Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Volcanic eruption in Iceland unlikely to have global effects

Date:
April 18, 2010
Source:
University of Colorado at Boulder
Summary:
The eruption of an Icelandic volcano that sent a huge plume of ash into the atmosphere and caused sweeping disruptions of air traffic over Great Britain and Scandinavia today will likely dissipate in the next several days, according to an atmospheric scientist.

The eruption of an Icelandic volcano that sent a huge plume of ash into the atmosphere and caused sweeping disruptions of air traffic over Great Britain and Scandinavia today will likely dissipate in the next several days, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder atmospheric scientist.

Related Articles


Professor Brian Toon, chair of CU-Boulder's atmospheric and oceanic sciences department, said the plume created by the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull Volcano contains tiny rock particles made up of silicate and basaltic glass that can be extremely damaging to aircraft engines. Unfortunately, the plume is at about 30,000 feet -- the same altitude as jet aircraft fly -- and is directly in the flight path between New York and Europe, he said.

The destination and duration of the volcanic plume depends primarily on weather conditions like rain and winds, said Toon. The plume should get washed away by rain as it continues to drift east, and likely will have no effect on the United States, he said. Fortunately, the plume also is below the stratosphere, where volcanic gases can have global effects because of a lack of rain there prohibits the removal of volcanic material, he said.

Toon said the amount of sulfur dioxide spewed by the volcano so far poses no threat to world climate as determined by an instrument aboard NASA's Aura satellite. But he noted than an apparently larger eruption of an Icelandic volcano in 1783 --which was written about by Benjamin Franklin -- caused some climate issues in Europe by creating smog-like conditions in London that partially blocked out the sun and persisted through the summer months.

Toon compared the Icelandic eruption to the popping of a champagne bottle cork. When the pressure is released by breeching the rock "cork," gases bubble out, spewing tiny rock particles into the air like champagne droplets. Such rocks threaten the safety of airliners.

Toon was involved in a 2000 NASA research campaign to study Arctic ozone when a research jet passed through a similar Icelandic volcanic plume from Mount Hekla, damaging the engine turbines and subsequently requiring the replacement of the jet's engines at a cost of several million dollars. Several other similar incidents in the past several decades have also caused the failure of jet engines, but the aircraft were able to restart their engines and no crashes occurred, he said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Colorado at Boulder. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Colorado at Boulder. "Volcanic eruption in Iceland unlikely to have global effects." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100416095802.htm>.
University of Colorado at Boulder. (2010, April 18). Volcanic eruption in Iceland unlikely to have global effects. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100416095802.htm
University of Colorado at Boulder. "Volcanic eruption in Iceland unlikely to have global effects." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100416095802.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Rare Clouds Fill Grand Canyon

Raw: Rare Clouds Fill Grand Canyon

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) — For the second time in two months, a rare weather phenomenon filled the Grand Canyon with thick clouds just below the rim on Wednesday. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) — The Republican-controlled Senate has passed a bipartisan bill approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
"Cloud Inversion" In Grand Canyon

"Cloud Inversion" In Grand Canyon

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 29, 2015) — Time lapse video captures a blanket of clouds amassing in the Grand Canyon -- the result of a rare meteorological process called "cloud inversion." Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) — Biofuels aren&apos;t the best alternative to fossil fuels, according to a new report. In fact, they&apos;re quite a bad one. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins