, mostly between 11 and 12 miles deep, but none had a magnitude greater than two.
Eyjafjallajökull's ash cloud was pushed by winds south down Europe and then to North Africa on Tuesday, shutting down airports in Spain, Turkey and Morocco, 2,350 miles away. The ash cloud over the mid North Atlantic began to disperse, allowing the Eurocontrol air traffic control agency to end the rerouting of flights between North America and Europe.
The areas of high ash concentration at high altitude which dispersed during the night, Eurocontrol reported.
Ash at lower altitudes was still causing troubles for some trans-Atlantic flights as well as Madeira and the Azores. Areas of high ash concentration at lower altitudes, which could possibly close some airports, exist in the Mediterranean between the Spanish mainland and the Balearic Islands, and were moving north east.


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