14 minutes ago? Thats some timing there, rath.
Yeah, I've been trying to pay attention to this, how much longer is it going to last, or what else is going to come from it.
-- "The last time Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano blew, the eruption lasted more than a year, from December 1821 until January 1823, reports Sally Sennert, a geologist at the Smithsonian Institution.
"This seems similar to what's happening now," she says.
The volcano is erupting small, jagged pieces of rocks, minerals and volcanic glass the size of sand and silt into the atmosphere, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. This volcanic ash can even be as small as 1/25,000th of an inch across.
Volcanic ash is formed during explosive volcanic eruptions. Once in the air, the wind can blow these tiny ash particles tens to thousands of miles away from the volcano. Life-threatening and costly damages can occur to aircraft that fly through an eruption cloud, reports the geological survey.
"Silica in the ash gets into the engine and heats up and melts, which causes the engines to stop," says Sennert.
Based on reported damages from ash encounters, the hazard posed to aircraft can extend more than 3,000 miles from an erupting volcano. (Click here for a map of the ash zone over Europe).
Fortunately for the USA, Sennert says the wind direction is such that the ash cloud is traveling east-southeast, toward Europe and away from the USA.
However, as Science Fair noted previously, the Eyjafjallajokull volcano isn't necessarily the main problem. It's Katla, Iceland's noisier neighbor, that's the concern. If lava flowing from Eyjafjallajokull melts the glaciers that hold down the top of Katla, then Katla could blow its top, pumping gigantic amounts of ash into the atmosphere.
The potential eruption of Iceland's volcano Katla could send the world, including the USA, into an extended deep freeze.
"There's no telling how long the eruptions could last," says Sennert about the Eyjafjallajokull volcano."These explosions could go on for some time."http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2010/04/iceland-volcano-eruption-could-last-months/1
One expert said the eruption at the volcano, about 120 km (75 miles) southeast of capital Reykjavik, could abate in the coming days, but a government spokesman said ash would keep drifting into the skies of Europe.
The thick, dark brown ash cloud that shot several kilometers (miles) into the air and has drifted away from the north Atlantic island has shut down air traffic across northern Europe and restrictions remained in place in many areas.
Norway and Sweden said they would resume limited flights in their northern areas, but Poland and the Czech Republic joined the list of countries with closed airports.
"It is more or less the same situation as yesterday, it is still erupting, still exploding, still producing gas," University of Iceland professor Armann Hoskuldsson told Reuters.
"We expect it to last for two days or more or something. It cannot continue at this rate for many days. There is a limited amount of magma that can spew out," he added, saying it was the magma, or molten rock beneath the Earth's surface, coming out of the volcano that turned into ash.
Environment Ministry spokesman Gudmundur Gudmundsson said no variation was expected in the outflow of ash.
"The eruption is ongoing and we are not expecting any change in the production of ash...High level winds will keep dispersing the plume over Europe," he said.
The eruption has taken place under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier, normally a popular hiking ground in southern Iceland.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Urdur Gudmundsdottir said there was some damage to roads and barriers protecting farms.
"There is still an evacuation of around 20 farms, which is 40 to 50 people," she added, noting this was less than the 800 people who had been evacuated earlier this week.
People living close to the eruption said the main impact on their lives was the flood waters running off the glacier, which have closed roads.
"Obviously it's all been a bit unreal. One is just managing from day to day and doing one's best," said Hanna Lara Andrews, a resident of a farm at the foot of the mountain, who had traveled to Reykjavijk with her one-year-old son.
Speaking by telephone, she said she and her family had felt a big earthquake last week. When the eruption came this week they could see a big white cloud and then ash forming behind it.
Another professor said on Thursday that the heat had melted up to a third of the glacial ice covering the crater, causing a nearby river to burst its banks.
Icelandic radio said part of the ring road that goes around the small north Atlantic island had been swept away.
To the east of the volcano, thousands of hectares of land are covered by a thick layer of ash.
The cloud of ash from the eruption has hit air travel all over northern Europe, with flights grounded or diverted due to the risk of engine damage from sucking in particles of ash from the volcanic cloud.
The volcano under the Ejfjallajokull glacier, Iceland's fifth largest glacier, has erupted five times since Iceland was settled in the ninth century.
Iceland sits on a volcanic hotspot in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and has relatively frequent eruptions, although most occur in sparsely populated areas and pose little danger to people or property. Before March, the last eruption took place in 2004.
(Reporting by Omar Valdimarsson in Reykkavik and Patrick Lannin in Stockholm; writing by Patrick Lannin; Editing by William Maclean)"http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE63E2OU20100416