Bárðarbunga volcano at red alert

By Doug Newhouse |

The aviation warning level on Iceland’s Bárðarbunga volcano has risen from orange to red, indicating an eruption and possible ash cloud concerns.


The Icelandic Meteorological Office has confirmed that it has changed its warning status to red – aviation’s highest warning level. This follows an eruption just after midnight within the volcanic system to which Bárðarbunga is connected just north of the Vatnajokull glacier.


This has resulted in the immediate closure of civil air space above the eruption zone from the ground up to a height of 18,000 feet.


In a statement, the Department of Civil Protection said today: “Just after midnight a fissure eruption started in the Northern part of Holuhraun lava, between Dyngjujökull Glacier and the Askja caldera, North of Vatnajökull glacier. The fissure is 300 meters long and in direction Northeast and Southwest.



“No volcanic ash has been detected with the radar system at the moment. The wind field conditions in the area are wind blowing toward NW at 12 m/s at 5 km altitude. Seismic eruption tremor is low, indicating effusive eruption without significant explosive activity.


“Scientists who have been at work close to the eruption monitor the event at a safe distance. The Coast Guard aircraft, TF-SIF is scheduled to take off at 9:30 this morning. The Icelandic Met Office has raised the aviation color code over the eruption site to red and the Icelandic Air Traffic Control has closed down the airspace from the earth up to 18000 feet for instrumental flights.”


For all the background on this potentially troublesome volcanic system, click here: http://www.trbusiness.com/index.php/regional/europe/15823-iceland-volcano-erupts-but-no-ash.html


TOP IMAGE: Iceland’s Bárðarbunga volcano is buried 2,000ft under the ice cap shown here. Photo credit: Icelandic Meteorological Office.

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