A dramatic lava eruption that began early on Sunday near Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano has continued into Monday. At the weekend, lava fountains more than 50m (165ft) high prompted the Met Office in Iceland to raise its ash warning for aviation to red, the highest level.
It's an exciting time for volcano-watchers — and an unnerving time for anyone who lives near a rumbling volcano. Over the past day, two large volcanoes have erupted: Iceland's Bárðarbunga and Papua New Guinea's large Rabaul volcano. The Icelandic volcano gets most of the attention — but that's been a brief, largely harmless eruption so far. Meanwhile, the eruption in Papua New Guinea is far more explosive and has the potential to do more damage to nearby population centers. Here's a rundown and some photos:
Iceland has reduced its aviation warning level to orange after concluding that a small eruption in the Bardarbunga volcano system that triggered a hours-long red alert actually posed no threat to aircraft. No sign of ash like that from the Eyjafjallajokull eruption that shut much of Europe's air space in 2010 has been detected, but the Icelandic Metrological Office said a no-fly zone in a radius of three nautical miles around the Bardarbunga volcano in central Iceland would remain in effect.
Iceland lowered its aviation alert level to orange from red Sunday, saying there was no sign of an imminent eruption at the Bardarbunga volcano. And scientists at the Icelandic Meteorological Office said their announcement Saturday that the volcano had experienced a subglacial eruption was wrong. But the office cautioned in a statement that seismic activity at the volcano, which has been hit by thousands of earthquakes over the past week, was not slowing, and an eruption remained a possibility in coming days.
t looks like Iceland is finally getting a volcanic eruption — after a week of ominous rumbling. The lava eruption, located near Iceland's Bárðarbunga volcano, is still small and contained underneath a massive glacier for now. But officials are watching closely to see how the eruption evolves. "It is believed that a small subglacial lava-eruption has begun under the Dyngjujökull glacier," the Icelandic Meteorological Office announced on Saturday, August 23. "The aviation color code for the Bárðarbunga volcano has been changed from orange to red":
Iceland has issued a red alert to the aviation industry for the Bardarbunga volcano, meaning significant ash emissions are likely. The Icelandic Met Office has warned that a small eruption under an ice cap has begun at Bardarbunga.
Three big earthquakes have shaken the area of an Icelandic volcano, local media report, as some two hundred emergency workers and other professionals prepare for a massive eruption. Bardarbunga is Iceland's largest volcanic system, located under the ice cap of the Vatnajokull glacier in the southwest of Iceland. It is in a different range to Eyjafjallajokull.
Does this mean we're in for another air-travel catastrophe?